Derek Prince - Should Christians Drink Alcohol
This is an excerpt from: Pressures, Tests & Challenges
Somebody said to me a little while ago: If you want to know the best places to eat in any city, ask the pastors. I have to say that I a pretty legitimate comment. I don’t want to get involved in this, but I became seriously ill in 1990, 1991, with a disease which normally kills people. If you want to know the name of it, it’s subacute bacterial endocarditis. If you’re not a doctor it won’t mean much to you. But until they invented antibiotics it was fatal. And, it could have killed me.
As I was there in bed the very night before I was admitted to the hospital, I was asking the Lord - I wasn’t afraid of dying, but I had an intellectual problem - God - I believed in healing, I’ve preached healing, I’ve seen people healed, I’ve been healed myself - Why am I not healed? The Lord gave me a little overview of the way I’d been living for years as a minister. Never involved in sexual immorality, never involved in drunkenness, never misappropriating funds, but very carnal. Living as if this world were all there is. My definition of carnality is living as if there’s no future world. God showed me how He hated carnality. He gave me this text: Jacob I have loved, Esau I have hated. Esau is the scriptural pattern of the carnal man. That has changed my life, thank God I survived. I think the Lord spared me because I was willing to learn my lesson. Ruth and I quoted a Scripture. The Lord has chastened me severely, but He has not given me over to death.
That was true in my case. I want to say that I was living a respectable minister’s life. I could tell you the ministers that I was associated with their names you would all know. We were all basically living the same way. I’m not judging anybody but myself. But, we were in many ways extremely carnal. I had another experience. I didn’t intend to tell this but I think God wants me to. I do not believe that Christians are prohibited from drinking wine. It may shock you, but I believe Jesus drank wine. And certainly Paul had recommended Timothy to do the same. Don’t get controversial with me, because I’m going to say it in a way that will set your mind at rest.
About September of last year Ruth and I were staying in a hotel in Eilat where we’d gone just to get away from the pressures of ministry in Jerusalem. I had drunk maybe two or three glasses of wine. I was perfectly sober. But about 2:00 am I was awakened with a sense of pressure on my brain. The word came to me stroke. Thank God I knew something about spiritual warfare, because I said, You spirit of stroke, I refuse you. I’m not submitted to you, you have no power over me, no claims against me, And it lifted. Then I got out of bed to go to the bathroom and it took me three attempts to get out of the bed. When I began to walk to the bathroom I could not walk steadily. I had to hold on to the furniture to get there. The next day as I meditated on that, I concluded that, having drunk that much wine, had exposed my brain to this spirit of stroke. And I made up my mind, I tell people I have a new diet. It’s a Biblical diet: my food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work. And for me the emphasis now was 'finish His work'. I’ve been in the Lord’s service fifty years and I believe I’m in His will, but I haven’t finished His work. I made up my mind if this would ever come between me and finishing His work, I’ll never touch wine again. I’ve lived by that.
Now please understand I’m not preaching against drinking wine, because you can be just as wrong on the other side with all your legalism. I mean, I’ve been a Pentecostal long enough to know what legalism is! And in actual fact, I think it was partly rebelling against legalism that tipped me over on the other side. See, the pathway that leads to life, is a straight and narrow way. And there are ditches on either side. One side is legalism and you can fall into that ditch. Then you struggle out of that ditch and if you’re not careful you fall in the opposite ditch, which is self indulgence or carnality. We have to walk between the two. Anyhow, this is very real to me that this unfaithful pastor or leader became involved in drinking. And not merely drinking, but what is very important drinking with the wrong company, drinking with the drunkards.