Christians, consumption of alcohol, and and what the Bible has to say on the topic

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Christians, consumption of alcohol, and and what the Bible has to say on the topic

Post by GethN7 »

Note: The original version of this post contained an error concerning Mormon positions on caffeine. There are Mormon beliefs advising against coffee and tea consumption, but not caffeine in general, this latter topic tends to vary in some Mormon circles. I would like to thank Sstavix for the correction.

Original post here: ... l-and.html

Before I address the main topic the title addresses, I feel it important to get my own personal views about alcohol consumption out of the way first.

I'm a teetotaler entirely by choice. I do not consider drinking to be a problem when done in moderation, and for those that can enjoy the occasional drink without it becoming a substance abuse problem I have no issue with. The Bible generally seem to concur with my personal beliefs on this topic, and I consider it's admonition against allowing alcohol to be a snare to sin and foolishness to be sensible for reasons of morality and health.

That said, let's address how Christianity views the topic.

Catholics support alcohol consumption within moderation, and I find that understandable. Protestant denominations tend to vary on the topic, some quite against it for certain reasons, some more tolerant.

Baptists are strongly against it, but that is for reasons of Baptist tradition stemming from the Nazirites in the Bible (and John the Baptist, who was a Nazirite), Nazirites were forbidden to imbibe wine or the products of grapes in general, and Baptists are heirs to this theological point.

I have gone on record in other fora I find Mormonism's connection to Christianity rather dubious at best for many reasons, but they have a similar condemnation of alcohol, and even coffee, tea, and other substances that can be a detriment to the body that is laudable and commendable. While I don't entirely concur with the origins of the logic theologically, the basic arguments they make against defiling the temple that is the human body granted us by God and avoiding anything that could defile that temple and thus ourselves in the eyes of the Lord is a position I not only understand, I find it has a lot of good advice to follow for secular as well as moral reasons.

It's worth noting even many non-Christian faiths condemn alcoholism. Judaism has similar beliefs in moderation of alcohol consumption as Catholics. Hinduism varies on the topic but generally condemns becoming a slave to drunkenness. Even Islam takes a strong stance against alcohol, considering it impure and something to avoid because it leads one to depart from righteousness.

As an aside, alcohol as a word is actually of Arabic origin, from the word "al-kuhl", and despite their cultural prohibitions on the consumption of alcohol, it is known that Muslims did discuss and even refine some distillation procedures, though this was as a result of forays into alchemy when that was in vogue, and the word meant "the essence", as in, whatever what was distilled could be refined into.

This all said, as far as Christians are concerned, I do not have any positive or negative opinions on personal choice regarding alcohol aside from what I have said above. Anyone who can drink responsibly and still avoid the temptation to do something that would lead them into sin is to be commended as far as I'm concerned.

At the same time, I do however dispute for reason of history the more "dry" extremes of Christian thought who would like to believe all instances of wine in the bible were just really strong grape juice. I personally find that smacks of trying to whitewash history, not to mention I personally find such thoughts incredibly naive and an attempt to pretend certain things didn't happen.

My disputes can be be verified due to frequent mentions of wine-presses, the fermentation process, and the offerings of wine God Himself commanded be poured out on the altar as offerings. Further, multiple confirmed call outs for drunkenness are recorded throughout the Bible, and since wine was confirmably in vogue during the periods of history the Bible covers and even a major source of agriculture and industry according to many historical sources, I consider it the height of reality denial for any Christian to deny the existence of alcoholic beverages and their mentions in the Biblical texts.

As for whether alcohol is drunk by any Christian, so long as you have not subjected yourself willingly to any vow to abstain from drink as specified under Biblical tradition, then I do not see any moral objection to consumption to alcohol so long as you do so with responsibility and refrain from allowing it to be a snare for sin.

Conversely, if one chooses to deny themselves drinking alcohol for any reason, whether based on the Bible or otherwise, they are likely being wise. It can have effects on health as well on on one's tendency for sinful or foolish activity, and thus remaining sober is certainly sensible if nothing else.

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Re: Christians, consumption of alcohol, and and what the Bible has to say on the topic

Post by ccgr »

drunkenness = bad

Don't need the calories and it makes some Christians uncomfortable so I avoid it for the most part :)

Not a fan of many alcoholic beverages so not much of a loss for me ;)

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Re: Christians, consumption of alcohol, and and what the Bible has to say on the topic

Post by RainbowFang »

I have yet to complete my first read-through of the Bible in whole, but from second-hand sources I've gotten the message that it's more about inebriation being the issue versus drinking at all. I'll have to see what the Word says on the matter for myself, but your take seems reasonable to me.

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