Question & Answer Forum

How much alcohol should a Christian drink before feeling that he has gone too far?

A simple answer is that a believer should avoid alcoholic drinking in a social setting. Drinking alcoholic beverages can become a habit and lead to drunkenness. The first time wine is mentioned in the scriptures is in connection with Noah, “And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent” (Genesis 9:21).

Drunkenness and impurity are associated, as wise King Solomon points out in Proverbs 23:29-35. Genesis 19:32 gives further evidence of this. Wine in itself is not condemned in scripture; however, it is clear that drunkenness is a very serious sin (I Corinthians 5:9).

Paul exhorts Timothy to “use a little wine” as a medicine, not a beverage. He limits the amount to “a little” (1 Timothy 5:23). “Be not drunk with wine, …but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

What about a Christian’s testimony before unbelievers to whom he has spoken about Christ when they see that believer drinking?

J. Abernathy


What should I do at work, at school, or in the neighborhood when I am asked to buy a raffle ticket or a lottery ticket to fund a good cause such as an injured child or a family who is out of work?

A Christian can answer, “I want to cheerfully help any good cause, but I don’t feel free before God to buy a raffle ticket or a lottery ticket. I will give you the price of the ticket for the good cause without getting the ticket.”

We read in Galatians 6:10, “As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto those who are of the household of faith.” Titus 3:1 teaches that we are to be “to be ready to every good work.” Doing good to others when we can, we will be a little like our Lord Jesus, “Who went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). One of the reasons why our Lord Jesus gave Himself for us is that we might be zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).

W. Gustafson


My business expects me to entertain clients for meals. At times they order alcoholic drinks. I feel as though I am paying for this although it comes out of an expense account. What should I do?

As a representative of your employer, you cannot dictate what a person may order from the menu in a restaurant unless your employer has made limitations. Your abstinence and your manner of conduct can often open an opportunity to explain why you do not take alcoholic beverages. Your paying – as a representative of your employer – is not an indication that you condone the practice. If, however, your work requires you to take clients out for the express purpose of visiting bars, clubs, or places of entertainment characterized by drinking or betting, you would be well advised to request to be relieved of this responsibility or to look for another job. You cannot maintain a clear testimony with this practice. “Let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that I they be not unfruitful” (Titus 3:14).

W. Oliver


How involved should a believer be in the political process? Should I give money to the religious right if it espouses my values?

Although God still overrules in government (Daniel 4:17,25, 32; 5:21; Proverbs 21:1) and those who govern are accountable to God who has ordained their office for the good of man (Romans 13:1, 2, 4, 6), the powers of darkness control world governments (Ephesians 6:12). Whether regenerate or unregenerate, those who govern serve in a government controlled by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19, “in the wicked one,” Darby). Governments are inevitably moving to conform to God’s purpose for Israel, yet the only means that God will use to overthrow and effectively redirect their power is based on redemption, for Judah’s Lion is the Redeemer-Lamb (Revelation 5:5,6,9). Neither protest against, participation in, nor power with-in government will arrest the tide of the mystery of lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:7, Darby). Are believers to be unconcerned about the course of evil in the world? The Bible clearly teaches our responsibility to evangelize the world and to pray for those who govern and for their impact (1 Timothy 2:2). Our testimony, both through what we are (salt, Matthew 5:13) and what we do (light by good works, Matthew 5:14-16), lends weight to the gospel (1 Peter 2:12), God’s only message of deliverance for man (John 8:36; Acts 26:18). The “responsibility” of citizens to vote or gain power in government is a human expedient, not a divine principle.

The only place where God’s government is recognized is the assembly, the house of God (1 Timothy 3:15 with Genesis 28:17). To participate in a government other than God’s, even by voluntary financial contributions, seems to question the sufficiency of God’s government.

D. Oliver