Some Christians favor the use of alcoholic beverages in moderation, whereas other believers insist on total abstinence. Some believe it is possible to drink alcoholic beverages without damaging their Christian testimonies, and others believe the only safe rule is to completely stay away from strong drink.
As a nation, little of what we say or do is based on the Word of God. We have rejected God’s counsel in government, business, schools and in the family; and we are paying the price. Will we fail to recognize that God has the first and last word? As Christians, we ought to see the alternatives clearly, pray and then speak out as those who understand and are committed to the will of God.
Although widely scattered, the majority of tragic happenings all had a common cause — drinking alcoholic beverages. These tragedies take place 24 hours of every day across the nation. Forces outside the church, such as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) and Students Against Drunk Drivers (SADD), rise to quench the tide of useless deaths by alcohol abuse.
The Reasons for The Liquor Problem
First, some people like the thrills that come with drinking, and nothing, including tragedy, will make them give it up. Second, our nation gives alcohol its unholy place because of our insatiable lust for profit. Readers Digest states that “retail sales of alcoholic beverage in one recent year totaled $223.2 billion. From that our government claimed $6.4 billion in federal, state and local taxes. Money over people!
The liquor industry, along with many moralists, joins in a persuasive chorus: “If people would only learn to drink sensibly, there would be no liquor problem.” However, the very nature of alcohol is to weaken the will to drink in moderation. Alcohol is no respecter of persons. It can touch and destroy you or someone you love.
Observers and recent newscasts tell us that although per capita consumption of alcohol (beer, wine, vodka, gin and whiskey) has leveled off in recent years, more young people are becoming heavy drinkers, and more women are drinking now than in the past. Reports are stating that even moderate drinking by pregnant women can and will damage an unborn baby’s brain for life.
The Remedy for The
In the face of facts like these, what should be the Christian’s view concerning social drinking? We must remember that a person becomes a Christian believer only by repentance of sin and faith that Jesus Christ can save your soul. Faith in Christ makes us new creations with new goals and standards. The believer will want to abstain and restrict himself to please the Lord who saved him.
There are four basic reasons that all should voluntarily abstain from strong drink:
• The Bible proclaims that abstinence is a sound position and a solid footing. The holy, heavenly Father required total abstinence for those in close relationship with Him. Leviticus 10:9 forbids the use of wine to priests who ministered in the tabernacle. Wine was forbidden to those under special vows to God as Nazarites (Num. 6:3). Even the “little wine for the stomach’s sake” of I Tim. 5:23 refers to medicinal purposes and that was also sweet, unfermented wine.
Paul writes, “Let us walk honestly (or decently), as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness… but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh.” (Rom. 13:13-14; I Peter 1:15-16).
• The role and character of alcohol in our modern day. Liquor today is the partner of excess and evil. One cannot drink without giving endorsement to a baneful custom and a conscienceless enterprise. It is unthinkable that a Christian or moral person should contribute to an industry that deals in thousands of deaths, misery and the total ruin of countless lives. “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (I Thess. 5:22). One can never argue that drinking is a harmless custom when literally millions are alcoholics. We need to read II Cor. 6:14-15.
• Drinking is harmful to the body. Thomas Edison, the inventor, said: “To put alcohol in the body is like putting sand on the bearings of an engine. It does not belong.” Shakespeare wrote it this way, “Alcohol is a poison that men take into the mouth to steal away the brain.” Brain cells die when alcohol is taken into the bloodstream. Heart, liver and kidneys are also permanently affected.
• Abstain for the sake of others, especially those who may be influenced by the example — children and teenagers. Moody Monthly declares, “8 out of every 12 social drinkers succeed as moderate drinkers, but four others will fail, and one of them will drop off the precipice of addiction.”
It seems clear that the only safe principle is total abstinence from alcoholic beverages in any form. In light of the extreme cost, in terms of deaths, property and health, alcohol is a luxury we cannot afford. If you wish to be high, let Jesus, God’s Son, lift you up: “ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (I Peter 1:8).
Recommended websites and readings: PacHills.com; gricetrack.net; Addictions: A Banquet in the Grace by Ed Welch; and God is For the Alcoholic by Bernard Palmer.