Friday, August 29, 2008

Should A Christian Drink Alcoholic Beverages?

One of my best friends, who I love and admire very much, commented on my last post and sort of challenged me to a debate on Christians drinking alcoholic beverages. Note: My last post was to show that if the gun control activists are so gung-ho about ending deaths by guns that they should ban alcoholic beverages too, as they cause as many deaths. It was not a treatise on Christians and drinking :-). But this one will be. I welcome comments, agreeing or not - though if someone is just plain hateful, I will delete their comment. For the sake of ease, I will use "drink, or drinking" to denote drinking alcoholic beverages.

So, should Christians drink? I say no. My friend says yes, but I don't believe that she does, she just has no problem with Christians doing it.

Of course the first thing people bring up is Jesus turning the water to wine. I really don't have a good reply for that - I will be honest. I have read that wine back then wasn't quite like it is today, also, since this was "new wine" it is possible it was a lot closer to being grape juice than what we know of as wine today. Who knows. It was Jesus' first miracle, and I can't see Him doing something that was going to lead to a bunch of drunks and all that goes along with people being drunk. If they had run out of wine that would make people drunk, I'd say they had had enough, so I could be wrong, but what Jesus made makes more sense to be more like grape juice.

Next up: a little wine for the stomach's sake. We don't need that today. With modern medicine, a lot containing alcohol, we don't need to imbibe wine - we can take an alka selzter or something to help our stomach.

That is it for the Bible and alcohol, other than to quote Proverbs 20: 1: Wine is a mocker,Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
Calling wine a mocker doesn't sound to me like the Bible has a great opinion of it.

All it takes to make an alcoholic is one drink. None of us know whether we could become an alcoholic until we start down that road, but if we abstain, our chances are pretty good that we won't become one :-).

Look at what is associated with drinking: ruined marriages, child and wife abuse. Men who spend their paycheck for booze and lets their family go hungry. Not to speak of liver disease.

I think the average Christian who says its ok to drink would secretly have feelings otherwise if they saw their pastor sitting at the bar drinking it up with his buddies, or saw him walking out of the store with a big case of beer. Or better yet, having a can of it at the pulpit to sip at instead of water - why not, if it is ok to drink it, why not do it in church? If it is wrong to drink it at church, is it really ok to imbibe at all?

I think the world would be a better place if everyone, not just Christians, didn't drink alcoholic beverages, but that is never going to happen. The apostle Paul said something to the effect that all things are legal for him, but not all things are wise - something like that. Alcohol may fall into that category. Just because the Bible doesn't come out and say it is 100% wrong, doesn't mean it is right. Gambling falls into that category. The Bible really doesn't say anything about it, but we believe it is wrong.

In closing, I think a church that believes alcohol is wrong has the right idea, and we can all be more like Christ by avoiding something that could destroy us in the end.


Cindy said...

I agree with you, sir Mark! I have come into contact with other Christians who believe that drinking wine is okay. But for me, it is better to stay far away from it. Better not to have that first sip, and maybe start liking it. So that's my opinion!