. . . or any addiction or habit interfering with your relationship to the LORD.
To my mind, Scripture is straightforward and clear in its admonition against the abusive/liberal use of alcohol/“strong drink”. I understand the discussion of whether or not a Christian should consume any amount of alcohol is often debated, with each side entrenched in their respective arguments. It is my intention to focus only on the overuse of alcohol or any addictive substance. The few verses listed below are in no way exhaustive and do not represent all references to wine/strong drink/drunkenness found in the whole of scripture.
Historically my alcohol consumption has always been very minimal, often months between even a single drink. Earlier this year while searching Scripture for guidance, I felt the Spirit convicting me to walk away from alcohol entirely. No problem, done, and done! Just to be clear, I don’t believe there is any direct commandment in the Bible instructing us to absolutely abstain from alcohol. However, I cannot find any valid reason to support its consumption either. Medical science has long known consuming any amount of alcohol, even in very small quantities, impairs our cognitive and emotional functions. One of the very real dangers of even mild intoxication is an enhanced predication to sin, which is a very serious and real problem.
Warning against all-day drinking.
“Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands.” (Isaiah 5:11-12)
Mighty in strong drink.
“Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!” (Isaiah 5:22-23)
Swallowed up by wine.
“But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.” (Isaiah 28:7)
Be filled with the Holy Spirit and not strong drink.
”For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.” (Luke 1:15)
“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:17-18)
Avoid drunkenness and strong drink.
“And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the LORD your God.” (Deuteronomy 29:5-6)
Avoid drunkenness and rioting.
”Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:13-14)