by Alfred Lamar Jackson
Hello, and how are you today? Today is a great to be alive and kicking. If you are alive and kicking and reading this now it means you are blessed with air in your lungs, strength in your legs, and vision in those pupils
Today I wanted to skim across an issue that seems to pop up every now and then. I decided to take my turn and put down my opinion on this matter. So let’s get started.
Drinking. I can hear the sighs now. I can feel the groans coming from the guts of a vast majority of people. I just want to put a spin on the issue. I’m not going to talk about whether it’s right or wrong, I’m going to talk about what you and I are responsible for as believers in Christ.
1 Corinthians 8 is a great chapter. It’s very meaty as I like to say. We’ll take a sample from verses 11-13.
So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat cause my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.
So first I’d like to remind you to start and the beginning of the chapter and read to the end to understand to whole part of this message. First off, knowledge is power when it’s put into the right hands. To summarize, Paul is talking about the beliefs at the time about food sacrificed to idols. That food was seen as defiled. Now, believers free in Christ should know that food is food and eating food sacrificed to idols is the same whether you eat it or not.
A very big key lies in verse 9. Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.
For me, this is the kicker. Paul says that those with the correct knowledge should not exercise it among those who don’t know or understand. This applies to us as believers in Christ. There’s so much out there in the world that isn’t outright mentioned as sin in the Bible. There are also a lot of things that are clear in the Bible, but tradition and misguided views have construed the truth, and a vast majority haven’t taken the time to look for that truth.
For me, I have yet to find a scripture that says drinking is a sin. Drunkenness is the sin. HOWEVER, there are a lot of people, believer and non-believer, who don’t know this and they see drinking as a sin. So, what does scripture say? We seem to have two options: educate them of the truth of scripture or, yep, don’t drink around them – so you don’t cause them, in weak conscience, to stumble and get the wrong idea. Depending upon your relationship and how close you are with them, there may be times where you might need to stop drinking all together if that’s what it takes to get through their challenges…I can’t know your life, but know this would be one option in extreme circumstances.
The point is that we are responsible as brothers and sisters in Christ for how other believers see us. We aren’t necessarily accountable to the world but to each other. If another believer doesn’t understand and you can properly teach them in truth, then you are responsible to do that. It’s not just about drinking. It involves everything from parenting, teaching, habits, ideals, philosophies, etc. We are supposed to be a united body of Christ, but because most people seem to want the Bible to cater to their life or beliefs, we have the separation and denominations that we do.
I could rant about this for good while but I feel I’ve made the point I wanted. This was a little longer than usual. Remember, I’m not the ultimate authority on anything. So if I need to be corrected in truth, feel free to do so. I’m just trying to get it right.
Keep each other in prayer.