Maybe you have heard the saying from the early church, “in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity” I had to remind myself of this often during the past week. At Cornerstone we tackled a topic that can be a little controversial and even divisive within the church. It’s one that need to be discussed with love. When we talk about secondary issues, we must be careful to keep the focus on Christ. So with that in mind, we tried to present the Biblical evidence for and against drinking and challenge people to develop their own convictions based on the Bible and their conscience.
My goal was to make everyone think. Drinking alcohol is not a black and white issue, but it is one that takes discernment. In Andy Stanley’s book, The Best Question Ever, he asks the question “In light of my past experiences, my current circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams, is this a wise decision” That question forces us to think about what we should do, not just what we can do. With that in mind, here are some things to think about.
Before you drink, you need to …
- Examine Your Motives: Do you drink for comfort, to escape your problems, or do you drink for courage or confidence, or do you drink for happiness. Alcohol is just a cheap imitation of what the Holy Spirit can do in your life.
- Think Through the Consequences
- Think about the Cost to Society (here is a great article by the Methodist Church)
- Realize that many struggle with addiction
- Think about your example and witness to others
- Realize there are higher standards for leaders
- Examine Your Conscience
What is My Personal Opinion: For me, my conscience tells me it is not right for me to drink alcohol. I feel that I would be committing a sin because I would be going against what God has put on my heart. Why? My example to the teenagers in the church, my example to my own children, my example to this community, and my example to the people who are suffering through addictions in our church. I am frustrated by the pastors who flippantly boast about their freedom to drink alcohol. I take Luke 17:1-3 and Romans 14:23 very seriously.
My Challenge to You: Don’t make a decision without seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit
- If you decide to drink, remember to use caution and discernment. Don’t be a stumbling block to others. Remember, ask yourself should you drink
- If you decide to not drink, don’t get puffed up with pride and look down on those who have an occasional drink
Here is the video of the entire message. I have also included my outline and sermon notes on the Cornerstone website under the You Asked For It Series.