Friday, July 21, 2006

ALCOHOL - IS IT DRIVING A WEDGE BETWEEN US?

QUOTES AND MORE:

“Whereas, Drinking alcoholic beverages continues to be the number one drug problem in America, bringing misery to millions; and…Whereas, The American culture is thoroughly saturated with a take-a-drink mentality; and Whereas the use of the drug alcohol as a chemical crutch is harmful and unnecessary in light of the spiritual resources available to all people through Jesus Christ; be it resolved…that we call on our churches to teach vigorously the danger of the drug alcohol in order to create a climate which will lead people to reject the use of alcoholic beverages." (Resolution - SBC, 1975)

“My experience through life has convinced me that, while moderation and temperance in all things are commendable and beneficial, abstinence from spirituous liquors is the best safeguard of morals and health.” (General Robert E Lee)

“When will the terrific reign of alcohol cease?” (JL Dagg)


ALCOHOL - IS IT DRIVING A WEDGE BETWEEN US?

A vocal minority of bloggers is claiming that when our leaders speak to the important issue of alcohol they are driving a wedge between fellow conservatives. Yet, it is not our leaders who are using words like “man-made rules,” “conspiracy,” “legalist,” “political games,” and “ultra-Fundamentalist” to describe those who differ. It is this vocal minority.

When confronted with the meaning of legalism they break into a Texas Two-Step. In defending their accusation of political maneuvering (blackballing those who disagree), they become great believers in the “conspiracy theory,” (with as much evidence as those who claim Elvis is alive). When asked if the term “man-made rules” also applies to other barbiturates, and slavery, there is an awkward and eerie silence.

Ironically, a few moderationists claim the leaders want to suppress discussion on important issues, but when there comes a small contingency of abstentionists to discuss THIS issue on Blogs…well…that is just rude, unhealthy, and should cease. “Let us speak against the resolution and Blog about how wrong it is. But don’t respond to our comments through your Blogs,” seems to be the mantra of these few.

Some of them desire that we give the “Holy Spirit the freedom to convict us of our actions,” unless of course, those actions include blogging our position on abstinence. Then, apparently, we are not to listen, for that inner conviction came from the all-powerful leaders of the convention rather than the Holy Spirit.

In fact, that accusation of being a pawn to the powers of the convention has been laid at my feet. Further, I have been accused of trying to force man-made rules on others, of being a legalist, of causing division, and being closed-minded. Goodness. What has caused such outrageous assertions? Have I accused them of being liberal? No. Have I said they were anathema to me? No. Have I asked them to leave the convention? No. It appears the firestorm of accusations have come because I dared to speak for abstinence.

Now, to be fair, I think it is a small number of moderationists who are typing with such shrill fingers (and perhaps some abstentionists too). I have come to believe that one of the problems some of our leaders see in Blogs is: Blogs lack the human touch, and therefore some take a general statement (like I have made above) and personalize it. This has caused moderationists and abstentionists alike to claim they have never heard such unChristlike words and illogical reasoning. I have come to realize that many with whom I disagree are not demons; rather they are brothers in Christ. And their comments may not be hateful language at all. In fact, they may find it difficult to express their thoughts, or they may be having a bad day, or I may be reading in something that was not intended. May we all be better at giving others the benefit of the doubt.

On the matter of abstention, some legitimately believe the Bible is not clear, others believe it is quite clear. I am convinced that the principles in Scripture reveal that the use of mind-altering drugs (including alcohol), slavery, suicide, and cloning are all wrong (although they are not condemned). Why is it so wrong for me to state and defend that? Where was this outcry of man-made rules when the SBC passed a resolution asking forgiveness for our past support of the sin of slavery, or when we decried the use of other mind-altering drugs, or stated our opposition to cloning?

Further, we never heard this outcry against abstention until this year (and that by a 10% minority). It is not the abstentionists creating this stir! We stand where SB have always stood.

Why is this minority not denouncing D.L. Moody, Billy Sunday and George Whitefield (not to mention Adrian Rogers and W.A. Criswell) for holding to man-made rules by preaching abstention? (It is interesting that God used many of these men and their preaching to bring Awakenings to His children.)

Finally, there is a belief by some that the Biblical position of abstinence causes me to look down my nose at those who do not affirm it. How LUDICROUS. Has not Christ said, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” I preach on gluttony, but that does not mean I feel I am superior to those who have weight troubles because of it. In fact, if we were to cast stones, please direct them here…for I am chief of sinners and know it. Were my private sins to be named, the false accusations that have been made would pale in comparison. I certainly fail daily to achieve holiness as Christ is holy, but that does not remove my responsibility from saying “Here is what Scripture teaches.”

My intent has never been to try and divide brethren (God forbid), or to convince those, who will not be convinced of the Bible’s position on abstinence. Rather, my intent is to stand on what I believe the Bible teaches about mind-altering drugs, and to provide those who are questioning the Biblical position on alcohol with an alternate voice to the sheer volume of moderation voices in the Blog world.

It is most interesting, that some moderationists are asking me to silence my voice simply because I show where SB have always stood on this issue, I dare to research how our current leadership stands, I post medical studies, and I give and defend my position. Most Interesting Indeed.

BR

Monday, we will have our next article in our study, posted:)

31 comments:

sbc pastor said...

Brad,

Are alcoholic beverages driving a wedge between brothers in Christ? No. Are alcoholic beverages the cause of friction within the SBC? No. They never have been and they never will be! Southern Baptists have faithfully stood against the manufacture, distribution, and consumption of alcoholic beverages for over a century – during which time they have passed approximately 60 resolutions stating just that. Southern Baptists do not believe that the Bible condones the consumption of alcoholic beverages for any reason other than medicinal or survival purposes.

The small, yet vocal, number of moderationists within our convention, of which almost all appear to have their own blog, are the only one’s whose position has indeed changed. The labeling of abstentionists, the historical and Biblical belief of Southern Baptists, as “fundamentalists” (as if that is some type of a curse word) and “legalists” is absurd.

Furthermore, the inconsistency of the vast majority of moderationists in regards to other barbiturates, as are alcoholic beverages, is telling. The superficial hermeneutics of many moderationists is also saddening – equating the wine of today with the “wine” of New Testament times.

I too agree that it is ironic that some moderationists claim that SBC “leaders want to suppress discussion on important issues, but when there comes a small contingency of abstentionists to discuss THIS issue on Blogs… well… that is just rude, unhealthy, and should cease.” In other words, anyone who disagrees with the moderationist crowd, which appears to have a large representation within the blogosphere, should dismiss any public discussion of this matter immediately. Their inconsistency is convenient.

Perhaps some moderationists believe that the blogosphere should only be inhabited by those who are rebelling against the establishment :). What ever happened to transparency, honesty, and openness within our convention – as some moderationists have regularly spoken about throughout the blogosphere?

Some moderationists have accused abstentionists of forcing their “man-made rules” upon others. I personally have never once seen this to be the case. In fact, it appears painfully obvious that the opposite is far closer to being true. Only around 10% voted in opposition to the resolution supporting abstention at the SBC this year. As far as I know, no previous resolution supporting abstinence from alcoholic beverages has ever even seen any opposition whatsoever. However, some moderationists have accused the abstentionists of causing “trouble.” That claim is completely ludicrous. If anyone is trying to “divide brethren” it would logically be those in opposition to the historical and Biblical beliefs of Southern Baptists – which is abstention from all alcoholic beverages.

Perhaps we are asking the wrong question. Maybe we should be asking those moderationists that believe that abstentionists are endorsing “legalism” and “man-made rules” this question: Why are you a part of a convention that believes, and has for more than a century, that the Bible clearly teaches abstinence in regards to beverage alcohol? It is puzzling why someone would stay if they are so unhappy with our convention and they honestly believe that it has endorsed “legalism” and is attempting to enforce “man-made rules.”

Brad, please continue to stand upon the Word of God and provide a different perspective here in the blogosphere. Thanks for your faithfulness, diligence, and endurance :) – God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

peter lumpkins said...

Dr. Reynolds,

For me, this is the best piece of your thoughts to date on this subject. I mentioned elsewhere that I have been naive to think that no issue pertaining to moderation in drinking alcoholic beverages for pleasure purposes existed among SBs . However, I think you rightly point out that the issue is not a major one but exists most vocally on blogging sites. And personally, I have not experienced it being an issue in the local churches with which I have relationship.

I think too that, up until relatively recently, perhaps the blogging world, whose bold and vocal method for saying a lot and getting away with much, existed primarily out of step with most SBs.

Hence, you do Southern Baptists a great and honorable service, Dr. Reynolds, by providing the internet world with a differing view, that is also a bold and vocal view, whose purpose nicely balances things back out.

I honestly hope a time comes and not too distant, when the boiling pot goes cold. Have a great Lord's Day on the morrow. With that, I am...

Peter

Jeffro said...

Brad,

The resolution from '75 states,

"Whereas the use of the drug alcohol as a chemical crutch is harmful and unnecessary in light of the spiritual resources available to all people through Jesus Christ"

Because the crux of your argument is that alcohol is a "mind altering" drug, no matter what strength it is used, would you please state your position on drugs such as Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, and other drugs used to treat anxiety and depression. Are these drugs used as a "chemical crutch" in spite of all the "spiritual resources available to all through people through Jesus Christ?"

For the record, I appreciate your stance, though I disagree. I also disagree with the condescenion in both camps i.e. Ben Cole, and Jerry Vines.

God Bless

brad reynolds said...

SBC Pastor
Thank you for your words.

I shall assume that those who are so adament of the wrong position of the SBC on this issue, either remain in the SBC because: 1 It is not a big issue in their church; or 2. it is a non-binding resoultion.

My desire is that we lose no sincere brothers in Christ over this, that truth prevails, and that we continue to stand unanimously where we have always stood:)

You point out well, this is the first time in over 60 resolutions where there is a vocal stir on this issue.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Peter
Your words are kind. And we are in concert with our desires:)
BR

brad reynolds said...

Jeffro,
Thank you also for your words, I appreciate your spirit in this.

I think you need a prescription to get the drugs you mentioned.
However, If these drugs are being used for entertainment purposes rather than medicinal, then yes I would say they are wrong.

My position is concistent. It is the moderationist, who seem inconsistent when saying alcohol is somehow different than other mind-altering drugs, with no scientific evidence whatsoever to substantiate those claims.
BR

Christopher Redman said...

Blessings my friend. I must confess this subject has been quite a learning lesson for me. It came out of no where and now captures our minds and focus seemingly without end.

I started this issue as a tee-totaler by biblical conviction using much of your own arguments and reasoning from scripture. Now, I'm a tee-totaler by choosing to not excercise my liberty. The difference for me is that I will no longer believe that a husband and wife can not share a glass of wine over an intimate dinner without committing a terrible sin. Although I would always caution it best for Christians to abstain. That's it! Are we so divided now that we cannot co-exist within the SBC? Is our difference of opinioin so great? (sbc pastor is gleefully expecting a mass withdrawel from the SBC over this issue. Someone simply can't affirm the BFM and hold a different positon, so he says. Whatever!)

To be fair the criticsm of the resolution has come mostly from tee-totalers who cannot justify an absolute rule against all alcohol by scripture alone. Your own arguments have gone into extra-biblical linguistic studies to validate your conclusions. That is the whole point, extrabiblical studies are required whether from the OT or the NT.

I have always said that if this issue is about the evils of alcohol on society, fine. If it is over the evils of alcohol on the family, fine. If this is over the damaging and sinful affect the alcohol industry has on society, fine. I'm in your camp there! Most opponents to this resolution on in your camp there!

Nevertheless, I pray blessing for you and your ministry. I apologize for any divisive speech that I may have contributed. I continue to believe that this issue is not a subject that can be "absolutely decided" on scripture alone. Therefore, to persue it as though one side has the final authority of "Thus says the Lord" is divisive to those who are in a different opinion.

Again, regardless, I apologize many times over for any contribution that I have played in dividing godly men and women on this issue.

BTW, James Merritt's response to Ben Cole actually confirmed what I have believed this issue was about from the beginning... the abuse of alcohol and the evils of its effects on society at large and the best approach is to "never take the first drink". I think everyone can agree with that. Except maybe Ben Cole, but I can't speak for him.

I continue with intereste and anticipation to hear you defend the Doctrines of Grace as being "where we have always stood".

Blessings,
CR

brad reynolds said...

CR
Your spirit is kind and appreciated.

We will disagree, however.

Before I started this blog I read almost unanimously in the SB blogworld the criticism of the resolution.

I walked out from the vote at the SB and heard one moderationists vocally proclaiming, "Jesus, could not be in the SBC."

Again, it is not we who have started this brouhaha. This resolution has been passed numerous times without such vocal criticism.

If by extra-biblical studies you mean research into the Greek language and culture rather than accepting the english translation of wine then I confess: guilty:)

Again, thanks for your words and example.
BR

NC Pastor said...

Brad,

Great entry!

The vote at this year's Convention shows that Southern Baptists in the main stand where the Convention has always stood on the use and approval of alcohol. The vast majority of us are as strongly opposed to the consumption of alcohol as ever.

The presence of a small but vocal group that has spoken in favor of a less stringent position on alcohol - both from the Convention floor, on the blogs, and in some newspapers - shows that Southern Baptists must keep the alcohol issue at the forefront in order to halt further deterioration of our historic and (I believe) biblical stand.

I applaud your blog for providing a forum for SBC leaders to present their positions on alcoholic beverages. My hope is that Baptist ethicists, theologians, and pastors will continue to develop thoughtful responses to the moderationist position.

Additionally, I believe the SBC needs to continue to pass resolutions stating our truceless opposition to the production and consumption of wine, beer, and liquor. Doing so will clarify where we continue to stand as a denomination.

Is this a wedge issue? No. It is a matter of deep conviction for the vast majority of Southern Baptists. To modify our position would be to violate our own conscience. Might this issue be a factor for moderationists who are deciding whether they want to continue as Southern Baptists? Perhaps.

IN HIS NAME said...

Brad and Peter,
Nice to see your Blogs are still excepting comments.

I think if you will visit some old Blogs you will see the attacks or the stirring up of Christian Brothers and Sister who are sharing that which JESUS would want HIS Disciples to do in a Peaceful Manner.
Most display GRACE, but some that are attacking don't show the GRACE that JESUS gives those that the FATHER gave JESUS. We all are sinners and don't deserve to be called Brother or Sister in the BODY of CHRIST. May GOD give us Eyes to See and Ears to Hear. This is just one of the many Blogs where you can see the Attacks. If you want more I will share them with you. GOD Know the HEARTS and I would Pray that those are called (ELECTED) would bring HONOR and GLORY to GOD in JESUS NAME.

http://www.joethorn.net/2006/06/26/drinking-with-jesus/#comments

Remember, BAPTIST DON'T DANCE, but I have seen a lot of Dancing on these Blogs.

A Brother in CHRIST

brad reynolds said...

In His Name
I agree...a lot of two-stepping going on.

Thanks for your sincere concern that we are a good witness...I share that with you.

Thanks for the encouragement to read Joe's post.

Again...this blog is not intended to convince those whose motto seems to be "We Shall not Be, We Shall Not Be Moved." Rather it is meant for those who approach this with the attitude of "let's pursue truth...wherever it may lead."
BR

posttinebraelux said...

Brad,
Make sure you are also of that persuation - it seems that your encouragement is primarily to moderationists to approach the topic with a teachable spirit. May your encouragement be for not only those who hold a moderationist persuation, but for those who hold to the conviction that alcohol is sin for all.

Sincerely,

PTL

brad reynolds said...

PTL
I have a hardtime sometimes making things clear. But I don't know any other words to say concerning the purpose of This Blog.

But we are agreed - We should all be teachable. I don't ever think I've implied otherwise, I believe strongly in education.
BR

IN HIS NAME said...

BRAD, Peter.

Romans 13:13

Christian Ethics, Alcohol—In the first century the alcoholic content of wine was lower than many of the contemporary alcoholic beverages. One could get drunk on such content, however, though it might take longer. Paul's strong warnings about drunkenness stem from addressing the attitudes among those who would be so intemperate as to drink so long they were drunk and not in control of themselves. Too, he, no doubt, was concerned that drunk Christians would be seen as no different from some of the cults of that time. As well, for the sake of the Christian community and its gospel, the churches should shun those who might hinder the gospel (as drunkards would). Christians should be willing to abstain from drunkenness to preserve our Christian witness to a world looking for reasons to criticize us.

A Brother in CHRIST

brad reynolds said...

Brother in Christ,

Thank you and I agree...drunkenness should be avoided. My post wasn't about drunkenness, but no doubt it is wrong.
BR

IN HIS NAME said...

Brad
NO, Alcohol is not driving a wedge between us!!!

Why is the SBC keeping the people in the DARK???

Your post are a lot of rhetoric and they dances around most of GOD WORD, Confusing most people. ConcernedSBCer is defending the HOLY WORD of GOD which saddly most members of the church do not know, nor are they taught.
I didn't know what I know today, 30 years ago. By the GRACE of GOD I was BORN AGAIN, even through I knew the LORD for 40 years.
GOD wants HIS CHILDREN to know HIM. I only have a high school education, and the HOLY SPIRIT is the one who enlighten us by GOD GRACE.

If you LOVE someone you want to know them.and again I say GOD wants us to know HIM through JESUS CHRIST our LORD.

A Brother in CHRIST

peter lumpkins said...

Dear In His Name,

I am afraid, my dear brother, that I must disagree that all here on Dr. Reynold's site is dancing around the issue while our mystery blogger over at ConcernedSBCer rightly defends the word. Frankly, what has been here for several days now is not at all rhetoric--especially from Dr. Reynold's.

Rather, we've had various leaders from across our convention weigh in on the issue, given their understanding of God's Word.

I must ask, my brother, In His Name, how is that mere rhetoric but ConcernedSBCer Biblical exposition? I simply do not follow the point.

If indeed, the moderationists had simply been, well...moderate in Greensboro--and subsequently, on the blogosphere--toward the stance on alcoholic beverages for almost the entireity of the SBC's existence, we would not be having these emotive conversations today--at least, that's my take on it, In His Name.

Hope you well this evening. With that, I am...

Peter

IN HIS NAME said...

Brad, and now Peter,

Do You Agree with these Statements???

THE BELIEVER’S STUDY BIBLE
Managing Editor
Paige Patterson, Th.D.
Deuteronomy 4
Deu_4:2 In this comparatively early era of Judaism, one finds more than the seed for the doctrine of “the Word of God.” Yahweh does not want anyone to add to or take from His “commandments” or Word (Mat_5:17, Mat_5:18; Rev_22:18, Rev_22:19).

Deu_12:32 This verse is Deu_13:1 in the Hebrew text and acts as an introduction to the following section on false prophets.


Proverbs
Harry B. Hunt, Jr. Southwestern Seminary Disciple's Study Bible

Pro_30:5-6
Holy Scripture, Canonization — The declared wisdom of God, oral and written, is pure. God is a Lord of no deception, and what He reveals has no flaw. It can be counted on to sustain the believer. The reader is admonished not to add or subtract from what God has made known and called His people to follow. See note on Deu_4:2.

Awaiting you answer, so you can be inlightened...

A Brother in CHRIST FOR TRUTH...

IN HIS NAME said...

Brad and now Peter...

I think we have had enough Dancing!!!

Deu 29:4 But to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear...

Eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day; to see and observe the gracious dealings of God with them, and to hearken to his voice and obey it: so the understanding heart, the seeing eye, and hearing ear, in things spiritual, are from the Lord, are special gifts of his grace, which he bestows on some, and not on others...

A Brother in CHRIST for TRUTH...

IN HIS NAME said...

PETER.


I thought you had conceded and laid down your gantlet, so to speak. GOD'S HOLY WORD tells us what is sin and how to handle ones self. The HOLY SPIRIT will keep us in tone with GOD'S WILL and correct us, if we are truly GOD'S children. If we have Pastors that preach GOD'S HOLY WORD like the 2 sermons I heard today everyone would want to know GOD better. I think SBA tradition is what has and will keep the people in the DARK.

GRACE to YOU

brad reynolds said...

In His Name
If by SBC tradition you mean the history and heritage of the SB then I will agree there were times when we did not uphold the inerrant Word of God and thus were going the way of Darkness...but thanks to men like Paige Patterson, Jerry Vines, and Adrian Rogers we have turned that around, and are letting the Light shine:)
BR

IN HIS NAME said...

BRAD,
Would you please post your answer to these simple questions using GOD'S HOLY WORD with a simple YES or NO?

I have asked these question over and over many times, and you and the other disciples for abstinence have answered by avoiding the question altogether or dancing around using all kind of rhetoric.

Is it okay for a Believer to drink a Glass of WINE or BEER in moderation?

Is it okay for a Deacon to drink a Glass of WINE or BEER in moderation?

Is it okay for a Pastor to drink a Glass of WINE or BEER in moderation?



Is it a sin to drink WINE or BEER in moderation?

brad reynolds said...

In His Name
I apologize for the misunderstanding. I certainly did not mean to be ducking your questions or unclear in my responses.

First, I am not sure what moderation means. Does that mean they drink until their BAC is .06 or .04 or .02. Does it mean they only kill a few brain cells or that their sight is only mildly affected. I'm not sure what moderation means.

But evev with that aside I think you may be asking:

Do I believe it is biblically wrong for any Christian to drink intoxicating drink for medicinal or survival purposes? No - For evidence I point to the corpus of Scripture.

Do I believe it is biblically wrong for any Christian to drink intoxicating drink for recreational purposes? Yes - Prov. 20:1; Prov. 23:29-34, I Tim. 3; Dan. 1, etc.

Hope this helps
BR

IN HIS NAME said...

BRAD,
This is what GOD'S HOLY WORD has to say about drinking and GOD'S HOLY WORD doesn't DANCE…

1Ti 3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.
1Ti 3:2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

1Ti 3:3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
1Ti 3:8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain.

Rev 22:18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,

Rev 22:19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
End of GOD’S HOLY WORD..

Managing Editor
Paige Patterson, Th.D.
Deuteronomy 4
Deu_4:2 In this comparatively early era of Judaism, one finds more than the seed for the doctrine of “the Word of God.” Yahweh does not want anyone to add to or take from His “commandments” or Word (Mat_5:17, Mat_5:18; Rev_22:18, Rev_22:19).

GRACE TO YOU

brad reynolds said...

In his Name

Thanks for your affirmation of God's Word. We agree, it doesn't lie.
BR

Mopheos said...

Hello Brad,

The title of this post is thought provoking and deserves to be well answered. To read your post, one might easily conclude that the moderationists are largely to blame for the formation of the "wedge." Perhaps they are, but reviewing the resolution proposed at the 2006 convention seems to point in another direction.

Granted that the SBC has had a history of opposition to the use of "alcohol" and that its present stand remains unchanged, the resolution did "up the ante" in a successful bid to cull the leadership rosters of the entire convention based on an abstentionist understanding. This is a new development now codified in the convention's governing "laws." The impact of this resolution is potentially far-reaching for perhaps many in some form of leadership whose conscience has now been more tightly bound by the resolution. Undoubtedly this was the intent. Now, perhaps (I have no real knowledge of the percentages) many in leadership who have held to a moderationist viewpoint and have discerningly walked within that viewpoint to the glory of God can no longer do so under the new resolution with a clear conscience (rightly so).

That a vocal minority of moderationist bloggers have raised a protest (excepting the incendiary, contentless, emotive bloggers) is not the initial edge of the wedge. The resolution, in fact, decidedly is.

ConcernedSBCer has offered a cogent, consistent, convincing exegetical and theological defense. Those who disagree with his apology would hopefully concede that at the very least, Concerned SBCer has defended from Scripture this position, and defended quite thoroughly, ably and rigorously. I think that Ken Gentry has also provided an admirable, honorable biblical defense of the moderationist position. So the issue is not simply a conflict between the "biblicists" and the "non-biblicists." The resolution forces a non-biblical dichotomy on brethren who have very similar love for Christ and His word.

Are those who are convinced of the Bible's moderationist viewpoint and who defend it well from the Bible's own words no longer welcome in leadership in the SBC? The answer must be yes - in spite of the biblical evidence and argument to the contrary.

The wedge is now firmly in place - it remains to be seen how it will be employed. Predictions are not hard to imagine. I would not be at all surprised if those who passed the "alcohol" resolution might soon offer a similar resolution for those undesirable calvinists in the SBC. I do not think such a stance will bode well for the future health and fruitfulness of the SBC. I hope, however, I am proven wrong.

I might offer another point to consider on the generation that is up and coming in the church. My observations are that many coming up in the church today are not satisfied with some of the explanations of the "fathers" concerning cherished viewpoints and perspectives. It is good and fine and righteous to exhort the younger to respect and honor the elders among them, but they are much less disposed to hold dogmatically to that which Scripture does not hold dogmatically. I recognize this to be something of a sweeping generalization, but it nevertheless appears to be increasingly true, and if it is, the topic we are currently embroiled in - far from being a "tempest in a tea pot" - will be emblematic for any other issue like it that admits to various, yet faithful, handling of Scripture.

I would like nothing more than for the SBC to gain a larger footprint in the culture and the world for the glory of God and the fruitfulness of the gospel. I have increasingly nagging doubts about such a possibility, and the manner in which the "alcohol" issue has developed just fuels those doubts.

Finally, I want to state that though I am not an abstentionist, I am not a crusader for moderation. I do not preach it from the pulpit, nor do I encourage it in private. In my practice, I am coram Deo and my conscience does not condemn. My views are formed from the broad base of creational intent, redemptive history and anticipation of the blessed hope. My enjoyment of wine now is tethered to the promise of that future feast which YAHWEH Himself will prepare for His beloved bride. I believe that our lives now together as the church should reflect that reality, even if only dimly.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to post on your blog, and appreciate the tenor of its author.

Grace and peace,

Timotheos

brad reynolds said...

Timotheus,

Your sweet spirit is always refreshing. Thank you. I fear I could learn from you and Peter…I seem to be a “just the facts ma’am” type of guy which causes my comments to come across less than kind. That is not my intention at all.

I would disagree with 3 points.

1. Please read the “Quotes and More” sections of my blogs. The 1935, 1938, 1939, 1896, 1975 and 1984 SBC resolutions were actually stricter than this years. In fact, in those resolutions not only did we obviously expect our leaders to adhere to abstinence we called on all SB too. So your first point about this being some new position is accurate but not in the way you intended…we have lowered the bar…not raised it.

2. I have responded to ConcernedSBCer’s comments under my comments in my post “Dr. Rogers, Dr. Criswell, etc”
ConcerernedSBCer’s efforts are applauded as are Ken Gentry’s but the assumption that this is not a biblical issue but rather a non-biblical dichotomy assumes these 2 men are correct and further assumes Adrian Rogers, WA Criswell, Robert Stein, Paige Patterson, Stephen Reynolds, Danny Akin, Phil Roberts, John Piper, Jeff Iorg, Frank Page and Jerry Vines (just to name a few) are all “adding” to Scripture..

3. I know of no one who is asking the younger generation to walk blindly behind our leaders. But I will gladly state, “before we dismiss their opinions with our affirmation that today’s wine is akin to NT wine we would do well to listen to their words.” (I am not implying at all you have done this…you have always seemed to be more open-minded).

BR

Mopheos said...

Brad,

I have not taken your blogs as unkind in any way - I think you have shown discretion and self-control, and not a little knowledge :-)

Good first point.

I do believe both sides of this issue are biblical, so did not intend to suggest that Ab's were not dealing biblically - I think that the unbiblical dichotomy which the resolution seems to promote is that the Mod's are somehow on the outskirts of sound doctrine (or practice) and the Ab's are closer, whether because of longstanding SBC practice or something else. That is what I believe to be unbiblical, and it seems that the resolution may strengthen and affirm that dichotomy, which would be to the SBC's detriment, at least as I see it, and as I believe many in the next generation see it as well.

We are agreed on the thrust of the third point. Whatever the issue, it is always wise to listen to the words of our leaders. Rehoboam is a painful reminder of the youthful folly resulting from negligence in this regard.

Grace and peace,

Timotheos

brad reynolds said...

Timotheus,

Wise as always.

I honestly believe Abs and Mods are talking past each other. I will post on this later this week.

If we can't agree on what "oinos" meant then we will continue to talk past each other.

Most mods affirm it to mean intoxicating drink, most Abs take it to refer to wine mixed with water which would pass through someone before intoxicating them.

These assumptions cause both sides to look past each other under their own assumptions of what wine meant and did not mean.

Thomas Kuhn wrote a ground-breaking book in the sixties entitled "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions." In it he claims that legitimate conversation cannot take place between camps who begin with presuppositions, which, in essence, deny the possibility of their adversaries position.

I will gladly affirm that "oinos" could mean intoxicating drink but until Mods affirm it could mean (and in that day normally meant) wine diluted with water then no legitimate discussion can take place.

I think discussion can and should take place...but until there is common ground on what "oinos" could mean I feel we will consistently talk past each other.

Thanks for the spirit, wisdom, and knowledge you bring to this discussion.
BR

mom2 said...

I believe I saw on In His Name profile that he is a retired man with a high school education (from his post). I too am a retired person with a high school education. I think from his posts that he loves the Lord, but I have trouble understanding the strong defense of alcohol. When we know that not all uses of alcohol are helpful, why should we so vehemently defend the drinking of it for recreational purposes. I think the medical uses have already been talked about and all that remains a sticking point is the recreational. When there is the chance that our actions could cause someone ill, should we not be eager to be on the side of preventing that? Alcohol definitely has negatives.

IN HIS NAME said...

MOM2,
I have posted a lot of comments in defense of GOD'S HOLY WORD.

THE BELIEVER'S STUDY BIBLE
Managing Editor
Paige Patterson, Th.D.
Deuteronomy 4
Deu_4:2 In this comparatively early era of Judaism, one finds more than the seed for the doctrine of “the Word of God.” Yahweh does not want anyone to add to or take from His “commandments” or Word (Mat_5:17, Mat_5:18; Rev_22:18, Rev_22:19).

Deu_12:32 This verse is Deu_13:1 in the Hebrew text and acts as an introduction to the following section on false prophets.

Do you understand what this says?

A Brother in CHRIST