What is Whitewater’s position on the use of alcohol?
The clear teaching of the New Testament in regards to alcohol is that drinking to excess (leading to drunkenness) is a sin. The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:18 – “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Holy Spirit.” This is a command, not a suggestion. In the book of Romans 13:12-13, Paul writes, “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.” Paul lists drunkenness as a deed of darkness, not fitting for people who walk in the light of Christ. Paul also lists “drunkards” in I Corinthians 6:10 as some of those who will not inherit the kingdom of God. Consistently, the Bible condemns drunkenness and tells us not to do it.
However, the Bible does not come out and condemn drinking or consuming of alcohol in general. This is an important distinction. Jesus’ first recorded miracle was turning water to wine at a wedding feast in the town of Cana in John chapter 2. The Apostle Paul tells Timothy in I Timothy 5:23, to “stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” And Psalm 104:15 indicates that God provides “wine that gladdens the heart of man.” Yet, throughout human history the temptation to abuse alcohol has been great. Even righteous Noah in the Old Testament got drunk and suffered consequences as a result. We believe that what God gives us is good, but alcohol is an example of something God gave that man has abused and made harmful, addictive and evil.
With these thoughts in mind, the elders at WCCC believe that the consumption of alcohol is a personal choice to be made by individual Christians of legal age. Any consumption of alcohol must be done in moderation (not leading to drunkenness) and in accordance with the applicable laws of the land. As Christians, we are ambassadors of our Lord Jesus Christ and our behavior must reflect His Lordship of our lives. In regard to practical matters, alcoholic beverages are not permitted on the Whitewater Crossing Christian Church property at any time. In addition, no alcoholic beverages may be consumed at any youth or children’s activity sponsored by and/or officially attended by WCCC and its members.
We would encourage people to study Paul’s words in Romans 14 where he gives us principles regarding “disputable matters” such as drinking alcohol. The Biblical principles articulated in that passage include doing everything for the glory of God, not judging brothers or sisters in Christ on how to deal with this issue, and considering your brothers and sisters in your choice of actions.
It is better to deny yourself the freedom to drink for the sake of others than to indulge and hurt another Christian or the body of Christ as a whole.
Approved by the elders 1.19.10