A Discourse on Drunkenness

Posted: May 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

Do me a favor and forget for a minute that I’m a pastor. Just totally wipe that out of your mind because this is not going to be a theological discussion. While I think the theological angle is an important one, it’s not where I’m headed today. Today, I just want to be a mom.

I’ve read a lot of things in the past few years on why alcohol is or isn’t wrong for Christians. I’m just one person, but I don’t think it’s very complicated (so, okay – this is a little bit theological). I think that the Bible is clear that words can give life or death, and sex can be divine or destructive. Like both of those things, alcohol is meant to be kept inside strong boundaries or it will kill something: potential, relationships, people, reputations. I’m not anti-alcohol (though I respect those who are) because I don’t think the Bible is…but I do think the Bible is astoundingly clear on the dangerous consequences of drunkenness (i.e. alcohol use that impairs good, wise & godly judgment) and I think that too few Christians – especially young adults – take it seriously.

It’s been interesting to watch the Church as a whole move away from a prohibition mindset. It feels to me like maybe we’ve shifted  too far and now our motives have moved from liberty to entitlement, which will always eventually circle back around to bondage. Today, my whole and complete agenda is to plead with Christians to say an absolute and positive and complete and total NO to getting drunk – no matter what or when or why or how many people think it’s okay. Here are my reasons:

  1. I have never once seen a drunk person and thought, “Man, that guy is intelligent. So witty and clever right now. I wish I could be like him.” With no sarcasm or meanness intended at all, drunk people do stupid things.
  2. Overdrinking (even just a little drinking, in fact) makes you feel things for people you wouldn’t otherwise feel which makes you say and do things that you will regret later.
  3. It’s not a personal decision…it really isn’t. It’s a decision that effects everyone around you; even those you don’t know…


That’s our baby on July 4, 1988.

Yes, she is fine today. Yes, God protected us. Not my point. The point is, the guy who did this was drunk and didn’t mean to hurt my child – he didn’t even know my beautiful daughter. But he did know his beautiful daughters and tossed them in the car before he got behind the wheel. He was not arrogant with regard to his actions – he was very, very sad and paid a very high price. So once again I would like to say: drunk people have regrets – and it’s hard to undo what’s already done.

Memorial Day weekend is coming up and it is the single highest holiday for drunk driving accidents. Please be careful on the roads and please use caution if you drink. It’s sneaky business trying to regulate as you go, so set strong boundaries and stay inside them (want further definition on boundaries? Check this site.) I think we all can agree that of all the worthy things we would like to give to Jesus, good judgment is is certainly way up at the top of the list. Anything that throws a stick in the wheel of wise thinking is bound to limit our ability to bless Him.

I know this is bossy and not very “come together” – but I’ve been watching Church culture change and I’m concerned with what I’m seeing. I also know this is hard to read if you love someone who is stuck in a spiral of addiction they can’t get out of , but still it’s truth and I feel pretty passionately about it. I bet you do too.

Have a Safe and Wonderful Holiday Weekend,


P.S. If you look honestly at your life and think that you need some help with this issue, please contact your pastor…or me…or check out this website filled with resources.

  1. Annie K says:

    Don’t apologize for telling it straight Bo. Maybe the ‘church’ is where it is because there hasn’t been enough straight talk and accountability.

    I hope you have an awesome weekend!

  2. Corina Burgess says:

    Well said Bo. Love you.

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