In the sixth chapter of Radical Reformission, Driscoll summarizes the relationship between culture and Christianity by using that old haggard issue of “Is it right for a Christian to drink alcohol?” I was fortunate to grow up in a family that often had beer in the fridgerator (yeah read that sentence again, I was “fortunate.” Many/most Christian families look upon drinking alcohol as if it is the test for faith. Christians don’t drink; pagans do, that seems to be our logic often times. Unless you’re really progressive, then you might say, It’s ok for Christians to consume alcohol (but not to the point of becoming drunk, of course), but they should never do it because it looks bad. Well, the fact is it only looks bad to those self-righteous Christians who have this holier than thou attitude about issues of morality.
I really empathize with what Driscoll writes about this issue. Christians are so prude in this area that we have completely distanced ourselves from our culture to the point of being isolated and inable to connect with them. Americans in thier 20’s drink. Now there’s a revelation for you. The bar and club atmosphere is where many young adults find their source of community and family. Nothing wrong there. Many go out to get blitzed . . . yeah, that’s probably not a great biblical idea. But what if they consume alcohol in moderation? Big whoop. Jesus did. Probably just about everyone in the Bible did. Every great theologian to walk the planet has. But this American prudence in the area has left us cold and hard-lined.
I’m not saying that we drink to fit in, I’m saying that we shouldn’t be so judgemental and condescending on an issue that is far from black and white. You probably can make more of a case that Christians should take in alcohol in moderation than completely abstain (which is what Mark Driscoll believes). I still feel a little uncomfortable when one of my “brothers/sisters” orders a beer, but that is my problem, not theirs. I am slowly overcoming that bias and prejudice.
I really liked a citation from either Luther or Calvin, I don’t remember which now, that Driscoll makes. Women and wine can both lead to sin by man, should we abolish women and wine both? Great point. The sins men and women commit are far more complicated and harsh than the sin of drunkenness. Let’s be consistent.
Christians are often looked upon as people who don’t know how to have a good time. Maybe we could kick back with a cold one and remind them that we celebrate the best of good times, a time that is coming . . . maybe with a big keg in the sky? Who knows?