Alcohol—Right or Wrong?
Marsha Robinson | Cleveland, Tennessee
Hey, what’s the deal with alcohol? Millions of people drink it regularly. There are many warnings and instructions in Scripture concerning alcohol use, but it seems there are reasonable arguments raised about each one. Are there additional reasons to not drink? Does common sense have a place in the discussion? The Church of God of Prophecy teaches abstinence from the use of intoxicating beverages because men and women full of the Holy Ghost read scriptural teachings such as, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) and “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1). I choose to live my life without drinking alcohol, for the scriptural reasons but also for common sense reasons. Here’s my list:
- Alcohol is a depressant. Anything that depresses me, my mood, my decision making skills, my reflexes should be avoided. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22). Fruit means “the result of labor.” The laborer here is the Holy Spirit. So if I am introducing something into my life that is contrary to the Spirit’s work, I am, in effect, resisting God. I must allow the Holy Spirit at all times and in every way the freedom to work in my life.
- Many unsaved people believe “committed Christian” is synonymous with “non-drinker.” If I am known as a person who regularly drinks at parties or bars, my influence for the Gospel’s sake is lost. My ability to minister to people would be greatly diminished by alcohol use. 1 Peter 2:11, 12: “Dear friends, I warn you to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God.”
- My behavior has a great impact on my children’s future. Do I want to be the example my children follow into alcohol use? Is my alcohol use worth the risk that my children may become alcoholics? I might be able to drink in moderation, but can they?
- Show me a family whose alcohol use improved their lives. I don’t think they exist.
- I have never heard anyone say, “Wow, I feel so close to Jesus when I drink!”
- Alcohol causes people to lose their filters. “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” (Ephesians 5:4).
- Alcohol is a mind-altering drug.
- Alcohol is addictive.
- Alcohol is a numbing agent for pain and sorrow. We are to depend on God to lift our sorrows. “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried” (Isaiah 53:4). Romans 15:13 tells us, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
- Alcohol kills brain cells.
- Alcohol use contributes to liver disease, pancreatitis, certain forms of cancer, and heart disease.
- The Bible says that no drunkards will enter the kingdom of God. I don’t want to take a chance of crossing a line when eternity is at stake.
- Alcohol wastes money.
- Alcohol produces broken lives, poor health, and kills dreams.
- Alcohol has ruined many, many marriages.
- Alcohol leads to extremely bad behavior. It is a factor in 50 percent of violent crimes.
- The Bible tells me to be alert (1 Peter 5:8); alcohol delays reaction time.
- Alcohol lowers inhibitions and the resolve to resist temptation.
- What if I’m only going to drink a little bit? How about a tiny hit of heroin once a week? What if I only occasionally look at porn, is that okay?
- Christians are called to live a life of total surrender and separation from the world.
- It has been said, “I drink to forget.” Alcohol seems to make people forget they are married, forget their manners, and forget they have responsibilities.
- Many, many people who don’t think they are drunk get behind the wheel of a car. Their wakeup call is often a blue light in the rearview mirror and a failed breathalyzer test. People very often do not know when they are drunk. Christians are forbidden to be drunk!
- Alcohol wouldn’t inspire me to run the Christian race with more discipline and dedication. It does the opposite.
- There are 140 million alcoholics worldwide according to the World Health Organization, the majority of whom are receiving no treatment whatsoever. Alcohol causes 1.8 million deaths a year. Alcohol is the third most common cause of death in developed countries. Drinking alcohol is like playing with a snake (Proverbs 23:32 NIV). Might be fine for a while. Might be disastrous. Chances are, a snake is going to follow its nature eventually. Alcohol kills. Alcohol mocks. ” . . . and rewards (those who use it) with woe, sorrow, strife, and wounds (Proverbs 23:29, 30).