Friday, March 19, 2010


In yesterday's post, I tried to explain my views on Christians drinking alcoholic beverages. Because the Lord told His disciples that it is not what goes in the mouth that corrupts, but what comes out of it, and because Paul said, "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any" (1 Corinthians 6:12), I personally do not have a problem with someone having a glass of wine, or a beer with their meal. However, some people are unable to "have just one" as the old Lays Potato Chip commercial used to say. The same passage referenced to Paul above also says that drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God (vs. 10). That verse is a topic unto itself, and I do not intend to "chase that rabbit."

I also mentioned yesterday that as one continues to drink, it becomes more difficult for them to know when to stop. When you are around people who have had too much to drink, you often hear them say, "I'm not drunk," or "I've only had x amount of drinks." Drunks seldom realize they are drunk. And the same amount of alcohol effects individuals differently depending upon whether or not the person has eaten, their body mass, their drinking history, how fast they them, etc. It is extremely difficult for a person to calculate all these factors, especially while drinking. Because of this, I do not recommend a Christian risk ruining their testimony. If you never take a drink, you will not get drunk. If you never use a drug, you will never get addicted.

I found out that I was an alcoholic in a very strange way. By the time I accepted Christ at twenty-eight, I had spent eleven years in the Navy, and had developed quite a liking for beer. So much so, that I drank whenever I had the money and, at first, whenever it would not effect my ability to perform my duties. There are horror stories I could tell of how that gradually changed. By the time I became a Christian, I had deprived my family, had an arrest record, and had been drunk while on duty. When I accepted Christ, I immediately quit drinking. I had no withdrawal symptoms or even the desire to drink; I was in love with Jesus and spent every minute I could learning and talking about Him. It wasn't until I was retiring from the Navy that I came to realize that I was an alcoholic. The Christian Fellowship on base was sponsored by the Catholic Chaplain, and as was the practice, they had a going-away party for me. I was not familiar with the tradition of having the Lord's Supper (Communion) at the end of it, but as we all sat on the floor in a circle, the Chaplain broke a loaf of bread and passed it to me. He then passed me a goblet of wine. As soon as I tasted the wine, I became totally obsessed with having more. I sat there trying to think of a way I could get up and get ahead of the cup without of being obvious. I was almost in a panic. After we had finished, I asked the Chaplain if I could have a glass of the wine. He said, "Sure." I drank it down like I had been in a desert for days. A calm came over me and it was then that I knew that I was an alcoholic.

So, I say with first hand knowledge that alcohol is deceptive and it only takes one drink to alter your judgment and your reflexes. Why risk it? Consider alcohol as a drug, and never give it the opportunity to get you hooked.

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