The World According to kcillini77

September 23, 2006

Mmmmm….beer.

Filed under: Christianity,Food and Drink — kcillini77 @ 7:33 am

If you are around me for an appreciable length of time, chances are you will find that I am a fan of beer. Not your average, everyday, corn and water tasting Bud and Miller products, but craft beers made with exceptional care and flavor. Knowing that I am a Christian, this oftentimes confuses other Christians as to my “level” of spirituality. Maybe I’m a seeker who has yet to discover the evils of alcohol, or maybe I’m a “backslider”. Among non-Christians, there has been confusion as well occasionally due to the fact that so many Christians they have known have been anti-alcohol. Ironically, that very subject has occasionally led to opportunities for me to discuss the meat of Christianity with non-Christian friends over a beer.

The way I’ve opened, I’m sure this sounds like I am attempting to justify something I enjoy and try to bring others with me. That’s not ultimately my goal at all. There are many reasons for someone to decide not to drink in today’s society, and reasons for them to encourage others not to drink as well. In our world of gluttony, many who drink jump immediately into a pattern of abuse as they can’t ever come to grips with how much is too much. Some have a chemical predisposition to alcoholism. This leads to all sorts of problems – drunk driving tragedies, crimes committed while intoxicated, and unwanted sexual encounters just to name a few. All of these horrible things, however, are not caused by alcohol itself. They are caused by intentional abuse of alcohol and by the release of inhibitions that allow someone to do what was in their heart already.

As Christians, the standard by which we live our lives is the Bible, given to us by God for instruction and revelation. Many teetotalers and pastors who rail on the evils of alcohol use scripture as a sword on this matter. But the fact is that they have chosen the verses that sound the most like their positions on the matter. I strongly encourage everyone to follow the link and read this overview of alcohol and the Bible. Read it with an open mind. Lay down your preconceived conclusions and try to examine this issue with virgin eyes and ears. Read the whole thing, because it will cover many of the questions you have, including the argument of the “weaker brother”. The goal is not to get someone who is against the use of alcohol to run out, buy a six pack, and experience what they’ve been missing. In fact, it’s not to encourage use of alcohol at all. It’s an exercise in looking at the whole of scripture to find out what the Bible really has to say instead of reading our thoughts into it.

If you read the overview, and you are against alcohol use, you are free to remain firm in your convictions. Just know that when you are warning others of the consequences of alcohol use, you should speak from personal experience or the experiences of others that you know. The Bible supports you in warning of abuse of alcohol, and you may point to those verses, but don’t use the Bible to support an idea that God desires all people to abstain from alcohol. If you go that far, you lose your credibility because the Bible does not support you.

If you read it, and enjoy alcoholic beverages, as I do, you are not off the hook. The Bible does provide clear warnings against abuse of alcohol, and we always need to keep those verses at the forefront of our minds. We are to always be of sound mind and body, and intentionally allowing anything to interfere with that is sin.

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