Loose Ends

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323 Responses

  1. My message to Alan Kurschner who wants to see the antichrist — As you faith is, so be it unto thee.

  2. filbertz says:

    books for the summer…Herman Wouk’s “The Winds of War” and “War and Remembrance” both personal follow-ups to his monster text “The Language of God.” I’ll also do some reading on Galatians as I might have the opportunity to teach regularly this summer…Beyond that, I’m open to suggestions. 😉

    I think the question regarding pastors and alcohol is poorly framed. “Should” isn’t the right question.

  3. Michael says:

    DD,

    Nobody wants to see the anti-Christ…but we want to be biblical in our eschatology.
    This is bible;

    “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?”
    (2 Thessalonians 2:1–5 ESV)

  4. Michael says:

    Fil,

    Frame it properly…

  5. Rob Murphy says:

    I am most super pumped to read book 4 of Andrew Peterson’s ‘Wingfeather Saga’, “The Warden and the Wolf King” with my kids. It’s a great series and we are re-reading the series over the last couple months and just received the ‘Warden’ last week. We were part of the Kickstarter campaign to finance the book and so we’re invested in every way we can be. All of us are very, very happy. I’m soaking up every minute. My kids still want to hang out with me and explore a literary world.

    That tops my reading list. Been a rough couple months, I’m eager for some light hearted escapism because I am shallow as a shallow thing. See? I gots nuttin’.

  6. Michael says:

    Rob,

    I hear you…when the current crises in my life resolve I may read nothing deeper than ‘Captain America” for a while…

  7. This morning I just completed James Patterson’s NYPD Red. Pretty good.

  8. Michael says:

    Andrew Peterson has a unique gift with kids…we took T to see him here a few years ago and he still talks about that concert.
    My guess is that his writing reflects that…

  9. PP Vet says:

    From the narcissist article:

    “… the Saul Syndrome can be dealt with successfully, but the likelihood of the leader being open to help is negligible.”

    Chilling.

  10. London says:

    My summer reading goals is to finally read The Lord of the Rings.

  11. Michael says:

    PP Vet…that whole article is chilling.
    Very well written as well…

  12. filbertz says:

    Should implies ‘ought to;’ can implies ‘able to;’ may implies ‘permitted to.’ Which is it?

  13. filbertz says:

    Should means someone (else) has the expectation and you ought to drink alcohol.
    Can means you are capable of doing it.
    May means you are permitted to do so, but have the choice whether or not to do so.

    I think only the third warrants discussion, and that would be brief.

    …but I’m just a boring English teacher…

  14. Michael says:

    fil,

    I’m sending articles to you for editing before publishing from now on… 🙂

  15. DavidM says:

    Regarding alcohol in CC: I was recently with a group of CC pastors, and that issue came up. It was fascinating to see the wide gulf in perspectives between the “old guard” and the young CC guys. One of the young pastors, a very sharp, clear-thinking young man, challenged a recent Jon Courson teaching, describing it as kind of using OT verses metaphorically and then making the jump to simply saying, “Therefore pastors shouldn’t drink”. It was refreshing to see that there is an emerging (oh, dear, it it OK to use that word??) mentality that has no problem openly challenging such a “revered” CC leader, theologically. I am actually amazed that discussions about alcohol are still happening..

  16. Michael says:

    DavidM,

    It’s just weird to me that there is such strife over the issue…especially in light of far more important things that need to be discussed.
    It’s still quite a big deal, though…

  17. Xenia says:

    I have a pile of books I have to read for school and I probably won’t get too far from that pile.

    On the top of the pile (That is, I’d better read them quick or I’m in trouble):

    Athanasius, The Life of Antony (and some other stuff in that volume)
    The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (Needs to be read slowly and thoughtfully)
    Derwas Chitty, The Desert a City

    Plus plugging through Wheelock’s Latin for a specific purpose…..

    Slavonic Class starts soon, Lord have mercy.

    For fun, a friend and I are reading Raven Son by Nicholas Kotar so we can discuss it. He’s a friend of a friend. It’s very good!

  18. Papias says:

    That article on narcissistic pastors is good. Eye opening.

    For reading this summer, probably just stick with trying to plod thru JE. And also reading Sacred Anointing – about DMLJ and preaching. Maybe pickup one of my books on WW1 that have been catching my eye.

    Agree with Fils comments in #13. A Christian may drink alcohol but not to excess. Those who teach that a Christian CANNOT drink usually have a personal bent against booze – either based on holiness or addictions in their family background.

  19. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    With that list you’ll never get to “Captain America”… 😉

  20. Xenia says:

    It’s ironic that it’s usually the Christians with the strongest belief in inerrancy and Sola scriptura who take the extra-biblical (non-biblical, actually) view on complete abstinence. But they have their traditions of men…..

  21. covered says:

    Michael you have mail.

  22. Michael says:

    Papias, Xenia,

    The question as I hear it is more about whether pastors in particular should imbibe.
    The arguments drive me to drink…

  23. Xenia says:

    Michael, the only hope I have for getting around to Captain America is if it’s in some semi-dead ritual language.

  24. Xenia says:

    But I hope to see Godzilla this weekend!

  25. DavidM says:

    Michael, yes, there are much more important uses of our time and much larger issues to address. So, in CC, if a pastor has a drink, God forbid. But what about the obese, gluttonous pastor? Doesn’t that send a message of a lack of control? I guess I’m saying, OK, let’s let our “moderation be known to all”. Now let’s get on with the work of the gospel in front of us. Sheesh!

  26. Xenia says:

    It’s funny about those celeb books. Before Amazon was huge, I had an online bookstore catering to evangelical Christians and homeschoolers. (Peabodysbooks.com!) It was so easy to go to thrift shops and garage sales and load up on evangelical books because no one kept them very long, they’d read them once and toss them out. After I became Orthodox (and Amazon took over the whole market practically) I closed shop because Orthodox Christians keep their books, most of which were written centuries ago and are just as valuable today as they were then. No one throws out their copy of The Ladder of Divine Ascent. When I was getting a library together for the CC highschool where I used to work, I sent out a request for used Christian books and we got so many copies of the various Left Behind books that I could have used them for bricks to build the library! (Slight exaggeration).

  27. Papias says:

    “The question as I hear it is more about whether pastors in particular should imbibe.”

    Why “should” anyone drink? As a way to relate to drinkers? We probably shouldn’t “should” each other.

    I had a roommate tell me once that “Don’t Shouldn’tve me, bro!” 🙂

    If we do things in order to relate to others, that’s one slippery slope. Would the same argument apply for adultery, murder, and….?

    GO KINGS GO!!!! 3 more wins to victory! I need to wash my jersey soon. 😉

  28. Xenia says:

    However, I see trouble in Ortholandia. Because of the popularity of Ancient Faith Radio, especially among evangelical converts to Orthodoxy, some podcasters are starting to publish flimsy books that people buy because of the fame of the podcaster. These books are always disappointing. I don’t buy ’em anymore.

  29. Xenia says:

    “May” pastors imbibe.

  30. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    That’s exactly why I have no use for these “celebrity” books…

  31. Michael says:

    Papias,

    If you wash that jersey now, I’ll walk out there and flog you.
    The Cup rests on your shoulders… 🙂

  32. Muff Potter says:

    I’ve been meaning to for years now and I’m finally gonna’ sit down and read Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, the best selling American novel of all time.

  33. Michael says:

    I’m an odd duck…I just can’t read fiction…outside of comic books. 🙂
    Anybody use audiobooks?

  34. EricL says:

    This summer will be for writing, not reading. I have two novels to finish and a third that I want to get done by the end of the year. I will have to be very careful what I read or else my mind will go wild with story ideas that have nothing to do with these three. I don’t need even more story plots waiting in the wings; my backlog of planned books is already at 9.

  35. Francisco says:

    Great articles & topics today. Thx for posting, Be blessed!

  36. Dusty says:

    who has time to read when there is yard work to do? lol

    I think this year our reading list will be titles only of books to keep or donate. for a while the thrift stores were not taking books, I even called the library to donate some books and unless they were paperback love stories no one wanted them we thew away a hundred books that year…..though I was glad to get them out of the house it killed me to put them in the trash……..so glad thrift stores take them now.

  37. Dusty says:

    I will most likely read though my collections of Isabella Alden, Amy Carmichael, and Elizabeth Prentiss.

  38. Dusty says:

    I know, I’m a light wt compared to what yall are reading

  39. Dusty says:

    and of course will be reading my all time favorite blog – THE Phoenix Preacher!

  40. Dusty says:

    G, what do you think of the Zentangle books? Buster bought me a set while I was in the Mental hospital to keep me busy. Im not good with drawing so it was a good jumping off point for me – they are kind of like doodle books for dummies.

  41. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    maybe other bloggers have summer reading lists but I’ve tended to have more of a summer writing list. Not that I don’t read but I’m not the fastest reader around. Conversely, I feel like I’m overdue to write more about cartoons.

  42. Michael says:

    I’ll have my hands full with keeping this going…

  43. Xenia says:

    I think I have been terribly remiss, Michael, in thanking you for all the years that you have kept this place going. I think I take the PhxP for granted after all these years. I expect Monday’s “Things I Think” to appear on my computer screen just as I aspect the Monterey Herald to appear on the breakfast table. I really REALLY appreciate you giving us all a platform for conversation for all these years despite all the problems you are facing off line. Thank you!!!

  44. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Thank you…you are part of what makes this worth reading and writing for.
    Without you and the rest of the folks here, it’s not worth it.
    With you all, it’s a pleasure to be part of.
    Thanks again, my friend.

  45. Dusty,
    Those books look like a lot of fun!
    GO FOR IT!!! =)

    I was fascinated by the ones I posted, discovered them while visiting Nepenthe in Big Sur.
    I find them a stretch just to get started and overcome the voice of my inner-critic.
    Bought the drawing one for my boss, she totally loves it. We’re a pack of crazy creatives here at my day job.

  46. Kevin H says:

    Jumpinin in on the alchohol discussion for a moment, it seems like to me that drinking is still the one taboo of the traditional taboos of the last century or so (dancing, card playing, going to movies, etc.) that is still held unto strongly by some segments of the evangelical church.

    I have heard sermons given warning against Christians drinking. Some have even started with a qualifier saying that they can’t say it’s definitively wrong for a Christian to drink because the Bible doesn’t forbid it, but then follow it up with all the reasons why a Christian shouldn’t drink or why it is unwise to do so. Essentially saying it’s wrong for a Christian to drink. So many of these sermons have struck me as being drawn on eisegesis rather than good exegesis. And then the whole part of it being all the more so important for a pastor not to drink (in comparison to the “regular” Christian) that I just don’t get. Well that’s my take, anyway.

  47. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    It’s a lot of wasted energy in an attempt to be “distinctive”, in my opinion.

  48. stevecodling@gmail.com says:

    A second to the Andrew Peterson nod – great family reading! Was choked when I heard about the kickstarter for the fourth book a week too late!!! Great musician too – Light for the Lost Boy has some incredible musical/lyrical moments in it…

  49. #10 London, you won’t regret it.

  50. Rob Murphy says:

    I used to devour audio books when I was a commuter. I was late getting to work because of “Undaunted Courage” by Ambrose and “Into Thin Air” by Krakauer. Simply riveted, I had a hard time with getting out of the car with those. SInce I don’t commute but 12 minutes to work, I miss out on audio books. I just have enough time in the 12 minute commute for remembering how to get to work. haha!

  51. Here is my short list:
    I am finishing up Tolkien’s Beowulf translation.
    Next up is scifi, John C. Wright’s “Count to a Trillion”.
    Then, I was planning on this which found free on Amazon:
    “The Homilies of the Anglo-Saxon Church Containing the Sermones Catholici, or Homilies of Ælfric, in the Original Anglo-Saxon, with an English Version. Volume I.”
    Of course, I am going to be reading the English version, because I only can read about every third word in Old English. 😉

  52. There are people who can drink and handle it and there are people who can’t.

    If you are a Christian and you know you have a problem with drinking then stay away from it.

    Know thyself.

  53. Michael says:

    Rob,

    “Into Thin Air” was epic!

  54. “Into Thin Air” was epic!

    Isn’t that one of the Left Behind books? 😉

  55. Michael says:

    MLD,

    It’s all of them… 🙂

  56. BTW,
    Xenia isn’t lying. Any thrift store I go into seems to have nearly a whole bookcase dedicated to used “Left Behind” books.
    Save that dough and go see Nicholas Cage in the movie.
    Or alternatively, you could go and let an alligator chew on your arm.
    I think I choose the latter.

  57. Jean says:

    I am currently reading Peter Enns, The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say About Human Origins

    The next ones on my shelf to read this summer include:
    David A. DeSilva, Unholy Allegiances: Heeding Revelation’s Warning
    Jesus Among Friends and Enemies, Ed. Chris Keith and Larry Hurtado
    Ronald Sider, The Early Church on Killing: A Comprehensive Sourcebook on War, Abortion, and Capital Punishment

    I have a habit of adding books to my library at a faster pace than I’m able to read them. Anyone else have that experience?

  58. Xenia says:

    Derek, I am planning to get and read Tokien’s Beowulf before too long. I have his translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, still unread (but soon!)

  59. Xenia says:

    London, you will love Lord of the Rings! I think it is the best fiction ever written.

    (Tolkien, not Tokien, as I wrote above. Sheesh.)

  60. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Feel free to do reviews on that list for us…

  61. Ixtlan says:

    my summer list.

    1. Escape From Reason – Schaeffer
    2. How Should we then Live? – Schaeffer
    3. Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy – Metaxas
    4. C.S. Lewis as Philosopher – ed. Bagget, Habermas, Walls
    5. Nihilism. The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age – Rose

  62. Xenia says:

    Ixtlan! You are reading Fr. Seraphim Rose!

    He used to attend our parish, long before my time. Fans of Fr. Seraphim consider our little church to be a minor pilgrimage destination.

    (He wasn’t Fr. Seraphim when he wrote Nilhism, just plain old Eugene.)

  63. Michael says:

    Ixtlan,

    All for school?

  64. Xenia,
    I like the translation, but the commentary is even more interesting.
    It also has a short story called Sellic Spell, meaning “strange tale” in which Tolkien tried to recreate the folk tale he thought the work of Beowulf was based on. Also, it has a poem called “The Lay of Beowulf” which is the first time Christopher Tolkien was introduced to Beowulf when his father sang it to him when he was eight.

    To any others that like Tolkien, let me recommend “The Children of Húrin” which is a story from before LOTR. I first read a condensed version of this in “The Silmarillion”

  65. Q says:

    “Nobody wants to see the anti-Christ…but we want to be biblical in our eschatology”

    The verses quoted from 2 Thessalonians do not necessarily say that the church will see the anti-Christ only that the Thessalonians were not in the Day of the Lord.

    Is Paul beseeching them ‘about’ the coming of our Lord or ‘by’ the coming of our Lord?

    If ‘by’ (as in the KJV), then, it could be understood as “I appeal to you on the basis of the Rapture that you should not fear that you are in the Day of the Lord”.

  66. Jean says:

    Ixtlan, I hope you’ll share your thoughts on Metaxas’ book on Bonhoeffer. There’s been a fair amount of recent publishing on this theologian and Christian. Around the same time as the book you’re reading came Dietrich Bonhoeffer 1906-1945: Martyr, Thinker, Man of Resistance – Schlingensiepen.

    Recently, three authors collaborated on Bonhoeffer the Assassin?: Challenging the Myth, Recovering His Call to Peacemaking. This book argues that Bonhoeffer did not participate in any plot to assassinate Hitler.

    Even more recently, Charles Marsh published, Strange Glory, A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in which Marsh implies that Bonhoeffer harbored homosexual desires for Eberhard Bethge.

    I would like to learn more about Bonhoeffer, but I don’t know who I can trust or whether any of the current crop of books does Bonhoeffer justice.

  67. I once read every Louis L’amor western novel one after another. I came away from them with an understanding of his definition of what is moral and also his understanding that nothing is to hard for those who have perseverance and are willing to put forth the effort.

    It was during one of the hardest and darkest periods of my own life. Those books quite literally pulled me through and gave me a second wind.

    The members of the LaMoore family were intelligent, well read people and all of them had a hand in Louis’ education.

    Emmy Lou had taught him how to read. His father taught him the ways and wiles of animals, a deep belief in hard work, and the fact that a man could always find a way to solve a problem.

    The basics of learning he got from his mother who had once trained as a schoolteacher, and from Edna who passed along her insights into libraries and research.Yale showed Louis a spirited love of life.

    When Louis was very young his grandfather, Abraham Truman Dearborn, came to live in a little house just in back of the LaMoore’s.

    He told Louis of the great battles in history and of his own experiences as a soldier in both the civil and Indian wars.

    of Louis’ uncles had worked on ranches for many years, one as a manager and the other as an itinerate cowboy. It was in the company of men such as these that Louis was first exposed to the history and adventure of the American Frontier.

    Guys, if you have never read any of his books you are in for a real treat.

    Easy reading with chapters just long enough to read before shutting off the light for bed.

    *** *** ***
    For some reason this thread was very enjoyable. I think it was the combination of certain people present and the absence of other people that did it for me. I took my time and pondered each comment. Thanks everyone!

    My news channel always says, “Breaking News.”

    I think Michael is “Breaking News” and others will soon enough pick up on his lead. Good job Michael, you persevere!

  68. Neo says:

    Someone just sent me a copy of the Bonhoeffer book today!

  69. Speaking of westerns…if anyone likes Zane Grey there are a lot of his books free on Amazon all the time. I think they are out of copyright.
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_kk_3?rh=i%3Adigital-text%2Ck%3Azane+grey+kindle+books+free&keywords=zane+grey+kindle+books+free&ie=UTF8&qid=1402021415

  70. Neo says:

    David. Yes! Louis L brought me through some tough times in my childhood. He was a fine companion for a preadolescent.

  71. Neo says:

    …I have all his books in leather bound.

  72. sisterchristian says:

    Jean-

    Adding more books to my library than there is time to read..
    And like dusty… Not the time to read when there are weeds to pull( and grass to mow, fences to build, plumbing to fix…)

    You bring up a good point when you mention Which authors to trust in reading biographies…
    I have recently acquired one on Bonhoeffer., will have to look back to see if its the one you have or another …

    Yet I have found discrepancies in re telling the stories of the commonly known missionaries and ministries of Gladys Aylward, Corrie ten Boom, Hudson Taylor, George Muller and the like … And it does beg the question
    Which Authors to trust…?
    Although the discrepancies in the ones I mentioned are likely not near as dramatic or controversial as the ones presented in Bonhoeffers case

  73. Michael–Thanks for the article on the narcissistic pastor; I’m dealing with one right now and that article nails it so perfectly. It’s like it was written with him in mind.

  74. Andrew says:

    The prohibition of Alcohol in CC among pastors is nothing more than pure legalism. Joe Focht from CCphilly has his alcohol sermon right on the CCA web site for all to hear and discern. Unbelievable that this is somehow one of the more important ministry resources. Geez, wasn’t the very first miracle Jesus did was to turn water into wine?

  75. Franco2010 says:

    What about those whose livelihood is in viticulture and who live in Oregon, Washington, or California wine regions and who are faithfully serving in ministry? Are these grounds for their disqualification?

  76. PP Vet says:

    Anyone who doesn’t like CC policies that are within the scripturally allowable realm of conscience, please go start your own @#$%^& movement.

    You get to set up your own holidays, diet plan, and everything. Have fun.

  77. Andrew says:

    what is a @#$%^& movement? Is that what CC is?

  78. I thought I was going to have a @#$%^& movement once, but it turned out just to be gas.

  79. As movements go, the “@#$%^& movement” will become memorable, mostly because of it’s easy name which rolls off the tongue in any stressful situation

  80. Mark says:

    Alcohol alters the brain. In any dosage. There is no purpose to imbibe alcohol other than to obtain the mind altering affect. Don’t give me Bs about how good it tastes. Why would a pastor who wants to b fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit choose to alter his mind. I’ll concede the bible doesn’t prohibit it. The bible also doesn’t prohibit heroin

  81. DavidM says:

    PP Vet, what is a “scripturally allowable realm of conscience” as it relates to CC policies? Can you give an example?

  82. Mark says:

    Our body is the temple of God once we are in dwelt with the Holy Spirit. Why defile the temple?

  83. Mark says:

    Alcohol is the most destructive drug on earth

  84. Mark says:

    Why would a pastor openly engage in using the most destructive drug on earth knowing that others will follow his lead and many of those will develop problems. It’s not legalism at all. It’s practical common sense

  85. Michael says:

    Mark,

    The Bible actually encourages drinking in moderation.
    I enjoy a drink now and again and it doesn’t “defile the temple”…I believe the Bible is clear about that.

  86. Michael says:

    I drink Mexican Coke.
    I haven’t seen a run on the stuff at Costco…

  87. Michael says:

    ““You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. And before the LORD your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, when the LORD your God blesses you, because the place is too far from you, which the LORD your God chooses, to set his name there, then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the LORD your God chooses and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household.”
    (Deuteronomy 14:22–26 ESV)

  88. Michael says:

    “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.””
    (Matthew 15:11 ESV)

  89. Mark says:

    Show me where the bible encourages drinking. The verses u will pick r warnings against drunkenness not encouragement to drink. answer honestly Michael. Why do u drink?

  90. Mark says:

    U cited OT. Before the permanent in dwelling of the Holy Spirit. OT has lots of commands that no longer apply now that we have the New Covenant

  91. Michael says:

    Mark,

    Where is the warning in my #89?

  92. Mark says:

    Everyone should ask themselves why they drink. And answer honestly.

  93. Kevin H says:

    “The general contours of biblical teaching are that wine is a blessing from the Lord, something to be enjoyed. But like any good gift from God, it can be abused: in this case, abuse involves addiction and drunkenness. But whenever we condemn others who are able to enjoy God’s good gifts in moderation as though they were abusers, we misrepresent biblical Christianity. At bottom, it seems that biblical Christianity has a much different face than what much of modern Christianity wears. In many respects, we resemble more the ancient Pharisees than the Lord’s disciples.” – Daniel Wallace

    https://bible.org/article/bible-and-alcohol

  94. Michael says:

    Mark,

    That’s some horrible exegesis there…that passage has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit…it’s a divine exhortation to enjoy what God gives you.
    In the NT, we read that all things are lawful to us…

  95. Mark says:

    Pastors r held to a higher standard. They shouldn’t do things that cause others to stumble. Like indulging in the most dangerous drug on earth

  96. Michael says:

    Mark,

    I drink because I enjoy an occasional drink, just like humans have from the beginning.
    Jesus understood this…when He brewed some Himself it was really good stuff.

  97. Michael says:

    Mark,

    I think the thing that gripes me the most is your ridiculous over emphasis on the influence of a pastor.
    If my having a drink stumbles someone, they need therapy and to learn to think for themselves.
    They are going to crash the first time they see a beer commercial.
    I don’t abuse or flaunt my freedom in Christ and whether I have a drink now and then is nobodies business.

  98. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    Good article…thank you!

  99. Mark says:

    I’m only talking about pastors not drinking. But I have tons of experience with the destructiveness of alcohol. Leading cause of crime. Biggest factor in sexual abuse. When you r victimized by that evil u take a different view. I would never sit under s pastor who either encouraged or indulged alcohol. It’s a minor thing to surrender to God but could have major consequences to those sitting in the pews. Also CC does not preach against alcohol. CC just takes a position that leaders should not imbibe.

  100. Andrew says:

    Mark, If Alcohol is the most destructive drug on the earth, Jesus must have really started his ministry off with a bang turning water into wine at the wedding in Canaan. And don’t give me this bs that the wine had no alcohol content. People got drunk back then just like they do today. There is nothing wrong with a little buzz as long as you aren’t an alcoholic. Thats not drunkenness. Be merry, celebrate and drink a little wine. Its actually good for the stomach as well and can help one relax. But if you are an alcoholic, I agree stay away completely.

  101. Michael says:

    Mark,

    That’s your choice.
    You wouldn’t like my church…they buy my booze.
    I greatly appreciate that.

  102. Mark says:

    Michael u r being ridiculous. There is no evidence of Jesus brewing wine. Also do u disagree about the destructiveness of alcohol ? If not why in the world would u encourage it! Makes no sense

  103. Michael says:

    All this holier than thou talk…God hasn’t asked me to surrender it.
    In the Scriptures or otherwise…

  104. I can’t think of a bigger endorsement / encouragement to drink than the fact that Jesus made more for the wedding crowd after they had already guzzled all that was previously provided for them. Could you imagine telling Jesus that you refuse to drink his wine?

    And don’t give me the lame story how Jesus made the watered down stuff. I am sure if Jesus made wine, he made hi octane.

    Mark, how do you do take communion with no wine?

  105. Mark says:

    Andrew u sound ridiculous. It’s OK to get a little buzz once in awhile? Wow. Do u know what it means to take up your cross and follow Jesus ? To surrender self and allow Him to rule your life? There is no room for alcohol or any other mind altering drug in that equation.

  106. DavidM says:

    Mark, there are CC pastors who do imbibe on occasion. They exercise their freedom like anyone should: quietly, not imposing their freedoms on others. You live by your conscience, let others live by theirs.

    Also, you’re saying that Jesus turned harmless water into the “most dangerous drug on earth”?? And please don’t offer the tired old, lame explanation that it was “unfermented” wine (aka grape juice).

  107. Michael says:

    Mark…are you unaware of this?

    “Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroomand said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory.”
    (John 2:6–11 ESV)

  108. Jean says:

    Why are the writings of Paul in 1 Tim 3 relevant to the alcohol discussion. Overseers are not to be drunkards and Deacons are not to be given to excessive drinking. There appears to be a higher standard in sight in chapter 3, but I don’t see abstinance in view.

  109. Andrew says:

    And when I hear a pastor say that this event is “Christian event” therefore there will be no beer or wine I am left scratching my head what this pastor means by “Christian”? The old what would Jesus do saying, just doesn’t work with wine at a wedding does it?

  110. Michael says:

    Mark,

    Alcohol can be destructive.
    So can a multitude of other things.
    This is just pure legalism and imposing the laws of men on the people of God.

  111. Michael says:

    Jean,

    They are quite relevant because of there were going to be a prohibition, it would be there.
    In reality it seems to assume imbibing.

  112. After 25 yrs of CC and SBC, I remember the first Lutheran pot luck I went to – the wine flowed, a couple of flasks were seen and I remember our head elder brought his martini mixer.

    Jews consider wine a gift from God.

  113. Jean says:

    Michael, That was my point, written with somme grammatical errors. I apolgize for the sloppiness.

  114. Michael says:

    Jean,

    You did well…I just wanted to clarify further.

  115. Andrew says:

    Andrew u sound ridiculous. It’s OK to get a little buzz once in awhile? Wow. Do u know what it means to take up your cross and follow Jesus ? To surrender self and allow Him to rule your life? There is no room for alcohol or any other mind altering drug in that equation.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    Jesus convicted me of my Pharisaical self righteous attitude of legalism and told me to drink. My Christian counselor told me the same. Don’t ever remember being drunk but I do enjoy the buzz once in awhile. There is nothing better than being free from sin and for me drinking wasn’t the sin, the self righteous attitude was.

  116. Michael says:

    MLD,

    When we have church barbecues those who want cocktails or beer enjoy them.
    Those who want pop or juice do likewise.
    All our lives are still intact…

  117. Mark says:

    We agree to disagree. I find more and more that this Way is a very narrow road. To rely totally on The Lord requires sacrifice. Michael if you were overseeing an addiction ministry would u admit u drink occasionally?

  118. DavidM says:

    Mark, since you are so vehement about this issue, I would like to know how you explain Jesus’ miracle at Cana.

  119. Michael says:

    Mark,

    The incredibly odious insinuation in your remarks is that only those who agree with your unbiblical views about alcohol are on the “narrow road”.
    You are the one who is in opposition to Scripture as we have proven.
    Think about that…
    My job in ministry is to point people to Christ and His word, not my personal habits and choices.
    If someones health depends on my choices, then they are living my life, not theirs.
    They need to be able to make good decisions for themselves.

  120. Mark,
    “I find more and more that this Way is a very narrow road.”

    I don’t know how you can possible say this when Jesus himself the exact opposite … the exact opposite. Can I make that more clear.

    So is it what goes into my mouth that makes the difference (per our friend Mark) or is it NOT what goes into my mouth that makes the difference (My friend Jesus)

  121. Jean says:

    “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses” (1 Tim 5:23). Paul here is recommending that Timothy drink wine. I don’t know if the purpose is to “take the edge off”, pain relief, or some other reason.

  122. Michael says:

    Jean,

    The alcohol would have killed parasites in the water.
    It would have also made you nicer to the ones that survived. 🙂

  123. Dusty says:

    31 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:

    2 What are you doing, my son?[a] What are you doing, son of my womb?
    What are you doing, son of my vows?
    3 Do not give your strength to women,
    your ways to those who destroy kings.
    4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    or for rulers to take strong drink,
    5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
    and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
    6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
    and wine to those in bitter distress;[b]
    7 let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.

  124. Mark says:

    Amazing to me such vehement defense of a pastors “right” to take mind altering drugs. When it is a fact that alcohol is the leading factor in violent crime, sexual crime, greatest contributor to vehicular deaths, etc. if Jesus were here today to see the destruction wrought by alcohol I guarantee u he would speak out against it. Enjoy your buzz folks!

  125. filbertz says:

    I think pastors should stop driving cars altogether. They are incredibly dangerous and destructive things that kill and maim countless people every year. Something that destructive should be left entirely alone, especially by men of God.

    😉

  126. Dusty says:

    filbertz – funny 🙂

  127. Michael says:

    Mark,

    That was lame.
    You got schooled biblically and you just come back with more nonsense.
    You can’t answer from the Scriptures so you resort to mud slinging.
    That could stumble someone…

  128. Hi Mark,
    Deadly serious question for you, my friend, are you a recovering alcoholic or have a family member who is?

  129. London says:

    I wondered that too G.

  130. Andrew says:

    I think pastors should stop eating refined carbs and sugar. I think sugar is poison, causes diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, high blood pressure and cancer and is the most destructive drug to defile the temple. 🙂

  131. Dusty says:

    I’m sorry you are so upset Mark. I don’t think anyone here is condoning drunkenness.

  132. Michael says:

    Mark is fully entitled to his personal convictions for whatever reason he holds them.
    I can respect that.
    What I don’t respect is when he tries to impose them on all believers.

  133. Dusty says:

    Andrew, I think I should stop eating refined carbs and sugar

  134. Mark,
    I don’t know about others, but I am not defending a pastor’s right to do anything – that is not up to me.

    I am arguing against your small view of what makes a Christian.

  135. Andrew says:

    Dusty, If you have time listen to this. Sugar: the bitter truth. Its eye opening about the huge dangers of sugar.

  136. Kevin H says:

    From back at #97 – “Pastors r held to a higher standard. They shouldn’t do things that cause others to stumble. Like indulging in the most dangerous drug on earth”

    Alcohol certainly causes destruction in some people’s lives, including in this country. What also causes destruction in people’s lives, especially in this country is materialism, covetousness, and the pursuit of the American dream. Many people get caught up in these things which end up bringing destruction into their lives one way or another. The percentage of people effected negatively by these types of things are probably even higher than those effected by alcohol.

    Therefore, if a pastor is to avoid alcohol in order to avoid stumbling others, then all the more so he should avoid anything that could appear materialistic in order to avoid possibly stumbling others. To be on the safe side, all of our pastors should then live in shacks, wear only ratty clothes, drive only beater cars, and never take a nice vacation.

    Oh, and some people are stumbled by movies. And some people are stumbled by the internet. And some people are stumbled by food. And some people…….

  137. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    Really well done…

  138. Mark,
    I lead worship at a church recovery ministry and have friends who have started a church centered in 12 Step.

    I completely completely understand your sensitivities, even as a “normie”. It’s impossible to build a “biblical” case for outlawing or denying anyone from consuming alcohol but stating preferences and perspectives with the goal of encouraging others to avoid excess is always commendable

  139. DavidM says:

    Mark, if you really believe that everyone here is defending a pastor’s “right” to “take mind-altering drugs”, then you have missed the point altogether. And, your incredibly immature response makes intelligent discussion nearly impossible. I imagine many of the people here believe that the abuse of alcohol has caused great pain in your life. That is sad and tragic, and I also imagine that many of us here can relate to that pain. I certainly can. But can’t you see that to then make that leap to “therefore Christians should not imbibe” is you imposing your conscience on all others? And to suggest that any Christian that drinks is not on the narrow road is so highly judgmental. The lens through which you see alcohol is darkened by pain. OK, I get that. But, aside from ignoring Jesus’ turning the water into wine, you are ignoring His words about judging others.

  140. Did my question about your personal journey upset you?

  141. Michael says:

    In my dream world, here’s how Mark would respond.

    “You all have a biblical and ethical case for your convictions. My personal convictions are different. I respect yours and apologize for trying to put you under a law.”

    We would all affirm Mark and sing a chorus together.
    I also have dreams where I win the lottery.

  142. Mark,
    Have you lost a spouse or child to alcoholism?
    I lost a friend to suicide from prescription drugs, which was his way of trying to cope with depression, which many well meaning christians faulted him for.
    He was a courageous man, touched many lives any got them into successfully overcoming their addiction. What ultimately killed him is his loss of a single battle against suicidal depression.

  143. Mark,
    Why so silent?
    Are you processing, thinking this through?
    Wherever you land on this today, know that you are loved not only by Jesus but everyone here, regardless who agrees or disagrees with you.

    May you continue in your personal sobriety, one day at a time, avoiding one drink at a time.

  144. Michael says:

    G,

    Your comments show what I think the heart of this place is beyond the debates.
    Thank you.

  145. Michael,
    Thx.
    Anyone who states such strong feelings, regardless of theology, is daring to bare their soul, and risk much.
    Loss sucks, and extremes of any type exact a toll on those who hold them and those who love them.
    My friend who lost his life left 3 children and 2 ex wives and more friends than he could count.
    He loved Jesus but lost his battle against despair because he disconnected from friends, family and community, a horrible lesson for those of us left, that none of us can successfully overcome or remain victorious over anything while trying to do life alone.

  146. Papias says:

    I belong to a group on FB related to Christian metal music. Occasionally someone posts a thread not related to music, Last night someone did that and I made my statement.

    Then came the flames.

    I tried to explain that different believers had different interpretations about the subject and that the most important thing was to respect each other and that we would be known by our love.

    More flames – really just people saying that “the Bible clearly teaches my view is correct and you are not in the truth…”. Even had someone IM me to continue the argument.

    I replied with my question to him” Do you believe that people who do not see the Bible the same as you are not saved?” I got flamed again.

    I just stopped responding.

    The subject: Tongues.

    Sigh.

  147. Michael says:

    Papias,

    Certainty about the faith is more important than the faith itself to some…

  148. Michael says:

    According to Alan Kurchners website, Guzik is open to his debate on the Rapture…that will be epic if it happens.

  149. Mark says:

    Was offline for awhile. Let me clarify. I limited my comments from the beginning to pastors only. I’m not trying to impose my personal convictions on all Christians. I have experienced this first hand as you’ve guessed. My wife and I were both sexually abused by alcoholics. Both of our fathers were abusive drunks. I’m a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. My life was a mess and its been redeemed by the blood of Christ. My intention in posting on this thread was to defend the majority position of CC pastors that the pastor and leaders ( in some churches) should abstain from alcohol. For multiple reasons including keeping others from stumbling as well as allowing for deeper fellowship with God. Our host vehemently disagrees. Despite his clam to the contrary he does “flaunt” his right to drink. On this blog and apparently in his church since he accepts gifts of alcohol from his attendees. I hold the position that that is irresponsible.any will disagree. Paul speaks of “license” in his epistles but also cautions against causing others to stumble. Anyone in recovery knows we are always one drink from destruction. G I sincerely appreciate your words. I’m not judging anyone’s right to drink. My wife will have a glass of wine tonight at dinner. I don’t condemn her for that. But if I saw my pastor doing shots at the bar that would b a stumbling block for me. Our culture has provided license for alcohol abuse and is moving the same way with pot. I don’t believe God approves. Peace to all here who hold a different opinion. I will say this: defending your right to drink by citing the wedding at Cana shows a gross misunderstanding of what Jedus did that day but that’s another thread. Finally I appreciate the diversity of this community and the discussions here. I am seeking a deeper relationship with my Lord and, for me, that requires laying down anything that would distract me

  150. Finally got my big element on the stove fixed so I can brew my beer this weekend.
    When it is ready to drink, I will think of Mark.

    The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
    (Matthew 11:19 ESV)

    Mark, don’t be like the Pharisees. They saw Jesus drinking, and said he was a drunkard.
    Do you think Jesus was drinking too much Mark? Or was he drinking in moderation?

    I repeat my #54.

    There are people who can drink and handle it and there are people who can’t.

    If you are a Christian and you know you have a problem with drinking then stay away from it.

    Know thyself!

  151. Michael says:

    Mark,

    If your pastor drinking stumbles you and your wives drinking doesn’t…that’s odd.
    I know of no pastor who does shots at a bar.
    My pastor doesn’t drink.
    I do.
    We don’t talk about it because it’s irrelevant.
    It should be up to the individual to decide their liberty in Christ.
    I also know CC pastors who drink very fine liquor at home and read these threads and wonder why good ministers would be judged by such a thing…

  152. Michael says:

    I also know CC pastors who won’t drink, but will smoke weed the minute it’s legal.
    I don’t like weed.
    It will be none of my business.

  153. London says:

    Good for you for staying the course of sobriety Mark!
    You do whatever you gotta do!

  154. Francisco says:

    Michael
    You made a very good point on #155. I think that should put to rest the to drink or not to drink debate. Whether we choose to exercise our liberty in Christ to have a cup of the vine now or not, the Lord himself promised us, His bride that we will have drink with Him when we drink it new with Him in His kingdom. He is abstaining right now but I surely look forward to the best vintage to come by the best winegrower ever. I say winegrower because wine is grown not made. Our Lord is also very passionate about the fruit produced by His vines He will not rest until the harvest is complete.

    ” But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.Matt 26:29

    Be Blessed my brother.
    Francisco

  155. Mark says:

    I wonder what those fine pastors do when they r home drinking fine liquor and get an emregency call from a grieving saint. That’s irresponsible. That’s why pastors shouldn’t drink. I will end my posts with that

  156. Michael says:

    Mark,

    They answer the call.

  157. Kevin H says:

    Mark, why is that irresponsible? I am really having trouble following the logic. If they’re getting wasted, of course. If they’re drinking in moderation, then where’s the problem? I know you said that was your last post, but I think a lot of us are genuinely having trouble trying to follow your rationale.

  158. KevinH,
    I think some have a hard time believing that some people actually don’t get wasted every time they drink.

  159. Michael says:

    I haven’t been wasted in 30 years…probably haven’t been at legal limit for almost as long.
    Why ones mans conviction has to be law for all men is beyond me.

  160. Last time I was wasted was in the late 90’s.
    I myself don’t care for liquor and stick to beer.
    I do drink for the taste, which is why I abandoned commercial beers long ago.
    I like all manner of ales, stouts, porters and saisons to name a few. And yes, they do all have a different taste to them depending on the different makeup of the hops and grains and any other seasoning agent you wish to add.
    I do not drink to get drunk.

    I live in the South. Down here, you might as well add drinking as the eighth deadly sin.
    However, a lot of Christians drink, they merely don’t want to let other Christians know it.
    Is it because they are ashamed?
    No, it is because they don’t wish to hear a lecture on the evils of drinking all the time.

  161. BTW, I don’t care for IPA’s. Too hoppy for my taste.

  162. erunner says:

    I come from a family of alcoholism going back at least a few generations. My grandfather and his sister both knew Bill Wilson well as they were influential in the AA organization. Even though my grandfather started one of the first AA’s on the west coast and helped so many it was sad that after his death my grandmother fell off the wagon and my father and his two brothers grew up to be alcoholics.

    The impact of my father’s drinking hit all four of us kids and our mother hard. To this day I see how all of our personalities were shaped due to his drinking. Thankfully AA ended up being huge for my father as he was able to get sober and reconcile with all of us as he worked through the steps. One uncle passed long ago and my other uncle is still deeply involved in AA serving as a mentor for those he can. Our grandmother got sober and became a beautiful christian woman and is alive at 99 although in the throes of alzheimers.

    I loathe alcohol as I’ve seen what it has done to so many and the lives it takes and ruins on a regular basis. I’m not comfortable with it in my home as my disdain for it is that great.

    Although I have such strong feelings about alcohol I understand where I draw the line is a matter of conscience and I don’t try to place it on others. I simply have no use for it.

    I have stated here in the past I would hate to be a believer who gave the first drink to another believer as it would be part of his freedom in Christ and later learn he became an alcoholic. Not that anyone here goes around offering first drinks to others. I see it as a risk not worth taking and the same would go for pot. Again that’s just me.

    If you’re interested here is an article AA wrote about my late great aunt Sybil. As you read the article my grandfather is Tex. It’s an interesting read.

    http://www.barefootsworld.net/aasybilc.html

  163. Michael says:

    I’m weird.
    Can’t drink beer…makes me sick…even about a half just gags me.
    I love Kahlua…as long time readers know.

  164. pstrmike says:

    Mark,
    That is one reason why I don’t drink, but I have many other reasons as well. However, I don’t concern myself with my colleagues that do…….. and there are plenty of them that do so.

    One thing that must be considered is that our ability or inability to minister is not limited to alcohol. I have people call me at some of the most inopportune times and want on the spot answers. Sometimes I’m tired, sometimes I’m sad, sometimes I’m angry, but God shows up as I put that aside. The day my father died, I had a death in our church some 10 hours later. I couldn’t say sorry, can’t deal with it today, but I went to the hospital and ministered to the family.

    I understand that if you don’t drink, then it can never adversely effect your capacity to minister, but pastors also live in a real world and cannot insulate themselves to the affairs of life. My point is that there are many things that can hamper our ability to minister……..

  165. PP Vet says:

    “PP Vet, what is a “scripturally allowable realm of conscience” as it relates to CC policies? Can you give an example?”

    D, I am thinking of the guidance in Romans 14 that implies individuals (and by my extension, groups) can have personal guidelines that they should not force on others or be criticized for.

    The examples given are holidays and diet, but it certainly seems that what is important is the principle.

  166. “Good for you for staying the course of sobriety Mark!
    You do whatever you gotta do”

    Yes, yes, totally!

    We love you Mark, and your family, live your convictions and thank you for the grace you give us.

  167. DavidM says:

    PP Vet, thank you for answering my question.

  168. Linda Pappas says:

    Mark,

    I have myself attempted to discuss this topic with the folks here and was not received very well either. That doesn’t change the facts that I have attempted to introduce as an expert in addiction. For instance, what constitutes being drunk and what constitutes drinking in moderation. As for being impaired, the first drink impairs a person, whether, or not they feel that “buzz” yet. As for the legal limit, it has nothing whatsoever with one being drunk or too impaired to make good decisions. The truth is one drink immediately affects a person’s judgment and one drink immediately affects one peripheral, glare recovery, and color perceptions. What more it removes one inhibitions, making them impulsive and reactive, rather than responsive, meaning they will be more sarcastic, and easily defended or defensive, while losing the ability to be empathic. There are many verses in the scriptures that speaks against the use of alcohol, with good reason. Some would like to ignore these in favor of using those that have caused much controversy. The fact is alcohol is able to cross the blood brain barrier and seeps and stays in every crack and crevice in the body and as it does it acts as a corrosive and turns the brain upside down in one’s thinking and ability to see things beyond what it has now conditioned the brain to believe is more important than what really is—that is, one is more likely to drink to medicate their emotions, rather than to be level headed, clean and sober thinking, as a Christian living in the Holy Spirit. Oh, by the way, binge drinking is: 4 or more drinks for men and 3 or more drinks for female. The “buzz” has nothing to do with how inebriated or drunk one is, particularly if a person’s tolerance has increase, which is just one red flag of alcoholism.

    http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Bible-Verses-About-Drunkenness/

    By the way, we have an epidemic going on in the United States — it is called addiction, led primarily by sexual and alcohol addiction, as number 1 on the list of addiction. Particularly, in the churches.

    I understand what everyone is saying to counter what Mark has shared, however, given what I know about this, I cannot for a moment encourage anyone to drink or to medicate in order to feel better about themselves or a situation. Not when it does so much harm to the body, the brain, and the lives of others.

    I was just listening to a radio program that focused on the fermentation of wine done by those who make wine all over the world. They pointed out that more recently they are now making wine that contains less alcohol and is lighter tasting, but nevertheless quite pleasing to those who wanted to indulge their “senses.” They also stated that by picking the grapes at time that they are not so ripe as the grapes they pick to get a higher alcohol content, they are able to reduce the alcohol content. I thought this to be most interesting and wondered about the wine that Jesus had made. Hmmm, rotten grapes vs. fresh grapes. Something to think about IMO.

  169. pstrmike says:

    Good post Linda. I worked construction during harvest season at a winery. I often wondered if people would like to see how their wine is really made 😉

  170. brian says:

    “I wonder what those fine pastors do when they r home drinking fine liquor and get an emergency call from a grieving saint. That’s irresponsible. That’s why pastors shouldn’t drink. I will end my posts with that”

    I am not a pastor, I was never good enough, that was drummed into every single cell of my being. About being called, for decades I was the first phone call, and I have spent many, literal days, in emergency rooms, of course it was not with saints it was with people who usually could not talk, did not know what was happening to them do to cognitive or mental health issues. I wont go into what I was told about what type of human being I was for doing said “good works” which of course are utter filthy rags and my motives most likely had some type of satanic influence. I never felt thought that far ahead. We can go into the aspect of grieving, in my experience saints do do that, its not preached but it is sure in heck believed.

    I would like a question, I have arthritis, glaucoma and massive nerve damage do to having the literal crap beaten out of me when I worked with violent people with developmental disabilities. At times I took pain medication, and yes I sometimes self medicate I E I use to take maybe an extra excedrin PM. I no longer take any medication because of blood pressure issues. There are days I sit and stare just to try to focus and deal with the pain. It is affecting my work, I cant lift like I use to be able to do. Use to be I could change 10 folks or more in a hitch with dignity. I could lift and carry folks, help people get into bed. I still do but it is like having a giant body toothache. The emotional toil is more painful, trying to keep them from shoving some foreign object into some oriphis or a fork in the one remaining eyeball. Yes there were times I drank, it killed the memories. That was wrong and I admit it, but since sharing such issues has never been an alternative in the Christian religion, and it is not. I did come to some conclusion I think alcohol can be dangerous I struggle with it at times but reaching out to any community cant ever be an option and it is not an option. I have come to a great deal of success in that area.

    I struggled with issues of frustration and I came here to share, sharing in any physical community cant be an option and it is not and I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE that feels that way. I see people like Driscoll the SBC, the Gospel Coalition, SGM and other such groups hand wave about moral issued while that stick it to the common folk. I hope they all get sued into oblivion, I really do.

  171. Linda Pappas says:

    More verses: http://www.1timothy4-13.com/files/teach/reasons.html

    People tend to focus upon “positive” affects of alcohol, rather than the negative and long term affects. When bathing the brain in alcohol (remember, it crosses over the blood brain barrier–memory is also affected, in that it remembers how one feels, not so much what one has experienced or heard or participated in. It is the “good” feelings one gains, not understanding that initially alcohol is a stimulate, however, is classified as a depressant. Rightly so, given all the negative affects that takes place within 1.5 hour of each drink and in between drinks. And even more so on a long term basis—reality and the nature or course of conversation is very different than that found among people who do not drink.

  172. brian says:

    Linda I understand evangelicals should never feel pain, that has been made very clear in my experience, next to expressing grief which is vile on its face can you understand why people struggle with some drinking? I eventually overcame, through some type of demonic scheme, my struggle with this to some degree. Basically True followers of Christ should not ever, actually need Him, that is basically what I am left with to be honest after all the hand waving and verse quoting has died down in the dark night of the soul.

    I do agree with one thing there is no good news here and we can all just move along.

  173. brian says:

    I will be taking some time off, I will post on my facebook but I need to rethink many of my positions. Sorry if I offended anyone. Thanks.

  174. And yet, with all of that said, Jesus, at the request of the holy mother, made MORE wine for the by now ‘buzzed’ wedding crowd… and he made the good stuff.

    Jesus probably drank wine with every meal and wine seems to hold a prominent place in most religious ceremonies.

    Abuse of any product is just that – abuse.

  175. Some of the longer rants about alcohol on here contain some of the most outrageous assertions I have ever heard.
    Linda, are you and uriahisaliveandwell using the same source for this info? Cause this almost looks exactly like the last time this discussion took place.

    I knew someone would not be able to resist the “wine wasn’t as alcoholic as it is now” argument. If that is so, then they just had to drink more of it to get drunk.

    If you are impaired from the first drink then it doesn’t matter the alcoholic content then does it?

    So I ask again, since it was obvious that Jesus was drinking or the Pharisees would not be able to say he was getting drunk, was Jesus drinking in moderation?
    Why would Jesus support people drinking by making wine though a miracle?
    Why did Jesus use

  176. Sorry that last line was meant to read:
    Why did Jesus and the Apostles use wine and drinking to illustrate points?

  177. Also, let me say something about the weak brother.
    First, he is weak. Paul is never meaning to show that the weaker brother is right, just that he is weak.
    The verses addressing weaker brothers also show that conscience does not always show the correct view.
    Are we supposed to leave brothers in weakness forever?
    Is Paul meaning by this that we who are strong should forever have to forgo things we know to be allowed to us?
    A weaker brother must be allowed to grow in his faith or we do him a disservice and leave him at the mercies of the sin against his conscience forever?

  178. Argh…no question mark should be at the end of that last sentence. It is too early in the morning and I have not had enough coffee.
    Hey, if this were a Mormon discussion we could be talking about the evils of coffee usage. 😉

  179. See the evils of caffeine as it passes through the blood-brain barrier.
    http://worldofcaffeine.com/caffeine-and-neurotransmitters/

  180. Linda Pappas says:

    Whether, or not Uriahisaliveandwell is the same person as myself is irrelevant to the facts regarding alcohol. What is far more important is that each person makes an informed decision when making a choice to drink alcohol or any other mind/mood altering substance or activity that can put them in bondage and negatively impact the lives of others. On this topic, I will not entertain anything that is beyond this, as it only distracts from what needs to be known in order to get these facts out to the church and all who say they to others who may be stumbled or have been stumbled due to the lack of knowledge involving alcohol.

    Note: If the person who calls themselves Uriahisaliveandwell chooses to go by this, I trust like others who have done the same do so for good reason. It is not for anyone to question this, other than Michael. He knows who this is and why they do this—that should be sufficient in itself. No further comments will be address pertaining to this. Please be respectful for you have no idea the what or the whys of this person using this moniker.

  181. So, is no one who supports abstinence from alcohol going to tell me if Jesus drank in moderation or not?
    Any answers to the question of are we to leave the weaker brethren in weakness forever?

  182. And if anyone does decide to hazard answers, I will be out for most of the day as I am going to visit my parents in an hour.
    No internet and no cell coverage.
    They live deeper in the boondocks than me.

  183. Derek, I am still waiting for the same answers
    1.) Why Jesus made and encouraged the use of such a hazardous substance?
    2.) Why ‘drink’ was such a central part in godly religious celebrations.

    Look at the passover – how many cups were to be drunk from?

    I understand abstinence if you have a drinking problem or for medical reasons. But even in our communion services, for those who cannot consume the wine like the others do we offer fermented grape juice … because there is a difference between ‘fermented grapes juice’ and your standard Welch’s grape juice.

  184. Mark says:

    For Derek:
    http://godsbreath.net/2011/05/20/did-jesus-drink-wine/
    http://www.johnhamelministries.org/wine_lie_Jesus.htm

    Of course there are many opposite views. Let me clarify one final time: I AM ONLY SPEAKING OF PASTORS DRINKING ALCHOHOL. I never tried to impose my conscience on all Christians. Linda – thank you for speaking facts. ALCHOHOL whether in moderation or excess clouds judgment impairs reason and reduces inhibitions. Would u b comfortable if your drinking pastor were counseling your wife? How about your drinking pastor counseling your alchoholic husband? This conversation is so nonsensical. All I was doing was explaining why CC holds the position they do and you’d think I was leading another temperance movement. Michael get your panties out of such an uproar. You have been the most vehement objector.

  185. … and still no one answers why Jesus made and encouraged the fine are of drinking alcoholic beverages. As they say…crickets.

  186. Xenia says:

    ALCHOHOL whether in moderation or excess clouds judgment impairs reason and reduces inhibitions.<<<

    Don't you think Christ knew this when he created all that wedding wine?

    He Himself drank; some thought he was a winebibber.

    Until you can explain why Christ Himself created wine (and its effects) and had so much appreciation for the substance that He used it for the Eucharist, you cannot make your case.

  187. Mark,
    What is even funnier is that you want to protect the troubled soul who might need pastoral counseling – but in CC almost none of the pastors have training in this area and in many cases have refused to get training.

    I don’t think being ‘tipsy’ during counseling is their number one problem.

  188. Bob says:

    The issue of drinking Adult beverages, this debate will never end!

    Truth – Alcoholism is historic and is mentioned in scripture.
    Truth – Many people “party” to get drunk, it’s drug use.
    Truth – Not one person I know starts drink alcoholic beverages with the intent of becoming addicted to it.
    Truth – Alcoholism brings very destructive behavior and effects scores of people outside the individual.
    Truth – The scriptures never prohibit the drinking of beverages with alcohol in them.
    Truth – The new wine was not grape juice.
    Truth – Passover wine is not grape juice (and never has been)
    Truth – Any drunk (or slightly drunk) person does loose inhibitions of some sort.

    Question: With all the issues (far more than I have posted here) would I want to encourage people to drink alcoholic beverages?

    Statement – I drink alcoholic beverages in a very disciplined way to prevent; 1. Becoming an alcoholic; 2. To prevent hurting others!

    Note: Maybe it’s time to start drug and alcohol testing pastoral staff?

  189. Xenia says:

    First, I think Mark has made it clear he’s only talking about pastors.

    But many people do think everyone should abstain. I come from a southern Baptist culture that thought drinking even a glass of wine with dinner was extremely sinful.

    If these people would just say: We know the Lord drank. We know his first miracle was making a huge amount of delicious wine. We know he used wine at the last supper. Even though we are Sola Scripturists and Inerrantists, we have decided to set biblical truth aside because in our human opinion, we think drinking is sinful and we will not even use the forbidden liquid in our communion services, no matter what the good Lord commanded.

  190. Mark says:

    No one read my links. They offer a different view. Further the culture has changed from Jesus time. Children drank wine in the OT times. Would you encourage children to drink today? ALCHOHOL was NOT the destructive drug in Jesus time that it is today. If u were led by the Holy Spirit into pastoral ministry in a church where pastors don’t drink would u fall on your sword over your license to drink? Pastors are held to a higher std. That’s my conviction. That’s the conviction of my tribe (let the CC bashing resume in earnest)

  191. Xenia says:

    Mark, as long as you and your tribe clearly state that your convictions are NOT BIBLICAL but are based on you human judgement, go for it.

    I have to say that some of the absolutely worst counselling I have ever received came from the stone cold sober lips of my old tea-totaling CC pastor. Honestly, a few beers could have only helped. (He meant well and I understand why he gave the counsel he gave.)

  192. Linda Pappas says:

    Mark, how many times while treating those in the addiction population respond in the same way as some have here. As the Bible tells us: “My people perish due to lack of knowledge.”

    I have found a profound lack of awareness among those who drinks in understanding just how much the reality that is changed within a persons brain does have a devastating effect upon those around them, particularly children. Think about this, while under the influence and as the brain is being changed, one’s reality becomes more and more distorted. Of course, the person whose brain is being changed don’t notice this, but those around them do, particularly when trying to deal with reality as it really is, but things get turned upside down in the brain of one whose brain has been affected. So much so, that they expect others to cater to or to see things from their point of view, which is a bit off and if others do not, they tend to be short tempered, grumpy, and most impatient. For the children, it feels to them as if they are going crazy because reality as it really is, is now being turned upside and truth has been remapped or rewritten according to the person who are using mind/altering drugs, including alcohol. Eventually, the child will also begin to drink and or drug to kill the pain of not being able to be loved unless the person was drinking and in a good mood, while being what the user wanted them to be in order not rock or to speak the truth of just how bad things really are due to the elephant in the room.

    I agree with you in all that you have shared, Mark. I wish more would do as much reading on this as they do reading other material. It is and has destroyed the lives of so many, including those who do not drink and or drug.

    In scripture, we can also find this passage as a warning not just to the common people, but also to those who lead and pastor others. Physiologically and psychologically, we now can understand the affect upon the brain and the impact it has upon others who are affected as a result of how the brain is changed whereas, foolishly we can be led to thinking it does not or that it is not of anyone else’s concern. In the following passage of scripture, I think God was greatly concerned and not too happy about it either.

    Isaiah 28-29 with a emphasis on verses 1-14:

    1 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!

    2 Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.

    3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:

    4 And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.

    5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,

    6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.

    7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.

    8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.

    9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

    10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

    11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

    12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

    13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

    14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.

    15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

    16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

    17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

    18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

    19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.

    20 For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.

    21 For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.

    22 Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.

    23 Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.

  193. Xenia says:

    Jesus and the Apostles drank…. did they lack that “profound understanding” you are trying to obfuscated the discussion with by means of irrelevant quotes from Isaiah?

  194. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Since this blog started a person has had the right to use a pseudonym.
    “Outing” somebody by name is grounds for immediate moderation or banishment.
    Period.

  195. Xenia says:

    When has that ever been the rule? Is there a list of rules around here somewhere?

  196. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    We’ve always tried to protect anonymity.
    It’s not been as much of an issue in recent years, but if people want to be anonymous, they have that right.

  197. Xenia says:

    Seriously, if you have banned MLD for pointing out the obvious after allowing all the blasphemous postings/posters that have appeared here over the years….

    Well, you have me scratching my head.

  198. Xenia says:

    Well, can’t stick around to debate the finer points of blog protocol. I have my daughter’s graduation to go to!

  199. Linda Pappas says:

    Correction: “, while being what the user wanted them to be in order to not rock THE BOAT or to speak the truth of just how bad things really are due to the elephant in the room.”

    Basically those who lives with a person who brain has been changed as a result of using mind/mood altering drugs, including alcohol (as it does change the brain and is mind and mood altering, thus also creating another reality), learn that if they are going to in this type of environment, they cannot trust (even their own self, as reality is being negated and denied by the user, they cannot express their thoughts and feelings about what or how things are without incurring the denial and wrath of the user, and they cannot feel, as it threatens the user’s need to defend and protect the addiction that keeps them feeling as though they are in control of people and things around them to avoid coming to terms with their own issues of having to use in the first place.

    It becomes a unstable environment and the child then resort to his or her own survival skills, which often manifest itself in symptoms of mental health and medical issues, as the links and Mark have offered to us, here on this blog.

    In essence, the children of the next generation learn to do likewise in resorting to such things to cope with situations that create stress, frustration, anxiety, and challenges in their lives for them. They have learned that in order to get along, to go along instead of going the way that is less traveled, but is far more stable and sober than the alternative.

  200. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I warned MLD and my hope is that will be sufficient.
    Anonymity is a long standing tradition here.
    I don’t have enough moderators to run this place, so hopefully the honor system will suffice on this matter from now on.
    Have a great time at graduation!

  201. pstrmike says:

    As a pastor, I don’t care if people drink. I cannot prove abstinence from the Scriptures, but I’ve met too many people who’s personal narratives do make a case for it.

    Did Jesus drink? I don’t know. We all know He turned water to wine, was accused of being a wine bibber (which would imply drinking), but I can’t recall (and I’m not going to take the time to look) whether the Scriptures directly describes Jesus drinking. I prefer a rather rigid exegesis and am careful with the implied interpretations. If Jesus drank, the reality is, He could handle His drink, many today cannot.

    I am amazed how reactionary the drinking Christian is when defending their practice. In some circles, the non-drinker is the object of some ridicule and referred to as “the weaker brother”. In theological terms, that’s BS. Lighten up……. or better yet, have a drink….

  202. Linda Pappas says:

    Mark,

    I read the links and posted them elsewhere, as I think they are of value and can be substantiated not only by the whole counsel of God’s word, but also by scientific biological, physiological, and psychological research, statistics, and the treatment community.

    You know as well as I do, that what is taking place here is an attempt to minimize, justify, rationalize, using scripture, then drawing an assumption that it must have been strong drink Jesus created from water, therefore, so go they in doing likewise. Regardless of the evidence that is so easily found to be contrary to their assumptions.

    It is one of the defense mechanisms used to be able to go on doing so.

  203. Linda Pappas says:

    pstrmike,

    As far as I am familiar with scripture, only one occasion was mentioned that Jesus drank from the cup that contain wine representing the blood that he would shed for us. No mentioned of him drinking at the wedding or elsewhere. Only the accusation that he fellowshipped with sinners and winebibbers (drunks), therefore, according to the accusers, he was guilty of doing the same by associating with them.

  204. Michael says:

    pstrmike,

    The reaction comes from being told that the one who chooses to drink in moderation is somehow less of a Christian, less conversant with the Scriptures, less holy, and just lesser period.

  205. Mark,
    Glad you and I can converse on this. I respect and know how much of a struggle my friends who are in recovery have. They have set personal boundaries and made commitments that are empowered by their moment by moment choice.

    Here’s to a great day.

  206. Linda Pappas says:

    Here’s a thought to consider, Mark.

    Would you agree that wine in and of itself is not sinful, so to speak, but the fruit of it can be and since no one can predict or control one’s brain to react in the way that it does when under the influence, it is safe and reasonable to conclude that anyone that drinks takes the risk of doing harm to another and to the self, and when this occurs, this is an affront to the Lord whom we all saved we worship, honor, love and adore.

    So in loving others as He has commanded us to do, are we to stumble others by the fruit that is sown by the usage of such, or are we to be sober minded, buying up the time to do good and not harm. Or do we just take liberty while claiming that to do otherwise is just “legalism.” Hmmm. After all, it is not what goes in the body that offends, but that is what is in the mind and heart that sets a person to sin or not to sin, right? So, the drink in itself is not the offense, but rather that which fruit is sown as result of what it does to the brain (and the heart) over time.

  207. Bob says:

    Mark:

    “ALCHOHOL was NOT the destructive drug in Jesus time that it is today”

    What makes you say this? Do you have any evidence this is so?

    I won’t point out the various narratives in the scriptures where the drug alcohol is used to “party” and effect people. Historically it has always been a problem.

    So what are the issues today?

    Don’t get drunk.
    Don’t encourage others to get drunk.
    Prosecute those who do get drunk and are endangering the lives of others.

    Can’t we keep it simple and allow for people to have rights.

    BTW the sin of drunkenness (and its consequences to others) comes as a result of the loss of judgment because of the drug.

  208. Linda Pappas says:

    “saved” should be “say” instead.

  209. “The reaction comes from being told that the one who chooses to drink in moderation is somehow less of a Christian, less conversant with the Scriptures, less holy, and just lesser period.”

    ehhh, here’s the thing,
    replace the phrase “chooses to drink in moderation” with “chooses to believe _________”, then fill in THAT blank with…

    “__communion is symbolic__”
    “__there is no such thing as ‘the rapture’__
    “__all churches are legitimate in the eyes of God__”
    “__Rob Bell has insights worth considering__”

    … and we have the typical day of vicious debate and fighting here at PhxP.

    Mark is stating what he believes is empirical & demonstrable, that alcoholic drinks are the source of more evil than good, so when Paul in his role as a traveling consultant to the church then advises us to have our liberties to ourselves, he really does exhibit some wisdom

  210. Bob says:

    BTW

    To let people know of the effect alcohol can have, a Christian brother I know found out this about himself; alcohol, even the smallest amount brought out the sex addict in him.

    He confessed that even one drink was enough to lower his inhibitions so he would seek sex outside his marriage. Not consuming a drop of alcohol is part of his sex addiction therapy.

    He’s a fine man who through admittance, confession, repentance and disciple has saved his marriage (of course and understanding and wise wife helped).

  211. Linda Pappas says:

    Bob, you might want to review the links that Mark and I have posted. I tend to be drawn to the comments you make on this blog, as I think you make a lot of sense when sharing. However, on this topic I think there is information that can be found in the links that Mark and I have posted that would give you more food for thought that would enable you to think this through a bit more.

    Rights, does not make right, if you know what I mean.

  212. Linda Pappas says:

    Peeling back the onion of addiction: oftentimes, well actually, more times than none there is another addiction underlying or sustaining another. When an addict is unable to used their drug of choice, they already have an alternative waiting in the wings.

    Being so, if one is a sexual addict, the alcohol will kick them over to returning to that which they may have gone into recovery over. At the same time, the recovery was not in full swing, as those values and core beliefs still held onto that which medicates a person into soothing and fixing the discomfort or dis-ease that is felt or experience in the brain. In order to have a complete and successful recovery, a person must get rid of these values and beliefs that serve them at one time to fend off the underlying wounds inflicted upon them, either by the harm done to them by others or the losses suffered, or just by adopting what we refer to as “worldly” beliefs and fleshly desires, for that which enable them to dig deeper into being able to call things as they are, that is sin without waffling and making an excuse or finding an occasion to indulge the self in things that are harmful and destructive in the sight of the Lord.

    In therapy or treatment, it is about getting to these core issues and peeling back this onion to grieve and to examine that which set the person off course in order to develop a whole new way of thinking. Much easier when the person becomes born again and is indwelt with the Holy Spirit, as they do become born again and in many ways they are empowered to overcome and to see truth as it really is—IMHO.

  213. I know many people who need to have their moods alter ,,, anyway they can – because they are crappy people as they are. So really, drugs and alcohol can be seen as gift.

  214. Jean says:

    “no one can predict or control one’s brain to react in the way that it does when under the influence”

    I think we may be mixing a few different issues here. Maybe if we sort them out and address them separately, we can make some headway. I see at least the following issues: (1) Is drinking biblical? (2) Is a pastor drinking biblical? (2) How much drinking is biblical? (3) Is drinking medically harmful? (4) etc.

    Alcohol, like cigarettes, chewing tobaco, prescription pain medication, and coffee (and perhaps for some of you weed), are all legal substances, which produce chemical reactions in the body and can alter the mind. As far as alcohol is concerned, I think many people are disengenuous if they say the only drink for the taste. I’m willing to call a spade a spade. Even in moderation, alcohol can be soothing and relaxing for many. By far, most of the people I know who drink alcohol, drink in moderation and are in control of themselves morally, ethically and physically (I’m not saying they should pilot an F16, however).

    So, one question this thread raised in my mind is: What does the bible say about ingesting any substance which alters the mind? More specifically, would it be sinful to have a glass or 2 of wine with dinner to relax after a long day at work? Put another way, is any degree of intentional chemically induced mind alteration sinful?

    I believe the Bible supports a Christian’s right to derive pleasure from alcohol in moderation. In other words, I don’t find anywhere in the Bible where it would be a sin to ingest a substance which causes a moderate mind alteration.

    I’m not saying people should drink or use any mind altering substance. I’m not saying that there may not be other factors that make using the substance a sin, such as it being a known carcinogen. Finally, if the individual has a psychological or physiological reaction to even a drop of the substance, that individual should stay away from it.

    I am a member of a Christian men’s group, many of whom are recovering from all kinds of issues. I enjoy cooking, so I frequently invite small groups for dinner. I am always careful to check in advance and if even one of my guests has a problem, whether experiential or theological with alcohol, I don’t serve it and I don’t display it.

  215. I don’t think anyone has address the issue – what is wrong with altering your mood or your mind? Why is that wrong in itself?

  216. DavidM says:

    Mark, I have been in the “tribe” for many years. I live by my OWN convictions, not the convictions of CC leadership. I looked at your links, and, of course, they are written by Christian people who have a non-drinking agenda. I suggest that you do a bit of your own research and dig into the wines of the 1st century, not written by a Christian, but by historians.

    Also, I think that most people in this discussion are simply pushing back against the “to drink is to not be on the straight and narrow” mentality. I don’t know that anyone is actually advocating drinking or urging anyone to drink. Though I disagree with your perspective, I would never urge anyone to drink.

  217. Bob says:

    MLD:

    “what is wrong with altering your mood or your mind? Why is that wrong in itself?”

    As long as its a good one!

    I believe some famous Jew said, “think on these things…”

  218. Bob says:

    Jean:

    “would it be sinful to have a glass or 2 of wine with dinner to relax after a long day at work? ”

    First describe what “sinful” is.

    My parents were functioning alcoholics. Every night they would down at least two drinks to “relax.” The problem was a “couple of drinks” led to more and occasionally a huge blow up argument. To this day I’ll call my 80 something mother and she will be drunk in the evening.

    I don’t want to be that way so control and discipline in this area is essential to me. As I said before, “not one person starts drinking with the intent to become an alcoholic.”

    Don’t all addictions start with that thought.

  219. Bob says:

    Linda

    “Rights, does not make right, if you know what I mean.”

    I get what you say, but I get this idea we keep regulating every behavior to a ridiculous point. This isn’t limited to the “Christian Right” alone. Look how this nation has treated smoking, and much more.

    My preferred method of dealing with abuses is increase the severity of the penalty to the point where the consequences from actions that effect others (think drunk driving, family abuse, gun violence, and other things) will make people think and avoid such behaviors.

    Is such an ideal perfect? Never, because some people won’t care about the penalties/consequences, no matter how severe, they will just go and risk it anyway.

    Personally I believe the biblical principal is clear, when acting in leadership roles, a clear mind not effected by drugs, alcohol or other mind bending influences is the preferred way. Now to say where that role begins and ends is debatable. A police can be off-duty, but is a church pastor or priest every “off-duty” to his or her community?

  220. ( |o )====::: says:

    “…because they are crappy people as they are.”

    No one is a “crappy” person.

    There is “crappy” behavior, surly behavior.

    Crap is excrement, waste, refuse.
    No person is crap

  221. ( |o )====:::

    Nope, you have it wrong once again – there are crappy people in this world. The guy who kidnapped the Nigerian girls is one.

    There are many people who have crappy behavior because they are crappy people.

    But your choice as always can be to live in your dream world.

  222. Jean says:

    Bob, I am empathetic to the folks on this blog who have dealt with the pain of addiction (either their own or that of a family member). The push back is that not everyone who drinks in moderation is or becomes an alcoholic.

    Your #224 either doesn’t understand my #220, or are you implying there is no such thing as drinking in moderation, because everyone eventually will become by an addict (which is demonstrably wrong)? Frankly, your #224 is a little puzzling.

    Regarding your #225, the biblical principle for leadership roles is most clearly given in 1 Tim 3. The push back to your and some other comments on this blog is to ask “why are not the qualifications given by Paul sufficient?” He is aware of the dangers of alcohol and addresses addiction.

  223. ( |o )====::: says:

    “Nope, you have it wrong once again – there are crappy people in this world. The guy who kidnapped the Nigerian girls is one.

    There are many people who have crappy behavior because they are crappy people.

    But your choice as always can be to live in your dream world.”

    I live in no dream world, I live in the one Jesus’ Father created, and nowhere in the gospels does he characterize any human, any person, any God-Image-Bearer as feces/excrement/crap.

  224. G,
    1.) You haven’t read close enough – where Jesus goes even further than my characterization and compares some people to open graves filled with rotting flesh and bones.
    2.) The Father did not create THIS world. THIS world is a sorry site compared to what the Father created … but hey, one day his creation will be restored.
    3.) So, in this man broken world – there are crappy people.

  225. Jean says:

    MLD, your #230, I disagree with your 2.) and 3.) based on Gen 3 and Rom 8:20-21: “For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly but because of God who subjected it—in hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children.”

    “Crappy” is not a useful description of anyone and promote useful dialogue. God loves everyone; Christ died for everyone; we are called to love everyone. Jesus may have compared some people to open graves…, but he’s above our pay grade.

    You are an intelligent person, so please take the time and patience to provide more than sarcasm, crude remarks and insults.

  226. Jean,
    You do not read in context and you allow someone like G, to define the conversation. Go back and read my comment at 10:38 am and see if you can pick up the context in which I made the comment.

    Don’t try to work the guilt thing on me – God opened up the earth and swallowed up people you say “he loved”.

  227. Bob says:

    Jean

    Paul simply sums up what Torah teaches about having leaders who are sober when they lead.

    My emphasis is on the line between your emphasis on teaching drinking on moderation to others. I teach “don’t get drunk” simple right?

    No it’s not simple, some of us will become addicts so why encourage those unknown people to drink in moderation when it is easier to just teach, don’t be a drunkard.

    The problem isn’t drinking it’s being a drunkard and the problem in leadership is decision making, so when should a leader stop drinking?

  228. How laughable “Jesus may have compared some people to open graves…, but he’s above our pay grade.”

    LOL – so if you are God you can call people crappy.

    You politically correct people just crack me up.

  229. Jean, I’ll bet you and G are the kind of guys who lobby against keeping score in kid’s sports so their feelings don’t get hurt.

  230. Jean says:

    A person can be the smartest one in the room,but if he’s a jerk,no one will listen. A person may make 10 good comments followed by one lazy crude,condescending or sarcastic remark; which one will people remember?

  231. Back to the addiction – no one has mentioned sin. People just move from one addiction to the next. I have watched people become addicted to their therapy and / or 12 step program.

    Therapy does not work – therapists are like chiropractors – you never get away from them until your insurance runs out.

  232. Michael says:

    MLD,

    As someone who has had both a gifted therapist and chiropractor, I believe you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  233. Jean says:

    Bob, I’m not teaching or emphasizing, I’m trying to dialogue and understand what the bible teaches Christians about drinking. I respect your POV.

  234. When the answer to my first question always is to use the argument that wine was like grape juice back in the day, it shows a lot.
    It shows that no one wants to struggle with the question at all.
    You merely wish to remove alcohol from something that directly relates to Jesus.
    It makes it easier for your argument if you never have to face up to the fact that Jesus may have actually drank something with alcohol in it.
    Remove the problem and I guess there is no longer a problem.

    Well, unless you look at Jesus is directly saying in reference to himself.

    For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.” Luke 7:34

    Note what Jesus says of himself, “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking” this is a direct reference to compare to what he said previously about John which means Jesus was eating bread and drinking wine. John came one way and Jesus came another, doing the opposite things, but they found fault and lied about both anyways
    This also takes away the non-alcoholic wine argument.
    But, let’s face it, that is merely to hide the conundrum that faces you.
    Once you realize Jesus drank a little, it sort of takes the wind out of your argument.

  235. Michael says:

    Bob,

    The only time I ever teach on alcohol is when the text says “don’t get drunk”.
    My teaching on that is “don’t get drunk”.
    Other than that, it’s not my concern.

  236. Michael.
    I didn’t say they couldn’t be gifted – I said they are eternal. But again, you miss the context, my main statement was that people switch addictions from drugs/ alcohol / sex whatever to an addiction to their therapist or 12 step program.

  237. Bob says:

    Jean

    “I respect your POV”

    I didn’t think otherwise, I am only reacting to the idea of everything “in moderation” because I think saying such things actually leads to excess.

    Michael,

    I agree. I hardly ever talk about alcoholic use by people unless it becomes a problem and then it is normally a private issue. When people ask I say don’t get drunk.

    The issue with the sex addict I know was this; We were heading out of town and I, knowing he was a fellow Christian, asked him about his opinion on drinking because we were spending a few days together with work and therefore share a meal or two together. That is when he confessed his problems and in reaction I never ordered a beer when we ate together.

    I don’t have the right to knowingly cause him difficulties over this issue.

    Wewww… How come this subject is so full of mines?

  238. Mark says:

    its so full of mines because people are so vehement about protecting tier right to drink!!

  239. Mark says:

    I will not be moved from my original premise- that drinking alters the mind and a pastor’s mind should be sober and cler- to acept the full counsel of God at all times. Someone said eaarlier that it is perfectly ok to alter the mind. Really?

  240. it’s not full of land mines – it’s full of people who still think that they sin less according to their behavior.

  241. Mark,
    It was me – I asked why altering your mood or you mind is sin in itself. I am still waiting for a reply

  242. Would anyone have an issue if their pastor smoked?

  243. Linda Pappas says:

    Using mind and mood altering substances such as alcohol changes the brain. It cause people to think differently because the brain is being remapped. That is, it stops using the frontal lobes in enabling them to make good decisions, whether on the job or off the job. As for the number of alcoholics in the world, the treatment community believe that 80 % of those who drink are functioning alcoholics, meaning that they may pay their bills, put clothes on the back of their children, and a roof over their heads, but are overall emotionally unavailable to them. Simply due to the pseudo reality they live in and cannot see or hear anyone else beyond their own noses. In other words, the light is on, but no one is at home.

    This is the part that people don’t seem to connect that is the most destructive part about drinking. The connections of the neurons simply does not permit the person to see how their brain has been changed in such a manner that does not enable them to process through the information needed to be able to understand how their whole demeanor is affected for what is needed to maintain healthy and non-abusive relationships with others.

    As for police, they are known to have a high rate of spousal abuse and alcohol is a chief factor in this. They are also known to be extremely reactive towards other while on the job which can place the public at great risk in being able to trust their judgment in handling high stress situations.

    God is about love and relationships, first with Him and then with others. He is not saying not to drink at all, but He has shared with us the pitfalls of doing so and given us a much better way to go. Just when a person is drunk can be measured by the lack of a person’s ability to make sound judgment and the way they treat others, for a start.

    Ask your non drinking friends and family members what its like to be around you when you are or have been drinking vs. not having a drop after a year. Without becoming defensive or argumentative. Listen to what they have to say—–and then understand that it is not the drink in itself, but the fruit of what it does to your brain, thus comes out in your attitude, beliefs, and behaviors that have now become a part and parcel of who you are, how you see things, and how you handle yourself and behave yourself towards others. I would go as far to say it will also determine how you interpret or understand the scriptures as well.

  244. Linda Pappas says:

    I wouldn’t have an issue if a pastor smoked tobacco, simply because it does not cause the harm that mood and mind altering drugs does. It can cause cancer and respiratory problems. Smoking does not distort reality, nor does it lead to abuse towards members of society or one’s household.

  245. What you just reported is nonsense.
    Let me do the reporting
    1.) Almost all of western civilization drinks at least socially and almost all world advances over the past 200 yrs have come from western civilization.
    2.) The largest cultural group that does not drink is the Muslim community and they are absolutely crazy and for the most part produce nothing. You must remember, we built all of their oil fields for them in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Today they still wouldn’t know about the oil under them if it wasn’t for a bunch of drinking westerners.

    There, how is that for some factual reporting?

    Look, you are making a claim that nearly half of all Americans are disconnected from their families because of drink. Hogwash
    You blame drinking for cops being abusive – again hogwash – look at the personality profile it takes to be a cop – they are bat …. crazy to begin with … drink or no drink..

    Unbelievable.

  246. People on here act as though others don’t realize what addiction is.
    Having been addicted to cigarettes for years, I know what it is like.
    Drinking beer does not compare for me.
    Others may have a problem with alcohol.
    I do not.
    If tomorrow, I lost all access to alcohol, I would shrug and move on.
    If I had lost access to cigarettes during my cigarette addiction then it would not have been pretty.

    It seems to me that people who promote teetotaling, be it for all Christians or just pastors, think that all people are exactly like the ones they have encountered before.
    They immediately place them in a category of a drunkard or a drunkard to be.
    If I was going to be a drunkard it would have happened long ago.
    I might pick up a six pack every two weeks.
    When I do, I drink about 3 of them over a few hours at home while chilling.
    Then the next night, I repeat.
    Then no more for a few weeks.
    I never even consider driving after drinking even though I would probably still be considered sober by law.

    I do it cause I enjoy it.
    God is the root cause of fermentation and I am one of the ones who can enjoy it without problem.
    Some can’t enjoy it at all.
    I, as an ex-smoker, do not try to get every smoker to quit.
    When I smoked, the worst were the ex-smokers who wanted to convert you.

    So yes, I will defend my right to drink as a Christian.

  247. MLD is right on the cops thing.

    See, alcohol is just another way for western civilization to excuse the evil things they do.
    I am quite sure they would do them anyways.
    “See, it wasn’t me. It was the demon rum.”

  248. Michael says:

    MLD,

    There is no good reason why I should have to stop what I’m doing to clean up your language.
    That is not acceptable.

  249. Sorry, I forgot this is a pietism discussion. 😉

  250. Linda Pappas says:

    Speaking of the laws against drinking and driving, the law in some states says that a person can be charged with manslaughter should another person is killed. The law holds a person totally responsible for the fallout of drinking and doing harm to another. Drinking should be done responsibly and with the awareness of what could happen should someone decide to do so. The links have been posted to educate, not to condemn anyone or to say if one has developed alcohol abuse or gone into addiction.

    For those who tend to be defensive, I tend to wonder what is behind this, as it sounds very much like what is commonly found among those who have developed an addiction or have developed alcohol abuse. Particularly when this topic is and should be treated with as much seriousness as the destruction that is caused by it.

    Our society, at least in the United States used to be that which alcohol was a small sector of it. In other words, it was spoken of as being a society with some people drinking. Now, it is quite the opposite. It is now society in alcohol, rather than alcohol in society. But, hey you can make it whatever you wish to make it—doesn’t change the facts, however. No matter how much you would like to distort the facts, get sarcastic, or spew out something, that in your mind makes sense, or dismiss that which people have spent a lifetime in researching, studying, and treating family members who have been abused, as well as, those who do the abusing, and then blame something else other than what the evidence proves out to be true

    Perhaps it is times to read the links and then think about this some more.

    By the way, I don’t drink–not because it never crosses my mind to have a glass of wine with a nice dinner like stuffed trout and so forth, but because I don’t want to stumble anyone and because I know ever so clearly that I like myself and others so much better when I don’t. No, I have never had a drinking or drug issue, but have witness the slow progression of many who have had an abuse or addiction issue. So, why even go there—there are many alternatives to being able to relax and to actually enjoy the conversation or company of others. And be able to remember it for years to come.

  251. “For those who tend to be defensive, I tend to wonder what is behind this, as it sounds very much like what is commonly found among those who have developed an addiction or have developed alcohol abuse.”

    Way to go there, Linda.
    Accuse us all of nascent addiction.
    I think I predicted that somewhere up the line.

    These conversations get nowhere because drinkers are always accused of alcoholism, while the non-drinkers resort to grape juice theories and ignoring plain scripture to keep their point alive.

  252. Linda Pappas says:

    As for the drink that made me do it excuse, that is what is referred to as being in the “denial” mode. That is, not taking responsibility for making the choice to drink, knowing only too well that when one does drink, it removes the inhibitions and the ability to filter out or even care about what is right and wrong and how doing wrong hurts others. For such a one, they are led to believe by their own self deception that they can always play the offense off by saying, it was the drink that cause them to do this or say that. Well yes, in part this is true, however, like any lie, it is sprinkled with truth. Nevertheless, it is a lie and in this case, it’s very destructive and self deceiving. Thus, as one goes on, so go their brain, and everything else that they once held near and dear close to their hearts.

  253. Golly Linda, your zealotry knows no ends.
    I give.
    I no longer care to read these long tedious posts where you repeat the same things over and over.
    Think I will go have a beer and think of other things. 😉

  254. BTW, Michael.
    I had already sort of figured it out through the use of same language and content.
    I almost did the outing myself in asking. I just decided to edit it.

  255. Linda Pappas says:

    You don’t read or listen very well, Derek. If I thought you had an abuse problem or was in danger of developing an addiction to alcohol just as I would if I thought someone was in danger of spending eternity in hell, you can take it to the bank and draw interest that I would say this to you directly. I have not stated this, so chill out will you and get your facts straight.

    So far, I haven’t heard anyone on here give enough information about what, how and why they drink, so I wouldn’t make this statement and if I did, I would do it privately, as this type of issue is better received rather when done publicly. If anyone is wondering if they might have develop an abuse issue or have progressed into alcoholism, or even found that their tolerance for alcohol has increased, talk to someone who has had the training and practiced for at least 5 years, and then get the treatment that can assist you in overcoming it. Not by just staying away from it, but also by doing the work needed to enable you to get through the second stage of recovery—that is, getting beneath the surface that led you there in there in the first place.

  256. I read or listen fine, Linda.
    Last time you went on this rant I saw your zealousness for this and should have left it alone this time.

  257. Linda,
    “Speaking of the laws against drinking and driving, the law in some states says that a person can be charged with manslaughter should another person is killed.”

    Same is true for texting and driving – so what is your point?

  258. Linda Pappas says:

    Is this what you call a rant or is it the facts that you don’t want to come to terms with, so you come after me, making it personal and then scoffing at the truth which then enables you to justify yourself and why you choose to drink.

    What I have shared is only the tip of the iceberg. Mark and I have presented links for those who sincerely would like to make an informed decision about the choice to drink or to not drink or to drink “in moderation, understanding the risks and how alcohol does affect the brain on a short or long term basis. It is now up to each to decide for themselves.

    Derek, by your comments, I would beg to disagree with your take on what you think you heard and understand, for so far, you have comprehended most of what has been stated by those whom have spoken up about this issue regarding the dangers and pitfalls of using alcohol.

  259. Andrew says:

    Linda said “getting beneath the surface that led you there in there in the first place.”

    Sometimes what leads people to abuse is actually an opposite reaction to a legalistic mindset. Sometimes and probably often a unhealthy relationship to alcohol started early when they were taught that alcohol was EVIL. Of course knowing something is EVIL is sometimes just the motivation one needs to abuse it. By nature we like EVIL. And hence the cycle starts. I am not recommending an alcoholic consume any amount of alcohol but rather if they want to find out how they got to where they are it might just be because folks out there are teaching all about the EVILS of alcohol and not the benefits. That’s all they hear. Possible if you taught about the good gift the Lord has given us, just maybe it would make a difference. I am tolerant of a lot of things but legalism in the church is really not one of them.

  260. Linda,
    “As for the drink that made me do it excuse, that is what is referred to as being in the “denial” mode.”

    Then hopefully you would agree with me that the mental health industry shares much of the blame if not all as long as they continue to call alcoholism a disease and not just sin – or for the pagan a wrong choice.

  261. Linda Pappas says:

    The law states essentially that a person is responsible for the choices they make. Cmon, MLD, you are much brighter than this. Why are attempting to distract from the seriousness of drinking and driving by throwing in the texting. You know perfectly well what the point being made was about—-your antagonism is ever ready to fire up and off, isn’t it.

  262. Linda, like I said.
    I am outta this convo.
    You be convinced in your own mind and let me be certain in mine.

  263. Andrew says:

    This year at the local high school they had a smashed up car sitting outside on prom night as an example and warning. In front of it was a sign that read “Don’t text and drive.” I guess texting a driving is actually more dangerous than drinking and driving now adays.

  264. and what about my comment about the Muslims as a culture and society who do not drink vs western civilization that nearly all drinks.

    Why is the west continually productive over the past 200 yrs and the Muslins are… well, heck – Muslims.

    Look how that non drinking as a rule has turned Muslim men into gentle protectors of their women.

    What do your studies say about that?

  265. So, look at Saudi Arabia or Iran and get a peek at what people and their society look like or how they act with out drink.

  266. Linda Pappas says:

    For as long as a person drinks, the brain can be hijacked to a point that bears negative consequences in the lives of those who do so as well as negatively impacts the lives of others. It is progressively more and more destructive, like any disease that is not arrested. the medical and psychological treatment communities is not in the business to condemn, but to heal. As I would hope that would all be prone to do, but we can’t do this if we don’t want to see what is right in front of us and the lives of so many falling prey to these things.

    As for “sin” being called sin, it is my personal opinion that we whitewash it, by not being more specific and understanding the nature, the depth, and the breadth of such. By doing this, we gain little understanding or insight into what it is that we do and say, thus we may be only equipped to grapple with what keeps us repeating behaviors that are wrought from that which lives in our hearts and mind. For example, one might use the term: moral failings to cover up and to avoid coming to terms with a long road of progressive wrong doings that then led them into their addictive and non-addictive acting out against another human being. When a person is able to slow down and name the sin, then accept that it is the heart and mindset that needs to be changed, then change can occur and healing can begin.

  267. And the money question is – if Jesus drank wine with each meal, did that make him an alcoholic?

    The last money question, if Jesus drank wine with each meal, did he have clouded judgment – did he always give the right answer?

  268. Linda Pappas says:

    For many an addict, the dis-ease of overcoming is much harder. Even in light of having gone through treatment, they eventually gravitate back to using again. That is, primarily due to not putting into place the tools learned and also in getting the type of therapy that is required that goes beyond the first stages of recovery. Ultimately, it is a choice riddled with the many difference defense mechanisms used to keep a person out of recovery.

    It is a long hard road, but not impossible by any means. Just very hard or difficult for the majority of people, sad to say. Much has to do with those who are prone to enable them simply due to their own desire to help and falling for what the addict is able to say and do to make a person believe that to not help would bring more calamity and suffering upon them. At the same time, for those that do know how to help an addict, an addict who is bent on using simply fault-find the person who could and would help them to recover by holding them to an account and calling them on the defense mechanisms they are employing to justify their using and handling the affairs of life with all its hurdles, conflicts, and challenges in the manner that they do.

    As for the hurdles, conflicts, and challenges, God permits these to prove and to test us, our faith, and enables us to grow up and mature so that we will no longer be given to the desires that leads us into bondage. It is His way of telling us that we need to examine our hearts, repent, and come out of bondage to whatever leads us to thinking that which we were that made it a temptation in the first place. It could very well start with what we think we are entitled to or what we think about a particular subject matter, such as lusting after places, things, and others. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but leads to destruction.”

  269. MLD,
    My sister posted this on FB and it seemed apropos.

    “Some minds are like concrete…easily mixed up and quick to set.”

  270. Linda Pappas says:

    MLD, not only do you have a propensity to be antagonistic you can be spin your wheels all days on the “if” of Jesus.

    Still doesn’t remove the facts about alcohol, as we know it to be today, now does it.

  271. Xenia says:

    I went to a British pub with my daughter and her friends after her graduation today. I was just about the only Anglo-Saxon at the table and believe me, my ability to speak Spanish greatly improves after a few adult beverages. Didn’t do much for my Tagalog, though.

    By the way, my daughter won a $20,000 scholarship for her next academic venture.

  272. Well Linda has spent the day taking a conversation about social drinking to addictions and addicts. I think there is something behind the curtain.

  273. Xenia,
    “Didn’t do much for my Tagalog, though.”

    How about your Tango? 🙂

  274. To anyone who is a beer connoisseur:
    If anyone is in Vermont and wants to try some local beer, please try this out and tell me what you think.
    http://www.14thstarbrewing.com/
    Just found out one of my lieutenants in Iraq from 2005 opened a brewery there.
    I would love to know the quality of his brews.

  275. London says:

    Went out tonight with about 10 members of my family. Had all you can eat BBQ, one glass of wine and one bottle of beer.
    The alcohol, the food and the company altered my mind.
    Thank God too, cause I am absolutely exhausted and about one day away from total burnout from work and other stresses.
    Drinking relaxed me and allowed for a better time with my cousins. Pretty sure Jesus is ok with that.
    My one cousin had issues with alcohol for years and is sober now. Pretty sure Jesus is ok with that too.

  276. filbertz says:

    the argument to prohibit drinking alcohol is extra-biblical, yet many churches make serious hay with it. Pastors should insist on upholding good biblical interpretation and defend the liberties Christ died to afford us in Him. Any pastor should decide for him/herself whether or not to drink alcohol, and be happy with the freedom in Christ to choose. The reasons a pastor chooses is his/hers alone and shouldn’t be extended to others. A pastor is not THE example others should model their choices and lifestyles after…that would be Christ. Instead, pastors are often elevated to be the measuring stick of all things Christian…and that is too much credit and responsibility…and leads to cult-like tendencies. If a pastor grew up in an alcoholic home and that is the reason he doesn’t drink is fine. He likely feels strongly about it. But his childhood doesn’t trump the scriptural tenet of liberty in Christ, nor does it somehow carry more weight than anyone else’s choice or reasoning.

  277. Jean says:

    Filbertz, you make some good points, but some of your post might be anachronistic: “defend the liberties Christ died to afford us in him.” This sounds similar to how one might describe our American forefathers’ revolution against the English in the Revolutionary War. Did Christ die for us so we would have the right (in the eyes of God) to drink alcohol? Did Christ die for us to free us from the Law of Moses, as though the Law, like English taxation, was oppressive and tyrannical? I hope you see my reasoning.

    When Paul writes about “liberty” in 1 Cor 10, I believe he is talking about being liberated from the Law of Moses as a requirement for membership in the new covenant people of God. Not because the Law was bad; the Law was good, but Israel (and everyone else) was incapable of keeping the Law because we are all in Adam (apart from Christ).

    The discussion we’ve had regarding drinking alcohol has nothing per se to do with the Law of Moses.

  278. Alan K says:

    Hello Michael,

    Thanks for the link. I do hope this debate happens. I would love to debate Greg Laurie. But I will settle for lower-profile CC pastors. There is a surge in CC church goers becoming prewrathes and in some CC churches the leadership is feeling the pressure to respond.

  279. Michael says:

    Alan,

    This is actually better.
    Guzik is kind of the CC theologian in residence…and when you win this debate there will be a whole lotta shaking going on.

  280. Alan K says:

    Michael,

    Thanks, I have no idea who Guzik is, except that he is a CC pastor at Santa Barbabra. Someone sent me his rapture sermon and my response to watching it was, “I have to invite this person to debate this issue.” So if he is the CC theologian in residence, all the better! I sent him my book last week so he will have some good primary prewrath literature to read up on.

  281. filbertz says:

    Jean,
    I follow your track there. Clearly, the abolition of Law by the work of Christ doesn’t come with a laundry list of things ‘permitted,’ but that hasn’t stopped many from creating a new list of activities the believer ‘should’ or ‘should not do’ that are not specifically identified as sin. It is troubling to me that many pastors are either the source of those extra-biblical lists or provide tacit approval for them, guaging the spiritual health or vitality of one’s relationship with Christ on things that do not matter.

  282. Keep us updated on that debate.
    That would be interesting to hear.

  283. erunner says:

    How does one respond to this? It just was shared with me. It’s the latest rapture movie…. described as the scariest Christian movie ever.

    http://watchfinal.com/#

  284. Michael says:

    erunner,

    The acting and theology have me petrified. 🙂
    I ignore it unless people want to have a serious discussion about it biblically.

  285. erunner says:

    Michael, most of those type movies aren’t well acted and I’ve seen scores of them.

    What I’m trying to come to grips with is why so many see the theology behind a pre trib rapture as almost laughable. I have to believe there are people who hold and teach this view who do so in a manner that is sincere, humble, while not taking pot shots at everyone else.

    I read the Left Behind books and enjoyed them as you know. They didn’t damage me and I believe I came through the experience unscathed. 🙂

    I’ve read and seen pretty much all of the things that diminish the pre trib position and would find it interesting to view a debate on the topic. Maybe there’s someone outside of CC who is a better representative of the position who would debate Alan??

    I don’t believe there will ever be consensus on the topic and we’ll learn later on what was true. Maybe God has us all fooled and the truth of the matter hasn’t been found!

    Hope you’re doing well!

  286. I think this debate would be great – in fact after listening to Gudzik poke hole in the pre wrath rapture and then Alan destroy the pre trib rapture – then and only then will people give up this ridiculous view of Rapture Theology.

    Any verses used to show a rapture are 2nd coming and resurrection verses. I know that Jesus gave that great sermon about snatching all believers away – but who would believe that? Oh! what is that you say “Jesus never spoke of the rapture!” Yes that is right

  287. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Prewrath believes the rapture and Second Coming are the same event.
    Save your snark for something you know about.

  288. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    I think Guzik will represent the position well…as well as possible.

  289. Michael,
    Pre tribbers can say the same thing. The pre trib rapture begins the 7 year process of the 2nd coming. You just shorten that time line.

  290. erunner says:

    Michael, I know you strongly disagree with the pre trib position but do you see it as dangerous, even when represented intelligently, to the walk its adherents have with God??

  291. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Wrong.
    Completely…wrong.
    At least go Google it before you continue.

  292. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    It’s dangerous in that some will be greatly discouraged by tribulation and taken surprise by the anti-Christ.
    It’s within the pale of orthodoxy.

  293. Michael says:

    The other thing thats “dangerous” is the oft repeated attitude that if you don’t believe in the doctrine you are a heretic at worst and deceived at best.
    That’s what gripes my backside.

  294. erunner says:

    If your position is true then I totally agree with your 298. It would turn people’s worlds upside down and I would be concerned for those who place more hope in the escape they see via the rapture than the keeping power of Christ.

    Your 299 is something I’ve seen in action and that attitude can’t help but be parroted by those who show no respect to those who have come to different conclusions.

    It gripes my backside that as believers we so often don’t know how to disagree in a Christ honoring manner. I hope the debate takes place.

  295. OK Michael, I took your advice. From Wikipedia
    “Although the exact timing of the rapture is not known, one of the key points to the Prewrath view is that the rapture comes after the sixth seal is opened (Revelation 6:12), when the moon is turned into blood. The tribulation of God’s people will then be cut short (according to Jesus in Matthew 24, Mark 13) with the second coming of Christ and the rapture, and those who are left behind on Earth will face the trumpets and bowls of God’s wrath (Rev 16:1); hence the term “Prewrath.” [”

    Now if you want to call the 2nd coming a time before “and those who are left behind on Earth will face the trumpets and bowls of God’s wrath (Rev 16:1);”

    I don’t see one piece of difference other than timing from the pre millers.

    The 2nd coming is described in Matt 25 where upon the coming is judgment of all – NOT some are snatched away while others go through wrath.— or is the return of Jesus to issue judgment really the 3rd coming in your view?

    Like I say, the debate will debunk both positions.

  296. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Buy the book and get back to me.

  297. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    Alan and Guzik would handle this well…neither one is a hothead.

  298. Michael,
    You are a funny. First you tell me to Google and I do and then, instead of answering, you make the deceptive move to “go buy the book.” – “watch my eight hand while I do the deceptive act with my left” does not work with me,

    Sorry, it took me all of 30 sec to find Rosenthal’s book on my shelf – in fact I keep it on the 2 shelves with my Left Behind books and my books from the biggies a DTS.

    Look, I read this in 1990 / 91 – not impressed at all. (is there a later edition where he corrects his errors? I may have missed that.)

    I still want to know why there is tribulation and wrath going on after the 2nd coming has taken place?

  299. Thumbing through the book after all these years, I didn’t realize that Rosenthal has more in quantity and more in complication charts on the end times than Tim LaHaye ever thought of.

  300. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Ask God.
    I’m not going to do a dissertation on the topic at this time of night.
    We get that you’re amill…I’m not.
    I believe the Bible supports the pre wrath position and I believe that you misrepresented it in your desire to insult people who don’t agree with you.
    Your personal rapture from here is imminent.

  301. Michael,
    As usual, you take issue with my comments and then blame me for the debate. I began saying the debate will be good. It will prove Rapture Theology false. I didn’t pick on pre wrath – but on all ‘rapture’ formulas – but your skin is thin. Buck up boy.

  302. But at least Rosenthal is honest in ch 19 where he admits pre wrath is a 1980s theology.

  303. This is a new debate tactic to me. So NOW it is an insult to tell people their position is wrong?
    Can we all say politically correct reigns.

  304. erunner says:

    MLD, maybe you should debate Alan! 🙂 Go blue!! Nite…

  305. Pastor Brian Gregory Coy says:

    Alan K,
    I would love to listen to a debate between a pre-tribulationalist and pre-wrath. I am under the conviction that it is very difficult to prove the timing of the rapture with any scenario.

    I am curious why you want to debate David Guzik? Pastor Guzik is well versed in Calvary theology and appears to be committed and convinced of it’s accuracy. A pre-tribulation rapture is a Calvary distinctive, that is, what we would call an essential doctrine for fellowship. It is a hill for them to die upon and a required belief system for affiliation within Calvary Chapel. What could Guzik possibly gain by debating you? I would think the risks for him would far out weigh any benefit. For the sake of my point, let me assume your view is correct, or let’s just say you make a better presentation. While I will assume that Guzik is committed to truth, a Calvary Chapel Regional pastor with a platform and influence cannot just change their eschatological position without serious reactions.

    Secondly, it must be recognized that a debate does not necessarily solve these type of issues. Some men, James White for example, are well skilled in the art of debate, rhetoric actually, which is something that can go beyond the facts of the matter. It is as much about timing, presentation and capitalizing on an opponent’s mistake as it is evidentiary substance.

    I wonder if there isn’t a better way to have this dialogue, assuming there is an actual interest, without the “win or lose” environment that is associated with a debate? I personally think it is a discussion worth having, but like so many theological disagreements, tend to break down rather easily.

  306. Hello Pastor Brian Gregory Coy,

    Thanks for your good questions. To answer them:

    First, this is not about what Guzik can gain. At least I would hope he would not think this. Certainly, well-known pretrib teachers have declined debates with me for this very reason: they would jeopardize their ministries they have built up. This should be about honoring God by defending biblical truth. Prewrath is infiltrating CC churches (which I see as a good thing). And Guzik claimed in his sermon that he believes pretrib without a doubt. When I heard him say that and the really bad arguments he made, it prompted me to make this debate challenge.

    You wrote: “While I will assume that Guzik is committed to truth, a Calvary Chapel Regional pastor with a platform and influence cannot just change their eschatological position without serious reactions.”

    Without serious reactions? I suppose my response is, so what? Again, this is not about Guzik. Rosenthal lost his entire ministry that he started (Friends of Israel) because he was convicted by the truth of prewrath, i.e. he was captive by the truth. He was driven, not be “platform” or other personal issues, but by honoring God.

    To answer your second question, James White is not skilled in rhetoric. He is a great debater, but you wrongly attribute his success to rhetoric. In fact White despises rhetoric in debate. He works hard to make the best arguments and to know the material and his opponents position.

    You wrote: “it must be recognized that a debate does not necessarily solve these type of issues.” It works better than not doing anything at all. And it introduces questions and issues that many in attendance are often not aware. Think about how many CC pretrib attendees who would be introduced to prewrath at a debate that otherwise would never have cracked open a book on prewrath. In addition, cross-examination has a way of keeping theological traditions accountable that books cannot. So debate can be a very effective and informative means of meaningful interaction—the church needs more of it. In fact, I think there would be more unity in the church if there were more debates. Silence does not foster unity. And conformity is certainly not unity.

    Thanks again for your good questions Brian. I hope this helps,

    Alan

  307. sisterchristian says:

    In attempting to follow this fascinating conversation of pre- trib and pre- wrath and (potential debate?)
    Could someone kindly give a brief overview on the positions

    Alan Kurschner~
    I admire and respect the response you offered to Pastor Coy above…
    Mainly; in the light that you appear to value truth and respectfully honoring God in teaching/debate in contrast to remaining silent:
    Keeping status quo;
    Protecting a platform.. Etc

  308. Michael says:

    Sis,

    Give me a minute here and I’ll give it a shot.

  309. Michael says:

    SC,

    The pretrib position teaches that there is a seven year period of time at the end of the age all of which is called “the tribulation” This theory believes that the church will be raptured before that period begins and that the Rapture could happen at any moment…that it is “imminent”.

    I reject this and hold to the “pre wrath” position…because I believe that it harmonizes the critical passages concerning the end almost seamlessly.

    Prewrath accepts the seven year timeline…but puts the tribulation where the Bible does, immediately after the anti-Christ enters the temple 3 1/2 years into that period. The Rapture occurs somewhere after that in the last half of the seventieth week.

    Thus, the church will endure the tribulation, the anti-Christ will appear first, and the Rapture is not “imminent”.

    ““So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house,and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.”
    (Matthew 24:15–21 ESV)

    “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.”
    (2 Thessalonians 2:1–4 ESV)

    This PDF from Alan is helpful.

    http://www.alankurschner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Prewrath.pdf

  310. Xenia says:

    I think any system that prepares Christians to be on the look-out for the Anti Christ is better than a system that fools them into believing they will be in heaven when he is on the scene.

  311. sisterchristian says:

    Michael

    Thanks – you have provided enough to answer my curiosity,..

    interestingly, from my years of reading of scripture,. I had come to an understanding of a “pre-wrath” position ( without knowing it was defined as such) and was befuddled by the CC pre- trib position..
    Of course it was challenging to discuss., for as someone said earlier to the effect; to hold a different position or even to discuss a alternative in cc made one an outcast…
    Or at a minimum garner sideways glances as if looking upon one unsaved…

    Thereupon resides my respect for Alan Kurschners response to Pastor Coy..,,

    It seems so vitally important that we as followers of Christ seek to understand as much as humanly possible the God honoring truth of Gods word… And when we teach others….to have that as our objective
    And not go to extreme…out of balance opinions while holding onto preconceived notions or support a platform for the sake of conformity to the community and or leadership,

    I suppose that in part is what happens with the alcohol debate
    People often go to extremes to support their platform (and as filberts shares above take an “extra-biblical” position) and then slam/slight others that doesn’t hold to their particular view.

    Anyways… That’s one of the other elements I hope to glean when I read here… How to engage, discuss in scriptural matters graciously with others , truthfully in a Christ honoring way.

  312. Michael says:

    Sis,

    I’ve been more convicted in recent days about providing room for debate without the rancor that usually accompanies it.
    It starts with me and I need to resolve to do much better.

  313. sisterchristian says:

    Xenia .. Good point there!

  314. sisterchristian says:

    Michael

    You have been doing a fine job!
    Its evident to me There has been much growth in your providing more room for debate… And the grace that accompanies

    The forum you provide for dialogue and discussion has been a great source of learning and encouragement from several perspectives.. And it’s dearly appreciated

    Keep up the good work!

  315. Pastor Brian Gregory Coy says:

    Alan,
    Thank you for your response. I would agree with you that we all should be about defending biblical truth. It is my assertion that we all believe we are doing so, in accordance with our own belief system. While you hold your convictions strongly, so do a number of the other people hold to theirs. We all believe we have correct understanding of the Bible. I think it was Stephen Stills who said “nobody’s right, if everybody’s wrong”.

    I view this a bit more objectively because I am under the opinion that there are problems with each of the different versions of pre- millennial eschatology. None of them are airtight, which is the reason why there are different views.

  316. Michael says:

    SC,

    Thank you!

  317. Alan K says:

    Hello Brian,

    Thanks for your comments. Just because a position may not seem “airtight” does not mean that it is not right. I do not believe someone is more objective if they do not hold to a particular position or recognize that there are problems in each of the positions. They can (and often are) bias for other reasons. It is creating a false dichotomy saying that either a position must be “airtight” in order to affirm it with confidence. That nullifies Jesus’ ominous warning in Matt 24:25 in the context of the Antichrist’s great tribulation: “Remember I have told you ahead of time.” What do you do with this warning? I know what I do with it. Not to mention Paul’s warning and the book of Revelation’s warnings in the similar warnings of the eschatological Antichrist.

    I have written on a number of platitudes that keeps God’s people from affirming with confidence the biblical warnings and the urgency to study this issue:

    http://www.alankurschner.com/tag/platitudes/

    That being said, I think you would appreciate my book since I am not the typical prophecy author who thinks we can be sure of every prophetic jot and tittle. However, I do believe that we can be certain that the church will one day encounter the Antichrist’s great tribulation. I would love to get your feedback on my book if you decide to read it.

    Also, I just posted the following this evening and if you live close by I’d like to invite you to attend:

    http://www.alankurschner.com/2014/06/09/california-bible-prophecy-seminar-oct-11-2014/

    We could get some lunch and talk more about this important issue.

    Regards,

    Alan

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