Monday, November 26, 2012

Calling All Born-Again Christians

First let me point out that I respect your view point and worldview, as I respect everyone's view point and worldview, even though I don't agree with it. But hey, I'm a live and let live guy anyway.

But there's something I've been thinking about lately, and perhaps you can tell me your rationale for this particular quirk of behavior that Christians all seem to share: as a rule, born-again Christians do not drink alcohol. For some reason they think that drinking is a sin. Now I don't understand this, because one of the most famous of the ways that Jesus was said to have shown His divinity was that He turned water into wine. Now, this was at a wedding. They were celebrating a joyous event with wine, and at some point they ran out. They HAD water; they weren't in any danger of dying of dehydration. Wine was not something they had to drink; wine was something they wanted to drink. And Jesus was said to have used His unlimited powers as God's only begotten son to give the attendees at the wedding (and presumably Himself) more wine! If nothing else, this shows both the societal attitudes of the day towards wine, and Jesus' own attitude towards it.

Why, then, has the drinking of alcoholic beverages become such a taboo among the Christian community? It seems like the attitudes against alcohol are ours, no one else's. If you don't want to drink, because you don't think that alcohol is something you want to put into your body, fine. I personally don't drink. One might say I don't do it particularly well. So I don't do it at all. But that is my choice. Do Christians not drink alcoholic beverages because they think somehow it's against Bible teaching? If so I'd love your rationale. You'd be educating me.

Please don't get me wrong: I'm not judging anyone or anything. If you've given your life over to your Savior, great. Mazel Tov. Who am I to say you did anything wrong or stupid? I misspent the better part of my life, and I'm glad I did. But to each his own. I just want to know: why do you guys not drink?


  1. I have never met a born again Christian who was against drinking. I would assume though that the ones who are think that if they drink they would potentially drink to excess and lead into other sin. So to avoid the temptation they avoid drinking. I think there is a lot of evidence that drinking can be bad for some people. I am like you though, live and let live.

    1. Yeah man - hating and judging is too much trouble. I got my own tsores.

  2. Just to play devil's advocate (and because I completely agree with you...)

    What's with that news story that comes out every few months that says "a glass of red wine with dinner can actually be healthy!"

    No, it's not, because NOBODY drinks ONE GLASS of red wine with dinner. Those ridiculous stories are pretty obviously some people trying to justify their alcoholic behavior!

    Having some wine and getting tipsy is probably not good for you, but it won't kill you either. Making up bullshit excuses for your drinking is pretty unhealthy though!

    But to actually answer your question:

    Romans did not drink water, they drank wine. But it's not like the wine you're thinking of, it's a glass of water with a tiny bit of alcohol added to it. See, the water supplies were pretty questionable back then, and the Romans believed that adding a little alcohol would kill any harmful bacteria living in the water. So people drank "wine" instead of water, because water was dangerous. But they weren't getting plastered, there wasn't enough alcohol in the wine to get you drunk (or kill the bacteria, for that matter.)

    Those Christians you are speaking of aren't really against alcohol, they are against drunkenness. Jesus wasn't providing wine to get the party-goers plastered, he was providing a potable beverage. Of course this reduces the "miracle" to merely adding some alcohol to the existing water vessels, but lots of stories get exaggerated over time, don't they?

    1. I know people that drink ONE glass of wine with dinner.

      Much like there are a ton of occasions that I drink ONE beer with dinner.

      Just because you don't know people that do it doesn't mean that they don't exist.

      just saying

    2. Actually wine in those days was a completely different animal than what we have today, stronger and harsher. People actually mixed it half and half or even as much as 1 part vino to 3 parts h2o. Hard to say whether they were watering their wine or purifying their water. Probably a mixture of both.

  3. Brother Duggle!! Thanks for checking in. As for your comment:

    Well we know that's why the British Navy served grog to their swabbies. But the Romans knew well the value of fresh water - witness the aqueducts they built everywhere they went. Plus, the Bible abounds with tales of men who made decisions whilst in their cups - there was definitely such as thing as Biblical drunkenness!

  4. I live in the South East around a lot of Christians who believe Alcohol is the devils brew. Being raised Catholic, I don't believe that. We Catholics believe the sin comes from within the sinner, not from the brew, and not from the cards. That is why even though I don't go to church much anymore, I would never change from being a Catholic to another christian religion. I can drink and gamble and not be shunned for it, as long as I don't harm others or myself in the process.

  5. Catholicism does not shun drinking or gambling. I live around many Christians here in the south who do. That is just two of many reasons why even though I don't attend church often, I would never switch denominations.

  6. I think that giving up alcohol represents giving up temptation.
    Why do people become born again in the 1st place?
    From my experience (which I know is limited) it's because there has been some great evil that has led them down a path of Charlie Sheen like self destruction and that usually started with drugs and/or alcohol.

    There had to be an intervention at one point and these people are of the belief that they just don't have any self control when giving into the temptation of alcohol and as such it needs to be avoided at all costs.

  7. I'm not a born-again Christian, but let me add my two cents. With most of the things they call sins, it's all about where you draw the line.

    Back in the day, they saw that drunkenness was bad, so instead of saying drink in moderation, they said don't drink at all.

    Back in the day, they saw that having a child out of wedlock was bad. Instead of saying be careful when having sex, they said don't have sex at all. Some (Baptists) draw the line before that. They say that dancing can lead to hot-and-heavy which could lead to sex which could lead to pregnancy, so they said don't dance.

    Back in the day, they saw that gambling could lead to bad things, so no gambling. Others draw the line even further -- no cards, cards are bad.

    I'm no defending this, just saying what and how I think these rules or sins or whatever they are were started.

    Judaism has some similar things. They didn't know about trichinosis, but they knew if you ate pork, you could get sick. Therefore, it was a rule not to eat ham.