Drunks and Pigs (Luther)

Sadly, some Calvinists think it’s cool to cuss and drink.

To be sure, cussing is neither calvinistic nor is it Christian. A person who really understands Calvinism will seek to keep his tongue from evil (1 Pet. 3:10). And though drinking alcohol is not a sin, 1) it isn’t something to brag about because it has to do with Christian liberty, and 2) drinking too much – getting drunk – is a sin against God. Speaking of drunkenness, I appreciate what Martin Luther had to say in a sermon he preached on 1 Peter 4:7-11 (May 18, 1539).

 

Sadly, some Calvinists think it’s cool to cuss and drink.  To be sure, cussing is neither calvinistic nor is it Christian.  A person who really understands Calvinism will seek to keep his tongue from evil (1 Pet. 3:10).  And though drinking alcohol is not a sin, 1) it isn’t something to brag about because it has to do with Christian liberty, and 2) drinking too much – getting drunk – is a sin against God.  Speaking of drunkenness, I appreciate whatMartin Luther had to say in a sermon he preached on 1 Peter 4:7-11 (May 18, 1539).  Here are some excerpts from that sermon.

“…To sit day and night, pouring it [beer] in and pouring it out again, is piggish.  This is not a human way of living, not to say Christian, but rather a pig’s life.”

“Eating and drinking are not forbidden, but rather all food is a matter of freedom, even a modest drink for one’s pleasure.  If you do not wish to conduct yourself this way, if you are going to go beyond this and be a born pig and guzzle beer and wine, then…you must know that you cannot be saved.  For God will not admit such piggish drinkers into the kingdom of heaven (Gal. 5:19-21). …Do not think that you are saved if you are a drunken pig day and night.  This is a great sin….  Everybody should know that such sin is contrary to his baptism and hinders his faith and his salvation.”

“If you are tired and downhearted, take a drink; but this does not mean being a pig and doing nothing but gorging and swilling.”

“…Peter states the reason why it is necessary for us to be sober.  Why?  In order to be able to pray, and this is necessary because we have an adversary, the devil, ‘who prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.’  …But when a man is drunk his reason is buried, his tongue and all his members are incapable of praying; he is a drunken pig and the devil has devoured him.”

I especially appreciate that last paragraph where Luther cites Peter.  One reason we should stay sober is so that we can pray and resist Satan’s temptations.  One reason drunkenness us such a debilitating sin is because it hinders us from praying and resisting the devil.  The devil no doubt loves drunkenness; the Christian should hate it and avoid it.  There’s nothing cool about it!

Rev. Shane Lems is a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and serves as pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Hammond, Wis. This article appeared on his blog and is used with permission.