Thursday, July 31, 2008

Georgia Baptists "Engage the Culture"

12 comments:

Lucas Defalco said...

Abstaining tea-totaller speaking here,

At the risk of sounding extremely cruel and insensative, I am growing more and more tired with people in pastoral positions who allow their early childhood experiences to dictate their doctrinal convictions rather than the Whole Counsel of God. There are ways to have an honest, exegetical discussion of this issue without having to introduce sociological arguments and personal experiences into the mix.

Strong Tower said...

Can't believe it is still an issue. I was born in Ogden, Utah and returned to visist many times. I was always amazed at the "Dry" county lines that cut through the heart of town. You could drink on one side of the street and not the other, buy package on one corner and have to cross the street to find a "Wet Bar" where you couldn't buy alcohol but you could bring in the bottle you bought across the street and buy the mixers. Such is Mormonism in confrontation with the secular state. I am sure that in the case you mentioned similar things exist and will not be resolved. I remember being stationed in Georgia. Blue laws in Atlanta prohibitied package liquor store sales on Sunday, so they closed their doors and sold moonshine out of the shed in back. Go figure.

My dad died died of a coronary thrombosis at the age of 47 directly related to extreme alcoholism. I have come through addiction, my brother died a week ago and was severely impacted by drug and alcohol addiction. My eldest sister, too, tipples far more than she should. My other brother used to be a heavy drinker and has all but dried up. My other sister quit because her daughter was addicted. Roll of the dice- I do not remember my father's drinking (he died when I was five) and did not experience parental excess. My stepdad and mother had one highball at bedtime. My mom was allergic to alcohol and had to acclimate slowly to that one drink a sip at a time. Of the pack I can only attest to my younger sister's salvation. You would think that I would oppose alcohol sells and consumption. Not at all. I had a Guiness yesterday as a matter of fact while waiting for my daughter to land in Denver. You see, whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Ah yes, Guiness (think Os), that great missionary family. I'll bet if we look around we'll find that there have always been "seedy bootleggers" in the Christian family who were dedicated to the Gospel and used their fortunes for that purpose. Let us not forget the Whitehorse Inn and the Reformers theology that was developed over a pint o'brew. I condemn drunkenness along with Scripture, but it teaches us that it is sin that kills, not alcohol. There is no place that condemns consumption nor the sales of alchohol.

Such claims to self-righteous causes seem a little short on sobermindedness.

Gordan Runyan said...

So, the sign is some kind of threat?

Machine Gun Kelley said...

Lucas,
I'm with you on that. I could cite many things from my childhood as my reason to be in opposition to booze, but it won't stand careful exegesis of Scripture.

(Read Ken Gentry's God Gave Wine everyone!)

ST,
Sorry to hear about your brother.

Gordan,
I hope it's a promise!

Pastor Bob Farmer said...

That picture is the greatest pro-alcohol consumption ad ever.

Dusty McDust said...

“I believe the Bible tells us that a Christian should abstain from alcohol.”

That's the high point of the article right there. It would be interesting to hear what other things this preacher guy "believes" the Bible tells us. And wouldn't it be great to have such a Biblically knowledgable guy for a preacher?

"Today I'd like to talk about something I'm pretty sure the Bible teaches. I didn't actually double-check, since studying and reading and stuff is hard, but I really believe my hunch is accurate here..."

(Good thing this guy's brain isn't the typical Christian brain, huh? Otherwise, Christianity would really get on my nerves.)

Rev. said...

Thomas - I'm very sorry to hear about your brother's passing last week.


Lucas & Dusty - ditto.

Wren is okay when he states, “I believe in total abstinence from alcohol." That's his conviction. No worries. The problem is that he doesn't stop there.

What grieves me is that Wren makes the statement, "Alcohol destroys lives and families and costs the United States economy between 40 and 60 billion dollars a year." Etc., etc., etc. Alcohol doesn't destroy lives, sin does. How much does gluttony affect health and families and the economy? How many Baptists are "dry," yet grossly overweight? Gluttony isn't a food issue, its a sin issue. Alcoholism isn't a liquid issue, its a sin issue. The problem with this approach is that it makes an external object the focus rather than the internal issue.

The comment I found to be the most interesting from Wren was this, "We must continue to engage the culture." Yeah, engaging in politics to keep a bunch of pagans from drinking...that's really engaging the culture.

Another statement, "We must not...allow our communities to become havens for evil," is also telling. He has no biblical concept of sin. Is he fighting church divisions and gossip and lust and immodesty and other such things with equal vigor?

Gordan Runyan said...

Other things to point out about the pastor's justification for this action:

1. He's used statistics to imply that correllation is causation. That is, because many crimes have alcohol involved somehow, that must mean that alcohol is the cause of those crimes. This logical fallacy, applied to multiple other areas, is rampant in our whole society, if you'll start watching for it in the news, etc.

2. Generally, with the topic of alcohol, and with gambling, I've noticed, the well-worn "common sense" arguments that Baptists routinely trot out (in the places where a Biblical argument would be better, but simply doesn't exist,) those arguments could apply equally well to human sexuality. (e.g. How many families have been ripped apart by sexual sin? How many crimes involve sex somehow? How much organized criminal activity involves sex? And the list goes on. No doubt these statistics would be alarming, but you don't see Baptists decrying sexuality or calling for total abstinence for all Christians, etc.)

Machine Gun Kelley said...

"Do no suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused. Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit and abolish women?" -Martin Luther

Rev. said...

MGK: Great Luther quote!

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Rev,

Alcohol doesn't destroy lives, sin does. How much does gluttony affect health and families and the economy? How many Baptists are "dry," yet grossly overweight? Gluttony isn't a food issue, its a sin issue.

Excellent reasoning. To many churchgoers it's apparently okay to condemn even moderate use of the non-church-trendy "demon rum," but stay away from our Krispy Kreme donuts.

Rhett, that quote still makes me laugh, though I think he forgot 'song' in the mix. If this mentality isn't curbed, next thing you know we'll have a bunch of eager young Baptist kids running around saying it's a sin to listen to secular music! Oh, wait....

Red and Black Redneck said...

I just can't believe that anyone could live in Taylor County, Georgia without being able to drink distilled spirits. Caught between Macon and Columbus. Ugh. They may legitimately be afraid of endemic alcoholism.