“Brothers In Error”

This week the analysis continues of the lead article of Leroy Garrett’s Last Time Around from October, 1995. A woman had written him a letter which he published. Much of his article responds to this sentence: “All these years I have been able to ignore this ‘in error’ applied to others but not ourselves.”

The reader can tell that the editor is delighted with this sentence since it affords him the opportunity to launch into one of his favorite themes. Garrett writes: “As for this ‘in error’ mentality, it is a judgment that one will find only in Churches of Christ. I am not sure how or why it got started. It is a dubious construct, reflective of our inability to see ourselves as others see us. Even when we refer to others in the Movement who have been baptized, we refer to them as ‘brothers in error.’ If there are Christians in other churches, which we often question, they too are ‘brothers in error.’ I have never in all these years heard anyone among us refer to ourselves as ‘in error.’ It is always others who are ‘in error,’ not ourselves.”

Is it true that the “in error” mentality is found only in Churches of Christ? One wonders if Leroy has ever heard of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He may be unaware of it, but there are some fairly staunch Calvinists who would not hesitate to say that those who subscribe to the opposite doctrine (in this case, the Truth) are “in error.”

Anyway, the point should not be how many groups would say such a thing; the question is, “What does the Bible say?” So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen…” (2 Chron. 33:9). The people were in error–spiritual and moral error.

Consider these two statements in Isaiah: “O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (3:12b); “For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed” (9: 16). Jeremiah 23:13 states: “And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.”

Would Leroy like to convince God that this “in error” mentality is of dubious construct? When people embrace lies in place of the truth, they are “in error.” It’s that simple.

“Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked” (Amos 2:4). Just as people can walk in the truth (3 John 3), so can they walk in error, according to the Scriptures.

The reason that people are “in error” is that they are like the Sadducees, not knowing the Scriptures (Matt. 22:29). Jesus warned the disciples, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Saducees” (Matt. 16:6). Later, they understood that he referred to their teaching (Matt. 16:12). They were “in error” on their teaching!

What else could Jesus mean when He refers to them as “blind leaders of the blind” (Matt. 15:14) except that, like many religious leaders of today, they are in error and teaching error. James says that brethren who wander from the truth must be turned back; those outside of truth must be brought back from the error of their ways (and are even called “sinners” instead of brethren). Peter speaks of those who “live in error” (2 Peter 2: 18) and warns against being led away with “the error of the wicked” (2 Peter 3:17). Hopefully, these few passages will serve to provide Mr. Garrett the origin of the concept.


“As Others See Us”Leroy seems concerned about how others see us. It is always nice to be well-liked, well-thought-of. But whatever men think must take second place behind what God thinks? Elijah, Jeremiah, and Amos were not highly regarded in the community. Jesus was hated by the religious leaders of His day. In teaching the truth, He offended them (Matt. 15: 12). “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Likewise, we must teach truth regardless of how those “in error” feel about it.


“The Movement”Many people are baptized for the remission of their sins, including Mormons. Why does Garrett choose to use this phrase? And whom does he include in it? Wouldn’t it be better to use Scriptural terminology so that we all might understand what he means?


ARE WE “IN ERROR”?Garrett seems surprised that we do not refer to ourselves as “in error.” Is this phenomenon really a mystery? The Bible says, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God…” (1 Peter 4:11). Would it not be the height of folly to tell someone, “I don’t know the truth; I am in error. But come and let me teach you anyway”?

“Buy the truth and sell it not,” Proverbs 23:23 advises, and the New Testament likewise emphasizes this sentiment. “Sanctify them through thy truth,” the Lord prayed, and added, “Thy word is truth. “Others may not care about Truth, but members of the Lord’s church do. For such reasons we study carefully and are willing to test our beliefs in public debate. Liberals seem unwilling to do so, and we can’t help wondering why. We sincerely believe we are teaching and practicing the truth, but if someone thinks we are “in error,” let him point out the error and be willing to discuss it rather than hide behind vague innuendoes.


Nonsense Versus God’s SenseLeroy further pontificates: “It is nonsense because no such distinction can be drawn between those ‘in error’ and those who are not. We are all in error about some things, unless we presume that both our knowledge and behavior are perfect…” Anyone who is not absolutely stupefied by the preceding statements needs to read them again. Garrett believes that one cannot distinguish between those “in error” and those not. No wonder he can fellowship anyone!

Fortunately, the Word of God teaches no such foolishness. “You reject all those who stray [err, KJV] from Your statutes: for their deceit is falsehood” (Ps. 119:118, NKJ). Notice that: (1) God can distinguish between those in error and those not; (2) He rejects those who do err; and (3) There must be some who do not err from God’s statutes, or there would not have been a psalmist left to record this verse!

Certainly, God knew that all are imperfect, especially in behavior. And He knows that all of us may hold a peculiar view or two, but even so, it is still possible to determine that someone has gone “onward” (2 John 9-11) into “error.”

“Historical Evidences”

She was 21, single, poor, and pregnant. Too poor, in fact, to afford even a back-alley butcher in her home state of Texas, where abortion was then illegal. Too poor to travel to California, where the procedure was permitted. Supposedly pregnant from a gang rape, she filed a suit challenging the Texas abortion law, then went ahead and reluctantly had her child, who was put up for adoption.

This is the history of Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” whose lawsuit led to the Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion on demand. Now, McCorvey, an abortion-rights activist, has admitted to columnist Carl Rowen that her gang rape story was a fabrication to bolster her legal claim. Like so many other young single women in her predicament, McCorvey says, she became pregnant “through what I thought was love.”

Jesse Whitlock wrote the above two paragraphs, citing as his source U.S. News and World Report (Sept. 21, 1987, page 13). This information, as well as the chart across the page, appeared in the August 24, 1989, issue of The Edifier.

As most people are probably aware, Norma McCorvey has recently (1995) changed her views: she is now thoroughly pro-life. These historical notes are of great value since an entire generation has now grown up with abortion being legal.

Historically, people have seen a need to protect life before birth. Hippocrates, in the fifth century B.C., wrote the “oath” which doctors have used for a long time: “I swear by Apollo Physician, by Asclepius… I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly, I will not give a woman a pessary to cause abortion” (The Abortion Holocaust 142).

Christians, by 150 A.D., mentioned specifically this sin in The Didache : “… thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born…” (The Apostolic Fathers 123-24). Of course, the New Testament is our authority, but this quotation shows that brethren were consistent with the Bible.

Doctors under the rule of the Third Reich were required to destroy life, as well as conduct grotesque experiments on the living. Perhaps this fact explains the wording of the Declaration of Geneva, which was passed in 1948: “… I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party politics, or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient; I will maintain the utmost respect for human life, from the time of conception; even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity. I make these promises solemnly, freely, and upon my honor” (Abortion: Questions and Answers 184-85).

It is time once again to restore the respect for life–from the womb–that our forefathers also found necessary to protect.

A Quiet Heroine

Some people are selfish; others are thoughtful. Some leave you depressed; others cause you to be hopeful. Some are easily forgettable; others are an inspiration. Adrean Warmick was one of the latter.

Her death came as a surprise, though it probably shouldn’t have, since she had suffered with health problems for several years. Her affliction was scleroderma, a disease which tightens and toughens the skin. One can only imagine how awkward and painful a person feels who is stricken with it. She was only 41 when she died in September of this year.

During the eleven years we lived in Peoria, I visited her a few times in the hospital when her condition placed her there. Patients are seldom predictable. Some are whiners (“Why did this have to happen to me?”–a direct quote); some are depressed; others somehow remain cheerful. I never left her hospital room without feeling better for having been there.

Even though at least on one occasion we talked for nearly two hours, I don’t claim to know her that well, but she always impressed me as a humble Christian who loved Jesus and His body, the church. She enjoyed talking about various ways of building up the congregation. Having mentioned some things that had been done in other congregations she had attended, she wondered if Southside could do them, also. She did not just talk, however, about possibilities; she helped make them realities. She helped design some very successful programs for the ladies of the congregation.

A person with her physical problems might have been content to indulge herself in self-pity. But she was not like some who complain, “Why hasn’t anybody called me?” or “Why hasn’t anybody visited me?” yet who for twenty or thirty years never personally telephoned any brother or sister, let alone visited them in the hospital. Adrean knew how the body of Christ was supposed to function (Eph. 4:16, 1 Cor. 12). She tried as best she could to build others up.

The spiritual attitude and emphasis in her life (despite her own limitations) have served as an inspiration to me. Over the years we have noticed so many who have enjoyed a heaping portion of good health, who have wasted much of it on frivolous pursuits, seemingly unthankful for the advantages God blessed them with. Those of us empowered to offer more of ourselves on behalf of the kingdom of God should be doing so. “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48).

Some awake on a beautiful Lord’s day morning and immediately plan personal activities apart from the Savior who died for us (and who asked to be remembered–1 Cor. 11:22-29) and their spiritual family, the church. Most of us will probably never know how much of a struggle it is for those like Adrean to prepare herself to meet with the saints (as recently as two weeks before her death), but she was committed to being present for worship, if at all possible.

Adrean Warmick was not loud, domineering, or even all that visible (and an article like this one would probably have embarrassed her); yet she preached a number of eloquent sermons by her godly example. In my memory, at least, she will remain a quiet heroine of the faith.

Blessed Is He Who Readeth

A few years ago, the late brother Guy N. Woods told of a minister who called for the removal of the Bible from his congregation for a period of six months. Recently, I received an e-mail in which the writer expressed the view that the public reading of Scripture was boring and that he did not get anything out of it. Those who once simply ignored the reading of Scripture evidently feel that they can now challenge whether or not it is read at all; apathy has become disdain. Moreover, it is a mark of apostasy that some in positions of leadership in the church desire to limit another’s reading of the scripture. At the high point of Roman Catholicism, Bibles were chained to pulpits and access was limited to few.

Contrary to this attitude, a blessing is pronounced upon those who read the Scriptures. One such beatitude is found in Revelation 1:3–“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Here, the full spectrum of Scripture reading is detailed: reading, listening, and doing. Those at Berea were considered “. . . more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). Such a singular blessing should encourage every congregation to follow the Berean’s example.

Moreover, the Bible is replete with language that encourages not only reading, but intensive study of the Scriptures. In Deuteronomy 6:7 we read of the intensity with which God encouraged the Israelites to ingrain the Scriptures into the minds of their youth: “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” In The Pulpit Commentary , W.L. Alexander writes concerning this statement: “. . . literally, Thou shalt sharpen them to thy children, impress them upon them, send them into them like a sharp weapon.” This is the force of the word diligent in this passage.

In Psalm 1:2, we read of the intensity with which an individual is to study the Scriptures: “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” The Hebrew word meditate connotes a sound that is deep, recurring, and constant. This illustrates the uninterrupted pensiveness of one whose “delight is in the law of the Lord.” Too, 2 Timothy 2:15 impresses upon us the importance of handling Scripture correctly: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The desired student is a worker–one devoted to a task–who has been tested and approved.

The blessings associated with reading the Scriptures do not come from a casual glance. Like anything, with hard work and dedication, comes an appreciation and understanding of that to which one devotes himself. And regarding those who would stifle the reading or studying of the Scriptures, whether public or private, it is no secret that ignorance breeds contempt.

Only Christians Are Biased

“Breaking Ground Together,” the latest pro-homosexual propaganda piece to appear in The Dallas Morning News (September 20, 1995), confirmed once again the elitist philosophy toward Christianity and the practice of unnatural sexual relations: columnists such as Colleen O’Connor are not biased; editors and publishers of newspapers are not biased; the entertainment media are not biased; and homosexuals are definitely not biased–only Christians are biased.

Yes, the article lauds the wonderful relationship of two lesbian women, Deb Price and Joyce Murdoch, and their incredibly marvelous journey toward sainthood, impeded only by those nasty batches of hate mail from people who are still narrow-minded and bigoted enough to disagree with their “lifestyle.” The tone of the column is so syrupy it’s a wonder that the pages of the newspaper didn’t stick together.

Deb Price writes America’s first “gay” column, which is already syndicated in 40 newspapers (1C). Furthermore, she has just published a book (and gone on tour) about her relationship with her “friend” and her publishing adventures. Needless to say, she feels no compulsion to defend homosexuality, and no one (least of all, those publishing The Dallas Morning News) could accuse her of being tainted with prejudice. After all, lesbians couldn’t be biased, could they? Consider her accusing words.

“I was not unlike any other gay person in this country, who could feel this wrath, this hostility, of people using the Bible to try to justify their anti-gay bigotry” (1C).

Ms. Price may be unaware that the Bible teaches the same thing it does now that it did hundreds of years before she was born. Passages discussing homosexuality were not inserted during the past twenty years just to make her feel uncomfortable. Furthermore, theologians, commentators, and anyone who could just plain read have understood what the Bible teaches on this subject. It is a matter of TRUTH, not bigotry. Normality seldom needs a defense; aberrations do.

The sugary columnist reports on Price’s challenge to the Scriptures: “She read 19 books before she wrote the column called ‘Biblical Verses Are Used As Crutches to Prop Up Biases'” (1C). Say, is that impressive?! So, what were they: Heather Has Two Mommies and Gloria Goes to Gay Pride? Okay, that’s cruel, but in the absence of a list, one does wonder. Was one of them the Bible? Or were they all pro-homosexual tripe such as The Lord Is My Shepherd, and He Knows I’m Gay? Whatever she read was not by any legitimate Bible scholar, because none of them would try to justify the sin of homosexuality–even if they were guilty of it themselves.


WHO NEEDS THE CRUTCHES?Now who really needs to prop up a prejudice: Bible believers or homosexuals? Let’s see how ambiguous the Scriptures are. “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them” (Lev. 20:13). Is it unclear that this description refers to two men having sex with one another? Is the word abomination too tough to grasp? Perhaps the sentence, “They shall surely be put to death” is a bit murky. Even someone with a Masters’ degree in English literature from Stanford (1C) should be able to understand that–Donne and Shakespeare are generally more difficult.

Well, but that was in the Old Testament. True. God hasn’t destroyed a Sodom-type city lately (Genesis 19), and He does not require the death penalty for homosexuals under the New Testament. But it remains a sin. Paul calls the unlawful sexual act (for both men and women) “a vile passion,” “against nature,” (Rom. 1:26), “shameful” (Rom. 1:27), and the product of “a debased mind” (Rom. 1:28). Does Ms. Price think these are synonyms for “lovely,” “natural,” and “sensitive”?

The only way to look at the Bible and conclude that it supports homosexuality is to be willing to pervert the Scriptures as much as the sexual act which God designed for a man and a woman. To twist verses and passages of Scripture in a vain attempt to justify one’s behavior is to fall under the condemnation of Isaiah 5:20–“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

Unfortunately, the newspaper column does not say how Ms. Price attempts to rationalize her unnatural love–except for one paragraph. “She analyzed American history to see how Bible verses were once used to justify slavery and anti-suffragist actions, just as they are now used by some to condemn homosexuality” (6C). Without having read her column, we know that the examples are not parallel.

Some, in order to hold on to slaves, made desperate interpretations of the Bible to try to find support for their sinful actions. They had such an emotional commitment to their way of life, their economy, and their prejudice that they tried to find solace in The Book. But it was not there, just as it is not for homosexuals. Women have also been vilified with mishandled verses. But no serious student of the Word ever gave credence to such outlandish ideas based on cultural prejudice.

No one is “misinterpreting” what the Bible says to plague homosexuals. Christians want them to come to a knowledge of the truth and give up the ungodly practice as those in Corinth did (1 Cor. 6:9-11). Resistance to homosexuality is not based on bias, but TRUTH. Read what the Bible teaches on this subject–then decide who needs the crutches.

Arguments Against Drinking (Part 2)

The leading cause of death for those between the ages of sixteen and twenty is the traffic crash (the word accident is purposely not used). This age group comprises only 6.7% of the total driving population (for 1993), but they were 13.5% of the drivers involved in fatal crashes. These young people (twice as many males as females) did not need to die; 1,081 of them were legally drunk. [These statistics appeared in the Ann Landers column of August 25, 1995.]

The above information is only one of the fruits of alcohol that were discussed in last week’s article. Of course, it’s illegal for those under twenty-one to have alcoholic beverages just as it is illegal to drink and drive, but nearly anyone at any age can find access to this dangerous drug. So far, we have cited two arguments for a Christian to have absolutely no fellowship with this unfruitful work of darkness, but there’s more.


EFFECTSHow does alcohol affect the body? Alcohol is absorbed from the stomach into the blood stream; from there various organs absorb it: the brain, liver, kidney, etc. It depresses one’s ability to think, thus swiftly impairing good judgment and self-restraint. Obviously, the more a person drinks, the less control he has–both of his mind and his body. Dulled senses mean a longer reaction time when driving a vehicle. Nobody sets out to be a drunk driver with a fervent wish to kill someone. Undoubtedly, most people feel that they are rational and in control when the blood alcohol level is only .1 or slightly higher. The statistics involving fatalities (cited above) prove otherwise. [This information may be found in Willard Alls’ book What the Christian Should Know About Alcohol and Alcoholism, pages 26-27.]

The second pernicious effect of alcohol is that it destroys brain cells. A number of studies have now confirmed that even in small amounts, ethyl alcohol destroys cells in the human brain, which can never be replaced. Anyone who has imbibed over the years should not panic. It’s not as though a person only has ten brain cells, and each binge destroys one of the ten. God did marvelous work in creating the human body. But what kind of attitude is it to say, “Well, I have millions of brain cells; I’ll risk a few thousand now and then”? Not only is the brain affected; so are other organs. Shall we take the body that God has created for us and systematically destroy it?

More than anyone else, the Christian needs to think, reason, and evaluate properly (Isaiah 1:18, 1 Kings 13, 1 Thess, 5:21-22). Shall we be prepared or impaired?


INFLUENCE”But we only drink a little wine with our meals once a week. How could such a harmless custom hurt anyone?” Granted that such an individual will not be out on the high-ways killing or maiming someone, and only a minimal amount of brain cells will be sacrificed. But there are three questions that the one who uses this argument needs to be able to answer.

1. Why do it even then? Why open the door even a crack?

2. Can you guarantee that no one within this intimate circle of family and friends will ever degenerate into an alcoholic?

3. Can you guarantee that no other brother or sister who knows of such habits will ever be emboldened to begin drinking by your example–with possible harmful results?

Brethren, we do not live in a vacuum. We contact many people in the course of a week, and most of them will form a quick opinion of us just as we do them. How does the weekly sip of wine reach the dinner table? Does it come from one’s own private vineyard? It doesn’t just pop into existence. Doesn’t someone have to go to a grocery store or a liquor store to obtain it? If a friend provides it, he knows what its purpose is. If a store delivers it, somebody knows.

And what will those who know think? Even if they are told, “We just have an occasional sip with dinner,” their reaction will likely be, “Right!” What they know as factual information is that: 1) This person is a Christian; and 2) This person drinks alcoholic beverages. They will inescapably conclude without respect to quantities consumed that it is all right for Christians to drink. Is it worth the weekly sip to prompt a sinner to think of a Christian as a hypocrite or cause a brother to stumble?

A businessman tried to convince a preacher that social drinking enhanced his influence rather than destroyed it. The man of God challenged him to initiate a religious discussion with a drinking buddy at the next opportunity. Eager to prove his point, he said to an associate, “Bill, in all the time we have known each other, we have never talked about important spiritual concerns.” His theory was quickly deflated when his friend laughed and said, “Why you’re just as big a sinner as I am.” Sobering thoughts?

What if an ex-alcoholic were converted (but through the influence of a Christian who regarded small amounts of consumption to be innocuous) went “off the wagon”? Would one’s perceived liberty be worth a brother’s soul (1 Cor. 8)? Since drinking alcoholic beverages is a matter of choice, and since there is no compelling reason to do so, and since all kinds of harm can result from it, WHY DO IT?!!

Arguments Against Drinking” (Part 1)

One subject that perennially perplexes some members of the church is the drinking of alcoholic beverages. Not infrequently the question is asked, “Is it wrong just to take a drink now and then?” The answer is an unequivocal, “YES!” This series of articles will explore the reasons why most preachers discourage the use of beverage alcohol to any degree; objections to this position will also be considered.


THE FRUITS OF ALCOHOLWhen Jesus said, “Therefore by their fruits you will know them,” He was referring to false prophets who had the appearance of piety (“they come to you in sheep’s clothing”) which covered their true character (“inwardly they are ravening wolves”). In other words, in order to act responsibly one must do more than listen to their words; he must see what kind of fruit they bear (Matt. 7:15-20).

Figuratively speaking, alcohol promises much: it bespeaks good times, gusto, and serene moments in which life “doesn’t get any better than this.” But is the picture of good friends relaxing, sighing, and mellowing out a fair one? Are its fruits as good as the advertisements claim? Even in the days of Solomon 3,000 years ago, the alcoholic beverage was unable to make good on its promises.

“Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things” (Pr. 23:31-33). The drinker also has woe, sorrow, contentions, complaints, and wounds without cause (Pr. 23:28). In other words, the product cannot make good on its advertisement. It can not deliver what it promises.

What it does deliver is tragedy and misery. For decades alcohol has been involved in 50% of all automobile accidents. Young people have been so affected by its use that each state has raised the minimum drinking age to 21. Alcohol is so harmful and addictive that groups like MADD, SADD,AA, and others are known by nearly everyone.

Other fruits of the drug include its role in domestic violence (battered wives and children will attest to this fact), its link to mental illness, and its relationship to suicide. [Anyone who doubts the truthfulness of any of these statements owes it to him- self to spend an afternoon in the library looking up the statistics.] Millions of dollars are lost in the workplace due to absenteeism caused by alcohol; much more could be said.

In light of all these facts, why would anyone even ask if it is all right to have just one drink? Do we think that the nation’s ten million alcoholics all started out with that goal in mind? Imagine someone saying, “Yes, I’m just going to have one glass of wine with my meal tonight, but by next week I plan to be chugalugging sixpacks of beer”!! Who (in his right mind) would set as a goal spending his paycheck buying rounds for the guys, beating his wife and kids, losing his job, and wrecking his health? The problem is that alcohol takes one out of his right mind. The first thing it does is impair one’s judgment. The last thing it does is kill, which is well attested by the sad demise of the late Mickey Mantle. Don’t misunderstand; Mantle was a great hero, but perhaps never more so than when he tearfully acknowledged that God had blessed him with a marvelously healthy body, and he allowed alcohol to ruin it.


THE REAL PRODUCT: MISERYIf the makers of alcoholic beverages had to depend on the average American having one drink a week, they would all probably declare bankruptcy within a few weeks. Their livelihood depends on those who drink considerably more quantities. In other words, if it were not for alcoholics and heavy drinkers, they would not stay in business. Hypocritically, they sometimes spend money on commercials to encourage people to drink “responsibly”; but they know that the lighter the indulgence, the lesser their profits. Why else would they spend millions of advertising dollars each year? They need more customers (to replace the alcoholics who have died, committed suicide, or been killed in alcohol-related accidents); they need customers who will escalate their drinking habits. Why would anyone, especially a Christian, want to support such an “industry” which feeds off of innocent victims’ (of drinkers) degradation, humiliation, and misery?

Can anyone really convince himself that these companies do not know the results of their products? They employ analysts and statisticians. They will someday reap the results of their actions. Buying their products only encourages them and adds to their guilt. Thinking about the lives that have been ruined should bring about sober reflection on our part. Let us have no fellowship in this unfruitful work of darkness (Eph. 5:11). Listed as works of the flesh are “drunkenness” and “revelries” (Gal. 5:19-21). Prior to becoming Christians, many “walked in licentiousness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties…” (1 Peter 4:3), but now we have given such sins up.

All young people want to know, “What’s so bad about drinking?” Hopefully, the above considerations will prove helpful. Beverage alcohol is productive of all the evils herein described–and more. Looking at it from another perspective, how much good does it do? List all of the good, positive benefits that have come about because of it. No, its medical use does not count because the subject is beverage alcohol–that which is used merely for recreation. It’s an evil companion that will corrupt good morals (1 Cor. 15:33) and an evil tree bearing treacherous fruit. Are you deceived by it (Pr. 20:1)?