Is it OK for pastors and Christian leaders to drink alcohol? For Jamie Morgan, lead pastor of New Jersey-based Life Church, the answer to that question is a resounding "no."
In a blog she penned for her church's website that was shared by Christian Today this month, Morgan's position against the consumption of alcohol by clergy, and other Christians, is cut and dried, and is delivered with a side of humor. But the pastor knows from personal experience that the pitfalls that can accompany alcohol consumption are no laughing matter.
"I know first-hand the destruction that alcohol brings into someone's life," Morgan told The Christian Post earlier this week. The pastor is a former alcoholic and has abstained from drinking after she accepted Jesus into her life 26 years ago, in order to safeguard her walk with Christ.
She writes in her blog, "No one told me to abstain. I just knew it would be contradictory and self-defeating to my relationship with Christ. I had given my life to follow Jesus and nothing was going to hinder my walk. For me, it was a no-brainer."
Morgan told CP, "I had found the Savior of the world and I wanted a clear head in order to serve Him. I know from experiece [that] one drink — one, one drink — makes you a little looser, a little more free — free in a bad way."
Alcohol skewed her judgement, and caused her to say and do things she normally would not have, which had resulted in lots of pain, the pastor explained.
Out of a concern for others, Morgan felt compelled to document and share her message against Christians drinking alcohol. "I have seen the destruction that it [alcohol] has brought to families and individual lives, marriages, children ... and it grieves me."
The pastor also wanted to go on record with her position against drinking because her opinion on the matter is so frequently solicited. "If someone asks me, 'Pastor Jamie, what do you think about Christians and drinking?' I could point to the blog post," she told CP.
In the blog, Morgan highlights how increasingly trendy drinking is becoming among young adult Christians, noting that posting pics of one's favorite spirits and "signature drink" have become popular habits on social media. "Even some pastors drink," Morgan points out. "Not this one."
The pastor goes on to list 50 reasons why she doesn't drink alcohol. Among them is a consideration for others who are in their walks with Christ.