One of the things that hurts our witness in this world is our gnostic tendency to demand abstinence of so many things. For the most part, modern Christian fundamentalists are little more Gnostics- believing that matter is evil and spirit is good and therefore we should abstain from most physical pleasures like drinking alcohol and just be super-spiritual meditating upon spiritual things like monks all day. But Christianity, in its real form uncorrupted by backwards fundamentalism, is the champion of moderation- not abstinence. Ours is not a religion of "taste not, touch not." It is one of "Enjoy the goodness of God in all things- but enjoy it in moderation so that you don't corrupt the experience." Drunkards do not enjoy drinking like moderate drinkers do. Addiction, hangovers, and a thousand other things that come with the ABUSE of alcohol RUINS the experience. So, simple-minded Christians come along, always needing things to be simple, avoiding the real complexity of many issues like the plague because they are intimidated by it, and they just BAN it. How much better to model moderation than abstinence! I love what C. S. Lewis says about this matter in Mere Christianity: Temperance is, unfortunately, one of those words that has changed its meaning. It now usually means teetotalism. But in the days when the second Cardinal virtue was christened 'Temperance,' it meant nothing of the sort. Temperance referred not specially to drink, but to all pleasures; and it meant not abstaining, but going the right length and no further. It is a mistake to think that Christians ought all to be teetotallers; Mohammedanism, not Christianity, is the teetotal religion. Of course it may be the duty of a particular Christian, or of any Christian, at a particular time, to abstain from strong drink, either because he is the sort of man who cannot drink at all without drinking too much, or because he is with people who are inclined to drunkenness and must not encourage them by drinking himself. But the whole point is that he is abstaining, for a good reason, from something which he does not condemn and which he likes to see other people enjoying. One of the marks of a certain type of bad man is that he cannot give up a thing himself without wanting every one else to give it up. That is not the Christian way. An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons�Cmarriage, or meat, or beer, or the cinema; but the moment he starts saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who do use them, he has taken the wrong turning.