Can’t I Drink Just A Little?


Many people, even Christians, will ask questions like: “Is it ok to drink just a little alcohol?”  Now, I cannot figure out what motivation a Christian would have for asking this (besides his or her own desire to practice drinking), But I would simply present a few thoughts on the matter.  One passage often cited to justify social drinking is a statement the apostle Paul wrote to young Timothy: “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments” (1 Timothy 5:23).  Let’s examine some facts about this text.

            First, it is evident by the phrase, “for your stomach and your frequent ailments” that young Timothy had some…well…frequent stomach ailments.  He was instructed to  drink not only water, but wine for his ailment.  It is probable that Timothy abstained completely from alcohol, or else Paul wouldn’t have needed to give him that advice.  He was told to use a “little wine,” not a large amount, just as you or I might take medication that contains a small dose of alcohol.  Of course, in Timothy’s day, the same medicine would not have been available.  It is certain that this small amount of alcohol was for a medicinal purpose, not a social purpose.  So, this passage in no way justifies the use of alcohol for recreational purposes.

            Another couple passages often misused in the defense of social drinking are  1 Timothy 3:3&8 and Titus 1:7.  Some people say that the phrase “not given to much wine” implies one may drink a little wine.  But if those people are consistent here are a few things that they would also have to say:

o       Ecclesiastes 7:17, “Do not be overly wicked” means its alright to be a little wicked!

o       Also, “do not let sin reign in your mortal body” (Rom. 6:12) means there is nothing wrong with sin, as long as it doesn’t take control of your life.

o       Peter warns Christians about an “excess of riot” (1 Pet. 4:4).  Would just a little rioting be alright?

As with all sin, there is a temptation to seek justification for “moderate” alcohol consumption.  There are just so many reasons not to drink that I can’t imagine any Christian standing up for such a behavior.  Do you advocate the drinking of alcohol?  If so, why?

 ----Darrell Powell