Thoughts of a geek

3 September 2007

Christian perspectives on alcohol

Filed under: Christianity — qwandor @ 10:46 am

Last night, I went to All Saints Hataitai‘s ‘to drink or not to drink — Christian perspectives on alcohol’ debate. I saw it mentioned on a couple of blogs (here and here), so decided to go and see what they had to say.

Personally, I do not drink alcohol, but that is mostly because I do not see the point — why acquire a taste for something that is expensive, when there are plenty of nicer and cheaper things to drink?

Anyway, it was interesting hearing two different perspectives, even if they did both come to pretty much the same conclusion (having a couple of drinks is fine, getting drunk is not). A couple of scripture mentioned were Romans 14 and John 2:1-12.

Ben Johnson-Frow (who does not drink) talked about how he used to drink excessively in his teens before he became a Christian, and so he decided to stop completely when he became a Christian, as he would otherwise be temped to drink too much. He also talked about the New Zealand culture of drinking to excess and binge-drinking, and that not drinking at all was partly a way of protesting against that.

Sam Harvey (who brought a bottle of beer up with him to drink while listening to Ben talk) talked about how excessive drinking has never been an issue for him, and he finds it useful to relate to people. He has written a bit about the topic on his blog.

For more discussion, I highly recommend Paul Windsor’s blog post from last year, including the comments. He asks “What is one single redeeming feature of alcohol consumption?”, and some interesting discussion ensues.

This debate was apparently part of a series All Saints are running on the first Sunday of every month, ‘wrestling with some of the big issues of life and seeing what God might have to say about them’. Next month (Sunday 7th October, 6:00 pm) is ‘Truth, Love, Tolerance’, which sounds interesting. I plan to go if I have time, and I recommend it.

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