Monday, June 30, 2014

 

The headline above in last Saturday’s edition of USA-TODAY needs little explanation. Americans are dying to drink. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a new report reveals that 88,000 U. S. citizens die annually from excessive use of alcohol. Seventy per-cent of those deaths were adults between the ages of 20-64. It turns out that college binge drinking and drunk driving problems, which has been the focus of concerns about improper use of alcohol, aren’t the biggest crises. Alcohol’s damage is far-reaching, including liver and heart disease, violence, alcohol poisoning, car crashes and drowning.

 

This isn’t the time and place to debate Paul’s advice to Timothy to “use a little wine” (1 Timothy 5:23) nor to argue whether the miracle wine at Cana (John chapter two) was fermented. There are convincing arguments on both sides of the “Should Christians drink?” conflict. Let me offer some practical thoughts. Which side of this horrendous problem of life and death do Christians want to side with? Should Christians celebrate ‘liberty” in Christ to follow their own consciences or heed the warning of what the headline above portends? In a culture in which youth are drinking at an ever earlier age, should Christian parents be teetotalers or emphasis grace over law? The answers aren’t that simple, but a solution to avoiding a potential crisis is reducible to a plain and unelaborate dictum. JUST DON’T DRINK! Our family doesn’t, and we aren’t the worse for it. I don’t judge those who do, but as for me and my house, there will be no alcohol at our table. I watched my wife’s father die too young from an alcohol ravaged liver and gangrene-infested leg brought on by alcohol poisoning. My grandfather (my dad’s side) died an alcoholic. A one-in-ten risk isn’t one I or my family are willing to take for the buzz of a beer!


An encouraging word: LIBERTY V. GRACELiberty v. grace. That internecine conflict in the Church has raged for centuries. That shouldn’t be. Paul settled this issue clearly in Romans 14:21, where he declared that we should do nothing if a fellow Christian is caused to stumble, be offended, or is “made weak.” Yet the many in evangelicalism seem intent today on blatantly boasting of things which can harm the faith of other Believers. I realize we can’t be in bondage to every petty, picayunish preference of other Christians. But we can be a bit more sensitive about dismissing the convictions of others with a cavalier attitude.

 


Bob Larson has trained healing and deliverance teams all over the world to set the captives free and Do What Jesus Did� (Luke 4:18).  You can partner with Bob and support this vision to demonstrate God’s power in action by calling 303-980-1511 or clicking here to donate online.