Written by: Miss Alesha A. Brittain Ė Sister in Christ, Teacher, & Friend
In 1999 I graduated from Bell County High School with a bright future and the whole world in front of me. So many of my classmates left to pursue their goals and ambitions in other parts of the world, but I stayed behind. Why? Because I felt as though my life purpose was to give back to the county that raised me. I love Bell County! It contains most of the greatest memories of my life. I cannot imagine waking up elsewhere and not seeing the beautiful mountains and the friendly folks. Yes, itís a small area. But to me, that makes it what it is. It is definitely set apart from the rest of the world. And that is an awesome thing. I am for anything that would be beneficial for our county.
There is news that Pineville, my hometown, is working towards opening a new hotel to help our community bring in more tourists. How awesome! I feel that it is a great idea. However, there is something that concerns me about this new establishment. Not only are we looking towards a new hotel, but also a new awakening in our town. I wish I could say this would shed a positive light for our county but I canít. Local leaders want to change our county laws to include the sale of alcoholic beverages in this hotel. This is definitely the downpour of rain on the countyís parade.
A lot of you reading this probably wonder why I am talking about this in such a negative way. I mean what are a few drinks, right? WRONG! A few drinks lead to a few more and a few more. We are talking about an increase in crime, car accidents, confrontations, and other negative things. It would be more detrimental to our county to allow the sale of alcoholic beverages in this hotel than helpful. To prove this point, compare the amount of DWIís in a wet county to those in a dry county. Look for yourself before you make a decision.
I am a Christian, with a capital C I must add, and I feel as though it is up to all Christians to stand up against this. The Bible speaks against alcohol very plainly. In Proverbs 23: 29-35 God says: 29Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 30They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 33Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 34Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. 35They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again. God is telling us that yes it may look great, smell great, taste great, and it may seem to be the greatest thing since baked bread. Actually by examining the previous sentence, we can realize that this whole passage from the book of Proverbs can be summed up in one word, SEEM. Just like all sin, the sin of drinking alcohol is not what it seems. Sin is beautiful and appealing. Why? Well think about it. Would you want to partake of it if it werenít? Of course not. But we must remember that looks are deceiving. It may seem as though the perfect answer to a hard day, but what happens when youíve had a hard month or year? You become dependant on it. The Bible says that the only thing we can depend on is our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
It is our responsibility as Christians in this county to stand up for what is right. This is what we are called to do. I have spent my entire life without turning to alcohol. I am so thankful that my Heavenly Father has kept me from knowing the taste or even the smell of alcohol. I have seen it destroy so many lives. I do not want to become a statistic by becoming a victim of alcohol. How sad would that be for so many Christians in this community to sit back thinking that we canít stop this? How horrible to wake up and find that even though you do not partake of alcohol, it has affected your life in some way. Why do we limit our Godís abilities? He can do this! We should definitely not be afraid to stand up and face this head on. We have the most powerful force on our side.
My baby brother will be driving within the next couple of years and my other family members are always on the highway as am I. I have seen a lot of loss in my life and I do not want to face more because someone decided that they needed to get away from their own mind for a few hours. I donít want the call to come saying that someone I know has been killed in a drunk driving accident. Christians, alcohol is a drug whether you admit it or not. If you are stand with the UNITE program and honestly want this county to be purged of its drug problems then you must stand against alcohol as well. Proverbs 20:1 says 1Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
I urge you to stand up and fight this with me. Pray for the leaders of our county that their eyes may be opened and that they may realize that this will destroy our community. Pray for our pastors as they follow Godís commands in rising up to honor Him. Pray for our youth. They are tomorrowís church. How will they stand up against something ten times worse than this in the future if they donít learn from us? Remember, God put us on this earth for one purpose, to glorify His son Jesusí name. We are not here for our careers, families, hobbies, etc. Instead we should use every opportunity presented in these areas to magnify Jesusí name. Stand up with me and show this community that you care. In the words of Gary Bingham, moist becomes damp and damp becomes wet. Do we really want to live in a county that sells alcohol? Yes it may start out in a hotel but you can guarantee that it will spread. Thatís how sin works.
To those of you who are angered by my message, I love you. Thatís why I am standing up against this, in hopes that your eyes will be opened and you will see that you donít need a drug (alcohol is a drug) to help you through life. All you need is Jesus Christ. He has pulled me through some extremely tough times and I know that He works in every situation. He is the answer.