Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Christians and Alcohol: The Age Old Debate Continues

ChristianityToday.com's Out of Ur blog has an interesting post that's sure to distill some controversy. Here's a sample:

"Some younger pastors in traditionally teetotalling denominations are beginning to view bans on alcohol use as out of date. Is their so-called liberty in Christ simply an excuse for bad behavior? Or are the old timers adding laws to the gospel?"

Read the rest of the article here, then come back and post your thoughts on this intoxicating subject (sorry about that).


Adrienne said...

I heard the most insightful review of this issue in a message called "Where's the Party?" http://www.fairfax.cc/shortcuts The basic point was that if we focus on whether we should or should not drink in moderation (most agree getting trashed is out of bounds), then we miss the point. The point is, does something move you closer or farther away from God? You can end up in a way uncool place by making a series of decisions that are morally defensible, but ultimately move you away from God.

Plus, it can be a trap to fixate upon alcohol as a vice and in the process be distracted from the need to ensure that a broad range of human appetites are not helping us move away from God (think TV and success/work).

Rebecca Stiff said...

I personally have no problem with Pastors drinking the occasional drink. The key is moderation and common sense. Drinking to the point of drunkenness is foolish and leads to many problems. The whole prohibition thing is an American value for the most part. Many Christians in other countries think we are a bit strange. I think the anti-alcohol attitude is more "man" than God to be honest. Personal responsibility is key here. However there are those with addiction issues that have NO business touching it or even being around it. Many Pastors feel the need to avoid alcohol because of their lives being under such close scrutiny from "the judgemental flock" that are suppose to love them and support them. We are all sinners saved by the beautiful grace of God. I think drinking is a personal decision like whether to take a plane or a car. Just as a side note, Pastor and good friend, Jonathan Hughs at Revolution Church in Charlotte NC is a bartender.

Pastor Kip said...

Good comments. Paul said that the kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking but about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

He tempered that with the admonition that while we are free, we are also responsible to not cause anyone to stumble.

I personally do not drink alcohol - mainly because I can't stand the taste (too cough mediciney) - but I know many fine Christians who do.