Alcohol & Tobacco
In recent years there have been changes worldwide in attitudes to the drinking of alcohol. Like all other cultural adaptations we have to make when coming to Asia, this is an area which requires an adequate understanding of the local culture, church culture, and the practices of our fellow Christian workers. We have to consider both the issues of not hindering Kingdom work and of not offending our weaker brother or sister.
Attitudes toward alcohol vary widely throughout Asia and also among the churches with which we work. Many churches are strong in their stand against the drinking of alcohol. In many places alcoholism is a serious social problem and churches feel it is best to practice abstinence. While consumption of alcohol is a part of many social gatherings, it poses a serious temptation and problem for new believers. In other areas, particularly among the middle and upper classes, moderate use of alcohol is considered acceptable by the churches.
As part of their cultural orientation, all FCF personnel should find out what the attitude toward alcohol is in the church they attend, in the local Christian community, and in the local community as a whole. They should also consider their ministry (or future ministry) and how drinking alcohol, or not drinking it, would affect their testimony and ability to minister. As FCF personnel, we are role models for many people and are in the position to disciple and mentor people, particularly young people. We need to consider carefully what our behavior will communicate to those who are watching and following us.
To prevent misunderstandings and cultural mistakes, FCF has the following policy:
- No alcohol is to be consumed in FCF Children's Homes or accommodations designated for short-term personnel.
- No alcohol should be consumed by short-term teams.
- No alcohol will be served at FCF meetings or functions.
- If an FCF volunteer is in doubt about the appropriate action to take in a specific situation; he/she is advised to abstain from alcohol.
In the privacy of their own homes or in private gatherings, FCF personnel may follow their own conscience regarding partaking, or abstaining from, alcohol.
Due to the known health risks and the fact that it is not acceptable in evangelical churches in Asia to use tobacco, FCF personnel will not use tobacco.