Christian Social Drinking

The Christian Influence

As a Christian I must consider the welfare of others (Rom 14:15,20)

So often, it seems, we put the right or wrong of something down to a 'Thou shall' or 'Thou shall not'. However, when it comes down to "laws" to live by, Christ said they must stem from the two part Golden Rule: to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength... and, to love others as yourself.

In pursuing this, the apostle Paul said, "If meat should cause my brother to stumble.. I will never again eat meat...". He had every right to eat meat, but due to the questionable practise back then of reselling sacrificed meat in the local markets as 'specially blessed meat", and the fact Christians were eating it, though it violated their conscience (whatever is not from faith is sin), Paul was willing to give up eating meat, full-stop!... That's a love decision, not a 'Thou shall not' decision.

With that in mind, I am forced to consider the following:

If I drink, am I not encouraging others to drink also? Considering the many dangers of alcohol, especially within modern society, is that the loving thing to do? consider the following:

  • It has been said by the experts, ‘The most crucial drink in the making of a drunkard is the first one, not the last.’
  • According to Dr. Robert Fleming, there is no possible way to eliminate the risk of addiction if a person drinks.
  • Mark 9:42, ‘And whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.

Although we have freedom in Christ, we are not free from the law of love, or from doing those things which help promote the gospel (1 Cor 9:19-23; Rom 14:13-20).

A sobering question

What has been your experience with alcohol?

  • I've lost a loved one or friend through an alcohol related road accident.
  • I've experienced violence because of alcohol.
  • I struggle with alcoholism.
  • My spouse struggles with alcholism.
  • I am a victim of rape due to alcohol.
  • My parents divorce involved an alcohol problem.
  • My child sufferers deformity due to alcahol during pregnancy
  • I've done things I seriously regret while under the influence of alcohol.
See results without voting

What is your attitude?

Read Rom 14:5

Are you fully persuaded about the correctness of your behavior in regard to alcohol?

Do you do everything for the gospels sake?

Does drinking affect you, or others you are with in a negative way?

Do you seek Gods glory in regards to alcohol? (1 Cor 6:20)

‘Resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brothers way.’ (Rom 14:13)

What is your example doing for both Christians and non-Christians?

What are some of the fruits of drinking?

Alcohol has become a catalyst for physical, mental & spiritual rot within modern society.

Therefore, we should not be basing our decision on whether to drink on some abstract understanding of past cultures or greater weight of biblical authority (the "it's my biblical right" attitude), but instead on the FRUIT of alcohol consumption in today's context, as presented to us unarguably within our culture. Things are no longer as they once were. Alcohol is now mass—MASS—produced, readily available in large quantities and commercialised into a reason for living.

Therefore, from OUR modern cultural perspective, we should consider the following:

a) Alcohol is a habit forming drug which leads to addiction, drunkenness, and alcoholism. Dr. A.C. Ivy said, ‘The drinking of alcohol beverages... produces an addiction, or a mental & physical ‘need’ or craving for alcohol.’

b) Alcohol influences many social, physical, mental, emotional, and psychological problems.

c) Alcohol is a contributing factor in over 70% of all traffic fatalities and near one-half of all suicides.

d) Alcohol breaks up marriages, impoverishes families, displaces children from their homes.

e) Alcohol causes congenital malformations and mental defects in children born to mothers who drank during pregnancy.

f) Alcohol lowers moral resistance. (1 Thess 5:6-8)

g) In America alone, alcohol is involved in over 40% of violent deaths.

h) Alcohol costs the nation many -MANY- millions annually in medical care and jail maintenance’s, hundreds of millions in accidents, thousands of millions in wage losses.

i) Alcohol contributes to child abuse, molestation, and neglect.

j) And the list could go on and on... and on...

ASK YOURSELF - Would you drink or support alcohol if it was destroying the life of someone you know and love?

Further points to consider

  • ‘Evidence indicates that there is no guarantee of a ‘safe’ level of drinking, no absolute threshold below which alcohol fails to damage or destroy groups of cells in the brain or other vital organs.’ (Readers Digest)
  • In a pamphlet distributed by the American Automobile association, it is contended; ‘The effects of alcohol begin with the first drink.... the first effects are impairment of judgment and reason, and weakening of self-control and normal inhibitions.’
  • Read 1 Cor 6:19-20, 1 Pet 2:11. Is it our goal as Christians to be aiming for those things which will change us for the better, or the worse?

1 Cor 10:23-24

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbour. (NAS)

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23 comments

Mystique1957 profile image

Mystique1957 6 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

My dearest friend...

So sorry I have given you the back seat, considering I do admire your writing, but here I am, my friend! Thank God I never had serious issues with alcohol, perhaps some naughty attitudes when I was a teenager, but I do not approve of drunkenness. I drink, more socially and not very often. So I can prize myself as an "alcohol free influenced person". This is serious stuff and it is imperative people do not take this lightly!

Very good pointers here! Quality Hub!

Thumbs up! Rated up and Stumbled!

Warmest regards and infinite eternal blessings,

Al


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

I think alcohol is okay - in moderation. Though-provoking hub!


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Very profound and thought provoking hub. That said, my prism is not that of a Christian's, and so it is quite possible that any thoughts I may offer on the topic may not be necessarily relevant in the context of the question that was posed here.

But I think ALL things are addicting. ALL things in excess can be detrimental, debilitating, or all consuming. But that would include religion as well, and I'm certain that God, should he exist, would never make any assertions to that end that one could be "drunk on religion."

Balance is a word I use often. Moderation is a good one in this context as well. I think if one drinks moderately there is no harm. If one drinks to appreciate the spirits rather than to appreciate the effects of the spirits then there is no harm, no foul.

Of course, I also come at this with a bit of a Charleton Heston mentality. You see, I love my beer. You quite literally would have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands. :)


parrster profile image

parrster 6 years ago from Oz Author

~Mystique - You must be one of the most positive and encouraging people I've ever (not) met. Thank you so much for stopping by to read and gracing me with your time and thoughts.

God Bless

~Habee - Glad you found the hub thought provoking. Although I think the term 'moderation' maybe part of the problem on this particular issue, I respect your stance. Thanks for stopping by.

~Spingboard - my man, although you and I definitely view life through different goggles, I really like your comments (I've seen them scattered throughout the various hubs). You are honest, thoughtful and your comments well written. I appreciate both you and your time in leaving your thoughts.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Thank you parrster. I appreciate that. I'm glad to share and happy to be welcome.


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada

A teaching that is always needed in as many different forms as possible. I also agree with Springboard and appreciate his comments. Anything can be addictive and unhealthy if taken to excess. Thanks for taking the time and effort for presenting this to us.

Blessings

UlrikeGrace


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

Brilliantly presented hub on a very serious issue.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Your article is well written. I like you and your work but in this case you cannot be right. I'll tell you why. To suggest that at the height of a wedding feast in 30AD, or 3000BC, or today, that what Jesus made caused the host to exclaim, "This is the best grape juice ever!" is patently ridiculous. It is well documented that the Jews of those days drank wine—not grape juice—regularly. No offense intended.


parrster profile image

parrster 6 years ago from Oz Author

~UlrikeGrace~

As always, love hearing from you and appreciate your feedback.

~Itakins~

Thank you. I too think this is a serious subject.

~James A Watkins~

No offence taken, though my ego feels bruised :)

I will consider what you have said before responding as you are right, it does sound odd (I can't bring myself to say ridiculous yet). Thanks for the honest feedback.


parrster profile image

parrster 6 years ago from Oz Author

~James~

Finally got back to it. I have amended my hub, hopefully it will better explain my current stand on this topic now. Thx


Allan McGregor profile image

Allan McGregor 6 years ago from South Lanarkshire

Excellent hub, well researched and presented.

In the John 2:10 debate many seem to ignore the logical implication of the Master of the Feast's observation that:

"Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now."

The logical implication is that when enough potent wine has been drunk so that the guests' critical faculties have been sufficiently impaired by mild intoxication, then the poorer quality wine is rolled out. That means that the better quality wine is also at least as potent.

Another point I question is the citation of Classical Greek and Roman commentators whose opinions are not necessarily relevant in a discussion of Biblical scriptures written by men whose paradigm was predominantly Hebrew. The question is not what a Greek scholar considered a good wine but what God considers a good wine.

In Luke 5:39 Jesus tells us:

"And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, 'The old is good.'"

Think 'old', think 'vintage'. As you rightly observe, without the antioxidants and other chemicals we have today, grape juice naturally ferments due to the bloom on the skin of the fruit. So 'old wine' was unavoidably alcoholic.

But the clincher for me is the Torah in which Yahweh himself commends alcohol. If he is a liar, throw your Bible on the fire! - because Scripture is left with no integrity and we are left with no foundation for our faith.

Speaking of the celebration of his annual high holy days, God says this:

'Then you shall give it for silver, and bind up the silver in your hand. And you shall go to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose.

And you shall pay the silver for whatever your soul desires, for oxen, or for sheep, or for WINE, or for FERMENTED drink, or for whatever your soul desires. And you shall eat there before Yahweh your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.' (Deuteronomy 14:25-26)

Both the words for 'wine' (yayin) and 'fermented drink' (shekar) are unequivocal Hebrew terms for intoxicating liquor. So either Deuteronomy is a forgery, or God doesn't know what he's talking about, or there are a whole lot of folks out there who think they are holier than he is.

But then, as Jesus complained to the Pharisees of his own day:

'...John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon'. The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a wine drinker...' (Matthew 11:18-19)


parrster profile image

parrster 6 years ago from Oz Author

@Allan ~ thanks so much for your feedback Allen. It has reinforced my view that our decision cannot be based on a Thou Shall or Thou Shall Not, but on the golden rule of what would be must profitable for others. If Alcohol were a stumbling block for just one person, I couldn't drink it in good conscience; it is a stumbling block for millions. I can't help wonder why any Christian would want to drink. Maybe they haven't seen enough of the suffering it exacerbates.


CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

sorry - i cant agree with all you say- but I do think that moderation is the key!


parrster profile image

parrster 5 years ago from Oz Author

@CASE1WORKER ~ no need to apologise, I can't even get my wife to agree with everything I say, so what hope have I with the rest of the world :)

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.


ruffridyer 5 years ago from Dayton, ohio

A very well researched hub. I agree that God does not want us to drink alcohol. There are far too many negative effects. My sister-in-law brings this up at every family holiday, "Jesus made wine at the wedding feast." She informs me while pouring her class of brandy. It seems like that is the greatest miracle Jesus has ever done in her mind.


parrster profile image

parrster 5 years ago from Oz Author

@ruffridyer ~ Interesting what you say about your sister. I guess sometimes we can all be guilty of an interpretation of convenience. That's why I emphasis throughout this hub the need to look at the heart of Christ message and purpose, patterning ourselves not as much on what he did but what he said. That is not to say that Christ's words and actions were at odds, but that he lived in a different time, place, culture, therefore it is his words that must dictate how we respond to our own place, time and culture, and not just his actions. He himself said that his followers would do greater things than even he did. Thanks for reading and commenting.


docbruin profile image

docbruin 5 years ago from USA

Good hub parrster. I haven't drank alcohol in a long time, but I can safely say that when I did as a young man I did not experience greater purity in thought or action, better reasoning abilities, or an increase in common sense! Quite the opposite in fact! I agree that the term "moderation" is part of the problem today. It is too abstract a term, as each drinker is left to define "moderation" for themselves! Some people's "moderation" is far from moderate.


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 4 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

Great Hub, Parrster. It seems you covered everything. Very thought-provoking! Interestingly, I had a discussion about this very thing with a few of my friends not to long ago. We'd come to the conclusion that the bible is mostly against drunkeness, but since God turn water into wine... ^^

Again, great hub!


parrster profile image

parrster 4 years ago from Oz Author

Well hello their dear kaltopsyd, long-time-no-hear-from. So nice to see your again; How are you?

As this hub indicates -especially near the end- my personal opinion regarding the Christians attitude toward alcohol extends somewhat beyond simply Jesus' miracle. Especially in our day and age when alcohol has become such a terrible vice for so many. It really has become a curse. I can't support a curse.

It's a touchy topic, and I accept that many will disagree with me.

Appreciate you stopping by.


Rufus89 profile image

Rufus89 4 years ago from USA, New Mexico

Just reading this now. Very in depth. I enjoyed how you covered every translation of what "wine" meant. I agree that, in the end, whatever those verses were referring to, in these days, it's a completely different story. Alcohol ruins things. So, I don't drink, regardless of whether Jesus drank wine or grape juice.

Thanks for your hub, and for supporting it was actual quotes. That's not common, but it should be.


parrster profile image

parrster 4 years ago from Oz Author

Thanks for commenting Rufus.


North Wind profile image

North Wind 2 years ago from The World (for now)

I wonder about alcohol myself and I have found that the society I live in always over does everything and so alcohol is abused. I do not drink because I do not think that I need it and I also do not think that the people around me need to be encouraged to drink it either. I am not saying that drinking alcohol is wrong I simply trust my judgment better when I know that it is not in my system. I agree with your view as we are to be examples.


parrster profile image

parrster 2 years ago from Oz Author

Hi Northwind. Alcohol consumption for Christians is a personal decision, and I pass no judgement on those that do. This articles intent is to simply highlight how Christians important the Christian influence is. Sometimes we make decisions to do things because that's what everyone else is doing, or its the cultural norm. I tend to believe that if the cultural norm is seeding greater evil, then, as Christians, we need to take counter-cultural positions. In Australia, I think alcohol has become a catalyst for great evil and suffering. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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