THE FAITH IN FIFTY YEARS: ALCOHOL, MARIJUANA, AND HOMOSEXUALITY

by Jared Wellman on May 22, 2014 · 298 comments

One of the most important questions that can be asked is, “What is truth?” As Christians, we believe that God’s Word is truth. Thus, if God’s Word says something like, “Do not steal,” then we know that the truth is that we shouldn’t steal. No questions asked. We also know (or should know) that if science suggests a truth contradictory to Scripture, that we should trust in Scripture over science. This is because God dictates scientific truth, not the other way around. This has proven to be beneficial, since God’s Word declared scientific truths before science did, such as that the world is round (Is 40:22) and that life is in the blood (Lev 17:11), although the dominating scientific thought was once that the earth is flat and that draining a man’s blood might cure him of illness.

With all of this said, theology, like fashion trends, tends to experience fads, which is something that I will never understand. With each passing generation comes a new theological trend, and sometimes it’s something that was once popular, became unpopular, and then gained popularity again. So, even though a theological bellbottom might have come and gone, chances are that it will eventually come back. And chances are that we might look back in twenty years and laugh at one another’s theological photographs.

I share this for one reason, which is that I find it interesting that truth experiences faddish trends, because it shouldn’t. This is because truth is truth, and it should never change. Thus, if God’s Word says, “Don’t steal,” this should always remain true. It shouldn’t be that stealing becomes popular in the 80′s, unpopular in the 90′s and 00′s, and then popular again in the 10′s. God’s truth isn’t a mullet, but we often treat it that way.

With all of this said, here are a few things I see trending in the years to come, mainly because we have a hard time settling on truth:

1. ALCOHOL WILL BE ABSOLUTELY ACCEPTABLE

One of the most vitriolic topics in the SBC today is that of alcohol. I’ll never forget the moment I realized how much of an issue it is. It was in 2009 at the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention in Lubbock, Texas, during the Resolutions segment of the meeting. A Resolution was presented “On the Sufficiency of Scripture for the People of God and All Creation.” When the microphones were made available, Paul Pressler approached one and suggested that this line be included:

RESOLVED, that we recognize that the consumption of alcoholic beverages is something that is intrinsically wrong; and be it further

A young man spoke against Pressler’s suggestion, but received little to no support from the messengers, and the edit, as observed above, passed.

The question about whether or not it is okay for a Christian to drink alcohol is one that remains controversial, but the fact is that more and more young pastors argue in favor of it, and the trajectory suggests that, in 50 years, it might not even be a question.

2. MARIJUANA WILL BE THE NEW ALCOHOL

In 2012 Washington became the first state to legalize marijuana in a state law. Colorado followed quickly after. More recently, Uruguay became the first country to legalize the growing, sale, and use of it.

This is all to say that the trajectory of marijuana is that it will become more and more acceptable. Some report that even the NFL is contemplating lifting their restrictions of it.

It won’t be long before the SBC is affected by this trend. It will begin with the church members, and it will eventually affect the pastors. All it will take is one popular pastor to publicly acknowledge that he smokes it, and the trend will supplant the issue that alcohol is today.

3. ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY WILL BE THE NEW RACISM

There is a scene in the 2013 movie 42where Jackie Robinson is on deck to bat and a mocker is both seen and heard in the stands screaming obscenities at him because he is black. The scene is provoking, because it shows the man’s son sitting beside him observing his behavior. Before long, the son begins mimicking his father, suggesting that he grows up to be a racist like his dad. Age wise, this son would be roughly 70 years old today.

Racism is obviously still an issue. The ongoing Donald Sterling case reveals this. However, it’s not unreasonable to say that the current “grandparent” and “great-grandparent” generation is more apt to be racist than the “grandson” and “great-grandson” aged people. This is, of course, not the rule, but it is a reasonable observation. I have dealt with this personally during my adoption journey of a black Ethiopian child.

With all of this said, I fear that, in 50 years, anyone who vocally opposes homosexuality will be unrighteously viewed in the same way a racist is righteously viewed today, which is unfortunate. I imagine a movie will be made of Michael Sam or Jason Collins, showing someone screaming obscenities at him from the stands, with a son that begins to mimic him.

With more and more Christians publicly stating their support of homosexuality this might well happen before the 50 year mark.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

I am reminded of a story I once heard about a conversation that took place been a husband and wife of 50 years. While driving down the road in their single cab pickup truck, the wife looks over at her husband and says, “You know, we used to sit a lot closer in this thing.” The husband, looking back at his wife, says, “That’s true, but I’m not the one that moved!”

I fear that, in 50 years, the church might look at God and say, “You know, we used to sit a lot closer,” and God will look at the church and say, “That’s true, but I’m not the one that moved.”

I wish that believers would desperately hold on to truth as dictated by God’s Word, instead of allowing culture to dictate it for them. God’s Word is unchanging, and so our faith should be unchanging. I tremble at what the Christian faith might look like in a handful of decades. The trajectory suggests that there might be little difference between the church and the world, even though God and his Word have not changed.

1 Moz May 22, 2014 at 1:30 pm

“In years to come”? Where I live, these three have been realities for at least 10 years.

Peace and love,
Moz

2 Clark May 22, 2014 at 6:34 pm

They legalised weed in ’04? Dude! I shoulda been there!

3 volfan007 May 22, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Clark,

So, you’re a dope smoker?

David

4 Louis Cook May 22, 2014 at 9:50 pm

Out here in California, “Medical Marijuana” was approved by voters in 1996, so we fast approaching two decades of legality and the requirements for a medical prescription(I do not have one.) are not stringent. Of course wine, spirits and beer are available in perhaps more types of stores than anywhere in the US. Finally most people know the history of homosexual unions, freedom, etc. spearheaded by California. A push was made to strip the Boy Scouts of their non-profit status in CA last year and may be tried again. It will not be long before the target of such legislation are church schools, religious non-profits, perhaps Golden Gate BTS and then the churches themselves. That is those churches who do not bend to the current orthodoxy in the Golden State.

5 Ryan Abernathy (@absonjourney) May 22, 2014 at 1:45 pm

One correction. Dan Heseltine in no way came out in favor of homosexual practice. I would suggest googling his blog and reading his posts on the subject.

Otherwise, good words and sadly in 2 of the 3 cases probably an accurate picture of the future.

6 Dave Miller May 22, 2014 at 3:03 pm

I read his posts. If he’s not in favor of gay marriage he did an incredibly poor job of communicating that.

7 Jared Wellman May 22, 2014 at 3:05 pm

I’m seeing the same thing. I’m wondering if the backlash caused him to backtrack. His original comment was from whence I got the information.

I’ll edit out the line. Thanks Dave.

8 Dave Miller May 22, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Yeah, my primary quarrel with this post is that 50 years is too optimistic. Maybe 10.

Good thoughts, Jared.

9 Jared Wellman May 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Thanks Dave.

Would you agree, however, that 50 years is a safe way to suggest that 2 generations will go by and that that second generation would become some of the prevailing voices in our society?

I think that my grandkids’ generation will be more apt to look at me as a “homosexual racist,” in the context of this post, than my own kids’ generation, which is why I chose “50.”

10 Jared Wellman May 22, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Moz, the idea is not that some do it or think it in certain areas, but that it will be the prevailing thought. I still think that alcohol is a debated subject, and marijuana isn’t as widely accepted yet as I anticipate it will be, and homosexuality is also still being fought.

The coming generations will change this. I chose “50 years” because I think that it is a safe assumption, in that it encompasses a couple of generations, but it will probably be more like 20-30 years.

11 Moz May 22, 2014 at 3:26 pm

I hear you, my brother.

I am saying that in many places in America (West, Pacific North West, Urban North East, etc) Christians under 40 (let’s say) do not debate alcohol. They consume alcohol. They debate whether it’s OK to smoke, or otherwise consume, cannabis. In these same places, self-disclosing a moral opposition to homosexuality IS the same as self disclosing racist beliefs.

“the future is already here”

Peace and love,
Moz

12 Jared Wellman May 22, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Ryan, I will have to reread the articles I read concerning the Dan Haseltine case. What I had read suggested that it was quite clear that he was in favor of same-sex marriage, and thus in favor of a homosexual lifestyle.

My main source is Dan himself, who tweeted: I just don’t see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage. No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. ?? Anyone?

13 Ryan Abernathy (@absonjourney) May 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm

I would read his blog article.

Also, I’d like to gently point out that a question is not necessarily an endorsement. The dialogue and discussion that followed was good and informative and healthy.

14 Jared Wellman May 22, 2014 at 3:16 pm

I agree that a question is not necessarily an endorsement, but Dan’s original tweet wasn’t necessarily a question. He said, “I don’t see …”

I’ve edited out the line since he has said more about this thoughts. I was going off of the original information and didn’t realize he had since blogged about it.

Appreciate the information.

15 Ryan Abernathy (@absonjourney) May 22, 2014 at 3:50 pm

And I appreciate the article you wrote. I think it’s solid and definite food for thought. Thanks for the interaction.

16 Jared Wellman May 22, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Thanks Ryan! Appreciate you reading and corresponding.

17 William Thornton May 22, 2014 at 5:04 pm

What negative effect do you see if government permits same sex marriages?

18 Clark May 22, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Good question William, And I’m not sure. (Even though I put ‘futurist’ in my twitter bio.) I see the whole downward spiral of depravity going on in our culture and think it will get worse and alienate, even more, Bible-believing Christians from the main stream of society, as Jared is pointing out. But the one issue of legal gay marriage; not sure what that does by itself. I disagree with it because Jesus defined marriage as one man and one woman (among other reasons). But it is the law of the land in many places an growing. And, honestly, looking at our constitution, and recognizing the secular nature of our laws, they have a case. So, I’m not going to fight this political battle. I will speak what the word speaks; preach the law, preach Christ, and preach grace. But, outside of another great awakening, this is where we are headed, it seems to me. Please, tell me I’m wrong.

19 Brandon Smith May 22, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Jared,

Good thoughts. I think #1 is written with a little but of SBC blinders on. Outside of SBC, moderate alcohol consumption is largely a non-issue. The older crowd might be slightly less pro-consumption, but I don’t know (and correct me if I’m wrong) that it’s ever been a major issue elsewhere. Even broader, it’s probably only an American evangelical issue, though again, probably not reaching far outside of SBC walls.

20 Jared Wellman May 22, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Thanks Brandon. The article is contextually intended for the SBC. I actually had a line saying something about this, but removed it. I assumed that it would be known from the venue on which the post was published.

Perhaps I should have kept it in!

21 Tim B May 22, 2014 at 3:16 pm

“Even broader, it’s probably only an American evangelical issue, though again, probably not reaching far outside of SBC walls.” – If you believe that statement then you have a very limited knowledge of history (particularly of the temperance movement) and of church practice as it exists around the world.

22 William Thornton May 22, 2014 at 5:05 pm

So, what about the temperance movement is relevant to your point?

23 Ryan Abernathy (@absonjourney) May 22, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Can you expand on that please?

I can name a bunch of places where the question of Christianity and the consumption of alcohol in moderation is not an issue. Outside the US I can think of 2 and both are largely a result of the influence of American missionaries.

I’d be interested on your take because apparently I am missing something.

24 Nate May 22, 2014 at 2:44 pm

I have been saying for years that those who allow leaders in the church to drink will have no defense when pot becomes legal. Well, it has, and their defense is typically that alcohol doesn’t get people drunk with one drink, but marijuana gets people intoxicated with one toke (therefore they continue to celebrate drinking). There is no legitimate argument against limited pot use if one tolerates drinking. And it won’t be long before it’s the new fad of cool pastors everywhere.

25 Tim B May 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm

That is a particularly relevant argument since many of the same who argue for the right to celebrate alcohol argue that right on the basis of how a drink makes them feel and appeal to the verse that alcohol is to be celebrated because it “makes the heart glad.” In other words, a little inebriation is a gift from God.

26 Joseph Spurgeon May 22, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Teetotalism was pushed by feminists, liberal Christians, and progressives. Historically, Christians including Baptists did not believe that all alcohol is evil. I am sorry but I have a hard time taking anyone serious who would make declarations about sin that would thus implicate Christ and the vast majority of his followers.

27 Nate May 22, 2014 at 4:07 pm

While not getting into a full discussion about wine in biblical times versus distilled alcohol today (which they didn’t have until the middle ages) and the high percent of alcohol by volume today versus then, my argument still stands. I have had many discussions with those who drink, who then attempt to declare that pot use should never be tolerated, even if it becomes legal. The reality on the ground is, “That argument won’t hold water.”

28 Joseph Spurgeon May 22, 2014 at 4:13 pm

The wine in the biblical times still had alcohol in it. The argument that Jesus turned the water into welch’s grape juice is a little tired. Your view makes Martin Luther, Calvin, the Puritans, Charles Spurgeon, many of the founders of the SBC, and Christ himself into sinners on this issue. The good news is that as this article describes the alcohol debate will be over and the teetotalism will have lost. There is a fundamental difference in beer and pot. Every toke of pot leads to being under the influence while a can of beer does not. On a personal note, I do not drink because I have signed a covenant saying I would not so as to be a seminarian. I have no problem whatsoever laying aside Christian liberty on this issue for a season. However, I will not and can not preach or teach that all alcohol consumption is a sin.

29 Nate May 22, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Actually Joseph, you are trying to infer that I am saying that the wine in biblical times did not contain alcohol. I never said that. Also, my argument was that those who drink want to condemn those who now want to toke. You are being disingenuous if you try and argue that alcohol by volume content in today’s “spirits” is anywhere near biblical wine or beer. Certain stronger wine could have been made, but it wasn’t for typical consumption, and biblically condemned.

Furthermore your insinuation that every ounce of beer one drinks does not lead to intoxication is ludicrous. Otherwise, one could not get drunk. “Every ounce” is moving toward intoxication. Moreover, your insinuation that every toke automatically intoxicates someone who smokes pot shows a total lack of understanding. I’ll tell you what. You drink a beer for every toke I take of a joint and you’ll be passing out before I even lose control.

You are missing the point of my argument and in fact, you are exactly the person that has a faulty understanding of how one gets drunk or stoned and the amounts it takes (of either substance).

30 Joseph Spurgeon May 22, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Deal Nate: I am on the summer break and have not signed the covenant yet for the next semester. I don’t usually drink during the semester breaks either but we can meet up somewhere convienent for both of us. For every can of beer I drink, you will smoke one joint. We will see which one is under the influence first. Make sure you bring your potato chips ;)

31 Nate May 22, 2014 at 5:22 pm

LOL Joseph… So now it’s one joint per beer. Trying to enhance your odds I see. Re-read your comment, you said one toke per beer. Have a nice vacation.

32 Moz May 22, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Nate,

“There is no legitimate argument against limited pot use if one tolerates drinking.”

My brother, this seems to be an emotional appeal aimed at making someone feel as though they need to oppose alcohol, otherwise they’ll be defenseless when it comes to pot.

In fact, there may be many such arguments! Let me try out a few:

1) It may be the case that medical studies reveal negative effects on the body from limited pot use that are not found in limited alcohol intake.
2) It may be the case that while drinking without getting drunk is reasonably easy to do, it is not as easy with cannabis intake.
3) It could be argued that many Christians find moderate alcohol consumption to be no violation of scripture or conscience, while they find cannabis to violate their conscience. This would be an argument from conscience, but I fail to see why it would be illegitimate. We are, after all, talking about religious conviction!
4) An argument from church history could be made for moderate alcohol consumption that is not possible to construct for cannabis consumption.

I’m not arguing for alcohol or cannabis. I consume neither. Caffeine is my drug of choice. Nevertheless, I hope to have shown why your assertion wrong.

Peace and love,
Moz

33 Nate May 22, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Moz, I understand your points, but I could offer counter-points on every one.

1. You also don’t know if you are inclined genetically to alcohol abuse and there is no way to know until after you are hooked. And there are more fatal car accidents, health-related issues from alcohol than anything you can find on pot.
2. I will have to respectfully disagree and say you probably never smoked pot or you would understand this is not a readily assured as you think
3. It is not illegal anymore and that argument could be used against any item that has a chance to hurt ones physical or mental health (candies, cakes, fast food, taking pain medications too often, etc.) See Paul in Romans and religious liberty arguments in favor of those who want to toke.
4. This is only because it wasn’t around. Can’t argue from silence.

As Jared notes, in 50 years it might be so normalized that one might forget that whiskey wasn’t around in biblical times either and actually has only been around for the last 300 years or so. Times change.

But, I’m not arguing for or against pot use. I’m arguing that those who drink have no legitimate argument to exclude smoking pot from a person’s personal conscience and freedom. Therefore, “what’s good for the goose.”

34 volfan007 May 22, 2014 at 5:20 pm

I will have to agree with Nate about #2. I used to drink alcohol, and I used to smoke weed. I could smoke weed, and still be able to function a whole lot better than after drinking alcohol.

It’s just a shame that people have to look to things like weed and liquor to try to feel good…..the life that Jesus gives us, and that the Holy Spirit gives us, is so, so, so much better.

David

35 Tarheel May 22, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Volfan,

Are you saying that one glass of wine or a single beer would incapacitate you MORE than joints?

36 Les Prouty May 22, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Tarheel,

I’ve done both. Pot is easily more intoxicating more quickly for most people.

37 Tarheel May 22, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Yea, that’s what I thought.

38 Moz May 22, 2014 at 5:46 pm

I fear you’e missed the point of #2. I said “It may be the case that while drinking without getting drunk is reasonably easy to do, it is not as easy with cannabis intake.” I am not saying it is, but rather, that a case *could be* made (see the “may be the case”) regarding the relative incapacitating effects of pot v. alcohol.

All of this to Nate’s point that believing in the occasional use of alcohol somehow commits one to also condoning the occasional use of pot. I do not think that is the case.

Peace and love,
Moz

39 volfan007 May 22, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Tarheel,

Yes, I functioned much better after smoking weed, than when I drank alcohol…..much better. Maybe it was just me, but I did.

David

40 Chris Roberts May 22, 2014 at 7:31 pm

I’ve done both. Long time since I’ve done marijuana, but I remember its effects being strong and rapid. Alcohol, not so long ago (assuming last night isn’t a long time ago). Enjoyed a glass of wine at the end of the day, didn’t get so much as a buzz.

41 volfan007 May 22, 2014 at 7:38 pm

I don’t drink hooch, and I don’t smoke weed, anymore; and I enjoy life without them. I don’t need alcohol, anymore. I don’t need weed, anymore. I have life in Jesus. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is much, much, much better than whiskey, wine, beer, or weed.

David

42 Chris Roberts May 22, 2014 at 7:42 pm

David,

I trust you also avoid candy, ice cream, or any other of life’s little enjoyments since, hey, you have the Spirit, what more do you need?

43 volfan007 May 22, 2014 at 7:48 pm

I enjoy candy and cake and all sorts of good things to eat. I no longer have to get HIGH on alcohol or weed, anymore….which is why people drink and smoke the stuff…..because, I’m filled with God’s Spirit. So, why would I want to trust in the artificial, which can hurt my life, when I have the real thing, which gives me real life?

44 Tarheel May 22, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Vol,

How much beer did you drink? I’m not talking about comparing being drunk with being high….I’m talking bout a non intoxicating – non buzz alcohol consumption….Versus moderate pot use…

Isn’t it impossible to toke without getting high. I know it’s possible to enjoy alcohol without buzzing or getting drunk.

Also, I think your making a fallacious argument that because someone chooses to enjoy non intoxicating amounts of alcohol that they somehow don’t enjoy the same full life in Jesus that you do and are trying to fill a void with booze. I just don’t think that’s necessarily true.

45 volfan007 May 22, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Tarheel,

I just choose to not drink something that the Bible calls foolish, and that can bite me like a poisonous snake….and hurt my life.

David

46 Tarheel May 22, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Doesn’t the bible say it’s foolish to be controlled by it?

47 Adam G. in NC May 23, 2014 at 1:02 am

As someone who has smoked enough dope to fill your church and drank enough alcohol to float it, I’ll say this… give a newbie a Bud and he’ll have a little buzz…same with pot. Let them get some experience and their tolerance will increase, but not on the same levels.

Generally speaking, someone who smokes “moderately” will need more than a toke-or-two to catch a buzz of any sort.

I’m not a teetotaler, and alcohol and marijuana BOTH have medicinal value, but they both get their popularity from killing brain cells.

48 Moz May 22, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Nate,

(1) I am not sure how you’ve addressed the possibility for an argument of dis-analogy between pot and alcohol based upon comparative studies on limited use. What I said has nothing to do with one’s genetic disposition to either pot or alcohol.
(2) Comparing experiences having smoked “pot” is pointless. As I’m sure you know, since pot is not regulated, there is no way to know how similar the substances we experienced actually are. There are countless types of pot with a wide variety of drug levels, names, etc. My point is that Christians may argue for the casual usage of alcohol on the basis that it can be consumed without drunkenness, while such a strategy may be harder to achieve with pot. Thus, drinking alcohol is not necessarily the same as consuming pot. All of this against your original point I quoted above.
(3) My point has nothing to do with legality. Not sure why you bring this up. My point is about conscience.
(4) It was around. Do some research. I’m not arguing from silence but on the basis of what the Bible says positively about some alcohol usage. Again, I’m saying an argument *can be made* where you said it cannot.

Again, you keep saying “those who drink have no legitimate argument to exclude smoking pot from a personal personal conscience and freedom.” That, I would suggest, is simply not true. I’ve mentioned several arguments that could be made. There are undoubtedly others. In addition, your final comment ignores the point I made that a persons conscience IS itself an argument for not smoking pot, even if you drink.

Peace and love,
Moz

49 Nate May 22, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Moz,

1. If you don’t think there are medical issues from drinking, then I’m totally missing your point. I agree there may be some from pot usage as well, but you can’t argue against pot when it is perfectly clear that THERE ARE negative medical issues from alcohol consumption.
2. You were the one who suggested it is more easy to become intoxicated by pot than by alcohol. I merely inferred that you may not be accurate on that. Where is your scientific research to back your argument. Granted, I gave a personal perspective, but you gave nothing but your opinion to the contrary.
3. My point about legality is that, now that pot is legal, there is no biblical warrant against it, whereas prior, because of Romans 13, etc. Christians should not knowingly break laws. As for individuals conscience’s, that is up to the individual. At least that’s what those who use alcohol constantly come back to. Now, with pot being legal, it’s an apples-to-apples argument.
4. You brought up church history. I brought up that whiskey (not wine or beer – because that’s all there was at the time of the OT and NT) was not around until 300 years ago, so that is a poor argument. Just because some food or stimulant (coffee for example) hasn’t been written about in the bible doesn’t give it (alcohol) credence over another substance that has been discovered or used since.

Your personal conscience is fine for you to “personally” refrain from smoking pot or to choose to drink. I never argued that one’s personal choices weren’t valid. What I said was if your personal choice allows you to drink, but not smoke, then don’t force your personal conscience on me. This is my argument. This is what those who drink want to do. They want to drink and then categorically deny others the ability to smoke. They had an argument (when it was illegal). Their argument is gone.

It is hypocritical (in my opinion) to allow church leaders to use one legal intoxicating beverage and disallow church leaders at the same time another legal intoxicating plant. Just my rant. I personally don’t think church leaders should drink or smoke so as to allow them to be above reproach.

Have a good evening

50 Tarheel May 22, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Moz,

I would add to number one that there are numerous noted heath benefits to limited alcohol consumption.

51 Moz May 22, 2014 at 5:44 pm

What I said was “It may be the case that medical studies reveal negative effects on the body from limited pot use that are not found in limited alcohol intake.”

This means negative effects would NOT be found in limited alcohol intake. This says nothing about any positive benefits of alcohol.

I don’t disagree.

Peace and love,
Moz

52 Tim B May 22, 2014 at 9:49 pm

The WHO says that worldwide one person dies from alcohol every ten seconds. http://news.yahoo.com/alcohol-kills-one-person-every-10-seconds-worldwide-131403384.html

53 William Thornton May 22, 2014 at 5:08 pm

I’m not in favor of pot consumption but what are the arguments against its legality that distinguish it from the legality of alcohol consumption?

54 Les Prouty May 22, 2014 at 5:35 pm

William,

I drink in moderation. Have for many years. I haven’t smoked pot since the 1970s. I think this is not an easy issue to sort through at all. Alcohol seems pretty clear as not sinful in and of itself as Christians worldwide for millennia have believed and practiced based on biblical interpretation. I think that is correct.

Pot, that’s not as easy. I think the TGC link I provided earlier is a good start to explore it.

I’m off to see the Cardinals beat the Diamondbacks. Probably will have a Bud and I’ll be thinking about y’all.

Cheers!

55 Tarheel May 22, 2014 at 5:41 pm

I hate the cardinals…hate them!

I can think of no softer way to articulate my feelings on that matter.

Almost as disgusting to me as the Bronx cheaters, I mean New York Yankees.

56 D. L. Payton May 22, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Tarheel
You hate my Cardinals!! In the words of our blog moderator, LIBERAL!!….. In the words of Joseph McCarthy COMMUNIST…..

Do you also steel candy from babies? Do you kick little warm puppies? ;-) :-) ;-)

(I was going to say in the words of Rick Patrick CALVINIST, but I thought better) :-) again

57 Tarheel May 22, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Les,

I guess I need to understand that a high church dude like yourself would naturally gravitate toward “cardinals”.

I’ll pray for you…..The Cardinals? really?! … And to think all this time I considered you to be elect!

58 volfan007 May 22, 2014 at 7:27 pm

DL and Les,

I am a HUGE Cardinals fan. My Dad is a huge Cardinals fan, and has been since he was a little boy. I grew up listening to the Cardinals on the radio….Jack Buck and Mike Shannon.

Go Cards!

David

59 Les Prouty May 22, 2014 at 7:50 pm

Vol and DL, jack started attending my PCA church years ago and he made a profession of faith. His funeral was at our church. Our pastor did a beautiful job with it and many notable past and present were there for the gospel presentation I’m the sermon.

60 Ben Coleman May 22, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Do you kick little warm puppies?

I can’t see where kicking little cold puppies would be any better.

61 D. L. Payton May 22, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Volfan
I can remember going to games in the old Sportsman Park. In fact I can remember the St. Louis Browns

62 SVMuschany May 22, 2014 at 9:05 pm

As someone who is St Louis Born, St Louis breed, and (God willing if I move back) one day St Louis dead, I can say there is not much better than watching a Cardinals game live.

That said getting sort of back on topic. As some of us seem to be life long (or at least dedicated current) Cardinal fans, how much ministry could we have done had we not been watching/caring about Cardinals games? If one of the argument against alcohol is why use it to “feel good” when you could have God, THEN I ask why have “fun” watching Cardinals games (or your team of choice) when you could be “having fun” glorifying God?

But you can go to a Cardinals game and still glorify God, you might say. I would argue that one can glorify God and still drink alcohol in moderation. Indeed, at the Last Supper, did not Jesus share wine with His disciples? Could not, say a pastor, share a bottle of wine with a family or two with a nice dinner and fellowship together? Would there be anything dishonoring to God for that to happen?

But what would others think, you might say? And respond that there are those who think that Christians should not participate in, go to, or support sports teams because they distract from the Ministry. Why do we not do as they ask? Why are we willing to become a stumbling block for this group of people? Does it matter how big or small these groups are? At what point does a group’s concerns become silly and not a potential stumbling block?

Could I dare suggest that people who “hate” alcohol consumption (almost) always will. And those who believe in moderation (almost) always will.

63 dr. james willingham May 22, 2014 at 9:25 pm

D.L.: You should have called Tarheel a Traditionalist, but I suspect even RIck might disdain that.

64 Tarheel May 22, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Dr. JW

Why you gotta curse me? ;-)

If he’d called me that…I’d have been tempted to say something children and teens often say….

“Yo mama”. ;-)

But thankfully I didn’t have to do that. ;-)

65 Les Prouty May 22, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Cards have come back to take the lead in bottom 8. BTW I posted a selfie gone bad with my wife on Twitter and Face book. @haitiorphanproj

66 volfan007 May 22, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Les,

I’m watching the game. It’s on TV. It’s been a great game.

David

67 Les Prouty May 23, 2014 at 9:21 am

Tarheel,

“I guess I need to understand that a high church dude like yourself would naturally gravitate toward “cardinals”.”

High church? Whatever in the world would make you think that? And I contend if one is truly elect, one would be a Cards fan anyway. Besides, the two teams with the most World Series trophies are the Yanks first and the Cards second. Now honestly, how can a Christian be for the Yanks?!

68 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 9:36 am

Gee, I don’t know – ask a Yankee fan – I think Miller Is one.

We will talk in “Choptober”. GO BRAVES!

69 Les Prouty May 23, 2014 at 9:40 am

Tarheel,

“We will talk in “Choptober”. GO BRAVES!”

Didn’t you mean “Choketober?”

Mr. Miller is the exception that proves the rule.

70 D. L. Payton May 23, 2014 at 9:50 am

Dr JW
No, Tarheel seems like a stand up guy. I like him too much to call him a “traditionalist”. However, one more remark about the Red Birds and I may forget that.

P.S. Tarheel I would rather you talk about Mom than the Cards :-)

71 D. L. Payton May 23, 2014 at 9:55 am

Les said

“if one is truly elect he would be a Cards fan”

Almost thou persuadest me to be a Calvinist.

72 Les Prouty May 23, 2014 at 10:08 am

In all seriousness, would that everyone would be a Cards fan. :) Ok, well some seriousness.

Now in all seriousness, do you all know that Cardinals manager and former catcher Mike Matheny is a believer and makes no bones about it? Check this out. http://mikematheny.com/mikes-blog/faith-coaching

I’m thankful God has brought a truly humble servant of His (and a good coach) to such a prominent place in the sports world.

Now, back to Yankee bashing. :)

73 D. L. Payton May 23, 2014 at 10:55 am

Les
Yes! There have been several believers on the team since at least 83. Some have been rather outspoken. I am sure you remember The Oz making a negative comment about the lack of competitiveness. He did later apologize, sincerely IMO

74 D. L. Payton May 22, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Les
Where is “Moderation”…I must go there sometime :-)

Ok Ok So it was a lousy play on words.

75 D. L. Payton May 22, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Les
Enjoy the game, wish i could be there. I do miss St. Louis and the Cards
2 1/2 games out this morning..coming up!

76 Les Prouty May 22, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Boys I’m at Busch Stadium now. There’s nothing quite like it.

77 volfan007 May 22, 2014 at 7:28 pm

The Cards always start slow….it’s almost like they wait until the weather gets warmer before they start playing ball.

78 D. L. Payton May 22, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Les
I am so envious. Eat a Bratwurst for me.

79 Tarheel May 22, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Envy is a sin….especially when one is envious of the cardinals!

Les, I know something that goes really well with bratwurst!

…..French fries. (What were y’all thinking?) ;-)

80 Mark Lamprecht May 22, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Nate, Joseph is correct. While I’m not going to jump into this debate on either side, I want to offer some research on the two-wine theory concerning the strength of alcohol then vs. now.

81 Nate May 22, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Mark, if you read my reply I said there was no distilled liquor in biblical times, and there wasn’t. So Jesus wasn’t doing vodka shots. Also, there is plenty of evidence that typical daily wine was watered down before consumption. And, like Joseph, you are missing my point that people who drink now want to condemn those who want to toke. That is my main point. I don’t think those who drink will have any argument to tell those who want to smoke that they can’t.

82 parsonsmike May 22, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Jared [and anyone],

last paragraph:
I wish that believers would desperately hold on to truth as dictated by God’s Word, instead of allowing culture to dictate it for them. God’s Word is unchanging, and so our faith should be unchanging. I tremble at what the Christian faith might look like in a handful of decades. The trajectory suggests that there might be little difference between the church and the world, even though God and his Word have not changed. – See more at: http://sbcvoices.com/the-faith-in-fifty-years-alcohol-marijuana-and-homosexuality/#comments

Part of the problem in thinking about what the church might LOOK like then is in how we look at the church today. We see what we want to see and ignore [I am speaking generally] the sins of society that already invaded our congregations and made us look like the world. i am including all evangelicals in this. We are silent as a group, for the most part, on sexual sin [including adultery, sex before/outside marriage, pornography among others], idol worship [including celebrity worship, sports, materialism, etc.], gambling [online, football pools, Las Vegas or other places, whatever] and other societal ills that escape me at the moment.

But even worse than those, at least somewhat, is all the ‘saved’ members on our rolls who never come to church or only at Easter and Christmas. It indicates we have done a very poor job of discerning to whom we give the right hand of fellowship. But this problem is only a tip of the iceberg, for if we are filling our churches with many non-believers [not all leave, some stay] then when we are faced with the choice [as churches] to stand for or against the prevailing cultural winds, what do we imagine the non-believers will choose? The World!

So we either do what we can now to trim our tree or it will be trimmed for us.

83 dr. james willingham May 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Thought you all might like to know that a Baptist preacher developed the process for making Bourbon Whiskey in Kentucky. They even have a statue of him (in bronze, I think). Before Baptists became teetotalers, they used wine in the Lord’s Supper and practiced church discipline. One church took 10 years before they finally churched a fellow for drunkenness. They were willing to labor long with him. After we adopted total abstinence church discipline declined, and we had real problems with alcohol. I remember a deacon, about 48 years ago, who took one of one teenagers out on a fishing trip with a six pack. The other deacons were more upset with the theology that I was preaching which was actually set forth in their church minutes, discussed in a history of Missouri Baptists, and advocated by the founding pastor. Give you a guess as to what I was preaching. You will likely be right on the first try.

I talked with members of churches which remember the member who was appointed to secure the wine for communion, one church which dated from 1814 and was the home church of the first missionary to China. They still used wine well into the 20th century (it was from 2004-2008 that I was a member there and attended the Senior Men’s Class.

84 Les Prouty May 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm

FYI,

This is a pretty, and not long, article on marijuana use by Christians and the alcohol comparison.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/article/is-recreational-marijuana-use-a-sin/

85 William Thornton May 22, 2014 at 5:13 pm

Exactly what truth does the Bible dictate relative to alcohol consumption, practiced by billions of Christians over the last two millennia, and cannabis use, unmentioned in Scripture? You haven’t made a Biblical case. Why not do it?

86 Clark May 22, 2014 at 6:55 pm

I knew a guy, close friend, but not ME, who was at one time given to both wine (Mateus Rose for instance) and weed. You really can’t compare them, I could be rendered stoned pretty quickly, I mean not me, the other guy; from grass. But I would be rendered unable to drive or walk a straight-line, Not that I did this you understand, quicker with wine. BUT THAT WASN’T HIS POINT!

87 cb scott May 22, 2014 at 9:05 pm

If I am alive in 50 years I pray I will still declare that booze and dope are bad and booze is the gateway drug for addiction and it kills more children than all illegal drugs combined.

If I am alive in 50 years I pray I will still declare that homosexuality is a sin and heterosexual sex outside of marriage is sin. I will also say that preachers are hypocrites who rail against homosexuality and turn their heads to heterosexual sin in their churches and say nothing about the adultery going on among their membership.

If I am alive in 50 years I pray I will still be saying a lot of things if God allows me a voice. However, the main thing I hope and pray I maintain is that salvation is in Christ and Christ alone and that men, women, boys, and girls must repent of sin and believe the biblical gospel to become children of God.

If I am not alive in 50 years, I pray that I will have finished well for Jesus and my family will remember me as a man of conviction, grit, and steel and a man who followed Jesus to the death. And the devil can take the hindmost parts with the rest of it.

88 dr. james willingham May 22, 2014 at 9:30 pm

CB: We shall all, very likely, be pushing up daisies after expiring in a concentration camp founded for those who can’t go along with such political correctness. They will find, when they put us there, that we can’t change our minds on the issue (due to the word of God written), and so the next step will be taken: extermination, probably by the gas chambers as the most economically efficient just as Hitler’s outfit thought.

89 cb scott May 22, 2014 at 9:45 pm

James,

It is also my prayer that I shall be able to still be able to fight, to some degree, even in my old age and that I will die fighting rather than go passively into the night. God granted me in my DNA an unnatural hand-eye coordination and quickness that kept me in the game and made me a good living in the early years and has served me well when necessary in the latter, even after becoming a believer.

Therefore, if such comes to pass as you predict, I pray I go down hard and still capable to protect those who count on me as long as I can stand.

90 Joseph Spurgeon May 22, 2014 at 11:00 pm

And when you stand before Jesus will you tell him that you were holier than He because your lips did not taste alcohol?

91 Volfan007 May 22, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Joseph,

I will tell Him, “thank You, Lord, for saving a sinner like me. Thank you for loving someone like me.”

David

92 cb scott May 23, 2014 at 8:28 am

Yep. . . . and with head down and on bended knees. For we shall be there only by His grace and His grace alone.

93 Joseph Spurgeon May 23, 2014 at 11:07 am

That sounds really pious to say but your preaching here condemning all alcohol as sinful seems to say something else. Was Jesus wrong to drink wine? Did He encourage others to sin when he turned water into wine at the end of the wedding celebration when typically everyone had already had enough to drink and thus they usually brought out the watered down bad stuff?

94 Greg Harvey May 23, 2014 at 11:11 am

Piety has nothing to do with consumption of alcohol or the lack thereof. Impiety can occur, though, through the consumption of alcohol. Which I believe is a valid point to make.

95 Volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Joseph, are you saying that Jesus contributed to the drunkenness of the crowd by making them more fermented wine after they had already been drinking a lot? Are you saying that Jesus participated in a drunken wedding party? Whenever being drunk on fermented wine is clearly sinful?

96 Tarheel May 22, 2014 at 9:10 pm

If you’re alive in 50 years …. Is that even possible? ;-)

97 volfan007 May 22, 2014 at 9:13 pm

:)

uh oh.

David

98 cb scott May 22, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Well, Tarheel, my dear,

Some folks say it was a miracle that I lived through the first 20 . . . and there were some folks who did all they could to make sure I didn’t. However, by the grace of God I am still here. Signed, sealed, and delivered, I yours, baby!!! ;-)

99 Tarheel May 22, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Lol. Good response. :-)

100 Dean Stewart May 22, 2014 at 9:15 pm

I hate alcohol. I hate how it has destroyed families. I hate that moms and dads have had to raise children because the other spouse wasn’t around because of alcohol. I hate how it has cost certain men I know their livelihood. I hate that I have had to attend funerals caused by drunken drivers. I hate what it did to Noah. I hate what it cost Lot. I hate what it caused to happen to Vashti. I hate how after the first night with alcohol some people will never be the same. I hate that our convention used to stand against alcohol but now we seem to be more comfortable making fun of people who hate alcohol. I have been with a few men who died because of the abuse of alcohol. They all said the same thing, “I wish I had never touched alcohol.” I’m waiting on my first experience with a person dying who says I wish I had one more swallow of beer. I hate alcohol and I don’t care if I am the only one in the SBC who feels this way.

101 cb scott May 22, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Stay strong, Dean Stewart.

You are not alone.

102 volfan007 May 22, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Dean,

Amen….also, I would NOT want to be a Pastor, who causes someone to become a drunk. Some people can just drink one drink, and become addicted to alcohol. I sure would NOT want to be the one, who caused a person to go down the drain of drunkenness.

David

103 dr. james willingham May 22, 2014 at 9:34 pm

The one reason I approve of abstinence in social settings is that there are people who will be adversely influenced. So I don’t make it a practice to drink, and I treat it, for the most part, as a medicine. However, it is a thought that when we had wine in the Lord’s Supper and few rules (except for drunkenness), we had church discipline and better behaved church members. Without church discipline, grape juice and all the rules in the world against drink don’t mean squat.

104 Andy May 22, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Dean,

My 63 yr old father, who got his schooling in a few independent baptist colleges, including Bob Jones, feels exactly the same way after having his younger brother killed in a drunk driving accident…and even more so now that he is dealing with his own son, MY younger brother making poor life decisions because of alcohol consumption.

BUT…He would still defend a Christian’s liberty to drink with moderation based on the biblical arguments. He simply doesn’t think a position of condemning all alchohol as sinful is defensible.

105 Jess May 22, 2014 at 9:33 pm

I think if everyone had a joint in their mouth and a bottle in their hand there would be no racism. How else can a pastor cope with today’s congregations. Seriously, you would be surprised how many church members who smoke weed and drink alcohol. You would be surprised how many church members are addicted to pain killers and are on heroin.

We are in the middle of an epidemic. I would like you to think about something here. If the divorce rate for Christians is almost as high as the divorce rate for non-believers, what would make one think there is not a drug problem or alcohol problem in the churches.

Sometimes the one who can yell Amen the loudest are the ones with the biggest problems. Someone is to blame. As a pastor I claim part of the responsibility for not taking a strong enough stance against these evils.

106 cb scott May 22, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Jess,

Something you stated in your comment sounds a loud bell that needs to be heard in the evangelical world.

First let me state that I am against alcohol and illegal drugs. However, some of us who are against such and proclaim it well are silent about the abuse of legal drugs by church members.

Too many gray-haired WMU ladies are addicted to drugs they are getting and eating like candy from immoral doctors who write “script” all day long in their downtown offices.

Drug abuse is killing a lot of church folks before their time and ruining what could be productive lives of people in their 40s-70s.

107 Tim G May 23, 2014 at 12:29 am

Amen to that. CB! Amen!

108 Bill Mercer May 23, 2014 at 7:06 am

Deuteronomy 14:26. “Enjoy”. :)

109 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 9:32 am

volfan,

I just choose to not drink something that the Bible calls foolish, and that can bite me like a poisonous snake….and hurt my life.”

Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

Wine [is] a mocker, strong drink [is] raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

ESV – led astray
KJV – deceived thereby

I’m not Hebrew expert – but according to STRONGS – The Hebrew there (led astray) implies to be intoxicated…It does not mean to merely consume is foolish. It’s a warning against drunkenness because drunk people do foolish stuff. (Like fighting and brawling).

110 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 10:21 am

Wine is a mocker. It’ll make a fool out of you.

Strong drink is raging. It’ll lead people to act violently.

Also, Proverbs 23 talks about how fermented wine can bite like a poisonous snake. It’s nothing to be playing around with…..wisdom should tell us that.

I’ve had cops to tell me that 95% of all crimes were either alcohol or drug related.

I’ve seen too many marriages destroyed by alcohol and drugs.

I’ve seen children neglected and harmed, because of alcohol and drugs.

Thus, I choose to not participate in something that the Bible calls foolish, and that can get a hold on me, and take me down. I already struggle with too many fleshly sins and worldliness, as it is. Why would I want to add something else to deal with….that could hurt my walk with Christ….and, could possibly lead others down a terrible road of shame and regret and ruin?

No thanks. I’ll pass on the moonshine….which I’ve drunk before, in the past….and, it kicks like a mule.

So, just buy me a cherry coke, please.

David

111 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 10:49 am

volfan,

I understand what you’re saying. It’s a personal conscience conviction for you. You’ve outlined the foolishness (and sinfulness) of alcohol consumption for yourself – as it violates your conscience and freedom.

Others have outlined how moderate consumption does not violate their conscience is not foolish, and is not sinful for them.

I extend grace to honor you with regard to your personal position and conviction. Will you extend grace and accept that some other believers have personal conscience freedom that you don’t have?

112 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 10:55 am

Tarheel,

I think it’s foolish for anyone to mess around with something like alcohol and drugs. You, me, the next door neighbor, and the people in our congregation. It’s playing with fire.

It’s a SIN to be drunk on alcohol. That’s very clear in the Scriptures.

DAvid

113 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 10:59 am

BTW, most of the people that I know, who drink in “moderation,” really don’t. They talk like they do….but usually, the high from liquor is what they’re shooting for. They want to get high on liquor….just as people want to get high on weed, or meth, or heroin.

Also, save some money….be a better steward of God’s money…. buy a soft drink for $2, rather than some drink for $10. Good grief, who has the money to drink hooch? At the ballgames, it’s like $8 to $12 for a beer….at restaurants, the prices of hooch and wine is extremely high….per drink! No free refills.

114 Joseph Spurgeon May 23, 2014 at 11:01 am

“I extend grace to honor you with regard to your personal position and conviction. Will you extend grace and accept that some other believers have personal conscience freedom that you don’t have? ”

So I guess the answer to your question there Tarheel is no.

115 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 11:05 am

Joseph,

What you and Tarheel choose to do is between yall and God. I still think it’s foolish for anyone to play around with something as powerful and potentially harmful as alcohol. I think it’s completely foolish for someone to make the choice to drink something that has ruined many, many people. I think you’re playing with fire. But, of course, that’s your choice.

So, I extend grace to everyone. Who am I? I’m just a sinner saved by the grace of God. I’m no better than anyone else in this world. But, I still think the Bible teaches that drinking fermented wine is foolish, and getting drunk(high, tipsy) on fermented wine is a sin against God.

David

116 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 11:05 am

Yes, it seems so, Joseph.

117 Les Prouty May 23, 2014 at 11:08 am

Vol,

Man I don’t know who you associate with to see people wanting to get buzzed on drink. But my experience over the last 25 years or so is just not that at all. I have known and know many believers who love Jesus and also enjoy a couple beers or glasses of wine or sipping some scotch or bourbon of whatever. None of them wants to get buzzed or drunk. They just enjoy it like you enjoy a cherry coke. Nothing modem nothing less.

I will say this. I’m 56 years old and have been around Southern Baptists, PCA folks, E Free folks, etc. Way the vast majority of all these groups…the people under about 35 socially drink, not to drunkenness. I mean Southern Baptists too.

Jared is right. Alcohol will be absolutely acceptable. It already is for many, many SB younger Christians and quite a few older ones too.

I know it’s difficult, but the sooner Southern Baptists gave this and IMO embrace it (assuming you’re not of the conviction that all alcohol consumption is a sin in which case you’ll never embrace it), the sooner SB will curb the losses to non denominational and E Free type churches where this is no issue at all.

118 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 11:09 am

“BTW, most of the people that I know, who drink in “moderation,” really don’t. They talk like they do….but usually, the high from liquor is what they’re shooting for. They want to get high on liquor….just as people want to get high on weed, or meth, or heroin.”

Wow, I’m sorry to hear that.

Please don’t however assume that’s true for others.

119 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 11:15 am

If you’re not wanting to get high, then why drink it? You can drink other things….without the alcohol….that’s just as good, or better tasting? Why spend so much more money to add alcohol to the drink? It’s to get that high feeling.

Please don’t tell me that you like the way alcohol tastes so much that you’re willing to spend the extra amount of money to have it. lol. Besides, alcohol is an acquired taste…man, who naturally likes to drink something that’s fermented? It’s definitely something that you have to acquire a taste for….so, why? Why do it? To fit in with the worldly, drinking crowd? to get a high?
Let’s be honest, here…..why drink the stuff? What’s the point?

120 Nate May 23, 2014 at 11:56 am

And now, in Colorado and Washington (and soon to be everywhere) you will be extending grace to those who want to smoke pot, correct? If not, then you will have no logical grounds to stand upon. Each substance can lead to intoxication. Each substance is now legal. Each substance is a personal choice of conscience. And each substance intoxicates people at differing rates, depending on gender, weight, etc. Who’s to say how much is too much?

I agree with the overall sense of your statement. But for church leaders (pastors and deacons) and even Sunday School teachers, who now imbibe and also do a few bong hits when they get off work, what will the image and the influence be on the next generation.

Each church will have some interesting conversations concerning this, but it will be hypocritical (in my opinion) to allow leaders to drink and not to smoke. And I think the younger generation will see that implicitly.

121 Joseph Spurgeon May 23, 2014 at 11:04 am

Deuteronomy 14:26 Y ou may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household.

Wait a minute God tells his people to buy wine or strong drink and celebrate before him and yet all these prohibition Christians led by the progressive liberals and feminists now want to argue that all drinking is a sin. I respect the freedom and right of people to not want to drink and to even think it is foolish for themselves to do so but I do not respect pharisees who claim to be more righteous than Jesus or God.

122 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 11:10 am

Joseph,

We’ve been thru these discussions more than anyone can remember on these blogs. Maybe you’re new to the blogs? Maybe you’ve missed all the discussions we’ve had in the past? But, here’s what you can read that pretty well sums up that verse….

http://gulfcoastpastor.blogspot.com/2011/08/deuteronomy-1426-does-it-commend.html

123 Joseph Spurgeon May 23, 2014 at 11:17 am

That was horrible exegesis. These guys go through the bible and everywhere alcohol is mentioned in bad terms they say look there all alcohol is evil but when the bible says positive things about alcohol they become gold medalists in hermeneutical gymnastics. They get out the fine stainless steel strainer to get the gnat out the soup while leaving the giant welch’s grape juice bottle in the middle of it.

124 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 11:20 am

Joseph,

We could say the same about you, and the one’s, who try to glorify drinking hooch….to make it look like God wants us to get high on the juice.

David

125 Joseph Spurgeon May 23, 2014 at 11:26 am

I have never glorified hooch nor have I argued that God wants us to get drunk. But you know noone would ever be a glutton if they just didn’t take the first bite.

126 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 11:33 am

The Bible doesn’t teach that we shouldn’t eat food. Nor does the Bible teach that we shouldn’t eat until we’re full. And, the bible tells us to eat cheeseburgers and pork chops….that it’s fine….absolutely fine to eat good food until we’re full.

Now, gorging ourselves, and continuing to eat past being full….that’s another matter.

David

127 Greg Harvey May 23, 2014 at 11:40 am

Fact: a sizable majority of Southern Baptists view consumption of alcohol as sin whether or not the Bible teaches that it is sin. Most would be more convincing if they constructed the argument as being based on wisdom rather than claiming authority through collection of voting to systematize prohibition.

Fact: none of them have any interest in doing that and will rail right up to the line and accuse opposition of supporting people getting drunk.

Fact: it’s of the same kind of thing as the Pharisees did and Jesus directly condemned them for their lack of faith that led to similar behavior.

Fact: But Southern Baptists who are doing it are doing it due to a fervent belief that alcohol is wrong and it is roughly equivalent to the eating of meat sacrificed to idols and Paul’s rather famous compromise that required both parties to respect the others as believers.

Now I stated those as facts, but if you were to say they were just my observations it wouldn’t hurt my feelings. I would feel respected.

128 Nate May 23, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Greg,

I don’t think you are entirely off base, but I do think, at the root of many churches, it is a matter of wisdom. It may come across as running scared of the issue, but I do think it boils down to wisdom. The reason I say this is that all the SBC churches that I have been in have never told the members they could not drink. They merely said if you serve in a leadership position you need to refrain. This is a very different thing, in my opinion, then a church that would tell all members they must not drink.

All our Seminaries, by the way, ask students to sign pledges stating they won’t drink, smoke (cigarettes), or do illegal drugs while in school. Again, this isn’t a unilateral position for every believer. So, I think that 1 Timothy 3 speaks to this (to a degree) and many churches simply ask leaders to refrain.

129 Les Prouty May 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Nate,

Do many SN churches still have membership covenants? I remember years ago a SB church where I served that had one. It read something like this:

‘‘to abstain from the sale of, and use of, destructive drugs or intoxicating drinks as a beverage”

I remember a man who was the son of a present deacon (an older, long time deacon) who was nominated for deacon. He was rejected not because he drank. He didn’t. He worked for a distributor. He drove a beer truck.

Is this still common?

130 Nate May 23, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Les, sorry but I don’t know what a SN church is (going to assume you meant SB). However, I have been in quite a few churches that have membership classes that have expectations. While there is not a formal signing of a declaration, there are things that are expected of members: attending regularly, taking an active part, seeking to use their spiritual gift, etc. Churches must be diligent about church discipline (from a good standpoint) in these types of things, but that is another discussion.

The church I currently pastor has a membership class where we teach about our doctrines, beliefs, expectations, etc.

I also served in a church where a man was not asked to be a deacon (he was nominated) because he worked at a brewery, even though he did not personally drink. Not sure how common that sort of thing is, but it was discussed from a standpoint of the wisdom of others knowing he was a leader who worked for a brewery.

131 Les Prouty May 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Thanks Nate. Yep, SN was meant to be SB. Darn N right next to the B. I hunt and peck type.

Again, thanks.

132 Dean Stewart May 23, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Greg, I am afraid you have confused the words “fact” and “opinion.” Could you please share some resources showing that a “sizable majority” of Southern Baptist believe alcohol consumption is a sin and do so without the Bible?

You say “none” of those who are opposed to alcohol are interested in building their arguments on wisdom but rather simply accuse those who hold differing opinions of supporting people getting drunk. Is there not a single person in the entire SBC who is opposed to alcohol consumption and builds a case for this on wisdom?

You seem to say that those who believe drinking alcohol is sinful are devoid of faith and are equivalent to the Pharisees in Jesus’ day.

I hate alcohol. I hate it because of what I have seen it do. If one reads the Bible with an open mind they can see the disastrous results of alcohol use or abuse dozens if not hundreds of times. Belshazzar was feeling the effects of alcohol when he brought the sacred things of God out and defiled them. The Philistines were feeling the effects of wine when they made Samson dance a show for them and in doing so blasphemed God by praising Dagon their god not knowing that very night their lives would be required. I have yet to read in the Bible where the consumption of water played a part in people’s sinful behavior. Therefore a legitimate question is why drink alcohol at all?

The department of justice declares that 36% of all under correctional supervision in America were drinking when they committed their conviction offense. The assailant is drinking in 37% of all rapes and sexual assaults. Alcohol is a factor in 40% of all violent crimes. These are facts, just a few facts they offer.

I celebrate my Christian freedom as much as anyone. I am working through Galatians at this moment in time preparing a series of sermons celebrating that freedom. However, I can say without any hesitation to introduce alcohol to anyone you care about knowing its destructive influence on some is unwise.

133 Joseph Spurgeon May 23, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Satan always takes good things and distorts them. Sinners take God’s gifts and abuse them. Drunkeness, gluttony, greed, and sexual immorality are abuses of good things. Sinners do not know how to use God’s creation correctly. Be we have been saved, God has written His law in our hearts and therefor we should be able to use God’s gifts without abuse. Because there are people who are having sex outside of marriage does not mean that all sex is bad. I am not going to stop sleeping with my wife because there are people who cheat on their wives. I am not going to stop eating food because there are people who overeat or indulge. I am not going forgo using money altogether because the love of money leads to all kinds of evil. As Christians we have been freed from the bondage of sin. We have learned from Christ how to obey God and enjoy His gifts. Alcohol is no different. It is just a gift of God’s creation and as Christians we should teach people the proper use.

134 Dean Stewart May 23, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Joseph, more power to you brother. Bottoms up and have a good time. Tell’em I said hello down at the honkey tonk or liquor store. That is your freedom in Christ. I would never say drinking alcohol is a sin. However, I’m my Christian freedom I abstain. I also encourage others to do as well. As I teach God’s Word it is overwhelming how many disasters came upon people who were drinking alcohol. I just point out those events out as I preach through books of the Bible. But for what it’s worth you are not dealing in reality if you think only the lost abuse alcohol.

135 Greg Harvey May 23, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Dean:

Thanks for the feedback. My use of the term fact is more like a court-of-law kind of fact than a statistical fact. In my experience, I am aware of precisely ZERO Southern Baptists in leadership between the national Convention, the state conventions, and the entities that stands up to the prohibitionists and calls their behavior legalism. Precisely ZERO. Over some 40 years of interaction with the Convention through my parents (pastor/IMB missionary/LifeWay consultant/state convention official in various locations). I will note that I offered if you wish you could call my views observations. So I’ll improve your accusation of opinion to observation and essentially agree with you.

Your hatred of alcohol is entirely misplaced. People choose to drink. Alcohol is a mocker but it is the job of the person to recognize that and to avoid inebriation to the point of loss of reason and loss of control. That’s very much like blaming guns for killing people in my opinion though I will stipulate that a drunk with a gun largely is more dangerous (though probably less accurate) than a sober person with a gun…

I didn’t respond to the thread at first because I’m pretty bored with the conversation and especially the intransigence. Thank you for reminding me that I’d almost rather permit my co-religionists to ADD to the Bible than to discuss this issue…

…almost.

136 Dean Stewart May 23, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Greg, I’m sorry to have bored you. You pushed a hot button topic of mine and that is not alcohol. It is people acting like their experience is the experience of the entire convention. You have a perception of the convention but that is all. You used the word fact stating somethings that are absolutely unsubstantiated. That frustrates me.

As for me and alcohol, my hatred of alcohol in America is not displaced. It comes from three generations of alcoholics and dozens of lives ruined in my family including two suicides because of alcohol. You compare guns and alcohol. If that was logical then everything should be permissible for citizens to own. Hey, give me my weapon of Maas destruction they don’t kill, humans kill. Do you honestly fail to see the number of people whose lives are ruined by alcohol? Maybe you are comfortable in your freedom to introduce alcohol to your children and grandchildren. I am committed to pointing out the obvious, skidrow and our homeless shelters are full of people who at one time didnt have a drinking problem. Like you, I am bored, I am bored with some who have an elevated view of their spirituality because they drink. I have never taught abstinence as a rule but encourage it in the lives of people I love.

137 Nate May 23, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Greg, so what are you going to do with pot? I would have to assume that you will say the exact same thing, right? I think this post is far more about pot use (now that it’s legal) versus alcohol use.

138 Les Prouty May 23, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Nate, re pot and alcohol. I referenced yesterday an article at TGC. Not sure how many clicked over and read it. Here is a portion of the article:

Reasoning by analogy, we can determine that since it is sinful to become intoxicated by alcohol, it is sinful to become intoxicated by marijuana.

What Constitutes Intoxication?

The analogical argument against recreational marijuana use appears rather incontrovertible. However, the Bible prohibits drunkenness, it does not prohibit all uses of alcohol—even those for recreational purposes. A person can consume small quantities of alcohol without any intention of becoming intoxicated. Can a person consume small quantities of marijuana without any intention of becoming intoxicated?

To answer the question we must determine the average quantity of the drug—alcohol or marijuana—needed to produce the impaired state.

For alcohol, the unit of measure is the “standard drink,” that is any drink that contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol (about 0.6 fluid ounces or 1.2 tablespoons). A standard drink is conventionally defined as the alcohol content of 12 ounces of 5 percent-alcohol beer or 5 ounces of 12 percent-alcohol wine or an ounce and half (a shot) of 40 percent-alcohol (80-proof) spirits (hard liquor). In most U.S. states, the legally defined level of intoxication typically occurs, depending on pacing, after four drinks for an average-sized woman or five for an average-sized man.

For marijuana, however, a much lower dosage is needed to induce a state of intoxication. Studies show that intoxication occurs at the ingestion of less than 7 mg of THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana). That is approximately the equivalent to four puffs of a marijuana cigarette.

If the purpose of consuming the marijuana was for nourishment and taste, we would need to eat only an amount that would not cause the intoxicating effect – about 200 mg of marijuana leaves. In theory, then, it could be possible to ingest marijuana with no sinful intentions. But of course, in almost all cases, the recreational use of marijuana is done with the intention of achieving some level of intoxication. And if the intent of the recreational use of marijuana is to achieve some level of intoxication, then it is clearly a sinful motive and action.

Now I have said here and elsewhere the issue facing us Christians re alcohol and now pot as it becomes more widespread legal is not an easy one. The TGC article is for me a good place to start. But this is something we need to face.

That said, I don’t think it is as easy as you say, “but it will be hypocritical (in my opinion) to allow leaders to drink and not to smoke.”

Blessings brother.

139 Nate May 23, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Les,

I have not been writing in this entire post with a mindset that alcohol is evil or can’t be consumed by believer’s. I’ve consistently written from the standpoint that, if, one drinks they cannot tell a person who now wishes to partake in a legal plant, that they cannot.

Quite frankly, I don’t know anyone who carries around a breathalyzer and blows into it after each drink to make sure they are not over the limit. Do you?

So, the reality is that it is up to an individual to determine when they have reached the point of intoxication, that is, unless they are pulled over by a policeman. The same is true for smoking pot. It will be an individual’s conscience to guide them.

So yes, I think it is easy to say it will be hypocritical of Christians leaders who want to judge themselves in regards to drinking, but not allow others to judge themselves in regards to smoking pot.

But it is an interesting back and forth.

140 Les Prouty May 23, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Sorry Nate. I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. My point, actually the one I’m wrestling with, is the argument you are making that if we allow drink we cannot disallow smoke. Frankly, as I have said, it’s not an easy one. On either side of it. So I am researching what other smarter people have said.

Do you have any thoughts on the TGC quote as to the differences in pot and alcohol and their respective different effects?

141 Nate May 23, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Les,

I’ve only read a little on it and frankly, I’m not convinced of its accuracy. I say that from a perspective of not being saved until the age of 25 and having spent my teenage years in the 70′s smoking and drinking. I find it very hard to believe that 4 tokes is going to intoxicate somebody. Now, I have heard that the pot today is much stronger than the pot in the 60/70′s but that still seems very sketchy. Also, if a person hasn’t eaten they will be over the .08 limit much more quickly than 4 or 5 drinks, so I do think ultimately it all boils down to an individual’s conscience.

In my own personal usage, I rarely felt like I was way out of control on pot versus when I was falling down drunk, and I never woke up wondering how I got home when just smoking pot, though I did wake up that way after nights of drinking.

I think, as this post has already shown (by the number of comments) that there will be strong opinions on both sides.

Do you know of any SBC churches in Colorado that have made any decisions like we are discussing?

142 Les Prouty May 23, 2014 at 7:16 pm

Nate, no I actually know of only a few churches in CO and none have publicly dealt with it that I’ve seen. I’m in Missouri and pot use and possession is still a crime. So it’s a moot point here.

Here is another take that is interesting. I’d suggest clicking over to read the whole thing. In part he writes (from an alcohol is ok and pot is not perspective):

Recognizing historical differences leads us to inquire if there are any qualitative differences. As I understand it, the primary reason for using recreational drugs is the effect it produces on one’s mind. Conversely, as Walker Percy observed, the true value and benefit of drinking good alcohol is in the aesthetic conditions surrounding the communal experience. “The effect of the alcohol,” Percy said, “is, if not dispensable, at least secondary.” If you drink alcohol for the purposes of procuring a certain effect on the mind, you are abusing it. The troubles and wrongs associated with drinking in our age largely flow from the perverted way our culture drinks. Visit the nearest yuppie bar and you will undoubtedly see both men and women imbibing fruity concoctions that were designed to mask the taste of alcohol and be consumed hastily in order to bring about a drunken state. The aim is debauchery and debauchery is the result. There is no inherent evil in the bottle; it merely propels the desires already rooted in the heart. It will either lay bare all your vices or polish all your virtues. If you are gathered around good friends with the purposes of having good conversation or are wanting something to enjoy while reading the poems of Herbert, then pulling out a bottle of Bordeaux will not result in drunken rage. If cultivation of friendship and discussion of the higher things is the aim, it will also be the result.

Historically, most churches have taken note of this difference. The Catechism of the Catholic Church commands prudent temperance in food and drink, but it instructs that the use of drugs, except on therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Pope Francis, the jolly go-lucky fellow people think he is, affirmed the Church’s teaching last year by condemning liberalization of drug laws. Even noted atheist Christopher Hitchens, who was famously fond of “Mr. Walker’s amber restorative,” recognized a qualitative difference and advised that one should “avoid all narcotics: these make you more boring rather than less and are not designed—as are the grape and the grain—to enliven company.” Put simply, drinking is not always about getting drunk. Drugs are always about getting high.

I particularly resonate with this, “Put simply, drinking is not always about getting drunk. Drugs are always about getting high.”

I was a user way back in the 1970s as well. In both cases, alcohol and pot, it was about getting impaired. That was the goal. And I succeeded often. Probably 100% of the time. And pot had a way worse effect on me than alcohol. And it took only one joint to get there where it took many beers to get the same effect.

Now, and for the last 25 or so years, drink is not about that at all (I haven’t had illegal drugs since college days in the 70s). Aside from the supposed medicinal use of pot, I cannot see it on par with the known simple “enjoyment” factor of drink. There seems to be no other reason to smoke pot than for the “high.” But I’m willing to be taught.

http://juicyecumenism.com/2014/02/10/of-pot-and-port-the-drinking-christians-guide-to-the-legalization-debate/

143 Les Prouty May 23, 2014 at 7:18 pm

I must not have closed my block quote properly. The reference article ended at “Put simply, drinking is not always about getting drunk. Drugs are always about getting high.”

My following comments began at “I particularly resonate with this…”

144 Nate May 23, 2014 at 8:02 pm

I will need to do more reading and research on the topics. The notion that drinking is not always about getting “high” and that smoking pot is always about getting “high” is somewhat dicey from my perspective, which certainly maybe skewed.

I love coffee. I love the taste, the aroma, and enjoying it with friends or while I read/study, etc. If I’m honest, I probably love the “buzz” from the caffeine also, though I might not characterize it quite that plainly.

In my opinion I think those who drink probably have a similar mindset. That’s not saying that those who drink want to get drunk, but the effect of alcohol (even at a point where it is not intoxicating someone) still is probably felt. In that regard people enjoy the “buzz” of a couple of beers or a few glasses of wine in the same way that I enjoy the “buzz” of coffee.

I do think that it might be possible for someone who smokes pot to be in this same category. Everybody writes from a perspective and I’m not sure that we can truly know the full effect of alcohol or THC (in moderate amounts) in an exact science.

145 Les Prouty May 23, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Nate,

Good thoughts brother. As I’ve said several times, this is not and will not be an easy iissue for the church to deal with.

Wisdom will be required ans I think charity for those who takes stances pro drink and con smoke at the same time. As well, those who take a pro drink and pro smoke deserve charity. I haven’t seen anyone make an iron clad case either way though I lean hard toward a pro drink con smoke position. The alcohol permission is easy to defend biblically. The con smoke position not as easy since the substance is not mentioned in scripture as alcohol is.

Blessings brother. You are sharpening me.

146 Ryan Abernathy (@absonjourney) May 23, 2014 at 11:17 am

Joseph,

I agree with your moderation position, but you are not doing yourself or anyone who agrees with you any favors by accusing those who disagree with you of being “progressive liberals” or “feminists.”

CB, Vol, and others have strong abstentionist positions and although I don’t agree with them I know they are men who fit neither category in which you would place them. I would welcome either man in my pulpit, my home, and my life. I also know they would defend to the death my freedom of conscience even though they would strongly disagree with my conviction in this area.

There is no need to vilify people who are on your team just because they disagree with you on a non-essential. Name calling and baseless accusations are not going to help you win the day.

147 Joseph Spurgeon May 23, 2014 at 11:21 am

My point was not accuse them of being feminists or liberals but to highlight that it was the feminists and liberals who made prohibition and teetotalism into an issue in the first place. But if I came across as being too fiery on the issue than I apologize.

148 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 11:25 am

Joseph,

No problem, Brother.

And, to think of CB and me being a feminist or a liberal has brought a deep, deep chuckle, this morning…..in fact, it almost caused me to have a belly laugh.

David

149 Joseph Spurgeon May 23, 2014 at 11:28 am

If you are a conservative Southern Baptist and reformed there is probably far more that we agree on that disagree on. Sometimes its easy to lose sight of that.

150 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 11:36 am

Joseph,

I’m a very conservative, Southern Baptist. I’m not Reformed. I’m just not into the whole, Augustinian, philosophical paradigm. So, I’m not an Arminian, either. I’m not a Semi Pelagian, either. I’m just a Christian, who believes the Bible, and that’s led me to be a Southern Baptist in my doctrine.

David

151 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 11:52 am

But, Joseph, let me say this…..if you’re a Calvinist, or an Arminian… if you’re into that Reformed philosophy…then, I still respect your walk with Christ. I count you as a Brother in Christ. And, I know that you preach the same Gospel, as I do…..that our differences are on minor points of theology.

Just wanted to make that very clear.

152 Les Prouty May 23, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Vol,

There are a couple of things I disagree with you on. One of them in the strongest of terms. And some things with which I agree.

1. I agree that we are both Bible believing conservatives. We each take the bible seriously and attempt to come to a right understanding.

2. I disagree with you on Reformed theology. But we knew that from past interactions. And I still don’t know what that Augustinian philosophical paradigm is anyway. :)

3. I disagree with you on the moderate use of alcohol. But brother I do respect your view of abstention for yourself and I would defend you in that till the dogs (not cows) come home. And that used to be some long times back when we used dogs for hunting deer.

4. And this is the vehement disagreement we have. You’re a Tennessee Volunteer!! I’m a Dyed in the wool Auburn Tiger. And I hate that our teams rarely play in football anymore. Hate it.

Blessings to you my brother.

Les

153 cb scott May 23, 2014 at 10:47 pm

OK!! — been away from this all day. Just now read all the comments.

Most of the regular guys lined up in the right order. Prouty and Tarheel doing their thing. Vol, Jess, and Dean doing theirs . . . and Dave Miller watching this kind of post and thread like a nervous Iowa Buzzard-Eye and pathetic Yankee Fan with his ready hand on the delete button.

Now, I am reading a new guy, Joseph Spurgeon, of the famous Spurgeon family. (New to me anyway. I don’t get to visit as much I used to before I moved to Georgia.)

Joseph has maybe used a new identifier toward me that I have not experienced before. Now, I must confess that I have been called a lot of things, and sadly, many of them were true at the time. I have even been called a liberal before by some KJV only guys at a Sword of the Lord Conference.

Now, and for the first time in my recollection, I have been identified as a feminist. Oh well, at least he didn’t call me a democrat — or worse even yet, an AUBURN Fan! ;-)

Just for old time sake, fellows, two things:

1). ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!!

2). The use of alcohol as a beverage is unwise.

Maybe 4 things:

3). SEC! SEC!!

4). Long live the NRA!!!

Love you, Dave Miller :-) :-) :-) :-)

154 Les Prouty May 23, 2014 at 11:17 pm

CB, I’ve truly missed you. But living in Georgia is taking a toll on you.

“Oh well, at least he didn’t call me a democrat — or worse even yet, an AUBURN Fan!”

Those Georgia boys have caused you to take leave of your sensibilities. At least we Alabama (the state) boys need to stick together. You’ve got that Jumbo Fisher guy saying he wanted the Tide in the NC game. That sounds like he thought he’d have had an easier time getting the ring playing the Tide. He barely got outta there save a great throw by “crab legs” Jamison. I wouldn’t take that if I was you.

Besides, there’s more NRA folks at Auburn than all the Dems in the country put together.

Last, War Eagle and we’ll see you at Jordan-Hare West in November (5-2 AU in JHW).

155 Joseph Spurgeon May 24, 2014 at 11:59 am

I have not called anyone here a liberal or a feminist. I was merely pointing out that the origination of the prohibition argument was liberal Christianity and feminism. It did not originate out of bible believing Christians. You may be a conservative though and still adopt the arguments as your own. I am aware of a thing called the genetic fallacy in arguments but I also think that pointing out the origination of an argument is not always a fallacy. If for the vast majority of Christian history and for the vast majority of Protestant history, alcohol was not in itself considered sinful then I have a problem adopting the arguments of those who came about in the 1800s who did not believe the Bible to be inerrant or inspired. I have never heard a biblical case for prohibition that took into account all that the scripture has to say on alcohol. I liken it to those who look at what the bible has to say about greed and the abuse of money and then say that the bible commands communism or socialism. The problem is while the Bible has a lot of negative to say about greed and money it also has a lot of positive to say about earning money and keeping the fruit of your labor.
So to summarize, I did not call you a liberal or a feminist but am merely pointing out that you have adopted what was once a liberal and feminist position. Didn’t call you a democrat either but the president who enacted prohibition was Woodrow Wilson and a democrat. ;)

156 cb scott May 24, 2014 at 2:39 pm

“It did not originate out of bible believing Christians.”

Joseph Spurgeon,

I am not going to belabor this with you. I am only going to state this once. I don’t care what feminist or liberals did in a prior century. I also don’t care what you think you fully know about history, the Bible, theology, or the price of pigs in China. (I assure you your understanding of “Protestant History” is not up to par with mine.) I also don’t care what your name is or who your far removed uncle is or is not.

Don’t tell me a biblical case can’t be made for abstaining from the use of alcohol as a beverage. Don’t even suggest that I might be anything less that a Bible believing Christian. I paid my dues before you were a gleam in your Spurgeon daddy’s eye.

In addition, don’t ever again use the word “communist” in any possible reference to me or how I think. I have dealt with many of those boys up close and personal in places that would melt your soul and, let’s just say, I don’t like ‘em and they know it.

I let the feminist comment go because I thought it to be simple ignorance on your part. However, I know the feminist movement of that time was pregnant with socialist and communistic thought and philosophy. So maybe you did, with willful intent, throw that insult toward me and my friend, David Worley. If that is the case, you made a serious mistake. Don’t make it again.

Having an opinion is your right. Good men died to protect that right for you. We celebrate their sacrifice this coming Monday, as you know. But you don’t have the right to be condescending in expressing your opinion to me or anyone else, especially on a medium such as a blog thread.

I would like to be able to have respect for you as I do for many who traffic this blog who differ in their opinions on a lot of subjects from me. But there are some rude behaviors I will not tolerate. In your comments, you have touched on a couple of them.

So, don’t be so swollen up with yourself that you think your opinion is of the nature of absolute truth. Your opinion is just that; an opinion. Mine is the same. I’ll respect yours. You respect mine.

157 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm

CB,

We’ve had our disagreements and will continue to….I’d never use the words communist or liberal in the same sentence with your name unless the words were preceded with “is clearly not”.

That said; I don’t think Joseph did either. If he’s wrong on church/Protestant history might I suggest you educate him rather than berate him? Just a thought. ;-)

158 cb scott May 24, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Tarheel,

It is true we don’t agree on some things. However, I respect you, even when you say things about people you don’t know.

As to Mr. Spurgeon, I did not berate him. I challenged “his” condescending/berating comments.

Somethings we let slide. Some things we don’t. If you want a list, I’ll be more than glad to give you one.

159 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Naw….I’m sure your list is long and I wouldn’t want you to waste your energy doing that. ;-)

Honestly, CB – despite our sometimes “ferocious” disagreements I’m actually looking forward to meeting you at the convention.

160 cb scott May 24, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Actually, Tarheel,

The list is very short.

161 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 11:19 am

I’ll be completely honest….maybe more honest than others…..back when I drank liquor, it was to get high. When I smoked weed, it was to get high. Also, I drank and smoked weed, so that I could “fit in” with the lost, worldly crowd. They were all drinking, so I drank. Or, when I was in a crowd of people smoking weed, I smoked weed…to fit in. Later, after drinking and smoking with the crowd for a while, I liked it. So, I started drinking booze and smoking weed, because I liked it. I liked feeling high. And, before the Lord saved me, I was just about to the point of getting out of control…..I was out of control.

David

162 Joseph Spurgeon May 23, 2014 at 11:24 am

Then David, I can understand why you would want to run from that. And I am glad you found grace in Jesus and he has turned your life around. Like I said before, I respect your right to abstain. I also personally abstain as well. However, I would prefer that we didn’t try to bend the Bible to our personal tastes and make up spiritual laws for everyone that would therefor include Jesus as a sinner.

163 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 11:30 am

Joseph,

I…and those like me….do not believe that we’re bending the Bible to fit our personal tastes. We do not believe that we’re making up spiritual laws. And, we certainly are NOT calling Jesus a sinner. We believe that we are being true to the teachings of the Bible on matters of wisdom and sin. And, that the truth lifts up the name of Jesus.

In fact, we believe that people, who think it’s okay to drink liquor, and try to use the Bible to justify it, are the ones, who are bending the Bible, to make it excuse their drinking something that’s so potentially harmful.

But again, if you choose to drink, or if Les chooses a cold Bud, that’s between yall and God. But, I still believe that it’s foolish to drink alcohol, and it’s a sin to be drunk on it…..a sin to be high and tipsy on it….. because, then, it’s controlling you, instead of the Holy Spirit controlling you. Ephesians 5

David

164 Joseph Spurgeon May 23, 2014 at 4:14 pm

but when you make alcohol out to be foolish or sinful than you are in turn calling Jesus foolish or sinful. Its those blanket statements that you make about alcohol that I have the hardest time with.

165 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Joseph,

I am not calling Jesus foolish, or sinful. I do not believe that He drank fermented wine, nor did He supply fermented wine to the wedding crowd so that they could drink even more, than they’d already drank….which would mean that they were drunk, and Jesus was giving them more…for the party. No sir, I do not believe that Jesus would do anything foolish, or sinful.

I think you need to check out YOUR view of wine….because maybe your view of wine is implying that Jesus was foolish, or sinful. YOU are the one saying that He drank liquor, and made liquor to be drank by people, who had already “well drunk.”

David

166 D. L. Payton May 24, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Volfan
well said

167 D. L. Payton May 23, 2014 at 11:35 pm

Isn’t there a Bible verse that says “I don’t smoke and I don’t chew and i don’t go with the girls that do” I was told that as an early teenager in VBS

:-)

168 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 12:00 am

Yea, it follows that verse that says cleanliness is next to godliness.

A few verses away is – God helps those who help themselves.

;-)

169 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 11:43 am

volfan,

“But, I still believe that it’s foolish to drink alcohol, and it’s a sin to be drunk on it…..a sin to be high and tipsy on it….. because, then, it’s controlling you, instead of the Holy Spirit controlling you. Ephesians 5″

Add the words “for me it’s” before foolish and “for everyone it’s” before a sin to be drunk – to this statement and we are in COMPLETE agreement.

Are you willing to do that, sir?

170 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 11:49 am

Tarheel,

I can’t. I do believe the Bible teaches that it’s FOOLISH for people to mess around with fermented wine. And, that it’s SINFUL for a person to be drunk on it.

I can’t add what you want me to add to it, when I believe that the Bible does teach that it’s foolish for me, and everyone else…..

David

171 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm

By that argument don’t you have to affirm that Jesus and the apostles and Timothy acted foolishly?

All of these drank fermented wine in scripture.

172 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Well we assume Timothy did after Paul advised him to.

173 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 1:32 pm

They all drank FERMENTED wine? Really? How do you absolutely know that, Tarheel? Were you there?

And, besides, even if Timothy did drink a little fermented stuff for his stomach…as a medicine….I never said that it was sinful to drink one drop of liquor. Some people make a good case for drinking a little for medicinal purposes…..like the most famous, Baptist booze- Nyquil! :)

David

174 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Volfan,

You may not gave said, nor did I accuse you of saying, that one drop was sinful….however you have said it’s always foolish.

That’s what I said… That by your logic Jesus and the others acted foolishly.

Yes they drank fermented wine. Wedding at Cana. Not to mention that “fruit of the vine” means wine …. Not grape juice.

175 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 5:05 pm

So, Tarheel, are you saying that Jesus made more liquor for the guests, who had already “well drunk?” Are you saying that Jesus would contribute to a drunken party? Because, the guests at the wedding had already drank a lot. And, Jesus made more. And, drunkenness is clearly sinful in the Bible. Exactly WHAT are YOU saying about Jesus?

David

176 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 5:47 pm

I’m dating Jesus and the apostles drank whatever Jesus created after they had drank what was there….

Fermented wine.

177 Greg Harvey May 23, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Help me if I’m improperly layering a subjective interpretation onto these two questions:

Accusing prohibitionists that acknowledge–under pressure I might add–that consuming alcohol by the drink in any way shape or form is ONLY a wisdom/foolishness issue of scorning Jesus and the disciples for promoting foolishness reminds me of asking that famous question “have you stopped beating your wife?”

Accusing non-prohibitionists of promoting drunkenness reminds me of the exact opposite of that question “when are you going to stop beating your wife?”

178 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Greg, he said always. He’s been given opportunity but he has not backed down. He contends it’s ALWAYS foolish.

I’ve merely pointed out that by that logic – Jesus and apostles acted foolishly.

I’m trying not to be overly argumentative here and I feel my comments are reasonable. ;-)

179 Greg Harvey May 23, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Yeah…I know…but still.

180 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Nate,

“All our Seminaries, by the way, ask students to sign pledges stating they won’t drink, smoke (cigarettes), or do illegal drugs while in school. Again, this isn’t a unilateral position for every believer. So, I think that 1 Timothy 3 speaks to this (to a degree) and many churches simply ask leaders to refrain.”

I have no issue with this. Policies are a different matter than prohibition. Seminaries (and our specific churches) have every right to create and enforce policies as they see fit – but where I take exception is with anyone dictating that moderate, non intoxicating consumption is a sin or inherently foolish for everyone.

That, to me is the forcing of personal conscience convictions upon others and that act is patently unbiblical behavior just as it would be for those with the freedom forcing it on those who don’t enjoy that conscience freedom – see the weaker/stronger brother passages.

181 Nate May 23, 2014 at 2:29 pm

I’m not sure we are disagreeing with each other then. If you have no issues with seminaries doing this, then do you have an issue with churches who do the same thing for leaders, and not the congregation as a whole?

My concern now that pot is becoming legal everywhere is that those churches that allow leaders to drink will now say that leaders can’t toke. I think that is self-serving and hypocritical. All the discussions that I have had with guys who think leaders can and should drink, to a man, told me, that even if pot becomes legal, they would still declare it off limits to leaders. I think that attitude is very problematic.

Individuals can and should make up their own minds about issues of conscience. However, I think it is good and right for churches to set a higher standard for bible study teachers, deacons, and pastors. As I have consistently said, I think that those who, as leaders, want to say that one intoxicating substance (alcohol) is to be a matter of conscience, but that another legal intoxicating substance (pot) cannot be a matter of conscience is speaking out of both sides of their mouths.

182 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Here’s what happens when Christians drink alchohol!

http://youtu.be/7-NOZU2iPA8

183 Chris Roberts May 23, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Spontaneous acts of happiness? Time to start that open bar in the sanctuary on Sunday morning.

184 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Also, here’s what happens to Pastor’s, who smoke weed…..

http://youtu.be/tTYr3JuueF4

185 Chris Roberts May 23, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Time to ban pot from the universe.

186 Jess May 23, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Volfan007, what did you drink for lunch? Lol

187 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 2:03 pm

lol

188 Jess May 23, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Volfan007, I thought I was going to lose my breath laughing. I think I’ll give our song leader a bottle before he gets up to sing.

189 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Jess,

:)

190 Jess May 23, 2014 at 2:06 pm

To drink moderately is the same as smoking weed moderately, no difference.

191 Nate May 23, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Thank you Jess! That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to get across, now that both are legal (at least in some states). Now then, the issue is whether churches will require their leaders to abstain from the use of these two in order to be above reproach in the world we live in. Those who already allow their leaders to drink are in quite a pickle, don’t you think?

192 Dale Pugh May 23, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Personally, I’ve been wondering how the legalization of marijuana might affect drug-testing. Most companies have a safety policy that defines a certain blood alcohol level as a point of impairment. What level of marijuana could be considered functioning in an “impaired” state?

193 Nate May 23, 2014 at 2:42 pm

That’s a great question Dale. I don’t know that Colorado or Washington even have a “driving while stoned” limit and/or how they can test the level of THC in the blood stream in order to adjudicate such an issue.

194 D. L. Payton May 24, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Nate
Colorado already has laws on the books that govern whether a driving while impaired summons should be issued in addition to the summons issued for illegal posssion. Hence I suspect those limits will apply.

195 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 2:10 pm

And then, here’s what happened whenever the Praise Team took Deut. 14:26 to mean that they could drink in order to be happy….so, they thought they’d try it out the next Sunday morning…..here’s the results:

http://youtu.be/0VPcPCwK_G0

196 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 2:14 pm

And please, do yourself a favor, and do NOT miss what happens at the 2:00 minute mark….lol

David

197 Les Prouty May 23, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Vol,

Where are you finding all this rubbish? Is there a Youtube channel called “Cheesy Christian Music?”

BTW, stuff like this has done more to hinder the Christian witness in the world than all the moderate drinkers combined x2.

198 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Yes sir!

199 Volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 2:46 pm

It’s a joke, Les. That stuff is some seriously funny stuff.

200 Les Prouty May 23, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Vol, I know it was a joke. Shoulda put that smiley face after my question. I just wanted to say “Cheesy Christian Music.”

201 Dave Miller May 23, 2014 at 2:59 pm

I should ban you for putting that link up. That may be worse than Jesus is a Friend.

202 Volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Dave,

:)

203 Dave Miller May 23, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Evidently that song comes from the cult group Victor Wierwille’s “Way International. ” I find it comforting that no Christian group wrote that song.

I have decided never to forgive Worley for introducing it here

204 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Just so yall don’t think that I’m leaving the part of this OP about homosexuality out of my comments, here’s another video for you to enjoy.

http://youtu.be/Tryw3dC8kOk

205 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 3:16 pm

that’s the last one, Jared and Dave….the last one. I’ll be good now. lol

206 Greg Harvey May 23, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Mr. Worley will be good relatively speaking…

207 Dave Miller May 23, 2014 at 3:29 pm

One more reason to hate country music.

208 Chris Roberts May 23, 2014 at 3:30 pm

volfan, you’ve left out my personal favorite cheesy song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrczyFvkv8Q

209 Volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Ha ha ha ha

210 formeratheist May 23, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Obviously this alcohol thing is a passionate and inflammatory subject. However, the funny thing to me is that most of the attitudes we have towards drinking today are grounded in the 19th Century temperance movement more than anything else. Yes the Bible condemns drunkenness but it takes a bit of a stretch to make the leap to teetotaltarianism from there.

I think we can see here one of the reasons for decline, especially amongst men, in the SBC. We get a new believer and right off the bat deny him things that he sees as his privilege and a way to relax – a beer after work, a smoke (tobacco not cannabis) or a chew. Some of the implied attitudes here are harsh – you are a sinner if you do these things. You are not welcome in this church if you do these things.

I have no problem with various ministries, seminaries or even a church, having a membership charter or code of conduct that forbids drinking, smoking, etc. I was a Gideon for many years and abstained from these things as part of being a member proudly. However, to say the Bible completely forbids it is another thing altogether.

I am more worried about getting people the Gospel of Christ. I don’t recall where he cursed those who drank wine or smoked tobacco. Besides, if we condemn alcohol so harshly, we are condemning some of the men we look up to so highly such as John Calvin and Martin Luther just to name two.

For me, I’ll be glad when Southern Baptists get over the whole alcohol thing. Honestly, it is one of many reasons I know longer identify as Southern Baptist.

Randy

211 formeratheist May 23, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Wow, I need to use spell checker. And messed up my gravatar. That would be “no longer.” :)

Randy

212 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 3:53 pm

FormerAthiest,

Was it the specific prohibition of these items that helped drive you away – or was it more of a general moralistic attitude.

213 formeratheist May 23, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Good question Tarheel. It was more of a general moralistic attitude. An attitude of self-righteousness and judgment. Let me explain – I work primarily in jail ministry. I’m dealing with issues that make a shot of whiskey or a pack of smokes pretty insignificant. These guys I work with are pretty rough looking and tattoos are just a given. That is enough to get them strange looks from the SBC churches I used to go to. I know they are not all that way. But I pastored a church where I knew people like that showing up was a bad idea. I have SBC brothers and sisters in Christ that want me to get on these guys about smoking and drinking, and I just want them to show up in church and stay out of jail. I hope that answers your question better.

214 Jess May 23, 2014 at 3:57 pm

formeratheist

What I’m about to say I know from experience. A glass of wine or a small bottle of beer would make me impaired. I become loose tongued, and say things that I wouldn’t normally say. There are some people that one beer works on their body to the point of actually being drunk. I worked with a friend who was like this. After not drinking for thirty eight years I would feel the effects of alcohol very quickly.

Don’t misunderstand me, I always loved beer before the Lord saved me, and would drink one now if I felt in my heart that it was the right thing to do. I just don’t believe the Bible gives me permission to indulge.

I have seen how it harms people. If a beer is required after a day at work I wonder how many beers would be required for a death in the family. I wonder how many beers would be required if one gets fired from their job. I wonder how many beers would be required if one get’s divorced.

Just one beer is never enough.

215 Les Prouty May 23, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Jess,

I can understand your particular abstention given how alcohol affects you. Very wise on your part.

For many of us though, one beer or a couple have no inebriating effect on us. So in a matter such as alcohol where the bible does not explicitly forbid it, we each must make up our own minds and neither side should condemn the other for their views and practices.

“One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”

Blessings brother.

Les

216 formeratheist May 23, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Jess, I totally understand. That is a very strong and wise personal conviction. I have a hard time imposing my strong personal conviction like that across the board on believers. I have certain things that are triggers for my old, pre-conversion self that are no problem for other folks. No biblical mandate expressly addresses them, but I know by personal conviction of the Holy Spirit and his wisdom that they are a big no-no for me.
I believe if we work on the spiritual things, building a true relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, being filled with the Holy Spirit, then people who struggle with addictions, say like your struggle with alcohol, will have a revelation from the Spirit and come to their own conclusion / conviction. That is much better than me imposing a “no drinking” code that I have a hard time finding explicitly in God’s word.

217 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Jess,

“Just one beer is never enough.”

That’s a pretty sweeping generalization don’t ya think?

218 Dean Stewart May 23, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Everyone, it’s hot in Mississippi. I been standing on my head with a hoe in the pea patch the last hour and half. I’m sure it’s hotter where you guys are. However, I’m getting dizzy looking at this phone as the sun plasters me. I’m not different than any of you. I’m going inside shower and have a cold one – diet coke that is. I’m going to drive into town and make a hospital visit and watch a state championship baseball game. I will then take my bride to supper and after I will have a little hottie – a cup of coffee. Enjoy your cold one and hottie but if yours is different watch the roadblocks. ????

219 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Lol. You aren’t addicted to caffeine are you? ;-)

220 Dean Stewart May 23, 2014 at 8:34 pm

I have learned that is a gift from God.

221 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 1:43 am

Hmmmmm……

Good answer. I hope no one tries to force thier personal conscience convictions onto you and pronounces moderate use as always being foolish or anything. ;-)

222 Bill Mac May 23, 2014 at 6:05 pm

I think smoking weed is monumentally stupid. Frankly, I think smoking anything is monumentally stupid. But there clearly is no explicit biblical injunction against it. So what case do we make against it? Especially if (as lots of SBCers do) we think smoking tobacco is not forbidden? Yes, nicotine has a lesser effect than marijuana, (I have never smoked either), but it is still a deadly and addictive drug. I’m against marijuana because it’s disgusting and makes people stupid. I’m not sure I can come up with a solid biblical case for being against it.

223 Tarheel May 23, 2014 at 7:41 pm

I think “intent ” is crucial to this discussion.

As Les posted from TGC article intent is typically (always?) to get high with pot…..and that’s not always so for alcohol.

224 Joel Hunt May 23, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Gluttonous obesity has killed more SBC pastors than alcohol or MJ ever will… and church members too.

JS

225 Nate May 23, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Joel, you do understand that your statement “gluttonous obesity” is pretty pejorative, yes? Further, you must realize that obesity and gluttony don’t always belong in the same sentence, and, in fact, usually aren’t connected. Are you putting church members under discipline if their BMI isn’t in line. LOL

226 Christiane May 24, 2014 at 3:06 am

looks like ‘gluttonous obesity’ drew blood . . . but Joel is right to point out the addiction to over-eating as a serious problem

clogged arteries, over-worked heart, blood pressure damage to the circulatory system, etc. etc. . . . a slow suicide, not to be wished on any soul

and the ’cause’ ?
unfortunately, the same as with other addictions . . . just a different poison to ease depression and stress, but like other addictions, the pleasure of eating is short-lived compared to the years of carrying around all that extra weight, together with the slow deterioration of the whole body that comes as a result

the ‘cure’?
deal with the pain and depression at its source

227 Joel Hunt May 24, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Nate, I very pointedly did NOT equate obesity with gluttony, but rather suggested that “gluttonous obesity” is just as wrong as drunkedness. I am quite aware that you annot make assumption about a person’s weight, but you can however, drawe conclusions based of their gluttony.

228 volfan007 May 23, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Joel,

I would hope that you realize just how ridiculous this statement is? I hope so.

David

229 Chris Roberts May 23, 2014 at 11:17 pm

It is several levels less ridiculous than claiming it is wrong to consume alcohol.

230 Christiane May 24, 2014 at 3:10 am

wait a minute . . . ever heard of a ‘sugar high’?
and ‘chocoholics’ . . . ?

study up on body chemistry

231 Joel Hunt May 24, 2014 at 5:24 pm

I guess it’s like they say, when you throw a stick at a pack of dogs, the one who yelps loudest got hit. ;)

232 volfan007 May 24, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Joel,

Gluttony is a sin. Okay? What’s that got to do with alcohol, homosexuality, and mary jane? Why bring gluttony into a discussion about hooch, mary jane, and gay sex?

Also, where in the Bible is the weight, height chart? I really need to see it, so I can get down to the right weight.

David

233 Joel Hunt May 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm

It was brought into the conversation earlier, that’s why I referenced it. And it’s applicable because it’s a sin that many baptist pastors love to gloss over (usually because they know they are gluttons), while trumpeting the evils of alcohol as if its users are the Devil himself. You have put forth a fine diatribe against alcohol, and, as I suspected, you responded quite negatively to the gluttony issue. It just goes to show that we all have pet sins we find more offensive than others, and we pick and choose those that we’re willing to preach against.

234 volfan007 May 24, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Joel,

Something else….do you really know of anyone committing the sin of gluttony? I mean, I confess that I’ve committed a few times, and I am overweight. But, do you know of any Pastors, who are living in the sin of gluttony? I mean, they’re just gorging themselves on food….past the point of being full….just continuing to eat and eat and eat?

Remember that being too fat is not gluttony. Being too fat is not a sin. Eating a double cheeseburger, fries, and a shake is not gluttony. Eating a second pork chop is not gluttony. Eating fried food that’s full of fat is not gluttony. Eating ice cream is not gluttony. And, wearing pants over a size 40 waist is not gluttony.

So, just because you see some Pastors, who are fat, does not mean that they’re living in the sin of gluttony.

David

235 Chris Roberts May 24, 2014 at 8:07 pm

David,

Two pork chops does not mean gluttony, but one drink and a person is drunk…?

236 John Wylie May 24, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Guys I am not a moderator here, but would y’all please not cover my comment up? I have asked Chris an important question.

237 volfan007 May 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Chris,

I never said that a person was drunk after drinking one drink. I said that the Bible teaches that it’s foolish to take alcohol lightly, and treat it as something that’s used for recreational use….fermented wine can bite like a poisonous snake….and, it can get a hold of someone’s life. So, it’s foolish to drink alcohol, just as it’s foolish to smoke weed, or to take just a little meth.

The Bible does teach that it’s a SIN to be DRUNK on alcohol.

David

238 Chris Roberts May 24, 2014 at 8:23 pm

David,

No dispute that the Bible calls drunkenness a sin. Whether or not it’s foolish to have any alcohol – the Bible doesn’t say that, but you’re free to. And alcohol, marijuana, and meth are very different substances with very different effects on human physiology. It’s hardly reasonable to place them on the same level for this discussion. That would be like comparing a piece of cake to churros.

239 John Wylie May 24, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Chris have you left the Christian faith?

240 volfan007 May 24, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Chris,

I really don’t see any difference between a glass of coke and Jack Daniels, and smoking a joint. They’re both mood altering, mind altering substances…..they’re both taken for the same reason… to get high and feel good.

David

241 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 8:53 pm

“I really don’t see any difference between a glass of coke and Jack Daniels, and smoking a joint. They’re both mood altering, mind altering substances…..they’re both taken for the same reason… to get high and feel good.”

Surely you do? A single alcoholic beverage is sometimes enjoyed with a pizza because some people think it tastes good…not every person who takes a drink is doing so to get drunk or to “feel good” with some artificial high – I think you may be projecting your struggles and admitted inability to responsibly enjoy an alcoholic beverage onto all others? Is that possible?

242 John Wylie May 24, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Chris,

If skeptic is not quite the word you would use for yourself, what is?

243 volfan007 May 24, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Tarheel,

There’s a lot of good drinks that don’t have alcohol in them. Cherry coke is one of them!!!

:)

DAvid

244 volfan007 May 24, 2014 at 9:53 pm

John,

Obviously, Chris doesn’t want to answer this question you ask. So, why not let it go?

David

245 John Wylie May 24, 2014 at 9:57 pm

David,

It doesn’t matter to you? You would rather argue about cheeseburgers and mixed drinks? Rather than Chris’ spiritual well being? This conversation doesn’t alarm you?

246 volfan007 May 24, 2014 at 10:14 pm

John,

Please. Yes, it concerns me. But, you’ve asked him, like 4 or 5 times, and he refuses to answer. Obviously, he doesn’t want to talk about it….especially in a public forum. Maybe we need to respect his wishes, and just pray for him?

David

247 John Wylie May 24, 2014 at 10:19 pm

David,

This man has pastored a church in the SBC and has even contributed articles here and he cannot answer about whether or not he remains in the Christian faith? And you want to just cover up my comment with a bunch of nonsense about mixed drinks?

I have prayed for him today. This is not a witch hunt.

248 John Wylie May 24, 2014 at 10:27 pm

David,

You’re right. I apologize.

Chris,

I’m sorry. It’s none of my business I hope everything is well with you and your family.

249 volfan007 May 24, 2014 at 10:27 pm

JOhn,

First of all, take a deep breath.

Secondly, no one is trying to cover up anything.

Thirdly, the man obviously doesn’t want to talk about it.

Fourthly, you do whatever you think you need to do, Brother.

God bless you,

David

250 Chris Roberts May 24, 2014 at 11:47 pm

John,

For the record, I’ve pastored two SBC churches, interim at a third, and youth minister at a fourth and fifth.

251 Joel Hunt May 23, 2014 at 8:49 pm
252 Jess May 23, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Cow patties are found out in the pasture too, but it never occurred to me to smoke one. I grow grapes, I love jelly, jam, and the (fresh) juice.

253 Jess May 23, 2014 at 10:01 pm

I do have a very serious question. Doesn’t ones job title indicate what line of work they are in? For the most part job titles do indicate what is and what they do. Here is the question. How can one be a true Baptist and use alcohol when it’s forbidden by the BFM? At least it was forbidden back in the day. Remember I said true Baptist, and what causes some people to consider themselves above the BFM.

254 Chris Roberts May 23, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Where and when has the BFM ever forbidden it? A lot of church covenants forbid it, but not the BF&M. That provides one of two questions to your questions: first, the BF&M doesn’t proscribe what a person must be or believe to be a Baptist; as has been noted, there are a few places where most people are not in line with the BF&M. Second, the BF&M doesn’t take up this issue, so there’s no issue.

http://www.sbc.net/bfm2000/bfmcomparison.asp

255 Jess May 24, 2014 at 12:07 am

Chris, According to the University of Sunderland, casual drinkers are more prong to alcohol abuse than young binge drinkers. I don’t and will not buy into it’s OK to drink alcohol. I’m too old to fall for the line of reasoning that a casual drink is alright and will not harm anyone. The long term effect of casual drinking is liver damage, and certain cancers. No one has it together enough to stop before they get a buzz. A buzz means impaired. Who are we kidding here? Chris, in my opinion you don’t have a leg to stand on. I have been a casual drinker and a heavy
drinker, trust me one will lead to the other, sooner or later.

The church covenant should be enough to deter one from drinking.

256 Les Prouty May 24, 2014 at 12:15 am

Jess,

I know you addressed Chris. But…

“casual drinkers are more prong (prone?) to alcohol abuse than young binge drinkers”

Where do you get this info? I’ve been an adult “casual” drinker for nigh on 31-32 years. Still not abusing. And “The long term effect of casual drinking is liver damage, and certain cancers.” Is there research, valid research, that proves this?

Further, I’ve known too many to count who partook moderately their entire, long lives without abusing alcohol and without liver damage and/or cancer.

Just curious.

257 Chris Roberts May 24, 2014 at 12:15 am

Jess,

I don’t care about your opinions, you claimed the BF&M forbids alcohol consumption, but it does not. You claim imply people cannot be “true Baptists” if they drink, yet your basis for that argument is as shallow as a tube of lipstick. I point out church covenants and you turn around and claim that as your basis, even though that’s something only established by individual churches. If you choose to go to a church that makes you uphold a covenant that includes a clause against alcohol, then fine. If not, then fine. Either way, the Bible doesn’t forbid it, neither does the BF&M so evidently one can be both a Christian *and* a Baptist and still enjoy a drink. It is rather amusing to see people claim otherwise.

258 D. L. Payton May 24, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Chris
You are probably right concerning the BFM. I see nothing that says one must be a teetotaler. However I think is is clear that most Baptist advocate an abstinence position, the BFM notwithstanding.

I am a teetotaler because i was taught by my teetotaling parents that I should be that way. I do not have to have the BFM speak to the issue. that is irrelevant. I have friends that drink a beer on occasion. that also is irrelevant.

259 D. L. Payton May 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Jess
I am a teetotaler pure and simple. Always have been. Raised by teetotalers. Having said that I have a concern with your argument. I am not sure your statements are accurate. The problem is if they are not then it weakens the argument. That is to say if this is incorrect then what you say later that may be true is suspect. By doubting your validity on this “incorrect” area when one speaks correctly that too is dismissed.

Illustration: As a teenager I was told certain activities are not fun. They sure look like fun to me. It would have been better to be told: “OK it may be fun for now but it is wrong. By doubting the first I did not give credibility
when that same person gave me accurate information.

Am I wrong?

260 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 12:22 am

Hey! I got links too!

Gotta be sloshed or high to think this is good theology…or to dress this way. ;-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrczyFvkv8Q&feature=youtube_gdata_player

261 Chris Roberts May 24, 2014 at 12:25 am
262 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 1:46 am

Sorry bout that….

263 Chris Roberts May 24, 2014 at 12:26 am

But if this is a contest, here’s another good one for you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D89U-iDSLlQ

264 Jess May 24, 2014 at 12:40 am

Chris, maybe it was something that was going to be addressed at a future date. I not as quick witted as you.

Les, if you can’t quit then you have a problem. I will say this, I personally don’t see a problem using alcohol for medical reasons, it may be better than pills. I’m not condemning you and Chris, I’m just talking through experience that no one has got it together enough to keep from getting a buzz. That means you and Chris also.

Why don’t you guys tell me right now that you haven’t ever got a buzz, if you haven’t I’ll not comment on this post anymore.

265 Chris Roberts May 24, 2014 at 12:47 am

I rather enjoy a good buzz, though I often don’t even get that. I do appreciate what C. S. Lewis has to say about the earlier stage of alcohol’s effects being the pleasurable stage. I assume he was talking about that buzz.

266 Les Prouty May 24, 2014 at 12:47 am

Jess,

I can appreciate you not drinking based on your own experience and conscience. That’s your freedom. I have my freedom as well.

Have I ever had a buzz? What is a buzz? How do you define it?

267 Joseph Spurgeon May 24, 2014 at 11:49 am

Is a buzz the same as being drunk?

268 John Wylie May 24, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Well according to the law it is. If you get caught driving with a buzz you are going to jail.

269 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Only if said buzz is above the legal limit….which in most cases would require multiple drinks to achieve.

270 John Wylie May 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Actually no Tarheel if you are buzzing you are probably over the legal limit of .08 in Oklahoma. As a matter of fact there are bill boards up North of town placed there by the county that say emphatically “Buzzed driving is drunk driving.”

271 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 2:15 pm

But, again that’s only true if said buzz is over the state limit.

272 John Wylie May 24, 2014 at 2:37 pm

But again, being buzzed is unequivocally over the limit in pretty much all states.

273 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Lol…so buzzed is drunk?

274 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Let’s say One gets pulled over and breathalyzer is given. The person blows .07 will he be arrested or detained? No. He might identify as having a buzz… But if it’s below, in OK, .08….he’s not violating the lAw.

Hence buzzed only equals legally drunk if it surpasses .08. Period. No matter what the billboard says.

275 John Wylie May 24, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Pretty much

276 John Wylie May 24, 2014 at 2:57 pm

If he is buzzed he will be over the state level. If you can feel the effects of the alcohol you shouldn’t be driving period.

277 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Oh I agree there one should never drive or operate any machinery with a buzz and certainly not drunk… In fact id say one shouldn’t do those things after one drink….but you said buzz equals legally drunk…unless that limit is passed one is NOT legally drunk.

278 John Wylie May 24, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Tarheel,

While I am a personal teetotaler, I do think that the Bible teaches temperance rather than absolutely requiring abstinence. However, when a pastor (not you) actually came on this board and bragged about how much he loves catching a buzz I was, to say them least, alarmed. We have gone from saying the Bible teaches temperance to actually advocating drinking until you can feel the effects of it.

279 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 3:32 pm

I saw that too….I think he was being sarcastic. My sarcasm meter was chirping anyway.

At least I hope he was.

280 Les Prouty May 24, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Wow. This whole buzz discussion is such a buzz kill.

Look gentlemen, drunkeness is forbidden in the bible. Buzz? Not mentioned in the bible and no one has yet defined what that is.

Also, the fact is that whether wine, beer or scotch (my favorite if single malt), starting with the first drink one can begin to feel the effects. That is not to say, though, that one is immediately drunk. One is not, necessarily. Same is true when taking Nyquil.

So feeling a buzz, that is some effect though not drunk, is not a sin.

Now back to the outdoor work calling me.

281 Chris Roberts May 24, 2014 at 5:16 pm

One clarification, I finished my pastorate a few months ago. When I was a pastor, I never (or very rarely) drank. Stayed away because it was expected of me from my position, though I always held the Bible did not condemn it. Now, that obstacle is gone.

As for a buzz, there is a definite difference between feeling the effects of alcohol and being full-blown drunk. Just because a level of alcohol crosses the threshold for driving, that doesn’t make it a drunken state.

What I was talking about is feeling the early effects (no idea where it would fall on the BAC scale), again noting what C. S. Lewis said about the pleasurable early effects of alcohol. I’m still very much in control of my thoughts, speech, actions, etc. There’s no question that this degree of buzz is still quite a ways removed from a loss of self-control.

I’m also pretty sure that this “buzz” I’m talking about is what the Bible has in mind when it speaks of the pleasurable use of alcohol, one of those nasty inconvenient passages for people who claim to believe the Bible yet pick and choose which parts they want to uphold. Because the Bible says different things, we either have to concede contradiction or arrive at a position that says alcohol use – even a buzz – is permitted, even celebrated, while being mastered by alcohol (or anything) is forbidden, including prohibitions against drunkenness.

282 John Wylie May 24, 2014 at 5:23 pm

You finished your pastorate? Are you done with pastoring?

283 cb scott May 24, 2014 at 5:28 pm

“I’m still very much in control of my thoughts, speech, actions, etc. There’s no question that this degree of buzz is still quite a ways removed from a loss of self-control.”

Realizing that much is debatable in the discussion of the use of alcohol as a beverage, one thing here is not debatable.

There have been many people who have stated what Chris just stated who are dead now. Some of them I knew well. They were good and capable men.

284 Chris Roberts May 24, 2014 at 6:02 pm

John,

Yes.

CB,

Another unquestionable fact: many teetotalers are also dead now. Mortality rates run 100% for all kinds of people. For everyone else, life goes on. That cheerful bit notwithstanding, we would be fools to pretend there were not differences in the effects of alcohol depending on the amount consumed.

285 John Wylie May 24, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Chris,

I realize that what I’m about to ask is very personal and may be considered inappropriate, but I am asking out of sincere concern. Have you become a skeptic?

286 Chris Roberts May 24, 2014 at 6:09 pm

John,

Well, Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe is one of my favorite podcasts, but skeptic wouldn’t quite be the right word.

287 John Wylie May 24, 2014 at 6:16 pm

Chris,

I appreciate you answering me and I know it’s not any of my business. Would you still consider yourself a believer in Christ?

288 John Wylie May 24, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Chris,

Really I would like to know, have you left Christianity?

289 Jess May 24, 2014 at 10:54 am

Gentlemen, I rest my case.

290 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 11:14 am

Finding the evidence you’ve presented as lacking.. Your case is hereby dismissed.

;-)

291 Les Prouty May 24, 2014 at 11:23 am

I’m reminded of that great line from The Untouchables. You know about knives and guns in a gunfight. :)

292 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 11:48 am

Just so it’s clear…I’m teasing you, Jess.

293 D. L. Payton May 24, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Tarheel

LOL….Good one

294 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 1:44 pm

I thought so…but sometimes a jovial post fails to communicate that way on blogs. I’ve decided to start trying to clarify more as wrong assumptions are often made as to my intents sometimes.

I have to remember that not has the same humor level as I and certainly not everyone speaks fluent sarcasm like I do.

295 D. L. Payton May 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Tarheel

“fluent sarcasm”…..Is that a graduate or under-graduate level course? :-)

296 Tarheel May 24, 2014 at 2:13 pm

I have a terminal degree in sarcasm! ;-)

297 D. L. Payton May 24, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Tarheel
Just make sure your sarcasm does not render you terminal!:-):-):-)

298 D. L. Payton May 24, 2014 at 6:46 pm

my smiley faces did not make

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