Alcohol And Drugs
Many people have individual opinions regarding the topics of alcohol and drugs in the scriptures. Many believe that complete abstinence -- even in cases of legal, prescription use -- is required, while others believe moderation in use is okay. Yet others believe an individual can choose to do as much as they wish. The purpose of this essay to to plainly show what scripture states regarding the use of alcohol and drugs.
Alcohol In Scripture
Alcoholic beverages are a common topic in the bible, with "wine" being the most common form mentioned. Many believe the wine in the bible was simply grape juice, a non-alcoholic drink. However, if this were true, then wine wouldn't be considered a source of intoxication in scriptures such as Genesis 9:21, Genesis 19:33, 1 Samuel 1:14, Proverbs 23:20-21, Ephesians 5:18, and Titus 2:3. Now, just to be clear, drinking alcoholic beverages is not a sin in itself (1 Timothy 5:23), which is supported by the fact that Jesus transformed water into wine for a wedding feast (John 2:1-10). However, drunkenness is a sin (1 Corinthians 6:10, Galatians 5:21). A person can morally drink alcoholic beverages as long as he or she does not become drunk. We are to keep sound in mind, (Titus 2:2-6), and being drunk does not allow for that. Though moderate drinking is not unscriptural, it is okay to avoid drinking completely if one is tempted to drink to excess.
Drug Use In Scripture
Yahweh gave us plants for our consumption (Genesis 1:29, Genesis 9:3). However, this is not a license to abuse plants, such as cannibis and coca leaves, as scripture states that we are to keep our minds sound and reasonable (1 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 1:7, Titus 2:12, Philippians 4:5). Jesus even refused to accept a drug when in his time of trial (Mark 15:23), which makes sense because he needed to keep his mind intact in order to accomplish his mission.
Legal, prescription drug use is not a sin. This is because, again, God did give us all plants for our consumption (Genesis 1:29, Genesis 9:3). The bible mentions occasions when plant medicines were used at Isaiah 38:21, Jeremiah 8:25, 51:8, 1 Timothy 5:23.
Alcohol And Drugs Today
Most people don't realize that many of the common pharmaceuticals we use today originate from plants: Aloe (skin healer), aspirin (pain reliever), digitalis (heart medication), penicillin (antibiotic), quinine (malaria medication), taxol (a cancer medication), and many other prescription medications originate from the plant life that God gave for our use.
Alcohol abuse and drug abuse hurts us physically. According to scripture, we are to take care of our bodies (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). We are all given the gift of life from our God Yahweh (Acts 17:24-25) and so we must show appreciation and respect for such a valuable gift. Allowing ourselves to succumb to our addictions and cravings is a form of enslavement (Romans 6:19) (NKJV) and an act of selfishness (James 4:1,3) that distracts us from true worship.
Scripture makes it clear that the use of alcohol and drugs can be beneficial when used responsibly. There are no scriptures that universally forbid the use of such items; there are only scriptures that warn of the effect of abuse of such items. Let us use Alcohol and drugs in a responsible way, always keeping our worship with soundness of mind, taking care of our bodies, and showing proper appreciation for these gifts.