Disclaimer: To those I know this is post is the result of a study of Proverbs and something I read on another blog. It is not about an specific incident or individual, so do not ask. Well, with all of that said on with the post.

Recently, I read something on another blog that got me to thinking about how as Christians we have a tendency to be selective in what parts of the Bible we apply to our lives. It is like there is a list of “Don’ts” or sins that we are quick to decry yet at the same time we ignore other sins. At least in some groups the list of Don’ts includes drinking, smoking and dancing. Some even include going to movies or listening to any form of rock music. At the same time other sins like gossip, gluttony, and “keeping up with the Joneses” are glossed over, barely mentioned or even just ignored.

What makes drinking worse than gossip, in God’s eye aren’t all sins equal?

From reading the Bible I know that the first miracle Jesus preformed was to turn the water into wine. Also, Paul instructs Timothy to drink a little wine for his stomach and there is also evidence to support that during Bible times people drank wine including Jesus. The Bible also commands us to be controlled by the Holy Spirit and not filled with spirits.

Proverbs 31:4-5 makes it clear that leaders are to abstain from alcohol. Logically, that it is wise for leaders or those in positions of influence to abstain from anything that might impair judgment. Many lives have been destroyed by the abuse of alcohol, drunk driving, or the loss of inhibitions.

So what about gossip, gluttony and greed?

In our consumer driven, super size-me society gluttony and greed are readily overlooked. Proverbs 23:19-23 simultaneously warns of the dangers of drunkenness and gluttony. According to this passage drunkenness appear to be equal. Misuse or abuse of alcohol can lead to major problems but what about over indulging in food? Heart disease, diabetes and other weight related health issues are growing problems today especially in the West.

We live in an over-indulgent society where many seem driven to have more and/or better toys. We seem to obsessed with getting more stuff. It is okay to have things as long as it is kept in perspective. Despite what that t-shirt says “He who dies with the most stuff” does not win. Stuff is temporary and will eventually go away. Instead are focus should be on things eternal (Matthew 6:19).

Gossip is another sin that is often overlooked. I have heard plenty of sermons and lessons about the evils of gossip. Yet one of the best places to hear gossip is a church fellowship or prayer request time. It seems that some hold the belief that gossip is really harmless and words cannot hurt anyone. Gossip can be just as destructive as alcohol. While it may not cause physical harm it can destroy the spirit.

Biblical Response

Galatians 5:15-26 challenges the reader to live a Spirit controlled life. It warns of the dangers of living a life that is driven by our own selfish desires. The results include rage, jealousy, factions or cliques and drunkenness among other things. In contrast the results of living a Spirit controlled life include a life marked by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

An example of living a life of self-control and moderation is found Daniel 1:8-12. Daniel and other young men had been selected to study and live in the kings court. Only the brightest and best were selected. They were offered plenty of rich food including meat and wine. Daniel and his friends however chose to eat vegetables and water. In the end their practice of moderation they were healthier than the others.

Finally, in I Peter 1:13-25 as Christians we are called to lead a holy life. This does not mean that we are perfect. In means that there should be a difference in our lifestyle.

8 thoughts on “It’s Okay to Stab Your Neighbor in the Back; Just Don’t Drink.

  1. Very good post. I think many times people attempt to construe the words of the Bible in a way that reflects their own personal morals. If they can find the slightest mention of anything that might apply to these subjects they will use it. That’s where we get most of the “the Bible says we shouldn’t drink and we shouldn’t dance” nonsense.

    And yes all sins are most definitely equal in God’s eyes, even the less concrete ones like gluttony, greed, etc.



  2. Dan,

    While the Bible doesn’t prohibit drinking and dancing it does call us to live Spirit controlled lives. That includes sometimes not doing things because it might offend others.

    Ty, for stopping by.


  3. Somewhere along the way we’ve learned to classify sins. It’s good to keep the perspective that all sin separates us from fellowship with God. It’s also good to remember not to compare ourselves to others. We need to understand that we all have the tendency to fall victim to our sin nature. We do what we do not want to do.


  4. I don’t drink except on special occasions, and even then I don’t drink enough to get drunk, simply because I don’t like not being in full control at all times. However, I have always been of the impression that it is drunkenness, not merely drinking alcohol, which is a sin.

    Of course, as always I bow to your far superior knowledge of what the Bible does and does not say.

    Something I have never understood is why some religions believe you can’t listen to rock music. Music is not inherently sinful, and of course there are Christian Rock bands which can actually bring new followers.


  5. ENM,

    The Bible warns of drunkenness but does not prohibit drinking. However it does advice not to do things that would cause others to stumble or would offend others.

    The rock music thing is because some just don’t understand. They think that we should look like Christians. Obviously, I don’t have a problem with rock music. Some judge people by outward appearances and not their heart. David Crowder is a good example of someone who looks like a freak. But man the guy’s heart is in the right place.


  6. Sorry to just now respond. I think a lot of it is just our attempt to control people. If we can keep every Christian from drinking or smoking or having extra-marital sex, then we have succeeded. Those things are a lot easier to see and control than over-eating or gossiping. Plus, if we like to over-eat or talk about people, but we don’t like to drink alcohol and smoke, then we just rail on the stuff we don’t like. We don’t have faith in the Holy Spirit to do His job of convicting and moving hearts and dealing with believers in the grey areas of life.


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