Alcohol in the Church

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with Thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

1 Timothy 4:1-5 (New International Version)

My intent here is mostly to provide a bibliography. I'm only getting started, and there's not much here, yet, so watch for more interesting content in days to come...

My denomination and several other conservative Christian denominations have policies of total abstinence from alcohol. Aside from the fact that inventing arbitrary rules is more befitting Pharisees (and cults) than a church, a growing number of studies are linking moderate consumption of alcohol to positive health effects. I'm collecting links and references to here to provide a library of evidence for changing these policies.

Note that I am in no way advocating excessive drinking ("moderate" consumption is considered 1-2 drinks a day) or drunkenness. Excessive alcohol consumption is extremely detrimental to your health. Also, if you have a family history of alcoholism, "crave" drinks, or do not feel able to control your drinking habits, you should absolutely forgo any consumption whatsoever. Even if you don't struggle with alcohol, those around you may, so KNOW WHO YOU'RE DRINKING WITH, and act responsibly. In fact, I'm not really even advocating drinking here, per se; if you don't want to drink, don't. But don't judge those who do unless you're very certain of your moral authority to do so. (And then read Colossians 2:16 and guess again if you think you have that authority.)

Links to articles supporting moderation:

Biblical:

Medical:

Social:

The opposition: