By Shane Idleman
August 9, 2017
A few years ago, I attended a conference where pastors were encouraged to meet at a pub after the general sessions. A few of these pastors could exercise their liberty, but why publicly? I wondered how many people at the conference stumbled because of it.
The demands of life often tempt us to seek gratification in alcohol and other things. We must be on high alert. The enemy uses “opportune times” to draw us away from God. (cf. Luke 4:13.) The line is so thin that it is often hard to determine when we cross over.
The person who consumes alcohol walks a very fine line between freedom and sin, responsibility and carelessness, liberty and abuse — over-indulgence can even disqualify a person from leadership (cf. 1 Timothy 3). This discussion is not about a glass of wine or beer now and then, it’s about abusing liberty. Damage done to families and individuals through alcohol use demands a closer look.
Pastor John MacArthur states what many of us feel but seldom discuss, “It is puerile and irresponsible for any pastor to encourage the recreational use of intoxicants — especially in church-sponsored activities. The ravages of alcoholism and drug abuse in our culture are too well known, and no symbol of sin’s bondage is more seductive or more oppressive than booze.” Read the rest of this entry