“Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival…” Col. 2:16
I thought I had taken my last drink when I became ill after I took a drink in a restaurant when I was about twenty-three years old. Drinking had become a habit for me after spending three years in the military. I had just been discharged not long before and I seemed to have kept up the bad habit as a civilian. I didn’t think much about my drinking habit, for it wasn’t deemed as a bad thing at all in my circle of friends. It was just something all my friends did routinely.
Then something rather unusual took place in my life during that time and drinking seemed to become quite unnatural and unacceptable. I started to go to church and church people in Taiwan appeared to consider drinking alcohol some sort of vice. I was new at the church and had no idea that I had a choice to make - which was to give up drinking.
Before I had yet to make a decision to quit drinking, by God’s grace, the choice was made for me, and I took my becoming ill as a sign that I must become a teetotaler. I drank no wine from then on and remained so for the next forty years or so. I occasionally drank some non-alcoholic beer if I had any craving for wine. That was about all.
Had I actually considered drinking wine something sinful? The issue really didn’t concern me, for I simply accepted the church culture and tried not to offend anyone by drinking. It wasn’t a necessity for me and whether to drink or not was rather inconsequential. I merely chose not to be offensive or a stumbling block to anyone.
I have no inkling of the time frame when I picked up the habit of drinking again. Well, it can hardly be called a habit, for it has never been a daily thing for me. I suppose the church climate concerning alcohol consumption has loosened up a bit and I no longer feel condemned when I take a drink. Even so, I will not take a sip of wine in front of anyone who reckons drinking sinful or un-Christian. Drinking wine, it appears to me, is a morally-neutral kind of thing, and whether it’s beneficial or harmful is determined by how it’s handled by every individual, and by how they are motivated when they drink.
It is something, however, to be avoided like the plague if anyone has any propensity toward alcoholic addiction or is a recovering addict. One must keep it in mind that all alcoholic addicts start out by taking a sip of wine or spirits.
Tuesday, August 14, 2018 7:14:00 AM