The Bible does forbid alcohol drinking . . Right?

A hundred years ago, Bible teachers said, "The Bible forbids Christians to drink alcohol.”  Today, many pastors say, “The Bible warns against drinking alcohol, but the Bible does not forbid it.” The Bible has not changed. So is the old or new view Bible truth?

 Has God changed His viewpoint?

In the early 1900's evangelical churches called alcohol drinking sin. They said that total abstinence from alcohol was a clear Biblical principle. 

Most Evangelical churches today have no such convictions. God, it seems, is telling them the early churches made a mistake. He has been in favor of moderate drinking all along!

Unbelievable — the church in agreement with the alcohol industry!

Everyone knows the alcohol industry has always defended itself and made itself look respectable with two top slogans: “moderate drinking” and “responsible drinking”.

So, what could make the industry happier than to see the evangelical church slide from its position of abstinence to join the industry"s position?

Today, in spite of God’s warning that alcohol is a poison, Prov. 23:32, Deut 32:33, a majority of evangelical churches have invited alcohol into the church. In agreement with the alcohol industry they promote moderate drinking.  

Frances Willard, world famous leader in the Temperance Movement against alcohol said in the 1890’s,

  • Alcohol would destroy the church if it could.
  • The church could destroy alcohol if it would.

How did the defense against alcohol go down?

As Christians who drank became leaders in Christian schools, they promoted alcohol

“Total abstinence in our circles is required,” they said. “But alcoholic wine is a gift from God. What is the proper scriptural attitude toward a genuine believer who may drink an occasional glass of wine or bring home a six-pack?  . . . We don’t see anywhere in the Bible a command for total abstinence.”

Alcohol by itself has no defense; and God does not defend it

Alcohol is, in any amount, an addictive, mind-altering, narcotic drug. The US Highway Transportation Safety Administration says any alcohol at all in the blood affects behavior. Addiction is a risk that comes with the first drink.

God says this drug is a mocker, it is raging, and anyone fooled into drinking it is not wise, Prov. 20:1

The simple argument used to justify Christian drinking

Defenders of alcohol in the church say, “Nowhere in the Bible does God forbid Christians to drink.”

Is the argument valid?

The Bible is a book for the ages. It teaches by principles—fundamental truths, laws, doctrines or motivating forces that form a basis for judgment. These principles cover every action of man.

The Bible clearly teaches a principle in I Cor. 10:31.

“Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.”

How does drinking alcohol bring glory to God? Alcohol confuses the mind.

What about the principle, “Give no appearance of evil,” or “Do nothing that can cause your brother to stumble”?  Principle after principle—“the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,” not to be harmed.

Alcohol is addictive. God tempts no man, the Bible says. Does God permit this one temptation? What about Prov. 23? “Look not on the fermenting drink—at the last it bites like a serpent . . . .”

Alcohol drinking costs the US $188 billion dollars a year; it is the leading cause of teen deaths.

And Christians should join the alcohol companies in promoting moderate drinking?

Using the same argument for other issues  

If we need the words of a specific commandment forbidding alcohol to know we should not drink, we could ask, “Where in the Bible does it say, 'Thou shalt not gamble’” ?  What about, “Thou shalt not abort a baby? Thou shalt not smoke, or do cocaine, or heroin or meth?”  Is God at fault for not commanding, “Thou shalt not watch porn or go to a strip club?”

The Bible teaches that all these things are wrong—based on principles it makes clear. Many Christians accept these principles for other issues—but fight for alcohol.

 A strategy to push drinking

The teacher asks, “The Bible forbids Christians to drink, yes or no?”

If the student says yes, he finds this command in the Bible. Then the teacher says, “There is no command in the Bible that forbids Christians to drink.”

If the student says No, the Bible does not forbid drinking, the teacher agrees: “Correct.”

All the principles the Lord taught are counted as nothing. This brainwashing technique is so common in the church that members who don’t drink say, “I don’t drink, but don’t ask me to show you from scripture why I don’t. It’s too confusing because nowhere does the Bible say the Christian should not drink.”

The real question, “Is drinking sin for the Christian?”

Ex-drinkers saved by the blood of Jesus say “Yes.” In Hab. 2:15, God pronounces a curse on anyone who offers his neighbor drink. God calls the offer sin. The Bible calls alcohol a deceiver and warns not to look at it. Prov. 31:4 says alcohol perverts judgment.

Satan asks, “Hath God said?”

Facts to know

1.  The word wine in Hebrew (yayin), Greek (oinos), Latin (vinum) and wine (English) throughout history has had 2 meanings: unfermented grape juice and alcoholic grape juice.
Some Bible verses praise wine; some say not to touch it. God is not confused. When He approves of wine, it is unfermented grape juice. When He disapproves it is alcoholic.
There are Bible verses that plainly condemn the wine itself no matter what the amount, Prov. 20:1. The Bible never uses the word moderation with the word wine.       
3.  Ancient people could and did preserve fresh grape juice.
4. Jesus’ miracles carefully studied do not support alcohol.
5.  Poor Bible translations have misled many Christians.            

The battle rages to get alcohol into every church

SDWCTU P O Box 292, Canistota, SD 57012 No.02      


Copyright 2005
Woman's Christian Temperance Union
of South Dakota