“A bishop then must be…not given to wine” (1 Timothy 3:2,3 NKJV)
Calvin comments, “By the word πάροινον, which is here used, the Greeks denote not merely drunkenness, but any intemperance in guzzling wine.”
It is interesting that some preachers—mostly among the young “reformed” movement—champion study around a table in a beer joint, Bible in one hand and a brew in the other. That they are free to do that under grace, could be debated, but whether they are wise to do it is another matter. One might find this personally permissible (though I do not), yet to be publicly promoted is a dangerous thing.
In our culture, the intentionally hyped up levels of alcohol bring a particular danger. They are not to be compared to Jesus sitting with His disciples and drinking a small amount of wine with a meal—a wine that was the product of natural fermentation and then typically diluted with water. That was a different time and a different culture than where the pastor serves today in
America. Drinking the types of beverage alcohol
popular today is playing with fire—and many will be burned. You will not become a drunk if you never take
a drink—and the risk is not worth any kind of reward associated with frequenting
Even in twenty first century
who might indulge in booze, will be surprised to find a preacher doing so. It can needlessly damage your testimony, and
recklessly become a stumbling block to others.
There are simply too many other things to drink—flavored waters, teas,
coffees, sodas, and the like—which are safe and tasty to consume. When Paul said to Timothy, “No
longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your
frequent infirmities” (1
Tim 5:23), he was speaking to a “tee-totaler,” advocating that polluted water
could be treated with a little alcohol to purify it. Dave Miller’s article is helpful: https://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1208.
Alcohol never did one good thing for me prior to my conversion, but it did nearly destroy my life—and had my life ended then, Hell would have been my fate. I have no need of it now. In the course of ministry I have seen its horrible effects on too many people, and cannot justify even “social drinking.” The perils exceed any positives. The shepherd must lead his people to safe pastures instead of into risky places—by his actions and not only his speech.
Help us resist the tide of popular opinion and stay with a clear mind, focused vision, and steady gait as one who abstains from alcohol.
In the Name and for the Glory of Your Son,