my vision of the world.

Is it OK to drink at parties as long as you don’t get drunk?

This was a comment in my last post but I think it’s worth a new post for it.

the comment by Susan:

I’ve been going to parties with non-Christians and have been struggling with this question too. Thank you for articulating your witness–you socialize with non-Christians, but you don’t have to participate in sinful behavior. And probably someone noticed you acting more respectfully and felt like they could trust you.

But sometimes you have to draw the line and leave, as you did. By being there, you could be condoning something overtly sinful.

So, as a Catholic, you think it is OK to drink at parties as long as you don’t get drunk?

~Susan

First of all thanks for reading and commenting my blog!

Getting straight to the answer: Yes, I think it is ok to drink as long as I don’t get drunk.

To drink is not a sin “Wine is very life to man if taken in moderation. Does he really live who lacks the wine which was created for his joy?”(Eclesiasticus 31, 27) but “Let not wine-drinking be the proof of your strength, for wine has been the ruin of many.”(Eclesiasticus 31, 25)

Jesus himself drank wine; He was also called “drunkard” (“The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’” Luke 7,34)
I think that as a Catholic we have to show the example, we have to tell were is the limit. Yes, unfortunately we can be misinterpreted and be confused as one of those who are in sin, as Jesus in this very passage. As saint Paul would say “To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak”I Cor. 9,22 (you’d understand better my point if you read this chapter from the verse 16)

I remember ten years ago I was in mission in a very poor region of Brazil, and some members of my community and myself were trying to bring the word of God to a small village but it was very hurt by sin. There I stayed with the kids and told them histories from the bible while others stayed the the adults which the only activity was to play cards and to drink. One day I had to stay with those men who were drinking (I didn’t even touched the alcohol that day for because of the circumstance it wasn’t convenient at all). One of the little girls came to me and asked me “Are you drinking?”(she looked so disappointed I felt like crying) It was one of the most difficult situations of my life because my intention to evangelize was a motive of scandal to a little girl. It was one of the men who was sitting on the same table I was that told the girl I was there and I wasn’t drinking with them, I was just talking to them.

Yes this is a risk. But it didn’t stop Jesus to talk to the woman of Samaria, or to go dinner at Zacchaeus …
I’m not defending that to evangelize all means are valid, we have to be careful where to go and what we do. We have to be attentive to not to be a scandal, and not to be a stumbling stone to our brothers in Christ. I don’t go to night clubs and stuff like that, but a party with friends can be a good moment to witness our faith.

Hope I’ve answered your question.
Shalom!
Felipe

3 responses

  1. “In your story about the mission, were you saying that your abstinence from alcohol was interfering with your ability to be their friend and evangelize? It sounds like you were mistaken for someone who was there just to preach and not “be one of them,” as St. Paul wanted to do. Am I misreading?
    Susan”

    Hi Susan,
    Well, I think that I couldn’t express myself very well, I tried to make it short but I wasn’t enough clear… sorry about that. I was took in the very contrary, for the little girl I went there just to drink and for the men I was there to evangelize. What I was trying to say is that we can be misinterpreted in every situation but we can’t stop trying to evangelize because of that.

    22/09/2010 at 7:38 am

    • Susan

      OK, now I understand! Thank you for the explanation. ~Susan

      22/09/2010 at 2:12 pm

  2. I totally agree with you. I think that rejecting the “ways of the world” is not always a successful way to be light in the darkness. I think that our self-control behaviour itself can be pretty more enlightening than just taking attitudes that push us off from the world. But I guess we have to be careful, as you said, about scandalizing. In this particular subject (drinking), I think it depends from person to person, and above all, the heart’s intent, which is really one of the most important things that God cares about.

    27/11/2010 at 3:08 pm

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