It’s difficult to make the case that alcohol is a sin as the Bible does not condemn people who merely enjoy it. When I’ve made the argument that we should all be drinking plenty of water and foods with salt, the answer from many Christians has been that our God forbid, we should be using alcohol.
The problem is that Scripture makes no mention of our drinking from wine or brandy. In Mark 14:38 Jesus gave several examples of people drinking beer and wine, but he also stated that those who had no food or drink should not be drinking them, and that a Jew who violated the commandment would be beaten with a rod. Therefore, we can’t understand this prohibition unless we believe that someone who takes a drink of wine is a sinner.
In addition to the commandment that one do not “abstain from wine and strong drink”, there’s some debate over whether someone who drinks wine is committing a sin for the very specific reason of being overdrinking. One could make the argument that while drunk people are more inclined to commit sins of covetousness and jealousy, they can still drink wine, despite the fact that their behavior might make them seem less virtuous. In fact, Christians today often make the argument that people who drink alcohol are simply drunk and cannot be trusted for anything as far as religion is concerned.
But the problem with drawing these conclusions is that we have no basis in scripture to support them. I’ll offer examples from 2nd Peter 1:18-19, verses 5 to 6. While Jesus did not speak specifically to the question of alcohol, his words do apply:
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free: You are able to make right decisions in all things. . . . Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
It is important to note that Paul is using a different vocabulary to describe this verse in relation to wine and strong drink. Here we are explicitly instructed to “be conquered” by the Spirit, and are instructed to use our reasoning abilities rather than our emotions to control ourselves in all things; such as alcohol consumption, for example.
However, in 2nd Peter 1 a few other verses are used to support the use of wine and strong drink. First we read that we should be a better husband of God’s people:
“For no one is justified by works of the law [i.e., we should be better husbands and fathers]. Rather,
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