Monday, June 19, 2006

Reflections worth reading on the recent SBC

Many Southern Baptist executives, editors, leaders, pastors and bloggers have published their thoughts on the recent meeting in Greensboro. Among the ones that I have read are the following.

Danny Akin writes about Calvinism, the presidential race, the Cooperative Program, the resolutions on alchohol (he strongly supports it), integrity in church membership (he hopes it will be submitted again in the future though he trusts the resolutions committee's "rationale" for not bringing it before the convention this year), and one that perhaps should be proposed in the future regarding gluttony.

Timmy Brister brings the wisdom of Carl Henry to bear on current Southern Baptist life, and he does so with provocative wisdom. He also notes that conservatism does not equal legalism and gives some helpful quotes from various sources on the alcohol resolution.

Jim Smith offers three cheers for the alcohol resolution while commenting in passing about the "often overstated role of the so-called 'bloggers'" and castigating Ben Cole for his opposition to that resolution.

Speaking of Ben Cole, his Greensboro wrap-up has some brilliant analysis of Southern Baptist mentality as it was displayed in the cheering of the abortion-advocating, alcohol drinking Condaleeza Rice and jeering of Calvinism. Plus, he reveals that he authored the nomination speech for Wiley Drake's 2 VP candidacy.

Joe Thorn gives insightful thoughts about why he is encouraged from his time in Greensboro.

Marty Duren identifies the convergence of several factors that went into making this year's convention the perfect storm.

Wade Burleson reflects on several aspects of the convention ranging from the new president to the unusual depth displayed at the Pastors' Conference. Included are his briefly expressed hopes that the IMB fiasco can be resolved internally by the trustees.

No doubt there are other very helpful reflections that are available online. These are simply among the ones that I have had time to read and have found worthy of noting.


Brian Hamrick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David B. Hewitt said...

So what are your takes on Dr. Akin's addressing of the alcohol issue?

I'm certainly curious.


BSC said...

Wiley Drake, that is. Not Richards.

It's kinda fun to be castigated :)

I just don't want to be castrated.

Tom said...


For the life of me, I can't find the comma blunder. Please help!


I am not at al persuaded by the arguments in support of that resolution. Others have addressed the issue very well (read Centuri0n's blog about it). Though I am opposed to the alcoholic beverage industry and am a teetotaler myself, I do not think we can be more righteous than God. If God is not in "totally opposition" to something and in fact even commends it at points, on what basis can we declare our "total opposition" to it in the name of righteousness and holiness? The issue for me is the authority and sufficiency of Scripture.


Thanks for the correction. My apoogies to Dr. Wiley Richards...and to Second Vice President Wiley Drake!

Timmy said...

A couple observations from reading what Dr. Akin said.

1. In his analysis, he argued for and defended the resolution on alcohol more than anything else regarding what took place in Greensboro. 788 words to be exact. Does this tell us something.

2. Dr. Akin closed by mentioning that he would not allow the younger generation to forget the heroes of the past in the SBC. I have to assume that he is either talking about students at Southeastern or bloggers he reads on the Internet. My guess is the latter. If this is the case, then who and what is he exactly referring to? Who are those "throwing gernades at the heroes of our faith?" That's a pretty serious charge to make. Of course, his warning and admonition is well received in that it should remind us that none of what we enjoy as conservative Southern Baptists would be possible if it weren't for the Founders like Boyce and Broadus and for the Resurgence from men like Patterson and Pressler. If anything, I see this younger generation more interested, more passionate, more concerned about the SBC than the elder generation was at large. Are there points where there is legitimate disagreement? Yes. Are there times where that disagreement is publicly expressed in a poor manner? Yes. Does this mean that we should not express our concerns and thoughts in a public forum or medium such as blogs? No.

I believe, as Joe (Thorn) mentioned, that we as younger Southern Baptists have a lot to be encouraged about. Yet it is incumbent upon ourselves that our optimism be grounded in a healthy dose of reality wherein we find ourselves in a convention halfly reformed. There is much to pray about, to work together on, and discuss in the days ahead.

It would be great if Dr. Akin and others would join the conversation and contribute to topics being addressed by this younger generation. He mentioned about the Joshuas rising up after Moses laeves the scence. I am certain that there is a lot of wisdom in the Moses' of our day that we can benefit from, and Tom is a wonderful example of such a man in our convention. Sure we've got graffiti stains on our hands, but we would welcome him and others with open arms (at least I would).

Perry McCall said...


One of my best friends had a group of resurgence pastors in his assoc. complaining about the "young" guys and how we have reached the point of "debating" alcohol at the convention. His answer to them was great. He told them that thier problem with us was not that we were going more moderate but rather that we were more conservative. They taught us that the bible was sufficient. We are simply living that belief out. In his case, he was able to point to his public actions and writings in the community on alcohol related issues (which was srtonger than many of the others) and demonstrate that you can stand against something that is biblicallly unwise and socially hurtful without having to call it a biblical mandate. We simply have the audacity to try our honest best (knowing we will fail) to live and proclaim "scripture alone!"

Larry said...

Please clarify something for me. If you say that alcohol (I am assuming wine, but maybe not..maybe all alcohol)is something that God "in fact even commends at points" what does it matter if you are a teetotaler and stand against the alcohol industry? Is this an instance of your idea of Christian liberty? I find this whole issue very almost appears to be an issue of situational ethics. Please understand, I do not intend to appear beligerent or argumentative...just confused. Blessings to you,

C. T. Lillies said...

Good links. A few comments:
Dr. Akin says:“I would agree we should address the sin of gluttony and perhaps even do so by resolution. But, no one even potentially becomes intoxicated by eating too much, and we do not lose thousands of lives each year because of DUG (Driving Under Gluttony).”
Perhaps not intoxicated but its hard to deny the fact that heart disease and diabetes—both exacerbated by overeating—kill a great many more people each year than alcohol related accidents. Not to mention the epidemic of obese children who are slowly destroying their health by overeating.

This cracked me up in a morbid and slightly cynical way:
Ben Cole wrote: “Most of the problems facing the Southern Baptist Convention could have been resolved with a sudden loss of cabin pressure somewhere over Tennessee…”
Good one, though I don’t know these people at all. Could that be counted as a blessed reduction?

I was particularly interested in the idea in the post from the SBC Outpost that bloggers in general had affected the convention in a significant way. Not everyone is computer-savvy though. How do we extend the dialog to the un-wired?

Can someone point me to a reference or a link about what exactly the IMB Fiasco was about? I’m new to this and apparently need to catch up.

Thanks all

Darel said...

I hate alcohol, and I don't particularly like the industry. That doesn't mean I condemn alcohol in general, especially if God doesn't condemn it in Scripture.

And even IF it were a sin, or the resolution were against drunkeness only, do we need to have a convention-wide resolution on every single sin? It's just ridiculous.

Eh... deaf ears.

deusvult2 said...

I stand in complete agreement with the SBC brass not to support American alcohol companies. European breweries?...well, that's another story.

all4hisrenown said...

Is alcohol the biggest problem facing the church today? I agree that it is a problem, but not the problem.

Bill Moore said...

For at least a century the SBC has been "program driven" instead of "gospel driven." After "deciding" for heaven, everything else is about comfort on earth. It's sad that secondary and tertiary issues rank above meaningful church membership in the eyes of our Convention's leadership and most of its messengers.

volfan007 said...

proverbs 23:29-35 talks about how foolish it is to drink the grape juice when it has fermented.

proverbs 20:1 says that a man is not wise to drink the fermented stuff. in other words, you are a fool to drink the fermented stuff.

Jesus was no fool. Jesus was wise.

Sojourner said...

I find this part of James Smith's particularly interesting:

There is not one, single word in the resolution arguing that consumption of alcohol in and of itself is a sin. As noted in the debate on the resolution, it’s clear from Scripture that wine was consumed during biblical times — and that it is even encouraged in moderation in select passages of the Bible.

But the idea that adopting a resolution which calls for total abstinence of alcohol is anti-biblical fails to take in account the full biblical witness — as well as the pernicious influence alcohol has had in our society and in the lives of countless individuals.

We have some interesting admissions here:

1. The consumption of alcohol is not, in and of itself, a sin.

2. The drinking of wine in moderation is encouraged in certain Biblical passages.

Got that? Now let's look at the reasons to advocate a mandate for teetotaling:

1. Full Biblical witness must be taken into account. Compare this with point number 1 and especially 2 above.

2. The pernicious influence of alcohol on our society. As if it didn't have a pernicious influence on Biblical society? Why, then, do we have Biblical warnings against abuse?

This is just sloppy argumentation. Our society has also abused the gift of sex, and the Bible warns against it's abuse as well. Ought we to abandon sex completely? (I speak as if insane.)

Further, this sort of statement is simply unhelpful to the dialogue:

So, this is the kind of Christian liberty that is desired of missionaries and other leaders in Southern Baptists life — the right to drink booze, speak in tongues and hold as valid baptisms at churches believing in baptismal regeneration?

1. No, I do not believe that when Tom Ascol stood to speak against this resolution he was concerned that some missionary somewhere might be deprived of his booze. Ben Cole probably didn't have this on his mind either.

2. The concern, again, over the speaking in tongues as a private prayer language is not that people want all the missionaries to be charismatic. Rather, it is because some find the evidence demonstrating that this is not a spiritual gift to be lacking. So, they choose to err on the side of caution.

3. This point doesn't put the finger on the pulse of the disagreement either. It was not, from what I read, the issue of the church believing in baptismal regeneration. It was the issue of being baptized in a church that did not believe in eternal security.

My personal concern over these matters has far more to do with being Biblically cautious than seeing more Miller Lite in the Baptist refrigerator. Make the case that alcohol use, not abuse, is soundly condemned in Scripture and I will gladly join the team. Ditto for tongues and the very exclusive idea of what a valid baptism is.

Timmy said...

It appears that the talking points between the two sides is pro alcohol resolution: against Christian liberty; con alcohol resolution: sufficiency of Scripture.

I don't know how well the argument that one is not going to give a dime to the alcohol industry will hold up. Do really think we can sanitize ourselves to this point?

Mike Stone said...


While I do not always agree with your positions, I find your blog to be one of the most Christ-like in its presentation. When you disagree, you do so with grace and least in the posts I have read. I wish more of us could have open and honest disagreements without it spiraling toward personal attacks and ungodly criticisms.

In this regard I pray that your blog will serve as a role model for current future bloggers...and for current and future Baptists.

eklektos said...

This resolution is typically off point, a failing that is all to common these days among many of my SBC brethren. If one objects to such a silly resolution he's anti-nomian, but if you suggest that one should expect a true Christian to at least attempt to live like one he's a legalist. The willingness of these confused pietist to project their own spiritual failings on others is surreal!

volfan007 said...

to this arguement i add....if you are filled with the Holy Spirit why do you need alcohol?

i used to drink and smoke weed before i got saved...i dont need either one of these any more. i have Jesus and His blessed Spirit.


sparrowhawk said...

When an American brewery wants to sponsor the next Narnia film, the resolution will be overturned just like the Disney boycott was overturned. After all, Lifeway will need to capitalize off the Narnian film. Bud and Beth Moore; Ramstein Winter Wheat and Rick Warren. Why not.

Tongue firmly in cheek, but only barely...

Greg B said...

If you are filled with the Holy Spirit why do you need alcohol?

This is another false dichotomy. If you have the Holy Spirit why do you eat ice cream? Would be an accurate comparison. If one needs alcohol, then one is guilty of being a decieved fool or idolator like one anyone relying on something or something other than God. The SBC and any Christian group has every Biblical warrant to preach against drunkeness and addiction/idolatry, but Biblically there is no warrant against a glass of wine/beer/strong spirits after supper, or any other time that doesn't effect someones safety of responsibilities.
Greg from Powhatan

Greg B said...

I praise God for your conversion and sobriety. God does good work. But as you say you don't need these things anymore. You no longer worship at the alter of your need to feel something or rebel or why ever you indulged (and of course broke the civil law).
I never needed a vice/substance that we normally think as such. But as a young man I was an irresponsible drinker. I was worshipping at the alter of acceptance and ...well...bottled courage. When I married, I became abstinent. I could count the beers or wine I had on my fingers for 10 years. My efforts to stay sober/nearly abstinent were my idol. I bragged on it and felt guilty when I merely had a glass of wine with family. One day, I was free. Neither the alcohol nor my self-righteousness seemed to matter. I still would say I may consume 1 case of beer and ... 2 bottles of wine in the case of an entire year, and would gladly be abstinent if a church I was serving or missions agency asked for such. It just doesn't matter. In our denomination we worship abstinence of alcohol (though many of those who voted for missionaries and board members to refrain drink themselves on the QT). Like I did. We need to not endorse a set of social morals, we need to worship the only true God and really live by His words, not our self-righteousness.
Now please don't think I am encouraging you to drink to show your freedom. You know yourself and if it easily becomes a God to you then abstain for a season or forever. Encourage others who may have problems to do likewise, but the real problem isn't alcohol, it is mixed worship.
Greg Bailey

J&A said...

Here's one more link to add to brother Tom's list. I can't for the life of me figure out where this great man finds the time for all that he does, but Dr. Mohler has yet another media forum, this newest blog is devoted to the Convention discussion. Check out Conventional Thinking to read the thoughts of "THE" SBTS President on the SBC.

-a greatful alumnus

GUNNY said...

Thanks for the compilation. I wasn't able to attend the convention and was on vacation during it.

When I got back I heard comments that were (I think) only half-joking about leaving the SBC due to growing animosity toward the Reformed faith, an increased vocality of opposition to a plurality of elders (the direction our church is headed), and growing legalism (as expressed in the resolution).

What a whippin!

Micah said...

I'll have to think about this over a pint of Newcastle...

Legalism kills sheep dead.

G. Alford said...


When I read in your post that Wiley Richards was elected Second Vice President over Mark Dever I almost had a heart attack...

Brother, don't do that to me :-)

John said...

There's a blog attached to the web-site entitled "SBC takes a step backward into legalism" (or something like that). He castigates the SBC for the alcohol resolution, concluding that one can be a Southern Baptist in good standing even if one never attends church, just don't drink the stuff the Lord Himself made for His first sign. The author writes, "Spin the resolution anyway you wish, neither Jesus Christ or the apostles would be eligible as leaders."

Christopher Redman said...

I have a question/comment on the alcohol resolution. (I'm SBC, 5 point Calvinist, Pastor, and TeeTotaler)

Johnny Hunt preached a sermon a few years back entitled, "Should Christians Drink?". The bottom line argument he used was this:

1) The bible distinguishes between "strong drink" and "wine". Wine is okay when used in moderation. Strong drink is condemned universally except for medicinal purposes.

2) The modern day production of alcoholic beverages is not the same as the wine used in biblical times. The wine in biblical times was naturally ferminted. The process used today to produce wine, beer, wine-coolers, etc uses the fermentation process but also adds pure alcohol by volume to the actual drink itself.

3) Conclusion - the alcoholic beverages produced today do not fall into the category of "wine" in the Bible but rather fall into the category of "strong drink". Therefore, biblically, Christians should not drink alcohol.

I have thought that this was a reasonable argument. Does this argument hold water? (My cousin Vinney)


Christopher Redman said...


I just posted the argument used by Johnny Hunt on why Christians should not drink. Then I reread your post on this thread as to why you are not convinced because God is not totally against it.

Can you provide a comment on whether Johnny Hunt's argument against alcohol "holds water"?

I am truly interested because I am asking the leaders in my church to abstane from alcohol. (Nothing to do with the SBC resolution but I have thought that Johnny Hunt's logic was sound.)


John said...

I hope I'm not the one responsible for switching the topic of this blog from integrity in membership (which I think is more important) to the legalism of prohibiting alcohol!

But there was some misinformation above. I do not believe that manufacturers of wine and beer add pure alcohol to their concoctions. That sounds like an old-wives tale to me.

Also, I do not see that the Bible even "universally condemns" strong drink either.

The fact is that the Lord Jesus manufactured wine, frequently drank wine socially (to the extent He was accused of being a drunkard), and used wine in the Lord's Supper -- and He said He'll be having it again when He comes with His Kingdom (so be prepared!).

I don't see how the attempts to redefine the word "wine" in the Bible is any different than liberals redefining words (say about women in leadership or homosexuality) in order to change the meaning of a text so as to get the interpretation they want. I suppose the intent is to be morally safer -- if you never drink, you'll never be drunk. But the actual mishandling of the text is no different. Instead, we should "tremble at His word" (Is. 66:2).

Christopher Redman said...

Is there some way to know whether or not manufacturers of alcoholic beverages add pure alcohol by volume to their products?

Hunt indicated that he had spent long hours researching the topic and found this information to be true. He also stated that drinking water was purified through the process of producing wine in the NT. Some wine in the NT was more fermented than others.

Is there any texts that state drinking strong drink is okay for social or beverage drinking?

Christopher Redman said...

I just contacted Anheiser Bush (Budweiser) and spoke to their customer service department. I asked them specifically if the alcohol content inside their beer was from natural fermintation or was there any alcohol added to the beer outside of natural fermintation.

They said that there is no additional alcohol added to the beer.

It's been well over a year or maybe two since I listened to Hunt's sermon on "Should Christians Drink?", maybe I don't remember his exact statement but I have been convinced now for some time that alcoholic beverages today contain excessive alcohol content that was over and above the natural wine fermenting process in the Bible.

I feel a little decieved. I guess I need to do more checking.


volfan007 said...

proverbs 20 and 23 both say that someone who drinks grape juice after it has fermented is not wise. in other words, you are a fool.

Jesus was no fool.

volfan007 said...

also, when you are full of the Holy Spirit you dont need alcohol, weed, cocaine, heroin, meth, nor any other mind altering, mood altering substance. i am filled with the Holy Spirit, and He is better than these false highs. wow, i cant beleive we even have people trying to say that drinking alcohol is ok. why not smoke weed then? let's all get hi and sing kum ba yah......

wow! i knew five pointers were off the deep end, but i didnt know yall were beer drinkers and winos too. said...

Guys, break out a concordance or something. There is a distinction between strong drink and wine, and both are capable getting a man drunk. "Strong drink" (called "Moses Stout" in some circles) is not universally condemned. Here's an example of using it to celebrate:

"And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, when the Lord your God blesses you, because the place is too far from you, which the Lord your God chooses, to set his name there, then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the Lord your God chooses and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household."
Deut. 14:24-26

Christopher Redman said...

volfan007 are you 14 years old?

I have not comment for you!

John said, "The fact is that the Lord Jesus manufactured wine, frequently drank wine socially (to the extent He was accused of being a drunkard), and used wine in the Lord's Supper --"

I say:

Jesus was not only accused of being a drunkard and a glutton but also having a demon. The charge of Jesus being accused of drunkenness does not help your argument because he didn't have a demon either!


Christopher Redman said...

volfan007 must be 14 years old! I have no comment for him.

John said that Jesus was accused of being a drunkard. However, He was also accused of having a demon. He neither had a demon nor was a drunkard. Therefore this statement does not help your argument.

joethorn - Thanks for the text! I have not had the time to research the issue of alcohol in the Bible. I actually have important things to do.

Here is my situation -

I took Johnny Hunt's word for it on two items -

1) Strong drink is universally condemned. (Not so according to Deut 14:24-26)

2) Alcoholic bevereges today all fit within the category of strong drink because they all have alcohol added to the natural fermintation process. (Not true according to Anheiser Bush's customer service department)

That's two strikes against Johnny. One more and he's out! (Seriously, I'm amazed at how inaccurate he was on this issue!)


volfan007 said...

proverbs 20:1

proverbs 23:29-35

especially verse 31

please explain...also, i am 44 yrs old....have a college degree and a seminary degree...been a pastor and a student of the bible for years and years....

chris r.
God bless you.

Christopher Redman said...

Sorry for the repeat. I thought that my post didn't post the first time so I retyped the content.


Christopher Redman said...

volfan - If you are 44 years old, why don't you act like it. We can all use a break from the childesh...

"wow! i knew five pointers were off the deep end, but i didnt know yall were beer drinkers and winos too."


volfan007 said...

verses were not explained....

truth hurts sometimes...dont it?

Christopher Redman said...

volfan -

Isn't there another site you can go hang out on? What about baptistfire? (Oh! Their gone now. Keep searching, there has to be somebody you can hang with)


Greg B said...

Don't get upset about someone not answering you scripture yet. I asked you a couple of questions concerning church rolls and discipline on Friday and haven't been answered yet.
Also, asked you a couple of things regarding this thread that you haven't answered. I am starting lunch, to show no hard feelings (there aren't), I'll post on them. Would you please post on my questions regarding the purity of the church and church discipline?
Greg from Powhatan.

Greg B said...

I read your verses from Proverbs. Had studied them before. Old Proverbs 20:1 still rolls off my tongue 26 years after memorizing it for sword/bible drill in 1980. Neither of them say one should stay abstinent. They both are very good warnings about drunkeness and addiction. Now, your turn.

Greg B said...

KJV Wine is a mocker strong drink is raging, whoever therefore is decieved thereby is not wise.
Sorry, some of it is fuzzy (memory). But no version says drinking wine or alcohol is a sin or that moderate drinking is wrong.
I don't think anyone of we 5 Pointers would say drunkeness or addiction is OK. They are at heart level the sin of worshipping a false god.
Likewise you haven't referred to the wedding feast at Cana, questions on church membership and discipline. Your turn!!!

brigand said...

"They struck me," you will say, "but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I must have another drink."

The Proverbs in both passages volfan mentioned describe a man in a drunken state.

Such a man is a fool indeed; a glutton for the bottle, a slave to his appetite.

Alas, we are but fools and winos and off the deep end for making distinctions -- for being able to eat meat without gorging, for earning money without hoarding it, and for tasting wine without losing control.

volfan007 said...

prov. 23:31 is about fermentation...not drunkeness...its about not drinking stuff that will make you drunk.

i wonder how you all feel about lighting up a doobie? about meth? is that alright too?

Greg B said...

I am looking at the NASB. How is 23:31 referring to fermentation? Smooth, red, sparkling. Maybe you know something about mixed wine that I don't. It well could be fortified, which I don't do. Modern "porte" is fortified. More alcohol is added. I agree this is referring to drinking with intent, not moderate drinking. Answer up Volfan, I have answered you.

Greg B said...

Doobies and Meth at the least are against the civil law. According to Jesus and Paul that closes the case on non-essentials.
You also keep referring to need. We are not talking about need, but freedom and preference.
If needed, alcohol is wrong, just like ice cream would be.

John said...

Hi Chris Redman,

That the Lord Jesus was accused of being a drunkard is an important point. It was slander, of course. But He was accused to being a drunkdard because He did, in fact, drink wine -- in contrast to John the Baptist who was more ascetic. The pharisees made accusations that at least had some semblence to reality, so they wouldn't be dismissed right away and make them look stupid. If He didn't drink moderately (as He says He did -- "the Son of Man came eating and drinking. . . "), they would not have tried to claim He was a drunkard. They couldn't explain away the miracles so they had to explain them as the result of demons.

As my friend at the blog says, no matter how you cut it, at the end of the day were left with a Lord and an Apostle who drank wine and who, if that resolution were binding, would prohibit both from leadership in the SBC.

volfan007 said...

verse 31 says to not look upon the wine when it is red....when it sparkles in the cup(an allusion to fermentation), if you take this to not mean fermentation, then you must not look at red wine as something to drink, or else be a fool for drinking red wine.

do you get what i am saying....if it does not mean fermentation...then anyone who looks upon red, smooth, sparkling wine is a fool.

i believe it is clearly talking about fermentation. when it would be considered strong drink....a la...proverbs 20:1

again, i say....Jesus was not foolish...and for you to call Him a fool is blasphemous...

again, i say...if it were not against the civil law...would smoking doobies and using meth and smoking crack also be ok to you?

brigand said...

It's actually an allusion, not to "fermentation" but to other Scripture:

Son 7:9-10 and your mouth like the best wine. It goes down smoothly for my beloved, gliding over lips and teeth. I am my beloved's, and his desire is for me.

This passage is not referring to a fermentation here, either.

In other words, I reject both options that you've given. The verse you keep quoting says something else entirely.

I'm sorry, but the very verses you quote do not say what you want them to say.

Your red herring regarding crack is patently absurd, unless you somehow think that your only options are two extremes and no distinctions can ever be made.

Christopher Redman said...

John -

I do understand your point and I have to say that you are the first person to help me understand how this resolution is legalism/fundamentalism.

To this point I've been a little foggy about it. I have been colored by Johnny Hunts sermon.

However, without officially passing a resolution, do you agree that it is best not to associate with drinking alcohol. In other words, it's not a heaven/hell issue but it is best for Christians to abstain. (ie: not using our liberty to cause a brother to stumble.)

CR said...

Another problem in this comment section is that many are presuming to know what it means to cause a brother to "stumble," or at least that everyone is on the same page concerning the concept. You will have to define your terms in order to move forward.

Christopher Redman said...


What is the charge that was made by Page Patterson regarding Calvinists and "antinomianism". I think this term refers to drinking alcohol. Patterson used it in a derogatory way.

If not John, anyone who knows what antinomianism is can let me know.


Christopher Redman said...

I would think that to cause a brother to stumble in the instance of alcohol is that our drinking alcoholic beverages because of our liberty would cause another brother to justify his drinking alcohol but in his immaturity he crosses into drunkenness. Perhaps he's a recovering alcoholic. Perhaps he has been arrested for DUI in the past.

Maybe it's not that at all. Maybe it's another brother's firm belief that drinking is sinful and our drinking causes him some sort of spiritual conflict where he breaks fellowship and divides the body over our liberty.

If you have some input as to what it means to cause a brother to stumble, by all means share it.


dave woodbury said...

I don't find the "weaker brother" argument very convincing as a mandate for total abstinence. In 1 Corinthians 8-10, where Paul introduces this argument, he is speaking about eating meat sacrificed to idols and then sold in the marketplace. If Paul meant by "don't cause your brother to stumble" what many think he meant, he would have said, "It is the wisest thing for all believers to never eat meat sacrificed to idols." And you might even be able to make the case that it WOULD have been the wisest course of action...but you'd have to do that apart from Scripture. Because the closest Paul ever comes to a blanket prohibition of meat is to say that if it makes his brother stumble, that HE will never eat meat again. He says it as a matter of his own conscience and does not place that restriction on anyone else. If Paul was not willing to mandate total abstinence for the sake of a weaker brother, neither should we. We should say what the Bible says, and then leave behavior that is not inherently sinful up to the conscience of the individual. Make another argument for prohibition if you'd like, but I don't think the "weaker brother" argument was intended for that use.

BTW - antinomianism means "against law" and commonly refers to any approach that the believer can do whatever they choose under the guise of "freedom in Christ."


Christopher Redman said...

So for Page Patterson, antinomianism on behalf of a calvinist is negative because he prefers fundamentalism/legalism.

I see all of your arguments for not making alcohol consumption "illegal" because the Bible doesn't do so. I understand.

One final question: Why then is anyone a teetotaler? (I am because of conscience but if my conscience has been based on faulty information, then why does anyone else hold to being a teetotaler?)

Christopher Redman said...

Not only why is anyone a teetotaler but why has Tom and many others who have argued against the alcohol resolution preficed their statements with saying, "BTW, I'm a teetotaler".

Is it to distance themself from the charge of antinomianism?


brigand said...


One would abstain for a variety of reasons, many of which are pragmatic, and not necessarily moral. Health, taste, cost (water is still free), fasting, obedience to the law of the land (for those under 21), guilt by association (what kind of people hang out at bars/liquor stores/agendas of the adult beverage industry) ... you grew up Baptist/Methodist/Assemblies/etc.

I wouldn't think many people would have an issue of conscience if they were stuck in a desert with only a cold Guiness and no water. An issue of taste perhaps, since not everyone likes a stout.

dave woodbury said...

I think antinomianism is an ABUSE of our freedom in Christ. It isn't as though the only other option is legalism. I think there is a healthy, biblical use of one's liberty that does not cross over into the errors of antinomianism or legalism. I'm sure Dr. Patterson would advance the wise use of Christian liberty.

As to your other question, I am a teetotaller for three reasons. First, I can't stand the taste of the stuff. I have had beer once and had a couple of sips of wine in my life. It just tastes bad. Second, it's expensive. If I want to quench my thirst I can buy water or a Coke cheaper. And third, I personally feel that my ministry in a small, rural, Texas town might be hindered if I drank publicly. That is the conviction of my conscience alone. And I apply it to myself alone. And one day it may change. If it does, I'll celebrate with a glass of wine.


Tom said...


You might want to read the blog I posted on 1 Corinthians 9 a couple of weeks ago. In it I quoted John Brown on the difference between giving up our liberty and giving up the exercise of our liberty. My choosing not to drink is in the latter category. I think I personally gain much more of a hearing for the things that are important to me by not drinking than if I did. This very issue is a case in point. No one can honestly accuse me of opposing resolution number 5 because I want somehow to justify my own practice. So, I abstain as to the Lord and I trust that my brothers who do not join me in this will drink as to the Lord--which certainly means that they will not get drunk nor regard drinking as a huge deal in and of itself.

What I have a problem with is when others try to determine for us extra biblical behavior in the name of promoting holiness and righteousness. Resolution #5 does just that, calling on us to be in "total opposition" alcohol consumption. Read carefully what some of the more thoughtful defenders of this resolution are saying (as Jim Smith does) and you will find that the acknowledge that the Bible does not forbid drinking alcohol as a beverage. This, in my mind, makes their case even worse because it puts them in the position of arguing that we can be more righteous than God. We are opposed--totally opposed--to that which He is not. That is legalism and undermines the authority of Scripture. They do this unwittingly no doubt, but that is the inevitable result nevertheless.

John said...

Some excellent comments in the two preceding posts.

I wouldn't call myself a "teetotaller" but I very rarely drink any alcoholic beverage for the reasons Mr. Woodbury notes: most of it doesn't taste good and it's expensive. I prefer Welch's grape juice to wine by far! But I prefer it for the same reason I prefer Coke to Dr. Pepper: I don't like the taste of Dr. Pepper. To somehow make a virtue of my distaste for Dr. Pepper, pat myself on the back for being a Coke-totaller, feel self-righteous for denouncing those poor souls who drink Dr. Pepper, turns an area of liberty into sin. And this is what I feel some of those who are so strident in their condemnation of alcohol are doing. They might -- just might -- one day find that the choice not to drink alcoholic beverages that they are so proud of, was a sin. I remember Jimmy Swaggert boasting that he'd never been in a movie theater and never had a drop of alcohol. Now, after we learned about Swaggert's other entertainment habits, wouldn't he have been better off going to see "Chariots of Fire" with a beer to drink?

volfan007 said...

alcohol is a drug....just as meth and crack and heroin and weed are drugs...

let's see....when yall meet for the sbc next year in tom's room he'll bring the jack daniels and hewitt will bring the weed and wooten is in charge of the lynyrd skynyrd cd's.....partaaay time!!!!!

i am so glad that the Lord delivered me from that kind of living.

and, it is talking about fermentation......if its not then we had better all quit drinking grape juice period, or else be fools...because it says in v. 31 to not look upon the wine when it is, all of you wine drinkers and welch's grape juice drinkers better stop drinking it......according to brigand....

why would a christian want to drink anyway????????????uuuhhhh???

Brent Martin said...

It seems to me that the SBC resolution on alcohol is an expression of arrogance. No matter one's position on the issue of alcohol consumption, the fact remains that it is not the role of a local church or a denomination to decide what is appropriate on such issues. Alcohol consumption is an issue of preference. Preference issues, biblically speaking, are decided by the individual according to conscience and as Dr Akin says, the rule of brotherly love. Imposing one's preference and conviction of conscience is at the heart of legalism. Why can't we trust God the Holy Spirit with our Christian family in these matters of gray? The sin is not in the consumption of the beer. The sin is in thinking less of those who consume it (Ro 14; 1 Co 8; Col 2).

John said...

Dear volfan,

The inerrant, inspired Word of God says that the sinless Lord Jesus Christ drank "wine". Period.

volfan007 said...


when you wrote that last post, were you drinking a bud lite?


volfan007 said...


answer my question....why would a christian want to drink alcohol?

and, if weed and meth were declared ok by civil law....would you smoke it?....would it be ok for a christian to smoke it?

formerly a weed smoking, drinking, party boy,


Greg B said...

"Alcohol is a drug"
"Why would a Christian want or need a drug?"
Volfan coffee and pepsi are drugs. Saturated fat is extremely hard on the body. Should we ban all caffeinated (and carbonated)beverages?

Greg B said...

Would I smoke weed or take meth?
No. I don't smoke. Smells bad and clogs the lungs, MJ smells even worse than tobacco.
Meth. No, obvious physical and emotional problems result.
I wouldn't drink drano even though there is no law against it (just the result).

Greg B said...

I wish to do something a little different. Fellow founders guys, let us call a sorta' truce with Volfan. As Peter pointed out so amptly, it has become a bit of a...fill in the blank the way you wish. I am not sure anyone needs to assign blame to someone else, many have kept themselves very gentlemanly indeed, I am not sure I have.
As we answer Volfan, and Volfan, as you post, lets remember that we are fellow Christians and hopefully friends.
I know were are always appreciative of how Tom takes alot and still posts as a Christian bro/gentleman. Let's spend a few moments looking at ourselves and figure out if we can express ourselves better, and as individuals (not putting someone in a stereotypical group) without knowing them even if that is just via forum posting and email.
I hope this is helpful, or maybe it is just for me.
Grace Alone,
Greg B (from Powhatan)

brigand said...

Volfan said: "... so, all of you wine drinkers and welch's grape juice drinkers better stop drinking it......according to brigand...."

I said: "I reject both options that you've given."

Grape juice is too expensive as well, so I never buy the stuff. Anyway, I already went over this. I was hoping to leave it to you to come up with a third option.

Besides which, you never explained how you came up with "since the literal reading is silly, it must mean fermentation!" Where in the passage did you bring in that connection? Could it not have something to do with the man and his unhealthy obsession?

Volfan said: "alcohol is a drug....just as meth and crack and heroin and weed are drugs..."

So are chocolate, tea, coffee, soda, and energy drinks; asprin and herb remedies.

"i am so glad that the Lord delivered me from that kind of living."

I think you have deep associations with that lifestyle hindering your ability to discern amongst the sinful and the lawful, hence your emphasis on partying and drug use, things I'm unfamiliar with. Certainly we can all celebrate and be thankful along with you that you were delivered from such by the grace of God.

Tom said...


Sorry. Somehow I missed your question to me. Please see my note above to Chris. I think that addresses the issue you raised, as well. The difference between giving up my liberty (which I will never do) and giving up the exercise of my liberty (which I hope I will always be willing to do as needed) is huge. It is what makes me oppose the language of resolution #5 and yet choose to be a teetotaler.

Christopher Redman said...

Thank you Tom for the input. I had to be away yesturday and could not respond back sooner.


willreformed said...

This is Danny Akins commentary on the alcohol resolution.