St. Patrick’s Day debate: To drink or not to drink…

If you are a Christian please take the time to comment and tell me your reasoning (scripturally and non scripturally) for drinking or abstaining from alcohol. Please keep it respectful and in love. Below is my view: 
Though I do not judge my brothers in Christ I must say that reading Romans 14 and 15 has convinced me, in light of our culture in America that to drink is not in the loving interest of our brothers. How powerful would it be if America Christians threw down their alcohol (among other needless indulgences) like those in Ephesus who threw down their scrolls and idols for the sake of Christ? Not in response to legalism but in response to the love of Christ on our hearts. We are stuck in our individualism but we are not an individual body part; we are one body.

“Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.” Romans‬ ‭14:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Alcohol can and oftentimes does cause men to slip into addiction. I am a former police officer and know first hand because my father was an alcoholic. Tell me this, what good (spiritually) does alcohol do? I can’t think of any. But does it do harm to our brothers? I think so, very much so. Now, I have good friends who drink and I love them very much. But the heart of Christ is not to relish in what is permissible. It is to be constrained for the impossible. 
Romans 15:1 says that “We who are strong have an OBLIGATION to bear with the failings of the weak”. 

The American Church is weak, it’s time for the strong men to arise. Not basking in thier individualism but in the love that constrains them. 

5 comments on “St. Patrick’s Day debate: To drink or not to drink…

  1. I look at it from various angles:
    (1.) The Bible was written speaking to and from a first-century middle-eastern context; one in which wine was the safer drink (that’s why Paul instructed Timothy to take a little wine so that he might recover his health) and also there was a certain social obligation to wine – like the wedding at Cana where everyone was expected to drink up the wine (even Jesus had that reputation of being a drinker), the good stuff first and the cheap stuff later when everybody was too drunk to notice. So just as the Bible speaks to idol feasts; not every once of it’s advice or teaching applies exactly as written into our modern context.
    (2.) The Bible is a book of the collective wisdom of an ancient culture over thousands of years. They saw that alcohol had it’s positive uses and negative effects. We shouldn’t be hasty to make a blanket rule because the Bible can be interpreted either way. A wise principle would seem to be that an occasional drink is okay, drunkenness and the lack of control that goes with it is not okay.
    (3.) Everybody is different, as is every family. We have come to understand genetics, being predisposed to becoming dependent on substances, and have better solutions for what ails us. Some should avoid alcohol because they know alcoholism runs in their family. Some though, may come from a family where they have no problems with alcohol and they should choose their own course of action in each situation. It makes no sense to play the “weaker brother” card when everyone in the room drinks responsibly and not one of them has a problem with alcohol; however Christians ought to be careful about playing it to the wrong crowd. I live in a dry county because the Christians who made the rules decided to forbid alcohol rather than accept it being sold and just not use it themselves. I don’t think that’s what Jesus would want of us.

    • Thanks for the response. Again, there is no way to rule alcohol as evil using scripture but when you think about all the good it does (very little) compared to the negatives it produces in society I think it makes more since to abstain. The present crisis (and increasingly so) is that more and more people are overdoing things; literally inventing ways to be addicted to something. Of course, ones’ drinking problem is not the fault of the ones who drink responsibility but neither was sin the fault of the one who died for it. But He did. It is the Spirit of love, to sacrifice and bear with one another in thier weakness in an effort to encourage their future spiritual progress. This, of course, transcends alcohol and is applicable to anything in life almost. Alcohol just happens to be a point of emphasis because it’s such a problem in our culture.

      • I know – but let’s not forget the lesson we learned from Prohibition; you cannot legislate morality. What was at state was bigger, given that it was socially unacceptable for women to drink, the guys used to blow through most of their pay-checks leaving their wives precious little with which to take care of the children – and that’s when the negative effects of alcoholism wasn’t creating the potential for domestic violence. But all it did was give us Nascar and make it socially acceptable for women to drink in public.

      • Of course! I don’t think morality should be legislated either. For me, I would love to see much of this take place through love. Not legalism, legalism leads to bondage and won’t sustain the heart of what God’s trying to do.

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