Wednesday, August 30, 2006

An Open Letter to the IMB Trustees

Dear IMB Trustees

I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your labor of love for the kingdom of Christ. I know you have been under heavy scrutiny for the past year and have received unwarranted critiques and unsubstantiated accusations by some in the Southern Baptist Convention. While there may have been a vocal member who has placed you in the spot-light of convention politics, and in so doing contributed, in no small way, to the fallacious characterizations you have received, please know, I do not believe these characterizations nor do I believe much of what I read on blogs concerning you.

In fact, I believe you are men and women of God who love Him and desire the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth, while maintaining accountability to the convention and the BFM 2000. I believe you have done your best to seek God’s will in all you do and have labored for the glory of God in the midst of undeserved criticism. I believe your motives have been pure and your example of turning the other cheek, impeccable. I have oft wondered why you have not publicly corrected what I believe to be misstatements and misjudgments of you, but your passivity is reflective of the spirit of Christ. There may come a day when you need to correct the record for the Kingdom's sake but I trust your wisdom in this.

In conclusion, I want to let you know that there are many who do not believe every thing the blogs say concerning you and who have full confidence in both the Trustee system and in you. Again, Thank you and may God bless your labors.



CB Scott said...


There are times I agree with you and there are times I do not. For you to say that the trustees have recieved unwarranted critiques and unsubstantiated accusations from some in the Southern Baptist Convention is beneath you and we both know it.

You know that which was really behind this thing from the beginning as well as I do. My accusations were in no way unsubstantiated. I do not agree with Wade on many things, but he was telling the truth about a plan to rid the IMB of Dr. Rankin and I think you know that is true.

I am sure that most of the trustees are people of integrity. Some are not. I ate lunch with one this past week that is true blue and desires to see the IMB be what it should. Others are just there to be "boot strapping-boloney eaters." If you do not know what that is you can find it well defined on my blog.

I respect you, but I wish you would be fair about this situation at the IMB especially knowing the things you know.


brad reynolds said...

I do know a lot, and thereby stand by my statements.

The fact that you may not have read unwarranted critiques or unsubstantiated accusations does not mean they do not exist.

Since you state "I am sure most of the trustees are people of integrity" I shall assume you trust the motives of the majority of the Trustees. And the decisions made this past year were made by an overwhelming majority of the Trustees. There is no doubt in my mind that at least one and perhaps more have some real issues...but I was writing to the Board as a whole.

I too wish for fairness concerning the Trustees...hence my post.

You know I love you my brother and we have certainly disagreed on some issues and yet agreed on other issues. Here, we shall disagree, I do not think the Trustees have been given a fair deal in the Blog world.

May the Lord bless you and Karen and I am praying that He will use your influence to help guard against the watering down of inerrancy which is occuring in some circles.

tim rogers said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tim rogers said...

Brother Brad,

Let me say that I appreciate your gracious spirit in dealing with a difficult subject. The open letter is something that is needed and comes at a critical time as our Trustees need to know others are in support of them as a whole. This coming from one that has been critical of them in the past. I personally do not believe actions and attitudes of some Trustees have been warranted regardless of the issues. However, the Board as a whole has acted with integrity, and are trying hard to deal with issues.

Brother CB,

While you and I have disagreed in the past and I know we will disagree in the future, I feel a need to remind you of a saying, I believe you know, and possibly have used. "I am not ready to throw the baby out with the bath water." Aslo, as a person that does not know the inside actions and workings of the different boards, I have to go on my instincts based on what I see and read. Let me say that when one that leads a charge for change, then uses the same tactics one is trying to change, to me lacks integrity. I then am set on guard for other areas of discrepency. Suffice it to say, I have noted some and I am seeing others. I am not referencing you here, because I know you to be one that shuffles from the top of the deck.

I praise God for our friendship, and fellowship we have enjoyed in the past and look forward to more in the future. Allow me to ask one question about your comment to Brad. Would this lunch you had with a "true blue conservative Trustee", be part of a concerted effort by the Memphis Declaration group, to maximaxe influence? As a SB we are all free to meet and have lunch with our Trustees, this is just one of those insights I have read on other blogs. Was that lunch in OKC? (Sorry that was two)


brad reynolds said...


Excellent points. Had the Trustees explained all they know and asked me to share my thoughts, perhaps I may have suggested different ways to handle things this past year.

But they ARE the Trustees, I am not, and I trust them and believe they have recieved way too much negative attention, especially since we all seem to agree the vast majority are strong Christians who love Christ.

Thank you for your thoughts

Tim Batchelor said...


Having observed the past nine months I have far more understanding of some of their actions than I did when I first heard one side of the story. Proverbs rightly points out that the "first to plead his case seems right, until somoene else comes to examine him." I am thankful that the trustees had the courage to tackle an issue that has split hundreds if not thousands of SBC churches over the past 35 years in an effort to protect unity and maintain full support of our cooperative missions endeavor. I would also commend their great patience when general accusations by an individual and echoed by others who had no clue what they were talking about made the whole guilty by association of such charges as "Landmarkism", "caucusing" and "plotting to vote out Rankin." Though attacked viciously, the vast majority of board handled the attacks with the very grace that Jesus himself displayed.

volfan007 said...

i too have learned that you dont blame the whole problem on just a few. i too agree that the majority of the imb board are probably great people who are trying their best to do the right thing. in fact, if i was on the board, i too would stand against extremes of theology being ok'ed. i too have seen the harm that extremes and tangents do to churches. it's not good.

God bless the imb board as they face the onslaught of attacks from the extreme crowd. God bless the imb board as they are constantly raked over the coals by a blogger who whines and cries and complains, and apparently would like the control himself.


to-obey-is-better said...

An overwhelming majority of the trustees made these new policies this last year?

No, a simple majority of those who VOTED and were PRESENT.

This does not equate to an overwhelming majority.

I believe most trustees are godly, gracious people who love the Lord.
That being said, there are a few that need to go...those few are the ones who caucased and hold "landmark" theology.

Cliff4JC said...

Tim said..."because I know you to be one that shuffles from the top of the deck."

Am I to understand that CB & Tim are gambling buddies? :)

Cliff4JC said...


Who are those that hold Landmark theology? And which ones have "caucused." Of those, which ones need to be removed?

A question for all:

Is "caucusing" an evil thing?


BSC said...


My heart was strangely warmed when reading your open letter. Have you considered submitting it to Guidepost Magazine?



IN HIS NAME said...

To all Missionaries,

My Heart goes out to all Missionaries, as they are on the Front Line of sharing God's Love and Word.

Mat 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

A Brother in Christ for Truth

Timothy Cowin said...


I for one do not affirm the right of the trustees to go beyond the BF&M and in essence tell the churches what is and is not right doctrine concerning baptism or tongues.
The BF&M is the document that guides the parameters of Cooperation for the SBC. How can you say that they have been loyal to upholding the BF&M? They went beyond what is the only accepted statement of faith by Southern Baptists (a vote of the convention). The BF&M is purposely vague on "non-essential" issues so that we can better cooperate. The BOT's went against the spirit of cooperation by not being willing to let the BF&M be enough.

As a former grad of SEBTS (1998), I for one can say that it was absolutely no secret that Dr. Eitel and Dr. Patterson were in opposition to the leadership at the IMB.

It is a fact that there was an attempt made to effect policy and your letter is in total denial of the forces within the trustees that were organized, and had a specific agenda.

Either you are being extremely dishonest by willfully brushing that truth under the rug or you need to do some more homework.

Wow, that letter is causing me to begin to see you as being merely some kind of propaganda minister for the status quo in the convention rather then one who is interested in serious dialogue.


tim rogers said...

Brother Cliff,

No, CB and I are not gambling partners. I needed to say that, because some out there may not take it as a joke. I did, and appreciate your humor.

Allow me to clear up some down home phrases. "Throw the baby out with the bath water". Used to describe what is going on right now in the SBC. Some are calling attention to failures in judgement and otherwise misunderstandings and pushing to get rid of those that led us in re-establishing the Bible as sole authority in the SBC. While there may be instances needing adressing, we do not get rid of those leading. Thus changing water and losing the baby. That is what some desire to do for various reasons. Do not allow the masks of "dissent" and "open debate" allow us to lose the baby in the bath water.

"Shuffle from the top of the deck". This phrase comes from card players that know others who are less than above board when the deal a hand. Much of that is going on in the debates on the issues.

Timothy Cowin said...

Remember our
denomination is driven from the local church.

In other words, Is not the BF&M the document that Southern Baptists
have approved to be the guide for our churches Cooperation with one
another? I believe it is. Therefore, I think that the trustees of
the IMB are wrong to add requirements beyond the BF&M. They have
usurped authority away from the convention and basically said, the
IMB will not cooperate with churches, or individuals for reasons
beyond or not covered in the BF&M.
What if SBTS said, we will not accept Arminians you must be
Calvinists? What if SWBTS said we will not accept Calvinists
because they are a harm to our convention? I think it is wrong for
an SBC entity to narrow their willingness to cooperate with churches
that are fully supportive of the BF&M but differ on non-essential
issues. You may think my examples are not good, but I think that is
in essence what the IMB did to any SBC person or church that does or
has ever had an experience with something that is not forbidden in
the BF&M.
QUESTION, what determines or what guides the policies of our
Cooperation as group of thousands of churches? Is it and should it
be the BF&M? Does every institution get to arbitrarily make their
own rules? Set aside the tongues issue, the baptism issue is just as
concerning. Since when did the trustees of the IMB get authorized to
tell the rest of us what is or what is not proper immersion? Again,
the BF&M (pick anyone) is good enough. These documents are designed
to aid cooperation and foster cooperation, this is why they are
written in the manner that they are, to exclude those who do not
agree on the essentials but to leave room for cooperation even in the
face of differing views over non-essential issues. IMHO the IMB
trustees are the ones who are hurting and working against a
cooperative spirit by pin-pointing certain people and rejecting
them. IF we want to reject them, then let the convention do it.
Lets decide on a convention floor, but we should not allow a small
group of trustees to decide for the convention the guidelines of


Cliff4JC said...


I'm "all in" with what you said!

To case you didnt' know...yes...I'm just being silly with my friend Tim!

Enjoyed our conversation today brother!


Jeffro said...


I am sure that Wade (whom this post is obviously directed towards) would wholeheartedly state that the problem lies only with a few. There are obvious issues. We all know that the issues are not all encompassing though.

I do have to give you props though. Great way to poke without really poking. It must be a Baptist preacher thing.

Blessings and Grace

tim rogers said...

Brother Jeff,

Brother that certainly is a broad stroke you took with a brush to find someone's motives. I am not trying to be antagonistic, but I must ask why would you think this letter was targeting Wade? While the post does recognize actions that Wade took, in no way does it point toward anything specific.

I take it as a letter to the BoT's for encouragement.


brad reynolds said...

I did not remove your ad-hominal statements because I shall assume you simply don’t know me. Your ignorance of who I am is best revealed in your statement “causing me to begin to see you as being merely some kind of propaganda minister for the status quo in the convention rather then one who is interested in serious dialogue.”

Concerning your other statements: unless you have documented proof that you can produce on this blog concerning your accusations of both Dr. Eitel and Dr. Patterson your accusations are not well-received. This blog will not tolerate personal suspicions couched in antagonistic accusations without supporting documentation.

I do not doubt that the Trustees at the IMB have an agenda. I certainly hope they do. To imply that such an agenda is underhanded without documentation is another unsubstantiated claim.

Furthermore, our seminaries do have policy beyond the BFM2K. All Seminaries have handbooks that address dress, behavior, and speech that goes far beyond the BFM. Thus, employees must submit to both the BFM2K and the policies developed by the administration and TRUSTEES.

The trustees of institutions have never told churches what to believe…in fact, the BFM2K is not binding even to the churches in the SBC. It is binding as a starting point to policy concerning our institutions. We then Trust Trustees to work on behalf of the convention concerning further policies.

If we think they have erred we can call them on it from the convention floor. I for one don’t think they have erred. I’m not ready to allow Presbyterians, CBFer’s, Pentecostals, or National Baptist to be missionaries for Southern Baptist and be paid by CP funds. If someone wants to be a missionary and hold to the distinctives of these other denominations please feel free to join their missionary organizations but don’t ask Southern Baptist to pay your paycheck.

I hope this helps clarify things

CB Scott said...

Brad and Tim,

It is strange that in the last year I have found myself defending different positions than the two of you. Yet, I would grant my pulpit to either of you on any given Sunday with no fear of what you might say. Some I have defended against you I would have a full copy of their sermon before I would let them preach and then I would probably tie a rope to their leg in case they strayed so I could pull them out if necessary:-)

With all that said, I want to respond to a statement Brad made.

It is true that I trust the motives of the majority of the IBM trustees, but I also understand what Jesus said about the little leaven.

Brad there is much leaven at the IMB and I stand by my words when I say you know it. I also know how it got there.

I did not eat lunch in Oklahoma City. I met a trustee from a southern state at a funeral. A few days later we ate lunch. He shared his heart (no ex. session stuff) and I shared what of a heart I have left. I wish the whole board was like this guy. There are too many guys on that board that remind me of the A's baseball from back in the days of the Bash Brothers. They are in it to advance themselves as boot strappers. They have egos as large as a house and the missional minds and hearts of a monkey.

Sacrifice without fanfare is not their style.

Let me stray from this topic a moment and grind an ax that will make me unpopular with some that I am now standing firm with on other subjects.

I am getting sick to my soul of these "boys" running around here talking about how they minister over a beer or drink with unchurched folks.

What a joke and what jokes they are. I saw one of these fellows in a picture on another blog dressed up like one of Snow White's seven dwarves holding a bong full of beer at a Medieval Bongers Convention. He should be ashamed and his church should be also.

Everyone is yelling about Flockhart and Harber and rightly so. Well, tell me then, how is a bunch of beer soaked preachers any different as far as hurting the kingdom.

I am so glad that God is so merciful for otherwise He would probably take everyone of us "old sorry tail" preachers and stomp us into hog feed and feed us to the pigs just before running another bunch into the sea.

Sorry for running this rabbit on your blog Brad. I guess I am feeling some stress due to looking into the beautiful blue eyes of a seven year old girl that is mentally three due to her mother's abuse of alcohol. It just makes me sick when I hear these boys talk about enjoying the "GIft" when I have seen so much of what it does to children and the parents of children.

If you two get down Birmingham way sometime I will buy you a good meal and if either one of you orders a beer you can try out my "free-style" Brad:-)


tim rogers said...

Brother CB,

I cannot speak for Brad (he is more eloquent and precise than I anyway), but I can tell you that I too find it strange in our opposing defense of ideas. However, I too would open my pulpit to you without fear of having to do damage control after you left.

Having said this, let me encourage you to keep standing for truth. You and I will not agree on everything and I do not expect us to. I do know that when we disagree we disagree on the idea and do not use that disagreement to take potshots at each other.

CB, allow me share my heart with you publicly. I must admit I do not understand the positions staked out by others. It appears, from one outside looking in, that this body that was named "extra biblical concerns at the IMB," has morhped into a body now called; "pull Patterson down." While I do know that you have seen things from a different level than I, I know that you are doing what you feel is right. I would not expect anything different from you, thus my caution as I proceed in me defense of ideas. However, when people are privately warned not to make an issue out of something as divisive as alcohol and then does it anyway, tells me a movement is about more than finding truth.

Brother, I love you in Jesus and I pray for you and your ministry as I know you do me.


brad reynolds said...


Sic ‘em bro.
The alcohol issue is one rabbit I do not mind chasing on my Blog. It sickens me that pastors in the SBC are promoting “moderation.”

Concerning your other points. Let me state I feel I am part of the Joshua Generation who have come up admiring the Moses generation. Did Moses make some mistakes in Exodus? sure he did. He was human. Was his heart and motives pure before God? Sure they were. While Moses made some mistakes and I am certain Joshua knew it, we have no record of Joshua criticizing or attacking Moses because of his mistakes, rather there was a reference for the position God had placed Moses in and an admiration from knowing Moses was a man of God.

Do I believe some of our leaders may have made some mistakes along the way? You bet, they are human…but I am careful not to cast stones at them for two reasons. 1) I’m certain I have committed far greater errors; 2) They are men of God who God raised up and I am careful about raising my hand against the Lord’s anointed. Further, whatever mistakes they may have made their hearts are pure.

My friend there may be leaven at the IMB but that does not necessarily men it lies at the feet of the Trustees. If a M who posted on this blog is right than whoever told the missionaries that they could sign the BFM2K without affirming it in all aspects was plain wrong, whether it was an RL or higher. They do not have the privilege to make such decisions on behalf of the convention.

Bro I knew you were uncomfortable with the moderation crowd and the broadening of the tent to include many who left the SBC…in my opinion these other issues are secondary to maintaining inerrancy in the SBC. I’m tired of hearing that the fight is over on one hand and then some in the SBC extending an Olive Branch to those who don’t affirm inerrancy on the other. Keep the fight up my friend and use your influence to straighten out some of those with the Olive Branch.

God Bless my friend

sbc pastor said...


In regard to your sermon:

CB: “Let me stray from this topic a moment and grind an ax that will make me unpopular with some that I am now standing firm with on other subjects. I am getting sick to my soul of these "boys" running around here talking about how they minister over a beer or drink with unchurched folks. What a joke and what jokes they are.”

Let me just say, ‘Amen, preach it!’ You preach like you’re from the mountains of southeastern Kentucky (my old stompin’ ground). Sadly, many of the positions espoused by some of those which you are now “standing firm” with are far from a “joke.” It’s good to see that you depart from the wagon train on at least one issue. However, I would think that their beliefs on that issue would help to open your eyes to the dangers of “broadening the tent” of cooperation so that other “conservatives” (their word) that do NOT affirm the inerrancy of the Bible can feel at “home” in the SBC (please note several of the most recent posts on my blog for more info). God bless!!!

In Christ,

Jim said...

Please friends,

Let's try to keep from too many generalizations. I for one, think that abstentionists focus too narrowly on the dangers of alcohol while ignoring much more dangerous sins which are more explicitly denounced in Scripture. I am afraid that because of this type of preaching, members feel if they don't drink, don't smoke, don't chew, and don't date those who do, they're living right (despite their unrepented sins of gossip, gluttony, pride, and covetousness).

But, I do not feel the need to "broaden the tent" to those who hold to a low view of Scripture. I am not in the "moderation crowd" or on the "wagon train." I am a believer who holds to the inerrancy of Scripture and have, after study, prayer, and discussion, come to a different conclusion on the issue of alcohol.

Let us rejoice in our agreement on major issues. But let us accept one another when we hold opposing views on minor issues because of Scriptural conviction.

For God's Glory,


brad reynolds said...

I think I have been clear over the course of my blog that I understand how some may honestly and sincerely come to the wrong conclusion on alcohol from Scripture - and I believe they are sincerely seeking truth in the matter. But for me that is totally different from a shepherd leading his flock to the brewery for a drink.

Having said that I know CB and I am confident about Tim that the other sins you mentioned are not neglecting in our pulpits and I agree with you they should not be neglected.

Personally I see all of it as a matter of holiness.

CB Scott said...


I want to say something about preaching against sin in the body of Christ. I was taught to preach using the expository method by the very best teachers this world ever saw.

Any expository preacher will preach relating to every sin scripture mentions. He will do so without reservation or fear. If he does not he is no expositor. Frankly, he is no preacher period and for that matter he is not truly a pastor to any real degree of effectiveness.

Most people that know me will tell you that I fear little and sometimes that has cost me greatly.

My point is that I preach the whole Book so you are barking up the wrong tree with me.

Also, I have read the Bible in Greek and Hebrew as I think you have by your statement so I know the various positions fairly well.

My great ax grinding today came because I have been trying to help four children for the last six weeks that are direct victims of alcohol abuse.

Their parents went to a church where alcohol was not considered to be harmful as long as you used it properly.

The problem was that they did not use it properly and it destroyed their lives and now these kids have to try to pick up the pieces.

I will tell you a little story to "make my bones" about this matter in the manner of my old friend Villa Rica.

Let us say I was a herbatologist (one who studies snakes) and I had a large snake farm wherein I studied snakes and produced anti-venom to save lives. Would that be wrong, stupid, sinful, irresponsible, selfish or down right unforgivable? Could I even change my line of work? You know the answers to both questions.

Now, let's suppose that one bright morning I get up and go out to work with my snakes and see a big Timber Rattler that is the most beautiful snake I have ever seen.

I just do not know why I have not seen it before.

I decide then and there to pick that snake up and kiss it right in the mouth. I start doing this everyday. One day a fellow comes along and sees me kissing that snake in the mouth.

Now he does not know near as much about snakes as I do. He may not be able to steadfastly call me wrong, sinful, selfish or at that point an abuser of snakes, but he can from his personal knowledge call me stupid and be perfectly correct in doing so.

One day I kiss the snake and it "french bites" me right on the tongue. I die stone cold dead in short order, my life over and my family that depended on me in sorrow and trying to figure out what to do without me.

The fellow comes to my funeral and says as he looks at me as I am all made up "natural" in my coffin:

"I told you he was stupid. STUPID, STUPID,STUPID."


The only way to be sure that alcohol will not ruin your life is to stay away from it. Anything else is just as stupid as kissing Timber Rattlers.

tim rogers said...

Brother CB,

I believe Dr. Reid would affirm your illustration.


Jim said...


You said, "you are barking up the wrong tree with me."

I wasn't intending to bark up any tree, friend. I have just noticed, in general, many preachers don't faithfully preach the Scriptures in all matters. Thank you for your willingness to do so.

The problem with your argument (and we've had this same discussion before) is that there are many things that aren't helpful that aren't sinful. Cookies, cake, Pepsi, driving cars, sky-diving, etc. None of these is more costly than abusing alcohol, but the point stands that just because something isn't helpful doesn't mean it is sinful (although, alcohol can be helpful in purifying water, general digestion, and lowering blood pressure).

The example you cited about being harmful to children was the abuse of alcohol (as you stated), not it's proper use.

Let me share a personal example... One of the few times I have had wine to drink was in Africa. I was on a mission trip for a few months sharing the Gospel. We went to a small village (mud-huts, no running water, bare-breasted mothers... the works) of about 300-400 people. When we arrived, a messenger was sent from one of the leaders of the tribe with a gift... a gift of a small box of wine.

I hadn't had any wine since I had become a Christian and I didn't really want to at that time. However, I felt it necessary to drink a little so as not to offend our new friends (it was terrible).

We went on to have success in that village, sharing the Gospel and holding services which many attended. I don't know what would have happened if we hadn't had the wine... maybe nothing different. But I believe it was acceptable and possibly profitable in that situation to drink the wine.

What do you say? Do you judge me for drinking the wine as Paul says we should not do?

For God's Glory,


Jim Champion said...

One question

If Pastor McKissic's sermon was not suitable to be heard for free, why are they selling it for $9.95?

brad reynolds said...


I don't want to answer for CB, but he did for me, so I'll return the favor.

I certainly would never judge you or anyone - that is God's job.

In all honesty I can't say what I would have done in your situation. I know what I want to believe I would have done but I don't know...however, I do know had I drank a glass of wine I would not have been doing it for the purpose of selfish personal pleasure (and I am certain you did not either), rather I would have done it because I would not want to offend those who brought me a gift.

This prompts another question: for argument sake...what if the gift was a joint? Would we take a puff if we thought it would not make us drunk? These are hard questions.

Concerning cookies, etc - the Bible does not speak negatively of does speak negatively of intoxicating drink.

Jim said...

"This prompts another question: for argument sake...what if the gift was a joint? Would we take a puff if we thought it would not make us drunk? These are hard questions."

Interesting. I wonder if this sort of thing ever happened with missionaries to Native Americans.

The Bible does speak negatively of cookies in excess (gluttony), and sex, and using words, and anything that does not come from faith.

CB Scott said...


I understand what you are saying about the mission trip.

Many years ago while in a country I will not mention I went to four birthday parties in less than a month. At each birthday the host served roasted dog. The folks thought this was a really great meal.

I did two things: I thanked my God that the dogs were not the size of mine (over 100 lbs.) Secondly I ate the dogs. Frankly, it was very tastey.

Now, having come back to my home land and to my family which includes bulldogs I have not eaten anymore dogs. Also, I go to few birthday parties:-)

Jim, I am not talking about those kind of things. I am talking about these guys that glorify alcohol without reguard to what the stuff is doing to others and could do to them and their families.

If I sound hard it is because I am. I have seen far too much of what alcohol in one's life can do and as I said I am dealing with a situation now wherein the use of alcohol by a pregnant woman has done damage that cannot be undone to a beautiful blue eyed little girl.

Todd Nelson said...


On the alcohol issue... I think some are trying to make wisdom into law; and. I can't go along with that effort. But neither should others flaunt their liberty and use it as a license.

It occurs to me that an analogy to gun control might be appropriate (I say "might be" because I realize, of course, that there were no guns in Bible times, nevertheless...)

Some say that guns can be used legitimately for recreational pleasure (target practice or hunting). Others argue that guns kill and maim people (and animals) and are used in criminal activities, therefore they should be banned.

Does the analogy fit?
Gun owners = moderationists;
anti-gun lobby = abstainers.

Some gun enthusiasts I know teach their children from a very young age about the mortal danger of guns and to never play with them. Instead they teach the kids as they get older how to handle guns properly and safely.

Some Christians from other cultures have had a more tolerant attitude toward alcohol for centuries (Europe, particularly). Parents teach their children about the dangers of alcohol abuse, and they demonstrate how to use it in moderation. And what do you know, those societies seem to have a much smaller problem with alcoholism. (I can't back this up with science, just anecdotes.)

I have not found any of the biblical arguments for total abstinence compelling. I do understand and agree about abstaining for the sake of the weaker brother's conscience.

Is there something we can learn from the gun analogy? If there is a middle ground or wise position on that issue, maybe a similar one exists on the alcohol issue. Or am I just blowing smoke? :-)


P.S. Trustees do have thankless jobs. I also applaud all those who take it seriously and serve selflessly, particularly at the IMB.