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Tuesday, August 16, 2011 | Comments (56)

Paul Edwards (of WLQV Detroit) will interview Phil Johnson today at 1pm PST on his program, "The Center for the Study of God & Culture." The subject for today is John MacArthur's most recent article, "Beer, Bohemianism, and True Christian Liberty." You won't want to miss it.

Listen to this 45-minute clip:

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Travis Allen
Director of Internet Ministry


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#1  Posted by David Pitman  |  Tuesday, August 16, 2011at 2:38 PM

Good interview. Reasonable and helpful. Anyone with an honest question about the matter will benefit from it.

#2  Posted by Greg Tegman  |  Wednesday, August 17, 2011at 2:49 AM

Greetings. I see we have a few ruffled feathers. This is not so deep. For some reason there are people who want take take wheel from Christ. What? Has our Lord lost his ability to save?. Are we in need to dirty things up because our Lord and Savior is dropping the ball?. Is church too boring now?. Maybe so. Depravity and hardness of heart is on the rise. This is not a numbers game. Our Lord does not need us to change the rules.

#3  Posted by Robert Cooper  |  Wednesday, August 17, 2011at 7:01 AM

This whole scenario has been a awful testimony for the Young Restless and Reformed. Pastor MacArthur has laid out his argument and provided ample scriptural support, with cogent examples, against the use and promotion of alcohol by Christians, especially by Christian leadership. The Y.R.R. response has been absolutely void of scriptural support, let alone addressing the hard facts about alcohol consumption in our country.

I would challenge any Y.R.R. (especially Steve Camp or Pastor Raymond) leader to respond to the following. Come on guys, be expositors on the Biblical Benefits of Brew and the like;

"I have scores of relatives that are alcoholics, I have seen many die as a direct result of their addiction or the addiction of someone else. Now, after knowing this, if I imbibed myself or supported those who did, where would that put me as far as being a witness for Christ in their lives?

Alcoholism is a serious issue in this country, we all know this I am sure.

Proverbs 24: 11, 12; "Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to slaughter. If you say, "Behold, we did not know this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will He not repay man according to his work?"

Also see Ps 20:1; 23: 29-35 (Need I say more?)

Now, if you feel that Christ has died to free you to drink booze, in any form, then do so with discretion and do not make it a public issue. You need to know though you drink at the peril of your own physical life at the least. Based upon the above passage I feel obligated to say as much!

Alcoholism is at epidemic proportions in our country.

Now, please bring me your hard evidence, your biblical support too, as to why I should support you in your cause. Until then, I will do everything that I can to turn you from alcohol and dissuade you from staggering to destruction, I will also protect my three innocent daughters from you and any other weak or innocent brother or sister in Christ. No legalism here, just facts and actions based upon those facts.

#4  Posted by Mark Cooper  |  Wednesday, August 17, 2011at 8:28 AM

Great interview. John MacArthur doesn't need to apologize to anyone. Period. "Old and grumpy"? How about loving and wise? People: Let's learn from this man! Why? He is a wealth of Bible knowledge, he's the real deal and he opens the Bible up in ways that so few can. The Lord has blessed Pastor John and his ministry. Thank you, Pastor John, for devoting yourself to the Lord and helping to tend the flock.

#5  Posted by Michael Lee  |  Wednesday, August 17, 2011at 1:36 PM

I think Pastor John's words have been overwhelmingly true throughout the entirety of this blog series. I also think that there has been a decent amount of grace, which I've been grateful for. What bothers me however, is how some of the other GTY staff members have been addressing us. I don't think it is very respectful at all to address us as if we are children. As I read over the non-MacArthur blog posts here on the site, I see a lot of condescending statements full of sarcasm and belittling. I don't see much humility from your end at all, and it seems that you're all great at telling us where we've gone wrong in this discussion without acknowledging any of your own errors. I haven't done much reading through the comments sections, so maybe all of this is somewhat warranted, but I do know that a harsh word stirs up strife and a gentle one turns away wrath. It's no wonder to me that people are reacting the way they are when men that they admire such as yourselves are suddenly treating them as boys as if they have done nothing worthy of honor. We know that you're right, we don't need an entire blog written to show all of the reasons that our viewpoints are skewed away from truth, Mr. MacArthur already addressed us. We just need to know that you respect us and that you are gently correcting us to help us grow, not to make a spectacle out of our mistakes. All that I can say for sure is that if the issue continues in this fashion, all of us will lose. We must have more grace with one another or we risk creating another rift in the church.

#6  Posted by Trent Biller  |  Wednesday, August 17, 2011at 2:33 PM

My pastor explained in a very clear way why he would never chose to take advantage of his "Christian liberty" and drink even in the privacy of his own home. What if he drank a couple to relax before bed, then just as he was drifting off to sleep the phone rings and a member of his church is in the hospital very ill or dieing. He gets out of bed and heads to the hospital. What kind of testimony would that be to show up with alchohol on his breath. Or if he gets pulled over and gets even registers on the alcohol test?

We are called to be holy. I forget where I heard the following comment but I feel it applies here: It is good for a boat to be in the water, but it is bad for water to be in the boat. We are to be in the world, but if we look like the world, act like the world, sound like the world, how are we to be light to the world?

There is no place for alcohol in church on on church websites. Pastors should not wear their "Christian liberties" on their sleeves. Many that argue for drinking love to quote Paul, but not many like the part where he says that although things may be permissable, they are not benficial.

I would encourage people to read Thomas Watson's "A Godly Man's Picture". It explains what the Bible says about being a godly man, not what the world thinks a godly man should look like.

Thank you Dr. MacArthur and the GTY staff.

#7  Posted by Robert Cooper  |  Wednesday, August 17, 2011at 4:31 PM

While I agree that being communicated to in a condescending manner is not right, if what you hear or read is truth then you need to respond to it as such, no matter how it is delivered. Those that deliver the truth in harsh tones may have good reason, especially if they have had their life damaged by what is being addressed. I have yet to see anyone from MacArthur's staff being mean or spiteful, just the opposite as a matter of fact. I have seen the Y.R.R. folks directing ad hominem towards Doctor Mac. and those that abstain from the use of alcohol.

I myself have had great harm done to me and I have seen many of my family members killed by alcohol itself and none that I know have been impacted positively by it. Can you name the positive aspects of alcohol consumption to me? Is it fair to ask; How does alcohol consumption edify the body of Christ? Lets be honest, the use of alcohol is a selfish and subjective action because once one drinks alcohol it acts on one person completely different than it does someone else, everyone must know their own personal limit and there is no way it can be dictated for another, it is totally selfish, and for the most part, entirely unpredictable due to many variables and factors active on the individual consuming it. After all is said and done, Pastor MacArthur's presentation has been very sound advice. I have yet to see one cogent defense to the contrary, unless you consider the unfounded accusations of personal attack as cogent. I think not! We really need to all take the high road on this and listen to what our eldest brother and teacher has said. No, he is not perfect and we should examine what he says, but today, I assure that what he has said is absolutely in line with what God in Christ would want for us all. Jettison the booze and give a answer for the hope that is in you, not a answer for the hops that are in you.

#8  Posted by Deborah Pembleton  |  Wednesday, August 17, 2011at 5:33 PM

I so agree with Trent Biller's comment.Some exerpts: "We are to be in the world, but if we look like the world, act like the world, sound like the world, how are we to be light to the world?" "Many that argue for drinking love to quote Paul, but not many like the part where he says that although things may be permissable, they are not benficial." The old saying,"Be IN the world, not OF it". John8:12, Romans 12:2, James 4:4 & 1 John 2:15 & 16. I am no teacher and a relative new Christien but it seems perfectly clear to me what Jesus says about our conduct. I pray that if someone OF this world looks at me, they will see Jesus. I would think that that would be especially true of pastors no matter what their age.

#9  Posted by Chris Lemi  |  Wednesday, August 17, 2011at 8:13 PM

Which would Jesus rebuke more severely, the self righteous, self congratulatory Publican, or the sinner...

#10  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Wednesday, August 17, 2011at 9:06 PM

#7 Robert Cooper - Exactly. I keep asking pretty much the same question....why do the responsible Christians drink at all. There must be some benefit. Is it all for medicinal purposes when you get together as a group as in a group bible study? Is it to have a glad heart? If so, how many drinks do you need for a glad heart? Is it to relax? If so, how many drinks does it take to relax? Do you read your bible while you drink? Are you that confident?

Tommy has already stated on the previous thread that it's best to not advertise it if you are a drinker since you don't really know whom might be reading your comments. So answer not from personal experience but rather in an informative way. Tell me what you know about why some Christians choose to drink? For biblical reasons? If so, what are they? Do they feel it is even righteous to drink?

And do you know any Christians that drink for non biblical reasons, believing it is, say...... a healthy thing to do? How so?

If it has nothing to do with Christian freedom or liberty, what is it all about? Why do they drink? No one will answer that question. I only hear debates that "it is allowed", "it's not allowed". Forget that. Why do some Christians want to drink?

#11  Posted by Trent Biller  |  Wednesday, August 17, 2011at 9:28 PM

#9 - Not apples to apples. The sinner in this passage was acknowledging his sin was sin. Commenters on this post defending public drinking by Christians (specifically pastors and leaders which this series is about) are not acknowledging any sin. So in your scenario I would imagine both would be rebuked, neither would go home justified.

#13  Posted by Chris Lemi  |  Wednesday, August 17, 2011at 10:39 PM

Legalism is as ugly as alcoholism, no, its uglier. Instead of calling for wisdom and discernment, I see people on here that would impose their own standards on others, besides what scripture says on the matter. Some of the non drinkers on here want to paint those that do drink as unbridled hedonists, and pretty much make themselves out to be exactly like the Pharisees, although they cannot see what is in another person's heart. Man likes to confuse, but God doesn't, and neither does God's Word.

#14  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 7:32 AM

I finally got around to listening to the interview with Phil. It was quite a hatchet job by Paul Edwards on Erik Raymond’s rebuttal to John MacArthur. Phil Johnson, on the other hand, was quite even handed and fair and refused to be drawn in to the feeding frenzy. He had some good observations and I appreciate his level headedness and honesty. I’ll give credit where credit is due.

I agree with his point that drinking, smoking, tattoos, etc. shouldn’t be the badge by which a church is known. John MacArthur made that point in the first part of his post on Beer, Bohemianism, and True Christian Liberty. Had he stopped there, I don’t think we’d be having this discussion now. Unfortunately, he spent the second half of his post building a position for abstinence from alcohol. That’s the legalistic rub that caused many of the commenters to cry “foul”.

I realize that alcohol has ruined many lives, but then again, so have guns and sex. I’m sorry for those that have seen a loved one consumed by alcoholism just as I feel sorry for those whose lives have been ruined by a gun accident or a cheating partner. The arguments by the gun control crowd are similar to the ones used by the prohibitionist crowd.

The answer to abuse isn’t the abolition of the object being abused. Mankind can find ways to abuse almost anything. Scripture has as many or more positive references to alcohol as it has negative ones and the negative references in Scripture are against abuse not abstention. Do a Google search on the health benefits of alcohol and you’ll find a wealth of information supporting alcohol use. The general consensus is that drinking in moderation is healthier than abstinence. God gave wine for man’s benefit. We should use it gladly and in moderation.

I believe MacArthur’s and Mohler’s admonitions to abstain from alcohol are wrongheaded and not supported by Scripture. That’s the issue that has caused most of the uproar in the blogosphere. The original point of the post was lost by trying to make a case for abstinence in the second half of the post.

Rebecca asks in comment #10, Why do they drink. No one will answer that question. I drink for my health and because I enjoy it. As Ecclesiastes 9:7 says Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.

#16  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 9:37 AM

#14 Steve - "I drink for my health and because I enjoy it. As Ecclesiastes 9:7 says Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do."

That is vague to me. Are you certain that the wine today is the same as the wine Ecclesiastes? And isn't the idea in Ecclesiastes to be appreciative?

"Had he stopped there, I don’t think we’d be having this discussion now." Because drinking has become a badge of honor for some Christians and because of it's dangers, seems this is a topic that should not be avoided. In fact, having this discussion is the responsible thing to do let we become lukewarm. I think if never there was a time in our history being a teetotaler is not popular, it certainly is now.

We have to at least consider that as we get closer to the return of our Lord, might the change in attitude toward alcohol by some Christians be a sign? I mean, there is a change. A relaxation, if you will, about it. It's as if the pro alcohol users believe that the rest of us are over reacting. 1 Thessalonians 5:2, Luke 21:34, 1 Corinthians 1:8, 2 Peter 3:10, Revelation 3:3, Revelation 16:15

#17  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 9:46 AM

#13 Chris Lemi - "Some of the non drinkers on here want to paint those that do drink as unbridled hedonists, " That is not a true statement. At the very least, it is highly exaggerated.

"pretty much make themselves out to be exactly like the Pharisees," Who is doing the name calling? If we don't agree with you, we must not give our opinions?

I can't speak for anyone else but I've heard more resentment from your side of the argument than the other. This is a serious topic that needs input from both sides. Let's not get mean spirited about it.

1 Timothy 3:2

#18  Posted by Robert Cooper  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 10:04 AM

Steve Gentry

MacArthur never gave a legalistic mandate with regards drinking alcohol, nor did he say that drinking it was a sin. He calls for abstinence, especially among leadership, yet again not a legalistic mandate but strong exhortation. I think you are creating a tempest in a teapot by maintaining that this is legalism, as is Eric Raymond, Steve Camp and the list seems to continue to grow. At least be honest and address what was said for what it is, strong exhortation and not legalism. In your own terms, your assessment is certainly wrongheaded!

On poo pooing the seriousness of alcohol abuse, The C.D.C. has labeled alcoholism as epidemic and to be honest with you it is pandemic. Alcohol is not a necessity of life, and what you quote with respect to the health benefits is a highly debatable theory. Where do you get your data? State, Federal and retailers make a tremendous amount of income and revenue off of the sale of alcohol and tobacco, any study done by them or funded by them would be to the favor of the revenue that they want to keep streaming in. So the health benefits of alcohol itself is highly suspect if not outright fallacious. It is known and has been proven that alcohols effect on the body is generally negative, unless consumed in small amounts, check out the C.D.C. studies, look at the obvious records since the repeal of prohibition. Give me a break 'the general consensus is that drinking in moderation is healthier than abstinence', I do not know what your condition is but those are the words of a alcoholic society, go ahead and define 'general consensus' please, that is a very ambiguous term and is not authoritative in any way!

Finally, you said 'I realize that alcohol has ruined many lives, but then again, so have guns and sex.' guns have not ruined lives, the people that pick up the guns are responsible for the way they are used. Sex has not ruined lives, the consequence of a immoral society that chooses to act apart from the creator like animals, has caused that destruction, there is no connection between any of these other than it is human decision and the denial of God that dictates the final outcome. You knowingly drink, fully understanding the damage it causes. When you quote passages from the bible about wine you have no idea what the alcohol content was of that wine in that time frame, to be fair either do I. However, I know that while Christ drank with tax collectors and sinners, it does not mean he drank alcohol, or anything with a significant alcohol level. The Pharisees and Sadducees are the ones who declare Christ as a drunkard and that even makes it less likely that what Christ was drinking was alcoholic because they fabricated everything they said about Him to trap and kill Him. You have made your assumption based on their false allegations. The bottom line, you want alcohol, then drink discretely, out of the public eye, then there is no issue unless you make it one!

#19  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 10:44 AM

#14 Steve writes,

It was quite a hatchet job by Paul Edwards on Erik Raymond’s rebuttal to John MacArthur.

On the contrary, I though Paul's comments were on target and much needed and I hope Erik will think deeply about what he said rather than dismiss them as coming from another grumpy old man who "misunderstands" him.

continuing,

John MacArthur made that point in the first part of his post on Beer, Bohemianism, and True Christian Liberty. Had he stopped there, I don’t think we’d be having this discussion now. Unfortunately, he spent the second half of his post building a position for abstinence from alcohol. That’s the legalistic rub that caused many of the commenters to cry “foul”.

A couple of things. First, John didn't argue for abstinence from alcohol. He continued to argue for the need of sober thinking and maturity with the use of alcohol. It would be helpful if you pointed to some specifics.

Second, the context if which John talked about abstinence was in the context of pastoral leadership. I take it you are probably not a pastor or elder in a church. Leaders have a sphere of influence: the people they shepherd. John is telling young pastors that a ministry that has the "liberty" to drink beer as a pastoral emphasis, is one that could have serious ramifications for those who look to that pastor for leadership. He is merely telling these men that promoting the consumption of alcohol may not be the wisest area to emphasize with their people just for the sake of "Christian liberty" and sticking it in the eye of old time American fundamentalists.

continuing,

The arguments by the gun control crowd are similar to the ones used by the prohibitionist crowd.

That would be true if John was arguing for prohibition. But he isn't. Again, show me where John is arguing for total abstinence.

continuing,

I believe MacArthur’s and Mohler’s admonitions to abstain from alcohol are wrongheaded and not supported by Scripture.

Really? Wrongheaded is merely your opinion and is one that is unstained by anything in John's post or Al's talk. Both of their presentations were very much supported by Scripture, particularly the principles laid out in Scripture exhorting sober-mindedness with God's people. Plus, once again, both men are exhorting men in ministry. Men who will be pastoring and shepherding people on a daily basis. I think this distinction is missing in your evaluation.

#20  Posted by Skyalr Hartman  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 12:14 PM

I'm male.

I'm 21.

I'm reformed.

I drink beer once in a great while.

It's ludicrous to suggest that a pastor who has served God and tended his flock for 4 decades and is well versed not only in church history but in Biblical studies would make a passive statement and overgeneralization about a specific church culture as all being beer-hungry, tattoo-focused and pop-culture consumed.

I agree with Pastor MacArthur on this subject. In fact, I live in Orange County where Mars Hill headed by Mark Driscoll has planted a church. I've attended the church twice (I do pray Grace Church plants a church here in Orange County!). The very first day I attended the message was on being missional. There were 7 key ideas to understanding your culture so you could better reach the people in it. One of those was "watch TV" to understand the culture.

This is the problem I have with churches like this. They are asking me to do something which I'm trying to escape. I hate this culture and I've gotten enough of it growing up.

The same is with the idea that beer needs to take a specific precedent in our church services and hold some sort of focus so as to remain relevant to the outside world. It's charades of the most irritating kind. When I go to church I go to learn the Word of God; to learn how to live. Don't tell a church they must give any attention to the consuming of a beverage to be more relatable or watch TV shows which only regurgitate the same trash that our culture dishes out everywhere we go.

I do not see why this is a big issue. Pastor MacArthur is correct in warning my generation. We would be fools not to heed it.

#21  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 1:51 PM

#20 Skyalr Hartman - WOW! You get it. You actually get it! I said previously....somewhere in all these threads, that this conversation will separate the men from the boys. Skyalr, you are a real man, brother! Amazing wisdom. Amazing courage to speak out.

Thank you so much! Keep running the race! Your generation desperately needs you!

#22  Posted by Skyalr Hartman  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 2:20 PM

Thanks Rebecca! I've often wondered why exhortation to specific demographics and subdivisions (New-Calvinists) of the reformed church is like teaching rocket science to an infant, but then that's just it. Our pride and lack of spiritual maturity will hinder us from hearing what must be spoken.

#23  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 3:02 PM

#22 Skyalr? I don't know where you live but I would sure like to pick your brain for a few hours! LOL We can get so discouraged and then God puts someone like you in our path! Amazing! Amazing God!

#24  Posted by Skyalr Hartman  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 3:14 PM

haha Orange County, CA is where I currently reside. :)

#25  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 3:28 PM

Is that anywhere near Texas?????

#26  Posted by Skyalr Hartman  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 3:54 PM

No it's in California =)

#27  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 6:00 PM

#26 - Skyalr, I was messin' with you. You know how Texans are. We act like anything outside of Texas is a foreign country!

#28  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 6:33 PM

Fred, you’re being a little disingenuous when you suggest that John isn’t promoting abstinence. Judging from the reactions in the comment section and the rest of the blogosphere most people reading that post came away with the same impression that I did. Even Travis Allen in his follow up post said ”John clearly would like to persuade you of the wisdom of abstinence....”

John may not expressly say that drinking is a sin but he states things in such a way that the average reader would come away believing that the implication is that drinking is a “no-no” for the committed Christian who wants to serve the Lord.

Travis links MacArthur’s position with that of Mohler and Moore. Mohler is a leader in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and in the 2006 convention they “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.

If that isn’t prohibition and abstinence I’d like to know what is. Granted this is not John’s statement and he’s only guilty by association but I don’t see John standing up and criticizing the SBC for going too far. He is, however, quite willing to criticize the YRRer’s for going too far the other direction.

Your observation about my not being a pastor or elder is correct. However, my brother is. He attends a conservative PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) church where many of the elders and pastoral staff, including the senior pastor drink alcoholic beverages on a regular basis. In talking with him this afternoon, he said that his church wasn’t unique and that it was prevalent throughout the PCA and reformed circles. It simply isn’t an issue. The only place it seems to be an issue is the SBC and organizations like MacArthur’s. I don't think you'll get much traction on this issue by men like Kim Riddlebarger, Michael Horton, or R. C. Sproul

#29  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 7:04 PM

Rebecca (#16). You said That is vague to me. Are you certain that the wine today is the same as the wine Ecclesiastes? And isn't the idea in Ecclesiastes to be appreciative?

Rebecca, dear, I think you'd argue with a fencepost. It makes no difference whether the wine in Ecclesiastes is the same as it is today. The admonition in Scripture is not to be drunk with wine, not to drink the same wine that was served in Bible times. If the alcoholic content is higher in today's wine than in wine served in the Bible, then what changes is the serving size, not the general principle.

And if the idea is to be appreciative, then let me say that I'm very appreciative.

#30  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 7:21 PM

Robert (#18) you said "guns have not ruined lives, the people that pick up the guns are responsible for the way they are used.

That was precisely my point. Guns don't kill people by themselves and neither does alcohol. The person that picks up the bottle is responsible for the way it is used in the same way a person who picks up a gun is responsible for the way it is used. If a person buys a bottle of single malt Scotch they have the responsibility to drink it in moderation. If they choose to abuse that privilege, they alone are responsible. The Biblical principle is responsibility and moderation, not abstention.

#31  Posted by Chris Lemi  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 7:46 PM

Mr. Steve Gentry, brother you are a breathe of fresh air! lol. I am glad I got another Reformed brother in here. I simply want the Truth of the Bible, nothing added, nothing subtracted, simply Sola Scriptura. What does God's Word say on the matter.. Pastor John Macarthur does that superbly with any other doctrine, but as for this matter of alcohol he doesn't, only because of his own personal bias.

I also attend another Presbyterian church on the side (PCA), and within that congregation are some of the most warm, Godly, Bible loving, Jesus loving people you will ever meet, and *gasp* they occasionally drink, Pastors and staff included. It simply isn't an issue either because it isn't done in debauchery or excess.

The logic of some of the people in here is that drinking cannot be done in moderation, if I used their logic, that automatically means they all overeat, ridiculous isn't it..

#32  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 8:41 PM

#29 - Steve. In post # 14 you said, "I drink for my health and because I enjoy it." That was what I meant was vague. I was wanting to understand more of how you enjoy it. I wanted you to explain more why you used Ecclesiastes to support your answer. I think I might have been getting too personal and didn't realize it?

But never mind. I've had others who graciously responded. As far as arguing with a fence post...I'd probably be better off!

Did you hear Phil Johnson say today that this series is all about attitude? Something tells me you missed that part? Or your drink!

#33  Posted by Robert Cooper  |  Thursday, August 18, 2011at 9:15 PM

Chris and Steve

Please, bring substance to the table in your accusations, drop any innuendo, speculations and guilt by association. If you say Mac. has been legalistic, be specific and bring the statement that directly says 'drinking alcohol is a sin for all concerned'. Please also define what you think legalism is. Work place policy is not legalism, even if your pastoral brother says so.

On guns and alcohol, if you want to use the gun analogy, alcohol is the same as playing Russian roulette, once you take a drink you do not know how your body will act until it is to late. That is why, when it comes to alcohol, moderation is really a myth. Then again, maybe not for you, do you take in to account all of the physiological variables that effect how your body will respond to alcohol every time you drink? Do you carefully calculate your body mass and equate with the alcohol to volume ratio to insure that you do not 'over drink'? By the way, what is over drinking and by what standard do you test it? Exactly how many drinks does it take you to get a buzz on? Now, all of this is absurd...to a degree, but then again it is all subject to you and what you have determined what is responsible. Every single person that has gotten a D.U.I. thought they knew their limit, they thought they knew what they could control, but they did not when it came to facing the public set standard. Which brings up a good point, as long as it is measured to the worlds standards, is that the bar you set your drinking limit to?

Both of you will have different answers to these questions because you are different physiologically, and that is not even a good indicator of what moderation is. Please define 'moderation' specifically when it comes to alcohol? What will you tell the alcoholic brother moderation is? Careful, you would not want to be 'legalistic' with the alcoholic brother. When he wants to go by your standards and justifies what he is doing by that, what will you do? How about the kid that justifies what he or she wants by your actions? Do you think of any of this when you imbibe? Does it make any difference to you if you cause one weaker in the faith to stumble? Isn't that where the attitude really comes in, the willingness to lay down booze for the sake of the weaker. Let alone, laying down your life for them, now it is just crazy to ask for that. Who would ever lay down their entire life? I suppose I am just being legalistic.

I really do not care if you are discrete and drink, it is no issue with me. I choose not to because of all of the death and destruction it has reaped(by the way, these numbers far exceed gun deaths, death by war etc. just some food for thought), not to mention my example to my girls. Does any of this make sense to you guys, or am I just legalistic. I guarantee that pastor MacArthur's reasoning and mine are one and the same, but you judge us as LEGALISTIC right?

#34  Posted by Sanford Doyle  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 6:07 AM

To all,

From Sanford

I have been following this topic all along,mainly from the sidelines.

I have thought of an interesting twist. It comes from a Martyn Lloyd-Jones sermon where he asks people to "think again".

I would ask everyone to "switch hats" or to debate from the other side of the "fencepost".

If you had to defend the opposite conviction you hold on this drinking topic, how would you do it?

What Scripture verses would you use, what leaders or teachers would you cite?

I always find it interesting in asking people to defend the opposite of their convictions. Defending your own view is easy, try defending the opposite view and it gets interesting.

This may help to show to yourself how strong or weak your original view actually is. But maybe not.

People might even change their original position when they "think again".

Yes I do have a strong view on this topic as well, but I will also "think again".

May you turn to the Holy Spirit in your "thinking again",

Grace and Peace,

Sanford

#35  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 6:11 AM

#32 Rebecca. I'm sorry if I came across as ungracious. I was trying to be humorous. Doesn't always come off well in written comments.

With regards to how I enjoy it, I enjoy wine with a good meal - it's always interesting to see the wine pairings that restaurants suggest. I enjoy trying new micro brews and looking for a top rated bourbon for my brother at Christmas.

I enjoy the relaxing effect of coming home from work and sitting down with a Guinness and a cigar. I work away from home and stay in an apartment during the week. Several of the tenants meet at the fire pit after work for a few drinks and conversation. Some drink alcohol and others have non-alcoholic beverages. No one is made to feel like they're not part of the group because they don't have a "real drink". There's no pressure to "be like everyone else".

I enjoy cooking out with my daughter and son-in-law and relaxing with a beer afterwards. We look for unique brews to try and compare them to our known favorites.

I don't expect you to agree with me. I'm not trying to convince you to switch sides. You've chosen abstinence as a way of life and that's fine with me. However, I feel that there's been a trend in the comments for the abstainers to try to convince the non-abstainers that their view is the higher and more noble course of action. That, I take issue with.

#36  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 6:34 AM

#32 - Rebecca. My previous comment didn't answer the second part of your question regarding the use of Ecclesiastes. There was no special reason for selecting that particular passage. It is just one of many that present wine in a positive light.

#37  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 6:36 AM

#31 - Chris. Thanks for the encouraging word.

#38  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 7:38 AM

Steve writes,

Judging from the reactions in the comment section ... most people reading that post came away with the same impression that I did. Even Travis Allen in his follow up post said ”John clearly would like to persuade you of the wisdom of abstinence....”

Judging from the reactions, I see a bunch of 20-30 year-old, fundy hating, anti-teetotalers who are reading into that post what THEY wanted John to say and not what was clearly being stated. Travis was merely responding to the phony meta-narrative they had created over the internet in a 24-hour period.

continuing,

John may not expressly say that drinking is a sin but he states things in such a way that the average reader would come away believing that the implication is that drinking is a “no-no” for the committed Christian who wants to serve the Lord.

John's personal convictions is to abstain from alcohol. It is the commitment of the Church leadership and seminary faculty to abstain as well. They have the liberty to do so, contrary to the complaints of his detractors. But to say that he phrased things in such a way in his article that he is telling committed Christians that drinking alcohol is sinful, is hunting windmills where none exist.

continuing,

If that isn’t prohibition and abstinence I’d like to know what is. Granted this is not John’s statement and he’s only guilty by association but I don’t see John standing up and criticizing the SBC for going too far. He is, however, quite willing to criticize the YRRer’s for going too far the other direction.

I can't speak for what the SBC does. The Mohler/Moore discussion was well done and there was nothing that promoted "prohibition" in the sense that you suggest. They were clear that the ban on alcohol was limited to the staff of Southern and the current attending students, a commitment they are free to enforce. As to John criticizing the YRR for going too far in the other direction, he wouldn't have those criticisms if it weren't for the fact that it has become a significant problem with many of the YRR who appeal to alcoholic consumption as their mark of true ministry.

The only place it seems to be an issue is the SBC and organizations like MacArthur’s. I don't think you'll get much traction on this issue by men like Kim Riddlebarger, Michael Horton, or R. C. Sproul

I would imagine you have a blindspot to the problems it presents in PCA churches. Be that as it may, to suggest Horton and Riddlebarger "transcend" this issue as it means nothing to them is a bit naïve. I happen to know a lot about them before they were big names.

When the White Horse Inn was a local LA program on Sunday nights, they regularly boasted of their drinking and mocked John and TMS for their views of alcohol. It was some of the most disgraceful stuff I have heard from guys who claim to be "ministers." They were just as arrogant on the issue then as many of the YRR blogging against John are today.

#39  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 11:24 AM

#35 - Steve - Please don't further insult my intelligence. Please don't try to buffer an insult once you have egg on your face with the "I was only joking" excuse. Luke 16:15 . I've heard that excuse at LEAST ten times by ten different teenagers. In my opinion, this is an opportunity to grow up (man up) & admit you were wrong & that your accusation of me was unfounded. If my comments rub you the wrong way, then they just do. It's not a popularity contest. No need to be condescending. Just don't read them.

By the way, the "dear" reference, when used in the same sentence with an insult, the intent is always to try and establish control over another. Did you feel in control? Rhetorical question. No reply needed.

#40  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 11:43 AM

Now this is not to all you fence posts out there. You are already dead wood. So ignore this comment. This is for those of you who are sincerely wanting to do the right thing in spite of the culture. This is my opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of GTY.

I have dined with those that drink & have experienced no alienation. Those that drink, invite me back regularly. Kindness is extended & received on both sides. No one makes an issue. That's just been my experience. Point: Sober people have fun too and can be quite witty and know a good joke when they hear one. Sober people have the ability to laugh too. In fact, we laugh hard!

The reason I don't drink, is the personal pleasure I might get is worth the sacrifice when there is an overwhelming preponderance of evidence that alcohol is a legal drug. I could spend weeks reporting all the evidence that shows globally the stats of how alcohol has victimized individuals & families financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually as well as the burden it has placed on our societies as a whole. Anyone that wants the hard cold truth is able to find that research & diligently read it for themselves. Once you read it, I believe honest individuals who have died to self, will come to the conclusion that this legal drug is not what Jesus made nor had in mind to make the heart glad.

Those of you seeking, always keep in mind the character of Christ. Jesus would not put His sheep in harms way. This generations alcohol is inconsistent with the character of Christ. Have you ever heard gossip about another and thought to yourself, "That doesn't sound like the person I know."? We learn to consider the source. Very important. And look, there will always be scripture abused in order to substantiate one's sin preference. So how do we know?

God has given us earthly shepherds. You have to pick whom you want to shepherd you. Find a shepherd that is mature with years of experience and has proven to be beyond reproach for starters. Pay close attention to other shepherds that love him, that trust him, that support him & encourage him. This group of shepherds will have a common thread will reveal maturity. Let him/them guide you.

(continued next comment)

#41  Posted by Sanford Doyle  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 11:47 AM

To all,

From Sanford

Rebecca's posts' are full of wisdom and guidance.

I would hope this forum is not just being used to find those in agreement with ourselves, but that each of us would THINK.

If you want to find deeper truths from scripture, don't let your emotions and your human reason control you( they are both perverted and corrupted since the time of the fall of man).

Use the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to THINK. That is the only way to profoundness.

Read Rebecca's comments and think and learn. You read, but you do not see.

Sanford

#42  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 11:47 AM

continuing from last comment...

Likewise, notice those that are not a part of this group of shepherds & their followers. Notice their commonalities. Do they approach Christianity as Christian entrepreneurs, as if they have something new to market? Do they imitate the comforting babel of the popular self help gurus that claim,"I'm OK, You're OK."? Do they use liberal talk & try to disguise it as biblical love for their brothers? Do they use liberal talk & cover it with an opened Bible or scriptures or any kind of Jesus talk (which is really mocking Jesus)? Do they look for legal loopholes? Even Satan knows who Jesus is & what scripture says. 1 John 2:4. You really are called on here to be discerning. Which will take a new kind of bravery.

If elders are called on the be blameless, is that not something we sheep should require of ourselves as well? Titus 1:6. Do we protest with "That is for elders only."? Romans 12:1

Bottom line for me is this. When it comes to conflicts in scripture, always, always consider all you know about Christ and His unchanging character. When you are told something controversial that Christ permitted or indulged in or encouraged, will you say to yourself, "That doesn't sound like the Christ I have come to know as Lord and Savior of my life."? Will you consider the source?

Lastly, always be willing to die for what you claim to believe. It should be worth that much.

#43  Posted by Cadine Miller  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 12:26 PM

It's fascinating how selective our comprehension can be, especially when we have our defenses up. John MacArthur has not stated that consuming alcohol is a sin but I suppose if you have an inclination toward alcohol, it's easy to see an encouragement against it as promoting abstinence. I'm also surprised at the vigour with which some are retorting. It's the same kind of reaction you see on the show intervention when the substance abuser comes to realize their folly. One can only ask where this fervency regarding alcohol is coming from and why it's upheaving such a defense that we're referring to those who don't share our view "grumpy"

For me, this article was an admonishment of using certain means as an evangelistic tool and it's summed up in MacArthur's statement that "there is no suggestion in Scripture that Jesus purposely assumed the look and lifestyle of a publican in order to gain acceptance in a godless subculture. He didn't."

If we in the reformed circle understand the doctrines of grace, irresistible grace then we should not be employing any kind of extra-biblical method to evangelize - alcohol included. Furthermore, it's unfortunate when alcohol (or tattoos and piercings) become a method of relating to culture to say "I'm a Christian, I'm not some pariah hiding under a rock; See! I have tattoos, piercings and I drink beer!" Drinking alcohol in moderation (and really, the subjectivity in moderation is the wellspring of all this strife) is a whole separate matter from UTILIZING it to be culturally relevant.

I hope that we all can get past our pride to introspectively consider where we can improve in these chastisements that we're receiving. No one is so righteous that they can't humbly receive an iota of reproof. Even if we're not directly implicated, let us take heed lest we fall into pride.

Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,

but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.

(Proverbs 15:32 ESV)

Hear instruction and be wise,

and do not neglect it.

(Proverbs 8:33 ESV)

#44  Posted by Cal Morrison  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 12:37 PM

Part 1...

Hi all

I'm Cal, a 26 year old male from Scotland. Just married to a lovely humble Christian 24 year old called Jen.

I come from a Pentecostal denominational background, it's all I had ever know since becoming a believer 6 years ago. I hungered the word of God, loved the Lord Jesus and my life was changed into new life.

As I grew I questioned a lot of the doctrines & practices within my fellowship and the denomination. 

Things weren't right, not just doctrinally but culturally - that's a good saying "It's good for a boat to be in the water but not for water to be in the boat." - The fellowship, as well as an abundant of others around the world were becoming more and more seeker-sensitive, culturally compromised, worldly (perhaps not in intention but the means were). 

So I studied, researched and tried to grow in knowledge and understanding and make a difference.

Some time after, I began listening to John MacArthur. I have listened to literally hundrens of audios, read loads of blogs, books and commentaries by him. He cut right through all of what I'd be taught at first as a Christian and spoke against the denomination I was part of...

Due to listening to a great deal of his material I then knew the context in which he was doing this - He was trying to help build the people of God and gone considerable lengths to do that best he could.

Now I'm not trying to defend him (if ever I could) I don't know a massive deal of theology, terminology etc, and I may not be great in a debate or blog. I am just a young believer who has just came out of what appeared to be an unedifying fellowship. I found that there were two camps I was faced with (Charismatic type theology and Reformed theology) - I know there are others too - and it then pained me to see in turning to Reformed theology, in a camp it seemed there was even more camps. There was the more Arminian and then the more Calvanistic. Oh dear, I am searching for truth the best I can. So standing more with Calvinistic views, even in these blogs there are two camps within the one, and so on....

Point and Conclusion to come...

#45  Posted by Cal Morrison  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 12:42 PM

Part 2...

My reason for commenting is not at the blogs as such but the responses. 

Are we not all brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus, or does one follow Peter, one Paul and another Apollos?

I understand that unity cannot be at the expence of truth, but with such a matter as this? 

Does it show we are mature because we can argue best and speak theologically or that we have love for one another?

I really don't see why one feels the need to defend drinking alcohol, do it if you like with your own liberty and responsibility but to defend it seems so absurd for a believer not conforming but being transformed. 

What is alcohol associated with and what is alcohols track record?

What restrictions does one have by not drinking and what restrictions does one have by drinking? 

I am not perfect, and far from fully mature but I would never try to defend something that so evidently does the opposite of edify. 

I'm very concerned that believers are being divided over such a matter. 

How can we ever hope to love those who hate us if we cannot love our own brother and be humble? Is it a matter of being to theologically proud to put down the pint? Has there been anyone humble enough to say the likes of "Good point, I struggle with that."? 

I personally don't struggle with alcohol but these posts have sharpened me and made me look at the areas of compromise I do struggle with.

Come on brothers, isn't it obvious the world would be better without something that perhaps above 90% of the time is bad and at very best isn't even spiritually edifying and is not even a physical nessecity?

Let us not argue but be sharpened to a grander way of living, a more holy example. 

I hope that we can be side by side in this spiritual battle rather than civil war so we may do as is in the inspired word of God -

'Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ so that - whether I come and see you or whether I remain absent - I should hear that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, by contending side by side for the faith of the gospel,' -Philippians 1:27

I look at the comments and see a lot of well-meaning intellegent people, and it's a pleasure for me to join this online community. I'd love to move across to CA and go to Grace Community Church if I could but this is it for now. I can learn a lot from you all and have seen a lot of your names in previous blogs. I hope we can all just heed the warnings, use them to sharpen ourselves and challenge us, be humble enough to take it and move forward together, side by side... I'd like to think those who love the Lord Jesus do that, maybe I'm being naive.

Thanks all, love Cal.

#46  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 1:08 PM

For any seeking a qualified shepherd, here is a list given by John MacArthur that should help. I imagine this list will narrow down your search quite a bit. And for any of us called to be leaders whether within a church or in our homes, this list should be our standard as well.

1. Above reproach (1 Tim. 3:2)--Leaders are to be unblamable, having nothing in their lives for which they can be rebuked.

2. Devoted to their wives (1 Tim. 3:2)--They are to be one-woman men.

3. Temperate (1 Tim. 3:2)--They are to be spiritually stable, having a clear, biblical perspective on life.

4. Prudent (1 Tim. 3:2)--Prudent people are sober-minded--they know their priorities.

5. Respectable (1 Tim. 3:2)--Leaders are to have such well-ordered lives that they are honored for it.

6. Hospitable (1 Tim. 3:2)--They are to love strangers, opening their houses to those in need.

7. Able to teach (1 Tim. 3:2)--That phrase is translated from the single Greek word didaktikos. It is never used to speak of the gift of teaching or the office of a teacher. It is not saying every leader must be a great Bible teacher. It is saying he must be teachable as well as being able to communicate biblical truth to others. The word conveys not so much the dynamics of his teaching as his sensitivity to others. He teaches with a meek and gentle spirit.

8. Self-controlled (Titus 1:8)--Leaders are not to be addicted to alcohol or drugs of any kind. They need to exercise self-control.

9. Not self-willed (Titus 1:7)--They should not be self-centered. A church can't have people in leadership who are concerned only about themselves. The most important thing about church leaders is that they be concerned about the people they are shepherding.

10. Not quick-tempered (Titus 1:7)--Those in leadership cannot have a volatile temperament; they must be patient.

11. Not pugnacious (Titus 1:7)--This literally means "not a fighter." A church doesn't want someone in leadership who solves problems with his fists.

12. Not contentious (1 Tim. 3:3)--This attitude corresponds to the previous physical reaction. A contentious person likes to compete and debate.

13. Gentle (1 Tim. 3:3)

14. Not materialistic (1 Tim. 3:3)--Church leaders must be free from the love of money (but that is not to say they should be free from money itself).

15. Managing their household well (1 Tim. 3:4)--Church leaders are required to keep their children under control with dignity. Many people keep their kids under control, but not many do it with dignity.

16. Having a good reputation among unbelievers (1 Tim. 3:7)--What does the world think of church leaders? As they interact with the unsaved world, their integrity should be above reproach.

17. Loving what is good (Titus 1:8)

18. Just (Titus 1:8)--Church leaders are to be fair.

19. Devout (Titus 1:8)--They must also be holy in their daily lives.

20. Not new converts (1 Tim. 3:6)--They are to be spiritually mature.

#47  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 1:30 PM

#41 Sanford Doyle - Thank you, Sanford. But I must stick with the truth. And truth is, any wisdom I have is the result of some pretty fantastic teachers of divine scripture, John MacArthur to be one. Being able to see and hear and apply God's glorious truths is one of God's richest blessings on a sinner like me.

#48  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 1:37 PM

#43 Cadine Miller says:

"It's the same kind of reaction you see on the show intervention when the substance abuser comes to realize their folly. One can only ask where this fervency regarding alcohol is coming from...."

Excellent, excellent point. It is more revealing than one might know.

"If we in the reformed circle understand the doctrines of grace, irresistible grace then we should not be employing any kind of extra-biblical method to evangelize..."

Never truer words said. Wonderful insight and very well said, Cadine.

#49  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 1:43 PM

#44 Cal Morrison - Cal, so happy to meet you and have you join us. Wonderful testimony you have there, my Scottish friend. So many good nuggets of truth, I hardly know where to begin.

Hope you will join us as often as you are able. Thanks so much for sharing your testimony. Really encouraging.

#50  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 1:47 PM

The real vivid imagery that comes to all our minds of an intoxicated individual, is that they walk a crooked path, do not have a straight gait, have blurred vision, sway and weave from side to side, often stumble, and if really under the influence, they fall down.

What a word picture this is. Metaphorically alcohol is like sin. Sinners do not have a straight gait (way of walking). Their path is crooked in the sense of being evil. Their vision is blurred when it comes to truth. They tend to sway from side to side, depicting someone who is unstable in their judgments. Also this swaying and weaving depicts someone who is uncommitted to absolutes. And we know that uncommitted ways (no commitment to absolutes) causes people to stumble and teeter of course, and weave in and out of this sin and that sin. And last of all, unrepentant sin causes them to fall hard, providing no legs (foundation-Jesus) for them to stand aright.

I believe that is why alcohol is contrasted with being filled with the Holy Spirit. “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:13).”

God’s Word (which is the Sword of the Spirit) “is a lamp unto (our)my feet, and a light unto (our) my path (Psa 119:105).”

It makes are paths/gait straight. Not crooked. It gives us correct, not blurry vision/ judgment. It keeps us on course/guard for battle against stumbling and weaving in and out of this and that sin. And it has legs, which are able to make us stand firmly once again, if in fact we do fall down.

Just my 2 cents..

I am praying for your dear sister, brother Rudi. Please keep us updated.

God bless you,

Mary

#51  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 1:58 PM

#50 Mary Elizabeth Tyler - I have no words to describe how amazing your observation is. The relationships, the contrasts are so spot on! Could the contrasts be coincidence? Hardly. Just so profound. You need to copywrite it. LOL I think AA could really use it as regular reading. How quickly did that come to you?

Mary Elizabeth, you are such a gift!

#52  Posted by Sanford Doyle  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 2:19 PM

#50 Mary Elizabeth

From Sanford

Truly well thought, truly well said. I will read and reread your post.

Your post will be kept and shared.

Excellent.

Grace and Peace,

Sanford

#53  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 2:29 PM

It did not come quickly at all, Rachael. Many nights, I am probably allot like you, I stay up thinking and mulling these things over and over in my head, until I find something that might work, providing it is within the guidelines of Scripture. I keep pen and paper by my bed, because if I do not write something down immediately, I loose it. That's what happens when we get to be the age of sweet ole, gray-headed grannies. LOL!!! And I am right there along with you, Rachael. But this granny got wise to the gray doldrums and uses Preference by L’Oreal. Works for me! :)

BTW, I love what you write about, I think I told you that once before....keep on keepin on, Rachael!!!

#54  Posted by Chris Lemi  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 3:08 PM

Robert Cooper

You would be a good "guilt tripper" towards someone that was young, naive, and doesn't understand Biblical principles. Nice try though son.

#55  Posted by Chris Lemi  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 3:28 PM

#35 Steve G.

"I don't expect you to agree with me. I'm not trying to convince you to switch sides. You've chosen abstinence as a way of life and that's fine with me. However, I feel that there's been a trend in the comments for the abstainers to try to convince the non-abstainers that their view is the higher and more noble course of action. That, I take issue with."

---------------------------------------------------------------

This is exactly the same way that I feel about the entire issue!

Makes no difference to me if someone chooses to abstain and not drink, not a problem at all, I know what Scripture says on the matter and I am not a new Christian. There's always some Christian groups that love to take the holier than thou attitude towards other Christians, and it isn't only with alcohol, (most of the time it is) and that just because they choose not to drink, that somehow they get extra points with God. They take a self congratulatory, pat themselves on the back, cock their heads back and stick their noses up in the air at these heathen Christians who do choose to drink.

It is very similar to the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke Ch.18.

‘God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.’ - to this I would add for the self righteous non-drinker.... and I don't drink!!

As a new Christian, for a time, I actually did quit drinking altogether. I thought that was what God wanted. Until, I actually started reading and studying scripture, until I actually embraced the Reformed Faith where Jesus Christ is central to everything and should be the only point for any Christian's boasting... it should be on the finished Cross work of our Lord Jesus Christ.

My Pastor always says that "Christ' work, plus your works, won't work."

#56  Posted by Robert Cooper  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 4:06 PM

This question is to anyone here, especially those that promote the use of alcohol!

I have three young daughters that I raise on my own, they are my angels in the throws of adolescents. They struggle with all of the pressures that the world and their peers put on them when it comes to drug and alcohol use. I guide and lead them as best as I can with God's Word and the wisdom that the Holy Spirit has given me. Here is the question;

How would you respond when your daughter/s questions your wisdom on the issue of drug/alcohol use, tobacco, tattoos, etc.. and there reply is; "A 'unnamed well known Christian leader' says it is cool to have alcohol in moderation, they also smoke a pipe and are considering body art, so chill dad, we will be safe."

Yes they know it against the law, unfortunately the county where I live and the counties surrounding us look at minors using alcohol with a wink and a nod because it is so prevalent, john law has other more serious issues to address.

So, what say you to this real life situation that I am dealing with? How do you respond to that leaders outspoken liberties that effect your daughters response and attitude toward your counsel? How do you respond to the leader?

#57  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 4:25 PM

#50 Mary.

She is under professional treatment, and we have agreed to give her a timeoff for that.

I had a little accident myself, being hit in my eye with a glowing hot metalspark, and have spent a couple of days in the emergency room and at an eye-specialist. It will recover fine. I use the extra time to praying and preparing.

#58  Posted by Darren D.  |  Friday, August 19, 2011at 4:32 PM

Once again Rebecca comes thru!! GREAT STUFF! #46 and Robert Cooper...RIGHT ON brother!!

For those that saying that alcohol is perfectly fine....you need to read some of these and LOCK in on what its saying. There is a reason that WINE is both good and bad in the bible, that because it can mean either alcoholic, non-alcoholic and or MIXED with water WINE. It's NOT what we think of it today...that being the BARBARIC drink that they saw it as back in Jesus times.

1. Above reproach (1 Tim. 3:2)--Leaders are to be unblamable, having nothing in their lives for which they can be rebuked.

>>>REMEMBER...as CHRISTIANS....we are in one way or another...... All LEADERS to the LOST and those that are around us. Jesus has made us Priests and KINGS ...the scriptures say. And once we become saved, he bible makes it clear that those that are in this category (all CHRISTIANS..once again according to scriptures are LEADERS)....should NOT drink at all!!!

2. Devoted to their wives (1 Tim. 3:2)--They are to be one-woman men.

>>>>>Even 1 Drink can cause a person to let their inhibitions down and entertain thoughts that one normally would not if Sober minded (as we are told to be)..Alcohol is a DRUG people!! I'm 100% more likely to think and possibly ACT on a thought when under the influence of alcohol, because after 1 drink....your inhibitions have changed!!

Its true...think about it!

3. Temperate (1 Tim. 3:2)--They are to be spiritually stable, having a clear, biblical perspective on life.

>>Once again the key word here is CLEAR...Alcohol CLOUDS your judgment! Be honest with yourselves drinkers!

4. Prudent (1 Tim. 3:2)--Prudent people are sober-minded--they know their priorities.

>>SOBER....!? What!! I've got to be Sober! YES.....Even 1 drink will NIX that...(I'm not talking about Drunk, I'm talking about Sober!!)

8. Self-controlled (Titus 1:8)--Leaders are not to be addicted to alcohol or drugs of any kind. They need to exercise self-control.

>>AM I addicted if I have to have 1, 2 or 3 glasses of WINE or PINTS of beer each night or day...to get my alcohol fix? Or to just to settle my nerves? or to get My Heart Glad?? Seems that if you use the DRUG alcohol on a consistent basis like this....there indeed may MOST Certainly be a problem here of addiction. (though as usual....MOST all looking for a reason to drink.... will deny this.

9. Not self-willed (Titus 1:7)--They should not be self-centered. A church can't have people in leadership who are concerned only about themselves. The most important thing about church leaders is that they be concerned about the people they are shepherding.

>>REMEMBER..if we are CHRISTIANS....we ARE most certainly shepherding someone in our lives....be it our kids, our unsaved family members, our CO-Workers..ect, ect. WE are the LIGHT of the World for our Lord and Savior ...HIS salt upon the earth. So we must act like it and abstain from things that Will tempt others