And a funny thing happened one day several years ago, I was sitting with my husband enjoying a glass of beer at a beautiful sitting place when we both saw someone we knew from church. Both of us raised our glasses in greeting and suddenly realized what we did—and laughed out loud. It became a joke we fondly remembered as our friend waved in greeting, too.
Alcohol is a taboo subject in the Christian world. It’s as polarizing as left and right politics. A group will narrowly look down on you for having a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. Another group will join you. One will bend the context of scripture to make it fit their beliefs and another will point out that the scriptures state only not to get drunk.
I am of the latter group. But in a Christian setting with church-going friends I abstain out of respect for their beliefs or for the lack of knowing their beliefs. I abstain if I know they are former addicts. I even hide the bottle of wine if they are coming over for dinner. But I won’t hide the fact of who I am as that is plainly hypocritical.
It’s also quite embarrassing when I go out with Christian friends and a resounding no comes out when the waiter asks if we would like to see a wine list. I see the waiter’s expression and wonder how that must look to a secular person. Can’t we simply say, ‘no, thank you’ without making a statement?
So just pour me a glass of something red, not too sweet, and a little dry and let’s talk about the real world. Lets listen and pray for one another and not quibble over the little things. I respect those who do not drink out of respect for God—that is their ‘lent.’ There are far more serious things we could be talking about than whether someone likes to socially drink.
(On a side note, I have little respect for those who drink to get drunk. It’s irresponsible and later hard on the health.)
What do you believe? Do you unintentionally or intentionally disrespect others with your tone if they have a drink?