Is Gluttony a Parallel to Drunkenness?
By Nathan Battey
Second, when people draw a parallel between drunkenness and gluttony they need to do so through Scripture. Christians should always ask for Scripture when discussing spiritual matters and reject any argument that is based solely on the wisdom of man (Colossians 3:17). The Bible simply does not draw a parallel between drunkenness and gluttony. None of the New Testament writers use the term “gluttony” and they certainly do not condemn it with the same zeal and regularity as they do drunkenness. The closest we come to seeing a prohibition against gluttony in the Bible is in Proverbs 23:20-21 / 28:7. My contention is not that gluttony must therefore be acceptable, but rather that it is not a Biblical parallel to the sin of drunkenness.
Third, Bible writers do not use an inceptive verb when speaking of gluttons as Paul did when speaking of drunkenness in 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8. Herein lies the major difference between the two: A Christian is allowed to eat and must eat (1 Corinthians 10:27) and does so without sinning; thus gluttony can only be classified as a sin of excess. On the other hand, Christians are never allowed to drink alcohol (1 Peter 5:8/ 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8) and thus the state of excess is never what is under consideration when speaking of. Gluttony refers to a state of excess while drunkenness refers to a process of losing sobriety; the two are not parallel in any way.
In conclusion, though people still “feel” or “believe” drunkenness always refers to a state of excess, God referred to it as a process that starts at the beginning (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8). Please think on these things.
Next Up: Does Romans 14 Authorize Christians To Drink Alcohol For Non-Medicinal Purposes?