Today’s Scripture: He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich. Proverbs 21:17

What effect did alcohol have on the ancients? First century writer Pliny wrote of the abuse of wine in the Greco-Roman world, “So much toil and labor and outlay is paid as the price of the thing that perverts men’s minds and produces madness, having caused the commission of thousands of crimes, being so attractive that a large part of mankind knows nothing else worth living for.”

I’ve met so many people who are like that – they live from bottle to bottle, living for the weekend, drinking to forget the pain and misery that they are facing in their lives. That is what alcohol does to the mind – it makes us forget. It dulls the senses, it fogs the inhibitions. The things that we would not normally do can be done when we have an intoxicated state of mind. If the ancients saw the danger, why do not most Christian theologians? Could it be that their theology is interrupted by their appetites and their cultural boundaries?

Again, I think a lot of the problem with Christians is this: they don’t want to be looked on as uncool or unpopular. They don’t want to be labeled as a teetotaler. I think we should be called simply “Christian”, which was a derogatory term originally used in Antioch to mock believers.  We shouldn’t worry about any other name that is thrown our way.

Warren Wiersbe said, “If it is a disease, then it is the only disease that we advertise and promote.”

Is this something that God would give His blessing to? Does Scripture teach that a little bit of drunkenness or drinking is ok? Is it the quantity or the substance that is the issue? Proverbs 21:17 is clear that it leads to poverty. Proverbs 23:20-21 warns about hanging around drinkers. Society has labeled excessive drinking as a sickness. I understand how bad it can be for the excessive drinker. But we cannot call it a sickness; we must call it what it is, and that is sin. We must respond accordingly to sin, and the proper response is an agreement with what the Bible clearly teaches.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.