Q: I come from a good family and have always worshiped God. But as I got older I started drifting away. I have a problem with alcohol. I am a diabetic and should not be drinking. Once I was able to stop for four months, but as soon as I stopped going to church I went back to that bottle. My heart is heavy. What can I do?
—Michele B. Jackson, via e–mail
A: Michele, your story is a good example of why certain Christian denominations refuse to use alcohol at all. The ruin that some people experience is tragic, and in the process they drag down alongside them spouses, children, and friends. Alcoholism damages not just the body but the soul as well, since it distorts the ability to perceive reality. People who work with alcoholics note that they become reflexive liars, a habit that serves well the agenda of the Father of Lies.
Because alcohol can be so destructive when misused, some believe that it should be avoided entirely. Many Christians point to Romans 14:21: "It is not right to … drink wine or do anything that makes your brother stumble."
Most Christian groups, however, allow the use of alcohol in moderation. They would cite the many positive references in Scripture, such as God's gift of plants that provide "wine to gladden the heart of man" (Ps. 104:15), or Jesus' miracle at Cana, where He provided a wedding banquet with an overabundance of excellent wine. Drunkenness is universally condemned, but moderate use—to mark the joy of a wedding banquet, for example—is usually permitted.