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

The Measure of Fundamentalism in the SBC

A Southern Baptist named Peter Lumpkins has recently announced the publication of a new book he has written entitled Alcohol Today: Abstinence in an Age of Indulgence. Peter's position is that total abstinence from alcohol is the only Christian, Baptist and truly biblical position on alcohol. Any believer in Jesus who believes consuming alcohol is not the sin, but rather the sin is the violation of the biblical commandment against "drunkenness," is called a "hedonist" by the book's promotional materials. The men who promote the book are a "who's who" of the Baptist Identity movement, men who have a very specific list of what defines a true "Baptist" - a list which includes a mandatory belief in total abstinence. Lewis Moore, former trustee of the International Mission Board, operates Hannibal Books. Paige Patterson praises the book by saying:

"Abstinence is not merely wisdom, it is obedience to Christ and holiness before God"
Patterson's quote is an example of the problem Fundamentalism causes in the Southern Baptist Convention today. Patterson, like Lumpkins, places abstinence in the non-negotiable category of "obedience to Christ" and "holiness before God." To disagree with their Baptist Identity convictions is to argue with God Himself. This is precisely the reason the SBC is having a hard time in keeping young pastors engaged in Convention matters. The newest generation of evangelicals have more in common with the conservative theologian Gresham Machen who opposed Fundamentalism over fifty years ago because of what he called "the pietistic, perfectionist tendencies which include hang-ups with smoking, drinking alchohol, etc . . . ".

I commend Peter Lumpkins on publishing his new book. I also applaud his personal conviction of total abstinence. No Christian should question either Peter's commitment to Christ nor his personal convictions regarding alcohol. However, what Southern Baptists must resist is any attempt by Peter Lumpkins, Paige Patterson, John Sullivan and other Baptist Identity leaders to present total abstinence as the only view of alcohol compatible with "holiness." We all should respect total abstinence as a personal conviction of a brother in Christ, and we all should consider it an essential Christian conviction among those believers who are unable to drink alcohol without getting drunk, but if we allow any Baptist to present total abstinence as the "only" Christian and Baptist view on alcohol we are in danger of succombing to Fundamentalism in the SBC. I would much rather be personally led by the Spirit than by a man who claims his view is law for me.

For those who wish to comment regarding this post, please pay close attention to the subject matter. I am not writing about the pros or cons of total abstinence. The point of this post is that all of us must resist the easy temptation of equating our personal beliefs regarding tertiary matters on par with obedience to Christ, and demanding others comply with our views.

Only Fundamentalists do that.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

257 comments:

1 – 200 of 257   Newer›   Newest»
Lydia said...

I know many believers who abstain because it is a stumbling block to 'weaker brothers' around them. That is love.

But to teach this as required for Holiness and obeying God is extra biblical.

Just curious if they are ok with Spurgeon who smoked cigars?

dodge said...

Wade:

As a Ph.d. grad from Southern in historical theology (2004) and a self-identified fundamentalist (not an SBC member but an independent Baptist) which Paige most certinaly is not, I wonder why you equate total abstinence with fundamentalism? Fundamentalism began in the early 20th century and total abstinence began well before that, whether it is biblical or not. If you want to castigate the position, do so without the pejorative word "fundamentalist" attached. Total abstinence was never a fundamentalist point of identity. On the contrary, mainline evangelicals of the new evangelical order opposed it. Read Garth Rosell's book of H. J. Ockenga for comments by Ock. himself against the consumption of alcohol. Whenever anyone in the broad SBC orb wants to castigate someone more conservative, the moniker "fundamentalist" is lobbed. Say, isn't that what the conservatives used to do with the word "liberal." It was a way to discredit a position without actually arguing against it.

FWIW

Jeff Straub

David Richardson said...

Wade -

Thanks for sharing this. I agree 100% with you on this issue.

Have a great week!

David Richardson
A Baptist Pastor In South Carolina

Christiane said...

' Paige Patterson praises the book by saying:
"Abstinence is not merely wisdom, it is obedience to Christ and holiness before God" '



Does anyone know what Patterson is using as a reference for his statement?

On what authority does Patterson speak?

He cannot be using the Holy Writings which tell us that Christ the Lord drank wine. And Christ the Lord instituted the Last Supper using the 'fruit of the vine' which would be wine made from grapes.

What is Patterson's 'authority'?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

If there is one thing in life I would have loved to do, it would have been to sit with Francis Schaeffer (J. Gresham Machen's student) in L'Abri, Switzerland and enjoy a glass of sherry while smoking a pipe and discussing the most profound details and philosophies of culture, truth, and theology.

Yet another one of the benefits of our Presbyterian friends. :)

Btw, interesting that you would mention Machen, Wade. Machen's life and devotion to the truth of Scripture is indeed one of the reasons why we have a conservative movement within evangelicalism today. The REAL liberals, that is to say the early neo-orthodox-ists of the 20th century in America as well as their German counterparts like Ferdinand Christian Bauer of the Tubinginen School of NT Interpretation were the culprits in tearing apart Holy Scripture. Machen on the other hand is considered a fundamentalist wacko by the liberals in the present PCUSA. We should realize that while the word fundamentalism/ist has had real and defined meanings in the past, today it holds truth that is relative to what one considers "fundamental" to the faith. We all hold to a set of fundamental "non-negotiables" even for Christian cooperation.

Example, Wade would cooperate with a Muslim to plant a church.

All that aside, and the origins of alcohol and proof content, and the chemical make-up of several different types of sugars, and the nature of the grape--all that aside.

How is having one or two glasses of wine with a meal a sin?

In fact, how is having a "nite-cap" any different from popping a pain pill or taking a Tylenol PM?

Or, what about the Christians I know who night after night kick back in the lazy-boy from 4pm till 10 or 11 watching Fox news complaining and fretting about the end of the world? I personally find that to be a sad way to live the Christian life

The Southern Baptist Convention would be a lot better off after a nice stiff drink. (Just one of course)


:)



Btw, I am curius Wade, does Emmanuel Baptist Church require her staff to personally abstain from alchohol as a beverage?

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
We’ve heard all the arguments on both sides, so we don’t need to repeat them.

Since I’ve never had a drink, it’s easy for me to admire Peter and Paige’s beliefs on alcohol, but I’d resent being forced to agree with them.

I figure as a Christian in being in the world but not a part of it, alcohol would apply to: ‘A man is rich in the things he can leave along.’

Wade Burleson said...

Dodge,

Point taken.

I am speaking more from a modern day example of Fundamentalism.

If you would suggest a less perjorative term than Fundamentalism that succinctly describes the demands for conformity among all believers on tertiary matters of the faith, please give it and I will use it.

In His Grace,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin Crowder,

To answer your question: No.

Blessings,

Wade

Robert said...

http://girlsgonewise.com/

A post for Lydia

Geneva Rob

key word.....embibe

well actually embil!

One Salient Oversight said...

One of the weakest positions of the abstinence movement is its understanding of scripture. By focusing upon one command of scripture while ignoring the other, the movement is, in effect, being unbiblical.

Of course, Fundamentalism prides itself on being faithful to the Bible - which means that if fundamentalists preach and enforce abstinence then they are actually being unfaithful to God's word.

Choosing not to drink alcohol altogether is one way of obeying scripture. The other way is to drink alcohol responsibly and wisely. There is no room whatsoever for drunkenness.

The problem - and I have seen this happen - is that the abstinence side begin a straw man argument, namely they begin to depict their opponents as either people tolerant of drunkenness or people who believe that you MUST drink alcohol.

John Daly said...

Maybe a nice glass of Cold Duck would help all the SBC pastors who have to let loose the belt an extra knotch each year.

Rex Ray said...

I’d like to point out that the avoidance of alcohol in the SBC is not something ‘new’ but is old as the hills.

Our church covenant in 1944 had “To abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage.”

In fact, every church that I’ve attended where I’ve read their covenant had the same phrase.

Of course I was raised in the ‘Bible Belt’.

John Daly,
“Two wrongs never make a right.”

One of the early things we were taught to say as small kids when we saw a cigarette butt was “Dirty old cigarette!”

Sure I was ‘brainwashed’ but I believe my health is the better and ‘God’s temple’ is the cleaner.

And I believe the same about alcohol.

Brent Hobbs said...

This book makes me want to laugh and puke at the same time. I preached just yesterday on the fact that the Bible doesn't discourage drinking alcohol in moderation.

jasonk said...

Thank you for posting this, Wade. I saw the promotional video regarding Mr. Lumpkins' new book. It looks to be a rehashing of a series of blog posts from about a year ago, where he argued a biblical basis for total abstinence. I read all his posts on the topic, and found them to be confusing, bogged down with language interpretation mixed in with traditional fundamentalist opinion. I can't imagine buying or reading the book. I suspect that most people who side with Mr. Lumpkins on the topic will not read it, finding it just as confusing as I did. But they may claim they read it and say, "see? I told you the Bible teaches total abstinence."
The one really good thing about Mr. Lumpkins putting this argument into book form is that unlike the online forum, he will be unable to insult and ridicule those who disagree with his position.

Thy Peace said...

SBC Tomorrow > Posts categorized "Wine & Social Drinking".

Jon L. Estes said...

Those who will be the real leaders in the SBC are the ones who will be able to help the masses see what is first tier doctrine and what is not.

Right now, it seems, we have a certain group of persons who want to define their personal beliefs on all matters as first tier doctrine. As long as we let them, nothing will change except decline from a younger generation who will choose not to serve in such a denomination.

IMPO, we are less than two generations away from being reduced by 3/4ths of our attending numbers if something does not change.

Christiane said...

Good Morning Everyone,

It's me, L's

I drink wine. About three times a year, just a little. My son, the Coastie, lives in CA in the wine country (Sonoma) and is stationed at the USCG school facility in Petaluma. I fly him home (first-class, he's SO TALL) three times a year and he brings us wine.

My son goes to the vinyards on the tours and buys some of the best California wines at a huge cost (I think) to bring to us. Then, in my home is a wonderful celebration and we all try these wonderful gifts of the earth. No one 'gets drunk'. It is a lovely gathering of family and friends.

I do understand Peter's 'cause' in trying to get people to avoid all alcohol. We all know someone who is suffering from the 'disease' and cannot escape from its clutches.

But underlying that 'disease' is also the pain that the alcohol will mask temporarily. That is where the problem lies.

For some, there is a genetic proclivity towards alcoholism (father to son) that has been discovered.

For some, it is best to abstain completely. And it is good for the friends of these people not to tempt them.

But wine, like food, is a gift of God from the earth. The juice of grapes is 'preserved' by the alcohol that forms naturally, when stored correctly.
We are to take God's gifts, give thanks, share them, and celebrate life. But not to excess.

It IS the 'abuse' of wine that is the sin, not the wine itself. Our Lord drank wine, not 'grape juice'.
The ancient Hebrews and the early Christians used wine in their liturgies and shared a practice which is this: the addition of a small quantity of water to the wine before using it. Why? In ancient times, the porousness of the vessels storing wine permitted it to become concentrated and thicken. A little water added restored the wine to the original texture. This practice is still observed in many liturgies of Christians throughout the world that use bread and wine in their Eucharistic services.

I wonder if the object of the Fundamentalists is more to control the behaviors of others, rather than to be faithful to the gospel?

Is it right to do this. No.
Is it right to want to keep people from harming themselves through the ABUSE of wine. Yes.

Many people die in our country from diseases brought on by obesity. Should they 'stop eating'? No.

In our Christian compassion for those who suffer from all kinds of abuse, self-inflicted, or otherwise, we must remain faithful to the words and actions of Christ.
We CAN ease the pain of our brothers and sisters who abuse substances to mask that pain: with kindness and understanding and prayer and support. Our Christian 'interventions' have great power to help them.
It must be 'unconditional': this love that accepts them where they are and cares for them in their recovery under the right treatment programs.
That is a much more loving and caring task than to say to them: 'don't drink wine, or you sin against God.' Our judgment only adds to their sense of isolation and pain. They deserve more from us than judgment. They deserve for us to 'be there' for them and to share Christ's love for them.
Love, L's

Alan Paul said...

Ha! John Daly - guess we'll never see Baptists railing against obesity! It kills and damages way more people and their families than alcohol. The duplicity of fundamentalists and those with similar beliefs never ceases to amaze me.

But that's not the worst part of it. It's their propensity to install themselves into the throne of the Holy Spirit in everyone's lives that is truly disgusting and offensive to God.

Alan Paul said...

BTW Wade, it is quite generous of you to give Peter some free PR for his book... not something he would have done for you. I disagree with you doing it and I certainly would not have done it, but I admire your willingness to extend it...

RRR said...

Wade said: "if we allow any Baptist to present total abstinence as the "only" Christian and Baptist view on alcohol we are in danger of succombing to Fundamentalism in the SBC."

"Fundamentalism"... hmmm. Is it better to say, as Wade seems to say, that those who think their way is the only way cannot be Southern Baptist? I can't see the difference between one form of exclusivism and the other.

Bob Cleveland said...

Jesus said all the law and the prophets were wrapped up in His commandment to love God and love people.

The insistence upon total abstinence, and the implication that anything less is sin, seems to trash what Jesus said.

Ron said...

I believe very strongly in total abstinence for myself and have held to that belief through high school, college and the military. I found it was right for me and wish everyone else felt the same but I would not say others were sinning unless they abused it by getting drunk.

Since you stated that the point of this post is that all of us must resist the easy temptation of equating our personal beliefs regarding tertiary matters on par with obedience to Christ, and demanding others comply with our views, and it is not just about abstinence from alcohol, I wish to mention some other tertiary matters on which some Southern Baptists have changed their opinions over the years and invite comments.

Of course the prominent issue for the last 150 years is race. At one time Southern Baptist pastors would preach that slavery was taught by the Bible. In more recent years some pastors including some prominent in the CR taught that integration was heresy and the Bible condemned it. I don’t hear that mentioned much anymore.

When I was growing up, going to movies on Sunday and mixed bathing were wrong. On the last day of VBS the boys could go swimming in one lake and the girls had to go to another. I had a friend who was a missionary and back in the days when we carried our slide projector around he went to a Southern Baptist church that would not let him show slides because the did not believe in watching movies and it was too much like a movie. I wonder how they feel about power point.

Women preachers has become a big issue in recent years because of the CR and BFM 2000. Because we have many women missionaries this becomes a problem when they are assigned to speak in a church in which the pastor has a problem with women speaking in the church. There have been several times my wife and others have been in a church and the pastor will ask them to speak from a stand down on the same level as the congregation. I guess there is something special about the pulpit that makes it only for men but it is okay for a woman to speak if she is at a lower level. There must be a theological reason behind that but I haven’t discovered it yet.

The King James Bible continues to be a strong tertiary matter . I often go to churches where I am told to only bring a KJV. When I am asked if I use the KJV on the mission field, I have to remind them that King James did not translate the Bible into the language of the people I work with.

At one time not cooperating with or fellowshiping with an anti-christ or one who claimed to be Christ was a fundamental belief but under the CR it has become a tertiary belief. CR supporters such as Tim LaHaye, Wiley Drake and Jerry Falwell, while he was alive, and many others have had close relationships with and given strong support for Sun Myung Moon, especially when they can receive money from him. I guess that is an example of a fundamental belief becoming tertiary for some, at least when they can get paid for it

Many CR leaders and traditional Baptists such as myself would say gambling is sin and would oppose state sponsored gambling such as lotteries. However, some CR supporters like Louis think this is a tertiary issue and not important. I guess even among the CR supporters there are not clear lines of what is sin and what is not.

Women deacons used to be a fundamental issue for CR leaders but this has gradually changed.
Look how many members of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in DC are placed on SBC trustee boards even though they have women deacons. This has changed to a tertiary issue for the CR leadership.

It seems that even among fundamentalists, their theological beliefs change and evolve.
Ron West

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Example, Wade would cooperate with a Muslim to plant a church."


I intended that to say Wade would NOT......as an example of non-negotiables.

In other words, those of us who hold to the basic (fundamental) tenants of the Christian faith as found in The Apostle's and Nicene Creeds are indeed fundamentalists.

Gary said...

Modern-day Pharisees.

Gary

fishformen said...

Wade said "I would much rather be personally led by the Spirit than by a man who claims his view is law for me."

I agree that's why I reject your rules of what it is to follow. It seems you have and garnish a following and would like everyone to hold your position. When they don't, you attempt to demand the same allegiance you accuse the others of enforcing.

Your insistence on one to hold the wide open door to all is nothing more than their position (as you suppose it) to keep it shut. Just thought I’d point out the inconsistence in your willingness to cooperate.

Being led by the Spirit, I’d rather exalt Christ than mock and accuse a brother.

Bojac said...

I don't drink alcholic beverages. However it seems to me very judgmental to question others holiness by our own standards. I have been a pastor a long time and have seen many pastors who seem to abuse food it that unholy?

Wade Burleson said...

fishformen,

Since you are a member of a COOPERATIVE Convention like the SBC, just as I, then the consistency of my argument for cooperation is consistent with the bylaws, constitution and policies of our Convention.

To argue for your closed and isolationist viewpoint you should join a Convention that is sympathetic with your exclusionary views.

Until then, I shall remain consistent and point out your inconsistency. :)

With grace,

Wade

B Nettles said...

Wade,
Do you think Peter would write an endorsement for my new book? I've decided that Baptists should not talk, based on James 3:6-8. Aside from the clear Biblical position that our tongues are evil, full of poison, defiles the body and is set on fire by hell, look at all the harm that it does. Families are destroyed by use of the tongue. Churches are split, reputations are ruined. Total abstinence from speech is clearly more than wisdom. It seems that it is obedience to Christ, a holy lifestyle. One can fulfill the Great Commission by writing.

I wonder how many other books we could write based one prooftexting and emotional appeal.

Christiane said...

Dear fishformen:

I'm glad Wade didn't 'cooperate' with the evil treatment of Dr. Klouda and the 77 missionaries.

He 'stood up' for what was right.
And he paid a price.

Is your definition of 'cooperation' looking the other way when so-called Christians are terrorizing and bullying other Christians? If that is your definition, I am glad Wade has not 'cooperated'.

What's to cooperate with?
Where is the compassion for others?
The B.I. are a proud, judgmental, controlling people. They deserve no cooperation from those who follow Christ. They deserve to be prayed for but not encouraged in their destructive ways towards women and the Church.

To try to stop someone from harming someone else is not 'lack of cooperation'. No way.
It IS a cause for great rejoicing in all Christendom, when someone stands up for those who are being abused. Wade is much trusted and respected for his 'lack of cooperation' with the B.I. in this regard. L's

P.S. No one who is led by the Holy Spirit can 'look the other way' while their brothers are being persecuted. No one.

Lydia said...

"I agree that's why I reject your rules of what it is to follow. It seems you have and garnish a following and would like everyone to hold your position. When they don't, you attempt to demand the same allegiance you accuse the others of enforcing."

The whole point is that Wade does not demand everyone hold to his position on such secondary matters. He also does not demand allegiance which is why some of us are here commenting. (In case you have not noticed, on some BI blogs, comments disappear, posts disappear, time stamps are changed, etc. They are the ones that demand allegiance and will not tolerate disagreement)

"Your insistence on one to hold the wide open door to all is nothing more than their position (as you suppose it) to keep it shut. Just thought I’d point out the inconsistence in your willingness to cooperate."

Huh? How does one cooperate with a shut door?

"Being led by the Spirit, I’d rather exalt Christ than mock and accuse a brother."

Here we go again. Disagreeing is considered mocking. Pointing out extra biblical teaching is considered accusing a brother.

Lydia said...

http://girlsgonewise.com/

A post for Lydia

Geneva Rob

key word.....embibe

well actually embil!

Mon May 11, 02:35:00 AM 2009

Geneva Bob, I don't do vague well. Can you please tell me what I am supposed to look for on this frou frou girly girl site?

Robert said...

L,s,
You seem to be pretty judgemental against the messengers of the sbc, paige patterson,the court.
What do they all have in common....they go against your conclusion.

Honestly you have no voice in the SBC because you are not from the Baptist tradition!

Have a nice day
Rob Masters

Robert said...

Wade,
I generally agree with your position!
However I also agree with Dodge and think that the word....Dogmatic is a better word.
An example.......Danny Akin is dogmatic that abstinence is the only position that
persons should hold too in the SBC. In person who touches the stuff in a "fool".

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Christiane said...

Hi ROBERT,

It's me, L's

Judgment against abuse.
Guilty.

I am horrified that anyone posing as a 'Christian leader' would abuse someone like Dr. Klouda in the way that she had to suffer.

Yes. I am very guilty of reacting to the way that she was treated.

And YES, I did speak about my horror of this treatment. Why?

The SBC is not a 'closed' club of men who can treat someone like Dr. Klouda with that kind of abuse and not receive the attention of the entire Christian community.

I speak against the 'abuse'. I pray that the abusers will seek forgiveness and reconciliation with the Lord by going to Dr. Klouda and trying to make things right. It could still happen.

I am a member of the Body of Christ and I believe that the churches of the SBC are also part of that Body. There is no devision in the Body of Christ.
So, if a member sees something evil happen to another member, there is a responsibility to come to the aid of the one being persecuted.

Robert, I do no know how any Christian person can look at what happened and not be horrified.
I just don't understand.

Yes. I am judmental of the evil that caused a 'leader' to harm someone as Dr. Klouda was harmed.
To harbor great evil in your midst, Robert, without confronting it, is unwholesome for the SBC.
Sometimes it takes someone from outside of your situation to see things that you cannot see yourself. Are you trusting the wrong people, Robert?

Accept the gift of my earnest prayers for the future of the SBC when the time will come when evil is not give a 'pulpit' and followers are not afraid to speak up when people are harmed. That day is coming, Robert. Love, L's

Robert said...

last sentence should say

any person who..........

Rob from Geneva

suria said...

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Jim Paslay said...

Wade,

If alcohol consumption was illegal today like it was in prohibition days, would the consumption of alcohol still be a tertiary issue in your view? Obviously, alcohol consumption is legal now, but is something that is legal necessarily moral for a Christian?

Could it be that young pastors are turned off by Lumpkins and others because they have moderated in their beliefs on the subject of alcohol? Every generation has a tendency to go further than the previous one. In this case we have a generation of Southern Baptists who have not been taught much at all about the dangers of alcohol. Therefore, they look for scriptures to justify their acceptance of social drinking. And they view anyone with strong convictions against alcohol consumption as a Fundamentalist.

Chris Ryan said...

Robert,

Jesus wasn't a Baptist, either. Do we give Him no voice for that reason (obviously, some say we don't, but I have never heard anyone suggest that we shouldn't).

To the contrary, we need the voice of non-Baptists to speak to us as Baptists, and they need Baptists to speak to them. Usually those on the outside can develop a clearer picture for those on the inside. They serve as the "third party" in a mediation. Non-Baptists remind us of things to which we are not always the most faithful, calling us back to a more faithful practice of the whole counsel of scripture. We can serve the same function in their denominations.

This does not require a naive ecuminicism that challenges all denominations to give up all their distinctive characteristics. It is an ecuminicism that calls for all to practice the Christian tradition as they understand it while challenging each other to look again to their faith.

Baptists could teach the world about evangelism. Catholics constantly remind us of the need for mercy. Episcopalians remind us that at the table of God all Christian denominations will be welcomed. The Lutherans constantly call out "grace by faith." The Emergents remind us that it is Christ and His word that we hold sacred, not a way of doing church.

To allow any of these not to speak is to forsake important parts of the church tradition for a naive and arrogant exclusivism. Some forms of exclusivism may be necessary, but not the kind you are describing. To give them their voice to us, to let them hold us accountable as fellow Christians to parts of scripture we would sooner ignore, is to bless all involved and create a church politic that can better withstand the temptations and tribulations of this world.

Alan Paul said...

Well said Chris.

WTJeff said...

It seems to me, as we try to live as Christ followers in our culture, we try to resolve divine tension rather than live within it. Teaching total abstinence provides a solution to a problem. Problem is, it doesn't require us to work out our salvation or wrestle with weighty issues. Instead, we create rules that reduce a dynamic relationship with our Creator to a list of dos and don'ts. Divine tension causes us to approach life with humility, because it makes us painfully aware we don't have all the answers, and it forces us to turn to Jesus for those answers. Why rob ourselves of that?

Robert said...

L,s.
Better look at the spike in your own eye!
Any "tradition" that allows a President to come speak at that "traditions" institution when he clearly has a pro-death position should be soundly condemmed.
This is infinitely worse. May God have mercy on them.

Honestly.....you come across as very "hateful" on that particular issue!(Sheri Klouda).
Its like some Somali refugees here in Nashville railing on America.


From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

John Daly said...

I try to hold my tongue I really do...but these constant references to Rome like it's just another denomination are really beginning to bug me. At least do me the favor and give me some good JW and Mormon references too because I hold those three "denominations" in equal "authority."

John Notestein said...

After reading Matthew 23, I would call it more being a Pharisee. The only place I read of total abstainance from alcohol in the Bible is when one is a Nazarite. People are only fooling themselves if they think people of God did not consume alcohol. While I agree that too much alcohol is bad, so is too much fast food, too much TV, or too much Internet! The only thing we can't get enough of is God Himself. Why are we so intent on judging our brother? Won't he have to stand before God? And he will stand, because God is able to make him stand (Romans 14).

Chris Ryan said...

Jim Pasley,

As one of the "younger generation," I think that you are naive in your assessment. For one, we are educated very well in the dangers of alchohol. Like no other generation, we have grown up watching our friends homes wrecked by alchohol. The dangers alchohol presents are more public and we are more aware.

We do not blame the substance, we blame the people who abuse it. To draw an analogy, I believe that most Conservatives (politically, which tend to be religious conservatives also) are against gun control. Guns damage a lot of families and end a lot of lives. But every conservative will tell you to blame the person and not the gun. Then they flip and blame the alchohol and not the person.

We don't blame the substance. The substance itself does not force one to drink to drunkenness, nor does the substance incite rage or promiscuity. It is a person's abuse of the substance which is the problem. It is possible for one to behave without abusing alchohol. To that person, alchohol should not be forbidden. It was placed on the earth and deemed good for enjoyment along with everything else. When persons pervert what God intends for good, there we have the problem, there we speak against.

The younger generation is not less educated, it is less inclined to give in to the hedge around the law. It is more inclined to enjoy what God has provided within the limits God has set. As NOWHERE in the Bible does God forbid all use of alchohol (and even partakes some while He is walking around) we feel it is justifiable to responsibly partake of God's creation.

To the strong, forsake your rights and freedom for the sake of your weaker brother, but do not let what is good be spoken of as evil. Do not allow the weak to remain proud of their weakness either, disciple them to realize the freedom they have in Christ and the responsible exercise of that freedom.

Joe Blackmon said...

I try to hold my tongue I really do...but these constant references to Rome like it's just another denomination are really beginning to bug me. At least do me the favor and give me some good JW and Mormon references too because I hold those three "denominations" in equal "authority."

John

As they said in "da hood"--True Dat.

Chris Ryan said...

John and Joe,

Then you haven't met and dialogued with the Catholics I have met and dialogued with. Or perhaps you don't know how to ask a question that they will understand the terminology you are using and thus provide an answer that actually speaks to what you are trying to speak to. Or perhaps you have preconceptions that you are not willing to leave at the door when you dialogue.

Every time I have asked a Catholic how they are saved, the answer is "by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." That answer sounds pretty biblical to me.

Robert said...

John Daly,
I say it for myself.....Roman Catholics are not Christians as defined by evangelical Christianity(our tradition)and by the Word of God.

That is why I am from Geneva!
Did not John Calvin preach in a converted "Catholic" church!

I speak here of the instution...not of individual members.

Robert from Geneva

Phil Hindle - Thyme Travel said...

Well done Wade, I have no doubt abstinence is right for some, necessary for others, and wrong for some more. Didn't I read about Jesus, water and wine somewhere? Surely that wasn't a mistake?

Christiane said...

Dear Robert,

I do genuinely hate the way that Dr. Klouda was treated.

I pray for the perpetrators, that they may seek forgiveness from God's mercy. There is still time and I have some hope for this. I hate the harm done, not the perpetrators. Love, L's

P.S. I agree with the commentator that believes that all members of the Body of Christ can call each other to account. That is absolutely true. We find our unity in Him.

Robert said...

Chris Ryan,
......Or perhaps you a pagan?


Rob from Geneva

Joe Blackmon said...

Chris Ryan

You're a mainstreamer and as such.....you know what? On second thought, nevermind. Enjoy yourself at Truitt.

Robert said...

L,s.
So you are admitting that you hate Paige Patterson......sounds like that to me!

Robert from Geneva

Christiane said...

"I pray for the perpetrators, that they may seek forgiveness from God's mercy. There is still time and I have some hope for this. I hate the harm done, not the perpetrators. Love, L's"

THESE are my words, Robert.
Love, L's

Robert said...

Christiane,
The beam in your own is deafening!

http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=47914


Robert from Geneva

Lydia said...

"Didn't I read about Jesus, water and wine somewhere? Surely that wasn't a mistake?"

Actually, They believe it was more like Welches grape juice. And we all know that the host brings out the best grape juice at the beginning of a celebration.

On another note: Many are finding that a few ounces of red wine per day is working much better than statin drugs which have many harmful side affects.

Christiane said...

Robert, I accept responsibility for my OWN words. You may not agree with me, and that's okay.
Love, L's

SAB said...

I find and have found that the pastorate will condem wine but condone sycrotropic drugs for anxiety and depression. PP does not condone these drugs by-the-way. I asked him about it when my wife was going through depression and were advised by on of my pastors to take her to get these drugs. These drugs are way more harmful than wine. These pastors can not preach against these drugs because so many of them and their wives are taking them for stress.
SAB

jasonk said...

L's,
As a lifelong Southern Baptist, I welcome your thoughts on our denomination, even the critical ones. Thank you for standing up for what is right.
As you might imagine, many of the ones who would say that you have no voice are the first ones to stand and decry the problem of Catholic priests that have been in the news these past several years. But if you stood up and criticized the same problem among SBC clergy, you would be asked to keep quiet (after all, that is what the SBC is doing--keeping quiet).
I agree with Chris that the "younger" generation (whatever that means) is the most educated generation on the issue of alcohol. As one who grew up in the Sooner state, I remember the classes taught at Falls Creek and our church every year by SANE--Sooner Alcohol Narcotics Education--and the way they condemned all use of alcohol.
As Chris pointed out, the reason the younger generation believes in moderation is that they have a tendency to be honest with themselves, true to what the Bible really teaches (and doesn't teach), and they became sick of the hypocrisy of SBC leaders who would rail against alcohol, but indulge in gluttony, gossip, etc.

Lydia said...

Come on, Robert. You are just beating up L's now.

By your own logic with her, no one can disagree or point out bad treatment of others or sin because they are sinners, too.

This will also apply to Mohler, Patterson, etc.

Mohler will have nothing to write about. His railing against the culture will have to stop. (We are not supposed to judge outsiders anyway. 1 Corin 5)

Robert said...

Hey L,s.
What do you think of this Catholic scandal.

http://www.wowowow.com/entertainment/padre-oprah-rev-alberto-cutie-caught-woman-beach-288882

Rob from Geneva

Robert said...

Lydia,
By your own statements then you admit that L,s is "outside the faith"!

Robert from Geneva

Lydia said...

Lydia,
By your own statements then you admit that L,s is "outside the faith"!

Robert from Geneva

Mon May 11, 01:35:00 PM 2009

Explain that, Robert. In detail. No more drive bys.

fishformen said...

Wade,

You said "To argue for your closed and isolationist viewpoint you should join a Convention that is sympathetic with your exclusionary views."

You assumed you know my position. The problem is the little word in my statement, "their". I was taking you essay at face value: Wade World v's B.I. I never grouped up in either camp so sorry the shoe don't fit.

BTW- Jesus was pretty exclusionary, perhaps more so than most will admit.
Cheers

Christiane said...

Robert, be peaceful.
I love you. L's

Robert said...

Lydia,
What is the outsiders that you were refering too here?

"(We are not supposed to judge outsiders anyway. 1 Corin)"


I know you did not mean outside the denomination or convention!


Thus I concluded you meant "outside the Faith".


Robert from Geneva

Robert said...

L,s
HATING Paige Patterson is not peaceful!

Robert from Geneva

Lydia said...

Robert, your tactic is to drive by and shoot first then explain in dribs and drabs and then twist it to make it mean whatever you want.

"What is the outsiders that you were refering too here?"

Do you mean 'who' are the outsiders to which I was referring?

I was using Mohler as an example of someone who judges "outsiders" in his vast writings, commentaries, etc, in violation of 1 Corin 5. His writings are full of railing against the secular culture.

Robert, Listen to L's. She can teach you about love and peace. :o)

Christiane said...

Thanks LYDIA,

I think you can teach Robert a lot also. He really needs a little 'TLC' today. I hold him in my heart and pray for him. He will be okay in time. Love, L's

BTW, you've had a tough week, what with the 'purple corset' treatment and with Robert also. You deserve so much better. I learn so much from you. Thank you for sharing with us all. And thank you for your patient kindness towards our Kevin. Love, L's

Robert said...

Robert said...

Lydia,
Is Christiane your "hero".

BTW.....Al Mohler is a Southern Baptist!


Robert from Geneva

Baptist Theologue said...

For those of you who believe that moderate drinking is not a sin and that drunkenness is a sin, how do you know when you have passed from moderate drinking (non-sin) into drunkenness (sin)? How do you define drunkenness, and while you are drinking, how do you know that you are getting close to crossing the line into sin?

Lydia said...

"BTW.....Al Mohler is a Southern Baptist!"

So am I.

Q.E.D

Robert said...

Lydia,
I agree with Al Mohler who has correctly stated that the Bible does call us to judge.

Good thing we judge when someone comes in and tries to kill and rob from your house huh!

I prefer the Glock method of judgement myself.


Robert from Geneva

absonjourney said...

BT-
The easiest answer to your question in my case, is I do not have more than one or two drinks...ever. Thereby never getting near the line. The goal of enjoying alcohol in moderation is simply that- enjoyment- not to see how much you can take or how close to the line you can get. That is pure college he-man foolishness.

"Man can go wrong with wine and women. Should we abolish women?"- Martin Luther (if my memory serves me correctly)

Steve said...

Great post, Wade.
Obviously, "My way or the highway" may no longer work for our Armed Forces drill instructors, but it flies right off the tongue for SO many Baptists who would protect the Baptist faith from all those other Baptists.

Isn't if funny how some less-tolerant ones take it as an apparent insult that women post responses here? Or, maybe they just can't get over their unChristian attitude towards Catholics.

Wow! People are still that way about the committee-rewrite we know as the KJV?

Amy said...

I personally don't drink. However, I see nothing wrong with a drink as long as you do not get drunk.

However, I am seeing legalism from both sides of the equation. Legalism from Peter Lumpkin and legalism from Wade Burleson.

Lumpkin's is easy to see. However, Burleson's love to label anyone and everyone who is more conservative than he is nothing more than a form of legalism in and of itself. Perhaps not the classic form but it still is present regardless of the protestations otherwise.

Baptist Theologue said...

Absonjourney, you said,

"The easiest answer to your question in my case, is I do not have more than one or two drinks...ever. Thereby never getting near the line."

How do you know you are not over the line with two drinks? How do you define drunkenness?

Lydia said...

Lydia,
I agree with Al Mohler who has correctly stated that the Bible does call us to judge.

Good thing we judge when someone comes in and tries to kill and rob from your house huh!

I prefer the Glock method of judgement myself.


Robert from Geneva

Mon May 11, 02:38:00 PM 2009

Robert, we seem to be having two different conversations.


BT, How do you know when you have eaten just enough and not too much that it becomes sin?

We could ask this question of just about anything. Money, time, leisure pursuits, etc.

How do you define sloth? Greed?

The answer is Wisdom. She is given to us when we ask and do not doubt. The Holy Spirit is our Counselor in all things. Even when buying socks.

absonjourney said...

BT-

From scripture we get both Hebrew and Greek words related to drunkenness. The Hebrew word goes as far in some lexicons to use the word "wino" which I am sure you can define for yourself.

The Greek explanation uses the word intoxicated. There is a current legal definition of intoxication based on blood alcohol level. A further helpful definition of intoxication is "to affect temporarily with diminished physical and mental control by means of alcoholic liquor, a drug, or another substance, esp. to excite or stupefy with liquor."

Notice the references to diminished capacity and control. I wold say a person is drunk when those things begin to happen. Now you asked how do I know that two drinks will not make me drunk. Several ways. First, a close friend who is a HiPo here in OK explained to me the system they teach officers to use to detect diminished capacity. Second, knowing my weight, height, and the alcohol content of what I am drinking and over what length of time I can determine if I am in legal range. Third, personal experience with 1-2 drinks.

Does that satisfy your need to define or do you need more?

Robert said...

Lydia,
Now you get the point!
This is the point(s)
1.Christiane made a judgement about a Southern Baptist leader. This judgement had nothing to do with the topic at hand as evidenced by her introduction of the Sheri Klouda issue.

Robert from Geneva

Baptist Theologue said...

Lydia, you asked,

"BT, How do you know when you have eaten just enough and not too much that it becomes sin?"

You asked a valid question. There are a lot of variables in the answer. I know of a lady with low metabolism who would gain weight if she ate more than a glass of coffee and a bit of cottage cheese. Environment and activity are other variables. If you are hiking across the Alaskan tundra in very cold temperatures, you will need more calories. Traditionally, the Eskimos have consumed a lot of calories and obtained about 90 percent of their calories from meat and fat from seal, whale, caribou, and fish. Michael Phelps was getting about 12,000 calories a day during his training before the Olympics. Fortunately, cancer.com provides a chart that gives a recommended level taking into consideration your height, weight, and activity level. Similarly, the University of Oklahoma Police Department developed a chart related to blood alcohol content. One drink of common table wine (5 ounces) gives a 220 pound man a blood alcohol content of .02 percent (impairment for some people) and a 140 pound man a BAC of .03 percent. Thus, if you define drunkenness as impairment, one drink makes one drunk, and moderate drinking equates to drunkenness. ( http://www.ou.edu/oupd/bac.htm )

jasonk said...

"how do you know when you have passed from moderate drinking (non-sin) into drunkenness (sin)? How do you define drunkenness, and while you are drinking, how do you know that you are getting close to crossing the line into sin?"

God gave us a brain for a reason. We should be smart enough, and mature enough to know when enough is enough. Sometimes we don't know that, and we cross the line into sin.
I do the same with food. Sometimes I just want that last slice of pizza. Don't need it, just want it. Then I'm stuffed, and I know I exhibited gluttony. I crossed the line into sin. I did it all the time when I weighed almost 300 pounds. Now that I'm under 190, I still do it sometimes. Either way, it is sin.
Sometimes I am having a conversation about a brother or sister, and it crosses the line into gossip.
Sometimes I am chatting with a female friend...
Sometimes I am reading blogs...
BT, you know that you don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Using your system of thought, I would expect that you would never again engage in eating, conversing, sexual activity, or anything else, including preaching, pastoring, teaching, etc., for fear that you might "cross the line."

Baptist Theologue said...

Absonjourney, you said,

"A further helpful definition of intoxication is 'to affect temporarily with diminished physical and mental control by means of alcoholic liquor, a drug, or another substance, esp. to excite or stupefy with liquor.'
Notice the references to diminished capacity and control. I wold say a person is drunk when those things begin to happen."

According to the University of Oklahoma website I cited above, your definition of drunkenness (beginning of impairment) happens with one drink. Thus, there would be no difference between moderate drinking and drunkenness. Are you saying that wine in biblical times was equal in alcoholic content to wine today?

Baptist Theologue said...

Jasonk,

What if you cross the line with the first drink? See the website I mentioned above.

Ruddy said...

Well said Wade. I think it is interesting that SBC leaders and others ignore Baptist distinctives of soul liberty and local autonomy when it comes to matters like this. The "if you don't think like us and don't act like us, then you are not one of us" mentality only hurts the image of the SBC leadership. I respect those who who refrain from alcohol, but scripture does not prohibit consuming alcohol. Scripture preaches against drunkenness.

Paul told Timothy to have a little wine for his stomach's sake. Jesus kept the wedding party going in Cana. Some people try to cite that wine in Jesus' day was 2/3 water... and thus was not really alcohol. Come on!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"How do you know you are not over the line with two drinks? How do you define drunkenness?"

BT,

I can tell you that I could still drive after 6 beers but not after slamming a bottle of Riesling. Four gin and tonics was over the line but 5 had made me lose my salvation a many of times.

In the state of Missouri one beer will raise the alcohol level of most average size males over the legal limit. (That I do NOT know from experience.) :)

Do you define drunkenness as being in a state of not being able to recite the books of the Bible or the Roman Road or maybe being in a state where one is not ready to "give an account?" Because according to that standard most of us are "drunk" around 3am every morning from dreaming.

You are grasping at straws my friend. You are going to have to figure out a way to exist in a new evangelicalism that allows for things that the Bible does not expressly condemn. The money is on your back. Along with the full weight of the law.

So you had better not cross the line. Not even once. In fact, you better not even get close.


By YOUR standard YOU will be judged.

K

Joe White... said...

Wade,

It is sad that you try to make the official SBC position one of moderation, and the position of total abstinence as one of Fundamentalism. All one has to do to learn the truth of this matter is visit... http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/AMResSearchAction.asp?SearchBy=Subject&DisplayRows=10&frmData=alcohol&Submit=Search

Here you will find 62 "official" Southern Baptist Resolutions condemning Alcohol and its consumption. The latest resolution was passed in Greensboro, NC in 2006. Here are the resolved portions...

"RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 13-14, 2006, express our total opposition to the manufacturing, advertising, distributing, and consuming of alcoholic beverages; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge that no one be elected to serve as a trustee or member of any entity or committee of the Southern Baptist Convention that is a user of alcoholic beverages.

RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to take an active role in supporting legislation that is intended to curb alcohol use in our communities and nation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to be actively involved in educating students and adults concerning the destructive nature of alcoholic beverages; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we commend organizations and ministries that treat alcohol-related problems from a biblical perspective and promote abstinence and encourage local churches to begin and/or support such biblically-based ministries."

Wade, please stop with your revisionist posts.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

BT,

Most people associate the wearing of suits with politicians and lawyers. Politicians and lawyers lie. You wear a suit. Thus you lie.


Don't even try to drill me on logic until you go back and fix all the fallacious babble you got goin' on in this comment stream.


Btw, where you been lately? Almost as if the one issue you relate to salvation has come up.


Woe to thee oh Pharisee!



K

WTJeff said...

Wade,

So much for not making the conversation about alcohol. At least you tried! The amount of Christian love in this thread is totally underwhelming...:)

Word verification: gracer

wow.

Jeff said...

Kevin, It is impossible for one beer to put a male over the limit. .08 is the limit in most states.

Baptist Theologue said...

Kevin, you said,

"You are going to have to figure out a way to exist in a new evangelicalism that allows for things that the Bible does not expressly condemn."

You have hit on an important issue. There is not a particular verse that says, "You will be sinning if you drink one glass of wine and then drive in your slightly impaired state."

What I seem to be hearing from moderationists is a demand for a specific command from God to abstain from alcoholic beverages in all contexts and at all times. Otherwise, they do not think it is biblical to call for complete abstinence in our particular context and time. Unfortunately, the Bible does not always give such specific commands that apply in all situations and times. (Condemnation of homosexual behavior certainly is an example of such a specific command that does apply in all contexts and at all times.) The Bible would be too heavy to carry if it did give such specific commands for all situations and contexts; nevertheless, it is sufficient, and its principles should be applied correctly in our time and context. Bernard Ramm discussed this dilemma in interpretation:

“The Bible is more a book of principles than a catalogue of specific directions. The Bible does contain an excellent blend of the general and the specific with reference to principles for Christian living. If the Bible were never specific we would be somewhat disconcerted in attempting a specific application of its principles. If the Bible were entirely specific in its principles, we would be adrift whenever confronted with a situation in life not covered by a specific principle. The emphasis in Scripture is on moral and spiritual principles, not upon specific and itemized lists of rules for moral or spiritual conduct.”

Bernard Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation: A Textbook of Hermeneutics (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1970), p. 186.

Haddon Robinson stressed the importance of applying biblical principles correctly:

“In order to apply a passage accurately, we must define the situation into which the revelation was originally given and then decide what a modern man or woman shares, or does not share, with the original readers. The closer the relationship between people now and people then, the more direct the application. . . . When the correspondence between the twenty-first century and the biblical passage is less direct, however, accurate application becomes more difficult. An expositor must give special attention not only to what modern men and women have in common with those who received the original revelation but also to the differences between them. . . . Application becomes more complex, however, when we must deal with problems biblical writers never encountered. . . . Whether we can say ‘Thus saith the Lord’ about particular issues not dealt with in the Bible depends on our analysis of the issues and our application of theological principles. . . . Have I determined all the theological principles that must be considered? Do I give the same weight to each principle? Are there other principles that I have chosen to ignore?”

Haddon W. Robinson, Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages, 2d ed (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2001), 87-93.

One biblical principle which can be applied to the consumption of alcoholic beverages is stewardship of one’s resources and health. In biblical times it was good stewardship for most people to drink slightly alcoholic wine when they did not have a source of drinking water that would not cause life-threatening diseases. Today in America, it is good stewardship to abstain from alcohol in terms of mental functioning and preservation of one’s physical resources (cars, lives, etc.). In biblical times, potable water was not easily obtainable, and people did not have to make split-second decisions in cars while driving 65 miles per hour.

Let’s compare two passages and first look at Proverbs 31:4-5:

“4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to desire strong drink, 5 For they will drink and forget what is decreed, And pervert the rights of all the afflicted.” (NASB)

The Hebrew word used for “drink” is “shawthaw.” It does not mean to get drunk; it simply means to imbibe. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament defines it as “to drink.” It is used to describe people drinking water in Genesis 24:14, 18, 44, 46; Exodus 17:6; and other passages. It was good stewardship for a king, who likely had access to plenty of potable water, to completely abstain from alcohol.

Let’s next look at 1 Timothy 5:23:

“No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” (NASB)

Notice that Paul said to use a “little” wine for medicinal use. That was good stewardship at that time and in that context.

Being able to correctly apply biblical principles is a mark of spiritual maturity. Ramm stated;

“If the directions were all specific, a man could live up to the letter of the rules, and yet miss the spirit of true godliness. Real spiritual progress is made only if we are put on our own. Unless we must take a principle and interpret its meaning for a given situation in life, we do not spiritually mature. It is this general nature of the New Testament ethics which helps prevent hypocrisy. As long as there is a specific code to obey, men can conform without change of heart. Obedience to a moral code with no change of heart may result in the discrepancy between inner life and outward conduct which is one of the characteristics of hypocrisy. But inasmuch as we must govern ourselves by principle, we are put on our own mettle. In each important decision we shall ask ourselves: what is the important principle involved? From this consideration we may then proceed to: what ought I do? If we so treat our moral and spiritual decisions we develop in spiritual insight and moral strength. Such development is central to a mature spirituality.”

Bernard Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation: A Textbook of Hermeneutics (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1970), p. 187.

If my car breaks down in an isolated area of the Nevada desert at night, and if no one picks me up, and if I’m dying of thirst, and if I find a deserted cabin near the road with no running water, and if the refrigerator in the cabin contains nothing but beer, then under those circumstances I would not be sinning to drink alcohol. Under just about any other circumstance I can think of in America, I believe that I would be sinning to drink alcohol. Scripture is sufficient to direct me in any circumstance and at any time.

Robert said...

Now Now Kevin,
Who made you to be a judge?
Baptist Theologue is asking some good questions and others have given reasonable responses like Lydias to him.

Lets dialogue on.....


Robert from Geneva

Robert said...

Dr Anderson here has some pretty strong views on wine not alcohlic!

http://www.mbts.edu/academics/faculty_bios/anderson.html


Robert from Geneva

absonjourney said...

BT-

Last comment on this for me. You chose to say "beginning of impairment" not me, my friend. My definition said impairment or loss of control. Neither of which happens to me with one or two drinks. It does vary from person to person, as I mentioned in my previous post,based on height, weight, etc. But that's not what you want to discuss. You want to narrow and narrow and narrow based not on scripture but on your opinions and personal convictions. I get that for you abstinence is the only way. For me, moderation is an acceptable way and so is abstinence. Why is this so troubling to you? If Scripture does not forbid it, why should you? I think the answer to that questions is obvious to everyone, but you.

I would commend to you a great book, written by a teetotaler, on this subject. I think you will find it fairly balanced and biblical- God Gave Wine. Read it with much prayer and a Bible close at hand. It was this book and the counsel of a much loved pastoral friend that led me to change my position from total abstinence to the moderation position. See I understand where you are coming from, better than you think. And I will pray for you, not that you will change your position, but that God will reveal to you the dangers of going beyond His word for deciding disputable matters. No one wins when we do that, least of all a lost and dying world.

Quick note to Lydia-
I'm glad we are on the same side on this one. I am happy we found some common ground for once. Blessings to you...

Bill said...

At least 1 early SBC Leader drank alcohol (J P Boyce). He had a Wine Cellar (for lack of a better term) at Southern. Yes, I do know that to work at Southern, you must pledge "Abstinance".

Grace,

Bill

Jon L. Estes said...

Just because something is permissible does not make it wise?

When Jesus was doing the wine thing what other choices were there for him to enjoy?

What about us and our choices of beverages? There is a better way to consume a liquid refreshment than to drink something that is, by its composition, designed to lessen our senses and impair our judgment.

I do not teach that the bible promotes abstinence but I do speak of our testimony before our children. What if I drank and it led my child to drink? What if I could handle it but my child could not? What if I never got a buzz but my child became buzzed after one small amount? What if I were to stand before God and be told I was the one who influenced my child to drink?

How much damage needs to occur before all Christians accept the fact that drinking can lead to things that can hurt you and hurt (or kill) others?

Can we (is it permissible) according to scripture to drink wine? Yes. Is it wise? Absolutely not.

One funeral due to drinking is one to many. Personally, I don't want you to mess up in this area and be stupid and kill my child. If you need to mess up, eat that last piece of pizza, it won't kill me.

Chris Ryan said...

Joe,

Which is it? Liberal or Mainstreamer? Are they the same (because at one point they sure weren't?)

You are free to continue holding your extra-biblical traditions; I will continue to hold fast to the words of scripture. Now which one of us sounds like a Conservative Southern Baptist and which does not?

Robert,
No, not a pagan. Thanks for trying. Better luck next time. But good job trying to distract instead of dealing with the issues.

Chris Ryan said...

John,

Let me borrow your last few paragraphs:

"How much damage needs to occur before all Christians accept the fact that guns can lead to things that can hurt you and hurt (or kill) others?

Can we (is it permissible) according to scripture own guns? Yes. Is it wise? Absolutely not.

One funeral due to guns is one too many. Personally, I don't want you to mess up in this area and be stupid and kill my child. If you need to mess up, eat that last piece of pizza, it won't kill me."


Or are you going to tell me that guns don't kill people, people acting irresponsibly kill people. Because if you wan't to go that route, I'll say the same thing about alchohol. If you will be consistant and agree that no good Christian should own guns, then I guess I don't know what I'll do...

Robert said...

Chris Ryan,
I believe you interjected yourself into my conversation with Christiane on your ecumenical tripe!

BTW----Only pagans believe in luck!So please dont pass that along to me.
I worship a Sovereign God.

Robert from Geneva

Jon L. Estes said...

"Or are you going to tell me that guns don't kill people, people acting irresponsibly kill people. Because if you wan't to go that route, I'll say the same thing about alchohol. If you will be consistant and agree that no good Christian should own guns, then I guess I don't know what I'll do..."

Chris,

Alcohol does not kill someone and neither do guns, it is those who use them wrongly, intentionally or not.

I can take my child out and teach him how to shoot a gun responsibly but I can not do that with alcohol. His genetic make-up may not allow it.

How many people are killed each year by gun toting driver?

Sure guns are misused, like many things, but I think we can agree that alcohol is addictive and impairs ones judgment that can easily hurt or kill someone else. I don't know if such a case can be made for guns.

Apples and oranges.

Ruddy said...

Since this post is tagged as "Legalism" take a look at this Associated Baptist Press article:

Opinion: A pop quiz for biblical literalists

http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4066&Itemid=9

Christiane said...

Robert, don't you believe that unity was something Jesus prayed for?

What is wrong with Christians respecting His words on unity and trying to see past all the divisions and find Christ at the center of our faith?

I like ecumenism, if it is begun and sought after in accordance with the wishes of Christ that all may be one. But, I know this: that many are 'not ready' for unity yet. Like the man here who said Christ was 'exclusive'. Imagine, Christ, who said when He was 'raised up' He would draw the whole world to Him.; imagine Him being 'exclusive'. I can't.
The Holy Spirit in time will bring all Christians into unity.

Some see a benefit in becoming isolated and withdrawn from contact with the larger Christian community. I know this.

But many Christians desire to see the boundaries that have no real modern purpose to be discarded.

Some Christians don't 'see' the boundaries at all, they only see Christ. I want to be like them.
They have it right. He IS our Unity.
Love, L's

Baptist Theologue said...

Absonjourney, you said,

"You chose to say 'beginning of impairment' not me, my friend. My definition said impairment or loss of control. Neither of which happens to me with one or two drinks."

I apologize. When you said "when those things begin to happen," I interpreted that as "beginning of impairment."

You said,

"My definition said impairment or loss of control. Neither of which happens to me with one or two drinks."

Again, I suggest you look at the University of Oklahoma website that I cited earlier. When people cross the line into impairment, how many of them realize they are crossing that line if they are impaired after one drink? How many sips does it take?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

BT,

Thanks for the lesson in hermeneutics. But I just made an "A" in the class. I will let you keep Robinson if you don't mind but Ramm on the other hand, what a wonderful example of one you apparently champion but apparently have not read. A student of Barth, Ramm might be considered by some to be an unholy liberal. I agree with Ramm's comment you quoted. But you on the other hand would disagree with nearly all the theology he embraces. I am quite confident, though I cannot seem to find a record of the possibility that Ramm and Barth regularly had theological conversations over a nice drink.


Btw, you need to find new material. I have discovered that you have used these quotes more than just here and this time.



Lastly, this is my hermeneutical lesson for you. If you spend 3 times as long exegeting a passage as you do trying to apply it, you just may come closer to the truth.


Just a suggestion of course. Nothing I hate worse in a sermon is premature application.


K

Robert said...

Christiane,
I dont believe that you can have true unity without agreement on what the Gospel is.....based on the teachings of your tradition I see no Gospel unity!
You have not rejected the teachings of Rome and I dont accept those teachings from Rome as Authoratative.

It really is a centuries old argument.

John Fariss said...

BT,

You said, "One drink of common table wine (5 ounces) gives a 220 pound man a blood alcohol content of .02 percent (impairment for some people) and a 140 pound man a BAC of .03 percent." As a former police officer, who was a PEI Examiner (Photo Electric Intoximeter), your figures sound fairly accurate for fortified wine with an alcohol content in the range of 10-12%. Note though that how long after drinking makes a difference--it take a little while for alcohol to enter the blood system (10-20 minutes, if memory serves), then the liver metabolizes it at a rate of something like 0.02% per hour.

However, the critical issue is the following statement, "Thus, if you define drunkenness as impairment, one drink makes one drunk, and moderate drinking equates to drunkenness." IF you define drunkenness--IF is the key word. While studies from scientific university research to the "Mythbusters" TV show to the "experiemnts" we conducted in PEI school have sometimes shown a slight difference in reaction time and driving ability even with even low blood alcohol levels, the courts did not formerly, and do not now (as I understand them) accept these minor differences as "drunkenness" or even as any sort of "impairment." When I was an officer, a Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) of 0.10% was required for a presumption of "being under the influence," and now, in most states, it has been lowered to 0.08%, which is a good thing. Even at the .10% level, we could theoritically charge a driver with Driving Under the Influence IF (and only IF) their driving, behavior, and the results of coordination tests supported it. But to have any chance of getting a conviction (even with "Hanging Judge" Matthias Peel), (1) the BAL had to be close to the legal limit, (2) the cordination tests had to be overwhelming, and (3) the accused better not have too good an attorney.

Bottom line, BT, is that your equating drunkenness, impairment, and any beverage alcoholic intake just does will not hold up--not from a law enforcement perspective, and I do not think Biblically either. And BTW, I say this from the perspective of a Christian (and Baptist) who does no longer drink, not even in "moderation."

John Fariss

Kendall said...

Bill, you said "At least 1 early SBC Leader drank alcohol (J P Boyce). He had a Wine Cellar (for lack of a better term) at Southern." Just curious, where did find this information?

greg.w.h said...

So I appreciate where you're going with this, but there is a perspective that is missing from this conversation:

What is the purpose of the Landmarkist viewpoint? What "good" does it do?

I would argue its purpose is to reject the implicit authority of the Roman Catholic Church as a legitimate New Testament church. The diagram from the Trail of Blood does that by visually constructing a parallel stream of theology and doctrine that leads to modern Baptist adherents that is entirely separated from the Roman Catholic theology and doctrine.

But J.M. Carroll's claim of history is very loose, poorly substantiated, and therefore weak. The dots on the chart are intended to make the case that they're all separate from the Roman Catholic Church by either tradition (Coptic church) or by opposition (Hugeunots). But when he draws a circle around some of those traditions and claims them as Anabaptist or Baptist, he's trying to turn the spiritual concept of a remnant into a movement with separate authority from God that connects the dots so to speak. That's bad history.

God can make the claim that he has a remnant, but we can't realistically use God's claim to self-identify as that remnant in order to appropriate the spiritual high ground from a doctrinal perspective. We instead should limit ourselves to arguing our doctrinal positions solely from Scripture.

The argument of abstention from alcohol when based solely on wisdom is an argument to wisdom not to Scripture. When argued to Scripture, any attempt to make alcohol illegitimate based on Scripture argues against the wedding at Cana and the symbol of the Lord's Supper as essentially sinful. The effort to shuck and jive the situation by claiming that the alcoholic content in the Bible was less fails on merits because when Paul wars against being filled with wine, he uses precisely the same word used to describe the wedding at Cana. Strong's invention of "paroinos" as a word is simply poor linguistics since "par" is clearly a preposition in that usage.

The further arrogance that says we can excuse Jesus's use of alcohol in spite of the necessity of banning it today because of cultural changes sadly argues in the same direction that is opposed regarding women in ministry. If Jesus's use of alcohol--including creating it at Cana and prescribing it as part of the Lord's Supper--is purely cultural, then so is Paul's comment that he doesn't permit women to speak, and even more so because we do more violence to Jesus's message by reinterpreting it as cultural than we do to Paul's message by reinterpreting it as cultural.

Again, inerrantists trip over their own feet by insisting the Bible requires abstention from alcohol. They really should not tie their own shoe strings together before walking to the podium to make their legalistic arguments. It looks as silly as it sounds.

And at the end of days, God will have a harsh word for those who sought intentional division from other saints based solely on their desire to be more righteous or more "distinkt". Those that insist on division on minor issues endanger themselves when they stand before the Judgment Seat and the Judge determines whether how they treated other brothers and sisters in the faith is acceptable to him. There is a non-vanishing possibility that God could say "Depart from me. I never knew you."

What would make that moment twice as ignoble is if he were to admit as saints people whose theology we contended with that we think is defective but that led them to treat each other consistently with how Jesus would HAVE us treat each other. The only way to avoid that fate is to focus on how Jesus said the sheep and goats are to be divided in Matthew 25 and quit worrying about theological differences that are less important than that. That doesn't mean we shouldn't preach the whole Gospel, but if at the end we aren't emphasizing how God divides the sheep and the goats, we are not preaching the whole Gospel.

Greg Harvey

Kevin M. Crowder said...

L's,

Robert's position is nothing short of divisive and satanic—bent on tearing down the Body of Christ. I too disagree with your church's teaching on justification, sanctification, and many other doctrines, yet I believe one day I will pick for you the fruit of the month off of one of the 12 trees along the river of life. I am 6'3" and you will say, "Kevin, I can't reach that one up there." And I will say. "I’ll pick it this time, but next time remember you can fly." :)

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Moeller said...

With that, I am NOT Peter!!!!!

and I sure thank God that my salvation is not tied to my works, lack of works, drink, lack of drink, and all the rest..... my salvation is in the finished work of Jesus and His grace.

With that, I AM John!!

Steve said...

We ARE still allowed to love the sinner but hate their sin, right?
I've heard this for years and rejoice for the patience given me by others who saw what I had done wrong.

That's what one person seemed to be saying earlier about Sheri Klouda. She - and, I hope, everyone here - hate what happened to her, and perhaps even the process that culminated in her losing her position. That does NOT mean we hate or have given up on the person who carried out her dismissal.

Lydia said...

It is interesting what topics our BI friends choose to focus on.

How about zero tolerance on sexual predators and those pastors who protect them? Or, SBC pastors who use their position and connections with civil government to subpeona records on bloggers who disagree with them? The latter example is preaching at the pastors conference at the convention.

Straining at gnats

Kendall said...

Can anyone find a link to Peter Lumpkin's old post "To Wine or Not to Wine? That is the Question for the SBC"???

Bill said...

I remember when I visited Southwestern in Ft. Worth, I was told that in the routunda where they have the Presidents portraits that one of them was originally painted with either a cigar or a pipe in his hand, does anyone know if this is true? If so, which President was it? and which was it ie a pipe or a cigar?

Lydia said...

"1.Christiane made a judgement about a Southern Baptist leader. This judgement had nothing to do with the topic at hand as evidenced by her introduction of the Sheri Klouda issue."

We are supposed to follow their legalism on alcohol but forget their unjust treatment toward others in the Body?

I know many wish the Klouda issue would go away forever but it is indicative of the serious problems we have in the SBC. The Bishops are naked.

greg.w.h said...

Supposedly B.H. Carroll. Supposedly cigar.

Greg Harvey
(matriculated at SWBTS in fall of '86 in MDiv program, parents graduated from SWBTS with one MDiv--Dad--and two MRE cum MA in RE in '68)

Bill said...

Kendall

Why do you ask?

If you wish, we can discuss this privately.

Thanks

Bill

Romans 5:1

Baptist Theologue said...

John Fariss, you said,

"As a former police officer, who was a PEI Examiner (Photo Electric Intoximeter), your figures sound fairly accurate for fortified wine with an alcohol content in the range of 10-12%. Note though that how long after drinking makes a difference--it take a little while for alcohol to enter the blood system (10-20 minutes, if memory serves), then the liver metabolizes it at a rate of something like 0.02% per hour."

I plugged in different times (1 hour, 2 hours, etc.) when I extracted the figures from the website and obtained the same result for each period of time. You might want to check out the website and see if you agree or disagree with its conclusions.

You also said,

"Even at the .10% level, we could theoritically charge a driver with Driving Under the Influence IF (and only IF) their driving, behavior, and the results of coordination tests supported it. But to have any chance of getting a conviction (even with "Hanging Judge" Matthias Peel), (1) the BAL had to be close to the legal limit, (2) the cordination tests had to be overwhelming, and (3) the accused better not have too good an attorney."

If you check out the website, you'll notice the following impairment characteristics for each BAL:

.01-.02 (divided attention, choice reaction time, visual function)

.02-.03 (tracking and steering)

.03-.04 (eye movement control, standing steadiness, emergency responses)

.04-.05 (coordination)

.05-.06 (information processing, judgment)

Baptist Theologue said...

Kevin,

Congratulations for getting an "A" in hermeneutics. Do you disagree with the quotes I used from Ramm and Robinson? With what parts of the quotes do you disagree and why?

Robert said...

Kevin,
What have I said do you consider Satanic.

Growing up in Irian Jaya , Indonesia the mission organization that our mission teamed up with called The Missions Fellowship never had anything to do with Roman Catholics. TMF did not consider cath
olics as evangelicals!

I see no problem with this.....

Robert from Geneva

Wade Burleson said...

John Fariss,

One of the most sane responses to a volatile issue I have read in a long time. Also, thanks BT for your consistent graciousness in the midst of disagreement.

I believe you are precisely the kind of Baptist Identity person I would love to have in my church - as a teacher, leader, elder, etc . . .

John Fariss said...

Dear BT,

As I said, your figures sound reasonably accurate; in other words, I have no reason to question them for the most part. The alcohol content of a given beverage will affect the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream for a given volume of consumption, as will the time lapsed since consumption. Perhaps the table to which you refer does not mention that, but I assure you it does make a difference--else one would shoot past the legally defined limit as soon as the beverage entered the mouth and would stay there indefinitely, neither of which is the case. Alabama law required that we observe a driver for at least 20 minutes before administering the PEI test, in order to give time for any temporary alcoholic and non-blood level content to dissipate from the mouth, trachea, etc., i.e., mouthwash, cough syrup, throat logenses, etc. But in the main, I was not disagreeing with you here.

For that matter, I am not even entirely disagreeing with the chart you quote, as I noted that even low levels of blood alcohol often have some effect. I might womder if the chart is entirely accurate, however; law enforcement campaigns have been known to "suggest" certain things which are lacking factually. For instance, ABC Boards down South used to report one of the dangers of moonshine liquor as the fact that sometimes dead animasls were added to the mash to speed the fermentation process. The implication was that to drink moonshine was to ingest all sorts of germs and bad stuff from dead animals. The truth was that even if a dead animal entered the mash, it had no effect on the contents of the resultant alcohol, as the distillation process eleminated any such germs and cavorting beasties. That part of the campaign was all smoke and mirrors.

My issue was defining any degree of impairment with drunkenness with any amount of beverage alcohol consumption. THAT is not sustainable from a law enforcement perspective, and I do not believe it is sustainable from a Biblical one.

Blessings,

John

greg.w.h said...

BT:

The observed data on impairment isn't correlated by the Bible to a specific BAL. If abstention is preferred by the Bible, then the comment by the master of ceremonies at Cana is somewhat ominous. I say that in the sense that traditionally people interpret his comment that most people save the best wine for last in terms of impairment. The wedding guests surely already had had some alcohol, and there is absolutely no biblical reason for claiming that Jesus created alcohol-free oinos.

So either Jesus caused the guests at Cana to sin because there is a legalistic limit for determining when a person is drunk, or Paul's later admonition not to be drunk with oinos but to be filled with the Holy Spirit was intended as a self-monitored, subjective comparison between one thing that readers understood--being drunk with wine--and another thing that they only were beginning to understand.

I can easily argue that the Bible does not require abstention and therefore no church should set it up as an extra-biblical, legalistic standard. The reason I can make that argument is the same reason Jesus condemned the Pharisees for rulemaking even when their rulemaking was designed to create a hedge against breaking the Law. He condemned their additional rules for adding weight to the Jews that the Pharisees wouldn't even lift a finger to make lighter.

Jesus condemns adding to the Bible. He condemned it when he was on the Earth. And the end of the book of Revelation condemns it with respect to those prophecies, adding the penalty of all of the wrath that God pours out in Revelation to those that add to or subtract from the message of Revelation and, by extension, the whole canon of the Bible that the book of Revelation concludes.

There is plenty of room for an argument to wisdom for abstention. But there is no room for twisting the words of Scripture--no matter how you justify it--to require abstention as a requirement from the text. It simply is not there and you do great violence to the Bible to attempt to put words in God's mouth no matter how well reasoned your words are.

He's God and we're not. No man representing God and preaching the Bible has the right to make new rules like that and to attempt to present them as God's leadership. The canon is closed according to the Landmarkists circa pre-Council of Nicea timeframe. So it's closed on adding this restriction, too. Preaching abstention as wisdom begs the question of why you're doing it from the pulpit. Using the pulpit to preach abstention is to confuse the Gospel with another, supposedly superior, man-made gospel. The gospel of abstention is not superior...it is man-made and inferior. Shame on those that attempt to prop this false gospel up.

Greg Harvey

Kevin M. Crowder said...

BT,

I agree with Ramm and disagree with parts of Robinson's statements. However my disagreements with the later are not relevant to this discussion yet I will note that if he too would spend more time in exegesis and less time in application the truth might be more relevant.

But back to Ramm. Why would you try to use a theologian with whom you have nothing in common? Of course I agree with his statement you quoted. I might word a couple things differently, but his statement is one of mere observation and does not include much to be debated. Since the Bible includes both general and specific, and implicit as well as explicit statements, Ramm is simply running around the barn and your quoting it has no bearing on our discussion other than to say that your witness believes that the homosexuality of today is not be consistent with the homosexuality of the Bible and therefore not a sin. I could care less what his view on alcoholic consumption is and neither would anyone else who made an "A" in hermeneutics.

:)

"Your honor I move the testimony of the witness be stricken from the record and that counsel be beat with a rubber chicken."

Chris Johnson said...

Brother BT,

I do enjoy your kind attitude during the discussions btw,…you are a good friend. I do remember the series Peter brought forward many months back on this subject; it was a lot of fun. And, you have brought up the operative word “wisdom”. It is clear that it is not wise to be drunk with wine, but conversely with the Spirit (we all know that passage). So wisdom is what is really at stake here, not percentages of almost or legitimate drunkenness. In other words, some alcohol in the system does not always equate to drunkenness…. so it is biblically unfaithful to demand that alcohol consumption will equate to drunkenness.

I think I understand the reason that Patterson and others may want to push abstinence. But pushing abstinence is no license for promoting biblical unfaithfulness. For instance, I have consumed two capfuls of wine in my life, both in instances of communion (one by surprise, the other not). Both times were done in obedience to Christ’s command. I have never been drunk in my life…those two capfuls were the only two beverages I have consumed with alcohol content that I am aware of in my 47 years.

It is no doubt wise now, as it was when the writers of the new and old testaments were at work, to remain vigilant and filled with the Spirit. There is also wise to remain faithful to scripture as well. It is obvious to scripture that abstinence is not what the bible has in mind as it instructs us “not” to be drunk with the fermented wine. It simply means to not be drunk with wine. I will not argue this though…the best way to not get drunk is to not drink wine. But, it is without a doubt dangerously unfaithful to scripture to insist that abstinence is what God commands.

Blessings,
Chris

Kendall said...

Here are Peter's nine articles he posted on his blog at one time:

Spurgeon on Wine in The Lord's Supper

Spurgeon on Wine in the Lord's Supper: Take Two

Wine, the Bible and Baptist Bloggers: Old Views in New Skins

A Baptist's View of Wine: Laying a Foundation

Eliaphet Nott's First Shot: Wine in the Hebrew Bible

Professor G. W. Samson: An Historic Baptist View on Bible Wines

Wine, Abstinence and the Bible: Is There No Biblical Evidence?

Wine & The Bible: Time Out

------------------------
Do you think he is turning them into his book? Can anyone find links to them that work?

Darby Livingston said...

"Could it be that young pastors are turned off by Lumpkins and others because they have moderated in their beliefs on the subject of alcohol?"

Let's flip this around. Could it be that Lumpkins and others have added to Scripture because they don't think that Scripture alone is sufficient for life and godliness?

I think it is a rather tired argument to say that young pastors are less holy and "biblical" than these self-congratulating adders to Scripture, all the while chiding others as "liberal."

Unlike Wade, I do not think Peter's conviction in this matter is commendable precisely because Peter's entire position isn't one of personal conscience, but self-righteous judgment.

Baptist Theologue said...

Chris, you said,

"Some alcohol in the system does not always equate to drunkenness. . . . so it is biblically unfaithful to demand that alcohol consumption will equate to drunkenness."

I think you made a fairly large leap after the ellipsis points. I agree that some alcohol in the system does not equate to drunkenness. A standard alcoholic drink in America, however, provides enough alcohol to impair functioning, as I demonstrated with the University of Oklahoma website. If you define drunkenness as impairment, then one drink equals drunkenness.

Bill said...

To Baptist Theolog

Did the wine that Jesus drink contain any alcohol?

Just Asking.

Thanks

Bill

Romans 5:1

Anna A said...

Robert,

I know that you were asking L about Notre Dame and the invite to President Obama.

I can assure you that a number of bishops have come out against the invite. Mary Ann Glendon, former ambassador to the Vatican and respected Catholic theologian, has turned down an award that would have been given that day.

But, if Fr. Jenkins has refused to listen, then we shall see what happens.

Most of us American Catholics can be pretty independent in thought and deed.

Some one, and I apologize that I don't remember whom, asked about the strength of the wine in Biblical days. I was taught that it was stronger, that is why it was diluted with water at festivals, etc.

Tim Marsh said...

Pastor Wade,

Again, you hit the nail on the head with Fundamentalism. It is about "rules" and legalistic religion.

I abstain from Alcohol, and sometimes wish that the Bible simply said: Thou Shalt Not Drink Alcohol.

But is does not.

1 Corinthians 8-10: We are free. We are free to love. We are called to live our lives in such a way that we "win" the other to Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 9:19-27), whatever that might be.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"A standard alcoholic drink in America, however, provides enough alcohol to impair functioning"

No one disagrees with this. But to what extent are functions impaired? It is unbiblical to have a few functions impaired? What other "biblically legal" activities impair functions? Allow me to list a few for the last question:

-Riding a roller coaster
-Sky diving
-Hypnosis
-Sex
-Mowing the lawn
-Smoking cannabis
-Undergoing surgery with anesthesia
-Taking Tylenol or Advil
-Watching TV
-Sunday afternoon phone chats
-blogging
-Pressure from work
-Ladies wearing skimpy outfits
-Me without a shirt (many ways to take that) :)
-Driving
-Driving while texting
-Driving while using a cell phone
-Painting the side of a house on a tall ladder
-Cramming for a final the night before
-Appointing a legalistic elder
-Being a fundamentalist
-Being a fundamentalist's wife
-Being a PK
-Being an MK who writes a theological treatise on the trinity w/o consulting Holy Scripture <:-O>
-Eating at BK
-Drinking cheap beer
-Forgetting one's daily quiet time.



k

greg.w.h said...

BT wrote:

A standard alcoholic drink in America, however, provides enough alcohol to impair functioning, as I demonstrated with the University of Oklahoma website. If you define drunkenness as impairment, then one drink equals drunkenness.

Just stop, BT. You're trying to twist Scripture to create an absolute requirement for abstention. It turns out that--at least according to one study that was published in the last 12 months--most people do not get drunk on liquor or even fortified wine in the United States. Most get drunk with beer which tends to range in the 3%-5% alcohol by volume (4.0% alcohol by volume is the equivalent of 3.2% alcohol by weight, by the way.)

The content of the alcohol is irrelevant. And arguably the impairment is highly dependent on a number of factors including body weight and including a genetic disposition towards intoxication.

The effort to add a specific alcohol consumption level to Paul's admonition to not be drunk with wine is just more legalism. It's unseemly and unsightly that we continue to try to use our faith to tie people down to our own, external definitions of righteousness, BT.

Greg Harvey

Bill said...

Anna

Since you are a chemist, would you give us a formula (recipe)for some good "Homebrew"? lol--just kidding

Have a good day

Baptist Theologue said...

Kevin, you said,

“I agree with Ramm and disagree with parts of Robinson's statements.”

Ramm stated, “If the Bible were entirely specific in its principles, we would be adrift whenever confronted with a situation in life not covered by a specific principle.”

Let’s look again at Proverbs 31:4-5:

“4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to desire strong drink, 5 For they will drink and forget what is decreed, And pervert the rights of all the afflicted.” (NASB)

Do you agree that the speaker in this passage is saying that kings should not drink wine or strong drink? Do you agree that the speaker is saying that drinking wine or strong drink impairs the king’s judgment? Do you agree with this passage which is part of the “the oracle which his mother taught him” (NASB)? How do you apply this passage to Christians living in America today? Is there a general principle being taught in the passage that can be applied to our context today? Do you agree with the following?

1. In a context and time where potable water is/was unavailable to most people, it is/was good stewardship for most people to drink slightly alcoholic beverages to avoid waterborne diseases (1 Timothy 5:23).

2. In a context and time where potable water is available to all people, it is good stewardship for all people not to drink alcoholic beverages, especially in a context where split-second decisions or other important decisions must be made correctly in order to avoid tragedy (Proverbs 31:4-5).

Bill said...

Baptist Theolog

Do you teach at MABTS?


Thanks,

Bill
Is 61:1-2

Baptist Theologue said...

Bill, you asked,

"Did the wine that Jesus drink contain any alcohol?"

Yes, as far as I can tell, it did.

Bauer's lexicon (BAGD) is the most respected one, and it has this entry for "oinos": wine, normally the fermented juice of the grape. . . . the word for 'must,' or unfermented grape juice, is τρυξ."

Gerald Borchert made a good comment about John 2:6-10 (Jesus turning the water to wine):

"One of my sons once returned from a class and informed me that Jesus made nonalcoholic wine in this story. His teacher also had informed him that the Greek word for the drink here meant nonalcoholic grape juice. It serves no purpose for evangelicals to twist the Greek language for the sake of their ethical opinions because such an argument cannot be sustained from Greek. On the other hand, it is just as problematic to say that by his attendance at the marriage feast and by the making of wine Jesus thereby legitimized either the drinking of wine today or the church's right to be involved in solemnizing marriage because Jesus attended a celebration of marriage."

Gerald Borchert, John 1-11, vol. 25A in The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1996), 157.

Notice the last part of Borchert's comment. Even though the wine created by Jesus had some alcoholic content, that event does not provide justification for Americans drinking standard alcoholic drinks today. Jesus didn't have to worry about the guests getting behind the wheel of a car after the wedding.

Baptist Theologue said...

Bill, you asked,

"Do you teach at MABTS?"

Nope.

Thy Peace said...

For some reason Peter Lumpkins "hid" his posts on Wine and Social Drinking. They were working today morning. Also, here is the post by Les Puryear, that links Peter Lumpkins posts on Alcohol. They are ALL not working.

Joining God in His Work > Excellent Series on Alcohol.

SBC Tomorrow > Posts categorized "Wine & Social Drinking".

John Fariss said...

Dear BT,

You asked Chris, "1. In a context and time where potable water is/was unavailable to most people, it is/was good stewardship for most people to drink slightly alcoholic beverages to avoid waterborne diseases (1 Timothy 5:23)."

I have read somewhere that the alcohol content of wine (at least modern wine, which is typically fortified, i.e., has a higher alcohol content than naturally fermented wine, thus presumably more than that used 2000 years ago had) still does not have enough alcohol to kill some/most waterborne pathogens. I suspect that is one of those suggestive fallacies like the dead animal/sourmash,moonshine connection I suggested earlier. A pathogen which can withstand stomach acid can certainly endure a 5 proof drink of wine. I hope someone with greater chemistry and pharmological knowledge will comment here with a definite answer. If what I have read is correct, it negates the "stewardship" factor, as you call it. I really don't know that Paul was addressing Timothy about a sanitation issue, but simply the old wisdom that wine improves the digestion. My old-school-Baptist-deacon-Uncle-Sam fervently believed that.

Next you asked, "2. In a context and time where potable water is available to all people, it is good stewardship for all people not to drink alcoholic beverages, especially in a context where split-second decisions or other important decisions must be made correctly in order to avoid tragedy (Proverbs 31:4-5)."

First, I have to disagree with your premise that potable water is available to everyone, even in the United States, much less in theird world countries. Missions trips to places like Africa, eastern European countries like Moldovia, and Appalachia show one better. It just seems to me that you are equating the beginning of impairment at low levels of blood alcohol with the ability to make decisions at all. Most of those low level "impairments," at least those I am familiar with, are in very minor things, and have no more effect on decision making abilities than those that Kevin Crowder suggests.

For every set of verses you can name like Proverbs 31, those on the other side of the aisle can cite verses that suggest that wine is a blessing. And that suggests to me that the Bible writers were not of one single mind on the subject, but that God, in His grace and wisdom, allows a variety of possibilities rather than one single iron-clad rule for all people in all times and circumstances.

Now if you want to argue the wisdom of abstaining from beverage alcohol, or the sin that drunkenness represents, I will be right there with you. But not either the position that any beverage alcohol consumption is (functionally or absolutely) drunkenness, or that beverage alcohol itself is sinful.

John

Baptist Theologue said...

John, you said,

"First, I have to disagree with your premise that potable water is available to everyone, even in the United States, much less in theird world countries."

I think you misunderstood me. I was contrasting two different situations. In one situation (#2), potable water is available, and in the other situation (#1) potable water is not available. I served as an IMB missionary to South Korea for ten years. People there knew that they should not drink the water out of the faucets, so just about everyone purchased large bottles of water. I am well aware that potable water is still not available everywhere.

John Fariss said...

OK, BT, but I went on to explore the rest of your premise. What about that?

John

Baptist Theologue said...

John, in regard to pathogens, I am not an expert in this field, but I was a microbiology major in undergraduate school. As you know, pathogens mutate. Many of the antibiotics that killed them years ago will no longer kill them today. It would be speculation for us to talk about what level of alcohol killed them 2,000 years ago.

Baptist Theologue said...

John, you said,

"For every set of verses you can name like Proverbs 31, those on the other side of the aisle can cite verses that suggest that wine is a blessing. And that suggests to me that the Bible writers were not of one single mind on the subject, but that God, in His grace and wisdom, allows a variety of possibilities rather than one single iron-clad rule for all people in all times and circumstances."

This gets us back to the relevance of Ramm's comment on general principles. Maturity comes in being able to apply principles in specific situations. Here's an example: Suppose you see a child drowning in a pond where there is a no trespassing sign. Ordinarily, you should obey the local ordinance. In this specific situation, however, one general principle trumps another. The mature thing to do is to rescue the child and violate the trespass ordinance. I used the Nevada desert illustration earlier to show a specific situation where drinking is permissible. As I alluded to earlier, there is not a specific verse that says, "You cannot drink one drink and get behind the steering wheel." The general principle from Poverbs 31, however, can be applied to most situations we face today in America, with the rare exception of the Nevada desert, etc. Thus, we can legitimately say that total abstinance is the biblical position in almost every imaginable situation in America today.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

BT,

Thank you for showing me the Proverbs passage. I think at first reading there are 2 principles that must be considered. 1. That people in positions of leadership and care of others must be especially careful not to fall into a state which would prohibit them from exercising such care. 2. That those who have the resources to help and care for others should indeed do just that and not hoard the resources for themselves. But, do I believe a glass of wine was absent from that king's table that evening? no

I will likely tend to accept whatever evidence you have for the usage of wine in the 1st century and before. I understand in an age of no refrigeration that fresh grape juice began to ferment within about 3 hours and within a few days was totally fermented and beyond that it soured. I also understand that to remedy this problem the wine was concentrated to a paste which could then be stored for very long periods of time, taken out, diluted with water, and used. Then from that diluted mix could be made drinkable wine, additive to purify water, or strong drink for the purpose of curing ailments, getting a buzz, or for drinking to take the edge off a long day in the field.

Today we can but any type of beer, wine, liquor, or spirits in the store at a variety of proofs. Today we do not use alcohol for medicinal purposes (except in the hills of TN and KY) :) nor do we need it to purify our water. It is almost exclusively used for drinking. In fact, the industry has made it an art form.

I see nothing wrong with mixing good food and good wine. I see nothing wrong with moderate uses of wine or spirits to combat the cold or to ward off flues.

I see nothing wrong with using wine or spirits to aid in sleep or to help the body relax in the evening before bed.

I see everything wrong with driving to a bar and drinking in a worldly environment. Then driving home in whatever state of impairment one may or may not be in. I see everything wrong with alcohol at frat parties. I see everything wrong with underage drinking (though I am in favor of an 18 yo drinking age). I believe the Lord imparts to each of us wisdom in this area. I do not believe that social drinking for the sake of social drinking is wise on the part of a believer. In fact, I am not so sure that I would not hold to a policy of only "drinking with other believers" sort of thing. But that is not necessary all the time. I would possibly not have used alcohol so foolishly many years ago during my first round of college had I been taught how to drink in moderation. Instead, this Baptist boy broke of his fundamentalist upbringing and hit the college circuit right out of high school. I have no shame in calling my actions sin. I had shame in my actions, but know the Lord and my family have forgiven me. I have had about a dozen drinks over the last 3-4 years and none during my pastorate or since and none during a year when I taught SS at my home church. I tend to think the work of the Lord is more important than wanting to have a drink and so I will always abstain where it is forbidden. But I am now older and wiser than in my early 20's and trust that if I chose to have a glass of wine or sipped a good scotch before bed or soaking a good steak in a good beer that the Lord would neither be harmed nor disgraced by my doing so.

You might disagree and that is fine. But to make it a matter of cooperation seems to do more harm to the unity in the Spirit than could potentially the act itself.

K

cwbswmo said...

OK - 145 comments later and NO ONE is convincing the other side of their alcohol arguments.....Hmmmm, that wasn't Wade's point in the beginning was it?

I think if you look at John and BT's recent comments you'll see two folks genuine in their positions, but who will not agree.

THE QUESTION, then, is this: Can John and BT (and all the Christian Southern Baptists they each represent) work together for the fulfillment of the Great Commission or not?

I hope the answer is YES (but I fear the answer might be no).

Charles Brazeale
Neosho, MO

gmommy said...

"As you might imagine, many of the ones who would say that you have no voice are the first ones to stand and decry the problem of Catholic priests that have been in the news these past several years.
But if you stood up and criticized the same problem among SBC clergy, you would be asked to keep quiet (after all, that is what the SBC is doing--keeping quiet)."

Thank you for pointing that out.
Drinking wine is unholy??...but clergy sexual abuse (and the cover up of clergy sexual abuse)is just an "incident" all should keep quiet about.

Kendall said...

Some of the best that I have read on this topic have been:
1. Kenneth Gentry's book,God Gave Wine
2. G.I. Williamson’s, "Wine in the Bible and the Church" (PDF)
Does obedience to Jesus Christ require total abstinence from alcoholic beverages?
http://www.all-of-grace.org/williamson/Wine_Book.pdf
3. Keith Mathison’s, “Protestant Transubstantiation”
Part 1: Thesis; Biblical Witness
http://thirdmill.org/newfiles/kei_mathison/TH.Mathison.Prot.Transub.1.pdf
Part 2: Historical Testimony 2 http://thirdmill.org/newfiles/kei_mathison/TH.Mathison.Prot.Transub.2.pdf
Part 3: Historic Reformed & Baptist Testimony
http://thirdmill.org/newfiles/kei_mathison/TH.Mathison.Prot.Transub.3.pdf
Part 4: Origins of and Reasons for the Rejection of Wine
http://thirdmill.org/newfiles/kei_mathison/TH.Mathison.Prot.Transub.4.pdf

Anna A said...

Here's some random thoughts.

(Sorry, Bill, I don't have any recipes for homebrew. GRIN )

As a chemist, the only way that wineskins could burst would be with pressure from fermentation,i.e. grape juice into wine.

Second, God's rules are designed to be the best for us, both physically and spiritually. Which action: teetotalling or moderate drinking gives the best health.

Most studies show that moderate is better than teetotaling.

I completely respect those who for various reason choose to be abstain from alcohol use.

My personal views are more like Kevin's.

Kendall said...

Charles, you asked, can we all work together? Yes, from my view. There is no problem on my part if “an individual” would have the conviction that they are going to abstain from any use of alcohol. The problem is when you make it a rule for everyone. The Word of God does not make such binding demands regarding this issue. If you look at the debate within the SBC, it is the “total abstinence” folks that make it an issue.

John Fariss said...

BT,

I respect your position, but I still disagree with your premises (or presuppositions) and therefore with your conclusions. A final question on this subject: would you concede that Southern Baptists can have differing opinions of such issues and both be Biblically-informed, and be exercising a valid interpretation?

Just one question on a different subject, to open another can of worms. You said, "As you know, pathogens mutate." Are you speaking of. . . surely you don't mean. . . not the blasphemous E-Word, EVOLUTION? Say it ain't so, Joe! Seriously: with all respect, it sounds as though you are evading the question here.

Charles,

I would have no problem working with BT, or serving alongside him in any SBC situation I could think of. I don't agree with my wife on everything, but it won't kept us from celebrating 31 years of marriage in a little over a week. Based on earlier exchanges I have had with him, I would like to think he has the same perspective. As for some of the others--Peter Lumpkins, John Sullivan in Florida, others in the BI movement--again I have no problem working with them even amid the things we disagree over, but as to whether they would with me. . . you'll have to ask them. I have some concerns there too. I know some folks have written myself and the church I serve off because we prefer and affirm the '63 BF&M rather than the 2000 version. There are those to whom almost everything is a "first-tier" issue, and any disagreement with them is heresy--or at least that is my perception. I would love to discover I am wrong here.

John

Chris Johnson said...

Brother BT,

Yes,... I did not mean to make it appear to be such a leap....You are absolutely correct though,...in that alcohol produced today for consumption is "typically" (not always) much more potent than the fruit of the vine (which could be made more potent as well).... thus, more reasoning for scripture to put forth the language it does (do not be drunk with), since fermented wine was consumed in the religious society before Christ, during and after and by Christ himself unless he was alien to the culture or had sworn to some oath of abstinence.

The larger issued raised by this post though, is that some have made and argument based in abstinence that cannot be defended by scripture. Self control is the remedy, and always as been as evidenced by Holy Scripture. A rendering that calls for abstinence based upon scripture is obviously a poor representation of biblical scholarship, and is probably based more in emotion than fact.

Blessings,
Chris

John Fariss said...

Hey BT,

I just (finally) went to your Univ. of Ok. Police Dept. website and played around with it. Based on memory (and mine is pretty good, although not perfect), their calculator seems a bit harsh. They said 5 regular beers in an hour for a 200 lb. man would result in a BAL of 0.07%, whereas the rule of thumb we used, based both on the PEI and "personal experience" was more like 0.05% (I once stopped by the PD and tested myself after a night on the town--this was before I was a Christian). But then I noticed the bottom of the page, which I quote here:

"0.02 — 0.03 BAC: No loss of coordination, slight euphoria and loss of shyness. Depressant effects are not apparent. Mildly relaxed and maybe a little lightheaded.

"0.04 — 0.06 BAC: Feeling of well-being, relaxation, lower inhibitions, sensation of warmth. Euphoria. Some minor impairment of reasoning and memory, lowering of caution. Your behavior may become exaggerated and emotions intensified (Good emotions are better, bad emotions are worse)."

That seems to shoot your practical arguments in the foot about even one drink resulting in impairment and/or drunkenness. Of course, as they point out, the effects on individuals will vary. I used to hear about people drinking so much they didn't know right from wrong, and could have "lots more fun," so once I decided to find out. I drank so much I got beyond commode-hugging drunk, but I still remembered it all (to my sorrow) and I still knew right from wrong.

John

Baptist Theologue said...

John, you pointed out the less threatening list of impairments, and I pointed out the more threatening list (01-.02 [divided attention, choice reaction time, visual function] .02-.03 [tracking and steering] ). My preferred list is below your preferred list at the website. Check it out. Impaired reaction time, visual function, tracking/steering could affect whether or not an accident occurs, correct?

Baptist Theologue said...

Chris, you said,

"A rendering that calls for abstinence based upon scripture is obviously a poor representation of biblical scholarship, and is probably based more in emotion than fact."

I'm not sure you've followed my argument in this series of posts. Here it is (perhaps more concisely worded):

1. Drinking alcohol causes impairment, which leads to bad consequences (Proverbs 31:4-5). This is a Scriptural principle, and it certainly plays out in today's American context with the higher alcoholic content of standard drinks. With split-second decision making required in our modern context (e.g., driving), any degree of impairment is serious.

2. Under some circumstances (e.g., lack of potable water), drinking alcohol prevents disease and is recommended (1 Timothy 5:23). This is also a Scriptural principle, and it certainly plays out in places where potable tap water or bottled non-alcoholic drinks are not available.

3. These two general principles that I just described must be applied in specific situations. In America today, in very few situations (e.g., stranded in Nevada desert) does #2 trump #1; rather, in almost all situations in America today, #1 trumps #2. Thus, we can say that in general, abstinence is the correct biblical position for Christians in America.

Greg Alford said...

While many in the SBC are focused upon the Great Commission Resurgence… (You know, actually sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost world)… Lumpkins, Patterson, and other “Spooky Fundamentalist” in the SBC are busy writing and endorsing books on such topics as the evils of drinking a class of wine… Good Greif!!!

And we wonder why many young Baptist Pastors are disillusioned with the SBC and either completely disengaged or quietly moving on?

This is just sad…

Grace Always,

Christiane said...

"Thus, we can say that in general, abstinence is the correct biblical position for Christians in America."

I did not know that anyone spoke about the Bible in this way.
I find it surprising.

Is this acceptable? This way of speaking of the Holy Writings, to all Southern Baptists? This way of speaking of Scripture? I have never seen this kind of thing done before. I am very surprised and a little bit shocked.

Is it supposed to be some sort of a joke? I don't understand. L's

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Paslay said...

I'll ask a question to you that believe the Bible teaches moderation. It is the same question I asked about a year ago when I was getting ready to teach a bunch of 4th, 5th and 6th graders about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Should I go ahead and teach them the Bible says it is okay to drink in moderation as long as you don't get drunk? Why not a real life illustration and have a glass of wine there to show how not to go to far? You know, since God gave us a brain and we all know how to handle temptation so well.

If you say I should have a different message for kids than adults, then it you that is the hypocrite! I will say it again, if I don't take the first drink, I won't have to worry about drunkenness, right? If a kid says NO to alcohol, he won't have to worry about whether he or she has gone to far. Sounds like a no brainer to me. Stay away from the stuff!

Thy Peace said...

VTM Bottom Line Blog > An Honor For The Burlesons.

Wade Burleson said...

The Burleson Scholarship at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Nice ring to it.

:)

Congrats Mom and Dad.

wade

Jim Paslay said...

Greg Alford said:

"And we wonder why many young Baptist Pastors are disillusioned with the SBC and either completely disengaged or quietly moving on?

This is just sad…"

What is sad is that even 20 years ago we wouldn't be having a discussion on drinking alcohol in moderation in the SBC. And for sure pastors wouldn't be openly defending it.

I'll make a deal with any of you moderationists. Let's look at the passages that deal with alcohol consumption, and if there are more that teach moderation, then I will change my position. If the Bible speaks more of the dangers of alcohol and the admonition to refrain from it, then you change. How about it? Any takers?

Christiane said...

1 Cor. 11


"23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread,

24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for* you. Do this in remembrance of me.’

25In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’

26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. "

Debbie Kaufman said...

Should I go ahead and teach them the Bible says it is okay to drink in moderation as long as you don't get drunk?If that is what the Bible teaches(which I believe it does), then that is what should be taught. We need to start trusting that this is what God has said, and the Holy Spirit in each Christian. The Pharisees attempted to add to the scriptures to keep people from sinning too. This backfired on them. I have no reason to believe adding to where scripture doesn't will backfire on those who do this.

Jim: I cannot go where the Bible doesn't. No one should be able to do that.

Wade Burleson said...

Jim Paslay,

Any one person in this comment stream is more than capable of taking up your challenge.

I will not speak for others, only me, and try to correct a misunderstanding on your part. You act as if I (and others) wish to convince you of a "moderation" position.

I am totally, one hundred percent uninterested in changing your mind from total abstinence to the use of alcohol in moderation.

Not only is it something that I have no interest in doing, it would be a waste of my time, for I DO NOT WANT YOU TO CHANGE.

I simply wish that you would give the same freedom to others who disagree with you.

That's all.

Wade

Tim Marsh said...

Baptist Theologue and Others,

Interesting comments about the content of two first centrury drinks: water and wine.

First, human beings cannot survive without water. The water must have been "fit to drink." No civilization can survive without fresh water. Too, it would have been expensive to use alcoholic beverages to quench thirst, when human beings consume an average of 64 ounces of fluid daily.

Second, "grape juice" as we know it was not invented until over 100 years ago.

BT, I agree with the thrust of your argument and I do think that abstinence is an admirable course of action with regards to alcohol. That is what I practice. However, I cannot call alcohol consumption "sinful" because Jesus consumed alcohol, created alcohol at the wedding of Cana, and Jesus promised to drink it again when the Kingdom of God is fulfilled. His critics accused him of drunkenness.

No Greek semantics may indicate that the wine was non-alcoholic.

Tony Cartledge, who is an OT prof at Campbell and former editor of the Baptist Paper in North Carolina, had a seven year old daughter killed by a drunk driver. His October 22, 2007 post on www.tonycartledge.com deals with issues related to alcohol.

I refuse to make the Bible say what it does not. I wish the Bible did condemn alcohol. However, there are other reasons why we should abstain:

1. Christian Witness. Alcoholism is the result of many who are unable to drink in moderation. Either they are self-medicating for chronic anxiety or depression, or they simply like who they are when drunk. The last thing someone needs is a reason to think that it is OK.

2. The alcohol industry. I refuse to support the alcohol industry, to give them one dime of my money. Did anyone notice that Cincy McCain's family was high up in Anheiser Busch?

3. My family, like many of yours, has been impacted by alcoholism.

My point is, that while the Bible does not teach abstinence as a "rule," nor does it teach that moderate consumption is a sin, as a "rule," we do not need to quote scripture to make arguments for scripture.

Our decisions are not based upon what is permissable or not, but based upon our care and concern for our neighbor.

Tim Marsh said...

Cindy McCain, sorry!

Thy Peace said...

Reality Check Blog > Intimacy: Discipline or Enjoyment.
I recently heard a sermon on intimacy with Christ, and it was all about the disciplines.

I've ruminated on the theme of that sermon. I remember when I thought the Christian life was all about the disciplines. I tried so hard. I had my checklist. I had my prayer list. I had my 2959 notebook. I did, I did, I did.

Then one day I realized that my Christian life was not about performing and doing. It was about being and enjoying.

As Paul and I were discussing this and expressing what we've come to understand and live, I used the illustration of a piece of chocolate pie. Do I have to discipline myself to enjoy that piece of pie? Do I have to learn about chocolate? Do I have to inspect the recipe? Do I have to question who made it? Do I need to talk about it? OR do I need to eat and enjoy? I love the verse, "O taste and see that the Lord is good
."

Christiane said...

Good Morning Everyone,

It's me, L's

'Blessed are You, Lord Our God, King of the Universe, whose Word Brings Forth Everything in Existence"

This is a Hebrew blessing of thanksgiving for God's gifts.

Did you know that the Jewish religion had a special blessing for wine? Here it is:

" Before drinking wine – Ha-Gafen

This blessing is made for wine made from grapes, but not any other fermented drink. Wine made from other fruits, and other alcohols, require the Shehakol blessing .
Also, hands might be ritually washed first depending on the minhag of the person saying the blessing on the grape wine .

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, בורא פרי הגפן.‏

Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha‑olam, bo're p'ri ha‑gafen.

Translation: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine."

This is an ANCIENT prayer. It has been around since BEFORE the time of Our Lord on this earth. It was a part of His world.

Yes, Jesus used wine, as did His people and His followers. It was considered a gift from God.

It isn't the wine that is evil.
It is the MIS-USE of the gift that is evil.

Abuse of any of God's gifts is sinful. Don't blame the gifts.
They do not 'cause' us to sin.
We are pretty good at being responsible for sinning ourselves.

Christians need to bless God's gifts, not abuse them, or reject them. And then, after blessing, we need to give our Creator this gift: that we will use His creations with care and with responsibility, so as not to cause harm to ourselves and others and therefore profane what was meant to be a blessing to our lives.
This is a great responsiblity. Love, L's

Baptist Theologue said...

Tim Marsh, you said,

“The water must have been "fit to drink.”

It often simply was not fit to drink, and there was intense interest in finding good water. Normal wells were problematic because animals could fall into them and die. Cisterns were the next best thing, and rain water was often used in them. The best option, of course, was spring water (which the woman at the well thought Jesus was referring to in John 4:10 when He mentioned “living water”). During the Feast of the Tabernacles, Jesus used a powerful word picture in the midst of a water shortage when He said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37). Gerald Borchert commented on the verse:

“The next three verses of the Gospel draw our attention to one of the most memorable parts of the Festival of Tabernacles, the seven-day water ceremony and the prayers for rain. On each of the seven days prior to the final day (the added day), priests drew water from the Pool of Siloam and carried a golden pitcher full of the water to the temple and then around the altar with the high priest leading the way. As the priests neared the water gate, the shofar was blown, and then the psalms of praise and thanksgiving were sung to God for the harvest (Pss 113-118). As the ceremony developed, the Pharisees, who were primarily urban dwellers, insisted that a significant emphasis should be placed on the petition for rain because by this time of the year (the fall) their cisterns would nearly be empty after the dryness of summer.”

Gerald Borchert, John 1-11, vol. 25A in The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1996), 289.

Easton’s Bible Dictionary on cisterns: “The scarcity of springs in Palestine made it necessary to collect rain-water in reservoirs and cisterns.”

Smith’s Bible Dictionary on cisterns: “a receptacle for water, either conducted from an external spring or proceeding from rain-fall. The dryness of the summer months and the scarcity of springs in Judea made cisterns a necessity, and they are frequent throughout the whole of Syria and Palestine. On the long-forgotten way from Jericho to Bethel, ‘broken cisterns’ of high antiquity are found at regular intervals. Jerusalem depends mainly for water upon its cisterns, of which almost every private house possesses one or more, excavated in the rock on which the city is built. The cisterns have usually a round opening at the top, sometimes built up with stonework above and furnished with a curb and a wheel for a bucket.”

Interestingly, Jeremiah was imprisoned in a cistern where he “sank in the mire” (Jeremiah 38:6).

Baptist Theologue said...

Christiane,

You quoted 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 in regard to the Lord’s Supper. Your translation used the word “cup,” which is a translation of ποτηριον, a word that simply means “drinking vessel.” There is no indication in the passage that alcoholic wine is required for future observances of the Lord’s Supper. The same word is used for “cup” in Matthew 26:27, Mark 14:23, and Luke 22:20. In Matthew 26:29 and Mark 14:25 Jesus mentioned the “fruit of the vine,” which does not necessarily have to be alcoholic wine. Southern Baptists like me who use grape juice in the Lord’s Supper are not violating Scriptural standards.

Baptist Theologue said...

Christiane, you said,

"It isn't the wine that is evil.
It is the MIS-USE of the gift that is evil."

I agree with you. In almost every circumstance in which it is used in America today, it is being misused. As I said earlier, we can legitimately say that total abstinance is the biblical position in almost every imaginable situation in America today.

Lydia said...

Jim wrote:

"I'll ask a question to you that believe the Bible teaches moderation. It is the same question I asked about a year ago when I was getting ready to teach a bunch of 4th, 5th and 6th graders about the dangers of drugs and alcohol."

I can relate to this but unfortuantly, there is much more to this that is even more concerning.

We can teach them all we want about moderation or abstention but none of it matters unless their hearts are regenerated. That is the missing piece. We can teach them to abstain, be moral people and they might still go to hell because they are not saved. They are decent but not saved.

Think of how confusing our messages are. We have mind altering drugs that are prescribed by doctors for everything from depression to ADD. That is ok but a glass of wine is a sin.

They might meet some Evangelicals from France or Poland that drink wine who never get drunk yet label them sinners. (This is something I witnessed and it was very uncomfortable that their wine drinking was an 'issue')

What is the danger of their labeling because they have been taught something extrabiblical?

"What is sad is that even 20 years ago we wouldn't be having a discussion on drinking alcohol in moderation in the SBC. And for sure pastors wouldn't be openly defending it."

There is always a pinch of truth in humor and the joke has been circulating for a hundred years about hypocritical baptists who label all drinking a sin but yet drink in secret.

Is this because we teach: Do not touch! Instead of teaching that salvation brings a regenerated heart? And with that regenerated heart we are guided by the Holy Spirit in all things.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

As a person who was a member of FBC Jax for a long time, I wanted to share my view of alcohol.

Our preachers, Vines and Lindsay, as everyone knows were very outspoken about the dangers of alcohol use, and they preached that it is best for a Christian to totally abstain from its use. There were at one time I believe pledges that Sunday School workers had to sign, that contained a phrase that the worker would agree to totally abstain from alcohol use.

Although I have chosen total abstinence as a lifestyle choice, I have never taught my kids or children in my Sunday School class that they MUST abstain to be saved, or that it made them super spiritual to not drink. I always shared it as a "conviction" of mine, that was for ME. I did recommend to them that they take that same conviction for themselves if the felt led of the Lord. But I never felt I taught it as a legalistic rule that they must follow - but I explained why I had that conviction, and why I thought it right for ME to abstain, and then let the Lord help them decide for themselves.

I have Christian friends and family members who are social drinkers, and I don't preach to them about alcohol, or think lesser of them...and I realize there are better men than I that do drink....its just I choose to abstain from alcohol for personal reasons born out of my salvation experience - it was never a rule taught me, it was something that I feel the Lord led me to as a Christian.

So while I'm a "fundy" as some would say, I abstain, but don't Lord my position over others, or require people to think like I do on the matter in order to fellowship with them.

Robert said...

Those in dialogue!
This issue is not going away anytime soon.
The fact is that the abstain crowd far outnumbers the moderate use crowd!
Are people leaving over this issue...maybe!
I say let them leave because that usually represents a non-cooperative spirit.
If you make this your issue then you probably putting your thoughts over the majority will of the convention.
Lifeway requires you to abstain but I think it is absolutely wrong of some leaders here in Nashville who are saying well we get around that by ....
Live life with integrity......cant abide by the rules then find another job.

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Kendall said...

Dear FBC Jax Watchdog,

I am not calling you a "fundy". There is no problem on my part if “an individual” would have the conviction that they are going to abstain from any use of alcohol. The problem is when someone makes it a rule for everyone. The Word of God does not make such binding demands regarding this issue. If you look at the debate within the SBC, it is the “total abstinence” folks that make it an issue. It sounds like you are one that personally abstains but does not require others to do so. There are those in the convention who say, "the only biblical position for Christians in this 21st century environment that we live in is total abstinence.” This was spoken at an annual state convention. Would someone from the moderation view point be able to give the other view point? No.

It is like Wade said, "I am totally, one hundred percent uninterested in changing your mind from total abstinence to the use of alcohol in moderation.

Not only is it something that I have no interest in doing, it would be a waste of my time, for I DO NOT WANT YOU TO CHANGE.

I simply wish that you would give the same freedom to others who disagree with you."

Greg Alford said...

Like Wade, I am uninterested it trying to convince anyone to change their position… that is not my job. If the Holy Scriptures do not convince you of the truth of any issue then you should not ever change your position… regardless of what any man might say.

What I find extremely disturbing about all this is that SBC Leaders like Patterson continue to cast slander upon our Lord by such comments as:

"Abstinence is not merely wisdom, it is obedience to Christ and holiness before God" Friends this comment is nothing less than blasphemy… yes I said “blasphemy”.

Paige Patterson has accused our Lord and savior Jesus Christ of being unwise, disobedient unto God, and unholy.

I find this extremely disturbing…

Grace Always,

John Fariss said...

Dear Jim,

I am not advocating, nor do I see others who advocate, that "we" drink moderately, or teach that. What I am saying is that an absolute Biblical mandate to abstain is simply not there; it is an overexageration made from selecting certain verses while ignoring the presence of others. Since it is not there, we should not manufacture one out of whole cloth, as it were. Historically speaking, the opposition of the Protestant church, especially its evangelical wing, arose when the consumption of beverage alcohol became a significant social problem. This began with the invention (if that is the correct word) of cheap, high proof beverage alcohol (I believe gin was first--things like Scotch and Irish whiskeys had been around a long time, but they were considerably more expensive, so their abuse did not become a widespread problem). It was compounded with the growth of disposable incomes and increased leisure time. By the way, Baptists were late-comers to the alcohol wars, entering the fray only after the Methodists and Wesleyians (viz., Carrie Nation in America) had made significant progress. My position is that it is unnecessary to "find" a so-called Biblical prohibition, when the care of suffering people is sufficient reason to teach abstinance from it.

As far as your challenge--you said, "Let's look at the passages that deal with alcohol consumption, and if there are more that teach moderation, then I will change my position. If the Bible speaks more of the dangers of alcohol and the admonition to refrain from it, then you change." I would decline to maccept it. For one thing, my position is not to convince you to drink (see above). But mostly it is because I do not think that counting words or weighing Scripture is a valid way to determine what Scripture does or does not "really" say.

Dear BT,

OK, I went back and looked at the chart again, and you have a point. The two parts of the page seem somewhat contradictory. Maybe the OK U PD needs to get its ducks in a better row--not for you and I, as neither of us are going to drink anyway, but because young people who read it are going to see the same discrepency and thus ignore it. NOW: what about the rest of my questions to you?

John

Baptist Theologue said...

John, you asked,

“NOW: what about the rest of my questions to you?”

I assume you are referring to these:

“A final question on this subject: would you concede that Southern Baptists can have differing opinions of such issues and both be Biblically-informed, and be exercising a valid interpretation?
Just one question on a different subject, to open another can of worms. You said, "As you know, pathogens mutate." Are you speaking of. . . surely you don't mean. . . not the blasphemous E-Word, EVOLUTION? Say it ain't so, Joe! Seriously: with all respect, it sounds as though you are evading the question here.”

As to your first question, I think individual Southern Baptists do indeed have a variety of opinions on various issues. I think that Dr. Mohler’s theological triage system is useful, but second-tier and third-tier issues must be taught because the Great Commission commands us to teach “all things,” not just first-tier things. Hopefully you will agree with me that there is only one correct interpretation of any Scripture passage. We may disagree with the application of the interpretation, but if we work together using good hermeneutical principles, we should be able to agree on the proper interpretation of a particular Scripture passage. The truth can be known with certainty (John 8:32, 16:13). I think that the postmodern mindset is not comfortable with certainty. I have identified three manifestations of postmodernism:

1. One form denies that absolute truth exists.

2. Another form acknowledges the existence of absolute truth but says that we cannot know it with certainty.

3. A third form is somewhat suspicious of absolute truth claims, but will acknowledge that we can know things with certainty if we go through a careful process. (This form can be very healthy.)

In any case, some postmoderns hear certainty and equate it with narrow-mindedness, arrogance, intolerance, etc.

As to your second question, I do not believe that humans evolved from lower life forms. Mutation, however, is a fact of life, but its results are often not positive.

Chris Johnson said...

Brother BT,

I think we are mostly in sync on this…

The only change I could make would be “Drinking alcohol can cause impairment”. The statement of “Drinking alcohol causes impairment” is simply not factual.

I personally choose abstinence as a policy, not a biblical doctrine, and it would be intellectually and hermeneutically responsible if the policy makers within the SBC would make the distinction as “abstinence” is a recommended “policy” at this time for more responsible living in a culture out of control with alcohol consumption. That is a policy I could get on board with and actually support as it is consistent with biblical doctrinal standards. But, if the SBC policy makers move the “puck” to the extent that drunkenness is no longer the standard as the bible dictates, then that is too liberal a conclusion and too liberal of a rendering of biblical doctrine.

I have no choice but to remain conservative or fundamental in my interpretation of the scriptures, because it seems very clear that drunkenness is what any believer is to avoid.

Blessings,
Chris

Christiane said...

Dear Baptist Theologue,

I am from an ethnic family and am a Catholic. I also have dear friends in the Jewish community, including an aged Rabbi whose gentle wisdom and humility shines like a diamond. So I do not enjoy the 'culture' that you are from in the sense that any of my upbringing or my experiences have allowed me to be able to see from your perspective. So I am grateful for the opportunity to try to understand where you are coming from.

For myself, please know that wine IS USED as a part of my faith in our communion liturgy. I am very aware that it is also used in Judaic tradition and worship, as it was in the time of Our Lord on this earth.

My Family serve wine at special meals and holidays in a civilized manner and we are NOT a group to abuse substances.

We are as American as anyone can be and our Family has given much to the service of our country, both militarily and in public service.

As a woman of faith and Family and as an American, I reserve the right to decide for myself and my family what is appropriate for our consumption. But I do know that there are many who suffer greatly from the disease of alcoholism, and I also respect the efforts of many to help these individuals in whatever ways that are appropriate.

Thank you for sharing with me.
I do not agree that it is 'Biblical' that complete abstinance is commanded by God.

I do however most sincerely respect that the Baptist faith uses 'grape juice' in it's 'ordinance' of the Lord's Supper. I would never be anything but respectful of your faith's practice in this way.

I do most sincerely agree with your intent to help our society overcome the evils of alcohol abuse. God bless you for your love of those who suffer from this terrible disease. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Love, L's (Christiane)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Robert,

I used to think that "leaving" was the uncooperative thing to do. But I was wrong. Darrin Patrick, pastor of Journey Church St. Louis has grown a church to over 2000 with 200 baptisms in 2008 while only about 5 other churches in the MBC topped 100. Around 25% of our churches reported zero baptisms and that goes well over 1/3 if you count those with just one. Now I am not being a pragmatist who just counts the numbers, but these numbers are telling. The Journey is not a MBC church anymore. They were essentially kicked out. 4 locations in St. Louis, fantastic pastoral intern programs, leader training, etc, etc. They are moving on and the Lord is blessing. On the other hand, the Missouri Baptist Convention is shrinking. The budget, the staff, the work, the cooperation. Now it should be noted that the infrastructure has needed to shrink for a long time. But the point is, the MBC's relevance to the Kingdom is shrinking. Why? They kicked out everyone with whom they disagree. Those ministries however did not miss a beat.

Almost all of the disaster in Missouri is over a single issue--alcohol. What a shame.

When I am old I am going to write a book titled "The Day the Convention Died: A Toast to the Death of Fundamentalism"


*That was not a 24 hour day btw. ;)


k

Joe Blackmon said...

Even if imbibing is not a sin, if your conscience is violated or your cause your brother to stumble by drinking alcohol I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that ain't no good there, buddy.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Abstinence for the purpose of preventing a brother from stumbling makes absolutely no sense. The example of moderate, responsible use is much more of a witness than abstinence. Moderation and responsibility are counter-culture.

As for supporting the liquor industry, A-B Inbev is a large corporation who has gobbled up mass produced beer. AB beer is nasty. Support local family owned micro-breweries and wineries. That is where the quality is. And never purchase alcohol from worldly dives. Christians can be set apart and glorify the Lord in everything we do, even when supping the fruit of the vine.

Joe Blackmon said...

If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died.

Romans 14:15 NIV

sameoldstruggles said...

Well the fact that Jesus produced and drank wine with His disciples causes me to stumble so therefore Jesus sinned and His atoning work on the cross is not sufficient for salvation.

Sorry for the sarcasm, but the logic being used here by those who believe in total abstinence is about as strong as the above argument (and the above statement is also the logical end to their argument).

Why don't we break it down simply. If it violates your conscience, then as the weaker brother you must abstain. There is nothing wrong with that. However, since the NT does not call us to abstain, there is a biblical precedent to partake of alcohol in moderation (no drunkenness), and it is even allowed for pastors (Apostle Paul advised Pastor Timothy to drink wine for health), then we can step back and realize the pointless nature of this argument and move on.

Trey

Baptist Theologue said...

Christiane, I appreciate your sweet spirit. I'm glad I was able to help you see a different perspective. Blessings to you.

John Fariss said...

Dear BT,

Second question first: the mutation/evolution question was more tongue-in-cheek than anything else. While I do not have a biology (or micro-biology) background (as an undergrad, I majored in Physics), it seems to me that mutation is a form of evolution. Overall though, I am well aware that while many (probably most) conservative evangelicals deny any form of evolution whatsoever, there are others who accept it in a more limited form, what I believe is called micro-evolution, while denying the possibility of macro-evolution, and even a very few who, though denying Darwinian evolution (random & survival of the fittest), accept that humans evolved from lower forms, postiting a more goal-directed (i.e., God directed) understanding of the process. Then you have to get off into the whole young earth/old earth debate, the fossil record, etc., etc. No use spinning off on those tangents here.

About the first question, something you said caught my attention. You wrote, "Hopefully you will agree with me that there is only one correct interpretation of any Scripture passage." I will have to give that some thought, and frankly, we may not be using the same definition of "interpretation" and "application," and I would need a better understanding of that to address your question better. Shooting from the hip, so to speak, I would say that the same passage of Scripture can speak to different people, especially in different ages, in various different ways, depending on the issues they were facing. I believe it was Puritan preacher John Robinson who said, "God hath yet more light to break forth from His Holy Word." It seems though--please correct me if I am wrong--that is more what you are referring to as "application." If so, I would (somewhat guardedly, as I will try to explain) agree that there is only one true meaning of a given passage, though that passage may have "layers" of meaning. Beyond that, it seems to me that this dialogue is not so much the meaning of this passage or that one, but of the totality of Scripture on the subject. To settle that, we must look at our presuppositions about the Scriptural witness. Those presuppositions include things like the nature of inspiration (verbal plenenery {pardon my spelling} or dictation, verses dymanic, where God inspired the idea but allowed the writer to use his own mind to describe the idea, etc.), the question of whether the Bible speaks with one single voice on all subjects or whether God has allowed a variety of voices (perspectives) on at least some subjects, and the question of whether it is valid (and to what degree) to treat Biblical passages as propositional truth which can then become the premises of a logical syllogism verses Scripture as realtional truth. I don't think any of this is post-modernist interpretation; at least if it is, it has been around a lot longer than the post-modernist period. And I would also ask if that automatically makes it invalid in your eyes, or if it simply means we should know the presuppositions and interpret accordingly? By the same token, we need to understand that the Reformers (Calvin, Luther, etc, and others, at least through the 18th and 19th centuries) were coming at Biblical interpretation from an Enlightenment perspective (presupposition), and understand their interpretations accordingly.

L's,

Something I have been meaning to say: thanks for your perspective. I really appreciate you!

John

Baptist Theologue said...

Chris, you said,

“The statement of ‘Drinking alcohol causes impairment’ is simply not factual.”

If you have read my other posts, you know that I have emphasized the University of Oklahoma website to show that one standard drink of alcohol in America today does indeed cause impairment. The fact that a standard drink of wine in America today has much higher alcohol content than a standard drink of wine in biblical times is very relevant to the discussion. Jeffrey Riley, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at New Orleans Baptist Seminary, wrote an article about alcohol for Mid-America Baptist Seminary’s journal, Theology for Ministry. He used some quotes to make his point:

“‘Are wine and other fermented drinks in the Bible different from alcoholic beverages today?’ To answer from Robert Stein, the answer is yes and no. The fermented drinks in biblical times contained ethyl alcohol like modern distilled beverages, but fermented drinks in biblical times were generally weaker than today’s beverages. R. Laird Harris provides a succinct description: ‘All the wine [in ancient times] was light wine, i.e. not fortified with extra alcohol. Concentrated alcohol was only known in the Middle Ages when the Arabs invented [sic] distillation (alcohol is an Arabic word) so what is now called liquor or strong drink (i.e. whisky, gin, etc.) and the twenty percent fortified wines were unknown in Bible times. Beer was brewed by various methods, but its alcoholic content was light. The strength of natural wines is limited by two factors. The percentage of alcohol will be half of the percentage of sugar in the juice. And if the alcoholic content is much above 10 or 11 percent, the yeast cells are killed and fermentation ceases. Probably ancient wines were 7-10 percent.’ Another custom, dilution with water, further reduced the alcoholic strength of ancient wines. Although general consensus allows that the practice of dilution was not common in ancient Israel, perhaps for ceremonial reasons and not for reasons of taste, compelling evidence shows that dilution was the common practice among Greeks and Romans, in intertestamental and NT Palestine, and among the early Church Fathers. . . . D. F. Watson notes that ‘the ratio of water to wine varied anywhere from twenty to one, averaging three to one as noted in ancient references (see Stein). Wine mixed with water acted as a purifier and made the water safe to drink (2 Macc. 15:39; cf. 1 Tim 5:23).’”

Jeffrey B. Riley, “Choosing Abstinence: Reflections on the Moral Status of Beverage Alcohol,” in Theology for Ministry 2 (November 2007): 70.

Robert said...

Kevin,
You are not accurate that all or even most of the division in the MBC was over the Alcohol issue.
I know a gentleman who was heavily involved in the MBC. Many MBC churches simply did not hold to evangelical doctrine in issues like women pastors,homosexuality,universal salvation.
An organization can hold to any set of Beliefs it wants too within the framework of the BFM.
Sounds like Darrin Patrick is doing and what I have heard he is a solid guy.
The people of MBC decided they didnt want to sanction his approach....they have that right.
Sounds like you want to take away that right.

BTW....Our church in Nashville has no such demand. Those who work at Lifeway do but not our local church. Thats the cooperative way! The fact is that Darrin Patrick et al choose to not cooperate with the MBC. I dont really think that is bad.
If the SBC demands that no church can hold to the DOG then I would not cooperate either...probably go join an E free church.

Robert from Geneva

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"God bless you for your love of those who suffer from this terrible disease."

L's,

I have not seen this as the motivating factor in BT. I see a legalistic interpretation of Scripture as the motivating factor. There is a big difference. Christ hated this attitude.

Joe,

Your blogging on this site causes me distress. Would you consider stopping so that I may not stumble?

BT,

Your dogmatic view causes many to stumble under the weight that is the burden of the law. Would you consider, for the sake of your brothers and sisters, to stop your insistence for the sake of the Gospel?

K

Robert said...

Kevin,
You laid a charge against me yesterday that you have not substantiated..
... that I was divisive and Satanic.

I asked you before but could you please elaborate.

Robert from Geneva

John Fariss said...

Robert,

Please excuse me for stepping into your question for Kevin, but you say, "Are people leaving over this issue...maybe! I say let them leave because that usually represents a non-cooperative spirit" and "cant abide by the rules then find another job," that is by definition being divisive.

I will leave your other question for Robert to speak to.

Blessings,

John

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Robert,

I am probably inaccurate a lot, but in this I am not. You see the issue of alcohol is just one issue in a prevailing mindset. This issue gets all the attention due the Baptist stance against alcohol and the horrible things Baptists did during, before and after prohibition. The problems in the MBC a decade ago regarding the BFM and the breakaway agencies are old news. Sure the MBC lost churches and that is a dark past, but the present my friend is even darker, at least for the MBC. Or rather the MBC is beginning to enter its darkest phase yet. And the prevailing issue is alcohol. Once thriving churches in Missouri are loosing out to new church plants and Acts 29 type churches. House churches, bar churches, e-free churches, non and trans-denominational churches are the fastest growing segments of Christianity. They are growing by making converts of the younger generations of the MBC old guard. What is literally happening now is going to wipe the old Baptist order off the map.

I can see it and smell it. I lived in the Soulard district of St. Louis for 3 years, about 10 blocks from the World Headquarters of Anheuser-Busch. I woke up every morning to the smell of freshly brewing hops.

That is kinda what new evangelicalism smells like.

John Fariss said...

Whoops, I meant, "I will leave your other question for KEVIN to speak to." Sorry 'bout that!

John

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Robert,

John pretty much hit the nail on the head, but in a much kinder way than I might have put it. The "satanic" adjective is appropriate (though I am sure somewhat hyperbolic) in that any non-biblical action or idea that is intentionally divisive to the Body of Christ is nothing short of influenced by the powers of the evil one.


That's all I am saying. That this is indeed that serious.

K


PS: May rainbows cover your head and gum drops fall at your feet like manna.

:)

Baptist Theologue said...

John, I'm interested in physics. A discussion of such would be off-topic here, so I won't start one. When I get some time in the future, I'd like to research the implications of the recent Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe sent up by NASA and Princeton. Maybe later this summer we can discuss it. With your physics background, you can probably help me understand the implications.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"I'd like to research the implications of the recent Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe sent up by NASA and Princeton."

No way....I was totally thinking the same thing.

What say you to this:

"WMAP definitively determined the age of the universe to be 13.73 billion years old to within 1% (0.12 billion years)"

If only Dr. Ramm were alive to see it. I guess we have to settle for Ken Ham.

:)

K

Baptist Theologue said...

Kevin, let's save this discussion for another time. I'll leave you with a teaser. The money quote from the WMAP website follows:

"The WMAP satellite measures the basic parameters of the Big Bang theory including the fate of the universe. The results suggest the geometry of the universe is flat and will expand forever. Further study of the dark energy with future experiments and space missions is needed to understand its nature and effect on the rate of future expansion."

http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/WMAP_Universe.pdf

Many non-creationists had speculated that the universe is eternally old and has had an eternal series of big bangs and big crunches. An old earth creationist can point out that the new WMAP information, however, shows that a big crunch will not occur. If a big crunch did not occur prior to a big bang, then the universe was created out of nothing, thus providing old earth creationists an irrefutable proof for the existence of God.

Robert said...

John Fariss,
I really dont have a problem with being divisive.....so fair enough point!
In fact I believe the Bible teaches we must first divide over falsehood before we can unite in truth. My point concerning the Apostate Roman Catholic church. Thus my refusal to "unite" with L,s.
In fact my whole purpose in my continually blogging is that Wade seems to be apostate on some issues.(Actually not this one). I see no relevance to me on this issue. drink or dont drink nobody forces me anyway!

Robert I Masters
From the Southern Baptist Geneva

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