In a recent sermon you spoke about gambling and using alcohal and how when used or done with control they are acceptable, if they are not done to tempt or harm another person. Years ago, my parents were meeting some very dear friends (who are Southern Baptists) for dinner at a restaurant. They were late, so they decided to order a glass of wine. When their friends arrived it disturbed them that my parents were drinking wine at the table. Their friendship was never the same after that. Were my parents in the wrong?
I would like to say emphatically No! But I’m not sure. What it really depends upon is whether your parents knew that their friends would be upset by their having a glass of wine. Paul tell us that we should not allow our Christian freedom to hurt or harm our neighbor. We are in fact rather to not do that which is acceptable in God’s eyes than to cause a brother to doubt. The action of ordering the wine was completely acceptable in the eyes of the Lord. Wine is drinking is not a sin. But causing a brother and sister in Christ to question their faith is. Looking back at the interaction, I would suppose that your parents would not have ordered the wine as they waited now that they know how it would affect their relationship. I’m still of the opinion that they probably did not willingly or knowingly cause their friends concern.
So the Biblical principal is this. We have Christian freedom to do many things that God has neither commanded we must do nor forbidden us to do. However, when we know our doing something will be a stumbling block to another Christian’s faith, or perhaps harm our ability to witness to a non-believer we should not do it. Even when it is in itself not sin.