Proverbs 20:1, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”
Social drinking, binge drinking, bong drinking, and booze drinking in general has become a problem of epidemic proportion in our culture today. It’s a problem that has not constrained itself to the world, rather it has worked its way into the ranks of Christians, including young people. As of 2013, 35.1% of 15 year olds (over 1 out of every 3 fifteen year olds) reported to having already tried at least 1 alcohol beverage. Over 9 million 12-20 year olds report having consumed alcohol in the last 30 days. That number will have risen by the time you read this. The problems are well documented: brain development issues, increased risk of physical and sexual assault, impaired judgment, serious injury, death. All are possible if you travel this path to perdition. Over 4,400 young people ages 12-21 will die an alcohol related death in this year. You know these things; you’ve heard them before and they’re all true. A young lady who attended the public school in our town was saved and baptized at our church. She developed a relationship with the Lord and with my wife and I. She visited on our bus route with us and served in our church. She has since married a Christian young man in the military and moved out of state, but she’s still doing well for the Lord. One Sunday night after church, shortly after she was saved, she came to my wife and I with a problem and a question. The problem: pressure from her peers and her culture to drink alcohol. Is it still wrong to drink alcohol in our day? I chose my words carefully because for young people, it doesn’t matter what a preacher thinks, what matters is what God has said. I told her, “I’m not going to tell you the answer, I’m going to let you read what God has said and you can decide.” I had her read the same verses you read a few minutes ago. Her response? “Preacher, God says booze is still wrong, so it’s still wrong.” She seemed shocked at first (like somehow culture had influenced her to think God had somehow shifted his view), yet she left church that night satisfied with the answer from God’s Word. I, on the other hand, left church that night with tears of rejoicing because God had spared one of my young people from the destruction booze wanted to accomplish in her life. What about you, young person? If you’ve never looked at, touched, consumed or served alcohol, praise the Lord! With God’s continued help, keep it up! If you have, tell your parents, pastor & youth pastor RIGHT NOW and get the help you need! God will forgive. You can stop. You will win this battle! Your life depends on it!
-Pastor Jerel Clanney
Victory Baptist Church