The question of whether or not it's forbidden to drink is divided across two camps and it's often a simple yes or a no.
I don't care what people say...
I care what the Bible says.
And just making a blanket statement like "no, a true follower of Jesus would never drink because it's a sin" is too black and white. After studying the subject it's not so black and white as we'd like the question to be and we need to put a bit more thought into the subject.
I understand why there are a lot of topics in the Bible that are binary in nature. Many actions are condemned and tell us to stay away from such actions, but other than that core repeating set of behaviors things get a bit gray or at least end up with a lot of stipulations.
Drinking Alcohol is Not a Binary Answer
Drinking alcohol is one of those issues that has a bunch of if-else statements involved it the question of right or wrong. I think the reason why some people in the space say that a Christian should not drink is that in their minds a human can not drink without being drunk.
Drunkenness is considered sin in the Bible (verses below), and if even one sip of wine or beer gets you drunk, then it would smart to stay away.
From my understanding, drunkenness is a spectrum. Many people can have one or two drinks and not be drunk, but it is in the excess that will cause us to stumble. The Bible makes it very clear to stay sober, and one cannot be sober if they are drunk with wine or other substance.
We have to practice moderation in everything we choose to partake in or else we could cause problems in our spiritual growth or the growth of others.
When We Shouldn't Drink
- If by our drinking alcohol causes another to stumble. If we are around someone, who is recovering from abusing alcohol or someone that thinks drinking at all is a sin we must not consume.
- Romans 14:13-15
- 1 Corinthians 8:9
- 1 Corinthians 8:13
- If when we drink, we get drunk. The Bible is clear that drunkenness is a sin and should be avoided.
- Romans 13:13
- Ephesians 5:18
- Galatians 5:19-21
- 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8
- 1 Corinthians 6:10
- If alcohol has power over us. This also goes for anything as well, as a follower of Jesus, we need to act in moderation.
- 1 Corinthians 6:12
When can a Christian Drink?
The question is easy, whenever the above points a null and void. Which means when doing so does not cause a person to stumble, We don't drink so much that we get drunk, and if alcohol does not have power over us.
We must be mindful of our environment, the people around us, and forming a habit that may spiral out of control. When walking a fine line, it's always better to avoid "strong drink" because our testimony is much more important than having a glass of wine.
The older I get, the less appealing drinking any amount of alcohol becomes. My youth was filled with drinking, not partying though because as an introvert I'd rather sit at home on my computer than pretend I like to socialize. I'll still have a drink these days when I am with family, but when I feel myself getting tipsy, I stop.
I don't want to be drunk and not be able to talk about my faith in Jesus Christ when the opportunity arises. It's tough to think coherently if I do drink too many and sharing why I believe is much too important.
Remember: *We are the only "bible" some people will ever read.**
After a few comments around the internet I want to make it clear that the Bible never talks about alcohol in a positive light and there is debate over what "wine" means. What I want to get across in the post is that in our current dispensation Christians have the liberty to drink if they so choose. However, that does not mean we should and may even hinder our spiritual growth.