Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Christianity v My social life

As I live my life and I see other people living their's I can't help but think that most people see any decision about whether they should become a Christian as a decision about what is worth more to them, Christianity or their social life. This is true whether you are a Christian or not.
If you are not a Christian then you may decide that Christianity is not for you because it would ruin your social life.
Alternatively if you are a Christian you might to decide not to obey Jesus' teaching because your social life is worth more to you than Jesus.

At the heart of many people's social life in our society is a substance called alcohol. A brief tour of people's status's on facebook will demonstrate the accuracy of this statement. Therefore many people's objection to Christianity when all is said and done is as simple as this - 'The Bible says don't get drunk. I like getting drunk. Therefore I'm not going to become a Christian' For many people life without the heavy nights out/in is so unimaginable that they will not even consider giving it up to give Christianity a go.

In an attempt to fight against this I want to give you 4 reasons why I think the Bible is against getting drunk and just see if it makes any sense.
1. Getting drunk can lead to doing things you regret - Anyone who has been drunk knows that this is true. The Bible says that God gives you life and holds you responsible for what you do with it. Being drunk is therefore condemned because it robs you of self control and leads you to doing things you would not ordinarily do.
2. Getting drunk can lead to hurting other people - Just look at the figures of crimes associated with alcohol abuse and tell me that I'm wrong. Alternatively look at your past and see how many people you said unkind things to, said unkind things about, fallen out with or hurt someone in some way because you were drunk. God says we should love other people like we love ourselves and being drunk does not help us do this!
3. Getting drunk is an abuse of your body - I don't mean this in any super pious way I simply mean that generally throwing up is your body's way of telling you that it would rather you didn't put so much alcohol into it.
4. Getting drunk is too often a form of escapism - My worry about getting drunk is that as I talk to people they use it as a way to escape from life. They spend Monday and Tuesday looking back at their drunken weekend and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday looking forward to their next drunken weekend. So many people seem to find life hard and unsatisfying and use alcohol abuse as a way to escape. The problem with this is that God gave us life for the living. Surely it would be better to find a way to find joy and meaning in the whole of life rather than simply finding ways to escape it for a while!

Now I am aware that as soon as I blog on something like getting drunk many people who previously have had no problems with my blog will feel that I have gone too far. After all it's fine to say anything but just don't tell me not to get drunk. Others of you who have had the pleasure of seeing me drunk will think 'what a hypocrite' but of course Christianity is not about whether you get drunk or not. Christianity is about confessing to God that I have done things I shouldn't have; I have hurt other people, I have abused the body God gave me and I have used alcohol to escape from the life he gave me to live, and then finding forgiveness in Jesus dying on the cross to take all the punishment I deserve for that.

Christianity is not about whether you get drunk or not but I worry that too many people trade in their chance to get to know the God who created everything and who loves them more than they can imagine for a night out on the town. I'm a miserable drunk but however good that night out is for you I am pretty confident that trading forever on a perfect world with God for it is a bad trade!

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