As a pastor in Las Vegas I teach that Christians ought abstain from all alcohol, however I do acknowledge that there is a valid argument on the other side. All Christians understand that the Bible clearly condemns drunkenness but some suggest alcohol is moderation is acceptable. Though in no way do I want to be a thief of grace as those in Colossians 2:21-22, I do believe it is important to bring up several reasons why the modern, american christian should not partake.
6 Reasons Why I Don’t
1. Personal Health – I Cor. 9:27
I want to be in control of my body. How many times have we had to blame a mistake on alcohol. “If I hadn’t been drinking…” “It was the alcohol talking.” “But I was drunk…”
2. Spirit Control – Eph. 5:18
The Bible teaches as to be self-controlled and spirit-filled. If alcohol is controlling us then there is no room for the Spirit of God to control us. You cannot be a spirit controlled if drunk.
3. The Weaker Brother – Rom. 14:13
The Bible teaches that I ought be concerned for the Christians around me. Though I have liberty, at times I will limit my liberty for the purpose of helping a weaker brother. As a Christian I can drink but what if my drinking led another into sin. What if a recovering alcoholic used my beer as an excuse to “just have one?” What if my children had a lifelong struggle with alcohol because they grew up watching daddy partake? I’ve always said that my children will never break into my liquor cabinet… because I don’t have a liquor cabinet. I don’t need it, therefore, concern for others keeps me sober.
4. The Wisdom Books – Proverbs
For those who condone social drinking it is very difficult to explain away the wisdom books. The book of Proverbs is filled with warnings regarding alcohol. At one point it says not even to look upon wine. (Prov. 23:31) That’s enough for me.
5. Social Concern
Though not a biblical reason I believe this thought has merit. I don’t want to support the alcohol companies! These companies have been at the bottom of the break-up of homes, the abuse of children and the death of many. Every time I hear of a dear individual who was killed by a drunk driver my heart cries out for not only the dead victim but also the poor soul who was driving the car who will have to live with that truth for the rest of their lives. Though I am against prohibition I am also against alcohol. Alcohol has not helped this country. Alcohol has not helped children. Alcohol has destroyed too many lives for this pastor to partake in its violence.
6. Personal Experience
Perhaps in your life you have never seen the evils of alcohol and are therefore sheltered from its damages. I have not been so lucky. As a pastor I have heard countless stories of adultery that began with a little drinking. Child abuse that began with a little trip to the bar. I have a friend who I personally led to Christ in prison today for manslaughter because after his bar room brawl he ran over his opponent in the parking lot with his truck. As a Pastor, I know, alcohol hurts people. My father, as a 16-year-old boy had to pull a gun on his drunk older stepbrother to keep him from beating his sister to death. My mother had to experience the pain and abuse of having a drunkard for a father. So for me, I will never drink, for drink has led only to pain. Perhaps your experience with alcohol has been more pleasant and you have no regrets regarding alcohol. Perhaps alcohol has brought peace, joy and happiness to you and all those you know… if this is the case… then by all means… drink up. Joshua 24:15 But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Proverbs 23:29-35 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions?who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hathredness of eyes? 30They that tarry long at the wine; they that go toseek mixed wine. 31Look not thou upon the wine when it is red,when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.32At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.33Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shallutter perverse things. 34Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down inthe midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.35They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; theyhave beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek ityet again.
Not all of these arguments will ring true for you, they’re not supposed to. These are my personal reasons. However, if you find truth in one of these arguments you may want to reconsider you position or at least your personal habits.
What do you think? Which reason do you connect with? Do you disagree? Share your thoughts below:
Nicole HuntJanuary 28, 2013 at 11:22 am
I came from an upbringing filled with alcohol (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, their friends, etc) that affected our lives in many ways (drunkenness, verbal and physical fighting, anger, resentment, jealousy, abuse, bitterness, bad choices, bad consequences, messed up lives, messed up kids, etc).
Sadly, even after my father was killed by a drunk driver, they continued to drink and keep the cycle going.
While my husband and I do enjoy an occasional drink, usually out together for dinner; we do not copy our upbringings in any way and do have discussions to teach the kids better habits to break that cycle.
Joshua TeisJanuary 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm
Thank you Nicole for your comment. It really is sad that we don’t learn from the mistakes of others. I also have seen this “cycle” and ahve determined to put an end to it. Great comment!
TashaJanuary 28, 2013 at 11:29 am
I completely agree with this, Jeremy and I had to make the decision to quit drinking and it has been the best decision we could have made although not popular. We take the blessing of raising our children very seriously, how can we be an example if we are putting stumbling blocks in their way. We can not have one foot in the world and one foot in God’s will. Thank you for being Godly example to our family 🙂
Joshua TeisJanuary 28, 2013 at 3:08 pm
you mentioned the one thing that many who argue for alcohol forget. The influence it has upon our children. Great Point!
Peter and Leah SchutzmanJanuary 28, 2013 at 1:59 pm
Coming from a Family of drinkers and raised up where drinking is ok it was great for my wife and I to quit June 25 2009 and we only have had brought peace, joy and happiness to us and all those we know because we Stopped and The Lord God started blessing us tremendously. Lastly I always thought drinking was a stumbling block for people around us but I noticed that includes the children God has given us.
Joshua TeisJanuary 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm
Great Thought Peter!
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Jennifer BeesonJanuary 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm
I agree. Drinking has no part in our lives and it’s not a popular choice by any means. I have heard my father tell his testimony several times and have even heard him say that when I was a young girl before he quit drinking, he missed out on a lot of my life. Don’t get me wrong, he was there… but a person isn’t the same when alcohol is involved. Now that I’m a mother, I realize how precious each of those moments are with your children as they are learning to walk and talk and so on. I’m sad for my dad and myself that he missed out of making those times with me more special. In the end, alcohol just isn’t worth it.
Joshua TeisJanuary 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm
Interesting perspective. even if alcohol doesn’t lead to abuse it can lead to neglect and missed opportunities of “being truly there.” good thought
Lita BonsignoriJanuary 28, 2013 at 5:10 pm
I just finished reading article and reading my own daughter’s comment.
First, let me say that as soon I read this blog, my own personal convictions line up exactly with yours Pastor! You wrote this so concisely and with grace. My personal experience bears out that drinking alcohol is not beneficial. It used to be in biblical days people would take wine for an upset stomach, purify water, and serve at weddings. Today we have medicines, water treatment facilities, and the wine of yesteryear is not the wine of today.
Secondly, I am saddened too when I dwell on what my daughter posted. However, I can truly say there have been many blessings since my husband got down on his knees 22 years ago and asked Christ to deliver him 🙂 His testimony has encouraged many, added years to his life, strengthened our marriage, made him dependent on the work of the Holy Spirit, shown that Christ can change people, and given him a heart for those who struggle, which in turn motivates him to share the love and hope Christ has to offer, verses what the world has to offer.
Lastly, your six reasons are applied very well to any sin we face! Unfortunately we don’t always “see” the effects of other types of sins in the same way we can measure the effects of alcohol on people/families. I want to thank you for writing this blog, as I’m sure you are praying it will have positive impact and spiritual growth for all your readers!
Joshua TeisJanuary 29, 2013 at 11:03 am
I felt that you comment about these 6 reasons apply to many other types of sin was very insightful.
Kenneth De JesusJanuary 29, 2013 at 12:49 am
Since God came into my life, all things from the past, like alcohol and music have drifted away. I could live without it! Life is soooo goood. Thx for your testimonies… 🙂
Joshua TeisJanuary 29, 2013 at 11:04 am
II Corinthians 5:17
JoyceJanuary 29, 2013 at 12:50 pm
I posted this on my facebook what you have written Pastor Josh…!!! So many young people today are indulging in the things of this world, only to bring about sorrow in their lives…..Sad to say, Porn is another, in which my brother in-law shot my sister in the head and then took his own life as well in the wee hours of the morning………started with PORN….could not forgive himself for the SIN in his life….!!! I could write a book on this sort of thing…..and feel so strongly, even being raised in a godly home….how SIN takes it’s toll in ones life. Thank you for your firm stand Pastor Josh…!! May HE continue to bless you in the Ministry there in Las Vegas…… So few today take on that calling as serious stuff….. in which God has led them in…..and doing it well!!! Thank you….thank you…thank you!
Joshua TeisJanuary 29, 2013 at 6:33 pm
Interesting Comparison. Thank you Joyce
Frederick WiddowsonJanuary 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm
After years of heavy drinking without any observable problem with it (although it did hurt me and my family emotionally) and having been a Christian for over 16 years, I was studying manuscripts, early Bible versions, and the writings of the early church leaders. One day, it hit me, what seemed obvious, that the King James Bible I was enjoying for its historical relevancy and beautiful language was, indeed God’s word, given by inspiration to the English speaking people. I got down on my knees and acknowledged that belief and when I stood up I no longer had a desire or any thirst for alcoholic beverages. So, I quit because God took it away, not for any other reason. And since I know that it was God who took it way because I had quit smoking that same year and knew the difference between my self-will and God’s will, I have no intention of going back to it, ever. People can do what they want but when the Spirit of God does a work in your life you don’t mess with it. I’ve been liquor free for ten years, praise God.
Joshua TeisJanuary 29, 2013 at 6:29 pm
What a wonderful testimony that the Lord has delivered you from the desire alcohol. However, just to keep the conversation going, what would you say to an individual who truly received Christ as Savior but did not lose his desire to drink. Perhaps even struggles with alcoholism? Would we question his conversion?
Benjamin LotterJanuary 29, 2013 at 4:26 pm
Thank you, Pastor Teis. Agreed on all points. A few of your points, such as the damage to health and the dependency apply to other controlling substances such as so-called “energy drinks”.
Joshua TeisJanuary 29, 2013 at 6:30 pm
Wait wait wait. Now I have to give up Monster or Coffee? OK – forget everything I wrote. 🙂
JoyJanuary 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm
I totally agree with you & have never drunk one drop of alcohol, but I wanted to add that I appreciate the attitude you presented with. It was kind, reasonable, logical and void of the traditional arrogancy.
Joshua TeisJanuary 29, 2013 at 6:33 pm
Thank you Joy! I was not always so reasonable.
When I was 22 I knew much more than I know now. I would’ve told you so. 🙂
L.O.February 5, 2013 at 5:33 am
I grew up in a very conservative home where my mom bragged that she didn’t know what alcohol tasted like. Only recently, as an Army spouse, have I begun to drink a few sips of wine at military social events, mentally using those arguments you referenced when my pastor preaches abstinence. Thanks for the food for thought in the article & the comments. It’s hard being the weirdo when alcohol is a military custom, but I don’t want my son using me as an excuse to become a drunk, & I want to help an alcoholic friend I just led to the Lord & not be a stumbling block to her. I’ll share this with her when she’s ready.
Joshua TeisFebruary 6, 2013 at 10:01 am
L.O. I appreciate your comment. I completely understand where you are coming from. I’m sure you are a great mother and your daughter seems to have a wonderful set of parents. Thank you for your service to our country!
Debbie RaleyFebruary 7, 2013 at 7:55 pm
Thank you for writing this. I really appreciate it.
I grew up in a home where my mother and father drank alcohol. As a result, my father beat my brother and I. To this day I still feel guilty for not being able to stop him from beating my brother. My mother was working when he would do this. Mom wouldn’t send us to school because of all the strap marks from the belt. My mom, brother and I were verbally abused. Even up to the time my father died of alcoholism, he would say, “Jesus is a queer!” Just to make me mad. I told him he was talking about my best friend. Many times I just had to leave and go home.My father would wait until my mother went to bed and then come in my room to molest me. When I was 9 years old my mother was drinking and driving and she smashed into a car in front of her. I was sitting in the passenger seat and my head hit the dashboard. My front teeth were knocked out. I didn’t even notice. I rolled the window down and frantically started throwing beer cans out the window because I knew enough that mom would be in trouble. My brother had broken ribs and my mother’s bottom partial did damage to her mouth when she hit the steering wheel. I was put in an ambulance. The police were going to take mom away and put her in jail for DUI. But I was scared because they were taking my mom from me and kept crying and saying I wanted mommy. They let her get in the ambulance with me. The doctor asked mom, “where’s her teeth”? Mom told him I spit them out at the time of the accident. I could go on and on and on. It’s only by the grace of God that I survived my childhood. I knew Jesus Christ as my personal savior at age nine. Nothing good comes out of drinking alcohol. It’s all misery and in my case walking on egg shells every day of my life. Pastor Teis, thanks again for sharing your view on alcohol. Debbie
T NaeaApril 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm
Thank you for sharing this.
I need to remember to say things with more humility. Im too blunt for my own good.
I love how you put these thoughts into simplistic words.
Thank God for bringing us to SHBC!
Robert Van NessMay 23, 2013 at 9:33 am
Hey, just read your article against Drinking. Not bad, and as I was scrolling down through it, I came across the comment from Frederick Widdowson, which interested me. What further interested me was your reply to him. I wish someone had taken up the question, because it is a vital question that you asked about his conversion.
Anyway, here is what I wanted to add to the thought, that, honestly, as good as your points are, and many also give those very same points, I think the issue of saved or not is at the heart of the matter, and is very seldom touched upon. It seems to me that the Bible has a clearly defined unsaved distinction concerning those who drink. Consider this correlation from OT to NT –
9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:
10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;
11 And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.
No one was allowed to go into the Temple having drunk wine or strong drink, or they’d die because of unholiness/uncleanness. Now to bring this thought into the NT. Who’s the temple now? As you know I Corinthians answers this.
I Cor. 3:9-17
9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
God does this spiritual building, and our bodies are now the declared holy temple of God. For added emphasis –
I Cor. 6:19-20
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
In context, I Cor. 6 really nails down the saved/lost issue, as the chapter deals with saved/lost and the ability to discern between the two. Anyway, the point is made that if one would enter the Temple having any taste of alcohol in the OT, they’d be unclean, unholy, and die. The only thing that has changed from there to now, is that we’re that holy temple, and it cannot be defiled. God is still the same, His holiness has not changed, and though we’re no longer “under the law” as being in Christ, who fulfilled the Law, Grace requires a higher standard, because of our position in Christ. Bottom line, being under Grace, and in Christ would mean that being against alcohol is an even stronger argument from the position of saved vs. lost.
Ok, I’ve rambled on about my opinion long enough. What’s your thought about this idea?
Jesse YoungDecember 17, 2013 at 10:02 pm
Great post! I have a number of unsaved colleagues who have given up drinking because even they recognise the impact it has on their lives.
I would also add one more reason to avoid drinking: it’s expensive! I have colleagues who think nothing of dropping $100 on a night out.
ATMApril 4, 2014 at 4:31 pm
Let me be the first to disagree with this article. While I’m disheartened by the accounts of the negative effects of alcohol abuse, many people have a healthy relationship with alcohol. There is no reason to condemn alcohol consumption. There is a reason, however, to condemn alcohol abuse and drunkeness.
You end your article by saying that if alcohol brings you joy and happiness, then you should partake. However, you and your family will instead abstain and serve The Lord, implying that those who consume alcohol do not serve The Lord. It also portrays a holier than thou attitude, how very Pharisee-like of you. Let us not forget that Jesus turned water into wine so that a wedding celebration could go on. And than he drank wine with his disciples at the last supper.
Instead of condemning alcohol use, let’s promote responsible drinking for those who chose to partake. Children will encounter alcohol whether their parents drink or not, so they might as well understand what responsible drinking means. Your sheltered attitude is what often leads children to rebel and abuse alcohol.
So please think twice about your pastoral advice for those who drink responsibly.
Jeremy LenentineJuly 27, 2015 at 9:38 pm
Pastor Teis I really need the link to your sermon on “Hot Topics: ALCOHOL” please. I can’t find it.