"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


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Anonymous said...

So in your opinion the whole Reformation was Satanic? It was divisive wasnt it!

Robert from Geneva

Anonymous said...


Read your history. The reformation sought only to change the church at first. Not to divide from it.

Additionally, I do not consider all denominational divisions to be bad for the Body of Christ.

There can be unity in diversity.

While we read and revere the puritans for their wisdom and "knowledge of the Holy" we do not emulate their separationist stance. One can remain pure and pious while at the same time engage culture and darkness for the glory of God and the expansion of His Kingdom on earth.

Anonymous said...

Oh but I only seek change too!
It is just that you seem to be protecting ROME.

Robert from Geneva

Anonymous said...

I think you might be confusing the pilgrims and the puritans.

Robert I Masters

BTW-----Where can I find ACTS 29....not in the Bible

Ruddy said...

Wade's post on this issue has generated over 200 comments. I wish people would put all this energy into issues that are Kingdom focused: empowering the poor, feeding the poor, sheltering the weak, and curing diseases.

As I seem to remember, Christ talked more about those issues than alcohol or wine.

Why is there such an insistence in forcing this issue as a fundamental aspect of the Gospel?

Christiane said...

Goodness, gentlemen, what a conversation!

Well, KEVIN, I'm going to stand by my words to BT unless I find out he approves of abusing people like some of the B.I. crowd leaders. Their motives, after reading Wade's book, make my blood run cold. They frighten me. I don't know how Wade survived it all, but through the grace of Almighty God.
Surely, God will not let these men have the last word on the future of the SBC.

About B.T.'s approach:
The problem with seeing alcohol as the 'cause' is that it is a bit simplistic. People that abuse substances will always find a 'replacement' substance to mask their pain, if the original one is taken from them. The 'cause' of the trouble is the pain. And the answer is, of course, the kind of caring that can remove or ease that pain. Mother Theresa often said that the greatest poverty was that people felt alone and unloved. And that was from a lady who understood suffering people very well.

So the answer is not so simple as 'get rid of the alcohol', is it?

No. The answer is something more: like bringing Christ into the lives of the spiritually impoverished in ways that help them to recover from their pain.
This takes a lot more work and involvement at a personal level than shouting 'sinner' to someone who drinks, and passing 'laws' forbidding the use of pain-numbing substances. Christianity just never was meant to be that simple that condemnation and rule-making somehow made people feel cared for.
Christ tried so hard to teach us that.

But maybe the condemnation and rule-making are all some people can manage for now, until they learn there is a different was to help their brothers. And there is a very different way, which we can learn in the Gospels, if only we will trust His Words to us, and try His Ways.
Until then, the 'other ways' will continue to be seen among certain Christian entities who think that 'external control of others' can do the work instead of the Holy Spirit. They have much to learn, but they will, in time. THEY WILL.

Thank you for your remark.
My 'perspective' is simply to bring in info about the Judaic heritage that Jesus was born into, where wine was a part of sacred worship and was appreciated as one of God's blessings.

BTW, I taught science to sixth-graders, but I did not have to cover evolution, natural selection and all those delicious topics that drive some people wild.

I believe that the Creator could use any way He wanted to bring about creation, including evolution, natural selection, 'survival of the fittest', and so forth. I was always amazed that the far right rejected the science concepts but not the economic application whereby the rich were allowed to have great advantage over the working class. One saw that in operation among Republicans who supported removal of all protective regulations so that 'business' could triumph over the economy in hopes of a little bit 'trickling down' to us poor peons. Well, the rich survived, didn't they? So much for the 'economic' application of the survival of the fittest.

I appreciate the beauty of natural selection and the genetics involved. The science testifies to me of the wonders of the Creator. But then again, maybe a person has to understand the intricacy and order of the natural world to appreciate the connection.
God's miracles are all around us in His Creation.

I've been praying for you in my Catholic way, which is very concentrated on absolutely drenching you with blessings. If it doesn't work, I'm going to turn you over to the professionals: my friends, the nuns, and THEY will storm heaven on your behalf. You are loved, Robert, and there is no way you will not be cared for. I hope you have a better day today than yesterday. :)
Much love, L's

P.S. Am still on tons of pain meds as I heal up from surgery, so please forgive, if I have managed to offend just about everyone. You all are precious people.
Love, L's

Anonymous said...

I reccommend this book on the Puritans!
If I remember correctly they were no seperationists.


Robert from Geneva

Sounds like Darrin patrick is a seperationist!

Jeff said...

BT, I see your point. I would add if something is eternal what does that make it.

By definition the universe is their god.

John Fariss said...

Dear L's,

Thanks. BTW, my personal perspective is that we got "here" in whatever way God decided, in His wisdom, to get the human race here. Consequently, I am an "old earth'er," and I have no problem with goal-directed evolution, and even there, I figure I don't have the last word. (Guess who does?) Whoops--did I just say that out loud?

Some time back, I remember reading about a job opening for a biology professor (I think it was) at Liberty University. One stipulation was that the candidate had to believe in (and consequently teach) creationism rather than evolution. Maybe it's just me, but I fail to see why anyone's Christian faith should be threatened by allowing science to lead wherever it goes.


Chris Johnson said...

Brother BT,

It sounds like we are in agreement then… The studies sited have proven a couple of things:

1. The contemporary beverages containing alcohol do, in most cases, contain an amount of alcohol where a smaller amount consumed will cause impairment.
2. That a measurement of blood alcohol can be determined (the first century consumers would have not had this technology).

So again, a policy to encourage abstinence may not be such a bad idea. Yet a faithful teacher of the scriptures cannot say that drinking wine that contains alcohol is sin. This may be an impasse for some teachers who may prefer elevating a policy above the doctrine of scripture. It just seems reasonable to preach this….

Ephesians 5:15-21 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, (16) making the most of your time, because the days are evil. (17) So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (18) And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, (19) speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; (20) always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; (21) and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

One of the main problems for preaching beyond the scripture is that the process for restoration (church discipline) becomes a real mess. It is simple to restore a brother that has chosen to become drunk. But,…do we then begin restoring someone that is drinking wine? Should Christ be restored to the church of which He is the head? I think not. Unfortunately, we have all seen this going on…for instance if someone opens another brothers refrigerator and he has wine stored there…they automatically cast him in the realm of sin. What a pitiful situation to be in and to try to enforce.

Sticking with teaching right doctrine is a simpler and more profitable thing to do.


Jim Paslay said...

Wade said:

"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."

Actually, Wade, I do give the same freedom to others, but I admit I'm passionate about this particular subject. I guess I'm frustrated by you and others that seem to put total abstinence individuals like myself in the "Fundamentalist" category.

The moderation position that seems to be held by many Baptists that comment on this blog is not the SBC that I grew up in. I guess I'm wondering if the church is really impacting the world or is the world impacting the church?

John Fariss said...


You ask, "I guess I'm wondering if the church is really impacting the world or is the world impacting the church?"

There is a third possibility, that at least some Baptists are beginning to look to the total witness of Scripture, and admit that maybe, just maybe, the Baptists of the mid-19th and 20th centuries were not infalliable and inerrant.

History tells us that Baptists (yes, even Southern Baptists, after there became such a thing) did not have a problem with beverage alcohol until the late second or even the third quarter of the 19th Century.


John Fariss said...

I wrote, "There is a third possibility, that at least some Baptists are beginning to look to the total witness of Scripture, and admit that maybe, just maybe, the Baptists of the mid-19th and 20th centuries were not infalliable and inerrant."

I should have added, "and that their interpretation was at least as much agenda-driven as it was text-driven--something which always makes for faulty exegesis."


Christiane said...


It's me, L's

In my faith, we say that God is also the God of the 'natural world' and, in this regard, all that science has discovered testifies to His Majesty.

I think of the structure and function of even one living cell, and I am totally enthralled with the beauty of the design.

And something in nature which is so taken for granted as a blade of grass becomes a sermon when one learns of the multitude of steps in perfect sequence for photosynthesis to take place in that blade of grass.

For me, science is not feared, but speaks of the Creator of the Universe as far above our understanding. We are given glimpses so as not to be over-whelmed. It didn't work: I'm over-whelmed with the beauty and the majesty displayed in God's creation. BTW, I don't believe in 'creationism' as it is taught.
It does not belong in a science classroom.
To believe in the Creator is a matter of faith. Love, L's

greg.w.h said...

Jim Paslay wrote:

The moderation position that seems to be held by many Baptists that comment on this blog is not the SBC that I grew up in. I guess I'm wondering if the church is really impacting the world or is the world impacting the church?

The legalistic position that demands full abstinence as a requirement for fellowship in a Southern Baptist church is not a biblical position. Remember that SB churches in some regions of the country outlawed:

1. Smoking (not very many since tobacco has been a valuable agricultural product of the South).

2. Dancing

3. Playing cards

4. Going to movies

5. Going to R-rated movies (a more recent triangulation)

6. Gambling

Which of those activities violate biblical requirements? None of them. Most of those restrictions were externalized measurements of righteousness much like Patterson's attempt to raise abstinence from alcohol to a holiness requirement.

Every single effort to create externally measurable requirements of "holiness" as a proxy for a vibrant relationship with God KILLS THE SOUL. It replaces true holiness with man-made holiness which, as we all know, is roughly akin to tearing up your clothing, dunking it in sewage, and wearing it proudly.

The people of the SBC who insist on these external standards of righteousness have a very deep problem that either is a control problem--insisting people behave in a certain way to attend church--or is a sin problem--taking on the role of God and dictating how people behave.

I'm on Wade's comment stream, but as a PK, MK, and someone who has participated in, taught in, and led in many churches over the years as a lay person, I tire of the efforts by church members to try and create an artificial measurement of righteousness kind of like the one BT attempted to create. You cannot reduce righteousness to a scientifically measurable quantity. Neither can you reduce obedience to that, either.

There are times when disobedience is stark like with the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But most of the time an attempt to make it stark--by creating hedges against breaking perceived law--is itself lawless. How is it lawless? Because it imposes a tighter restraint than what God requires.

And God's restraint should not be necessary in the life of the redeemed person. In fact, Paul said ALL THINGS ARE LAWFUL and only qualified that statement by saying that some were not beneficial.

Perhaps it is not beneficial to make new Law for believers? Jesus condemned many of the rabbinical pronouncements that he encountered. Think of the disciples being challenged for "working" by picking seeds from a stalk of wheat and rubbing them between their hands to remove the chaff and eating the seek kernel. The religious leaders condemned Jesus for allowing his disciples to do that.

And think of the leaders condemning Jesus for working on the Sabbath by performing miracles. He responded by asking them if they wouldn't pull their ox from a ditch if it got stuck?

I think there is room for teaching abstinence as a position of wisdom, but once you start trying to enforce it, you create either cynicism or boot-licking conformity. Both have no place in the local ekklesia and have less place in associations and meta-associations of churches.

There is no right given to us by the Bible--especially those of us who claim that the keys of heaven and earth were not given to Peter--to write new Law. None. And therefore the effort to re-interpret the existing guidance in the Bible to be commandment should be avoided at all costs.

BT's effort to establish a hedge against sin is simply wrong. There is no objective measurement provided in the Bible of drunkenness. He tries to write a hedge that turns impairment into a form of drunkeness. He risks either coloring Jesus as a drunkard--because he was called a wine-bibber--or of coloring Jesus as someone who SUPPORTED drunkenness because Jesus didn't adequately constrain drinking of wine at the wedding at Cana or as part of the Lord's Supper to exactly as much wine as won't make you impaired.

It's a dumb path to go down. And using the justification that Southern Baptists have traditionally gone down that path doesn't excuse the behavior. We also excused racism-based slavery and separated from northern Baptists over their unwillingness to appoint southern slaveholders as missionaries. But if you don't agree that's wrong today, it's because you're ignoring God's conviction regarding the problem of racism.

This is an important subject because it is a central symbol of what some call Baptist Identity. They recognize that this is a fight over who controls Southern Baptist life. And they will fight at all costs to be legalists and to impose their will on this subject on others.

You and they are entirely wrong in that behavior and completely misguided to the extend that there is any effort to enforce abstention from alcohol in any context. It simply is not biblical to do so. And since we make such a big deal about inerrancy, it's particularly hypocritical to try to extend the words of the Bible to make it say what you think God SHOULD have inspired the writers to write.

I'll add that it also creates a false standard. Instead of unbelievers comparing themselves to the Jesus who drank wine with sinners but had no sin and DID NOT HIDE ANY SIN, we instead construct a false standard of glistening church people whose lives are so under control that they have time to spend examining other believers to make sure THEY are compliant with God's expectations.

It's honestly quite sick in my opinion. And that is even if you're a Danny Akin and have a life experience (as I have had in my extended family) with someone who was addicted to alcohol. Arguing to wisdom is acceptable, though, and I read Akin's argument as being PRIMARILY an argument to wisdom, not to a Scriptural prohibition. But if he believes there is room to pass rules that require abstinence, then I disagree with him at that point.

I also want to be very clear about something. I have no intention to change anyone else's mind on the subject. I just can't stand the false humility and false righteousness that I see in those who insist that abstinence is a matter of holiness. You can vote me out of associaiton with you by insisting this is a standard of holiness, but you can't shut me up on the subject.

And the typical Christian who understands the nature of sin and fully appropriated God's grace knows this is a fake issue and that it's purpose is to control. They don't care about the subject because they understand that Paul meant it when he said all things are permitted but not all things are beneficial.

As to Joe's quoting of Romans 14:15, he carefully took that verse out of context so he would avoid the discussion from Romans 14:16-17:

16Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

While I agree Paul is admonishing us in this passage from, essentially, flaunting what we eat to the extent that it troubles the conscience of another believer, there is also the perspective that is captured in v. 16 that we should not permit something we consider good to be called evil. I see that verse as the typical balanced perspective Paul offers when there is a disagreement between groups as he goes back and forth seeking to create unity between the groups.

SO on the one hand no one should flaunt what they eat or drink and on the other hand, no one should be permitted to call something evil that is good (think Peter being admonished by the Holy Spirit in his vision of the descending sheet of unclean animals to not call something unclean that God calls clean.)

The brother with the weaker conscience is not being given a license to control the brother whose conscience is not troubled. Instead, Paul is providing a method of determining a compromise position so that unity can be preserved in spite of disagreement.

My compromise on this subject is this: it is wisdom, not holiness, to teach absinence from alcohol as an approach to managing the potential (not actual) sin of drunkenness form alcohol. But an absolute demand of abstinence is inconsistent with what Paul teaches in Romans 14 just as an absolute insistence that eating meat sacrificed to idols in front of a brother is inconsistent.

Greg Harvey

Wally said...

dr phil says, and with hat I am poor peter



John Fariss said...

Dear L's,

I was already aware of the Catholic Church's perspective on science, natural law, etc., and it is a perspective I admire and appreciate. I have long thought it is one that the conservative wing of the evangelical church would do well to emulate. Thanks!


sameoldstruggles said...

Greg Harvey - Great comment...

I have to agree that raising abstinence to a matter of holiness and not simply a matter of conscience is akin to the religiosity that Jesus came to abolish. I realize I was being sarcastic in my earlier comment regarding the thought that Jesus sinned by partaking and encouraging intake of alcohol, but I would really love to hear where people stand on that thought. How can we consider an act sinful if Jesus Himself took part in it? (and for those who say He did not drink, then at the very least He was an enabler to all the other "weaker brothers"). If we go by BT's definition of impairment, then after one drink Jesus impaired Himself and thus was a sinner (which is preposterous). I would love to hear thoughts concerning this...


Only By His Grace said...


I saw my mother go from a social drinker to a full blown alcoholic dying an excruciating death due to a miserable marriage marriage. She died right after her third major liver bypass surgery.

I saw my two favorite uncles, her two brothers, die at forty-nine and fifty years old due to alcoholism.

I started drinking heavily in the eighth grade, quit in the ninth, and started drinking again in the tenth grade. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was either drunk or close to being drunk every day of every week. I am still an alcoholic to this day and will be 'till Jesus comes.

When I called on Christ to save me and be my Lord after graduating from Putnam City High School in 1960, I have never taken another drink of alcohol.

I am beginning my forty-seventh year as a pastor of a Baptist Church, we use "the fruit of the vine" to fill the cup during our Lord's Supper.

Having said all that, I am convinced the Bible is not as alcohol free as I am nor as alcohol free as the historical position of the Southern Baptist Convention.

At Passover, if I remember right, the Jewish father has four cups filled with wine, the Last Supper and the Passover the night before Jesus was crucified was the same wine the Jews have used down through history; the water that Jesus changed to wine was real wine with real alcohol, and Paul's admonition to Timothy to take "a little wine for your stomach's sake" were all wine that would make you drunk if you drank too much of it.

I am reminded how, too often, we "major on the minors," and make "mountains of mole hills," in the SBC. I really do not care if one church uses Gallo or Mogen David's in the Lord Supper or uses Welch's or "True Value." I suggest if you are going to use wine that you use Mogen David which should be Magen David which is also the name of the six pointed star of Judaism, the Shield of David, the Star of David; depending on which Jew you talked with the last time.

I really do not care that a pastor in France or in the Netherlands has wine at his meals. He is my brother in Christ and fellow servant of our Lord. I do care about the position of his heart. If our heart is not right with the Lord, then every else is wrong.

There are gossips and mean spirited people in every church I have known that I would love to buy them the cigarettes or the wine if it would cause them to desist from the destruction they wreck with their tongues quit being so mean spirited.

Here is a trite little poem I quote to myself, for myself every once in a while.
"I worry,
I putter,
I push and shove,
Hunting little mole hills to make
mountains of"

Thanks again for a good article, and the over two hundred interesting comments concerning it.

Phil in Norman

Chris Johnson said...

Brother BT,

One last note... Peter, in his book coming out in June may not opt for drinking alcohol as sin....so I will have to wait to see what he is really trying to communicate. He may be pushing for abstinence as a wise thing to follow in our current society.

I'll hold my comments on the book until then....


John Fariss said...


I suspect you have struck a major nerve with the beverage alcohol = sin group. The only way to avoid the conclusion you mention is either to go through all sorts of exegetical, agenda-driven gymnastics to "prove" that all of the "wine" in the Bible (at least the NT) was non-alcoholic, including as L's and Phil have pointed out, that Jesus then failed to serve wine at Passover which backs us back up to the OT, and/or that the allowances for alcohol in Jesus' time but not ours is a matter of culture rather than an absolute prohibiotion from God--when then leads to the possibility that 1 Timothy was culture-driven to "prohibit" women preachers/pastors but not an absolute and God-given prohibition for all people and time, which many in the same group are loath to admit.

It will be interesting.


Jim Paslay said...

Greg Harvey said:

"I also want to be very clear about something. I have no intention to change anyone else's mind on the subject. I just can't stand the false humility and false righteousness that I see in those who insist that abstinence is a matter of holiness. You can vote me out of associaiton with you by insisting this is a standard of holiness, but you can't shut me up on the subject."

You quoted me and then began your diatribe on everything from false humility to false righteousness. My response is that there are some including myself who have a very strong conviction that the overall principles taught in Scripture give an admonition against the drinking of beveraged alcohol.

Yale University's Study on alcholism revealed that "the normal process of fermentation of "fruit of the vine" does not produce a drink with sufficient alcohol content to bring on drunkenness. There must be a mechanical interference with the normal process, such as the addition of pure alcohol or other mechanical processes of distillation or it will not produce the kind of wine that is common today."

Proverbs 20:13 mentions "strong drink." The modern day application would be our wine and beer. When you look at the statistics of how the abuse of beveraged alcohol has affected families, you are hard pressed to make a case for the benefits of drinking beveraged alcohol in moderation. Maybe you agree with the alcohol industry and their message, "Drink Responsibly." I see alot more irresponsibility. But, hey, I'm just one of those Fundamentalist who likes to control people.

Jeff said...

Dr. Phil is an idiot of the 3rd degree. Who hides behind a fake id.

John Fariss said...

Dear Jim,

Can you concede that there are others of us who, while opposing the use of beverage alcohol in grounds of prudence, wisdom, etc., have equally passionate convictions that it is not an absolute Scriptural prohibition? And if you can do that, can you concede that "we" are able to make a Scriptural case for our beliefs (not that you are required to accept it)?


Baptist Theologue (Mike Morris) said...

Trey, you said,

“If we go by BT's definition of impairment, then after one drink Jesus impaired Himself and thus was a sinner (which is preposterous). I would love to hear thoughts concerning this...”

Apparently you haven’t read all the comments that preceded yours. I have tried to make the point that wine in biblical times was much weaker than wine in America today. Thus, Jesus would not have impaired Himself after one drink. The following is one of my earlier comments (1:24 p.m.):

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.

Baptist Theologue (Mike Morris) said...

Chris, I'll look forward to reading your comments. Blessings to you, brother.

Jim Paslay said...

John Fariss said:

"Can you concede that there are others of us who, while opposing the use of beverage alcohol in grounds of prudence, wisdom, etc., have equally passionate convictions that it is not an absolute Scriptural prohibition?"

If you read my last comment, you will note that I said biblical principles and not a direct prohibition. I concede there is no verse that says, "Thou shalt not drink alcohol." I will also concede the Bible doesn't say, "Thou shalt not do drugs." But I think you would agree with me that we should teach our kids to "Just Say No" on drugs.

Alcohol is a drug and it is the most abused drug in this country. If prohibition was the law of the land once again as it once was, what would be our position then? Hmm!

Anonymous said...

My new ministry theme verse:

"I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine..." Galatians 5:10a


@L's, Praying for your recovery.

WatchingHISstory said...

Just finished my glass of Blackberry wine! Fine!!

view my recent post on my blog, thanks!


Anonymous said...

BT. I am as much an opponent of post-modernism as you, but it gets blamed for a lot that is actually the fault of believers and fundamentalist believers are among the masters of relativism, because they ignore or at least subordinate some passages to be certain about others. The only difference is that they are driven by opposition to our culture, whereas our culture is simply doing what would be expected of non-believers. I mostly agree with the opposition but not with stretching scripture to fit it.

As to your question about one truth and one correct interpretation; I believe that to be the case for the truly fundamental issues of the Christian faith-those that are necessary for an understanding and acceptance of salvation. However, I am not sure that is the case on some issues, and I actually believe God purposely made scripture open to more than one interpretation on some issues to keep us from getting too big for our intellectual britches. Otherwise, what did Paul mean when he said now we understand in part and what did Peter mean when he said some of Paul's writings were hard to understand, and why have 5 pointers and less than 5 pointers been arguing vigorously for 400 years with no resolution? Believing that we do not and cannot understand everything in scripture or everything about God is not post-modern, it is scriptural (unless scripture is wrong about seeing through a glass darkly and understanding in part, but then that opens a whole nother can of worms)

Gram said...


Christiane said...


It's me, L's

Thank you for the prayers!

I got a total knee replacement done after years of trying therapy and cortisone shots to no avail.

So one month into recovery, I am walking on my own and happy as a clam EXCEPT I have to take pain meds on a regular basis. At least for a while. :)

Nice to be able to walk again without limping. God is good.
Your prayers are encouraging and merciful. Much love, L's

Lairondren said...

I am glad that my medieval brothers perfected the art of distillation.

All of this constant nonsense that arises every few months over drinking in the SBC is enough to make me want to drink a flagon of mead every time I hear about it. If a brother wants to abstain from drinking then abstain, if a brother want to exercise moderation then exercise moderation. How hard is it? Obviously it is very, very hard. What is it about this one issue that gets so many up in arms? How does not drinking make me any more holy? Must all brothers be viewed as weaker who don't drink or are they stronger than the ones that do? That would make sense right? The weaker brother is the one more prone to fall into temptation and the one who drinks moderately is the one who has the potential to go deeper into the bottle therefore it is the one who does not drink that has to be careful around the one who does as he is the weaker of the twain. Ha...

A degree from Oxford and Southern have I not, so there is no beginning to my knowledge. But if I were to have the accolades of said institutions I am sure that what I say would have a more mystifying affect.

Rather than a feeble minded fundamentalism
(Fun-Daemon-Talisman?) we are in need a a frothy and foamy fundamentalism.

Rex Ray said...

A Nazirite vow to be closer to God required not drinking alcohol.

“If any people, either men or women, take the special vow of a Nazirite, setting themselves apart to the Lord in a special way, they must give up wine and other alcoholic drinks. “ (Numbers 6:2-3 NLT)

Wonder why Jesus associated with drinkers and made wine at his mother’s request while his brother, James, would never have tasted his Brother’s wine because he was raised a Nazirite?

Wonder if Sampson’s Nazirite vow caused him to complain to the Lord that he needed a little wine for his stomach so his health would be better?

In fact, why did the Lord prevent Nazirites from drinking even in moderation, and would he want Christians to do the same?

I’ll bet drunk camel drivers never killed anyone, while a drunk driver put my mother in a wheelchair the rest of her life.

Your story is very touching. Thank you for sharing.

Joe Blackmon said...

Glad you're walking. Be careful with those pain meds. Not that I think you won't be careful, just sayin'.

And, because I know somebody will say it, no I'm not suggesting that she's going to or has abused them or that it is wrong to take them. After the dr shot laser beams at my retina a few weeks ago I'd have been happy for some pain pills. The best they'd let me have for that was ibuprofen.

John Fariss said...


If national prohibition were the law of the land, it would make no difference at all to me. I would not drink, but then I don't drink anyway. And just because something is the law, does not make it right in God's eyes (i.e., slavery in the past & abortion today). I would still say that alcohol is not evil in and of itself, and that to drink beverage alcohol is not sinful--imprudent, illegal in that instance, but not of itself a sin.

Now: why do you keep returning to national prohibition? It was a failure, and it did nothing to promote holiness on either a personal or a national level. I was raised in a dry county in the South, and I assure you: in spite of the law and in spite of law enforcement agencies, booze still flowed, both from bootleggers and from moonshiners.

Your comment about Scriptural prohibitions without specific Scriptures are a bit confusing. On the one hand, they sound like a bit of a cop-out--a way to argue your case and remain so evasive that it is difficult to answer you. On the other hand, while alcohol is pharamologically a drug, in practicality, alcohol and drugs are apples and oranges. The only reason to take drugs (of the sort you mean) is to get high, i.e., drunk. But beverage alcohol can be drunk without that result, and many peope do so: in cooking, a glass of wine with a meal, etc. Consequently, that comparison is flawed.


Baptist Theologue (Mike Morris) said...

Stephen, here is my earlier comment about truth:

"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)."

Properly interpreting a passage on the Trinity, for example, does not necessarily mean that we have a full understanding of the Trinity. There is a mystery about the Trinity that we must accept. The truth we are capable of understanding, however, will prevent us from wandering into errant views such as Arianism and modalism.

Christiane said...


It's me, L's

Thank you for your concern.
I am VERY careful. I am allowed so many pills per a certain amount of time; and I take LESS than the allowance. I take them prior to my therapy sessions so that I can move better with less pain and get the maximum benefit from therapy.

Joe, my brother is a doctor and most of my Family are doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, medical students, etc.
They are all VERY good at cautioning me about those meds.

What did you have done in your eye?
Was it something to do with 'wet' macular degeneration? I hope everything turned out okay. I hope that the pain has subsided.
They should have given you something for the pain, Joe.
Love, L's

Joe Blackmon said...


Long story short--about 9 years ago the retina in my left eye detached. It didn't heal right so I lost about 95% of the vision in that eye. About 3 weeks ago I started seeing symptoms similar to that in my right eye. The opthamologist sent me to a retinal speicialst due to the history with my eyes (catarct surgery at 18 months old). The retinal dude saw no tear or detachment but said he could use laser to weld the sucker on their so it was much less likely to detach. It worked. Seems what I was seeing was the vitreous inside the eye shrinking. I'll go to him about once a week for the next month or so to keep a check on it. As far as the pain it really wasn't that bad. I'm just a weenie. And everything is fine now. Just keeping a check out of an abundance of caution. Thanks, L's.

Christiane said...

Dear JOE,

I will keep you in my prayers.
My father suffered from macular degeneration and eventually lost the full use of both eyes.

He never complained.
The only time we knew how much he was troubled was when my mom found him in tears in the garage, when he could not find something.

Pop had the 'dry' kind of macular degeneration. There was nothing they could do for him. He could see out of the 'sides' of his eyes, just not the center.
He got a 'magnifier' reading machine and tried valiantly to do his own bills and paper work for as long as he could. No complaints ever.

I made file folders for him and wrote the titles on the front of the folders in very large print.
He was thrilled. He was an independent person, with pride, who suffered his troubles silently.
I try to be like him, but I'm a 'weenie' too. I think my Pop was 'one of a kind'. I miss him now that he is with the Lord.

I will pray for you and your eye to be healthy whenever I remember my Pop and his trouble: which is daily, with a few tears and much thanksgiving that God gave me such a parent. We are all in the hands of the Lord. He will watch over you, Joe. Be peaceful. Love, L's

greg.w.h said...

Jim Paslay wrote:

Alcohol is a drug and it is the most abused drug in this country. If prohibition was the law of the land once again as it once was, what would be our position then? Hmm!

Let me put in terms you can understand, Jim. Guns don't kill people, only people kill people (though using guns very effectively since guns are designed to create lethal force.) If guns were outlawed, only outlaws would have guns, including otherwise law abiding citizens that would procure guns for the protection of their family whether or not the government "permitted" them to do so.

Alcohol doesn't cause drunkenness. Ever. Only when people drink alcohol to excess do they become drunk. The amount that they drink that causes drunkenness is debatable, and the argument to wisdom that drinking no alcohol fully prevents at least alcohol-based drunkenness.

But the Bible also says that the poor man should not be denied wine. I rarely hear Southern Baptists demanding that the poor have access to wine in spite of the fact that Proverbs makes that comment. Instead, we stand around and argue that THAT verse was cultural and was SOLOMON's opinion rather than inspiration by God.

We're just hypocrites when it comes to dealing with the text of Scripture. We insist others abide by OUR interpretation as if WE are God and if we wrote it. We ignore what we want to ignore and apply what is convenient for us to apply, usually to certify our own righteousness (which only our own pride demands we create within ourselves.)

We do not sanctify ourselves. We do not create the condition where sanctification can occur. We may be able to resist the work of sanctification of the Holy Spirit, thus avoid or at least to temporarily put off the benefit of sanctification in our own lives, but just as we cannot produce righteousness and it must be imputed towards us, we can only cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the work of sanctification.

"Drugs", just like guns, are simply tools that produce a specific effect within our bodies. Whether that effect is used for good or for evil is entirely dependent upon our status of salvation and our cooperation with the Holy Spirit in the work of sanctification. (The Holy Spirit might even begin that work before salvation, by the way, by helping us recognize the problem of sin in order to draw us to the Father and to the Cross, a work that could be the immediate result of regeneration in the case of the doctrines of grace or could be simply part of the effort to woo us in a more traditional SB soteriology.)

We cannot outlaw evil by restricting access to tools and substances that could be used for either good or evil. We can only cooperate in the Kingdom of God by laying down the weapons of legalism or beating them into the plowshares of evangelism and discipleship. We lead people to correct behavior not through restriction but through living joyful lives who submit in obedience to a Savior who, while we were yet sinners, died for us.

It's a fallacy to emphasize restriction over freedom and constraint over obedience to our upward calling. It will never produce the change we desire to manipulate out of those we seek to control. It will never, ever, ever work. Let's agree to give up on it and focus on the greater work we have been called to and Commissioned to, instead.

Within that greater work, within the effort of discipleship there is a vast opportunity to confront the broader problem of how to teach saints to return the love that was extended to them first through obedience and through wisdom. But to claim that we can produce holiness through restriction? Romans is Paul's proof that it cannot be done. And I think it is time to certify that proof with quod erat demonstrandum. "Which was to be demonstrated [has been proved]."

We don't need a new Law. We need a relationship with the Law giver that returns willful, joyful obedience for forgiveness and deliverance.

Guns don't kill people, Drugs don't kill people, Alcohol doesn't kill people. In each of those cases it is the choice of the person that kills. Legalism most certainly DOES kill people. And the choice to prefer legalism--in all of its forms--over freedom appears to argue against Paul's arguments in Romans.

Greg Harvey

Joe Blackmon said...


Thanks. God is in control no matter what happens and all. I'm trusting Him to keep the eye working or give me the strength to deal with it if He chooses to take it from me. For now though, all seems to be pretty good.

Jim Paslay said...

John Farris said:

"Your comment about Scriptural prohibitions without specific Scriptures are a bit confusing."

How about Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 23:29-35; Proverbs 31:4-5; Romans 13:13; Romans 14:21; I Cor. 6:10; Galatians 5:21; Ephesians 5:18. Is that enough?

You talk about apples and oranges concerning alcohol versus other drugs. I say to lump the wine in the NT and the wine today is apples and oranges. The wine today has much more distilled alcohol than the grape juice that was allowed to ferment. I'm sorry but I don't believe our Savior was in the liquor business.

Greg Harvey said:

"It's a fallacy to emphasize restriction over freedom and constraint over obedience to our upward calling."

I'm wondering if a drunk who is miraculously saved would consider drinking in moderation freedom or slavery. Freedom is one thing, license is another.

The liquor industry in order to soothe its conscience for all the destruction and death it causes says at the end or on the bottom of an adverstisement, "Drink Responsibly." I hear that message loud and clear from the moderation crowd but I don't hear it from God's Word.

Lairondren said...

Beauty of the Infinite.

Deuteronomy 14:23, 26: "And you shall eat in the presence of Yahweh your God at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the first-born of the herd and your flock, in order that you may learn to fear Yahweh your God always. . . . And you may spend the money for whatever your heart desires, for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of Yahweh your God and rejoice, you and your household."

There is grape juice for some.
But there is also wine. Why wine? Because Jesus is the true Dionysus, the true God of the vine. The Dionysus of the Greeks offered only wine of death. Mad with the wine of Dionysus, the women of Thebes tore king Pentheus limb from limb, and Pentheus' mother blindly bore her son's head back to the city in triumph. Drunk with the wine of Dionysus, Lycurgus mistook his son for a vine and cut him down. The wine of Dionysus leaves a trail of destruction, insanity, murder, cannibalism, warfare and rape.

But Jesus, the true God of the vine, offers the wine of blessing and abundance, a thank-offering to God. The wine offered by Jesus cheers God and man, marks the renewal of covenant, and is shared by lovers. It is the wine of the new creation, drunk by the new Adam, Noah, after the flood cleansed the world. It is the wine of victory that Melchizedek brought to Abraham after his battle. It is "the wine of agape and the feast of fellowship" (David Hart), the wine of mutual joy. It is the wine, as Solomon said, that makes life merry.

The wine of the true Dionysus is not safe. It is the wrath-wine of the holy God, the transcendent God, the God who escapes our every effort to control or corral Him. The wine of Jesus is the wine foaming and strong in His cup, wine that he pours out to make his enemies stagger and fall. The wine of Jesus too sends people mad, for some who come to this table are sick, and some are fallen asleep. This wine is not safe; but it is the cup of blessing.

Why wine? Because the Lord of the table requires it!!!

John Fariss said...

Dear Jim,

You wrote, "I'm sorry but I don't believe our Savior was in the liquor business." Leaving aside the fact that "business" suggests a for-profit motive, whereas Jesus gave freely, even emptying Himself in the process--it's a free country, and you have every right to believe that--even if you are wrong. I take the Bible literally here. It says Jesus drank wine, created wine, and distributed wine, and at least for me, no amount of agenda-driven exegetical gymnastics can change what the Bible says. But blessings--it has been in interesting discussion.


Jim Paslay said...

John Fariss said:

"it's a free country, and you have every right to believe that--even if you are wrong."

John, we'll just have to agree to disagree. I don't believe our Savior would be pleased or justify the liquor industry today in America.

I have seen the effects of alcohol influence a man to beat his wife to a bloody pulp. I have seen the effects of alcohol impair a man to drive on the wrong side of an interstate highway for nine miles and hit a family of four with one on the way and the results are one dead mother and unborn child and a two year old as well. I have seen the effects of an alcoholic grandfather who used to shoot his shotgun in the house causing kids to run in fear.

Can you, John, give some benefits of drinking alcohol? Does it bring families together? Does it cause Christians to be more committed? Does it encourage teenagers get on the right path? Does it help the newborn child with fetal alcohol syndrome? No wonder the Bible calls alcohol a serpent. I don't know about you but I don't allow snakes in my house.

John Fariss said...

Apples and oranges, Jim.

"I don't believe our Savior would be pleased or justify the liquor industry today in America." That is neither what I said, nor is it what you originally said. Actually, I would agree with that statement 100%, but it is NOT what eithr of us earlier said. Your original statement, to which I replied, was, "I'm sorry but I don't believe our Savior was in the liquor business," and that is light-years from your most recent. Apples and oranges; or maybe even apples and orange pulp. You don't score points, win friends and influence people, or witness (positively) about Jesus by making two completely different statements and implying they are the same. I think there is a name for that. You know it too.

Your final questions were, "Can you, John, give some benefits of drinking alcohol? Does it bring families together? Does it cause Christians to be more committed? Does it encourage teenagers get on the right path? Does it help the newborn child with fetal alcohol syndrome?" Again, these questions presuppose a position I was NOT advoocating. As a former police officer and rescue squad member as well as a pastor, I assure you, I have seen as much tragedy related to the consumption of beverage alcohol as anyone. But if you will review my entries, you will find that never once did I advocate the consumption of beverage alcohol. What I have consistently said was that there is no Biblical prohibition agaainst it, and that the Biblical witness neither says alcohol itself evil nor that its consumption in any quantity is automatically a sin. I have consistently said that there are excellent reasons to abstain--based on one's health, welfare, prudence, etc., not to mention Romans 14:21; and I have consistently said that to make abstention a litmus test of some sort for cooperation, membership, etc., in the absence of a clear Biblical mandate that drinking = sin, is wrong. Apples and oranges, Jim. Apples and oranges.

You are obviously very passionate about this subject, and I commend you for that. But I suspect you also don't like to "loose." If that is correct, it means that you felt compelled to make your last statement in spite of its sloppy logic in order to "win" the argument and have the last word. But Jim, we are both on the side of Jesus here, and the only winning or loosing that counts regards conversts and disciples--and even there, they are not credited to us, but only our witnessing. We can certainly agree to disagree on secondary issues, but let us spend our energy where it counts.



Jim Paslay said...


I will try one more time to communicate with the hope that you will not prejudge me based on posts I've made.

It is not a matter of whether I win or lose an argument. My position is clearly in the minority on this blog. I have had my eyes opened concerning the moderation position. I knew it was in the pew but I am surprised by the number in the pulpits of our Baptist churches.

If a pastor believes and teaches moderation, I don't see how he can be bold in preaching against the evils of alcohol. In fact, I would venture to say alcohol and drunkenness doesn't make it into many sermons now a days in our pulpits. Why? Because everybody who is somebody drinks socially.

As for me, I will continue to teach 4th-6th Graders at Children's Camp that alcohol is compared to a viper in the Bible and should be avoided. And as long as a person never takes that first drink, they won't have to worry about breaking the command in Eph. 5:18.

As for you, John, I do not know you personally but pray as you pastor your church that you do so in the power and might of our Lord Jesus Christ!

John Fariss said...

Thank-you Jim for the tone of your most recent entry. If I was harsh in mine, please accept my appology.

Please note one thing though: you state, in the beginning of your third paragraph, "If a pastor believes and teaches moderation, I don't see how he can be bold in preaching against the evils of alcohol."

I would take that to mean that the person to whom it was directed--presumably me--believes in "moderation," i.e., the moderate consumption of beverage alcohol. For the umpteenth time, I do not advocate "moderation." You will not find any blog entries (or statements in any other medium, including private conversations, sermons, and newsletter articles) where I have advocated "moderation" in alcoholic consumption. On the contrary, as I said in my 2:08 PM entry, "There are excellent reasons to abstain," as in fact I do. What I have been saying is that I do not find any clear, unequivocal, Biblical mandate which equates the consumption of even a small amount of beverage alcohol with sin. Consequently, for Southern Baptists (or any other group) to equate abstension with holiness and Christ-like living is a misstatement, an overstatement, and an extra-Biblical statement, which will come back to bite them. I believe this will happen especially with young people who stick with church, because sooner or later, they will find those passages where wine is considered a blessing, and then they will feel betrayed. Granted, not all will; but enough will, and they will become the next generation of young adults who are unchurched, uninterested in church, and in fact antagonistic toward church--and the Savior whom Christian churches serve. Actually, I think we are already seeing this, with Lifeway's statistics indicating only a small percentage (memory suggests 5 or 10%, but I may be mistaken with that) of Gen X (or whatever the generation now in their upper teen and lower 20s is now called) having been reached for Christ. They see that it is hypocracy to say "alcohol is sin" when Jesus turned water into wine and Paul said, "Take a little wine for your stomach."


John Fariss

Lairondren said...

How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves behind your veil; your hair is like a flock of goats that have descended from Mount Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of newly shorn ewes which have come up from their washing, all of which bear twins, and not one among them has lost her young. Your lips are like a scarlet thread, and your mouth is lovely; your temples are like a slice of a pomegranate behind your veil. Your neck is like the tower of David, built with rows of stones on which are hung a thousand shields, all the round shields of the mighty men. Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle which feed among the lilies.
Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away, I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense. You are altogether beautiful, my darling, and there is no blemish in you. . . .
You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride; you have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes, with a single strand of your necklace. How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than all kinds of spices! Your lips, my bride, drip honey; honey and milk are under your tongue, and the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon. A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a rock garden locked, a spring sealed up. . . . I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam; I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Eat, friends; drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers.

Does milk, oil, spice, honey, myrrh, or other sundry fragrances bring families together? Do they cause Christians to be more committed? Does they encourage teenagers get on the right path?

Lairondren said...

We are invited to draw near to God in the heavenly sanctuary, where God offers the hidden gifts to us. One of these gifts is the gift of food, the meal that we celebrate at His table.

But there is another sign of our inclusion in a New Covenant that brings better promises than the old. That is, we not only eat the bread of heaven, the bread of angels, but we are also invited to drink wine in the presence of God. That was something that the Israelites of the Old Covenant were never permitted to do. Leviticus 10 warns "Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sins with you, when you come into the tent of meeting." But here we are, having come not to a shadow and copy of the heavenly sanctuary but to the heavenly sanctuary itself, and we drink wine.

Wine is a Sabbath drink. Wine takes time to make, and you drink wine at the end of things, when your work is completed. But for the priests of the Old Covenant, work was never completed. They were constantly standing, Hebrews says, because they had to offer the same sacrifices year after year. But now, in Christ, and through His blood, we have entered into rest. We are in the sanctuary drinking wine, a sign not only of the joy but of the rest of the New Covenant.

So, come and drink the wine of God. Come and enter into His rest.

Jim Paslay said...


My apologies to you. I truly was not implying you believed in moderation. I was sounding off a little and you have been the one listening or should I say reading my comments. I appreciate your last post. You make some sound arguments that I will take and ponder.

Wade has gone on to other post and I guess I should give this one a rest. But you will probably see me commenting the next time he mentions alcohol in some way. I appreciate your comments and truly hope that you continue to "preach the Word" in your little corner of the U.S. God bless.

.:*Beautiful Self*:. said...

My question is…
Why is there so much arguing going on here? Everything started off in a discussion-like manner, then when the opposition to each’s own personal beliefs got stronger and hotter, everything turned hostile: insulting, judgements, hurtful, comparisons, etc.

Is everyone NOT entitled to their own opinion? So they disagree with you -- get over it.
You’re not going to change their minds, and they sure aren’t going to be able to change your mind.

The body has several members – each for their own edification of the whole. If we all confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, then He that is not against us is for us. (“And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” Luke 9:50)

“He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.” (Proverbs 11:12)

“Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” (Proverbs 17:28)

"Grace and Truth to You"

G. Casey said...

MacArthur who is probably the most fundamentally sound of all preachers stated that the equivalence of wine in Jesus time was five times weaker than it is today. There is no such thing as a total abstinence view in the Bible. What the Bible warns is of "strong" drink....a total abstinence view "today" is acceptable because typically no serving of alcohol meets the standard in time of Jesus.

G. Casey said...

The correct view on alcoholic beverage should be confronting the beer companies for "drugging" the masses....not taking an abstinence view. Go and study how the human body metabolizes a typical alcoholic beverage per body weight and it is much more dangerous than Rohipnol.

G. Casey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Fariss said...


How many of you who absolutely know how much alcohol was in wine in Biblical times (or know of an author who does) have ever tasted naturally fermented fruit wine?

I was raised a country boy, and I have--including 40 year old blackberry wine my Baptist deacon uncle made to help his stomach, and the scuppernong and James grape wine my teetotaling granny made in a milk churn to put over her fruit cake. Let me assure you: it has a kick to it. It may take a while, but you can get even drunk from it. And some of you folks are telling me that the modern total abstinance position is the virtual equivilent of drinking Biblical era wine? Unbelievable!

I am afraid you have let pseudo-scholarship coming from an agenda-driven position lead you astray.

John Fariss

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