Should a Preacher Drink?

Posted: January 9, 2014 in Personal Evangelism

It seems that church is about face a new problem. With all the recent liberal attitudes toward drinking wine, and drinking in moderation, and knowing the sinfulness of man, church will be facing a new ministerial issues. Do we really think that a man can master alcohol? Can a man be master over sin? Of course he cannot. It is like saying “he can dabble in just a little pornography, or just a little gambling. Eventually the sin will become master over the man. Sin always advances in small steps.

Surveys, taken by pastors in recent months reveal that pastors are hooked on pornography. Some have even admitted they had watched or looked at porn just minutes before stepping into the pulpit to preach. Again, let me rephrase, knowing the sinfulness and weakness of man, do we really think drinking wine or fermented drink will not affect the man of God?

We know now found surveys, that there are some preachers standing in the pulpit on Sunday mornings who are struggling with sexual addiction. It would not be incorrect to say that some congregations are listening to a Pastor or Lead Pastor whose mind was set on pornographic images and not on God.

Now throw in the wine or alcohol issue. How long will it be before a pastor steps into the pulpit to preach who is intoxicated? Maybe that has already happened and his congregation is unaware of his struggle, his sin of drinking. Can a man master fermented drink?

In most cases, no one who started out to consume wine, beer, or any kind of alcohol with the mindset of becoming a drunkard. No one takes up drinking saying “in two or three years I will be a stinking drunk. I will lose my job, my wife, and my family. I will bring shame on myself, my family and my God.”

So why would anyone want to dabble in consuming fermented drink? I grew up in a culture of “social drinkers and partiers.” Consuming wine, beer, and alcohol at parties, weddings, birthdays, after church on Easter Sunday, pretty much at all social gatherings, was common. I was getting drunk by the time I was in middle school. All I had to do was sneak a drink here or there. Or I just snuck a can or two or three or more out of the coolers packed with beer. So who was master over who?

As the famous words of the sports announcers go. “Come on man!” Who is kidding who! Recently at an Annual meeting for one Baptist Convention there was an emphasis on pastors who struggle with depression. People use alcohol to escape their problems. Alcohol is a mind alerting substance, they try to check out by getting intoxicated. Pastors are under extreme spiritual warfare. The temptations and pressures are a weekly if not a daily situation for some pastors. Their problems could lead them to use them as an excuse to just have one drink.

I had several counseling classes during my seminary training and since then. Could there be an underlying problem why someone would argue that Jesus turned water into wine? I used to work for a large automobile company. The pressures of the jobs and the culture among the hourly workers led many to start drinking and abusing alcohol. Usually, when we got into a conversation as to why they drank, they would say, “Jesus turned water into wine!” They don’t know or follow the Jesus of the Bible.

We know that the God of the Old Testament cautions against drinking alcohol and fermented drink. There are over one hundred verses that deal with becoming intoxicated.

There is a great book published in the late 1800’s entitled” Bible Wines or the Laws of Fermentation and Wines of the Ancients [Paperback] Rev William Patton (Author). Patton got together with a Hebrew Scholar and a Greek Scholar and they address the words used in the original languages, the context how they are used and their intent.

What is the bottom line? The God of the Old Testament cautions and warns against getting drunk, drinking fermented drink. Too many verses to mention here. A book in the works on What the Bible says about drinking.

No one approaches consuming alcohol, fermented drink with the attitude that they will become a drunkard, lose their job, wife, family and life. Yes, fermented drink was used for medical purposes in the Old Testament. Why? Because they didn’t have tranquilizers. Proverbs says to give it to deeply grieving or distressed people. It means someone is administering it to a person who is ill or emotionally distressed. If you feel the need to drink or get drunk, to escape reality you mostly need to speak with a biblical counselor. You need help and not from a bottle or some other chemical mind altering substance.

I agree there are many sins that people commit. But that does not mean we use other people sins as an excuse or justify our sins. With the intent of the heart we make bad decisions or good ones. God cautions us about drinking in the Old Testament. By the way, the God in the New Testament did not change His mind. He is still the same God.

In the New Testament, there is one verse that is blatantly against drinking. As a New Testament Greek Student I translated the verse with my professor’s totally in agreement. Ephesians 5:18, Don’t even take the first drink of alcohol/fermented drink with will eventually lead to getting drunk and control your life, but instead keep on allowing yourself to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. (A literal translation from the New Testament Greek).

I think God’s Word in clear on the matter. Pastor’s needs to be led by the Spirit of God not by spirits found in a bottle.

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