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No Sin in Drinking

Is it a sin to drink alcohol? In some Christian homes, the answer is yes. But a problem arises when parents use this as a means of controlling their children. They don’t want their kids to drink, and they use guilt to discourage it.

I think that’s wrong. Not only that, I think that’s why you see kids rebel.

We’d all like to see an end to underage drinking, but shame is going to create more underage drinking than it can prevent. Here’s my idea. Why don’t we just go ahead and tell our kids that it’s okay to drink, just not when we are sixteen years old? I guarantee they’ll stop thinking about drinking. You can’t rebel against something that’s okay!

Kids are naturally rebellious, but I don’t believe that creating fear is the answer. I don’t believe in the notion that we should turn the drinking of alcohol into a sin, and I definitely don’t believe that we should guilt our kids through Christ.

Drinking is not a sin. The churches that teach this are wrong. Nowhere can you find it in scripture.

People forget this, and then make all these rules saying drinking is a sin. Then they don’t know what to do when they read about the first miracle. A lot of people just try not to listen. Or we forget!

But the first miracle happened, and it matters. Jesus turned water into wine. Jesus didn’t just make an okay wine, either. Jesus made the best wine you can ever have! I’m guessing the alcohol rate in that was probably not nil.

That doesn’t mean you don’t hear the arguments. One excuse people give is to say, “Back then there was non-alcoholic wine.” No there wasn’t! They didn’t have the technology back then to make non-alcoholic beverages. There was no filtering system. They sat in a winery and stomped on grapes. That’s what they did! And then they fermented the juice. That made wine, alcohol and all.

Another excuse people give is to say, “Okay, so the wine had alcohol in it, but Jesus didn’t drink.” Except that He did. In fact, He was called a drunk and a glutton! When He hung out with people, He drank their wine. For that, people started judging Him. They said, “Jesus is at that man’s house, and they are drinking. Jesus must be a drunk. He hangs out with people all the time, and he always drinks their wine.”

The Bible is conclusive. Jesus drank wine. And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that!

Obviously if there’s a pastor out there slurring like crazy, rambling around, and falling over, then there’s a problem. His church will take some flak for that. James says that Christians are going to be held to a higher standard. But the standard is not drinking. The standard is Jesus! Jesus is the highest standard there is. He’s the King of Kings! He’s God in human flesh!

And He drank wine.

Drinking isn’t a sin, but drunkenness is. Next time I’ll tell you why. See you Wednesday.

5 thoughts on “No Sin in Drinking

  1. Preach it!! Thanks for this post. As I sit here with a ice cold mixed drink on this hot June evening and look over my Sunday school lesson that I will teach to middle schoolers tomorrow I am reminded again that the most important thing I can do with these youths is to share the truth of the Bible. there are ways that people push personal agendas using the Bible but when we focus on the Words of scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and teach us, well, that is the best Bible lesson we can give others

  2. I think this is a very slippery slope Mr. Affeldt. While wine and drunkenness do not have a black and white description in scripture, drinking can definitely cause a brother to stumble, which the bible says for us to avoid. I feel like a major issue in our society is viewing the bible and the words of Jesus in a context of, “how much can I do and it be ok.” Instead, why don’t we error on the side of righteousness and abstain from things that have the potential to harm us. Many people may be able to handle drinking, but it is certainly plain to see on a daily basis, many can not. We flirt with things too often and end up losing. The bible says we should deny ourselves. What would be the worse case if we did not use alcohol? What would be the worst case if we continue to satisfy whatever in us alcohol is supposed to satisfy. I see too often how alcohol is destructive and not constructive. Our society will continue to rationalize this issue with a couple bible verses so it benefits their selfish desires. Anyways, not to belabor the issue, I just think better safe than sorry applies with alcohol and other things, as well. I love your work, and appreciate your willingness to share. I just happen to not agree with this one. Be well and God bless!

  3. Agree with everything you said (and I’m a pastor in a Baptist church), except one thing. A 16 year old cannot drink legally so that shouldn’t be encouraged. If they are with their parents and avoid the legality issue, the statistics say that a parent that allows drinking has a statistically higher chance of having an alcoholic child. It’s not worth it. A better option is good communication of the truth about Scripture, alcohol, and the laws of our country. It is crazy how people try to make alcohol a non-existent thing in the Bible.

  4. Thanks, Jeremy. I actually don’t drink because I’m a recovering alcoholic. Like you said, nowhere in Holy Scripture is drinking forbidden. My sobriety was/is such a divine act of grace and mercy, I abstain and am there to help other men when they’re ready. Really enjoy the blog and your work on NBC Sports Bay Area.

    Peace,

    Stephen

  5. Could not agree more. Keeping fear and guilt in the church is only a way of controlling but is not the truth. Read the Word and understand it’s meaning.

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