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Roger Campbell Ministries

The Alcohol Question:

Everyone who drinks has an alcohol problem.

Each drink of beverage alcohol dulls the senses of the user and in some measure causes him to miss out on the thrill of being alive. Thomas Edison said: "I do not drink alcoholic liquors. I have better use for my head. To put alcohol in the human brain is like putting sand in the bearings of an engine."

Even moderate use of this drug carries with it the threat of dependency. Nearly all alcoholism begins with moderate or social drinking. Imbibing any amount brings the drinker under alcohol's power to some degree. Consider, then, Paul's declaration of independence: "... I will not be brought under the power of any" (1Cor. 6:12).

The great majority of those who drink are periodically hazardous to others. Most alcohol-related highway accidents are not caused by alcoholics but by moderate to heavy drinkers. Many industrial mishaps are the result of careless acts by people who drink but do not consider themselves problem drinkers.

Who can know the boundary beyond which alcohol becomes a health hazard? We know that drinking contributes to liver problems and that it adversely affects the brain and other organs, but who can say which drink is the straw that breaks the camel's back?

How many drinks does it take to trigger cancer of the esophagus?

How much booze can the larynx and pharynx tolerate before surrendering to cancer's attack?

According to the June, 1978 report of the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, alcohol is involved in causing cancer in all these areas, but nobody knows just how much it takes to start trouble in each individual case. And who knows his own body's tolerance level?

Some people have advanced in their drinking to the point of alcoholism, a condition that ravages its victims, adversely affects family members, and costs society as a whole.

How does one detect alcoholism?

The U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare says that any one of the following warning signals may indicate a drinking problem:

  • Family or social problems caused by drinking
  • Job or financial difficulties related to drinking
  • Loss of a consistent ability to control drinking
  • "Blackouts" or the inability to remember what happened while drinking
  • Distressing physical and/or psychological reactions if you try to stop drinking
  • A need to drink increasing amounts of alcohol to get the desired effect
  • Marked changes in behavior or personality when drinking
  • Getting drunk frequently
  • Injuring yourself—or someone else—while intoxicated
  • Breaking the law while intoxicated
  • Starting the day with a drink

    In his book The Trouble With Alcohol, Tom Shipp lists the three sets of questions that he has used in his work with alcoholics to determine whether drinkers are in the initial, the intermediate, or the final stages of alcoholism.

    Here is the first set:

    1. Do I have an intense personal reason for drinking? In other words, is my reason for drinking something other than social?
    2. Am I experiencing a meaningful change from the use of alcohol? Do I drink to relieve tension, fears, anxieties, or inhibitions?
    3. Do I find myself involved increasingly in thought about alcohol? Am I thinking about the problem of supply when I should be thinking about other things?
    4. Are most of my friends heavy drinkers?
    5. Has my drinking become more secretive, more guarded?
    6. Am I drinking more often and more heavily than in the past? Am I kidding myself that by drinking beer and wine I am cutting down? Do I tell myself that I am handling my problem because I maintain periods of not drinking at all in between alcoholic bouts?
    7. When I start drinking, do I end up drinking more than I intended to drink? Do I find drunkenness occurring at closer intervals?
    8. Have I failed to remember what occurred during a drinking period last night, yesterday, or even a longer period ago?
    9. Do I feel guilty, defensive, or angry when someone wants to talk to me about my drinking?
    10. Am I sneaking my drinks?
    11. Have I stopped sipping my drinks and instead find myself gulping or tossing them down quickly?
    12. Do I lie about my drinking?

    How serious is alcoholism from a biblical standpoint?

    "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9,10).

    Here, then, is hope for alcoholics: They are not more lost than other sinners, nor are they hopeless incurables. There is a known remedy for sin. As soon as the alcoholic sees his alcoholism as a symptom of his deeper sickness (sin) for which there is a cure, he can have hope.

    "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).

    And Christ died for all

    "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8)

    In the death of Christ on the cross, there was payment for all the sins of every alcoholic: the broken promises, the profanity, the neglect of family members, and all the rest. That sacrifice also paid for all the sins of those who never touch a drop: the self righteousness, the gossip, the bitterness, and other sins that alcoholics do not have a monopoly on.

    Christ ends alcohol's long night for those who come to Him in faith. For many, all desire for alcohol ends at the moment of their salvation. Others face a daily battle, with increasing strength in times of conflict because of the power of God within and the resources of prayer, Bible study, and Christian fellowship. God's way for each Christian is always best. And every Christian is equipped to win.

    If you are an alcoholic, you can end the long night of addiction that oppresses you.

    Jesus said, "Come to me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28).

    Accept His loving invitation. Come to Him in faith. Call upon Him.

    Confess Him before others. Start attending church services regularly. Build a strong prayer life. Saturate your mind with the Bible.

    And don't forget those who love you. Go to them and tell them the long night is over.

    No more waiting and worrying.

    No more staring out of dark shadows.

    No more empty promises

    Your faith in Christ has opened the door to a new life.

    Excerpted from Alcohol: The Beloved Enemy, by Jack Van Impe with Roger F. Campbell.

To Order this book, click here


1. The Long Night
2. The Love Affair
3. The Destroyer
4. Booze and Your Body
5. Public Enemy Number One
6. The Real Cost of Alcohol
7. Great Booze Fighters of the Past
8. Prohibition: What Really Happened?
9. Wine in the Old Testament
10. Jesus and Wine
11. Wine in the Church
12. Better Than Wine
13. Ending Alcohol's Long Night
14. Confronting the Enemy


Roger Campbell Ministries
PO Box 301004 Waterford MI. 48330
Email: rcministry@ameritech.net