Seven Deadly Sins – Drunkenness
1 in every 5 NZ adults has a hazardous drinking pattern. ‘Note: ‘Hazardous drinking’ refers
to an established alcohol drinking pattern that carries a risk of harming the drinker’s physical
or mental health or having harmful social effects on the drinker or others. It is determined
by using the World Health Organization’s AUDIT checklist – a score of 8 or more indicates
1 in 3 between the ages of 18-24 drinking in a dangerous way. 1 in 3
men and 1 in 5 women in this age range will binge drink once a week. This is a deeply
worrying set of statistics, 20% of our nation abuse alcohol. 1 in 10 between the ages of 15-
17 likewise drink hazardously. Last week we spoke about the sin of gluttony, sins related to
excessive eating. And we saw how the sin of drunkenness was often hitched to it.
Drunkenness is not technically one of the seven sins, but to my mind it qualifies as a
gateway sin, a sin that leads to many other sins.
Christianity differs from the other major religions in that alcohol is not seen as sinful in itself.
Islam forbids the drinking of alcohol. Some sects in Hinduism forbid it. Likewise the official
teaching of Buddhism denounces ingesting intoxicating substances. Christianity how ever
does not see alcohol as something sinful in itself. So I will in two parts go through the
blessings of drinking and the sins of drunkenness.