Before this post is misconstrued and twisted out of context let me make a few things very clear:
1.) Underage drinking is against the law, and for good reason. During one’s teenage years we tend to FEEL mature, and responsible, when in-fact we are not. Unless you are given an alcoholic beverage to drink by your parents, and even then in moderation, do not drink alcohol. 21 will come soon enough, and trust me – you really aren’t missing much.
2.) Alcoholism is terrible, sad, and destructive. Please, if you are of drinking age, and choose to do so, don’t do it in front of people you suspect may struggle with alcoholism.
3.) Please don’t suggest that “the weaker brother” (who is, according to the Bible, the one who thinks God ordains abstinence from such things) go against his/her conscience on this issue.
That aside, some VERY interesting new information has come forth this year, confirming several Biblical truths. The denominations/religions that view alcohol as a gift of God – where drinking alcoholic beverages is not demonized – tend to have a far less occurance of alcoholism than in the denominations where drinking alcohol is considered a sin. The study showed that the lowest level of alcoholim among religious people occured among the Jews, who also, on average, had the greatest number of members who drank. Following the Jews were the Episcopalians/Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, and Lutherans. On the flipside, the denominations with the highest occurance of alcoholism among their membership were: Southern Baptist, Methodist, and Morman!
On a practical side, that should encourage those of us who know the Scripture to teach it accurately and thoroughly. As one of my online friends has so accurately written,
“…alcoholism is high in such places because teetotalist doctrine is demonic (1 Timothy 4:1-6.) and worthless in restraining sin. (Colossians 2:20-23.)”
So, what does the Bible say about alcohol consumption?
First, that it can be good for you, especially as a cure for certain sicknesses
“Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” (1 Timothy 5:23.)
Secondly, that God made it for our pleasure!
“He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate – bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart.” (Psalm 104:14, 15.)
Yes, the Bible on many occasions condemns drunkeness, and if you are one who cannot be responsible (again, AND LEGAL), you should abstain. Likewise, if alcoholism tends to run in your family, you should be far more careful in your decision of if, when, and how much to drink.
But in all of these things remember the words of Paul:
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31
Do it ALL – all that you do (drinking or not drinking) for the glory of God!