By Victor Ochieng
Different Christian denominations are torn between whether or not to allow their members to drink alcohol. The reason why this has been a raging debate, and in some cases a source of heated arguments, is because the Bible doesn’t explicitly say believers shouldn’t drink, except that it warns against alcohol’s addictive and destructive nature.
Churches that allow their members to drink say the Bible is only against drunkenness and not drinking, which means it’s okay to drink a little as long as it doesn’t compromise your judgment. In fact, some even quote 1 Timothy 5:23, in which Paul tells Timothy to “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” Such people are also quick to point out that Jesus’ first major miracle was turning water into wine.
The same churches that allow their members to drink are also at crossroads when it comes to drinking in public. Some say that as long as you don’t get drunk, there is nothing wrong with drinking in public. Then there is the lot that insists that a Christian shouldn’t drink in public because it might be a bad influence on those who don’t know how to control their drinking. At the same time, drinking alcohol is generally not associated with positive things.
So, sometimes a Christian would choose to or not to do something simply because they want to glorify the name of Jesus. It would also be bad for a Christian to influence someone into drinking alcohol only for the person to end up an alcoholic.
Reading through some Bible verses, one cannot help but conclude that Christians should, by all means, avoid alcohol, regardless of whether they’re drinking to stupor or just to get a little tipsy.
Reading from the book of Romans 14:21, we get it clearly that mature Christians shouldn’t give themselves to alcohol. Proverbs also advise leaders to avoid drinking alcohol. Some other Bible books warn every God fearing person not to give themselves to drunkenness, clearly indicating that alcohol is likely to be a bad influence.
After all is said and done, it’s good to underline the fact that alcohol isn’t a need to any Christian. There is nothing spiritual it adds to the partaker to make them more Christlike. Surely then why would a Christian debate on whether or not to drink alcohol? Why not just avoid alcohol for the sake of yourself, the sake of others and that of Jesus Christ?