Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 26, 1953
NUMBER 46, PAGE 10-11b


Roger Rhyce, Dannemore, New York

Freedom is one of the most highly cherished objectives ever set before human beings. Children long for it; prisoners hope and pray for it; immigrants come to America to enjoy it. Patrick Henry voiced our sentiments when he said, "Give me liberty, or give me death."

There are two kinds of freedom: freedom of the soul, and freedom of the body; an inner and outer freedom. A person may possess one, but may not possess the other. Pilate was free outwardly, but not inwardly. He could not exercise his own judgment in the trial of Jesus. Paul was in a Roman prison once, but was free inwardly. No chains could bind his soul, and no prison could confine it.

Jesus came to this earth to set the souls of men free. (Luke 4:18) The medium through which Jesus sets men free is obedience to the Gospel. By this men are freed from the clanking chains of ignorance and sin. The Gospel brings freedom from sin by revealing the nature of sin, its origin, and its fruits or consequences. It teaches freedom from sin's filthy grasp. Man could not know that faith, repentance, and baptism were the means of inward freedom were it not for the revelation of these things in the Bible. A person must accept the truth and obey it in order to have this inward freedom. (Rom. 6:17; 1 Peter 1:22,23)

Our outward freedom is usually accepted as a matter of fact, but is much abused. We have freedom of speech, but often use it to tell dirty jokes and off-color stories, gossip, and to indulge in varied shades of profanity. We enjoy freedom of the press, but often use it to print stories of crime and sex which are so written as to appeal to the baser emotions of both children and adults, thus effecting and influencing them adversely. And without the glaring advertisements in newspapers and magazines the liquor and cigarette companies would go bankrupt in a short time. Some of the most brilliant stars in Hollywood sell their names and faces to endorse, through advertising the popular brands of intoxicants and cigarettes. They make it appear a sign of social distinction to use the brand of whiskey or smoke that they endorse. Of course the other side of the story is not published. It would be bad business to advertise that drinking intoxicating liquors often wreck both mind and body and cause the subject to be hospitalized, imprisoned, or buried! One drink can lead to a crime. "Know ye not that your bodies are the temples of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defiles the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy." (1 Cor. 3:16) Again, "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ, shall I then take the members and make them members of a harlot? God forbid. For ye are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your bodies and in your spirit which are Gods." (1 Cor. 6:15-20)

In almost any city one may find the empty shell of a once beautiful and attractive house, now unkempt and a sore spot in the eyes of neighbors — the once happy home of a drunkard. Music has ceased under its roof, the happy voices of children have turned into sobs and cries of want and despair, and in the stead of Belshazzarean feasts nothing is left but broken pieces of crushed chalices. The broken home of the drunkard stands as a silent monument to the evil consequences of drink.

Through successive generations men quote: "Alcohol has always been used to allay fears, feelings of insecurity, and to promote release of emotional tension. It is a social catalyzer especially used of women"; "Drinking is a demonstration of manhood"; "Renown is gained by drinking," etc. Nothing is further from the truth. The aftermath of drinking is worse than the original ill which one attempts to "drown" by intoxication. Drinking is not a mark of culture. Rather it is a sign of weakness.

Our Lord tells us that drunkards cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. "Woe unto them that raise up early in the morning that they may drink strong drink." Alcoholism cannot be abolished until society acquires sufficient wisdom and fortitude to quit glorifying the practice of drinking and begin teaching the virtues of Christian living. The attitude today is: "It's nobody's business what I drink." This is far from the truth, since drink endangers everybody. It injures the body, enfeebles the mind, unfits for daily life, causes poverty, breaks up homes, ends friendships, destroys business, leads to crime, fills the poor houses and prisons, and most important of all, destroys the soul. How then can one say, "It's nobody's business what I drink"?

"It's nobody's business what I drink, I care not what the neighbors think, Or how many laws they choose to pass, I'll tell the world, I'll have my glass.

Here's one man whose freedom cannot be curbed, My right to drink is undisturbed."

So he drank in spite of law or man, Got into his car and away he ran.

He stepped on the gas and let it go, Out on the highway to and fro.

He took the curves at fifty miles, With dreary eyes and a drunkard's smile.

Not long till a car he tried to pass, Then a crash, a scream, and breaking of glass!

The other car was upside down, And several miles from the nearest town.

The man was clear, but his wife was caught, And needed the help of the drunken sot, Who sat in a daze, and heard the scream, But was far too drunk for helping them.

The car was burned and the mother died, The husband wept and the baby cried.

But the drunk sat still and tried to speak

"It's nobody business what I drink."

Those who desired a repeal of the Prohibition Act claimed that it would result in less drinking, but Americans drink more and more every year. They claimed that it would decrease crime, but we have more crime and corruption than ever before. The public opposes the sale of narcotics, yet narcotics take far less toll than intoxicants.

Someone has written the drunkard's 23rd psalm: "King Alcohol is my shepherd. I crave it and want, He maketh me to lie down in mud holes. He damneth my soul. He turneth my car over for his name's sake. Yea, though I ride in the valley of the shadow of Hell, I will hold to the bottle, for the devil is with me; His saloons and beer joints beckon me. They prepare an empty table before me in the presence of my family. They anoint my head with bruises. My pocketbook is empty. Surely evil and misery shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Devil forever."

Have we taught our children the evils of drinking, or do we drink before them? Christians can do much to prevent our newspapers and magazines from being filled with whiskey and beer advertisements which glorify drink and stir up the desire for it under false pretenses. We need a leader or leaders like Moses, who refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, and chose to suffer with the people of God. We need generals like Joshua, who was not ashamed to stand up in the face of opposition and say, "As for me and my house, we will serve God." We need administrators like Joseph, who knew that God had the answers to problems of famines. We need preachers like Peter who stood up and preached, "Repent and be baptized everyone of you for the remission of your sins." We need mothers like Hannah, who prayed to God for a son and dedicated him to His service, rather than the type of mother today who neglects her child in order to enjoy a few worldly pleasures. We need doctors like Luke who cared for physical needs and introduced people to Jesus Christ. We need to turn to the God of heaven instead of putting our trust in the dollar god. We need to turn to our Savior, Jesus Christ, read His word, and obey it. "For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:17)