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“What about booze?”

“What about booze?”

SEPTEMBER 2, 2022

/ Programs / Key Life / “What about booze?”

Steve Brown:
Hey, what about booze? The answer to that question and other questions, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
If you think laughter isn’t spiritual or that faithfulness to God means conformity to Christian stereotypes, then this program probably isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for honest, Biblical answers to honest questions, welcome to Key Life. Here’s our host, author, and seminary professor Steve Brown, along with Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hey Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man. Happy Friday.

Steve Brown:
Happy Friday to you too.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
We both agree that Fridays are happy days. When we were pastors, that was when the work was beginning. And you had to go through the fog until Sunday, after the sermon. And that is something that people would give a fortune to feel.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
When it’s over, even if it was bad, it’s over and you don’t have to do it for another week.

Pete Alwinson:
The weight is off.

Steve Brown:
That’s right. That’s Pete Alwinson and be sure and go to ForgeTruth.com. You can get a dynamite podcast there. You can get information. If you live in central Florida, there are a number of Forge groups of men that meet together and it is changing lives. So, check it out. And, Pete comes in on Fridays as you know, and we spend that time answering questions. If you have a question, you can pick up the phone and call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 7, and record your question. Or you can send it to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

in Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can send your question to [email protected] And if you can help us financially, please do. We’re a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. Both of those organizations, check our books to make sure that we’re ethical. We were ethical before they came along, but just so you know. So, if you can help us, we’ll be faithful with your gift. If you can’t, we understand, say a prayer. Speaking of prayer, why don’t you lead us in prayer and we’ll get to some of these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
All right. Our Father, what a joy to be able to stop right now and come into your presence and to remember that we’re yours. Thank you, our Lord, the Lord of the universe, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for doing everything that you have done to reclaim us, to draw us out of our messed up world that we created, and to bring us into the world of your redemption. Thank you, that we’re your daughters and sons, honored and loved and kept because of the work of Jesus Christ. We need you in every way we can think possible. And Lord, as we head toward this week-end, we ask that you’d be with our leaders, pastors, teachers, priests, all those that lead us in worship, be with those who bring us into your presence. And we pray that you would use them in a powerful way, to unfold the gospel in life transforming. So, we come to you now and commit this time of Q&A to you. Thank you for Steve and all the key people at Key Life who do so much behind the scenes. We commit them to you and this time. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Pete, this first question is on drinking and alcohol. And the question is simply this, what does the Bible teach about drinking alcohol for the Christian?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Well, you’re, you come from a family where alcohol was abused.

Steve Brown:
Oh, I do, every male in my family. And God, by the way, I am a teetotaler, I just don’t take adult beverages, but that’s not cause I’m so spiritual it’s cause I can’t. God, in a supernatural way fixed that. And it’s broken, that cycle in my family has been broken.

Pete Alwinson:
Powerful.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. It really is. And, and when I say I can’t, I really mean that, you know, I’ve tried. We were in Northern Ireland where I was speaking and you know, they’re big on Guinness. And I decided, well I’m here, I ought to at least taste it. And I got it. And I spit it out. It, you know, it was like axle grease. It was awful. And so, God has really fixed that with me and it’s been a good thing, but I also have been a pastor for a lot of years. And I’ve seen what alcohol does to families, to children of those families, to people losing their jobs. I mean, I’ve seen that over and over and over again. So, I can’t say the Bible says you should never do it because it doesn’t. And we shouldn’t go further than what the Bible says, but be wise, think about it. And you were saying something earlier, we were going there, the Bible is clear.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, it is very clear in Ephesians.

Do not be drunk with wine for that’s dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.

So, whereas you’re saying, yeah, it doesn’t just, doesn’t say you cannot drink, but the emphasis is to be filled with the Spirit. And you know, if you have that liberty to drink. And, I think the pendulum is swung among evangelicals in a direction that’s not healthy.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. I agree.

Pete Alwinson:
I think we flaunt our liberty far too much in that area. Don’t flaunt it because so many people’s lives have been transformed negatively by alcohol abuse.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, I agree. And, and, you just, look guys, we belong to him. And it’s hard to do it right when you’re drunk. And that hurts, I went to a party one, a Christmas party one time, and there was a guy there and we got in late and I remember him. He was so drunk. He was holding onto the banister and he announced it. And there were a hundred people. He announced, there’s my pastor. He taught me everything I know about Jesus. And I thought, and listen, say that when you’re sober and it’ll make me feel good, but it’s not good that you say this kind of thing. And we’re laughing about it, but it’s not funny.

Pete Alwinson:
No, it is not. And I think, I think we have to take that more seriously. We’re not, we’re not a works righteousness people. We’re not legalists. You know, but we do see that there are some practices that, that as Paul says, all things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. I will not be mastered by anything. And I think that we need to take that more in consideration.

Steve Brown:
I agree. Good stuff. Has God ever talked to you? This is another e-mail in an audible fashion. I’ve never understood the Christian belief that God talks in a still small voice in my heart.

Pete Alwinson:
Huh? That’s an interesting,

Steve Brown:
That’s a awful question.

Pete Alwinson:
Yes. Very. You know, I think God’s a great communicator.

Steve Brown:
I agree.

Pete Alwinson:
I don’t think God’s silent. I think creation speaks of who he is and what he can do. The word of God speaks powerfully to us. But the more you immerse yourself in the word of God written, I think the Spirit of God takes the truth of God, God’s voice becomes resonating in us. And so, that is a, you want to call it still small voice.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, he does that.

Pete Alwinson:
He does it.

Steve Brown:
You know, you and I have both been teaching the Bible most of our lives. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to think of thought without thinking a text. And whenever thoughts come to me, almost always there’s Scripture that comes to me and that’s him.

Pete Alwinson:
Isn’t that amazing.

Steve Brown:
Now, that doesn’t mean that God is mute. He speaks in the ways Pete was talking about, but if he determines that he’s going to lead you by speaking to you directly. There was an elder in our church who was an old swabbie. He was a Navy retired guy. And he, one time before he was a Christian, he was out in his backyard and he held up the Bible and said, if you don’t say something to me, I’m out of here. I’m never going to have anything to, that’s a dumb thing to say. And he used to say, that’s a dumb thing to say, and I wish I hadn’t said it, but God spoke to him. He said, I love you. And when he tells the story, you know, that’s exactly what happened. And he walked the faith, never happened again. It wasn’t something that happened every week, but God really spoke to him.

Pete Alwinson:
And Steve, you and I both read, as we read the Old Testament, we see that God spoke in many ways as Hebrews says. And sometimes, we’re just not sure how those revelations were given to the prophets, sometimes it was audible, sometimes the vision transported them, sometimes it was in a dream, sometimes it may well have been audible. So we don’t, God can do whatever he well pleases.

Steve Brown:
And he does it right well.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. But I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t expect, he makes no promise to us that he’ll speak audibly.

Steve Brown:
Exactly. And I get kind of leery, there was a television evangelist who had his hand on somebody, was praying for him. And he looked up in the sky and said, yes father, no, yes, okay, yes, yes I’ll do that. And I thought, man, I wouldn’t do that in a thunderstorm cause God doesn’t work that way. He can speak and he wants to communicate and he wants us to know him, but when you get presumptuous about it, that can be quite dangerous.

Pete Alwinson:
I agree totally.

Steve Brown:
When we have sinned against or hurt someone else, this is the question, who do we have to ask for forgiveness, god or the other person? You know, we, all of us try to wiggle out of where there’s no wiggle room. The other person dummy and God too.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
Now, there are times when going to the other person will make it worse, but you need to check with some brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray about it and think about it, but the general principle is forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And that principle applies to individuals too, that we need to, they say, well, on the other side of that people say, well, when they repent, then I’ll forgive them. You don’t get that. No, they don’t have to repent. You’ve got to forgive,

Pete Alwinson:
that’s right.

Steve Brown:
no matter what.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And it’s a process, isn’t it?

Pete Alwinson:
It is a process, forgiveness is usually not a point in time. It is a process that starts at a particular point. And sometimes we don’t forgive because we don’t, we haven’t gotten to that point where we said, okay, Lord, I need to, I will.

Steve Brown:
That’s right.

Pete Alwinson:
And so, we need to listen to his voice and the conviction of the Spirit about forgiveness and then start it and say, all right.

Steve Brown:
And when God tells you to do something hard and that’s hard sometimes, he always comes alongside and he helps you do it.

Pete Alwinson:
He does. He does.

Steve Brown:
So, if you’ve got a heart that says, I’m praying this person dies, look what they did to me. I’m, I hope they get the hives or something. Forget it, man. And nothing’s going to happen. But if you say God, I’m having trouble with this and I can’t do it, but if you can do that in me, please go ahead and do it.

Pete Alwinson:
I know.

Steve Brown:
And that’s a powerful prayer.

Pete Alwinson:
It really, it really is. And grace brings you, I think when I have to forgive somebody, what God does first is he says, I love you son. I love you. And, I love that guy too.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, that’s true. That’s good stuff. So, do you have to ask God and the person? Both, okay. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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