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The Appearance of Evil

Doing anything to excess is bad for you. If you eat too much it’s bad for you, because you’re going to get fat. Obviously gluttony could be a sin. But we don’t say eating is a sin. We don’t say, “Hey, you can’t eat.” So why do churches say you can’t drink?

There’s seems a common rule among some churches that if you’re on the church staff, drinking alcohol is not allowed. I don’t personally agree with that. You’re saying that if I’m a pastor, or a youth pastor, or somehow on staff, then I’m not allowed to sit at the dinner table and have a glass of wine with my wife. Why not? Why do you think anyone should be reprimanded for that? Because of what it represents?

I’m not misrepresenting the church. Are you saying Jesus misrepresented God when He drank wine? No!

People talk a lot about avoiding the appearance of evil. But why is it evil to have a glass of wine at dinner with my wife? There’s no “appearance of evil” in that. The “appearance of evil” is if I’m drinking wine and standing on the table acting like a hoodlum. There it is. There’s your sin.

Simply enjoying a glass of wine with my wife is not the same as drinking to excess and losing control.  It’s not an appearance of evil. That’s just your judgment.  And it’s not appropriate to judge me or my wife, because we’re doing nothing wrong.

This is just my personal opinion, but I think that when the churches make this rule against drinking, they don’t do it out of fear of God. They do it out of fear of man, and that’s not a good place to live.

I feel like the churches are too afraid of their reputations. They’re afraid people are going to think bad things about them. They’re afraid if someone on staff has a glass of wine, people will think that staff person is a bad person. They’re afraid people will judge the whole church! But that doesn’t make sense to me.  Why should anybody think you’re not good just because you had a glass of wine?  You’re not doing anything wrong.

The answer is usually, “Well, the nonbeliever will think that you’re sinning.” Now that really doesn’t make sense to me. Why would a nonbeliever judge me over something they don’t even believe in? Suppose a nonbeliever sees me having a beer and asks, “Aren’t you sinning?” I would ask, “Well, do you think it’s a sin to drink?” And when they answer “No,” I would say, “Then why do you think I’m sinning?”

There’s no reason for a nonbeliever to think that! It’s just a judgment. If you’re doing nothing wrong, if you’re not living in sin at the time of your alcoholic beverage, then you’re not giving any kind of appearance of evil.

The standard is Jesus. Jesus, who I think drank wine, is the highest standard there is. The King of Kings, God in human flesh! His appearance is the appearance we should reflect.

See you Monday.

4 thoughts on “The Appearance of Evil

  1. I totally agree with you! What’s wrong with drinking a glass of wine with diner? I think it’s ok as long as you don’t get drunk and start fights with anyone… It should be a personal choice! Jessus didn’t say don’t drink but do it in moderation!

  2. I’ve loved this series on drinking. I’ve learned a lot. I grew up in a home where my dad was a recovering alcoholic so I always heard “having a drink isn’t bad…but don’t do it” ect. And I watched both my brothers fall deeply into alcoholism simply from rebelling. Thankfully by the grace of God they are both recovering as well. I don’t know if you’ll cover on this but I believe what you believe but I won’t drink around my brothers or my dad, not in the sense of hiding it but isn’t there a scripture about causing someone to stumble is a sin? I just don’t want to be a reason they stumble, so I chose not to tell them or leave alcohol around……is that wrong or am I just greatly confused? Haha

    • I think you are right on point. Since you have a known weakness that runs in your family tempting them by having it around or drinking in front of them could cause them to stumble. I think knowing your environment is crucial to doing anything.

  3. The pastor at a church that I went to was an alcoholic, and people in the community from outside the church would come back to people that they knew inside the church telling about him getting drunk at parties. He said that he had gone through treatment, but was still getting drunk at parties. Because of that and other issues, it went to a vote before the church members to fire him or not. A majority of the church voted to fire him, but most of the others ended up leaving the church with the pastor and forming a new church, making a nasty split. They were his friends and didn’t see anything wrong with this drinking and it’s reflection on the church somehow. He wasn’t just a poor leader of the church, but also his family, as his wife and two teenage daughters are also alcoholics.

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