Does the Bible condemn social drinking?


 The Bible condemns drunkenness, but it also condemns wine itself! See Prov. 20:1, Prov. 23:31-33, 1 Pet. 4:3. Also given verses like Gal. 5:19-21, Rom. 13:13-14 and 1 Cor. 6:9-11 one would have to condemn social drinking. Wouldn’t you agree?





Dear Smithy

I think it is important to define what “social drinking” is. I certainly believe that some kinds of social drinking (i.e., certain social contexts where alcohol is consumed) are occasions that Christians will do well to avoid entirely, or at least abstain from drinking alcohol when they are in those situations. But I do not believe that the Bible teaches (as you seem to want to show) that drinking alcohol under any and all circumstances is a sinful act in itself.

I believe that drinking alcohol is a matter of Christian freedom, but that it can also cause some people to stumble.  I think the prohibition against drinking any alcohol is a form of legalism, but at the same time I am fully aware that some people will misuse the idea of Christian freedom to fulfil their own sinful desires. But as you well know, the abuse of something says nothing about its proper use.

In certain cases and contexts (for e.g. where the misuse of alcohol adversely affects whole communities or where individuals struggle with alcoholism) it is entirely justified to encourage people in those contexts to completely abstain from drinking alcohol. But this would be a matter of addressing a certain problem that requires drastic measures, even as a way of life, and not that it is a reflection of any inherent sinfulness in the act of drinking alcohol. I therefore think that Christians are to be wise and discreet in their use of alcohol, not only for their own sakes, but for those around them.

I find the following two short answers, to be a biblical, reasonable and balanced approach to the issue of alcohol consumption:

Kind regards

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