Drinking Alcohol

Draft from June 2015 by Pastor Christian Lee, never published.

This policy applies to leaders and is the wisdom we want to impart to church members. Drinking alcohol is not sin. Getting drunk is. We believe all Christians (of legal age) have the freedom to drink alcohol in moderation. Although there are no biblical verses that condemn drinking as sin, there are Bible verses (Rom 14:1, 3, 5, 13-21) that teach us to walk in the higher law of love and instructs us when we ought to voluntarily refrain from our freedom to drink. The policies below are created around these biblical principles. Failure to abide by this policy or a reckless/careless attitude will result in disciplinary measures on your leadership.

  • Temporary restrictions. If you are a new reserve leader, we ask that you abstain from alcohol for one year after you join leadership with New Philly. If you have a history of alcohol abuse or drunkenness, we may ask you to refrain further until we feel you are in a place of self-control and maturity to drink responsibly.
  • Social setting (active leaders). All active leaders are to drink only in a social setting with other mature active leaders. It is also acceptable to drink with non-New Philly personal friends who are mature and responsible or an unchurched friend you are evangelizing to. Active leaders are to never drink in front of those you met in New Philly whom you are now discipling or evangelizing to.
  • Social setting (reserve leaders). Reserve leaders are not permitted to drink in a social setting with anyone they met through New Philly. Reserve leaders are only to drink in the privacy of their own home or with non-New Philly personal friends who are mature and responsible. Reserve leaders are to refrain from social drinking as a means to evangelize.
  • Business setting. Active and reserve leaders are blessed to drink in a business setting with colleagues but there are three conditions: 1) the venue does not host prostitution of any kind; 2) you are committed to take a stand and stop when you are offered excessive amounts; 3) you must share within 12 hours with your CG leader or campus pastor how the evening went. If you do not honor these conditions, your leadership will be jeopardized.
  • No public postings. If you drink, refrain from posting any photos online. Champagne and wine are the only exceptions. The principle behind this policy is that we don’t want to stumble those outside our community who believe that drinking is inherently evil (e.g.: Pentecostal or Holiness movement traditions hold firmly to these views).
  • Drinking and driving. Any leader who is discovered to have driven a motor vehicle while appearing tipsy or drunk (and/or having exceeded the local legal limit) will be immediately placed on restoration whether it results in an accident or not.
  • No hard liquor. Stay away from hard liquor (anything 40% or above by volume) unless it is mixed into a cocktail. Any alcohol of higher volume is strictly prohibited. Typical alcohol content by volume (please read the label): beer 4-4.5%, Olde English forty 6-8%, winecooler 5-8%, wine 8-12%, vodka 40% (80 proof), soju 25%, Everclear 95% (190 proof).
  • Avoid open drinks. If you are a girl (or a guy) at a party or bar, NEVER EVER consume an open drink. Avoid leaving a drink unattended and stay away from punch bowls which may be spiked. It may contain Rohypnol or Ketamine (aka as “date rape drugs“). Rape takes place a lot more frequently than people believe, even within the church.

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