It has been a while now since Preston’s thought provoking posts on alcohol. But since the proper use of Christian freedoms in general and alcohol in particular always make for interesting discussion, I will share a real life scenario that happened to me a few years ago (1998 in fact—not sure if that counts as a few years or not).
I was teaching and coaching in the public school system. I was serving as a part of a church body that had a zero tolerance policy on any sort of alcohol. Well, over the course of time I built a good relationship with the parents of various students I had. One dad in particular invited me out one day after practice “to have a beer and talk about life.” I tried the gracious redirect: “I would love to go hang out (without alcohol) and talk about life with you.” He was not interested. This happened in some form three more times over the next month and a half. He would ask to talk about life and partake in some libation. I always tried to find an alternative (drink a soda, have a meal, etc.), but he always declined.
One last bit of information: consuming alcohol did not bother my conscience at all, I was simply trying to be consistent with the church body I was a part of.
So here is the question:
Was I wrong to abstain from sharing a beer with this guy?
Was I right to abstain?
What should I have done? Have at it…