Question

After turning 18 recently I have been troubled by the question of whether Christians should drink alcohol? And should they associate themselves with non-Christians in a pub or nightclub? 

Answer

As to your question, I will try to answer it looking to a couple of different issues. First, specifically should we (Christians) associate ourselves with those who are in the specific situation of drinking (alcohol) parties or other social circumstances where alcohol is involved? Then, are there situations where we should associate with those who are lost and for what purpose should we have in these situations?

Before I begin, for information about whether we as Christians should participate in drinking alcohol and to what extent, you can look to a related question that appears on this page. the question relates to wine and the meaning of it in the Bible.

Now, should we associate with others at drinking parties or other situations where one of the main features is participation in drinking alcoholics beverages? The Scriptures are quite clear in this matter, although we may not like the answer. As Peter was writing his first letter, we read the following words,

1PE 4:1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
1PE 4:2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
1PE 4:3 For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousals, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.
1PE 4:4 And in all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excess of dissipation, and they malign you;
1PE 4:5 but they shall give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

Here, Peter refers to Jesus’ life and how that is set forth as an example to us. Jesus suffered for doing what was right and we should be willing to do what is right, although we may suffer in the same way.

Then, he draws a contrast between the Christian life and the former life of sin that included not only drunkenness, but also drinking parties. Now, that we are Christians, we no longer participate in these things.

The reaction of the world is twofold, they malign us and they are surprised that we do not participate with them.

Secondly, are there times when we should associate with those in the world and if so, under what conditions should they be. Yes, we have responsibility to seek our the lost and to have a righteous influence upon them in our dealings with them. However, to gain this influence, we are not required to participate or to approve of sin that might be committed. See 1 Cor. 5:9-13, John 17:13-17, Matt. 5:13-16.

By Gary Hunt

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