If you’re over 21, it’s legal for you to imbibe. So why shouldn’t you? There are actually some pretty good reasons why you should consider setting aside your legal rights, especially if you’re a parent of a teen.
Principles in Favor of Alcohol Use
Even within the church, it seems we’re more “enlightened” these days, realizing that there’s no absolute, iron-clad “thou shalt not” against a glass of wine with dinner, or the like. After all, even the great Apostle Paul told his protégé, Timothy, to take a little wine “for his stomach’s sake,” (1 Timothy 5:22) — and he was a minister!
Even in the listing of qualifications in 1 Timothy 3, the main issue seems to be alcohol dependence or drunkenness, not just that innocent glass of wine. In fact, Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine! Surely, that indicates divine approval (John 2:1-11). While some Christians contest that the “wine” of Bible times had little-to-no alcoholic content, many scholars disagree.
Add to the above ideas, the idea of stewarding our bodies wisely, and many see it as significant that new research show many health benefits of drinking red wine with every meal.
Well, scientists are now saying that the health benefits have been “overhyped”; in fact, Mayo Clinic’s top-notch doctors “are wary of encouraging anyone to start drinking alcohol. That’s because too much alcohol can have many harmful effects on your body.”
Potential Problems of Under-Age Drinking
If even physicians see the potential benefits of wine as marginal, compared to the well-known harmful effects associated with alcohol, isn’t that worth consideration? In 2006, it was estimated that 5,000 young people under age 21 succumb to alcohol-related deaths each year. The leading causes of these deaths are motor vehicle crashes (1,900) and homicides (1,600). Other alcohol-related deaths take the form of suicide and other injuries.
Even those who do survive under-age drinking are seldom unscathed by its destructive effects. It seems that the general principles of Scripture ring true: wine — or any alcoholic beverage — has negative effects, such as encouraging violence and deceptively leading to all kinds of ungodly lifestyle elements and hardships (Proverbs 20:1).
In fact, young people who drink are more likely to engage in or experience the following negative behaviors or situations:
• Sexual activity and unprotected sex
• Fights and violent crimes
• Academic failure
• Use of other drugs
• Verbal, physical, or sexual abuse
In addition, those who begin drinking before age 15 are 5 times more likely to succumb to alcohol addiction later in life. And the health risks for adults who are alcohol dependent are many, including long-lasting effects on the endocrine system, liver, and brain. When alcohol interrupts the normal development of a young person’s body, all kinds of physical growth — from bone health to thinking skills — can be compromised.
Continue reading with Part 2.