I was raised in a church that forbade alcohol, and to this day I don’t drink.
Over many years, I finally came to the conclusion that drinking is not sin, and I refuse to make my rule for me apply to you. At this late stage of life I see no reason to introduce something into my life that has never been a part of it, and I recognize all the pitfalls that can come from alcohol. But I also recognize that most people are able to enjoy a beer on a Saturday afternoon and no harm no foul.
So, my attitude is that the alcohol-free life is probably better, but its a mistake to make a fetish of it. There are Christians the world over who don’t have any misgivings about it (I’ve heard of Brits holding bible-study at the pub). We have a lot of freedom in Christ.
Well said, marron! I’m a Southern Baptist and a non-drinker, but I don’t worry about what other Christians do as long as they truly strive to live a Christ-like life.
Baptist doctrine is against the consumption of alcohol. Although scripture doesn’t *require* abstinance from alcohol, there’s nothing wrong with that choice. Christian denominations make collective decisions on how their members should act all the time, although it seems only rarely do they interpret scripture to be *less* permissive than what can be justified...
For example, meatless Fridays for Catholics. That’s not required in the scriptures, but is done as a reminder of Christ’s sacrifice. (someone correct me if I’m wrong) I don’t do it, but I think that’s great. Maybe this Baptist will start! :)