You’re probably aware of the kerfuffle over Bud Light beer after using transgender Dylan Mulvaney to advertise the product. The makers of Bud Light have faced a backlash & boycott resulting in a loss (so far) of more than $6 billion in market value. You may have seen Kid Rock’s video post where he shoots up cases of the beer. The reason I bring it up is that I question not whether people should stop drinking Bud Light, but whether they should drink beer (or any alcohol) at all.
This blog won’t make me popular, but I would suggest that the wiser route may be to avoid alcohol altogether. Hear me out. I’m not saying it’s wrong to drink. Getting drunk IS sinful—Scripture is abundantly clear on that—because it alters a person’s sensibilities, weakens willpower, & results in a loss of control to make sound judgments between what’s right & wrong, appropriate & inappropriate. Proverbs describes the dangers & depravity of those who give themselves over to liquor: “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led away by them is not wise” (Prov. 20:1, also 23:29-31). It leads to indulging in other sins. “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit…” (Eph. 5:18, also 1 Thess. 5:6-8). Every Christian should aspire to have the character of Elders who are “not given to wine,” but self-controlled (1 Tim. 3:2-3).
But what about moderate drinking? Let me first mention another news item that appeared just a few days ago. The headline: “Drinking a little alcohol every day won’t help you live longer, says new study.” While some previous studies seemed to indicate that a little alcohol may be good for you, this new study (which is a review of 107 studies between 1980-2021 with nearly 5 million participants, published in JAMA) shows that those who drink low amounts (less than an ounce, equivalent to 2 cans of beer) show no reduction in mortality. In other words: no amount of alcohol is good for you. It does not prevent strokes or make your heart stronger.
Another study from last year indicates drinking may shrink the brain even in moderate amounts, including a more rapid decline in memory, decision-making, & other functions. Drinking just half a beer daily was associated with accelerating the brain to age by half a year or more compared to those who abstained. The more drinks, the more aging occurs. Of course, the way studies seem to constantly reverse previous ones, who knows what the next one will say! But at least the “health excuse” for drinking can be put to rest for now.
The fact is, abstinence is the best & most effective means of preventing drunkenness or acquiring a drinking problem. But wait a minute, didn’t Jesus drink? Yes, He was accused of being a drunk by His enemies, & He did turn water to wine at a wedding. But the wine back then was very low in alcohol content because it was diluted, not distilled. They watered it down probably on average of three parts water to one part wine. I don’t for a moment believe that Jesus would approve of, let alone, aid in people getting drunk.
Some people can control it, some can’t. But I have some questions. Is a mild buzz OK in God’s eyes? Doesn’t even a buzz mean it’s begun affecting your mind in a negative way (of course never drink even a little if you’re driving)? How would you feel if whenever I preach, I’ve first had a beer or two? Would you trust what I have to say as much? Don’t we all represent God? Why do you want to drink? For refreshment or taste? Aren’t there plenty of non-alcoholic beverages for that? Is it to loosen up & relax? Does our happiness come from our faith, or from a bottle?
A couple of situations where total abstinence is definitely needed: (1) If your conscience prohibits it (Rom. 14:22-23). If you can’t do something with a clear conscience, then don’t do it because then it’s sinful; (2) If the faith of a weaker Christian is harmed by it or if my witness to unbelievers is harmed (Rom. 14:21). That’s the main reason why I don’t drink at all in this abusive culture—I just think it’s the wiser & safer choice especially when I’m trying to set an example for others. This isn’t a matter of legalism, but of forgoing rights for the good of others—especially kids & problem drinkers—as well as protecting myself from foolish & harmful behavior.
Whether or not a person drinks is a matter of conscience & wisdom. You won’t offend or upset me if you do. Drinking has never been a real temptation for me. I’ve had only 2 drinks in my whole life—both times when I was 12. I was allowed a sip of wine for New Year’s Eve & some sips of champagne at a wedding. Didn’t care for either. And beer? Never tasted it, but I hear it’s an “acquired” taste because after all it does look & smell like urine (just sayin’). But to drink a Bud Light? Well…is that really beer anyway?