John Calvin on Drinking Wine

If wine is a poison to the drunkard, does that mean we are to have an aversion to it?  Please, no.  We do not let that spoil the taste for us, for on the contrary, we delight in the taste of wine!”

Calvin enjoyed his share of wine.  While I’m something of a teetotaler, I’m reminded that the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17).  In other words, I dare not legislate for fellow believers in Christ.

Drunkenness is what Scripture condemns.

This entry was posted in Drinking Alcohol, John Calvin, Wine and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to John Calvin on Drinking Wine

  1. Simon says:

    All of creation is very good. Nothing is to be refused. Wine is one of the true joys of life.

  2. Nice quote – I just got a “good wine guide” today for my birthday, so I’m pleased to hear of Calvin’s approval!

  3. Lon says:

    free to… free not to…
    that’s one thing I really appreciate about Presbyterians: They make specific statements about not binding anyone’s conscience to laws/rules not explicitly taught by Scripture. (cf. Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XX, On Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience.

    I’m grateful for this since I came out of a pretty legalistic, pentecostal holiness background.

    • TC says:


      Enjoy, my friend. 😉


      Yes, the WCF and the Presbyterians got this one write. But I’m afraid other Christian denominations have not. It’s unfortunate.

  4. Colin says:

    Exactly. God’s good gift to us. And like many others of his gifts, one we can receive and enjoy with thankfullness, in moderation, using it in accordance with his instructions and guidance (i.e. avoid excess and drunkeness). Some of couse perhaps for medical reasons and perhaps because they realise a specific call on their lives, will abstain. and I know God will bless them too and not let the “lose out” on his plans for them.

    I am not teetotal and when I take a little something it is usually wine. So perhaps I might be a Calvinist of sorts!!!

  5. Jason says:

    Yay–I will be enjoying some brew with friends tonight. Glad to know Calvin, the arbiter of such matters, is behind me!

    • TC says:


      Yes, moderation in all things, they say. But it’s up to the individual, as I see it.


      Get yourself one of those “I Love Calvin” mugs or something like that… 😉

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