Proverbs 23:29-35: “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.”
Much sorrow, much strife, much unhappiness is caused by the consumption of alcohol.
It stupifies the mind, lowers inhibitions, heightens passions and corrodes the body.
Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
How much misery has been caused in homes up and down our land by the consumption of alcohol?
How much woe, sorrow, contention, babbling, injury is caused by the consumption of alcohol?
Yet a DUP MP, and professing Christian, has publicly demonstrated his support for the publican by jumping in behind the ‘Long Live the Local’ campaign, aimed at cutting beer tax for publicans to allow them to make more money from the sale of intoxicants.
Quoted in a Belfast Newsletter article, Strangford MP Jim Shannon (pictured, top) said: “I’m supporting the Long Live the Local campaign and calling on the chancellor to cut beer tax at this year’s budget to support pubs in our local communities,” he said.
The article goes on to explain that “the campaign celebrates pubs whilst educating the public about the challenges they face”.
Why would a professing Christian want to throw their weight behind a campaign which “celebrates pubs”?
It truly is hard to fathom.
Jim Shannon says he is offering his support because 651 jobs in his constituency are supported by the brewing industry and pubs and they contribute £14.8 million per year to the local economy.
So it would appear to be to curry favour with the 651 potential voters whose jobs rely on the weaknesses of others.
Of course, nobody wishes to see anyone losing their livelihood, but when it is made from the promotion and facilitation of sin, then surely Christians should be opposed to it rather than actively supporting it.
Jim Shannon says these pubs are “at the heart of communities” – should it not be his wish for the Word of God and faithful churches to be at the heart of communities?
Christians are instructed in God’s Word to be like salt and light in the world around them, they are to be clearly demarcated from the ungodly world in which they live.
How can Jim Shannon possibly keep himself separated from the sinful world in which he lives if he is actively promoting an activity which is synonymous with all manner of sinfulness?
We are instructed in Jude v 23 to hate “even the garment spotted by the flesh”.
Even the appearance of sin is to be eschewed and steered well clear of, yet Jim Shannon is diving headlong into the promotion of something which is very sinful indeed.
Christians are not to be the same as the world around us.
Romans 12:1-3 says: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
We are to be transformed, rather than conformed, and there are few things this world loves more than alcohol. Why would we want to conform to this ungodly worldview?
Those verses also instruct us to think soberly. How can we think soberly if we are not sober? Or how can we defend promoting someone else losing their sobriety by backing a campaign to keep pubs in business?
This is but the latest sign of the malaise at large within the DUP and there is no doubt Jim Shannon will receive no censure for his actions.
After all the party leader, Arlene Foster (pictured, above), has fallen over herself to repeatedly send her well wishes to former Scottish Conservative leader, the lesbian Ruth Davidson, who gave birth to a child last year which she jointly raises with her “wife”, while North Belfast MLA Paula Bradley gave her blessing to the staging of a repulsive drag event in the corridors of Stormont.
However, this is something which ought to concern and grieve every true child of God and once again demonstrates the absolute need for us to be diligent in our walk with God so we do not deviate from zealously and earnestly following God’s Word.
1 Peter 5:8: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”.