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Is Underage Drinking A Sin?

Is underage drinking a sin? (Catholic)


The Christian community has long debated whether drinking alcoholic beverages is a sin, leading to much controversy.

This topic remains contentious and will likely continue to be so. Additionally, there are discussions surrounding the morality of underage consumption of wine or beer.

While the Bible does mention drinking, it does not explicitly label it as a sin.

In fact, the Bible describes several influential and respected figures who drank wine, some to the point of becoming drunk. However, the Bible does not address the issue of underage drinking.

Is underage drinking a sin?

Does alcohol consumption have spiritual implications?

These and more are what you will discover here.

The Bible’s stance on drinkingwhat does the bible say about drinking

It is crucial to state that the Bible didn’t outrightly condemn drinking.

There’s no portion of the Bible where it is categorically stated that one should not drink wine, beer, or any alcoholic drink, including young and old.

In fact, the Bible talks about how to use wine in some verses.

For example, the Bible recommends wine for celebrating and marking significant events.

We can see instances in Ecclesiastes 9:7; Psalm 104:14-15; Amos 9:14, etc.

The Bible also records Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding feast in Cana (John 2:1-11).

In 1 Timothy 5:23, the Bible records the Apostle Paul recommending wine to Timothy, who appeared sick and had stomach discomfort or pain. “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.” 

That verse proves that wine was used for merriment and had medicinal value in Bible days.

Certain types of wine were probably prepared to treat stomach pain and other forms of sickness.

The key word in Paul’s advice is “little.”

It shows that Paul understood the implication of consuming an excessive quantity of wine. However, there are alternatives to wine for the treatment of infirmities due to advanced medical technology, research, and medication now available at this present time.

Another vital point to note about the Bible’s position about drinking and other issues the Bible didn’t give final judgment on is that we must not be a stumbling block to believers.

That is, we must consider other people’s faith, especially those coming behind us, so our actions wouldn’t make them fall. (Romans 14:13)

It might be easy for you to drink moderately; however, a former alcoholic trying to break free from their bad habit might easily return to it if they see you doing it.

Therefore, although drinking might not be a sin, we must learn to avoid it and not to be the reason a weaker believer would stumble into sin.

Drinking, drunkenness, and moderationis it a sin to drink under 21

The Bible preaches moderation in all things (Proverbs 23:19-21).

Believers are admonished to practice self-control, especially when it comes to what we eat, including food.

There’s a thin line between being a foodie and a glutton.

Doing things in excess is a sin, so we must be cautious when consuming wine.

God’s Word warns us about drunkenness, which is the excessive consumption of alcohol or taking wine or any alcoholic beverage, no matter how little, till we lose control of ourselves(Ephesians 5:18, Proverbs 23:29-35).

The Bible went on to include drunkenness to the list of the things that will hinder someone from inheriting the kingdom of heaven (Galatians 5:21)

Underage drinking in the BibleIs underage drinking a sin

The Bible doesn’t give a specific warning about drinking, but it discusses how believers should interact with constituted authorities of a country or state.

God institutes and recognizes authorities (Romans 13:1).

Since God has instructed us to be subject to governing authorities, disobeying them is tantamount to disobeying God unless said laws are against God’s Word or would make one sin against God.

Part of the functions of the government is to create laws and enforce them.

Many countries have put in place laws prohibiting underage drinking and have stipulated legal age for alcohol consumption.

For example, 21 is the legal age for drinking in the United States, 16 in Austria, and 18 in several other countries.

Underage drinking is illegal and can result in fines, community service, or even jail time.

Anyone who disobeys this law is committing a sin unto God.

Therefore, underage drinkers and those who supply them with alcohol sin because they resist established authorities and, by extension, God (Romans 13:2).

READ MORE: Why is Matthew 17:21 missing or only a footnote in my Bible?

Dangers of underage drinkingis it a sin to drink alcohol under 21

This section is not for the underage alone but applies to everyone who consumes alcohol.

Drinking to the point of drunkenness can lead anyone to sin or become vulnerable to vices.

The Bible records two scenarios where people became drunk, and the aftermath was not good.

The first person was Noah.

He became so drunk that his cloth fell off his body.

Unfortunately, his son, Ham, saw his nakedness, and Noah cursed him. (Genesis 9:22-26)

The second person was Lot.

After losing everything to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, including his wife, he derived comfort from wine.

His two daughters knew about his love for wine, so they devised a plan to get him drunk and slept with him using the excuse that there were no men around to marry them and get them pregnant (Genesis 19:30-38)

READ MORE: Is hugging a sin in Christianity?

These are some of the dangers of drinking. Let’s see specific examples of how underage drinking can be disastrous.

Increased risk of accidents

Underage drinkers are more likely to be involved in accidents, such as car crashes, falls, and drownings. According to the data from NCBI, 36.6 percent of youth traffic fatalities involved alcohol.

Impaired judgmentwhat does god say about drinking

Alcohol can impair a person’s judgment, making it more likely for them to engage in risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex or driving under the influence.

Health risks

Alcohol can have several negative effects on the developing brain and body, including long-term effects such as liver damage and an increased risk of certain cancers.

Social problems

Underage drinking can lead to social problems, such as difficulty with relationships, problems in school or work, and a higher risk of developing a substance use disorder later in life.

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