Everything in life is fraught with potential disaster

The whole alcohol debate is old news for me, as most of you know, but when I see a view from a different angle, I like to collect it here for future reference.  From The Search, via Jesus Creed:

. . . [W]hat about alcohol is so inherently bad? The obvious answer is that it leads people to lose their faculties and do dumb things. It causes car accidents and drunk texting. It gives you liver cancer. But all of these negative things happen only when alcohol is consumed in excess. Similar negative outcomes are associated with anything consumed in excess. Eating McDonald’s in excess, for example: makes you obese. Drinking soda in excess: gives you diabetes. Playing Halo in excess: numbs your brain and inhibits you socially. Obsessing aboutTwilight: crowds out more enriching life pursuits.

But all of these things are good in moderation, even (MAYBE) Twilight.
These are good things—the fruits of this beautiful planet that God created and let us live in. Why should we abstain just because these things might lead to sin?

. . . [E]verything in life is fraught with potential disaster. Our nature infuses everything neutral with the potential to become complicit in evil. The world is beautiful and good, but it can quickly become a playground for licentiousness and depravity. Does that mean we should hide away in a cave somewhere, free of all temptation or potential vice? Should the fact that a juicy hamburger is full of cholesterol and other heart-killing ingredients scare me away from Red Robin forever? Does the potential for lusting after a member of the opposite sex mean that we should never go to the beach? Does the risk of death associated with rock climbing mean we should never attempt to scale a rock face? I don’t think so.

There is a thing called self-control. It’s one of the fruits of the Spirit. Christians have it. It’s a virtue that God gives us so that we can enjoy good things without enjoying them too much. It’s the ability to know when things have gone too far, and the ability to stop at that point. It’s a gift of the Holy Spirit.

And so is a pint of Guinness. (link)

9 thoughts on “Everything in life is fraught with potential disaster

  1. Toni

    I think we’ve said all that stuff between us already (haven’t we?) but yes, that is a sensible look at indulgence and enjoyment. The issue of alcohol has become one of pitchforking more than most though: “if I see you enjoying a drink then I can misconstrue you as a drunkard and drink myself silly as a result – and it will be YOUR FAULT”. It’s good to see guys talking about self-control as a fruit of the Spirit, when so often we think it’s a matter of the strength of our own wills.

  2. Marc

    Toni: You’re right, it has been discussed numerous times on the blog. It’s a non-issue for me and I’m sure it’s generally a non-issue across the pond as well.

    But every now and then I run across someone discussing the issue in a new way and I post it here for reference. And, secretly, I hope that someone on a lifetime anti-alcohol crusade will read these and rethink their position (I have no one in particular in mind)!

  3. Jean

    Nope, you’re not changing my mind. Can you smoke just a little bit of tobacco too – just enough so that you will enjoy it? I will not argue this debatewith you, however , I will stick to my grounds. Blessings on you.

  4. Toni

    Jean – I know some that do exactly that (including the lovely Johanna Croes at times) but nicotine seems to be addictive to the majority of people while alcohol adicts just a small minority.

    On a side note, I find it curious that people will take a stand on certain things (like alcohol or tobacco) and yet display major personal aberrations in other areas of their lives.

  5. Jean

    Toni, Toni, Toni-What are we saying here?For one thing, there are many people who cannot hold their alcohol. The point here is -why drink at all-to get a buzz? makes no sense to me. Aw, I could go on and on to be against it and smoking and many other things. You are right on the last paragraph though. I could really enjoy debating with you, my friend Cheers.

  6. Marc Post author

    Jean: most people don’t drink to get a buzz. People drink alcohol because it tastes good and is refreshing or goes well with a meal.

    “Why drink at all?” is a question that can be turned around on anything, which the quoted article already does. We can’t shelter ourselves just because something *might* go wrong.

    I already posted this a couple of months ago, but Martin Luther said it best:

    “Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused. Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit and abolish women? The sun, the moon, and the stars have been worshiped. Shall we then pluck them out of the sky?”

  7. Andrew

    What’s the issue with a ‘buzz’? Isn’t it obviously quite different from drunkenness? People get a buzz of some sort from any number of things – is getting an adrenaline rush from riding my bike down a steep incline wrong?

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