This is the last post of this series and I have valued all of the comments tremendously. The series started not as a defense of social drinking but merely was it ok to be present at a location as a means of mission to people. Sometimes posts have a mind of their own and it just leads in a different direction. I loved it though because topics like this need to be discussed in a thoughtful, biblical and humane manner. Too often we ignore something based on our assumption that it has always been a certain way so we need to keep it that way. We should never dismiss comments or questions because we assume we are right on a subject.
The poll, to my surprise, indicated that most of you (66%) believe that it is ok for a Christian to drink in moderation. This topic will surely find no resolve in the coming words but I wanted to share some observations on our discussion. Hope you enjoy these.
- A helpful study of the original words does help in our theology but we must do our homework. Don’t assume a word means something without looking it up in some of the major lexicons and dictionaries.
- Image is important but image is not everything. Sometimes our perception of what a Christian should be is (ironically) the opposite of what Jesus said a person should be. I wonder if Jesus would have been disfellowshipped in some of our churches today for what he would do? Just a thought….
- In regards to social drinking one must consider his or her motives. I still can’t get away from this. Why are you drinking? Is it to feel a feeling or, like Samuel Young said in one of his comments, is it to appreciate something God made? Motives are important. It is doubtful someone would use Paul’s encouragement to Timothy to use wine for his infirmities but they may be looking to clear his or her conscience. But…
- We need to be careful where we place our judgment. This issue is not limited to social drinking but many other aspects where we may be quick to judge before we consider the evidence. We will know people by their fruits (Matt. 7:16).
- Be careful about building-up straw men or chasing red herrings. Arguments like, “What about all of the bad affects of alcohol?” is still side-stepping the real issue. I heard one person give all of the statistics about the negative uses (abuse) of alcohol like car accidents, marriages, etc. While I agree with that negative component of alcohol I also think they are simply chasing red herrings. I wanted to ask him, “How many people die of heart disease from not eating correctly?” (TV, music, etc.) The issue is, what does the bible say about it not society’s abuse of it.
- The principle in Romans 14-15 needs careful consideration (especially Rom. 14:21) before anyone considers to take a drink. I think if we practice self-denial on behalf of others then it might be our spiritual service to God (Rom. 15:1-2).
6 On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.7And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
8 He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. (25:6-8)