The role of wine for the Christian

I unwittingly opened a Pandora's box in the Christian world with my last post, which included photos of chokeberries drying on our countertop, and a description of my husband's lovely Farmhouse Wines fermenting in our basement currently. I published a representative comment on yesterday's blog. I received six other similar comments, and so would like to take the time to post my position on wine. I believe wholeheartedly that Christians are free to consume alcoholic beverages in moderation. There are also plenty of examples in Scripture where wine in excess is damaging (for a summary of both the positive and negative references to alcohol in Scripture, read an excellent bulleted list here). Because I think we are more familiar with the arguments against the drinking of alcohol for Christians, I will summarize my reasons for supporting the consumption of alcohol (if desired) among Christians here:

I Timothy 5:23,
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.

In terms of moderation, God is also clear in His instruction: Phillipians 4:5, Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

How about the beauty and sensuality of this passage? Song of Solomon 8:2 I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.

Wine is also equated with blessing in the Old Testament: Deuteronomy 33:28, Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew.

It was used as both a drink offering to the one true God (Ex. 29:40 & Numbers 15:4-10) and to idols (Deut. 32:37-38). It was given in abundance (not just sips!) to the Jews when they were obedient (Hosea 2:22, Joel 2:19) and they were deprived of it as punishment (Isaiah 24:7).

It is supposed to make our hearts glad, as in Psalms 104:15, And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.

It was given to those who were suffering or in pain (Proverbs 31:6).

Most notably, Christ turned water into wine as His first miracle, probably at a rather indulgent wedding feast! (John 2)

Finally, my thoughts about the moderate consumption of wine blend with my overall view of how Christians today are to live their lives. The hallmark verse on this subject differentiates life under grace with life under the law: Galatians 5:1, Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.