By Kenneth L. Gentry
SHOULD CHRISTIANS DRINK ALCOHOL?
Anyone considering the problem alcohol brings to our society today is challenged to become a total abstainer. That is a choice many Christians make. They don't flaunt this fact before others, but are happy to live alcohol-free lives. Other Christians do reserve the right on occasions to drink alcohol.
Here are some principles to keep in mind when considering whether or not to drink alcohol:
* Remember that alcohol is part of God's creation, and as such, it can either be used well or abused. Just as people have abused the gifts of food, sex, and money, people have also abused alcohol, causing great destruction in the process. Alcohol itself is not intrinsically bad; the way in which it is often used is bad. Approach alcohol with an attitude of wise stewardship.
* Know that the Bible clearly and strongly condemns drunkenness.
* Know that alcohol can be used in beneficial ways, such as for communion during church and for medicinal purposes. Remember that Christ drank alcohol, and His first public miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding feast. Christians are free to enjoy alcoholic beverages, but choosing to do so may not prove beneficial to some people.
* Think and pray about whether you should choose to drink. Consider whether you have a family history of alcoholism, whether you suffer from health problems that would be exacerbated by consuming alcohol, whether you might lead someone close to you astray by indulging in alcohol, and whatever other issues God brings to your mind.
* If you do decide to drink, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you exactly what limits you should place on your drinking, since every person's tolerance for alcohol is different. Then pray for the grace to remain faithful to those limits.
The above is adapted from "God Gave Wine: What the Bible Says About
Alcohol" by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., copyright 2001 by Gentry Family
Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., pastor of Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church,
Costa Mesa, Ca., is the author of 12 books and numerous journal articles
on various theological subjects, including prophecy and Christian living.