Abstain from Alchohol and Adultery: Because More than Your Job may be on the Line

Yesterday, I had the unfortunate task of cleaning out the office of someone who was relieved of his duties as an instructor. In twenty years of military service I have never had to do that. In my final month in the Army, I again experienced something new. As I was cleaning through drawers and cabinets and packing and moving this former instructor’s personal property, I couldn’t help but think of how unfortunate, unnecessary, and ridiculous it was and how easily it could have been prevented.

Alleged sexual misconduct was the reason for the removal from teaching responsibilities. Lust had driven this instructor to touch the body parts of the opposite sex. Lust is the desire to partake in something that God has ordained should only be partaken of between two individuals that are married This is God’s Holy standard. God knows best. All sexual conduct outside the bounds of marriage is unlawful. We as a church must never forget that. Adultery cannot be occurring in the body of Christ. Every effort must be made to keep the church pure. Men and woman must minimize the physical contact between each other. Too much (perhaps any) hugging is problematic—it leads to the desire for more than hugs.

Couples must be very careful about the amount of time they spend with other couples. Do not allow yourselves to spend abnormal amounts of time with one particular couple weekend after weekend. Rotate your contact and fellowship with other couples throughout the church. Keep the conversations in mixed groups pure and uplifting—two married couples have NO business discussing sexual matters. We must preserve the holiness of what happens between husbands and wives. Do not allow a man or woman to live in your house—avoid the appearance and the temptation to sin at all costs. Never put yourself in a situation where something could happen or where your actions could be questioned—guard yourself and your reputation as an ambassador of Christ.

In the process of investigating the instructor’s misconduct another sin was discovered. Can you guess what it was? Are you ahead of me? For two years I served as a 105mm firing battery commander’s right hand man, a first sergeant, and during those two years I had the unfortunate responsibility of assisting in the non-judicial punishment our paratroopers received for their misconduct. May I tell you about two things that the majority of the incidents had in common?

First, I cannot think of a single incident of punished misconduct where excessive consumption of alcohol was not directly or indirectly involved. Over and over again Solomon’s words of wisdom came ringing true—wine is a mocker; strong drink is raging. Fools are routinely led into foolish behavior because of the reduction or total elimination of God-given inhibitions.

The aforementioned instructor was intoxicated when the misconduct occurred—his conscience, that was designed by God, was no longer functioning properly. The high level of alcohol interfered with the functioning of the conscience and this person’s ability to resist acting upon sexual impulses.

Second, (not in this case) but in the young men I had the privilege of leading in the 82d Airborne Division, when there was a pattern of serious misconduct there was normally an absence of a father—a dad!

The Bible also addresses the importance of the father in the life of a son or daughter. A parent must be there for a child to obey. Without a doubt the best soldiers I worked with grew up in a two parent household where both the mother and father were an important part of the child’s development.

Psalm 119.9 tells it like it is: A young man can keep his life clean by obeying the word of God.

The commandments in the Bible are just as applicable today as they were when Moses received them and they are just that—commandments.

Commandment VII: Thou (that’s me and you) shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20.14).

That’s pretty clear isn’t it? And from Paul: “Be not drunk.” Yes another commandment (Eph 5.18).

And what are the benefits to obeying these commandments? Well in this case—you won’t have to experience the humiliation of having someone else clean your office out for you. And you won’t have to try and fabricate a story about why you are no longer working there (see Commandment X). And your good reputation (see Prov. 22.1) will not be tarnished.

Let me leave you with the Apostle Peter’s instruction for us: God, who called and saved you [and I] is a HOLY God; therefore, He expects us to be Holy in every aspect of our lives (see 1 Peter 1.15). Paul calls this our reasonable service in Romans 12.2. Obeying God’s commandments is the least I can do.