The Opposite of Self – Control / Discipline
Is it a Sin for a Pastor to Drink Alcohol?
As we Biblically examine the sin of indulgence. It is paramount for God’s Leaders because of their influence on the direction and guidance they give to God’s Family. Their position Ups the responsibility from just being a Christian and the difficulty of dealing with this sin, but the wide influence it may have on weaker Christians.
Gods Leaders / Pastors / Evangelists / Teachers
A pastor is simply a shepherd to the flock of the church of Jesus Christ. He is a gift of God given by Jesus Christ to the church. And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers. ( Ephesians 4:11) AMP.
- Evangelist / Preachers / Missionaries
Alcohol / Substance Abuse
Alcohol is a type of drug that when consumed alters the normal function of the body. Alcohol is the ingredient found in wine, beer, or spirits that makes one drunk. Alcohol is obtained when yeast ferments the sugars in fruits, grains, or vegetables. Vodka is made from sugars in potatoes while wine is made from the sugars in grapes. Many of the items that are in the substance category affect / Judgement and Decision Making.
Today many Substances are available for people to our release, escape, peer pressure. Unfortunately, many of those are addictive, and even designed by manufacturers to be addictive to reassure repeat sales. Some of those today are
- Alcohol / Beer / Spirits
- Cigarettes Smoking
- Marijuana Smoking
- Hard Drugs – Cocaine – LSD – Illegal Drugs
- Medicine abuse – can become addicting
- Vaping today with Nicotine
- Even Sugar is addicting – Research shows that the craving for sugar – is 8 times as addictive as cocaine.
Personal Experience from Young Preacher
When I was in Preacher Training School, we were invited to a party. They had scheduled a partyfor Older School Graduates. It was a fine dinner and being in school, any great meal was fantastic.
I was maybe 26 years old, been raised going to church all my life. One of the graduating students was a very large man. Very Large. I was young and inexperienced. I was polite, but the Preacher got up to encourage and give us an inspiring message. The only thing I could remember, that Man was so large, his pants looked like they would burst. He was wearing a suit jacket, and it was so tight that the buttons were stretched so tight I thought they would pop. Like the High Priest Eli. (1 Samuel 4:18)
I realize that food and eating can be very consumming. Most people that are struggling with that would give anything if they could slim down
- Anual Billion Dollar Industry
- All the Diet Industry
- Weight Watchers
- Diet Books
- Stomach surgeries
But from a leadership Perspective – It is important that Leaders show self-control. A mastery of the Flesh, by the Spirit. Satan uses the flesh to try to control us and drifts us away from God’s Path.
What Does the Bible Say About Alcohol Consumption?
In the entire Bible, there is no place that the word of God encourages the consumption of wine or alcohol. The Bible strongly discourages its consumption. These are some of the Bible verses that discourage alcohol consumption.
Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink, ( Isaiah 5:22)
For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.( Proverbs 23:21)
The Only Place in the entire Bible that I know of that speaks of it in and encouraging way is where Paul encourages Timothy to take a little for his stomachs sake. We are suppossing for medicinal purposes. Water Cleanliness and purification not being what it is today. (1 Timothy 5:23)
Should servants of God like a Pastors, rulers or Kings get drunk?
It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Nor for princes intoxicating drink;( Proverbs 31:4).
When Leadership indulges in behavior that does not inspire, lead and direct their followers. Jesus is our Pattern and it is he who we should follow. But God’s Church is a family and he has set standard that help insure that His Family Earthly leaders are of high respect. Worthy Uplifting Lives that people can be encouraged to follow.
From your position as a sheep, what is your impression of leaders that cannot control themselves? Does that inspire you to listen, to follow,?
The Effect of Noah the Servant of God Drinking Wine.
And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.
But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. Then he said:
“Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren. “And he said: “Blessed be the Lord, The God of Shem, And may Canaan be his servant.( Genesis 9: 20-26). From this act of alcohol consumption, Noah pronounces a curse to Canaan.
Remember this story comes just immediately after God had saved Noah with his family from the floods and after establishing a covenant with him.
I don’t know why Noah felt like he had was off duty and he had already been used by God to deliver his family from the flood. That he could now get drunk. Servants of God should not think that when they are not serving in a church that they are off duty. Being God’s Leaders is a calling. It is a way of life.
It is not to say that some can falter, we can all men can, many have, but then the Christian, especially God’s leader picks themselves back up and gets back on the path, prayerfully wiser.
A story is told of a boy who while traveling with his dad in an airplane turned to his dad and asked him . “ Dad, why are pastors not allowed to drink alcohol?”. His dad was amazed and wondered why his son had asked him such a question.
Before he could answer the question the father asked the son. “ Son , why do you think pilots are not allowed to drink alcohol ?” The son quickly answered, “ dad, I know the answer, it is because they are always on duty”. The dad smiled back at his son and said “ Son, you are very right, also pastors are not allowed to drink alcohol because they are always on duty”.
Pastors should realize that they are not only Pastors when they are in the church with the congregation or when they are serving at the pulpit.
What can Entice a Pastor to Drink Alcohol?.
Any Pastor that thinks that he is allowed to drink alcohol or wine whether in secret or public has not fully understood his identity in Christ Jesus. Believers in Christ Jesus and Pastors should realize that;
- Depression – There is a lot of Stress Pastoring God’s Children – They love to squabble
- Peer Pressure – People he associates with are social substance users.
- Financial Stress – Preachers historically is low paid.
- Marital / Family Stresses
- Church Politics
Reasons to Soberness
We are New Creatures in Christ Jesus.
There is power when one understands their identity. A story is given of a certain boy who while walking in the nearby forest saw a certain baby animal that resembled his puppies. He quickly carried the animal home and enclosed it with his puppies in the kennel.
Days passed and he noticed that this puppy was very unique and different from the others. It grew fast and developed strong muscles as compared to the other puppies.
After a keen study the young man realized that the puppy was a cub that has strayed from it’s mother. This cub had grown in the midst of puppies and funny enough it sometimes imitated some characters of the dogs. It could try to bark as the other puppies and could eat cooked food instead of hunting it’s own prey. Moreover it had also gotten used to an enclosed environment of the homestead instead of the wilderness.
One day while the young boy was cleaning the kennel and had let his puppies out, this young cub got a chance to escape and went straight to the nearby forest. After a while the cub noticed other animals that resembled itself. It was glad to join the company of fellow lions although after being rejected for a while.
The new cub experienced a very new environment. It could see her fellow Cubs hunting game for themselves, it realized how the other wild animals were afraid of seeing them and they could freeze and quickly flee. Instead of barking like a dog it could roar and bring fear to the other animals.
This new experience exited this cub, it vowed never again to go back to the kennel. It had discovered that it was not created as a dog but the king of the jungle. This cub had discovered it’s a new identity and didn’t hesitate to walk in the new identity.
Pastors and those who have believed in Jesus Christ should be quick to identify their new identity. They are new creations in Christ Jesus. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. ( 2 Corinthians 5:17).
We are Children of the Light.
All eyes are usually focused on the character of men of God and especially Pastors. Any slight mistake they make is seen and criticized by a lot of people. Pastors should take this positively and realize that the society and the fellow believers are expecting much from them character-wise.
This exactly what Jesus Christ referred to when he was teaching the multitude. Pastors as believers are light in the Lord and should conduct themselves as people of the light.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. ( Mathew 5:14-16).
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light ( Ephesians 5:8)
Our Bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?( 1 Corinthians 6:19).
The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity of God. Just as God is holy, when He allows the Holy Spirit to indwell a believer He demands a believer to live a holy life, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” ( 1 Peter 1:16)
God doesn’t approve of the consumption of alcohol because it destroys the body which is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Instead of a believer or Pastor being filled with wine he should allow to be filled by the Holy Spirit.
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, ( Ephesians 5:18)
When God speaks about the use of wine or alcohol in believers, it is not a request but a command. And whoever goes against this command of God will be destroyed.
If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.( 1 Corinthians 3:17)
This leaves a Pastor or a believer with no choice but to obey God’s command and not to indulge in drinking alcohol or wine.
We are Vessels of God.
No one desires to be served in a dirty vessel. This means that however much the food is delicious and has been prepared in a clean environment, the state of the vessel used to serve the food matters a lot.
When we present our bodies as living sacrifices, they should be holy. This is what Apostle Paul instructs the church in Rome.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.( Romans 12:1).
Pastors and all believers should present the members of their bodies to God as instruments of righteousness. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.( Romans 6:13)
For God to use any Pastor or believer effectively in His service they must first clean themselves from every form of wickedness including drinking alcohol. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. ( 2 Timothy 2:20-21).
We Are Not Our Own.
A believer and a Pastor should realize that they are not of their own. They were bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which is God’s. ( 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20)
.All believers spiritually have been crucified with Christ Jesus and they should be dead to sin. Apostle Paul knows this very well and that is to why he can boldly declare that;
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. ( Galatians 2:20).
Although the flesh may come in with its selfish passions and desires of drinking wine or alcohol one should realize that, And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.( Galatians 5:24).
We are Christ Ambassadors.
According to the English dictionary, the definition of an ambassador is a minister of the highest rank sent to a foreign country to represent there his sovereign or country.
We all know that we don’t belong to this world and so we are not of this world. Jesus Christ prayed for His disciples like this. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. ( John 17: 15-16)
Therefore every believer and Pastor is an ambassador of Jesus Christ according to the scriptures. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.( 2 Corinthians 5:20).
One and major characteristic of an ambassador is that he doesn’t represent his interests but the interests of the nation that send him. The Bible defines the state of nonbelievers before receiving Jesus Christ as dead.
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), ( Ephesians 2:1-5).
When we believe in Jesus Christ we have life. We should now serve God and not our passions and desires in this new life.
and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.( 2 Corinthians 5:15).
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.( Romans 6:4)
We are Slaves to Righteousness
Drinking wine or alcohol is the act of unrighteousness. Any Pastor that would want to start or continue to consume alcohol is a slave to sin. Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. ( Romans 6:6).
Instead now all believers should be slaves to righteousness But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. ( Romans 6: 17:18)
One characteristic of a slave is that he doesn’t do what he desires but what the master commands. And this is how the Master commands about the consumption of alcohol or wine in the Holy Scriptures.
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, ( Ephesians 5:18)
Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. ( Romans 13:13-14)
“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. ( Luke 21:34)
For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,( Titus 1:7).
envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. ( Galatians 5:21)
Finally we can conclude this matter by saying that it is a sin for a Pastor to drink alcohol according to the commandments of the Master.
It is Very Important for God’s Leaders that they be People of Self-Control / Discipline. This I think would be the guiding principle. Our Home is in Heaven. Our Earthly Tent, is a Temporary Dwelling until God gives our New Home to dwell in