Abstinence vs. Moderation
There is a saying that goes, "All things in moderation." The idea is that so long as you are moderate it's okay to try anything. The more accurate saying is, "All things permissible in moderation," since some things like cruelty, poison, adultery, etc., don't gain acceptability or digestibility through moderation.
I say this because the "moderation" argument is used to justify the consumption of alcoholic beverages. I reject this idea because alcohol is one of those things not designed for human consumption and does not gain respectability through moderate use.
As Christians we need to remember that the use of alcohol is an issue of abstinence not moderation. Here are a number of reasons why this is so:
- Alcohol is highly addictive and the body reacts to it like a "poison."
- Alcohol is the #1 drug problem of our time accounting for over half of the murders, drownings, suicides, family break-ups and highway fatalities -- to mention only a few of the statistics.
- Alcohol in the Bible is only used as a medicine (I Timothy 5:23) or an antidepressant (Proverbs 31:6), but the Bible strongly condemns the use of alcohol for strictly social reasons (Proverbs 20:1; 23:30; I Peter 4:3). The wine used socially in Bible times was very low in alcoholic content (2%) unlike today's wine (6-15%) and usually diluted with two parts water. Today we'd call it grape juice.
I guess the best argument for abstinence is that alcohol consumption ruins a Christian's credibility. You see, non-believers are not impressed by a Christian who is a "moderate" drinker. Like lukewarm beer, a lukewarm Christian doesn't appeal to them much.