Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Doctor's Orders”

Categories: GRAB BAG
     The common sleeping pills have their affect on the brain by binding to GABA receptors, potentiating a sedative effect.  Alcohol binds to the same receptors and produces the same effects.  If it is "okay" to use a prescribed sleeping pill, would it be equally okay to drink alcohol for the same reason?  I had a medical doctor tell me I could either take an Ambien or drink a glass of wine before bed, so this is a true concern for me.  Please advise.

Medical Matter

Dear Medical Matter,

Alcohol has always been a problem in society, and Christians are rightfully cautious about any connection with liquor.  This isn’t a new concern; Christians have always felt this way.  In 1 Tim 5:23, Paul had to specifically tell Timothy that using alcohol medicinally was okay.  This is the exact same scenario you are facing.  If your doctor prescribes alcohol medicinally, your situation would fall into the same category as 1 Tim 5:23.  Having said that, if your conscience offends you, you should choose alternate medical routes (after all, we are blessed to live in a time with so many medical options) because anything that isn’t done in faith is sinful (Rom 14:23).

Just to reiterate, this only pertains to medical prescriptions, not recreational or social drinking.