If I had no religious inclination I would not touch alcohol. Here is why.
The National Institutes of Health's division on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) said in 2004, "
including, "...late night disruptions in sleep maintenance." Even with moderate amounts, "Short-term effects of alcohol include the risk of injuries, violence and foetal damage."
The Partnership for a Drug-Free America list many negative results of consuming alcohol. They list dizziness, slurred speech, disturbed sleep, nausea, vomiting, impaired judgment and coordination, and "increase the incidence ... of aggressive acts including domestic violence and child abuse." To this long list they added "permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and liver," Fetal alcohol syndrome with its cases of "mental retardation and other irreversible physical abnormalities" and "children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other children of becoming alcoholics" conclude their list.
Answers.com says 25,000 people die unnecessarily each year in America from alcohol-related car wrecks. George Washington Medical Center says, "Alcohol costs American business an estimated $134 billion in productivity losses, mostly due to missed work: 65.3 percent of this cost was caused by alcohol-related illness, 27.2 percent due to premature death, and 7.5 percent to crime."
Each of these problems carries with it its own destructive patterns involving family members, employment, government aid, law enforcement, and psychiatric effects. Who wants any of these problems?
But the fact is I am a religious person. I can avoid all these devil-derived problems if I will listen to God. What has he said about strong drink?
In the Old Testament:
- Lev. 10:9 The priests should not drink wine before coming to worship.
- Prov 20:1 "Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise."
- Prov 23:20-21 speaks of heavy drinkers coming to poverty.
- Prov. 23:30 and its context reveals who has deep sadness, contentions, complaints, and "wounds without cause."
- Prov 31:4 reminds kings and rulers not to drink wine or strong drink.
In the New Testament:
- Luke 1:15. John the Baptizer was not to drink wine or liquor.
- Rom 14:21 speaks of the effect of drinking on other believers.
- Eph 5:18. Wine leads to drunkenness.
- 1 Tim 3:3, 1 Tim 3:8, and Titus 1:7. Leaders of the church should resist it.
- Titus 2:3. Wine enslaves.
- Rom 13:13. Drunkenness is not proper behavior for Christians.
- Gal 5:21. Drunkenness "and such like," will keep Christians for going to heaven.
- 1 Pet 4:3. Disciples of Jesus have given up this type of life.
Jesus wants me to have a good life in the here-and-now, and eternity too.
So what is The Struggle?
Is it how much it takes to be drunk, 'buzzed', or unsafe? Can I drink a small amount of alcohol and not effect someone else? Is drinking doing something for the good of others (like Jesus would do), or for selfish pleasure? Who gets hurt?