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Thread: Pastors and Drinking Alcohol

  1. #1
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    Pastors and Drinking Alcohol

    In another thread a topic came up about the appropriateness of a youth pastor ordering a beer in public. Some of the discussion that resulted was very interesting, but then the thread was closed. I'm not sure if it was because it was in the wrong sub-forum, or what...but I'd like to re-open the discussion here.

    A few people were expressing their view that pastors should not drink at all and that this is supported by Scripture. I was wondering, to those of you who believe this: what exactly is the rationale for this view, and where in scripture is abstience from alcohol commanded for pastors, ministers, et al.

    Thanks in advance for your replies!

  2. #2
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    There are lots of reasons why people may choose not to drink alcohol, ranging from a simple matter of not liking the taste or not liking the effect it has on them, to having experienced the devastation that alcoholism can bring to a family.

    However, the Bible does not state that we are to abstain from drinking. Drinking is one of many things where the Bible does not explicitly state that we must drink, nor does it state that we must not. In the absence of compulsion or prohibition we are therefore free to decide for ourselves.

    We are not to get drunk (Eph 5:18) and obviously if alcohol becomes more important to us than God then we have a major problem, but the same applies to anything else we might have in our lives.
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  3. #3
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    Timothy 3 gives us the directions in life for Overseers (church leaders, pastors, ministers, etc.) and Deacons. Timothy 3:1) Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. 2)Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3) not given to drunkeness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

    7)He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.

    Would a man of God be presenting an image of a man above reproach if he were seen having any form of alcoholic drink? Does this open the door for others to feel that it is OK to drink alcohol. Many people can handle it, then again many can't. How would a pastor feel if he found out at some time that someone began drinking alcohol and became an alcoholic because they saw him and figured it was alright. This is where verse number seven comes in.
    "will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap."

    He may be self controlled but do others really know how much he drinks and how often? He may not be given to drunkness but does this really give the appearance of a man above repraoch who is trying to present a proper image to his flock and to outsiders as well. Can you imagine how outsiders, who do look to find fault with Christ-followers, would play this up? "Man, I saw that pastor last weekend out drinking up a storm." Yeah, he only had one drink but just what/how much did his image in the community suffer? Will he be able to reach others in the community as well as he might have if he had never had that one drink? Also, the chances are that if a pastor just has a drink now and then in private, he might just slip up to temptation and have one in public; and drinking alone can really lead to problems as well.

    Just as Joseph ran from Potipher's wife when she tried to seduce him any one that is tempted to do that which could at some time become sinful, they should run away. They are flirting with sin and the devil.

  4. #4
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    The trouble with this approach is that we allow Satan to take control of God's gifts to us. Due to our own weaknesses and Satan's corruptions we end up having issues with what God has given us - where God gives us wine, Satan gives us drunkenness and addictions. Where God gives us love and sex, Satan gives us lust, porn, prostitution etc. Where God gives us food, Satan gives us gluttony. And so on.

    There are so many things that can damage us, but we must be certain to keep control of things for ourselves and not simply hand them over as soon as they are tarnished by the enemy. Drinking can lead to problems, but that doesn't mean it has to lead to problems. If someone chooses not to drink because they can't stop at just one or two, it is probably better for them not to drink at all. If someone is a recovering alcoholic, it's almost certainly best for them to stay away from it completely.

    When I had my pastor and his wife around for dinner I served wine with the meal, and he brought a bottle as a contribution (this is customary in the UK). Had I been struggling with alcoholism and he had come to pray for me, and he had brought a six-pack of beer, that would clearly be inappropriate.

    In your example, if the pastor "slips up" and has a drink in public, so what? Jesus himself was accused of being a glutton and winebibber (Luk 7:34)
    24 August 2013 - I've decided to take a break from a number of internet forums, including this one, for my own reasons.
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    1Jn 4:1 NKJV Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
    1Th 5:21-22 NKJV Test all things; hold fast what is good. (22) Abstain from every form of evil.




  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post

    In your example, if the pastor "slips up" and has a drink in public, so what? Jesus himself was accused of being a glutton and winebibber (Luk 7:34)
    First of all you state that Christ was ACCUSED of being a glutton. Secondly wine was a regular part of life. Not all well water was good. At the wedding where he changed water into wine they said that usually they lessor wine is brough out first but you have brought out the good wine first. Wine seems to have been always readily available. Those days are not these days and we should not compare them. There may have been alcoholics in those days but wine was generally drank at most meals and it was up to individuals to watch how much they drank. I do recall ever seeing anything in the Bible that said that Jesus was a glutton or that he ever over drank of the wine.

  6. #6
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    There is no sin in having a beer. As soon as someone shows me a scripture that says I should never drink alcohol, I will ignore any claims that I must as they are not founded on scripture but the traditions and fears of certain people.

    The argument about "wine being a part of life" is moot. So, a pastor in Germany can drink beer and a pastor in France can drink wine because it's "a part of life", but an American pastor can't? God's law is not subject to man's tradition, as Jesus made plain to the Pharisees.
    The grace of God is amazing. He saved a wretch like me.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by student of the Lamb View Post
    I do recall ever seeing anything in the Bible that said that Jesus was a glutton or that he ever over drank of the wine.
    The scripture that Tango reffed shows us that Jesus admitted He drank alcoholic wine. Otherwise He'd not have to say that He's being accused of being a drunkard/winebidder. Not only does this show us that He consumed alcohol but that this was public knowledge. So He either drank in public or admitted He drank to the public.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by student of the Lamb View Post
    First of all you state that Christ was ACCUSED of being a glutton. Secondly wine was a regular part of life. Not all well water was good. At the wedding where he changed water into wine they said that usually they lessor wine is brough out first but you have brought out the good wine first. Wine seems to have been always readily available. Those days are not these days and we should not compare them. There may have been alcoholics in those days but wine was generally drank at most meals and it was up to individuals to watch how much they drank. I do recall ever seeing anything in the Bible that said that Jesus was a glutton or that he ever over drank of the wine.
    So you're saying wine wasn't sinful then but has mysteriously become sinful now? How does a chemical compound CH3CH2OH make a transition from being lawful to being sinful?

    In many cultures wine is still readily available. It is commonplace in the UK to drink wine with a meal and, when visiting someone for dinner, it is customary to take a bottle of wine as a gift to the host/ess.

    The verse I referenced clearly said this (emphasis mine):
    Luk 7:34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'

    Had Jesus not been drinking alcohol it would have been absurd for people to say he was a winebibber. If Jesus was drinking alcohol we have to either accept that drinking alcohol is not sinful, or that Jesus was a sinner.

    Nobody is saying that drinking alcohol is mandatory, but there is no Scriptural support whatsoever for a blanket ban on it either.
    24 August 2013 - I've decided to take a break from a number of internet forums, including this one, for my own reasons.
    I expect to be back at some time in the future, although at present don't know when that will be.
    I've been here just a few days shy of six years, and those six years have been greatly blessed.

    ---

    1Jn 4:1 NKJV Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
    1Th 5:21-22 NKJV Test all things; hold fast what is good. (22) Abstain from every form of evil.




  9. #9
    Since when would people ever lie about Jesus? Couldn't happen.

    If you are a Christian who drinks alcohol, you must consider your motives carefully.

    Based on a thorough examination of the Greek texts, the author of Wine in the Bible: A Biblical Study on the Use of Alcoholic Beverages provides interesting evidence that Jesus and the apostles never drank alcoholic wine, nor did they ever approve of alcohol in any form. This would mean that Christians have no Scriptural support for drinking any alcoholic drinks, even in moderation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by godsgirl View Post
    Since when would people ever lie about Jesus? Couldn't happen.

    If you are a Christian who drinks alcohol, you must consider your motives carefully.

    Based on a thorough examination of the Greek texts, the author of Wine in the Bible: A Biblical Study on the Use of Alcoholic Beverages provides interesting evidence that Jesus and the apostles never drank alcoholic wine, nor did they ever approve of alcohol in any form. This would mean that Christians have no Scriptural support for drinking any alcoholic drinks, even in moderation.
    Simply not supported by the scriptures. If you are going to continue to use this stance then show me yourself with the scriptures that it is sin to drink alcohol. It's not in the scriptures so to continue to post it is, all that is doing is denying the word of God on the matter.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by godsgirl View Post
    Since when would people ever lie about Jesus? Couldn't happen.
    All you need to do is watch tv or go on the internet for a day and you'll see that Jesus is probably the most lied about person in history.
    The grace of God is amazing. He saved a wretch like me.

  12. #12
    I am of the opinion that the Bible speaks of two different kinds of wine-one good-nonfirmented and one bad-firmented.

    In scripture wine in English, vinum in Latin, oinos in Greek and yayin in Hebrew—have been used to refer to the juice of the grape, whether fermented or unfermented. This finding discredits the claim that the Bible knows only fermented wine, which it approves when used moderately. The truth of the matter is that the Bible knows both fermented wine, which it disapproves, and unfermented grape juice, which it approves.

    I still have not had anyone truthfully answer the question of the motives of drinking?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by monergist View Post
    All you need to do is watch tv or go on the internet for a day and you'll see that Jesus is probably the most lied about person in history.

    Exactly!! Which is why I do not think it 'absurd" at all for his detracters to call him a "winebibber"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by godsgirl View Post
    In scripture wine in English, vinum in Latin, oinos in Greek and yayin in Hebrew—have been used to refer to the juice of the grape, whether fermented or unfermented. This finding discredits the claim that the Bible knows only fermented wine, which it approves when used moderately. The truth of the matter is that the Bible knows both fermented wine, which it disapproves, and unfermented grape juice, which it approves.
    Does the Bible discuss how grapejuice was prevented from becoming wine without refrigeration or pasteurization?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by HisLeast View Post
    Does the Bible discuss how grapejuice was prevented from becoming wine without refrigeration or pasteurization?
    Other writings from those times do--look into the writings of Josephus Columella and Pliny-all have given us insight.

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