the Samson generation
I was able to preach last night at Glenroy Corps for the justice night... good times.
It was a great reminder to me personally about the call of God on this generation of Salvos to be the people He has called them to be. Holiness... to be different from the world - set apart... but not just different so that we can be nerdy or wierdos... different so that we will be alert... and able to recognize the occupation of the enemy - the compromise of our lives and futures. the thing is Samson was to be a Nazarite... which among other things means that he wasn't to touch alcohol.
this is a similar call to a salvationist... except that I understand from many i've talked with that Salvationists want to do away with this... and I don't get it. Now, I get it if we are simply following some sort of irrelevant religious code for no specific reason... but when our call is to be set apart from a culture that is so steeped in oppression - and to allow that to keep us alert (think about braveheart before his death - 'I need my wits about me')... it's like the people who think we should drink are not aware of the snare... the oppression of Alcohol on society. Check out these stats and then take a long hard time to ask yourself if abstinence from alcohol doesn't just sound like a great idea?!
consider these stats just in Australia: for more stats click here
Alcohol is the second largest cause of drug-related deaths and hospitalisations in Australia (after tobacco) (AIHW, 2005a).
Alcohol is the main cause of deaths on Australian roads. In 1998, over 2,000 deaths of the total 7,000 deaths of persons under 65 years, were related to alcohol (Ridolfo and Stevenson, 1998).
In 2004, the age standardised rate for male deaths due to alcoholic liver disease as the underlying cause was 5.5 per 100,000, compared with 1.5 per 100,000 for females (ABS 2006b).
In 2004, the age standardised rate for male deaths with mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol as the underlying cause was 1.9 per 100,000, compared with 0.4 per 100,000 for females (ABS 2006b).
HEALTH SYSTEM COSTS
In the seven years from 1998-99 to 2004-05, the overall number of hospital separations with principal diagnosis of mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol increased from 23,490 to 35,152; the number per 1,000 population increased by 39% for all ages during that time period (by 41% for those under 20 years) (AIHW 2006).
According to a study by Ridolfo and Stevenson (2001), the largest number of alcohol-related hospital separations among both men and women in 1998 was due to alcoholism and alcoholic liver cirrhosis. The second-largest number was due to road injuries for men and cancer for women.
It has been estimated that 31,132 Australians died from alcohol-caused disease and injury between 1992 and 2001; of these 75% were male and 25% female. From 1993-94 to 2000-01, there were over half a million hospitalisations due to risky and high-risk drinking in Australia (Chikritzhs et.al. 2003).
At the community level, the estimated economic cost of alcohol misuse to the Australian community in 1998-99 totalled $7.6 billion, and this estimate includes associated factors such as crime and violence, treatment costs, loss of productivity and premature death (Collins and Lapsley, 2002).