Today I was reading an article posted by my friend John Finkelde, a Church Consultant here in Perth. The crux of it was what would you do if you spotted a Baptist Professor drinking with someone. My first response would be to join him, and hope it was his shout!
But seriously….we need to get over this alcohol problem we have. The problem being our puritan roots, not the alcohol. I have a good friend who suffers from alcoholism. In many ways it has hurt his life, and destroyed relationships. Now he leads Alcoholics Anonymous. He said to me that if he spotted me drinking he would be offended if I tried to hide it from him. It is his problem, not mine, was his response. A mature response from a mature Christian man. Not all Christians are so mature.
Some try to twist scripture, as an old professor did with me. When Jesus turned the water into wine…it was fruit juice he proclaimed. That was the ‘best wine’. Yeah sure. The best wine is wine that has fermented properly.
Some do struggle with alcohol, some have a problem with Christians drinking it, and I don’t want to be a stumbling block to them. So I would abstain when in their presence. That is the path of love.
But for myself….if you know me, you will know I enjoy a social drink of alcohol. I don’t have a problem with enjoying the good things God has provided. I love this quote from Benjamin Franklin, ”Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy”.
It is pretty clear what the line is, don’t get drunk, but rather be filled with the Spirit. (Eph 5.18) I interpret this to mean that if drinking is a problem for you, if you find you want to drink enough to get you out of control, if alcohol is controlling you…then that is a problem. But enjoying a drink…..something to enjoy.