by Dr. Omana Mammen, Trivandrum
We see frequent discussions and news stories on "Alcoholism among Christians". Whether Kerala comes first in the list or not, the topic is highly relevant today. We have to be concerned about our family members, members of the church and other people we come across, if they are in the habit of drinking. It is high time our church management do whatever possible to eliminate this problem. Many people start it from peer pressure and to taste the fun of it. The media influence is large. The consumption is at its peak during Easter and Christmas.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: "Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God."
In Gal 5:19-21 also this message/ warning is strong. The things your sinful old self wants to do are: sex sins, sinful desires, wild living, worshiping false gods, witchcraft, hating, fighting, being jealous, being angry, arguing, dividing into little groups and thinking the other groups are wrong, false teaching, wanting something someone else has, killing other people, using strong drink, wild parties, and all things like these. I told you before and I am telling you again that those who do these things will have no place in the holy nation of God.
Drinking is a social evil. Proverbs 20:1 tells that drunkards cannot think wisely and drinking is behind all the quarrels and fighting. Wine is a mocker, strong drink is enraging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Even occasional drinking does not do any good and it sets a bad example to the younger generation. 40% of road accidents are due to alcohol. Most of the sex crimes are under the influence of alcohol.
In Luke 21: 20-38 Jesus talks about His second coming.
In Luke 21:34 He warns about drunkenness. Watch yourselves! Do not let yourselves be loaded down with too much eating and strong drink. Do not be troubled with the cares of this life. If you do, that day will come on you without you knowing it.
Rom 13:13-14 tells clearly about following Christ. We must act all the time as if it were day. Keep away from wild parties and do not be drunk. Keep yourself free from sex sins and bad actions. Do not fight or be jealous. Let every part of you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not allow your weak thoughts to lead you into sinful actions.
Everyone who believes in eternal life with God should take this seriously. We Orthodox Christians leave the decision about eternal life to God and live this life as we please. This is very very dangerous. If we have to be followers of Christ producing the fruit of holy spirit mentioned in Gal 5:22, we have to maintain our body as the temple of God as in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
Do you not know that your body is a house of God where the Holy Spirit lives? God gave you His Holy Spirit. Now you belong to God. You do not belong to yourselves. God bought you with a great price. So honor God with your body. You belong to Him.
Ephesians 5:18 says, "Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit."
No woman will like her dear ones drink something harmful to the body, mind and soul. It ruins the peace and happiness of family life. But there are lot of Christian families as in Isaiah 5:11- 12: "Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may pursue strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! And the harp and the viol, and the timbrel and flute, and wine are in their feasts; but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of His hands."
Isaiah 28: 7-8 says "These also walk from one side to the other side because of wine and strong drink. The religious leaders and the men who tell what will happen in the future make mistakes because of strong drink. They are troubled by wine. They walk from side to side because of strong drink. They make mistakes as they have special dreams. And they make mistakes when judging between right and wrong."
Hosea 7.5 says "On the special day of our king the leaders became drunk with wine. He joined hands with those who laughed at the truth."
Hosea 4:11 "Their sinful ways and both old and new wine take away My people's understanding ." He tells that drinking is injurious to our mind and thinking.
Those who are in the habit may say it is difficult to change. Jesus can change the habit, if there is a strong desire.
Don't be of the opinion that drinking once in a while is OK. It is dangerous.
May God bless all my fellow Orthodox Christians to have a desire for holiness in life so that the Holy spirit will work in us to fulfill His purpose in our lives- for the glory of His Kingdom.
Christian Family in
the Globalized World
Excerpts from the Couple's Conference held on 31 May, 2008 at St George Church, NY.
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