A Biblical Perspective on Drinking Wine

E-mail Print PDF

tom-hermiz-shadowIt is very disturbing to see the growing number of Christians who see nothing wrong with drinking wine in moderation. They defend their position by pointing out that Jesus turned the water into wine at the marriage celebration in Cana. Without question in Bible days drinking wine was a common and acceptable practice. No one in their right mind would deny it.

What we need to understand about this ancient practice was that one could not drink the water without the risk of getting sick. It was the same situation I encountered when traveling in many third world countries. The minute I stepped off the plane I was warned, "don't drink the water." To have ignored this warning would have meant certain sickness. In these countries you had to make certain that the water had been boiled or drink a bottled soft drink.

In Bible days in order to purify the water, it would be mixed with the juice from grapes. The grape juice, or wine, served to disinfect or purify the water. The mixture was usually three or four parts water and one part wine. Thus, greatly reducing the impact of the wine. One could hardly drink enough of it to get drunk.

It is important to remember that there was no refrigeration in Bible days. The grape juice would ferment quickly in the heat of the Middle East climate. In order to avoid strong drink, which the Bible condemns, at times the mixture was even eight to one. The wine that New Testament believers were drinking was basically purified water. It was not an unsafe liquor.

To compare today's wine with the kind of wine they drank in the early church is ludicrous. There is no comparison. The wine one can purchase today has been fermented before it is ever bottled. The reality is there is no biblical foundation for drinking modern day alcoholic beverages of any kind.

More than likely some who read this article will disagree with the multitude of Bible scholars and historians who agree that in Bible days the grape juice was mixed with water. However, there is still no justification for Christians to drink wine. The Bible instructs us to avoid the very appearance of evil. We must also take into account our influence. By drinking alcoholic beverages you may cause your own loved ones to stumble and fall into alcoholism.

While preaching a camp meeting a man told me he greatly enjoyed going back to his cabin and relaxing with a cold beer. He couldn't see anything wrong with it as long as he drank in moderation.

I raised the question with him as to his influence over his family. Would they be inclined to say, "Daddy drinks so it must be alright." Suppose when they tried it they would be one of the millions who could not drink in moderation and they became an alcoholic?

A few days later he confessed to me that his wife and son had become alcoholics. Seeing the error of his ways he cleaned out his refrigerator and vowed he would never drink again.

When one observes the obvious excessive behaviors, addictions, and gluttony in our society today, it is foolish to even think about drinking wine. With modern day medications and purified water, it cannot be justified.

When I see the horrible impact of drinking on our society, I remain totally committed to remaining a 'teetotaler."

It is not necessary to drink wine in our world today. In light of its destructive and damnable affect my question is, "Why would any Bible believing Christian want to do it? Why!"

The CCCU Manual states clearly that the members of our churches must abstain from all use of alcoholic beverages. This position is biblical and rationale. May God give us the courage to never give in to the social drinking madness that is destroying so many lives?  

You are here: News CCCU News Editorials by Dr. Tom Hermiz A Biblical Perspective on Drinking Wine