I think my husband and I are part of a dying breed. We are Christians who don't drink alcohol. If I would have made that statement ten years ago it would have sounded ridiculous. Now, not so much. Sometimes I look around myself and wonder, where am I? And I realize, like the Bible says, I don't fit in; I don't belong here.
This has concerned me so much that I spent several months studying and praying and even discussing this with other believers. I must say, my conversations with others only added to my distress. I found that I have been totally disillusioned and that many of my friends and colleagues have a very different view of what 'not drinking' is. When I say Kevin and I don't drink, I mean ever, for any reason. Not 'when the kids are asleep and the neighbors are out of town', not 'only in the privacy of my own home', not 'when I'm on vacation', not 'only socially'. None.
My time studying has taken me all over the Bible. I had to start my study with an open mind, willing to change my stand if that was what the Word proved to me. But it wasn't. The most compelling verses to me were Proverbs 31:4 which says kings and princes should not have wine or strong drink, coupled with Exodus 19:6 which tells me I am part of a kingdom of priests. The other verses which convinced me to continue abstaining were Titus 2:2, 1 Peter 1:13 and 5:8, which each call us to be sober.
My time in prayer was mainly a time of reflection. A time of remembering my past, and all of the many situations I put myself in with alcohol. Disastrous decision and lots of heartache. Oh yes, at first it seemed fun, but somehow it usually ended in tears or angry words or worse. I can honestly say that most of my worst decisions were made when I drank. And, not to mention the destruction that alcohol and drugs have played a part in many friends and family.
I know every argument that people use about why it is okay to drink. Jesus turned water into wine...if He didn't want us to drink, he wouldn't have made wine. Breaks my heart, and I bet it breaks His too. Why can't we see the true miracle in this? Jesus took something common (water) and made it something uncommon (wine). Or, the miracle of provision, there was a need and it was filled. But all we see is an opportunity to drink. And, my other favorite, all things in moderation. I think how this should be written is, all things I want in moderation. Sorry, just one more...it's not against the law. Well, soon smoking pot will probably be legal and same sex marriage also. Are we going to do that too? Paul said all things are permissible but not all things are good. If we use the legal system to decide as believers what is right and wrong we are in big trouble.
My final, and hopefully most compelling reason, is my ministry. When God spoke to me about beginning the singles ministry at our Church I know it was a 24 hour a day commitment. I am not just a small group leader from 9:45-10:45 on Sunday mornings. I am a get dressed and come to your house at 10 pm on a Thursday night cause you called and were scared and going to have a seizure leader. My husband is a get on your roof and find your leaks on his Saturday off minister. We choose to be ready in season and out of season. Sober and clear-headed. We believe that is the only way to be a leader. That is the kind of leader I want to follow. And I do.
You don't hear much preaching any more on living a sober life. Oh, we are all on the bandwagon of stamping out prescription drug use and meth, but when the rubber meets the road, don't mess with my Saturday night 6 pack or my martini at my business lunch. We are all for healthy bodies, but my wine after dinner, step back. A cloudy mind is a cloudy mind, no matter what produced it. A clear mind always knows what it is doing. My sister-in-law Carol and I had a good discussion about drinking and Christians. Her words of wisdom: Once you make a decision to drink, it only brings up more questions and decision to make. When am I going to? Where am I going to? Am I going to do it openly, or hide it? How much? How about these questions: Why do I even want to? What good purpose is it going to serve? Who might get hurt? Is this something I'm bringing into my new life with Christ that is really from my old life without Him?
I know My thoughts and my convictions are just that, my thoughts and convictions. Just thought I would share. Maybe there are a few more of us than I think. I hope so.