As I read last Saturday’s paper I was moved to think about the influence upon the killers of a young man are reportedly up for their parole hearings at various tim
es this year. Much of the article deals with one of the six equally young men who on a warm February night in 2008, fuelled by a belly full of alcoholic beverages, kicked and stomped Wayne Bray into a coma. Wayne would eventually die from injuries received that fateful night some four days later in Timaru Hospital. One of his killers, now 20 year old, Ashley Moffat is said to be dealing with the consequences of his terrible actions with a great deal of distress and so he should, for he is partly responsible for directly snuffing out the life of an innocent man.
What got me thinking though, were not so much the actions of these hooligan killers, who were obviously out of their right mind but the actions of those indirectly responsible for this senseless “manslaughter”. These people are the manufacturers and the distributors of the drug consumed by these youths that night. Were these faceless scumbags held accountable by the justice system of New Zealand? In a word, no! We need to ask, Why not? Surely, if they were not supplying this mind altering substance then these young men would have been able to think clearly of the consequence of such actions and would see that to pursue such madness would be to go against some semblance of morality they had instilled in them by parents, school teachers etc.
Of course the wine, spirit and beer manufacturers and distributors stand at arm’s length regarding responsibility claiming it is up to the individual to exercise restraint. However, they are quick to rush to the highest court in the land i.e. the NZ Government and lobby hard should their profits be challenged by individuals and the communities’ whose outrage of recent months has been to voice an increasing tide of opposition to the easy ability of youth to access alcohol from these immoral manufacturers and distributors.
Seeing as the majority of winebibbers and the people’s representatives have dropped the ball regarding this issue we are left with how the final authority of the universe views the subject of indirect responsibility. We need not dwell on whether God approves of imbibing mind altering drugs such as alcohol beverages, for He is clear such an intoxified state is a hell bound sinful action. The writer of Proverbs points out the wisdom of a king’s mother who tells him that in order to reign effectively over those of whom he is responsible, he must not consume alcohol (Proverbs 31:4-6). God says through Paul that drunkards will not go to heaven (I Corinthians 6:10; Galatians 5:21). God also says, to be drunk on alcohol is to be dead of life (Ephesians 4:18). Oh, and before you drag out of context John 2:1-10 where Jesus turns the water into wine and thereby giving one licence from Christ to drink alcohol, consider this: would Christ, the author of morality Whose very word is against drunkenness, not be a hypocrite for contributing to increasing drunkenness by producing more alcohol? Perish the thought. And before we move on, don’t be tempted to rearrange I Timothy 5:23 where Paul says to a young man to mix some wine to the water, for to do so is to ignore the purpose behind the apostle’s advice which is to aid gastric illness that Timothy was suffering from. A remedy that was common in those days when one researches Hippocrates, Plutarch, and Pliny etc. Want to find out more? Go to: www.christiancourier.com and type: “drinking”, “social drinking”, “drunkenness”, “alcohol” etc
So then, let us dwell on those verses in the Bible that talk of indirect responsibility. You have probably heard of a “stumbling block”. It is literally or figuratively an obstacle that causes someone to trip and fall. The Levitical code prohibited placing such a thing before the blind (Leviticus 19:14). Mature Christians were to be mindful of the young in the faith that they do not make their younger brethren stumble as a result of their greater knowledge. An example of this can be found in Romans 14:1-13 where one is not absolved of personal responsibility but equally those who know better ought not, by his knowledge, cause a weaker soul to become discouraged by way of that greater knowledge which could become an overwhelming burden of apostasy, noted as an obstacle or a stumbling block in this instance.
Extrapolate that out to the wider community, for Christ has authority over all man-kind whether they agree or not (Matthew 28:18-20; John 17:2), God will judge the actions of the alcohol industry with the view to reap vengeance for causing people to stumble by using the mind altering drug they pedal.
Sure, many of those within this industry do not give God a second thought, even going so far as to mock Him in various advertisement campaigns. However, there are many peddlers of this destructive liquid who believe in the God of the Bible, albeit through the false teachings of denominations and cults. Notwithstanding, how many, I wonder, work for breweries, vineyards, pubs and restaurants, supermarkets, liquor outlets, work behind the bar at the golf club, RSA, etc? And I somehow wonder if all of these mentioned were to know just what God has in store for them for causing such affliction (cf., II Thessalonians 1:6-9), then would they fear enough to cease and desist from such association? I am certainly not going to hold my breath on that one.
God declares that all men everywhere should repent for He has set aside a day when all will be judged according to their actions in this life (Acts 17:30-310). I would sure hate to be caught for or contributing to the profiteering from the misery of the likes of Wayne Bray and his kin, for it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31).