Open Forum Fri 21 April 2017Posted: May 13, 2017
We met at around 6pm. Ramin, Mohammed, Arman, Kourosh, Hosein, Derek, and David. We finished at around 7:40 pm and prayed around at the end.
The question of Christians and alcoholic drinks was suggested by Arman.
Dr Masters’ book, ‘Should Christians Drink?’ is very good. There are at least two reasons why Christians should not drink alcoholic drinks.
Hypocrisy was a new word – saying something is wrong when you do it yourself or even judge others for doing it yourself. Alcoholic drinking is an example of this where in Iran, it is common to say you do not drink (and getting caught leads to bad punishment whether you drink less or lots) but drinking in a private party may happen. Religion is full of hypocrisy – praying is a good example. Many religions focus on the body, perhaps using beads, or a mat but God is very interested in our heart (1 Sam 16:7, Joel 2:13, 2 Tim 3:5).
One reason we must not drink alcohol is because it is a great evil in the world. We want to have nothing to do with the world. Lives and families are destroyed every day by alcohol. Big money is made out of people who can not even afford to buy food. Alcohol makes fools and slaves out of people. Even one drink can make someone lose control of their mind and lead to more sin.
Some churches will only have strong wine in their communion service but this is not helpful to anyone, least of all the recovered alcoholic in the congregation.
The other main reason is ‘the weaker brother’ argument. Read Romans 14 and 15 and 1 Corinthians 10. Paul says he would rather give up eating meat than to make his brother fall into sin. Thinking you are ‘strong’ to carry on drinking alcohol shows that you have already fallen (1 Corinthians 10:12).
But we must not focus just on one kind of drunkenness and condemn it loudly. There a many ‘small’ people who just go to a public house to relax with friends after a hard week or drink a bottle of wine watching TV at night – they are just as guilty of hating God as someone who gets very drunk in a night club all weekend.
Then we also mentioned perhaps the worst kind of drunkenness. This is a curse from God for our godlessness. In Jeremiah 25:27 and 51:57 we read that God sends ‘drunkenness’ to his people. We see many things in church that shows that this has happened: overconfidence, staggering, lying, sleeping, not feeling natural pain, wallowing in filth instead of getting cleaned up, going back to sin. This is a terrible punishment.
We think that God does not notice if we sin. We think that if he really cared about our sin he would kill us (e.g. send a piano out of the sky to hit us). We forget that the goodness of God should lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4). This is how wicked we are. Instead of thinking that we should repent, we sin more! We very much need the grace of God to save us!!