Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Guarding Your Testimony, part 1
I’ve been asked a lot of questions lately about Christians and drinking. It seems that casual alcohol consumption has become part of many believers’ lives. Many young believers have not even heard any teaching on the value of alcohol abstinence.
I’d like to specifically address this issue with leaders. I don’t believe that leadership is about liberty or license. I believe that leadership is about surrender. I have seen in my lifetime how alcohol can be addicting and can be a crutch for some people.
What does Scripture say?
Let’s look at Scripture, as that is our law of faith and practice. In the Bible age, water was not consumed like we consume water today. The lack of good quality water made it unhealthy to drink. Almost every culture drank wine because it would not poison or pollute your body like the water would. They did not drink wine for the purpose of becoming intoxicated.
In Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit was being poured out, the disciples were accused of being drunk. Peter’s response was that it was only 9 am, and they would have had to have been drinking for hours to be that intoxicated. Wine didhave an alcoholic content, but the purpose of drinking was not for intoxication—it would have taken a lot of that wine to do so.
Paul said to Timothy, “drink a little wine for your stomach’s sake.” I agree. Drink A LITTLE wine for your stomach’s sake. In other words, Paul and Timothy must have been abstainers because Paul was giving Timothy permission to drink a little wine to help his stomach. This could have been a reference back to Leviticus 10:9 that says not to drink any strong drink.
Drinking alcohol that is specifically designed to numb the senses, create a buzz, and get you drunk—as a believer—is just like drinking drugs. It is a drug you are drinking. That is the challenge. It’s not a matter of addiction, but dependency. Does someone need a drink to take the edge off or to relax? If so, it’s time to go on a fast. (If I may really meddle…The same could be said for drinking coffee. It’s using a substance to take the edge off and being dependent on something.)
Why are you making such a big deal about a little thing?
If it’s just a little thing, why not let it go? What is the big deal?
If a little bit of casual drinking is a little thing, why mess around with it? Why have that baggage in your life? And why chance causing someone else, if not yourself, to stumble?
The point here is not to be legalistic. I want to provoke you to purposeful leadership in your church and your community. There is a difference between someone having a drink of wine at home and someone going out in town and drinking—especially if it’s a drinking atmosphere. There is a difference between a drinking atmosphere and a dinner atmosphere. You may not have a strict code in your church regarding leadership and drinking, but I think one of the things that should be a strict code is that we should NEVER drink in the context of Christian fellowship. You don’t know who is watching you are how they are interpreting what you are doing, and you don’t know what they are struggling with.
Our generation really needs to offer leadership to young people. Teach them that dedication and consecration, and even sacrifice, are valuable to the Lord. We ought to inspire, challenge, and call them to personal dedication. At least get them to start asking the right questions. Basic teaching of Scripture is the way to approach this. Not just announcing the requirement, but teach your way through Scripture. Sow vision about the value of sobriety.
God wants to intoxicate us, but not with alcohol. He wants to be our substance. He wants to be the One to take the edge off. He wants to lift our moods. He wants to be the One we rely on.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!