Some random thoughts on the question of “Drinking and Being Drunk.”
As many of you know the SBC has had much to say on this subject:
FIRST-PERSON: Total abstinence (Sep. 13, 2005; By Jack Graham; Baptist Press)
Check out the web page for The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Check out the “news and resource” section. Then find the “resource,” section near the bottom right, click “audio.” From there scroll to the bottom, it should be within the last group. It is entitleld, “Alcohol and Ministry: A Forum” (MP3 Download). The following link should bring you right to the page: http://www.sbts.edu/resources/audio/
Check out this latest Resolution on Alcohol submitted by the SBC.
As we know the Apostle Paul tells us not to be “drunk with wine” but filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
My question is, “what does drunk mean?”
Is being impaired, the meaning of getting drunk?
Does that mean we have to have a breathalyzer test to make sure that we are not over the limit set by our government?
Can we get “drunk” while we are at home? (cf. Eccl. 9:7-10).
Do we designate a driver when we go to a party just in case?
Is getting drunk the sin or is it a state of drunkenness?
Is it sinful to be drunk or is the sin partaking of the things that may transpire?
The Bible does seem clear that a mature Christian has to weigh the impact of his witness on a weaker, immature Christian. Paul spoke of us not doing anything purposely to cause a weaker brother to violate his conscience or to put a stumbling block before him.
Getting drunk is very subjective and different for everyone; because not everyone’s tolerance for alcohol is the same.
The bible never says that the drinking of alcohol is wrong . . . never . . . only getting drunk . . . a very subjective command.
The dilemma is that any time you place restrictions on a person or people, you give way to man-made restrictions . . . the point I guess I should make is that just because a certain culture needs to legislate morality to control its citizens, doesn't make it right . . . or in this case Biblical (albeit not within the power of the resolution since it is not binding on any church . . . which, if it was, would be legalism).
We know that the legislation of morality (biblical or not) doesn't work because of the failure of the "Religious Right," Puritanism," and yes even "Judaism."
A Religion (theonomy) that isn't Spirit-empowered will fail. This is the unique gift of this Covenant, the New Covenant. (The previous 3 examples include cultures that are a mixture of both elect and non-elect, therefore there is not a comprehensive move of the Spirit).
The Spirit has given us a new heart, and causes us to walk in His statutes. All members of this covenant are controlled by the Spirit – at their innermost core.
This is true for members of the New Covenant. The Spirit moves within them to fulfill the “righteous requirements of the law” (Rom. 8:3-4). This speaks nothing of drinking alcohol, because the Bible doesn’t condemn drinking in itself.
So, I’ll close with two thoughts, 1) one can be filled and moved by the Spirit and still consume alcohol. The other thought is, 2) since the Bible doesn’t condemn the drinking of alcohol only the abuse of it, for one to make a sweeping restriction of its use (i.e. we condemn its use); then aren’t we sinning by the making of such rules / laws?