The Liquid Drug

Let’s consider the liquid addictive drug called alcohol.

What does the Bible say about alcohol?

We read in Romans 13:13,

Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, …

Then in 1 Cor 6:10 we’re told that drunkards won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

This refers to loss of heavenly rewards rather than the loss of salvation.  It’s not possible to lose our salvation.

What these verses teach us is that drunkenness is sin. 

How much alcohol should a Christian drink? 

I believe that:

TOTAL ABSTINENCE FROM ALCOHOL
IS BEST FOR US AS CHRISTIANS

I’m not saying that total abstinence from alcohol is the only way for a Christian - just that it’s the best one.

The advice in 1 Tim. 5:23 for Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach’s sake, was a medical prescription for Timothy.  In those days it was very hard to get clean water.

It doesn’t apply to us today when there’s lots of clean water and medicines we can use.

The fact that Paul actually had to tell Timothy to drink some wine for his stomach problem, shows that in those days Christians didn’t normally drink alcoholic drinks.

In fact, many Scriptures strongly warn against the dangers of alcoholic drink:
Lev. 10:8-9, Prov. 20:1 and 23:29, Hos. 4.11, Eph. 5:18

In New Zealand, there are over 60,000 physical and sexual assaults every year committed by people who’ve been drinking alcohol.     Dominion Post 26/9/09

Here’s an extract from an article published in the British Guardian newspaper 8/4/11:

Alcohol is to blame for at least 13,000 cancer cases a year in the UK.

According to one of the largest studies ever carried out into diet and cancer, alcohol is a key cause of cancer of the mouth, oesophagus, voicebox and pharynx.

Alcohol also causes more than 3,000 colorectal cancers and about 2,500 breast cancers every year.

Research shows that the risk of cancer increases with even moderate drinking of alcohol.

I’ll repeat that: 

The risk of cancer increases with even moderate drinking of alcohol.

We’re told in 1 Cor. 6:12 that the key question is not “Is something allowable?” but “Is it profitable?”

It’s hard to imagine any situation in which the consumption of alcohol could actually be profitable for a Christian.

I believe that total abstinence from alcohol is the best way to be a witness for Jesus. 

A person who doesn’t drink alcohol is obviously different from other people.  Most people know the dangers of alcohol, and will respect someone who has the courage to be different – especially when being different makes sense.

Here are some facts from the Wellington Dominion Post newspaper dated 12 September 2009:

  • At least 700,000 Kiwis are heavy drinkers.
  • A third of all police arrests involve alcohol.
  • Half of all serious violent crimes are related to alcohol.
  • 60 different medical conditions are caused by heavy drinking.
  • 75% of adults at hospital emergency departments on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are there because of alcohol.
  • There are more than 300 alcohol related offences every day.
  • At least 600 children are born every year with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder.  Alcohol can result in severe harm to the unborn child.
  • There are over 1,000 alcohol deaths in NZ every year.
  • 17,000 years of life per year are lost through alcohol.

All of our activities should have the Lord’s glory in view:

1 Cor. 10:31  Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

It’s doubtful that the recreational drinking of alcohol can be done to the Lord’s glory.

When we drink, are we doing it to gain acceptance from non-Christians?

Rom. 12:2, And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind …

People are watching what we do, whether we realise it or not.

Other Christians could get into trouble by copying our drinking, even if we feel that we can drink without getting addicted.

Rom. 14:21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.

The World Health Organization estimates that the risks linked to alcohol cause 2.5 million deaths a year from heart and liver diseases, road accidents, suicides and cancer – accounting for 3.8 % of all deaths worldwide.  Dominion Post 2/11/10.

Total abstinence from alcohol is not legalism but just plain common sense. 

Our principle for living should be to aim at the highest, not the lowest standards.

Abstinence from alcohol also guards us against accusations of hypocrisy.  

How can we take a stand against other addictive drugs, if we ourselves use the liquid addictive drug called alcohol?

Drinking alcoholic drinks is completely unnecessary, as there’s no shortage of good healthy non-alcoholic drinks.

A glass of orange juice has only half as many calories as a glass of wine and can’t make you addicted!

You might have heard that there’s a substance in red wine called resveratrol that’s supposed to be good for your health.  This idea was based on research done by Dr Dipak Das at the University of Connecticut, USA.

Now, after a 3 year review, University officials have found that he falsified his data in over 100 instances.  They’ve had to warn 11 scientific journals that have already published his false data.

So forget about drinking wine for your health!  Associated Press 11/1/12

Booze is usually expensive.  

You can use the money for better things.

So many families have been ruined by alcohol, that it’s best to stay away from it altogether.

According to scientists in Britain’s Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs and an expert adviser to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drugs Addiction alcohol is more dangerous to users and to society than crack or heroin.     Dominion Post, 2 Nov 2010.

Drinking alcoholic drinks is just not worth the risk!  

Statistically, there’s a one-in-ten chance of becoming “alcohol dependent” when a person takes his or her first drink. 

Every drunkard starts as a moderate drinker.

Do you want to run the risk of your children becoming alcoholics? 

Then teach them how to use alcohol in moderation – every drunkard starts by drinking in moderation. 

But if you really want to play it safe, teach them how to do without alcohol and set a good example yourself.

The Bible says our bodies are “the temples of God’s Holy Spirit” (1 Cor.6:19) and should be treated accordingly.

In conclusion,
Abstinence from alcohol is better than drinking in moderation because:

  1. You don’t need to decide how much is too much – there’s no balancing act required.
  2. There’s absolutely no risk of becoming addicted.
  3. You can’t drink too much alcohol – if you don’t drink any alcohol.

Lindsay Smith 12/10/14  

 
 
 

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