Howdy, faithful readers! This week, I’m pushed to touch on the topic of “Drinking,” an issue that I feel that some Christians- myself included, avoid. The question as to whether it is okay for Christians to drink alcohol or not is such a controversial subject, that can spawn strife between Christians. This is a subject that if not debated with wisdom, can bring an end to friendships. It isn’t a secret anymore that some Christians today- church leaders and ministers included, engage in this act. It is so difficult to find a Christian youth today who doesn’t drink alcohol either in secret or in the open. I’ve heard from so many Christians that drinking in of itself isn’t a sin, as long as one does not get drunk, or drink too much. Some have also said that the wine in Biblical times is still the same wine that is being consumed today.
People underestimate the dangers of alcohol consumption. Many do not know that it is as addictive as many of those dangerous drugs out there. It slowly places a grip on one’s life for so long without one knowing. A friend of mine recently told me that because I don’t drink, she can’t go out with me to any social gathering because I’ll bore her. The fact that you have to depend on alcohol to have fun or feel alive depicts the pretty sad state that you’re in. Dependence on alcohol to relax after a stressful week or a brief rough period tells of an addiction problem that you’re having.
Some people think that drinking alcohol makes them more of an adult or validates them in a way. This thinking is just plain wrong and disrespectful to your Creator. Your worth comes from Christ, and not from the alcohol you drink, as some might suggest. Your true identity is found in Christ, so let no one tell you otherwise. Though the Bible doesn’t openly say that drinking alcohol is a sin, we were told of the dangers that come with it. Let us not forget that our bodies are the temple of the Almighty God. 1 Corinthians 3: 17 says that “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (NLT)
No one becomes a drunkard overnight, it is a step by step process. Not every drunk starts out to become drunks. And this is what the devil uses to keep people in bondage, and far away from God. Let’s look at this example- Assuming you have a significant other who you really cherish. Would you feel relaxed if I took that significant other, pecked her on her cheek and lavished her with some romantic compliments that made you uncomfortable? And imagine I now followed that peck with another peck on the other cheek? I mean, it’s not like I’m going to make any sexual move on her, so what’s the problem? Well, there’s definitely a problem: You shouldn’t desire to come close to a sin barrier even though you don’t actually sin. Alcohol consumption isn’t any different in this situation. You can’t say to yourself that “I want to drink today, but I’m not going to get drunk, so what’s the issue!” The issue here is your desire to be like those who drink in the first instance. The Holy Spirit will never prompt you to go to a bar and grab a beer or some wine with your friends that drink, that I can promise you.
Alcohol has the tendency to deceive and corrupt any individual. No one knows if they can control it or if it will control them. So many commercials these days warn against drinking and driving, but say that just a “little” is alright. But who is to gauge what is ‘little’ and what is ‘much’? Alcohol affects people differently. While it takes an ounce of alcohol to intoxicate one individual, it might not be the same for another individual. People react to alcohol consumption differently. If one is wise, the warnings that were given in Proverbs 20:1 would be taken seriously. “Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.” (NLT)
It is true that many unbelievers think that a believer should not drink. Unbelievers have higher standards for Christians than some Christians have for themselves, which is pretty worrying. We as believers are supposed to be standard-bearers for Christ, propagating His kingdom wherever we go and in whatever we do, and yet, I find that some Christians are not raising that standard enough. We are to live for Christ, not for ourselves. And living for Christ does demand that we make so many changes to our lives. Christ didn’t die for us to allow unbelievers dictate the way we live for Him. “He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” 2 Corinthians 5:15 (NLT)
As I wrote in my previous blog post, our lives as Christians, are being scrutinized every time, and it would be a shame if a believer were to cause an unbeliever to fall. The possibility that an unbeliever or anyone else would be offended because of one’s drinking should be enough reason to do away with alcohol. Apostle Paul set the standard for us when he told the believers in Corinth that he was willing to do away with meat if it causes another believer to stumble. If Apostle Paul was willing to do away with meat (which is less dangerous to the health than alcohol), we as believers should be willing to give up alcohol (that causes more harm to the body.)
So, to answer the question about if it is right for Christians to drink – No, I do not think it is right. This post wasn’t written to condemn anyone, but to hopefully change the views of some Christians that think it is okay to drink “occasionally.” We each have our own individual struggle. No one is perfect. In fact, I still have some struggles that I pray to God to deliver me from. But for those that struggle with alcohol, and are genuinely willing to quit, the grace of God is still available to set you free from this bondage. Keep fighting, don’t give in. You shall overcome!
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