Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why I don't drink alcoholic beverages

I have been thinking about doing a post on this for a while, but figured I'd irritate someone, but then that has never stopped me before, so I am going to do it. Besides, I am in the mood to blog, and that is all that is on my mind. I would like to point out the title of my post "Why I don't drink alcoholic beverages", with emphasis on the "I". Do I believe Christians should drink them? No, but I don't think anyone should. I believe the world would be a better place without beer, wine, whiskey, and all of the other forms of alcoholic beverages there are. No drunk driving accidents that kill innocent people. No families starving while their dad wastes his paycheck at the local bar. No abuse brought on by drinking. (Yes, abuse would still exist)

  So here is why I don't drink. This is not an indictment on those who do, but reasons I don't.

1) I was raised not to. My parents were not Christians until I was close to 12, and they never drank. It wasn't a right or wrong thing, but I guess just something they didn't do since they had been raised not to do it.

2) Because I am a Christian. Now that may sound like a criticism, but it isn't. I have heard all of the arguments - Jesus turned the water into wine, the Bible says a little wine is good for the stomach's sake, etc. But I remain convinced that as a Christian, I should abstain. And no one is going to change my mind.

3) I have an addictive personality. I think that's the word I want. I get addicted to things easily - foods, drinks, etc. I have heard all it takes to become an alcoholic is one drink, and even if I decided I could drink as a Christian, I fear the hold it could have on me too much to ever take that risk. I have had periods of depression and other times of discouragement and trials....... if I drank, I am sure I would have drank, and drank, and drank some more....... so I am not heading down that road.

4) The Bible. "Wine is a mocker,Strong drink is a brawler,And whoever is led astray by it is not wise." That is quite a warning. A warning I have heeded all of my life. No matter the argument about Christians being able to drink, there are still the warnings about it in the Bible.

5) It is an acquired taste. Granted, it is a lesser reason, but these are all reasons: I have smelled beer, and it stinks. I have smelled it on people's breath, and it stinks. I've heard people tell of their first drinks, and it sounds like you have to acquire a taste for it, much like for coffee, which I don't drink for the same reason, though I HAVE tried coffee. And yuk!

6) My witness. I haven't done that well in life that I am a shining example of a Christian, but there are still a lot of people outside of the church who still have the idea that Christians don't drink, or shouldn't drink - or both. Which is kind of telling, considering all of the arguments from pro-drinking Christians. 

I was talking to a former co-worker one time, and he started talking about when he turned 21, if he was going to drink. Then he goes to me "you don't drink alcohol, do you?" I was amazed. I had never even talked about that, much less indicated whether I drink or not, but just his knowing I was different - that I don't curse, or do a lot of other things everyone else does - made him realize I probably didn't drink either. 

7) I hate what alcohol does. I have read some of this before, and as I read it again, the thought came as before "why would I want to partake of something that causes so much heartache and death? Whether as a Christian, or not? And how can one read these statistics and not feel we would be better off if alcohol was banned, other than in medicines?" Here are a few statistics:
  a) Every 53 minutes, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash. That is 27 people a day

  b) Every 90 seconds, someone is injured in a drunk driving crash.

  c) Approximately 17 million adults ages 18 and older (7.2 percent of this age group) had an AUD (alcohol use disorder) in 2012. This includes 11.2 million men (9.9 percent of men in this age group) and 5.7 million women (4.6 percent of women in this age group).

  d) In 2012, an estimated 855,000 adolescents ages 12–17 (3.4 percent of this age group) had an AUD. This number includes 444,000 females (3.6 percent) and 411,000 males (3.2 percent).5
  • An estimated 76,000 adolescents received treatment for an AUD at a specialized facility in 2012 (8.9 percent of adolescents in need). This included 28,000 females (6.3 percent of adolescent females in need) and 48,000 males (11.7 percent of adolescent males in need
  e) Nearly 88,0007 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women8) die from alcohol related causes annually, making it the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States

  f) In 2006, alcohol misuse problems cost the United States $223.5 billion

  g) In 2012, 3.3 million deaths, or 5.9 percent of all global deaths (7.6 percent for men and 4 percent for women), were attributable to alcohol consumption.


  h)Alcohol contributes to over 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions, most notably alcohol dependence, liver cirrhosis, cancers, and injuries.12 In 2012, alcohol accounted for 5.1 percent of disability adjusted life years (DALYs) worldwide. 

  i) Globally, alcohol misuse is the fifth leading risk factor for premature death and disability; among people between the ages of 15 and 49, it is the first

And some facts on underage drinking:
  • Prevalence of Underage Alcohol Use:
    • Prevalence of Drinking: 2 out of 5 15-year-olds report that they have had at least 1 drink in their lives.15 In 2012, about 9.3 million people ages 12–20 (24.3 percent of this age group) reported drinking alcohol in the past month (24.7 percent of males and 24 percent of females).16
    • Prevalence of Binge Drinking: Approximately 5.9 million people (about 15 percent) ages 12–20 were binge drinkers (16.5 percent of males and 14 percent of females).16
    • Prevalence of Heavy Drinking: Approximately 1.7 million people (about 4.3 percent) ages 12–20 were heavy drinkers (5.2 percent of males and 3.4 percent of females).16
  • Consequences of Underage Alcohol Use:Research indicates that alcohol use during the teenage years could interfere with normal adolescent brain development and increase the risk of developing an AUD. In addition, underage drinking contributes to a range of acute consequences, including injuries, sexual assaults, and even deaths.

With all of the statistics,. and how I personally feel about alcoholic beverages, I believe I am better off not drinking.

 And I admit it bothers me how much Christian authors have alcohol consumption in their books, and it bothers me to see anyone drink. I hate to see a young guy walking out of a store with a 12 or 18 pack of beer. 

And to briefly address Christians drinking, of all of the arguments defending it, no one has ever come up with a good reason why we should. Not why we can, but why we should. But I promised I was not going to argue against Christians drinking, but talk about why I don't. So there it is.

** most of my statistics came from The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

*** and those statistics don't cover the amount of abuse suffered, the marriages broken up, the broken-hearted kids and spouses because of alcohol.


  1. Thank you, Mark, for posting what you did, I couldn't agree more, for I truly like what you got across in this post of yours.

    I'm an alcoholic that has just recently turned my disease over to my Creator (God) because I've come to the point that I know for a fact that I'm unable to quit drinking alcohol on my own. The only way I'm able to refrain from drinking this substance is with God's help.

    The Bible says in Philippians 4:13 (KJV) "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

    Yesterday I received my one month medallion seeing September 4, 2014 was one month for me without having a drink of alcohol.

    I've tried giving up drinking alcohol on my own for years which has never worked for me, this is why I have decided to let God be in charge of my life from this day forth.

    Also I've been going to "Alcoholics Anonymous" which has also been of a great help for me, and on September 3, 2014 I found a sponsor that's a Christian that's going to be my sponsor which I'm really thankful for.

    God bless you my brother in Christ,

  2. Good post, Mark! The Bible does not come out and say, "Thou shalt not drink" although it sure gives lots of warning against over consumption, but you gave a lot of really good reasons why a Christian should not!