Unless you’ve counseled a worn-out wife about her husband’s alcoholism, unless you’ve comforted a teen whose parents have both been heavy drinkers for as long as he can remember, unless you’ve discipled a new believer trying to throw off his addiction before he loses custody of his child, unless you’ve wept with a woman who has tried and failed to get sober for the better part of two decades, and most of all, unless you’ve looked into the dull eyes of a husband who just an hour ago lost the mother of his two young children to a drunk driver—unless you have some real life experience with the dangers of alcohol—I don’t want to hear about your liberty to drink. I certainly don’t want to hear you encouraging others to drink. It’s time to grow up in your discernment and compassion and to be a warner rather than a tempter.
Truer words could not be spoken. I can’t tell you how galled I become with young Reformers and their insistence that wine and beer drinking is the end all of their walk with Jesus. Or to borrow more trendy Christianeze, “faith journey.”
Last fall I was tangled up with a group of young Reformed libertines over the subject of alcohol and how they have made drinking an idol of their liberty. They didn’t like what our pastor wrote on the subject, particularly “pastor-teacher” Steve Camp.
Yet it is agonizing stories like the one above that puts all their chest thumping against “fundamentalists” about drinking beer and whiskey in a more sobering light. People may complain that the author is exploiting an “emotional” situation by writing that these liberty drinkers have never counseled an abused wife or a person who has lost a loved one to a drunk driver, and perhaps there is a twinge of emotion with his post, but overall, he is right.
You’ll notice that the author said nothing about total abstinence from drinking. He’s not a teetotaler. He is, however, hitting at the broader consequences of drinking in our American culture, and the facts of the matter are quite plain: the young Reformed pastors who lift high their liberty to drink on their blogs, in their small discussion groups that meet in taverns, who have impressive imported Scotch bottle collections, are inexperienced when it comes to counseling people through the destruction alcohol can reap upon their lives.
Sadly, a lot of them don’t get this. We’re not even twenty comments deep under that post when a person made the asinine comparison that over eating and obesity is just a severe a problem as drinking.
I agree with the contents of this post. However, it continues to baffle me that so many can preach against alcohol and drugs (and rightfully so!) but continue to ignore America’s #1 killer and addiction! Obesity and food addictions that result in heart disease and other illnesses are the MOST prevalent in America today and they are almost completely overlooked by Christians. The Bible speaks on the sin of gluttony. However you will see, time and time again, a morbidly obese preacher speaking on drugs and alcohol stating that they body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit and we contaminate it when we use them. Meanwhile, as soon as the sermon is over, everyone heads to the all you can eat buffet. In this area, I find Christians to be the MOST hypocritical.
Hypocritical indeed. This is one of the top four lame arguments the liberty drinkers make when they defend their vice. The reality is that no obese person who heads to that pizza buffet after church doesn’t then get into his or her car and under the influence of pepperoni, black olives, and cheese, kills a family driving home. There’s just no comparison.
The author’s admonition is to the point: grow-up, get some discernment and compassion and stop being a tempter with your so-called liberty. Because if you as either a Christian or worse, a pastor, actively promote alcohol consumption among young men as your badge of liberty, you are not only acting irresponsibly, but utterly foolishly.