Is drinking alcohol a sin? A recovering alcoholic's answer


I read a thread the other day and responded after praying about it.
The question was:  Is Drinking Alcohol A Sin?
Tender Reed - Lisa Leenie, and all concerned, if I can please add to all this wonderful commentary of truth. I love what Tender Reed says and this is soooo true about our liberty in Christ. I also deeply appreciate what Lisa and others have said about the problems, pain and suffering alcohol causes. (I loved Tetals letter to Logan) . As I said earlier I spent 3 days on the floor, 12 yrs ago, when Jesus brought me out of that terrible pit of alcoholism. Note: Career Naval Officer and the Navy and Marine Corps (as all military) are built on tradition and drinking is heavily intertwined in its culture... After spending some time sober, my eyes opened to see the terrible destruction it caused in my life and family. Family suffers deeply more than the drunk. I read and studied the effects of alcohol on society and you wouldn't even imagine. It is billions and billions of dollars but worse the death and destruction is unimaginable. I then began a crusade to bring alcohol into legislation as a controlled substance or to at least put severe limits on its usage. I became very legalistic and began a one man crusade and witch hunt. I wanted to form a national coalition with MADD (mothers against drunk drivers) and other organizations..Had several friends killed in alcohol related accidents) I was continually growing more radical and hate began to settle in my heart when I understood (while sober for about a year) just how deeply evil alcohol can be. This is how I can so much identify with Lisa.
Then, Praise God (through Love) over time as I became more frustrated, the Holy Spirit began a work in me to discover 3 very important things. 1. Satan is the prince of this world and he controls this world (within God's perfect and permissive will and limits of course, and ultimately for God's end purposes) An example in the case of alcohol are the physical manifestions of this control: These physical enforcers who promote alcohol are the big 3: The National Brewers Association, National Distillers Association and the National Wineries Association) that are extremely powerful lobby groups in congress. Take for example the NABA (nat brewers assoc) mission statement: NABA mission is to secure beer's role in our culture and society through advancement of brewing quality and consumer education.
2. God gave us a paradox about alcohol as he does many things. (see paradox below) ; He condemned drunkenness, and (as Lisa said) talks more about the harms than the good, YET... there is ample scripture promoting it.
3. The Law Of Opposition. whereby I learned that Alcohol is only one of millions of devices that are designed to kill us if we abuse it / misuse it/ or sometimes even get near it... and thereby it must be OVERCOME... I.E., GOD PUT IT THERE TO BUILD US.... THROUGH ITS ADVERSITY AND COMPLEX PARADOX...
What I learned from these 3 points are:
1. We do not fight flesh and blood, so the weapons of my warfare are not carnal but spiritual... (and yes there are times we fight in the physical after the Holy Spirit gives us the green light)
2. PARADOX is two truths laid side by side that are mutually exclusive yet when examined closer they prove to be compatible and open up a whole new dimension of truth. examples of prime paradoxes: Drinking brings destruction and can lead to sin and Drink some wine for your health. Christ was fully God and fully Human. We have to die to self in order to live; the humble are exalted, slavery leads to freedom; the foolish are wise; the poor are rich; the weak are strong; etc. Through prayer and time and the wisdom of older Christians I began to see that the Kingdom of God is not "primarily" about rules and morals, but about being In CHRIST CRUCIFIED and walking in the spirit (hence the freedoms Tender Reed speaks of).. our 10 commandment tablet of rules is not written in stone but in our hearts and the Holy Spirit is our conscience, intuition, and communion.
When I look at Lisa's experience, I don't even have to ask, but I can tell she had some bad painful, experiences with a front row seat. I agree, with her. We are not being legalistic, but rather we draw the line and say, " Personally, I believe that to partake in any substance that loosens inhibitions and impairs judgment is a sin. There are a lot more in the Bible against... than....."
3. The Law of Opposition: And then I began to realize that there's not only alcohol that we have to deal with but millions of other things. How about eating? Exactly at what point do I overeat and become a glutton? It is rather subjective I'd say.... How about sex? I can look at a pretty woman but where is that split second, that sliver of an instant where my mind crosses from admiration and respect to lust? how about money? I can be making a very good salary and then where does that super thin line of taking care to manage my finances cross over from prudent care to preoccupation and greed? How about shopping? the list goes on and on. (As Oswald Chambers says, "The Law of Opposition" "To him who overcomes... (Revelation 2:7): Life without war is impossible in the natural or the supernatural realm. The very elements that sustain me while I am alive work to decay and disintegrate my body once it is dead. Anything that does not strengthen me morally is the enemy of virtue with me. But we must fight to be moral. In this world you will have tribulation, This means that anything which is not spiritual leads to my downfall.. Jesus went on to say," but be of good cheer , I have overcome the world. " John 16:33
I must learn to fight against and overcome the things that come against me, and in that way reduce the balance of holiness. Then it becomes a delight to meet opposition. Holiness is the balance between my nature and the law of God as expressed in Jesus Christ. Amen.
God bless you all.
PS: what overcoming teaches me it to run after Jesus and hold onto him, I overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (believing in the victory of that shed blood).
Praise God.
Love you all so much.

Comments

  1. Randy as an alcoholic that has been set free from that scourge, I have never been so happy in my life to have been able to never drink again. That is what my Mighty Lord did for me! Praise God!
    But you are right, in that if it was not the drink then there is always another addiction or another temptation waiting to satisfy the flesh, if we let it. It could be shopping or sex or food. Until we die or Jesus comes back and we are changed from mortal to immortal, then this is the way it will be. This fallen world is sick and full of disease and death and is a dying thing. Groaning to be set free and redeemed back to the garden.. soon very soon it will.

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  2. Yes, Amen, Sarah. I hear ya sister. Praise God. As Charles Spurgeon says, "only one who has experienced the depths of sin really appreciates how truly great is our redemption and freedom in/by Christ Jesus. Amen! We are OVERCOMERS! Amen!

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