Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Monday, August 29, 2016


“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph. 5:18)

“Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” (1 Tim. 5:23)

Notice these three words: drunk, debauchery, and little. There is no prohibition of alcohol in the Scriptures, but there is a strong prohibition against drunkenness.

We have laws against drunk driving because of the danger to people. It is estimated that from 2008 to 2012, there were approximately 45,000 deaths related to drunk driving in the United States. (This is a low estimate. Some numbers are much higher.) In the same period, 4,000 American soldiers were killed in Iraq. Those soldiers were all volunteers for the danger. None of the 45,000 volunteered for the danger other than being on the streets or highways.

God’s prohibition is against drunkenness, not against drunk driving. He wants to stop debauchery. Debauchery is extreme indulgence in sensuality or seduction from virtue. The plural is orgies. An orgy is an excessive sexual indulgence or a sexual encounter involving many people.

Staying off the road when you are drunk is not a virtue. Just being drunk is sin.

I spent eleven years in the Navy. The five decades since then have been spent working with college kids. In my observation, drinking among these two groups of people (sailors and students) has normally meant getting drunk and having sex. Excess has been both the plan and the practice at parties. That is the definition of “party” for this group of people. God calls it sin.

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6:9-10)

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