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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..." (1 Cor 8:13). 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?
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 your 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 can become a habit forming drug for some in our society. Dr. A.C. Ivy said, ‘The drinking of alcohol beverages...[can] produce addiction, 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 a high percentage of traffic fatalities and near one-half of all suicides.
d) Alcohol is a catalyst to the breakup of marriages, impoverishment of families, and displacement of 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)