Alcohol and the Believer

Alcohol and the Believer

I’ve been thinking about the subject of alcohol consumption and the Bible believing Christian for some time now. More specifically, how alcohol affects believers and whether or not it is scriptural for a Christian to drink. I have my own convictions on the subject which I believe to be Biblical, but feel the necessity to address the issue in a short article. The idea came a few months ago.

I had run into an old acquaintance I hadn’t seen in a few years. We were catching up when he mentioned he had not had any drinks since such and such a month (the equivalent of about five months). Either my wife or myself (can’t remember which) commented off hand something to the effect of ,“Well that’s good, because the Bible says you shouldn’t drink.” My old friend got suddenly defensive and asked sharply, “where does it say that?” We replied Proverbs 23, and perhaps a few other verses off the top of our heads. The conversation moved to something else, when we finished talking, we cordially parted ways. That incident brought me to where I am at now. While I realize the vast majority of folk I associate with hold the same perspective about the subject I am writing about, there are others who don’t, perhaps to their peril. My belief is this: Alcohol, in any capacity, and any amount should be avoided altogether. The folk who don’t hold this as a Biblical view are the people I wish to discuss this with in this article.

As a Pastor, I am concerned for the spiritual health and growth of Gods people. I am in no way trying to be legalistic or dogmatic about the matter. Read 1Cor 6:9-20. I simply want to share from the Scripture some truths about the subject matter. I hope it will help people to see the dangers alcohol poses to the believer in Jesus Christ.

The Lord led me to the book of Leviticus. In chapter 10, verses 1-7, we read the account of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu. They offered strange or profane fire in their censers before the LORD and as a result, they were struck dead by God. In verse 8 we see that God speaks to Aaron, with the content of what was said recorded in the following three verses. God tells Aaron and his remaining sons (the priesthood), to completely abstain from all forms of alcoholic drink when going about their priestly duties. As well, this command is a “statute forever” (Verse 9). Verse 10 tells us why God commanded this: so that they may put difference or distinguish between holy and unholy, clean and unclean. Verse 11 continues by telling us that it was necessary for the Children of Israel to be taught the statutes which the LORD spoke through Moses. Obviously, the Lord knew that the consumption of alcohol would hinder their understanding as well.

Some might argue that this only refers to the Levitical priesthood in the Old Testament and doesn’t apply to believers nowadays. If you read the beginning of the book of Revelation, Chapter 1, verses 4-8, you see that in verses 5 and 6, because we are cleansed from our sins in His own blood, that Jesus Christ has made us kings (this refers to the believer leading others by example of righteousness and holiness) and priests, (refers to one whose life is completely devoted to Christ and serving Him) to God in order that our lives may bring Him glory.

Sorry, friend, the command to abstain from alcohol applies to believers today. Next, I would like to address the reasons God doesn’t want His people drinking alcohol.

In verse 10 of Leviticus 10, the reason given is “that you may put difference (distinguish) between holy and unholy, and between clean and unclean.

I went to a secular rehab for my drinking and drug problem 12 years ago. One of the things I still remember from Alcohol education classes I took was that the first thing a person looses when they start drinking is sound judgment. One’s thinking becomes cloudy. The ability to discern is diminished. The more one drinks, the worse it gets. Ever see those bumper stickers on the back of police cars that say “impairment begins with the first drink”? That is not some propaganda. For a change, this time, the government is actually telling the truth! This is based on scientific research. Real science will always confirm what the bible says.

We see that drinking alcohol in any form or amount is not good. I’ve heard probably every excuse people use to justify drinking. From “drunkenness is forbidden in the bible but it doesn’t say anything about moderate drinking” to the lame, “Jesus made wine, didn’t He”? And everything in between. These are just that: lame excuses. When one studies what the Bible says about alcohol, and studies the passages in context, they will find overwhelming evidence that the exhortation to abstain from alcohol is scriptural.

Remember, I’m not being legalistic. I don’t think that if a person drinks a beer, they will immediately loose their salvation, and go straight to hell. But I promise you this: Alcohol will hinder your relationship with God and will retard your spiritual growth. It will also damage your testimony and grieve the Holy Spirit of God. 1 Cor 3:16-17, 1 Cor 6:12. The use of alcohol grieves the Holy Spirit, and makes His still small voice more and more difficult to hear. Consequently, the convicting power of the Holy Spirit will be lessened in you life.

I would encourage any of my friends to ask themselves before they drink, “Is this helpful for me? Is it helpful for my relationship with God?” If not, don’t do it. Remember that all of the so called benefits of drinking (social conviviality, relaxation, etc.) are the devil’s counterfeits to the benefits of a true walk with Christ.

Well, my friends, I hope all or some of what I’ve mentioned in this article has been helpful. If anyone has specific questions I will do my best to give a scriptural answer. Just get a hold of me.
One further thing: if your pastor doesn’t preach or teach from the Bible what I’ve taught here; he really doesn’t love you or care for the state of your soul like He says he does. It’s about time for men of God to step up to the pulpit and start preaching and teaching the Bible again!

In Christ’s love,
Carl J. Leyerle