I’ve saved this issue of drinking and smoking for the last. It seems to be the biggest change in our church rules.
From my earliest recollections I was taught and so believed drinking and smoking were absolute sins. They fell into the same category as playing cards! At the same time I was taught, thankfully, to love the sinner but not the sin. Many of my relatives both drank and smoked.
Many of our friends today, in our church, drink wine. Some drink beer. I still have a hard time with it because of my growing up years.
I will admit to a secret desire of mine: to have a glass of wine with dinner and friends. I’ve never done it though.
I’ll also admit to a time when I was a teenager when I had a chance to taste an alcoholic drink and so I did! One sip…it was the most horrible tasting stuff I’d ever tasted. That cured me. I never tried drinking again! I have no idea what that was.
I have to admit I also tried smoking a cigarette when I was a teenager. As I inhaled and my lungs filled with smoke I regretted that I had even tried it. I thought of how black my lungs were and that they’d never be clear again. When I got home, who should be in our living room but, my Sunday School teacher!!! I ran upstairs to the bathroom and brushed my teeth and rinsed my mouth as best I could, hoping to get rid of any smoking odor.
Before I go any farther, let me say, smoking is bad for one’s health so it’s still a no no. I’m so glad of that.
Jerry’s dad died of cancer when Jerry (my husband) was only 15 years old. It was a long painful ordeal and he was at home most of the time, he even died at home. For a 15 year old boy it was devastating. Jerry made up his mind he would never smoke and he never has.
But drinking socially seems to be okay now. My church has relaxed it’s rules. How do I tell my mind and my heart that it’s okay? Maybe I’m too old!
Here is a statement I can’t dismiss: Every alcoholic started with one drink! No exceptions!