"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Personal Holiness: Abstaining from Tea Drinking

Last week the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention replaced the bylaw that required all SBTC employees and elected officials to abstain from drunkenness (a biblical command) to a demand that all SBTC employees and elected officals abstain from “the use of alcohol as a beverage.” The only reason for such a bylaw change is the belief held by SBTC leadership that drinking an alcoholic beverage is a sin - for everybody. A year ago, when I first heard about the SBTC bylaw proposal, I spent a few minutes and wrote a post declaring my deeply held belief that drinking tea was a sin - for everybody. Having served in leadership of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma for the past twenty years, I am inclined to offer my own bylaw amendment next year at the BGCO, demanding that all BGCO employees and elected officials abstain from tea drinking. If you find the following post absurd, then you best ask yourself what you are going to do to ensure that Southern Baptists, either at the state level or the national level, stop codifying sin for others by exceeding the clear standards of the sufficient Word of God.



Reasons Why Tea Totalers Should Be Excluded from Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Leadership by a Bylaw Change That Calls for Everyone to Abstain from Drinking Tea

(1). Drinking tea leads a person to addiction to caffeine.

There might be some who allege that drinking just one or two glasses of tea does not lead to caffeine addiction. This is technically true, but unfortunately, not all Christians who partake in moderate tea drinking can stop with just a couple of glasses. It is not uncommon for Christian men and women to progress from tea, to coffee, to 64 ounce Colas or Mountain Dews. Where does it stop? How does one know when the line of addiction has been crossed? If caffeine is addictive, then why play with fire? We must conclude that Drinking tea is a sin (Counsels on Diet and Drink: Part II, Tea and Coffee, page 434).

(2). Tea and coffee are destructive to the Christian's body, which is the temple of God.

As pointed out above, caffeine is highly addictive. Quitting coffee can cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, sleepiness and irritability. The acidic nature of coffee can lead to stomach ulcers. When the excess acid enters the bloodstream, it also increases calcium loss in urine. Both coffee and tea have no nutritional value. Tannin, the substance that makes tea cups brown and coats tea pots, is used for tanning leather. Imagine the stomach after twenty years of tea drinking.

Caffeine is able to penetrate deep into vital tissue. Evidence shows that it may be linked to male infertility and also birth defects by passing through the placenta. Drinking coffee during breast feeding will cause caffeine to be present in mothers' milk.

Caffeine has a powerful effect on coronary arteries and the pulmonary and systemic vessels, causing a greater flow of blood to the heart muscle, but decreasing the flow of blood to the brain by constricting cerebral blood vessels. Caffeine can cause abnormally fast, abnormally slow and irregular heart beats. It also wreaks havoc on blood pressure, commonly producing hypertension. Coffee has been linked to heart disease, pancreas and bladder cancer, and hypoglycemia.

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, providing that familiar kick on which we have come to depend. But as with all stimulants, there is a price to be paid. If you run the body on overdrive for an extended period of time by artificially stimulating the adrenals, expect breakdown to occur.

(3). Though the Bible does not expressly forbid the drinking of tea, there is an overwhelming preponderence of Biblical evidence that tea drinking is a sin.

"Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him" (Proverbs 10:36). The same acidic quality of vinegar, tea and coffee is as damaging to the Christian as smoke is to the eyes.

“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand” (Phil. 4:5), “…every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things” (I Cor. 9:25).

Though some might argue that these verses do not explicitly 'forid' the drinking of tea, it is clear that the Christian who desires to be holy in all things will not even begin to cross the line of introducing tea or coffee into his system.

(4). Though some have the gall to say Jesus drank tea on the cross, it was clearly not the same kind of tea or substance that tea drinkers consume today.

Some try to be cute in their arguments for moderate tea drinking by pointing out that Jesus drank 'vinegar' on the cross, which contains the same acidic and caffeneited quality as today's tea.

The Bible states, "And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink...." (Mk. 15:36).

Biblical scholars have long pointed out that the acidic and caffeinated content of the vinegar drink offered to Jesus was less than 5% of the acid and caffeine found in today's most popular teas. To compare the actions of Jesus at Calvary with today's tea drinking should be considered a sin in and of itself.

To justify your own desire to drink tea by pointing to the conduct of Jesus is shameful.

(5). The argument that drinking tea is not illegal in the United States, and therefore, lawful for the Christian, is an argument straight from hell.

Homosexuality is not illegal in the states. Adultery is not illegal in America. Dressing inappropriately with boxers showing, and breasts peeking out of tight tops is not illegal in my hometown, but does that make it right?

Just to say drinking tea is not illegal is in reality no argument at all. "In everything we do, whether we eat or drink, we do for the glory of God" (I Corinthians 10:31).

(6). Some cultures drink tea as a normal part of daily life, but that is no excuse for Christians to drink it, since we are to be 'a cut above' the world.

Some missionaries might argue that drinking tea in China is a cultural event, and to identify with the Chinese one must drink tea. As it is said, "When in Rome do as the Romans."

Hogwash. We are not to let culture affect us, we are to be a shining example to culture of how Christ can transform people. The person who drinks tea on a regular basis simply has no idea what Christ can do for his life, and if you drink tea with him, while introducing him to Christ, then you may give him the impression he can continue drinking tea as a Christian.

When in Rome do as Christ would do. Christ would not sit and drink tea with the Chinese. How could He defile His holy body in such a manner?

(7). When a Christian purchases tea he is supporting an entire industry that has made a fortune by leading people to the mind altering, destructive, and nearly impossible to break addiction to caffeine.

This industry must not be supported by Christians. Every dollar you spend on green tea is like purchasing a death warrant for the person who will later die from an acidic stomach from the tea produced by the company to whom you gave profits.

It is time for Christians to shut down the entire, godless industry of tea making and associated tea products.

(8). It has been scandalously reported that some young, Southern Baptist pastors are actually having Bible studies in the local Starbucks in an effort to lead people to Christ.

The pastors who have begun this new outreach program seem to have no understanding of what it means to be 'in the world, but not of the world.'

No matter how many people have come to Christ through these creative efforts, it is unconscionable for SBC pastors to actually meet in a location where people are introducing into their bodies an agent that alters the mind, changes the disposition, and eventually destroys the body.

No matter how slick the environment, there is no excuse for the compromise of the gospel.

(9). A great concern for the loosening of the standard of total abstinence from tea drinking is the belief that those Southern Baptist moderates and liberals who drink tea will eventually cause the Southern Baptist Convention to turn back from a firm belief in the inerrancy of the Bible.

It is being reported that there are actually some pastors who are either not using the Bible in their ministries, or trusting in very loose translations of the holy and inerrant KJV.

For example, one loose knit association of SBC pastors have actually quoted Psalm 23 as:

The Lord is my barista; I shall not want.

He maketh me to recline on green sofas: he leadeth me beside the clean tables.

He repoureth my latte: he maketh me a ristretto of righteousness for goodness sake.

Yea, though I walk through the aisles of instant coffee, I will fear no nescafe: for thou art with me; thy cafe and it's staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest an espresso for me in the presence of mine tea drinking colleagues: thou anointest my ears with friendly banter; my latte hath art on it.

Surely warmth and bonhomie shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the cafe of the Lord for ever


(10). Drinking caffeinated tea for recreational purposes physiologically acts as a 'mind altering drug, "

Once a Christian says it is all right to alter his mind by introducing outside agents to change his perspective, where will he stop? Why not marijuana? Why not cocaine? The libertinism of the modern Southern Baptist Convention must be checked. The line in the sand must be drawn with tea and coffee.

There will be a recommendation for a bylaw change introduced at the 20008 Baptist General Convetion of Oklahoma in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, November 15, 2008, which will forbid any BGCO employee or elected offical from participating in the recreational use of tea or coffee.

May God keep our the Baptist General Covention of Oklahoma pure.

May God bless the Southern Baptist Convention.

131 comments:

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Though some have the gall to say Jesus drank tea on the cross...

Thanks Wade-I just snorted tea out my nose!

Jack Maddox said...

Wade

Didn't my Red Raiders teach you that you Okies need to leave us Texans alone!

: )

jrm

Steve said...

Wow. This is at least as biblical as anything the I.M.B. Insider's Club for Power and Prestige has adopted in a year or two.

or ....

"Approved by brothers-in-law of seminary presidents two to one!"

Cue the harrumphers!

kevin said...

I just hope that a resolution against slurpees is not passed. All that unhealthy sugar sure is tasty.

Anonymous said...

Tea, coffee, cola, energy drinks and chocolate share the same nerve toxin (stimulant), caffeine. Caffeine, which is readily released into the blood, triggers a powerful immune response that helps the body to counteract and eliminate this irritant. The toxic irritant stimulates the adrenal glands, and to some extent, the body’s many cells, to release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol into the blood stream.

If consumption of stimulants continues on a regular basis, however, this natural defense response of the body becomes overused and ineffective. The almost constant secretion of stress hormones, which are highly toxic compounds in and of themselves, eventually alters the blood chemistry and causes damage to the immune system, endocrine, and nervous systems. Future defense responses are weakened, and the body becomes more prone to infections and other ailments.

The boost in energy experienced after drinking a cup of coffee is not a direct result of the caffeine it contains, but of the immune system’s attempt to get rid of it (caffeine) An overexcited and suppressed immune system fails to provide the “energizing” adrenaline and cortisol boost needed to free the body from the acidic nerve toxin, caffeine. At this stage, people say that they are “used” to a stimulant, such as coffee. So they tend to increase intake to feels the “benefits.”

Since the body cells have to sacrifice some of their own water for the removal of the nerve toxin caffeine, regular consumption of coffee, tea, or colas causes them to become dehydrated. For every cup of tea or coffee you drink, the body has to mobilize 2-3 cups of water just to remove the stimulants, a luxury it cannot afford. This applies to soft drinks, medicinal drugs, and any other stimulants, As a rule, all stimulants have a strong dehydrating effect on the bile, blood, and digestive juices.

Get the real scoop on caffeine at www.CaffeineAwareness.org
Test your caffeine smarts with the caffeine quiz.

And if you drink decaf you wont want to miss this special free report on the Dangers of Decaf available at www.soyfee.com

irreverend fox said...

how about the dangers of long comments that miss the point?

Wade, I hope you do submit this.

Bob Cleveland said...

I have it on good authority that sex is progressively addictive and can lead to philandering, perversion, and even pornography. And worse.

Anybody wanna write a resolution on THAT?

NOT moderation, mind you ... abstinence.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing about the SBTC is that they currently have board members who drink alcohol. I know because I've had a drink with them.

Talk about abject hypocrisy.

Batchaps said...

Wade,
This is my favorite post ever! I do need to correct you on point #5. In all branches of the U.S. Military we are governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and Adultery is still a Courts Martial offense (felony). Also, the Commanding Officers still have absolute authority over their respective bases and there are dress codes for both military and civilian alike that prevent dressing like a "hoochie mama/daddy" by teens and adults alike. I would think that would by attractive to many of the fundys, but in hindsight, they'd have to leave their own little empires where they already act as though they are kings and join the ranks of those who serve.

Russ+

Belief Matters said...

Bob, You are so mean, but it a good funny way. Thanks poor old Bob for a good smile.

Now that fellow Wade is messin with our culture when he talks about team. I mean in my culture our kids are raised drinking tea, its served at every meal. Wade you are a dangerous man. Imposing your culture on me!!! :)

Jeff

Nathanael said...

Well said!
Although by the end, I came to the conclusion that you have too much time on your hand.
;)

Good write, brother.

James said...

how about the dangers of long comments that miss the point?

And *that*, irreverant fox, was perfectly too the point.

Didn't my Red Raiders teach you that you Okies need to leave us Texans alone!

I'm pretty sure Oklahoman Baptists are *as* if not *more* inclined to tea-totaling as Texas Baptist, actually. And abstintion from alcohol was not cooked-up by fundamentalists 20 years ago as default expectation of Southern Baptists.

Wade,

I really don't get you're hand-wringing over SBTC resolutions. The one on the BFM2000 was exactly what you have been calling for. And the one's on alcohol and baptistism are hardly anything new for southern baptists standards of behavior. This is worse than tilting at windmills.

Bry M. said...

Great post and not all that absurd. I have actually heard it stated from a major church pastor that eating pizza is a sin. No it was not in jest. The pastor, who is recently deceased, was a real health food nut and thought that eating or consuming anything that might be unhealthy was sin.

Bry M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bry M. said...

Great post and not all that absurd. I have actually heard it stated from a major church pastor that eating pizza is a sin. No it was not in jest. The pastor, who is recently deceased, was a real health food nut and thought that eating or consuming anything that might be unhealthy was sin.

RKSOKC66 said...

Banning tea is OK but look the other way when a "weaker brother" drinks Dr. Pepper.

Jack said...

James:

Perhaps we should model the "Southern Baptist Standards of Behavior" after the life of Christ. -just a thought.

-jack-

Anonymous said...

rdmysmWade, I,m not sure what your favorite beverage is but this one thing I am sure of; the men who determined that abstaining from alcholic beverage is wise and should be practiced by every man who would lead in the armies of the Lord Jesus Christ were sincere and those who would make light of it are not wise.

Jim Sadler Eph. 5:4

Anonymous said...

Bummers,The rdmysm that prefaces your name means nothing except I it took me twice to get through.
Jim Sadler

Scotte Hodel said...

Oh, such horrors, to know that my addiction has been found out.

Worse yet, each year, some IMB missionaries bring me tea from their country of service! (So, perhaps the policy should not be retroactive.)

:-)

Anonymous said...

Just a quick question and/or clarification about the title of your resolution.

Reasons Why Tea Totalers Should Be Excluded from Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Leadership...

If a "teetotaler" is someone who practices and promotes abstinence from alcoholic beverages, wouldn't a "(tea)totaler" be someone who practices and promotes abstinence from tea or other caffeinated beverages? If such is the case, it seems that person should be included, rather than excluded, under your resolution.

On the other hand, if one were to define "teatotaler" as someone who prefers to totally drink tea as opposed to alcoholic beverages, then I suppose the wording could be construed as appropriate.

Thank you for not excluding those of us who snort Diet Coke as our drug of choice.

Lin said...

Green tea is exempt because it is so good for you it overrides the caffeine concerns. Please resubmit with an addendum concerning Green Tea. :o)

Anonymous said...

Why not permit the bible to speak where it speaks and remain silent where it is silent?

Troy

Jack Maddox said...

Wade

Isn’t this really just a rehash of a post you placed on December
19th, 2006?

Instead of putting up old posts just to stir the pot, should you not go back to your modes’ operandi of posting about that which will not distract us from the Lottie Moon season and International mission effort?

jrm

Steve said...

(To be momentarily serious:)

What do you mean, live like Jesus? Lookit all that wine there!

I wasn't present when teetotaling was first recommended, so I don't know if there was a holier-than-thou attitude present; but if we continue to publicly call for this modern temperance crusade amongst ourselves we not only look like pretenders to those watching from the outside, but to those who know just how fallible we all are.

Just like I would ask those angry back-pew snipers that drive people away from churches everywhere, I ask you - are we assembling a comfortable club for insiders, or saving the lost for Jesus? - because if they're hearing their peers laugh at us, how will we ever get the lost to look to us for answers?

Laura said...

No, Wade! Please don't submit this resolution! Someone will extend the prohibition to Diet Pepsi, and then how will I get through the afternoon lull in the church office?

I would be laughing if the language didn't sound so daggone familiar... You know a LOT of our dear brethren don't understand the concept of satire, or its purposes. I wonder what they would say to the extensive use of satire in the years leading up to the American Revolution... Keep it up, and we may have a little revolution of our own. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

sadly you have taken a very serious matter "personal holiness and alcohol abstinence" to a 3rd grade level argument...the question you must ask yourself, "Is alcohol a dangerous mind altering drug?" "Yes" or "no". Equating it to a "comparison argument of caffeine" is ridiculous at best. I haven't seen anyone's marriage fail or traffic deaths caused by "too much" caffeine.

Mary said...

Serious statement here: Wade, I've been following (but not commenting on) recent developments. You and the agency in question are in my prayers.

Slightly less serious: Not too long ago, as I was getting ready to go to work of a Sunday morning (at my church), I heard a fellow of major repute among your denomination (though he almost never refers to the denomination) opine that the wine at Cana was certainly non-alcoholic because, as he put it, "The Jesus I know would never be involved in the liquor business." Major, slick broadcast in a major Texas TV market. Must be true, huh?

Oh, and he rips off Microsoft for the name of his broadcast; it's the same name as their presentation software.

My point is, I think he'd probably have to go along with your resolution, as your exegesis for it so closely mirrors his about the wedding wine.

mary said...

Hmm...let's see.

Alcohol is a depressive agent.

Caffeine is a stimulant.

Jesus drank the former, unless we agree with Jack that he only drank non-alcoholic wine. Jesus almost certainly never drank the latter, neither coffee nor tea nor cola being commonly grown or traded in first-century Galilee or Judea.

Can alcohol be consumed responsibly in moderation at no danger to relationships, by those who do not drive under its influence? Yes.

Can caffeine be similarly consumed responsibly in moderation? Yes.

Can both be abused to the detriment of personal and relational health? Yes.

Are there individuals who should entirely avoid consumption of either or both, for reasons of personal sensitivity or a history of abuse of the substance? Yes.

Is satire humorous? Yes, to most people. And a few miss the point.

Bob Cleveland said...

Is there anything in the law about mixing the fruit of the tree (lemon) with the fruit of the plant (tea)?

Are there tea-drinkers out there who ought to be fearing stoning?

Bob Cleveland said...

Or .. (shudder) .. MILK?

Laura said...

One more point: recently on my church's discussion boards, a few people were considering going to a certain electronics retailer at a fairly ungodly hour this morning to purchase a certain game system at a substantial discount. The merits of the system were weighed against the absurdity of getting up in the cold and dark to stand in line with hundreds of other bargain hunters. Then the person who started the thread said, "You know, I think I'm going to skip it -- I don't like how the desire for this thing has started to consume my thoughts." That's a mature, sanctified response.

If he had been in SBC leadership, however, it seems more likely that he would have said, "You see how this controls other people's thoughts? We must abstain from the use, purchase, or support of this and all other game systems and refuse to cooperate with or allow into ministry anyone who does not agree!"

James said...

[jack said] Perhaps we should model the "Southern Baptist Standards of Behavior" after the life of Christ. -just a thought.

Starting with James the Righteous (no relation), Christians have submitted to non-essential accoutrements of righteousness for the furtherance of the gospel.

Drinking alcohol is not a sin, but there are reasons why Baptists in America began forbidding it, and I think Wade's tact of treating the prohibition as a sign of fundamentalist legalism threatens to confirm the worst suspicions about him among other Baptists that might otherwise be convinced to his position.

Southern Baptists have their roots in Appalachia. They began eschewing alcohol out of a nineteenth-century recognition that it was elemental to every social ill around them (which was also true for the rest of the country, but a major problem there and then for a variety of reason).

All this is still true for Americans (and we've expanded it to drug abuse as well).

I understand that drinking alcohol (so far as that goes) is not a sin. I realize that alcohol has been part of mealtime menu of most Christians throughout history and the world. I also recognize that most of those Christians lived in societies with extremely strict and invasive moral standards (starting with, but not limited to, the casual mixing of sexes) that provided an invisible shield against the harms of occasional abuse.

I also recognize (although Wade has glossed over this) that the Bible does *tilt* against the recreational use of alcohol.

Anonymous said...

Cults vary in many details. Some have historically taught polygamy. Others sentence their children to death by refusing blood transfusions or medical treatment. Others substitute works of righteousness for the work of Christ. What do they have in common? They prohibit the drinking of coffee!

Down through the ages, the agents of confusion have attacked that magic bean. They tried to drown it but it only created smoother blends. They tried burning it out, but it created a richer more concentrated flavor. They tried (French) pressing it out but it only made for a more robust experience. No, the cultists (and communists for that matter) have tried to stop it but it keeps coming back.

I realize that this post was focused on tea, but tea is just a weak cousin for the British and women. No, if you come for the tea drinkers you will be after the coffee drinkers next.

I also realize that some will say the resolution is a response to alcohol resolutions, but do not be confused. Nobody (except for that lady in the McDonald's suit) has every crashed a car or abused their family because of too much coffee.


Sincerely,

Pastor Juan Valdez

Anonymous said...

In the midst of all the fun with Wade's post (and I loved it!) is the sad fact remaining that those in control of the SBCT are intent on excluding everyone who doesn't believe like the 2/3 people who run the whole thing.

You have just seen the first plank in their platform. The rest will be even more amazing!

Bob Cleveland said...

Mary:

That preacher was dead wrong an a couple of points.

One is that people were EXPECTED to get drunk drinking the stuff already there. Hence the master of the wedding's remark about the usual practice of setting out cheap wine after people had gotten drunk enough not to know the good from the cheap.

Second, the master said Jesus' wine was better than the normal stuff, which the guests were expected to get blotto while drinking.

Dan Paden said...

Anonymous said:

...the question you must ask yourself, "Is alcohol a dangerous mind altering drug?" "Yes" or "no".

No, no, no. The question you must ask yourself is, "Is drinking alcohol explicitly forbidden to the Christian anywhere in Scripture?" "Yes" or "no."

James said

Drinking alcohol is not a sin, but there are reasons why Baptists in America began forbidding it...

Yes, there are reasons why people forbid things that God does not forbid, why people arrogate to themselves the power to forbid things that are not sin. It does not necessarily follow that those reasons are relevant to a discussion as to what God, rather than man, has said.

Pastor Bob Farmer said...

Wade,
well said, I love your reasoning. If many SBC leadership demand abstinence from alcohol, why do they not also call for abstinence from tabacco use? Surely, tabacco has a death toll comparable to alcohol. Maybe the fact that the SBC was built on tabacco money might have something to do with it, or could it be the SBC might lose 1/4 of its members if tabacco was banned. I think this shows the hypocricy of those who would have us under law. Thank God for grace!

Scott R. said...

Alcohol is absolutely worshiped in our society. All one has to do to prove that premise is watch a football game this weekend. Is it not wise for this in Christian leadership to avoid this idol of our society?

In addition: your blog is logically inconsistent.

The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. This sort of "reasoning" has the following pattern:
1. Person A has position X.
2. Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).
3. Person B attacks position Y.
4. Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.
This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because attacking a distorted version of a position simply does not constitute an attack on the position itself. One might as well expect an attack on a poor drawing of a person to hurt the person.



Your blog is a classic example of a logical informal fallacy. You might actually have a point, but your failure to address the topic head on actually hurts your argument. But, maybe you are just trying to be humorous, one can only guess. You can make some good arguments, why not try?

Harold M. said...

Dearest Brother Wade,
Just the thought of you introducing this resolution has already had a profound effect on me. Earlier today with my Mexican food I ordered punch instead of my usual sweet tea. Now I feel so guilty that I'm even going to add $7.50 that would have gone to my annual post-thanksgiving Sam Adams Boston Lager to what I had already intended to give to Lottie Moon. Thanks for helping me in my weakness.

James said...

[Dan Paden said] Yes, there are reasons why people forbid things that God does not forbid, why people arrogate to themselves the power to forbid things that are not sin. It does not necessarily follow that those reasons are relevant to a discussion as to what God, rather than man, has said.

Dan,

Your argument is that of a child. I repeat, that I do not consider drinking alcohol to be a sin. But, where is it expressly forbidden for a man to take his former step-mother as his wife? So was the Apostle Paul being hypocritical when he admonished the Corinthians for tolerating the behavor among them? His point was that the Corinthians were taking advantage of their Christian liberty in ways that were bringing them into disrepute among their pagan neighbors.

Where in the Bible is the use of psychedelic drugs forbidden? So perhaps our missionaries in the forest villages of Brazil should be encouraged to partake of the local fare for the furtherance of the gospel? (I could come up with arguments from scripture to forbid drug-use, but they would have no more self-evident authority than an exegesis on the evils of imbibing).

On the other hand, many Southern Baptists are quite convinced *based on scripture* that drinking alcohol is a sin (I disagree while acknowleding that their arguments have some merit).

Finally, Baptists are of a lineage that was *badly* burned by the recreational use of alcohol. For matter, I could easily argue that the same is true for all of North America and Europe.

My point is...tea-totaling southern baptists have a point. Consequently, Wade is undermining his credibility among them by choosing to conquer this valueless and unassailable hill.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Your argument is that of a child.

Then it was the argument of a very wise child. I thought Dan's point was dead on.

I actually posted on this topic recently at my blog.

But I'm sure you'll find it childish.

Dan Paden said...

I wonder, James, if there is anyone who disagrees with you who does not use the "arguments of a child."

If you are arguing that what even you acknowledge to be non-sinful behavior should be forbidden--your word, I remind you--to Christians on the grounds that that behavior brings Christians into disrepute with non-Christians, I have to say that I feel on pretty safe ground, as I do not think I am in much danger of being judged disreputable by worldlings for behavior that the majority of them indulge in every day.

As far as the step-mother thing goes, I would say that the argument runs thusly:

Lev 18:8 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife; it is your father's nakedness.

This is not just something that is immoral under the Hebrew Law, for in Lev 18:24-25, we see, emphasis mine:

"Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.

That is, this behavior merited punishment quite outside the Hebrew Law and is part of the "sexual immorality" that is unquestionably forbidden to the Christian.

Regarding the psychedelic drugs, my argument would be that alcohol is not the only thing that can cause "drunkenness", taken in the broader sense of "intoxication," which certainly seems justifiable given that we often see that the Greek is methē, which Strong's has (I am admittedly not a Greek scholar, so Strong's is about the best I have on hand) as

Apparently a primary word; an intoxicant, that is, (by implication) intoxication: - drunkenness.

And in several instances, the Hebrew is shikkârôn, for which Strong's has

intoxication: - (be) drunken (-ness).

I would next say that the only purposes for pyschedelic drugs are intoxication and sorcery, which is addressed in
Galatians 5:19-21

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

"Sorcery" here, of course, is "pharmakeia,"

medication (“pharmacy”), that is, (by extension) magic (literal or figurative): - sorcery, witchcraft.

which shows the identification of psychoactive drugs with magical practices, which are also unquestionably forbidden to Christians.

The bottom line of your argument seems to be that because some people abuse alcohol, we are justified in forbidding to Christians something that God has not forbidden, and to my mind, your attempted use of the step-mother/step-son relationship and pychedelic drug abuse as examples of other non-forbidden behavior fall somewhat flat. No doubt you will disagree, but I can't help but note that your disagreement leaves you in the position of defending the forbidding of something you don't think sinful, which hardly seems the strongest position in the world.

Scott Shaffer said...

How would you respond if the resolution had stated something like "While recognizing that abstinence from alcoholic beverages is not biblically mandated, the SBTC requires staff and leadership to abstain due to the negative impact it may have on their testimony and also due to the possibility of addiction."

By the way, I don't think the bible teaches abstinence and I also believe most arguments to this effect are deficient. I'm just thinking aloud with you and am interested in your thoughts on this.

Dan Paden said...

While I'm sure that this

How would you respond if the resolution had stated something like "While recognizing that abstinence from alcoholic beverages is not biblically mandated, the SBTC requires staff and leadership to abstain due to the negative impact it may have on their testimony and also due to the possibility of addiction."

was addressed to Wade, I'll just pop off and say that if we are going to forbid non-sinful behavior to staff and leadership on such grounds, we are ultimately going to end up prohibiting not only sweet tea, but church buffets. Don't think we oughta go there.

James said...

[davidmclaughlin said] Then it was the argument of a very wise child. I thought Dan's point was dead on.

(rolleyes)
Look, if you guys and Wade are desperate to die in a blaze of gunfire and glory kissing your flags of self-righteousness (that right, that's what dan's argument comes down to), then you go on without me.

If you are interested in ensuring that SBC trustees act with transparency and executive temperance in their positions, then give me a call.

This post and Wade's post on 11/17 strike as a man who feels his regular enemies are far away so he's looking to pick a fight with some new ones. We are going to need the support of a heck of a lot of Texas and Oklahoman tea-totalers next June to elect a president that will continue the correction in the SBC agencies.

As I read posts like these, and attitudes expressed in the comments, I can hear across the nation, Baptists who agree that convention boards should be transparent and that *private* glossolalia should not prevent someone from being a souther baptist missionary suddenly throwing up their hands and saying "Oh, now I get it. Burleson is an ornery nut."


Ironically, just last week I was talking to someone about the IMB and I defended Wade when the person suggested that MAYBE this controversy is a product of Wade's lack of adroit personal diplomacy...that it might be Wade's manner of framing issues that leads to those who disagree with him becoming more polarized and causing so few trustees to adamantly stand with him since last May.

I repeat: I defended him. Now, I don't know what the deal is. Sometimes, God calls us to speak out. Sometimes God calls us to shut up. If you feel compelled to say everything you know, then everyone will be smarter than you.

Wade Burleson said...

James,

I believe you may be missing the point. There are excellent reasons to abstain from both alcohol and tea, and I commend any Christian with the conviction to abstain from both.

What is at stake is the freedom for Christians to follow Christ based upon the sufficiency of the sacred text.

jasonk said...

Great post, Wade. Thank you for sharing it again. I enjoyed it the first time you posted it, and I am enjoying even more this time. Perhaps it is more enjoyable this time because I appreciate so much the useful tool that satire can be. And I enjoy watching (reading) the reactions of people who do not understand satire. Or, maybe I enjoy it because I believe it is okay for a Christian to enjoy a glass or two of wine, or have a beer. Martin Luther said that beer is a gift from God.

What gets me is that Southern Baptists will fight you tooth and nail over the inerrancy of Scripture, yet they will so quickly add to that same Scripture concepts that are not there. What's more, they will make it a point of fellowship. They will make it impossible for those who disagree with what they add to Scripture to serve or be employed by the denomination.

If you don't want to partake in the consumption of alcoholic beverages, fine. Don't. But don't add it to the Bible. If you choose to add it to the Bible, don't make it a point of fellowship or service.

Wade Burleson said...

Scott,

Your suggestion would be better. But what about this one.

In submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and in obedience to His sacred word and commandments, all employees and elected officials shall refrain from drunkenness.

Wade Burleson said...

Mary,

I think you understand the point of this post.

Dan Paden said...

James, I think I better understand your point after that last comment. If I may paraphrase, it seems to be that we should not push hard on the subject of liberty vis-a-vis alcohol lest we should lose the cooperation of some Southern Baptists vis-a-vis the IMB. I understand your concern. However, to me it seems like something of a non-starter, in that--seems to me, anyway--it reduces to put up with some Southern Baptists introducing behavioral parameters that go outside both Scripture and the BFM in order to secure their cooperation in combatting the introduction in other areas of behavioral parameters that go outside both Scripture and the BFM.

I think the problem is the same whether we are talking about forbidding alcohol or speaking in tongues: forbidding something that God does not forbid.

Wade Burleson said...

Dan Paden,

Of all the comments I have read on the subject, your comment has absolutely nailed the issue.

It's not about alcohol, it is not about private prayer language, it is not about tea . . . it is about the establishment of doctrinal or moral policies that exceed the BFM 2000 and the sufficient and inerrant Word of God.

Dan Paden said...

Wade, feeding my ego is dangerous business. :) But I appreciate your assessment.

Now I gotta go cook dinner.

James said...

[dan paden] I wonder, James, if there is anyone who disagrees with you who does not use the "arguments of a child."

Let me clarify that then. When I say an argument is "that of a child", I that is is not an argument but an adamant pronouncement of a principle that is (mis)understood without any practical context...it is approached with total naivity and is not nearly as self-evident as the pronouncer believes. In the movie, "Kelly's Heroes", when Donald Sutherland is said essentially the same thing to Don Rickles in the movie "Kelly's Heroes" when he said "To you, a 'hero' is just a funny looking sandwich!" To say, "The Bible says it and I believe it" is also the argument of a child.

[dan] to Christians on the grounds that that behavior brings Christians into disrepute with non-Christians, I have to say that I feel on pretty safe ground...

Oh! right! But behavior that brings Christian into disrepute among his brothers and sisters is perfectly fine, right?

I remind you that the Apostle Paul said that if he couldn't eat meat without offending a fellow Christian he would NEVER EAT MEAT AGAIN.

I can think of a lot of ways that I could go abroad and do things perfectly acceptable among Christians in the US that would scandalous among my brothers and sisters where I went. I guess those Christians should just suck it up, because I'm living in grace, baby!

[dan] I do not think I am in much danger of being judged disreputable by worldlings for behavior that the majority of them indulge in every day.

Don't be so sure. I remember the local bartender saying the following during the David Koresh stand-off:
"He's a funny Jesus if you ask me. He comes here, has two beers and peels off in his Trans-Am."
That's a BARTENDER.

[dan cites Lev 18:8 and says:] This is not just something that is immoral under the Hebrew Law

Ah! so you are saying having sex with your wife when she is on her period is and equally repugnant act before God? (Lev 18:19) In the same text God tells us to "keep, then, my statutes and decrees".

I deliberately glossed over Paul's reasons for admonishing the Corinthians, and I didn't think the other side would dare open that can of worms. But since you have, I'll note that Leviticus states that these things were done among pagans, so perhaps Paul was more concerned with the Christians falling into disrepute among the legalistic JEWS rather than PAGANS.

[Dan argues about drug use]

I was aware of your arguments beforehand. As I said, they are not as solidly founded in Old and New Testament scripture as are those of tea-totalers. Your arguments are elaborate (I agree with them), the arguments of the tea-totalers don't have to be elaborate.

[dan] The bottom line of your argument seems to be that because some people abuse alcohol, we are justified in forbidding to Christians something that God has not forbidden

No. You've missed my point. My argument is several fold. I cite only a few of them:

1) Baptist abstainers believe drinking alcohol is something the Bible DOES forbid, and their arguments have merit.

2) Baptist abstainers have very practical reasons for abstaining from alcohol and setting that as a standard of behavior.

3) The state conventions are made up of Christians who have CHOSEN to work together. Since drinking alcohol is an issue that would prevent many Southern Baptists from working with Imbibing Southern Baptists, and since drinking alcohol will not make anyone one whit a better Christian, then it is up to we Imbibing Christians to give way.

Todd Pruitt said...

Brilliant. I truly hope you submit the resolution to the BGCO.

James said...

[Wade] I believe you may be missing the point. There are excellent reasons to abstain from both alcohol and tea, and I commend any Christian with the conviction to abstain from both.

What is at stake is the freedom for Christians to follow Christ based upon the sufficiency of the sacred text.


Wade,

As you must be well aware, there are many MANY Southern Baptists in OK & TX and every other state of the Union who believe that abstintion from alcoholic beverages solidly founded on the sacred text.

Are you willing to forgoe working with those Christians in order to hold that platitude? Because, I'm pretty darn sure that many of them believe strongly enough in their position that they will forgoe working closely with public drinkers.

I refer you again to Corinthians 8:13 "If I can't eat meat without scandalizing my brother, I will never eat meat."

I'll note that in the past you have argued not from the position of scripture but from practical history...that Baptists used to see nothing wrong with drinking alcohol. You can't have it both ways.

You can argue that you don't think alcohol is forbidden. You can offer carefully nuanced exegeses to prove your point. THEY will offer scriptures that say flatly that a bishop is not to be "given to wine" and that we should not "look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup..."

Then we will all be right back where we started. Now what are you going to do?

Considering what we are faced with in SBC, I think your decision to take on the century-plus policy of Baptist Abstintion is ludicrous. In fact, I think it is fanatical. It smacks of an attitude not dissimilar from the trustees who decided to hunt down private prayer languages among missionaries.

Batchaps said...

All of this dissention under the leadership of one Holy Spirit...?
Maybe the HS is schitzo...
Or maybe Jesus is coming back for a harem instead of a bride...
Or just maybe there are several self-righteous, make-believers, who have truly never experienced true grace who are running things...

Russ+

Lin said...

Considering what we are faced with in SBC, I think your decision to take on the century-plus policy of Baptist Abstintion is ludicrous. In fact, I think it is fanatical.

23 November, 2007 19:03

I am confused. Centuries plus policy? Then how come a resolution on this was passed last week by the SBTC?

Bob Cleveland said...

James,

Wade doesn't need me to answer questions put to him, but you are making a lot of his point for him.

It is the abstentionists who are threatening non-cooperation with those who want to stick to scripture and not go beyond it. I personally think the Bible says enough and I don't need some resolution to add something to it.

And the point of not causing someone to stumble refers to weaker brothers. Yet we see most of the abstentionists as those who imply they are MORE grounded and versed in scripture. Are they representing that they, themselves, are the weaker ones?

This is just another case of Baptists thinking they know how OTHERS are to behave, in opinions which state things scripture simply does not.

And if nobody out there knows whether I have wine with dinner, I can hardly cause them to stumble now, can I?

ps: Before I became a Baptist, I heard a lot more jokes about baptists & booze than any other denomination. So much for the rep.

James said...

[lin] I am confused. Centuries plus policy? Then how come a resolution on this was passed last week by the SBTC?

lin,

oooh! Good point. The Garner Motion wasn't passed until this year. I guess until then trustees were EXPECTED to add requirements beyond the BFM.

P.S. "centurY-plus"

Batchaps said...

Bob
Atah Haish!
You are the man!

Russ+

James said...

[Bob Cleveland] It is the abstentionists who are threatening non-cooperation with those who want to stick to scripture and not go beyond it.

Bob,

I'm going type this one. more. time. Thus, I am typing veeery slowly. The abstintionists do not believe the imbibers are the ones who want to stick to scripture. They believe THEY are following scripture. How narrow minded of them to be unable to imagine that they could be wrong. I'm sure you can't relate to that attitude.

Secondly, there is no scripture that says Christians HAVE TO drink alcohol. So NOBODY is "following scripture" by insisting on the right to drink wine.

No one ever thinks HE is being pig-headed. He's just being reasonable.

Bill said...

How about the millenia-plus policy of allowing what scripture allows and forbidding what scripture forbids? Also, taking the "don't drink because other Christians don't approve" thought to its logical conclusion, we would end up with all Christians bound by the moral code of the strictest legalistic Christian was alive at the time. You think the good holiness folks can't come up with scripture to support abstaining from drinking, smoking, television, cards, women wearing slacks, movies, the lottery, etc? Why should we not be bound by their conscience?

Batchaps said...

James,
I do believe Paul suggests to Timothy to "take a little wine for the stomach's sake."
While not a command, it does seem to imply Paul is not condemning nor forbidding Timothy from imbibing.

Russ+

Bill said...

[James] Secondly, there is no scripture that says Christians HAVE TO drink alcohol. So NOBODY is "following scripture" by insisting on the right to drink wine.

I think your logic is faulty here. Your first sentence is correct, but your second one isn't. If scripture truly doesn't forbid drinking, then people are following scripture by insisting on the right to drink wine. Having a right doesn't assume that everyone exercises that right.

James said...

One more thing, Bob, sorry I forgot this one.

[bob] And if nobody out there knows whether I have wine with dinner, I can hardly cause them to stumble now, can I?

You're absolutely right. And if you are not an employee or elected official of an SBTC, no one will ask whether you have wine. You certainly have the free will to self-select to freely drink wine or not. Just as when I briefly worked for Walt Disney World, I could choose not to shave off my beard to work for Disney. (That blasted Pharisee Mickey Mouse!)

Batchaps said...

Bill,
Dang! There you go using hermenuetics and logic to make a correct determination.

G. Alford said...

Wade,
Florida and Texas Baptist Conventions passed the same By-Law change this year…

Do you think there are any chances of a conspiracy… or should I say a common strategy to exclude those who are not as pure as the current generation of Baptist Leadership?

Anonymous said...

Dude,

You've got too much time on your hands! The CBF is always open if you tire of the SBC.

G. Alford said...

Dude,

If that comment was for me… have the integrity to sign you name…

And what is the CBF?

:-)

Dan Paden said...

James, friend, my son saw this comment and suggested that I was spending too much time on this. Looking at its absurd length, I'd have to say that he's probably right, so I'll post this last one and be done with it. But doggone it, you're just so much fun to argue with! :)

I won't try to argue with your assessment that I approached my argument "with total naivity," but I have to wonder just how many people you are going to win over with the assertion that " To say, 'The Bible says it and I believe it' is also the argument of a child." I can't help but wonder if you will be arguing next against "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."

...behavior that brings Christian into disrepute among his brothers and sisters is perfectly fine, right?

Not if they're right. But if they're not right, then I'd have to say that there is a little more to it than that. The simple fact that they think a brother wrong does not grant them an automatic veto over him. Another condition must be fulfilled, and it is here that your use of 1 Cor 8:13 comes into play. You wrote:

...the Apostle Paul said that if he couldn't eat meat without offending a fellow Christian he would NEVER EAT MEAT AGAIN.

But that is not at all the point of the verse. In the KJV, it says Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. The ESV has it Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. James, I have many other translations on my shelf, but I do not think that any of them say anything substantively different. The point is clear: we do not sacrifice our liberty merely because we offend a brother (who should know better at any rate, and hopefully will know better if we persist in gently reasoning with him), but we do if use of our liberty causes him to violate his conscience, to sin. Is it really needful to say that this does not seem to be the case with the brethren we are discussing? My assessment so far is that they could hardly be made to drink a beer at gunpoint, let alone encouraged to violate their conscience by anything we do concerning alcohol.

Also, I can't help but note that you cite the verse as regards meat. Have you never known a vegetarian Christian? If so, are you still eating barbecue? Why?

Looking at your blog, I noticed that you were looking for work at Disney. Surely you are aware of Disney's pro-homosexual policies that offend a great many of the brethren. Did you not think of their sensitivities before putting in an application to work at such a place?

I remember the local bartender saying...

If you're going to argue that way, I'm sure it's allowable for me to reference the co-workers, friends, and relatives I've heard point out the obvious: that there is no scriptural command to abstain, and they therefore judged that people who would enforce that standard on them were going beyond the authority they had to do so.

Really. All this over alcohol, and you're using a bartender for your authority?

... so you are saying having sex with your wife when she is on her period is and equally repugnant act before God?

James, really. I'm not 100 percent sure that you haven't just told the world more about what goes on in your household than Mrs. James (future or present--I wouldn't know) would want anyone to know. But in any event, if I admit that though I have read arguments that suggested this was part of the "ceremonial law" instead of the "moral law," I have actually never found them really convincing, will you admit that the rest of the passage applies as I have suggested?

I must also note that in your fervor you have argued vis-a-vis Lev. 18:19 exactly the way homosexual "Christian" activists do. That's not good company to be in.

...perhaps Paul was more concerned with the Christians falling into disrepute among the legalistic JEWS rather than PAGANS.

Perhaps he was. That hardly explains his resistance to them throughout Galatians, though, nor the rather brief instructions given to the Gentile Christians by the Jerusalem Council, which were in succinct opposition to those of legalistic Jews.

Glad to see that you agree with me on the argument vis-a-vis drug abuse. I don't think, though, that because the argument is involved (I didn't find it so, actually) and that the arguments for abstention aren't (I don't find them so, to tell the truth) that it therefore does not carry weight.

You've missed my point.

What, again? :) I think I did point out in one of my last comments that I felt like I understood your point better at that time, and I would further note that I was talking about the bottom line of your argument, not the point you were trying to make with it, but let me see if I've got it at this point.

At first, I thought your point was:
I think Wade's tact of treating the prohibition as a sign of fundamentalist legalism threatens to confirm the worst suspicions about him among other Baptists that might otherwise be convinced to his position.

Then, it was stated as:
My point is...tea-totaling southern baptists have a point. Consequently, Wade is undermining his credibility among them by choosing to conquer this valueless and

unassailable hill.


Next we have:
We are going to need the support of a heck of a lot of Texas and Oklahoman tea-totalers next June to elect a president that will continue the correction in the SBC agencies.

Lastly we have:
Since drinking alcohol is an issue that would prevent many Southern Baptists from working with Imbibing Southern Baptists, and since drinking alcohol will not make anyone one whit a better Christian, then it is up to we Imbibing Christians to give way.

So, just to clarify, is your point that since we need the votes of people who want to forbid something that you admit (repeatedly) is not a sin in order to stop the IMB and other agencies from imposing standards that go beyond Scripture and the BFM, we should allow them--for the sake of gaining credibility among them--to impose standards that go beyond Scripture and the BFM? If it's not, it certainly looks like it!

I also can't help but note that much of what you say--even the core of what you say, in my opinion--can be easily turned around on you. You say:

Baptist abstainers believe drinking alcohol is something the Bible DOES forbid, and their arguments have merit.

You have already stated more than once that you do not think drinking alcohol is a sin; their arguments clearly do not have merit with you. But in any event, those rejecting the imposition of abstention believe that such imposition is something the Bible inveighs against.

Col 2:20-23If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations--"Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch" (referring to things that all perish as they are used)--according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

And it seems to me that their arguments have merit.

Baptist abstainers have very practical reasons for abstaining from alcohol and setting that as a standard of behavior.

Surely, Baptists who reject imposed abstention have very practical reasons--not the least of which is a complete lack of biblical warrant--for rejecting it.

The state conventions are made up of Christians who have CHOSEN to work together. Since drinking alcohol is an issue that would prevent many Southern Baptists from

working with Imbibing Southern Baptists, and since drinking alcohol will not make anyone one whit a better Christian, then it is up to we Imbibing Christians to give way.


If it is true that imposing abstention is an issue that would prevent many Southern Baptists from working with more legalistic brethren, and since not drinking alcohol (not avoiding drunkenness--they are not the same thing) will not make anyone one whit a better Christian, why is it not up to the abstentionists to give way?

James, as far as I can tell, the core issue remains the same. It is not, in this case, refraining from full use of liberty for the sake of not causing a weaker brother to stumble. It is whether, in fighting the imposition of extra-biblical standards vis-a-vis various agencies, we should allow people to impose extra-biblical standards in other organizations and agencies. You seem to think that we should; I think that any victory gained thereby would be pyrrhic.

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting post to me in light of two recent events that came to my attention within the past month.

1. A former U. of Alabama college football player and his family were in a terrible car accident where the player's wife and four of their five children were killed instantly and the player and his remaining daughter are still fighting for their lives. The driver of the other vehicle (who also died) hit them broadside while he was doing about 80 mph. While not yet confirmed as far as I have heard, preliminary reports were that he was driving drunk.

2. In the region where I serve, a missionary family's (not IMB) car was hit by a driver who was drunk at the time. Their 10 month old daughter was severely injured and died shortly thereafter. They are currently in the States where they have had to take their daughter's body home for burial. Coincidentally, this second accident happened in a country where practically everyone drinks tea. However, whatever effects the tea may or may not have on their personal health, it did not impair the judgment of the hundreds of other drivers on the streets when that little girl's life was snuffed out by a boozed-up driver.

So, while "moderate" drinking (whatever that may be) is not a sin anymore than smoking a single cigar is a sin, or anymore than drinking a little tea is a sin, the consequence of drinking alcohol far, far too often impacts others who pay a high price for the liberty of others.

There is a reason why the Bible warns over and over and over about drinking wine when it is red in the cup. There is also a reason why tea is not afforded the same attention in God's Word.

I am perfectly free as a believer to drink. I am also perfectly free as a believer to abstain. I would choose the latter, even if it were not a condition of my employment with the IMB. I for one am glad that our sending agency has the wisdom to require that we abstain from drinking. To me, abstaining seems the better part of wisdom, and in light of all the misery I have seen as a result of "social drinking," I also believe abstaining is the better part of love.

EA IMB M

Only By His Grace said...

Wade, I wish amend it so that no once can speak of it outside of the GBCO annual meeting or face reprimand.

Phil, Norman.

Anonymous said...

In my lifetime I have never read the following headline in a newspaper: A FAMILY WAS KILLED LAST NIGHT BY A MAN WHO DRANK TOO MUCH TEA! When that headline appears in a newspaper then Wade's arguement will hold more weight. But over and over again, the story line in a newspaper states: Young man had too much to drink and killed a young family.
I know from personal experience. On June 14, 1970 the Memphis Commercial Appeal carried the following story: Maylon Smith (my grandfather) and Cecil Caldwell were killed last night by an 18 year old drunk driver. Mrs. Caldwell had to have a leg amputated.
A person who drinks tea may hurt himself or herself but a person who drinks alcohol hurts himself and others.
Will someone answer the following question: "If I were going to drink alcohol, how many drinks can I have before I get drunk?"
I was taught it is better to be on the side of caution (abstain) than to be in a "gray area."
Gene Price
Gleason, Tenn.

Batchaps said...

EA IMB M
I wish I had a dollar for every preacher I've seen at numerous conventions who were at least 35 lbs overweight or who stepped outside to smoke or who consumed more than 2000 calories in a single meal (3X per day) or drank 6-10 cups of coffee/tea throughout the day.

Your stories, while tragic, are only different in that, the effects/affects of the consequences of the drinking individuals' actions were more immediate. All of the above are engaged in lifestyle actions that are detrimental to the church & society, yet, since the effects/affects of their actions are more subtle in their destructive nature they are ignored. Further, you attempt to play on others emotions rather than scripture to make your point.

If you choose not to drink alcohol then good for you. If I choose to drink alcohol then that is my choice. (Also, no single person has ever implied during this discussion that drinking/driving is acceptable).

The entire point of this blog is made rather eloquently by Dan Paden, "...the core issue remains the same... It is whether, in fighting the imposition of extra-biblical standards vis-a-vis various agencies, we should allow people to impose extra-biblical standards in other organizations and agencies."

My prayers are for you in the field.

Russ+

Jack Maddox said...

I tell ya what we ought to do...

you boys and girls who believe that it is not 'baptistic' to ask that our leaders refrain from the consumption of alcoholic beverages, bring a resolution on the rightness of alcohol consumption without drunkenness to the floor of the SBC and see how you do!

You can claim your high view of scripture prohibits abstinence to the cows come home (Your wrong by the way, but you would not listen to the 'other' view because it imposes on your own denominational prejudice) but the bottom line is I would venture you could not get 15% to carry your view.

This is a silly argument brought by a disgruntled trustee who feels personally injured by current IMB leadership. His attack on the SBTC is wrong for 2 reasons.

1) He nor his church is a member of the SBTC so quite frankly what is done in that convention does not concern him or them.
2) He presupposes motives that he could not know.

You preachers who advocate this position (Drink in moderation) go tell your people this Sunday morning how your defending alcohol consumption on a blog and see how far you will get. There are some of you I am sure who could make it fly, but the rank and file Baptist in the pew will not sign of on it, and I would guess that the majority of preachers and bloggers who self righteously thump their culturally relevant chest would not dare to even bring it up in mixed company.

jrm

Batchaps said...

jrm
Exegete 1 Tim 5:23 without using your own self-righteous culturally relevent argument.

Russ+

Only By His Grace said...

Thought I it was typo for a minute, but God's General Convention of Oklahoma may just work; however, it was one of my typical typo errors usually don't upset me too much.
Phil.

Jack Maddox said...

batchaps

I would but who would listen? You? Wade? The majority position on this blog? Just take the abstinence position and you have mine. My point is very simple brother...

You cannot claim it is wrong for a convention to set its own guidelines for leadership based upon a historical Baptist position when you are not a part of that convention in the first place. We are not talking about a grey area in Baptist life historically. If this is a position that is so out of the scriptural norm then so be it, however, this is not a position in which there has been a lot of to and fro historically. Now if I thought Baptists were wrong on this then I would simply not be a Baptist.

Can you not see the absurdity of the argument? "WE ARE SHOCKED AND OFFENDED THAT A BAPTIST BODY HAS REQUIRED THAT THEIR LEADERS NOT DRINK ALCOHOL" Stop the PRESS!!!!! You mean there are a group of Baptists that think it is wrong to drink!!!! Well the nerve of them!

And then to turn around and claim that those who support that position are scripturally 'out of bounds' because they stand on such a plank.

The bottom line. The SBTC has EVERY RIGHT to set the policies for their leaders. They stand of solid scriptural ground in doing so. You may not agree with their position however you must admit that it is a position that has been held historically. To claim that a prohibition against alcohol by the drink is unbaptist is laughable at best and ignorant at worst.

jrm

Jack Maddox said...

batchaps

Not really fair me not commenting on the verse you cite so I apologize for what appears to be a dodge. It was not.

I will just say that if the SBTC is prohibiting the use of alcohol in a medicinal sense, than well, you got me...next round is on me!

However medicinal alcohol is not the issue now is it? we are talking about the social use of alcohol as a beverage and the apparent freedom of some to advocate it as such but a position that states that there is no freedom to espouse the view of abstinence in a culture of abuse without being labeled a legalist.

In other words...you are free to advocate your view of moderation, but if I advocate my view of abstinence, or if my state convention takes a position on this issue in regards to LEADERSHIP, well then, we are just a bunch of legalist

THAT IS THE ISSUE!

jrm

Batchaps said...

jrm
1. I would not have asked if I didn't want to read your thoughts.
2. I've taken up too much space on this post and have posted to your blog a previous inquiry of you and thoughts on this.

Gratia Vobis et Pax,

Russ+

Batchaps said...

jrm
1. Medicinal alcohol?
2. Don't use Baptist historical positions as an argument as the SBC was formed in order that slave-owners be appointed as missionaries. Ouch!

Russ+

Jack Maddox said...

Batchaps

Just the reason I hesitate to share my position. You have already made your mind up. Yes...medicinal alcohol. The recommendation from Paul to Timothy is obviously for medicinal purposes. You know this. As far as the historical Baptist position and your analogy of slavery...apples and oranges. The historical Baptist position on slavery can in no way be compared to the historical position on the consumption of alcohol. Our nation went to war over the issue of slavery. We have yet to fight a civil war over alcohol.

Again, my point is SIMPLE. To claim that those of us who hold to abstinence are out of the Baptist norm is a silly claim.

jrm

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Question:

Was fermented wine used as part of the Lord's supper by the first century church?

Yes. And some were condemned by Paul for partaking too much. But he never once told them to stop drinking completely.

So how can anyone say biblically that alcohol should never touch sbc lips? (Btw, I dont drink.)

Are there good reasons not to drink? Yes. I've got stories that will probably out do all of yours.

But the point should be to be scriptural. If that trumps "baptist history" so be it.

You can claim your high view of scripture prohibits abstinence to the cows come home...

Did I miss where someone argued against alcohol abstinence? Nobody told me I should not abstain from alcohol.

Two points made already here that I thought were particularly good were:

1. In order to not offend we would all have to adopt the most legalistic christian's lifetyle.

2. How many pk's lost their dads early to heart disease brought on by years of baptist potlucks? Death by cheeseburger may not be as quick as drunk driving but the end result is the same.

You preachers who advocate this position (Drink in moderation) go tell your people this Sunday morning...

thankfully, I attend just such a church. We encourage abstinence but refuse to condemn those who drink in moderation and have said so from the pulpit during Sunday morning prime time.

The SBTC has EVERY RIGHT to set the policies for their leaders.

Agreed.

They stand of solid scriptural ground in doing so.

Disagree.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Clarification:

I realize that there are no cheeseburger driving accidents that kill innocent people. (I have had to testifyin court in a drunk driving case and am particularly sensitive to this subject).

My point there is that innocent people lose loved ones early be it by alcohol or by cheeseburger.

Karen Gray said...

Can't leaders agree to abstain? Is it to a point now that if leaders vote to abstain from some things, they are mocked? (Yes, I understand satire). I am sad about that.

Some of you guys are pastors. Do you guys have any agreements with your own staff(s) -- like maybe no tattoos, avoidance of conflict, policies about being somewhere alone with opposite-sex church members? Would that be legalism, going beyond Scripture, or could it just be wisdom?

Karen Gray, a/k/a pewsitter

Bill said...

I'm pretty sure that most of the people arguing against a "scripture forbids drinking" position are in fact non-drinkers themselves, as I am. In fact I started drinking a single glass of red wine in the evening a few years ago to try to raise my extremely low HDL, which is a risk factor for heart disease which has killed most of my father's side of the family. I quit after a few weeks. The stigma I experienced from my good Christian friends and family was too much. No, they were not tempted to drink themselves, but they knew what was best for me.

Nobody is arguing for drinking. We are arguing for a high view of scripture and against made made restrictions which go beyond scripture.

shadrach said...

So I'm about to head back out to the bush and never comment again, but I felt the need to get in one more.

My problem with alcohol and why I think it acceptable to be discouraged among the general populace and banned among leadership is for strictly social reasons, backed with the Bible.

Here in Niger, almost everyone drinks very caffinated, hot tea. I became very good at preparing this tea, but then learned that a number of my friends do not drink it because they see the social ills it is causing in this country. Men spend their money on tea instead of in thier home. It keeps men away from their families. It promotes a number of illnesses.

As such, I stopped drinking it around anyone who might feel that way. Now, there is your argument.

I do my very best to prevent anyone I know from stumbling and to keep my witness pure. Even by not drinking tea in a place where it is very acceptable. For anyone who can say they do the same (which is a Bilical mandate) with their consumption of alcohol, drink up. I think you will have a very hard time meeting those two points in your community.

shadrach said...

Let me rephrase that: banned among the SBC in general.

Liek you guys have said, the churches don't have to do what they don't want to do anyway.

(ahh, our politics)

knnuki said...

Karen, you said "Can't leaders agree to abstain? Is it to a point now that if leaders vote to abstain from some things, they are mocked? (Yes, I understand satire). I am sad about that."

The problem is not that some choose to abstain. The problem is when those who make that choice force everyone else to accept it as the only right, biblical choice. The point is to maintain a high view of scripture as the only authority, and a lower view of the varying opinions of men and women.

Bob Cleveland said...

Sola scriptura? That's a laugh.

Not usually, but it sure is when anyone claiming that is trampling all over Romans 14:4, which seems to be a clear command (particularly in view of other admonitions elsewhere in scripture).

Dave Miller said...

I imagine this thread has pretty well run its course, but I think this discussion tends to miss a point on both sides.

Any human organization (apologies to Paige Patterson, but the SBC is a human organization) can set its parameters for fellowship. If the SBC decides that teetotalling is necessary for employment in its organization, it can do so.

What it cannot do is imbue its parameters with divine authority. To require alcohol abstinence is fine for any human organization. To call it sin goes beyond the authority of any human being.

Only what is prohibited in scripture is sin.

The SBC can set any parameters it wants on its fellowship. The stricter the parameters, the more people will be excluded. And the SBC can limit the behavior of its employees in any way it chooses.

What it cannot do is claim these parameters are biblical mandates or that those who violate them are violating the will of God.

Bry M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Woke up this morning with an idea for a resolution:

All gluttons should be banned from leadership. Surely we can all agree on that scripturally.

greg hicks said...

Unfortunately, "tea totalling" is not as far fetched as some might think. Consider the origin of the ice cream "sundae" novelty:

"Evanston, Chicago's Godly neighbor, "Heavenston" as the good Frances E. Willard used to call it, was in those days at least rather Methodist minded. The piety of the town resented the dissipating influences of the soda fountain on Sunday and the good town fathers, yielding to this churchly influence, passed an ordinance prohibiting the retailing of ice cream sodas on Sunday.

Some ingenious confectioners and drug store operators, in "Heavenston," obeying the law, served ice cream with the syrup of your choice without the soda. Thereby complying with the law. They did not serve ice cream sodas. They served sodas without soda on Sunday. This sodaless soda was the Sunday soda. It proved palatable and popular and orders for Sundays began to cross the counters on Mondays.

Objections then was made to christening a dish after the Sabbath. So the spelling of "sunday" was changed. It became an established dish and an established word and finally the Heavenston "sundae" appeared even in Congregational Connecticut."

(www.epl.org/community/sundae.html - website of the Evanston, IL public library)

Dan Paden said...

All gluttons should be banned from leadership. Surely we can all agree on that scripturally.

Unfortunately, we'd lose about half our leadership, at least as far as I can tell.

Anonymous said...

Dave,No comment on your supposition on cheeseburgers but please give me the Scripture reference to "was fermented wine used as part of the Lord's supper by the 1st century" and "Paul's cndemnation of partaking too much of it."
Thanks, Jim Sadler

Bob Cleveland said...

To paraphrase scripture ... to him who knows what OTHER people shouldn't do .. for those OTHERS it is sin.

I think not, but it DOES seem to be a popular opinion.

greg.w.h said...

Jim:

There is no reason for someone to prove that the oinos mentioned in the Bible was alcoholic. Only a Southern Baptist--or maybe a Mormon or Church of Christ--would ask for proof. They're the only ones with man-made theology to protect.

Greg Harvey

James said...

Dan Paden,

Thanks for your detailed fisking of my comments (no sarcasm, I mean it). I strongly disagree with a lot of it. More of it misses the point, I think. Hopefully, sometime we can meet face to face and hash it all out.

The simple fact is that most Southern Bapists either think drinking is a sin or think it is not a terribly bad thing that most Southern Baptists think drinking is a sin.

They will have the votes on that for the forseeable future. You can either accept the body of the SBC for what it is, or go join a church that is part of a convention that sees nothing wrong with drinking alcohol.

But if the only way to get a majority of the convention to take acts to reign in the IMB is to get them to be more open-minded about drinking, then Wade should stop wasting his time. It ain't gonna happen.

Right now, I feel like I'm in the charge of the light brigade with the self-righteous to the right of me and the self-righteous to the left of me, shooting at *each other* and they're all in my brigade.

matt said...

We already have BMI requirements for our missionaries. The same BMI requirements should be used to qualify/disqualify individuals from serving in an elected capacity, on staff, or as a board member of any agency.

If we hold our missionaries to a standard, why shouldn't we hold our leaders to the same standard?

Bob Cleveland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Cleveland said...

Matt: That question's easy. Folk in Africa (etc) can']t identify with fat people.

Us statesiders, however, have no trouble associating ourselves with, high-level fat people. In fact, we're good at following them.

Anna A said...

While I don't have the reference at my finger tips, I do remember a verse that suggests that Biblical wine was fermented. "Do not put new wine into old skins, lest they burst, and both be lost. Put new wine into new skins."

As a chemist, one good reason for that is that gas is produced during fermentation. If the old wineskin couldn't expand for that to happen, then it would burst.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Jim,

1 Corinthians 11

18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval. 20 When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, 21 for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. 22 Don't you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!

1CO 11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

1CO 11:27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32 When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.

1CO 11:33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. 34 If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.
And when I come I will give further directions.

Jack said...

RESOLVED:

That Baptists are commanded by God to not commit murder;

That Jesus Christ our Lord himself was murdered;

AND THAT:

In accordance with the BF&M 2000 Baptists are to contend for the sanctity of life;

WHEREAS:

As Baptists we deplore the culture of violence and death celebrated in America;

Many of our Baptist brethren have lost loved ones at gunpoint due to crime, accidents, and suicide;

Although Baptist and American Liberty allows ownership of guns we are commanded to forgo that which is permissible for what is wise;

While advocates of gun ownership defend their position by citing the need for self-defense, statistics show that more people are killed at gunpoint intentionally or accidentally in America than in self-defense;

FURTHER:

Although The Bible offers examples of hunting we recognize that it was necessary to hunt in biblical times in order to provide for the family;

AND THAT:

Hunting is no longer a necessity in modern society;

Hunting accidents have killed many Baptists in America;

Advocating the ownership of guns in order to hunt may cause our weaker violence or suicide-prone brethren to stumble;

And is an offense to Baptists who have lost loved ones at gunpoint;

THEREFOR LET IT BE RESOLVED THAT:

The Southern Baptist Convention is on record as opposing the ownership and use of guns;

The Southern Baptist Convention will employ no gun owner nor admit any gun owner to its seminaries, boards, commissions or positions of leadership and authority;

AND THAT:

The Southern Baptist Convention publicly states its opposition to the practice of hunting irrespective of whether it is practiced by a "gateway weapon" such as bow and arrow or in moderation.

Dan Paden said...

James, I appreciate your amicable disagreement. I get the sense that we won't come to blows over this.

Thanks.

Rex Ray said...

Jack Maddox,
Preach on, brother, preach on. I’ll bet you never thought you’d hear that from me.

Oops, I shouldn’t have said “bet”, it could give the impression I bet. Ha You see, I was raised to ‘refrain from evil or the appearance’. (Betting and gambling is legalized stealing.) One morning, in the military, I woke up and beer cans (not so empty) covered my bed.

Scripture has been quoted from both sides. Does truth of Scripture change if culture changes?

King James says, “Salute one another with a holy kiss” or do we practice the Living? “Shake hands warmly with each other. (Romans 16:16) The “kissing” didn’t last long as men concentrated on women.
Wonder if leaders were first to ‘suffer’ a resolution?

Did culture change the possibility of Paul’s permission of slavery into sin?

The Civil War was fought over the government telling the States what was right. Were Southern Baptists wrong on their interpretation of the Bible because they lost the war, or because culture changed from the days of Paul?

I submit that culture has changed the meaning of Scripture on drinking anything that COULD lead to drunkenness.

A drunk camel driver never killed anyone, but one driver in a 100 mph small car ran off the road, lost control, and put my mother in a wheelchair the rest of her life. Did the newspaper blame the drunk? Headlines read: “Woman Kills Man.”

I’m on a committee to write a proposal of our church (I was a charter member in 1944) covenant since the old one has been lost many years, and no one remembered what was in it. We started a year ago, and I’ve taken 15 church covenants from all over and chose what I liked and then trashed it out with another person and the pastor.

We did not discuss the drinking issue as we agreed on: “To abstain from harmful habits and appearances of evil, as consistent with the Holy Scriptures.”

The covenant has not been presented to the church even thought it was completed 6 months ago as it seems our pastor wants to change something. I suspect it has to do with us being a BGCT church and him being a SBTC preacher.

During a clean-up, I found the old church covenant. It read, “…to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage.”

Bingo. That’s been in every church I remember being in. We have friendly business meetings, and I asked if they remembered the Bible where God’s laws had been lost, and how people repented upon their discovery. I told of finding our lost covenant and the quote above. More than one person laughed. I was shocked.

Wade, if you want to really meddle in what’s proper health, try convincing people on the evils of sugar. I gave up soft drinks when they went to 25 cents. When I gave up sugar, I quit tea because it was awful without sugar.

‘A man is rich in the things he can leave alone.’ If that’s not in the Bible, it ought to be.

Mike Fischer said...

Right, that's it. I'm off for a beer.

Pastor Mike Fischer,
Melville Baptist Church,
Western Australia.

Rex Ray said...

Mike Fischer,
Do you happen to know a missionary named Mark Ray in Australia? He’s my second cousin whose father was a missionary to Korea for 39 years.

His grandfather (Rex Ray) spent 30 years in China before supervising the building of Bill Wallace Memorial Hospital in Korea.

I wonder if the IMB has closed it down or given/sold it to someone in the priority to build churches.

During the long China-Japan war, Rex kept a hospital supplied for Wallace by smuggling drugs from Japan.

Before Wallace took over and when Rex first arrived, he hired a detective that found a warehouse of hospital equipment stolen by the head missionary.

The SBC retrieved the equipment, but let the crook retire with a good name to keep from hurting the Baptist reputation.

Mike, you’re joking about the beer. Right?

Anonymous said...

In Acts 15 we read that some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees began to spread the idea that Gentile believers must be circumcised. Deeply concerned about this, Paul and Barnabas traveled to Jerusalem to meet with the apostles and elders to discuss this matter. As we know, the Council came to the decision that this was NOT necessary and they sent Paul and Barnabas back with a letter to the Gentile believers telling them that they were not being burdened with the Old Testament requirement of circumcision. In the next chapter, Acts 16, Paul decides to take Timothy along with him, to deliver the decision reached by the council for the Gentile believers. Before they set out, what did Paul do to Timothy? He circumcised him! Why? Verse 3: “because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.” Apparently Paul did not want to offend the believers who were "for" circumcision. The result? “The churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers” (verse 5). Amazing!

We may have the liberty, but, as the apostle Paul demonstrates, maybe it is more important NOT to offend a weaker brother in the exercise of such liberty. Lord, help me to be careful to not be a stumbling block to my brother in Christ!

Katie

Wade Burleson said...

Katie,

"I am offended that you, a woman, commented on my blog. You should remain silent and let men debate theological issues. You should submit to the spiritual leadership of your husband, and if you desire to post a comment, ask him to do it for you - signing HIS name, not yours. A woman correcting a man in the blogosphere on theological matters is offensive.

Now, Katie, follow your own logic as you process through my offense. You say, 'it is more important NOT to offend a weaker brother in the exercise of such liberty.'

What will you do?

In His Grace,

Wade

Anonymous said...

Top 6 Reasons Not to Drink Tea

1- The chemicals used to remove caffeine from tea are carcinogenic as there is no swiss water method as with coffee.

2- The caffeine in tea takes twice as long to eliminate from the body.

3- Depletes the adrenal glands just like coffee

4- Decreases melatonin production = sleep disorders like insomnia

5- Caffeine acts as a diuretic (by the way, caffeine is a strong diuretic, which depletes the body of certain vitamins and minerals, such as “C”, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, and potassium

6- All teas contain flouride. Flouride is accumulative toxin. Only 50% of this poison is excreted from the body per day. The other half stays and accumulates, particualry in the brain & bones. Water contains lead & aluminium. Flouride attaches to lead & aluminum ions and heightens accumulation and increases these toxins metals to the brain. Aluminum flouride showed capacity to damage brain and kidneys in lab rats

Get the real scoop on caffeine at www.CaffeineAwareness.org
Test your caffeine smarts with the caffeine quiz.

And if you drink decaf you wont want to miss this special free report on the Dangers of Decaf available at www.soyfee.com

Wade Burleson said...

Katie,

It seems that others don't see the logic of my comment to you.

As you know, you are ALWAYS welcome to comment on this blog. I am a proponent for women to fully participate in all matters SBC.

Mike said...

Baptist friends and others:

I have tried to comprehend everything I am reading here in response to this nice piece of satire, but I think it will take at least three more Coronas to understand some of you.

Peace,
Mike

Anonymous said...

I certainly needed a cup of coffee after this article.
How, where did America's independence actually start? Wasn't it some kind TEA PARTY they went to?

Cheers to all, Miguel from Mallorca, Spain.

shadrach said...

Wade, we get your point, but it is not equally drawn and yes, I have read your next post.

Paul says women should be silent in the church (we are not currently in church) and you assume that she is not in agreement with her husband, if she's married. But to the issue at hand, the Bible teaches to ALWAYS avoid the appearance of evil.

So find in the Bible where women may NEVER give their opinion and you will have an equal argument.

Bill said...

Does anyone have a problem with the resolution stating that some Baptists are "advocating" drinking? That phrase seems dishonest to me. If I (as a teetotaler) say that scripture doesn't forbid drinking alcohol, am I advocating drinking? Maybe there are Baptists out there saying "You shalt drink" but I've never seen or heard them.

This is a real question. I think the terminology is misleading but I could be wrong. I don't think skydiving is sinful but I don't advocate it.

Darby Livingston said...

Alright, Wade. You convinced me. I'll stop drinking tea and coffee...
I feel more righteous already.

Anonymous said...

I feel pretty convicted for taking almost an hour out of my day to read all this. I agree with you Wade, but I just wander how many people have died and gone to hell while so many of us "Christians" are debating on the computer. The devil is having a "HAY DAY"!!!!!

Rebecca

Wade Burleson said...

Rebecca,

If the Devil were as powerful as God I, too, would be worried like you.

Thank God, He is God and not us.

I can assure you His people shall arrive home safe.

In His Grace,

Wade

Paul said...

Thank you Wade - I just just extracted every variety of sinful brew from our cupboards - Luzianne, Lipton,and Celestial Seasonings - heaped them into a pile in the driveway and set them on fire. No more tea for me!

PDS

farmboy said...

Tea has something of an interesting history. John Wesley wanted his followers to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages. He suggested tea as a substitute. To obtain tea the British traded opium with the Chinese. The end result: So that Wesley's followers could avoid drinking alcoholic beverages many Chinese ended up addicted to opium.

Regarding tea cultivation and the tea varieties we have today, we owe much to Buddist monks. Similarly, regarding grape cultivation and the wine varieties non-Baptists have today, non-Baptists owe much to Roman Catholic monks. I guess for some, then, the logic follows that tea and wine are both of the devil.

For more on tea, see Pratt's "Tea Lover's Teasury."

Mike Fischer said...

In reply to Rex Ray,
No, I'm sorry I haven't heard of a missionary named Mark Ray in Australia Sounds like an interesting story to do with his grandfather, though...

And no, I'm not joking about the beer! I love a cold beer, or a warm stout. Often raised in a toast to Christian freedom.

"He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate -- bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart." Ps.104:14,15.

Rex Ray said...

Mike,
Would you answer my question since no one else has tried? Can the meaning of Scripture change when culture changes?

Example: Has the meaning of the word ‘gay’ changed in 100 years?

Has the custom of wine as a beverage changed in 2000 years? I mean is there a stigma to drinking today that was not present in the life of Christ?

actionsub said...

Greg Hicks,
You've read your history, haven't you?
Reading most of the original post, I personally could have sworn I was reading Charles Finney's "Lectures on Revival" in which he takes off on rants about the evils of coffee and tea, proclaiming them unfit for ministers of the gospel.
Many holiness people of the postwar era, as well as the Mormons, picked up on Finney's "caffeine is as bad a drug as opium" argument in the Civil War era. While most of the holiness Wesleyans enjoy a Starbucks as well as the next Baptist, the Mormons still hold to this understanding.

Anonymous said...

Your post has just been a blessing for me.
Thanks, Wade. God bless you.

FalconX said...

It's CRAP like this that makes me want to leave this "so-called" self righteous Christianity that is so busy barking at other Christians and negating the people in this world that needs love the most, the lost. Yeah, I said it and this makes me SO sick and I just don't know what to say! If Jesus were here in person today, I'm pretty sure He would be very close to telling you to shut the hell up and grow up! We are here to proclaim the good news of the gospel and not to bash one another or take more things out of our "lives" that places a wall that keeps non believers out.

For once, shut the hell up with your tradition and show me where in the Bible where a believer cannot drink alcohol, tea or why a woman cannot be a deacon, or pastor.

Why Gentleman must we throw splinters at others with planks in out own eyes.

Yes, I am a sinner
Yes, I am a minister
Yes, I am forgiven
Yes, I am loved
Yes, I have an education at a University (etbu in Marshall, TX)
Yes, I am licensed
Yes, I know you probably don't agree

That is the beauty of mankind and this great nation...

May God bless us to the final day. Love is a great thing... I love you all brothers, and bless you for your faith and belief.

Wade Burleson said...

Falcon,

If you can't tell the difference between satire and truth you better hang it up before you begin.

Blessings,

Wade

Bev said...

I just want to say that when I completely surrendered myself to the Lord and shortly after I had a coke in my hand and he distinctively told me not drink it again. It was an addiction related to the caffeine. I could not go a day without it and would find a way to get one if there was none in house. I have to agree with you. Caffeine is addictive and harmful to our bodies as is alcohol. Well there are my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Apparently you are unfamiliar with the stats of crime, drunk driving homicides, psorosis of the liver deaths associated with alcohol. Comparing the 2 is absurd. Perhaps if you feel such a need to defend your "right" to drink alcohol and criticize the leadership that want to rise above the culture, you should think twice about how many you are causing to stumble by your comments. Or is that also a "right" you have?
Leadership are held to a higher standard, that is Biblical. If you can honestly hold your conduct up as a role model when consuming alcohol and not second guess the message you are sending teens and young adults in our alcohol driven society, then I would ask you "What would you give up for Christ?"