Is A Brewsky With My Pizza A Sin?

January 12, 2014

Someone asked me recently if I thought it was ok to drink alcohol.   While I wish the answer was a simple “yes” or “no”, I don’t think it’s quite that easy.

My personal opinion really isn’t that important, but what is important is what the Bible says about the subject.

Let’s get one thing out of the way quickly.  It is wrong to get drunk.  Ephesians 5:18 says, “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  If the purpose for drinking alcohol is to get a buzz, that’s a sin.

Alcohol

MEDICAL ISSUES

I had a doctor tell me once that a little red wine before bed would be good for my cholesterol and would help me sleep better.  The Apostle Paul seemed to agree with that doctor as he wrote 1 Timothy 5:23.  Paul said, Don’t drink only water. You ought to drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach because you are sick so often.” 

For medical reasons, Paul seems to agree that it is ok and even encourages a nightly sip.   Incidentally, Paul is speaking in the context of a letter to Timothy.  Timothy was like a son to Paul, and Paul would have known about Timothy’s nagging stomach issues.

Jesus

What did Jesus think of alcohol?  Jesus’ first miracle is recorded in John 2.  He was at a wedding and the wine began to run out, which was a major taboo in that culture for a wedding.   Jesus’ mother approached Jesus, asking Him to help the situation.  Jesus, it seems almost reluctantly because His “time had not come” yet, turned water into wine.  Jesus seemed to concur that in that culture, it was permissible to drink wine.

So…  it seems that in that culture, a little brewsky with your pizza was allowable.

IT STILL MAY NOT BE OK

Huh?  It seems like Paul and Jesus are in agreement!  The King of Bud is at hand!  So why am I telling you that it STILL may not be ok to drink alcohol??

Let’s look at one more passage of Scripture.

In Biblical days, false idols were everywhere and animals were often sacrificed to those idols.   Once the animal was sacrificed, the caretakers of these idols opened up what amounted to butcher shops where people could buy the meat from the animals that were sacrificed.  It was good meat at a good price.  I’m sure filet mignon tastes good even if it was sacrificed to the false god, Baal.  Bring on the A-1!

But wait!  As those who formerly sacrificed to the false idols found the true God and became Christians, their consciences would not allow them to eat the meat that had been sacrificed to those idols.

Paul basically said in 1 Corinthians 8 that there really wasn’t anything wrong with eating the meat that was sacrificed to those idols because there is only one God.  HOWEVER… and this is a BIG HOWEVER….  If his eating this meat cause someone to stumble or be confused in their faith because of their background, Paul said that he would pass on the “Idol Burgers.”  He felt that it just wasn’t worth taking the chance of harming someone’s faith.

Does Eddie Drink Alcohol Then?

Though I don’t throw stones at someone for drinking a brewsky with their pizza, especially Unknownwith the above verses in mind, you won’t find me with a Coors in my hand.

I’ve lived my life with the goal of reflecting Christ to others around me.  Even though it’s not the right thing to do, some young believers jump to the wrong conclusions when they see someone drinking a beer.  I’ve witnessed it, though I have disagreed, it happens.

Though I do believe that our culture is changing to a more positive tolerance towards alcohol, I still am not willing to take the chance that a Bud Light in my hand would discourage someone in their walk with Christ.

I also don’t want “Eddie drinks and he follows Christ” to be the reason that someone thought it was ok to drink alcohol.  There is always a chance that someone could drink as a result of my influence and they could be led into sin by abusing it.  Sometimes alcohol can be a “slippery slope.”

I’m not saying that drinking alcohol is a sin, but I don’t believe the right question is “How close to sin can I get without sinning?”  I think the right question for believers is “How close to God can I get?”

I would encourage you to weigh all of the Scripture about alcohol, take the cultures into account, and ask God if it is ok for you to drink.  I really can’t or won’t answer that question for you.  I have quite a few friends that I respect that choose the brew.  I encourage everyone to make their own decision but to really seek God, the Scriptures, and pray about it.

Advertisements

9 Responses to “Is A Brewsky With My Pizza A Sin?”

  1. Wow. Well written with Godly wisdom. Thanks!

  2. Rodney said

    GREAT perspective Eddie. I’ve also thought of how i could be a stumbling block for someone who may be recovering. And i love the statement about “how close to sin can i get without sinning.” I have never thought of it like this. Thank you for sharing.

    • eddiepoole said

      Thanks Rodney! Don Dendy, a friend that I toured in a Christian band back in the 80’s with, wrote something similar on my Facebook wall.

      Don explained how he had fallen into addiction. He also mentioned how hard it is for someone who is in recovery. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Cindy McKinnon said

    I always have trouble with the “stumbling block” issue. All around us people suffer from obsessive behavior in all manner of areas. Am I to not drive because the person in the next car has a road rage tendency? Should I not be seen playing a video game because that man spends too much time playing games at home and it is causing marital strife? Just about anything we can do within godly perimeters in our own life can be abused in another’s. Wouldn’t it be better then to live my life and set a good example than to hide what might be a problem for someone else? Am I to limit my choices because of other’s poor choices?

    • eddiepoole said

      I understand, Cindy, but what then how do you reconcile 1 Corinthians 8:13? Paul seems clear that we are to be concerned about the “weaker brother.”

      I believe the “drinking culture” taboo is stronger in the south than in other areas and unless you grew up in the south, it’s perhaps harder to understand. Having said that, as I mentioned in the post, I believe that culture of taboo is growing fainter with more people moving into this area. For me, the risk of even one weaker person becoming confused is simply not worth it to me but everyone has to make up their own mind through prayer and seeking God. Thanks for the feedback!

  4. Hmm.. I think that we are becoming very tolerant in the church to this behavior, and this is leading to abuse. On the flip side, I despise the legalistic religiosity of those who think drinking a drop is sinful.

    There is no resolution, but we are accountable to The Lord for every action and he is no respecter of persons.

  5. Eddie you are spot on, my own Pastor when on to say that he would not do it in the privacy of his own home because the more you practice it the more chance of being found weak in public. But yes mature Christians need to be strong in the word to worship in truth and spirit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: