Just a quick post. You see, I have access to the search terms that people use to reach this blog, so I know more or less what people are looking for. So, recently, I noticed an on-off stream of traffic coming from people concerned with what the Bible says about alcohol. So, I think I should give those tykes some few answers.
First of all, it’s not the first time that I notice people finding this blog by looking up lunatic search terms such as “what demon is present when I masturbate”, but it’s the first time I notice such a high interest in the problem of drinking. That’s because I live in Brazil and some churches here forbid alcohol consumption. Let’s start with the question that names this entry: no where. The Bible doesn’t forbid the consumption of alcohol, period. But I notice that some search queries suggest that some religious leaders, such as pastors, are explicitly teaching that it does. For example: one of the search queries is “is it true that the Bible says that we shouldn’t put even a gulp of alcohol in the mouth?”. That’s extremely specific. If I am right, some religious leaders are saying that there is biblical evidence to support that, while, in fact, there is none. On the contrary. So, I’m happy that people are looking those things up, because that means that some people are questioning what the preacher is saying. And that’s great: many of those people are just interested in your money anyway, so they pull new prohibitions from thin air, in hopes of making you feel super guilty for not keeping up with them, raising an urge to attain forgiveness the way they want you to, which means that they try to keep you in their church by making you scared of hell. And, if they need to exploit the fact that the Bible is a huge document that no everyone has time to read, so no one knows what it actually contains, so be it.
The most common drink in biblical accounts is wine. In Genesis 27:25, we see Isaac, son of Abraham and father to Jacob, drink wine with no problem, wine given by his son. In Exodus 29:40, as well as in Leviticus 23:12 and Numbers 15:5-10, among other verses, we see that wine was accepted as offering to God. If wine was an “evil” drink, God wouldn’t accept that as offering. However, wine, because it makes a person feel “elated”, wasn’t supposed to be consumed by people who worked at the temple, at least not before duty, as we see in Leviticus 10:9. Another situation in which wine can not be consumed is when the person vows to not drink it, as we see in Numbers 6:3. But such vow is never mandatory. If I vow, indeed, I must abstain, but even such vow may only be up for a limited time (Numbers 6:20).
Another important thing to notice is that, if wine was an evil drink, Jesus wouldn’t have transformed water in wine, as we see in the second chapter of the Gospel According to John. A lot of people drank from that wine, which was of the best quality (John 2:9).
Someone might ask: “did that wine have alcohol?”. Yes, in Brazil, there’s a lot of a people who think that the wine consumed back then could be 100% alcohol-free. When everyone was speaking in their own native language, and yet everyone was understanding each other, someone asked if those people didn’t drink wine (Acts 2:13). That’s because, from an outsider’s point of view, a scene in which everyone is speaking a different language, while still managing to have an harmonious conversation, must be a prank. Ephesians 5:18 also says that we shouldn’t get “drunk” with wine, but it’s impossible to get drunk from drinking an alcohol-free beverage. That means that the wine back then had alcohol. Even if simple distillation was used, there would be no way, with the technology available back then, to fully isolate the alcohol that is present in a given amount of wine. Even if such method were to be employed, the wine wouldn’t lose all of it’s alcohol.
Last, but not least, wine is recommended by Paul in 1 Timothy 5:23, not to mention it’s also a mandatory element in the Lord’s Supper, which is a solemn christian ritual done in memory of Jesus’ sacrifice. So, the Bible doesn’t forbid wine, but actually encourages it’s responsible consumption. Your preacher is lying to you.
So, knowing that wine isn’t prohibited by the Bible, that wine is actually endorsed by the Bible and that wine is an alcoholic beverage, we can conclude that alcohol consumption isn’t sin, but, at most, you should avoid being drunk. Drink moderately. Are you happy now?
After writing this, I hope the readers who find my blog develop a more critical approach to the teaching given in the church they attend to. While that’s not an exclusively protestant problem (there’s a lot of gratuitous prohibitions among catholics too), remember that the requisites to be a prostestant preacher are really low, that’s why there’s so many of them. A lot of them never even read the Bible completely, not even once, while I read it completely three times already. And we know that faith sells. So, if you see your local pastor saying something fishy, at least look up online to see if what he says has biblical foundation. If he is quoting false references, admit to yourself that you are being fooled. Leave that church and go do something else.