Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Total Abstinence By Jack Graham

From the Baptist Press...Total Abstinence by Jack Graham

I'm going to write this differently from my fellow bloggers. Dr. Graham's first-person viewpoint is a mix of theology and common sense. From one stand, Dr. Graham wants parents to teach their children to abstain from alcohol, noting that a drink of the 'forbidden' can lead to misery. I don't necessarily agree with this statement.

But I won't get into battling Dr. Graham's beliefs (I'll save that for my fellow bloggers), therefore here's my experience with alcohol. I hope others will learn from my story.

Being raised a Roman Catholic, alcohol was a norm. My parents, grandparents, and all their friends drank alcohol. Now somehow I knew better than to drink the stuff fearing damage to my insulin-dependant diabetes. However, that all changed when I turned 21. I always loved the smell of good, hearty beer. So...I began drinking ales, lagers, and a nice tall stout on occasion.

Unfortunately, I allowed that occasion to become a regular habit. Soon, I began drinking 2-3 beers a night. If I were traveling with my company, I would do the same with my peers. Yes, ashamedly there were a few times I drank too much.

Fast forward to Sunday, December 18th, 1999. This was the day I was baptized almost a month after accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior. Now I'm sitting down to dinner with my family, my wife, oldest son (who was almost 3), and my mother in-law. I pour myself a glass of white wine to celebrate this special day. As I sat down at the table, this little voice says to me, "Daddy, don't drink that."

Not thinking twice, I got up from the table and poured the wine down the sink. I truly believe God spoke through my son. How many 2 or 3 year olds could make such a statement?

Since that day, I haven't had the urge to take a drink of wine or beer. It doesn't mean I've stopped drinking completely, nor do I condemn others who do drink. At special times, I will take a taste of champagne.

Alcohol was becoming a controlling part of my life. Now, God is in control. I cannot serve two masters.


Misawa said...

I think where Dr. Graham goes a little wrong is blaming alcohol for wrongdoing. To me, that's the start of the "it was the alcohol talking, not really me" defense.


Every person I've ever known who drinks regularly has harbored thoughts of doing or saying the things that they eventually will blurt out when drunk. The drink acts as nothing more than an amplifier, sometimes even a de-masker.

But to blame something on an intangible object is the start of absolving the individual of their personal responsibility for their choices - as a Christian, parent, human being, or anything else.

Every choice has a reward or consequence; not always immediately noticeable, but there nevertheless.

I think your comment is dead on: if anything - drinking, fishing, gaming, etc. - comes between you and God, it's time to re-evaluate your priorities.

Mark said...

Yes, and as you know very well, I do not need alcohol to speak my mind.

Steve said...

Thanks for sharing this Mark.