Growing up in the Southern Baptist tradition of the Christian faith I was always taught that consuming alcohol was sinful and I myself thought the same for years. It was only upon maturing in Christ and careful study of the Bible that I came to a different and more biblical conclusion, moving law to grace.
Conservative evangelical Moody Bible Institute recently announced the drop on its ban on alcohol and tobacco consumption by its 600-some faculty and staff. This comes as a shocker to many and as one can guess there has been quite the stir since the announcement. Personally I commend this institution for doing so and wish that others would follow their lead in taking a more biblical view on such things.
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, but rather a "gray" issue. Thankfully there is an emerging group that would agree that there are forms of alcohol consumption that are wrong such as getting drunk, but they would also agree that it is okay to consume alcohol. The distinguishing marks of this 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 (Rom. 14:21-13). Mark Driscoll describes my own thoughts well: “I personally long for the return to the glory days of Christian pubs when God’s men gather to drink beer and talk theology.”
Here is a piece from Sara Pulliam Bailey on the announcement by Moody: