It used to be, not more than a mere generation ago, that “thou shalt not drink alcohol” along with a few other inviolable “shalt not’s”, was on a corollary set of Ten Commandments that my family and most other families in our brand of Christianity fiercely observed. These days it has gone so far the other way that you may be handed a brewski when you show up for your small group Bible study. Praise the Lord and pass the Coors Light!
Read: Proverbs 20:1
Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
How about somewhere right down the middle. In my humble opinion, the Bible doesn’t condemn the moderate consumption and enjoyment of alcohol (I read somewhere that Jesus once turned water into the best wine ever tasted by man), but it does come down pretty hard on those who use it in a way that leads to drunkenness (Ephesians 5:18, Proverbs 23:29-35), false bravado (read Proverbs 20:1 in the Message), or as I Corinthians 8:9 points out, when it creates a stumbling block for a struggling believer,
“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom
does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”
As it relates to whether you should drink “adult beverages” or not, I would simply suggest that you consider the following:
First, consult what the “whole counsel of Scripture” has to say about wine, drinking and drunkenness. There’s a lot there, by the way. When it comes to alcohol, or any other questionable issue, let Scripture interpret Scripture as you form a Biblical opinion on the matter at hand.
Second, as a New Testament believer you have been set free from a long list of religious “do’s and don’t’s”. So don’t let any legalist draw you back into spiritual bondage. On the other hand, however, remember that just because God permits something doesn’t mean he will bless it.
Third, whenever there is an occasion where you will be offered a drink, ask yourself, “what would Jesus do in this situation?” Seriously, WWJD? I know that might sound hackneyed, but I truly believe it would be a good way to approach this whole matter.
And whether you and I agree on this matter or not, how about we extend each other a little grace? Or a lot!
Develop your own theology of strong drink. Go through the Bible and read every passage that teaches about the consumption of alcohol, and write out a position statement summarizing your understanding of what God says about the matter. Then, if you don’t mind, send it to me. I’m curious what you found.