Part 1 - Contemporary Drinkers
Alan Cohol and the Stimulants - no, it's not a band name, just me having a fun play on words, yet the real deal with alcohol and other stimulants is an absolute nightmare for many people. Across the Body of Christ and in the contemporary Church, there are various views on the intake of intoxicating liquids and substances that stimulate our flesh. Some nations are very conservative and others are extremely liberal in their stimulant use, especially the old Alan Cohol! Go to Europe and they could well be down the pub after church swigging down pints! In some parts of America you could be sacked from church staff if you did that. In Australia the attitude is quite liberal. In the UK binge drinking amongst teenagers is the worst in the world, and the worst it has ever been in history. Recently a girl in her late teens suffered cirrhosis of the liver after years of drinking! A disease often associated with older people.
As the Church moves into the fullness of apostolic restoration, there are many people that are seeking a greater tangible purity in their lives. They want to walk in the reverential fear of God on a finer line - closer and more intimate with Jesus. In the case of acquiescing to Alan Cohol and the Stimulants, the world does it to a sublime degree, unfortunately many Christians do as well; most of the time you just can't tell the difference - who is who? Christians are asking the question today. "Should we, or shouldn't we?" Many Christian leaders would answer with an emphatic, "No way!" Their boundaries are clear and absolute, and rightly so - however, there are many believers who have found that the lines have become so blurred in the Church's effort to be contemporary. For example, going out and getting drunk regularly is no big deal. Such people have fallen into grievous and damaging sins. The reason is this: drawing the line of excessive use is different for everyone, and for many, all it takes is one more glass either way to cross it.
Many new Christians in this present era, have no sense of conviction at all with what is right or wrong - they have been 'born' into the contemporary Christian way of life, they see what goes on, and are none the wiser. Ministers drink and then gloat about it from platforms, and the modern, busy, achieving believer, thinks nothing of it. 'Hey, life's a party get into it' - and the sheep do. There is also the traditional images of the priests of ages old who are predominantly sloshed all the time; displaying their adulthood in a limp form of male example, wearing long black religious dresses - they are an ironic, comedic mockery in the media. Should we wonder what ambassadors would be requisite in a world already drowning in alcohol abuse?
I met a young man not so long ago who had been a backslider in his Christian life. He loved the Lord and wanted to get strong again. He joined a popular youth group and was shocked at the partying, drinking, and immorality that went on. They were young believers born into a contemporary Christian culture - they knew no different. I was amazed as well. He consequently left that church and continued his search. My heart went out to him. I thought 'these things ought not to be!'
Recently a very high profile prophet in America fell to the enticements of alcoholism and sexual immorality. Many of you have seen these things in life and grieved. We have all heard of great men and women falling, and wonder why. Where are the boundaries, and standards? What are they? What is going on? Do we really have an answer? The questions are many, but the Bible has more answers than you may realize.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
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