An Uncommon Answer

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 23

Gold Nugget
Verse 20: “Do not mix with winebibbers or with gluttonous eaters of meat;”
Christians across the country are divided on whether the consumption of alcohol is a sin or not. Many mainstream American churches consider it sin. Even of those churches that hold to that belief, many of their congregations dabble in wine or alcohol of some sort. So, is drinking alcohol a sin? Only those that feel free to identify things as sin without any biblical support would call wine a sin. The enemy loves to call things that are guilty of offense - "pure" and call those things that are pure - "sin". Now, that being said, there are some things that are declared in Scripture that relate to wine that are very important. All through the scriptures, overindulgence of wine is continually warned about. Overindulgence of anything can be dangerous both spiritually and physically. As in today’s “gold nugget”, overindulgence is not even something to be associated with. “Do not mix with winebibbers or with gluttonous eaters of meat;” If overindulgence is sin, than just like any other sin, the bible teaches us to avoid the association of either.

All across America you will find one side of the church that condemns those who are winebibbers on Saturday night and “Christians” on Sunday morning. This part of the church that condemns those Saturday night “winebibbers” are often Sunday afternoon “gluttons”. The point I’m trying to make is not one of keeping our mouth shut because we all have issues, but more about the need to conform to scriptures and not to each other. Also, we should expect each other to conform to the scriptures rather than conform to our position on the scriptures. I hope you see the difference.

So again, is wine a sin? Well, I say no more than meat is a sin. Is overindulgence a sin? Continually overindulging in anything will be harmful. Is there something else to consider? Yes, the old “appearance of evil”. The bible warns us to not only withstand evil, but to avoid the appearance of evil. That is to say, even if it isn't evil in itself, but is often interpreted as sin, you may need to avoid it to protect your Christian reputation. For that reason I don’t drink, despite how innocent it is in itself. That being said, I believe gluttony and the appearance thereof is also detrimental to your Christian reputation. As someone who struggles with being over-weight, I know that I need to do better in practicing self-control if I want to be a good witness. Today’s devotion may be harsh, but overindulgence of anything is an issue Christians should be concerned with.

Lord, thank you for the challenge you put before us today. Help us to avoid being offended, but encourage us to be interested in conforming to all of The Scriptures and not just the portions we deem relevant. Amen

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