Welcome to Part 1 of my little series on Home Brewing Beer and Christianity...
As a life long Christian, I’ve had to do some serious soul searching regarding my hobby of home brewing. I can honestly say that learning to brew my own beer has helped me gain a more mature and responsible view on alcohol consumption. But, it wasn’t until I began to dig into the bible that I truly learned what God’s views on alcohol are.
Why am I mixing my faith with my hobby of home brewing? This verse sums it up…
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths."
This is my way of acknowledging God, and ensuring my trivial little hobby does not conflict with my faith. After doing some reading and thinking, I don’t think it does.
There are some clear messages about alcohol in the bible, here's a couple…
BIBLICAL FACT: Jesus made wine, and he made really good wine…
“They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now."
When Christians are confronted about their alcohol consumption, they often turn to the scriptures that tell us about Jesus' wine making miracle. Yes, Jesus made wine from water for a wedding. Can alcohol be so bad if Jesus actually made wine, specifically for a party? The verse even comments on the fact that the wine Jesus made was “good wine” and not the cheap stuff you would typically serve guests after they've had a few drinks already. In life, when faced with a dilemma, we're often asked, "What would Jesus do?" In this case, he wouldn't serve low quality booze.
In today's terms, it would be like running out of beer at a party, only to have a stranger walk up and make a batch of the best home brewed beer imaginable in seconds. think Trappist Westvleteren 12 quality, and then serving this miracle treat to your guests. Most folks would have made an emergency beer run to the corner package store for a couple 30 packs of Bud Light. Jesus certainly set a high bar for party planners throughout history.
Imagine how good that wine must have been, literally made by the Son of God, not that junk they serve out of a box! Now if Jesus made his own wine, how could making your own beer a bad thing? I suppose that really depends on what you do with that beer…
BIBLICAL FACT: Being a drunkard is bad...
"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
The bible is clear on this, being a drunkard is a sin, right up there with stealing from others or cheating on your spouse. But how do you define the term drunk?
Webster’s basic definition is, “having the faculties impaired by alcohol”… Webster’s further defines inebriation as, “to exhilarate or stupefy as if by liquor.” It’s that ability to stupefy, or “to make stupid, groggy, or insensible,” that causes the trouble. It can often lead us to make poor decisions, hurt ourselves, or hurt others. In any case, God is not a big fan alcohol induced stupidity…
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”
If you are a true connoisseur of quality beer, why would you want to get drunk? Drinking in moderation enables you to savor and appreciate the nuances of the beer you’re drinking. After all, the brew master went to all that effort to create something special, why would you gulp it down and not take the time to appreciate it? That would be like dumping ketchup and salt on a very expensive gourmet meal and then scarfing it down without savoring it. Why bother with the fancy restaurant if you’re not going to enjoy the food on your plate? Most of us have the maturity not to do that to a fine meal, why should things be any different when it comes to the beverages in our glasses?
Become a beer connoisseur
Writing detailed reviews of beer is an interesting process that trains you to slow down and think about what you’re putting into your body. It enables you to consider the beers qualities, flavors, textures, colors and even its potential affects on your body. If you haven’t tried it, I encourage you to review the next beer you drink, you just might learn something!
Next time, I'll discuss some other alcohol related guidelines I've found in the bible, as well as some versus that I feel promote the healthy enjoyment of alcohol as an actual gift from God. So stay tuned, there's more to come!
In the mean time, here's a little video about Westvleteren beer, "a mythical beer brewed in small batches by Trappist monks"... It's brewed by actual monks!!!!
Cheers and God Bless!
- Go to part 2