As I sit here writing this article I am drinking the 12th beer of a 12 pack that has been in my fridge for over 2 weeks. Let the record show I did not drink all 12 lest you teetotalers factor me as a beer-a-day kind of guy. But the truth is that I am a committed follower of Christ and I like beer. For some of you that is absolutely no big deal but for others you have already branded me with a big H on my chest for hypocrite. Or maybe an S for sinner. Some of you may give me a B for backslider. Or maybe even a big A for alcoholic. But I like C for Christ Follower. Let me give you a little of my drinking background.
Before I became a Christian in college I was a binge weekend drinker with my buddies (sorry Mom, but it’s the truth). We would drink most weekends, chase girls and try to stay out of big trouble. After I became a Christian, I completely distanced myself from alcohol and became what I called a tolerant teetotaler. By that I mean I didn’t think that the Bible spoke against drinking but did speak to the issue of drunkenness and the deceitful control of drink. The closest I got to imbibing was an occasional non-alcoholic beer (Sharps is the best) for the next 20 years. A few years ago, I began to drink again. I was on staff with a Church and there was an issue where a community group leader had served some alcohol at a party and there was a big discussion about making a rule that there could be no alcohol at any church functions.
For some reason that really struck me funny. We were about to put a rule in place that Jesus Himself would break. I could envision Jesus walking right into a community group with a six-pack draped over His shoulder and ask if anybody wanted one. Just to prove that our man-made rules are silly. It struck me that the legalists make all the rules. The church in the south has become very legalistic in it’s thinking. We walk around trying not to make anybody stumble and have allowed the professional stumblers to suck all the fun out of life. I want to be more like Jesus and keep the main thing the main thing and not get stuck in the rut of a bunch of man-made rules.
In the Garden of Eden, God told Adam and Eve “not to eat of the tree.” When Satan asked Eve what God had said, her response was “God had told us not to eat or touch it”. With the “touch-it” add on man has become very proficient in adding to God’s word. I am sure that Adam and Eve’s motives were good. The thinking goes like this, “if God doesn’t want us to eat then let build a fence around the tree and not even touch it.” Sounds good huh? Until you continue to add on to the command. Fences are good sometimes unless they become the rule verses what was actually said. God said don’t get drunk with wine. Getting drunk and having a beer are two different things aren’t they?
By the way I only wanted half the beer and I poured the other part out. I guess that makes me just half a sinner, right?
photo by DeusXFlorida