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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?


Saleslady371 said...

I think you articulate this topic really well. I agree with your stand and believe too that the wine Jesus drank was the real deal. It amazes me what people fabricate to prove their view.

I think you are very considerate not to serve it to the guest so as not to tempt.

I can't drink either. I'm allergic to fermented things. But, hey when we get to heaven, let's have a glass of wine together in one of those fancy glasses with a stem!

christy rose said...

The Word of God says that everything is permissable but not everything is expedient. I think that is about the extent of what you can judge on this topic. Is it going to be beneficial to you to do so? Then it is ok. If you are drinking to look socially acceptable, fit in, get a buzz, feel sophisticated, numb hurting feelings inside of you, or just to prove that you can. It is wrong. These reasons are substituting a place in you that Jesus is supposed to fill, not alcohol. Just my opinion. That's all. Thought I would share it.

Kelly's Ideas said...

Great comments, Ladies.
My husband likes to have a glass of wine now and then with his dinner.. I never developed a taste for it so I just stick to my diet coke..
Christy Rose - I completely agree with your comment and I love that you share - thank you and
SalesLady wouldn't it be nice to drink out of fancy glasses together with our

Debbie Drumheller said...

Hi Sis...I think Romans 14:13-21 says it all. Verse 21 answers Dusty's disagreement with you (scriptually, at least :)).13-Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. 14-As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15.If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. 16. Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18. because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

19. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21.It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.

I have my personal family battle with this one too. :)

Kelly's Ideas said...

Thank you. I could not find scripture to back up how I felt. I knew it was the Bible and my heart feels strongly about not tempting others. I know you and I have talked about it.
But could not show Dusty in black and white.. We have had several discussions on this. Perfect. Thanks
Love ya.

From the Heart said...

If a person cannot find scripture that they can understand what it is really saying, then my opinion would be not to do it. Why take a chance on influencing someone else or that you might get addicted and do something that would cause you to miss Heaven. Just my opinion.
From my heart to yours,

Kelly's Ideas said...

Thank you AliceE - good point. I love your heart.
Your sister in Christ

Warren Baldwin said...

Hi, I linked here from Heart2Heart. Very intriguing article. I really like Christy Rose's question as a guide - "Is it going to be beneficial." Many times it is not. Debbie and Heart both mention the influence factor - even if we decide we can drink, we can still be wrong if we influence someone else to do something that would violate their conscience.

I think your basic premise is correct though. Look at this verse again: Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit..

Wine obviously was more than grape juice otherwise you wouldn't have been able to get drunk on it.

I still teach against drinking b/c of the reasons Christy Rose, Debbie and Heart mentioned. Also, b/c of the problem of drunkenness and addiction (I was a chaplain at a drug and alcohol rehab center for years) I think drinking is unwise for much of the population.

But, I think your basic premise is still correct.

I usually don't say so much when I visit a post for the first time. You got some good discussion going!

Kelly's Ideas said...

Thank you so much for visiting and also giving me your insight and wisdom..
Everything you wrote is very true and I feel so blessed to receive comments and advice from other Christians in the word.


Alaska-womom said...

Brave post and I am glad you brought it up.
Sex is created for humans and for marriage, so sadly we treat all sex as evil. Wine is good, yet it can get to be a problem. Let's add food and money. It is all good if we use God's guidance. Without that we are so lost. Often I think it was our knowledge of Good AND Evil that was such a problem because we took our eyes off God's wisdom and wallowed in our own foolishness.
Thank you,

Dave Scriven said...

It's hard to make a case against the use of alcohol from the Scriptures, as you pointed out. However, the Bible does condemn the misuse, abuse, and overuse of any practice or substance. At some point, we need the leading of the Holy Spirit in the application of the Scriptures do not specifically condemn or condone.

Good post.

~ Judy ~ said...

There is no Scriptural foundation to say that drinking wine, beer, or other is a sin...being totally lax in self-control, being drunk, being out of our senses would be sinful...but not merely partaking in these pleasures with temperance.

As for serving an alcoholic, I would agree with you Kelly.While I can clearly see your husband's point...I also think we need to be mindful of "placing another in the near occasion of sin" serving an alcohol in the alcoholic's presence, we are putting a temptation before them. We should do what we can to help them resist their temptation not place it before them and then expect them NOT to fail.

Just my two cents.

Thanks for the thought-provoking post :)

The Hunts said...

i constantly struggle with this issue. my parents believe in strict abstinence from alcohol. my in laws, however, drink frequently, and are irritated if i don't partake or encourage my husband not to partake. i used to drink heavily in college and find it better just not to drink at all. it makes me uncomfortable to drink in public or around my children. however, i have a hard time saying people just should never drink at all. toughie.


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