Where in the Bible Does it Say That Pastors Can’t Drink Beer?

This is the 1st article in the “Where in the Bible does it say” series.

Here’s the 2nd3rd4th, 5th, and 6th.

Have you ever asked questions like: Where in the Bible does it say that it’s wrong (or is it?) for someone to drink beer, or to gossip, or dance, or talk publicly about sex, or smoke cigarettes, or listen to rap music, or find a wife, or…?

Question: Is it sinful for a pastor to ever drink wine or other alcoholic beverages? If it’s not sinful, is it wise? If not wise, is it at all acceptable?

Before we address those questions particularly, consider these three “real-life” scenarios and then decide for yourself.

Scenario #1. The caller is Jane, a relatively new believer and a member of your church. She calls her pastor at 11:00 p.m. on Friday night and is obviously quite upset.

Hello, pastor Charles? Yes, this is Jane. Pastor…John is leaving me for another woman. He’s in the bedroom packing his bags right now. He says he doesn’t love me anymore. I don’t know what to do. Will you please come over and talk to him? I’m sorry, Jane. I really am. But unfortunately, I drank a few cans of beer tonight and I’m a bit tipsy. I can’t drive right now. Sorry.

Scenario #2. The caller is Michael, a non-Christian man who has been attending your church for a few months but hasn’t yet given his life to the Lord. He is very distraught at the moment.

Pastor Charles! Oh God, I don’t know what to do! The hospital just called me. My wife, Jane, was just in a terrible car accident. She was hit by a drunk driver. Oh pastor, will you please meet me at the hospital in fifteen minutes? Why did God let this happen? I’m so sorry, Michael, really I am. That’s terrible news. Unfortunately, I’ve had a few glasses of wine tonight myself, and I’m in no condition to drive right now. Lord willing, she’ll make it through the night. But I’ll be at the hospital first thing tomorrow morning. Will that be alright?

Scenario #3. The callers are Michael and Jane. They are long-term members of your church and the main leaders in the youth program at your church.

Pastor…this is Michael Jenkins. You need to come to the church right now. Samantha, one of the kids who has been attending the youth group, just tried to commit suicide tonight by cutting herself. We just called 911 but you need to get here right away. There’s blood everywhere. The kids in the youth group are really upset. Hurry, please! Wow, Michael, that’s terrible. Umm, I can’t make it right now, sorry. What do you mean? Why can’t you get here? Well…you see…my wife and I just finished off a bottle of red wine. I don’t think either of us should drive, just to be safe. I’m not drunk, just a bit light-headed is all. I don’t think the parents—(or the police)—would appreciate me hanging out with their kids right now. Can you call anyone else?

So, what do you think? Is it ever acceptable for a pastor to drink alcohol?

I could throw some theology at you about why pastors should never drink alcohol, but I thought these three scenarios would be a great place to start. I will definitely write a few more posts concerning the theology of alcohol and why pastors and church leaders shouldn’t consume liquor and other alcoholic beverages, but really, aren’t these three scenarios more than enough?

I mean, can you imagine the repercussions?

Question: Does the Bible condemn drunkenness? Yes, it does. It is wrong for any Christian to ever be drunk.

Question: Is it sinful to ever drink an alcoholic beverage now and then? No, it isn’t necessarily sinful, merely to drink a glass of wine or beer socially.

Question: Is it wise for church leaders to drink alcohol? In my opinion: Absolutely not!

OK, But Where In The Bible Does It Say It Is Wrong?

The main passages outlining the qualifications of a pastor/elder/overseer/bishop are found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9; both of which are nearly identical lists.  The few qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 (NKJV) entail the following character qualifications for someone who is being considered as pastoral leader in the church:

must be blameless” – The words “must be” are included, stressing the fact that what follows is absolutely necessary.  Being “blameless” (“above reproach”) literally means “not to be held” in a criminal sense.  This is the most important character qualification for the pastor, and the list of qualifications that follow elaborates on what it means to be “blameless.”  There is to be no unrepentant sin that can be publicly named or pointed to in which the church or civil community is aware of.  It doesn’t mean he is sinless or has never sinned, but that he can’t be held in contempt, either criminally, morally, socially, or ethically.

sober-minded” – He is to be a serious man who knows how to order his priorities.

of good behavior” – Means to be “orderly”…as opposed to being chaotic or disorganized.

not given to wine” – Not a regular drinker of alcohol.  The pastor must never consume alcohol because he could be called on at any time of the day or night to perform his duties and, therefore, his judgment must never be clouded by alcohol.

must have a good testimony among those who are outside” – A pastor must have a good reputation with the surrounding community he lives and ministers in, particularly when it comes to unbelievers.  Although non-Christians may disagree with his morals or spiritual beliefs, he must be respected as an honest, caring person (a good testimony).

QUESTION: Considering the three scenarios above, and these five character qualifications for a pastor found in the Bible…is it appropriate for a pastor to EVER drink an alcoholic beverage? Why or why not? (Please comment below.)

* Image credit: Sorceria (Creative Commons)

Comments

  1. says

    Considering the three scenarios above, and these five character qualifications for a pastor found in the Bible…is it appropriate for a pastor to EVER drink an alcoholic beverage? Why or why not? (Please comment below.)

    • pau says

      Pastor gets no vacation or sick days?

      This entire argument says that a pastor is not allowed to take a sick day or a vacation if he can’t ever be non-available for any and all reasons.

      Scenario 1)
      A) Unless the husband is also a member of the church you’re walking into a domestic situation that could become volatile.
      B) If the man is packing to leave it means he’s already financially figured out his place to stay and this meals the wife and husband have problems that can’t be fixed in one passionate plea.
      C) If the husband wants to be away from the woman that bad, there’s always a question that he may be putting her away for adultery or any other problem.

      The advice I’d give in that situation is that she give him space and I’ll ask him to meet with me personally after he’s calmed down either at home or the new place and find out what’s really going on. but to not argue and allow him the freedom to go. This may be something as simple as a tantrum and many people often call pastors for “backup” in an immature game between themselves.

      So no, this is not one I would respond to, I would tell her if she would like I’ll make a call to some of the other women so she can go have a support system and talk things out there.

      But the wine would have NOTHING to do with why this is a wrong time to walk into that house.

    • says

      The title of the blog and the content of the blog are two different subjects. You are not talking about drinking a beer or not. You are talking about a few beers until buzzed or not. In addition, your commentary of the Qualifications of being a pastor found in 1 Timothy is a bit personalized to your beliefs. For example: Not given to wine is about drunkness, and not receiving a phone call on whether or not the pastor should be able to leave at a given moment.
      Let’s keep in mind the vitality of raising up leaders that “The Pastor” is not the only one that should be called.

    • Anonymous says

      I agree that drinking to a point where it would impair your judgment is a given. I think though for different reasons a pastor should not drink, or church leader. It is our responsibility to lead others to christ and to not confuse them. Do not give a non believer any ammo. Even if it isn’t wrong, it is bad to have to explain our behavior through the prism of scripture to one who does not yet recognize its authority. Just stay above board for the great commission.

    • says

      Your argument is persuasive but unnecessary. Being unable to drive is not the reason why a pastor shouldn’t drink. There is a big difference between the “wine” that existed in Paul’s day which isn’t the wine that we have today. Our wine is 10 times as intoxicating today. Paul tells Timothy that a little wine for his stomach’s sake is OK (1 Tim 5:23), because that was what they did then. Does it apply today? No. We have remedies which do not intoxicate. Any person who drinks alcohol or depends on any chemical to alter their mind even for relaxation, does not trust God. Someone who doesn’t trust God should not be a pastor.

      Having said that, I want to stress the necessity of a council of elders at any church. Scripture never allows for a church to be led by a single pastor. Scripture always talks of overseers in the plural. There is a good reason for that and it isn’t so you can call the one who is not drunk.

  2. Knesm2 says

    There’s a difference between having one beer and have so many that you can’t drive (which is the case in all three of the situations).  

    • guest says

      even one drink disqualifies you from driving for an hour…but yes I agree, the examples were all clearly borderline drunken.

    • says

      I agree. Each person is different. Smaller men might not be able to tolerate a level of alcohol that a larger man could. But if it is that subjective, then maybe abstaining altogether might be the better choice. What do you think? 

      By the way, I tweaked the scenarios a bit so that they didn’t seem to be “over doing it.” Does that change your opinion at all? I guess my feeling is that it comes down to whether or not it is at all prudent for a pastor to consume alcohol, because he could be called on at anytime of the day, for any reason, and needs to be clear headed.

    • Mike_quillin says

      According to the Law in any state of America (  http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/teen-drivers/pdf/alcoholanddrugs.pdf) Driving impaired is still a reason to be arrested, and therefore is still against the law to drink the amount exemplified in these scenarios. The word of God states in 1st Peter 2:13-17, and Romans 13:1-7, to (in summary) obey the law of the land. If a pastor is to exemplify this scripture the way that God has called him to then don’t you think it is a prerequisite to obey this.
      (Note the law on BAC being .02%) this is the equivalent to one drink of alcohol or even less, and this takes at least an hour to being completely eradicated from your body (no matter what size, shape, weight, or gender you are). Thank you for your comment, but this is the law, and nothing can refute what the word of God says about the law of the land and the governing authorities. 
      Alcohol and the Law
      If your BAC is .08 g/dl or higher you are in violation of the law if you drive. If you
      are arrested for drinking and driving, the penalties are severe. If you have a BAC
      of .08 or higher, your driver’s license and driving privileges may be suspended.
      A BAC test measures how much alcohol is in your system and is usually determined by a breath test.If
      you are under 21, you can also be arrested for alcohol impairment at .02% g/dl. Even
      under .08 you are still impaired. Under the law you can still be convicted for driving
      impaired.
      A blood or urine test could also be required. You are required to take a BAC test if asked by a police
      officer due to implied consent laws. The implied consent law is based on the principle that when you
      get your driver’s license you have implicitly consented to a lawfully requested test to determine the
      alcohol content of the blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance if suspected of impaired driving.
      If you are found guilty of an alcohol violation and it is your first conviction, you will be fined plus
      court costs and your license could be suspended. For second and subsequent convictions, the penalties
      are much worse. You could be sentenced to jail and your license could be suspended.
      Information for this fact sheet was derived from:
      ADTSEA Curriculum version 2.0
      AAMVA Model Driver Manual

  3. Cam says

    The premise for all these arguments is that the pastor is drunk, ‘5 cans of beer, 4 glasses of wine, 6 bottles of beer’.  The argument is taken to an absurd level to make a point that doesn’t hold water otherwise.  
    As for the character qualifications, you equate someone who drinks alcohol as: held in a criminal sense, as someone who cannot order his priorities, as chaotic or disorganized, as ‘given to wine’ (which I believe you grossly overstate in your definition), and as someone who doesn’t have a good reputation in the community.

    I think you make huge assumptions about people who drink alcohol.  

    This is a Christian liberty issue.  If we were hanging out and my drinking a beer in front of you were to cause you to sin then it would be wrong for me to drink in front of you.  However, if I am having a glass of wine with my wife over dinner and that does not cause her to sin then there is absolutely no issue there.

    So while you may believe it isn’t wise for a pastor to drink alcohol, that isn’t a hard and fast rule and shouldn’t be touted as such.

    I also understand that you wrote this to be controversial, but seriously, this is a bit extreme.

    • says

      Cam, I tweaked the scenarios a bit so that they didn’t seem to be “over doing it.” Does that change your opinion at all?
      Also, the five character qualifications I listed above come from Scripture itself. They are not my personal opinions. Those five character qualification come from 1 Timothy and Titus. Those are God’s req’s, not necessarily mine.

      Also, I didn’t tout my opinions as a hard and fast rule, but my own opinions. What matters is what the Scripture says, not me. We can’t go against Scripture, or own consciences, and we should behave in such a way as to never put a reproach on Christ or a stumbling block before others. Does that make sense?

      • Seantambagahan says

        I agree with Cam.  He didn’t say that your points weren’t in the text, he was saying that your interpretation of those scriptures required you to read your point into the text.  

        • says

          I disagree, Sean. 

          First: I believe my interpretation comes from the biblical text itself, not the other way around. Keep in mind that the article isn’t dealing with just anyone, nor is it even speaking about the average Christian. The article deals specifically with pastors. The scenarios were designed to demonstrate that a pastor could be called upon at any time of the day to serve in that role as the shepherd of the church. Therefore, the shepherd needs to be ready, both physically and spiritually.

          Second: The five qualifications I listed are from 1 Timothy and Titus 3 directly. I didn’t come up with them myself. These are character qualifications that the apostle Paul, while being inspired by the Holy Spirit, gave to the churches for any man that desires to be a pastor.

          How would you define those five qualifications from Scripture? I believe that my interpretations are correct, but I’m willing to be corrected if you can offer a more biblically sound alternative.

          1) “must be blameless” (1 Tim 3:2)
          2) “sober-minded” (1 Tim 3:2)
          3) “of good behavior” (1 Tim. 3:2)
          4) “not given to wine” (1 Tim. 3:3)
          5) “must have a good testimony among those who are outside” (1 Tim. 3:7)

          PS: I wrote an article about this issue in the past as well. Here it is: http://www.crazyaboutchurch.com/20-qualifications-every-pastor-must-possess/

          • Cam says

            Charles, I understand that this was written about pastors and not ‘just anyone’ as you put it.  And I understand that you take the qualifications from 1 Timothy, as you should. 

            The issue lies in the fact that you imply that someone who drinks beer cannot possibly have these qualities…which is patently untrue.  So yes you did tout your opinion that pastors should never drink as biblical.

            And as for your reply to Stephanie’s comment: “The alcoholic beverages of today are designed purely to enhance “social ease” around others, a feeling of light-headedness, and ultimately drunkenness. Really, alcoholic beverages serve no “positive” purpose at all, either morally, spiritually, or socially. I have also never heard of any unbeliever coming to the Lord because they saw or hung out with Christians who drank. Moreover, I’ve never heard of a believer’s walk with the Lord being blessed because they consumed alcohol. With this being the case, why would it ever be a good thing?”

            I could not disagree more.

            Beer is made because it tastes good.  Not everyone who drinks beer or wine does it to get drunk.  I drink beer because I like the way it tastes, not to enhance ‘social ease’ around others.

            The positive purpose of a beer to me is the same as a coke, it tastes good.

            And just because you’ve never heard of an unbeliever coming to Christ because they hung out with a Christian who enjoys beer doesn’t mean its never happened.  That’s a terrible argument.  I’ve never heard someone speak Portuguese, so clearly no one speaks that language….do you see how ridiculous that sounds?

            And you’ve never heard of a believer’s walk with the Lord being blessed because they consumed alcohol, fair enough.  But have you ever heard of a believer’s walk with the Lord being blessed specifically by the act of drinking a coke, or driving a car, no.  The blessing doesn’t come in the act of drinking the beer, or the coke, or driving the car.  It comes in the context of when and with whom you do those things.

            I’ve had some of my most meaningful conversations about God, life, faith and family over a beer.  And I was blessed in those situations. 

            • says

              Cam, thanks for the response. I truly enjoy the dialogue.

              You wrote the following: “The issue lies in the fact that you imply that someone who drinks beer cannot possibly have these qualities…which is patently untrue.  So yes you did tout your opinion that pastors should never drink as biblical.” 

              Actually, I am not trying to “imply” anything, but to be firm (with my opinion). However, no one is ever perfect at these character qualifications, and some of them are rather subjective. For example, one is that a pastor must be hospitable. Okay, but how hospitable? Who decides that. So I’m not saying that drinking one beer automatically disqualifies a man from being considered as a pastor. 

              After the three scenarios, I did say, however, that I believe it is wrong to get drunk, that it is NOT a sin to have a drink, but that it is UNWISE for a pastor to do so. My personal interpretation is that pastors shouldn’t drink alcohol at all, for reasons like the scenarios provide. (This would not be the first time someone disagreed with me, by the way.)

              Moreover, I was a party animal myself before the Lord saved me when I was 22 years old in college. I’ve been drunk 100’s of times. And actually, I love the taste of beer as well. There are times when I really crave a cold, good tasting beer. But I also know that there are stigmas attached to it.

              You mentioned drinking coke, etc. But that is different. There isn’t alcohol associated and those “beverages” and they don’t have the same stigma attached to them. Therefore, it would seem to me that the wisest approach would simply be to abstain altogether.

              And (I almost laughed when I read this one) beer is not made merely because it tastes good. Sure, it does have a good taste, otherwise people would stay away from it. But that’s not the reason it sells at bars, taverns, etc.

              Lastly, if you truly want to drink a beer for the taste, might I suggest a non-alcoholic beer?  ;-) LOL.

            • Mike_quillin says

               My dad and many of my friends who used to drink beer, wine, and/or alcoholic beverages have indeed lead people to Christ while drinking. Then they have been dealt with by God through the Holy Spirit that He (the Holy Ghost) is the better substitute to any alcoholic beverage or drug (for that matter).

              Proverbs 31 states that it is not for “Kings” or “Princes” to drink strong drink at all, period, no questions asked. Strong drink in the Hebrew is shekar (shay-kawr), and means intoxicating beverage, or fermented wine (in summary anything that pertains to alcohol in a beverage). Now without taking any scriptures out of context, let’s go to another scripture.

              Revelation 1:5&6 states 5 “And from Jesus Christ,
              who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the
              prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us
              from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

              Firstly, to look at this scripture it would seem to be referring to our heavenly realm. In retrospect as you look closer at this scripture it is easy to realize God is talking to us presently. The term hath made is from the Greek word poieo (poy-eh-o) and means already made. He already made us Kings and priests in this world, present tense, no question about it. If we are as He is (Jesus) in this world (1st John 4:17). So if we are as He is (the Prince of Peace, and King of Kings), then it is safe to realize that we have the same standing as a King and/or Prince in this world as of now.

              So now if we look back at the context of Proverbs 31, and its obvious intent for Kings or Princes to abstain from alcohol, then we realize that because of the finished work of Christ; we are in the same standing as Him (King Jesus). This being stated, alcohol that used to be accepted amongst men and women of God, is now to no longer be apart of ANY CHRISTIANS LIFE (this is in caps to prove a point, not to yell).

              In conclusion to this brief explanation of scripture; it can be deduced fairly easily what the meaning is in the context of the truth through the word. In the reasoning and/or meditation of these scriptures we can better recognize our standing on this earth, and in the Body of Christ. That though our before sin nature was subject to the laws of sin and death, we have been renewed to the newness of His Spirit through faith. Kings and Princes in this world is our standing, and Proverbs 31 is clearly recited as wisdom for them to abstain from alcohol (if you read further into this chapter). So the good news is that we do not need, or in any way, should want alcohol in our lives. The truth will set us free, and I believe this truth is freedom to the one who would take the time to look and meditate on it.

              Thank you for your time and God Blesses.

  4. Nikki James says

    I agree with you 100% Finally a Pastor with brains! I got
    into this with a local Pastor in my area he suppose to be a marriage expert.
    Not sure what kind of church he has buts it’s pretty big. He has a talk show
    where the callers email in and ask questions on marriage. There is a chat room
    for when the show is on the air. He was talking about drinking and it’s ok. He
    even talked about how he sat down with a Wiccan person. He had two beers.
    That’s when I got upset because I believe drinking is wrong all the time but
    especially in front of non believers. The Wiccan went on to tell him how cool
    and laid back he was because he was not shoving religion down her throat for a
    change and he had a beer with her. When I told him I thought it was a wrong he
    tore me apart on the air and even swore at me. He thinks certain words are not
    cussing because they are in the Bible and he went on from there to say how he
    uses those words when he preaches. I said when you use them out of context it
    is cussing. But that’s a whole different issue. We all know over time drinking
    is bad for the liver and other organs. I’m not sure what’s all in beer but if
    it’s bad for you why would you want to put that in your body even once when our
    bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit?
       
    I personally think it is wrong to drink and especially in front of non
    believers. What kind of example is that? Let’s take the scenario of husband and
    wife. They are having a glass of wine or two or beer. Yes they are home for the
    evening they had supper together and drank their wine or beer. Now their kids
    go out to play and one falls down and needs to go to the ER. I don’t think
    anyone should ever drive even its just one drink and they are under the so
    called limit. Now they need to take their child to the ER. The injury is not
    serious enough to call an ambulance. The only way to get that child to the ER
    now is to go ask a neighbor the same one that you have been witnessing to you
    for years and praying they would come to church. You have to explain to them
    you were drinking and can’t drive little Timmy to the E.R. I think that pretty
    much would ruin any witnessing you have been doing. Now what if you are a
    Pastor of the church and you have to ask for the ride? What kind of example is
    that? You had no intent for others to know you were drinking especially that non believer but now they are going know.

    • says

      Nikki, I agree wholeheartedly. There are thousands of “what if’s” that someone could come up with regarding scenarios such as these. But what about this… Or what if you drank on your days off… Or what if…

      The issue comes down to whether you eat, or whether you drink, or what ever you do, do it all for the glory of God. If there is even a “chance” that the consumption of alcohol might hinder that, then we should certainly think twice about it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Glo2mo says

      Hi Nikki,
      I agree 100% with you and Pastor Charles, thank you Pastor Charles for being a man of the cloth fully carrying the word of Jesus Christ. My husband is also a Pastor and he believes as you do and he finds himself as being among a very elect few of Pastors that want to walk this way according to the bible. Some Pastors have said to and about him that, “they are not there yet, and they don’t live fully from the bible”. We were shocked and were like WOW!! And these people are leading large congregations. Thank you Pastor Charles and keep up the great work, it’s encouraging to see.

  5. Stephanie Reed says

    I don’t think it’s right for any follower of Jesus to drink alcohol. I don’t want my behavior to tempt someone with alcoholic tendencies. Is it legal for me to drink? Sure. Is someome going to draw closer to Jesus because I have a drink? Never.

    • says

      Good insight, Stephanie. 

      The alcoholic beverages of today are designed purely to enhance “social ease” around others, a feeling of light-headedness, and ultimately drunkenness. Really, alcoholic beverages serve no “positive” purpose at all, either morally, spiritually, or socially. I have also never heard of any unbeliever coming to the Lord because they saw or hung out with Christians who drank. Moreover, I’ve never heard of a believer’s walk with the Lord being blessed because they consumed alcohol. With this being the case, why would it ever be a good thing?

  6. john c. o'keefe says

    i think you are so far off base it is amazing – first, that you would think (as you agreed with others) that all alcohol is off limits and that pastors should not drink beer or wine. no place in scripture does it forbid people from drinking, and you need to keep in mind that jesus’ very first miracle was to turn water into wine (the best wine, i might add) – the scripture you quote from 1 tim and titus say “not given to drunkenness.”

    i believe the problem lies in that many conservative christians are looking for a way to justify their theology and in turn, they twist scripture to meet their point of view –

    i have heard them say that the wine jesus turned from water was “new wine” or “sweet wine” and had no alcohol in it. but they forget that the only time the term “new wine” or “sweet wine” (gleukos) is in acts, when the the followers were accused of being drunk on “new wine” or “sweet wine.” when Jesus talks of “putting new wine in old skins” he uses the term “oinon neon” which translates as “wine that is new” and the story implies that alcohol is present in the wine, because the fermenting of the yeast would cause the skin to explode.so, you would teach that paul told timothy (a pastor, a leader) not to drink any wine if he was to be a leader in the church – yet, in 1 tim 5:23 paul tells timothy to drink wine, and not water – why would paul say “absolutely no wine” and then say “have some wine”?  keeping in mind that the greek in both scriptures is “oinon” – that’s right, the exact same word – therefore it does not imply a medical value in the later scripture, because the word is the same and not modified by any other word – so, did paul lie when he told tim not to drink, or are you reading too much into the 1 tim 3:1-7? my guess, and this is just my guess, you are reading into scripture what is not there – nor is it implied.peacejohn

    • says

      John, thanks for your reply. Obviously, I didn’t expect everyone (or even most people) to agree with my point of view. If you go back and read the article again, you’ll see that I don’t say it is sinful to drink alcohol, neither for a Christian or even a church leader, such as a pastor. What I did say, however, is that it is UNWISE for a pastor to drink alcohol. (the article does not deal with non-church leaders)

      Here’s what I said above: “Question: Does the Bible condemn drunkenness? Yes, it does. It is wrong for any Christian to ever be drunk. Question: Is it sinful to ever drink an alcoholic beverage now and then? No, it isn’t necessarily sinful, merely to drink a glass of wine or beer socially. Question: Is it wise for church leaders to drink alcohol? Absolutely not!”

      I appreciate your theology above, and I agree that it is the only genuine basis to determine whether something is true or untrue, biblically speaking. Moreover, I don’t want to hinder anyone’s Christian liberty. We have been set free from the burden of sin’s slavery, but we shouldn’t use our liberty as a cloak for licentiousness…or even the perception of licentiousness.

      Lastly, I disagree with your interpretation about 1 Timothy 5:23, where you wrote: “therefore it does not imply a medical value in the later scripture”. Paul wrote this to Timothy in that verse: “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.” Obviously, it does appear to be suggesting that Timothy had stomach problems and other sicknesses (medical issues), and so the apostle suggested to Timothy to drink “a little wine” to help with that.  Moreover, this verse would seem to suggest that Timothy, for whatever reason, had chosen to abstain from drinking alcohol altogether up to that point. Therefore, I don’t believe your interpretation is correct. The apostle Paul and Timothy didn’t believe that drinking alcohol was wrong or sinful, and neither do I. However, it seems to suggest that they…as church leaders…voluntarily abstained from drinking alcohol, so as not to be a stumbling block to others, to be blameless, not given to wine, and sober-minded.

      Do you agree?

      • john c. o'keefe says

        my comments about the tim scripture was not based on the 5:23 verse, but the verse you quoted for making a case against drinking. my comment about a medical value, or exception, applies to the 3:17 verse – paul did not give a “medical exception” in the 3:17 verse.

        i also do not think tim abstained from drinking alcohol, and i do not see 5:23 as implying he did – wine and beer were the normal drinking for the day (and also throughout europe and the americas) because the water carried some pretty gross stuff (kind of like it does today).

        i also do not see the scripture saying we can not get drunk – keeping in mind, being a drunkard is very different from getting drunk.

        i also believe that we need to be very careful when we talk about “not being a stumbling block.” this places the responsibility of others on us, and that is not what it means. in fact, i have seen many christians become so righteous that they have become far more a stumbling block then me sharing a beer with a bud. keep in mind the “screw tape letters” :)

        now, if you wanted to say that “socially, and because of the responsibilities of the position drinking alcohol needs to be done with great care” – i’d buy that; or if you wanted to say “i, as a pastor, have decided not to drink because i believe alcohol will effect my ability to do the call” – as long as you are not saying it with a smirk – i’d buy that :)

        • says

          Hello John. We may just have to agree to disagree, but that’s okay. I don’t think that I’m the “Christian liberty” police, so it isn’t my job to go around making to-do lists for people. Yet, at the same time, God has given us a list like that, called the Bible.

          If you are convinced in your own mind, then so be it. I do disagree, but it is certainly not a subject that should cause brothers in the Lord to separate over, etc. So let’s be sure not to do that. We simply have differing opinions.

          However, I would like to address one comment you made in your last post where you said, “i also do not see the scripture saying we can not get drunk – keeping in mind, being a drunkard is very different from getting drunk.”

          I do believe there are ample Scriptures which address this and that it is, most certainly, a sin to get drunk. You said there is a difference between getting drunk and being a drunkard, but how would you define it? I might say getting drunk once makes you a drunkard (I’m not saying that, by the way), but someone else might say getting drunk twice a month means you’re a drunkard. You see, that is very subjective. Actually, a murder only has to murder once to be a murderer. Same goes with a rapist. Same goes for a liar. Or a thief. And yes, I believe, a drunkard. At least, that’s my opinion.

          But who cares what I think. What does God say about it? Well, actually, He says getting drunk is sin and debauchery.  In Ephesians 5:17-18 it says, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit”

          Like I said earlier…it just isn’t “wise” for a pastor to drink alcohol. 

          • megan says

            Charles,
            I agree with you as well. My pastor at one time (before he became a pastor) thought he had the “liberty” to drink and he nearly ruined his family, his business and nearly died before God finally woke him up. He has said that he believes now he could never take a drink or he would be a dead man. When he preaches now, it is not just at us, he says “I know whereof I speak.”
            Yes, technically we have that liberty. But it is too easy for that liberty to quickly turn into bondage. I am afraid of becoming addicted so I don’t do it. It feels very good to get giddy with a glass of wine, but it scares me so I don’t make it a practice or keep it in the house. Not that that makes me better than anyone, I have seen how easy it is to become addicted that’s all.

            • says

              Megan, your comments are very astute and wise. It is amazing how many people have been negatively impacted by alcohol and its abuse. And it is a crying shame when those problems invade the church and the people we fellowship with. Thanks for stopping by!

          • john c. o'keefe says

             you are right, we see things very differently – and i am fine with that. i have zero issue with drinking, and i am very comfortable with that stance.

            getting drunk and being a drunkard are two very different animals – here is the difference. if you “have to” buy beer before you buy your child milk, you are a drunkard –

            peace bro :)

      • Anonymous says

        There is a valid argument on both sides here..whats important is what God expects of each of us…and how we all are convicted by his Spirit.

        That comes through growth and agreement with his voice, his word!

        The problem here is what we think the bible suggests and what Christ and the Apostles actually meant.

        Only God knows what he truly intended ( wine or no wine) but individually we need to obey his voice and know when sin is sin according to his definition and word.
        Then one must be ready for correction and the consequences.

        This will always be a topic of discussion but excess of anything is a sin.

        Responsibility and position is weighed differently in the word. Definitely a good point! For Prophets, shepherds, leaders ect.

        However, we need to get rid of arguments over doctrines and realize Christ is the focus and winning souls. He will correct and clean his people.

        Dealing with leaders sin or lack of wisdom in practice should not be on a forum where saints or unsaved people should be able to write and draw part, wrong, or exaggerated conclusions about discussions on church matters via blogging. Instigating further mistust which already exist towards leaders and Christ body!

        The church is constantly brought to a public shame…by sin of leaders yes! but also by many discussions about them as well.

        Yes…truth should prevail but Jesus weeping in both directions the sin and the lack of respect towards his body.

        There should be a discussion or forum where Apostles, Bishops, leaders can discuss church doctrine ( what to teach, do, and how to behave) and rebuke local leaders for excessive sin or behavior.

        Not using blogs to create a rift in the church once again. There is so much lack of unity in the body of Christ.

        This discussion can enlighten and also create another reason for others to see the division and lack of scriptual unity!

        Yes more should be said and taught on these issues. Definitely at the foundational level! Laying doctrine in the house of God!

        Not making a public shame adding to the foolishness already flooding the internet about leaders.

        I will definitely be praying about these issues.

        JP

    • Pastor's daughter says

      Pastors should not take most prescription medications for the exact same reasons. Each of the scenarios in the original post would be impacted negatively if the pastor were taking prescription medications. If I were that neighbor that he had been ‘witnessing’ to and he came to me asking to me to take his kid to the hospital because he just took his nightly meds, I would not see the situation any differently than if he said he’d had a beer. Sadly, most pastors would just drive their kid to the hospital themselves because, after all, they were prescribed by a doctor. All medications have side effects that can be exascerbated by diet, stress, sleep, etc. If you are going to stand by your assertion that pastors should not drink, then I submit that medications should be off limits too.

  7. Katie Grant, author says

    I immediately think of a Doctor or Surgeon on call for the weekend=they don’t drink. Maybe its just that a pastor is always on call because you never know when God may call. I enjoyed all the controversy the article caused over drinking, I’m Christian and am enjoying a glass of wine right now. (watching Reality TV too, that may be a double whammy.)

    • says

      Katie, that’s what I think of as well. A pastor is on call 24/7. It is simply part of the position that we can be called on at any time of the day and for any reason. We need to be ready and sober-minded. Our role is different from that of a lay-Christian. (Enjoy your wine!) ;-)

  8. says

    Charles, this is an issue I have battled in my head for years. I am personally of the belief that drinking in moderation is not a sin and it is a Christian liberty issue. I don’t drink myself but I have no problem with others doing it and I have several good friends who do (2-3 of them are pastors).

    While I think the basic scenario you give makes a good point I have a problem. If God/Paul didn’t want pastors to drink at all because it might disqualify them from fulfilling one or more of the other qualifications then why does the text say “not given to wine”, which you define as ‘not always drinking’, instead of ‘not ever drinking’?It seems to me that if even the smallest amount of alcohol could disqualify a pastor from fulfilling one or more of the other qualifications then they would have to abstain period and that’s what Paul would have said. Even going with the argument that alcohol back then had a higher alcoholic content than today, one would have to have drunk more then in order to equal a drink today (depending on the drinks in comparison). 

    So, if abstinence was intended then why wasn’t it made that clear in the first place?

    Does my question make sense?

    • says

      Craig, your question makes perfect sense. Actually, I don’t think it is a “sin” for a Christian to drink alcohol, even if they are a pastor. It certainly is a liberty issue. When people try to teach that the Bible teaches absolute abstinence from all alcohol, I just find too many holes in their arguments for them to be taken seriously on this issue. The Bible condemns drunkenness, not consumption.

      The basis of my article has to do with pastors, not Christians. I do not believe it is a “sin” for pastors to consume alcohol, whatsoever. I do, however, question the “wisdom” of it, for the reasons I have stated in the article and in the comments. I also personally know some pastors who drink alcohol occasionally and I believe it is well within their Christian liberty to do so. But the issue, again, comes into play about whether or not it is wise to do so, considering the responsibilities of a pastor, which can occur 24/7.

      Lastly, I always go back to when Paul wrote to Timothy saying that he should drink a little wine because of his stomach. It would seem that he had abstained altogether. But you also can’t deny the fact that Paul encouraged him to consume some wine. If consumption was prohibited behavior for a pastor, Paul would never have suggested it. I just see wisdom as the main issue in this Christian liberty, not sinfulness.

      Make sense?

      • says

        So it’s unwise but not sinful. A friend and I recently had this discussion. He came from a background where he drank constantly for years and I came from a background where the closest thing I came to alcohol was stocking it at the grocery store and collecting empty cans for money:) He was of the opinion that it is unwise for any Christian to drink it though not sinful. I totally get where he is coming from but I still disagree with it.

        Aren’t there some verses in Prov. that deal with leaders (kings) and alcohol consumption? I think it gives some warnings because it can impair judgment and the like. Again, not outright condemnation but clear warning. 

        Good discussion.

        • says

          Yes, I think there are a fair amount of verses in Proverbs that deal with this issue. I should look those up. I guess the best way is to just settle on what Paul said in Romans 14:1-6. It was within his liberty to do so, but he would abstain if it would cause problems.

          “Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him.  Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God”

  9. Richard L. Fairchild says

    In my opinion, from what I can see in the Bible, looking up the Hebrew words, and Greek words, and from what it says altogether in the Bible, to forbid drink is a foolish notion, whether unto pastors or laypeople. Drunk is drunk. One glass of wine, or one beer, or a little liquor is not drunk. Maybe even a little more is not drunk also. To circumscribe it plays into the devil’s hands. Yes, regarding the offense of another, that is something to definitely cause one to totally abstain; but unless you know another and they know you, also, for the weaker brother to judge the stronger brother is wrong.

    • says

      Thanks for your comment.

      Drinking alcohol is not sinful, though the alcohol of our day is quite different than what was drunk in biblical times.

      Drunkenness is a sin. My article is about pastors, however, and whether or not it is “wise” to drink. Personally, I don’t think so.

  10. Tom says

    As far as you don’t get drunk, it is not a sin at all.
    Some conservative Christians just make that up to abstain pastors 
    from drinking. They fear their Pastor will go mad… But as far as you can control, 
    you CAN drink. I am a pastor and I drink beers (not liquors though) while 
    doing some fellowships! ^^

    • says

      I sure hope so. I can’t stand head colds.  ;-)
      I do believe there is a difference between taking cold medication/reliever and drinking social intoxicants to the point of a buzz or drunkenness. (As an FYI, someone very dear to me became an alcoholic by drinking 1/2 a bottle of NyQuil every night.)

  11. Siwst says

    Can’t we just be led by the Spirit of God; He will lead us into all truth. He is a gentleman and would never cause us to do anything to our body which would corrupt our character, meaning He would have us be sober minded, blameless, of good character, a good witness in the community, etc. We simply don’t need any booze. End of argument. Look at the Scripture verses Charles posted above; God said it, I believe it, and that settles it. God’s Word is final. As much as man wants to corrupt the Word and have things man’s way, God’s way is true and the ony way to a fulfilling life. Praise His name!!!

  12. Paul says

    I dont think a pastor should drink but Where in the bible does it say that a pastor immediately drops everything to run to someone in need? Even Jesus took a few days before going to see Lazarus. There are deacons and others that can be called as well. A good functioning church should have several people available in people’s time of need. What if it is his anniversary? Or his sons graduation? Does he drop his family to run to others needs?

    • Paul says

      Ps. I don’t think a pastor should drink. I’m not convinced, especially by your extreme scenarios that he cannot either. Your scripture ref can be interpreted in a couple ways. Let me ask this. If drinking alcohol is so sinful, why did Jesus make it his first miracle?

      • says

        I hope churches have good leaders that can fill in for the pastor when he’s away, but many don’t.

        The pastor is to shepherd the sheep, and sometimes that shepherding needs to take place outside of 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

        My article deals with pastors, not wedding parties. Jesus made wine from water. Amen! That miracle has absolutely nothing to do with human pastors. Do you agree?

  13. Mark Sebert says

    Those three examples boil down to one issue — the current DUI laws. With that in mind they are not universal to everyone, but a practical working out of wisdom. Could there be a scenario where a pastor could drink, absolutely! On vacation, if he has a designated driver ( to remain blameless), or if he has other pastors in the church who can handle a crisis (this would be the case in elder led churches where one pastor does not take the burden exclusively, this was the case at my church). I think the issue is when the pastor becomes obsessed with drinking.

  14. RA says

    I cannot believe the small box thinking of some modern christians. Controversies and disagreements between believers have gone on throughout the centuries. I refuse to be molded by the minds of critics. We live in america, in a totally different time and culture. Its a shame how some people despite quoting greek and hebrew still spin the scripture in their favor. In appeasing their pharisaic personal convictions, they believe it is their God given mandate to arm-wrestle everyone else to their personal altar,… but not God’s. To say what God can and cannot use,…to say you truly know the mind of God because you pray 24hrs a day and or study the text in and out 24hrs a day is like putting God in a pea sized box. But I understand,….you have a place in this world for those who cannot think outside of religious personal conviction. I know..because that was me for many years. I once was blind,..but now I see. God is Good and His Mercy Endures Forever!!!!! Now cheers to that with an IPA!!!!

  15. Randy Alan Donahue says

    Just to put it in another perspective, let me take your three scenarios and put a different spin on them. I have a recurring issue with my back and have had one surgery on it 2 years ago. Taking pain medication and muscle relaxers is an occasional necessity for me. What if in any of the above three scenarios I had just taken a dose of Vicodin and Robaxin? Those generally make me very uncomfortable driving, and you can be cited with a DUI if pulled over while on those medications. Of course I am using a legal prescription for these and not obtaining them illegally. I am still a pastor on call 24/7 but taking medication that seriously inhibits my perception and cognitive abilities. Without them, when experiencing a serious “back attack” I cannot rest and often am unable to function at all because of the physical impairment. How do you apply your rationale in these situations? I’m just curious because this is a much greater reality for me other than I’ve had a cocktail and get the emergency call. In your view, is a pastor expected to avoid even this level of impairment because of his always “on call” status or does he get a pass due to the nature of this?

    • says

      The issue of pain relievers and prescribed medication is, I believe, a completely different issue than that of socially consuming alcohol. Your situation is out of necessity while the alcohol issue is recreational and optional.

      Personally, I see no problem with what you’re doing for pain medication. May God bless you!

  16. Jordan says

    This is totally a wrong perception which ever way you may consider. Consider the following.

    1. What if more than one members called the pastor for help at the same time? He can only attend one and reject the rest. Pastor cannot always attend 24/7 for every one and it is never mentioned in the bible that he has to.

    2. If the 3 scenarios applies for pastor why will not they apply to the church? Is there a mention in the Bible that it is OK for the church to be drunk?

    • Randy Alan Donahue says

      I believe what the author has presented here Jordan are some good old straw man arguments. First and foremost it is a fallacy to insist that a pastor is on call 24/7. We could just as easily take any of the above three scenarios and say the pastor is on vacation in the Bahamas with his family. What is he supposed to do? With the same (fallacious) logic we can assume that the pastor is never to go on vacation. Also, I have a daughter who was deeply devoted to band when she was in high school. I went to many performances and events, sometimes out of town. If any of the three above situations arose, was I to abandon supporting my daughter in her functions?

      The job duties of a pastor must be balanced with his relationship with his family and his own walk of faith. If you insist that a pastor cannot have an occasional cocktail because he is on call 24/7, then you are also inferring a whole lot of other things that are not biblical about the call of pastor.

      • says

        Yes, it’s my personal opinion that it is UNWISE for a pastor to drink alcohol. And that’s the gist of the article. Drunkenness is a sin but consumption is not. That’s my personal belief.

        From a practical standpoint, part of being a pastor is knowing that there are people (maybe many of them) in the congregation who expect you to be available 24/7. You may not believe it is fair, but it is assumed.

        So much for straw. ;-)

        • says

          Charles I appreciate the personal reply. This is a good topic for discussion and debate. I pastored a small church until January of this year and I was blessed with a congregation that appreciated the fact I was bi-vocational and had a secular 40 hour per week job in addition to being their pastor. I made sure to create boundaries in my life so that I never neglected my family in pursuing ministry.
          I respect your conviction on this matter despite disagreeing with you. The big danger of course comes from how one defines “moderate” drinking. I grew up around two alcoholic uncles so I’ve seen the very dark side of what liquor can do. I understand you are not condemning drinking as a sin but warning against potential dangers.
          I find discussing alcohol challenging in the context of jail ministry / chaplaincy where I am now. I guess I would just ask understanding and grace on this issue where the answers may not be perfectly clear cut. Thanks again.

    • says

      There are a lot of “what if’s” that could be cited. This article is about wisdom.

      If eating meat causes by brother to sin, I will never eat meat again. It’s a matter of wisdom, not liberty.

  17. Kio says

    I agree with your ideas in your article that the pastor should not drink. I believe that pastors/bishops should not drink any form of alcoholic beverages at all. My worry is not that he will be drunk or unstable in his thought processing but in the fact that the minister should represent the rules of the gospel. If he drinks alcoholic beverages, he breaks the rules of the same book he uses to curb others. Basically, he would be preaching what he is not living so he his ministry would be hypocrisy.

    I have also noted that the scripture quoted but be as it is,’ the minister should not drink alcoholic beverages’ as further down in the same scripture it says that the deacon can be given to a little wine. Now the use of both texts comparatively tells me that the command is explicit and purposeful. One (pastor) should have none whilst the other (deacon) may have a little. That’s as simple as it gets.

  18. Jackie Tabor says

    “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1

    How come brides & grooms use wine to celebrate their lifelong union when statistically, alcohol is what is most likely to tear them apart? Does anyone really believe God would use rotten grapes to symbolize the blood of His Son in communion? Drink responsibly? Seriously? The purpose of alcohol consumption is to impair judgment, to loosen up, at what point do you know you are being irresponsible? How do you get your judgement back at the point of irresponsibility? How does someone who’s judgment is compromised make sound decisions about driving vehicles? How does wine literally enhance the quality of life, not just a Pastor’s, but anyone’s?
    Satan has made quite the joke of me and many members of my family through the use of alcohol. I drank a little and I drank a lot. The circumstances of drinking always depend on how much “fun” the drinker is having….typically turning the experience in to anything but fun. My father was a violent alcoholic. My brother died due to a motorcycle accident involving alcohol. He was 19. My mother is an alcoholic. I am not an alcoholic by definition.
    I don’t drink anymore and it has cost me many friends over the years since my eyes were opened. I don’t judge others for using alcohol, yet they judge me for not. If an airplane crash killed as many people who are killed by alcohol related deaths in 1 year in the USA, we would be afraid to fly; plane manufacturers would be under “review”, in “hearings”, Yet, no matter what the number of deaths, divorces, imprisonments, etc that alcohol causes, Christians continue to defend it. Funny huh?

    “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler: whoever is led astray by them is not wise” Proverbs 20:1

  19. donnie says

    lets get real do you realy want your pastor to show up at your house or the hospital where there may be unsaved friends and family members smelling of acohol. that is not a very good impression for him to portray. he must be blamless. say you have a new member in the church with a drinking problem. he calls the pastor to come over because he is having a bad day, the preacher comes over with acohol on his breath which can cause a brother to stumble. that is a sin.

  20. Gloria says

    I have a very heavy heart. My pastor did have alcohol – has preached against any consumption of alcohol. He has a DUI now. Where in the BIBLE does it say – the pastor MUST be fired for this act? Part of me is very concerned what we do as a congregation will impact our community. The community is already anti-God – no faith .. If we turn our backs on the pastor – what message does that send to community of non-believers – I have heard so many times – NOT going to do that – too strict, not forgiving as generalizations of a group of believers.

    I have such a heavy heart… :-( Any thoughts? Prayers for sure welcomed!!

    • says

      Hmmm, that’s a difficult situation, for sure.

      A DUI is a serious issue. What if he killed someone? I also assume this wasn’t the first time for him to drive under the influence? It would be “odd” to be caught the very first (and only) time.

      I’m all for forgiveness and restoration of a sinning brother. I sin all the time (wretch that I am) and forgiveness is exactly what we need. But the qualifications for church leadership is another things altogether.

      Non-Christians often use the “hypocrite” complaint against us. They claim we say one thing but do another. One of the best ways to show that we mean what we (that is, the Bible) say is to hold church leaders accountable.

      What kind of testimony would it be to the outside world if they knew your church decided to let your pastor keep pastoring? Would it seem hypocritical to them? Would it “attract” them to your church? That’s my point. Pastors are held to a higher standard.

      I pray that God brings about great things from what you, your church, and your pastor are dealing with. God bless!

      • says

        These are some great goals that you have listed here Carl. I see some of the stuff you have aledray done and more to come. So glad to be apart of the growth of this local church that will save souls globally.

  21. MikeW says

    So sad, the deception here. If the pastor is light-headed and can’t drive safely, then he’s drunk by the standards of the Bible, so your illustrations are fallacious, they are non-sequiturs. The question is whether a church leader can drink, and the answer is “certainly”, otherwise Paul was in sin counseling Timothy to drink some wine for his stomach; otherwise, Jesus was in sin turning water to wine; otherwise, all of those who celebrated the Pesach in Jesus’ time–such as Jesus Himself and the disciples at the last supper, taking the cups–were in sin. And they drank wine, this is apparent both textually and historically.

    It is wrong to get drunk, to be a drunkard, don’t be “given to wine”–it is not wrong to drink. It is wrong to lead someone else into sin–thus, even though you have freedom to drink, church elder or otherwise, you’d be in sin trying to convince one who decided to give up alcohol as part of their faith to join you for a glass of wine . The Bible is so clear on this as to be overwhelming on these points.

    What you are promoting is called Pharasaism, Charles, it is adding to the text of the Bible, promoting rules of man over those of God. You have the arrogance and hubris to write a book entitled “Revealed: God’s Will for Your Life”. What utter conceit! Sir, that book that revealed God’s will for my life was written by approximately 40 people on three continents over the course of some 1300 years. You can neither add to it nor detract from it. You are promoting one Charles Sprecht, but not Jesus our Lord. You are a fool.

    • says

      First off, there’s really no reason to be rude, call someone a fool, and do it all under the disguise of anonymity.

      Second, go back and read the article again. Never (never, never, never!) in the article do I say it is “sin” for anyone, including pastors or church leaders, to drink alcohol. In fact, I actually say it is NOT sin to to drink alcohol. How could you miss that?

      The article has to do with wisdom in drinking alcohol, as to whether or not it is wise for a church leader/pastor.

      I pray that God opens your eyes to the hatred you have in your heart. You call me a fool. Shame, shame.

    • Jackie says

      It’s important to investigate and define “wine” in the bible. Ancient wine presses are all over Israel as they were used daily by the people in ancient culture to smash grapes. “New Wine” was fresh off the press, fermented wine sat around and rotted and became the wine of drunkards and “fools” as the book of Proverbs calls them.

      No matter how big of words one uses, “drinking responsibly” is an oxymoron. It isn’t possible and is laughable that millions of people suggest that they can “drink responsibly”. All the while our families are torn to shreds and prisons are full of drunkards.

      It’s also important to apply the scriptures to ourselves when we “rebuke” others. According to Matthew 5:22 “….anyone who says “You Fool!” will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

  22. puzzeled Christian says

    I’m a christian my Grand father was a Pastor my dad & Mom are evangelist. I have been out of Church for some time & recently started going again at first only because I had been ask to help with the music program then later I felt a very friendly & positive atmosphere so I have kept going but again this isn’t my first rodeo with christian beliefs I’m 40 years old & as I stated I come from a deep family grounded in the word of God. Something I have noticed & has reminded me as to why I stopped going all those years ago & that is because, Church members & various organizations of Churches tend to pick & choose which pieces & parts of the BIBLE they wish to apply to their every day lives. They choose which parts that they consider to be factual historical accounts & they simply discard the rest. from someone who has found their way back to GOD I’m tempted to run back into the Bars from which I came. I mean hell if these so called Christians can sit in the Amen corner & shout hallelujah & claim they been baptized in the Holy Spirit yet see nothing wrong with Drinking which in my case leads to bad choices , Sex & down right SIN. Then I obviously don’t need to worry about it. If I ever take a notion to speak in an unknown tongue I’ll move into the Temple or Church house like a monk & walk a very clean line knowing that the ears & eyes of the world are looking up to the Pastor & leaders of the Church for guidance I vote NO!

    • Ed says

      Yes, I must agree with Charles. Although, having a glass of wine or a beer is not necessarily a sin if you’re not being a stumbling block for others, when one is called to the position of elder or Pastor, you are held to a higher level of accountability. My wife and I have considered leaving our church because we have recently heard from someone we counsel that our pastor drinks and goes bar hopping with a congregant at our church. Their behavior is casing marital problems for the congregant and no one knows about it, all they know is that the wife has stopped coming to church. Our pastor continues to delay assigning elders to the church (which would keep him accountable). I am on my way to confront him right now, truth with love. I’ve prayed and was searching the Internet for some direction and came across this blog. Hope it goes well. He is very good at using scripture to defend his actions yet come across as very humble. Lord help my heart and ease my tongue that I may get out of the way and be used for Your glory.

  23. Anonymous says

    My personal opinion if u have enough alcohol in your system to get a DUI then maybe they consider u dangerous or impaired which is close enough to being drunk. Idk but i personally dont think a church leader should drink sure its not a sin thats not the issue and that isnt was charles is saying all he is saying is that it isnt wise, it could cause arguements or could possibly cause someone to fall and if someone does fall thats between them and God yes but its not our job to support the fall either with what we do, we are called to be an example and we just have to be careful of our actions because reguardless we are called to point others to Jesus. I also think if someone used to be an alcoholic or drink alot as in getting drunk its best to refrain because it may tempt you to fall which is why it may be better to not. Do u think someone would have a serious issue with a pastor choosing not to drink or cause an arguement about it? probably not. But sometimes there can be an issue if the pastor does drink whether its a sin or not. If we are pleasing to God thats what matters but being a Godly example and church leader why even cause a remote issue if u can avoid it altogether? Im not God and im not gonna say whats really right or wrong no one seem to what exactly is in this case lol And christians aren’t perfect yes we fall and make mistakes but God is faithful and merciful to forgive we just need to turn from our wrong ways. Everyone has a different opinion, the problem is we tend to pick and choose and fill in the bible where its unclear. ultimately we need to pray and ask God to show us what we need to do in that situation whether we really should or shouldnt.

  24. Anonymous says

    Not saying its horrible to have one or two drinks in your home i guess thats between you and God! I refrain because i dont really have a desire to drink and me drinking may cause an issue for someone else and id rather just stay away then do that.

  25. Truth Seeker says

    Hi there. I have a question surrounding the behaviour of a pastor. One in specific. I’ll give you the scenario: My husband and I are friends with a couple. The lady in the couple is a pastor. That lady presided over our wedding blessing. She and her husband enjoy a drink or two. She and her husband invited myself and my husband out for drinks one evening. I couldn’t go as i didn’t have anyone to lok after my newborn son. My husband then sulked until i told him to just leave and do as he pleases (i was angry). So he did.
    Long story short is that they all went out to a local pub. They also took the Lady’s recently single lady friend from work with. My husband ended up drinking too much and telling this woman he was divorcing me (he says he was mad at me for being upset over him going out) and they were apparently all over eachother. The lady pastor and her husband were encouraging this behaviour.

    I still cannot bring myself to trust or want to be friends with this couple. My husband says it is my Christian duty to forgive them and yes, i agree. I have come to a place where i do forgive them as it wasn’t really their doing anyway. BUT i feel i would be remiss to place my trust or friendship in them.

    I suppose i’m wrong.

  26. Diana says

    Whenever a Christian (called or not by the Lord to be a leader) indulges into what pleases its flesh, it is definitely lack of commitment to the Lord. This is a very “sensitive” subject because, unfortunately, our generations are too comfortable in this world to even care for the rescuing of the lost souls by the spreading of the gospel, specially with our witnessing of Jesus’ holiness and sacrifice.
    I don’t care how many interpretations of the cited biblical passages are made into justifying casual drinking. I care more for whatever pleases the Lord and does not makes a little one in Christ derail from the gospel. It is what its all about; putting aside my flesh and its desires for the well being and spiritual growth of those who are around me, that can be positively or negatively influenced by my choices.

  27. says

    I was just looking for something and came across this. I love Jesus and truly am born-again. I want to serve him and lead souls to Christ, every day. I am drinking a beer as I write this. I did an exhaustive Bible study on this once, along with physiological and psychological research. I wanted to put this issue to rest once and for all in my mind. I have maybe two beers from the age of 22 when I submitted to Christ as my savior, until age 44. In my church it was strictly forbidden.
    We now go to a different church, which is in fact a gospel believing church where the people are more loving than any church I have attended. People who are elders and believers drink, I know it and know the pastor knows. My wife asked him if he drank and he said he does not and never will, so as to be a stumbling block, but it is permitted if he chose to.
    As a result of my studies, I decided once and for all that it is OK. However, no matter how much I believe in liberty, I feel a bit guilty when I drink beer. But, I also enjoy beer so much, just one or two. But sometimes I drink 3 on a hot day and yes get buzzed, and yes, I enjoy that buzz. Yet, I do not feel distant from God when I have a few. Yet, I could make someone stumble. Yet, I want to be a King and Priest for Christ, and evidently a King is not to drink wine.
    So, you can see how confused I become, even though I know it is not right. Easy answer…just play it safe and don’t drink. Yet, after a week I impulsively buy beer, reasoning it is not as bad as sugar. Many preachers preach against drinking yet weigh over 300 lbs, abusing the temple of the Holy Ghost. Yet, I still feel guilty. When I buy it I feel like I don’t have the Fruit of the Spirit, self-control. But when I don’t, I remember the many years of bondage and how I never want to go back there.
    Sorry for the long post, but I need to throw this out there. By the way, I love and respect all brothers in Christ. We need to sharpen each other, but serve and not attack one another. That energy should be used to win the lost.

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