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TITLE: Holiness and the Beer aisle
By Aaron Morrow
04/08/08
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This one needs some work, but I am hoping that you understand the point I am trying to make. Your feedback and suggestions are most welcome.
God bless you for your time in review.
Every grocery store I have ever seen has THE aisle. You know the one, it starts out with Snapples and Gatorade and by the time you reach the end you see Old English 800s and mini-kegs of Coors Light. Often times on the opposite side you find wines for every function. They all share the same basic issue, whether it be “high-fructose corn-syrup” as one of the first three ingredients or alcohol, these items are, simply put, bad for your health and bad for your clarity of mind.

They are just bad. No more and no less.

That is why when I enter a grocery store I try and make a good decision and avoid the beer aisle, because I know that no good will come of a foray into that section of the store.

It’s like going into a Baskin and Robbins under the pretense that I am only looking to see if they added a 32nd flavor and then ordering a fat free, sugarless sorbet under the pretense that the lack of fat and refined sugar will somehow make the semi-ice cream a nutritious snack. Or ordering a fruit drink because it has 10% real juice and therefore must be good for me, but still not questioning the ingredients of the other 90% of the volume.

The fact is ice-cream-less ice cream, 90% fruit-juice less fruit juice, and even non-alcoholic beer are bad for us because they tend to lead us to worse things. Once we compromise once, we are far more likely to compromise further.

Recently a movie came out, based on a book, called “The Golden Compass” which espoused a very unhealthy view of God and was very supportive of atheism. This of course caused quite the stir among many of the faithful. All the emails flying caused a controversy, which in turn made the author and movie studio rich beyond their wildest dreams.

Within the conversations of the faithful I found out so much about the movie and the author at such a detailed level, it reminded me of the draw of the beer aisle. The concern appeared to be at a granular level, based on the specific details of scenes and outcomes. Rather than just identifying clearly and unambiguously that no good could come of making a foray into a screening of the movie, for some reason, regardless of the simplicity of the choice, many felt compelled to address specific reasons for the choice.

As a parent, I found it analogous to walking down the beer aisle, recording the alcohol content of every type of beer available and then reporting my findings back to my brothers and sisters in Christ as further evidence that the world is indeed fallen.

“Brand X has this much alcohol, and brand Y has this much alcohol. And don’t even get me started of the incredibly depraved level of alcohol in brand Z! How can the store possibly justify selling such incredibly vile products so near to the wholesome goodness of Sugarola pop? Don’t they know that kids shop there? We should start a prayer chain and boycott the store altogether.”

The irony in that is plain. There is nothing good in the beer aisle to begin with therefore to make a comparative evaluation of which brands are even less good than others which are not good to begin with is a poor stewardship of our time.

The idea that to protect ourselves and our children we must avoid the fallen world in which God has placed us is to state that we fear the created more than we love the Creator and His plan for us.

The key to fulfilling God’s commission for us as parents (and members of the body of Christ) is to model holiness in order to impress upon our children the importance of everyday faithfulness to our calling to be different and distinctive light for Him.

And next time you go to the store with your kids, model holiness in bypassing those items you know are bad, don’t waste time measuring the fallen-ness of the world by that which is on display. Always remember that whatever you feel the need to measure or scrutinize, your children will also measure and scrutinize, and the closer they choose to look, the more likely they are to sample.
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