Q. I’ve heard countless arguments from various Christians about not consuming alcohol. And, while I totally understand Christians choosing not to drink alcohol at all, the only verses in the Bible I can find regarding alcohol, is the sin of drunkenness. This, personally, isn’t an issue for me because I don’t drink alcohol at all. But, then there are those certain religious groups who say that even the consumption of caffeine (soda and coffee) is sinful.
Their argument is that we shouldn’t be putting anything into our bodies that alters our state of mind/being. Because our body is a temple, it should be left as pure as possible by avoiding caffeine and alcohol altogether. I don’t really agree with this, because I’m thinking this is more of a man made rule and not anything they’ve pulled from the Scriptures. When I try to tell these Christians that the only sin is drunkenness (as mentioned in the Bible), they’re adamant about the consumption of any of these drinks is sinful and we should stay away. Should I consider donating my coffee maker, or are these Christians placing their own meaning on certain scriptures?
A. You’re correct in saying that drinking is not a sin, but the Bible does speak against drunkenness. God allowed the Israelites to purchase wine and other fermented beverages for consumption during the fall feast with their tithe money (Deut. 14:22-26). And Jesus provided wine for the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11). Neither of these things could have happened if drinking alcoholic beverages was a sin.
The Bible does not speak specifically of beverages containing caffeine, but Jesus did say it’s not what goes into a person’s mouth that defiles them, but what comes out of their mouth (Matt. 15:11). And in Colossians 2:16 Paul said not to let anyone judge us by what we eat or drink.
Obviously, everyone has the right to decide what they will or will not eat or drink. But they don’t have the right to impose their opinions on anyone else, especially when they incorrectly use the Bible as their authority.