Monday, January 18, 2010

Is Drinking of Alcohol a Sin?

This has been and still is a question many Christians today ask themselves, but are too afraid of asking straight out to either their spiritual leaders or fellow Christians. Now before I give a simple Yes or No let’s have a look at what the Holy Bible really says.

Romans 14:17 – “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” (NIV)
In this verse above Paul makes it very clear that what you eat or drink does not determine whether you enter God’s Kingdom or not. But let us carry on...

Colossians 2:20-21 - "Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!?" (NIV)
Here once again Paul asks the question why we still listen to rules and hold to principals of this world that forbids us to touch or taste certain things and foods. The context of this verse alone tells us that if we hold to these rules, we make Christ’s death on the cross in vain.

1Timothy 3:8 - "Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain." (NIV)
Here we find Paul giving instruction for deacons (who are also fellow Christians so it applies to everyone) not to drink too much wine. He does not say do not drink wine at all. Instead here he implies that we should control the amount of alcohol we consume and that we should not be addicted to wine (alcoholics).

Titus 2:3 - "Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good." (NIV)
Again here it is instructed that we must not be addicted to wine.

Now let us have a look at what our Lord Jesus Christ taught about things we eat...

Matthew 15:11 - "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." (KJV)
Does Jesus Christ not make it very clear to us here that no matter what we eat or drink, it does not defile us or make us unclean? So then why do we have pastors and other spiritual leaders teaching a different message? Does that not go against the teaching of Christ?

But does this now mean we can just go around having an occasional glass or two in the presence of our fellow Christians without even considering whether they think the consumption of alcohol is sinful or not?... NO! In doing this you could cause yourself to become a stumbling block for those who are weaker in faith than yourself as Paul states in Romans 14:13-15 - "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. 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. 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." (NIV)

Furthermore there is a very fine line between exercising your liberty in Christ and abusing this liberty to satisfy the desires of the flesh. This is stated in Galatians 5:13 - "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love." (NIV)

An example of this abuse in freedom in Christ is when I was one day asked if drinking was a sin and I explained to this person that drinking in itself is no sin, but getting drunk is indeed sinful. This person then went ahead and had a few drinks and when questioned by others who have come to know her as a Christian, her response was that drinking was only a sin if you believed it is, which is quite true... But this person failed to listen to the fact that I stressed that drinking too much was a sin and not to use her freedom as an excuse to get drunk and also not to allow this freedom to become a stumbling block for others. She then got drunk and continued to drink abusively thereafter, still claiming that she was committing no sin.

So did this make me the cause of her backsliding? NO. All I done was tell her the truth for if I did not tell her the truth then I would be lying and by that I would be wilfully sinning. So I can’t stress enough that there is a fine line between drinking in moderation and drinking too much. If you were a recovering alcoholic, I would still explain the truth as written in the Holy bible, but I would advise you not to drink as this was a weakness and you could easily fall back into this addiction.

So in answer to the question as to whether drinking of alcohol is a sin my answer is NO, but drinking too much and getting drunk definitely is sinful.




No comments:

Post a Comment