Friday, November 2, 2012

Moving Thoughts Friday


Every Friday I’m going to ask a question. The questions I choose might be ambiguous on purpose. The goal is to have you answer the question according to your beliefs, where you’re at in life or a circumstance that might have recently impacted you. The only thing I ask is that you provide an explanation for why you answered the way you did.

It’s my hope to understand you better through this and also to gain a greater understanding of humanity and how people make decisions.

Friend and author, Rosslyn Elliott's new book, Lovelier than Daylight portrays various perspectives concerning alcohol. She churned some thoughts in me the other day.

It’s from these thoughts my Moving Thoughts Friday question was born…
Drink or Abstain?

 
*photos by stock.XCHNG

13 comments:

  1. I grew up thinking alcohol was from the devil. Like, if you had beer in your fridge, surely someone was going to hell. I realized just in the past few years when God shook up our lives a little bit that due to the situation we were in, I had become really legalistic about certain things. Alcohol being one of them.

    I have never been a drinker. Mostly because I don't like the way it tastes, but I now realize that alcohol itself isn't the problem. I think it's the same as it is with anything... moderation goes a long way.

    I also think that taking a completely legalistic attitude about it is just as dangerous as abusing the substance itself.

    This is a great question, Wendy!

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  2. Both.
    Yeah, there ya go. I broke the ten foot pole in half.
    But that's how it's been for me.
    I've had seasons of my life when I've abstained ... and seasons of my life when hey, why not a margarita? Or a glass of white wine?
    I abstained for most of the last year because I've had vertigo most of the time. I didn't need any additional added reasons to feel dizzy in the least little bit (and it doesn't take more than a glass to add a little zing to my life).

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  3. I abstain. It's mostly a religious and health thing.

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  4. Wow, Wendy, this is more of a challenge than some of your Friday posts. Since I love and respect you, I'm going to take the risk and answer honestly.

    Alcoholism was an issue in earlier generations of my family as well as Gwynly's, so we aren't real comfortable with alcohol for that reason. I realize the Lord's first miracle involved the making of wine, so I know it's not a sin to consume alcoholic beverages as long as one doesn't overindulge to the point of drunkenness. I do, on rare occasions, have a glass of champagne to celebrate at Olive Garden, when Gwynly serves as the designated driver. A bit of bubbly makes an anniversary dinner or First Sale celebration kinda special.

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  5. Wendy, thanks for the shout-out! I'm so glad you're wiling to ask, and others are willing to answer. I do understand why some are reluctant to discuss the issue. Unfortunately, I've seen this question used to label others, in some Christian communities, and I think we've all seen the same thing, even to the point where it might affect one's chances of employment in a small town, or working in ministry in one's church. Should it be a 'risk' to answer this question? No way! As Keli points out, there are a variety of ways to understand the issue from a scriptural perspective, and many factors that would lead someone to choose one or the other. Jesus did not abstain, and one can think of a variety of potentially valuable reasons for why he did not choose to abstain. At the same time, there are real dangers to the use of alcohol, for some people even more than others. So no viewpoint should be scorned or discarded.

    That being said, although I hope the real history that inspired Lovelier than Daylight will be a great prompt for discussion, the novel is first and foremost a love story and a tale of suspense (and even crime) from a faith perspective. So no one need fear a sermon in disguise. :)

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  6. Honestly? I'd have to say both. I dealt with an alcoholic in my family when I was a child and it made me really careful about drinking the older I got. I'd abstain a lot or worry about others if they drank too much. Now I have healthier views on it (or maybe just understand more), but still drink mostly if it's a celebratory situation or I'm at someone else's house.

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  7. This is such a touchy issue among many circles. But I would have to say if there is a choice to make I would rather error on the side of abstinence. My reason, for myself, is that I have experienced the pain of watching those I love struggle with addiction, tragedy and unnecessary conflicts because of alcohol. I know it's everyone's choice to drink responsibly, but sometimes alcohol takes us by surprise with it's controlling properties.
    It has less to do with my spirituality and more to do with my aversion to trouble.

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  8. Wendy, I'm Lutheran (WELS) and this isn't even a question for us--we drink! Ha!! Sorry, I'm being silly. I'm sure not all Lutherans drink... But you know I have a French and German background, so that probably explains a lot too. :)

    Obviously, everything in moderation.
    Have a great weekend!

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  9. Like Keli, there has been alcoholism in my family and my grandfather died when I was three from complications related to alcoholism. My parents found salvation right before I was born, and part of their committment to Christ was turning away from alcohol (my dad had an occasional beer at people's houses), but there was nothing in our house - in large part because my grandfather's sudden death devastated my mom. I also watched many people at family weddings get so sloshed they acted foolish and I decided to never allow myself to get there. I will occasionally have a Daiquiri or sweet wine, but I could count the drinks I have on one hand in a year. I don't think it's "bad" and I'm not uncomfortable when others drink around me, it's just not something that I think about much.

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  10. I can pretty much just copy Courtney's answer and make it mine. :) I lived with legalism for a long time, but the Lord has opened my eyes to see the foolishness of it. Like Gabrielle, I can probably count on one hand the number of drinks I enjoy in a year, but for no reason do I judge others who enjoy it more often. Glad you asked this question, Wendy! Interesting discussion. :)

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  11. Love this discussion!

    My husband sells beer for a living, so that should tell you something. He is a beer guy like some people are wine people. He loves learning about the process and trying different brews. Darks are his favorite.

    I personally think beer is disgusting. I can't stomach wine too (although I did find one that I enjoyed this past summer....I won't try and spell it though). Like Sarah, I can count the number of drinks I consume in a year on one hand and funnily enough, I consume the majority of those and the ACFW conference - and C stands for Christian. HA!

    Love the respectful tone in this discussion.

    Also LOVE LOVE LOVE Rosslyn's newest book. Highly recommend. It'll made for great discussion in book clubs!

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  12. Great question! I do not drink. Have never, will never. Three reasons. One, I understand that the Word doesn't say don't drink but to not get drunk. But they way I look at it, once you start to drink, it is too easy to get drunk. Two, we are to abstain from the appearance. If I go in to buy some wine for a special dinner and a new believer sees me and doesn't know that I am not a heavy drinker, they may think it is okay to drink and I have caused them to stumble. Three, I see too many people, even Christians, who say, "it's been a bad day, I just need a drink," "let's celebrate this or that with a drink" and so on. During those times we should be turning to God, not a drink.

    Jenifer
    jenifermetzger.org

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  13. Abstain. I'm with Jenifer on this one, so I won't be repetitive. :)

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