To Drink or Not to Drink?
What Most Millennials Want to Know...
To drink or not to drink? That is the millennial question.
Alcohol consumption (aka dranking) is a tough and polarizing topic. It could be that there are connotations of joy and sorrow wrapped around the topic. For some, it is simply a way to celebrate, connect, or honor a loved one with a toast of champagne or a clink of wine glass over dinner. For others, it is associated with abuse, intoxication, or regret.
I have personally experienced both.
Alcohol abuse runs in the roots of my family tree and has ravaged my family. I also recognize and love the art of celebration with food and wine.
But let’s get real: Certain topics within Christian circles are taboo to discuss.
The moment you bring them to the table, people take sides. I think that’s ultimately why I have an aversion to Bento boxes and food trays: food (and life) should be mixed to get the full flavor of it. Don’t believe me? Chips and salsa, peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots. I rest my case.
So let’s crack open the box (or should I say bottle?) and have a conversation about alcohol.
Before I pop off (I’m punny) with personal opinions, let’s see what the Bible says about drinking and alcohol.
Is drinking a sin? According to the Bible, no. It is not a sin to drink alcohol in moderation.
The Bible describes wine as a gift from God that can make life more enjoyable. The Bible also recognizes the medicinal value of wine (or your Puerto Rican grandmother when she gives you brandy for a sore throat AT EIGHT YEARS OLD). Not only did Jesus drink wine during his time on earth, but He actually MADE it for a wedding reception (#JesusJuice).
But in so many Christian circles, people have demonized and marginalized the conversation from even existing. Why I want to discuss this is because when things are brought to light, sin can no longer fester in darkness.
Before you think I’m PRO-wino and will be passing out vino to minors, don’t get it twisted. You couldn’t be further than the truth.
I’ve been on this journey to really not just find out what is a sin or what is not a sin, but what is the heart of God versus following other people’s rules. [Note: If I want to be a Pharisee, I follow rules. If I want to be a disciple of Christ, I follow Jesus.]
While the Bible mentions the positive aspect of wine, it condemns over-drinking and drunkenness. In fact, the Bible is explicit that drinking should be done in moderation.
Why? Well here are some answers from our sponsor:
- It impairs thinking ability and judgment (Proverbs 23:29-35)
- If you’re hitting the bottle excessively, can you say you’re presenting your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God? (Romans 12:1)
- Over-drinking removes inhibitions (#BeerGoggles) and “the motivation to do what is right” (Hosea 4:11)
- It can lead to poverty and stupidity (Proverbs 23:20-22,33-35)
- Heavy drinking and drunkenness displease God (Galatians 5:19-21)
While some don’t clarify themselves as “getting drunk” but simply “having a good time,” it’s interesting to note that biblical drunkenness isn’t just flashing people or blacking out, but its actually identifies drunk as being disoriented, walking unsteadily, becoming contentious, or having slurred speech (Job 12:25; Psalm 107:27; Proverbs 23:29, 30, 33). So yes, I would say that being tipsy would grieve the heart of God (<--There’s my legalism sneaking up!).
For those of us who have the freedom to consume an adult beverage, we must always do so responsibly! The apostle Paul encourages Christians to abstain from drinking alcohol in situations where doing so could cause people to be tempted or stumble (Romans 14:21). At the end of the day, we should always aim to bring honor to the Lord in all we do:
- So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31)
- Drinking alcoholic beverages needs to be approached with maturity, wisdom, restraint, and most of all, love for God and our neighbor (Mark 12:30–31).
This is not to discuss whether or not, I think it’s ok. I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind. My hope and goal is that we become biblically literate and make decisions based out of love, not just liberty.