To those of you who call yourselves Born-again Christians, followers of Jesus, Christ followers…
as the bible instructs, as the Apostle Paul asserts and as Jesus commands us to and those of us living a life that bears proof that we are different from the rest of the world, as a Born-again Christian I submit to you this … “Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice—alive, holy, and pleasing to God—which is your reasonable service. 2 Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-3
In other words, commit to live as God has asked us to, to live and exist in your slice the world, but follow God’s precepts and not the world’s ways. To live in such a way that would allow those who aren’t following scripture’s guidelines (Christian and non-Christian alike) to wonder “wow, what makes them tick… why are they so different?” We cannot be different in every single thought, action or response, however, we can and must be the opposite of the norm in our culture in so many areas clearly defined in scripture as “sin or things not good for us” that there is clarity and proof of a difference!
First: Let me state that this post is directed to those whom I know and call themselves Christians and Christians I don’t know, who drink alcohol either a little or a lot, daily, occasionally or rarely at all.
- This IS NOT a blanket rebuke of alcohol in and of itself, so please read the entire post before you conclude my thoughts, or reply in disagreement regarding this blog entry!
Second: Christian or not, I don’t believe it is a sin or unhealthy to drink alcohol unless there are certain factors in place for instance; you drink to always get drunk, drink every day drunk or not, binge drink to excess, have a medical condition to where you should not drink at all or have an addictive nature to name a few.
Third: To be clear, this post is mainly regarding the topic of the Christian and alcohol and how we are viewed by other Christians and the secular world in regards to being seen drinking, discussing it in public or at church (because I’ve heard the revelry & stories of it at church) or sharing about it on social media. I know many do not hold my same view … hopefully, that will change.
~I borrowed this next statement from ~ http://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/bible-verses-about-drinking-alcohol/ Thank you, please don’t sue me. ~it states partially, what I’m trying to say in short, very well. “Drinking alcohol is a very hot topic among Christians that has been argued and discussed for thousands of years. God warns us to not be drunk and describes certain situations where someone should not drink, but the Bible never says that alcohol is wrong (I stated the same). Since the Bible doesn’t absolutely forbid drinking alcohol, whether or not someone should drink is a personal decision to make for yourself.” I will add however, “trying out if you like to drink or not” can lead to negative consequences for no one knows how their body and mind will react or whether or not they will become addicted to it or not… God speed.
~ I have known in the past and know people in my life now that drink alcohol moderately, don’t exhibit any signs of having any known problems of addiction or negative side effects be they physical or emotional. These people can be satisfied with a drink say in the evening or a few drinks over the weekend and there is no excess or binge drinking that occurs and I draw no issue with this light or moderate use of alcohol. It is common knowledge that the consumption of alcohol in moderation can have health benefits and can be a nice way for someone to relax on occasion and is small in quantities.
Over the past 8 years, my wife and I have noticed that the casual attitude, discussion in person or posting on social media about having drinks together and “hey, look, so and so brought this 12 pack or case of beer to our event” or “out for and evening of drinks with the guys or girls in my group” has become a regularity and apparently of no big deal as if one simply brought a side dish or dessert to the picnic!
~ You may ask what gives me the right or why does he think he can speak with any authority on this matter? Well, I’ll begin by saying I am a former alcoholic (a beer-a-holic) and often battle and loose when it comes to wanting even just one drink. I took my first drink of beer when I was in junior high at about age 13 years of age. From there it got to binge/party drinking, getting drunk before high school and progressed from there to the point of becoming an alcoholic (again, preferred choice of damage was beer) to the point that I couldn’t go a day without beer by the age of about 25. unfortunately
After I went cold turkey in February of 1998, I wish that I would never have had one bit of a desire to have another drink, but it haunts me to this day. Many Christians I know seem unaware of “if your brother or sister has a weakness in an area and they don’t to avoid that activity around that brother or sister” (loose paraphrase Romans 14:15-21) and sometimes it bothers me and is hard to watch them drink around me and sometimes it is hard and I want to drink with them. To be fair, not all of whom I speak know my history so I do not draw an issue with them.
There are times when I get an urge and I don’t have a drink and there are times, infrequently, that I do have an urge and I will have one (not hard alcohol btw…) for instance a strawberry margarita with Mexican food. But just one and then I’m done and I don’t post about it… I believe it is a private matter as long as it’s responsibly, you don’t have anything to hide and believe it is between you, your spouse if married and God.
My drinking contained and brought with it a few types of abuse. Addiction over years plus short and long periods of binge drinking ranging from days, weeks or even months. All these caused numerous problems in my life that seeped into the lives of my family and other relationships. Drinking, especially when it becomes a problem, is no respecter of person and never just effects you! So, that is why I am speaking out and my hope in writing this is that by God’s grace that someone who reads this and has a problem with alcohol or some other addiction that is creating division and problems in life will be prompted to seek help and end the cycle of harm or abuse.
~ Again let me be perfectly clear… I am not trying to say that alcohol in and of itself or the people who consume it are bad. My goal is to exhort the Christian that their life in Christ Jesus will be better served, effective and more attractive to those who they engage with, knowingly or not, if alcohol has no part in their lives all together. I believe there is a huge need, for us as Christians to be involved in each others lives, holding one another accountable in keeping our minds sharp in the things of God, keeping in balance church, family, work or other activities and not allowing material possessions or goals in life to take to too high a priority or position in our lives.~
As Christians, we are to be set apart (sanctified), different, not like everyone else, sharing the love of God, limit our pursuit of things, an example of humility, integrity, love, compassion… so different that the change which occurred in our lives because of our salvation in Christ Jesus would actually point people to Jesus and the good news of the gospel, not the things the our world and culture say are so important.
Though I understand that some uses of alcohol in biblical times were for medicinal purposes ( 1 Timothy 5:23), we as Christians are called to “not be drunk with wine.” in Ephesians 5:18 ~ We can get into numerous debates about “well, I can have x-amount of beers or drinks before I get drunk.” etc. I am not here to argue or debate that. Everyone is different in weight, height and the amount that gets one person tipsy or drunk is different from what it takes for other people. Though scripture really only speaks about “drunkenness” and not being tipsy or buzzed, I think a bigger question should be “if you say you only tipsy or buzzed and not ‘drunk’ when you drink, is that pushing the envelope or going over the line based on the scriptures?” To that I say “yes!” Been there done that. When you are tipsy or buzzed, your judgement and cognitive thought processes are impaired and thus borderline as to whether you are in control or not. The New Testament book of 1 Timothy 1:7 reads: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
~Being an alcoholic before I became a Christian and remained for a time afterwards, I didn’t surrender all my vices to the Lord when I trusted my life to His care and thus struggled with drinking over my 28 years as a Christian to this day. There were years ago and up until 2009, some seasons to where I was drinking to relax, release stress, chill out, celebrate or straight out lose myself in my drink to forget about life for a while. Some of it was brought on by depression, but, mostly (as I believe most of us in life can attest) by my own choice! After May 3rd, 1988, I chose to drink to deal with my problems and liked being buzzed and drunk more than allowing the Lord to help me with my problems and fill the void in me.
That being said, I fail to understand why so many Christians seem to revel in the celebration, keep on or adopt drinking into their lifestyle as followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus said “be holy as I am holy.” 1st Peter 1:16 ~ This doesn’t mean perfect as He is, but to follow His lead, work at being more like Him and cutting out those things that make us less like Him! Come on Christian… In Love, “Where is your heart concerning the Lord and how much you drink?”
I mentioned earlier that I wish that I never had another urge to drink ever again… and to my amazing wife Sue, I deeply regret the anguish I caused you in my times of drinking in the seasons of our lives! Please forgive me …
Peace, love and good happiness stuff in Jesus,
Kevin ~ Proverbs 3:5,6
BTW… if you feel you need to, my email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org ~