It is highly likely that you have heard of the strict teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses. You may know something about the organization, but are Jehovah's Witnesses actually allowed to drink alcohol? You will find out in this article.
Can the witnesses drink alcohol?
In general, this question can be answered with a “yes”, but there are exceptions, which will be discussed later in the text. The Bible says there is no sin in drinking alcohol in moderation. Wine is a gift from God that can make life more beautiful. Wine is also said to have medicinal uses. On their website jw.org, Jehovah's Witnesses state that Jesus Christ also drank wine when he came to earth.
Too much is too much: However, Jehovah's Witnesses warn against excessive alcohol consumption. This is condemned in the Bible. For example, the Bible says: “It impairs thinking and judgment” (Proverbs 23:29-35) or “Too much alcohol lowers one’s inhibitions and takes away the willpower to do what is right” (Hosea 4:11 ; Ephesians 5:18). Because Jehovah's Witnesses live strictly by what the Bible says, binge drinking is strictly forbidden. The website also provides a definition of what constitutes too much: someone has drunk too much alcohol when it could endanger themselves or others. According to the Bible, someone who shows disorientation or balance disorders, aggressive behavior or slurred speech is drunk.
When is alcohol not allowed to be drunk?
Here, too, the Jehovah's Witnesses argue based on the Bible. There are three situations in which not a drop should be drunk. First, “when others are offended” (Romans 14:21). There it says: “It is best not to eat meat, nor to drink wine, nor anything else that offends your brother.” Likewise, alcohol is not to be drunk “if it is against the law” (Romans 13 :1). The law does not necessarily mean the constitution. Specifically, the Bible passage reads: “Every person* should submit to the superior authorities*,
- for there is no authority that does not come from God.
- The existing authorities are by the order of God in their relative positions.
- “In addition, the consumption of alcohol is prohibited “if someone cannot control their alcohol consumption. It is imperative that those suffering from alcoholism or other problems related to alcohol abuse take drastic action (Matthew 5:29, 30).
Alcohol consumption is legal for Jehovah's Witnesses, but they must not overdo it. In this aspect, the organization has something in common with, for example, the Catholics. Judgment should not be adversely affected by alcohol consumption. In certain cases, Jehovah's Witnesses are not allowed to consume alcohol at all. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses are not allowed to incite their fellow human beings to also drink alcohol. The organization urges Witnesses who suffer from alcoholism or have other alcohol abuse problems to take drastic action to prevent it. Matthew verse 30 says, “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose a part of your body than for your whole body to end up in Gehenna.” The Scripture calls for people to remove their right hand and throw it away if it leads to evil.