Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Drinking Wine... Is It A Sin?
As a Southern Baptist woman - I often hear that drinking alcohol is bad.... that it leads to bad behavior and nothing good comes out of it. I have talked with friends at church who have shared that they felt very uncomfortable around people drinking... whether the person drinking is sober or not....
I have many friends that are Christians. Many of these friends are an inspiration to me. A few of them are active missionaries..... and they all drink wine and beer... So the Baptist side of me used to think - are they wrong?.... are they sinning?.... should I say something? On reflection - I believe the answer is no it's not wrong... no they are are not sinning... and why would I say anything.....
Why would Jesus' first miracle be to make wine if He had issues with it? He DOES have issues with being drunk and alcoholism but not the enjoyment of drinking wine.. I remember speaking with Nate York, the son of a Southern Baptist minister. Nate was very adamant that the wine Jesus made was just plain grape juice.. Nate told me "In the days of Jesus' ministry - grape juice was considered wine because the people of the time could only handle grape juice and that is why when the Baptist church celebrates communion -we drink little cups of grape juice and dry crackers...." That sounds plausible but the truth is - grapes would not "keep" unless they were turned into wine.
The new and old testament does warn us against drunkenness but also tells us to drink wine.
Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit..
1 Timothy 5:23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities.
There are many verses to pull from in the Bible but I believe the ones I did pull say it all. The New Testament clearly teaches that real wine should be used in communion - 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 - the last supper when Jesus said drink this cup (wine) is the new covenant in My blood, drink it, in remembrance of Me...
Clearly, God does not say that drinking is sinful but like all things... food, sex, friendship, and wine can be misused and abused... Christians should encourage responsible drinking, rather automatically assume or judge a person who is enjoying a glass of wine with their meal as a sinner or an alcoholic ... I do believe strongly that it is sinful to tempt an alcoholic with wine... If I were having a dinner party and a person who I knew had a problem with drinking, I would not serve wine with our meal.... Yes, the person probably would stay away from drinking... but why tempt them? My husband and I disagree very strongly on this subject.. He believes it's okay to serve wine because the alcoholic is an adult and can take care of themselves... we are not his parents. This is one of those times that Dusty and I have to agree to disagree... maybe it's easier for me not to serve wine or alcohol... because I never drink.... hate the taste.... yuck..
What do you think?