15 April 2007

Lips That Touch Wine Will Appear in the Paper

A new concept that I have encountered since moving to Texas is "dry" counties where alcohol sales are prohibited. It is served in some restaurants, but not sold in stores. There are, however, liquor stores built at the edge of the county, making alcohol only slightly more difficult to obtain. Many pastors in our area are rallying to keep this county dry. There is a petition to put the issue up for a vote that is circulating in the county, and the list of those who have signed it will supposedly be published in the newspaper.
This morning we discussed the issue a bit in Sunday School. I remember something the pastor said about a month ago - in essentials unity, in non-essentials, peace. This is not an issue upon which our salvation hangs, and as such would qualify for the non-essential category. Alcohol is not forbidden in the Bible, although God's word clearly forbids drunkenness. I understand completely that as believers that we should stand for righteousness and against wickedness. The alcohol is not the evil thing - but how people behave because they overindulge. I see gluttony as a rampant sin that permeates the body of Christ (four fingers pointing at myself), and yet outlawing chocolate cake will do little to induce righteousness. I don't think you can legislate morality. The difference is that you do not become intoxicated if you eat chocolate cake, and do foolish things that you later regret. It pretty much ends with regretting the chocolate cake. Drunkenness on the other hand lowers inhibitions and makes you far more vulnerable to other sin - you name it.
My husband who grew up in a dry county pointed out that living in a "dry" county seemed to increase the incidence of drunk driving. Those desiring to purchase alcohol would head out across the county line on Friday and Saturday nights to drive-thru liquor stores and start drinking on their way back home.
There are uses for alcohol other than "partying" or intoxication. I have had more than one doctor recommend drinking a small glass of wine for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even pre-term labor. (I was in the final trimester and was having some miserably unproductive contractions.) I drink alcohol on a rare occasion, and feel no conviction against doing so. As a Christian, my biggest concern is causing someone who has a weakness towards drunkenness to stumble if they should see me buying or drinking alcohol, so I drink in extreme moderation.
The issue here has become quite heated. This week's newspaper is full of letters from readers, the majority of which are against the sale of alcohol in this county. There is one zealous pastor who takes out huge ads in the paper who seems to be provoking more discord than stirring the hearts of the community towards godly living. I wonder at that, and what the point might be in publishing a list of names that are already on public record. Jesus did not publish the names of the long list of men associated with the woman at the well - that would have been more the style of the Pharisees. I don't know what the right answer is - but I do know that making laws won't help us clean up those whose lives have been destroyed by alcohol. Christ alone can make that difference.


  1. preach it sista!
    i used to over-consume alcohol (aka get drunk) to escape from the hopelessness of not having Jesus in my life. not pretty. it was like trying to fill a bottomless hole.
    what an amazing thing to find that Jesus could fill it. and not only did He fill it but it runs over, and it is so so good.
    i came up with the name of blog for just that reason. i want my glass to be filled with the new life God has given me.
    i do still have an occasional wine with dinner or bailey's in my coffee. i don't feel convicted of that because i'm not using it as a replacement for God anymore.
    i think we should focus on showing people that no matter what it is (alcohol, chocolate cake, or any number of other things) that we are trying to fill up the holes of our lives with, only God can give us true fulfillment.

  2. In our city, we have a rule that won't let restaurants ( and maybe stores) sell alcohol on Sundays. I'm thinking, if alcohol can be sold, why not on Sundays? Is it okay to drink the other 6 days but a sin on Sunday? There's something to think about! Speaking of thinking, I have awarded you with the Thinking Blogger Award! Congratulations!!

  3. Amen my sistah!!!! I used to drink ALOT. Alcoholism runs in both sides of my family - drinking like I did was stupid at best and potential suicide.

    So at this point in my life, it just seems prudent to be a teetotaller. I do feel the conviction to never drink again. But this is a very personal choice. Most people in my daily life don't know I "don't drink". It's not something I make a big deal of.

    I weary of Pharisees flapping their lips and driving souls back into the darkness because they try to sell the idea of a vicious angry God who will zap you if you make any mistakes.

    Ms. Fatty pretty much summed it up in her comment here!

    Awesome post. Thanks.

  4. I need to come back and read this more thoroughly. Right now I am trying complete a tag from Coffee Mom. I am tagging you. If you are interested, come check it out.

  5. I have induged in alcohol in the past and you're right, you tend to be a little more brazen and less sensible while under the influence. I don't believe that having a drink is a sin. I did however grow up with an alcoholic step-grandfather and the way he treated my precious grandmother made me want to literally, torture & murder him. Fortunately, he went cold turkey a couple of years before he died (from the effects of years of booze) and I got to see that underneath it all, he wasn't the horrible monster I had always seen!

    All of people that my husband works with at the BNSF RR know we are Christians and that's one reason I don't drink. My freedom to have a drink isn't worth the risk of being a stumbling block for someone trying to find Jesus. Another reason is that I'm on some pretty heavy-duty medication from the Texas Cancer Center & mixing it with alcohol wouldn't be a great idea!

    I love what my oldest daughter says as to why she doesn't drink. She told me the only influence she wants to be under is the Holy Spirit's!
    Amen & Amen!

  6. It was up for a vote in the county that the nearest town to us is in. It is no longer a dry county, but it did come with stipulations. I'm not sure what all of those are, but most are happy that maybe the town can now attract some decent restaurants (i.e. some national chains, etc). The little liquor store not far from our house, just over the county line from the dry county we are next too, hasn't seen too much slowing of business, so I don't think it affected them like everyone thought it would.
    I can see both sides. I think I would have rather have seen the neighboring county remain dry, because I have seen a bigger increase in drunk driving (hard not to miss them when they can't even pull out of the bar's parking lot without trouble).
    Kathy from HSB and Xanga


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