Is it wrong for Christians to drink? Does the Bible forbid drinking? Was the alcohol content of wine any different in Biblical times than it is today? Was it really wine at the Lord’s Supper or unfermented grape juice? What is the correct position for church members to take when it comes to attending functions where alcoholic beverages are served?
There never has been a time or place in my life when alcohol was not part of someone’s agenda. In fact, the thesis I wrote for my Master of Theology degree addressed this topic. The program took two years, and I visited some of the greatest libraries in the world looking for a definitive answer. I did much of my research at Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Graduate Theological Union which were near the seminary I attended.
However, Solomon, who no doubt hosted many events that included alcoholic beverages, presents his observations about the consequences of drinking. It seems to eliminate any reason to look any further for an answer: “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” The consequences for alcohol abuse are obvious.
Alcohol is a depressant. It allows what we consider sacred or reserved, valuable or private, personal and private, hidden and buried deep within us an opportunity to “escape” and harm ourselves and others. A “mocker” is someone who becomes arrogant and ridicules God by word and deed. The “mocker” has no need for anyone - including God - and can “do it all by myself.” And the “brawler” is one who is indiscreet, obnoxious, and has no shame.
So, the first part of the verse leads to the second: Alcohol leads people to act independently of God’s wisdom. Anyone who allows their behavior to be altered - one way or another - by any depressant is unwise - hence, ungodly. A “wise” person once said to me: “A wise person will not get drunk, and a drunk person is not wise.”
Prayer: Help us, Father, to realize the dangers that await us if we compromise Your wisdom. May we avoid the use of alcohol and the negative consequences that follow. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.