Saturday, July 19, 2008

Some years ago I got into an email debate with a Baptist friend about Christians drinking alcohol. It was an interesting discussion, but it was also an eye opener for me. My friend is a conservative, independent Baptist but in our debate he resorted to arguments that are more in line with liberalism.

I believe that the Bible (Old and New Testament) clearly allows for the people of God to drink wine and "strong drink."

My Baptist friend, who believes that the Bible is the Word of God, used very twisted logic to try and argue that wine in the Bible, when used by God’s people, was only grape juice and not an alcoholic beverage.

When pressed about his position with Scripture, my friend switched his argument from "the Bible" to “social” reasons for Christians not to use alcohol. He argued that it was a “bad witness” to drink a beer or wine in front of a non-believer or an alcoholic.

I have found that many of my conservative, Protestant Christian, brethren that hold to “abstinence only” often use liberal "like" reasoning and make “social” arguments when defending their position that Christians should not drink alcohol.

In this discussion with my friend it became clear that his “biblical” arguments could not and did not hold water; neither did his “social” argument, so he soon bowed out of the discussion, saying that we would have to agree to disagree.

I was disappointed by the way the discussion turned out, but I was not surprised. It had happened before, when I’ve discussed this issue with conservative Christians who are opposed to wine, beer, etc... Sadly, most conservative Protestants don’t know what the Bible actually says on this subject. They also don’t know anything about their own Protestant history.

Let's look at this issue in American history:

Q: Why did the Pilgrims settle at Plymouth?
A: They were running low on beer, and other food, but “especially our beer.”

Here is a quote from Pilgrim leader, William Bradford, "So, in the morning, after we had called on GOD for direction, we came to this resolution, To go presently ashore again; and to take a better view of two places which we thought most fitting for us. For we could not now take time for further search or consideration: our victuals being much spent, especially our beer; and it being now the 20th of December."

Beer is an important part of America’s history, even the history of conservative, Protestant, Americans.

I had a few cold beers today after mowing the lawn. God is so good to give us such wonderful gifts like beer and wine.

Coram Deo,

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