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Why I have never & will never drink alcohol

09 Oct

I’m sure after reading this post’s title, emotions were raised…either in support or against my view. So, in either case, please settle down. I’m not sure what causes people’s emotions to absolutely boil when someone comes along with a different viewpoint than their own, but this seems to happen whenever the subject of alcohol is raised. I’ll admit that it’s even been the subject of a few arguments within my own family. As emotions escalate, feelings tend to get damaged; it’s a battle that, in the end, no one really wins. With all that said, I’ll attempt to keep my emotions in check while I write the remainder of this post.

As a young child, I never saw my parents drink alcohol…ever. As far as I knew, none existed in the house, not even cooking wine or rubbing alcohol. Imagine my surprise when they told us a story of how they got some of my older siblings tipsy from some canned apple juice that had fermented. Of course my mom can laugh about it now but I’m sure it wasn’t as funny when it happened. That story is the only reference we ever heard about alcohol in our house. In fact the subject, for or against, wasn’t really talked about at all. However, growing up Baptist, it was more or less assumed that as a Christian, you would never dare drink. I don’t remember a sermon, sunday school lesson or lecture about the drinking of alcohol. I just never did it and really did not have the desire to drink it.

When I became of legal age to drink, I was attending Huntington College (now called Huntington University) in Huntington, Indiana. The college has a list of rules that students are to follow called the Community Life Agreement and as you can see, we weren’t allowed to drink alcohol. But here’s the thing: even if we were allowed, I wouldn’t want to. Why? Well, there are several reasons and the list gets longer every year. Here’s my reasons when I was in college:

1. Not allowed (as mentioned above).

2. Illogical. I’m a VERY logic-based type of person (which may surprise you once you find out that I was a Communication major in college…a major that typically attracts the creative types, not the logic minded folks). In my mind, it didn’t make much sense to dull the senses for a temporary amount of time to get away from your problems, only to wake up the next morning with the problems still being there, but with less time to solve them.

3. Danger. I think the effects of drinking and driving have been well documented. Do I need to go on with this reason?

4. Reliability. I like that I’m dependable. Unless I’m sick, you can pretty much count that if you need me, you can get a hold of me…day or night…and I won’t have a hangover. In college we depended on technology quite a bit at the radio station and when it failed, I was typically called upon to solve the issues.

5. My faith. I’ll expand on this later, but I can point to several scripture verses that have convicted me to abstain from alcohol. I have not taken the Nazarite vow mind you, but my convictions are just as strong. Though the following verses are taken from a passage that’s talking about another area that we can stumble in, I believe it also has general guidance as well:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. [1 Cor. 6:19-20 ESV]

As time went on, either more reasons were added or adjusted from the the previous reasons. There were life instances as well as teaching from our pastor that really solidified my belief that as a Christian, I should not do this (for my own well-being as well as to be an example for others).

1. Car accident. Yes, drinking and driving was mentioned in the previous list, but something dramatic changed my theoretical belief into a practical belief: I was hit by a drunk driver. To read the full story, check out my wife’s blog post which includes a bunch of pics. You never think it’ll happen to you…and then it does…and it changes you.

2. Family. Yes, I also mentioned that my parents never consumed alcohol (to my knowledge) or at the very least in front of us. However, that doesn’t mean that any of my siblings didn’t consume alcohol when they were growing up. Such was the case with one of my younger siblings. Getting a phone call very early in the morning from a drunk sibling that wants you to pick them up and they don’t know where they are: not what I’d consider a fun way to spend my early morning hours. Seeing how alcohol affects your family isn’t, in my opinion, the best advertisement for me to give it a try.

3. Friends. A few years back some friends of our ours from church got married. At issue for me was when the celebration carried over from the reception to the married couple’s newly purchased home as a sort of home warming/casual wedding reception combination. The amount of alcohol that was consumed that day by the married couple, as well as friends, was…well…let’s just say that I don’t understand why you’d willingly want to drink a substance that you know will make you forget a huge day in your life (or at the very least make you act in a way that you’ll regret later on). I can only wonder what their neighbors thought of the ‘new’ residents.

4. Faith. I HIGHLY recommend listening to this CD by Pastor James MacDonald. Obviously, his take is similar to mine…we don’t drink. I choose not to. Plain & simple. You say…‘but what about Jesus? Didn’t He drink alcohol? Didn’t He turn water into wine for others to drink?’ There are a few places that others more intelligent than I have already given an answer to this line of questioning. Check this one out.

Personally, I choose to focus on the scripture I referenced above, as well as 1 Cor. 10:31, Gal 5:19-21, and Romans 13:13-14.

Lastly, I am aware that “Thou shall not drink alcohol” is not one of the Ten Commandments…I never said it was. So the question for you may not be “Is it wrong to drink alcohol” but “is it right”? As you weigh these factors as I have, check out this scripture verse:

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. [James 4:17 ESV]

Sometimes sinning isn’t just doing the wrong, but can also be not doing what you know to be right. Aren’t Christians told to be holy (which means, ‘set apart’) in 1 Peter? Don’t get me wrong…I’m not perfect. But even though there isn’t a directive about alcohol like one of the Ten Commandments, I believe there’s plenty of proof that Christians need to stop drinking alcohol in order to experience the blessing that obedience to God can offer.

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18 Comments

Posted by on October 9, 2010 in My faith, Soapbox Saturday

 

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18 responses to “Why I have never & will never drink alcohol

  1. neftwink

    October 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Interesting post. Outside your religious position on drinking, these two comments most attracted my attention:

    “2. Illogical. I’m a VERY logic-based type of person (which may surprise you once you find out that I was a Communication major in college…a major that typically attracts the creative types, not the logic minded folks). In my mind, it didn’t make much sense to dull the senses for a temporary amount of time to get away from your problems, only to wake up the next morning with the problems still being there, but with less time to solve them.”

    I don’t believe that’s why most people drink. I believe most people drink – or use drugs – to try to find an element of strength somewhere in the profound weight that over powers them when it comes to their concerns and stresses. I’m one of the most logical people I know and I’ve been to inpatient treatment for alcohol abouse five times.

    4. Reliability. I like that I’m dependable. Unless I’m sick, you can pretty much count that if you need me, you can get a hold of me…day or night…and I won’t have a hangover. In college we depended on technology quite a bit at the radio station and when it failed, I was typically called upon to solve the issues.z’

    With four bottls of wine in me I never missed an appointment or didn’t return a call. Addicts can function – at least up to a point – just like anyone else.

    Under everything you’ve written I get the idea you’re very aware that alcohol takes away your control of – things. But you’re never really in control of anything but yourself in the first place. That can be a scary realization for a lot of people.

     
    • Walsh Media Inc

      October 9, 2010 at 10:46 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Neftwink! Interesting name!!
      I want to explain my position in the areas that you outlined…so here we go.

      In the matter about the reasoning why people drink, I guess I’m a product of today’s media which tends to show people in bars drinking when they are down-in-the-dumps drowning their sorrows away. Yes, they also show people socially drinking wine in restaurants and guys drinking beer during football & baseball games. So there are multiple reasons why people drink alcohol…I didn’t mean to imply that there was only one reason why people drink alcohol. However, I do feel that all the reasons listed, as well as those not listed, come from one ultimate explanation. I believe that there is, in every human being, a soul. This soul longs for & desires to be full. I believe that God designed souls to be full of Him…but by our own choice. When we choose to fill that space that God designed for Himself with other things (drugs, smoking, gambling, sex & yes, alcohol), problems arise. If you check out Exodus 20:4-6, you’ll see that God is jealous of anything that distracts our attention from Him.

      Neftwink, I’m truly sorry that you’ve struggled with alcohol in the past. I obviously cannot relate, except to say that I know that addictions are very hard to brake…no matter what the addiction is. I’m glad that you’ve sought help though.

      Regarding the reliability part…I believe it’s safe to say that alcohol, in even the smallest quantities, can have some effect…whether we’re aware of it or not. I’ve had a hard time selling this point to others, but to me it’s just common sense: anything we put in out mouths (whether it’s food, drink, pills, etc) will have some effect on our bodies (positive or negative). Since I don’t drink alcohol, those effects won’t be visible on me…ever. If you’ll allow me to use a sports analogy, when a player is not doing their typical best, it’s said that their ‘game is off.’ So, sure…someone can drink alcohol and still function (depending on the amount and other variables), but their game would be off due to the effects that consuming alcohol bring.

      Again, thanks for visiting Neftwink!

       
      • LR

        October 30, 2014 at 3:56 am

        As for #3 (the wedding), I think you might do better to attend to your own life than worry about the neighbors of your friends.

        I believe you truly could stand to make use of the above observation, that “you’re never really in control of anything but yourself in the first place.”

        God’s jealousies could also extend to any secular product, or to the extreme, any minute that doesn’t involve direct prayer. Strange that the one who built it all would be the most demanding of attention. However, I expect no less positioning from a person who uses the example of a drunk sibling and then makes it about them:

        “Getting a phone call very early in the morning from a drunk sibling that wants you to pick them up and they don’t know where they are: not what I’d consider a fun way to spend my early morning hours.”

        How about being glad that family member (presumably) came home with you and was safe?

        Wait – there’s a bible story about cheerfully assisting a family member that made a mistake and sought a way home . . . and not making it about yourself in the process. You know what it is 😉

         
      • ChicagolandTim

        June 30, 2015 at 3:19 pm

        Thanks for coming to my blog! I’m sorry that it’s taken me this long to respond. In fact, it’s been so long since I wrote that post I needed to re-read it and the comment that you’re commenting on!
        The wedding reception was a difficult time, as the bride and groom were…well…I guess you can call them acquaintances. I called them “friends” but honestly neither of them are friends enough to be a Facebook friend, if you get what I mean. Anyway, I did know that they both attended our church. Really, that’s the heart of the issue…what do people think of Christians that excessively drink alcohol? I’ve heard time and time again “well if they were really a Christian, they wouldn’t do x, y, z.” My concern wasn’t myself or the wedding, but whether the actions of the day would prevent someone from coming to Christ.
        Again, thanks for visiting!

         
  2. maxi cosi

    October 25, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Man, talk about a fantastic post! I?ve stumbled across your blog a few times within the past, but I usually forgot to bookmark it. But not again! Thanks for posting the way you do, I genuinely appreciate seeing someone who actually has a viewpoint and isn?t really just bringing back up crap like nearly all other writers today. Keep it up!

     
    • Walsh Media Inc

      October 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm

      maxi cosi,

      Thanks for those kind words of encouragement!! So often I write blog posts and wonder if anyone really reads them. Sure, I can see how many people have visited each page/post on my blog (thanks to WordPress’ account tools), but it doesn’t mean that they’ve read the whole thing and/or agree/disagree with it.
      As a suggestion, you can subscribe to the blog and be emailed whenever a new post is posted by hitting the ‘Sign me up!’ button right above the blogroll in the left column. I do have a few other topics that I’m still toying with for Soapbox Saturday posts, but welcome suggestions as well.

      Thanks again,
      Tim

       
  3. potenzmittel

    October 31, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Every time I see blogs as good as this because I should stop bludging and start working on mine.Thanks

     
    • ChicagolandTim

      November 2, 2010 at 10:35 pm

      It does take a bit of time, but WordPress does make it pretty easy. I also try to use Live Writer for those special posts where tables are used or pictures put in special locations. I’m not an expert on blogging yet, but I thank you for thinking that it looks good!

       
  4. pc spiele neuheiten

    November 2, 2010 at 4:12 am

    Hey very nice blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds
    also…

     
  5. beste tagesgeldkonto

    November 3, 2010 at 8:11 am

    As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?

     
    • ChicagolandTim

      November 3, 2010 at 10:08 pm

      Sure thing! Just a small favor though…please credit my blog with a hyperlink. Thanks!

       
  6. cFNature

    February 6, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Hi there, its been over a year since the last post. I understand your point of view completely. I personally think its a sin when you consume too much (gluttony). I respect everybody’s opinion and its great for you. As a christian i really don’t want to drag anybody further from christ. God bless you brother! Stay in the light 😉

     
    • ChicagolandTim

      June 30, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      Thanks for the words of encouragement. I apologize for not being on here more. It’s amazing how much time can be consumed with being a husband and father!! I have no idea how the professional mommy bloggers do it…simply amazing!

       
  7. Alexia

    December 31, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this post, but I 100% agree with your view of avoiding alchohal. My dad and my two younger brothers were killed by a drunk driver New Years Day 2012, so obviously these holidays are incredibly difficult for my mom and I. I think drinking is a matter that affects others just as much as yourself. It’s a very selfish drug to “indulge” in.

     
    • ChicagolandTim

      June 30, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      Alexia…so sorry to hear of your losses. I can’t imagine how hard it is for you, each day. My only suggestion is to draw upon the strength that only God can provide. He can give you peace.

       
  8. Elizabeth

    December 14, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I am a non-drinking skeptic/atheist. I think it is very logical not to drink when you look at the evidence that supports the negatives of drinking. I realized all the different holy books of the different religions were written by men and not any type of supernatural deity. I realized I that praying had no effect on the real world. Therefore, I made up my own saying: CCC (Cancer, Calories, Cash) That little saying helped me to quit drinking 1 year and 7 months ago. I am glad I quit drinking before my thirties. 🙂 🙂 🙂

     

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