I’ve always felt that alcohol is a topic that Asian-American Christians should discuss more. I remember when I was younger, I saw someone bring a bottle of champagne into my (Chinese) church and he got chewed out by one of the lay leaders for bringing it in. I wondered if this rebuke bordered on legalism.
While I am very much against the abuse of alcohol (drunkenness) or illegal acts (underage drinking), I find it disturbing that many have come to condemn alcohol itself. Over and over again, wine is celebrated in Scripture. In fact, one of the most sacred rites we have, communion, involved wine.
One could argue that it’s not healthy. But why don’t we come down just as hard on eating Big Macs? One could argue that it sets a bad precedent. But wouldn’t open conversation and talk about moderation actually be a better precedent?
On the other hand, alcoholic consumption is something that can lead to destructive behavior (drunkenness) and addictions. Drinking is celebrated as a pagan and hedonistic practice in our society, and perhaps believers should be discerning about participation.
I’ve gone out and spent time with others in the presence of beer and other drinks. But I don’t really participate. It’s not because I think it’s wrong, but I just don’t like the taste of alcohol. On top of that, both my church and my seminary have rules against me (pastor and student) drinking. So it gives me an easy excuse. Besides, often I’m seen as the designated driver, so I get free sodas/juices and refills.
Overall, I believe that Asian-American Christians should have open dialog about the consumption of alcohol. Discuss what the Bible says, the different issues surrounding it, and let each informed, responsible adult (21+) decide for himself or herself without being looked down upon.
Here is what John Piper has to say about alcohol: