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Studies & Actions of the General Assembly of
The Presbyterian Church in America

8th General Assembly (1980), 8-69, III, p. 98.

Alcohol, Beverage Use of

4a.       That Overture 11 [calling for the Assembly to adopt a position advocating total abstinence from Beverage use of alcohol] be answered in the negative.

Grounds:  The grounds for answering this Overture in the negative are that to adopt position of total abstinence would go beyond the requirements of scripture, (Deut. 5:32,33; Col. 2:20-23) and is contrary to the Westminster Confession of Faith, (Chapter 20, subparagraph 2), which forbid the binding of the conscience by the commands of men.


4b.       That the General Assembly adopt the following statement with regard to the issue of temperance:

In answering Overture No. 11 in the negative the General Assembly recognizes the problem of the abuse of alcoholic beverages in our society.  For this reason the General Assembly encourages local churches to:

(1)       Teach and counsel as to the sin involved in the intemperate or escapist use of any part of creation;

(2) Teach and counsel the kind of love and wisdom which may lead to individual decisions to curb or to refrain from the use of a particular aspect of the creation; and

(3)       Proclaim and embody the reality of the work of the Holy Spirit in the bond of vital fellowship within the body of Christ which is the biblical antidote to the intemperance and escapism of our day. (cf. Ephesians 5:18 in context.)


NOTE: See also Documents of Synod: Study Papers and Actions of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod - 1965-1982, Edited by Paul R. Gilchrist (Lookout Mountain, TN: Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod, 1982):
DS, pp. 19ff, “Beverage Use of Alcohol” 1977, 155th GS Minutes, pp. 126-141.
DS,  pp. 34ff, “Worldly Practices” 1971, 149th GS Minutes, pp. 72-82.