Friday, June 30, 2006

What Really Happened at the SBC - Part 2

4. During the Executive Committee report, an amendment from the floor seeking a statement encouraging 10% cooperation from churches to the CP, was soundly defeated. I believe strongly in the CP, but many pastors find themselves in a quandary. On the one-hand they desire to increase giving to the CP but on the other they do not desire to increase giving to liberal state colleges or conventions.

It would not surprise me at all to see a groundswell of Southern Baptists calling for state conventions to give at least 50% directly to the SBC (which is what they are apparently working toward). Further I predict a motion, that in essence, gives churches, who find themselves in state conventions that keep more than 50%, the opportunity to give directly to the SBC and receive CP credit until their state reaches 50% contribution.

There is no state convention that is training pastors like our seminaries or missionaries like NAMB and IMB. Therefore, I would be in favor of more than 50% going to the national level.

5. Before the convention there appeared to be a storm of threats and promises of confrontation of the powers that be in the convention, especially, Dr. Paige Patterson. Wisdom prevailed.

6. The New Young Leaders
Much was made of the new young leaders on the Blogs…but the exaggerated predictions of the Bloggers concerning both the participation of the convention messengers (some predicted 20,000) and the New Young Leaders movement validates the small effect (although I believe there was an effect) I feel Bloggers had.

Ironically, I believe this convention will end up producing a major movement. I know of numerous young pastors and leaders in the convention who are adamant that the *Blogger group with their antinomian presuppositions, pride, and ingratitude will no longer represent their generation. I imagine the concerns of many of these young pastors will erupt into an earthquake of unity and purity that will rock the Richtor-scale and perhaps usher in an new Awakening.
BR

*Those unified on the Wade Burleson/alcohol and other issues.

38 comments:

Jeffro said...

You said,

"Ironically, I believe this convention will end up producing a major movement. I know of numerous young pastors and leaders in the convention who are adamant that the *Blogger group with their antinomian presuppositions, pride, and ingratitude will no longer represent their generation. I imagine the concerns of many of these young pastors will erupt into an earthquake of unity and purity that will rock the Richtor-scale and perhaps usher in an new Awakening."

How can there be an "earthquake of purity" in the SBC regarding the alcohol issue? That is what you are referring to isn't it? How could the SBC be more pure in that area? It seems to me that you are attempting to make the alcohol issue about purity and righteousness, which is what Jim Richards did. This is why I voted against it. The only Biblical evidence given to support this resolution at the convention, and the only Biblical evidence that be given (no matter how many posts you have concerning alcohol and Scripture) is 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, and 1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1. However, these passages make "cultural" issues like alcohol about evangelism not purity/righteousness. Your continued use of the word "antinomian" to refer to those who do not believe drinking alcohol to be a sin goes to show that alcohol for you is a moral/righteousness issue. This must come from a misunderstanding our righteous standing in Christ. Maybe it's just me, but wasn't Jim Richards and every other person that spoke for the resolution speaking as if "alcohol" could affect our righteousness? When you can Biblically base your accusation that "drinking" alchohol is a sin, then you can use the word "antinomian" (unless you plan to redefine it).

On another note, could you please provide evidence of the pride and ingratitude of Wade Burleson? Also, could you please offer evidence of the ingratitude of the younger leaders? I suppose you are speaking of their ingratitude towards Patterson, Vines, Richards, Sutton, Floyd (those who fought for inerrancy). I want to see this ingratitude. Ad hominem attacks do not constitute arguments, even in the blogosphere.

brad reynolds said...

Jeffro
The limitation of an earthquake of purity to alcohol is shortsighted...however, the error of not including alcohol abstinence when speaking of purity is egregious.

Our righteous standing in Christ is not at all dependent upon alcohol abstinence or any other morally pure work we do. However, our pure testimony before the world and our obedience to Christ is dependent upon and evidenced by our moral purity in all areas.

I stand by my word of antinomian when it comes to alcohol consumption for enjoyment (unless of course you would say Christians living in California are free to partake of Marijuana)- we will have plenty of time to discuss this soon.

If you have not seen pride and ingratitude displayed on some of the sites you have admitted you have been on, then I am afraid we will not reach a resolution here. I can again post numerous comments from these sites, which express both ingratitude to the leadership of our convention as well as pride in assuming we should have seats beside the giants upon whose shoulders we stand, but I will save us both the time, because I do not want this blog to become a Wade bashing blog.

Sadly, pride and ingratitude are sins which plaque us all (me – perhaps more than any others), to deny they exist in our lives validates their existence even more. Which is why we must guard against them ever more fervently. The absence of the recognition of these sins is what troubles me most of the Blogger crowd of which I speak. I do count Wade as a Christian brother and therefore would rather talk about the issues than the person.

The *Bloggers were identified by Florida Baptist Witness, BP and others as a new voice in the SBC and my point is simply - that they (the group identified by BP and others) do not represent a large majority (in my opinion) of us in the same chronological generation.
BR

J. Gray said...

Do you think an asterisk excuses you to make disparaging comments.

How about the pride of thinking that just because the SBC won the battle for the Bible that everything we do is right?

Who has ingratitude?
That is one of the most ridiculous statements I've read.

Sadly, that is one of the caricatures that many are perpetuating. Broad brushes, even with an asterisk attahced, is not helpful or even close to accurate. Shame on you for naively buying into it.

I have read no one who does not appreciate all the work that many men have done over the last 25-30 years in the SBC. No one that is a "SBC blogger".

Shame on you for viewing dissent to issues of church polity (r lack thereof) and issues of legislated morality (the alcohol resolution) as issues of antinomianism and ingratitude.

Pointing out errors of those who are leaders in the SBC is not showing ingratitude...it is holding them accountable for their words and actions. They are leaders put there by us, the SBC, and they can be removed by us, the SBC.

Our leaders are not infallible? Not a single one of them. Therefore they should welcome criticism and dissent.

It seem to me to be the height of hypocrisy for us as conservative SBC guys to now view dissent as ungodly. Who is it that forgot what happened 25 years ago?

Calvary Baptist Church said...

Gray:

You are exactly right.

Dissent is not ungodly. Thus, I am "dissenting" from the SBC blogger group and saying that they do not represent my generation. Brad is correct in saying that this group does not represent my generation.

There are many, and I mean many, young pastors who are intelligent, sharp, and godly that do not want anything to do with this group. Contrary to the baptist newspapers statments, some of these guys are not the voice of my generation.

brad reynolds said...

Gray
No. Actually the asterisk defines the group to which my remarks were directed. For those who find the shoe comfortable, delight should accompany its wear.

I asked more than one of the Memphis attendees to add another statement expressing their gratitude to our leaders…they refused to do so. The opposite of gratitude is ingratitude. Calling the leaders of our convention "Kingmakers" as Wade and Marty called them is demonstrable of ingratitude. Comparing Dr. Patterson to Hoover is wrong and certainly demonstrable of ingratitude at best.

Further, demands that younger leaders be brought to the table are demonstrable of pride. Young and old alike should simply serve and allow God to exalt as He sees fit.

Enough with examples, for I have neither the time nor the desire to pull quotes demonstrating such truth. But I say again "If you have not seen pride and ingratitude displayed on some of the sites you have admitted you have been on, then I am afraid we will not reach a resolution here."

Concerning dissent: I dissent from advocating dissent :) :) :)

Seriously. No one is against dissent. To assume such, my friend, is true naivety.

I think to bring some levity to this conversation, it would be beneficial for you to show me SPECIFICALLY where our leaders have erred in their respective duties. While you’re at it, I think it would be uplifting if you shared "SPECIFICALLY" your gratitude to our leaders.
BR

johnMark said...

Dr. Reynolds,

After reading certain statements you've made I have a request. Could you please define antinomian for me and explain how this includes those who believe moderate alcohol consumption is biblical?

Also, how is it a good analogy to compare moderate alcohol consumption with smoking marijuana?

Thanks,
Mark

brad reynolds said...

Mark
Welcome...Glad you came in and thanks for the spirit you exhibit in asking your questions. While there will certainly be differences expressed on this Blog (and at times passionately) I desire to keep the spirit both gracious and courteous. You exhibit both.

Good questions.
Antinomian - Derived from the Greek words Anti=Against and Nomos=Law. Literally, against the law. The English meaning has the idea that Christians are, by grace, released from moral standards. In applying it to alcohol I am firmly convinced that the alcohol of today corresponds to the "Strong Drink" in the Bible as John MacArthur makes clear. Thus, antinomian.

Alcohol and Marijuana are both mind-altering drugs. No where is Scripture is marijuana condemned nor are we prohibited from using it. The excuse for alcohol consumption in moderation for enjoyment is that the Bible does not prohibit it so it must be permitted. This same reasoning could be used for marijuana.
BR

Jamie Wootten said...

Brad, Dr. R., whatever is appropriate in the blogoshpere...

Somehow I missed you during my 3 & 1/2 year tour of duty at SEBTS.

I agree that the moderation argument would have to be extended to include drugs if they were made legal in this country. Some bloggers have argued that drugs such as marijuana begin to impair you with the slightest intake (I can't speak with any experience on that one) while moderate amounts of alcohol do not necessarily produce impairment immediately. This may or may not be true but it seems to me that there is enough opportunity for you to get in trouble with either one. Therefore the best course of action seems to be avoid it and have no worries!

By the way is it just me or does it seem wrong that we are spending time arguing and even for some, defending the alcohol industry?

brad reynolds said...

Jamie

Welcome
Excellent comment and wise.
By the way, Where is Williston, SC?

BR

John said...

Hi Brad,

You wrote: "Antinomian - Derived from the Greek words Anti=Against and Nomos=Law. Literally, against the law. The English meaning has the idea that Christians are, by grace, released from moral standards. In applying it to alcohol I am firmly convinced that the alcohol of today corresponds to the "Strong Drink" in the Bible as John MacArthur makes clear. Thus, antinomian."

Seriously, without trying to insult, someone who makes this kind of argument shouldn't go around talking about the "logical conclusions" of anything. The above is one of the most nonsensical things I've ever seen.

While you defined the word "antinomian" correctly, you immediately switched to making it about "moral standards", rather than God's law. I think this is a very revealling error. As I've hinted at before, I believe those of you who try to argue against the Biblical gospel and impose legalism (and thereby condemn the Lord Jesus for making "wine" for recreational use), are seeking to impose a "cultural Christianity". Morals, comes from mores, and are socially derived. Christians are called to submit to mores only to the extent of not offending society for the sake of the gospel. We are called on to keep God's law. For example, it is the command of God's holy Word not to cause unnecessary divisions in the Body of Christ (Titus 3:9-10). So those who cause divisions by imposing man-made legalisms (like the prohibitionism of a by-gone age which cultural Christians try to hold on to.)

Antinomianism is the idea that one does not have to keep God's law. For example, that one does not have to abide by Titus 3:9-10 and stop causing unnecessary divisions in the Body. To call someone, like the Lord Jesus or the Apostle Paul, who used "wine" (not John McArthur's silly watered down grape juice) "antinomian" because they don't believe in legalism, is not antinomian.

John MacArthur is not a serious scholarly source. His "doctorate", I believe, is from his own school. The watered down juice argument doesn't make sense for reasons articulated elsewhere (which hopefully were not deleted.)

Finally, because someone doesn't blindly follow John MacArthur (who also believes the silly pretribution rapture doctrine is an essential of the faith) by no means makes one an antinomian. Your accusation that it does is sheer nonsense.

John said...

Dear Jamie Wootten,

Or, we could follow the Lord Jesus and not condemn people for doing what He, Himself, did. You see, you can avoid even a drop of alcohol but get drunk on legalistic self-righteousness, twist scripture by reinventing simple words (like "wine"!), and fall into a much more dangerous trap.

brad reynolds said...

John

If you have not read MacArthur's article. DO NOT POST AGAIN, or I will remove it.

While your ad-hominal statements have now extended to John MacArthur, I feel certain you will not say such things about the NT Scholar Robert Stein, whose work MacArthur uses.

Speaking of Stein, it might be wise for you to take a course in Greek, the word is oinos not wine and must be interpreted as to what it meant then not what we want it to mean now.

And when I referenced "moral standards" I was referencing God's moral code as revealed in his word. Perhaps your morals are derived from societal mores but mine come from God's moral law. To say we must keep God's law smacks of Judaism. Rather we are to keep God's moral law as revealed in Scripture.

Further, lower the rhetoric my friend, immediately!
BR

John said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
brad reynolds said...

John

Have you read MacArthur's article?

As to my Greek - 15 hours at CC; 12 more hours at SEBTS

BR

John said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
brad reynolds said...

John,

There is a reason I asked you to read MacArthur's articles. It is to be better informed when discussing this. I am a man of my word, I said you comments will not be posted until you have read this and they will not.

I do not intend to offend you at all. But Proverbs is clear about debating for the sake of debate rather than learning. May the Lord bless you
BR

J. Gray said...

Brother,

I think it is wrong for certain leaders of the SBC, agency heads even, to try and influence the Presidential voting by trying to talk people out of nominating people, even "threatening" them in a sense. Would you say that is improper behavior? (If you want more specifics, e-mail me and we can discuss it in private.)

Now, don't get me wrong. I am very grateful to the leadership that Patterson and other men have given the SBC. That is one of the reasons I am still here. There actions influence many in my generation, and I am eternally grateful to them. I have told several of them to their face, and have had lengthy discussions with several about their actions in the Resurgence and other events.

Here's the thing, just because I agree theologically with Patterson and others does not mean I agree with their methodology. Sadly, this was the one regrettable thing about the resurgence, is that it placed men with an air of infallibilty. Sadly, it has been played out in a "if you question me or disgaree with me, you're not a REAL conservative". This can be seen in comments made about Frank Page by Ronnie Floyd and Jerry Sutton, can it not? It was more than implied that Page was not a conservative, at least not a REAL conservative.
Moreover, everyone who questioned the nomination of Floyd was viewed as "rocking the boat" and being against the Conservative movement. That is why they tried to talk people out of running for President or nominating one for President, because they felt that it was tearing apart what they built.

Here's the thing: the right motives gone about the wrong way...is wrong.

I love the men in leadership. I pray for them. But that does not mean that I blindly support every decision made, or will go along with what they want just because they will imply that I am not conservative if I don't.

I strongly believe that it is wrong of them to put 1 man up for President, as "the man", and then have all the agency heads support him publicly and then try and quiet any opposition.
If the liberals would have done the same thing 25 years ago, we all would have cried foul...why is it not the case now? Just because we agree theologically??
Sorry. The Leadership now is just as prone to being power-hungry and prideful as it ever was. It is not wrong to point that out. No one is above question, not even Patterson (who I love).

Does that make sense?

J. Gray said...

Back to the alcohol issue.

Answer this: Is it a sin to drink alcohol?

Yes or No.

- Gray

BTW, I love posting here, because there is actual interaction with only a few people. I don;t post much on blogs because it is too busy, but it feels like were having an actual conversation on this one because its still small. So...thanks!

brad reynolds said...

Gray

It is good that this Blog is still small and it may stay that way...but even if it doesn't please keep posting here. Your spirit is very gracious and exhibits how Christians can disagree without the discussion devolving.

If it were as simple as saying "drinking alcohol is" or "is not" sin then we wouldn't be having this discussion. The reason one uses mind-altering drugs must be considered before one begins to measure the morality behind the use.

brad reynolds said...

Gray,

An excellent comment concerning the SBC and its leadership. However, I can’t speak to what I don’t know. I do know Dr. Patterson very well as he is a father in the ministry to me. I would trust him with my life, my strife, and my wife. If we are questioning his ability to err, we agree he is human. I have made some huge blunders myself.

I’m not sure I disagree with any of your points (although I think you apply them too far in some instances) but I would caution you about things you have heard that Dr. Patterson or others have done. Unless we see it with our own eyes and have the context where in an action took place we can make assumptions that are not necessarily true. (I know of one blogger who said he was sent by some men in the convention to an agency to ‘find things’ about an individual – he was not!)

Dr. Floyd and Dr. Page were both ill-treated. My concern with Dr. Page was Wade’s asserted influence. Had the Wade issue not been at the forefront of the convention I doubt anyone would have questioned Dr. Page’s loyalties.

In my opinion the President of the convention should seek counsel from men like Dr. Paige Patterson, Dr. Al Mohler, Dr. Danny Akin and Judge Paul Pressler. These men are connected very well across the convention and the nomination powers of the president are significant. It does matter who he nominates and he needs to be as sure as he possibly can about their theology…counsel from those connected across the convention is wise. I know I invite disagreement with that statement but it is my belief.

May you and I covet to pray for these men and the SBC.
BR

J. Gray said...

Ok, so if one uses a drug of any kind with the right motive, it's ok?

So, would medical marijuana be wrong?

Just for clarity sake, I think marijuana (and other drugs) are sinful for 2 reasons.
1. It is the law of the country we are in...so as far as I'm concerned, end of discussion on illegal drugs. We are clearly called to obey a law as long as it is not keeping us from what God has commanded of us.
2. It is impossible to do those drugs and not have the end result of being impaired or high(equivalent of drunkeness)
3. Those drugs are done for the express purpose of getting high

So, I think for all those reasons, to equate alcohol and marijuana is faulty.

It is not illegal.
It is not automatically impairing.
It need not be done for the express purpose of getting drunk.

I think a better equivalent for marijuana would be hard liquor...well, for the last 2 reasons at least. But even then it's not a 1:1 correlation.

Although I do not drink...I simply cannot say that consumption of alcohol is a sin. I think it is a wisdom/conscience issue, not a sin issue.

Jesus drank wine. Jesus did not sin.

BTW, I still don't buy the MacArthur/Stein theory...because the 'not strong drink' still got people drunk...some even drank it for that purpose. If the problem, as articluated by many SBC leaders, is that it leads to drunkenness and is therefore a sin...then Jesus' partaking of wine of any kind was a sin. He also then commanded us to sin in communion.

Moreover, how do you deal with the fact that abstinence was a development of the last 120 years...and many church leaders and heroes of the faith never read Scripture and saw drinking as being a sin or even as something to shy away from at all?

Sadly, I think our post-Prohibition SBC tradition is the father of this thought...not the Bible.

J. Gray said...

Every statement I made in that post was something I can confirm, and have several others who could confirm. I did not overstate anything. Although, I was not involved, I spoke to 2 people that were directly involved.

I am making no assumptions, as the content of the discussion was unambiguous. True, I was not there...but I seriously doubt that man who was confronted lied about it. As you would, I trust this man 100%, and drew no conclusions other than what he expressly told me took place.

But it would be unhelpful to all involved to mention names or specific statements...so I will not. In fact, I will drop this completely so that specualtion by others will not continue.


All that said, I love the SBC. Although decisions and resolutions (those made and those not even discussed) drive me nuts...I still love the SBC.

My 2 greatest hopes for the SBC are that:
1) People stop striving for power in the denomination. Those who are in power, and those who want power. It is equally unhealthy for people our age to cry and strive for power they don't have and don't deserve as it is for the older generation to beat down and insult and disparage the younger crowd in an attempt to hold on to the power they do have but don't deserve.
2) The SBC repent of the sin of pragmatism and slavery to tradition
- Too many of our churches have an unbiblical ecclesiology
- They practically reject regenerate church membership (Dr. French's statements were appalling)
- They practically reject the Bible's Sufficiency for telling us how the church should be governed, instead turning to man's ideas and theories as authoritative instead of God's Word

Though I have my gripes, I still think that God is using us to reach more people for Christ than we ever could apart, and thus the SBC is a great thing.

Believe me, I pray for the SBC and it's leaders all the time. God is not done with us yet...and we don't have it all worked out yet either, depsite what we may think

brad reynolds said...

Gray
Concerning motives. If one uses mind-altering drugs for medicinal purposes I would find it hard to say it’s sin (legitimate medicinal purposes, not pseudo medicinal purposes).

The illegality of marijuana is not applicable to our brothers in California.

You say alcohol is not automatically impairing. Actually, the content of alcohol that a drink contains determines the extent and timing of its impairment. The same can be said of the content of hemp in a joint.

While the alcohol industry has a long history of strong-arming studies, which reveal the effect of alcohol, a recent study sheds light on the impairment of just one strong drink.
I shall quote part of an article from UPI:

“A University of Washington study warns that even a single strong drink can make a person "blind drunk" and impair the drinker's driving abilities.
The study, appearing in Friday's issue of the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology, found that those who were mildly intoxicated -- which is half the legal intoxication limit -- were heavily compromised in their ability to notice an unexpected visual object while being focused on another simple task.
It has been known that the so-called "inattentional blindness" phenomenon causes salient objects appearing in the visual field to go undetected. But the current study seeks to show these visual errors become even more likely under the influence of alcohol.”

I know you don’t buy the Stein argument. But just because wine was diluted does not mean some would not dilute it…hence the prohibition of drunkenness.

Again, today’s alcohol is equivalent to strong drink condemned in the Bible. My problem with alcohol is not that it leads to drunkenness but that it is a mind-altering drug and strong drink. To say, “at 8 oz it doesn’t affect my mind but at 9 it does” seems illogical. I’m not convinced that alcohol has no effects until one is plastered; such a position is ignorant of the digestive and hematomic systems.

I don’t think you would say that; which prompts my question: how can one say at a certain consumption level, which differs with every person and circumstance, a person’s mind is effected but until this unknown level is reached there is no effect?

With Stein’s scholarly work, this quandary is avoided. One would almost be passing the wine through them before they ever reached impairment. It also avoids the serious implication that Christ erred by contributing to the drunkenness of the guests at the Marriage of Cana.

Finally, abstinence is not a new development it was practiced in the Bible as a sign of purity with the Nazarites (a group whom I believe to be forerunners to NT Christians, especially, in the area of purity), as well as a qualification for pastors (1 Tim 3:3).
BR

brad reynolds said...

Gray

Excellent comment on the SBC. And our churches in America are, by in large, ill. But I am confident Christ will come to recieve a pure Bride (cleansing will take place). I feel comfortable in saying we will both preach to this end.

I haven't seen any of our older generation beating down, insulting, and disparaging the younger crowd in an attempt to hold on to power. While you did not say this was happening, I infered you meant that, if so, please show where they have beat down, insulted and disparaged the younger crowd for the inner motive of holding on to power.

I have however, heard some in our generation cry for power.
BR

sbc pastor said...

BR,

You commented that "If it were as simple as saying "drinking alcohol 'is' or 'is not' sin then we wouldn't be having this discussion. The reason one uses mind-altering drugs must be considered before one begins to measure the morality behind the use.' You also said that "today’s alcohol is equivalent to strong drink condemned in the Bible. My problem with alcohol is not that it leads to drunkenness but that it is a mind-altering drug and strong drink."

My question is this: If today's alcholic beverages are equivalent to strong drink (and I too believe that they are), which is condemned in the Bible, then why is it not a sin for one to consume it (with the exception being for medicinal purposes). I am not sure that I understand your logic. Thanks for the interesting blog and God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

brad reynolds said...

JLG

I think it is a sin to consume it, if consumption is merely for social or recreational pleasure.

BR

brad reynolds said...

JLG

I meant to say Welcome and thanks for coming by.

May the Lord bless your ministry.
BR

Jeff Repass said...

Brad,

Iv'e noticed three references now to marijauna being legal in California. While it is true that California passed a medical marijauna proposition, it is pre-emted by Federal law as determined by a Supreme Court decision that was handed down last year. While enforcement in Cali is more lax than other states, marijauna is still an illicit substance.

I don't agree with the analogy you are making to alcohol here, but if you are going to make it I recommend using the Netherlands.

Have a blessed day,

Jeff

brad reynolds said...

Jeff

Excellent post and well thought out.

I agree, Fed law trumps state law. The point is, alcohol and marijuana are both mind-altering drugs. To stipulate that the only thing that makes mind-altering drugs wrong is their legalization opens pandara's box for Christians, not only in America but, especially, around the world.

If however, one makes subjective statements as to which mind-altering drugs are morally acceptable for Christians and which ones aren't, then that begs the question.
BR

johnMark said...

I think these may be some better more indepth resources concerning alcohol and scripture.

http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=988
Daniel Wallace

http://www.contra-mundum.org/antithesis/Antithesis2-2.pdf
“Ken Gentry and Stephen Reynolds debate a Biblical understanding of beverage alcohol use” Pg. 41-49

Alcoholic Beverages and the Bible
By Greg Price
http://www.reformedpresbytery.org/books/alcoholb/alcoholb.htm

Mark

brad reynolds said...

JohnMark

I love your picture, and therefore do not want to offend you...you look pretty tough (emphasis on tough not pretty :)

Excellent articles for the moderation position and thank you for bringing them to this discussion.

However, they fail to address two vital issues, which seem to consistently be overlooked by moderationists.

1. None of them deal with NT Scholar Robert Stein's excellent work on oinos being wine mixed with water.

There is a difference in the caffeine content of a cup of tea made with one tealeaf and a cup of tea made with 5. Even though they are both called tea. So it is with wine. To ignore the obvious difference is to ignore the debate.

2. While Price tries to deflect the mind-altering drug argument, he actually confounds the issue by equating wine's use for medicinal purposes with an implication that it should be taken like a vitamin (to increase one’s health). Water in the day of Timothy was not filtered, as water today. It would be more like water in many places in Mexico, which would cause health problems. Wine helped kill the bacteria in water, which was another reason for their mixing and for Paul's instruction to Timothy. Fortunately, we don't live in a country where alcohol is needed to purify water.

Furthermore, the implication that one can partake of one mind altering drug but not others, still remains.

While we are posting websites, let me recommend Dr. Akin’s article at
http://www.bpnews.net/bpcolumn.asp?ID=2298

Thanks again for those articles you mentioned and I recommend their reading, especially Gentry and Reynolds.
BR

Cliff4JC said...

Dr. Reynolds,

In our phone conversation I expressed to you my emphatic appreciation and thanks for the heroes that have gone before us in the SBC. I stand by it.

On the so called young leader/blogger issue. I don't believe their IS a blogger group that is new to SBC life. I know that sounds silly; but I believe it's true. It's just the same pastors/leaders, leading their local ministries the way they have for generations. Now, through technology, we have blogs. Now, the same people can communicate ideas through a new medium and be connected in ways like we never have. For the most part, this is a good thing. However, there are bad apples in the bunch. I don't think their are any more bad now than their have been in the past...it's just that we all get to hear their voice more now than before. Their are a few who are demanding a place because of a lust for power. Many, are just trying to get important things done to help in their local ministries. I really don't think their is a vast blogosphere conspiracy out to take over the convention. I wanted to see some changes (we talked about that) and I think we saw much of that in Greensboro. Greensboro was pretty amazing in my estimation. Our conservative identity was preserved (in retrospect; I doubt it was even being threatened) the door of leadership was opened to new people; the IMB BOT has been told to get their house in order; their was nothing that didn't honor Christ from the floor. Honestly; I think many of us who were nervous about all this blog stuff...really missed what this was really about. It wasn't a move back to the left. I share your concern with the tone of some: and I'm not afraid to say Ben Cole's name. (edit that if you must)

For a great look at what the so called younger leaders are really about; check out Joe Thorn's article in the Founders Journal: issue 63, winter 2006. Joe has a blog of his own BTW. It is an excellent article that I think you will enjoy reading. My belief is that the majority of the folks out here talking issues in blogland are more like Joe than they are Ben. I agree with most of your assessments of what happened in Greensboro. I think maybe you are declaring victory over opponents that really didn't exist though. Most of us; if it came down to a conservative versus moderate battle are going to fight lockstep with you! I know it will bother your conscience to go to the Founders website; but do it anyway! :) Read Joe's article. You'll like it! My request of you as my brother is this; think twice about making opponents of so many with such broad brush strokes. If you slow down a bit, you might find you have more friends out here than you think.

OK: on the alcohol thing...I believe you have a scripturally defensible position. I also think Gray does as well. Can't we acknowledge the fact that conservative, bible believing brothers can have differing views on some important issues? Come to think of it...this is exactly what started this whole thing in the first place! Except, the issue was tongues and not Anhisher Bush!


Oh man...I just went all Gene Bridges on you! LOL Sorry,

Cliff

brad reynolds said...

Cliff,

Nice Bridges impersonation but you may want to triple the length of your comment and quote some obscure study:) Gene, I’m kidding:)

My brother and friend. Excellent comments. I think you are right, I think there is a vocal minority in the Blog world who has been designated the young leaders and bloggers by BP and other news sources and yet are not representative of all bloggers and certainly not of me.

Further, there is little doubt in my mind that nearly all of us, including Ben Cole would defend inerrancy. Which certainly places us on the same team. But my differences with the vocal minority prompted this blog.

Concerning Greensboro, the bloggers reports are exactly the unlicensed liberties with which I struggle. We heard nothing about the door of leadership being opened to new people at the convention (an erroneous assumption that it has been closed), this statement and assumption comes from the blogosphere. The IMB BOT was told no such thing, again from the blogosphere. And I do believe some of the comments from the floor were dishonoring to Christ, especially the shout, “Just because you’re Jerry Vines doesn’t give you special privileges.” Still, you are right the Greensboro convention was amazing.

I will read Joe’s article. Although, I won’t be leaving comments on Founders Blog again, Tom’s subjective editing of my comments is disconcerting. More on this, Thursday.

Cliff, I look forward to meeting you and words would fail to express the joy you have brought me through our e-friendship. Next time you are in WF let’s get some coffee. You are very wise and gifted.

However, on the alcohol issue we will disagree not only positionally, but on the effects of our positions. I must speak to the issue because of the implications of a group of pastors declaring tolerance. I was on the phone until 1 this morning talking with an officer. He had worked a scene, recently, where a 17 year old had fallen asleep at the wheel and wrecked. He brought his 8 year old sister to the officer and said please save my sister. She said nothing but stared in the officer’s eyes until passing. The boy said, “I’ve just killed my family.” His father and sister did die. His mother and sibling did not. He wasn’t drunk, in fact he hadn’t drank at all…he had just enjoyed a day at the lake with his family and was tired. But he was driving because his parents had shared a couple of drinks “in moderation.”

I know we must look at Scripture for our values and I believe Scripture is clear…but let us not forget, lives are at stake.
BR

J. Gray said...

I was shocked when that guy made the comment from the floor as well.

We all agree that these men deserve our honor and respect. But I think the error you fall into, Brad, is that you think that these men deserve so much respect that they are above being questioned for their actions and statements. Patterson is not the Pope, his statements have every right to be picked apart...just as he does to others...without the attack of "disrespect" being levied.

There is nothing wrong with quoting someone and bringing to light areas of disagreement and error. I think we all agree on that. That goes for Vines, Hunt, Patterson, Mohler, Akin, or anyone. No one's preaching, teaching, or comments at the SBC are untouchable. This can, and must, be done respectfully...but it can, and must, be done.

Also, the push for younger leaders in the SBC has come more from within, than without. Talk to Jimmy Draper if you have a problem with those young leaders network things. Don't misrepresent the issue as if its just a bunch of whiners outside begging to come in.

BTW, although interested in leadership one day, I am not in favor of pushing for some sort of seat...nor has anyone I have met. Sadly, I think this is another misrepresentation of bloggers and young leaders. (There has to be a bad guy....right now it's the bloggers and Calvinists who get the brunt of the fury from the "real conservatives").

My last 2 words on the alcohol thing.

1. Quit with the rhetoric. People who believe that it is not a sin to drink alcohol are not antinomian. I know Patterson likes to throw that term around, and he's just as wrong as you are. Good grief. It makes your whole argument ridiculous because you can't help but make ludicrous exaggerations and character assasination attempts. I haven't called you or anyone who is adding a law to the Bible, which they actually are, since you have still not shown how it is a SIN to drink, a legalist. And actually, I'd be on much firmer ground, since the implication from some is that one is not fit for ministry or service in the kingdom if one drinks. Are antinomians saved? Most say no. Yet you call those who drink, antinomians. The implication is that drinking is a determiner of salvation. Thus...legalism.
You're a smart man, and you are better than making statements like that. Just argue the issues.

2. Is it a sin? If it's not a sin, then it's a wisdom/conscience issue. End of story.
You CANNOT prove that its a sin from Scripture. You can't.
You can decide that its wise based on our culture to abstain. (On that, we agree.) But you cannot say its a sin.
To try and go back and reason around and say, "well, wine wasn;t really wine"...is a weak justification of a belief you already held going into the discussion.
The only people in the world who think drinking is a sin is post-1880s Americans, and mostly only in the South. Hmm, that should tell us something.

If you don't want to drink, don't. I don't like it, and really have very little desire to partake. But I cannot, based on Scripture, forbid someone using at as a gift from God, to be used in moderation as with all of God's gifts to us. I am not going to overstep scriptural bounds. Sorry. I truly believe Scripture is sufficient.

brad reynolds said...

Gray,

Thanks for the comment.

Please show where I have fallen into the error that these men deserve so much respect they are above questioning, I will gladly apologize and remove that comment if I have said it, if not, don’t imply such.

We all agree that everyone is capable of error…I’m pretty sure I’ve said that clearly.

The bloggers is a group identified by BP and others. If the identification is wrong then say so to BP who gave “bloggers” positive coverage.

No rhetoric, although I do concede that the antinomian accusation is a bit over the line for me, and I apologize. I do not mind saying moderationists have antinomian leanings but you are correct, I should not say they are antinomian.

For something other than medicinal use, I’ve made it clear, alcohol is strong drink, and is wrong!

I’m pretty sure Shakespeare lived before 1880 and was not known as a flaming evangelical Christian and yet he said, “O thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil.” Furthermore, as you have read MacArthur’s articles you have seen the negative statements by pagan writers in NT days. I need not quote them again. This is not a new issue, except in the minds of this young generation of bloggers. To assume that SB were blind to Scripture for the last 125 years and we have finally come to realize the sufficiency of Scripture is quite an assumption.

To imply anyone in this discussion does not believe Scripture is sufficient, is ad-hominal and should be avoided.
BR

Cliff4JC said...

Brad,

Thanks for the kind words. I look forward to looking you up; however, I am not old enough yet to drink coffee (you are a year older than I after all!) I'll have to settle for a root BEER! :)

Clarifications: I wasn't at the conventions and missed the Vines comment. I am a hot head and imagine I woulda yelled the man down who said it! I was speaking to the overall tone and outcome. I think BP HAS misrepresented the bloggers as a group. They ARE NOT! It's just the same flawed men who answered their call to ministry who are doing their best to be faithful. I agree with some, disagree with others, and...well agree in parts and disagree in parts with most! LOL (Now I sound like Paul). It didn't surprise me that there were no calls for opening the doors of leadership to young leaders: 1. because they largely haven't been asking for it. (Drapper just got together with some and realized their was real frustration over some legitimate issues. Hence began the dialogue that I think has been largely good.) 2. Because they already have it. We are right here. Leading our ministries; taking positions in local, state and even national associations when it's needed. We are sitting across the table from one another. Honestly, the hole young leader needing a place thing; I’ve not read that on blogs...just in BP and ABP and state papers. It was a "straw man" if you will.

On the drinking issue. I am a T-Totaler and I ask that of my youth worker leaders. I would answer your question to Gray with a yes. I think one drink is sin. I would answer with a different reasoning than you do however. I think the strong drink argument is weak. I agree with Gray on this. But, for us who are leaders, yes, I think it is wrong. For the average Christian...yeah...I think it for them to; but I'm a little softer on it. I simply don't want one stinking dime of my money to support the alcohol industry that promotes such a degenerate, Godless lifestyle.

I do think that referring Wade's motion back to the IMB BOT was a clear signal that the BOT should get its house in order. He was not ruled out of order or shot down. I think it's good. If it's true that he has the goods to prove what many have suspected long before all this with Wade came to light about a group after Rankin's job; the BOT should deal with it. If they don't...WE should in San Antonio. If he doesn't, and he is proved to be a snake oil salesman, HE should be held accountable; in not by the board...by US in San Antonio. It's time to get that mess behind us.

Do you know Adam York? He's my brother-in-law. He's working on a TH-M in Ethics. There is a chance I'll come through the last week of this month. I'll let you buy me that...beer. The root kind of course!

BTW...I would never claim to be as smart as Gene! I could never use the big ol words he do! LOL I did tell you that he and I are friends right? We went to college and parts of seminary together. I know you guys would disagree a lot on baptist politics; but if you ever have the opportunity to speak to him or meet him, have him share his testimony. It will bless your day! I do wish I could get him to be a little less...um....sarcastic sometimes! But if you start judgeing me for being friends with him...I'll pull the Caner card on you! :)

Joy,
Cliff

brad reynolds said...

Cliff

Thanks my brother. Wise as always.

Root beer is Great!

From what I've read of Gene he is very smart.

And I'm glad to be good friends with the Caner's:)

BR

sbc pastor said...

All,

I think root beer is fine too - especially Barq's and/or root beer floats.

Do you think that would suffice those who voted against the alcohol resolution? From a few other blogs that I have read over the past few weeks I don't think so - they like to booze it up (some have said that it helps with their exegesis). Who knows?

In Christ,
JLG