Alcohol consumption is an issue of extremes within the church, specifically in an American context. On one side of the issue you have those who hold that any form of alcohol consumption is wrong. On the other side of the issue you have those who embrace alcohol consumption, see no problem with it, and even find no problem with getting drunk.
Alcohol consumption is an important issue for Christians to address because the issue is not as black and white as some would like to make it. Although, there is a third group emerging that would agree with the first group in that there are forms of alcohol consumption that are wrong such as getting drunk, but they would also agree with the second group in that it is okay to consume alcohol. The distinguishing marks of this third group would be that they see no problem in the consumption of alcohol as long as it is done so in a manner of moderation with a clear conscience where they feel they are following the Biblical model and able to glorify God in so doing.
Relevant Sources of Authority
“And spend the money for whatever you desire-oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.” (Deuteronomy 14:26)
“You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man…” (Psalm 104:14-15)
Jesus turns the water into wine at the wedding at Cana. Verse 10 says, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” (John 2:1-11)
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31)
“[D]o not find fault with the wine, but with the drunkenness…wine was given, that we might be cheerful, not that we might behave ourselves unseemly…” John Chrysostom
“Do you suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused? Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit and abolish women?” Martin Luther.
“It is a shameful abuse of a noble and most precious gift of God.” John Calvin.
“Temperance referred not specifically to drink, but to all pleasures; and it meant not abstaining, but going the right length and no further.” C.S. Lewis
Tomorrow will conclude the five part ethical series of the blog and will conclude with my own position on alcohol consumption in the life of a believer. Feedback would be appreciated.