Tuesday, June 9, 2009

To Drink or Not to Drink?

The Word of God seems pretty clear in its stance on alcohol consumption. It speaks plainly of the sin of drunkenness and its consequences, but also describes the moderate use of alcohol as acceptable. The Pentecostal tradition I'm familiar with has vilified any and all consumption with alcohol, and actually that was more a product of the cultural climate of the early 1900's that gave rise to many of our prominent charismatic denominations. Remember, the formative years of most Pentecostal denominations coincided with the rise of the Prohibition movement, which I'm sure contributed to its stance.

Being staunchly opposed to drinking, I never thought I'd be the one to defend the practice, but too many Christians automatically assume that having a drink = not being sober. It also kills me when saints proudly declare "I don't drink", then they proceed to gorge themselves on mountains of food full of fat, salt, & sugar certain to bring more health issues than alcohol ever could! So it's OK to eat yourself to death, which Christians have been doing for YEARS, but heaven forbid someone has a drink!

Biblically, we know that scripture allows for alcohol consumption, but we should also know that:

1) Evidence is pretty clear that the wine of that day was not nearly as potent as what we find now in distilled liquors. Think about it, parties in those days lasted around 3 days (wedding at Cana), while ours last around 3 hours. If they really drank like we did of the same alcohol content, they all would've died fairly quickly.

2) Wine was a more common drink due to the poor quality of water typically available in Biblical days.

3) Both moderation and concern for the weaknesses of the brethren are scriptural keys to approaching the issue. (I Corinthians 8:9-13)

Even for those who feel liberated to drink, you still should consider your witness to the world (where and how you drink), concern for those believers who are weaker (recently delivered from addiction), and respect for the ministry God has placed you in. In other words, If you truly believe God has placed you under a particular leadership or tradition, you should submit to their authority in disputable matters. (Romans 14)

elder todd

1 comment:

  1. As a relgious orthodox Jew - I like to drink wine only from the Kiddush on Shabbat.