One of the topics that is getting a large amount of attention (at least locally) is the issue of Sunday Sales of alcohol. Georgia historically has not allowed Sunday Sales, with a small number of exceptions being local cities being allowed to have votes about liquor by the drink sales on Sundays. However, it has (and still is) currently illegal to sale packaged drinks on Sundays (i.e. Walmart, convenience stores, etc.) With a change in the political leadership in Georgia a bill has been passed by the General Assembly giving local jurisdictions the authority to have referendums to vote on allowing Sunday Sales. Loganville has recently received some news time for being the first city to make plans on putting this issue before the voters. It does not take a rocket scientist to imagine the stir that this has already created, and it is bound to get much, much worse before the actual vote.
There has already been ridiculous amounts of rhetoric and hyperbole spewed from both sides of this issue. From those for Sunday Sales there has been things written/spoken like: “We will see a huge boost to the economy in Loganville, the restuarants need equal footing as surrounding areas” as well as many other things, some specifically against the ban on Sunday Sales because of the “Blue Laws.” From those against Sunday sales I’ve heard/seen such things like: “We need one day of safety from the drunk drivers, six days are enough, it’s about protecting us, there will be a dramatic increase in drunk drivers, and accidents” and the quotes could go on for awhile. Those against it have often made statements such as “It’s the Sabbath, and it should be respected.”
My opinion is rather fixed on the issue of alcohol. I think it’s wrong, and I think that it is easy to show from a Biblical viewpoint that’s it’s wrong. I can’t think of a single instance where the description of alcohol is used in a positive manner in the Bible. (Don’t even bother mentioning Jesus turning water into wine since many, many theologians believe this to have been a grape juice, and not a fermented beverage). You can even turn to society to see the many, many, dangers and troubling aspects that come along with alcohol consumption. However, that’s not really the point of this post, or even the referendum about Sunday Sales. Here’s my honest opinion on Sunday Sales: I don’t care. Yep, we’re 400 words into this post and I can sum up my opinion in three little words.
I think it’s complete hogwash to think that adding one day of alcohol sales will resurrect the economy of this county, yet on the flip side I don’t foresee mass numbers of DUI related fatalities on Sundays either. I’m going to have to disagree with the idea of the Sabbath rest as well. The concept of the Sabbath being Holy can’t be trotted out when it’s convenient for Christians to try and make a point. Not only that, but to try and force others (mainly non-believers) to abide in a Biblical mandate doesn’t really make sense. Those who are unbelievers will act like unbelievers. I know, it’s earth shattering stuff, but it’s true- you can mark my words!
How then (in my opinion) should the Christian (and the church) respond to the issue of Sunday Sales? Vote against it if you wish, because that is certainly your right. Tell others to vote against it if you wish, that’s your right as well. However when I hear people talk about boycotting, picketing, or doing other antics to protest the vote I honestly shudder. When it comes to the actions of the church, I certainly don’t think it wise for the bride of Christ to engage in protests against something like this. It certainly brings no honor to the name of Christ to be known for fighting against something of this nature. The church should be known for promoting Christ. They should be known for reaching out to the orphans, widows, and disadvantaged of society. They should be known for spreading the love and truth of the Gospel, without ever watering it down. The church shouldn’t be known as, “The church that’s fighting against Sunday Sales”, but rather, “The church that really cares about me, and loves me.” Part of that love is teaching against alcohol when warranted, but to make a huge battle and controversy over this issue doesn’t seem right to me. You might disagree, and that’s okay, in fact I’d love to talk about it with you. Feel free to comment to discuss the issue from your point of view.
Soli Deo Gloria!