Posted by: Joe Palmer | August 24, 2009

Why Not Drink

Why Not Drink

By Joe Palmer

The question of alcohol usage is difficult one. I think like most spiritual issues of a practical nature it’s not that hard to know what is the best thing to do is. It is just that we want to do what, “we want to do.” We don’t want to give up something that we have learned to enjoy. For most of us it’s not a chemical dependency. It may not even be an emotional dependency.

So I want to share my reasons why you should stop abstain if you are a Christian.

#1 The person who abstain will never have to wonder if he has violated God’s law.

If I was going to try to prove that the Christian should not drink because of law of God, I would argue the following.
1. The Bible condemns Drunkenness. Ephesians 5:18
2. The Bible condemns Strong Drink. Proverbs 20:1
3. Much of what we drink today would be described as strong drink.
a. 13 times wine is used in the same context as strong drink. Therefore alcoholic wine is considered a strong drink.
b. ISBE says the drink in the Bible called strong drink was most likely beer.
4. The Bible condemns drinking parties. I Peter 4
5. The Bible condemns revelries Galatians 5:21
6. The Bible condemns “and such like.” Galatians 5:21
No it didn’t condemn a drink that is very weakly alcoholic. It doesn’t condemn it in cases of health or necessity. The person who doesn’t drink will never wonder if he is violating God’s law. The person who drinks will wonder if he is drinking in a manner God disapproves of.

Two Other Notes

The word Methuesko found in Eph 5:18 is translated drunkeness. While that is an accurate translation. You should research an inceptive Verb, which this word is. The word is dealing more with the process than the end result. Young’s concordance define it as “To Begin to be Softened.” If that word doesn’t forbid all alcohol it fits my understanding that it forbids all alcoholic beverages that are strong enough to make us drunk.

Nepho – Translated Sober. The word means to avoid any spiritual or emotional drunkeness. It refers to one who has his complete faculties. It is often used and associated with idea of an athlete training his body, keeping it under control.

#2 The person who abstains will never regret that he might cause a brother to stumble.
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. Romans 14:19 – 21

I can’t tell you that is not an excuse. All I can do is relate the facts. During our last campaign we had one young man who became a Christian, stopped drinking, and then went to a party and saw alcohol in our homes and started drinking again. He specifically cited that it appears from our action it is okay for a Christian to drink.

We may think we are not causing a brother to stumble. However, can we be sure?

# 3 The person who abstains from drinking will never have to worry about the negative consequences of alcohol in his life, or in the life of someone he loves.

• 40 % of traffic fatalities are alcohol related
• Alcohol is the third leading cause of lifestyle related deaths.
• 1/3 of child abuse cases and 2/3 of spousal abuse cases are alcohol related
• While no statistics were available the CDC says that alcohol is a know factor in risky sexual behavior.

Do you know what the research bears out if you drink you children are more likely to drink.

Moms and Dads where do we want to lead our kids?
30 % of drinking is in our own home.
53% is in someone elses home
That means they are either drinking in my home or your home.
Binge Drinking is a major problem it goes up from age 12 to age 21 reaching 48 percent of 21 year old who binge drink.

48% of people over 12 describe themselves as drinkers.
7.5 % of the total current population meet the criteria to be considered an alcoholic.
That mean if you drink there is a 1 in 6 chance you will become an alcoholic. If you don’t the chance is 0%

Alcohol Roulette
Lets say you have mom and dad and two kids. Mom and Dad don’t have a problem with staying in control but they influence the kids by example to drink as adults. Now the kids have kids and one of them has an alcohol problem. They get a divorce, or have an affair, or get drunk and drive, have a wreck… etc.

Eventually alcohol will get someone in your family. As family member continue to pull the trigger, eventually the gun will go off.

How will you feel about your influence? Was the decision worth it?

We have a spiritual mandate to “Train up our children in the way they should go.”

We are to “Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the lord?”

Don’t we want to be the BEST spiritual example for them?

#4 the Person who abstains will not have to worry about having the appearance of evil or associating with evil in his life

• Alcohol is associated with
• Gambling which is an addiction that robs families of money
• Night Clubs/ strip clubs/ Bars/ of all types
• It is contributing factor in many crimes as we have already stated
• It causes the break down of many homes due to addiction, abuse, and unfaithfulness.
• It causes people to neglect to financially support their family, and to emotionally not engage as a parent.
• Alcohol is used to promote fornication and adultery. As one comedian said it’s funny that they tell pregnant women not to drink most of them wouldn’t be pregnant with being drunk. Alcohol is the oldest method of losing some one up for sexual activity that they wouldn’t normally engage in.
• 25% of suicide victims are drunk.

Do we want to take our money and give it to the alcohol industry so they can ruin more lives? Even if it is not me or my family. Don’t we want to “Prove all things and hold fast to that which is good?”

#5The Person who abstain will never have to wonder if he crossed the line to drunkenness.

• Even if you decide a Christian can drink some, you can’t tell me what God defined drunk.
• If you drink you have to worry about that issue.
• The person who abstains doesn’t

We are also while needing to make this important decision using a product that intentionally weakens our capacity to make decisions and makes us feel immune to problems.

Remember God condemned strong drink, Reveling and drinking parties. The word Methuesko and Nepho give us an idea that ‘God’s standard of conduct is very high.

#6 The Person who abstains can do so knowing that he is putting God’s kingdom first.

• He is seeking first the kingdom of God by putting aside his own desire.
• He is able to always be sober enough to give an answer to any man who ask a reason of the hope that lies within him.
• He is putting God’s kingdom first by being certain that he is not hurting his image among the world, or among fellow Christians.

I think this is the best reason of all. Instead of asking ourself how close we can get to the world we see how far we can get away from the world.

Remember our goal in Romans 12:2 is to ‘Prove what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.”



  1. My impression is that two extremes have dominated the discussion about alcohol…(1) It doesn’t say “Thou shalt not drink,” and therefore it doesn’t say anything, and (2) upholding our culture’s acceptance/rejection of drinking and then stretching scripture to back it up. You are doing a great job of staying with what the text says and calling for the Christian lifestyle they demand for us. I really like what you have done, and I am adding this to my files. Proud to be your brother.

  2. Joe,

    Thank you for your informative articles on drinking! Those folks who want to drink, will try to justify it, no matter what you, God or anyone else says about it. That’s the way people are.

    My view on drinking alcoholic beverages is the same as King Lemuel’s mother in Proverbs 31:1-5-NKJV. If it’s not for kings, then it shouldn’t be for anyone else with any sense at all.

    Here’s an article I wrote about drinking along with a study from Brown University:

    Mike Riley
    El Paso, Tx

  3. […] among us. He writes on alcohol and offers some serious considerations for the Christian. Begin with “Why Not Drink” and move on to answer the question, “Does the Bible Forbid Drinking Alcohol.” I think […]

  4. […] Why Not Drink […]

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