Hi, sorry if this is a ridiculous question but, is it wrong to drink? I’ve been a christian since born, and I’ve been drinking for more than half of my life. I thought it was ok since everyone in my family did, even some church leaders goes to drink with me once in a while, but then I came across gal 5:19-23 and… I feel so wrong. I mean it’s not like I ever get drunk I know my limits but just… 😐 thank you.
My friend, it is not wrong to drink alcohol. Galatians 5:19-23 was not written for that, either. It mentions “drunkenness,” but Apostle Paul wasn’t sitting there thinking, “I’m totally going to poop on those dang college kids.”
But please allow me the grace to pick our brains on this. Feel free to skip around.
1) I’m sure you’ve already heard that “Drinking is okay, but drunkenness is bad.” This is biblically true. Drinking in itself is not wrong, nor is it some spiritual parameter to measure your own faith-grade.
I just think most people don’t know how to drink-in-moderation. Even if you were the smartest guy in the world, the entire lifestyle wrapped around drinking is “Let’s get wasted.” Those sort of environments, while not necessarily wrong, can easily lead to unpredictable situations where some drunk dude shoots you or you’re puking blood in your friend’s laundry hamper (both of which I’ve seen happen). I don’t mean to fear-monger or something, but I’ve seen drinking go wrong in so many different ways that did NOT have to do with drunkenness, but rather the atmosphere it created.
2) When someone asks, “Is it wrong to drink?” — they’re really trying to find the maximum point of drinking until God decides that it’s wrong. It’s just grasping for some loophole to sin only a “little.” The motive is, “How crazy can I go until God says enough?”
When I say sin, by the way, I know it’s easy to read that as bad behavior or anything not-Christian. But by sin, I mean the broken condition in which we naturally seek for selfish gain, which acts against our best interests ordained by God. (I know that’s not a complete definition.) Certainly this offends God too, but it hurts Him that it hurts us.
Many of the questions I receive from fellow Christians are about, “How much sin can I get away with?” But you see the issue. It’s like asking how much you can set yourself on fire, or how much you can cheat on your wife.
I’m not saying this is your motive, but it’s worth examining yourself to see if there’s any self-deception. Please don’t brush that off too quickly. We tend to mock the idea of a “slippery slope” because it’s such an over-used accusation, but the slope still exists. The moment you deceive yourself, you’re entering into self-enslavement.
3) A side-note here: No one has ever turned to Christ by the witness of your not-drinking. So if you quit alcohol to be a super-evangelist, it’s generally not working.
4) If we must drink, I hope we can drink to celebrate something real. My problem with partying is not the partying. I love parties. My problem is that it’s often a mindless endeavor that celebrates the empty act of itself, so that it’s one big circle of emotional masturbation. I’m sorry if that’s crude — but you already know what I mean.
The best parties I’ve been to always celebrated monumental achievements like weddings, reunions, a new job, a new business, or even just one person. I’ll have a drink to that. There are so many things God calls us to commemorate that I don’t want to waste the act of celebration on nothing. I want it to be toward a substantial landmark moment.
5) Personally, I do not drink. It’s always been a problem in my past life. I turn into a person that I do not want to be, so I’ve made the decision to keep away. Occasionally I’ll have a sip at a friend’s event for a toast, but even then I usually don’t. It’s too tempting.
You’ll really need to decide on your own if alcohol is something you want in your life. Pray through this wisely. And also remember that your spiritual life is not about not-sinning, so you don’t need to fixate on this for very long. I have a feeling you already know the honest answer between you and God. Make some non-negotiable rules and stick to them. Have fun, but stay safe.