Tonight, I sit in the shade, listening to the music, people watching in downtown Boise. It is Wednesday and Alive After Five. People are eating, mulling around, drinking beer and wine. Children are splashing in the water ponds. I hear laughter and see friends getting reacquainted.
As I watch this scene, I marvel that ten years ago, I was taught that this scene was sinful, that to associate in this environment would be considered 'the appearance of evil' and therefore should be avoided. As I take in the scene, I wonder why. Why is this sinful? No one is being murdered. No children are being abused. No grand theft is taking place. So, what is the sin? People are drinking alcohol, including myself. I have a glass of wine sitting in front of me.
Is the very nature of drinking the alcohol sinful? Not that I can tell. Everyone seems to be drinking responsibly. I see no one drinking in excess. I see no one acting irresponsibly. I see no crimes being committed due to drinking. This isn't to say that these things don't happen, but it is clear by the scene in front of me that the vast majority of people are able to drink in moderation and responsibly.
I believe people for the most part are able to make wise choices for themselves, including drinking alcohol, tea and coffee. These should be personal choices and not imposed from a church.