Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christians Shouldn't Drink Alcohol?

Recently, I saw this article pop up on my newsfeed 3 or 4 times. I was slightly annoyed by the title and even more so when I read the article. You can read the article here:
but I'm going to break down my annoyance with this article point by point.  Before I do that though, let me just say, I understand why this  ex-alcoholic pastor does not any longer drink--good call on that! I also am not trying to encourage my Christian brothers and sisters to drink. It's completely your choice. I'm just saying, this pastor's logic has serious flaws and some of her statements, although bold and sound "very Christian", they are simply not true. Let's break this down (my comments will be in red, after his statements, which will be in black).

1. I can't be sober-minded if I'm not sober. Right. Your previous statements though said, "reasons I don't drink" not "reasons I don't get drunk". Two very different things.

2. Alcohol has an assignment: destruction. It does? That is just a statement made out of her head or her experience. I have never known this to be true.

3. Alcohol is a depressant. Anything that depresses should be avoided at all costs. It should? Why? Alcohol is a depressant, which is why people generally drink it to help relax. Why should anything that depresses be avoided? There is quite a difference from having a drink to help you relax and being depressed.

4. I don't want to make my brother or sister stumble in the name of exercising my "Christian liberties." My choice to drink could lead to someone's demise. Again, if you were talking about getting drunk, yes. Drinking alcohol is not a sin though. If you are going along this line of thinking, I would hope the author does not eat meat because that could cause vegetarians to stumble etc...

5. Alcohol skews my judgment. Drinking too much alcohol skews one's judgement.

6. Alcohol leaves me worse, not better. If you are an alcoholic, yes. If you get drunk, yes. If you are drinking red wine, no. Red wine, for instance is really good for you and it helps protect your heart as well.

7. What I do in moderation, my children will do in excess. Care to share any Bible reference or a reliable source of research to support this? I have not found any truth to this blanket statement.

8. Even the unsaved know I shouldn't drink. Bible in one hand, beer in the other — any lost person could point this out as a confusing contradiction. Again, there seems to be confusion with getting drunk and drinking alcohol. Why would there be any issue with your Bible in one hand and a beer in the other? I have had a nice glass of wine while doing my Bible study. No contradiction that I can see.

9. Alcohol doesn't bring others closer to the Lord when they see me drinking, but farther away. Back to #8. Unless I am getting drunk, how would this have an affect on others? I would take it a step further and say if someone is judging me for drinking alcohol (not a sin), is actually in sin themselves.

10. Alcohol doesn't bring me closer to the Lord when I drink, but farther away. How? Although having a glass of wine may not bring me closer to the Lord, neither does drinking a Coke.

11. I want to be fully awake and ready for the return of Christ, not drowsy, sluggish and fuzzy. So, you never sleep, relax or take a break? And, if you don't want to be fuzzy, just shave every day :)

12. Show me a family where alcohol has made a positive difference in their lives. You won't be able to. Ummm...yes I can. Have you met my family?! Kidding. Really though, we didn't drink at all for years because we didn't want to afford it. In the last few years, we have been able to and I would say it has positively affected some of our relationships. Just as eating good food with friends and family, it's very nice to enjoy a glass of wine with loved ones.

13. I have never heard anyone say, "Wow, that gin and tonic made me feel so Christ-like!" I've never heard anyone say, "wow, that Coke made me feel so Christ-like!" So, unless you eat strictly for survival and take no pleasure in eating or drinking (non-alcohol), that statement is not a reason not to drink alcohol.

14. I want to avoid all appearances of evil. Me too. Alcohol is not evil and I don't know why it would appear evil.

15. Alcohol makes it much harder for me to practice the fruit of self-control. Chocolate does that for me. :)

16. Alcohol causes me to lose my filter. I don't have much of a filter to begin with. :) Again, I think the author is referring to being drunk, in which case I would agree.

17. Alcohol is a mind-altering, legal drug. I don't think it's classified as a drug. If we are going to say that though, so is caffeine and many other herbs and supplements.

18. Alcohol is addictive. True. As is caffeine, chocolate, etc...

19. Alcohol is a numbing agent for pain and sorrow that only Jesus can heal. If you drink to numb pain and sorrow, you have a problem. Just as using food to comfort you instead of Jesus. The root problem is not alcohol, it's a heart issue.

20. Many regrets are associated with alcohol. (I can give you a whole bunch!) Once again, I think the author is confusing being drunk with drinking alcohol. I understand she is coming from a place of being an alcoholic in the past so that is understandable but inaccurate.

21. No one has ever said, "If only I had taken a drink, things wouldn't have gotten out of control." I get what the author is saying here. I'll just leave this one. :)

22. Alcohol causes me to act in ways I normally wouldn't. Once again, that statement should read, "drinking too much alcohol causes me to act in a way I normally wouldn't"

23. Alcohol kills brain cells.  Actually, it doesn't. Read here:
Moderate drinking does not kill brain cells. In fact, there are many health benefits to drinking red wine, for instance.

24. Alcohol is a counterfeit, and provides a false peace. I haven't found this to be true at all. You could say your soft blanket provides false warmth and can lead to laziness, which is a sin.

25. The Bible says that no drunkards will enter the kingdom of God. Being drunk starts with one drink. I don't want to see how far outside the lines I can color when eternity is at stake. Being drunk does not start with one drink any more than being a glutton begins with one cheeseburger. Again, I understand the author is coming from a perspective of someone who became addicted and abused alcohol in the past. So, in her experience this may be true but it is not true in every experience. 

26. Alcohol is a waster – money, gifts and talents, destinies, etc. this statement is not actually true. I understand the author is speaking from his experience but in my experience, drinking alcohol has not wasted any of these things.

27. Alcohol leads to really bad behavior. It is a factor in 50% of violent crimes. I would like to see a creditable source that demonstrates 50% of violent crimes involve alcohol. Furthermore, I would like the information that demonstrates this "really bad behavior" is a result of someone drinking responsibly and not getting drunk.

28. Alcohol distracts and derails you from living the victorious life for which Christ died. In what way? Again, the author is speaking from her personal experience but this is not a factual statement.

29. Wisdom is the principle thing that I need to pursue at all cost; alcohol makes me stupid. Alcohol makes me stupid?? I have not found that to be true in any way.

30. Alcohol has ruined many, many marriages. The author missed one important word in this one: Alcohol addiction has ruined many marriages.

31. The only influence I should be "under" is God's. I feel like I'm just repeating myself so I'll leave this one too :)

32. The Bible tells me to be alert; alcohol delays my reaction time. So does being exhausted from work, kids, etc...and, once again, having a glass of wine does not delay my reaction time.

33. If I don't start drinking, I'll never have to stop. True. Same goes for eating brownies :)

34. Alcohol severely tarnishes my testimony. How? This is a "Christian phrase" I hear a lot. I think we need to really take a look at what helps my Christian testimony and what hurts it. Being drunk? Yes. That would hurt it. Drinking alcohol? No. I don't think it does.

35. Don't want your teenagers to drink? Yep, same reasons apply to you. I don't want my teenager to drink because it's against the law. The same law that allows me, as an adult, to partake if I wish.

36. God is holy; alcohol is not. Agree with the first part, disagree with the later. The Bible speaks several times about alcohol and does not condemn drinking. In fact, Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding celebration and Jesus tells us to drink wine with joy and that wine makes the heart happy (Ecc.9:7, Psalm 104:7).

37. Alcohol and prayer don't mix. why not? I've prayed many times while taking a bath and drinking wine.

38. Alcohol and Bible study don't mix. Why not? I've do
ne my Bible study lesson while drinking a glass of wine.

39. Alcohol lowers my resolve to resist temptation. Again, I think the author meant being drunk, not drinking.

40. Alcohol = Brokenness (broken lives, health, dreams, etc.) Simply not true. Alcoholism- yes. Alcohol- no.

41. When the world sees us drinking, it sends the message that Jesus isn't enough. This is simply not true. When the world sees us drinking, they see us enjoying some of God's gifts to us here on earth. That is like saying, "when the world sees us drinking coffee, it sends a message Jesus isn't enough."

42. Moderate drinking? How about moderate pornography or moderate heroin use or moderate lying or moderate adultery? Well, except every other thing mentioned here are clearly sins. Drinking is not a sin. Not in the same category.

43. Christians are called to live a life of total surrender and separation from the world. Doesn't God call us to live IN this world but not OF this world?

44. Alcohol makes me forget. It can make me forget that I am married, that I am saved, etc. Again, I've never forgot being married or saved from having a glass of wine.

45. "I don't get drunk. I only have one or two drinks." If they didn't affect you, you would drink soda.
Right. If it didn't affect you, you would drink water for survival only. Soda has caffeine in it, which is mind-altering. You also wouldn't drink tea because that also has mind-altering properties in it.

46. I should never look to the glass or bottle for joy, which can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ. This was already talked about. If anyone is looking to fill a void with alcohol, food or whatever, that is the problem--a heart issue.

47. Alcohol fills my mind with impure thoughts.  That would be as a result of drinking too much I would assume. Again, this is your experience, not really having that much to do with alcohol, rather the abuse of alcohol.

48. If it could hinder my faith walk, love walk or dishonor the lordship of Jesus Christ, I need to forsake it. I agree with her. We all must check our own hearts on this.

49. Alcohol doesn't help me run the race that Jesus has marked before me to finish with more accuracy. It does the polar opposite. This might be true in your experience of abusing alcohol but for others without the past history of abuse of alcohol, this is not the case.

50. For any argument that tries to justify Christian drinking, there are at least 50 other reasons not to. The writing is on the wall. It's not God's best for Christians to drink.  This is the statement that might bother me the most. Of the 50 reasons you came up with as to why Christians should not drink, I found ONE I can agree with. To finish off with "It's not God's best for Christians to drink" is a pretty broad statement. I understand the author comes from a history of abusing alcohol but to jump to the belief that Christians should not drink is a big leap with no real ground to land on.

   I know lots of people who choose not to drink, including my parents. I respect their decision. What I take issue with is someone saying Christians should not drink. Hopefully, my responses give a more balanced position and some insight to what God actually says on the topic.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

2 Years Later

So, it's been about 2 years since I've last posted....

 I feel some new blog material percolating...

  Not sure that my Facebook friends want to continue reading all my long, drawn out posts, so I thought going back to my blog might be a good idea.

 We have been learning, growing, enjoying, sometimes trudging through the muddy trenches of life. I want to record all the things we've been learning and all the things that have really made a difference in our lives. My hope is that someone might find some inspiration, hope or maybe just a laugh or a little joy from our every day experiences.

 In the future, I promise some pictures, maybe a few little videos...who knows. So, in true "Amy fashion", I will keep this blog real and honest, even if it means opening myself up to judgment because when you live your life in a real and authentic way, the reward is real and authentic relationships. Also, I can't tell you how many times I've put the raw reality of my life, my past or present situation out there and it helped someone in their own situation. It's always nice when someone says, "me too."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Really Cool Blogs

I am taking a break from the budget posts--how are you doing on the budget by the way?--to highlight a few really cool blogs!

First, Recycle That:   has ideas for reusing paper towel and toilet paper rolls--smart ideas!

Next, Maple Valley Farm:   this is my sister in law and brother in law and their family. They live on an Amish farm 'off the grid' with no electricity and they farm with horses. Their blog is always inspiring and really fun to read!

And finally, here's one for online writers:  this one has a lot of good information if you are currently writing online. If you are just thinking about writing online or have just started, this might be a little confusing :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

More Budget Fun

Wow, it has been a long time since I made a post! I am getting back to it now, promise. :) Ok, I am going to talk just a little bit more about....budgets. Yes, I know it's not the most exciting thing to talk about but once you have a "name on every dollar" (as Dave Ramsey would say), you will find you love to keep a budget more and more!

A budget is not only for people on a "limited income", not at all. A budget should be for everyone, and chances are, most wealthy people have a budget, stick to a budget and have become pros at keeping a budget--this is a step to obtaining wealth.

Where to start: Record everything you spend for one month. Every single dime. This will give you a guide in setting your budget. Before the next month starts, sit down and work out a budget. Here is a helpful tool.

If you are married, sit down with your spouse and come up with numbers you can both be happy with. This will take a little effort and 'give and take'. If you can not agree on a number for a particular area, use one person's number one month and the other person's number the next and compare after 2 months. Which ever number worked better, use that one in the budget.

 If you are married, agree to re-visit the budget every so often. Some people like to do it twice a year some like re-visit it more often.

Try it out and see how it changes your marriage and your money!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Saving Money

I admit, we have not always been the best with our money. There was a time when it took way too much time to use coupons, we bought on impulse and we had debt.  It was like a ball and chain literally weighing us down. Each month we had more going out than coming in and we felt like we were always one step ahead and then two steps back. That is no way to live. Then, we found a solution (*hint: it was not "make more money"). We made a plan and a budget.

I hated the idea of a budget, I mean really hated it. I resisted bad at first. Once I realized a budget was not a restraint but a key to financial freedom, I changed my attitude toward it. My husband and I sat down and honestly assessed our situation. We wrote down all our expenses and all our income and compared the two. That was hard to do. We did not play the blame game. We came up with solutions instead. We trimmed a few 'extras' we did not want to trim but we wanted to be out of debt worse than having the 'extras'. We made a monthly budget we could both live with. That was the first step.

I will be blogging a lot more about this subject, not because we are perfect at it but because we have learned a lot and I want to share what we have learned with others. Today, we are debt free except our mortgage, which  we have never borrowed against, so just our true first mortgage. We have paid off all our debts, step by step, and I can't even express the freedom that gives us! We have a savings account that continues to grow instead of shrink each month. We are not panicked when the tax bill comes or the doctor bills.

One key program that helped us in a HUGE way is Dave Ramsey. His Financial Peace University is an amazing program. I HIGHLY recommend this to everyone. It is important to go through this with a group of people if at all possible. It is hard at first. But, it is so great to know you are not alone, too poor or too far in debt to be helped. And, in the end, it WILL work and you WILL be free from debt that weighs you down!
P.S. I don't get any 'kickback' for promoting this...I just know it works!

*Stay tuned for much more on this subject....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Meal Planning

 Before you groan too much, remember I resist all things "inside the box" including (but definitely not limited to) meal planning, budgets, planning, time management and so much more. But I assure you, meal planning will save so much money, time and energy in the long run, it is so worth it!

 I am a true free spirit who likes to just go with the flow. However, that actually does not work in real life and when we are managing a household along with the rest of life, we must learn to budget, plan, manage time and more. I have learned that putting these things in my life, actually allows me to live with freedom (if that doesn't make sense, stay tuned and I will break it all down sometime).

Which brings me to: meal planning. I admit, coming up with dinner each night can be a chore. I have one child allergic to red dye and truly does not like anything with any red sauce type thing so no pizza, taco, spaghetti, and so on. Now, I refuse to be a short order cook so if someone doesn't like what is for dinner, they are welcome to a bowl of cereal or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. With that said, I do like to try for meals everyone will like and still stay in the budget.

I'll be totally honest here: our weekly budget for groceries (includes all cleaning and household products, beauty products and food) is $150.00 per week. It used to be impossible for me to stay with in that budget for a family of five. Then, I started learning about how to really use coupons and it made a world of difference.  I now have anywhere from $50.00-150.00 per month left in the grocery budget each month. I will be posting much more on this subject in the days to come so stay tuned.

Back to meal planning. Planning out my weekly has become pretty simple. I base most of it on what is on sale that week. I have done monthly meal planning  but that is just too overwhelming for me, so I stick to weekly. We usually have 1-2 meatless meals per week and 1 breakfast for dinner meal. We have sports 2-3 nights per week and church on Wednesday nights so those are either plan ahead meals, crockpot meals, or just super simple meal nights.

Here are some good ideas for cheap, easy meals:

This one has some good ideas too:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Homemade Bread (easy, I promise!)

I am sure some of you are rolling your eyes right now thinking, "yeah, ok I'll go make my own bread quick a minute..." I did the same thing, really! I am no Martha Stewart  by any means so if I was going to make bread, it had to be quick and easy. I found this recipe and it is just that- quick and easy!  And, it tastes WONDERFUL!

This recipe makes 2 nice sized loaves and honestly takes just a few minutes of actual "labor" and only an hour from start to finish. It must be practically fool- proof too because mine turned out perfect the very first time! I think this is going to quickly become a staple in our house!

I probably should have saved this for one of my "secrets" but I want everyone to enjoy this simple and VERY tasty recipe.
One Hour Bread (and there is even an instructional video!)