Is It OK For Christians to Drink Alcohol?

Question from a Site Viewer

Some Christians Drink. Some Don’t. Do You?

I’m a long-time Christian and I often wonder why some Christians drink alcohol regularly and others think it’s a bad thing (sin). What do you think?

Tim’s Answer

As I read it, the Bible does not make drinking a sin. I think it is a matter of wisdom. But I believe for certain people drinking is a sin, because either it causes another to stumble or it causes them to stumble. I also think that the Bible never requires drinking. For those who want to have an effective witness to those who struggle with addiction, it is nice to be able to show a healthy and wholesome life that is alcohol and drug free. One does not need stimulants to live a great life. The happy times do not come from alcohol or drugs, but from an inward relationship that is tight with Jesus Christ. To be captured by His beauty and grace is the best form of intoxication.

I have been around Christian leaders who drink and those who do not. God has used both. I think it is unhelpful for Christian leaders to make drinking the big issue. It throws us back to the days when Christianity is defined by what we do not do, rather than who we pursue. Tertullian, a 2nd-3rd century church bishop stated that in the Christian feasts the partakers ate and drank knowing that God was an auditor of the feast and that at the end they would be praising him. After dinner, each one was required to sing a hymn either from Scripture or one from their own making in order to demonstrate that they were self-controlled and able to praise God. This suggests that they had wine but controlled what they drank.

Nevertheless, given the sad estate of our society when it comes to alcohol, the constant barrage of advertisements and the celebration of drinking (including today with St. Patrick’s Day), I think there is great wisdom is simply saying no. This is especially true for those in leadership positions and those who have a family history of addictive behavior. It seems that alcoholism runs in the genetics of certain families.

We have written a bit more on this topic if you’d like to check it out. Also, if you use our search feature, you can find even more.

I continue to pray that God will use you as an effective ambassador for Him.