What Does The Bible Say About Alcohol?
We all have to make our own decisions about what is morally right and wrong in this world. Most of us would agree that some of the consequences of abusing alcohol, like drunk driving, are wrong. But what about the act of drinking? Is it immoral for people to drink?
This is a question not easily answered, as people have different reasons and sources for their beliefs. Many people look to the Bible as a source of life guidance and for a system of beliefs and values. However, there are many interpretations of the Bible and its passages (verses).
So, what does the Bible say about alcohol? First, it doesn’t expressly forbid drinking but does warn against the abuse of alcohol, according to Bible Hub.
In contrast, the Bible allows that drinking in some instances—usually for celebration and health—are acceptable, even enjoyable. The Bible also contains verses about the effects and consequences of alcohol, both on health and on life.
We know that alcohol addiction can cause drastic effects on your health, personal relationships, and life. If you’re curious about what the Bible has to say about drinking, the following passages provide insight.
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When drinking for health or medical reasons, drinking seems to be acceptable:
“Stop drinking only water and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent ailments”—1 Timothy 5:23
Drinking for celebration also seems acceptable:
“Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works.”—Ecclesiastes 9:7
On The Effects Of Alcohol
The Bible recognizes that alcohol can be used recreationally, and can be positive in that way:
“He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the labor of man, So that he may bring forth food from the earth. And wine which makes man’s heart glad, oil to make his face shine, and the bread that sustains his heart.”—Psalms 104:14-15
When it comes to heavy drinking, the Bible associates it with other immoral behavior, and often warns against it:
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to reckless indiscretion. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”—Ephesians 5:18
“Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.”—Romans 13:13
The Bible also recognizes the conflicting values about alcohol; if your drinking is upsetting or offending someone who finds it immoral, then you shouldn’t drink:
“It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything to cause your brother to stumble.”—Romans 14:21
In general, the Bible contains many passages that warn about the dangers of drinking: health issues and repercussions alike.
“It is not for kings, Lemuel—it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer. For they will drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.”—Proverbs 31:4-5
“Do not gaze at wine when it is red when it sparkles in the cup when it goes down smoothly! In the end, it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.”—Proverbs 23:31-32
“Wine is a mocker, and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.”—Proverbs 20:1
“For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness clothes one with rags.”—Proverbs 23:21
The Bible seems to generally warn against the dangers of alcohol: making immoral choices because of it, drinking too much and effects on health, and how your choices affect your life and the lives of others.
While the Bible recognizes that there are occasions to drink and enjoy yourself, its passages advise against drinking habitually, especially because of the consequences. The Bible did not contain language specific to alcohol addiction, but it can be found in some of the verses:
- Alcohol “bites like a snake and poisons like a viper:
- Alcohol leads you “astray” which is “not wise”
- Getting drunk leads to “reckless indiscretion”
- Behaving decently means not behaving in “carousing and drunkenness”
Alcohol and troubles associated with it have been around for centuries-long enough to be included in the Bible. While the Bible contains clear messages warning against alcohol abuse, it’s not always easy to implement that in your life.
Today, millions struggle with alcohol abuse and addiction. It’s still one of the top substances of abuse in the United States. Fortunately, recent decades of evidence-based research have led to methods that are actually effective in treating alcohol abuse.
Consequences of heavy drinking and alcohol abuse range from moderate to severe, and include:
- Troubles concentrating
- Breathing issues
- Lack of inhibitions
- Memory problems
- Motor impairment
- Slurred speech
- In extreme cases, coma or death
Treatment For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction
Treatment for heavy drinking or prolonged alcohol abuse may require tapering through detoxification. For this reason, and for the withdrawal period that comes after, inpatient rehab centers are the best options for treatment.
Inpatient rehab centers can provide the support you need to get your life back, and to get sober. Expert medical staff and encouragement in therapy and counseling will help you achieve success in healing.
If you have struggled with alcohol abuse for some time, and want a new, sober life, today could be the day that healing begins.