Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic?
by Mark E Crossley
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A man walks into a bar and asks the barman, 'Was I in here last night?', 'You certainly were,' replies the barman. 'And did I spend a lot of money?' 'You spent over £100', replies the barman. 'Thank god for that,' says the man, 'I thought I'd wasted it.'
Catherine Zandonella follows on from that saying "Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
In the United Kingdom 1 in 6 people have a drink problem which is a staggering
8.2 million Who waste up to £100 a week on drink! As believers we do not want to waste time pouring our money down the gutter but be productive with effective drinking ministries.
What should the church’s view be towards children and alcohol?
Whether we like it or not underage drinking is on the increase and one way of avoiding this is starting in the home, allowing our children to have a glass of wine in moderation supervised with their parents. It is suggested by doing this children they are unlikely to get drunk behind their parents back. We need to advise them underage drinking is not clever and it can lead to all sorts of problems such as liver failure.
Let them read the story of George Best who famously once said "I've stopped drinking, but only while I'm asleep." His drinking problem ultimately cost him a lot of sleeping time, death.
Sometimes we need to be blunt with young people and if they continue to do it they face the consequences and potentially becoming addicts themselves but as believers we have done what we can to advise them. The church can never be critised therefore for being out of touch.
What take should we as a church take on drink driving?
This should be condoned and the church should campaign more that if someone is killed as a result of someone Christian or not drink driving this should result in a mandatory life prison sentence with no parole or early release date. Drink driving kill’s innocent people sadly.
As believers we should campaign that if someone is caught drink driving by the police however no one is injured there should be stricter penalties such as a ten year ban and those individuals should have to re-take their driving test as well as advanced lessons with a course on alcohol and drinking before a licence is renewed.
We need to be aware of what the legal limit is and the actual sizes of what is acceptable but whatever the limit is we all have different thresholds we can cope with and to be safe than sorry no one should drink and drive but where there is temptation people will always do it.
What do people think about modern churches that sell alcohol on their premises?
There are many modern day churches that sell spirits after most evening services or hold church meetings in pubs. If this gets people to hear the gospel surely there is nothing wrong with this stance is there now as long as it’s in moderation and we don’t get drunk at church.
As long as we state that alcohol does not solve our problems and in small doses is actually good for our health which it is there should be no issues.
What can God’s people do to minister to these people especially binge drinkers?
• One suggestion is to set up regional Christian alcoholics anonymous group for people either in or outside of the church that have drink issues and to pray for them, in the UK alone there are very few and how many of them are effective, probability not a lot. .
• Go onto the streets of our towns and when people come out of night clubs hand water out so they can sober up.
• Set up a Christian website to minister to these people and put scriptures of what God says about drinking and put prayers on these sites for people to pray.
• Have a van outside clubs for food and drink reasonably priced if not subsidised with useful Christian material and reasonable non preaching people serving.
• Have a national prayer system that has people on a list and is co-ordinated from a church irrelevant of denomination that will pray and follow up on a quarterly basis until prayer has been answered and these people are no longer addicts, drinking does not solve out problems but drowns them out for a few hours while we are intoxicated.
• Do we believe these people can be healed of their addiction and be totally free of it?
If you read passages of scripture in Luke 21:34; Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:20-22;
1 Timothy 3:2-4; Titus 1:6-8 and 1 Peter 4:2-4 the bible is very clear drunkenness is unacceptable and there are many other scriptures that back this up.
I am sure there will be the odd person that thinks the story of Jesus turning water into wine is an acceptable way for them to behave towards drink.
Does a leopard change its spots? Therefore once an alcoholic always an alcoholic? What cost does drinking have on these individuals; a criminal record for drunken disorderly, death, liver failure, all your months salary spent on booze or in moderation a great social life? You decide.
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