Christianity

The Christian Argument Against Alcohol

At one point in time, practically every Christian protestant denomination believed that alcohol consumption was forbidden in the Bible, and it is wise for Christians to completely abstain from it. It even lead to a national ban on alcohol, referred to as the Prohibition Era.

During this time period, rebellion took place and bootleggers began to sell alcohol on the Black market.

Eventually, the culture began to shift on the issue of prohibition, which would eventually be overturned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933.

Eventually, acceptance began to work its way into the churches, and Christians began finding justifications for drinking.

The Word ‘Wine,’ In The Bible, Doesn’t Always Mean Alcohol

Grape Cluster

Grape Cluster

Isaiah 65:8 makes a clear distinction that the “new wine” comes directly out of a grape cluster, meaning that it is unfermented grape juice. – “Thus said the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one said, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.”

Scientists have found that grape juice has many “blessings” or benefits to our everyday health.

  • Reducing the risk of blood clots
  • Reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol
  • Preventing damage to blood vessels in your heart
  • Helping maintain a healthy blood pressure

In Proverbs 23:32, it has a completely different description of wine, signaling that there is a difference between fermented and unfermented. – “Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.”

So, now we know that wine can either refer to alcohol, or unfermented juice. Typically, unless otherwise noted in the scripture, wine refers to unfermented juice, unless otherwise stated. One type of wine is a “blessing,” while the other type is a “mocker.”

Pro-Alcohol Arguments


1) Jesus Turned the Water into Wine

This is the main argument that people use to justify wine consumption, and claim that Jesus himself drank alcoholic wine. This can be easily disproved.

Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.

When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;)”

We know at least three things from the passage. Jesus turned the water into wine, it took place at a feast, and they ran out of the original wine.

If the wine was alcoholic, Jesus basically threw a beer party. Feasts with alcoholic wine are referred to as banquetings in the Bible.

If we read 1 Peter 4:3, banquetings are sinful.

“For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:”

In the New King James version, the term “banquetings” is transitioned into “drinking parties,” which is exactly what Jesus would have contributed to, had the wine been alcoholic.

If Jesus participated in banquetings, that would mean he was a sinner, which the Bible says that Christ is the only man who is “without sin.”

Not to mention, they ran out of wine. Additional alcoholic wine consumption would have meant that people were going to get drunk, because most had already had at least one cup. Jesus would have been creating drunkards.

“Well, maybe they ran out of first servings,” you might claim.

That’s not true.

In John 2:10 the governor of the feast said, “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.”

He is comparing the wine that Jesus created, to the first batch of wine. This is at the very least, a second serving.

So, either you believe that the Bible is contradicting itself and is flawed, or you believe that the wine Jesus created was juice.


2) Jesus admitted that he drinks

People who claim Jesus drank alcoholic wine, quote Luke 7:33-34 as proof.

“For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!”

Wine, in this context when referring to John the Baptist, was not talking about fermented wine. John the Baptist was a nazarite.

A Nazarite could not drink alcohol or any product of the grapevine. They could not eat grapes. They could not cut the hair on the head, and had to avoid touching dead bodies.

In the book of Luke, we learn that John the Baptist could not drink fermented drinks or anything unfermented that comes from the grapevine.

Luke 1:15, “For he [John the Baptist] shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.”

Why would the Bible make a distinction between wine and strong drink? It’s because unless specifically stated, wine was not automatically associated with fermentation.

With regards to Jesus being a “winebibber,” when read in context, it clearly reveals that Jesus was talking about people gossiping.

Verse 31-32: “Jesus went on to say, ‘What can I compare today’s people to? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the market and calling out to each other. They say,’ ”We played the flute for you. But you didn’t dance. We sang a funeral song. But you didn’t cry.”’

He was referring to their false accusation.


3) The Bible Says Alcohol is Healthy For Your Stomach

In 1 Timothy 5:23, people claim that it justifies consumption.

“No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.”

Grape juice has been found to settle upset stomachs. If you believe it was referring to alcoholic wine, then clearly this verse only permits it for medicinal purposes.


Conclusion

The fact is that every drunkard started off as a social drinker. If you never pick up a bottle, you will never become an alcoholic. When the Bible clearly states that we are to remain sober for the purpose of being a good witness to others, along with not tempting ourselves with sin, why is it such a challenge for some “Christians” to abstain from alcohol.

The reason is because whether they realize it or not, it becomes their master. They begin to thirst for alcohol. People who have never touched it, do not thirst for it.

Justifying alcohol consumption is the same as justifying any other sin. It is very convenient to point out the sins of others, while compromising the Word in areas that brings you conviction.


 

“Liquor is not necessary either for health or for so-called gracious living… It is the cause of untold sorrow, suffering, and material loss, not to mention the spiritual implications of drinking. Among young people… drinking is for getting drunk. And many go on to become alcoholics. Drinking and other forms of body-wrecking pleasures are signs of weakness rather than manliness. It takes a better man to live a clean life—free from the stimulants, depressants, and drugs—than to be artificially [stimulated].”

Billy Graham


In closing, do not tempt yourself with sin. Do not play with sin, because it risks your chances at inheriting the Kingdom of God and completely destroying your life.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. George Lujack

    George Lujack

    February 22, 2016 2:14 pm at 2:14 pm

    REBUTTAL:

    Caiden,
    What you are doing is what many Christians do; they create or have a doctrine, then they search the Scriptures for verses to support that doctrine while OMITTING Scripture verses that show said doctrine to not be true. Thus such Christians are not genuinely searching for or proclaiming the whole truth.

    How many Christians have read what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19, that He did not come to destroy the law, ANY OF IT, even the least of it…?
    Well that doesn’t work for pork and shellfish eating Christians, so they say “Look here what Paul wrote, ‘We are no longer under law, but grace.,’ Break out the pork and lobster and let’s eat!”
    They TWIST Paul’s words and use them to overturn the commands of Jesus (as Peter said they would – 2 Peter 3:16).

    You omitted this verse in your article:

    DEUTERONOMY 14:26:
    And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or alcoholic drink, for whatever your heart desires; and you shall eat there before YHWH (the Lord) your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.

    You said in your article:
    “At one point in time, practically every Christian protestant denomination believed that alcohol consumption was forbidden in the Bible…”

    Many Christians hold false beliefs and doctrines, and believing that alcohol consumption was forbidden by God and Scripture is or was one of them. How else can you explain Deuteronomy 14:26?

    ALCOHOLIC WINE REQUIRES NEW WINESKINS – (Yeshua) Jesus said, “Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins and both are preserved” (Matthew 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37-38).
    It is clear that (Yeshua) Jesus is speaking of alcoholic fermenting wine. During fermentation, to make wine alcoholic, new wine expands. If new wine were filled into old wineskins, wineskins that have already been stretched out from a previous wine fermentation procedure, the new fermentation process would stretch out the old wineskins even further and burst them. Therefore it is necessary to put new fermenting wine into new wine skins. If Jesus were referring to grape juice, the fact is that it would be possible to put non-fermenting wine (grape juice) into old wineskins, since grape juice does not expand. New grape juice poured into old wineskins will not cause the old wineskins to burst. Therefore, it can only be fermenting alcoholic wine that Jesus refers to when speaking of ‘new wine.’

    NOAH AND LOT GOT DRUNK – Noah drank wine, got drunk and passed out naked in his tent (Genesis 9:21). Lot became drunk on consecutive nights when his daughter’s served him wine to excess. Lot’s daughters, after weakening their father’s perception with wine, proceeded to conceive children with their father through acts of incestuous sex while Lot was drunk (Genesis 19:30-38). Noah and Lot were righteous men of the Bible in whom the Lord found grace (Genesis 6:8-9, 19:19). Both Noah and Lot drank wine to the point of intoxication, indicating that it was alcoholic wine that they consumed. If drinking alcoholic wine was a sin, Noah and Lot would have never drank alcoholic wine at all. It is not a sin to drink alcohol, but getting drunk can be problematic – even for the righteous.

    There may have been a scientific reason that Noah and Lot got drunk. They both got drunk shortly AFTER the great flood. It has been scientifically speculated that the oxygen content of the post-flood earth was reduced in half. Noah and Lot may have not been adjusted to earth’s new oxygen-depleted atmosphere, which may have caused them to not be able to handle the alcohol amount that they had previously been used to drinking and remain sober.

    The Christian call for alcohol abstinence is a false doctrine that was perhaps started with good intentions, but also involves issues of church control, criminalizing drinkers, and the spreading of falsehoods. The Temperance Doctrine is an evil doctrine of men, because it falsely accuses Christians who choose to drink alcohol in moderation as being sinners for doing so. Christians have the choice as to whether to drink or to not drink. Alcohol, when consumed in moderation is a blessing and when consumed in excess becomes a curse. The same can be said of food, yet no Christian denomination is calling for Christians to abstain from food! The Bible does not demand alcohol abstinence. The Bible permits alcohol consumption while giving many warnings about not drinking to excess.
    Sexual intercourse is not a sin in marriage, but outside of marriage it is the sin of fornication or adultery.
    Eating is not a sin, but eating in excess is gluttony and gluttony is sin.
    Drinking alcohol is not a sin, but drinking in excess to get drunk is a sin.

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