Mike Novotny - Is It Wrong to Drink and Do Drugs?
Recently, I got a really good question from a member of our church. A question that you might have asked too. The question was this. "Is it a sin to drink or do any kind of drug"? I was thinking of the complexity of that question and I think I've narrowed down my answer to three sub-questions. I'll try not to confuse you. Ah, my questions in reply would be: How old? How much? And what kind? So, is it a sin to drink? Well I'd ask, how old? How old are you? In the Bible in passages like 1 Peter, chapter two and Romans 13, it says that we should submit to the laws of the land that we live in unless the government is asking us to sin.
And so if the US government says you can't drink if you're under 21, then would it be wrong to drink if you're in high school? The answer is yes. Unless you're a 21 year old senior, we can talk about the in a different video, the answer would be it is always sin. Like whether you get blackout drunk, just kind of buzzed, or just having a beer with your friends, if you break the law of the land, that is sin. So, what if you're old enough? What if you're like me? Or about half my age plus one. You're 21 and it's legal for you to drink. Well then my question would be, how much? You know, Jesus drank wine. He gave us wine in the Lord's Supper. The Bible in the Psalms talk about wine as a source of gladness. So it can't be wrong if it's legal. But the Bible has a lot to say about how much. The Bible wants us to live a self-controlled life that is completely free from drunkenness.
Now as a guy who grew up in the Lutheran church, I need to say this really clearly, as a guy who lives about a half hour from Green Bay, Wisconsin, in one of the drunkest communities in America, I need to say this even more clearly. That in God's eyes, drunkenness is always sin. The Bible does not say, be self-controlled unless it's your birthday, unless you're on vacation, unless it's a wedding, unless it's a bachelor party. God knows how important our spiritual lives are and he always wants us to be in control. Our words matter and the words that come out of us when we're drunk can do real damage, even if it was only drunk on a special occasion.
The choices we make with our body matter. You know, it only takes one time with unprotected sex to change someone's life forever and our Father does not want that. So is it a sin to drink? No, not if you're of age. Is it a sin to get drunk? The Bible's answer is always yes.
So that leaves us with our third question. What about drugs? And my response is, well, what kind? There are all kinds of things we can put into our bodies to help us from a medicinal standpoint, but are they legal or illegal drugs? And, especially these days when there are so many pills that you can get legally, the question is can I avoid being mastered by them? I'm sure many of you have struggled with prescription medication or know and love someone who has. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians, chapter six, "Not everything is beneficial". We might have the right to do something, but he says in verse 12, "I will not be mastered by anything".
So, if my own kid was asking me this question, "Dad, can I drink? Can I use drugs"? In fatherly love I'd say, "Let's be very cautious with that. I love you. I want you to live in freedom and with self-control. But let's enjoy some of the things that God has given, but make sure they're legal and they're beneficial". Now one last quick word. Jesus was known as the friend of drunk people. And if you struggle with addiction or today's message brought back a lot of memories from your past, I want you to know that you can bring that to Jesus and he has forgiven it at the cross. Remember, he was the friend of sinners and you're no exception. Is it a sin? Often it is. And thankfully, there's forgiveness for every sin through the blood of Christ.