What Does the Bible Say About Alcoholism and Drugs?
When you examine Scripture in totality (i.e. from a balanced view), it teaches that Christians must avoid drunkeness and in modern times, using recreational drugs. (Leviticus 10:9; Numbers 6:3; Deuteronomy 29:6; Judges 13:4, 7, 14; Proverbs 20:1; 31:4; Isaiah 5:11, 22; Ephesians 5:18, NLT).
The Bible condemns drunkenness and “getting high” (Proverbs 23:29-30, NLT). Christians are also commanded to not allow their bodies to be “mastered” by anything (1 Corinthians 6:12). Scripture also forbids a Christian from doing anything that might offend other Christians or encourage them to sin against their conscience (1 Corinthians 8:9-10, 11-12, 13). Therefore, buying alcohol or recreational drugs for somebody and/or serving them to anybody is forbidden in Scriptures (1 Corinthians 10:32; Mark 9:42; 1 Corinthians 8:12; I Thessalonians 5:10-11). As Christians were are to “encourage one another” and “build each other up” in the faith (Romans 14:19, NLT). In light of these principles, it would be extremely difficult for any Christian to say he or she getting drunk or getting “high” to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
The Bible clearly teaches that while believers live on earth today, we ought to abide by “kingdom” principles and a lifestyle of drunkeness or getting high is not consistent with kingdom lifestyle (Luke 21:34-35; Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:21; 1 Timothy 3:2-4; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 4:3-4)
Some may argue that Jesus changed water into wine (John 2:1-11). Ecclesiastes 9:7 instructs, “Drink your wine with a merry heart.” Psalm 104:14-15 states that God gives wine “that makes glad the heart of men.” Amos 9:14 discusses drinking wine from your own vineyard as a sign of God’s blessing. Isaiah 55:1 encourages, “Yes, come buy wine and milk…” In Bible times, the water was not very clean. Without modern sanitation, the water was often filled with bacteria, viruses, and all kinds of contaminants. The same is true in many third-world countries today. As a result, people often drank non-alcoholic wine because it was far less likely to be contaminated. In 1 Timothy 5:23, Paul was instructing Timothy to stop drinking the water (which was probably causing his stomach problems) and instead drink wine. Yes, in that day, wine was fermented, but not necessarily to the degree it is today. It is incorrect to say that it was like the grape juice we have today, but it is also incorrect to say that it was the same thing as the wine commonly used today.
The argument that one can “drink but don’t get drunk” falls flat on it’s face. Because the goal of drinking alcohol or using drugs is to get drunk or get high. People don’t drink because they like the taste of alcohol. They use alcohol or use drugs to get intoxicated.
Again, Scripture commands Christians to refrain from drunkenness and using drugs. (Ephesians 5:18; 1 Corinthians 6:12). When prescribed by a doctor for medical reasons, alcohol consumed in small quantities, is neither harmful nor addictive. However, drunkenness and addiction are sin.
Alcoholism and drugs is a growing problem in adults even a problem in teenagers, too. Unfortunately, there are a variety of negative effects that are associated with the consumption of alcohol. While the negative effects can either be long term or short term, all of them start with the first drink of alcohol. Negative effects may not become apparent immediately, but as time goes on, the adverse effects of alcohol will become more and more noticeable and, in some cases, they can even lead to death.
ALCOHOL or DRUG’S DAMAGING EFFECTS (Source U.S Dept of Health & Human Services Alcohol Alert: 63, October 2004)
Difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, impaired memory: Clearly, alcohol affects the brain. Some of these impairments are detectable after only one or two drinks and quickly resolve when drinking stops. On the other hand, a person who drinks heavily over a long period of time may have brain deficits that persist well after he or she achieves sobriety. Exactly how alcohol affects the brain and the likelihood of reversing the impact of heavy drinking on the brain remain hot topics in alcohol research today.
We do know that heavy drinking may have extensive and far–reaching effects on the brain, ranging from simple “slips” in memory to permanent and debilitating conditions that require lifetime custodial care. And even moderate drinking leads to short–term impairment, as shown by extensive research on the impact of drinking on driving.
Not only can alcohol or recreational drugs have negative effects on the person using it, but it can also damage the innocent, such as unborn children. If a women is pregnant and continues to consume alcohol or recreational drugs, it can cause serious damage to the unborn baby. Many babies born to mothers in this predicament end up with either Fetal Syndrome Effects.
One of the negative effects that alcohol or recreational drugs tends to have is the increased risk for multiple serious diseases including cancer.
One may not be aware but drunkeness and getting high could indirectly affects the reproductive system in both men and women. In their pregnancy period, women are advised to stop consuming alcohol and recreational drugs completely as it could lead to mental retardation in babies. The following are the other damaging effects of alcohol and recreational drugs on the reproductive system: Infertility, Impotency, Breast cancer, Sterility (in men), Atrophy of testes (in men).
Legal problems can be other negative effects that are caused by consuming alcohol or recreational drugs. Many times, alcohol and recreational drugs will increase the amount of aggression in consumers and they end up committing crimes, ending up in jail. Many crimes, including domestic violence, have been linked to drunkeness and getting high which could result in expense legal problems and possible jail time. There are also many traffic incidents that occur when people have been consuming alcohol and recreational drugs that lead to legal problems as well.
Many people that consume alcohol on a regular basis find the negative effects of alcoholism and recreational drugs coming to play in their professional lives as well. Often, alcohol or recreational drugs consumption leads to missed days of work because of hangovers and shoddy work performance. As a result of these negative effects, some people may even find themselves missing advancement opportunities or even losing their jobs as a result.
Consuming alcohol or using recreational drugs can be very serious and there are many grave negative effects. Avoiding them can help you avoid these adverse effects and perhaps even save your life.
Due to the Biblical concerns regarding drunkeness and using recreational drugs and its effects, due to the possibility of causing offense and/or stumbling of others, and the negative effects cited above, it is wise for a Christian to abstain from consuming alcohol and using recreational drugs.
The Bible says: “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.” I Corinthians 10:23
BIBLE REFERENCES CITED
“You and your descendants must never drink wine or any other alcoholic drink before going into the Tabernacle. If you do, you will die. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation.” (Leviticus 10:9, NLT)
“The Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 29:5-6, NIV)
“The woman ran and told her husband, “A man of God appeared to me! He looked like one of God’s angels, terrifying to see …he told me, ‘You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You must not drink wine or any other alcoholic drink … The angel of the Lord replied, “Be sure your wife follows the instructions I gave her. She must not eat grapes or raisins, drink wine or any other alcoholic drink” (Judges 13:6-7; 13-14, NLT)
“Drinking too much makes you loud and foolish. It’s stupid to get drunk.” (Proverbs 20:1, GN)
“Kings should not drink wine or have a craving for alcohol.” (Proverbs 31:4, GNT)
“Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine.” (Isaiah 5:11, NIV)
“Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks” (Isaiah 5:22, NIV)
“Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18, NLT)
“Show me people who drink too much, who have to try out fancy drinks, and I will show you people who are miserable and sorry for themselves, always causing trouble and always complaining …Don’t let wine tempt you, even though it is rich red, and it sparkles in the cup, and it goes down smoothly.” Proverbs 23:29-31, GNT)
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything” 1 Corinthians 6:12, NIV)
“Be careful, however, not to let your freedom of action make those who are weak in the faith fall into sin. Suppose a person whose conscience is weak in this matter sees you, who have so-called “knowledge,” eating in the temple of an idol; will not this encourage him to eat food offered to idols? And so this weak person, your brother for whom Christ died, will perish because of your “knowledge” And in this way you will be sinning against Christ by sinning against other Christians and wounding their weak conscience. So then, if food makes a believer sin, I will never eat meat again, so as not to make a believer fall into sin.” (1 Corinthians 8:9-13, GNT)
“Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God” (1 Corinthians 10:32, NIV)
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.” (Mark 9:42, NIV)
“When you sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ.” (1 Corinthians 9:12, NLT)
“Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11 So encourage each other and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:10-11, NLT)
“So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Romans 14:19, ESV)
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NIV)
“Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing [partying] and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that Day catch you unaware, like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth.” (Luke 21:34-35, NLT)
“Because we belong to the Day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living” (Romans 13:13, NLT)
“Drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:21, NLT)
“So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent …” (1 Timothy 3:2-4, NLT)
“Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.” (Titus 1:7, NIV)
You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties … Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you.” (1 Peter 4:3-4, NLT)