Many Christians have allowed themselves to take drinking alcohol lightly.
Now before you start throwing the legalistic stones at me, let me first make the following clear:
I don’t believe drinking alcohol is a sin.
(Editorial comment by Ironstrikes: I agree, drinking alcohol is not a sin. However, as a member of the Church of the Nazarene, I vowed before God and His congregation that I would abstain from the use of alcohol. I believe in honoring my vows.)
Of course, getting drunk is. Alcohol is one of the biggest killers in our society, and as always it continues to take a destructive toll on marriages and families.
But, there’s another problem:
The often overlooked sin that is rearing its ugly head are Christians displaying their love and consumption of alcohol to those around them in public and on social media, when there are many around them that struggle with this temptation and addiction.
The Apostle Paul addressed a similar situation when dealing with those in the church arguing over whether they could eat meat sacrificed to idols. Paul declared that even though they had the freedom to eat meat sacrificed to idols, they should love those that struggled with this practice enough to not do it front of them.
1 Cor. 8:9-13
But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
We sin against other Christians and “wound their conscience” (as well as sin against Christ) when we openly act in a way that would cause them to stumble.
Now, before you say you only do this with others that are like-minded or with your spouse, let me ask the following questions:
Do you highlight or joke about your drinking in person or on social media (posting pictures of your margarita, wine or bottles of beer)?
Do you drink in public when there’s a good chance you might meet someone struggling with alcohol?
Like it or not, people hold Christians to a higher standard (as they should). Do you love alcohol so much that you’re willing to let your witness be tarnished? Do you love your “freedom” so much that you could care less how it affects another brother or sister?
This isn’t about rules being broken. This is about loving our brother and sister enough to limit our freedom in Christ so as to not cause them to stumble.
Would you consider this truth?
I love you and I don’t want anything to dim the light that’s shining in and through you.
This post was written by Pastor Nathan Rouse. For the original post with comments, go to: http://www.nathanrouse.org/2014/01/01/a-caution-for-every-christian-that-drinks-alcohol/