Monday, July 24, 2006

SBC President Frank Page Addresses Alcohol Use

QUOTES AND MORE:

"I'm tired of hearing about temperance instead of abstinence, in order to please the cocktail crowd in church congregations." (Vance Havner).

“Of all vices, drinking is the most incompatible with Greatness.” (Sir Walter Scott).

“Resolved, that we reaffirm our historic stance of pointing out the deceptive and destructive nature of beveraged alcohol…” (SBC Resolution, 1976).

SBC PRESIDENT FRANK PAGE ADDESSES ALCOHOL USE

The Issue of Alcohol Use
By Frank S. Page, Ph.D.

The issue of alcohol consumption for social, recreational, and personal use (not medicinal use) is an issue, which has been debated for many years among evangelical believers. While virtually all evangelicals agree in biblical prohibitions against drunkenness, there is much debate among evangelicals and particularly among Southern Baptists as to the permissibility of using alcohol under a more controlled and/or moderate degree of usage. There is great debate as to accurate comparison of modern day strong drink with the strong drink mentioned in the Bible.

There is value in studying Scriptural references to alcohol use and/or abuse. One interesting study revolves around certain groups of persons who were to abstain from wine or strong drink. Such persons were Nazarites, Rechabites, Priests, and the Israelites during the wilderness experience. There are multitudes of instances where shameful drunkenness brought forth horrible consequences. The Apostle Paul gives certain guidelines about drinking for those who are being considered for church offices.

In addition to Scriptural references to the use of strong drink, one also must recognize the current state of our culture and how it has been impacted by alcohol use. Personally, I made a decision as a young child to never be involved with alcohol as I witnessed its absolute destructive force in the lives of several of my extended family members. One does not have to look hard to see the results of alcohol use and/or abuse in our society today. It is devastating millions of lives and families.

In addition to all of this, there is the issue of freedom in Christ. Many believe that Scriptures such as I Corinthians 6:2 point out the fact that the Christian is free to do anything not specifically prohibited by God, as long as it gives glory to God and does not disturb the Christian’s fellowship with God. Some believe that this gives the modern day believer the green light to utilize alcohol as a beverage.

Personally, I believe that alcohol, as a beverage, should be avoided by believers. I particularly believe that those who are in positions of leadership and ministry should refrain from any usage of alcohol as a beverage. The Scripture says in I Timothy 3:3 that an overseer must “not be given to drunkenness.” I believe that the issue goes even deeper. While indeed, we must not be given to drunkenness, I believe there is a Biblical principle that encourages believers to abstain all together from alcohol. In light of our societies self-destructive behavior, I believe that evangelical believers need to rise to a higher plain of conduct and teaching. I believe the overall need for this comes from the issue of witness and influence. For example, I Corinthians 8:9 says, “Be careful, however that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” We must be very careful that our witness is maintained in all settings. While the consumption of alcohol may not be a problem to some, there is the high probability that it would, in some way, hurt ones witness. There is also the issue of influence. I Corinthians 10:23-24 says, “Everything is permissible – but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible – but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” The need is to be one of great, positive, and healthy influence as well as a strong and clear witness for Christ.

As a child, I realized the serious danger in alcohol use. Its addictive power is beyond debate. However, as a modern day, evangelical believer, I feel that it is very important to example and to teach abstinence regarding the use of alcohol.



PS - For those interested I have addressed ConcernedSBCer's latest three post's about me in the comment section of "Dr. Rogers, Dr. Criswell. Studies on Alcohol and More" post.
BR

48 comments:

posttinebraelux said...

Brad,
Again, a well written and constructive post by the current SBC president. His convictions are laudable and should be an example to all of us. Would that all had the desire to share their beliefs and convictions in such a positive and edifying manner.

Sincerely,

PTL

brad reynolds said...

PTL
I agree whole-heartedly.

And while some have been apparently unkind to my position I do not presume their desire or motive was anything but edifying.

I really liked Dr. Page's statement "I believe there is a Biblical principle that encourages believers to abstain all together from alcohol."

I too believe this is what the Bible teaches.
BR

peter lumpkins said...

Dr. Reynolds,

I concur with PTL. Dr. Page is concise, convincing and deeply challenging in the presentation of his views on partaking/not-partaking of alcoholic beverages for recreational purposes.

Do you think the heat of rhetoric has dropped a few degrees? It seems it to me. But I dunno...With that, I am...

Peter

sbc pastor said...

I am thankful that the SBC has a President that upholds the inerrancy of Scripture, the BF&M 2000, and the Biblical teaching of abstinence in regards to alcoholic beverages (unless for medicinal or survival purposes, of course). God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

brad reynolds said...

Peter,
I don't know. If you've read the latest from our friend on anoter blog...I kind of doubt it.
BR

peter lumpkins said...

Dr. Reynolds,

I do understand... BTW, I'm sure you've seen it, but Dr. Land weighed in on alcohol at BP today.
http://www.bpnews.net/bpfeature.asp?ID=2320

And, Dr. Land seems almost always to be convincing in the position he advocates. With that, I am...

Peter

brad reynolds said...

Peter
I did see it...I am awaiting his article here...his secretary said it would be here soon...it may be the one he has given to BP...I'm assuming it is.
BR

Gummby said...

The Scripture says in I Timothy 3:3 that an overseer must “not be given to drunkenness.” I believe that the issue goes even deeper. While indeed, we must not be given to drunkenness, I believe there is a Biblical principle that encourages believers to abstain all together from alcohol.

I think this probably gets at the heart of where I am uncomfortable with the issue. I think Frank Page makes cogent and convincing arguments, but they are based on this line of reasoning: "Paul says 'don't be given to drunkenness,' but that doesn't go quite far enough."

Here's my question. If this is true, and it is so critical, then why doesn't Paul come right out and say it? And since Paul doesn't make the standard "don't drink" for overseers, how is it incompatible to make it a matter of conscience, even if one would agree (more or less) with Page's reasoning?

I'd also be interested in your opinion on whether this is a cultural thing; that is, are we making a big deal about this because we are Americans, while those in other countries are wondering "what's the big deal?" Would you have a problem sitting down with, say, Oz Guinness in an English pub while he has a pint of the family's finest?

Finally, I'm still trying to understand the connection you keep making between slavery with drinking. Would you care to elaborate on the connection? I at least saw the connection between marijuana use and drinking, although I still don't know if I will concede to being inconsistent if I say that someone drinking a beer with their Mexican food isn't the same thing as going out to the car to smoke a joint.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Brother Matt,

I certainly do not want to speak for Dr. Reynolds, but I will just offer one comment to your insightful query since I myself made allusion to the slavery analogy elsewhere (www.sbctomorrow.com).

The oft repeated mantra of the moderation advocates is that since God does not, in Scripture, flatly condemn the use of alcohol (including but not limited to recreational usage) but only the abuse of alcohol (that is, drunkenness), it seems to ethically follow, for them, that partaking of alcoholic beverages for recreational, pleasure-filled purposes is a perfectly, morally acceptable practice.

The reason slavery emerges as an apt analogy stems from the very fact that, even though slavery is not flatly condemned in Scripture, we would not argue that slavery is a perfectly acceptable moral practice.

Here is the unanswered moral analogy that seems to be missing from moderation advocates:

The use of slaves is not flatly condemned in Scripture, only the abuse of slaves. Similarly, moderation advocates argue the use of alcoholic beverages is not condemned in Scripture only the abuse of alcoholic beverages (i.e. drunkenness).

I certainly do not have all the answers, my Brother Matt. Indeed none of us do. Yet, for me, the answer seems not to be to publically teach moderation philosohpy to our children.

I hope you have a great day. With that, I am...

Peter

posttinebraelux said...

Peter,
I have tried to answer your slavery analogy on another of Brad's blogs, "A Third Seminary President Shares His Views" - at least my take on the slavery issue. I, obviously, am no scholar, simply one who tries to apply Biblical truth to everyday life.

Thanks,

PTL

brad reynolds said...

Matt
Thanks again for your comments and the spirit wherein you post.
Good questions. I have answered the first one in another spot…but to be honest I don’t know where so its easier just to answer again.

1. In 1 Tim 3 the Greek “parion” translated “drunken” can certainly be translated so, however Thayer makes clear it can also be translated “given to wine.” Thus the text would read “not given to wine” as NKJ translates it. This makes more sense since the deacon qualification is “not given to much wine.” Surely, the pastor was held to a higher standard than the deacon. The text would not make sense to hold the pastor to higher standards except in the area of drinking wine. To say to the pastor you can’t get drunk and then to the deacon you can’t even drink much is not fair to the context. But to say to the pastor you can’t drink any and then to the deacon you can’t drink much is.

This understanding compliments Prov 31:4-5

While Dr. Page doesn’t say what the biblical principle is…he does say there is a biblical principle of abstinence in his opinion.

Concerning, whether this is cultural. If I thought it was cultural I would not address it.

The connection I make with slavery is that the Bible does not condemn drinking wine and therefore it appears to me there is some who say “if it is not condemned it must be condoned.” This line of argument can also be used of slavery. Just because the Bible doesn’t come out and say “drinking intoxication drink” or “slavery” is wrong, does not mean that the principles contained there in do not condemn such practice.

Hope this clarifies my position more,
BR

brad reynolds said...

Peter
Good thoughts!
BR

Gummby said...

Dr. Reynolds: I'll have to look it up in BDAG when I get home.

What do you make of the next two verses in Proverbs after the two you referenced? Was this merely an Old Testament allowance?

Anonymous said...

This is a pretty remarkable comment from Frank Page that I don't think he realizes what he said.

"The Scripture says in I Timothy 3:3 that an overseer must “not be given to drunkenness.” I believe that the issue goes even deeper."

He goes on to say that no Christian minister should consume alcohol. Can he not see from his very own words that he is calling into question the Bible's wisdom? He might as well have said, "The Bible doesn't go far enough, so the SBC must correct this oversight."

Sorry folks, but if God intended to ban the consumption of alcohol he would have. Are the Scriptures insufficient for the life of the church in America? I believe the SBC, of which I formerly was a part, and which I still have much affection for, has said "Yes -- we need more regulations."

I'm all for the use of wisdom in drinking, and in being willing to give up my freedom to prevent other brothers from falling into sin, but this resolution has gone much further that the Bible goes, and that should be appalling to anyone who loves the Scriptures.

"I believe there is a Biblical principle that encourages believers to abstain all together from alcohol."

Really? If this is the case, why did Paul just not say, "Christians shouldn't drink." Jesus, sadly, would not have qualified for a leadership position in the SBC. How does that not make you guys cringe?

Brad, your comments on "paroinon" in 1 Tim 3 are not quite accurate. You cannot equate "given to wine" with "drinking wine". They are separate phrases with different words. Translating it as drunkenness is capturing the essence of the meaning.

Anonymous said...

I almost forgot to add my favorite comment on alcohol from church history, and it is from our friend Martin Luther. This is a slight paraphrase, but captures what he said.

"Men can go wrong with both wine and women. Shall we also abstain from women?"

Timothy said...

Brad,
We can all exchange opinions concerning interpretations. Your interpretation is the minority opinion concerning the interpretation of this text in Timothy. Go into your own library on campus and find how many interpret this passage as demanding abstinence.

2 Examples, Historical and Modern:

1. Albert Barnes on 1 Timothy 3:3:
“Then it denotes, as it does here, one who sits ‘by’ wine; that is, who is in the habit of drinking it. It cannot be inferred, from the use of the word here, that wine was absolutely and entirely prohibited; for the word does not properly express that idea. It means that one who is in the habit of drinking wine, or who is accustomed to sit with those who indulge in it, should not be admitted to the ministry. The way in which the apostle mentions the subject here would lead us fairly to suppose that he did not mean to commend its use in any sense; that he regarded its use as dangerous, and that he would wish the ministers of religion to avoid it altogether. In regard to its use at all, except at the communion or as a medicine, it may be remarked, that a minister will do no injury to himself or others by letting it entirely alone; he may do injury by indulging in it.”

I admire Barnes honesty in dealing with the text, unlike what we are seeing today. He admits that the text does not demand abstinence, but still holds to the position that abstinence is best. I too would say the exact same thing!

Why do our leaders insist on saying what the Bible does not say?

2. I highly admire and respect the integrity of Dr. Al Mohler in this area. He clearly says that abstinence is the best, but also says that:

"You simply cannot make the argument that the Bible binds the Christian conscience and all Christians of all times everywhere for a total abstinence position."

We are guilty of legalism when we demand something of our brothers that the Bible does not demand.

Brad,
You may have answered this elsewhere, but please answer this.
When I am asked if a person drinks alcohol is it a sin, what would you say?
I certainly can say that it is a sin to be drunk and show the verses. I certainly could say that the wisest way to live is to not drink alcohol at all, and show the verse to back this wisdom. But where do I say, "See here brother, this verse says that if you drink one drink, you have sinned."

Timothy

brad reynolds said...

Matt
Excellent question on Prov. 31:6-7

Actually I think they still have precedence for today. Solomon's mother told him kings, leaders and those who oversee should abstain from drink. But make sure you allow those who are dying intoxicating drink to ease their pain (It is interesting to note that Jesus did not ease his pain on the cross and turned down the intoxicating drink but accepted the non-intoxicating one).

Moreover, if someone is knocked down emotionally, allow them intoxicating drink also. We still do that today, except we use other barbiturates than alcohol. We give those who are dying drugs to ease their pain and we give those who are broken hearted Valium.

brad reynolds said...

Anonymous,

God didn't condemn other barbiturates either...so accordingly, I guess He condones them also?

Further, we will disagree on I Tim 3. I shall choose to believe Paul did not require more of deacons than he did pastors.
BR

IN HIS NAME said...

Anonymous,
AMEN AMEN AMEN
You spoke the TRUTH, which is what GOD'S HOLY WORD says.

When we as CHRISTIANS deny that TRUTH, which is GOD'S WORD, where do we stand.

I have tried to defended GOD'S WORD all my life.

To me it is not the issue of WINE (Alcohol), it is not Believing or Misrepresenting what GOD'S WORD SAYS...

GOD SAID, TO KNOW ME, IS TO LOVE ME. (PETER: In A Aroundabout Way)

Your Brother in CHRIST

brad reynolds said...

Timothy,

Thanks for the well thought-out and articulated response.

Concerning 1 Tim. 3 we shall disagree. I choose to believe Paul did not hold deacons to a higher standard than pastors.

I too admire Dr. Mohler and I am grateful of his endorsement of Danny Akin's article on abstinence.

Moreover, I agree with his statement:
"You simply cannot make the argument that the Bible binds the Christian conscience and all Christians of all times everywhere for a total abstinence position."

He allows alcohol for medicinal and survival purposes. I do to.

Further, the Bible doesn't demand abstention from other barbiturates, just drunkenness...a consistent moderationist cannot say to the Christian teenager in Brazil it is wrong to take a few hits on a joint. You can say he can't reach the state of drunkenness (whatever subjective state that is) but you can't say he can't take hits.

I would say to any brother partaking of any mind-altering drug that there are principles in God's Word which forbids it. See my post Alcohol Abstinence: Bias or Biblical for problems I see in the moderationist camp. As yet no one has addressed these.
BR

Anonymous said...

"God didn't condemn other barbiturates either...so accordingly, I guess He condones them also?"

What other barbituates were used at the time for him to have addressed? I'm not aware of drug abuse problems facing the early church, which would have explained why they went unaddressed.

As for something like marijuana, that's a pretty easy case to make, associated with drunkenness. You can't smoke pot in moderation. One joint and you are high, and the entire point of smoking pot is to get high. That's not the case with marijuana or other drugs. Drunkenness can easily be equated with getting high, and thus the Scripture is sufficient to address that issue.

"Further, we will disagree on I Tim 3. I shall choose to believe Paul did not require more of deacons than he did pastors."

I don't know what you're trying to say that, I don't think he did either. Where did he forbid all drinking by deacons?

By the way, my name is Kirk (same as the other anonymous).

IN HIS NAME said...

Timothy,
Thanks for your words, on what GOD'S WORD SAYS.

As I have said before, Brad and his disciples use a lot of rhetoric and they dance around most of GOD'S WORD, Confusing Most People (BAPTIST).

I posted this on my Blog back on the 16th of July at

http://saved-by-jesus-christ.blogspot.com/

Your Brother in CHRIST

brad reynolds said...

Kirk

Thanks for your name, I like that better than anonymous:)

Precisely the point. The Bible was not written to list every vice man partakes of as sin. There are principles to guide us.

The only way a Moderationist can say alcohol or any barbiturate is sin is to say only if you get drunk.

As a former youth pastor, I have testimony from teenagers that tried marijuana just to try it...not to get high, but out of curiosity...further, some tried it out of a desire for a buzz, not a desire for the state of high, which I agree is drunkenness.

On what bases can you, Biblically, say these teenagers are wrong if they live in a country where marijuana is legal.

If they do not get drunk (high) and just do it because they have come to enjoy the flavor/buzz, what biblical precedent does a moderationist have for saying they are wrong?

Concerning 1 Tim: your translation, if I am following is this:
Pastors don't get drunk
Deacons you can't even drink much wine.

ie - deacons are held to higher standards.

Thanks
BR

brad reynolds said...

in his name

This is the second time I have asked you not to make ad-hominal statements. Please refrain from unsubstantiated claims.
BR

Ed Pruitt said...

Brad,

You have done a great job of posting scripturally sound yet scholarly articles. Your posts have truly been benificial to me. I know you have caught a great deal of flack over this whole situation. I want to say thank you for standing for Truth in the face of such opposition.

Now on to London's Hardrock for a drink (non-alcoholic of course).

HEP

brad reynolds said...

Ed
Thanks for the encouragement. Wish I were with you...we shall have a grand time eating blackberry pie upon your return.

God Bless
BR

Gummby said...

In a previous post, you mentioned multiple SBC resolutions that were more strict than the current one. If I wanted to read the text of those, where could I find them?

Travis Hilton said...

Brad,

It looks like the current "Great Cloud of SBC Witnesses" is on the side of abstinence. I appreciate the presentations here. I don't aggree with all the arguments because I think some are weak. Nevertheless, the overall issue needs to be delt with.

IN HIS NAME said...

Brad,
This is what PAUL had to say in Galatians and Colossians. Legalism kills joy. Have you lost your joy? Paul sensed that the Galatians had lost the joy of their salvation because of legalism. Legalism can take away joy because (1) it makes people feel guilty rather than loved; (2) it produces self-hatred rather than humility; (3) it stresses performance over relationship; and (4) it points out how far short we fall rather than how far we've come because of what Christ did for us. If you feel guilty and inadequate, check your focus. Are you living by faith in Christ or by trying to live up to the demands and expectations of others?

Colossians 2:6-23

Your Brother in CHRIST

brad reynolds said...

Matt
Go to www.sbc.net

Under Faith & Facts at the top there is a drop down menu with "resolutions" listed.

Once you go to that page just type in alcohol under "search resolutions"

BR

brad reynolds said...

Travis,

Thanks for your honesty and openness. and thanks for dropping by.
BR

brad reynolds said...

In His Name
Thank you for your concern my brother. And I would certainly appreciate your prayers.

I agree whole-heartedly. If Christians are trying to gain God's unmerited favor by works then it will be a burden. Works salvation is Legalism.

Holy living and high standards on the other hand are not legalism.

You bet I have joy. What a Savior...I gladly give up anything He requests of me with joy in my heart. He is worth it.
BR

Anonymous said...

"Precisely the point. The Bible was not written to list every vice man partakes of as sin. There are principles to guide us. The only way a Moderationist can say alcohol or any barbiturate is sin is to say only if you get drunk."

I agree that it's the point, but I don't think we are talking about the same point! lol

The principle is don't get drunk. Getting high can be equated with getting drunk because it has the same effect on you. You lose control of your mind, and are unable to take thoughts captive.

But the Bible SPECIFICALLY addresses alcohol, and it addresses it specifically in terms of moderation rather than abstinence, so it's not being faithful to the text of Scripture to say that we should go farther than Paul did, because Paul was seeking to address the sin -- drunkenness. The SBC has redefined the sin to be any non-medical consumption of alcohol. This is a serious conflict with Scripture, and all who love God's word should be very uncomfortable with the SBC resolution. Now I do believe that you and every other SBC pastor I've ever known loves God's word -- but I don't think you're connecting the dots here.

The problem with marijuana is that you get high from it. No one smokes it for any other purpose. My understanding is that you can get high from one single hit on a joint, but I've never smoked it so I'm going by others' words. What would be the point of smoking pot if not to get high???

As for teenagers who use moderation issues to justify it, that will never work. But you don't pretend that the Bible says "Thou shalt not take a hit on a joint." It doesn't. You challenge them by asking them what their motivation would be? There's no godly motivation for smoking pot because the goal of all pot smoking is to get high (even if for medicinal purposes, the purpose is to get high so you forget the pain). Further you point out that it's illegal and Romans 13 applies, so it's a moot point altogether. Case closed.


"Concerning 1 Tim: your translation, if I am following is this: Pastors don't get drunk
Deacons you can't even drink much wine.
ie - deacons are held to higher standards."

No that's not the point at all. We are equating "drink much wine" with "get drunk", which is why most translations say something along the lines of "don't get drunk". I think if you look at the use of paroinon in non-biblical literature from about the same time frame you will see that is how it's used. Thus deacons and pastors are held to the EXACT same standards that ALL Christians are held to, only that it is absolutely critical for men in those positions to be even more progressed in those character points than other believers -- but the standard for all Christians is the same.

kirk

Travis Hilton said...

Brad,
Let me clarify something I said. I may think some of the arguments are weak, but that doesn't mean I disagree with their overall position. I just think we should take special care in how we handle this from the scriptures. We should not read things into the text that aren't there.

There are several articles that you've posted that I think are sound and carry weight in this debate.

Grace,
Travis

brad reynolds said...

Kirk
I think we shall agree to disagree. I have addressed your points.

If Paul were condemning drunkenness he wouldn't tell them to do it in their houses. He was condemning the taking of the Lord's Supper unworthily as he makes clear in the text.

I know youth who smoked marijuana for other reasons than to get high and if they lived in Brazil a moderationist could not say they were wrong unless they got high.

concerning 1 Tim you seem to want to take the first greek phrase to pastor's as literal but allow for interpretive room concerning deacons.

We will just disagree
BR

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to just move on and agree to disagree when we haven't clearly identified what we're talking about. My love for God's Word causes me to oppose my SBC friends on this point.

It is wrong to bind someone's consicence where Scripture does not. It is wrong to even HINT that someone is in sin if they drink a glass of wine. Does it not bother you that Jesus would be forbidden to serve in leadership of the SBC? That makes this whole thing just crazy to me!!!

"If Paul were condemning drunkenness he wouldn't tell them to do it in their houses. He was condemning the taking of the Lord's Supper unworthily as he makes clear in the text."

I don't have the slightest clue what you mean by this. What does 1 Cor. 11 have to do with the freedoms allowed in Romans 14 and 1 Tim 3?

I just figured out what you were trying to say about Deacons and Pastors earlier. Your point seems to be that Paul uses a different word in 1 Tim 3: 3 and 8. Compare the two lists and it should be obvious -- Paul is calling them to precisely the same standard, but he describes the same principles in slightly different ways; but means the exact same thing. "Not addicted to much wine" for deacons means exactly the same things as "not drunkards" for pastors.

If someone isn't getting high of marijuana, which I've never in all my life heard of, and their mind isn't being altered, I'm not sure that there is a biblical objection that can be raised -- I just don't believe anyone smokes a joint for any other purpose, and so I would ask a lot of questions about motivation of that person living in Brazil or Amsterdam. Why do they smoke? if it doesn't alter their minds, what's the point?

To be frank, I'm a lot more concerned about being faithful to the Bible than I am about being able to command a teenager in Brazil that he must not smoke pot even if he doesn't get high and his motivation honors God (both of which I doubt to be possible). Shouldn't you be more concerned about honoring God's Word, and less about the obscure situation that may not even be possible?

brad reynolds said...

Kirk
Your assumption that a person cannot partake of a joint without getting drunk is clouding our discussion. Further, the assumption that one can partake of wine for the taste or even the buzz but not other barbiturates further clouds the discussion. Finally the assumption that this analogy is implausible really muddies things.

The point being that the moderationists claim that the Bible doesn’t condemn drinking intoxicating drinks for recreational purposes means that it condones it opens the door for a host of sins not condemned in the Bible. Thus, Scripture does not specifically bind one’s conscience in the matter of other barbiturates, slavery or even suicide. But there are scriptural principles that do. This is not adding to Scripture it is using Scriptural principles to relate to issues in our day. Please read my latest post on differences between drinking alcohol in 21st Century America for recreation and drinking wine mixed with water in 1st Century for survival. Big difference.

If Paul meant the same thing for deacons/pastors why didn’t he use the same word like he did when referencing ruling their own house well and the husband of one wife. It is convenient to say he meant the same thing when uses different words…but it begs the question.
BR

IN HIS NAME said...

Brad Brad Brad,
Remember,

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).

Anonymous said...

"The point being that the moderationists claim that the Bible doesn’t condemn drinking intoxicating drinks for recreational purposes means that it condones it opens the door for a host of sins not condemned in the Bible. Thus, Scripture does not specifically bind one’s conscience in the matter of other barbiturates, slavery or even suicide. But there are scriptural principles that do. This is not adding to Scripture it is using Scriptural principles to relate to issues in our day. Please read my latest post on differences between drinking alcohol in 21st Century America for recreation and drinking wine mixed with water in 1st Century for survival. Big difference."

The wine mixed with water claim is poor history. Jesus made wine for a wedding, not wine mixed with water. Please point me to anything in history that can substantiate your claims that wasn't written by a teetotaler with an agenda that could cloud his historiography that says otherwise.

The difference between alcohol and marijuana is that I don't have to draw principles because the issue wasn't addressed. The issue WAS addressed, and to pretend that it isn't is just burying your head in the sand. You are saying most clearly that what the Bible says about alcohol consumption is insufficient to guard the Christian's alcohol consumption. You are questioning the sufficiency of Scripture, and that is why I'm as committed to opposing your position as I am.

There are principles that apply to drugs (the drunkenness one) and suicide (murder, the Lord appoints the day we die, etc). As for slavery, the slavery in Paul's day was nothing like that evil American form of slavery, and so there are as you said other principles that apply. Outside of drunkenness and motivation and obeying the law there are no controlling principles against taking barbituates, but those have been sufficient in every single example of seeking to counsel people thinking about or using drugs.

here's the point: I'm more concerned about being faithful to God's Word than about eliminating any possibility of someone in Brazil being able to take a single hit off of a joint. If they don't get high off of it, what would be the biblical objection to it, anyway?

Kirk

brad reynolds said...

Kirk
You are consistent. I like that you are the second moderationist who has either said or implied a person can partake of legal barbiturates provided he/she does not get high or drunk. Thanks for the consistency.

Concerning your desire for historical evidence of water/wine mixture, here you go:)

In the ninth book in the Odyssey, Ulysses took black wine that needed to be diluted with twenty parts of water before being consumed as a beverage. - Homer

"The gods have revealed wine to mortals, to be the greatest blessing for those who use it aright, but for those who use it without measure, the reverse. For it gives food to them that take it and strength in mind and body. In medicine it is most beneficial; it can be mixed with liquid and drugs and it brings aid to the wounded. In daily intercourse, to those who mix and drink it moderately, it gives good cheer; but if you overstep the bounds, it brings violence. Mix it half and half, and you get madness; unmixed, bodily collapse." - Mnesitheus of Athens

Don't miss his last lines - A pagan said if you mix it only 1 part water 1 part wine you get madness...unmixed and you get bodily collapse.

“It is harmful to drink wine alone, or again to drink water alone…” - II Maccabees 15:39

Further as Dr. Roberts notes a "number of early church witnesses confirm the mixing of water and wine for generic use, as well as consumption at the Lord’s Supper." (see Justin Martyr Apology I, 67, 5; Hippolytus Apostolic Tradition XXIII, 1; Cyprian Epistle LXII, 2, 11 and 13.)

Finally, Stein describes the process
"liquid wine was stored in large jugs called amphorae. The pure, unmixed wine would be drawn out of these jugs and poured into large bowls called kraters, where it was mixed with water. From these kraters, it would then be poured into kylix, or cups. Wine would never be served directly from the amphora without first being mixed. And according to other historical data on this period, the mixture could be as high as a 20:1 ratio or lower than 1:1."

I hope these quotes from pagans and others in that culture helps.

Please know this blog is not for those who refuse to admit it is possible that oinos meant water/wine mixture, especially in the light that there is NO evidence they did not mix it and there is overwhelming evidence they did. This blog is for those who have an open-mind to this issue.

Your accusation of me questioning the sufficiency of Scripture in not well recieved...such ad-hominal approaches are warned against on this blog. Your attack is unwarranted and irresponsible when I have consistenetly dealt with TEXT time and time again.
BR

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Brother PTL,

I peeked to see the solution to the slave analogy your offered. Thank you for steering me in that direction.

As I understand it, however, you seem to accept slavery as a viable institution in principle. Am I misinterpreting you, my Brother PTL?

I must say, for one time in my life, if I be totally honest, I hope I have utterly botched a view, completely misunderstanding it. Nor do I,PTL, believe many will follow your lead on that one. Speaking for myself, I look for another solution.

Hence, a better approach, it seems to me, would be to gather moral principles from the full scope of God's Written Revelation which could eventually overturn slavery as a practice.

Indeed, from my view, that is precisely what has taken place. If this is correct--and I believe it to be--then, similarly, it could be argued that moral principles gathered from God's Written Revelation may also overturn the acceptance of employing alcoholic beverages specifically for recreational purposes.

Have a great evening, my PTL. With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Brad, thanks for the historical information. I'll try to gather up some of the much broader evidence that goes against that (quoting Homer which was 800 years prior to Christ isn't particularly helpful, and the Maccabeean reference doesn't say what you are suggesting it says, but I will take a closer look at the Justin Martyr et al references).

But here's a more obvious point: why would Paul have to warn against drunkenness if the everyday consumption of wine was of a type that was so watered down that it didn't have any impact on people? Why would Jesus have been accused of being a drunkard if people only drank watered down wine. And if the ratio of adding water was 1:1 which you've cited hsitorical evidence for, that doesn't mean you can't get drunk off of it. The point here would be that you have to drink wine in moderation. Which is all that I'm saying.

I'll definitely be consistent. What is the biblical objection to any substance if it doesn't have an effect on you? Why would I be obsessing about a teenager in Brazil with godly motives (again don't think its possible) is doing if he's not being affected by it? What's the biblical objection. My guess is that you think my consistency results in such a horrible idea that others will see the fallaciousness just because they are shocked. But again i ask you -- what is the biblical command against that?

We command people from Scripture, or we do not give them commands at all. To add to Scripture is sin. It is not being faithful to the text. you may not like those accusations, but that doesn't change the fact that you have echoed Frank Page in saying that we need to go further than the Bible does. That's outrageous.

Again I ask, why does it not bother you that Jesus would not be permitted to hold office in the SBC? Jesus not only drank wine, he gave it away to people who had been "drinking freely" at a wedding feast. And he made GREAT wine!

There are going to be some Baptists who are really disappointed by Jesus at the wedding feast awaiting the Bride in heaven!

Kirk

brad reynolds said...

Kirk

Homer was in OT times where they used wine.

I think you feel strongly on this and I appreciate your passion but if you continue to make the accusation of adding to Scripture your comments will not be posted. Such ad-hominal attitude is not welcome on this site.

To say that when one says “slavery is wrong, suicide is wrong, abortion is wrong and using barbiturates for pleasure is wrong based on principles in Scripture” is not adding to scripture. Your arrival at suicide being wrong does not come from any command in Scripture…it comes from principles contained in Scripture.

If wine was mixed…then those who wanted to get drunk could get in the wine before it was mixed. PLEASE READ MY OTHER POSTS.
BR

Anonymous said...

"To say that when one says “slavery is wrong, suicide is wrong, abortion is wrong and using barbiturates for pleasure is wrong based on principles in Scripture” is not adding to scripture. Your arrival at suicide being wrong does not come from any command in Scripture…it comes from principles contained in Scripture."

I don't believe that slavery described in Scripture is wrong because the Bible doesn't say that it is...American slavery was an entirely different and heinous beast. Applying Scriptural ideas to say that abortion, suicide, etc at wrong is precisely in line because the Bible doesn't address them directly. We must apply principles to determine right and wrong about those things.

However, the same cannot be said for alcohol, because the issue is specifically and regularly addressed, and when you go beyond what the Scripture says and create a new law that the church must be bound to, you have indeed undermined the sufficiency of Scripture. Frank Page is the one who said we need to go beyond Scripture. Paul nowhere says or implies that Christians shouldn't drink, despite him giving specific commands regarding the use of alcohol. NONE of them teach abstinence.

As for the comments about the mixing of wine, I did a little more digging around. Apparently wine was mixed with water not to keep people from getting drunk, but because the wine that was consumed was new wine, and new wine that has not aged properly is especially bitter because the tanins have not had time to mellow. Thus, people would have been very unlikely to have drank much unmixed wine because of the bitterness of the wine. So as the aging and wine making process was refined (almost exclusively by the Church, in fact)there was less need for mixing.

An obvious fact you're missing here, and I don't know why I didn't point it out earlier: you can get drunk off mixed wine. You just need more of it. So Paul's message to pastors is that they can drink wine, but they shouldn't drink too much of it. And that's precisely what I believe. Moderation, by your own historical statements shown here, is precisely what Paul teaches.

Why aren't you content with the Bible's teaching about moderation?

And again I ask, why aren't you concerned that Jesus and Paul would be disqualified from leadership in the SBC?

brad reynolds said...

Kirk
Please read other posts. I've addressed all this.

No one has responded to my concerns about moderation in alcohol abstinence:bias or biblical. Perhaps you can undertake these issues.

Dr. Page also said he believed there was a biblical principle for abstinence, just as we have principles guiding morality for the other issues we've mentioned.
BR

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
peter lumpkins said...

Dear Anonymous,

My Brother, you mentioned that "We must apply principles to determine right and wrong about those things." May I ask you, my Brother, precisely what principles are you speaking about and from whence do they come?

In addition, to argue that slavery is not wrong because the Bible does not say it is stands simply incredible to me, my Brother anonymous. Are we to a point where we must reargue the slave trade all over again?

I guess it's also ok to torture babies because the Bible nowhere tells us not to could be a very good moral principle the sadists could marshall.

Most of the time my dear Brother, I offer grace for a good night's sleep. However, I honestly think your time would be much better spent, were I allowed to be so bold as to say so, anonymous, if you would just stay up tonight and think that one through to the end.

With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

We are all slaves before finding JESUS as our LORD and SAVIOR, and then we under the MASTER.