First, Proverbs 23:31 says, "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red , when it giveth his colour in the cup , when it moveth itself aright."
So, to begin, God is telling us to refuse to look at wine when it is red, or "fermented." In other words: Liquor. Alcohol. He didn't say, "Drink not the wine when it red." He said, "LOOK NOT!" So, right off the bat, we automatically know the heart of God on the matter. Why, then, do many Christians find nothing wrong with alcohol of any kind?? My opinion? They don't want to give it up.
It amazes me that virtually every alcohol manufacturer shares the same beliefs of many of today's Christians. Alcohol manufacturers say: Drink responsibly! And, surprisingly, today's so-called Christians chant the same motto... Drink responsibly! Yeah, okay....
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
Jesus told us in Matthew 18:8-9 that it would be better for us to pluck out our eye or cut off our arm if it kept us from achieving eternal life. Why in the world would He, then, condone alcohol in anyone's life if it could ultimately lead him to eternal hell?? Simple. He wouldn't.
It would do us all well to search out the Scriptures when a question arises. For example, the word "wine." Sometimes it is a literal drink. Sometimes the Bible uses the word figuratively. In certain scriptures (i.e. Proverbs 20:1, Proverbs 23:30-31, Isaiah 5:22 to name a few) when it talks about "red wine" or "strong drink," it means fermented. In other words: Intoxication. Liquor. Alcohol.
Then in other passages, both in the OT and NT, wine means "squeezing" and "juicing." In other words: Juice!
Many use the argument, "Oh, Jesus drank wine when He changed water into wine." Yes He did. But what kind of wine do you think it was? Do you think a God who said in Habakkuk 2:15 "Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink...." would then GIVE any type of alcoholic drink to others? No. Not a chance. The same God who said, "Don't look at the wine when it is red" is NOT going to turn around and say, "You can take a sip every now and then." God will NEVER contradict His own Word, nor make Himself to be a liar.
"Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise."
I Corinthians 6:19-20
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
I Corinthians 3:16-17
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
Innumerable Christians claim their "Christian Liberty" when it comes to social drinking. In order to do that, they must turn their backs on Scripture. They say, "I'm no longer under the law, but under grace!" Let's not forget what Paul said about that...
"What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid."
"God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"
Using our "Christian Liberty" to down a glass of wine, beer, vodka or a martini is NOT the kind of liberty we have as the "separate" people of God. Those who claim "grace" to deliberately go against Scripture are those who only want to live as they please; instead of how God Almighty commands us to live. When we deem alcohol as our "right" we only end up hurting ourselves and, more heartbreaking, others as well. As one bold man once said, "'Sipping Saints' have given multitudes of people an excuse to drink." Let me take it one step further. Parents, you must remember that whatever you do in moderation your child will likely do in excess.
In closing, I have to say that it's a shame (but not surprising) that the Christians have to be convinced in this day and age that consuming alcohol is a sin. But as the world gets a better grip on the church, look for other sins to be labeled as mere stumbling blocks...meaning: it's not wrong unless you or someone else thinks it is.
"Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things."