At one point in my life, I wasn’t really living in a good way. I went astray from the church’s teachings and did some stupid things. I plan on going to confession this weekend just to get these things off my chest because I pretty much forgot about them. I was just wondering if underage drinking is a mortal or venial sin. Just a side note, I did this without asking my parents or without them being around. I also knew underage drinking was against the law, but I didn’t really know it went against God’s law. Since it is illegal, am I going to have to face any criminal punishment for my actions as a penance? I am just wondering.
I’m not a Roman Catholic and I don’t teach the human traditions of Catholicism. I teach the Bible. There are no venial or mortal sins in the Bible. These are classifications that the Roman Catholic Church made up. In the Bible, there is only sin. There are no subclassifications.
Drinking is a sin because:
- Christians are to be obedient to the government (when the government is not breaking God’s laws). “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves” (Romans 13:1-2). The government forbids drinking under the age of 21; therefore, it is a sin to drink when you are younger and a violation of the law.
- Christians are to be sober-minded. “For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thessalonians 5:7-9). Using alcohol and drinks affects your judgment, making you not sober, and thus, you sin.
Since the violation of civil law occurred a long time ago, there will not be any charges because most countries have laws against self-incrimination. What you did was wrong, but the focus should not be on the past but on the future. “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). Apologize to God for what you did (I John 1:9) and then move on to being a better man.