After over 65 years of ministry, we have developed the top 27 questions people ask us so we would like to share these questions each week for our weekly blog and share the answers as a resource for you all to use in your ministry, churches, and family.
Top ? #21 What Does the Bible Teach about Alcohol and Drug Abuse?
Answer: The Bible describes our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are to treat our bodies with respect and we should do nothing intentionally that causes harm to them or will make them enslaved to chemical substances. The best advice for a Christian is to abstain from the use of alcohol and non-medicinal drugs.
The abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs in our society has been rampant for many years. The social costs of this epidemic of chemical dependence are tremendous. More than 75% of all people in America’s jails and prisons are there for drug-related offences. Likewise, the toll these destructive habits have on individuals’ lives and families is devastating.
The Bible speaks frequently about alcoholic drinks, primarily wine. The moderate drinking of wine is never forbidden in the Scriptures, however, there are numerous warnings against drunkenness and alcohol abuse.
Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. Proverbs 20:1
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18
The Bible says very little, if anything, about the use of narcotics, therefore we must base our conclusions regarding their use on principles rather than direct teaching on the subject.
Most non-medicinal drugs are illegal, and Christians are instructed to obey the law and respect governmental authority. For that reason alone we should abstain from the use of illicit drugs.
A more significant reason for us not to abuse drugs and alcohol is based on the principle that our bodies are considered the temple of the Holy Spirit. This is brought out by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 which says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
The damage which chemical substance abuse can do to a person’s mind and body is obvious. Likewise, we are told to have our minds set on Christ and spiritual things. When our thinking is clouded by the effects of drugs and alcohol we are unable to focus our attention properly on the Lord. This principle can be applied to a variety of other things besides drugs and alcohol. Tobacco, overeating, obsession with sports, lack of exercise all have harmful effects on our bodies and defile our bodies as temples of God’s Spirit.
The best way to avoid ever being caught up in a cycle of dependence on drugs and alcohol is to never start using either of them. While alcohol was commonly drunk because of a lack of pure water and even used as medicine (1 Timothy 5:23) during biblical times, today we have many better alternatives. Such uses are no longer necessary.
Please read the following verses: Proverbs 21:17; Proverbs 23:29-35; Genesis 9:20-24; Genesis 18:30-38.