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Fear Factor

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The Christian home seems to get to the point where drinking is a sin. They want to make sure that they control the kids, so they take it to that point.

I think that’s wrong. And I think that’s why you see kids rebel. Here’s my idea. You want to see kids quit drinking? Why don’t you just tell them that it’s okay to drink? It’s just not okay at sixteen. I guarantee they’ll stop then, because they don’t want to rebel against something that’s okay. They’ll say, “Oh, we can’t rebel against that.” Yeah! That’s right, you can’t.

I don’t believe in the whole fear factor. I don’t believe in the notion that we should spiritualize drinking and guilt kids through Christ. And I think the churches that counsel that way are wrong.

It’s not a sin. Nowhere can you see that or find that in scripture.

People forget this. They make all these rules saying drinking is a sin, so then they don’t want to listen to the first miracle. We forget. Jesus turned water into wine. And it wasn’t just an okay wine. It was the best wine you can have. I’m guessing the alcohol rate in that was probably not nil.

Then you get into the arguments. “Oh,” people say, “back then there was non-alcoholic wine.” No, I’m pretty sure they didn’t have the ability back then to make non-alcoholic beverages. I don’t think there was a filtering system. They sat in a winery and stomped on berries. That’s what they did! There wasn’t a filter on the alcohol. It was fermented.

“Oh,” people say, “but Jesus didn’t drink.” Yeah, He did. In fact, Jesus was called a drunk and a glutton! When He hung out with people, He drank their wine. And so people started judging Him. They said, “Oh, Jesus is at their house drinking. He must be a drunk, because he hangs out with people a lot, and he always drinks their wine.”

Jesus drank wine. And there’s nothing wrong with it.

Obviously if there’s a pastor out there just slurring like crazy, and rambling, and falling over, you know what? His church will take some flak for that. James says Christians are going to be held to a higher standard.

But the standard is not drinking. Jesus is the highest standard there is! He’s the King of Kings! He is God in human flesh! And He had wine.

Drinking isn’t a sin, but drunkenness is. Next time I’ll tell you why. See you Tuesday.

10 thoughts on “Fear Factor

  1. Jeremy,
    This could not have been written in a more timely fashion! I am preparing to make the move to Arizona to be closer to my parents. My mother has Parkinson’s and my dad needs help caring for her. Both my folks are devout Christians and my mother views any kind of drinking as sinful and doesn’t allow any of us to enjoy a cocktail around her. I am a christian who likes a drink now and then and I have forwarded your blog to her in hopes she will begin to see things differently.

  2. Ohh, now Tuesday seems so far away! I’ve been looking for a good perspective about this. My boyfriend’s family doesn’t seem to agree that drunkeness is a sin. Alcohol is at every family get together, and if it isn’t, they don’t have fun. I want my future children to have good role models, and for them to know that it is not okay to get drunk. Monday is an off day for the team so maybe I’ll get lucky and a post will come early? 🙂


  3. A church I went to had a big split because the pastor was an alcoholic (among other things) and part of the church wanted him fired and part of them didn’t see anything wrong with it. He would get drunk at parties and things and it would reflect poorly on the church. People at the church would find out from other people they knew, “Did you know what your pastor was doing the other night?…” He ended up being fired, and he led part of the church to start another church. Big mess. 😦

  4. Great post Jeremy. The bible has lots to say about drunkenness, but most of the things you have heard over the years about drinking was said out fear. Parents feared their kids would go out and drink and get drunk so they broad brushed the entire issue of drinking by saying it was sin instead of teaching and training them in the light of the bible.

    Romans 14 is an excellent chapter to read. Its titled the law of love. Anything you do should be done with the thought, will this cause a brother or sister to stumble or fall? Love will make a sacrifice for another.

    As christians you may personally feel it is ok to drink but another brother may feel like it is wrong. The key here is each individual needs to hear God for himself on what is proper for him. There are people who if they drink are prone to be alcoholics and others can drink with no problem. I grew up in a home where dad had a beer every lunch and a glass of wine each meal. He never got drunk nor got out of control.

    Fear should never be a motivator to teach or train. The biggest thing I was taught was drinking was unholy. However, here in America and around the world, most “actions” of holiness is Cultural. I lived in Europe and was shocked to find that 90 percent of the Christians drank. I will never forget going to a seminar and they served beers while the speaker was talking. These were Godly men, but they were drinking.

    Our lives should reflect Christ in all we do. As we are promoted into leadership and in all of our daily lives, you have to ask ourselves, what would love do? Will my actions cause another to stumble? I personally gave up drinking because in 1988 it caused another brother to stumble. I made a decision to stop drinking alcohol because I did not want to be a stumbling block to anyone. I also knew that on my side of the family and my wife we both had people who were alcoholics and that it could be passed down to our kids. I wanted to be an example to them so I chose to stop. My kids faced the same decisions also. They are 28 and 32. They are going to have to make a choice based on biblical leading to drink or not to drink.

    Now in saying all that I want to point out something. One glass of wine can cause you to go to jail if you are pulled over by a police officer while driving. So, I have to ask this, is is worth it? We have put so much emphasis on this issue, we need to look at it from a spiritual and a practical point of view. Society in America is becoming more and more intolerant of drinking and driving, so please keep this in mind. All decisions about alcohol need to be made led by God, his word and with spiritual maturity.

  5. Great post Jeremy. It is strange where the church gets these “rules” over the years and turns them into sins. Looking forward to your Tuesday post.

  6. great post. As a parent of a college student we have chosen to be open about drinking and it is topic we haves spent lots of time talking to our kids about. We do not encourage getting drunk but, if you aren’t causing someone to stumble or making someone else feel like there is something wrong if the choose not to drink and, if you do so responsibly we see nothing wrong with having a drink or two.

    We have never hidden the drinking from our kids and some people may disagree with me but we told our kids that is they really feel that they want to try it to please come to us. We won’t give their friends any so do not ask but, with us if they want they could try a drink. Now let me say I am not supplying my kids at all. I am just saying that if they really wanted to try it I would rather have it in my house than at a party, or have them driving.

    Our oldest asked the winter of his senior year, I poured him a drink and as I did he said no I really didn’t want it I was just seeing if you were for real. He than said now you need to drink it mom and I found myself in a perfect teaching situation. I had already had a cocktail and didn’t want to have another so I dumped it down the sink. My son look at me like I was nuts and I explained him that you should never feel you can not dump alcohol. If he was ever out and ordered one and changed his mind he didn’t need to drink it. It is totally fine to let it go to waste and if a day ever can that he didn’t think it was okay to waste it than it would be time for a reality check on his alcohol use.

    He went off to college and told us he watched lots of Christian kids go overboard on drinking, and he said he never felt the need to because by not forbidding it we took the excitement out of it. He watched his team mates on a the athletic code at his college use it like crazy and he chose to take rude remarks for saying no. He said he would rather have a beer this summer with his dad by the fire and talk than have it to get drunk. What Jeremy said is so true.

  7. I just stumbled across your blog! Dude are you crazy! What you are saying here can ruin your career, blacklist you, draw scorn and mockery…. KEEP IT UP! I love it!
    I have always been a fan, always thought you were the best setup man ever.. but now i see you’re not only settin’ up for BW.. but for JC (cheezy huh?)… will start praying for ya bro!

  8. I don’t have any idea how many “Christians” you know, personally, but I know quite a few that don’t think having an occasional “cocktail” or alcoholic drink is said in the Bible to be a sin.
    However, God’s word clearly teaches that a “drunkard” will not “inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.” It is up too everyone to decide when that state has been reached, for themselves.
    Unfortunately, people do not always recognize when that point is reached, because of the one or two cocktails, beer or whatever their choice has been. If something causes a Christian to be a bad example ( by their behavior ) then the Bible tells us to give it up for the sake of those who are weak. My opinion is if you have seen good come from “occasional” drinking, then fine.
    But frankly I have never witnessed it doing anyone any lasting good in the life of those around me’; or for that matter, my own family, sin or not.

    • C. Swift – Personally i know a lot of Christians! Plenty that have both views on this topic. Not sure where you are from but I’ve been around some pretty legalistic christians. Not a good or a bad thing really. My personal view on your comment is would you have looked into the face of Jesus and said the same thing you have told me. “Jesus, I know you just turned water into wine for all these people at the wedding and I know that you people have called you a drunk and a glutton in their judgments of you, but I dont think wine does anything good for you so why did you do it and why did you turn water into it.” I have no problem with those that do or do not drink. I have a problem with the guilt people bestow on others for doing it or not doing it. Hence the reason for the blog. Mr Egly above makes the best point. He says its a spirit conviction. If you feel its alright fine, if not then dont. In my opinion, making a point of saying it does nothing of lasting good isn’t the best argument for this topic.

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