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#30892 Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:30 PM
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John_C Offline OP
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I have heard and read the answer to the question - Is it a sin for a Chistian to drink alcohol? The almost unanimous answer says it is permissable and some even desirable. I agree with the former, but I'm not convinced with the latter.

Since I'm a non-drinker, I'm I sinning for not drinking alcohol?


John Chaney

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John

I do not believe you are sinning by not drink alcohol. That is your choice and as long as you don't condemn your fellow Christians for drinking (not getting drunk) then I see no problem with it either way.

Tom

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I agree with Tom. As long as you don't look down on others for drinking alcohol, or as long as you don't think of yourself as more spiritual for not drinking it.


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
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It really depends on what your purpose is for not drinking alcohol? If you are being legalistic with yourself then yes, it is a sin. Are you substituting cocaine for it? Do you have a medical condition that the doc says it would be wise to drink it, but you are choosing not to? We could go on and on here, but I'm sure you get the picture ....

If you just don't want/desire it, then, ok .... as long as we keep in mind what Marie and Tom said about others.... <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/cheers2.gif" alt="" />


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Honestly John, this is a question I long struggled over. At this time in my life I agree whole-heartedly that it is no sin to drink alcohol. Conversely, I don't think that it is a sin not to drink alcohol.

In a manner of speaking, I see the point and the scriptural support that some use to assert that partaking of alcohol is wrong. Obviously, within the context of the panoply of scripture there is cause for question in this regard, seeing as consumption of potent potables was very much a part of the lives of many of the pillars of our faith, not the least of which was Christ Jesus.

Now in regards to not drinking, John the Baptist (the irony in the name is so amusing) did not consume "strong drink". This was in light of Old Testament prophecy of his coming. Can it very well be sin if it was spoken directly into his being from creation by a Holy God? I think not.

So the question must come back to motive. Any action can become sin if carried out in judgement of another's salvation. As Marie and Tom clearly say, as long as you aren't doing it so that you can pass judgement on another brother, it seems permissible. However, I know you, and I don't think that to be the case. My advice: don't become part of the culture; if it's not you, it's not you.

Just so anyone wondering is clear on this: I am an ex-baptist. I did not drink, and had some issue with it upon converting to Presbyterianism. After careful search of the scriptures, I came to my conclusion, which was in line with that of my Presbyterian brothers. I consumed alcohol for roughly a year, when I stopped due to health concerns. I do however feel that a nice hand-rolled cigar from our Caribbean neighbors is quite nice. That also came following my move to the PCA.

I know it was long, but you get a lot for two cents with me!!

Andy

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Andy,

It took me a while before realizing the post was from you. Why the change in your Highway moniker? I will send you an email soon.

Instead of seeing the differences between moving from a SBC to a PCA church, I'm finding the difference between moving from one PCA church to another. The former held a dim view of alcohol consumption with the view that it is permissable but very seldom wise. Let's just say my current church is different in that regards. Is it somewhat tied to sinful pride in the former? Yes! Yet, I see the same sinful pride in the discussion of alcohol in my current church. So, it is a wash in that regards.

The former is counter-culture in its Christian application in this area; whereas the latter is counter-culture to the popular Christian application, especially in the South. They are both in the counter-culture business.

The only reason why I would drink would be due to peer pressure, either good or bad. It would not be one from conviction; and I'm not referring to sinning or not. The passage in Romans teaching about going against your conscience appears to apply in my case. The motives for me to drink would be definitely wrong.

I was wondering if there were a viewpoint that abstaining being a sin. If that is a viewpoint held by some, it must be in the extreme minority.

Thanks for everyone's input.

Last edited by John_C; Sat Jan 28, 2006 12:39 AM.

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John,

I was wondering if you have read any of the following articles:

1) The Weak and the Strong by Prof. John Murray
2) Liberty of Conscience by Donald MacLeod
3) Freedom in Christ by G.I. Williamson
4) Christian Liberty by A.W. Pink

ENJOY!!

In His grace,


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Now in regards to not drinking, John the Baptist (the irony in the name is so amusing) did not consume "strong drink". This was in light of Old Testament prophecy of his coming. Can it very well be sin if it was spoken directly into his being from creation by a Holy God? I think not.

Isn't this in reference to John's Nazarite vow though?
Quote
he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried.
(Num 6:3 ESV)

Personally I think drinking or not drinking is adiaphoria.


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Agreed. I have felt pressure from both "camps" at different points in my life. So often our "spiritual maturity" is gauged by such matters of adiaphoria--and that's plain wrong. I have been told that I am spiritually immature for drinking wine and for NOT drinking wine. I have had folks break fellowship with us when they learned we enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. I have also been scolded for not serving wine with a dinner out of respect for guests who do not drink as a matter of conscience. I have come to the conclusion that in this matter,it is impossible to make everyone happy.


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
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I have come to the conclusion that in this matter,it is impossible to make everyone happy.
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/yep.gif" alt="" /> You got that in one.


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John_C said:
Andy,

It took me a while before realizing the post was from you. Why the change in your Highway moniker? I will send you an email soon.

Instead of seeing the differences between moving from a SBC to a PCA church, I'm finding the difference between moving from one PCA church to another. The former held a dim view of alcohol consumption with the view that it is permissable but very seldom wise. Let's just say my current church is different in that regards. Is it somewhat tied to sinful pride in the former? Yes! Yet, I see the same sinful pride in the discussion of alcohol in my current church. So, it is a wash in that regards.

The former is counter-culture in its Christian application in this area; whereas the latter is counter-culture to the popular Christian application, especially in the South. They are both in the counter-culture business.

The only reason why I would drink would be due to peer pressure, either good or bad. It would not be one from conviction; and I'm not referring to sinning or not. The passage in Romans teaching about going against your conscience appears to apply in my case. The motives for me to drink would be definitely wrong.

I was wondering if there were a viewpoint that abstaining being a sin. If that is a viewpoint held by some, it must be in the extreme minority.

Thanks for everyone's input.

Hi John,

I've experienced the opposite situation as you recently. I moved from a PCA church that was very accepting of alcohol (when used in an appropriate manner of course) to a Presbyterian church that takes a very dim view of alcohol use. Even though they don't go so far as saying that using alcohol is necessarily a sin, the passion with which they argue for Christians to not use alcohol makes me wonder sometimes. It has caused me a lot of soul-searching the last few months and even today at church I had another conversation that ended up in talking about alcohol. However, when I attended my previous church, I do believe that I used the church's rather permissive views about alcohol to justify my sometimes abuse of it. This was definitely a sin on my part and was not in line with the church's teaching. Thankfully, God called me to repentance for that behavior. In my current church, I've steadfastly refused to make a promise to abstain from all alcohol use because I think it just smacks of legalism, but I've had to really learn to take into consideration a lot more the feelings of my fellow Christians (even when they are not around).

I think in your case I would caution against using alcohol due to peer pressure, whether good or bad. If it goes against your conscience to drink, then it would be a sin to drink I think even if you were trying not to offend someone's hospitality. I would hope that fellow Christians would be considerate of your conscience when asking you to drink. It could be that one day in the future, you will come to a point when you can drink in good conscience, but even then, continuing to abstain would not be a sin (as long as your motives are good as other's have pointed out).

Of course, if that time comes, and you decide to have a drink, always remember to drink with thankfulness as you are enjoying one of God's great blessing <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

John


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