See also: Bible says be sober again and again.
‘Sober living has always been part of Christian morality. The Scripture warns of the dangers of alcohol and other intoxicants. It teaches that the power of alcohol wars against the will and power of God (Isa. 5:11, 12; 1 Cor. 6:10; Eph. 5:18).
The use of intoxicants causes immeasurable suffering and hardship in our society, affecting not only the user, but also others around them. Individuals in the public eye, including elected officials, civil servants, and educators, can teach the value of a positive, unimpaired lifestyle by providing an example of sober living in their own lives.’
Laestadian Lutheran Church, Position Statements, Section 3, July 2006.
God’s Word Warns Us
God’s Word instructs people about living a sober lifestyle. Apostle Paul wrote, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11,12). The instruction to live soberly has a much more broad application than simply warning about the dangers of alcohol and other intoxicants. However, it certainly includes the warning about the use of these substances.
Again quoting Apostle Paul, “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:13,14). Many other such warnings and instructions are found in the Bible, including Isa. 5:11,12; Prov. 20:1; 1 Cor. 6:10; Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:18; and 1 Thess. 5:7. These and many other Scripture passages teach us that the use of such substances is not only dangerous but is also contrary to God’s Word.
Societal Awareness of the Problems
Society has long recognized the suffering and hardship caused by the use of intoxicants. A simple Internet search reveals study after study on the societal effects of alcohol and drug use. These effects include broken homes and families, abusive situations, risky and even criminal behaviors, to name a few. Not only is the user of these substances affected, but also those around him or her and society in general. Frequently, the innocent victims of substance abusers are children. Documented research as well as anecdotal evidence from our schools give sad testimony of this. Despite the evidence and the increasing number of substance abuse centers and programs, our society has failed to take a stand that teaches abstinence from the use of these substances.
People Learn by Example
Society in general, and especially our youth, learn by example. Children learn by the example their parents set for them. If we, as parents, say one thing and do another, children are quick to see the hypocrisy. Likewise in society, those in the public eye, and especially those in positions of leadership and trust, can and should teach by their example.
It is good and important to teach and warn about the dangers of alcohol and drug use. Elected officials, civil servants, educators and all who are in the public eye can teach the value of a positive and unimpaired lifestyle by providing an example of sober living in their own lives. In so doing, they also show respect for the timeless and wholesome teachings of God’s Word. This will bring a blessing to our nations and to our people.
‘Woe to those who rise early in the morning, That they may follow intoxicating drink; Who continue until night, till wine inflames them! The harp and the strings, The tambourine and flute, And wine are in their feasts; But they do not regard the work of the Lord, Nor consider the operation of His hands.’ (Isa. 5:11-12)
‘nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.’ (1 Cor. 6:10)
‘And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit’ (Eph. 5:18)
Lars Levi Laestadius was a Lutheran pastor who served in northern Sweden from 1825-1861… A revival movement began and soon spread far beyond the borders of Swedish Lapland.
Laestadian Lutheran Church, Our History