TRADITION: Alcoholism is a disease
TRUTH: Acoholism is a sinful addiction
Tradition formulated during the past few decades states: Alcoholism is a disease that plagues multitudes. However, a disease is defined 'as a consequence of infection' the infection coming from a source outside the body such as infectious germs. Some even go so far as to say alcoholism is an incurable disease, giving it the same status as cancer or AIDS.
But, the Bible tells us that drunkenness is a condition man experiences when he indulges his fleshly desires (Galatians 5:19). Through choice man consumes alcohol as the prophet Isaiah implies: 'Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink' (Isaiah 5:22). Solomon prohibits excess showing man's option and consequences of partaking and consuming alcoholic drink: 'Be not among the winebibbers (heavy drinkers). The drunkard and glutton shall come to poverty' (Proverb 23:20,21). Paul too speaks against the excesses of strong drink: 'Let us walk honestly...not in rioting or drunkenness' (Romans 13:13) 'Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess' (Ephesians 5:18) again showing mans obvious ability to decide either to consume or not to consume wine.
Although the Bible teaches that the sins of the father can effect the children through heredity, and the bent toward drink, drugs and other habit forming substances given to us by our parents is possible- many times contributing to the cause, alcoholism cannot be considered a disease in the general sense or definition of the word. For this removes the blame from the person who makes the conscious decision to partake, consuming in excess and eventually becoming dependent upon alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, cocaine, valium or any other mind-altering and habit forming substance!
Calling it a disease adds to the falsehood of the 'victim/victimized mentality' that is sweeping our nation and is more and more being accepted/adopted as the sole cause/excuse for man's sinful actions. The vocal media establishment says: He or she is a victim of their environment, a victim of family circumstances, a victim of their imperfect childhood and on and on the list continues. The 'victim/victimized mentality' theory shirks personal responsibility for one's actions, placing the blame squarely on the shoulder of any thing but the person responsible for committing the act for which they are in fact responsible!
However, if we recognize that the root cause for our wrong actions is seated in the sin nature that all of us are born with, and we turn in repentance to God putting our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to give us a 'new birth and a new nature' through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can have complete victory over these addictions.
I am not speaking as an 'outsider looking in' when discussing these matters. I was a drug-abusing alcoholic completely dependent on these addicting substances when the Lord Jesus Christ saved me from my personally chosen indulgences. He, in His mercy, rescued me from the vicious bondage of Satan's mind altering devices, bringing me into the unchained liberty of the 'Sons of God'! His Truth delivered me from the power and penalty of sin and the Traditional thinking of man, guaranteeing me the precious promise of eternal life!