Last time, I discussed two important facts from the bible:
- Jesus made Wine, really good wine! (Proverbs 3:5-6) So, how could making beer be so bad? In my opinion, it's not, as long as you don't use the beer for sinful purposes.
- Getting drunk is a sin and often leads to more sin. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) Drink in moderation for physical and spiritual health. Keep in mind, this also allows for better beer enjoyment.
The big deal...
Not everyone is mature enough or physically and mentally capable of enjoying alcohol responsibly. For some, drinking responsibly comes easily, but for others, alcohol is something that should be avoided.
If you fall into the first category, good for you! But what about your friends and family? Can they drink responsibly? How does your drinking affect them?
BIBLICAL FACT: Tempting your friends who lack self-control is not a good thing, so don’t do it…
“It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves."
If your buddy has an eating disorder or an uncontrollable thirst for alcohol, you should not be part of his problem. Don’t tempt your friends and family, don't lead them astray. You wouldn’t bring a bulimic friend to an all you can eat buffet would you? Of course not… So don’t bring your alcoholic friend to the local watering hole either. Just some good old fashioned common sense courtesy of the Bible...
It’s interesting to note that this scripture reading discusses both food and drink. People of faith are often ready to condemn folks when it comes to alcohol consumption, but what about those that over eat? Is gluttony not a sin?
Should overweight Christians be held in the same view as Christians with alcohol problems? This is debatable. Alcohol abuse can have many consequences that are external to the abuser, negatively affecting the people in their lives. While over eating tends to have more internal health related consequences for the individual. In any case, neither are good practices.
BIBLICAL FACT: Christians should not cause other Christians to falter
"Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall."
1 Corinthians 8:9-13
Clearly God does not want Christians to do anything that might offend other Christians, or worse, encourage them to sin against their conscience. Hopefully my discussion of this very topic does not offend other Christians (or anyone else for that matter), as this is not my intent.
Here’s my take on the 1 Corinthians 8:9-13, as it relates to alcohol. If a fellow Christian does not approve of alcohol, don’t rub your differing opinion in their face, save the beer for later. More importantly, if a fellow Christian has previously struggled with addiction, or believes drinking will lead them to further sin, don’t encourage them to drink. That seems like fair and sound advice to me, how about you?
I think we can all agree that the Bible provides some clear guidance on alcohol consumption. Don’t be a drunk, and don’t tempt or offend others (Christians or non-Christians) who lack self control or have different opinions on the topic. All great advice, even if you're not a Christian.
Now that we got the list of "things not to do" out of the way, I'll go into what the Bible tells us we can do in my next update. The Bible tells us that ability to make and savor great beverages is a gift from God, to be enjoyed! So stay tuned , you might be very surprised what the Bible has to say! More to follow, Cheers and God Bless!
- Go to Part III