The Christian and Social Drinking
by Kent Robblee
To many people, the drinking of liquor is a means to an end, that of being accepted by others. It seems to be the 'in thing' in many circles, and sad to say the Christian Church is being invaded with the idea that social drinking is acceptable to God. The Bible is very clear regarding the consumption of intoxicating beverages as far as the Christian is concerned. Paul writes to the Church of Ephesus regarding the duties of the Christian, "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." (Ephesians 5:17, 18). There is no question in my mind that Paul is saying to us not to be controlled by liquor, but to understand what the will of the Lord is, and to be controlled by His Holy Spirit. It is my personal belief that it is impossible for a Christian to be controlled by 'spirits' (booze) and at the same time be controlled by the Holy Spirit.
God's Word warns about the danger of alcohol. Isaiah writes, "But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment' [Isaiah 28:7]. Talk with the people who work in connection with traffic accidents: policemen, ambulance drivers, emergency care unit workers in local hospitals, etc., and you will soon have a clear and horrible picture of the carnage on our highways that is a direct result of drinking drivers. The first area of the brain affected by alcohol is the part that aids us in making judgments.
Hosea gives warning to Israel of liquor and it's effects. "Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart." [Hosea 4:11]. Drinking liquor never seems to be the only thing that occurs once it is started. It is not only the knees that lose their stability. It is a known fact that the 'moral knees' also are made unstable through drink. Inhibitions seem to disappear and people who have always had a good set of morals seem to degenerate morally and are open to all sorts of moral degradation. Adultery, fornication,perversion, homosexuality and rape are only a few that can be traced in many instances to the use of alcohol. Murder and violence of all descriptions, in many cases are caused by people who started with a 'social drink'.
Drinking causes wrecked homes and marriages, as well as much poverty and sorrow. Health hazards to both mind and body are extremely high among drinkers. Solomon writes regarding this:"Who hath woe, who hath sorrow, who hath contentions, who hath babbling, who hath wounds without cause, who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright; at the last it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder." [Proverbs 23:29-32]. The social drink is deceiving. Solomon said, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." [Proverbs 20:1]. Many young people who take the 'social drink' on occasion claim that there is nothing wrong with drinking if you can control it; but the question remains can they 'control' it? or will it 'control' them? You may ask, 'how do you know all of this, preacher?' I'll answer you this way. I spent about fifteen years of my life in different stages of alcoholism before I called upon the Lord Jesus Christ to save me and deliver me from it's curse. I was one of those who claimed there was no harm in a 'social drink'. In all the years I was associated with alcohol and alcoholics I never came across one man or woman who was an alcoholic who never took his or her first drink. You see every journey starts with one step. Christian, if you never take your first drink you may rest assured that you will never become an alcoholic.
Concerning 'social drinking' and the Christian, social drinking is the beginning of a road that leads to drunkeness and alcoholism. Drunkeness is listed among the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, DRUNKENESS, revellings, and the such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God." If you are a Christian, there should be no problem in your life regarding 'social drinking', for it is not listed with the fruit of the Spirit. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." [Galatians 5:22, 23].
'Social drinking' can also cause weaker Christians to stumble. Paul writes regarding this very thing, "It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak." [Romans 14:21]. Jesus was very clear concerning the fate of those who cause others to stumble: "Then He said unto His disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come; but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." [Luke 17:1,2].
'Social drinking' is a sign of the self-life and not an indication of love toward the brethren. John writes, "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him." [1 John 2:10].
The Bible, statistics, human experience, and common sense all point toward the folly of 'social drinking,' so why not just surrender your whole being to the Lordship of Christ and experience His fulness and liberty?
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." [John 8:36].
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