Life within and without boundaries: one take on three taboos

Beer is good, and sex is too.

Now that I said it, I’m sure it got your attention. But before you form a lynch mob, hear me out.

The traditions in which most of us were raised have us too afraid to talk about these important issues. But instead of fearfully shrinking away from these subjects, we should discuss them in a mature, responsible way.

Moderation is the key to life as a Christian–whether you’re dealing with alcohol, sex, drugs or any other difficult issue. The call to walk as a Christian doesn’t necessarily mean that we must abstain from these things, only that we must exercise restraint and operate within a set of rules or guidelines. These rules, after all, are set by God and our civil authorities for our own good.

Living inside boundaries keeps these things good. Drinking alcohol while keeping in mind the rules can even be healthy. Take my parents for example. My father has a heart condition that is improved by drinking a glass of wine a day, and my mother has severe spinal pains that are greatly eased by drinking a small amount of liquor on a daily basis. How could anyone suggest that because my parents drink alcohol they are somehow wrong or sinful? It is a matter of health for them, and they drink in moderation, not to get drunk.

What about sex? Sex deepens the relationship between husband and wife. Sex leads to the miracle of life! Think about that for a moment (just try not to think too hard that your parents did, in fact, have sex at some point in their relationship). Drugs are good too, when used as directed to fight disease or to ease suffering.

Abuse of these good things is bad, but it does not make the things themselves any less good. Only when we break the rules and live outside the boundaries do we feel the consequences. Drug and alcohol abusers face serious health problems and lose control of their bodies as their addictions progress. Fornicators face a myriad of sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies and more relationship problems than you could shake a stick at.

Keep in mind that I’m not trying to preach. In fact, I have a child due in March with a woman who is not my wife, and only a few months ago I was bordering on alcoholism. I certainly have a little experience living outside of the boundaries.

But although I’m not always proud of the choices I’ve made, I’m not ashamed, either. One of the blessings of living in the light of Christ is that we continually see how God works good from our bad choices.

So if you choose to abstain from these things in order to deepen your relationship with God, or simply to play it safe, you have my respect and admiration. If you choose to break the rules handed out by Eastern, the government or God, you need to realize that you have a potentially large problem, like I did.

But if you’re afraid to talk about drugs, sex or alcohol, maybe you have a problem as well. These subjects are only taboo because we allow them to be. We should voice our opinions without judgment or criticism, and, just maybe, we’ll start a discussion that will benefit our academic community.

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