|The following article appeared in the "Canadian Revivalist." Special thanks to Dr Frank McClelland for allowing it to be published also on bethanyfpc.org
THE FREE PRESBYTERIAN STANCE ON ALCOHOL
The Free Presbyterian Church has a policy of abstinence for its members.
Some outsiders have berated it for being legalistic on the issue.
Here is a summary of the church's stand, and reasons for it, taken from 'Separated unto the Gospel, The Mission and Work of the Free Presbyterian Church.'
(Available from all our North American churches).
- We are a fellowship of people who voluntarily abstain from alcoholic drink.
Those who wish to be communicant members with the right to vote and, in the case of men, be voted into office obviously must agree to voluntary abstinence.
- We abstain for testimony's sake. Leaving aside the considerable exegetical controversy as to whether the Bible does in fact sanction the use of alcoholic drink, there is good reason for a temperance stand.
This is a case where our abstinence is a step to protect our testimony and enlarge our usefulness in gospel witness.
- We abstain out of love for the brethren. Many people in our churches have been saved out of alcoholism.
- We take Paul's words very seriously: "It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.” (Romans 14:21)
- We believe that Christians' indulgence in alcohol is very definitely a source of stumbling and offence to those whom the Lord has saved out of utter bondage to drink - as well as to the many who are still enslaved by it.
- We believe it makes it incumbent on us, faced with the incalculable devastation caused by alcohol, to separate ourselves totally from it unto the Lord. And it is unto the Lord that we do this.
This is no bitter legalism. It is an expression of our love for the Lord, for His testimony, and for the welfare of others.