My Position on Alcohol—Non-participation Is Wise.

I wrote the following position paper on March 28, 2016 for a Biblical Ethics and Morals class as par of my Masters of Theological Studies degree. I still hold to this today. I am posting it in part because of coming in my studies for Sunday night to the Wedding at Cana where Jesus turned water into wine. Such is often used as a prescription to justify alcohol use. But that Scripture is not there for that purpose. The subject therefore being before me, and it being a constant matter that Christians need to be informed upon, here is my position on why I believe non-participation in alcohol is wise.1

Although permitted throughout the Bible, nonparticipation in alcohol is wise because it upholds model qualifications for a pastor, protects the congregation, and promotes worship and world evangelization.

Nonparticipation in alcohol is wise because it upholds model qualifications for a pastor.  Among the model qualifications, a pastor is not to have a reputation as a drinker (1 Tim 3:3; 4:12).  Moreover, barring legitimate exemptions, it is commendable for a pastor to refrain from using alcohol because nonparticipation brings distinguishable obedience, tranquility in relationships, and an abiding attitude of praise prescriptive for every Christian (Rom 14:17–18; 1 Tim 5:23).

Nonparticipation in alcohol is wise because it protects the congregation.  In the Scriptures, the initial instance of consuming alcohol is Noah being exposed leading to the creation of future problems for God’s congregation (Gen 9:21, 25; 10:15–19; 15:16).   Proverbs warns sons that alcohol leads to intoxication, fights, addiction, and poor judgment (Prov 20:1; 23:20–21, 29–35).  King Lemuel’s mother instructs him to halt drinking alcohol because it endangers the king’s essential duties toward people (Prov 31:4–5).  Additionally, alcohol is destructive in the church when mature Christians, assuming their liberty by endorsing alcohol, disregard the indispensability of other Christians, who are hyper-sensitive in their consciences concerning the idolatry often associated with drinking (Rom 14:20–21; 1 Cor 10:23–33; Gal 5:19–21).

Nonparticipation in alcohol is wise because it promotes worship and world evangelization.  Christians are to evangelize the world, and worship the Lord with minds copiously dedicated to Him (Matt 22:37; 28:19).  Reasonably, dedication to God is linked with abstinence from alcohol (Num 6:3; Dan 1:8; Luke 1:15; Rom 14:17; Eph 5:18).  Moreover, Christians are not to jeopardize their worship and witness with alcohol, but are to function like resolved soldiers affectionately under their Lord’s authority (2 Cor 10:3–5; Eph 6:10–20; 1 Tim 1:18; 4:7; 6:12; 2 Tim 2:3).  Thus, Christians having such privileges and responsibilities, lack a point in drinking alcohol.

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Another resource you may wish to read is by John Piper at https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/is-drinking-alcohol-a-sin