UPDATE: A few weeks after posting this, a controversy erupted over The Journey, a Baptist church that meets in a pub in Missouri. See World of Bruce.
Is the battle of drinking alcohol among Baptists tippling over? Are they spiking up their reasons to drink? Or, as the Baptist Standard put it in today's article, have Baptists watered down their objections to alcohol?
I think yes. In the various Baptist emerging churches i have spent time with in USA, my observation is that the majority drink alcohol, but are cool with those who choose not to. Even in the traditional model churches, I find that young people generally enjoy a beer or wine but there are many older people that will not.
One quote from the article by abstinence teacher W.A. Criswell caught my attention:
"Criswell countered the argument that Jesus turned the water into wine at a wedding in Cana by insisting Christ made a divinely different drink. “It was the celestial drink that we shall share together when we sit down to the table of the Lord at the marriage supper of the Lamb, some glorious and final day,” Criswell said.
Now that makes me wonder - Why is everything literal in hell but figurative in heaven? Can someone tell me that?
Not looking for an argument here. But I do have some thoughts on drinking:
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- We enjoy a drink in our house. I also brew beer and am learning to make wine. I also believe drunkenness, apart from being a sin, is silly and destructive.
- For New Years Eve, last week in Scotland, a time when a lot of people drink to excess, we decided to have an alcohol free party which was quite counter-cultural but seemed to work well.
- There are many times when i don't drink, especially when i am with non-drinkers.
- I was told by my mentor Thom Wolf, who does NOT drink, that I should never make alcohol an issue. And so I havent. And am not making it an issue now . . .
Final quote from a Baptist Seminary professor who i once heard say, regarding a response to a waitress offering wine, "No thank you. We are Baptists. We don't drink in front of each other."