The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 6/03

Posted on | June 3, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 6/03

Scripture reading: Proverbs 23:29–35

Sober Minded

Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (I Corinthians 10:31)

 

Early in our marriage, Katy and I decided we would not drink alcohol . . . at all. We never felt that others needed to come to the same conclusion, but we made up our minds that the best way we could consistently live out our Christian faith was to have zero tolerance for alcohol in our home. When we moved to France as missionaries (the wine capital of the world!), our resolve was tested but our conviction only grew stronger. Especially for the sake of our children and the members of the church where I was the pastor, we felt our total abstinence was the most consistent way to live out our Christian values before a watching world.

Whenever I reveal our position on this topic, I usually feel like an alien from another planet. People smile and imply, “Oh, when I was younger I believed like you do. But now I have matured in my faith and no longer subscribe to such legalistic demands.”

I know all the arguments. I’ve heard them more times than I want to recall: Jesus changed water into wine, legalism has damaged so many people, the days of prohibition were a mistake, etc. Yada, yada, I know, I know. But my point in raising the issue of where you stand on alcohol is not to tell you that you should draw the line where I do. My point rather is to ask you as a brother and sister in Christ, where do you draw the line? Especially during those moments in life when alcohol is flowing freely (the holidays, wedding receptions, spring break, college dorms, etc.), where are your boundaries? Asking the question when the alcohol is present is to ask the question too late. Where do you draw the line?

 

Drunkenness is a sin. There is no debate on what the Bible has to say about that (Romans 13:12–14; Galatians 5:19–21; I Corinthians 6:9–11). In fact, the Bible commands us to have no relationship with anyone who calls himself a Christian yet is a drunkard (I Corinthians 5:11).

But what about social drinking? Can’t a Christian enjoy a good glass of wine with his meal? Good question! And to be sure, we should not expect everyone to answer the question in the same way. But an honest Christian will want to submit this question to the ethical norms of Scripture just as he seeks to answer all moral questions. Here are some important questions to ask yourself when determining what place alcohol has in your life:

 

,. Is it beneficial? (I Corinthians 6:12)

,. Am I the master here? Or the slave? (I Corinthians. 6:12)

,. Is God glorified? (I Corinthians 10:31)

,. Does this honor my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit? (I Corinthians 6:19–20)

,. Am I causing a brother or sister to stumble? (Romans 14:21)

,. Can I partake of this with thanksgiving? (I Timothy 4:1–5)

,. Am I seeking something from alcohol that I should be seeking from the Holy Spirit? (Ephesians 5:18)

 

In the medieval view, there were five ways  of sinning by gluttony—

eating and drinking too soon, too expensively, too much,

too eagerly, and with too much fuss.—Os Guinness

 

point to ponder Is God pleased with where you have decided to draw the line in your own personal use of alcohol?

prayer focus Someone you know that struggles with alcohol.

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