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Moderation and LIBERTY

18 June, 2009

An incident that happened to one of my good friends in Auburn yesterday got me fired up about college drinking again.

Here is last night’s story:  My friend’s parked car got hit by a drunk girl last night.  The hit knocked the parked car up on to the sidewalk, and into the parked car in front of it.  Also, the girl driving, the one that was drunk, knocked a few of her teeth out.  So when my friend returned to her car, she returned to a scene where her car had been lifted off the ground by a car driven by a drunk girl who was sitting on the sidewalk sobbing.  The police were there, putting the girl’s teeth in a glass of milk and trying to figure out what happened.

Here is my very own story, from a little over a year ago:  The night after the last Iron Bowl in Auburn, the one which we won, I went to sleep at about 1:30AM in my apartment in The Edge West.  At about 3:30AM, I heard something pouring into my toilet.  In a semiconscious state, I thought someone was peeing in my toilet, so I got up to see who it was.  In my bathroom, there was no one there, but there was a constant stream of water dripping from the light fixture into my toilet.  After being very confused for a few minutes, there was much more water coming in through every opening in my bathroom ceiling, and a lot of water puddling on the floor.  I began to move all the electronic stuff within about a 5 ft radius from the bathroom door, because the carpet was starting to get soaked.  I figured there must have been a broken pipe in the wall, so I started looking for Northcutt’s emergency phone number on the internet.  It was about 3:50 before I finally got in touch with Van Northcutt, apparently he is the emergency contact for Northcutt.  So he called the people above me to see if they had any problems.  He soon called me back and told me to try knocking on their door because the person he talked to was a little confusing, but was awake.  So I went up there and knocked, and a girl came to the door, and started explaining what happened.  Apparently her roommate had come in drunk, turned on the bathtub water, and passed out in the bed.  About that time the roommate stumbled out of the room and yelled at her roommate, “Were you in my room!  Why did you come in to my room?” in very slurred speech.  The roommate was sober, and I much respected her response:  “I went in your room because you left your bathtub running, honey, and it flooded the floors below you.  Now go put some clothes on, there are people coming in.”

So because the girl who hit my friend’s car last night decided to have too much to drink, now two cars are totaled and another damaged, and she will probably have to have surgery to fix her mouth, which will never be the same.  Because of the decision of the girl who lived above me last year, at least 4 other people (me, Van Northcutt, the maintenance guy who came to clean the water out, and the girl’s sober roommate) had to stay up the rest of the night, and then deal with the water damage for the next few days.

Do I feel sorry for the girl who has no teeth, and has to tell her parents that she was drunk driving and totaled two cars?  Do I feel sorry for the girl who had to explain to her parents why the security deposit on her apartment was taken away because of water damage?  No, I don’t feel sorry for either of them.  There is an easy, quick fix to both of those problems:  Don’t drink if you are underage, don’t drink in excess, and certainly don’t drink and drive.

Both of these circumstances could have turned out much much worse, but even in the way they did turn out, the stupid decisions of two people affected many more people than they even know that they affected.  There is absolutely no reason to drink in excess when you are in college.  There is no reason to ever drink in excess.  I know that these two statements are outrageous to those people that do drink to get drunk, but seriously, they are just setting themselves up for something stupid.  The mindset of the typical college student in this day and age is that the only way to have fun is to be drunk at every party.  It is a tragedy that people have resorted to that.

As a Bible believing Christian, my stance on drinking is that it may be enjoyed, in moderation, in accordance with the law, and in accordance with personal convictions.  My beliefs are based mostly on Romans 14.  In this passage, I think a ‘weaker brother’ is either someone who has trouble with drinking in excess on occasion (even if they claim to drink in moderation most of the time), or someone who’s convictions suggest that they should not drink.  Currently for myself I have taken an oath not to drink any alcohol until after my two years with the IMB are through.  That is a joyous abstinence period for me, because I know that the abstinence is for a Biblically sound reason.  I think that taking periods of joyful abstinence from anything a Christian does is healthy and spiritual, if approached in the right way.

As Christians who are not currently participating in drinking, we must take joy in the fact that others may enjoy it in moderation, giving glory to the God who has provided the blessing.   We must help the weaker brothers not to overindulge, and we must share the gospel with those who don’t know it, even if they are intoxicated.  One of the best spiritual conversations I’ve ever had was with a drunk guy in downtown Auburn on a Friday night.

The point of this post though, is to show that drinking in excess is one of the stupidest things any one can participate in, especially a college student.  The freedom from inhibitions that is promised is a false freedom.  It is really a bondage to the things that go along with drinking.  A bondage to insecurity, a bondage to intoxication, and a bondage to a social life that usually is focused on nothing more than sex.

The only way that a person can have freedom is through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.  The conviction of sin can only be given through the Spirit, and we cannot expect anyone that is not saved by grace to understand what that freedom is like.  We can merely show them their error and proclaim the good news to them in a loving manner.  We should never condone their sin, but rebuke it, and follow the rebuke with a loving tour of the Scripture, focused on the gospel.  That is where true liberty is attained.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Ricky Rondo permalink
    21 June, 2009 19:15

    Dude you are harshing my mellow. Just kidding. I totally agree other than maybe the part about a “weaker brother” being someone who’s convictions are against drinking. I think that should be a more case-by-case situation

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