by Pastor Lee Hemen
July 2, 2008
Recently, on one of the web blogs someone asked if Christians felt it was okay for you to drink as a Christian. After reading post after post that tried to make all kinds of excuses as to why these folk thought it was perfectly okay to drink in bars or taverns, but not get drunk as a believer, they failed to address the real issue here. So, I will…
Here is the problem so many dance around here: If you have to make an excuse as to why or why not do something, then what does that tell you about it? While the Scriptures were written during a time when alcohol was seen as a part of the meal, today it is seen in our society as a part of having “fun,” of being hip or a way to relax. Why does a Christian need to relax, have fun, or make excuses this way? And for what… the ability to drink booze in a bar? If even one of those who make excuses were involved in an automobile accident after only having a “few” and having some enjoyment with fellow “Christians,” what happens to their witness of Christ then? To your witness as a drunk behind a wheel?
I was raised in a denomination that did not see any problem with drinking on Saturdays and showing up on Sundays. With the same mouth the night before that they were sopping down booze in a bar and getting tipsy, they now were trying to show their godliness by reciting their prayers to God. While my folks were hardly ever drunk, their actions taught me what it meant to be a Christian hypocrite. Alcohol is a drug in our day and is not seen as a part of the meal. Wine was seen as a blessing of God and a food crop. Relatively few in our day see it this way. And if you do, you do not need to go into a filthy dirty ungodly atmosphere like a tavern or bar to enjoy a good wine. Eating a few wings in a bar does not excuse it as a meal either. And while Jesus drank wine with a meal, He never drank whiskey, beer, gin, tequila and other hard liquor. In fact, public drunkenness or drinking hard alcohol, like the pagan ungodly Romans did during the time of Jesus, was seen as one of many reasons that these pagans were ungodly by devout God-fearing Hebrews.
A pastor friend of mine at one time sold air purifiers for taverns and bars. He had to go into these places during the daytime to install and sell them. He related to me, “Lee, few folks would enter into any of even the ‘better’ of these places if they had ever seen them in the light of day.” They were dirty, unkept, unclean, and filthy places. He quit selling them after being called of God into the ministry. We are called to be the salt and light of the world, not the dirt and filth of society and to make excuses as to why we should be able to do whatever the world does as well.
I doubt seriously that we can make the excuse that Jesus did it so we can too. Not only is that tacky, it is ungodly reasoning. Why then do you not only wear leather sandals, a robe, under robe, and a sash that you use to sleep in at night as well? And if you truly believe this silliness, then why are you not constantly on the move, sleeping out in the open even in the winter, and telling everyone you see about the gospel? Come on, you know you do not do any of these things. You are simply trying to make the childish excuse of your ungodly actions by saying, “Jesus did it too and so it must be okay!”
Please, while Jesus may have gone into a tavern to witness, we do not find Him doing so even though they did exist in some of the regions He visited. I do not see Him turning to His disciples on a hot dusty dry day and like John Wayne saying, “Come on boys, lets go into this filthy worldly place and have a few cool ones to relax and witness about the holy things of God!” While He went into the homes of “sinners,” ate with publicans (tax collectors), and those who were seen as prostitutes, He did not frequent places of ungodliness such as brothels, bars, pagan temples, and taverns to have fun and eat buffalo wings.
Just my own thoughts…
NOTE: This article is copyrighted by Pastor Lee Hemen © 2008 and the property of Pastor Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but please if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety.