The Dominion of Drunkenness

It was April 10, 2004 and I was living in Biloxi, Mississippi where I was training with the United States Air Force. It was also my twenty-first birthday. Of course, when my friends found out they planned a night of heavy drinking. Up to that point in my life I had never had a sip of alcohol. I was raised with the wrong idea that Christians don’t drink. But on that night, in my new found freedom, I cast aside all hesitation. My first round of drinks was from a bottle of seventy proof whiskey. That was soon followed by more drinks than I can now recall. Admittedly, the alcohol caught up with me and I spent the early morning hours bent over the porcelain throne covered in the stink and stench of my own vomit.

That’s not an amusing story. It’s pitiful. I was training in an environment that valued honor and commanded respect. But there’s absolutely nothing honorable or respectful about being drunk. Let’s be honest. No one wants engraved on their headstone: “Here lies a drunk.” I don’t think anyone wants their enduring legacy to be centered on intoxication. And while it might make for a funny country song, no one is going to put on top of their résumé: “I’m pretty good at drinking beer.” Common sense seems to teach that drunkenness isn’t a virtue.

It would be saying too much to say that the Bible forbids or even condemns drinking alcohol. Unlike the religions of this world — Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc — biblical Christianity doesn’t teach that drinking alcohol is sinful. In fact, shocking as it might sound to some, the Bible recognizes the blessing and value of alcohol. The Psalmist sang: “You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man” (Psalm 104:14-15). When’s the last time you sang something like that in church? Among other things, the Bible likens the abundance of wine with joy (Psalm 4:7), the relief it can give to those in distress (Proverbs 31:6), and its medicinal value (1 Timothy 5:23).

What Does The Bible Say About Drunkenness?

However, the Bible does clearly teach that drunkenness is sinful. Jesus said: “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life” (Luke 21:34). Paul wrote: “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy” (Romans 13:13). Peter taught: “For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry” (1 Peter 4:3). So serious is the sin of drunkenness that the Bible warns drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (1 Corinthians 6:10).

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Source: Church Leaders