Question:

The church of Christ uses Colossians 2:16 to teach against Sabbath-keeping and dietary laws. But the same verse says to not let anyone judge us regarding what we drink as well. This New Testament verse proves the drinking of alcohol is not a sin.

Answer:

"When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day -- things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ" (Colossians 2:13-17).

Why did you conclude that "drink" in this passage refers to alcoholic beverages? I could claim that Paul should not judge anyone who drinks water or tomato juice, but to do so would be adding something that is not in the passage. A claim that it could be a reference to something is not proof that it is such a reference.

The topic at hand was the removal of the Law of Moses which came to an end with the death of Jesus on the cross. The Gentiles were not to allow another to demand that aspects of that Old Law should be kept. Paul gives several examples:

  • food
  • drink
  • festivals
  • new moon
  • Sabbath days

 

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