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To Drink Or Not To Drink…Should Christians Consume Alcohol?

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Yep…let’s get right to the point: I’m not looking at what a particular church administration’s view is on the subject. I am of this opionion where this is concerned:

If it is your church’s policy that a staff member of volunteer not drink alcohol – either publicly or privately…then either chose to abide by it before deciding to serve there or don’t serve there. Honor the policies of the church.

The administrative policies of a church is not the question here…

…your individual beliefs, on the other hand, are.

I have come across people who are so divided on this subject. It amazes me. Me? I’m not a big drinker at all – but I am known to have a glass of red wine after my doctor suggested I include it in my health regiment over 5 years ago. I don’t hide behind “but my doctor said so“, however, as an excuse. Should I desire to drink – I can. I am clear that I cannot drink to excess…and I don’t….ever.

I don’t, on the other hand, ever drink in public. I chose not to not because I’m hiding something or because I am embarrassed I choose not to ever do so because I never know who I may cause to stumble. Lets assume I am at a restaurant and I am having a lobster tail, zucchini, and a glass of wine. (Let’s also assume I’m on a budget to be EATING that!) Let’s further assume that a couple I have never met – perfect strangers – sit next to us and are ordering. During their order they ask the waitress what wine goes best with the lobster tail. The waitress points to my table and says “you could have the (insert wine pairing here) like this gentlemen is having.” The night goes on without another thought.

Eventually…let’s assume that the same couple walks into the church where I pastor at through worship. Now – we, as Christians, know the Scriptures to say “don’t drink to excess”. To someone who is unchurched, however, the rule is “Christians are goody-two-shoes and don’t drink PERIOD!” My job as a worship pastor is to remove distractions from worship. Now this couple walks in…and some point they HAVE to recognize the bald guy with the beard on the stage as “hey-thats-the-guy-at-the-restaurant-the-other-night!” and remember the wine. Bingo – I have CAUSED a distraction because, perhaps, the first thought the un-churched couple has is “there is a hypocrite on the stage”.

Am I being dramatic? Perhaps. But I am being safe. On the same token – I hear many people who say similar things about why they don’t drink to begin with.

So…with that being said…

…let’s get real…

…come out of the closet…

…or the wine cellar.

Do you drink?

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Share your thoughts below in the comments section.

Jason Whitehorn

Owner, Chief Visionary at got worship? Media
Jason Whitehorn is a worship leader/pastor, Christian songwriter, mentor, public speaker and Christian music promoter/publicist. Jason's articles have been published in both online and National publications and has broadcast in both radio and television - reporting and anchoring for affiliates such as ABC, CNN, and CNN Headline News. Jason is the Redemptive Arts Pastor at Grace Church in the Indianapolis-Metro area.

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10 thoughts on “To Drink Or Not To Drink…Should Christians Consume Alcohol?”

  1. Aaron Talley says:

    I think you are spot on with this post! Great Read!

    1. WeLeadWorship.com (Jason W.) says:

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. @DeborahASolomon says:

    @WeLeadWorship scripture doesn’t say that drinking a glass of wine is sin, but because I don’t want to be a stumbling block to others that have struggled with drunkenness or alcoholism, my personal convictions are that I am a tee totaler.

  3. @dustebear says:

    @WeLeadWorship that’s a good point! I like the detailed thinking!

  4. Jeff Ryan Flowers says:

    Jason I am also a worship pastor and I have similar views on this subject. I grew up in a home where my parents never drank, period. My extended family did, so I was around it and I always knew it to be wrong. Like most people I did some experimenting in my college years, but I found nothing good comes from drinking to excess and being out late. They are just not a good combination. Perhaps once or twice a month, my wife and I will have adult beverages at home. I don’t like drinking out for two reasons: the one you mention about causing others to stumble and the COST! One issue that I know I will be dealing with before too long is my own children. They are 6 and 4, but they have already asked “what are you drinking?” I may reconsider and only have a drink when my wife and I are completely alone, like date night. But those can be few and far between. Great post.

    1. WeLeadWorship.com (Jason W.) says:

      Jeff,

      Thanks for the comments, my friend. There was a time when I waited for a glass of wine until the kids were in bed because of the same things…I didnt want them seeing. Then I realized something. There is nothing shameful that I am doing. If my children do nothing more than see wine bottles occasionally in my home and never hear me say anything…then grow up one day and go out on their own…what have I done in raising them about the dangers of WRONGFULLY drinking?

      Instead, my children both know what the Bible says…and how it says to handle yourself. They both know that I won’t dare take a second glass of wine because my goal is not a buzz or to become intoxicated. They will hopefully grow to be better prepared themselves to respect what alcohol can do – and not just cross the line of “drinking is a no-no” and go full tilt and, instead, see that there are Biblical guidelines.

      6 and 4 are awesome years, BTW!

  5. Bedajii says:

    Growing up, my family drank regularly without any problems. As a matter of fact after my mother had her two drinks for the day/week she was a great deal more settled in handling her oversensitive and rather active child (me). I never really understood alcoholism as a bad thing until I became older and had an opportunity to watch it ruin peoples lives.

    When I decided to dedicate my life to God through worship, I also decided to let go of some things. One of the things I let go of was any form of intoxication. The Bible reminds us over and over again to stay alert, and not take any substance that could impair our judgement.

    We are not just performers, we are on the front lines of the battle between good and evil (to put it mildly). Because of that, I may seem a bit extreme in how I live my life, but it is not something that I would force on others. In the end everyone has to listen to what The Holy Spirit is leading them to do. In this life that is REALLY hard. So I guess to conclude, when in doubt..pray…

  6. Wangechi says:

    I am loving your website, i have just discovered it, It has such insightful articles!
    Now, i do not drink, largely because i have never drank and as an adult i surely cannot start – I am not sure how i would behave.. i don’t even know what too much is for me.

    However, if i used to drink, like you i wouldn’t drink in public, Something just doesn’t seem right. And it is even worse for people less widely travelled.

    Let me explain. I am from Kenya. In nearly all churches in Kenya, the leadership (Pastor, usher, worship team leader etc) is assumed not to drink. So sometimes when they have a visiting preacher, who they see drinking, it actually affects their faith.. They look at that person as a hypocrite and will not take seriously what he preaches. To them he is preaching water & taking wine, literally :). It is worse when it is their pastor or worship leader drinking! On the flip side, i once visited Europe and everyone wondered why i do not take wine!

    Sorry for my long post, just saying it is also important to be sensitive to the people and the cultures we visit as Christians.

  7. Jeffrey_Estes says:

    I totally understand what you all are saying, and they are very good arguments, and I am glad that you all stand by your convictions and I am in no means trying to get you to drink. I myself, as a worship leader, and a person who is deeply in love with Jesus, have no problem with the consumption of alcohol. I think that we should be careful not to drink around alcoholics or recovering alcoholics, but the stumbling block verse is taken quite out of context. Also, if we are going to lay down the line like that in regards to alcohol we need to do the same with food. I think that gluttony is a bigger deal in America, and inside the church, than alcohol is. Scripture puts an equal amount of weight on not being a glutton as it does not being a consumed by alcohol. However, we don’t want to learn how to live a Christ centered life, we want to have rules and regulations and a LAW to follow. Yes, there are certain things that Christ in His sovereignty has commanded us to abstain from and has said that they are an abomination. But we should not lay down lines where He has not.

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