What Does The Bible Say About Drugs And Alcohol
Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol are waging war within the culture and even within the church. An addict can be found living on almost every block, within almost every family, and even within almost every home. Drugs are taking their toll on the world as we know it. As the problem continues to grow, convictions concerning the matter begin to dwindle. More and more drug and alcohol abuse becomes acceptable as even the government shifts from banning substances to allowing them to be used by the masses.
Gaining a proper biblical perspective on the matter is vitally important for the Christian. Oftentimes the addict may say something like, The Bible does not speak about marijuana therefore, it must be okay to use, or, The Bible only talks about alcohol not the substances that I am using, or, God made mushrooms, the marijuana plant, the cocaine plant, and even the opioid plant therefore, I should be able to use them. At this point, the Christian is often dumbfounded and does not know what to say.
As a result, the Christian admits defeat, and the addict goes on his way thinking that he is right or at least that he has won that battle. Sadly to say, oftentimes the Christian does not have a response for the hope that is in him. The Christian oftentimes does not know what to say concerning many attacks that are made against Gods Word and His heart. So what is a true biblical view on the topic of drugs and alcohol?
How Jews Treat Alcohol Use
Judaism largely takes the broad view that alcohol use is allowed in much the same way that Catholics and others include wine in their worship, so, to, do Jews for certain occasions but that it’s also a dangerous tool that should be approached with caution.
Writing in Chabad, Menachem Posner asks rhetorically whether wine is a “holy beverage with immense powers,” or a tool of destruction that can bring down the mighty. His answer: “a little of both, it seems.”
Rabbi Mark Washofsky, in his 2001 book “Jewish Living: A Guide to Contemporary Reform Practice” basically reiterates the same key points: that the Old Testament doesn’t forbid alcohol use, that it’s a holy sacrament in some contexts, that moderation is key, and that it can be destructive if taken to extremes. “Judaism holds us responsible for failure to treat our health with care and respect,” he wrote.
When It Leads To Sin
Other scriptures denounce alcohol consumption that offends others or causes them to sin. For instance, Romans 14:21 reads, It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything to cause your brother to stumble.
Similarly, 1 Corinthians 10:31 reminds Christians to exercise self-control and only drink in ways that honor the Holy Spirit: So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
In other words, they should only drink in moderation and never in a manner that hurts themselves, others, or their spiritual journeys.
If you feel unable to control yourself around alcoholic drinks, please contact an Ark Behavioral Health specialist. We offer personalized, evidence-based treatments for alcohol abuse and addiction.
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Iv Alcohol And The Bible: Two
Temperance theologians believed two fundamental things. One was that drinking wine was sinful. Second was that alcohol was evil.
However, there is a major problem. Jesus, himself, had both made and consumed wine. In addition, he had approved of its moderate use.
In short, these ideas are inconsistent. Jesus could not have been a sinful consumer of evil. Therefore, they formulated the two-wine doctrine. They thought it dealt with these otherwise inconsistent facts.
To be sure, the two-wine theory is simple. Whenever wine was used by Jesus or praised as a gift of God, it was really grape juice. Only when it caused drunkenness was it wine.
Thus, they interpret the Bible as asserting that grape juice is good and that drinking it is acceptable to God. But they argued that alcohol is bad. Therefore, drinking it is rejected.
However, this reasoning appears to be incorrect for at least two reasons. First, neither the Hebrew nor Biblical Greek words for wine can be interpreted as referring to grape juice.4 Indeed, the same Hebrew and Greek word is used for the wine that Jesus drank and the wine that made Noah drunk.5
Second, grape juice quickly ferments into wine. Especially in the warm climate of the Mediterranean region without refrigeration. Nor did they have other modern methods of preservation.
During Prohibition in the U.S., temperance activists paid a scholar to rewrite the Bible omitting all references to alcohol beverages!
What Does The Bible Really Say About Alcohol
Here are your keys, muttered the secretary when I arrived to pick up the keys to my office at Aberdeen University, where I would be studying for my doctorate in theology. It looks like youre in The Old Brewery.
Intrigued by the name, I later found out that it reflected the buildings original function. Aberdeen was founded in the 15th century and used to train monks for ministry. In the brewery, monks brewed vast quantities of Scottish ale, which was served by the liter at mealtimes. And here I was, a post-fundamentalist Ph.D. student studying the Scriptures in a malted sanctuary where late medieval Bible college students once clapped mugs together in an act of worship.
Throughout Christian history, alcohol was rarely a taboo as it is in some circles today. John Calvin had a stipend of 250 gallons of wine per year written into his church contract. Martin Luthers wife was a famed brewer of beer, which certainly won Martins heart. And the Guinness family created their renowned Irish Stout as an act of worship to Jesus. From Bordeaux to Berlin, wine and beer have always been part of church tradition. But what was once considered the nectar of heaven was later condemned as the devils libation.
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What Does The Bible Say About Alcohol And Its Proper Use
The Bible cites many instances of the proper use of alcohol. Wine and other alcoholic beverages could be enjoyed in moderation during the celebration of Gods festivals . Wine was considered evidence of Gods blessing and of prosperity . Psalm 104 praises God for His greatness and verse 15 lists blessings that can enrich life, such as bread and oil and wine that makes glad the heart of man.
In His first public miracle Jesus changed water into wine and in doing so endorsed the use of wine as part of the celebration of a wedding feast. Paul instructed Timothy to use a little wine for health reasons .
Though Scripture includes many examples of the proper use of alcohol, its overuse and misuse are strictly prohibited.Wine is part of the ceremonial observance of Passover . Paul warned about drinking too much wine at the Passover , making it clear that he was warning about the alcoholic beverage, not juice.
Causing Another To Stumbleby Drinking Alcohol
Sometimes its not about whether its okay to drink. Instead, its about whether youre willing not to drink if someone else is offended or confused by it.
According to the Bible, we may choose to drink. But if theres a chance that someone else may stumble because of our choice, then we should choose to refrain.
It is a good thing not to eat meat, or drink wine, or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble. Romans 14:21
The scriptures are clear that the welfare of others is more important than whether or not we decide to have a glass of wine. If someone else is offended by our drinking, we should abstain. If someone in our presence is battling an alcohol addiction, the choice should be clear. And if someone else is convicted that the Bible says drinking is wrong, we should yield to them.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
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Bible Verses About Addiction
For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life comes not from the Father but from the world.
The Bible discusses temptation in detail other examples are in the stories of Job and Joseph. God has given man free will so that we are not constricted and make the right choices for ourselves. The world is full of trials and potential stumbling blocks, including drugs and alcohol. To lead happy, fulfilling lives, we must choose the path of God instead of the path of temptation.
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
In this passage, St Paul is discussing how believers in Christ must always remain alert and aware of what is going on around them. Self-discipline is integral so that Christians may help others to recognize and understand the word of the Lord. In the Bible, self-discipline and sobriety go hand in hand, a mantra for those who have been through recovery and need to stay on the right path can meditate on.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Being A Thoughtless Jerk Is A Sin
Okay, the Bible doesn’t say that specific phrase, but the idea is still there. First Corinthians 8:9-13 is the passage that talks about not causing another believer to “stumble” in his spiritual walk. That is, if your drinking causes another Christian to be tempted to go against his conviction not to drink, then don’t drink in front of him. We should be helping each other , not making life harder.
Also, keep in mind that you are called to be a light to the world. Ephesians 5:8 says that “at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” Stumbling around drunk doesn’t exactly send the message of God’s light and love. But there is nothing wrong with drinking responsibly with friends.
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Alcohol Is A Good Gift From God
Like all good things in this world, alcohol is from God and is to be enjoyed. Psalm 104 lists some of the good things that God gives us, including “wine that gladdens the heart of man” . Jesus was not against celebrating good times with his friends: his first miracle was to turn water into wine at a wedding reception when all the wine ran out. !
Many People Ask Can I Drink A Small Amount Daily
Where do we draw the line when it comes to alcohol assumption? How much is too much? The alcohol that was used in Scripture, was not as strong as what we have today, so we should actually drink less. All things should be done in moderation, but never make up your own definition for moderation. Alcohol tolerance levels vary, but one way to know is if Christ was standing in front of you, would you have a clear conscience drinking a couple of glasses of alcohol a day?
If another believer lived with you, would you have a clear conscience drinking alcohol every day? Would it cause them to stumble? Would it cause you to stumble? What is your body and your mind telling you? Are you getting tipsy and to the point of intoxication? What is your purpose?
Is it really showing self-control when consuming alcohol daily? Can it lead to pouring 2 more cups? These are areas where we have to discipline ourselves in. I am not saying you cant drink, but I dont believe it would be wise to drink every day, nor is it showing self-control.
19. Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
20. Proverbs 25:28 Like a city with breached walls is a man without self-control.
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Old Testament Nazarites Shunned Alcoholic Wine
In the Old Testament, there was a group of people known as Nazarites that took a vow to separate themselves unto the Lord and therefore they would not drink any wine or alcoholic beverages.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD: He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. Numbers 6:2-3
We must all give an account of ourselves before our Lord. What would please Him? Would it not be pleasing to Him if we loved others enough to give up those things we could have, for a greater cause? Would it not be a more powerful witness to others in our age to stand out as one who did not drink alcoholic beverages because we had no need to do so. When we are filled with the Spirit of God, His spirit gives us the joy and release that many are seeking by drinking. May we instead desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit and have no need for spirits.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess but be filled with the Spirit Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ Ephesians 5:18-20
Isnt It Really Grape Juice
Some take the words for wine to mean grape juice. If this were so, then why would there be prohibitions against drunkenness? One cannot get drunk on grape juice. Further, Jesus first miracle was changing the water into wine at the wedding of Cana in Galilee. He made between 120 and 180 gallons of wine! Even if this had been grape juice, it would soon turn to wine because the fermentation process would immediately begin. But it most certainly was not grape juice: the head waiter in John 2:10 said, Every man sets out the good wine first, then after the guests have drunk freely, the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now. The verb translated drunk freely is almost always used of getting drunk . In the least, the people at this wedding feast, if not drunk, would certainly be drinking alcohol fairly freely . And this makes perfect sense in the context: The reason why a man brings out the poorer wine later is because the good wine has numbed the senses a bit. Grape juice would hardly mask anything. Note also Acts 2:13they are full of sweet winean inaccurate comment made about the apostles when they began speaking in tongues, as though this explained their unusual behavior. The point is: If they were full of grape juice would this comment even have made any sense at all? That would be like saying, Well, theyre all acting strange and silly because they have had too much orange juice this morning!
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The Consumption Of Alcohol Has Always Been A Big Deal In The Church
Some people think that it is sin as it leads to drunkenness, something the Bible frowns upon and then, there is the opposing team.
This second group justify drinking by saying that Jesus Christ condoned it because He turned water to wine.
I think the only way to solve this by going back to the blueprint, the Word of God.
Here are five things the Bible says about drinking.
1. Romans 14:21 – “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to “to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.”
2. Proverbs 20:1 – “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”
3. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor DRUNKARDS, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
4. Romans 13:13 – “Let us walk honestly, as in the day not in rioting and drunkenness …”
5. Ephesians 5:18 — “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess but be filled with the Spirit “
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Jesus Turned Water Into Wine
5. John 2:7-9 Jesus *said to them, Fill the waterpots with water. So they filled them up to the brim. And He *said to them, Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter. So they took it to him. When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from , the headwaiter *called the bridegroom.