Church denominations differ in their views on alcohol from somewhat tolerant to completely restrictive. All of them view drunkenness as sinful and therefore clearly out of bounds. Reformed churches generally allow their members to follow their conscience and state that to block drinking goes beyond the bounds of Scripture. In contrast, churches in the Baptist and Holiness traditions see the effects so damaging and risks so great that they don’t allow drinking at all. The list below captures a list of position statements split into those allowing alcohol consumption in moderation and those prohibiting it from their members.
Alcohol allowed in moderation
- Christian Reformed Church position on alcohol (CRC): Abstinence from alcohol may be an appropriate moral response in particular situations, but it is not demanded by Scripture and therefore should not be demanded by the church
- Presbyterian Church in America (PCA): Scripture neither makes total abstinence a mark of holiness nor a universal requirement….Our churches and presbyteries must not make total abstinence a requirement for membership or office as a matter of principle; this would be to go beyond Scripture
- Orthodox Presbyterian Church: Moderate drinking is permitted in Scripture but drunkenness is sin (Gal. 5:19-21)….Since God is Lord of the conscience, the church may not declare something to be sin which has not been so declared by God. Christians may (not “must”) drink in moderation but may not drink immoderately (Phil. 4:5)
- Lutheran Church Missouri Synod: The Bible nowhere condemns the proper and responsible use (consumption) of alcoholic beverages, Church. Scripture does warn strongly and repeatedly against the abuse, misuse or excessive use of alcoholic beverages, and the Missouri Synod has also repeatedly warned against such dangers
Alcohol discouraged or prohibited
- Church of the Nazarene: Holy Scripture teaches that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. With loving regard for ourselves and others, we call our people to total abstinence from all intoxicants
- United Methodist position on alcohol: We affirm our long-standing support of abstinence from alcohol as a faithful witness to God’s liberating and redeeming love for persons
- Salvation Army: …members of The Salvation Army voluntarily refrain from the use of alcohol, standing in solidarity with those who suffer from its harm
- Southern Baptist: …(we) express our total opposition to the manufacturing, advertising, distributing, and consuming of alcoholic beverages
- Brethren: The Church of the Brethren has consistently and repeatedly stated its opposition to the manufacture, sale, distribution, and use of alcoholic beverages. We therefore recommend and urge Brethren to abstain from the manufacture, sale or use of alcoholic beverages
- Assemblies of God: …we urge all believers to avoid the Satanic tool of alcohol which destroys lives, damns souls, and blights society
If you’d like to see the issues summarized well, Piper lays they out clearly in his message on abstinence from alcohol and concludes that abstaining is recommended, but not required for membership.
I had some members of the Church of God Bloomingdale (Illinois), which is a part of the Church of God World Mission Society, visit my front door this morning. Here’s a quick summary of their heretical views in case you encounter them:
- They don’t believe in the Trinity (though they say they do), but say that the Father, Son and Spirit of different manifestations of God who is just taking different forms at different times in history (similar to the view of Oneness Pentecostals)
- They believe that a mother God exists who is named Jerusalem (based on a misreading of Galatians 4:22-26 and Revelation 21:2) and is the bride of the Father in Revelation 19:7. She provides life and salvation (because Revelation 22:17 references the bride giving the water of life which is necessary for salvation in John 4:10-14). They point to Genesis, where it says God created us in His image, male and female, implying the necessity of a female god.
- They claim to have secret knowledge about the second coming of Jesus (they believe he returned in the form of a Korean pastor named Ahn Sahng-hongand) the hidden message from the seven thunders of Revelation
- They require the keeping of the passover for salvation and hold to other Jewish feasts as well
Be warned. They are teaching a false message about an untrue Jesus as 2 Corinthians 11:4 warns of. For a more thorough summary, visit CARM on World Mission Society or the best source of additional detail Examining the World Mission Society Church of God.
Here’s another Bible survey video from The Bible Project. This one covers and overview of Romans in two parts
Romans chapters 1-4
Romans chapters 5-16
If you liked this one, view the Overview of Hebrews Video
This video from the Bible Project does a nice job of providing an brief (8 minute) overview of the Book of Hebrews.
The video breaks Hebrews into five sections:
- Angels and the Torah (chapters 1-2)
- Moses and the Promised Land (chapters 3-4)
- Priests and Melchizedek (chapters 5-7)
- Sacrifice and Covenant (chapters 8-10)
- Follow Great Models of Faith (chapters 11-13)
This video does a nice job of telling the story of the Old Testament in a five minute video.
One good method of testing your memorization of long Bible passages is to strip out most of the word in the verse and leave only the first letter. It looks like this:
He is the i______c of the i________ ______, the f_______ of a________ ________. (Colossians 1:15)
If you’d like to practice in this way, you can find some passages prepared here:
The book of Ephesians in a question and answer format in the same way as Questions Answered in Galatians and Questions Answered in Philippians. The first three chapters cover doctrine and the latter three cover life application.
- What we were like before Christ [came]? We were by nature children of wrath, dead in our trespasses and sins following the prince of the power of the air living in the passions of our flesh and carrying out the desires of the body and mind. We were separated from Christ, alienated from Israel, strangers to the covenants of promise and had no hope without God. (Ephesians 2:1-3, 11-12)
- What is our life like in Christ? In Jesus we are made alive, brought near by the blood of Christ, raised up and seated in heavenly places, sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, His dwelling place, blessed with every spiritual blessing, created for good works, holy and blameless before Him, redeemed through His blood, reconciled through the cross, forgiven of our trespasses and citizens and members of the household of God to access Him through the Spirit and to obtain an inheritance from Him (Ephesians 1:3-14, 2:4-22)
- What does Paul pray for? He gives thanks for the church and asks that it would have wisdom and the knowledge of God to know the hope that He has called them to. He prays that God would strengthen them in the power of His Spirit, that Christ would dwell in their hearts through faith, that they would comprehend the love of God and be filled with all of the fullness of Him. (Ephesians 1:15-23, 3:14-21)
- What mystery does Paul reveal? The mystery hidden for ages and revealed to the apostles by the Spirit is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs of God’s kingdom with the Jews (Ephesians 3:1-9)
- What is the church’s role? The church is to make known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places the wisdom of God realized in Jesus. It is to build itself up by speaking the truth in love and by growing into Jesus as the head (Ephesians 3:10-13, 4:15-16)
- What offices did God give to the church? God gave apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers (Ephesians 4:11)
- Why did He provide these offices? He gave them to equip the saints for the work of ministry and build up the body to maturity, so that it won’t be deceived (Ephesians 4:12-14)
- How should we live our life? We are to live our life in a manner worthy of God’s calling by putting off our old self and replacing it with the new self through a renewed mind to walk in the light as imitators of God. We should try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord, walk in love, not be foolish, not get drunk with wine, not be angry and do not sin. We must make the best use of our time, speak truth with our neighbors, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, address one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs and submit to one another out of reverence to Christ (Ephesians 4:2-3, 22-27; 5:1-2, 8b-10, 15-21; 6:18b)
- How should we not live? We are not to be like or partner with non-Christians, who are futile in mind, darkened in understanding, alienated from God, callous, sensual and greedy. We must not steal, speak corruptly or foolishly, be bitter, wrathful, angry, clamorous, slandering, malicious, sexually immoral, impure or covetous (Ephesians 4:17-21, 4:28-31; 5:3-8a, 11-14a)
- What will happen to those who disobey God? His wrath will come upon them (Ephesians 5:6)
- How do we protect ourselves from the devil? We must be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might by putting on the whole armor of God including the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, Gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit and praying at all times in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-18a)
- How should we relate to other Christians? We should be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving and speak the truth in love to each other (Ephesians 4:15-16, 25-27, 32)
- How should we treat our spouse? Wives should respect their husbands and submit to them in everything as to the Lord. Likewise, husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it (Ephesians 5:22-33)
- How should we relate to our children? We shouldn’t provoke them to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesian 6:4)
- How should children relate to parents? They should obey their parents in the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-3)
- How should we relate to employers/employees? Workers should serve their employers from a sincere heart as they would the Lord knowing that He will reward their work. Employers should not threaten workers knowing that have a heavenly Master who will judge how they treated their workers. (Ephesians 6:5-9)