*gasp* But Tim, you say, Christians can’t take a drink! “Oh yes we can” , say I as I poor out some beautiful Scotch, marveling at the art. But if you’re of the contrary opinion you’ve probably already made up your mind that you’re being “biblical” and that I must be one of the “carnal” Christians (of course ironically when Paul talks about “Carnal Christianity” he is referring to Christians who practice a system of does and don’ts). Honestly, I’m tired of people who want me to trade in my birth-rite inheritance for a bowl of pottage called legalism; so please, by all means, don’t drink if that’s what you want- just understand that you’re conviction (as admirable as it may be) is just that. Jesus turned water into wine folks, not fake wine (He wasn’t a liar), wine- and don’t try and play that “watered down” game with me. God sanctioned “strong drink” to the Israelites- that means hard liquor folks. Get over it, you’re problem with alcohol is not God’s; His only problem is getting drunk, of forming an idolatrous attachment to alcoholic drinks. “Ah, but Tim,” you say “that’s just it; alcohol is addictive! So okay maybe the Bible doesn’t call drinking a sin (at this point your brow furrows with spiritual concern) but with all the alcoholics and the dangers, you’d better not.” – and that perhaps is the best of the reasons that I don’t buy. At least that reason thinks of others- but sadly it is nothing more than a legalistic trap. Legalism has the characteristic of proving it’s own fallacy by its “selectivity”; and that is the case here. You’ll note that the person telling you this probably has no issue popping out to McDonald’s, right? But what about obesity? Where is the concern there? Diabetes, Heart failure, clogged arteries- lethal killers! Yet no “concerned brow furrows” here. Obesity vastly outnumbers Alcoholism- but the Kingdom of God apparently can’t be bothered with that. But see dear friends, ultimately that is the trap and the snare of legalism- for in order to get it right you must do it ALL right, you cannot stop with alcohol.
“But Tim,” you say “We should avoid the appearance of evil!” -this is perhaps the flimsiest reason for me not to splash The Macallan into a glass. I’ll make it simple. God doesn’t call alcohol “evil”. So that must mean someone OTHER than God calls it evil. So who are you lining up with when you call alcoholic consumption “evil”… the implications for who you’re lining up with aren’t great.
“But Tim,” you say “Alcohol destroys blood vessels, nerve-endings- you’re destroying the Temple of the Holy Spirit!” -Really? That’s where you’re going? Ok, fine, now cut out all processed foods, pretty much all sugars, because these too cause bad effects in the body- again you have set a trap of your own undoing. You cannot stop there- not if you are consistent anyway.
“But Tim” you say “What about the weaker brother!” Ah yes that grossly overused verse to justify the continued weakness of said “weaker” brother, dooming him to remain static. Okay, firstly know who your “weaker brother” is and what the “weakness” is- and act appropriately -in that situation-. “But what if you don’t know?!” Well- sometimes you roll the dice and hope that your mannerisms and love wins the day- rather than live a cloistered life in morbid fear you’ll make someone stumble. What if someone has a sex addiction? Well, I have five (soon six) kids and a good looking wife; if I walk past that person it’ll be pretty obvious what we’ve been up to. So should I split us up? Walk a bit ahead? After all, is he not weaker? Is his sex addiction not as important to take into account?
Or you can realize that God is perfectly okay with that beautiful gift from Scotland. That God has allowed us freedom, He loves it when we enjoy WHAT HE SAID IN HIS WORD!
So I hope you enjoy my journey as I sample various (and affordable) Single Malt Scotches. I warn you, I am NOT an expert; I’m just starting here, I don’t know all the techniques and the terms, my nose is undeveloped. I’m just a regular guy who has been shown a beautiful world and wants to share it with others- even if that is in very limited fashion- maybe for all that I’ll be at least easy to understand. For better expertise and terms check out Ralfy.com and Scotchnoob.com among others- two excellent sites.