Drinking has long been a debate in Christian circles. Some Christians are at one end of the spectrum saying drinking any alcohol is a sin. On the other end, you have those who say drinking is fine so long as you don’t get drunk. So, what’s the right way to think about drinking alcohol? Pastor Todd takes us to the Bible to find out.
- Drunkenness is clearly a sin. This is not up for discussion. The Bible is clear that getting drunk is a sin. We should always seek to have a sound mind. Overindulging in alcohol causes us to lose sight of good judgment and right thinking. (Proverbs 20:1, Ephesians 5:17-18)
- Everything God has created is good. Alcohol isn’t bad in and of itself. God created the elements and the processes that go into making alcoholic beverages. The problem is how we view it and how we use it. If we view alcohol as our source of joy or comfort, then we are in danger of misusing alcohol. But, enjoying a drink with your meal because you enjoy the taste is fine. (1 Timothy 4:4)
- Don’t make a selfish choice. The real issue with alcohol is about how your actions might affect other people. You have the freedom to drink but you need to evaluate if your choice to drink may negatively affect someone else. Before you drink, consider if the people you’re with have struggled with alcohol in the past. It may be a great temptation for them to be around alcohol. In that case, it wouldn’t be right for you to drink because it could cause that friend to stumble. You should also consider if the people you’re with are offended by alcohol all together. In that case, you should choose to abstain so not to cause them angst over seeing another Christian drink. (Romans 14)
As Pastor Todd explains, alcohol is not bad, but it can become a bad thing if we have the wrong attitude towards it. We should never use alcohol as a way to find joy or to numb ourselves from hard situations. However, we can enjoy a drink if it’s done in a God honoring way. We should also consider who we’re around when we drink and never allow our own freedoms to trample upon someone else’s feelings.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Read Proverbs 20:1. Have you ever gotten drunk or “buzzed”? Did you recognize it was wrong? Explain.
- Why do people drink alcohol? Make a list. Which reasons are legitimate? “If you eat or drink as if that is the source of your joy – or comfort – that doesn’t honor God.” Explain.
- Read Ephesians 5:18. Why is drunkenness wrong? What are we commanded to do instead? Explain.
- Read Romans 14:14-16. How does this passage apply to this topic?
- In your own life, where do you draw the line with drinking alcohol? Why?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.