Can You Drink Alcohol or Not?

Supposed contradiction and verses:

Is it ok to drink alcohol or not? 1st Timothy 5:23 says yes, but Proverbs 23:31-34 says no? Is there a contradiction? 

1 Timothy 5:23

Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.

Proverbs 23:31-34

31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.


   Let’s first look at the text of Timothy. Paul tells him to no longer drink water, but rather wine for his stomach. It is apparent that Timothy did not drink alcohol due to the fact that Paul is suggesting it to him. Notice also the word “little”. He is not told to get sloppy drunk, get high, get a buzz, wake up with a hang-over, or to over indulge in any sense. Why? Because as the verse in Proverbs shows us, that is sinful. It was to be used as medicinal purposes in this case, for Timothy, as can be done for others. Some also, would drink wine, as was the custom of the day, and still is in many countries, with a meal, at bed-time, or so forth. It is when one decides to have a couple, or twelve, and let the stupidity that comes with that ensue. Many people have tried to justify drinking by speaking of Jesus turning water into wine, or even the passage above in Timothy. The fact remains, a SMALL amount is okay, indulgence in it is not.

   Look closely at this Proverb and what is says happens to those who drink for a high. It clouds perception, causes one to speak perverted things, makes one go after strange women (one who is not your wife). It has the bite of a snake and the sting of an adder. Yep, it leads many a man and women into iniquity. There is no contradiction!

In His Grace,

            Mike Harris


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