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To Drink or Not to DrinkBy Evan Nehring
It’s hard to make the biblical case that everyone should completely abstain from alcohol. The Bible really talks more about avoiding drunkenness and being responsible.
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:17-19)That said, we live in a culture that has a very hard time dealing with pleasure and moderation. I understand the argument for abstaining. I grew up with it. It worked. I respect when people make the decision to abstain. I think it's cool.
I had to deal with some judgmentalism in my heart on this. Colleen and I had dinner with friends one time and they offered me a brandy slush. I really didn't see that coming and had no idea what to say. I said, "No thanks, I'm fine." Then when they offered me a soda I also said, "No thanks, I'm fine." I was completely uncomfortable and I'm sure it was obvious to everyone.
I realized on the way home that night that the problem was mine. I could drink or not drink a brandy slush in good conscience, but the inability to hold a conversation with someone holding alcohol was unacceptable. Jesus loved having meals with people who weren't religious and didn't follow all the rules. If I want to live out "to zane Christos"--to live is Christ-- then I better figure it out too.
When it comes to young adults and alcohol, I'm completely uncomfortable with breaking the law. I understand the argument that says, "How can a young man or woman who is old enough to serve in war to defend our country not be old enough to have a drink?" But that's the law. Messing with the law can really mess up your life.
I'd like to ask every young adult to ask themselves this question: Do I have a family and friend culture around me that handles alcohol responsibly? If you look around you and see DUIs, divorce, car accidents, and alcohol abuse as an emotional crutch, please think carefully about staying away from it altogether.
I also want to challenge you to stand on the courage of your convictions. If you want to completely abstain or to drink alcohol legally and responsibly, don't be pushed by your friends to do more. Push back…or get new friends.