II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

To drink or not to drink....that is the question.

Okay, I'm just gonna tell you now that this is going to be a strange post and a controversial one, I'm sure. However, I am broaching the subject because I am really unsure what I think about this and thought I'd pick the brains of my closest friends to see what you all think. So, here's the question: Is it a sin to drink alcohol?
This is where I am coming from. I was raised to believe it is wrong to drink alcohol of any kind at any time. As I've grown older and moved away from my childhood church, my beliefs have begun to change...or at least to make me wonder what I really believe.
When we first moved to this town and started going to our church, some friends of ours from our Sunday School class invited us over for dinner. She was the member-care person in the class and he is an usher at the church. They are very "up-standing christian people" and we really look up to them. SO---I was shocked to see that they were serving us wine with our dinner. Since I was breastfeeding at the time, I politely declined and drank water instead...but inwardly, I couldn't BELEIVE these people were drinking!!! Then after a few glasses of wine each, they decided to make a trip to the liqour store to get more, which really blew me away.
This has been about 2 years ago now...and since then, we've been with several other Christian couples who have drank too. Now...mind you...I am NOT talking about drinking until you are drunk. I don't need to know if that is a sin...the Bible clearly says not to be drunk...I am just wondering about an occasional beer or margarita? My "argument" has always been that we are supposed to be portraying a Christ-like image for the world to see and that it is unlikely that we would catch Jesus out for dinner drinking a Bud Light. However, if it's not wrong to drink a beer at home...why is it any more wrong to drink one with your dinner out at a restrurant? I mean, it's God who we want to please...not people. Right? Some people would argue that even Jesus drank wine in the Bible so it must not be a sin. I don't know...??? Some people would say "it's your own personal conviction." I don't know...??? For me...I am not a big drinker of anything...water, soda, milk, juice. I just don't drink much. So if I was going to drink an alcoholic beverage (which is very rare), one is always more than enough for me. I certainly don't drink it to get drunk...but usually just because soda and tea are getting boring and I want something frozen and fruity. So is that wrong?
Now I will say, I definitely believe that anyone who has a tendency to go over-board with drinking should just steer clear of it all together---so as to not get into a bad habit. I know alcoholism runs in some peoples families and those people shouldn't even play with the "fire." You know what I mean?
Anyway, just curious what all the rest of you think about this subject!---so let me know! okay? Thanks! I love you guys!


Logzie said...

Well...I don't think it's a 'sin' to drink occasionally but I don't think it is the wise thing to do AT ALL. My husband & I do NOT drink at all but I try really hard not to judge those who do. The Bible talks about not doing those things that would cause your brother to sin. I think if you steer clear of it then you don't have to 'worry' about anything (i.e.-getting addicted, leading someone else into sin even if that is not what your intention is). Sometimes I think a glass of wine with dinner would be nice (never have done it but it just seems so 'grown up' he he) but I probably will never do it. I guess I have just witnessed too many people of whom alchohol has RUINED their lives and their loved ones lives so I say why mess with it? I am sure they never set out to become an alcoholic and every alcoholic started with one drink at one time. I realize my view may be a controversial one...that is why it's just my opinion. I don't inflict it upon anyone else. I don't judge anyone else who may drink...it's between them and God.

Well...there's my 2 cents on the topic! Glad you brought it up.

mr zig said...

I also don't believe that drinking is a sin. Afterall, it says in the bible about drinking wine to settle ones stomach, and of course we all know that jesus drank wine, and it was a common beverage...

BUT... as Logziella said the bible does warn against causing your brother to stumble (sin). Also, the bible talks about harming your body, which is the temple of christ. If you overconsume you are not only getting drunk which the bible says not to do, but you are also poisoning your body which harms it. So, no drinking is NOT a sin, but its something that can easily harm someone.

So if you come home from a hard day of work, and enjoy a nice cold beer, or have a glass or two of wine with dinner, or whenever its not wrong. As LONG as you don't overdo it.

As wise as it is to NOT drink ever to prevent personal temptation, or to prevent causing someone to fall, I think its dangerous for the church to imply that drinking is a sin. IF the church teaches this and you DO have a drink of wine, guilt may overtake you and lead you to something that really is a sin.

Also, Even though drinking is not a sin, I believe that drinking infront of your children, even just a glass of wine, or a simple beer can be harmfull to them. Seeing Alcohol as a "normal" substance will increase the chances of them drinking without thinking at a later age.

Thats what I think... :)

Domestic Diva said...

I really think Mr. Zig hit the nail right on the head...what type of impression would casual drinking have on our children? My extended family has been ravaged by severe alcholics. It has been devasting for their childen. While casual drinking isn't alcoholism, I don't think it is a good idea. The Bible says that anything in excess is a sin. Drinking leads to many other issues in life. As far as a sin...that is the question...When we moved here (to CO) our Rhema friends warned us that the christians here drink. Not at church sponsered functions, but at celebrations etc. They had a move in party for us and we were offered a beer. We declined nicely, but I wonder how they felt. I really believe that it is your choice. We also have many friends in Europe who drink as is their custom. While it is easy to see the problems that could arise, it is not an easy answer. As for the leaders in your church (our old church that I miss:()They made their decision, and they should respect your decision as you respect theirs, as we answer to God on what we do or don't do.
As for my family, we chose to not drink. We arrived at that decision due to our children. What is that song..."I want to be just like You(talking about Jesus)because he (our kids) want's to be just like me."

Wow, Jen...that was pretty strong of me! I don't mean for it to come across that way. Especially since I haven't commented on your blog yet:(...This is Lilah by the way in case you were unsure who Guru is:)


Ali said...

Hmmmm, I personally don't think that drinking is a sin. I of course don't agree when people drink so much that they can't control themselves, but an occassional drink causes no harm in my eyes.
I also don't think that if a parent has a drink in front of their children that it's a big deal. My mother doesn't drink because she just doesn't like the taste of alcohol. However, my dad has occassionaly had a drink throughout my entire life.
If he spent a hot summer day cutting our huge lawn, sometimes he would come in and have a beer. If we have people over for dinner, they would have a drink or two before we ate.
This in NO WAY negatively affected me as a child.
Now when I go home to visit we might have a glass of wine with dinner (my dad and I). And my 14 year old brother really could care less if we have a drink or not.
Of course, this is all my personal opinion - but don't you ever wonder if you raise your children to believe that something might be "bad" for them, that when they are old enough and away from your eyes that they may go crazy trying that thing just because they can? Telling them they shouldn't or can't do anything may just make them want to try it more.
On a final note, my best friend's father is an alcoholic, always has been. My best friend and her 4 brothers and sisters (all over 21) are all only casual drinkers - purely for celebration purposes. There may be those that alcohol affects more deeply - but it doesn't do that to everyone.

Amy said...

Do I think it's a sin to drink alcohol? I am totally NOT the right person to ask about that one but here's my two cents.
As you know, I do drink occasionally. Sometimes I drink often. (I'm being very honest here. Hopefully no one thinks badly of me after reading this comment.) I do sometimes have a margarita or some kind of mixed drink at a restaurant with dinner or when I go out w/friends from work. Truthfully, I enjoy it. It helps me unwind and relax after a super stressful day, enables me to be more outspoken in a group of people (this is a big thing for me, since I'm usually very quiet, reserved and shy.) and also sometimes it just tastes good.
But do I think it's a sin? This is something I struggle with often and honestly, I just don't know. I know what I was taught in church. But like you, I find myself questioning whether or not it is a sin.
I think that in the privacy of my own home and when done responsibly, I don't really see the harm in it. I'm hoping Jesus feels the same way. :)
Good, thought-provoking post, Jen!

Reggie Hunnicutt said...

I would like to weigh in if I might.

I am a Christian and a poster boy for sin.

I believe part of your dilemma may come from your tradition. Religion is steeped in tradition. We are taught in the New Testament to continue a tradition of Communion.

Christians all over celebrate Communion. But we also celebrate other traditions that may be influenced by our denomination, sect etc.

No where are we instructed to celebrate Christmas or Easter. Usually you get a big crowd for both and Communion is just another day.

I also am convinced that nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. You cannot undo what Christ did on the cross.

So if you come from a tradition of no drinking then drinking Christians would make you feel uncomfortable or maybe unholy.

I felt creepy about sleeping with my wife in my mother’s house when I first got married. I felt weird because it was definitely not my tradition to sleep with a woman in my mother and father’s house.

I have a friend that his father left a church because he heard that the preacher drank wine with dinner. I guess he felt led to do this or was he making assumption about wine or the man? I don’t know.

We go to a church in St Croix where Communion is a weekly part of worship. Believe me it is real wine and it is good wine. Remember it was Jesus’ first miracle. Once the wine is consecrated it must be consumed. Drink ye all of it. This preacher must chug down at least two big glasses of wine, then close the service and greet visitors. You know he is buzzed but I don’t feel isn’t any more separated from Christ. It is part of his tradition. He probably feels closer to Christ because he knows he just had communion.

Now wine is a wonderful gift but don’t drink it if it makes you feel unholy.

Now from completely secular Reggie it is hard to beat a good beef dinner and a bold red Cabernet or seafood and a crisp Riesling.

Rachael said...

okay, I think you already know how I feel about this but I will say how I feel anyway. I Don't think it is a sin to drink, however I know most my family does b/c of the way we were taught. I have grown to realize that you can have the occasional drink and not get drunk. I also know the things of the bible and what it says. I have also wondered about this subject b/c in the bible it says not to be drunken, but it doesn't say it is a sin to drink, but that is what everyone in my church growing up has said. Then I thought to myself, okay so its okay to drink (not get drunk), but at the same time you want to be a good influence on others and not cause others to sin.... So in my conclusion, it is okay to drink and for others they aren't sinning unless they are going overboard and drinking til their drunk. If you feel it is a sin, they maybe you shouldn't do it, b/c you aren't going to be comfortable with it anyhow. Some people like the taste of alcohol and beer and do enjoy a drink with dinner sometimes, or after working all day. Not b/c they want to get drunk. Therefore, I think that it is okay, if it is okay with them and they aren't over doing it.

peggylou said...

Jenny I think if you can't decide if it is right or wrong then it must be wrong. If you have to think about it than you probably shouldn't do it. If you feel guilt than the holy spirit is saying no! I have try to convince myself it's okay to gamble but I know deep down its wrong for me and I'm still fighting it. Its getting easier to stop now. Well honey that's my opion. love you aunt peggy