Neighborhood Bbq

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Pittzburghkid

Puritan Board Freshman
As summertime approaches and I dust off the old smoker in preperation for a nice brisket and a few beers with my neighbors (most of whom are not Christians) I have a few questions. Before I became a Christian I drank to excess with some of these people. Knowing drunkeness to be a sin I now drink my beer in moderation. My uncle who is an evangelical and only drinks privately believes it my cross to bear to suspend my christian freedom and abstain to set an example. Do I hold my non-christian friends to the same standard? Do you think drinking beer in moderation without drunkeness in front of children is setting a poor example? Do I have a responsibility to not drink in front of people that occasionally over consume? I know this topic is overdone so please forgive me. I respect all the knowledge on this board and wanted some personalized opinions. Thank You.
 

FCC

Puritan Board Freshman
I am surprised that no one jumped to answer this question Jeremy. My own humble opinion follows. Christian liberty is always to be tempered by love for our fellow man. "Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth." I Cor. 8:1(b). When you are having these get togethers I would keep in mind that your old friends know your past and usually they will utilize any opportunity that presents itself to call into judgment your current activities. If they drank heavily and to excess with you then seeing you drink a couple of beers might provide them with ammunition to attack your current Christianity. Maybe not, but I would err on the side of caution.

We should always be cautious that our much proclaimed liberty never becomes a stumbling block to those around us in the faith either. (See I Cor. 8:9) Many Christians struggle with the lawfulness of consuming alcohol and our conduct should always consider their conscience first before our own liberty! "And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?" I Cor. 8:11. Guard your actions carefully and always be looking out for the spiritual well being of those around you, before engaging your liberty!

I like the idea of a summer bbq in the backyard, where your old friends and possibly your new friends can get together in a friendly environment! This could lead to many wonderful opportunities for speaking the truth in love! I would certainly tell your old friends that you don't mind if they drink a few cold ones at the bbq, but I would also tell them in no uncertain terms that any outright drunkenness will not be tolerated! I find it hard to think that a drunkard is in any shape to understand or appreciate the Gospel when it is presented to them and this seems like a great way to present the gospel to your unsaved friends. Use the time wisely and well my friend!

My humble opinion only!
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
Do your friends know that you are now a Christian who is opposed to drunkenness? If they are your friends I'm assuming they do.

Do I hold my non-christian friends to the same standard?

Which standard -- of not getting drunk? If you are hosting the gathering, of course you should hold them to a standard of moderate drinking.

Do you think drinking beer in moderation without drunkeness in front of children is setting a poor example?

No, I think that is setting a good example. Children should learn at a young age that alcohol is a good thing that can be enjoyed in moderation by adults. The world will give them plenty of examples of alcohol abuse, so it's important that they be exposed to its proper use by the people they know and love.

Do I have a responsibility to not drink in front of people that occasionally over consume?

No. Like with children, you can set a positive example for your friends. It's good for them to know that you oppose drunkenness, but it's also good for them to know that alcohol is a good thing to be enjoyed.

Above all, use discretion. I'm just offering my general thoughts, but you need to look at each situation with wisdom and discernment. Sometimes it's good to abstain, but I find that in most cases it is good to set a positive example of alcohol consumption.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
Do I have a responsibility to not drink in front of people that occasionally over consume?

It depends on the person. To many people, drinking alcohol is always associated with drunkenness and to drink at all will suggest you approve of drunkenness. To others, drinking alcohol is strongly associated with abusive behavior and to drink at all suggests you are insensitive to such abuses. If you know or suspect one of these to be the case with some of your friends, it may be kind and helpful to obstain.

Around others, even some who struggle to drink responsibly, drinking in moderation may set a good example or even dispell notions of a legalistic Christian and thereby witness to Christ... especially if you spend enough time with them that they get to know why you drink.

The upshot is you have to get to know your friends and pay attention to their issues. There's no easy right-or-wrong answer.
 
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