Why Marijuana Should Remain Illegal (by David Brumbelow)

by Guest Blogger on July 8, 2014 · 408 comments

David is a pastor and author of “Ancient Wine and the Bible.”  He writes at gulfcoastpastor.blogspot.com.

Washington State has become the second state to legalize marijuana. Christians need to be prepared to speak to this issue.  Reasons to oppose marijuana are here given in the form of Questions and Answers.

1.  Marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol, and alcohol is legal.

Alcohol is America’s number one drug problem.  Why should we now unleash another harmful drug on America? When marijuana has been legalized, it has led to an increase in crime and societal problems.

Alcohol and marijuana have been classified as “gateway drugs,” drugs that often lead to harder drugs.  Isn’t one legal gateway drug enough?

2.  We have not won the war against drugs, including marijuana.  So why not legalize it?

We haven’t won the war against murder either.  Should we therefore legalize murder?  Should we just tax murder?  Of course not. Passing a law against a harmful practice does not eliminate the practice.  But it does limit it, stigmatize it, and punish the abusers.

3.  Medical marijuana should be legalized.

The argument for medical marijuana usually is just a way of opening the door to the recreational use of marijuana.  When a state legalizes smoking marijuana for pain, you can expect the next push to be for legalizing recreational marijuana.  Christian abstainers, however, do accept the use of drugs for medicinal necessity, rather than recreational purposes.

For some the pain-relieving aspects of marijuana loses appeal when you take away the idea of smoking a joint and getting high.  Marijuana is already available in drug form that does not get you high, yet can be used for pain or other medical conditions.

Barrett Duke of the ERLC explains, “Marijuana’s pain-relieving ingredient has been available by prescription for years. A person can purchase Marinol – right now – with a doctor’s prescription. The plain fact of the matter is that there are better and safer drugs [for pain]” (bpnews.net; 8-6-2012).

4.  People have a right to smoke marijuana if they choose.

Our rights must sometimes end when a practice or substance becomes too harmful to ourselves and others.  I know there is a fine line that sometimes has to be drawn, but dangerous drugs that harm the user and innocent others should be severely limited. Isn’t it strange that just as society is turning against smoking tobacco, it is now moving toward sanctioning smoking marijuana?

5.  We can get taxes from the legal sales of marijuana.

We could also get taxes from legalizing other harmful practices. Invariably, when we allow and tax a practice that is harmful to society, we end up paying more to control it and deal with its consequences, than we receive in taxes.  Government would do better to get their taxes up front and honestly, not by legalizing destructive behavior.

6.  You can’t legislate morality.

Yes you can.  Our laws against murder and theft legislate morality.  The question is where you draw the line.  Some things need to be criminalized, limited, and stigmatized.

7.  Penalties for marijuana should change.

Perhaps this is true.  Barrett Duke has suggested, “A system of increasing fines, penalties and requirements, like substance-abuse counseling, can be developed. Penalties even could include the loss of one’s driver’s license. Jail could be a last resort for habitual offenders”  (-BP).

8.  Marijuana is not that bad.

Rather, when marijuana has been legalized, it has magnified an existing problem.

Marijuana has multiple toxic chemicals and gives a higher risk for cancer, psychosis, strokes, respiratory damage and heart attack.  It causes impaired memory, difficulty concentrating, impairs driving and reaction time.  It lowers the I.Q. of teenage smokers.

Acceptance of another mind-altering recreational drug always changes things for the worse.

Biblical Reasons to Oppose Marijuana

Every biblical injunction against alcohol is also a condemnation of marijuana and other recreational drugs.

1.  Scripture describes in detail the dangerous effects of alcoholic wine and says not to even look at it (Proverbs 23:29-35).  It’s not much of a leap to take the same low view of other dangerous drugs.

2.  Scripture directly says wine is a mocker (Proverbs 20:1).

3.  Scripture commands us to be sober (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8; 1 Peter 5:8; etc.).

4.  Kings are commanded not to drink wine lest they pervert justice (Proverbs 31:4-5).  Believers are called kings and priests (Revelation 1:6; 5:10) and neither should we take drugs that would cause us to do things we’d never do in our right minds.

5.  A Christian is to honor God with his mind and body (Matthew 22:37; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  Both are adversely affected by alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs.

6.  Drinking hurts your Christian influence and leads others astray (1 Corinthians 8:9; 10:23).

One very big problem Christian social drinkers have is if they are justified in taking one mind-altering recreational drug (alcohol), then they have no legitimate argument against another legal mind-altering recreational drug (marijuana).  The wise thing for Christians is to have nothing to do with either drug.

It should also be remembered that legal and moral are not synonymous. Whether alcohol, marijuana, or other harmful drugs are legal, a Christian answers to a higher standard.

Let’s not legalize another destructive drug.


{ 408 comments… read them below or add one }

1 parsonsmike July 8, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Except for a few gulps when I was a teenager in the 70′s. I have abstained from alcohol. When I say a few, I mean once I gulped some beer, found it distasteful, and drank no more. Second. I took a few sips of champagne at a wedding. That is the total of my alcohol intake, unless you include Nyquil many moons ago.

I say that to let you know that I am no drinker or advocate of alcohol.
But I am wondering about your remark that says alcohol is a mind altering recreational drug.

On the one hand, it certainly can be by those who consume too much. Certainly there are prescription medicines that can alter one’s mind if taken improperly. Should they be banned completely as well?

Finally, if alcohol is wrong for a person to imbibe in limited quantities, why did Jesus drink any at all?



2 Jeff P. July 8, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Mike, I’m the exact opposite. Partied for 20 years and tried just about everything, but alcohol and marijuana were my “drugs of choice.” Looking back on those years I can say this without hesitation, they are an open door to the influence of Satan. By definition to be drunk or stoned is not to be of sound mind, and Satan can deceive us far more easily. When I was saved and quit, it became quite clear, but before hand I didn’t have a clue. God’s given me many opportunities to interact with people who struggle with mind altering drugs and alcohol, and my past experience gives me a common ground to speak with them. My changed life through Christ has shown and prayerfully will continue to show others their is a better way. It will be legalized I believe, and we’ll be dealing with it more and more


3 parsonsmike July 8, 2014 at 9:22 pm

So glad the Lord delivered you from those addictions.
But it seems that you missed my point.
No one is advocating getting drunk or stoned, certainly not I, but isn’t there a difference between a moderate use of alcohol and being drunk?

Drink a little wine for your stomach’s sake, but do not be drunk with wine but filled with the Spirit.

Workaholics can be so extreme in their desire to work work work, that they neglect their family and their relationship with God.
Should we then say that working is an open door to the influence of Satan, and thus ban it?

What about sex? It can lead to pornography and rape and the abuse of minors. Let’s ban sex?

Maybe for that guy, he should abstain from alcohol. Maybe this other guy should stay off the internet. But because one has had over indulged, does not mean that others can not drink in moderation, does it?


4 Jeff P. July 8, 2014 at 10:52 pm

I’m not calling for total abstinance from alcohol, as I don’t believe scripture teaches that. I think we’d both agree of the strong scriptural warnings of the dangers of alcohol, and I do believe it is the very rare person who can drink 1 drink say, and stop. Understand, I hung out in bars. No one there was socially drinking. My wife is Presbyterian and I understand that view, but I also understand from my own life, and the ruined lives of many, many friends, that it is indeed rare for someone not to drink to a point of some impairment. As for pot, you are impaired from the moment you smoke it. That is the biggest difference between alcohol and marijuana. And there are many who function perfectly fine before people when impaired, I was one of them. I’m speaking more of the spiritual gateway though. It is, when impairment occurs, an open door to be deceived. Of that I have no question


5 Nate July 9, 2014 at 1:00 pm

“As for pot, you are impaired from the moment you smoke it.”

Sorry Jeff, that is an oversimplification. You can say the exact same thing about alcohol as well then. The question is how much is one impaired by one toke vs. one shot, and on, and on.


6 Jeff P. July 9, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Not really Nate, inhalation enters the bloodstream far quicker than imbibing. The process is entirely different


7 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm


High is high….whether by alcohol or by weed…it’s still high, or buzzed.


8 Tarheel July 9, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Vol, what you refuse to accept is that it’s not only possible but done often – to consume alcohol without becoming “high”.

9 Volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Tarheel, I used to drink…I know better than that.


10 Tarheel July 9, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Just because you and your friends weren’t able to handle alcohol consumption without it necessarily leading to intoxication does not make it a universal truth.

11 Jeff P. July 10, 2014 at 9:41 am

Vol, I agree high is high, just saying pot hits the system quicker

12 Joel Hunt July 8, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Your post presupposes that alcohol consumption is sinful; take that away, and a lot of your “Biblical Reasoning” goes out the window. The case against alcohol in Scripture is purely subjective, so it weakens your argument against marijuana.

Ftr, I DO dislike the thought of legalizing MJ for all sorts of reasons, some of which you mentioned. The direct linking of it to alcohol to make your moral point into a theological one seems a stretch, and I wish you had left the alcohol out of it, as marijuana should be weighed in its own light to Scripture.


13 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Joel, I believe you have most the most cogent argument so far. There probably are some very good reasons for keeping Marijuana on the illegal binder of laws. Colorado is a good example of the effects and cost of legalization on the citizens of that state.


14 Dan Barnes July 10, 2014 at 11:27 am

I agree Joel, making the connection to alcohol only lights the fires between the non drinking and moderation crowd. The reality that pot changes your consciousness is what the Bible calls “sorcery” because it’s a “potion” to change your consciousness. Don’t do it.


15 Bill Mac July 8, 2014 at 9:41 pm

I’m not in favor of pot being legal, but not for biblical reasons. I think using the verses that forbid the over-consumption of alcohol as prohibiting marijuana use is a misuse.


16 Jess July 8, 2014 at 10:25 pm

I have no problem with medical marijuana, I know for a fact it helps a lot of people, young and old alike. I would have no problem with alcohol being used for medical reasons. Some heart doctors prescribe it. I have no problem with some preachers smoking a joint before they get up to preach, maybe they will not be so dry and boring. If the preachers don’t smoke, at least give everyone in the congregation a joint. I just thought I would toss this in, there is no charge for it.

I am against recreational use of the two drugs mentioned, they can and will cause problems in time. I’ve yet to take my first drag from a joint, and it’s been about 36 years since I’ve drank alcohol. My friend, if you feel a buzz you are intoxicated, don’t let anyone tell you any different.


17 Chris Johnson July 8, 2014 at 10:56 pm

God has given us the most effective way to understand how we are to entertain the use of a law…..Galatians 5.

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh [g]sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you [h]please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: [i]immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, [j]factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who [k]belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (NASB)

Whether governments make laws for or against alcohol, or hemp, the fact of God’s word remains the same. While laws will come and go,…the steady and more firm answer is to do what we preach. Remain sober, never be drunk with wine. Always maintain self-control. These are simply choices for anyone born of the Spirit.

If we stand up for something, let it be self control and the fruit of the Spirit. It outlasts even the best intentioned laws.


18 Jess July 8, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Chris Johnson,

Great words, and great scriptures.


19 Adam G. in NC July 9, 2014 at 12:04 am

I am a former heavy user of marijuana and alcohol and believe that recreational use of marijuana is wrong and sinful…mainly because I never met a user who would have smoked it if it didnt get you high. This is not the case with alcohol.

HOWEVER, I do support the strictly regulated use of medical marijuana. I think the author takes an uninformed approach to this view when he reduces it’s medicinal properties down to only pain-reduction. Marijuana has the powerful ability to reduce nausea and increase one’s appetite (chemotherapy sickness). In fact, many stoners who take hallucinogens (LSD, Magic Mushrooms, Morning Glory seeds, etc.) smoke marijuana just so they wont spew.

Also, medical marijuana reduces the seizures that come with some forms of epilepsy. Here’s something that came about just last week here in NC…via a vast Republican majority in our General Assembly and our Republican Governor.http://www.wral.com/mccrory-signs-hemp-oil-bill-into-law/13784842/


20 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 9:51 am


I disagree with you. The ONLY reason to drink alcohol is too get high. Otherwise, why pay all that extra money for alcohol in a drink? I mean, when alcohol is added to a drink, the price goes way, way up. And, why not just drink coke, tea, kool aid, coffee, water, water enhancer, etc??

I just have to disagree with you…when someone drinks alcohol, they get high…it’s just a matter of how high do they get.

I use to party hard, before I got saved. I drank alcohol. I smoked weed. So, I do know quite a bit about both.



21 Adam Blosser July 9, 2014 at 9:59 am

“The ONLY reason to drink alcohol is too get high.”

Bull. That may be the only reason you would drink alcohol. That is not the only reason to drink alcohol. Coke, tea, kool aid, coffee, water, and water enhancer do not taste like alcohol. Its fine if you don’t like the taste of alcohol, but don’t pretend like others don’t. You lose all credibility on the subject when you make statements like the one above.


22 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 10:21 am

People don’t have to drink alcohol is the point. They drink alcohol for a reason…..to get high. And, when you hear people talking about drinking, it’s usually with a laugh in their voice, and it’s all about getting that buzz off of liquor.

Let’s not play games, here. People drink alcohol to get high. People smoke weed to get high. That’s what these things are all about. And, yall are just playing games, or else, you’re super naive, to think any different.



23 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 10:23 am

You are right David,…..many do.

24 Adam Blosser July 9, 2014 at 10:35 am

“People drink alcohol to get high. People smoke weed to get high.”


“The ONLY reason to drink alcohol is too get high.”


“I didn’t say that i was falling down drunk after 1 beer….but, I sure was buzzed, and feeling good and high”

I think you are playing fast and loose with the facts for the sake of your argument. http://bloodalcoholcalculator.org Go there and insert the pertinent info. I think you will find that one beer wouldn’t put your blood alcohol level at even .01% unless you chugged it.

25 Tarheel July 9, 2014 at 11:33 am

Eating too much fried food makes one fat….the only reason people eat fried food is to get fat – therefore it’s wise to avoid fried food. anyone who disagrees with this is incredibly naive or playing games.

26 Tarheel July 9, 2014 at 11:35 am

Therefore no one should eat fried food ever – especially pastors.

27 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 11:49 am

Eating fried chicken doesn’t make you high, or buzzed, or drunk. Eating fried chicken doesn’t control your mind and emotions. Eating fried chicken doesn’t destroy marriages, tear apart homes, cause you to crash into an innocent family and kill all of them, or get such a hold on your life and take you down.

Boy, it’s almost lunch time, and I’m starting to get hungry for some reason. I’m feeling a very strong temptation to eat fried chicken. Tarheel, get thee behind me, Satan!


28 Tarheel July 9, 2014 at 12:04 pm

You’re just naive.

The only reason to eat fried chicken is to overeat it and therefore sin….one who eats it is always unwise.

See how absolutism where scripture teaches moderation is fallacious and and more than a little ridiculous?

29 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 12:09 pm


No, apples and oranges, Bro…..apples and oranges. The only time I nearly crashed into an innocent family eating fried chicken, is when I stopped at Lee’s Famous Fried Chicken, and I bit into some really hot chicken….greased flew out on my chin….and, it made me swerve really bad into oncoming traffic. I told myself to never eat fried chicken and drive, ever again.

David ;)

30 D. L. Payton July 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm

You are right. With all of the potential problems connected with both I simply do not understand how we can defend it. Yes i know there are the BBQ drinkers on Saturday afternoon and there may be no fallout. However, it is very simple…if we leave it alone we will not have a problem. I mean it is not like we are asking people to give up oxygen.

There is no reason to consume alcohol that cannot be satisfied by another drink unless one wants a buzz.

31 D. L. Payton July 9, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Let me clarify one statement..I should have said I see no reason why we would WANT (not how) to defend alcohol.

32 Jerry Smith July 9, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Your 100% right & they will keep on defending their one drink for they love it.

Had a friend who use to drink & drag race. One day talking to him I said, “When do you start drinking on race day as soon as you leave home or when you arrive at the race track?”

He replied, “I never drink a single beer on race day until my last race has been run.”

I replied, “Gary, I know you better than that, you start drinking before you leave home.”

Gary replied, “No, I never drink on race day until the last race, I’ve tried it, & even one beer will ruin my reaction time causing me to lose the race.”

This was a man that was use to drinking beer daily, yet one beer drank before he left home would ruin his reaction time at the drag race causing him to lose the race. And he would not touch a single beer until his last race had been run.

Yes even one beer, or one drink, one glass of wine, puts a buzz on the human body, & people will defend the effects of it of one, even one beer, even one drink, even one glass of wine, for they love the effects.

Yes, one beer, one drink, one glass of wine will make a human say & do things they would not have done or said if they did not let that drink go down their throat & alter their mind.

33 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 10:40 am

Be careful Adam,…my brother from Tennessee is leading you down a box canyon, and will get you trapped and spank you a while.

Your best line was “Bull” so far. The “all fermented is evil” thinking is gnostic and evil on its own.


34 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 11:50 am


Wow….no, wowee! Are you seriously saying that to teach against drinking fermented wine is “gnostic” and “evil?” Good gracious… you just can’t be serious.


35 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Vol, Don’t get too excited! I wrote about this on SBCImpact in 2011. There are Subtle Forms of Gnosticism in thinking all natural things, like fermenting alcohol in wine, lead to evil. I wrote on that point here: http://sbcimpact.org/2011/05/31/subtle-forms-of-gnosticism/

Certainly drinking wine is not a sin. That is a given. To be drunk with wine is a sin…. that is also a given. What makes the difference? self-control and wisdom. To think that one cannot be wise and drink wine is to be contrary to scripture. You should know that.

36 Tarheel July 9, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Vol he’s serious and he’s right too!

37 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 12:12 pm


The Bible clearly teaches that it’s foolish to drink fermented wine…. foolish! It’s foolish to drink fermented wine…to play around with something that so badly affect our lives….and, can even get a hold on our lives…more quickly than we think. i would suspect that most drunkards started off just social drinking, and I’d bet’cha that 99% of them said, or thought they could handle it.

It’s clearly foolish to play around with something that can bite you like a snake. And, yes, it’s clearly a sin to be drunk, or high on alcohol.

Gnostic? lol …..evil? lol ….I’m sorry, Chris, but that’s just silly.


38 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 12:15 pm

He’s seriously wrong.

39 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Vol, I am always amused at how this conversation goes down the same rathole every time. As if, all the preachers here are calling for everyone to go out and get drunk on wine, or smoke pot. No one,…and that means all that have attempted to remove fermented wine from the scriptures have failed. Now that is silly! Can you not be drunk on wine….absolutely, and always. There is plenty of proof of that fact.

There is a better and more profound message for preachers (not lawmakers), than to get all excited about simply dreaming up a bunch of new laws to try and control behavior,…. but many Pastors simply are too fearful about preaching the truth, because of their experiences.

I’m all for having laws btw…. and pot/weed is certainly a problem. More a problem of ignorance,…because the more it is used, stupidity level increases, and damage is done. I try to catch those young pot smokers early and teach them the scriptures… That is the better remedy, and has lasting effects.

40 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 12:47 pm


I’m not trying to control anyone’s behavior. I’m simply trying to be true to the Scripture about godly living, and being WISE in our life choices. And, BTW, I totally agree with you that the best solution to the problem is the Gospel of Jesus, and a changed heart… gloriously changed. Because, that’s exactly what it took to get me off of booze and weed…to get me out of my hedonistic, partying ways…it took the power of God to change my heart and life.

But, we’re not to just preach the Gospel….we’re to also teach the people, who get saved, to obey all that Jesus commands…. holy living. And, part of holy living is to not be foolish enough to play around with fermented wine, and it’s SINFUL to get drunk, or high on alcohol. That’s what the Bible clearly teaches. Now, if you don’t agree with me….okay. But, I still think you’re wrong…. seriously and gravely wrong.

I’ve seen more than a few think that they could drink in moderation…..and, they became out and out drunks….losing things that were dear and precious to them.

I would hate to contribute to someone going down such a bad, bad road.

41 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 1:06 pm


I don’t think we are in disagreement at all really. But, when you put things into categories that don’t exist, for the convenience of saying that “all” get drunk on wine from simply drinking wine. We can’t just say that…. because we know that position is factually and patently false, nor does the scriptures teach anything close to that.

I do agree that wine can lead to drunkenness and does/has increased at an exponential rate within the US and lots of societies. It did in the days of Christ. So being drunk in the days of Christ, is no different than being drunk today. I do agree that we may have somewhat more sophisticated ways to flavor and intense the alcohol content (although some would even debate that the guys in the first century were pretty good at that as well, and to be certain… technology has no doubt increased the volume in current times).

I am all for and do teach young and old alike to never be drunk. That is sin. And, yes…. to “not” be drunk is much easier if you abstain, and is possible if you do not. We should be accurate in our teaching on both accounts.

42 D. L. Payton July 9, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Chris is wrong. I fear you are talking to a closed mind.

43 Tarheel July 9, 2014 at 8:27 pm


….and what? Volfan is the paragon of open mindedness?

44 D. L. Payton July 10, 2014 at 5:21 pm

No, he is not. It is just that i agree with Volfan…prejudicial discernment is the term I believe :-)

Have a good weekend !

45 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 5:26 pm

DL, your a nice fellow. I just don’t understand how you can so often be so wrong….Evidenced of course, by disagreeing with me. ;-)

46 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 10:03 am

Vol, come on man… “The ONLY reason to drink alcohol is too get high” even the Apostle Paul easily disagrees with that statement.

I don’t think he wanted Timothy to get high, but possible even get to feeling a bit better. Alcohol is a natural by-product of the process of fermentation. That does not make it good or bad. Although some product makers these days only go after the market of folks that like to get drunk. The over abundance of ingestion is what brings out the scriptural mandate to never be drunk with the fermented drink.


47 Adam G. in NC July 9, 2014 at 10:16 am

Vol, if that’s the case, then you were the cheapest drunk on record.


48 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 10:24 am

I didn’t say that i was falling down drunk after 1 beer….but, I sure was buzzed, and feeling good and high…..and, when I was helping my friends smoke a joint, I felt just as buzzed and high and good.

Of course, that was an artificial high…only for the moment. I always came down, and had to face reality, eventually.

I’d rather be filled with the Holy Spirit.



49 Nate July 9, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Great point Volfan…

What advocates of alcohol always fail to discuss is the pct of alcohol in today’s beer and wine (the only alcoholic drinks available in Jesus’ day) and furthermore, they refuse to acknowledge that distilled liquor is far more “toxic”. Jesus and Paul certainly were not doing tequilla shots or vodka shots, so we at least should compare apples to apples.

The bible clearly doesn’t prescribe abstinence for all and that is exactly why churches will have to decide for themselves (at the leadership level, in particular – IMO) whether or not to abstain. However, I have and will continue to argue that a church that allows its leadership to drink (albeit in moderation) has no valid argument against marijuana in moderation (in the states where it is illegal).


50 Nate July 9, 2014 at 1:07 pm

I mean in states where legal


51 Jerry Smith July 9, 2014 at 10:16 pm

I agree some what, this is the reasons.

I’m not sure where to stand on this issue. Back in the 70’s I had a friend that had cancer. Was treated for cancer at Houston. The only thing that got him through treatment was marijuana. It was the only thing they gave him that stopped the nauseate caused by the chemo treatments. Before they gave him marijuana they had tried every kind of medicine they had, none of it worked, & he was losing weight & strength daily. Without the marijuana his doctors told his parents he would have died.

In the early 80’s I was talking to my friend about this. he said, “If I found out I had cancer again I would not go though the treatment, I would let it take its course. I said surely you would not look at the many good years you’ve had since. He did not change his mind. I asked him since cancer treatment have you ever smoked marijuana. His answer was no, he was about 22 or 23 years of age.

I also had a friend that was one year behind me in school that went though treatment at Houston before this friend, it seems marijuana saved her too.

Some will say that today they have it in the pill form & that’s true, but the pill is quite expensive, & for those that have they can afford it, but for those that do not have, they cannot afford the pills.

I fear the rich pharmaceutical companies are against the use of medical marijuana & they put out much misinformation, spend much money to fight against legal medical marijuana fearing if it goes legal they will not sell near as many pills. And many there be that pick up on their info using it against legal medical marijuana.

I’m 100% against recreational use marijuana, I stand totally against alcohol too. Yet I know that legal medical marijuana can help some of our people, especially those who have little money & no insurance. Legal medical marijuana may have its rightful place in our world.


52 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Marijuana is a drug….AND, it should be used like all other drugs…. when needed.



53 William Thornton July 9, 2014 at 5:16 am

I don’t disagree with David on this but think that pastors should start thinking of how they and their church will exist, function, and minister in a society where freedoms include casual use of alcohol and marijuana. It’s tough legislatively to roll back expansions of personal freedom and the days where we conservative Christians had sufficient political power to accomplish such is past. Here in GA not many years ago most counties were completely dry due to the influence of Baptists and others. The latest state wide referendum on expanding availability of alcohol passed almost everywhere, easily.

We can fight the good fight, and should do so, but personal redemption and righteous living should be the focus of our energy.


54 D. L. Payton July 9, 2014 at 8:16 pm

As legalization escalates so will the problems. I do not see how church leadership can do anything other than abstain so as to set an example. Many in their congregation will follow their leadership and be “moderate” but get into trouble. How can this be justified by leadership.


55 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 7:32 am

I have personally never been drunk on wine, or have had the experience of smoking “weed” and know its effects. When I listen to pastors, friends, and acquaintances that have either been heavy users, or even casual users of these things and now have changed…. there is a constant theme. The theme is always self-control. I have never once heard them say that a law was the reason they became sober, or that the law was the reason they stopped rolling paper. It was something greater.

The very best answer to societies ills on these types of issues is to preach the word, so that as they hear that best remedy….the Holy Spirit makes a heart new to accept wisdom to never be drunk, or high, or perverted, etc.

If only the Pastors that have experienced the love of the Father through the Holy Spirit who has brought them away from being drunk, etc. would apply that same reason to their hearers, ….then their congregation and community would begin to understand what truly changes the heart. Fortunately, there are no laws that compare to the solution of the Spirit. What a wonderful message for the preacher of God’s word to tell!


56 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 7:47 am

And to add another quick comment,…. Laws are not bad things to have, since we do live in a world where sin is present. In fact, we all know that God ordains and sets up governments for the very purpose of helping to maintain order. God does that to guide the preaching of His word.

It is the worst societies that require more and more laws. Just look around the world systems including our own. Pretty easy to see who makes what laws, and for what reasons.

Societies that have better virtues of wisdom and love, require less law.
Think about what you preach. Are you preaching for a better or worse society? What is the goal?


57 Dan Barnes July 9, 2014 at 8:42 am

Here are the simple reasons I disagree. First, let me say I don’t think people should smoke pot. I think it’s dangerous, it’s harmful, it’s sinful and it’s a bad idea. Now, here is why I think we should consider it’s legalization.

1. The FDA then regulates it. Aside from the two states where it’s legal, pot is being sold by gangs and dealers and criminals, and who knows what is in it. They are in schools and parks and they are dangerous. We take the pot out of their hands and put it in the hands of companies that are regulated by the Government. At least we know it’s clean.

2. The whole Gateway drug thing is a correlation, not causation. Kids who smoke pot try harder drugs, is it because they smoke pot? No, it’s the same reason they smoke pot. It’s also the reason that many of them skip school, get into fights and are disrespectful. They are at-risk kids. Take pot out of the equation, they would still try other drugs, because they are engaged in risky behavior.

3. It has potential to limit some violence. Let’s face it, if guys go to the bar and get drunk and come home angry, they can be abusive. I knew a lot of pot smokers in college, not a single one of them was violent. If pot was available, it has a big potential to mellow some people out. We could all use a world with more mellow people.

4. We are using police resources to fight this drug, when we need to focus on Meth. Meth is a huge problem. Meth destroyed people at a rate that pot doesn’t come close. Pot can be taxed to fund the war on meth.

Now, as a Christian, I don’t use pot, I don’t like pot and I don’t think people should smoke pot. As a citizen, I think there are wars that we need to fight, and wars that we don’t need to fight. I say this as someone who has addicts in my immediate family and I pray for their release from the addicting drugs. I pray they never touch another drug, and I know if it’s legal they will use a lot. Truth be told, I would feel better about them using an FDA controlled marketed substance than something they got from a guy with face tattoos at the local bar. Just a thought.


58 Jake Barker July 9, 2014 at 8:56 am

Thanks Dan,
Your comment was the most thoughtful and practical comment of this whole stream.


59 tom Bryant July 9, 2014 at 9:13 am

Interesting thoughts, but there are some problems with your line of thinking:.
#1 – The idea that government regulation leads to better pot means what? Stronger? But I would argue with you that the government regulation and the FDA is a guarantee of improvement of anything.

#2 – Yes, it may be there is no correlation, but it is a gateway to other drugs. It is the easiest to get and the one that breaks down the entry into the other harder drugs.

#3 – The problem is that the people who get violent are not the users of marijuana, but the controllers of marijuana.

#4 – The idea that the taxes on one drug will be used to fight another drug is problematical. We were told that the lottery and casinos taxes would be used to fund education. And it did, but it allowed the legislatures to stop using budget dollars to education and then fund legislator’s favorite pork.


60 Adam Blosser July 9, 2014 at 9:23 am

“We could all use a world with more mellow people.”

So we could all use a world with more pot-heads?


61 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 9:53 am

Also, some of the weed sellers are very bad dudes. They will hurt people.



62 Adam G. in NC July 9, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Vol, ever heard the phrase “Baptists and Bootleggers”?


63 D. L. Payton July 9, 2014 at 8:28 pm

What makes us think that legal pot sellers will keep illegal pot sellers out of the school yard? If anything it will provide an easy source for the of legal age buyer to go to the legal store, make a purchase and go to the schoolyards and sell for a profit to those who cannot go to the legal store. That is already happening in Denver.


64 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 9:29 am

well… I don’t think that was the intent of Dan’s previous message. But, some think the only recourse to every “chemical”,… is a new law. That is a self defeating strategy as well.

Preachers certainly can define themselves as lawmakers, or as ones demonstrating a better, more effective strategy.


65 Tim A. Blankenship July 9, 2014 at 9:38 am

I agree with David B. completely in his article. Amen!


66 Jess July 9, 2014 at 11:00 am


Sir, you are exactly right, I drank because I liked the way it made my body and head feel, that’s called a buzz, intoxication, or how ever you would like to label it, it is still under the influence.

Paul told Timothy to use a little wine for the stomachs sake, which means for medical purposes, not to be a casual drinker, or a social drinker. Why is another name for alcohol, spirits? You all know the answer to that. Lol.


67 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 11:54 am


I agree with you, completely. And, the book of Proverbs makes it plain and clear….whoever plays around with fermented wine is playing with a rattlesnake.



68 Stephen Jones July 9, 2014 at 2:18 pm

The only reason Paul recommended Tim use a little wine for his stomach – Pepto-Bismol had not yet been invented. Today – no reason whatsoever for anyone, especially Christians, to drink alcoholic beverage or to smoke dope. Amen to David Brumbelow’s excellent article. Amen to David Volfan007.


69 Tarheel July 9, 2014 at 2:36 pm

So you’re saying that the apostle Paul under the God breathed inspiration of the Holy Spirit encouraged Timothy to consume something that’s dangerous, unwise and sinful simply because there wasn’t something else of medicinal value available ?

OK, if you say so.

Also if alcohol was simply grape juice as some here have contended back in the day then why wouldn’t we still today drink grape juice for stomach issues ?????


70 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 2:49 pm


The Bible says that it’s unwise to drink fermented wine. It’s unwise to play around with it….to just drink it for the fun of it. But, like any drug, if used for medicinal purposes, then fine. Use it to help out someone, who is sick. My doctor gave me some very powerful pain killers when my back was hurt. I took them, and they helped me. But, when my back wasn’t hurt, anymore, then I quit taking the pain killers. And, I would’ve been absolutely foolish and playing with fire to keep taking them, just because they made me feel good.

Also, they say that apple juice can make people feel sleepy. Also, there are many experts, out there, who will tell you that grape juice has a lot of great benefits to your body. In fact, I have a group of people in my church, who swear that it helps them to not get stomach viruses…and, when stomach viruses start going around our area, they’ll hit the grape juice hard! so, maybe Paul was telling Timothy to drink unfermented wine, here?



71 D. L. Payton July 9, 2014 at 8:21 pm

and amen to Stephen


72 Dean Stewart July 9, 2014 at 11:02 am

David, thanks for the post. I do not want to open the debate about what man being made in the image of God means. Whatever one’s take on the subject, the “Substantive View” has been the most dominant view throughout Christian history. Many view the characteristic of God that humans possess to be reason, logic, rationale or intellect.

I am sure there are studies that say otherwise, but, smoking pot has consistently been identified as a drug that affects a person’s intellect. If part of the “image of God” is our intellect/reasoning/etc… then it has to be wrong for believers to practice anything that affects that intellect.


73 David R. Brumbelow July 9, 2014 at 11:55 am

Great point.

Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. -Matthew 22:37
(Also: Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27; Titus 1:8)

David R. Brumbelow


74 David R. Brumbelow July 9, 2014 at 11:09 am

I agree that drinkers consume alcohol because of the drug effect (and maybe also to “fit in”).

Nonalcoholic wine and beer have just never caught on, even though they taste the same.
Before you argue they don’t taste the same –
A leading nonalcoholic wine-maker secretly entered their nonalcoholic wine in a wine contest, and they won first place!
When it was found out, the wine judges were furious.

If the drug effect is not what you’re after, then why not make safe nonalcoholic drinks that taste the same?

A defensive driving instructor, who drinks himself, insisted the first drink of alcohol adversely affects your judgment.
Therefore, he said, if you have had any alcohol, you are unqualified to judge whether you are fit to drive.

Get two equally talented athletes. Have one sober, the other drink a beer. The sober athlete will win every time.

Jerry Vines has well said, “Moderate drinking is moderate intoxication.”
Adrian Rogers said, “Moderate drinking is not the cure for drunkenness, it’s the cause of drunkenness.”
David R. Brumbelow


75 Tim G July 9, 2014 at 2:04 pm

And they along with you are and were right on! Thanks for the article David B.

How how do we rescue Volfan from the fried chicken?


76 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Tim G.,

Don’t rescue me! Let me stay hooked on chicken for the rest of my life!!
Lee’s, KFC, Chik Fil A, Zaxby’s, or the convenient store…I don’t care who supplies me, as long as I keep getting my chicken fix!



77 Tarheel July 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

“Get two equally talented athletes. Have one sober, the other drink a beer. The sober athlete will win every time.”

Lol. Babe Ruth and (I think) Mickey Mantle both claimed to have been drunk most every game….

I’d say, if that’s true…your statement is hereby debunked.


78 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 8:02 am

Babe Ruth started his baseball career today back in 1914.

BTW, had Ruth not been a drunk he would have hit more homeruns than he did. He also holds the strikeout record. When you are drunk you miss more curve balls than you hit.


79 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 8:06 am

He said the “sober” one wins EVERYTIME … I was just addressing the absolute statement.

I agree he could have been even better had he not been drunk.


80 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 8:54 am


There is also even a better theory about Ruth and Mantle. Had they not played for the Yankees, they would have been far better players and not so prone to party. :-)

Imagine had they both played for St. Louis or had they been of a different ear, the Atlanta Braves.

Eat your heart out, Dave Miller. :-)

81 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 11:17 am

Go braves!

82 Chris Roberts July 9, 2014 at 3:11 pm

“Get two equally talented athletes. Have one sober, the other drink a beer. The sober athlete will win every time.”

1. If you give the athlete “a beer” then both of them will be sober, so of course the sober one will win.

2. Get two equally talented athletes. Have one eat a sensible meal, stuff the other with fried chicken. The one with the sensible meal will win every time.

“A leading nonalcoholic wine-maker secretly entered their nonalcoholic wine in a wine contest, and they won first place!”

I had to google around a bit to find anything confirming this. Looks like the company is Ariel, which says “Our core customer is someone who hasn’t developed a taste for wine, and they like their beverages sweet” – meaning they acknowledge a taste difference, catering their product specifically to someone who doesn’t like the taste of alcohol. And the contest they won? A tasting at the 1986 Los Angeles County Fair. Hardly a panel of wine experts. ( http://articles.latimes.com/2007/nov/26/health/he-wine26 ) That particular article has a bit more to say about the claim that non-alcoholic wine can taste as good as the real thing.


83 Tarheel July 9, 2014 at 3:46 pm

In the words of the great Dave miller…



84 Bill Mac July 9, 2014 at 10:07 pm

A leading nonalcoholic wine-maker secretly entered their nonalcoholic wine in a wine contest, and they won first place! When it was found out, the wine judges were furious.

Could I get a first-hand reference for this? Frankly this just doesn’t sound credible.

Also, wouldn’t drinking non-alcoholic beer and/or wine raise the same stumbling blocks as drinking the real thing?


85 David R. Brumbelow July 10, 2014 at 9:50 am

Chris Roberts, Tarheel (David Cline), Bill Mac,

Awards received by Ariel Nonalcoholic Wines:

88 Points, Silver Medal – 2012 California State Fair
90 Points, Silver Medal – 2011California State Fair
Silver Medal – 2006 Los Angeles County Fair
Bronze Medal – 2002 California State Fair
Silver Medal – 2005 California State Fair
Bronze Medal – 1998 Pomona County Fair
Gold Medal, 1986 Los Angeles County Fair
ARIEL White Zinfandel
89 Points, Silver Medal – 2012 California State Fair
92 Points, Silver Medal, 2011 California State Fair
Silver Medal – 2011 Hilton Head International Wine Judging & Competition
Silver Medal – 2011 Hilton Head International Wine Judging & Competition
Gold Medal – 2006 Los Angeles County Fair
Silver Medal – 2005 Los Angeles County Fair
Bronze Medal – 2005 California State Fair
Bronze Medal – 1999 California State Fair
ARIEL Cabernet Sauvignon
91 Points, Silver Medal – 2011 California State Fair
Bronze Medal, 2006 Los Angeles County Fair
Bronze Medal, 2002 Los Angeles County Fair
ARIEL Merlot
Silver Medal – 2002 Los Angeles County Fair
Bronze Medal – 2002 California State Fair
Bronze Medal – 1998 Los Angeles County Fair
ARIEL Chardonnay
Silver Medal, 1999 Riverside International Wine Competition

My point was simply to say you can make nonalcoholic drinks taste like alcoholic drinks.
And that the huge majority of people drink for the drug effect; whether it is to calm down, get a buzz, or to get dunk.

Beverage alcohol is a recreational, mind-altering drug; just like marijuana.
David R. Brumbelow


86 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 10:55 am



87 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 11:04 am

david B.,

If you and others are going to be posting my name after my pseudonym please just use Dave. That’s what I go by.

I’ve decided to keep using Tarheel when I post – y’all know who I am.

I’m not trying to hide but there are too many David’s on this board so do what you must …..you guys trip me out.

88 Bill Mac July 10, 2014 at 10:01 pm

No, sorry, those stats were simply cut and pasted from the Ariel website. I have no doubt they make a high quality product. Do you think all those medals were won under the assumption that the judges thought they were drinking alcoholic wine? I would like to see the source that says the judges at the wine competition were fooled into thinking the non-alcoholic wine was alcoholic and were furious after finding out. That is the part I don’t find credible.


89 Bill Mac July 11, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Still waiting.

90 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 11:37 pm

They tend to ignore queries where the answers debunk thier fallacious arguments. ;-)

91 David R. Brumbelow July 14, 2014 at 11:09 am

In general,
A dealcoholized wine tastes like alcoholic wine.
Premium unfermented wine / grape juice from wine grapes does not taste like alcoholic wine, but it tastes great.

But this leaves open the issue of others thinking we are drinking alcohol.

I presented Dr. Paige Patterson a bottle of Pinot Noir in SWBTS chapel in appreciation for his writing the Foreword to “Ancient Wine and the Bible.” But he quickly said I assure you this is unfermented wine.
I also gave a bottle to Dr. Daniel Sanchez, who also endorsed the book.

I would love for my local grocery store to sell Draper Valley Vineyard products. But anyone who saw me and knows me would think I was buying alcohol. Useless, I suppose, I explained it to everyone I saw; and announced in church what I was doing.

I have ordered Draper Valley Vineyard through the mail and have been very impressed with it. They told me the only complaints they get are from those who expect it to taste like alcoholic wine. I have seen them advertise in Christianity Today.

I am totally against the recreational use of mind-altering drugs, whether alcohol, marijuana, etc.
I would just say to be careful about how you appear to others if you are drinking unfermented Pinot Noir; and be quick to explain yourself.
Be quick to point out where it says “nonalcoholic” on the label.
David R. Brumbelow

92 Chris Roberts July 14, 2014 at 11:24 am

“In general, A dealcoholized wine tastes like alcoholic wine.”

“They told me the only complaints they get are from those who expect it to taste like alcoholic wine.”

One of these statements is not like the other…

93 John Wylie July 14, 2014 at 11:27 am


If you will read David’s comment a bit more carefully you will discover that de-alcoholized wine and unfermented wine are two different things.

94 John Wylie July 14, 2014 at 11:28 am

Read David’s first paragraph again.

95 David R. Brumbelow July 14, 2014 at 9:33 am

“ARIEL is a pioneer in producing award winning de-alcoholized wines.

Since the first commercial production in 1985, ARIEL has gained recognition from the world’s leading wine critics and connoisseurs alike when their ARIEL Blanc wine was awarded the Gold Medal at the Los Angeles County Fair in 1986 in a blind tasting against wines with alcohol.

Before this recognition, non-alcoholic wines were said to not have the same quality as alcoholic wines. However, ARIEL proved this notion untrue, and

since then, they have gone on to win acclaim and numerous awards in competitions against alcoholic and non-alcoholic wines throughout the world…

ARIEL is the only gold medal winner against wines with alcohol. In 1986, professional judges at the Los Angeles County Fair awarded ARIEL Blanc a gold medal against wine with alcohol. This category consisted of several table wines, including a well-known chardonnay from the central coast region of California.

ARIEL non-alcoholic wines have won 8 medals against wines with alcohol in blind tastings conducted by professional judges.

ARIEL is currently the recognized leader in non-alcoholic wines in 22 countries.”
-from http://www.tiecol.com/food_bev/ariel.html
David R. Brumbelow


96 John Wylie July 14, 2014 at 9:51 am

I found that interesting about Ariel. They actually de-alcoholize the wine. The result is that there are about a third of the calories in Ariel’s wine. Pretty cool.

97 David R. Brumbelow July 14, 2014 at 9:35 am

Draper Valley Vineyard unfermented wine.

For those looking for premium unfermented wine, made from wine grapes, but not having the fermented wine taste, you may want to check out:

Draper Valley Vineyards

Their fresh, unfermented Pinot Noir is outstanding.
David R. Brumbelow


98 Chris Roberts July 14, 2014 at 9:46 am

“but not having the fermented wine taste” – they don’t taste the same.

99 Les Prouty July 14, 2014 at 10:02 am

So teetotaler scan order it up in a restaurant and enjoy with no worries! Cheers.

100 Chris Johnson July 14, 2014 at 10:04 am

Sounds like an excellent product, I hope they do well and sell a bunch!

101 Bill Mac July 14, 2014 at 10:43 am

One of my prior questions still remains. Will not Christians ordering and consuming non-alcoholic wine in public raise the same “stumbling block” issues as if it were alcoholic wine? I’ve been told innumerable times that just seeing Christians drink will lead people into sin. Non-alcoholic wine may not taste the same, but it looks the same, both the wine, and the bottles. I can’t see, from an abstentionist point of view, how non-alcoholic beer or wine is a great breakthrough for Christians.

102 Les Prouty July 14, 2014 at 11:01 am

Bill Mac,

Of course it’s only some Christians this may affect as some see no problem consuming wine in public.

But that is maybe a problem you being up. I suspect someone will bring up the verse about not giving even an appearance of evil which would be calling any consumption of wine “evil.”

103 Chris Johnson July 14, 2014 at 11:16 am

Bill Mac, that is an excellent question. The wine consumer should be patient with the offended person. For instance, it is in the best interest of the wine consumer to love his brother/sister that may not understand, and not drink wine at that moment.

We had a lady that was convinced that consuming wine, or giving the appearance of consuming wine was sinful. Again, this is just pure bad theology. But, the mature Christian, that may drink wine from time to time, must be patient and help their brother/sister understand what the scriptures are teaching about being drunk, or giving the appearance of sinning whether it be drunkenness or idle worship. Once the lady referred to above understood the teaching, it has given her a great deal of freedom….which took more than just reading her a verse. She does not drink wine, or hard liquor, etc. She abstains, but she also now understands the difference of being drunk, and being accused of being drunk, and how idle worship can also be the misuse of scripture.

104 dr. james willingham July 9, 2014 at 11:51 am

Wishful thinking. Governments will get their taxes anyway they can, and, besides, the conspiracy of the string pullers behind the scene find it profitable. The folks who are elected, especially in these days, are puppets who dance to the tune indicated by their masters. When millions are spent by corporations to help people get elected, you know there is a big problem. And, if any one will look, they will find even the big liberal give away programs are backed by the corporations and foundations, the trusts and other charitable and organized means of financial control. Follow the money trail is not a cliché; it is a necessity, if you really want to know what is going down. Pay no mind to the fellow behind the screen (Wizard of Oz reference), and you will pay more than you ever dreamed possible in misery and suffering. Just study the Federal Reserve system and its century of control over American prosperity. Even Milton Friedman on public attention said that institution was the cause of the Great Depression in 1929 and the cause of much of present financial problems today. He should have added, “and the cause of many of our wars.” Try Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope and his The Anglo American Establishment along with Bella Dodd’s School of Darkness and Tony Brown’s Empower The People. Go all the way back to Professor John Robinson’s Born in Blood, a professor in Scotland who examined the lodges of German in the 1700s. Even George Washington read him and expressed the fact that the illuminati existed and were in America.


105 Dean Stewart July 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm

I am afraid that some are being fooled by Satan concerning the legalization of marijuana. I called a state narcotics agent this morning to get his take on the legalization of marijuana. He said you all need to know that the THC in the legalized marijuana is 3 times higher than it was in pot taken off the streets five years ago. This make today’s marijuana and the pot of 70′s and 80′s two completely different creatures. He said studies have proven today’s pot is more addictive and will lead to the use of other drugs.

Further, legal marijuana is being marketed toward younger people. In the states where it is legal they are selling strawberry flavored pot. He has confiscated packages of legal marijuana cookies that have made their way into our state. Why would legal marijuana sellers produce a product called “Kush Bomb Cookies” that appears to be something similar to Girl Scout Cookies?

One of the biggest challenges today in drug use is the abuse of prescription (legal) drugs. I think it is naive to believe that making pot legal will stop marijuana abuse. If our goal is stop drug abuse then Singapore’s laws are for more effective than our strategy to make it legal and act like its not a problem.


106 Dean Stewart July 9, 2014 at 12:07 pm

“far” more effective…


107 Tarheel July 9, 2014 at 12:07 pm

I agree dean….pot and booze are to different things for the reasons you describe.


108 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Booze is far more potent than it was in Biblical times, as well. Our modern day fermentation technology can, and does, up the potency of today’s liquor.

Just like mary jane is more potent…so is booze.



109 Jess July 9, 2014 at 6:39 pm


Moonshine was just as potent 100 years ago as it is today. I see what you are saying though.


110 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 11:01 pm

I have drunk moonshine before….it is POTENT plus!! :)


111 Jeff P. July 9, 2014 at 12:16 pm

I have friends who still smoke pot, and they say this over and over. Far more potent today than just several years ago


112 David R. Brumbelow July 9, 2014 at 12:12 pm

1 Timothy 5:23 has often been misused.

No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities. -1 Timothy 5:23

1. The wine referred to could have either been fermented or unfermented.
The Bible and ancient writing often refer to unfermented wine by the name wine (Isaiah 65:8; Matthew 9:17; etc.).
Modern English translations do so as well.
Ancients knew and practiced multiple ways of preserving unfermented wine. It was available throughout the year.
Unfermented wine or grape juice has many, probably more, healthy properties than alcoholic wine; without the harmful side effects.

However, even if Paul was recommending alcoholic wine:
2. He said a little.
3. Strictly for medicinal purposes.
At most, this is only justifying a little alcohol for medicinal reasons.

It is also interesting that as a pastor, Timothy, for good reason, had been abstaining from wine.
David R. Brumbelow


113 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Abstaining from wine is not a bad practice, and Paul had to understand what he was asking Timothy to endure by drinking wine. I’m sure there were people in Timothy’s church that would have a hard time understanding that drinking wine is not the sin, just as some in churches do today as well. But, that didn’t stop Paul from allowing the better for Timothy, since he understood that fermentation would help him endure his current situation.

What would you do? Ignore Paul’s instruction and risk being diverted from your task of Pastoring, or use the wine to help the stomach cope.

We really don’t know if Timothy ignored his mentor,….or understood his wisdom and endured the criticism from those that were maturing inside the church.


114 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Or, maybe he drank unfermented wine, and everyone in the church thought it was a great, smart idea?




115 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Doesn’t seem to fit the situation…..good try though :)


116 Jess July 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm


I think you are exactly correct. Good words.


117 Jess July 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm

I would like to say that if any of you are playing around with alcohol, and cannot stop using it, you have a serious problem. Who ever disagrees with me here, and tries to make excuses for your drinking, you have a problem. I always hear, oh I can stop anytime I want, isn’t it strange how that time never comes.


118 Adam G. in NC July 9, 2014 at 12:57 pm

kinda like commenting on blogs.


119 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 1:09 pm

I agree with that Jess!


120 Bart Barber July 9, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Those who are abstentionists like I am, I would request that you not answer this question. Those of you who are not, I would like to pose a question to you:

1. Let’s assume that marijuana has been legalized in your state and that you are not a part of any organized effort to prohibit it.

2. Let’s assume that, whether you personally use alcoholic beverages recreationally or not, you believe and teach that such is permitted at least in moderation for believers.

Here’s the question: Chris Johnson, you suggested that we should “catch those young pot smokers early and teach them the scriptures.” Which scriptures do you plan to use in order to teach total abstinence from marijuana but that absolutely, when applied to alcohol, do not teach a total abstinence position?

It’s an honest question, because frankly, I don’t know of any.


121 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Can you answer the question if you have wine for communion, or maybe a quarter of a small glass, two to three times a year on specific occasions. Does that qualify as abstinence? Just asking for my sake :)


122 Bart Barber July 9, 2014 at 9:20 pm

I’m not putting myself in the position of being the arbiter of what qualifies as teetotaling abstinence. If I were prescribed alcohol by my doctor for some reason, I’d take it. If I served at a church that insisted upon having alcoholic wine for the Lord’s Supper, before I would refuse to be at the Lord’s table, I’d probably imbibe of the wine, against my own wishes. I’d still consider myself a teetotaler. I don’t foresee my facing those situations, but taking them on as hypotheticals, that’s how I’d answer them.


123 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 11:01 pm

I think you probably described the dilemma that Timothy found himself in with the Apostle Paul. He must have felt a bit alarmed that Paul would write to him to take wine, and I assume he did take it for whatever was ailing him; but I doubt he ducked behind a bush to do the deed.

The Apostle knew that Timothy drinking wine would neither profit nor hinder his ministry in the eyes of the church. He did know that being drunk on that same wine would be a real issue and disqualify him for caring for the flock…. as he expressed this in the same letter about fellow elders.

“It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of [a]overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 [b]An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine [c]or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.”


124 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Granny Clampett used to drink her rheumatis medicine…when needed.

David ;)


125 Chris Johnson July 10, 2014 at 12:01 am

Granny may have qualified as a deaconess ;)


126 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Ok…since I abstain from being drunk, I’ll answer the question.

Bart, The first 10 Proverbs are great for setting the table to discuss why self-control is a basic fundamental joy God gives to his children. Marijuana, Alcohol, Overeating, Undereating (there are laws against this btw), or anything that we can abuse should be considered over and against the wisdom found in Proverbs.

A very good place to start…..


127 Tarheel July 9, 2014 at 4:16 pm

I also abstain from drunkeness. I’m also not addicted to alcohol.

Bart, do you completely and absolutely abstain from and encourage others to abstain from the use of all intoxicants for any reason? If not what verses do you use to justify the difference between the self medicating oxy user and the dude that just broke his collar bone and has been prescribed it?


128 Bart Barber July 9, 2014 at 9:28 pm

1 Timothy 5:23 suggests, I think, the use of such substances when they are medicinally advantageous. When they are doing harm, that’s a different story.

Sometimes alcohol is commended for doing us good. Sometimes alcohol is condemned for doing us harm. I extend the same principle across to other drugs, whether they be intoxicating or not. A Christian ought not to pop Tylenols to the point of liver failure.

I thus oppose the recreational use of any drug.


129 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 7:35 am

I contend that so long as one doesn’t abuse it, over consume it, or become an addict of it…alcohol can merely be a beverage just like any other.

It’s not till it’s used to excess/abused that it becomes a problem….there are so many other things In The same category. (Food, sex, even water itself)

Also, just so y’all know. It’s possible to be one who abstains yet allows grace without judgement for others who have conscience freedom to drink occasionally but don’t abuse it and/or become drunk.

Romans 14


130 Bart Barber July 9, 2014 at 9:21 pm

OK, Chris. So wouldn’t that allow for the moderate use of both alcohol and marijuana?


131 Bart Barber July 9, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Because that’s really what I’m driving at. How does one say, “No marijuana,” but “Not too much alcohol” from scripture?


132 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Yes, I think that is a better question, and one that must be addressed to the “young pot smoker”. I think he would have a legitimate complaint, since his desire for one may be of the same concept and perception of his right to have the other.

That is precisely the reason I use Proverbs to begin my conversation with the younger folks, because most folks don’t really hear too much of that type of reasoning, and God has given the writer of Proverbs the answers to all the gradients of practices, excuses, etc. of any substance abuse or practice. Wisdom is the key; and leading the young (or anyone really) to an effective and complete biblical answer makes Proverbs an excellent point of entry.

Actually the abuse of wine and cannabis have the same general outcome. It destroys tissue, aptitude, lives, and families. So how one address “abuse” with both of these is truly the question. Since one is a bit different than the other, I have found both can be handled through the use of Proverbs.

Cannabis is simply very popular these days, and not as well regulated as alcohol….so laws will have to be enacted to control its abuse and probably even its use in years to come. Cigarettes met with the same outcome by the government. And governments are never the sharpest knifes in the drawer. While some laws must be enacted to protect the general public, I have found that the abusers of any substance can only truly change, as they are changed by God’s word.

Many pastors conveniently lump substances together to fit it into a nice little program. On the other hand, Proverbs takes the time to address all the angles, ….that was instructive to me, and that aspect alone allows me a great deal of material to take specific issues on individually and work with the individual. Abuse of wine, and Abuse of cannabis, Abuse of food, Abuse of sex,…all different tracks. That has always worked best for me, because it allows me to be patient and spend more time sharing the Word of God with them in more context.

I personally think ingesting cannibas in any form “for recreation (at least what my mind pictures that to mean)” as you guys term it,.. is nuts! But that doesn’t help the guy ingesting it very much. I’d rather share the Proverbs and hit the higher effects of wisdom. Let God speak.


133 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Scripturally though, Chris….there’s no verse that says, “Do not smoke weed.” There’s not verse that commands us to not use meth, or cocaine, or heroin….not one.



134 volfan007 July 9, 2014 at 11:05 pm

PS. There’s no verse against tobacco use, either…none…nada.


135 Chris Johnson July 9, 2014 at 11:55 pm

Vol….We shouldn’t drink antifreeze either… is there a point you are trying to make?

136 cbscott July 10, 2014 at 6:37 am

I once worked, for a short time, with a guy who drank antifreeze. He didn’t last long. They say snow never sticks to his grave.

137 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 7:48 am

There’s no verse “against” the moderate, appropriate use of alcohol either. Nada. But there are some that record and reference it’s misuse.

138 Chris Johnson July 10, 2014 at 9:05 am

Tarheel, Another thing I found important especially about wine is to explain the scripture,…as the scriptures are abundantly clear that the definition of wine used throughout biblical times initiates without much fermentation, yet builds to burst wineskins That simple fact about wine is important to understand because it lends context to all the admonitions of the misuse of wine, and the positive teaching elements used for wine within the scriptures. We can have much confidence that not every home that provided wine for consumption throughout the year in Israel, ended up in Jerusalem’s AA classes. The admonitions are obviously present to warn and help keep folks in line even as Jesus used it for illustrations in Luke’s account:

“And they said to Him, “The disciples of John often fast and offer prayers, the disciples of the Pharisees also do the same, but Yours eat and drink.” 34And Jesus said to them, “You cannot make the attendants of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? 35“But the days will come; and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days.” 36And He was also telling them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. 37“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. 38“But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39“And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’” (NASB)

So, these teachings about the abuse and activity of the wine was also the tutor of the land, and was in play for those that stepped over the line. There were consequences,…as there should be for lack of self-control.

139 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 10:08 am


Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha….that’s a good one, Bro.


140 Jeff P. July 10, 2014 at 9:37 am

Chris, I like the Proverbs approach, but when it is legal, at least regarding pot, those young pot smokers will have scripture to come back with as well, “I thought everything God made was good?” Many I deal with already use that. Right now, I can come back with if we’re going to follow Christ we need to obey the law, but that will be quickly changing. We’re in a different situation, as many of kids that attend our church are going home to substance abusers. Many if not most teens and even some pre teens have already tried alcohol and pot. The one thing we can be sure of is they are not trying it with self control, they are doing so for the same reasons most do, peer pressure, to be cool and to get high. Pot being legalized will only make it seem less harmful to them. It’s legal, right? Can’t be to bad. Best weapon I have is my testimony, as I can tell them of the consequences; many friends who eventually OD’d as it led to other things. Friends killed in car crashes, drowing, even hit by a train. Any youth group in any church is going to have kids trying these things, more than we think. I’d also suggest finding those in our churches who have dealt with these things and overcome them through Christ, let them share some of their stories regularly. Even if we do everything right, our culture will still tell them it is alright, so we face an ever increasing up hill battle, one our enemy fights very well


141 Chris Johnson July 10, 2014 at 10:20 am

Jeff, fight the good fight brother. Telling those youth the truth, outperforms the law. I am for lawmaking, and the “weed” problem will continue to get more attention and the government will act somewhere along the way. Our best effort though is to share the Word of God, as the Laws are made and enforced. We have control over what we preach,…and I can guarantee you that sharing God’s Word is more effective (100% of the time) than waiting on laws to be enacted and enforced….any day of the week.

142 Jeff P. July 10, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Sadly Chris, I think the government has already acted. As more and more states legalize it(Washington today), just like gay marriage, it will eventually be legal. But the truth is still more powerful! Unfortunately, like for many of us, it will take mistakes and harm to finally have the lessons sink in. You just pray they don’t end tragically, and keep trying to reach them and help them learn from yours and others mistakes, sharing the word, and as you stated, biblical wisdom. Salvation is by far the most essential need, as with the Holy Spirit, things become far clearer

143 William F. Leonhart III July 9, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Wow. Bring up beer and watch the legalists come out of the woodworks. Man. You would think we took a black magic marker to a large number of passages referring to wine and strong drink in the Old and New Testaments. You would think the Bible has absolutely nothing positive to say about wine and strong drink (“beer” in the HCSB by the way). By the way, the only message most teenagers and young adults hear when their pastor says things like “I’ve never drank a drop of alcohol in my life” is “I’m better than YOU!” Alcohol is not sinful. Slavery to it is.


144 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 11:00 am


First of all, let’s just say…for the sake of argument….that drinking in moderation and abstention can both fit in the interpretation of the Scriptures concerning wine. We’ve seen, and continue to see a tremendous amount of Scriptural reasons why people believe both. And, we see a lot of reasons from wisdom why people believe both.

Let me ask you…since I’ve seen many others say the same thing…. why would the abstaining from alcohol view be called “legalism?” If I can show you….from the Scriptures….that the Bible teaches that it’s UNWISE to drink alcohol in a recreational way….and, that it’s SINFUL to be drunk on wine…..why would that be “legalism?” In the least, you might say that it’s a dfference in interpretation….but, legalism?



145 Chris Johnson July 10, 2014 at 6:49 am

CB, Good to see you up early this morning sir! I thought you might be lurking on this conversation on the wisdom of things. Stay off that antifreeze!


146 cbscott July 10, 2014 at 9:37 am

Well, Chris, now that you have called me by name . . . :-)

Since it is a documented fact that beverage alcohol has caused the deaths of more children that all illegal drugs combined, it should be obvious to one and all, within the household of faith, that the use of alcohol as a beverage is unwise.


147 Dan Barnes July 10, 2014 at 9:40 am

CB, I think something we need to ask ourselves is, for Christians is it medicinal. For Timothy, it was medicine. For us, if we use alcohol as medicine, there is a big problem. Seems, to quote a wise man, unwise.


148 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 7:38 am

Dan Barnes,

Please notice that I always make the statement that I have made here for 7-8 or so years here and beyond that prior:

“The use of alcohol as a beverage is unwise.” The medicinal use of alcohol is not the same as the use of alcohol as a beverage.

For those who use the Timothy passage as an argument for the use of alcohol as a beverage, they use the passage beyond its exegetical parameters.


149 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 7:53 am

CB, maybe….but For another example of taking scripture beyond its exegetical boundaries see Vols arguments in celebrating the consumption of unhealthy fried foods as encouraged by God in Acts 10.

The possibility of overuse and misuse doesn’t always require prohibitionism but simply vigilance and self control.

150 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 8:46 am


No disagreement about the use of self-control. None. However, it is a fact, no matter what you or anyone else presents to the contrary, beverage alcohol does alter cognitive ability in all users, some more and some less.

Therefore, to use alcohol as a beverage does far more to alter one’s ability to exercise self-control than does the eating of several chickens or one small elephant.

Thus, the argument that the use of alcohol as a beverage remains the strong position and is the better position for the follower of Christ.

151 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 8:48 am

That should have been:

“Thus, the argument that the use of alcohol as a beverage ‘is unwise’ remains the strong position and is the better position for the follower of Christ.”

Sometimes age alters cognitive ability also. :-)

152 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 11:15 am

See it the “I’m obviously better than you” argument that I resist.

153 volfan007 July 11, 2014 at 12:14 pm


Once again, there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with eating fried chicken, or having grits at breakfast. In fact, the Bible does not teach that it’s unwise to eat fried chicken. Gluttony is a sin…yes. But, eating fried chicken, or eating fried oreo’s is A-OK with God.

But, the Bible does speak about drinking alcohol. It does talk about the lack of wisdom in choosing to drink alcohol. It does talk about the sinfulness of being drunk on it.

I hope that clears it up. Now, I must go and eat some fried chicken.


154 Chris Roberts July 11, 2014 at 12:28 pm


The Bible says nothing about smoking cigarettes, so I suppose it’s on the same level as fried chicken?

155 Adam G. in NC July 11, 2014 at 12:57 pm

should we smoke filtered or unfiltered fried chicken? crispy? extra-crispy? menthol?

156 Chris Roberts July 11, 2014 at 1:07 pm

I’m partial to unfiltered clove chickerillos.

157 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 1:11 pm

The bible speaks of the sinfulness of drunkeness but never precludes it’s use altogether. In fact it refers to it’s moderate usage.

Y’all seem to be arguing that because of dangers and sinfulness associated with alcohol misuse and overuse it should be avoided altogether…..

Yet you ignore potentialities of such in things YOU choose to enjoy.

158 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm


There is no “better than you” argument here. That will not work. The declaration that it is unwise to use alcohol as a beverage has nothing to do with one person being better than another.

To state that something is unwise is simply to state that something is unwise.

It is unwise to sleep on railroad tracks. That does not mean that the person who does not sleep on railroad tracks is “better” than a person who does sleep on railroad tracks.

However, it does make the odds greater that he who does not sleep on railroad tracks will live longer than he who does.

The Bible will not sustain the argument that a wise person is better than an unwise person. The Bible will not sustain that making wise decisions more often than unwise decisions makes a person “better” than a person who makes unwise decisions more often than wise decisions.

However, the Bible will sustain that making wise decisions is far better than making unwise decisions.

My position has nothing to do with one person being better than another person. My position is that it is unwise to use alcohol as a beverage.

159 volfan007 July 11, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Chris Roberts,

You are correct. The Bible does not teach anything about using tobacco. Whether to chew and spit, or to smoke some in a pipe, is entirely up to one’s conscience. I would recommend to not use tobacco. I would say that it’s the WISE thing.


160 volfan007 July 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm

The wise thing would be to NOT use tobacco….with all that we know about tobacco.


161 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Volfan, Take that reasoning and apply it fried chicken….With all we know about the health dangers of fatty foods might it be wise to refuse to eat any of those?

162 volfan007 July 11, 2014 at 3:18 pm


I don’t think it’s bad, or unhealthy to eat fatty, fried foods. I eat them for the glory of God!

As a matter of fact, I had lunch with a couple of Preachers, today. We had fried chicken, meatloaf, cooked cabbage, fried squash, etc. Man, was that chicken good! I almost got the fried oreo’s for dessert, but I had had enough….so, I stopped.


163 Dan Barnes July 11, 2014 at 5:29 pm

I’m agreeing with you CB.

164 Chris Johnson July 10, 2014 at 9:49 am

I even capitalized your name… no vowels and the like :) You do make sense my friend. Our society has taken alcohol to new levels and now new lows. It should make one pause and preach the truth about the effects of drunkenness in our culture and churches.


165 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 10:02 am

Correction….It’s a documented fact that abuse and overuse of alcohol as a beverage has caused many deaths of people, including children…

Just like its a documented fact that abuse and overuse/over consumption of unhealthy dining on food has caused the deaths of more people than alcohol and illegal drugs combined.

Yet we not seeing a call for abstinence from food – in fact from Vol we are seeing celebration of consumption of unhealthy food.

No one calling for absolute abstinence is contending that fried food consumption is unwise on the basis of its misuse and overconsumption….but for alcohol there seems (is) a different standard.


166 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 10:12 am

The Lord told Peter not to call unclean what He calls clean. He showed Peter all kinds of animals that He was okaying for them to eat. I bet chickens were right up in the front…along with cows.

The Lord has said that it’s okay to go to the Rib Shack, and chow down on some good ribs….therefore, i will continue to celebrate eating GOOD food…..but, not commit gluttony, mind you. I always try to stop one bite short of gluttony.



167 Adam Blosser July 10, 2014 at 10:24 am

Psalm 104:14-15
You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

Looks to me like wine and fried chicken are both good gifts from God when used in moderation.

Proverbs 23:20
Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat

Looks like the abuse of either is wrong.

168 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 10:37 am


Why would you assume this wine was fermented? So, are you saying that God wants us to drink fermented wine so that we can be happy? Are you really saying that God wants us to be buzzed and high on liquor? Really?

I get happy when I drink a cherry coke, or a glass of good, sweet tea. I don’t have to have liquor in it, in order for it to make me happy. It’s really sad that we have to equate happiness with booze….smh.


169 Adam Blosser July 10, 2014 at 10:46 am

You are the one equating happiness with drunkenness not me.

170 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 11:01 am


When you say that God made liquor for us to drink, so that we can be happy, then you’re saying that God wants us to be buzzed on booze. Do we really have to have alcohol to be “happy?”


171 Adam Blosser July 10, 2014 at 11:06 am

No David, that is now what I said. You are saying that God made grape juice, sweet tea, and cherry coke for us to be happy. Why can’t the same be said of wine without bringing drunkenness into the equation?

You are the one say that the passage must refer to drunkenness if referring to alcoholic wine, but must not refer to drunkenness because it does not refer to alcoholic wine. I am saying there is another option. It refers to alcoholic wine, but does not refer to drunkenness because we know that Scripture clearly condemns drunkenness.

172 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 10:26 am

Well since Jesus, the apostles and Timothy consumed wine – I’m thinking that it might be considered clean as well…until it’s a abused. Just like food.


173 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 10:39 am

I drink grapejuice(wine), sometimes, as well. I used to drink it more when I was a child. I like coffee, tea, coke, and other things nowadays…but, some people still love to drink grapejuice, or the fruit of the vine.


174 David R. Brumbelow July 10, 2014 at 10:42 am

Yes, Psalm 104:14-15 refers to wine.
Was it alcoholic or nonalcoholic wine?
Was it a food or a recreational drug?

After all, in the same verse (Matthew 9:17) Jesus referred to both unfermented wine and fermented wine as oinos (wine).

Other references to unfermented wine: Proverbs 3:10; Isaiah 16:10; 65:8; Joel 2:24; Genesis 40:11

In the Bible, wine is not synonymous with alcohol.
David R. Brumbelow

175 Adam Blosser July 10, 2014 at 10:48 am

“In the Bible, wine is not synonymous with alcohol.”

Of course not. There are many forms of alcohol not just wine.

176 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 10:50 am

David B. ,

So the Holy Spirit while inspiring scripture could not forsee this debate and clear the matter up?

177 David R. Brumbelow July 10, 2014 at 11:11 am

The Holy Spirit cleared the matter up when He said,
“Be sober”
(1 Peter 5:8; also 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8; Titus 1:8; etc.)
David R. Brumbelow

178 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 11:11 am

I think David B. has pointed out…very, very clearly, I might add… that the word for wine is used in the Bible for fermented wine, and for unfermented wine…it’s used for both…and, the context dictates which it means.

Of course, the Bible says nothing about weed, so I guess that means it’s A-ok to toke on a joint? Also, the Bible says nothing…absolutely nothing about tobacco use…so, let’s all just chew and spit all the backer we want to. hummmmm?


179 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 11:19 am

Oh my. So “be sober” in scripture means don’t drink?

Here I’ve been Thinking it meant vigilant.

But even if it did mean that…wouldn’t that still be a Prohibition against drunkeness on which we all agree?

180 David R. Brumbelow July 10, 2014 at 11:27 am

Ask Alcoholics Anonymous.
They know what sober means.
The first drink ends your sobriety.
By the way, the Greek word literally means wineless.

“Be sober” doesn’t just mean don’t drink, but it certainly covers beverage alcohol and marijuana.
And it’s kind of difficult to be “vigilant” when you’re drinking or smoking pot.
David R. Brumbelow

181 Adam Blosser July 10, 2014 at 11:27 am

“the word for wine is used in the Bible for fermented wine, and for unfermented wine…it’s used for both…and, the context dictates which it means.”

Maybe its not the context you are using to determine its meaning but your own presuppositions.

182 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 7:43 am


Wrong. The fact is that beverage alcohol has killed more children than all illegal drugs combined.

To eat chicken will not alter your ability to drive, causing you to run over my children and kill them. Drinking beverage alcohol does alter your thinking and can bring about the death of my child if you run over him. Then, frankly, and before Holy God, I will run over you one way or another. . . and I will do it stone cold sober.


183 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 7:59 am


“The fact is that beverage alcohol has killed more children than all illegal drugs combined.”

Wrong. Drunkeness has done that.

184 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 2:24 pm


Read the sentence again. You missed it. Poor exegesis.

185 Chris Roberts July 11, 2014 at 2:32 pm

The #1 cause of death in the US is heart disease. A diet high in fatty foods is a leading cause of heart disease. Fried chicken has killed way more people than alcohol. In fact, the CDC says that those who consume alcohol in moderation have a lower incidence of heart disease than non-drinkers, so if I enjoy moderate drinking while abstaining from a regular diet of unhealthy food, I should be in good shape. Red wine adds some additional benefits through its positive effect on stress and adding good cholesterol to the body (again, when consumed in moderation). Since wine is often my beverage of choice, I just might live almost forever!

186 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Oh wise one, tell me what I missed?

Oh, I get it! You’re being a little dishonest in your argumentation there by trying to conflate any alcohol usage with drunkeness. They are not always one in the same.

A woman or man who drinks a single (appropriate) glass of wine at home with a nicely prepared price of salmon with a side of asparagus poses no risk whatsoever to children, themselves or anyone else…No more than if he/she drank a glass of sweet tea.

It’s when they drink too much and fail to exercise self control that the risks are posed.

187 volfan007 July 11, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Chris Roberts,

One things for dead sure….you will die, one day. We all die of something. And then, comes the judgment.


188 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Just like it poses no danger in and if itself to eat fatty foods however when one does not exercise self-control then they present all types of issues relating to themselves, their children, to their spouse and to others in their life.

Anything can be abused. Abuse is the issue not simply use.

189 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Chris Roberts,

In your case, I hope you do live for many years. For, based upon your recent disclosure, your death will be hell.

190 Chris Roberts July 11, 2014 at 3:01 pm

And as to my point that fatty foods have killed more people than alcohol?

191 volfan007 July 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm


Whether fatty foods, or Southern country cooking, is bad for us, or not, is up to debate. Let’s not forget about all the things we’ve been told to not eat in the past, and then…..all of a sudden….some expert says, “Oops, we made a mistake. It’s perfectly fine to eat_____; sorry.” It wasn’t that long ago that we were told to not red, M&M’s, but then, ooooops….they’re okay.

Listen, out of all the people that I’ve known, who have heart troubles, or who have died of a heart attack, MOST of them have been healthy eating joggers. No kidding. I can tell you of a whole bunch of people, who were skinny, and who were health conscience, and who watched very closely what they ate, and they would always go trotting down the road for exercise. And, they had heart attacks. Or else, they died of a heart attack.

On the other hand, I’ve known many, many chubby people, who loved to eat fried chicken, and biscuits and gravy, and drink sweet tea and coke. And, those biscuit eating, fat people lived long, healthy lives. I know some of them, right now, who are living good….healthy….living long….

So, the Lord has told us to eat all the fried chicken we want….short of gluttony, of course. There’s not a thing wrong with it.

But, the Lord had plenty to say about drinking hooch.


192 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 3:31 pm

“And as to my point that fatty foods have killed more people than alcohol?”


What does that have to do with the comment you have challenged? Nothing.

My comment was: Beverage alcohol has killed more kids that all illegal drugs combined. That is a fact.

It is also a fact that if you die without Christ, you will go to hell.

193 Chris Roberts July 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm


Because you are picking and choosing which potentially deadly behaviors are nonetheless acceptable. This is a matter of your own preference, not supposed divine mandates since the Bible speaks against the excessive consumption of both alcohol and food while not calling it a sin to consume either.

As for Hell, I’ll take my chances.

194 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 3:47 pm


“Because you are picking and choosing which potentially deadly behaviors are nonetheless acceptable. This is a matter of your own preference, not divine mandates since the Bible speaks against the excessive consumption of both alcohol and food while not calling it a sin to consume either.”

195 volfan007 July 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm


The Bible says NOTHING about not eating fatty foods….nada. In fact, from the Bible, what we see is that God tells us to eat whatever we want to eat…catfish, chicken, hogs, whatever…..the Bible does say that it’s a sin to eat beyond being full…to gorge…..but, the Bible says NOTHING about keeping away from fatty foods.

The Bible does teach about the foolishness of drinking fermented wine(alcohol)…..and, it does say that getting high, or buzzed, or drunk on alcohol is a SIN.

Surely you can see the difference?


196 volfan007 July 11, 2014 at 3:52 pm


I’m just curious. What do you now think will happen to you after you die?


197 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Chris Roberts,

I am not picking and choosing anything. The subject at hand was/is beverage alcohol in the comments I had addressed.

As to your statement, “As for Hell, I’ll take my chances.” That is the same position of multitudes before you. Your chances are no better than theirs: Zero.

198 Chris Roberts July 11, 2014 at 3:59 pm


The Bible speaks about food. The Bible also speaks about alcohol. The Bible explicitly permits the consumption of food. The Bible explicitly permits the consumption of alcohol. The Bible provides guidelines and warnings about the misuse of food. The Bible provides guidelines and warnings about the misuse of alcohol.

You, on the other hand, have lots of nasty things to say about alcohol and very, very little to say about food, other than defending unwise consumption practices.

199 Chris Roberts July 11, 2014 at 4:02 pm

David and cb,

Regarding my post-mortem status, I will fade into dust. My chances, as CB points out, are equal to those of all who have gone before – none of whom have reported back that things are any different than expected. There’s a very good reason why we never hear from them again: they are no more. And so will I be, as well as all of you. If there were actual evidence to the contrary (as opposed to words written in an ancient book), I would be interested in seeing it.

But now we are well and true getting off topic, and I’ll just note that I didn’t cause this new divergence. :)

200 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 4:07 pm

“I didn’t cause this new divergence.”

You are right, Chris Roberts. You did not cause this “new divergence.” That is true in most cases. Lost people do not generally bring up the fact that to die without Christ means they spend eternity in hell. Therein, you were true to form.

201 Chris Roberts July 11, 2014 at 4:09 pm


I have no problem being quite clear about what I believe and the implication of those beliefs, but as I mentioned to Dave in a previous thread (where he said he doesn’t want every post to turn into a debate about God), I am aware that debates on these issues is not the purpose of Voices.

202 Adam Blosser July 11, 2014 at 4:20 pm

“My chances, as CB points out, are equal to those of all who have gone before – none of whom have reported back that things are any different than expected.”

Chris, as you know but have chosen to ignore, there is one who came back from the grave. His name is Jesus. He is the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. He ascended into heaven, but will one day return to establish His kingdom forever. When He does, the dead in Christ will be raised to live forever with Him in the new heaven and new earth. Those who die apart from Christ will be raised as well, but to an eternal torment in a place the Bible calls hell. You know these truths already, but have chosen to reject them. I will not belabor them with you here, but I could not allow your statement that no one has returned from the grave to go unchallenged. I just prayed for you that God would bring you to repentance and faith before it is too late.

203 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Chris Roberts,

I don’t really care what the purposes of Voices is or is not regarding what I have stated to you.

You recently stated you have renounced the faith. My response is that you or any other person who does not know Christ as Savior and Lord is lost and hopelessly damned to spend eternity in hell lest they repent and believe the biblical gospel.

If Dave or Tony have a problem with that, so be it. I don’t care.

I have met you. I have interacted with you for years. Were I to say nothing to you about your soul’s eternal jeopardy, now that you have declared you are an Atheist, I would be in disobedience to the mandates of Christ. I chose not to be in disobedience to Christ and the devil can take the hindmost parts with the rest of it. That includes the “purposes of Voices.”

204 Chris Roberts July 11, 2014 at 4:30 pm


I did imply that we have reports in ancient books telling about such people. But it is also worth noting that such reports do not serve as credible evidence. You believe them, I do not.



205 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 10:02 am

Here’s one that yall need to hear from a TN boy….goes along with this discussion great.




206 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 10:13 am

Oh, I’m sorry….he’s from Oooooklahoma. I just assumed he was a TN boy by the way he talked…overalls….and, a fellow Tennessean put it on his FB wall. Anyway, great song and great message.



207 Jess July 10, 2014 at 11:35 am


That was great!


208 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 10:16 am

Also, a very interesting video on the harmful effects of alcohol on the brain from some people, who are not coming at this issue from a Christian perspective.

Would the Lord tell us to drink something that harms our brains and body?




209 Jess July 10, 2014 at 11:39 am


Ni one can argue with this!


210 Chris Johnson July 10, 2014 at 10:23 am

Vol, are you just now discovering that being drunk harms someone? Or are you still arguing against wine in the scriptures being fermented.


211 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 10:34 am


They weren’t talking about people being drunk. They were talking about drinking alcohol, period.



212 Dan Barnes July 10, 2014 at 10:46 am

Well, to be fair, this post isn’t talking about wine either, it’s talking about marijuana.


213 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Dan Barnes,

You are right. It is about marijuana. And, having read all of the comments in this thread, I must say a couple of them make me want to puke. Especially does yours, Patrick, whoever you are.

You claim to be a pastor? If you are, please resign. Pastors like you are the reason the American Church is going to hell in a handbag.

Marijuana should never be legalized for whole scale use in this country. It really is that simple.


214 Patrick July 15, 2014 at 2:07 pm

“Marijuana should never be legalized for whole scale use in this country. It really is that simple.”

Why? I mean other than you just declaring it so, why? Your “argument” is about as ridiculous as me saying “Honda Accords should never be legalized for whole scale use in this country. It really is that simple.” No need to offer up a rationale…I’ll just declare it to be so.

As for your idiotic comment about me resigning or being fired, are you seriously implying that if I had done something as simple as actively support Ron Paul or Gary Johnson in the two previous elections, that I should be fired? If so, you’re even less intelligent than I originally thought (and my opinion was already extremely low, given your rushing to the defense of Ergun Caner).

215 cb scott July 16, 2014 at 7:52 am


My support of Dr. Caner as President of BPC and the lacking nature of my intellect aside, you still should be fired as a pastor of a local church if you actually do support and promote the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. . . . and yes it really is that simple.

216 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 10:47 am

Ever seen reports on the effects of steady diets of unhealthy foods?


217 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 11:05 am


My family has been eating fried, southern foods for years and years and years. I’ve got family that have lived long, healthy lives. My Great Grandmother, Mama Smith, lived to be 96 yrs. old. The very first time that she went to a hospital, she was 94. She was chubby, and ate fried foods her entire life. She’s just one example. I could give you many others. My parents, who love fried, Southern cooking, are alive, and basically very healthy people for their age. My Dad is 80 yrs. old. My Mother is 79.

Maybe we should take their diets, and eat what they eat, so that we can live long, healthy lives like them?



218 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 11:07 am

but also, the point is…..God told us to eat whatever we want to….so, I do. He told us that it’s foolish to play around with alcohol, because of it’s harmful effects. So, I don’t drink, anymore.


219 Chris Roberts July 10, 2014 at 1:00 pm

So marijuana baked in cookies is okay because it’s eating what we want! I’ve seen more than a few potheads use Genesis 1:29 to defend using the substance.

220 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Chris, re: pot cookies – As long as they’re fattening enough – apparently volfan’s family demonstrates you can eat as much of anything you want and live to an old ripe age.

221 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Chris and Taheel,

We are talking about the differences in mind altering, mood altering, addicting drugs(weed and alcohol) and food. Let’s see….weed…. food….booze….food….weed….cheese and crackers…..whiskey…. baloney sandwich….

Looks like a real case of apples and oranges, there, fellas.


222 Jess July 10, 2014 at 11:40 am


I can’t believe you said that.


223 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 11:48 am


224 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 1:02 pm

My curiosity is up Jess…what did I say that “you can’t believe”?

225 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 10:52 am

Why didn’t Paul forbid communion wine at Corinth when people were getting drunk at communion….so clearly it was “alcohol”.

It was excess that he dealt with.

Cana…was obviously “alcohol” wine.

Come on fellas.


226 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 10:55 am

When Paul addressed alcohol consumption he addressed drunkeness … And never once said to abstain completely but spoke of drunkeness.


227 Jess July 10, 2014 at 6:53 pm


When a momma teaches a child not to play with fire. What do you think momma is afraid of?


228 Chris Roberts July 10, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Same thing she’s afraid of when she teaches her kids not to put the car in drive?


229 David R. Brumbelow July 10, 2014 at 11:33 am

The Bible says Jesus turned water to wine, not alcohol.

For an excellent article on this by Mark Creech, see:


Thanks to Dave Miller for posting my article.
Thanks to all the commenters, especially those who agree with me!
May you all have a joyous, drug-free weekend.

David R. Brumbelow


230 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 11:41 am

David B.,

Now, you know we can’t have a joyous weekend without being high on something. So, to tell us to have a joyous, drug free weekend just can’t happen. We have to be high on something, or else we’ll have no joy in our life. I mean, we either have to have a Bud Lite in our hand, or a joint in our mouth….c’mon, man…you know that!




231 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Yea, vol….because that’s exactly what we are saying.

(In the words of Adam Blosser – BULL. )

I guess intellectual honesty has left the building.


232 Chris johnson July 10, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Dave, thanks for posting this… The discussion was a good one. Probably the last time it will surface. :) have a great weekend. Are we there yet? Must be nice!


233 andy July 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Deuteronomy 14:26 (NASB)

26 You may spend the money for whatever your [a]heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your [b]heart [c]desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.

It seems that whatever wine and strong drink were thousands of years ago, God’s people were allowed to receive both as good gifts from Him.


234 Chris Roberts July 10, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Proper exegesis will show that “strong drink” means “non-alcoholic, highly concentrated grape juice” whereas wine is grape juice without the extra concentration.


235 andy July 10, 2014 at 1:22 pm

That’s funny!


236 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 1:01 pm

A good look at what those words mean in the original languages makes all the difference in the world.



237 andy July 10, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Wait, seriously, are you saying you believe what Chris Roberts just posted?


238 Adam Blosser July 10, 2014 at 1:43 pm

hahaha…Yep, I think he is.


239 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 2:36 pm

No….yuck, yuck, yuck….duh….no, I’m not…yuck, yuck, yuck…duh….I think I was saying something different…like in opposite of what Chris Roberts posted,,,,,dum de dum dum….I guess I was trying to say that he wasn’t looking up the words…duh….dum de dum…..and, that Andy was misquoting the passages……duh…uuhh….yuck, yuck. But, we’uns is so dumb and stupid that we just can’t see that drinking moonshine is okay. We’uns just need to lissen to yall teech us bout thangs like this.

Okay, Pappy, let’s fire that there still up agin. These Preachers are sayin’ that it’s alright for us to go back to drinkin’…..can you magine that, Pappy? Preachers, of all fellers, tellin’ us to get back on the jug! So, let’s git that still fired up, and let’s git back to squeezin’ that corn.

Hey fellers, yall reckon it’d be okay for me and Pappy to start sellin’ this moonshine, agin? I mean, if’n it’s alright for us to drink it, surely it’d be okay for our neighbors to have it, too….right? Boy, oh boy, I just can’t wait to dive into that corn liquor, agin. It’s been so long that my whistle’s dried up. I’m fixin’ to git goin’ right now!!!



240 Chris Roberts July 10, 2014 at 2:41 pm

This may be the first time I’ve ever seen anyone change their minds in the midst of a Voices discussion! David, now that we’re of the same mind on alcohol, if we ever meet in person again, I’ll buy you a drink.


241 andy July 10, 2014 at 3:20 pm

1. Volfan, my response above was not kind, I hope you will accept my apology.

2. I fail to see how simply quoting a scripture turns into “misquoting”

3. I to wonder how those who say the bible forbids all alcohol deal with this verse…I will wait to see if anyone does.


242 andy July 10, 2014 at 3:23 pm

4. I do not drink alcohol because of its inherent dangers, and to avoid causing unnecessary conflict with friends and family.

5. However, I will defend Christians who drink in moderation because I believe it is dangerous to call something a sin that scripture doesn’t.

243 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 3:29 pm

I like that Andy….especially 4 and 5

244 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 4:27 pm

As CB and I have said a thousand and one times….The Bible says that it’s UNWISE to drink alcohol. It’s UNWISE to play around with a substance that bite us like a poisonous snake. It’s UNWISE to think that we can drink something that has caused so much damage in so many people’s lives.

It’s SINFUL to be drunk on alcohol. Period.


PS. Andy, thanks for the apology. God bless you, Bro.

245 Chris Roberts July 10, 2014 at 4:33 pm


Is it a sin to engage in unwise actions when the Bible tells us to be wise in all we do?

246 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 4:56 pm


I see a difference in something that’s unwise, and with something that’s out and out sinful. In one thing, it’s not wise, and it could lead to bad things in your life. It could lead to sin. Like, it wouldn’t be sinful to drink Baptist Booze, or Nyquil, when you’re sick, and you need to sleep. But, drinking booze just to be drinking something, in order to fit in with the crowd, or to get a buzz, is not wise. It’s foolish, because it could lead to drunkenness. Alcohol can get ahold of a person, and take them down. So, while it wouldn’t be a sin to just drink a hot drink with lemon juice and other things to help a sick person feel better and sleep, it would be extremely unwise to keep drinking something that can take charge of your life.
But, something’s that’s sinful is disobedience and rebellion against God’s clear command. A sin causes us to break fellowship with God. A sin brings God’s discipline down upon us. So, I do see a difference in the two….a huge difference.

Do you?


247 Chris johnson July 10, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Vol, been on the road until now. Yes, by all means, if drinking wine causes you to sin, definitely do not drink. That is the reason and definition for abstinence. Never be drunk,….and abstaining 100% is a an excellent choice.

248 Chris johnson July 10, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Andy, I think Chris may have his terms mixed up a bit, but he does bring up the crux of the conversation…on wine at least. Eisagesis makes for wine that has no fermentation. Exegesis expresses wine properly in context and usage. I hope the SBC seminaries encourage proper exegesis, and less politically infused eisagesis.


249 volfan007 July 10, 2014 at 2:57 pm


David B. can talk to you about the meaning of the words used in Deuteronomy 14:26 better than I can. So, I’ll just wait for him to answer you and Andy and others about this.



250 David R. Brumbelow July 12, 2014 at 9:27 am

About Deuteronomy 14:26 and Strong Drink.

And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household. -Deuteronomy 14:26 (KJV).

You may spend the money on anything you want: cattle, sheep, wine, beer, or anything you desire. You are to feast there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice with your family. -Deuteronomy 14:26 (HCSB)

The word used for “strong drink” is the Hebrew word “shekar.”
Many authorities believe it always means an alcoholic drink.
A number of authorities, however, disagree.

Shekar was a drink made from fruit other than grapes.
Just like wine, shekar could be made and preserved as an alcoholic drink, or as a nonalcoholic drink.

The New King James Version (NKJV) translates shekar in this verse as “wine and similar drink.” That is correct, because, like wine, it can be either fermented or unfermented.

Wycliffe translated shekar as “cider.” Again, like wine, cider can be either fermented or unfermented; sometimes called hard cider or soft cider. Also, cider is, of course, made from a fruit other than grapes.

In other words, if you are convinced shekar is always alcoholic, that could be your interpretation, not you just taking the Bible for what it says.

Shekar – “Sweet drink (what satiates or intoxicates).” -Dr. Robert Young, “Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible,” Eerdmans, 1970.

“Not only the word yayin, but also shekar can refer to grape juice as well as to wine (cf. Deuteronomy 29:6; Numbers 28:7; Exodus 29:40).” -Dr. Robert P. Teachout in his doctoral dissertation on “The Use of Wine in the Old Testament,” 1979, Dallas Theological Seminary.

See more at:

Also, “Ancient Wine and the Bible” has several pages devoted to Deuteronomy 14:26 and Shekar.

I also find it telling that some major on this obscure passage that only mentions wine and shekar in passing, while ignoring plain, direct passages like Proverbs 23:29-35, 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8, 1 Peter 5:8.
David R. Brumbelow


251 Chris Johnson July 12, 2014 at 10:38 am

David, I don’t think anyone is debating that wine, with whatever term one uses, can begin as unfermented, or become fermented. It is pretty obvious to the biblical writers that to be drunk is sin; as well as living in the lifestyle leading up to the point of being drunk. The Apostle Paul clearly knew the difference of being drunk and not being drunk while ingesting wine, and was very specific to Timothy, and us, on the qualifications of the leaders and servants in the church. Somehow the intent of some teachers today is to have the Apostle say or imply something that he did not say or imply.

The more practical and biblical issue is one of pedagogical factors. Is it sin for the substance of wine, whether unfermented or fermented, to enter the body? I hope that the SBC seminaries are not teaching or implying that the fermentation process is evil; that would be an amazing error, and error that would lead to all sorts of other errors. As I illustrated earlier in the post,….if a Pastor that believes it is sin for wine to enter the body, and is offended by that action, and loves his brother like Christ loves the church (Matthew 18)….then he demonstrates whether he is a hypocrite or not by his actions in the church. Not just by word or preaching from a distant pulpit, but by deed and going to that man in love to demonstrate the sin before the church, to the point of removing that man from the assembly for ingesting any fermented wine.

As far as Mary Jane…It’s pretty obvious that the Pot Head lifestyle is not God honoring. Whether laws are effective in curtailing the proliferation of that, or not, is quite another debate.

So, can a man or woman be God honoring and drink wine? Absolutely. Can a man or woman who drinks wine and gets drunk be God honoring? Absolutely not. Is it good to have laws in a society to stem drunkenness?…..Absolutely. Are laws curtailing drunkenness good to have in a society? Absolutely, and should be debated rigorously.


252 volfan007 July 12, 2014 at 11:20 am


First of all, there’s a lot of us in this conversation, who have said that drinking one drop of alcohol is not a sin against God. We have consistently stated that it’s UNWISE to fool around with something that can bite you like a poisonous snake. We’ve said that the Bible teaches the foolishness of messing around with something that can take absolute control over your life. We have not said that drinking one drop of alcohol is a sin against God. There is a difference…a huge difference.

If drinking one drop were a sin, then we wouldn’t be able to take Nyquil, or any other kind of medicine that has alcohol in it.

But, to drink alcohol purely to fit in with the lost, worldly crowd; or to achieve a “happy” feeling; is foolish according to Proverbs… not sinful…but foolish….not smart.

Another thing, when you said, “As far as Mary Jane…It’s pretty obvious that the Pot Head lifestyle is not God honoring,” what leg do you have to stand on? Scripturally speaking? I mean, if you take the position that you and some others in here take….that drinking alcohol is okay….then, why in the world would you say that smoking a joint is not okay? It’s practically the same thing.


253 Tarheel July 12, 2014 at 11:24 am

Chris J. The entire moment where this gem is found is excellent… But I think this really sums up the matter.

“So, can a man or woman be God honoring and drink wine? Absolutely. Can a man or woman who drinks wine and gets drunk be God honoring? Absolutely not. Is it good to have laws in a society to stem drunkenness?…..Absolutely. Are laws curtailing drunkenness good to have in a society? Absolutely, and should be debated rigorously.”

254 Tarheel July 12, 2014 at 11:34 am

“First of all, there’s a lot of us in this conversation, who have said that drinking one drop of alcohol is not a sin against God. We have consistently stated that it’s UNWISE to fool around with something that can bite you like a poisonous snake. We’ve said that the Bible teaches the foolishness of messing around with something that can take absolute control over your life. We have not said that drinking one drop of alcohol is a sin against God. There is a difference…a huge difference.”

You need to reread….both you comments and those of others.

Comments along these lines;

“Anyone drinks even a drop is desiring and getting a buzz and getting a buzz equals intoxication and intoxication is a sin but hey! I’m not saying consuming alcohol as a beverage is a sin.”

Seems to be both dishonest and seeking to have you cake and eat it too.

255 Chris Johnson July 12, 2014 at 11:53 am

David, I am glad to see that you don’t believe that when wine enters the body it is sin. I also agree with this statement:

“But, to drink alcohol purely to fit in with the lost, worldly crowd; or to achieve a “happy” feeling; is foolish according to Proverbs… not sinful…but foolish….not smart. – See more at: http://sbcvoices.com/why-marijuana-should-remain-illegal-by-david-brumbelow/#comment-248633

There are people in the world… and a whole nation of people, “Israel”, (well documented) that bears witness to the fact that a great number of families can remain God honoring, always sober, never drunk, and serve and love their fellow church members and neighbors. This has happened all through the ages until now.

The danger is when “one drop of ingested wine” becomes the same definition as the “drunken lifestyle …God dishonoring nail” sought after by the hammer. That view of the scriptures is extremely liberal, and damaging.

256 Adam Blosser July 10, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Be advised: I am not advocating drunkenness by posting this video.


Aunt Esther: My Bible says, “Be not drunk with wine!”

Fred: What it say about scotch?


257 Chris Roberts July 10, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Are you advocating laughter?


258 Patrick July 10, 2014 at 1:39 pm

It looks as though I will be one of the few (only?) pastors here who will come not so much to the support of marijuana (though I’m not opposed to it), as much as my unwillingness to sign on to the ridiculous rehtoric leveled against it.

Take for example, comments like this:

“Alcohol is America’s number one drug problem. Why should we now unleash another harmful drug on America? When marijuana has been legalized, it has led to an increase in crime and societal problems.

Alcohol and marijuana have been classified as “gateway drugs,” drugs that often lead to harder drugs. Isn’t one legal gateway drug enough?”

Care to offer ANY support for the numerous unsubstantiated claims in this one comment? Is Colorado suddenly going down the tubes as a state because they legalized it?

Or how about this claim?

Rather, when marijuana has been legalized, it has magnified an existing problem.

Marijuana has multiple toxic chemicals and gives a higher risk for cancer, psychosis, strokes, respiratory damage and heart attack. It causes impaired memory, difficulty concentrating, impairs driving and reaction time. It lowers the I.Q. of teenage smokers.

Acceptance of another mind-altering recreational drug always changes things for the worse.”

Again, numerous baseless claims, with absolutely no support.

Your reasoning reminds me of the chapters in Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics regarding child safety seats. Despite mountains of evidence which show that child safety seats: A. Provide no safety benefit themselves and B. Are no more safe than just buckling a child in the back seat, parents and the government insist on plugging their ears. They not only dismiss those facts, but want to mandate that all of us abide by their illogical nonsense and use child saftey seats as well. I’ve had enough of that type of “reasoning” with a complete disregard for facts, and won’t go down that road with pot.

How’s that for irony…the supporter of pot arguing that we should use logic and reason (i.e. our brains) to work through the issue, rather than relying simply on emotion and fear mongering.

Now pass me my bong!


259 Chris Roberts July 11, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Regarding your ridiculous comment about child car seats


Right at the top:

“Car seat use reduces the risk for death to infants (aged <1 year) by 71%; and to toddlers (aged 1–4 years) by 54% in passenger vehicles."

"Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children aged 4–8 years when compared with seat belt use alone."

Further down:

"A recent study of five states that increased the age requirement to 7 or 8 years for car seat/booster seat use found that the rate of children using car seats and booster seats increased nearly three times and the rate of children who sustained fatal or incapacitating injuries decreased by 17%."


260 Jess July 10, 2014 at 2:53 pm

I think a true Baptist never drinks alcohol as a beverage. A true Baptist will drink to get drunk while eating fried chicken, then pray, Lord if you help me get over this one, I’ll get over the next one myself. Lol


261 Jess July 10, 2014 at 2:57 pm

I did have a Catholic tell me the only difference between a Baptist and a Catholic, is that a Catholic will drink on the front porch while a Baptist drinks on the back porch.

I do seriously think a true Baptist will not drink alcohol.


262 andy July 10, 2014 at 3:17 pm

So you are saying that if an otherwise solid Baptist decides that scripture allows him to have a glass of wine, then he is by definition no longer a Baptist?


263 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 3:27 pm

And are you saying that those who allow for conscience freedom for others to enjoy a beverage absent drunkeness or addiction on the issue without judging and being legalistic also fail the “Baptist enough”test ?

Romans 14.


264 Jess July 10, 2014 at 4:07 pm


We have a large denomination with many members. But I don’t think we have that many true Baptists. It’s the same way with Christianity as a whole, I don’t think we have that many true Christians.

I would rather eat crumbs with bums,
than steaks with snakes.


265 Jess July 10, 2014 at 3:41 pm

I am saying that a true Baptist will not drink alcohol. I’m saying that true Baptists still have the church covenant hanging in the auditorium, and have the church covenant as part of their by-laws.


266 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Lol…so the “church covenant” to which you refer is the great definer of all things Baptist?


267 Jess July 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm


I didn’t say that.


268 Adam Blosser July 10, 2014 at 3:51 pm

I am more Baptist than you are because all our members have signed our church covenant. Na-na na-na boo-boo…


269 Jess July 10, 2014 at 3:57 pm


Ours have too, na, na na, boo.


270 Jess July 10, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Many today have never seen the church covenant.


271 Adam Blosser July 10, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Surely you realize that not all church covenants forbid the consumption of alcohol.


272 Jess July 10, 2014 at 3:58 pm


Ours does, that’s all that counts.


273 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 4:50 pm

But, legalistic and extra-biblical statements in your local church covenant don’t apply to either me or Adam.


274 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 3:50 pm

I’ve seen where some require religious education of our children…: do you require all church members to abandon public schooling?


275 Jess July 10, 2014 at 4:13 pm


I don’t think it’s right. Children needs public schools.


276 Tarheel July 10, 2014 at 4:47 pm


But, but, but the “church covenant” says so!


277 Jess July 10, 2014 at 6:45 pm

The parents are to religiously educate their children, as well as the church.

278 Chris Johnson July 10, 2014 at 7:22 pm

Since we have succeeded at changing this to a wine discussion…..one of the more serious issues with the improper exegesis of the scriptures, when it comes to wine, really comes to light very quickly. And most Pastors will have great difficulty here.

Say, you have a man or men that meet every qualification that Paul outlines for Timothy as a man worthy to serve the church,…whether that be Elder, Deacon, or other types of gifts inside the church. That man also has never been drunk, as far as you know, and you are aware that he says he drinks wine that is fermented. What do you do?

If you subscribe to the definition that fermented wine itself is inherently evil, then of course you go down the gnostic route.

But, if you subscribe to the definition that it is merely “a sinful choice” to drink fermented wine that in turn creates the sin, and the action to drink with that intent makes a person walk in sin,…. then as a Pastor overseeing your flock you have several options.

1. Completely ignore the issue, and keep telling the man that he will someday be able to serve. Wait him out,…maybe he will leave.
2. Confront the man and try to win him over to your way of teaching, that to drink wine is sin. Because if you really love the man, this is the right thing to do, and you want to win your brother.
3. If the man agrees, then you have won your brother, and life goes on beautifully in your church.
4. If he disagrees, and has never been drunk as far as you know,…then you have another decision to make. You must find someone else to go with you to try and persuade this brother of his sin. That is what God expects. If that doesn’t work, then you are to bring the sin before the church, so that the church will hear why this sin is against God, and then put the man out of the body as a form of discipline and love.

Keep in mind that this man meets the Apostles (requirements Given by God) list given to Timothy, never drunk (by testimony of his family and others; and you have never seen him drunk), never pugnacious, etc., etc. But, he does drink fermented wine, and you have knowledge of this behavior.

Couple of conclusions:

1. To be faithful to God, your teaching, and your church…. you must follow through with the Lords command found in Matthew 18. Are you prepared to do that?
2. If you are not faithful to God in the process of leading your church,….then why do you Pastor?

Things get serious at this point, because you are called to love these men and women, not only with words, but with deeds.

The love found in Matthew 18, is not popular in most SBC churches for this very reason. Because you better be dead sure that drinking wine immediately creates sin. If so, a Pastor that does not confront those men and women in his congregation that drink wine will be found to be a hypocrite.


279 Chris Johnson July 10, 2014 at 9:38 pm

So, I’ll take it by the sound of crickets….that all the people who drink wine are in someone else’s congregation or church besides yours. That does make it easier,… as it is a sin to be offended and neglect to follow up with the love demonstrated in Matthew 18.


280 Dean Stewart July 10, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Chris Johnson, am I to understand you to believe Matthew 18 calls for church discipline for any sin that a believer commits? Matthew 18 teaches how believers are to respond when they have personally been sinned against. By the way, you are the latest to speak of your perspective like it is the norm for the SBC. What data to you have to show that Matthew 18 is not popular among most SBC churches?

I do not care to engage you or anyone else on voices on the merits of drinking alcohol other than to say some will defend their right to drink alcohol more vehemently than they will the need to be Scripturally baptized. However, I will address your scenario for I have dealt with it many times. A local congregation can add any number of qualifications they for the office of deacon/elder. Some have age requirements. Some demand a deacon tithe. Some require a person to be a member of the church for so long. I have on many occasions spoken to men stating some in the church would like to see them considered for the office of deacon but I am aware you are a social drinker. I shared with the men that they could not be considered until they made a commitment to abstain because that is what the church requires for the office. I am not willing to say it is sinful for a man to have a can of beer while watching the ballgame at the local Chilis. I will say that it will never benefit the office and effectiveness of deacons and could indeed hurt the office and effectiveness of the entire deacon body. For this reason I support a local congregation’s right to ask their officers of the church to abstain.


281 Chris Johnson July 10, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Dean, yes… I think you are correct that it is when we are offended that we go to our brother. From some of what I have read here, I would assume that some Pastors are offended when someone takes a drink of wine.

While growing up in SBC churches over the years (45yrs or so), I had not seen much, if any evidence of that type of loved dished out. More of an anecdotal statement, and several years back someone had a pretty good blog on the subject, and it seemed to be rarely engaged within that group as well. No hard studies on my part though.


282 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 7:35 am


Re: your passive aggressive baptism comment.

I’m pretty sure that was aimed at me. If it was I will say that disagreement in the LIMITED manner in which I argued is not an abdication of scriptural baptism. In fact, I was very clear regarding my position. You are free to disagree, but making veiled swipes, ain’t cool bro.


283 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 7:39 am

Furthermore my “defense of alcohol” is more about an objection to people calling something is sin that God does not call a sin.

Scripture certainly identifies drunkeness a sin but it does not call moderate non-drunken use a sin.


284 Dean Stewart July 11, 2014 at 9:46 am

Heel, you flatter yourself. I had no one on particular in mind, not even you, but was thinking of the totality of a couple posts and comments over the last couple weeks. We have Southern Baptist ministers who defend alcohol and receive those sprinkled as infants as infants for membership in their church. Furthermore, in this case I was not passive aggressive, I was pretty clear that I find it amazing that some defend alcohol consumption and then ignore Jesus’ command to baptize believers.


285 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 11:46 am

Yea and guess so and some will argue against the non drunken use of alcohol even in moderation as strongly as they argue in defense of , for example, unrepentant Frauds and liars in Christian leadership as well as an SBC seminary president officially identifying Calvinists as being outside of the family.

I guess even moralism has relational boundaries.

Nothing passive aggressive there – nor am I thinking of anyone in particular – just general conversations on voices over the years.

286 Dean Stewart July 11, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Heel, I am not sure if you are questioning whether I had you in mind or not when I made my comment to Chris Johnson. I can assure you that I know what I am thinking more than you know what I am thinking.

I am amazed that today in the SBC we have pastors who accept sprinkling in any form much less sprinkling of infants as an acceptable baptism. I am further amazed that many of the same argue for alcohol consumption. Let me be crystal clear on this matter, I could not possibly care less if you or anyone else outside of my family and the leadership in the church I pastor want to be social drinkers. I am fully aware the Bible does not forbid alcohol consumption. I am of the opinion that a reasonable person would not compare the alcohol of Jesus’ day with the alcohol industry in America today. I do not teach prohibition but I do point out the dangers of alcohol and the destruction caused because of the alcohol industry in America. For me to drink is sinful. I am not imposing my abstinence on anyone. However, I feel very comfortable defending my position. It is the one Southern Baptist have had throughout much of her history. Article XV of the Baptist Faith and Message says we should oppose every form of vice. Our history is replete with instances of us opposing alcohol through resolutions:

1955 – we express our unceasing opposition to the manufacturing, sale and use of alcoholic beverages.
1957 – we view personal abstinence as the Christian way.
1978 – to reaffirm our position as opposing alcohol as a beverage.
1982 – to recognize alcohol as America’s number one problem.
1984 – call on brothers and sister to live an exemplary lifestyle of abstinence from beverage alcohol and other harmful drugs.

These are just a few instances where we as Southern Baptist have gone on record as saying we support abstinence.

287 Jess July 10, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Chris Johnson,

Sir, I think the greatest act of love this side of the cross is church discipline. Once one really understands church discipline, only then they will know what real love is all about. These are not my words, this teaching is in the NT.

With a heavy heart, I had to ask one of the musicians in a church I pastored to step down, because he also played in bars. He said he didn’t drink any, but by him being in a place like that was enough for me to act. There were no Gospel songs being played, everyone else was drinking, and he was contributing to their party spirit.

I still have a broken heart over it because he left the church. I also know in my heart I done the right thing. We are still friendly toward one another today.


288 Chris Johnson July 10, 2014 at 11:38 pm

Jess, yes it is a heartbreaking event, when you have done all that you know how to do to explain, persuade, love, etc. and the sin is not averted. I will say, that praise the Lord … He is faithful in the pursuit though. Of the many times I have gone to my brother, and with the attitude of love,….I’ve only had one man that we as a congregation had to ask to leave the church. He just would not repent. It was about a three month process, and in the end the church understood the sin. Since that time the same man has been asked to leave about four other churches. Very sad situation! I think of him often.


289 Chris Roberts July 10, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Should have thought to throw this in much earlier in the discussion, but it’s mildly relevant (not really but we’ll pretend) so I’ll add it this late in the game.

Whipped up a rather nice meal a few nights ago and paired it with a bottle of wine. This meal and beverage is all the argument I’ll ever need that wine consumption is good and right and holy and creates righteousness in men. Delicious, relaxing, most enjoyable.


That would be stuffed eggplant, a simple squash casserole, Mediterranean salmon, and Pinot Noir. The wife and kids are out of town visiting family. I took the opportunity to cook myself a meal none of them would tend to like.


290 Jess July 10, 2014 at 8:44 pm


Aren’t you the one who eats tofu turkey for Thanksgiving. I’m not sure of the spelling of tofu.


291 Chris Roberts July 10, 2014 at 8:50 pm

? No. Far as I know, I’ve never had tofu. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it gives an excuse for one of my favorite meals. Turkey and dressing FTW!


292 Jess July 10, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Chris Roberts,

I believe it was David Rogers who eats tofu turkey. In my opinion there is no difference in eating tofu and drinking wine. It would take the wine or something stronger to wash the tofu down.


293 Bill Mac July 10, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Why do we think we need to make a biblical case against marijuana? Seriously, do we need a biblical case for or against every single thing? If primitive man threw cannabis on the fire and inhaled the smoke, is that the same thing as potheads in Colorado getting high every day?

I think it should be illegal because:

It impairs the person, every time.
It makes people stupid.
Smoking anything is stupid.

I think taxes should be lower. Do I have to justify that biblically, or can I just have a reasoned opinion? Since the biblical arguments (if you accept them) against alcohol consumption haven’t rendered it illegal, how far will we get using biblical arguments against alcohol to try to keep cannabis illegal?


294 Jess July 10, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Bill Mac,

As bad as I hate to say it, I don’t think we can keep cannabis from being legal. Rand Paul and I think a democrat are sponsoring a bill for early releases of those in prison for pot charges, and not only that but their records will be wiped clean so they will be able to vote.


295 Bill Mac July 10, 2014 at 10:40 pm

Jess: That’s a whole other issue. I wish we could find some way to punish people who are not violent without incarcerating them. It shouldn’t be that hard, but in today’s political environment “tough on crime” only means one thing, more people in jail.


296 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 7:21 am

Bill Mac, I agree.


297 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 7:26 am

I disagree with Paul and others on reinstating felons the right to vote – only felons lose thAt and small time pot users aren’t felons. These are drug dealers. Possession with intent gets you a felony….

Like Bill Mac said, nonviolent smalltime pot users prolly shouldn’t be in prison anyway. We should find some other way.


298 John Wylie July 11, 2014 at 7:48 am

David Brumbelow,

Forgive the brief hijacking, but are you going to the Paris TX Camp Meeting starting Monday?


299 David R. Brumbelow July 13, 2014 at 8:48 am

No, I will not be able to make it to the Camp Meeting.
Hope you all have a great time there.
It is certainly worth attending.
David R. Brumbelow


300 volfan007 July 11, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Let me tell you a story about a man, who started off eating fried chicken in moderation. At first, he had a good time eating chicken with all of his chicken eating buddies. Well, he began to eat more and more chicken, with each passing day. The stresses of life was heavy on him, and the more stress he felt, the more fried chicken he would eat.
His wife noticed that fried chicken was taking over his life. It was causing him to act bad towards her, and the children. She begged him to quit eating fried chicken, but he wasn’t about to do that. Finally, one day, after eating 2 chicken breasts, 3 wings, and a leg; he lost his temper, and he hit his wife. Well, that was the last straw, and she took the kids and left him. “Who needs them,” he said, “As long as I’ve got my fried chicken and a fishing pole, that’s all I need.”

Well, the loneliness, and the stress, and missing his kids, and feeling extreme guilt and shame over his fried chicken eating ways, just drove him to eat more fried chicken. Until, one day, he was eating fried chicken and driving, and he smashed into a family, who never ate fried chicken. He killed them all. He ended up in prison…..and, wishing to goodness that he’d never eaten a single bite of fried chicken in his life.

Yep, it’s a sad story, and a bad road we go down when we start eating fried chicken.



301 Dan Barnes July 11, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Can I offer a realty check? We live in post Christian America. We no longer have the majority vote. Spewing venom at a disagreement like pit vipers divides us as the already minority. Bad form.


302 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Dan Barnes,

May I ask you a real question? Who is spewing venom?


303 Dan Barnes July 11, 2014 at 5:27 pm

It’s an open statement CB, not an individualized attack. The comment you made about me resigning would have been below the belt, but I resigned two years ago. Either way, we often get out of control and sometimes Dave has to close comments.


304 Chris Roberts July 11, 2014 at 5:33 pm

I think the resign comment was directed at Patrick. Still uncalled for.


305 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Dan Barnes,

My statement regarding resignation was directed to Patrick. I stand by it. He should and contrary to what Christ Roberts may think, the request that he do so was not and is not uncalled for.

Any guy who calls himself a Christian pastor who would be an advocate for the legalization of marijuana should resign or be fired.

Now, Dan Barnes, if you think my stating that is venomous, so be it.


306 Chris Roberts July 11, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Because if you don’t see and do things cb’s way, you don’t deserve to be a pastor!!1!

307 Jess July 11, 2014 at 7:59 pm

cb scott,

You are talking about recreational use aren’t you?

308 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 8:39 pm


Yes. Just as I am always in reference to the use of alcohol as a beverage here, I am in reference to the use of marijuana for recreational use.

Thank you, Jess, for prodding me to make that clear.

309 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Chris Roberts,

None of us deserve to be pastors. However, anyone who would promote the legalization of recreational drug use should not be one, as should not anyone who would promote abortion on demand.

In addition, men who are lost in their sins, such as you are, should not be pastors, nor can men lost in their sins, such are you are, understand the spiritual aspects of being one, as is also true in your case.

310 Chris Roberts July 11, 2014 at 8:54 pm


Fortunately for us both, I am no longer a pastor, so we’re good on that point. As for being lost in sin, I have good news! There is no such thing as sin, thus it is impossible to be lost in it. You, my friend, are sin-free, and this without anyone having to be killed for you! Granted, I was once what you still are, someone who believed in such nonsense, someone who had supposedly been born again, someone who sought to save poor souls from the torments of a God who claimed to love them. Now I know such tales for what they are and am happy to walk in the light of truth.

All that to say, no worries for me or others. I would say that our souls are safe, but we have no souls that need safety so we’re good on that point.

Now, do you have any more dogmatic declarations to which I can give snide responses?

311 Dan Barnes July 11, 2014 at 9:38 pm

CB, I’ve always considered you a friend, I see no reason for me to stop now.

312 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 9:48 pm

“Granted, I was once what you still are, someone who believed in such nonsense, someone who had supposedly been born again . . .”

Chris Roberts,

The truth is that you have ‘never’ been what I am. I am a sinner saved by grace. You have not, as of yet, had that experience.

You were a poser and nothing less and nothing more as were multitudes before you and as are multitudes now and shall be until Christ returns for His Church.

313 Chris Roberts July 11, 2014 at 9:53 pm


A response that is quite typical of the many, many Christian defense mechanisms for how to deal with various uncomfortable realities. In this case, how could someone who seemed to be as deeply committed – if not moreso – than any, abandon the faith? Simple answer: he must never have been born again! He was fooling himself and all of us all along!

Granted, there are likely some people who have crossed swords with me online who always thought I couldn’t possibly be saved, but among those few who knew me in person and now know of my changed beliefs, there has been nothing but shock. And, I’m sure, a quiet appeal to 1 John 2:19, etc, as a defense mechanism.

314 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Dan Barnes,

I have always considered you the same. I have had no thought as that changing. I did not address you in any manner about resigning any thing. In addition, I have not spewed venom here in this thread. I have stated the truth about this guy, Patrick and about Chris Roberts. If you think that to be venomous, you are wrong. Yet, my stating you are wrong, does not mean I think less of you or that you are not a friend. You are one of the few people who posts comments here who understands the first thing about how to build a Sunday School.

315 cbscott July 11, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Chris Roberts,

I did not state that you “must not be born again.” I am stating that you ‘are’ not born again. That’s no “defense mechanism.” That is the truth. You are lost. You posed as a Christian pastor. You are not unique in our current culture or would you have been in any past culture.

There is nothing more that can be said of the matter other than for me to continue to pray for your salvation before the Throne of Grace before you die in sin, damned to hell.

316 Chris Roberts July 11, 2014 at 10:03 pm

I’m not sure what the difference is between what I said you said and what you said you said…?

But that’s probably enough of my responding to your various eggings-on.

317 Dan Barnes July 12, 2014 at 9:19 am

CB, I wasn’t referring to you a venom spewer, like I said was a general comment. If you read through the posts, like any blog that gets lots of comments, there is always some venom. It’s not an attack or accusation on anyone. My point is to remind us we are more minority, and need to focus on uniting. Discussion is good, even some strongly worded discussion. Opinions are shared and valid, but we all (myself included) Need to be sure we are discussing in a way that builds unity and cooperation in the body. For those outside the body, we need to try to give love and compassion, regardless of how misguided they are.

318 Tarheel July 12, 2014 at 11:45 am

Calling out posers now are we?

319 cbscott July 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm

“Calling out posers now are we?”

No, Tarheel.

I didn’t have to call him out. He has declared himself to be one.

320 Patrick July 15, 2014 at 1:56 pm

“ANy guy who calls himself a Christian pastor who would be an advocate for the legalization of marijuana should resign or be fired.”

Be fired for what? For supporting free market economics? For thinking that people have the legal right to do whatever the heck they want to do to their own bodies, even if I don’t agree with it? Yup, that makes a ton of sense.

321 cb scott July 16, 2014 at 7:37 am

Yes, Patrick, you should be fired as a pastor of a local church if you actually support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. In addition, if the church to which you serve in the pastoral role knows of your position and does not remove you, that is a sad thing.

However, the saddest thing to me, specific to this comment thread, is the fact that I am the only one who has stated that you should resign or be fired. That is sad. Sad indeed.

322 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 4:00 pm


You’re trying have it both ways!

On one hand you say “the bible does not call non intoxicating drinking a sin, it’s just unwise.”

You also say one can’t drink any without at least getting a buzz.

And then say this; The Bible does teach about the foolishness of drinking fermented wine(alcohol)…..and, it does say that getting high, or buzzed, or drunk on alcohol is a SIN.

So truthfully given this line if thought….you do call any alcohol consumption a sin. Fine. Be honest about it though.

My problem with that opinion is that you are calling something sin that the bible does not…and further something that the apostles and Jesus himself did.


323 volfan007 July 11, 2014 at 8:48 pm


Using alcohol as a medicine…or, using marijuana as a medicine….is alright …that’s what they are….a drug.

drinking alcohol to just get high….or smoking mary jane to just get high…. is not wise…not wise, at all. So, maybe you can drink a little bit of Jack in your black, and not get high, or buzzed…I wouldn’t call that a sin…unwise…but, not a sin…..unwise because you’re messing around with a rattlesnake.



324 Chris Roberts July 11, 2014 at 8:56 pm

I don’t even understand some of what you said there, but at any rate, haven’t you argued that the first drink is enough to induce intoxication? If so, isn’t the first drink in itself sin, not merely unwise?


325 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Thank you, Chris. You’re right on this point.

I still pray for your soul, sir.

You know the truth, I beg you to resist it no more.

Humble yourself, repent and believe.


326 volfan007 July 11, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Chris and Tarheel,

I’m saying that drinking alcohol is not a wise thing, as taught to us by Proverbs. Getting drunk, high, or buzzed on it is a sin against God, as taught in Ephesians.

I have given many instances where drinking a little alcohol would not be sin….i.e., Nyquil.


327 Tarheel July 11, 2014 at 9:06 pm

It seems y’all are dancing around and playing with words…unwise and such in this case in your minds is clearly a euphemism for sin.


328 volfan007 July 11, 2014 at 9:23 pm


Kissing a rattlesnake on the mouth would not be a sin, but it would be very, very unwise.

See the difference?



329 Chris Johnson July 12, 2014 at 8:39 am

I like that one… Being from West Texas and the rattle snake roundup. True statement!


330 John Wylie July 12, 2014 at 8:53 am

Where are you from Chris? Sweetwater?


331 Chris Johnson July 12, 2014 at 9:16 am

JW, I was born and grew up in Seminole and Midland, which is not too far from Sweetwater. I love that event. I still have family in the Snyder area.


332 John Wylie July 12, 2014 at 9:22 am

Cool, I was born in Abilene and I graduated High School at Tuscola about 15 miles South of Abilene.


333 Chris Johnson July 12, 2014 at 9:55 am

I know it is probably strange to say….. but I love that part of the country! Flat lands, canyons, snakes, oil, cotton, sand, “some” water…not much though :) , long beautiful sunsets and amazing people. I used to minister at summer camps near Big Spring in the late 70′s (wow that sounds old) :) I’m a young 53 this year.


334 John Wylie July 12, 2014 at 10:15 am

I do too.


335 D. L. Payton July 12, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Oh my! Have either of you two guys seen Montana. :-)

336 Chris Johnson July 12, 2014 at 9:48 am

Chris R,
Looks like a missed a lot of the fireworks yesterday….playing a little golf in Birmingham.

I always find it interesting to listen to someone describe their “salvation” or “Christian” experience. I hope to get to meet you someday when you get to the Nashville area,…we can talk technology stacks and real theology. From the last few months and reading through many of your posts, your belief system seems to more clearly aligned with the Muslim faith. I’m certainly not putting you into that world by any means, since you claim Atheism as your latest religion. But, the belief in no sin, is very much in their wheel house (at least they own the line share of stock so far),…its just that the Muslim faith designers figured out that didn’t work out in their control scheme very well, so they began to add laws to corral the inevitable. Well, now you see the outcome of that….

The other thing you must realize, or will come to realize, is that no one that God saves (captures) will have the opportunity to leave or get out of his love. We,…. those that confess Christ as Lord, are slaves…pure and simple, and for good reason. Now, many don’t like that at all, whether slave or not. Some even think that they became slaves at one point, but in reality they just liked the scene, maybe some of the folks they hung around with were just fun, etc. yet, they discovered they were never really were slaves as they could just leave the scene at any casual moment, even looking back on occasion. Those are the posers that cb is referring to. I know many “Pastors” that are posers, just looking for the next easy thing. They would never truly confess Christ, …except possibly for convenience sake, control, or easy money.

I too, like many that blog here, would love to see God save your soul. You admit that God has not saved you by your own testimony. So, I’m not telling you anything that you don’t already know. Yet, I do want you to understand that we are not saved by Faith. That is the reason that so many folks think that they have been saved, etc. …. in all kinds of religions. Anyone born of God is saved by Grace, through Faith. I’d love the opportunity to explain the Faith that has once for all been delivered and at the right time demonstrated through Christ. I realize you have never bought into that kind of Faith, or you would be a slave of God the Father. At this point, you seem to be pleased to be the slave of another system, and another Father.

A true Atheist religious practitioner would never acquiesce to the assumption that they were ever a Christian… btw. That would be for them the suicide of evolutionary thought, and their assumptions of the beginning of time and space.



337 David R. Brumbelow July 12, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Comments have been made about the Church Covenant.

It has been used by many Baptists since the 1850s.
It is still available through LifeWay in postcard, stick-on, and poster sizes.

Church Covenant
Having been led, as we believe by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.

We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love, to strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote it’s prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.

We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings; faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of, and use of, destructive drugs and intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to shun pornography; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Savior.

We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love, to remember one another in prayer; and to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.

We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
See more at:
David R. Brumbelow


338 Tarheel July 12, 2014 at 1:29 pm

We use that covenant as a guide …but we’ve altered it quite a bit.

Do you use the covenant in that form (as above) in your church, David B. ?

If you do ….I wonder though- do you allow leadership OR membership in your church to those who might sale or distribute alcohol? (Any kind of store owners/employes, restaurant owners/employees, truck drivers who Work for trucking lines that distribute alcohol, etc…)


339 David R. Brumbelow July 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm

On Alcohol Use in America

WHEREAS, Years of research confirm biblical warnings that alcohol use leads to physical, mental, and emotional damage; and
WHEREAS, God’s inerrant Word says in Proverbs 23:29-35, “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again”; and
WHEREAS, In 1 Corinthians 6:19, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”; and
WHEREAS, Alcohol use has led to countless injuries and deaths in our nation; and
WHEREAS, The breakup of many families and homes can be directly and indirectly attributed to alcohol use by one or more members of a family; and
WHEREAS, The use of alcohol as a recreational beverage has been shown to lead individuals down a path of addiction to alcohol and toward the abuse of other kinds of drugs, both legal and illegal; and
WHEREAS, There are some religious leaders who are now advocating the consumption of alcoholic beverages based on a misinterpretation of the doctrine of “our freedom in Christ”; and
WHEREAS, The messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 13-14, 2006, expressed their total opposition to the manufacturing, advertising, distributing, and consuming of alcoholic beverages; now, therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention meeting in Austin, Texas, November 13-14, 2006, express our total opposition to the manufacturing, advertising, distributing, and
consuming of alcoholic beverages; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we urge that no one be elected to serve as a trustee or member of any board or committee of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention that is a user of alcoholic beverages; and be it
RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to take an active role in supporting legislation that is intended to curb alcohol use in our communities and nation; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to be actively involved in educating students and adults concerning the destructive nature of alcoholic beverages; and be it finally
RESOLVED, That we commend organizations and ministries that treat alcohol-related problems from a biblical perspective and promote abstinence and encourage local churches to begin and/or support such
biblically-based ministries.
-Resolution by Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC), AD 2006

The 2006 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)
Resolution on Alcohol Use in America
is found here:
David R. Brumbelow


340 Chris Johnson July 12, 2014 at 1:10 pm

David, I enjoy politics like a lot of other men. But, politics, resolutions, policy making falls woefully short of rightly dividing truth.

Pastors should not only be sensitive to reactionary problems in our culture, but proactively ready to preach the truth of remaining sober, vigilant, and God honoring through the power of the Holy Spirit and His gift of self-control. Abstinence from wine is a good means of self-control, as well as not being drunk on wine, pugnacious, brawling, etc.

When politics begin to trump truth,…the church will suffer needlessly from some forms of those liberal interpretations.

This is an important subject for the SBC collective to demonstrate fidelity to the scripture, and affirming the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the church.


341 Tarheel July 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm

I was at that convention in Greensboro, there was much debate and it barely passed….and that in the opinion of the chair (bobby welch?)

So let’s not pretend it was unanimous or overwhelming or anything.


342 David R. Brumbelow July 12, 2014 at 3:00 pm

From Baptist Press:

“When the back-and-forth on alcohol finally ended, the messengers passed with more than a four-fifths majority a resolution [2006 SBC Alcohol Resolution] not only opposing the manufacture and consumption of alcohol but urging the exclusion of Southern Baptists who drink from election to the convention’s boards, committees and entities.” -Baptist Press, June 15, 2006

Tarheel, that does not sound like the Resolution “barely passed.”
By the way, I was also at the 2006 SBC.

Since 1886 the Southern Baptist Convention has passed 57 resolutions against alcohol.
David R. Brumbelow


343 Chris Roberts July 12, 2014 at 3:40 pm

And yet the Bible still affirms an individual’s decision to drink.


344 Joe Blackmon (@joe_blackmon_72) July 12, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Given that you (wrongly) believe that the Bible is just nonsense rather than being the inerrant word of God (which it is), I am utterly confused why you wold waste time arguing with Christians about what it says or means..Maybe you need a hobby. I hear stamp collecting is rewarding.


345 Chris Roberts July 12, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Arguing with Christians is more fun than stamp collecting.

Given that you believe the Bible is divinely inspired and that all Christians bear the Holy Spirit who alone is able to sanctify from sin and teach the truth of Scripture, why is it necessary to argue about the Bible? (I already know your answer but here’s your chance to give it anyway)

346 D. L. Payton July 12, 2014 at 4:48 pm

I must be honest my friend. I am not sure you are serious about your “non belief”. I have two atheist friends and they would simply not consider spending this much time on a blog with Christians. Me things, you may be under conviction by the Holy Spirit which you “deny”. I’m not sure all of this is settled in your mind at this point.

347 Chris Roberts July 12, 2014 at 4:59 pm

D. L.,

Not an unexpected response. Let a person show the slightest interest in talking about religious matters and the typical response is, “God is drawing you, you just won’t admit it.” Rest assured, my mind is quite settled. I would imagine that your atheist friends had not spent a few years on a blog prior to their atheism.

348 Les Prouty July 12, 2014 at 9:14 pm


Serious question: How have your wife and children handled this 180 degree turn in your life?


349 Chris Roberts July 12, 2014 at 9:44 pm

In their own ways.

350 Chris Roberts July 12, 2014 at 9:48 pm

And as far as it goes, it’s hardly a 180 degree turn in my life. My beliefs are very different, but my life has changed very little.

351 Les Prouty July 12, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Chris, by 180 I meant going from professing Christ as Savior and Lord to atheism.

Anyway, if it too personal I understand. You say in their own ways. Does your wife still profess faith in Christ? Your children if they had made a profession of faith? I don’t know their ages of course.


352 Chris Roberts July 12, 2014 at 10:02 pm


I’m curious why you’re curious about their responses?

353 Les Prouty July 12, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Chris, nothing nefarious. It fairly rare for for what you’ve done in pastoring an evangelical church then not just getting out of ministry or bolting to say the RCC, but announcing you’re an atheist.

Your wife was a pastor’s wife for some number of years. Just curious how she has and is responding.


354 Chris Roberts July 12, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Considering the swelling roles of The Clergy Project, it may not be as rare as you think. At least, pastors turning atheist, not necessarily pastors leaving the pulpit.

355 D. L. Payton July 12, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Re. the blog, true. I meant that however generically, they were not interested in engaging with believers. Not antagonistic, just not interested, they saw no point in it. I guess I wonder why you would want to engage with believers. As you just pointed out, like many time before, you know the believers response.

356 Joe Blackmon (@joe_blackmon_72) July 12, 2014 at 10:17 pm


The most likely reason he’s engaging is that he’s a blog troll. Go back and look at his venom re:the Traditionalst Statement*. He’s just spoiling for a fight.

*BTW in no way do I mean to suggest that disagreeing with the TS in whole or in part or rejecting it is spewing venom.

357 D. L. Payton July 12, 2014 at 10:24 pm

I suspect you are correct. It does seem he simply likes the antagonist role. There is a sense of false intellectual superiority experienced when a person is well versed in the views of his debate “opponent”, as is Chris.

I did not understand your comment re. the TS to be a negative statement. Again, you are correct, disagreeing is not spewing venom.

358 Joe Blackmon (@joe_blackmon_72) July 12, 2014 at 10:34 pm

Oh I just added that because there are folks who would think that I meant that. I mean 90% of the folks who disagree with it do so without being hateful and snarky and then there are the folks calling it heretical.

359 D. L. Payton July 12, 2014 at 10:40 pm

That second group of folks seems to be with us everywhere. That is just sad.

360 Chris Roberts July 12, 2014 at 10:48 pm


I do admire your ability to hold a grudge. I gather your feelings were hurt? While I did plainly show time and again that the TS is semi-Pelagian, I also noted that it was not a heretical document so I’m not even sure why you mention heretical claims. Either way, that was all what, two years ago? Again, remarkable grudge abilities!

361 Chris Roberts July 12, 2014 at 10:50 pm

And DL, which is it? Am I just another troll? Or am I someone who can’t let go due to the conviction of the Holy Spirit?

362 D. L. Payton July 12, 2014 at 11:04 pm

I don’t know, only you can answer that question.

363 Les Prouty July 12, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Chris, obviously you don’t want to respond to the substance of my question/comment. Your prerogative.


364 Chris Roberts July 12, 2014 at 11:59 pm


Indeed and indeed. The question was out of bounds.

365 Les Prouty July 13, 2014 at 12:33 am

Chris, I can see why one would deem my question out of bounds which is why after your initial response I said, “Anyway, if it too personal I understand.”


366 Les Prouty July 13, 2014 at 12:41 am

DL, who really knows about Chris’ situation.

We had a long time elder declare Christianity to be a sham and that he was an atheist. That’s after over 20 years as an elder and much fruit thru his ministry. It is indeed puzzling.

But after a little over two years of this new position of his, he has come to his spiritual senses. He’s beginning a road back. How long and what that looks like, no one knows. But as it turns out he faced some serious mental issues which it looks like now precipitated his declaring that he was abandoning the faith.

True atheists are rare. Evangelical pastors becoming true atheists are even rarer. Time proves it and the exceptions prove the rule so to speak.

367 Chris Roberts July 13, 2014 at 12:49 am


Right, because the cause of a rationalistic atheist worldview is mental illness whereas the cause of a belief in an invisible, untouchable, untestable, unprovable deity is sanity…

368 parsonsmike July 13, 2014 at 1:35 am

I have never met CB Scott, have you?
I have read his posts, so i believe he is a real person, but i wouldn’t stake my eternal life on it.

In fact of all the people who post on Voices, i have only met one. And I knew him before he ever posted on Voices.

Now if you meet someone and get to know them, wouldn’t it be somewhat true to say you had mental problems if down the road, you denied you ever met or knew the person?

So lets say, you have met CB a few times. Would it be mental for you now to deny such a person existed? It seems the answer is YES it would.

But what about me? i have never met him. if through some reasoning i decided that he never really existed, and that his writings were words put up by others, well that might be quirky and a little misguided but not a mental disorder, eh?

Now you could tell me he is real, but why should i believe your testimony?

So Chris, is CB a real person or not?

By the way, true believers in the Lord have met Him in just a real way as you have met CB. Just as real but different. You may not believe us, and that is your call, but your skepticism doesn’t change the truth of the matter.

369 Chris Roberts July 13, 2014 at 1:47 am


Please, please tell me that wasn’t intended as a serious argument!?

370 parsonsmike July 13, 2014 at 1:47 am

What about Abraham Lincoln?
Have you ever met him?
Yet you believe he was a real man.
You take by faith, as true, what you have read and heard.

Do you know Bill Zipf?
No? But do you deny that there is a Bill Zipf?
You might spend the rest of your life looking for Bill Zipf and never find him but does that mean there is nobody called Bill Zipf? of course not. Just because you have no personal knowledge of Bill Zipf does not mean that there is no Bill Zipf.

You might agree that there could be a Bill Zipf or not. That would mean you are agnostic about the validity of Bill Zipf.

So how do you know there is no God?

371 parsonsmike July 13, 2014 at 1:51 am

Just what do you think I am arguing for?

372 Chris Roberts July 13, 2014 at 1:57 am


The ridiculous, evidently, if your arguments were intended in earnest.

373 Les Prouty July 13, 2014 at 6:14 am


“Right, because the cause of a rationalistic atheist worldview is mental illness whereas the cause of a belief in an invisible, untouchable, untestable, unprovable deity is sanity… ”

Chris, if I had actually argued such causation your reply would have made sense. But as it is, not so much.

374 D. L. Payton July 13, 2014 at 10:32 am

You make a good point

375 D. L. Payton July 13, 2014 at 10:38 am

I am not trying to win a debate with you. It is just that I am concerned about you man. Since you understand my faith, you also understand my concern.

376 Joe Blackmon (@joe_blackmon_72) July 13, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Actually, Chis, no my feelings weren’t hurt. I didn’t and wouldn’t sign the statement. I offered that example as further evidence that you are what you were–a troll. But since Pelegianism is heresy if someone is a semi-pelegian then they are semiheretic which is like being semipregnant… you either are or you’re not.

So carry on with your trolling. I for one am done feeding the trolls

377 Chris Roberts July 13, 2014 at 1:31 pm


You’re done feeding trolls? Other than jumping in to call me names and accuse me of saying things I didn’t say, I’m not aware that you had interacted with me at all.

378 Tarheel July 12, 2014 at 4:33 pm

That’s not how I remember it. I would not say it was 80%.

Also resolutions are not authoritative, inspired, or binding. Scripture is….and scripture encourages, as with all Christian liberties, moderation and forbids drunkeness in those who have conscience freedom in this area.

It further says that those who have such freedom should not impose thier freedom on others and It also forbids those who don’t have conscience freedom from judging their brothers and sisters In Christ as the exercise their liberty. (Romans 14)


379 parsonsmike July 12, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Gosh, all these posts on food and alcohol and marijuana but not a single mention of the one mind altering, mood changing elephant in the room:


I guess some things are just to sacred to speak about.


380 Bill Mac July 13, 2014 at 8:06 am

You know, having Chris here is no bad thing. We know where he stands and our arguments ought to be able to stand up against his. Some of you are complaining that he is still at Voices, but that’s because everyone seems to want to engage him, as if the right combination of words will re-convert him. It is unfortunate (from our perspective) when someone abandons the faith, but where is your faith in God? His atheism is not from a lack of hearing the Gospel or a dearth of clever arguments.

If he’s here to mock, then he should stop. If he’s here to ask hard but fair questions, then let’s suck it up and deal with them.

I’ve said this already to you Chris: If your goal is to destroy the faith of the folks on this board, then that is an unworthy goal.


381 Chris Roberts July 13, 2014 at 9:14 am

As opposed to the goal of converting people?


382 Bill Mac July 13, 2014 at 9:30 am

Well, I’ve made my points relative to this already. Tell me, suppose for some strange reason you are the most successful atheist in history, and virtually overnight your arguments take hold, and we and everyone else lose our faith.

What does your world look like? Are people happier, more prosperous, harder working, less violent, less abusive, more generous? Are there fewer people in prison, fewer school shootings, less crime, more philanthropy? Seriously, what does it look like, if we all become like you?


383 Chris Roberts July 13, 2014 at 10:59 am

I don’t know what that world would look like. I know that religion has been an agent for good in many cases – as well as an agent for tremendous harm. I also know that the world has gotten along so far without the presence of any god or gods, so dropping religion would merely be abandoning the pretense that there is a divine presence at work. It would change nothing of what is actual, it would only bring our society in alignment with reality. I don’t think that would be a bad thing.


384 Adam G. in NC July 13, 2014 at 3:39 pm


I think this is the first time I have posted a link to this and it NOT be on the CNN Religion blog.

385 Chris Roberts July 13, 2014 at 3:54 pm


I’m familiar with that quote. Watched the DVD when it was screened at a Desiring God conference with Wilson present. They did a Q&A after the video and Wilson was asked about that particular bit: what motivated Hitchens to say that? Wilson’s first answer was scotch. I don’t remember what else Wilson speculated. Hitchens himself does not elaborate. He clearly sees religion as detrimental to society and believes society would experience a significant step forward if religion did not dominate. As for why he said that night that he would want to leave intact the faith of the last remaining religious person, we can only speculate.

386 Bill Mac July 13, 2014 at 5:16 pm

What is “actual” is that there are Christians in every corner of the globe, not only sharing the Gospel but sacrificing their time and resources to better the lives of those less fortunate. There are medical missionaries, those working in disaster relief, those working to expand literacy, working to eradicate diseases such as aids, caring for orphans. The list goes on. All this because of their faith in God.

“‘One word, Ma’am,’ he said… ‘One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things–trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Supose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.”

From The Silver Chair by CS Lewis.

387 Chris Roberts July 13, 2014 at 5:21 pm


And there are many atheists out there helping people, not because of faith in God, but just because it’s the right thing to do.

One way religion has a leg up is through organization. Church and denominational structure provide a means of social engagement not otherwise available. There are a number of atheists who think it would be beneficial to have organizations similar to churches in that they can be places of socialization, education, and mobilization. Such organizations are still few in number, but seem to be growing. It will be interesting to see how many of those form, and what impact they have in social work – all because it is the right thing to do rather than because God expects them to do it.

388 Bill Mac July 13, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I have no doubt there are some. But many? I’m more doubtful about that. I’m not sure in what objective non-religious sense helping people is the “right thing to do”. What is the governing moral code that suggests this? I’m not saying atheists don’t have any morality, but it would seem to me to be very relativistic.

Atheists have been around forever. Who can name ten generous, self-sacrificing atheists? Have you ever heard testimony of anyone who says their lives were made better by atheists?

389 Chris Roberts July 13, 2014 at 5:50 pm

So you’re saying atheists don’t brag about their good deeds as much as Christians?

390 Les Prouty July 13, 2014 at 5:51 pm

What is “the right thing to do?” And says who?

391 Chris Roberts July 13, 2014 at 6:03 pm


That’s a more involved discussion in a thread that probably should die and at any rate, it’s not a matter Christians are likely willing to remotely consider given the necessary investment in what they insist is essential for any kind of morality. When you start with the assumption that God must be the basis of meaningful morality, there really isn’t any point in discussing the issue.

392 Bill Mac July 13, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Well, that’s possible, but in the absence of any historical precedent, I would say it is more likely that they simply don’t do any (not to any great degree anyway). They may not brag about it themselves (although I haven’t noticed that atheists are particularly more humble than anyone else), but surely someone would have noticed.

393 Chris Roberts July 13, 2014 at 7:04 pm


I think it much more likely that you are looking with biased eyes – if you are looking at all. We often see what we expect to see and filter out everything else (an insight which played a fairly significant role in my turn to atheism).

394 Les Prouty July 13, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Chris R,

I realize much could be said. But since you brought up the idea of atheists “doing the RIGHT thing, (emphasis mine), it should be fairly easy for you to state in a sentence it two from whence you and other atheists know what those right things are? You know whT we Christians say. So what say you?


395 Chris Roberts July 13, 2014 at 7:44 pm


Answers are easy when they are obtained from a book. Without a supposed divine source, things tend to take more than a sentence or two.

396 Chris Roberts July 13, 2014 at 7:50 pm

(Granted, most expositions of the Bible take lots more than a sentence or two (see anything I’ve written on Voices in my once faithful days) which sort of negates my point, but nonetheless, it’s easy to say, “The Bible is my source for right and wrong.” Takes more work when we don’t have such a source, but it is doable.)

397 Les Prouty July 13, 2014 at 7:56 pm


Just looking for your source. Not looking for a dissertation. Our source is the God of the bible. What is your source for “doing what is right?”

It seems like you’re dodging. But I may be wrong.


398 Chris Roberts July 13, 2014 at 8:02 pm


A semi-dodge, simply because that’s a discussion that merits more than a sentence or two and would have to start with addressing the false assumption behind the question.

399 Les Prouty July 13, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Well ok then Chris.

400 Chris Johnson July 13, 2014 at 10:38 am

Bill Mac, I agree 100%. Chris R is a good opportunity to hone the skill of telling the truth. Folks like Chris, Dawkins and many others argue for arguments sake, self confidence, as well as money. Take Dawkins for instance, not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but his scams have brought him fame and money. There are a lot of Pastors that like the idea of his results.


401 Chris Roberts July 13, 2014 at 10:57 am


Money? Are you sure you want to go there? There may be a small handful of atheists who have gotten a fair bit of money through promoting their atheism, but they are certainly by far the exception. On the other hand, the ranks of Christianity are full of pastors and leaders who have grown quite prosperous through their work. Say what you will about whether or not they are true representatives of Christianity, the fact remains that religion provides a much better means of gaining wealth than atheism ever could. I don’t know a single person who has ever considered atheism as a path to prosperity (so your jab about pastors liking his results has no merit) whereas there have been plenty who saw the opportunity for profit in the pulpit. None of those come around Voices, but we know they are out there and they are numerous.


402 Chris Johnson July 13, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Chris R.,
I think your stats may be a little conflated. There are more than a handful of atheists that scam the population on an annual basis. I see that all the time, and doubt that will diminish anytime soon. You better know that Dawkins uses his lot in life as a way to lure people into his lectures. I will give it to him though. He has taken the language of science and used it to his full advantage, although the majority of his work today is hyper-theoritical without much substance; almost laughable at times. But, people seem to love it…imagine that. You are right on the fact that there are “Pastor” charlatans that scam the religious patrons as well, and for big bucks.


403 Chris Roberts July 13, 2014 at 2:25 pm


There are con artists in every corner – Christian, atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, what have you. But that’s not what you were talking about. You talked about atheists who use their atheism to turn a buck. So far, Dawkins is your only example, yet you claim the practice is widespread. I grant you that Dawkins has made some money through his pro-atheist writings. How much, I don’t know. I do know that he was a famous scientist long before he was a famous atheist. Aside from Dawkins, there are a few atheists who have made a name for themselves through promoting atheism, though again many were first known for their science. I see no reason to think they turned to atheism as a way to grab a buck. The same cannot be said for the people in the church we would all agree are scammers.

404 David R. Brumbelow July 13, 2014 at 8:55 am
405 Mark Lamprecht July 16, 2014 at 10:28 am

Patrick, here is some help for your moral dilemma. You can support legalizing marijuana as a pastor or Christian leader. You simply deny supporting it when you get caught. Then, when hard evidence is shown you simply apologize for misspeaking. Voila!


406 Ryan Abernathy July 16, 2014 at 11:12 am




407 Jess July 16, 2014 at 10:52 am

cb scott,

I just read your comments about your stand against pot, and how a Pastor should never support making it legal. I wanted you to know, I agree.


408 Jake Barker July 19, 2014 at 11:24 am

The medical opinion of marijuana just keeps changing. Here is some of the latest findings for those “aginners” to argue about.



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