Views on Christians drinking alcohol have stayed steady among Protestant churchgoers over the past decade, according to a new study.
While 41 percent of Protestant churchgoers say they consume alcohol, 59 percent say they do not, according to a survey released today by Nashville-based LifeWay Research.
In a 2007 phone survey, LifeWay found 39 percent of Protestant churchgoers said they consume alcohol while 61 percent said they do not.
Gallup surveys over the last 75 years have typically shown that two-thirds of all American adults have occasion to drink alcoholic beverages, including 63 percent in 2018.
“While alcohol consumption continues be seen as mainstream in the United States, churchgoers’ attitudes about drinking haven’t changed much in the past decade,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.
Almost 9 in 10 of churchgoers (87%) agree that Scripture says people should never get drunk. That’s up from 82 percent in 2007.
But when it comes to total abstinence, fewer than a quarter (23%) of Protestant churchgoers believe Scripture indicates people should never drink alcohol. A majority (71%) disagree.
The share of churchgoers who say Scripture teaches against any kind of alcohol consumption has decreased six percentage points over the last decade. In 2007, 29 percent said Scripture directs people to never drink alcohol; 68 percent disagreed.
When Christians drink socially, many churchgoers believe they could cause other believers to stumble or be confused. In 2017, 60 percent agree and 32 percent disagree. (The portion who say drinking socially could cause others to stumble dropped slightly from 63 percent in 2007.)
Researchers also found slightly more than half of churchgoers say Scripture indicates all beverages, including alcohol, can be consumed without sin (55%) and that Christians exercise biblical liberty when partaking of alcohol in reasonable amounts (54%).
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SOURCE: Christianity Today, Carol Pipes