I’ve never seen a beer commercial featuring battered children, broken lives, fractured families, or teenage amputees.
— Steve Hafler
In God’s providence, Pastor Hafler preached on Christian liberty and the dangers of alcohol, then wrote on it on his blog just before his sister-in-law was killed by a drunken driver. We can see it as a tragic coincidence, or we can see it as a sovereign God ordaining that this would be written at such a time to draw attention to his warning.
If you’ve ever profited by anything I’ve written or said, and if you ever drink alcohol, I’m asking a favour in return. Please take the time to read the links I’m providing in this post. They aren’t unbalanced, they don’t twist the Scriptures, and they give an important warning about how we view our Christian liberty.
I’m not writing this post, I’m just providing excerpts from Pastor Hafler (writing before and after the accident) and from Pastor Chris Anderson, who visited with Pastor Hafler’s brother-in-law.
Pastor Hafler’s original post (Before You Take a Sip, Consider This):
Christians are not arguing that their freedom includes drunkenness. What they do argue for, however, is that if drunkenness is not the issue then its their liberty. In other words, people argue that it’s lawful. But this still does not settle the matter, because Scripture ‘qualifies’ lawful things – ‘things we are free to do.’
1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything.”
What about alcohol in light of being helpful, dominating, and building up?
- What does history say?
- What do police records say?
- What do inmates say?
- What do abused wives by alcoholic husbands say?
- What do insurance companies say?
- What do children of alcoholic moms say?
- What do parents who have lost a child because of a drunk driver say?
The issue we need to address goes beyond the simple question of whether or not alcohol is forbidden by the Bible (which entails what kind of wine, alcoholic content, natural fermentation compared to modern methods, etc.). The larger issue is what people do with the freedom they perceive is theirs?
Pastor Hafler, after the accident (Drunk Driver has Family Member Fighting for Her Life) — UPDATE: Pastor Hafler has “temporarily” pulled this post. After taking some counsel, I’ve removed part of what I originally quoted. I don’t hesitate to leave the rest:
Ten hours before this happened I posted a blog warning Christians of the dangers of alcohol – a call to believers to carefully evaluate their ‘freedoms.’ Sometimes God coincides events to help us see things clearer, to move us towards action, and to evaluate our choices with a tender heart.
The issue of alcohol is about something that can quickly dominate and tear down others and continues to do so at staggering levels (these are Scriptural and societal concerns – not just concerns that originate from a man with a past history of abuse)…. 14-20 million Americans are officially alcoholics. Coffee, donuts, cinema, and Coca Cola don’t have these stats attached to them.
Pastor Anderson, Ambivalence About Alcohol:
Unless you’ve counseled a worn-out wife about her husband’s alcoholism, unless you’ve comforted a teen whose parents have both been heavy drinkers for as long as he can remember, unless you’ve discipled a new believer trying to throw off his addiction before he loses custody of his child, unless you’ve wept with a woman who has tried and failed to get sober for the better part of two decades, and most of all, unless you’ve looked into the dull eyes of a husband who just an hour ago lost the mother of his two young children to a drunk driver—unless you have some real life experience with the dangers of alcohol—I don’t want to hear about your liberty to drink. I certainly don’t want to hear you encouraging others to drink. It’s time to grow up in your discernment and compassion and to be a warner rather than a tempter.
Please click through and read these articles. It won’t take long.