the weblog of Alan Knox

Surely we wouldn’t find Jesus where people are getting drunk?

Posted by on Apr 28, 2011 in blog links, discipleship | 18 comments

Surely we wouldn’t find Jesus where people are getting drunk?

Jeremy at “Til He Comes” has written a very thought-provoking post called “Not Church Sponsored Activities.”

In the post, Jeremy is encouraging Christians to spend time with (gasp) sinners. Of course, Jeremy’s post is not nearly as humorous as I’m making this out to be. He recognizes that there will be a temptation to sin if we hang out in certain locations. But, is there a bigger sin issue involved? Jeremy thinks there is:

This isn’t a license to sin, but nor is following Jesus a license to sit. And by sitting, many of us are committing the even worse sin of failing to act when we should be helping others. Also, I think that as we follow Jesus into these places, we find the temptations not as bad as we feared. If Jesus leads us there, He also provides the strength to resist.

Yes, Jesus spent time with “sinners” so much that he was labeled a “drunkard,” what we would probably call an alcoholic. And, if we follow Jesus into some of the places that Jeremy mentions, we may get a bad label from some people too.

But, we’ll also be following Jesus.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 4-28-2011


    I’m ashamed to admit, that this old saved by grace sinner discovered the truth of what Jeremy writes, very late, but not too late, when I realized that I was being controlled by traditions, and what “someone might say” rather than the cause of Christ, making disciples.

  2. 4-28-2011

    Aussie John,

    Not too long ago, I would have been right there with you pointing fingers and preaching against those backsliders.


  3. 4-28-2011

    I realized about five years ago that traditional religious Christianity had helped me to become a person who was incapable of ministering to people who are just like how I used to be before I was granted repentance unto salvation through the gospel of Christ.

  4. 4-29-2011


    Thanks for posting this. I will be posting some of your church posts on my blog soon as they are challenging me.

  5. 4-29-2011


    I realized the same thing.


    I’m enjoying your posts as well!


  6. 4-29-2011

    as many of you folks know i do a street ministry. i also do a “biker” ministry.

    Both entail being in places a christian should not be. (so they say)

    Especially the biker ministry. Bars, clubhouses, provocative woman and lots of booze and drugs. When I first started making my rounds i was pretty much ignored. Ignored by those in these places but not by the folks in the church. I was labeled brother trouble because i was not avoiding the appearance of evil. I was told i cant and shouldn’t do what i was doing.

    what was i doing? i filled up my motorcycle bags with food and bibles and road out to the bars that most would call buckets of blood and just sat in them drinking a non alcoholic drink. I listened. and Listened some more.

    I listened so i knew who needed food for their kids. Then quietly without drawing attention,i gave the food to those that needed it and made sure there was a bible in the box or bag. This went on for a year. Over time i got to know most stories of the regulars and would go from bar stool to bar stool asking if you could ask God anything what would it be? Not giving time for a response I would just wrap my arm around the person and pray what they asked. (amazing that most of those prayers were answered within a week.

    Now when i go to these places these bib bad bikers (im talking cliche) unplug the jukebox and say “everyone shut the **** up, preacher is going to pray, if ya dont like get get the he** out….

    I have done bunches of funerals for folks that had no church.

    I have married a few who professed faith in Christ.

    I have sat with people whos kids were taken away by Child protective services.

    I have visited hospital rooms and ER’s of bikers that were in accidents and should be dead.

    What this ministry of presence has done is earned me a chance to be heard. What do they hear? My testimony and the word of God. The Gospel.

    I am the cool pastor. I am the guy that the girls come to to help fix a wardrobe malfunction because they trust me.

    I am the one that these big bad bikers can come to when they want to cry and dont want anyone to see them.

    I am the one who is walking them towards the mercy seat.

    None of it has anything to do with me. I would much rather be on the couch at home…

    Have i been tempted to sin? yup. u betchya..

    But did not the Lord say Go and tell them? Ill keep going till he comes..

    Brother Franie

  7. 4-29-2011


    Yep, it broke me down bad. I was stunned. It was one of the things that led me out of the tradition/institution never to return. Before Christ intervened in my life and apprehended me, I was an alcoholic since age 15, just before coming to Christ I was experiencing black outs, waking up all over the city: In fields, in jail, rolled/mugged, on the floor of peoples apartments I did not know and in other places as well. I’ve been a victim of and perpetrator of violence. I am certain I would be dead by now or incarcerated if my wife, her parents and a man named Ricardo had stepped outside their comfort zone to spend time with me, showing me the love of Christ in tangible, real ways and shared with me the hope that resided within them. Slowly after getting integrated into the Christian sub-culture my life more and more only intersected with those who lived separated and comfortable in that sub-culture. I did a lot of teaching and what passes for as preaching in the tradition but I reached a place where I never interacted with people down in the hole I was pulled out of-when Christ showed me this I was crushed and deeply embarrassed. So I left the traditional/institutional not only because I think it is wrong in structure and practice but also because it’s an unhealthy and harmful place for me to be. I left the church building not because I lost my faith, but to preserve my faith.

    Brother Franie-

    Keep it up, blessings to you in Christ.

  8. 4-29-2011

    Sorry Frankie, make that Frankie! Your typo influenced mine. :)

  9. 4-29-2011


    Thanks for the awesome comment and example! May your tribe increase!


    Yes, a few years ago God started moving us out of the Christian bubble also.


  10. 4-30-2011

    Brother Frankie wrote: “I was labeled brother trouble because i was not avoiding the appearance of evil.”

    I have a saying I like to use now and then regarding the “appearance of evil” topic: Evil has to actually appear for there to be an appearance of evil. It’s amazing how often people make a judgment on an appearance of evil when Jesus’ own words dictate otherwise: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 7:24.

  11. 9-6-2011

    I heard Stuart Briscoe (an Englishman) say once that German Christians drink, English believers smoke and American believers do neither.

  12. 9-6-2011

    And I like what Neil Cole says, that we need to sit in the smoking section.

  13. 10-13-2011

    I think we have to be careful here. There’s a very fine line between loving sinners and joining in the sinning. Jesus always dealt with people in the homes of friends, or in public places. I can’t think of an incident when He went into a place set aside just for activities that went against a life devoted to God. People were drawn to Him, His love, acceptance, and His message. Living a life of love, acceptance, and full of God given joy, will attract others. We don’t have to force our way into the lives of others. The Holy Spirit will create opportunities where we can associate with all people without compromising our walk with God.

  14. 12-1-2011

    I can understand where there could be a bit of confusion on some of this. I myself am not a drinker, Ive never had trouble with drinking, I have on occasion had a long island iced tea (and yes have even been drunk once..)So I can freely walk into a bar, sit and have a drink and talk with someone,and not have it be a problem or sin. However if an alcoholic were put in that same place it could be trouble for him. Same as any other situation really. I remember for example, a big past time within our youth leadership group at our old church was playing cards, no one ever saw a problem with it, until a group went to a conference in Bogota and were seen playing cards, and were told that they shouldn’t be doing that (because gambling was a big problem there), mean while the dancers of their worship teams wore form fitting outfits that to the visiting Americans seemed very “sexy” (for lack of a better word). It was very clearly a case where cultures collide and where what may have been the “appearance of evil” to some, was normal for others.

  15. 3-12-2012

    Brother Frankie, Thank you for sharing. Your post touched my wife and I both. Jesus is pulling us out of traditional religion, and hopefully traditional religion out of us.
    May I share your post with others?

  16. 5-18-2012

    Didn’t have time to read the responses so if this is,a
    duplicate, forgive me please whomever I copy.
    If I got my early church history correct, weren’t those
    sinners actually Gods people, and not pagans?

  17. 5-18-2012


    I thought I remembered Jesus hanging out with people who were not God’s people by faith? Maybe not…


  18. 11-28-2012

    An honest comment and an honest question:

    Did Jesus ever have a glass of wine while hanging out with sinners?
    My inclination is that he did. That doesn’t mean the people he was hanging out with were alcoholic though. So it does require wisdom and conscience to know when it is ok to drink.

    Personally, I will have a couple of beers with someone. But if I know they are alcoholic then I drink nothing when I am with them.

    But this does lead to the question, did Jesus ever get drunk? Surely a controversial question today. But if we consider that Israelites were encouraged to buy “strong drink” at some festivals, in God’s law, then we must wonder whether the Bible is as opposed to getting drunk as evangelicals are.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this one Alan.