- The Bible never encourages crossing the line. A preoccupation with alcohol is just one indicator of alcoholism; a preoccupation with drinking at events or social gatherings is another. Some even bring out their private collection of hard liquor after having a few drinks. This is not liberty; it’s addiction.
- We assume that the alcohol content today is the same as in Jesus’ day. In His day, a little water was often placed into the wine and thus decreased the alcohol content (cf. 1 Timothy 5:23)...much like an O’douls today. “Strong drink” were drinks with higher alcohol content that led to drunkenness. Ale beer, for example, often has two times more alcohol than normal beer. Those having two pints of ale may have the equivalent of five regular beers.
- “Jesus ate and drank with sinners.” “But there is no suggestion in Scripture that Jesus purposely assumed the look and lifestyle of a publican in order to gain acceptance...” (John MacArthur). We should fellowship without engaging in the practices of a secular lifestyle. The world will know that we are Christians by our love and by our convictions, not by how well we imitate the world around us. We seldom hear non-Christians say, “I’m turned off by Christians because they seldom compromise.” But we do hear, “Christians who say one thing and do another really turn me off.” “Be not among winebibbers…” (Proverbs 23:20).
- Drinking often is now called liberty instead of addiction. Many Christians center everything around alcohol—fellowship, events, birthdays, bible studies, etc. When alcohol is the center of attention, it becomes an idol and an addiction. This is why many will be offended by this article.
- In Jesus’ day, society was much more isolated. We cannot calculate how many people are affected by today’s social media. A person with 500 “friends” may be encouraging dozens to stumble. It is the selfless motivation of love that keeps us from causing others to stumble (cf. Romans 14).
1 Peter 2:16 reminds us that many use liberty to hide sin: “A cloak for vice,” and Galatians 5:13 says we should not “use our freedom to indulge the flesh.” If these points raise concerns, I encourage honest repentance. Its often not “if” alcohol consumption causes damage but “when.” Why would we willingly walk into the enemy’s camp?
God does not want us to be enslaved to anything. It is important that we take an account of our lives and see if this area has a hold on us. Be honest. How much do you drink? Is it really one drink now and then, or is it throughout the week? Is it a large goblet that holds ¾ of a bottle of wine and do you fill it twice?
Do you make excuses in order to exceed moderation and plan activities around alcohol? Do others comment on your drinking? Do you often argue and try to justify your position? Paul said that even though we have freedom, not everything is good for us. We should not become a slave to anything (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:12). It’s time to break free from this flawed liberty.
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