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Alcohol, Even in Moderation, is a Sin
Alcohol, Even in Moderation, is a Sin
This hub is a biblical examination on whether or not alcohol, even in moderation, for recreational or health purposes, is a sin. I will discuss what the Bible says about alcohol, drinking alcohol in moderation, Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding feast in the New Testament, the dangers that drinking alcohol possesses on our relationship with God, and Jesus' example in the matter. I am going to start with a scripture. Proverbs 23:29-35, KJV:
Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
There are those who say that wine or alcohol in moderation is acceptable to God. Yet, the Bible tells us not even to "look" at it. "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, ..." says the Word. This is the look of consideration. Therefore, we should not even consider drinking any alcohol.
Why doesn't God want us to drink alcohol? Because doing so leads to various physical and mental problems, as is outlined in the opening scripture of this hub. Yet, some say, "I drink in moderation. I don't drink to get drunk." What they're actually saying is, "I'm just sinning a little bit; so I'm sure God will overlook that."
That's really what it comes down to. Alcohol is a drug that affects sobriety and damages the organs of the body. It is even said to be one of the most harmful drugs because of the impact it has on our organs. For example, tobacco targets mainly the lungs; but alcohol affects every major organ.
With that in mind, remember that the Bible tells us that we are responsible for keeping our body in good health. 1 Corinthians 3:17 tells us, "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." Drinking alcohol, even in moderation, is defiling ourselves; because alcohol is a poison.
Some people argue that if we drink alcohol in moderation then that's somehow supposed to be healthy. However, common sense should tell us that if we drink less poison then we are just poisoning ourselves less; but we are poisoning ourselves, nonetheless. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out.
There's also the argument about Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding feast in the New Testament. This wine was not alcoholic. The Bible uses the word "wine" like Americans use the word "cider". It can either be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. What determines whether or not it is alcoholic in the Bible is the context (you never actually find the term "grape juice" in the Bible).
Non- alcoholic wine (grape juice, essentially) is blessed by the Bible: "Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all." - Isaiah 65:8. Notice how this wine is described as "new wine...found in the cluster". This is definitely grape juice, because you don't find alcohol in a cluster of grapes.
With that being said, the wine that Jesus made from water must have been grape juice, because He obviously wouldn't make something to cause His apostles and other wedding guests to defile themselves and sin.
Dangers of Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol quickly impairs judgment. "One drink can impair one's judgement .... Judgment is the first thing affected when someone has been drinking."1 This is important because 1 Peter 5:8 tells us, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour". Therefore, even if we have one drink of alcohol, we are already affecting our sobriety and violating the Word of God, whether we know it or not. This is a scientific fact.
Why is it important to remain sober at all times? Proverbs 31:4-5 has the answer: "It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted." Drinking alcohol affects our spirituality. It will lead us to "forget the law". The Law is a term used to mean the Word of God and / or His Commandments.
The devil knows how alcohol will affect our spirituality. He is also aware that most Christians will never accept an explanation that all out drinking liquor is safe because the Bible is clear that it is not. Therefore, he works to slowly erode our relationship with God by getting us to believe that drinking in moderation is acceptable. Don't fall for it. It's a trap!
What Would Jesus do?
"And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not." - Mark 15:23. Jesus, even during His crucifixion, refused to drink wine. He is our example in all things when it comes to godly living. So if you have any doubts on whether or not you should drink alcohol, even in moderation, for recreational or health purposes; just follow the example of Jesus. It's best to leave alcohol alone.
Take the Poll
Is it OK for Christians to drink alcohol in moderation?
The Bible condemns drinking alcohol in any amount. To say that drinking alcohol in moderation is somehow healthy is absurd, because alcohol is a poison. The wine that Jesus turned the water into at the wedding feast was actually grape juice. Drinking alcohol in any amount jeopardizes our relationship with God; and Jesus left us an example to leave alcohol alone.
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1. "A Glass of Wine: Myths About Alcohol." N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2013. <http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/fall05/garcia/myths.html>.