For those on the brink of age 21, the issue of alcohol consumption becomes more or less an issue of Christian debate. The questions of whether or not it is a sin and what the Bible says about the issue becomes a concern. Frankly, this issue is the least of my concerns, underage drinking or ‘overage’ drinking is not something that I care to spend too much time on, as I believe there are more pressing issues for which to spill ink. But because questions constantly arise, attempts to answer them must be given, and maybe in time we can move to more important matters.
Tim Challies, though, writes in his post “Christians and Alcohol” about how the way we treat the issue reveals our immaturity. Particularly for those who cry “Christian Freedom!” as a license to drink, he says the implicit disdain we have on those that seem a little stricter on alcohol consumption is a sign of immaturity. Challies comments on a quote by John MacArthur, “If everything you know about Christian living came from blogs and websites in the young-and-restless district of the Reformed community, you might have the impression that beer is the principle symbol of Christian liberty.”:
What I saw as I read that post is the reality that this older generation sees the younger crowd as celebrating freedom by rubbing it in their face. They hear us saying, “We are liberated by grace; you are bound by law.” They are convinced that instead of respecting them and honoring them, we are sneering at them and looking down at them. Instead of using our freedom in love and respect, we are using our freedom carelessly and even spitefully.
Many who tout Christian freedom and maybe even grace seem to easily fall into a superiority complex over those who are more old-fashioned and seemingly legalistic. Even if those ‘others’ are in fact legalistic, grace never leads to superiority or disdain. If it does, it is, in fact, a sign of immaturity in the understanding of grace.
Booz or no booz, whichever perspective you fall under, most likely the issue is not the alcohol itself (after all, it is merely flavored C2H5OH) but rather the heart you harbor toward those who hold the perspective unlike your own. So then, how do you fare, when alcohol measures your maturity?