Biblical Leadership Traits - Not Addicted to Wine

Masters Men: Leadership

Biblical Leadership Traits

Not Addicted to Wine

1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7; 1 Timothy 3:8



“Not addicted to wine” is a translation of the negative (μὴ) plus the word - pa,roinoj. Literally the idea is: not someone who sits long beside (para) the wine (oinoj). The term appears only these two times.

However, similar language is employed to lay out the requirement for deacons to not be “addicted to much wine” (μὴ οἴνῳ πολλῷ προσέχοντας, 1 Timothy 3:8). The term “addicted” is the word for focusing attention on something – caring for something – literally it is having toward. Thus the idea of careful consideration or occupy yourself with something. Do you know individuals who are, though not drunkards are overly fond of a good glass of wine? On the other hand, it does say “much” wine rather than just “wine.”

Also, women are expected to not be ‘enslaved to much wine” (μὴ οἴνῳ πολλῷ δεδουλωμένας, -Titus 2:3). Apparently, even though the New Testament doesn’t prohibit the use of alcohol, the abuse of alcohol was a live issue at the very beginning of the church.

One might argue that this term conveys the idea that the elder is to have no association with wine at all (not alongside it). However attractive this might be to someone like me who advocates the wisdom of practicing total abstinence, I don’t think it stands up under honest exegesis Impairment is clearly the issue. An over fascination with or fondness for alcoholic drink might also be the issue (1 Timothy 3:8). In fact, one can be dependent on beverage alcohol without being addicted to it or without becoming drunk.

See my paper, The Christian and Alcoholic Drink (p 5-6) under the Contemporary Issues tabfor a fuller discussion and for a defense of my total abstinence practice.


At the risk of asking the obvious, why do you think this is such an important trait for leaders in Christ’s church? How about for fathers?

1 Corinthians 6:12 ¶ All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Can alcohol master us even if we are not drunkards?

What questions would you ask a man in order to determine whether he was “addicted to wine”?

Read the paper, The Christian and Alcoholic Drink. Write a brief review/response.

State your practice regarding drinking. Write out how you came to the conclusion that this is the best practice for you. Explain your thought process and rationale. If married, does your wife agree?

Regardless of your practice regarding the use of alcohol as a drink, what impact might there be upon your children or grandchildren?

© Copyright. Joseph Flatt. 2018. All rights reserved. May be used for educational purposes without written permission but with a citation to this source.