Photograph by Jason Goroncy. Used with permission.
Today I saw a blog post shared widely by both endorsers and dissenters detailing 50 reasons why the author doesn’t drink. Now, for the record, the author describes herself as a former alcoholic. To me, that is the one and only reason necessary to know why she doesn’t drink. As John Owen famously said, “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” If you are an alcoholic and abstain from drinking, to me that’s no different from being a gambling addict and not accepting the invite to the low stakes poker game someone from church invited you to. Recognize your weaknesses and pray for the strength to master them. But just because something is your weakness doesn’t mean it makes others weak. Just because you won’t go to that poker game for good reason doesn’t mean you should raise a fuss and demand that no one goes. The author says that she has seen to many “shudder moments” about people’s lives to know that drinking alcohol is “God’s best” for people. To that, I have to immediately think, that sex has also ruined many people’s lives and marriages but I hope no one would beg Christians to abstain from that. Just like sex, alcohol is a gift from God but used unwisely it can ruin you. On the other hand, if used as intended it can strengthen and help you.
So, leaving my reservations of woman pastors aside, and as one of the Christians the author is fighting against, a “hipster” who has always had counseling with his pastor inside of a pub, here is why I do drink. I just hope I list more scripture on my side than the opposition, along with a couple anecdotes.
- Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine (John 2)
- Wine is a gift of God that makes the heart of man glad (Psalm 104:15)
- Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, Communion, one of the Sacraments, with wine (Luke 22)
- God lists wine or strong drink as a valid investment (Deuteronomy 14:26)
- An abundance of wine is clearly given as a blessing from God (Genesis 27:28)
- Wine and strong drink are proscribed to those who are in distress (Proverbs 31)
- Adding to God’s law is phariseeism. God’s law condems us as it is without humans adding to it.
- Having a drink with unbelievers is a great way to share the Gospel.
- Drinking will often confuse unbelievers who are used to pharisaical Christianity and leave them open to listening to you
- If you want to avoid all appearances of evil, it is not wise to add to God’s law.
- A drink leaves me open to self-reflection and the acknowledgement of how much I need a Savior.
- God commands us to enjoy food and wine with joy and merriment (Ecclesiastes 9:7)
- Being on the lookout for new sins I can condemn others for does not allow me to be sober minded.
- The greatest theologians of history drank, I would rather be like them than the ones who condemn it.
- Responsible drinking keeps me mindful that I not be enslaved by anything (1 Corinthians 6:12)
- Jesus, the Son of Man, was accused of being a glutton and drunkard for eating and drinking with sinners. There is no better company to be among.(Matthew 11:18)
- Condemning others for non-sins leads to false piety.
- Some of my fondest family memories have been at breweries and wineries.
- Those who decry the gifts of God often claim false ones as their own.(http://www.charismanews.com/)
- I am anticipating drinking the fruit of the vine with the Lord in the new Kingdom (Matthew 26:29)
Thank you for bearing with me through this rather silly post. I will return to weightier matters shortly. I hope your Christmas season has been full of peace and good will towards all men, and that in this new year God will bless us with wisdom, discernment and understanding.