More than a few times we’ve heard about outreach efforts involving strong drink, and they make me both wince and smile. I wince because I grew up in a church that considered proximity to alcohol a sin, and despite the fact that I don’t agree I still have the response. And I smile because I’ve moved beyond that thinking and I can appreciate the gutsiness and the fresh thinking, at the same time realizing how sad it is that sharing a pint is considered edgy.
So I find a post like this one that imagines a bartender Jesus and comes up with potential names for a drinking group rather clever, but in a sad kind of way. Like most sin, Christians have no idea how to deal with drunkenness. Jesus may have turned water into wine, but only Christians can turn alcohol into animosity.
There’s a balance to be found between legalism and abusing grace, and I wish churches would seek that balance. When that happens I think you can have cool stuff like a Theology on Tap group or a way to help rather than shun drinkers, like what happens with Alcoholics Anonymous. I’ve asked it before, but why can’t the church led the way in restoring responsibility to alcohol?