Cass, neither the Catholic Church nor the Anglican Church endorses alcohol (or any other addictive substance) abuse as godly. Of course it is sinful - all Christian Churches seem to be of one mind on that issue. However, I would contend that sin lies in the abuse and the addiction; not in the moderate partaking of.cassowary wrote: ↑Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:58 pm
What a pity. The spread of the Methodist church's teachings about alcohol (total abstinence) will go a long way to help Australians, especially the Aborigines who suffer from a high degree of alcoholism. It is a cause of their poverty. It ruins marriages and also makes it hard to keep your job. Drinking too much is also bad for your health, which may partly account for their relatively shorter lives.
That is not the only social benefit of Christian ethics. But this example shows how behavior induced by religious beliefs can have an economic and social impact. I think that Jonathan Gruber was on to something, when his research showed that adherence to the Christian faith raises income levels - on the average of course.
But that is nothing new. Max Weber said something similar.
I see nothing wrong with total abstinence from alcoholic drink - as a drastic remedy for the addicted. If John Wesley was an advocate of total abstinence from alcohol I can think of two plausible explanations as to why:
1. Wesley, I believe, was well known for his austerities in private devotion. For him abstinence might have been a permanent form of penance for the sins of the world.
2. his ministry was among the working class poor of England and Wales where alcoholism was a widespread, and rising social evil - along with associated sins such as spouse bashing and neglect of the needs of the children.
Yet the expedient "cold turkey" remedy of curing the addicted with self help disciplinary remedies should be seen for what it is: an expedient escape for the otherwise hopeless. As for others who are already lifelong disciplined, moderate drinkers, total abstinence is a redundant non-remedy.
During my lifetime Australian mores have changed so much I sometimes wonder whether I am living in the same country I was born in. Perhaps this helps explain why Methodist Christianity went to the wall in this country. We had outgrown our working class British roots and become predominantly a nation of middle class, moderate drinkers.