At our Bible Study, last week, the question was asked, “Does the Bible say that God considers it a sin if we take an alcoholic drink, occassionally, to celebrate a special event?” Your help, please.


Well since Jesus was sinless, and He was the one who turned water into wine, it would seem to indicate having a glass of wine at a celebration certainly is not a sin. The host of the feast commented it was “the best wine” so it certainly was not grape juice as some would explain it away, and in those days while the wine may not have been very strong it was still fermented so it did contain some amount of alcohol. (see John chapter 2).

Now on the other side of things, not contradicting what was stated above, but bringing more clarity and putting it into context.

There are verses that talk about even wine being a mocker and strong drink can deceive so that the person who drinks to the point of feeling under the influence is certainly not wise:

Proverbs 20:1  Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

There are also verses that talk about being more than slightly impaired but instead being drunk as a sin since it contradicts a direct Bible command…

Ephesians 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;   (notice the key word here is EXCESS).

The real issue is that the church (especially in America) does not want to take the time to teach on this subject and would rather avoid it all together. This is usually done by just saying it is ok (like the Catholic church) or saying all drinking is sinful (like some Charismatic churches). The Assemblies of God actually took on the position that all drinking was sinful during prohibition when it was a sin to drink since it broke state and federal laws (the Bible does not condone breaking of local law accept where it conflicts with a Biblical directive).

I believe the Biblical teaching on this subject is stay away from hard drink, stay away from intoxication at all cost (just look at what happened with Noah), and if any drink is taken do it in moderation so as not to be even under the influence!

One last bit of teaching…we should not forget the verse:
1 John 2:10  He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

Since many in this country cannot control their drinking, or it could lead to a bad witness to others who see you drink, the issue may not be whether or not it is a sin but rather if it would keep another from coming to Christ. That would be my main reason for concern more than one glass of wine is going to send you to hell.

I hope this helps and will direct your next Bible study into specific verses that will help to aid in dialog on this subject.

God Bless,
Pastor Brad

Ps – my background is in the Assemblies of God, but to me the Word of God supercedes all denominational teaching. After all, what denomination was Jesus? We all tend to forget He is the head of the one true church.