This is an open letter to my Christian friends who are pro-drinking or pro-alcohol. I have a sincere question and I would love to hear your responses. These are issues that I genuinely struggle with. First, a little about me.
I was born into the family of a pastor. My mom and dad have loved and served the church my whole life. They were great examples to me. From a child I was told that alcohol, drugs, and tobacco had no place in the life of a Christian. My parents never did any of those things.
I have personally seen how dramatically devastating alcohol can be. I had an uncle who was an alcoholic. As a child growing up, I saw firsthand the destructive nature of alcohol. It hurt me greatly as I watched my sweet cousins and their family struggle.
The church is a place where people go when they hit rock bottom. So many times growing up, I watched and listened as my parents dealt with the victims of drugs and alcohol addiction. We also celebrated the victories of those addicted souls who gained their freedom as God set them free.
In 1972, I turned eleven years old. That was the year my trouble began. I have always loved musicians. My father is an amazing musician. I grew up loving music. My heroes were musicians. One of my favorite people was our church bass player. He had long hair and some pretty serious swag. I loved being around him. He also had some pretty awesome sports cars.
One day he pulled up behind the church where I was playing with my friends. He asked me to get in the car. I was thrilled. It was a white MG Midget with a black convertible top. I can still remember the smell of that car. After I got in and closed the door, he told me to open the glove compartment. Inside was a clear plastic bag, full of what looked like grass clippings or weeds. It was so big it was stuffed in there and the door would barely close.
He asked me if I knew what it was. I said I didn't. He told me it was pot. I had no idea what that was. He started the car and we left the church parking lot. There was a cemetery across the road from the church. Shortly, we turned into the old abandoned section of the cemetery. Once we parked, he pulled out some rolling papers, began rolling up a joint, and started smoking it. I had smoked cigarettes but he was smoking this in a very strange way. While holding his breath he handed it to me. Talking as smoke was coming out of his mouth he said, "Go ahead, it's ok!" I can still see that huge buck-toothed smile on his face.
I was scared to death. However, there was no way I was going to say no. I had to impress him. I very tentatively took a "hit" while he watched. As he exhaled he said, "Hold it in as long as you can!" I held it as long as I could. I was waiting for his approval. After what seemed like a long silence, he laughed with great satisfaction. I ended up coughing my head off. We finished the joint, and so began the hold addiction would have in my life. One week later he introduced me to alcohol. I feared this even more, but wasn't going to disappoint him. It took me almost eight years to stop what was started that day.
I went on to become an alcoholic, and was addicted to marijuana and many other drugs. It nearly led to the end of my life many times. Only by God's grace was I able to break free. Once out of that dark, addicted pit, I never wanted to go back. I have spent my life trying to warn people about addiction, and help those in bondage find their freedom.
This brings me to my confusion. There is a growing, pro-alcohol movement in the church. The promoters of this movement are so convinced that alcohol is harmless, they are even building breweries in their churches. I won't take the time to try and address their "logic." I am sure you know how I feel about it.
Here is my question. If drinking alcohol is permissible, what about other drugs? I see no real difference in a couple of beers and a joint. If you can drink margaritas, can you snort coke or smoke crack? If you can fill up on wine, is it ok to smoke meth or shoot up heroin?
I am sure most Christians who are pro-alcohol are shouting "NO!" I guess to them there is a difference. As for me, I can't see any difference. These are all drugs and all are addicting. In reality, some of those are much less refined than alcohol. So, if someone can be a Christian and consume alcohol, can they be a Christian and use other drugs? If the answer is no, please explain it to me.
For me... they are all the same. All destructive! All addicting!