Friday, July 17, 2015

Less with More

Remember the saying, "You can do more with less?" I probably heard it first on a laundry detergent commercial. Imagine the actress holding a bottle of Sudsy Detergent. "You can use a teaspoon of sudsy to clean a mountain of laundry!" It sounds good, doesn't it? If you can do more with less effort, less cost, and fewer resources, who wouldn't use it? But what about the opposite? Imagine for a moment a product that can do less with more. Cue the actress for our next commercial. A smiling woman stands next to the kitchen sink and says, "Use this product and you will accomplish less with more!" I doubt that many people would be swayed by her logic. And yet, there is a popular product that sells well and is readily available in just about any store you may visit. The product I refer to is none other than alcohol. It is extremely popular even though it hinders clear thinking and often leads to inappropriate speech and actions.

While you might expect a Christian to speak out against the evils of alcohol, there are some outside the Church that are convinced of the deadly side effects of drinking.

"Studies show that 29% of all fatally injured motorcycle riders had BAC levels above the legal limit of 0.08%. An additional 8% had lower alcohol levels (BAC 0.01 to 0.07%), demonstrating that having only a drink or two in one's system is enough to impair riding skills. ... The major effect alcohol has is to slow down and impair bodily functions--both mental and physical. Whatever you do, you do less well after consuming alcohol."

Motorcycle Operator Manual p. 40.

Note that the above quotation was not written by a Bible thumping preacher. It was written by people concerned for the well-being of those driving motorcycles in Ohio. Think about it, some of the people who died in motorcycle accidents were only slightly affected by the alcohol they consumed, and yet they lost their lives. That is bad but what really caught my attention was the last sentence in the paragraph above. "Whatever you do, you do less well after consuming alcohol." In other words, drinking alcohol causes things to become progressively worse.

Know anyone who can testify to this? Turn in your Bible to Genesis 9:20-27 for our first witness. After the Great Flood, Noah had some trouble with drinking wine. When he got drunk and disrobed himself, it was an embarrassing situation for the whole family. Turn a few chapters ahead to Genesis 19:30-38. Our second witness is Abraham's nephew, Lot. After escaping the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot and his two daughters lived in a cave. After getting him drunk, the daughters coerced their father into an incestuous relationship. Neither of these witnesses would be proud to take the stand today in defense of alcohol and yet their testimonies are clearly recorded for us to learn from.

Is it okay for a Christian to drink alcohol? Some seem to think so. Along with the dire warnings against strong drink (Prov. 20:1; 23:29-35) and drunkenness (Eph. 5:18), there are some Bible passages that seem to celebrate drinking wine (Ps. 104:15; Jn. 2:1-11). But even if the moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages was an appropriate thing for Christians, why take part? Not only can one or two drinks affect the way you drive, it can also affect your relationship with other people. Imagine having a few beers at a company party and then blurting out a few inappropriate statements about the boss. Or worse yet, what if you did something that ruined your Christian testimony while under the influence of just a little bit of alcohol. Why get involved with something that can cause so much trouble? Why get involved with something that has ruined so many families? It just doesn't seem like a good idea. If "whatever you do, you do less well after consuming alcohol," why even start?

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