American Council of Christian Churches
79th Annual Business Meeting, October 27, 2020
Resolution on Alcohol and the Church
From the early days of the movement, Fundamentalism largely has taught abstinence from alcoholic beverages.[i] However, like Evangelicals, some Fundamentalists are leaving their traditional, teetotaler position. We believe Fundamentalists should think twice before abandoning a position which was so strongly held by most of our fundamentalist forefathers.
The Bible warns Christians about the dangers of alcohol. Proverbs 20:1 declares, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” “Who hath woe?” Proverbs 23:29-30 asks, “who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.” Proverbs 23:33-35 lists specific sins committed by those under the influence of alcohol: “Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. ‘They have stricken me,’ shalt thou say, ‘and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.’”
Not only does the Bible give common results from the misuse of alcohol, but our society also testifies to the truthfulness of its words. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: “An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.”[ii] In addition to these 88,000 deaths, Mothers Against Drunk Driving notes that “in 2017, 10,874 people died in drunk-driving crashes—one every 48 minutes—and more than 300,000 were injured in drunk-driving crashes.”[iii]
DrugRehab.com likewise relates that “38.1 percent of people killed by homicide or law enforcement in 2013 tested positive for alcohol,” and “38.2 percent of people who died by suicide in 2013 tested positive for alcohol, according to data from the National Violent Death Reporting System.”[iv]
Statistics indicate that Americans consume too much alcohol. “In 2018, 26.45 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month.”[v] In other words, over 25 percent of the adults in the United States consume alcohol to excess on a regular basis.
Therefore, the American Council of Christian Churches, at its 79th Annual Business Meeting, October 27, 2020, urges Christians, churches, and fundamentalist organizations to consider, when contemplating a change in policy concerning alcohol, both the Bible’s strong warnings about alcohol and our society’s widespread abuse of alcohol. We as Christians need to heed the Apostle Paul’s admonition to “be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).
[i] https://www.britannica.com/topic/Christian-fundamentalism. The article notes: “Many fundamentalists do not smoke, drink alcoholic beverages, dance, or attend movies or plays. At most fundamentalist schools and institutes, these practices are strictly forbidden.”