PREACHER’S RESPONSE TO A SOCIAL DRINKER by George L. Faull
Preacher Dave had been speaking to a social drinking member called S.D. in his congregation. He had been making many Scriptural points with him, who was bound to try to defend his practice.
S.D. had a son who had taken his father’s arguments seriously throughout his youth. He had become a more than serious drinker and often had embarrassed the Church by his drinking. S.D. was feeling the weight of Preacher Dave’s argument. We are coming into the discussion at a particular part of the argument and it went like this…
“Preacher, what do you weigh?” asked S.D.
“I weigh 245. Why do you ask?” said Preacher Dave, with a surprised look on his face.
S.D.:, “Because there is not any difference between you being overweight and my social drinking.” Preacher Dave winced. He had heard that excuse before and he felt bad that his weight could be used to defend social drinking.
He asked S.D., “So you think those two things are equal to one another?”
S.D.:, “Sure, your overeating with your friends is absolutely no different than my having social drinks with my friends.”
“You think so?” asked Preacher Dave.
“Yes I do,” said S.D.
PREACHER DAVE: “Well let me ask you a few questions then. Have you ever known me, or any obese person, to need a designated driver to get home from a restaurant because we overate? I know you and your son have had to have one a couple of times because you both exceeded the State limit.”
“Another thing”, said overweight Preacher Dave, “Let me tell you some things that I have never experienced or heard of any other overweight person happen to them. I have never had a policeman pull me over for suspecting from my driving that I have overeaten. I have never had them make me get out of the car and to walk a straightline. I also have never had them give me a breathalyzer test to see if they smell onions on my breath.”
“That’s plain crazy,” retorted S.D.
PREACHER DAVE: “Is it now? Let me ask you some other questions. Have you ever heard of an obese person who ran over someone because he ate too much?
How about forgetting their way home? Or going into his neighbor’s house thinking he was in his own home? Have you ever known a fat man like me who tried to get too friendly with someone else's wife because he had eaten too much?”
S.D.: “You’re being absurd, preacher!”
PREACHER DAVE: “You think so? Have my heavy friends, or I been late to work due to a hangover from overeating? Have I ever bought so much food for myself that I could not feed my family, pay the rent, get behind in my car payments or mortgage? Have I ever said anything because I ate too much that it got me into a brawl at a restaurant?”
S.D.: “No, but what does that have to do with it?”
PREACHER DAVE: “Well, you said one was as bad as the other. Have I or any other overweight person like me ate so much that we went home and beat our wives and kids? Has anyone ever been put in jail overnight because he ate too much? Do they arrest a waiter for serving a fat man too much food like they do a bartender who serves a man more liquor because he had too much to drink?”
S.D.: “Your arguments are absurd.”
PREACHER DAVE: “I do not think so. You said one was as bad as the other was. If I eat too much I do not fight, kill, insult, run over people and make a general fool of myself and say hurtful things that can never be taken back. My wife does not beg me to stop eating because I am hurting her and the kids. If I overeat, I’m not hurting anyone but myself.
If I have a refrigerator of food in my house and leave for the evening I do not have to worry that my teenage son will eat it and go out driving with his friends and kill them or himself because he ate my food.
I might also add that men are not on skid row because they ate too much. The man laying in the gutter is not there because he had too big a supper. I’ve also not known of a fat man who was set up by people trying to get him to eat too much so that they could rob him. Or getting a woman to overeat so they could seduce her. Overeating does not rob someone of their reasoning faculties.”
S.D.: “Well no, but it still shows a lack of self-control.”
PREACHER DAVE: “That’s true. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it doesn’t. Many heavy people do eat too much but eating is normal. It is necessary. You have to do it to live. None of us have the same metabolism. You and I both know a man in our congregation who eats twice as much as I do. I fight the battle of the bulge every day. He eats anything he wants, when he wants and as much as he wants. You never accuse him of being a glutton. You like to talk about my belly hanging over my belt. You assume all fat guys overeat but some of them have better self-control in eating than you do.”
S.D.: “I still say that there is nothing wrong with social drinking. Even Jesus was called a winebibber. He drank or they would not have called him a winebibber.”
PREACHER DAVE: “Yes and they called Him a glutton too. Was He? No, He was neither. They also called Him a Samaritan, that He had a demon, and that what He did was by the power of Beelzebub. None of it was true. He ate with sinners and drank the common watered down wine of His day. It did not even contain as much alcohol as your bottle of beer. One would had to have drank all day to get drunk on their everyday watered down wine. I have proven that to you before many times,” said the Preacher.
S.D.: “No, wine is wine, and it’s always alcoholic in the Bible.”
PREACHER DAVE: “Now brother, you know good and well that Jesus said no man puts new wine (onios) in old wineskins lest it burst the wineskins. It is obvious that the new wine would expand upon fermentation and break open the wineskins that had already been expanded by the old previous wine. I have shown over and over again that "onios" is used of grape juice on down to the most potent stuff that you can drink. Only context determines if it was fermented.
The fact is, there are many fat people who are not fat due to overeating. But even the ones who overeat do not go out and kill, maim, fight, beat their wives, rob their children of necessities because they overate. That cannot be said of those who drink liquor or even beer. In my opinion you’re just trying to remove your guilt by trying to make those who oppose social drinking appear to be hypocrites. It is like comparing a kitten to a lion and you know it.”
S.D.: “Well, I have to go, preacher. See you Sunday.”
PREACHER DAVE: “Okay, I will see you at church. Can you guarantee me you will be sober after you and your friends watch the game at the Sports Bar Saturday night?” He smiled at his friend.
S.D.: “You’re a rascal, preacher. I promise I will think over what we have talked about. See ya.”
Preacher Dave thought, “You know, if I could punch a button or pay a thousand dollars not to be so heavy and lose all my desire for food, I’d do it. However, I don’t think S.D. would punch a button or pay a dime to lose his desire for a social drink. I think that’s probably the biggest difference.”