Monday, August 11, 2008

the Samson generation

I was able to preach last night at Glenroy Corps for the justice night... good times.
It was a great reminder to me personally about the call of God on this generation of Salvos to be the people He has called them to be. Holiness... to be different from the world - set apart... but not just different so that we can be nerdy or wierdos... different so that we will be alert... and able to recognize the occupation of the enemy - the compromise of our lives and futures. the thing is Samson was to be a Nazarite... which among other things means that he wasn't to touch alcohol.
this is a similar call to a salvationist... except that I understand from many i've talked with that Salvationists want to do away with this... and I don't get it. Now, I get it if we are simply following some sort of irrelevant religious code for no specific reason... but when our call is to be set apart from a culture that is so steeped in oppression - and to allow that to keep us alert (think about braveheart before his death - 'I need my wits about me')... it's like the people who think we should drink are not aware of the snare... the oppression of Alcohol on society. Check out these stats and then take a long hard time to ask yourself if abstinence from alcohol doesn't just sound like a great idea?!

consider these stats just in Australia: for more stats click here
Alcohol is the second largest cause of drug-related deaths and hospitalisations in Australia (after tobacco) (AIHW, 2005a).
Alcohol is the main cause of deaths on Australian roads. In 1998, over 2,000 deaths of the total 7,000 deaths of persons under 65 years, were related to alcohol (Ridolfo and Stevenson, 1998).
In 2004, the age standardised rate for male deaths due to alcoholic liver disease as the underlying cause was 5.5 per 100,000, compared with 1.5 per 100,000 for females (ABS 2006b).
In 2004, the age standardised rate for male deaths with mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol as the underlying cause was 1.9 per 100,000, compared with 0.4 per 100,000 for females (ABS 2006b).

In the seven years from 1998-99 to 2004-05, the overall number of hospital separations with principal diagnosis of mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol increased from 23,490 to 35,152; the number per 1,000 population increased by 39% for all ages during that time period (by 41% for those under 20 years) (AIHW 2006).
According to a study by Ridolfo and Stevenson (2001), the largest number of alcohol-related hospital separations among both men and women in 1998 was due to alcoholism and alcoholic liver cirrhosis. The second-largest number was due to road injuries for men and cancer for women.
It has been estimated that 31,132 Australians died from alcohol-caused disease and injury between 1992 and 2001; of these 75% were male and 25% female. From 1993-94 to 2000-01, there were over half a million hospitalisations due to risky and high-risk drinking in Australia (Chikritzhs 2003).
At the community level, the estimated economic cost of alcohol misuse to the Australian community in 1998-99 totalled $7.6 billion, and this estimate includes associated factors such as crime and violence, treatment costs, loss of productivity and premature death (Collins and Lapsley, 2002).


Phil said...

This comment may not make much sense (and I am not one of those advocating that the Army necessarily do away with its requirement of soldiers to abstain from alcohol), but as sobering as are the statistics for alcohol-related deaths, the statistics for deaths and illnesses related to AIDS and other STDs are surely up there as well. But that doesn't mean that we need to abstain from sex, just that we need to have it responsibly (meaning, in my definition, with one person for the rest of your life in the context of a married, heterosexual relationship).

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you about the benefits and calling of some to be abstainers from alcohol. I'm just not in favor of labeling drinking a sin (not that you've done that), and probably wouldn't tow Booth's line that alcohol itself is evil. People need to drink responsibly and in moderation.

I like Derek Webb's line about this topic in his song "A New Law". He says:

Don't teach me about
Moderation and liberty
I prefer a shot of grape juice

:) For what it's worth.

Open to being contradicted,

Anonymous said...

Alcohol has been an acceptable Aussie way of life but has been the cause of many marriage breakdowns, abuse, drugs, gambling, mental health, family crisis, STD's etc the list could go on and on and you can not get help for the people affected by alcohol, if they are over 18yrs, as they need to recognise they have a problem, and they don't or until they get themselves into so much trouble, then the courts step in. By this time the mental, physical damage is done to them selves as well as thier families and could be years before they can cope with life again. It is good to see sporting clubs, ads on TV etc are taking a more positive approach to alcohol but we need to stand firm as Salvos to remain faithful to to abstainance and be prepared to love the people that may come into our lives with a alcohol problem.