Teen Seduction By The Alcohol Industry (and why Christians shouldn’t drink)
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 1:8
‘Taste Great!” Less Filling!” Who from my generation can forget the Lite Beer commercials so prominent during every sporting event from the 1970s and 80s? It seemed back then like every happy-go-lucky celebrity, comedian or sports figure from Rodney Dangerfield to Dick Butkus was engaging in the slapstick comedic commercials in arguing whether Lite Beer’s most virtuous quality was whether it tasted great or was less filling?
Either way, I couldn’t wait to grow up to find out for myself. Drinking looked fun, social, innocent, no downside, no drunkenness, no throwing up, no unplanned pregnancies, no date rapes, no death, maiming or destruction, no obesity and every other health problem associated with abuse, no alcoholic parents, no domestic batteries, no crimes committed, no trail of tears. Fast forward to today and in addition to the comedic marketing, we see commercials seeping with sex as every male and female depiction is one that comes from the cover of GQ or Playboy; nobody bloated or overweight. So not only is drinking depicted by slick marketers as care free, it’s also used as a sexual driver, especially amongst young males.
The problem with all of this is who beer companies, like cigarette companies before them, are marketing to – and that’s our youth culture. Dismiss out of hand any mention from the alcohol industry to “drink responsibly” or “don’t drink underage”. This is insincerity in its purest form meant to pacify groups like Mothers (or Students) Against Drunk Driving.
Statistics show that underage drinking is a $23 billion (20% of total revenue) a year business. Not to mention that teen drinkers become adult drinkers and 10% will become alcoholics in further enriching the alcohol companies. As for the mixed message of “drinking responsibly”, the alcohol industry would fail to function as we know it, with plummeting profits if not for serious binge drinking and alcoholism. If every consumer would just have a “beer or two” instead of 6, 8 or 10 every time they went out, many of these companies and drinking establishments would cease to exist let alone have millions of dollars a year to pay for advertising to corrupt our youth.
I’ve always found the alcohol industry’s use of beer commercials to be the perfect analogy to how Satan uses sin. The devil never comes at us showing the dark side to sin: the death, destruction, bad marriages, and broken families. He doesn’t show us the devastated communities that result from sheepishly following him down a dark road. A road that he decorates like the false facade of a movie set to look good, tempting, fun and appealing because after all, Satan doesn’t come after us like a roaring lion but rather by masquerading as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).
So what’s the answer in how we prepare our own children and our students? For one, I don’t think scare tactics work like when they show you a version of “Blood Flows Red On The Highway” in Driver’s Ed. But it’s extremely important to have an intimate, involved relationship with the youth within our sphere of influence so we can engage them in deep, meaningful discussions to counter the glamorous messages their being bombarded with so they can develop a realistic point of view when it comes to alcohol. All of which brings up the question on whether or not Christians should drink, even if it’s in moderation and not to drunkesness. For me, the question is why would we want to support any industry with even $1 of our money that, at its core, that has such a negative, unbiblical impact on our culture while sending mixed messages to our kids? And most importantly, we need to model a biblical lifestyle. When our kids see the Peace of Christ lived out in our marriages, homes, relationships and how happy we are without alcohol in our lives, they’ll be more likely to avoid or turn away from that lifestyle themselves.
April 23rd Posted in: Christian Living with No Comments