“Sober Curious” – David Ray

David Ray

Recently, a local news source ran an article about the “‘sober curious” trend gaining traction across the country. It says that “the movement is made up of people who want to be more aware and re-examine how much alcohol they drink.” Better late than never! But what does “sober curious” mean? According to Wikipedia,

Sober curious is a cultural movement and lifestyle of practising (sic.) none or limited alcohol consumption that started spreading in the late 2010s, in particular among people from the millennials generation, and was coined by Ruby Warrington in her 2019 book Sober Curious. It differs from traditional abstinence in that it is not founded on asceticism, religious condemnation of alcohol or previous alcohol abuse, but motivated by a curiosity of a sober lifestyle. Markets have reacted by offering a wider selection of non-alcoholic beverages (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sober_curious).

The fact that someone is curious about a sober lifestyle seems to describe how much alcohol the average person drinks on a daily basis. Their reasoning may not be what it should (“not founded on…religious condemnation of alcohol”), but we certainly commend those who are avoiding alcohol and choosing to be healthier; and any reason to avoid alcohol is probably a pretty good reason. But what about its many alleged health benefits?

The claim that at least a small amount of alcohol is part of a healthy lifestyle has long been the rallying cry of drinkers who need an excuse for their drinking. So, doesn’t this “sober curious” movement contradict this? Many of us have upheld that any medicinal benefits are actually to be found in the grape or the unfermented grape juice, not the alcohol. And, according to this article, Dr. Rachel Franklin, family medicine at OU Health, seems to agree.

We used to think that there were potential benefits to some alcohol use, but we found now that is actually not the case,” Franklin said. She said we are all aware of the general risks of drinking alcohol, such as binge drinking and drunk driving. However, there are other risks to be aware of. From a health perspective, we worry about the effects on the heart, the effects on the liver, and the effect as it relates to your risk of cancers.

Note the clear admission that, according to her opinion, alcohol has no health benefits, not even potential benefits. But it sure has a lot of health risks!

Also noteworthy in the article is the fact that many of these partiers want to avoid the alcohol without missing out on the party scene. This seems to dictate that most of today’s “social scene” can barely exist without alcohol. What a sad statement about people who apparently can’t carry on a conversation or feel comfortable in a social setting without first numbing their wits and altering their personalities in order to fit in.

As Christians, we remind ourselves that we abstain from alcohol not just because we know it is physically unhealthy, and because we don’t want to support an industry that knowingly markets a product that destroys lives, but because of God’s Word on the topic. It doesn’t just tell us the evil of drunkenness, but of any amount of alcohol, and warns us to have nothing to do with any of it!

Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder (Prov. 23:29-32).

Many folks are quick to point out that this is describing drunkenness, not casual or social drinking (or whatever they call it). Yet this is irrelevant. What does Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, say to his son (i.e., those who seek wisdom)? He says very clearly to abstain from any amount: “Look not thou upon the wine.” Don’t even look at it! Could God have been any clearer?

According to the article, each subsequent generation is drinking less alcohol than the previous. “Millennials were drinking between 20-25% less alcohol than Gen X. Gen Z is drinking in turn 20-25% less alcohol than Millennials.” Maybe this trend will continue into subsequent generations. In the midst of a society that is crumbling morally, this is at least a small amount of good news.

We are truly grateful to hear about a movement that encourages less consumption of alcohol and the resulting physical benefits. But what about spiritual health? If a person takes care of himself physically and lives to be a hundred years old, he will still die. And each of us, regardless of physical health, “must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). There is far more to being right in God’s sight than just abstaining from alcohol. We highly encourage everyone to consider in more depth their spiritual condition and to turn to God in obedience to His New Testament before it is eternally too late.

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Author: Editor

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