Can or Should We As Christians Consume Alcohol?
Updated: May 15
The question is always either “can Christians drink” or “should Christians drink” alcohol?
Those seem to be the most asked questions regarding Christians and drinking. There’s a simple answer to the “can” and the “should” is subjective. Before going in-depth...
Let this be stated first:
God doesn’t care if you drink alcohol or not... unless it’s causing you to sin.
Christians can consume alcohol.
Drinking it is not a sin.
As you have noticed, the majority of Christians steer away completely. It’s a personal preference. So the choice is up to you.
Don’t get drunk though.
Like many things in life, choices come with responsibilities. And in this case, you are not to get drunk. Drinking too much will lead to drunkenness which then turns to sin (Galatians 5:16-21).
This is what the Bible says regarding alcohol:
Ephesians 5:18 “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,...”
Proverbs 20:1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”
Isaiah 5:22 “Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink,...”
Drunkards “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
You may not get drunk every single day or night. But it takes one time to commit the sin for you to be in sin. Whether you got drunk weeks ago or last night, repent if you haven’t.
Some may have the mentality of “I’ll ask for forgiveness the next day.” You’re missing the point. Yes, God is endless in grace but don’t take advantage of it in that way. The point is to live and abide by God’s Word all the time. Not picking and choosing whenever you want.
The sad thing is people will look forward to getting drunk or “wasted.” The results of a drunk night are a nightmare the next morning with all the side effects. You make yourself sick. And more than half the time you lose memory at a certain point.
“Why can’t I get drunk? It’s not a big deal.”
Why do you think God doesn’t want us getting drunk?
Aside from the headaches and sickness, consuming too much alcohol can be harmful. In the moment, the mind becomes foggy and disoriented. One cannot think clearly. And it can lead to trouble. Any kind of substance abuse that alters the mind is dangerous.
1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
It’s wise to remain clear-minded at all times so the enemy doesn’t take advantage of you. The enemy can use yourself against you, use someone else, or your environment.
Regarding the “should” Christians drink question.
As a Christian, you can consume alcohol. Whether you should depend on a variety of things. Some people will tell you they don’t drink because of what they’ve seen it do to others. Most of the time it’s a parent or a spouse. There are Christians who don’t because of the lifestyle they had before they knew Christ.
If you don’t drink now but would like to, there are some things to put into consideration.
prone to addictive tendencies
biologically predisposed to alcoholism (it runs in the family)
constantly craving alcohol
If yes to any of those, it would be wise to stay away altogether. Unless you know how to drink responsibly. Not meaning to make this sound like an ad but these are valid points to consider.
As mentioned earlier, alcohol can be harmful. The wise thing to do is to steer away completely. That’s the best way to protect yourself.
Let’s look at Isaiah 5:11: “Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening as wine inflames them!” Does this not sound like someone with an addiction?
And in all honesty, you’re not missing out on anything. It’s just a beverage. It’s not anything special.
Alcohol is not evil.
Despite the effects of too much alcohol at once, it’s not itself evil.
Wine is not all bad. It can “gladden the heart of man,...” (Psalm 104:15). It can be good for you. Timothy 5:23 says, “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.”
The New Testament makes frequent references to wine (Luke 5:37-39 & 22:20, Matthew 26:27-29). Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine (John ch. 2).
Alcohol can be abused to cope with a variety of personal problems. If that is the case for you reach out for help. There are so many resources out there.
Drunkenness is a sin but drinking alcohol is not.
There are Christians who drink. And there are Christians who don’t drink. And that’s fine. It’s ok. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty because you do or don’t. It’s not something to be guilty over (unless you’re getting drunk).
But if consuming alcohol is causing you to sin, it’s best you don’t drink at all. Use wisdom. And abide in God’s word at all times.