Alcohol and Drinking Ministers, Priests, and Rabbis

Dennis C. Abernathy
Gladewater, Texas

That we face an alcohol problem in this country, no one can deny. The government reports that it is the number one drug problem. We also know that the government will not come up with the solution to the problem (really it is a part of the problem). Our government promotes and condemns alcohol at the same time. It glories in the tax money received from the sale of liquor and, at the same time, warns against its harm. Many of the leading officials (those in positions of making weighty decisions) are habitual drinkers, and some are alcoholics. There is little wonder that our governmental problems are piling up!

You wonder how our country, which is supposed to be a Christian nation, could have problems of this nature in epidemic form. Are people being taught the dangers of drinking? Are they being taught that it is a sinful thing? Not much. In fact, many of the religious leaders themselves drink and many of the religious bodies are involved in the liquor industry - and you guessed why - to get the almighty dollar! In Isaiah 24:2 we read, "And the people will be like the priest . . . ." My friend it is still so today. Many people drink today because they have been taught by word of mouth and by example that it is all right to drink.

The following comes from Gallup's poll on churches and alcohol: "Gallup also found that ministers, priests and rabbis are not immune from alcohol problems themselves. The proportion of clergy who said liquor at one point or another was a cause of trouble in their immediate families was not far below the proportion of the public as a whole. The proportion of drinkers among clergy, according to Gallup, is slightly lower than for the population as a whole. While 7 in 10 of the general population admit to the use of alcohol on some occasion, only 1 in 2 of the clergy surveyed reported any use of alcoholic beverages." So, my friend, there you have it! Now you know why many preachers and religious doctors will not preach against the sin of drinking alcoholic beverages.

But do not believe for a moment that the church of Christ is immune to this sin. There are untold Christians who social drink (many get drunk) and nothing is said, tot much preaching is done on the subject, and very little, if any, discipline is administered! Young people, who wear the name of Christ, go out on week-ends, drink beer and get high, then are up front waiting on the Lord's table on Sunday mornings.

Brethren, we had better wake up. We had better teach the truth on the sinfulness of alcohol. Social drinkers or outright drunkards have no place in the church. They need to be admonished to repent of this sin, and if they do not, then the church needs to take action according to 1 Corinthians 5. Take your Bible and read Gal. 5:19-21 as well as 1 Peter 4:3 (especially those who try to justify social drinking). Think on these things.

Truth Magazine XXIV: 30, p. 482
July 31, 1980