Wednesday, May 13, 2009

YOU LEGALIST: Name-Calling for Jesus

When I was in college I was told that viewing R-rated movies was wrong: "true Christians wouldn’t do such." I had some gentle:) discussions and sadly used the denigratory term “legalists” to describe those with whom I disagreed. I was wrong to use ad hominem tactics: doing such dishonored God and hurt the kingdom. Regrettably, such ploys are utilized in our SB disagreements today. Some choose to use the terms “legalist” and “fundamentalist” in an errant and pejorative manner when referring to sincere brothers who view Scripture differently.

I believe cussing is sin (even from the pulpit), I believe using ethanol or barbiturates for pleasure is sin, and I believe sodomy, even within the marriage bed, is sin. I don’t believe these truths because I am Southern Baptist or a Fundamentalist or one who thinks salvation is found in following the law (Legalist). Rather, I believe the Bible teaches such.

However, when I proclaim that I believe the Bible teaches these things, there may be some who feel "free in Christ” to castigate me as a legalist and/or fundamentalist responsible for the current problems in the SBC. Such name-calling tactics do nothing to bring glory to God. Further, I contend it is not the disagreements we have in the SBC that turns off the younger generation, rather it is the unwholesome way some choose to disagree.

If I were to assume that it is impossible for me to be wrong concerning ethanol I would display both an ignorance of human depravity and the arrogance such ignorance seeds. And yet, at this point in my diligent study I feel the Bible teaches abstinence; thus I teach it, hopefully with both a pastoral gentleness and a faithfulness to Scripture. For those who disagree, and believe drinking ethanol for pleasure is permitted by Scripture, I would stipulate the same: to assume that it is impossible to be wrong on this issue displays both an ignorance and arrogance. And yet, even if one were to display such, I would hope it would be done while refraining from name-calling.

NOTE: For those interested in the issue of alcohol let me recommend Peter Lumpkins “Alcohol Today: Abstinence in an Age of Indulgence” to be released by Hannibal Books on June 1. I have read it and WOW. Or you may review the numerous posts on this site during July 2006 – some of which are here, here, and here. Concerning it being a tertiary issue please read my previous post "My Thoughts on the SBC."

While we may disagree on this or other hot topics, let us do so in Christian love and intellectual integrity.

43 comments:

Joe White... said...

I enjoyed this post, especially identifying with this sentence... "I contend it is not the disagreements we have in the SBC that turns off the younger generation, rather it is the unwholesome way some choose to disagree."

Chris Johnson said...

Brother Brad,

I like the way you write brother. I personally don’t think that someone that practices abstinence from alcohol or sexual activity should be cited as legalists. I abstain from alcohol as a choice, not as an edict….. simply because there are so many other options for beverage consumption that are beneficial to me and to the people around me.

The bible teaches self control. The Apostle Paul taught self control, because over indulgence of just about anything leads to a host of problems,…. so it is important that God has given us the ability through the work of the Holy Spirit to control the impulses of our lives.

So, you won’t hear me calling you a legalist if you teach abstinence as your policy for living….but, you may put yourself in the camp of a lawmaker if you insist that the law of God requires abstinence of things that may lead to sin.

I would hope the younger generation would learn to love "self-control" as a way unto Godliness.

Blessings,
Chris

brad reynolds said...

Joe
Thanks - I truly believe there is truth to be sought as we bring our SB disagreements to the table of Christian love.

Chris
Thanks - you seem to be very Christlike - thank you for you spirit.

I would say that just because the English Bible doesn't explicitly condemn something does not necessitate that it condones it. If this were the case than slavery would be condoned.

And yes self-control is missing - if, fact I could have more self-control myself. Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

Good post

I agree with you on the whole name calling thing especially having been called a liberal a time or two. Perhaps for exactly the same reason that you are called a legalist or fundamentalist - my case would be to argue that moderate use of ethanol is fine and that women deacons are not prohibited by Scripture.

Be careful and dont enjoy driving your car - you dont want to take pleasure using that ethanol in your gas tank!

Jim champion

volfan007 said...

Dr. Reynolds,

It's great having you back in the blog world. I'm really looking forward to reading your posts.

David

PS, You conservative! :)

Anonymous said...

Dr. Reynolds,
Great article. It has always seemed to me a little difficult to call others legalistic and Pharisaical, without great danger of being a little legalistic yourself. It also fascinates me how people call others legalists, all the while feeling so pure and graceful in doing so.

I also agree, Peter Lumpkins’ “Alcohol Today: Abstinence in an Age of Indulgence” is a blockbuster! For those who have read his posts on alcohol - his book is even better, and very well written.

Glad you’re back. You are needed.
David R. Brumbelow

brad reynolds said...

Jim
Welcome Back - Long time no blog:)

I would not call you a liberal. I would be definition call someone who did not affirm the inerrancy of scripture a liberal. But not you.

Great humor as usual:):):)

PS - can you imagine drinking the same thing a car runs on - talk about abusing the body:):):)

brad reynolds said...

Volfan

Good to be back - looks like you and Peter Lumpkins have engendered some comments lately:)

David - It really is an excellent book. I think it would be wise for those on both sides to read it with an open-mind. Very compelling. I wonder if some who have attacked the book have even read it yet?

Anonymous said...

Seems like most if not all of those attacking Lumpkins’ book have not and could not have read it yet. I’ve already seen some false assumptions.

Like you, I hope those on both sides get it. I sincerely believe this book will change minds and ultimately save lives. Too many on both sides are seriously ignorant of the material Lumpkins presents.
David R. Brumbelow

selahV said...

Dr. Reynolds, you make me proud to be called a Southern Baptist. Whatever folks call me, I will always stand against the complete use of alcoholic beverages for consumption. When we tell a young person that it is okay in "moderation", we give them permission to open the gate that leads to evil. It is not the last drink that produces an alcoholic, it is the first drink. Who wants to chance that? I don't understand the reasoning. I simply do not, considering all the evil this drug has proven to produce. So many principles in the Bible teach us to avoid things for our own good. There is no good in alcohol. I guess folks can call me anything they want. They will anyway.

Also, there are some who view trailers and read snippets and believe they have all the information they need to speak eloquent of the entire subject matter. There are atheists who speak intellectually of there being no God who do not read the Bible. There are people who attack a mere question without the first iota of an idea about a questioner's intent. That doesn't make them anything more than I--an opinionated person.

In the final analysis, we must all examine our own hearts in light of God's Word and consider how our words and actions will bring glory to Him and Him only. Most any day, I find there is far more for me to discard than to include. May God give greater discernment to us all. selahV

brad reynolds said...

Selah
So good to hear your words.
Wise words - Thanks for standing:)

Anonymous said...

If a person has the conviction that they are going to abstain from any use of alcohol then that is great. I think if you base your ethics on the Scripture, you have a hard time demanding “total abstinence”! Drunkenness is a sin and should not be tolerated (Eph. 5:18; 1 Cor. 5:11) But I can’t teach that the only Christian view is that of abstinence… Just look at 1 Samuel alone:
Hannah is accused of drunkenness (1 Samuel 1:14-15) and yet she gives wine as a gift (1:24). David sinned by getting Uriah drunk (11:13) and yet Jesse gives wine as a gift (16:19-20). Abigail gives wine as a gift (25:18) and yet her husband abuses wine and gets drunk (25:36-37). You have use and abuse. The problem is a wicked unregenerate heart will abuse it and be unrepentant like they are towards other sins.

brad reynolds said...

Anonymous

Confusing "yayin" (Hebrew word for undistilled fruit of the vine, including grape juice) and "oinos" (Samething in Greek) with "wine" of today is the error many moderationists commit.

You may want to read the posts I pointed to or pick up a copy of Peter's book June 1.

I think you will find that the abstention position is firmly rooted in the Bible (original languages and culture).

Thanks for stopping by and contributing and btw I will gladly read any book or post for the moderation position. I think you will find that most abstentionists truly want to be Biblically correct. Which is why we study the original languages and culture. I think the same can be said of many moderationsists. The point being let's not be afraid to search for truth wherever it leads us.

Have a blessed day:)

Anonymous said...

Brad, I don’t think that I am confused on the issue of yayin. It can be used or abused. If you say that yayin is just undistilled fruit of the vine, I think you are missing some verses that show that it is also fully fermented/alcoholic.

[ abuse ] Genesis 9:20-21 20 Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine ( yayin ) and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent.
[ abuse ] Genesis 19:32-35 (Lot) 32 "Come, let us make our father drink wine ( yayin ) , and let us lie with him that we may preserve our family through our father." 33 So they made their father drink wine ( yayin ) that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 34 On the following day, the firstborn said to the younger, "Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine ( yayin ) tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve our family through our father." 35 So they made their father drink wine ( yayin ) that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/rite-reasons/no-48-concerning-wine-and-beer-part-1/

http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/rite-reasons/no-50-concerning-wine-and-beer-part-2/

brad reynolds said...

anonymous
It is undistilled fruit of the vine, this does not mean it cannot decay (ferment). But it does mean it does not always refer to decayed fruit of the vine.

Hope that helps

Anonymous said...

Do you also abstain from eating shrimp or working on Saturday (the true sabbath?) The Bible is so contradictory and downright absurd in places that it is amazing. I don't dispute your faith in God or Jesus, but I do question that the Bible should be used as a quarry where people can pick and choose rocks to throw at others. This seems to be a huge problem with most christians. They think the Bible is a tool that gives them permission to discriminate and act superior to those of different faiths and walks of life. Like ignorance it can be a very dangerous and evil thing.

Anonymous said...

When ever a basic belief system is questioned or threatened, the results are the same. No one wants to know that what they believe in is not so correct. That is the fallacy of fundamentalism in any belief system. I consider myself a neither. Neither this or that religion. I started out as a Christian. This does not mean that I don't believe. I do and very deeply. I just freed myself of Dogma. I would just as soon read a Buddhist text as a Hindu one or a Christian. I tend to stay away from Islam for personal reasons. In all of my readings and research, I've found out that there are underlying themes to all belief systems. Which one is right for you? Only you can decide that. There is a major goal and I won't go into it here. The closer ones get, the information will be revealed to the person. Some get there faster than others. These so called sins are only a distraction. It can only slow you up, the end result, they are insignificant.

brad reynolds said...

anonymous
I would sincerely love to converse with you personally.

You peeked my interest about reading different religious texts. I too have texts from other religions - let's talk about the differences there may be between them and Christianity.

Please e-mail me at breynolds@sebts.edu

Strong Tower said...

So, let me get this straight. Jesus passed the cup in the Spring and the last grape harvest was about nine months before that, so they pasturized the grape juice and put it in sterilized bottles in the refrigerator to keep it from fermenting.

Hmmm, makes perfect bilical, historical, logical and scientific sense.

Oh I get it. It is unwritten, but when Jesus blessed the wine it miraculously change from fermented wine to unfermented grape juice. Not only that, but all the impurities still remaining, like the naturally occuring yeast, saccharomyces cerevisiae, which aid in fermentation and would have turned the grape juice to alcholic wine if the proceed above wasn't followed, were too.

Seriously, I think Jesus would have purge this nonsense you've posted.

But hey, you're SBC, what's the biggy. If you appear a fool in the eyes of the world, if you preach what is untrue, so what, ignorance is an excuse! Say you.

Chris said- "So, you won’t hear me calling you a legalist if you teach abstinence as your policy for living….but, you may put yourself in the camp of a lawmaker if you insist that the law of God requires abstinence of things that may lead to sin."

And you may fall into the category of false-teacher seeing that you teach what is impossible to derive from Scripture.

"Further, I contend it is not the disagreements we have in the SBC that turns off the younger generation, rather it is the unwholesome way some choose to disagree."

You mean like not telling the truth? Or even being generous enough to think your audience as informed, or more informed than you? You're right, that is unwholesome, and deadly, and is chasing away the brighter young lights. Good work.

"If I were to assume that it is impossible for me to be wrong concerning ethanol I would display both an ignorance of human depravity and the arrogance such ignorance seeds."

You know that is interesting, because you are assuming. But that goes more to the issue of what you are to be sure of before you open your mouth and pretend to teach. Peter (surely not Lumpkins) told you, speak as an oracle, Paul told you, don't go beyond what is written, Jesus told you, you will be judged for every word which does not work. There are no freebies. The point is, even a fool is considered wise if he keeps his mouth shut, but a fool speaks before he has heard the end of the matter. This: "And yet, at this point in my diligent study I feel the Bible teaches abstinence; thus I teach it" is contrary to the teaching of Scripture. You are to be mature and know, not foolish, young and guessing. If you are not sure, you should shut up. It is safer for everyone.

"For those who disagree, and believe drinking ethanol for pleasure is permitted by Scripture, I would stipulate the same: to assume that it is impossible to be wrong on this issue displays both an ignorance and arrogance."

Is there a difference between presumption and assumption? Is it right to presume that Christ is risen from the dead, but wrong to assume it? Is it wrong to believe it is impossible to be wrong about the resurrection?

Then some things can be absolutely known. Scripture puts an end to all vain babble simply by requiring that they in fact must be before they are taught as the faith once and for all delivered to the saints. And remember, what is not of of faith, is sin.

I am glad you've laid down the rules. Quite post-modern of you, not Christian in the least, but nice of you to cover your tail by accusing others of pride before they've even open their mouths. But, furthering your arrogance, dare them not to call you names. That way you can appear nice, a peacemaker, gentle, and not at all mean-spirited, when in fact you are but too blind to see you are the arrogance and ignorance seed.

Funny isn't it, that think you can get away with what you forbid in others? Makes one wonder where you keep your bottle stashed away. And is highly remenicent of the Pharisees leavening.

Here's the thing, if you don't know what is right, why teach it? If you don't know that others are wrong, why forbid them?

It is written, for their lack of knowledge are my children destroyed. Pastors especially are taught to teach only that which is sound and to forbid unsoundness so as not to kill the hearers. So, which is it, or do you really want to walk the middle stripe and lead sheep there all the while claiming you know what you might be wrong about?

How can anyone like Anonymous be assured of what is truth, by your spreading ignorance?

Who knows, Anonymous just might be a victim of your sort of Chritianity.

brad reynolds said...

Strong Tower

If I came across ignorant, I confess that is possible, for surely my knowledge is lacking in more areas than I care to confess. If I came across arrogant please forgive me. I certainly struggle with the deceptive vice of pride and I am sure it creeps in more times than not.

I would encourage you to be aware of the diluting of the wine as it decayed (9 months after ripening). Dr. Stein of Southern Seminary (NT Scholar) said it would be 3 to 4 parts water to 1 part wine. In other words, in his words, it would pass through them before they got inebriated, unless of course they chose not to dilute for the purpose of drunkenness. Dr. John MacArthur speaks to this also.

Concerning the other things you shared I don't believe discussion would prove profitable for either of us.

But I hope you have a blessed night.

brad reynolds said...

Strong Tower

One other note - you are wise to instruct pastors to teach truth. Therefore, when I do speak on alcohol I do not simply say "it is wrong" nor do I say "it is permitted by the Bible" - rather I explain why I am convinced that Scripture teaches "strong drink" is wrong. Explaining the Hebrew and Greek terms and the practice of diluting - as well as the Scriptures that teach the error of drinking strong drink.

Finally, if you are 100% sure that the Bible teaches Moderation than so be it. You certainly have that right and I affirm the priesthood of the believer. But don't be offended if I say I am 100% sure you can't be 100% sure:) But I am 100% sure you can be 100% sure the Bible teaches the resurrection.

Hope that helps

Strong Tower said...

The assumption is made that the wine is diluted in Scripture. Show the Scripture, less we be found presumptuous ;) Then balance it with "give wine to a sick man, strong drink to one who is about to perish... Jesus took the cup the night before he was to perish. I am a believer in prophecy, you? The inference is that Jesus drank stong wine that night. And without traditions brought to bear. There is indication in Scripture that more than one cup was served that night. So water it down if you like. It was still alcohol, or it was pure grape juice fresh squeezed from half dried grapes and watered down. But, most unlikely not free from all alchohol. And that is the issue isn't it?

But isn't diluting a little like sexual petting and not going all the way, if indeed it was used to avoid trangression? Seems a really foolish compromise for something which is considered sinful (you know the dreaded Nazarite vow and all) and sin is strictly forbidden, isn't it, no matter how small? In that sense diluting roles against another stone. A mixed cup was an abomination. Even if just a small amount of defilement, it was still defiled. Can't have just a little bit of sin, can you? Maybe the "pure" Jews kept this as a ritual practice, but not to God. You can mix it if you want, it would still be alcohol.

What of the wedding wine? What does it mean, new and old? The designation old meant strongly fermented and typically, as opposed to the new, which was only newly fermented, and might not have been at all. Typically it was. That is neither here nor there, because Jesus had already drunk the old along with his disciples, we can presume, as it was customary to honor the Master of the Feast, and scripture marks the difference. So in this lavish wedding, it would appear that these rich Jews didn't pay much attention to dilution. Apparently, if there was ritual observance, it was in a different venue or at a different time.

And surely, typically, not all of the fresh squeezed was drunk immediately anyway, was it? Even if it had come from preserved grapes. The preservation of grapes was practiced and grapes could be stored thoughout the year, but the yield of juice diminished with time, so it had to be diluted, but if preserved without boiling, it most likely had fermented some what on the vine. And it was a elite process, to preserve, not common to all. At any rate, wine would have been perhaps boiled, filtered, and stored, in jars or skins, and brought out on occasion, perhaps fresh squeezed if the preserves could be aquired and they were plentiful. For obvious reasons, they were not. They were hardly the possession of the commoner. No, the common man put his wine up in more meager conditions or bought it. Most often the storage was in skins. There is no reason to believe that many of the ancient practices around the Middle East were commonly practiced in Israel, and not passage of Scripture is clear that they were. We presume upon the Scripture, that when it says wine it was fermented, being common.

"The practice of mingling wine with water apparently originated, as Leon C. Field points out, "not necessarily in the weakening of alcoholic wine, but in the thinning of boiled wines and the thick juices of the crushed clusters."18 Instruction about this had already been given three centuries before by Pope Julius I (A.D. 337) in a decree which read: "But if necessary let the cluster be pressed into the cup and water mingled with it."19 Additional historical testimonies will be given in the following chapter, in conjunction with our study of the communion wine. Such testimonies show that freshly preserved grapes were used throughout the year to make pressed grape juice."

The fact that the ancients knew several methods for preserving grapes fresh until the following vintage suggests that unfermented grape juice could be produced at any time of the year simply by squeezing grapes into a cup. This practice is confirmed both in rabbinical and Christian literature. For example, the Halakat Gedalat, the earliest compendium of the Talmud, says: "One may press out a cluster of grapes and pronounce the kiddush [blessing pronounced at the consecration of the Sabbath or a festival] over the juice, since the juice of the grape is considered wine in connection with the law of the Nazarite."15
This is taken from a paper hostile to my position. But there are some very interesting things to be noted. First, "fresh" grapes were preserved. Not hardly, when the same document says that the preserved grapes were a source of thick juice. The paper also contradicts the Rabbinical sources as to the purpose of thinning. When you balance these two statements you derive that it wasn't the common practice of the Jews for the reasons you stated, or for what has been assumed. That it was the practice of the rich, but most likely, not the common man as this also shows was connected with the ritual practice of priests. Keep this in mind, for Jesus rejected such reasoning. The hisorical import is that before the destruction of Jerusalem these practices were not used by the Jews. The Talmud dates 200 and 500 A.D., these practices were not being used in Jesus' day, most likely. The mishna is post-crucifixion also. So any allusion there is really not pertinent. While the historical data indicates boiled down grape use, there is no reason to import that into the Scripture when nothing in Scripture relates anything of the sort being diluted for use.

Summation, it was fermented wine tht Jesus had at the supper and fermented, just as it was more likely drunk by the common man as is indicated in the disputes over Jesus' unclean associations. There is no sense to say he was a drunkard for drinking with them if it was diluted grape juice, now is there? And I'll bet those drunkards would havd knock you in the dirt if you so much as suggested that they dilute.

This is the problem with bringing in traditions and historical references as basis for doctrines. They create more problems than they solve. The record of Scripture is where we should turn. That reveals a wealthy man's provision for the night of the supper, but lacks anything similar which would indicate that it was anything near a rabbinical feast. It might have been, but we have no knowledge about that. The customs of the Pharisees, then don't come into play. We simply read the texts, and Jesus didn't play the foolish Jewish games concerning ritual cleansing, anyway, now did he? In fact, it appears in John, that the washings are misplaced.

Nothing quite figures for the abstinence camp, except all kinds of questions that can't be answered, and a real affiliation with those who opposed Christ.

"Confusing "yayin" (Hebrew word for undistilled fruit of the vine, including grape juice) and "oinos" (Samething in Greek) with "wine" of today is the error many moderationists commit."

The terms are actually used interchangeably. I have done the comparisons, and it is not an error. Those who tend toward the uncharity of legalism choose to say the instance of grape juice being the meaning, do so out of prejudice, not fact. There are only a few verses where it is presumed clearly so. To quote Unger, "in only four (instances in the OT, my emphasis) it (yayin) may fairly be presumed to do so." Oinos is fully exhangeable and terosh is used interchageably in the OT with yayin. It turns on pure presuppositional prejudice to say that they don't mean fermented drink and even in the NT where new wine is used, tirosh, or sweet wine is its equivalent in the OT. The presumption in Scripture is that when it says wine it is fermented, with very few exceptions. No secular scholar disagrees. The controversy is only between certain law leaning sects of Christianity and Judaism, and the dreaded "ecumenist compromisers" as Lumpkins might put it.

Anonymous really hit it on the head. The prohibition is against drunkeness, not alcohol. And he sees right through the traditions. That is why it is highly important that we do not construct doctrine on scholastics, and that done poorly. Our youth see the hypocrisy of saying something is one way when it may well be the other and probably is. To do that undermines the credibility of other things.

And who is JMac, anyway? He thinks the last trumpet isn't and is a dispensationlist to boot. So he isn't infallible. And Stein can assert the ritual dilution all he wants, he is a quarter century out of sinc. Nice for the purist Jews, it would hardly be the common practice of poor itinerants, peasant farmers and artisans, however, even if it were the accepted practice at the time of Christ. Again, what is being asserted denies Jesus' own teaching that it is not what goes into a man which defiles but that which comes out of a man. It was not food but gluttony, not wine but drunkenness, and they reside in the heart. Anonymous is right. And if God gave wine to make the heart merry, and Jesus was God, to say that he must have followed the non-Mosaic diluting practices of a bunch of self-righteous Jews, so as not to defile himself, is ludicrous. Put all the pieces together. And don't bring extra-biblical traditions in before the Word has fully spoken on it.

I am glad you explain to your listeners that it is just your opinion and you may be wrong, so I retract my harsher statements. I am hoping that you are telling Lumpkins, Stein, and anyone else, it is only their opinion, and weak ones at that. But they should be careful not to emphasize it too strongly so as to give the wrong impression leaving weak people believing the Bible teaches it. I find nothing wrong about sharing opinions, as long as we are sure that the hearers are clear that that is all that they are and nothing more.

Thanks for your mellowness. I find that refreshing. So don't be offended if I say I am sure, for Jesus himself said that it is not an offense and Paul told you not to say that it was.

May God bless you in manifold wisdom and continue the gentle spirit he has given you.

tt

brad reynolds said...

Strong Tower

Most of your concerns can be answered at

http://www.alcoholandthebible.org/biblical_approach.htm

A detailed article written by Dr. Stephen Reynolds. (Ph.D from Princeton in biblical Languages). This document deals with the exact passage you quoted.

For further detail you might try to find Lee, Burns and Lewis book: "The Temperance Bible Commentary: Giving at one view, criticism and exposition, in regard to all passages of holy writ bearing on wine and strong drink; or illustrating the principles of the temperance reformation."

This latter book is the only one I am aware of which deals with EVERY passage of Scripture where wine or strong drink is mentioned.

Further, you may want to read Dr. Land's article as well as Dr. Roberts. You can find them in my June 2006 archive.

I think you will find that most of your objections to the abstentionist position will be more than satisfactorily answered.

God bless
BR

brad reynolds said...

Strong Tower

I sincerely want to thank you. I think we have given each other opportunity to share our positions for others to read. And that is all I desire - for people to sincerely research this subject. You gave me an opportunity to post Dr. Stephen Reynolds websight and refer to earlier posts. I gave you opportunity to present your understanding.

Now those who truly desire to seek truth on this issue will research for themselves. I truly believe most moderationist and abstentionist honestly desire to seek truth rather than believing what they have been told.

I think this is GOOD. Thanks again

volfan007 said...

Strong Tower,

Methinks that thou protesteth too much. It sounds like a guilty man trying to prove that what he's doing is ok. I dont know, but it sure sounds that way.

Dr. Reynolds, thank you for giving so much informed insight on this issue. It seems that we have some people in the SBC right now, who are intent on making getting high on alcohol ok....as an ok thing. It's really concerning and baffling, unless...they want to drink it; or in the least, dont want to stand out in the crowd and preach against it. Drinkers wont like it, and a lot of people are drunkards in our day and time.

David

Anonymous said...

So Brad, it sounds like you believe that the alcohol issue is one of which those in the SBC can disagree over? If one holds to the moderation view, you are OK with allowing them to remain pastors in the SBC? You said, “To distinguish between the primary, secondary and tertiary teachings of Christ and then to refuse to teach the tertiary seems difficult for many of us to swallow in lieu of the GC.”(I agree with your closing 6 points on your “My Thoughts on the SBC” article). But back to your comment above… No one is saying you can’t teach your view on these things, you can. However, how do you cooperate with those who disagree with you over Calvinism, the timing of the rapture or the alcohol debate? If I understand you correctly you are saying yes. Also, I don’t think that discussing these things at the annual convention will be of much help.

brad reynolds said...

Anon

I can cooperate with all those you mentioned (provided one is not drunk - and I am not joking about that) in order to win souls.

Further, I think all should be paid by the SBC as employees except for those who drink moderately, because our 40 something resolutions against such tells me the majority (over 90% at the last vote) of messengers sees such as wrong and I don't think we should employ employees who walk counter the the public statement of the majority of SB as represented at the convention.

Hope that makes sense.

As far as Calvinism, the timing of the rapture or alcohol - I agree I don't think much would be accomplished w resolutions currently. But I do think more opportunities to study these topics might be helpful.

Anonymous said...

Brad, I appreciate what you said. It would be nice to see the convention work out that way… but I have my doubts.

brad reynolds said...

Anon

I agree - I fear many come to the convention LOOKING for a fight. I fear some even incite feuds in the blog world.

Creating conflicts that aren't there - playing on people's emotions and fears.

But the good thing: God isn't taking Rolaids:):):)

Anonymous said...

Brad, are you saying that if a Christian has a glass of wine, they are sinning? So if you had a Christian friend that said he has a glass of wine now and then, would tell him that he is sinning? What Scripture would you use?

brad reynolds said...

Anon

In this post I sited three posts. Please read those post and I think you will find the abstentionist reasoning: undistilled wine, diluted with water and oinos meaning more than fermented alcohol. I think the negative words God gives on Strong drink are most applicable.

Hope that helps

Anonymous said...

Brad, do you think we should pass a resolution on over-weight pastors? Obesity and gluttony is costing the convention a lot of money (insurance and medical cost). It is a ranked in the top five as the leading cause of death. It is a poor witness to the lost.

brad reynolds said...

anonymous
I don't see a reason to add things to being a SB. I would not have a problem with passing a resolution on gluttony or on gossip or on outburst of anger or on stirring up strife - but I just don't see the need in it.

I don't see these so much as social ills as I do ills within the local church which should be handled by the local church.

Hope that helps

Debbie Kaufman said...

It is not legalism if you believe this and hold to it, it becomes legalism when it is to be the standard for everyone, including those who do not interpret the Bible in this way. There are passages from the scriptures that could be used to support either position. The Pharisees are an excellent example of legalism.

brad reynolds said...

Debbie

Welcome - Good to have you again.

Is it legalism to say "sodomy" is wrong for everyone because we think the Bible teaches such or would it be Pharisaical legalism since some believe it is ok?

debbiekaufman said...

I that it very well could be. The marriage bed is a private place. I don't think the church should necessarily dictate anything there. Undefiled as I understand the use of it in regards to marriage is speaking of infidelity. Context is key.

brad reynolds said...

Debbie
Thanks for your response.

Since Context is the key than I guess homosexuality is ok in the marriage bed also? It is mentioned in the same context as sodomy. thus if we can say sodomy is ok in the marriage bed could we not also say homosexuality is?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have the ISBN number for Lumpkin's book? Does Lifeway carry it? If not, why?

Anonymous said...

What do we say to someone who is SDA who believes we are sinning when we do not worship on Saturday and we eat pork? If they say that I am sinning by eating pork are they being legalistic?

brad reynolds said...

Anonymous

The book should be out June 1.

brad reynolds said...

Anonymous
Great question. I think we can distinguish between what some call moral laws and cultural laws. The former being fulfilled in Christ (Matt 5) the latter being removed by Christ (Acts 10).

Anonymous said...

Original Question:What do we say to someone who is SDA who believes we are sinning when we do not worship on Saturday and we eat pork? If they say that I am sinning by eating pork are they being legalistic?

Brad,you said, “Great question. I think we can distinguish between what some call moral laws and cultural laws. The former being fulfilled in Christ (Matt 5) the latter being removed by Christ (Acts 10).”

My second round of thoughts:
So, if they say that you are sinning even after you show them the Scripture, like you just did, could you say that they are trying to bind your conscience in an area where you think that you have freedom to eat pork? Could you say that they are wrong in judging you for eating pork?

brad reynolds said...

anonymous
Please use your name - I will answer your question but from now on own your thoughts please:)

Excellent question and it is evident where you are heading - but that could be said of anything.

If someone thinks he has freedom to have multiple wives or commit sodomy and I show them Scripture saying they are not free than yes he could claim I was trying to bind his conscience and was judging him. He would be wrong but he could claim it.

Thus, there is a difference between teaching biblical truths which frees us from sin and teaching OT cultural law which binds us.

Hope that helps
BR