Wine Is A Mocker

Joe R. Price

Christians are being seduced by the world to engage in sinful practices. While this is not a new phenomenon, it acutely reminds us of the powerful enticement of sin and of the necessity to constantly protect ourselves against sin’s temptations (read 1 Cor 10:1-13; 1 Pet 5:8-9; Eph 6:10-18).

A case in point is social drinking. Both the practice of and the toleration of social drinking is gaining momentum among Christians. By “social” we mean both in the privacy of the home as well as in public. Christians can now be heard defending the occasional drink, not only in private conversation and practice, but even in Bible classes and from the pulpit.

God’s word has not changed. What Solomon wrote is still true: “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise” (Prov 20:1). When one compares the alcoholic content of “wine” (yayin) in Old Testament times to modern levels it becomes clear that today’s wines compare to “strong drink” (shekar) – that which is always condemned in the Scriptures. For instance, Levitical priests were commanded, “do not drink wine or strong drink (intoxicating drink, NKJV)” (Lev 10:9). Upon what possible Bible basis can a Christian (who is a priest under the new covenant of Christ) imbibe of intoxicating drink with Christ’s approval? (1 Pet 2:5, 9)

The gospel of Christ forbids drinking alcoholic beverage, whether a little or a lot, whether privately or publicly, whether occasionally or habitually, whether drunkenness or the consumption that leads to it. “Drunkenness, revelries and drinking parties” in 1 Peter 4:3 covers the entire spectrum of consumption levels as well as the indulgent revelry often associated with drinking alcoholic beverage (cf. Prov 23:29-35; Isa 5:11; 28:7-8; Gal 5:21).

Then there is the sinful example and worldly influence one exerts upon their children, friends, associates and fellow Christians when they drink (1 Pet 2:11-12; 1 Tim 4:12). What good work results from drinking alcohol (Eph 2:10)? How will drinking Christians convince their children not to drink?

It is past time for Christians to wake up to the truth that consuming alcoholic beverages is sin (Eph 5:14-18). It is past time for gospel preachers to reprove, rebuke and exhort the practice (2 Tim 4:2). It is past time for Christians to stop accommodating social drinking and start recognizing it for what it is: worldliness (1 Pet 4:2-4; 1 John 2:15-17).