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Is it OK for a Christian to drink wine

How should a Christian relate to alcohol? Is it wrong to taste it at all? It says in the Bible that abstinence is a fruit of the Spirit, and I want to live near God. At the same time, I’d like to enjoy a glass of wine with friends at the weekend, is it OK to drink a little, or should I just avoid it totally?


It doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that it is wrong or a sin to drink alcohol, but the Bible is very clear when it says not to get drunk. ‘Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit …’ (Ephesians 5:18).

Jesus drank wine and turned water into wine, so doesn’t that mean that we can drink wine with a good conscience as long as we don’t get drunk? It looks like the Bible gives us full freedom to drink wine, as long as we don’t break other laws such as the minimum age of drinking alcohol which is eighteen in many countries. Does this mean that it is fine to drink alcohol if we are old enough?

Although the Bible doesn’t say that it’s sin to drink wine, it does say a lot about us not doing things that will make problems for others. For example, Paul says ‘It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall’ (Romans 14:21). Lots of people in the culture in which Paul lived had bad consciences because they ate meat that had been sacrificed in heathen ceremonies, and Paul says very clearly that he doesn’t want anyone to go against their conscience. In verse 23 he says that ‘everything that does not come from faith is sin’. If someone has a bad conscience because of drinking wine, then we don’t want to do something to make them go against their conscience.

Another important aspect to think about is that a lot of people struggle with alcoholism. It can be very difficult for them to say ‘no’ to a drink when everyone else is drinking. It can be almost impossible for people with alcohol problems to join parties where almost everyone is drinking alcohol; the expectation is that everyone will drink when alcohol is served. It can be very difficult to be the one person who refuses to drink. So refusing to drink alcohol when you meet with friends or other social contexts out of sympathy for those who have alcohol problems is a good standpoint. Something else to think about is that a lot of people with alcohol problems could have avoided these if they had been part of a group where it wasn’t normal to drink alcohol.

To sum it up, it’s not really about what is sin, but about what is best for others. As adults we are free to drink alcohol, but it can make a positive difference to others if we choose not to use that freedom.


Best wishes

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