Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Former President of the SBC misrepresents opponents of resolution #5

Just because you have been the President of the SBC doesn't mean that you always tell the truth. That has been made very evident in the recent SBCLife, the journal of the Southern Baptist Convention. Bobby Welch wrote a letter to Southern Baptists that appears in the current issue (August 2006). It appears under the title, "A Word From Our Former President." In it, he expresses his deep appreciation for being allowed to serve two terms as the President of the SBC. He also sets forth his desire to help Southern Baptist stay focused on evangelism. Early in the letter he addresses the issue of resolution #5, which calls for the total opposition of beverage alcohol. He writes that people have asked him the following question: "Were there any surprises at the Convention?" Here is his answer:
Oh yes! Undoubtedly, the greatest surprise to almost everyone was that several Southern Baptist pastors actually came to a microphone and publicly promoted the drinking of alcoholic beverages and wanted the SBC to do the same! Actually, I never thought I would see that take place, and it is not only a surprise but an outrage! My father was addicted to alcohol, which contributed to his early death. He advised me that if I would never take the first drink I would never end up like he did. I did not, and he was correct!

I understand one pastor's blog site indicates he believes his drinking assists him in soul-winning! What a pathetic joke! These blogging Baptist pastors just blew their collective cork!

From my vantage point, as presiding officer of the Convention, I took a slow and deliberate look at the number of ballots raised in support of such foolishness and comparatively, there was hardly anyone who was in favor of encouraging the use or promotion of the use of alcoholic beverages. In fact, the overwhelming voice and raised ballot vote made it clear that Southern Baptists do not want leaders that use or promote the use of any type of alcohol.

We have many outstanding young pastors and others on their way to leading this Convention to its greatest days, and they are smart enough to know they will not do it as "sipping saints," but as sober soul winners! God help us to never, ever elect a user or promoter of the use of alcoholic beverages to any leadership position, and I am personally sorry and ashamed if we have any in those positions now!
This kind of mischaracterization is inexcusable--especially from one who actually presided over the meeting in Greensboro. Dr. Welch did an admirable job in moderating with gentleness and fairness. I and many others have commended him for the humble, professional leadership that he exhibited while wielding the gavel. It is a shame that he follows that with these outlandish and untruthful accusations. When he writes that "several Southern Baptist pastors actually came to a microphone and publicly promoted the drinking of alcoholic beverages and wanted the SBC to do the same!," he at best is misrepresenting what actually happened. At worst, well, at worst, he is simply being untruthful.

I was there. So were thousands of others. But don't take my word for it. Go to the video archives at the SBC website and watch the proceedings from Wednesday morning's report from the Resolutions Committee. One need not speculate on what was said and not said. I encourage you to watch and listen for yourself. If you discover "several Southern Baptist pastors" who spoke publicly and "promoted the drinking of alcoholic beverages and wanted the SBC to do the same," please transcript their promotional appeals and send them to me. I will post them here and will publicly repent for questioning Dr. Welch's comments. If such evidence cannot be found, then Dr. Welch should publicly repent. After all, the ninth commandment has not been excised from the inerrant Word of God, has it?

I know that some--maybe many--will consider me impolite (and worse) for addressing this issue in such strong language. But truth matters. And no one should get a pass on bearing false witness regardless of who he is or what positions he holds or has held. Welch's misrepresentation of fellow Southern Baptists is very harmful to our convention. It causes those who know better to mistrust leaders. Other SBC leaders who know that Welch's characterization is inaccurate should speak out publicly to correct him. However, if recent history is any indicator, this is not likely to happen. This kind of uncorrected character assassination will inevitably breed further frustration among the growing number of pastors and church leaders who continue to wonder why those denominational leaders who shout the loudest about the authority of the Bible stand by silently when its precepts are publicly shattered by one of their own. Will bureucratic loyalty always trump biblical fidelity?

What was the conservative resurgence all about? Was it not a fight to recover full commitment to the authority and accuracy of the Bible as the Word of God written? I say this reverently but with genuine concern as one who loves and seeks the welfare of the SBC: What difference does it make whether or not we have an inerrant Bible if our leaders are allowed to ignore and violate its teachings and to do so in the very public forum of our denominational journal? We have every right to expect more from champions of inerrancy.

103 comments:

GeneMBridges said...

Oy, it was in Greensboro, not Greenville. Greenville is in Eastern NC or in SC. I live here, cut me some slack, Jack. :D

Brian Hamrick said...

Excellent post, Tom.

I cannot believe anyone present, much less the former President himself, could have interpreted the goings on in this manner. You are certainly right to refer to the 9th Commandment in this case- it most certainly has been violated.

The Monk said...

I received my copy of SBC Life in the mail yesterday. Interesting that the annual convention matters were being covered in the August issue. Nonetheless, I think I found a prominent theme: Calvinists (call me a conspiracy theorist if you like, but I was around for the "resurgence/ takeover" in the 80's and 90's). Just watch, "those blogging, beer drinkin' Calvinists" will be blamed for more problems and marginalized far more than they have been.

What will people make a stand for other than inerrancy? Soul winning and fundamentalist holiness ("Don't drink, don't dance, don't smoke, don't chew and don't associate with those who do!"). How does this relate to the SBC Life articles? The accusations run something like this...
"If Calvinists would spend less time blogging and more time soul winning and stop trying to use the pathetic method of drinking beer to win souls, then the SBC will be headed in the right direction. Otherwise, the Calvinists are dragging the convention to the very pit of Hell. But, thank God, this isn't our history and we will reject such outlandish theology!"

Assimilate. Reformation is futile.

volfan007 said...

i would have to agree with dr. bobby welch. several pastors did speak against the resolution against alcohol. in his opinion, and in mine, that means that you are for it....for drinking...that it's ok...are you not? i think dr. welch was right....and just because it goes against the way you all felt doesnt mean that you should assasinate him on these blogs.

to say that he broke the ninth commandment...lol...lol. oh my goodness. Lord, deliver us from five point calvinism.

still no liquor on my breath,
volfan007

Benjamin Cripps said...

No liquor, Volfan, just pride.

joethorn.net said...

Every time I think it's all slowing down someone pops up with this issue again. It's as if nothing else took place at the Convention. Tom, we appreciate your courage to speak on this issue, and address our leaders fairly.

Jim Crigler said...

This bears the marks of a kind of exagerated political posturing. I.e., I imagine Dr Welch's thought process might have gone something like this: "As president of the convention, I moderate in fairness. But I believe drinking is wrong, and I don't want my fairness to be misinterpreted as supporting a position I personally oppose. So I'll overstate the case and bring in my personal testimony, which has been the evangelical trump card for the last generation or so."

If you think that last bit ("evangelical trump card") is exagerated, just think about how many times you've heard something like, "They can shoot down your argument, but they can't touch your testimony" with regard to witnessing. The tacit assumption that your testimony is enough to save someone is absurd. The purpose of an individual's testimony is to illustrate the Gospel, not replace it.

Re: volfan007's comment (edited for grammar 'cause e.e. cummings gives me the willies): I think Dr. Welch was right....and just because it goes against the way you all felt doesn't mean that you should assasinate him on these blogs.

"Felt"?????? Who's talking about feelings here? The issue is this: What does the Bible say? Indeed, in calling in feelings to try to win the debate, the pro-5 side is reduced to testimony over exegesis and isolated texts over the whole Bible as the Word of God. This does not bode well for us as Southern Baptists. Have we been reduced to the gospel of the theraputic (which is no Gospel at all)?

sparrowhawk said...

Shaking my head at the latest preponderance from populist preachers and previous presidents from the SBC....All of which seem to enjoy alliteration more than studying Scripture. (Sipping saints & sober soul winners, etc.)

It will be a bittersweet exit from my SBC church in January when my family and I leave behind 80+ years of SBC heritage in favor of a Reformed Bible church down the road 14 miles. I'll not raise my children in this current SBC environ of Arminianism and Biblical illiteracy. Some of us with small children cannot wait that long for the Reformation. Credit to The Monk for hitting the nail on the head.

C. T. Lillies said...

I am appalled that so many are this morning discussing Bobby Welch’s article in SBC Life: A Word From Our Former President . And not Frank Page's--who is currently the President of the SBC-- clear cry for unity in A Word From Our New President.

In it he says:
“Let us commit to pull together in support of our great Cooperative Program and even more than that in a cooperative mission work. We need to pull together. Instead of breaking into groups and factions, let us affirm in word and deed that we are a family of faith, committed to missions.”

Is it a great stretch to hope for something like what the SBC President is asking for or are we going to shatter the convention by continuing to snap at each other? I would like to see all these folks get together in person and be reconciled.

Much Grace
Josh

J. Gray said...

Wow.

Tom, you are right that this will never get mentioned by anyone.

Why? Because most of the leaders agree with him and thus overlook his clear backward logic.

Take volfan for instance...he clearly uses the same backward logic that Welch has: "if you speak against the resolution, you are FOR alcohol". The problem is that you can be against the resolution and still not "promote" or encourage or even partake yourself in alcohol. I, and many on here, fall in that category.

The lack of ability or willingness to follow along is just sad. I expect more from leaders of the SBC. I expect ignorance from people who post anonymously online...and we got it from volfan.

BTW, I think you are right about the 9th Commandment. But if people submitted to not bearing false witness and misrepresenting others, from where would all the juicy sound bytes come?

If only we (The SBC) actually believed what we taught about inerrancy, sufficiency, and authority....hmm.

Alan Cross said...

Tom, I wrote a post about this yesterday re: bearing false witness at downshoredrift.com.

I hate to even address this, but the logic of Volfan is so absurd. NO ONE was promoting the drinking of alcohol. Go back and watch the webcast at SBC.net. That was explicitly stated over and over again. What we forget is that to say that a SBC pastor promotes the drinking of alcohol is character assassination and bearing false witness, if it is not true. It is not true, therefore, Dr. Welch is either incredibly mistaken and lying. He is forgiven either way, but it is important that we talk about truth and not innuendo.

Dr. Welch made public statements that carry a lot of weight. People believe him without checking the facts. The lives and reputations of those he misrepresented are on the line. Most of us don't care because we know the truth. But, how many people don't know the truth.

If this is not bearing false witness against a neighbor, then what is? We claim to be inerrantists, but we can't even agree on the 10 Commandments! God save us from situational ethics and relativism.

volfan007 said...

gray,

God bless you, bro. i just want you to know that i dont hold any anger in my heart towards you for the bad things you said about me. i truly mean it when i say...God bless you.

sparrowhawk,

you need to go to a reformed church, or a presbyterian church if that's the way you feel. you are doing the right thing for you.


love and peace,

volfan007

Byroniac said...

Excellent post Dr. Ascol.

And, I too want to credit The Monk for having "hitting the nail on the head" accuracy.

Sparrowhawk, for now I am going to a wonderful SBC church which is Reformed. But I have to wonder if my days in the SBC are numbered. I am praying for God's guidance in the matter, and for His grace to make me more Biblical with the passing of time, not less.

I pray for God to continue blessing the Founder's Ministries, whether I remain with the SBC in the future or not!

Gavin Brown said...

"...they will not do it as sipping saints, but as sober soul winners!"

Was that Bobby Welch or John R. Rice?

Byroniac said...

Oh, I want to clarify: I have no plans to leave my SBC church (which I thank God is Reformed) unless I move out of the area or begin my own ministry. I moved here to attend seminary, and I have not decided whether I will settle here for the long-term or not, though I love this part of Texas. I did not intend to imply I would leave my SBC church simply because of its denominational affiliation.

Sojourner said...

I have tried several times to be eloquent about this in my comment, but I can't seem to do it. So when eloquency fails, I'll just be blunt.

The attitude of this meta strikes me as childish. Most of us, whether we know it or not, are most likely Reformed because men like Tom Ascol labored under conditions worse than we are now experiencing. They did not slink off when they got rubbed the wrong way. Many of the comments sound as if we're getting pounded, but the fact of the matter is that the Reformation is growing, not retreating. This defeatist attitude is unhelpful and discouraging. You can't quit a fight you haven't even begun to engage in.

The point of this post was that Bobby Welch erred in what he said about those who oppposed the Resolution. Not that we ought to now give up and quit the convention. The only way one could look at it like that is if they were looking for an excuse to give up and go where it's easier.

The Monk did not hit the nail on the head. This is not the fight over inerrancy, and we are not the liberals. The tactics used against them will not work against us. We believe that the Bible is inerrant and sufficient, and we are gaining ground or else this wouldn't be an issue. The fact is, we are more like the conservative resurgence if we are as right in our doctrine as they were in their fight for inerrancy. And they are placed in the position of holding unscriptural notions that cannot long stand Biblical scrutiny.

So, quit this talk of conspiracy and giving up. Instead, settle down and be a soldier of the cross and hang in there. If you can't fight for truth, then slink off without comment. That way you will not discourage those who stand to work towards reform.

I'll conclude by saying that I love Bobby Welch. I think that he is a fine man, a beloved brother in Christ, and that he was wrong in misrepresenting his fellow laborers on this issue. I admire his zeal, and I hope that it will be more responsibly directed in the future.

John Wootten said...
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John Wootten said...

Volfan,

You are again showing that you don't quite comprehend what you read.

The opposition to the resolution was against the resolution itself...not the position the resolution stands for.

Most of those pastors who spoke against the resolution, Dr. Tom Ascol included, support total abstinence from alcoholic beverages.

The opposition to the Resolution was against the unbiblical nature of the resoltuion.

For Bobby Welch to say that the Resoltuion was questioned by those who want to "encourage the use or promotion of the use of alcoholic beverages" is simply incorrect.

Do you see the difference?

Oh Lord, deliver us from blind political bureaucratic allegiances!

J. Gray said...

volfan,

I did not say "bad things" about you. I said your logic is backward, and it is. You are unable to distinguish between arguing against a resolution and arguing for alcohol consumption.

If you were able to dsitinguish something that simple, there would be no need to call your logic backwards nor refer to your statements and accusations as ignorant.

Moreover, the fact that you are obviously hiding behind anonymity shows that you lack the guts to stand behind your conclusion.

I would ask you to show how your "logic" makes any sense whatsoever. I would ask you to quit making accusations against people. I would also ask you to quit being a coward and use a real name or have a real profile.

Mike Griffith said...

volfan007 not all 5 point Calvinist think that a person should drink in any form. I believe the Bible is clear that strong drink is raging and those who are deceived by it are not wise. I am proud to be called a Calvinist but I am saddened that we have to even bring up the matter about drinking. It may all be about conscience but it is a poor conscience at that.

Byroniac said...

Sojourner:

Is a believer's identity ultimately with Christ, or with a denomination?

My first loyalty is to Christ. I am a Christian first, and a Baptist second. And I think I should always retain this order.

What matters most to me is being in the center of God's will in all areas of life, and that includes denominational membership. I'll happily remain in the SBC forever if that becomes my God-given conviction to do so. I admire those such as Dr. Ascol who I feel have such conviction in their lives and seek to be faithful and obedient in the labor God has given them to do.

Having said that, I do not feel that people such as myself are necessarily conspiracy theorists or have defeatist attitudes. Some of us are simply seeking God's will to be done in our personal lives, which includes choices such as our denominational identity, church membership, and living out Christian character. God has called some to remain in the SBC and labor in the field where Christ has sent them. Some are called by Christ to labor elsewhere. And is it wrong for me to simply pray and follow God's will in the matter, wherever it leads?

Yes, as long as we are in the SBC we should labor in faith and obedience under Christ. We should strive for the betterment of the SBC and its spiritual health with impeccable character. The SBC has many spiritual problems and I believe that God-called men must labor in it and fight for Biblical truth. However, other God-called men follow the Holy Spirit's leadership elsewhere. Obedience to the Spirit's leadership and faithfulness to Christ is what is of primary importance.

Yes, this is a spiritual battle, which involves us, but is not ultimately ours but belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. Though we are prone to mistakes, the Lord is eternally perfect. And blind denominational loyalty, where it exists, must give place to loyalty to Scripture for the spiritual health of the soul.

volfan007 said...

i understand that some were just against the resolution, and they think that they were not promoting alcohol. but, in reality, to stand against a resolution against alcohol is a statement of it's ok...the bible says that it's ok. do you see that some of us out here see it that way????

also, some of the ones speaking against this resolution do promote alcohol use. another five pointer...wade burleson...does talk about drinking and how it's not only ok...but that he led a woman to the Lord because he had drank wine with her!!!

95% of the sbc wanted this resolution to be passed. we passed it. we had every right to pass it as an autonomous body. this is our conviction of what the bible teaches. i understand that you all dont agree with that...but to attack dr. bobby welch and accuse him of breaking commandments and lying....well, that's just wrong. and, all yall know it.

God bless yall....i love yall,

volfan007

ps. gray, dont you think it's a little jr. highish to be calling people cowards and saying that they dont have any guts???? wow!

bro., i forgive you for your harsh words. God bless you. i sincerely pray that the Lord will bless you.

Alan Cross said...

Sojourner,

Well said. May we carry on to be Biblical, instead of Traditional.

Wade Burleson said...
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Wade Burleson said...

Volfan007,

You remind me of Melchizedek with all your blessings bestowed on everyone (Gen. 14).

But on the other hand, you don't remind me of him because when Melchidizedek pronounced his blessing on Abraham he gave him bread and wine. :)

Anyway, my wife would like for me to clarify that the "woman" I led to Christ was the wife of a man I had already led to Christ. She was Roman Catholic and hated Baptist preachers because of their judgmental attitudes.

Wine did not lead her to Christ, the Spirit of God led her to faith in Christ. It was my ability to become all things to all people in order that I might win some which opened the door for her to even listen to me share the gospel.

It is "irresistible grace" that transformed her heart, not "irresistable grapes."

By the way, I choose to abstain from alcohohol myself, but I do not believe the Bible teaches drinking an alcohoholic beverage is a sin.

Blessings to you (without the bread and wine).

Wade

GeneMBridges said...

you need to go to a reformed church, or a presbyterian church if that's the way you feel. you are doing the right thing for you.

And let us remind Volfan that the PCA grew by 42 percent last year, and it wasn't from baptizing babies. In fact, if you do your research you'll find that a large portion of those persons went as associate members into those churches and they came from the SBC, the same SBC that is 16.4 million strong and can't get half of them to show up to church on any given Sunday; the same SBC whose baptism numbers increase while their average attendance among the majority of the churches contributing to those numbers decreases or remains the same. So, while you eisegete Scripture, water down the gospel, make hedges about law, commit basic logic errors in your presentation, and parse the finer points of "oinos" so you can throw stones at those who here agree with James Boyce that a resolution on alchohol is not germane to the business of the Convention (a little factoid you seem to have forgotten in your search for historical precedents), your denomination is dying and fragmenting before your eyes very like the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

95% of the sbc wanted this resolution to be passed. we passed it. we had every right to pass it as an autonomous body. this is our conviction of what the bible teaches. i understand that you all dont agree with that...but to attack dr. bobby welch and accuse him of breaking commandments and lying....well, that's just wrong. and, all yall know it.

The percentage tally just inflates every day with you, doesn't it? Unless a ballot vote was taken you have no idea what it was. Dr. Welch mischaracterized both Wade and those who were/are against this resolution. Which is worse, Volfan, being against the resolution, or lying lips?

also, some of the ones speaking against this resolution do promote alcohol use. another five pointer...wade burleson...does talk about drinking and how it's not only ok...but that he led a woman to the Lord because he had drank wine with her!!!

He had glass of wine over dinner with her and her husband in her own home and demonstrated that he's not a legalist. Was Paul wrong for circumcizing Timothy in order to minister to Jews even though Galatians says clearly that doing that would be legalism and moving away from the gospel of grace? No. Why? Because the intention of his heart was for Timothy, who was part Jews already be able to minister with him in order to win the Jews.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Dr. A,

Thanks for writing this. Are we being set up again? Are the powers-that-be planning to just keep this issue at the forefront all the way until San Antonio, and paint Calvinists, or anyone who does not go along with the present paradigm, as drinkers in order to discredit us with the average SBC-er?

Brother Wade,

Thanks for the bit about "irrestible grapes." That was my first chuckle today, and I needed it!

Love in Christ,

Jeff

Sojourner said...

Byroniac,

I will briefly reply. You ask:

Is a believer's identity ultimately with Christ, or with a denomination?

With Christ, of course. But then, that isn't even remotely my point. My point is that saying things like "Assimilate. Reformation is futile" is unhelpful, untrue, and downright aggravating. If Nehemiah had listened to such naysaying, Sanballat would have stopped the wall from being completed by posturing.

If God calls you somewhere else, then by all means go with the grace of God. But what I understood you to say is that some were contemplating leaving because the SBC was "Arminian" and "Biblically ignorant." First off, those things aren't true. Secondly, that's not the call of God to abandon the work. And finally, it is an insult to those who labor to biblically educate those that are ignorant and live to undo erroneous doctrine. How would you like to labor to correct such error, see its fruit, and then the very person you labor over "get it right" only to say "nothing is happening here" and leave?

I'm saying that the only reason folks in the SBC even realize that we have a problem now is because people stayed to point out the problems. Now that they are more obvious, people who were once content now speak of leaving and not laboring. This is frustrating.

Finally, and I really mean it this time, I am irked when "the Monk" compares my struggle with the folks who were rightly shown the door in the 80's and 90's. They were wrong biblically, and seriously so. I am not like them, and I do not want this conflict to be painted with that brush.

GOWITHGOSPEL said...

It is certainly not original with me but I have repeated it many times through the years and think it applies here:

"When God passed out BRAINS, some thought he said TRAINS, and they missed THEIRS."

Each reader should make his own personal application.

In the meantime I am going to drink a beer - Dad's ROOT BEER!

It might help you, too.


Proverb 17:22

J. Gray said...

volfan,

Where to start?

1. No, I don't see that to stand against a resolution is to stand in support of alcohol. That makes no sense. Your logic is the same as those who conclude that because we oppose embryonic stem cell research that we oppose all research that may help end diseases. That does not compute. Do you not see that one does not necessarily imply the other. try thinking this through a bit.

2. Yes, I know that there are some that opposed the resolution who also support alcohol. Does that mean that is the case for EVERYONE who opposed Res5? No.

3. Yes, the SBC had every right to pass the Resolution...and it did. I don't think anyone is disputing that. I'm not even sure what exactly you're trying to prove. Are you saying that because it passed it is right and biblical?

4. No one is attacking Bobby Welch. No one has called him names. Actually, most here have voiced their appreciation and respect for Welch. But that does not mean his comments here are correct and should be overlooked. He is a good man, who has misunderstood the issue many people have with Res5. To say that he has misrepresented people is a very true statement. Whether he did it on purpose or not is unknown...but the fact remains, he HAS misrepresented people and then used that misrepresentation to draw a conclusion about them.

6. What do you consider the 9th commandment to say? Is not misrepresenting a person's thoughts, beliefs, words, and actions equal to "bearing false witness"?

7. Do I think it's JrHigh to call someone out for being a coward for attacking people behind a moniker and not using a real name. No. That would be unfair to Jr.High kids, who (in my experience) value authenticity and truthfulness and are not really afraid to let you know who they are and why they disagree.
(BTW, is that your only response? Speaking of childish...)
I simply think that out of courtesy to fellow brothers ans sisters in Christ that you stand behind your statements as the one making them (considering how often you post here and stir up discussion) and not hide behind a nameless/faceless screenname. No "JrHigh" attack...simply an observation in Christian conversation.

8. Thank you for your blessing, though I suspect it is mock.

Sojourner said...

Byroniac,

I apologize for writing that you considered leaving the SBC because of "Arminians" and "biblical ignorance." That wasn't your comment.

pateimus said...

Next year lets nominate a "sipping saint" for SBC president and try to reverse the trend of letting legalists hold our denomination hostage. I guess the tough part would be finding someone in the upper echelons of SBC life who could be elected that would confess to being such.

Stephen A Morse said...

Maybe this isn't appropriate but does anyone else remember Dr. Welch promoting the pro abortion stance of Dr. Rice (that would be Condelezza)? He really hyped her up and pushed her into the limelite didn't he?

Given the current application of hindsight with Dr. Welch, maybe I do happen to remember him speaking about a woman's choice....

All kidding aside...

...well I guess I have nothing else to add other than to play the Twilight Zone music and wonder where the next salvo will come from.

The Monk said...

Sojourner stated, "The attitude of this meta strikes me as childish. Most of us, whether we know it or not, are most likely Reformed because men like Tom Ascol labored under conditions worse than we are now experiencing. They did not slink off when they got rubbed the wrong way. Many of the comments sound as if we're getting pounded, but the fact of the matter is that the Reformation is growing, not retreating. This defeatist attitude is unhelpful and discouraging. You can't quit a fight you haven't even begun to engage in. . . .
The Monk did not hit the nail on the head. This is not the fight over inerrancy, and we are not the liberals. The tactics used against them will not work against us. We believe that the Bible is inerrant and sufficient, and we are gaining ground or else this wouldn't be an issue. . . . So, quit this talk of conspiracy and giving up. Instead, settle down and be a soldier of the cross and hang in there. If you can't fight for truth, then slink off without comment. That way you will not discourage those who stand to work towards reform."

Perhaps you haven't been pounded, friend, but I have. In church after church and in denominational and seminary settings. Simply because "I'm a Calvinist." Not because I've been rude or obnoxious, but because I have dared to believe what the inerrant Word states plainly about such doctrines as predestination and election. No, we aren't the Liberals, but that doesn't matter to Fundamentalists.

So, you may call me and others "childish" if you like. My guess is that you are a younger fella (20s) with a lot of zealous optimism who hasn't faced some of the battles that some of us older fellas have faced. I would argue that I'm a "veteran" and that I have seen these battle plans before. I'm tired of fighting against brothers. I'm going to aim my full artillery at the enemy and seek to advance the Kingdom. I'm not interested in fighting for an empty denominational empire.

Byroniac said...

Sojourner:

I trust that Sparrowhawk and The Monk need no defense from me. However, I want to comment on their comments and try to clarify what I think is being communicated, without intentionally offending anyone--though I might reveal a minority opinion here.

You may disagree with me, and that is fine. Please read what I have to say, and we can agree to disagree if need be as brothers in Christ.

My point is that saying things like "Assimilate. Reformation is futile" is unhelpful, untrue, and downright aggravating. If Nehemiah had listened to such naysaying, Sanballat would have stopped the wall from being completed by posturing.

Right. The Monk said that. I believe (and took it) as a statement of humor illustrating a certain SBC mindset we labor against. I believe it was neither intended as a maxim of truth nor as an insult to those who are truly Reformed and working for reformation. Perhaps I am wrong, but I accepted this statement simply in the humorous intent I feel it was offered.

But what I understood you to say is that some were contemplating leaving because the SBC was "Arminian" and "Biblically ignorant." First off, those things aren't true....[second post]...I apologize for writing that you considered leaving the SBC because of "Arminians" and "biblical ignorance." That wasn't your comment.

Thank you, brother. Sparrowhawk actually said, "I'll not raise my children in this current SBC environ of Arminianism and Biblical illiteracy." I happen to agree with Sparrowhawk. Completely. And I do not mean that as an insult to you, brother. Like it or not, you must admit that Reformed folk like yourself are the exceptions and not the rule, and this is not to deny the spiritual progress of Reformation, nor denigrate the nobility of the goals of the Founder's Ministry.

Now, without knowing Sparrowhawk's situation, I am doing some work of possibly faulty interpretation here. If I understand correctly, Sparrowhawk is leaving a less Biblically sound church for a more Biblically sound one, for the spiritual health of his entire family, especially the little ones. And though in his specific scenario that involves a transition in denominational membership, I commend him because I believe from his words his spiritual priorities are in order. Without becoming pastor of his local church or assuming some form of eldership authority, there is probably precious little he can do to apply Biblical salve to spiritual illness and help reform the church (though it IS possible, only by the grace of God). I don't want to assume on his motives here, but taking his words at face value I read the situation as rather dismal otherwise spiritually and that this decision has been made with some regret to the spiritual condition of his local SBC church(es) which made this step necessary. I do not look at it as necessarily being guilty of abandoning the work, to paraphrase your comment. Serving Christ, honoring Him, and nurturing our children in the admonition of the Lord is our work. Denominational loyalties fall a distant third to obeying Christ and safeguarding the spiritual health of our families.

Finally, and I really mean it this time, I am irked when "the Monk" compares my struggle with the folks who were rightly shown the door in the 80's and 90's. They were wrong biblically, and seriously so. I am not like them, and I do not want this conflict to be painted with that brush.

Well, like it or not, brother, it is indeed painted with just such a brush, and not by Reformed folk like us, I might add. Many of the same conservatives who helped purify the SBC of Biblical errancy now are crusading against the supposed spiritual cancer of Calvinism infecting our denomination, its churches and seminaries. I know at the very least, I have been on the receiving end of some of this in some of my personal experience, and I suspect others have (and are!) too. It is because of this I have great concerns about the health and future of the SBC, and why I can appreciate such comments as Gene Bridges, who said "...your denomination is dying and fragmenting before your eyes very like the kingdoms of Israel and Judah." I fear for my denomination! And you can ask my friends, I have felt great loyalty for the SBC in the past, but must now question whether that remains God's Will for me in my future ministry. If He calls and sends, then by His grace I will do my best to labor and fight for Biblical truth, wherever He plants me.

I want to add, Sojourner, that I too am offended when we of the Reformed stripe are associated with the liberals who rejected inerrancy, and when we are individually treated as "persona non grata" in our own denomination. We may continue to disagree, but please understand if you feel God-given conviction to remain and labor in the SBC, then I fully support your obedience and faithfulness to Christ, because to do otherwise would be to disobey and show disloyalty to the One Master before whom we all must stand.

God Bless, brother,
Byroniac

Michael Spencer said...

"The Monk" is not Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk.

So please don't credit me with his words or behavior.

Thanks!

Byroniac said...

Michael Spencer:

"The Monk" is not Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk.

Thank you for the clarification, because I was confused (thank you, faulty memory of mine!).

Tom said...

cI have been traveling today and have just now had the opportunity to join this dialog. I appreciate most of the comments here, with the obvious exception of the anonymous and and ubiquitous volfan.

Wade, thanks for making that clear--it was never in doubt to most of us, but then again, we are in a day when it is hazardous to leave even the most obvious unstated. I read your post about this issue and found it very gracious and insightful (read it at, http://kerussocharis.blogspot.com/).

Finally, I agree with Sojourner that Welch's comments are not a reason to give up hope for reformation. All who love God's truth must continue to press for reformation, regardless of denominational affiliation. We are in desperate need of it. Opposition and even hostility is no reason to back off. Read 1 Corinthians 16:8-9 and pray that God will give all of us the kind of mentality that he gave Paul.

Finally, my criticism of Bobby Welch's published remarks is not personal. I am sure he is a great guy who loves the Lord. But even great guys make mistakes and in this case, he made one.

Micah said...

that demon Jesus, a winebiber and a glutton, eh Volfan?

SavedandSure said...

Glad the dintinguished doctor and personal friend explained why he had been offering no comment on this blog.

For awhile I thought you might have lingered at the root beer or watermelon stand.

Proverb 17:22

Phillip M. Way said...

All seriousness aside, seriously, I find it quite humorous that the former SBC president taking this stand is a man named WELCH.

Perhaps there is a conflict of interest here that runs much deeper than broken commandments and jumped conclusions.

:)

Eric M Schumacher said...

Volfan writes:

to stand against a resolution against alcohol is a statement of it's ok

I think that reflects Bro. Welch's logic.

Let's apply their logic to another resolution:

If the Southern Baptist Convention stood against consideration of a resolution on integrity in church membership, then they support lacking integrity in church membership. If they stood against the consideration of honesty in membership reporting, then they are for lying.

I'm not saying that is true...only that this seems to be the logical outworking of Volfan and Bro. Bobby's logic. I hope the former prez. will come out with an equally strong statement against the denomination's shockingly sinister support of fabulous fibs and fabrications.

Pastor Shane said...

When I got my DVD from the SBC and heard that shofar announce the "launch" I was so moved I cried in my beer.

And then celebrated by smoking a cigar!

----------------------

But seriously--besides the Welch grape conspiracy theory, which I find enlightning in a delightfully twisted way-- Is anyone else disturbed that the SBC can pass a motion against drinkin' and NOT against the Masonic Lodge!!??!?!?!?

----------------------

Also, I personally believe that most SBC pastors could benefit a couple of beers a week
and a couple less 16 packs of KFC...

But that's just my personal opinion. Don't judge!

bristopoly said...

Volfan, you said: "95% of the sbc wanted this resolution to be passed. we passed it. we had every right to pass it as an autonomous body. this is our conviction of what the bible teaches."

Where? Where does the Bible ban the use of wine? Please cite me a passage that bans the use (NOT ABUSE) of WINE (not hard liquor). And if this is the correct interpretation of the Bible, were the Lord and the Apostles (as well as many in the OT and throughout Church History) all in sin for drinking it?

Rom 14:1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, [but] not for [the purpose of] passing judgment on his opinions. 2 One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables [only]. 3 The one who eats is not to think lesser about the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat IS NOT TO JUDGE THE ONE WHO DOES EAT, FOR GOD HAS ACCEPTED HIM. 4 WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE THE SERVANT OF ANOTHER? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One person regards one day above another, another regards every day [alike]. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. 7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall give praise to God." 12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this--not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way. 14 I know and am convinced IN THE LORD JESUS THAT NOTHING IS UNCLEAN WITHIN ITSELF; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let WHAT IS FOR YOU A GOOD THING BE SPOKEN OF AS AN EVIL THING; 17 for the LORDSHIP OF GOD is NOT ABOUT EATING AND DRINKING, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who in this way [i.e., via righteousness, peace and joy] SERVES CHRIST AND IS ACCEPTABLE TO GOD AND APPROVED BY MEN. 19 So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. 20 Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. ALL THINGS INDEED ARE CLEAN, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. 21 It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine , or [to do anything] by which your brother stumbles. 22 The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because [his eating is] not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin."

This is still in the Bible, right? It wasn't removed by a resolution? I think a lesson that the Rom 14-15 and 1 Cor 8-9 passages OK the use of all created things when they are used for the glory of God and are not placed as stumbling blocks to a WEAKER brother, who thinks "things" are good or evil within themselves; and does not understand that it is the USE of things with which God is concerned. By this logic, Paul's statement that "It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine , or [to do anything] by which your brother stumbles" should bring a resolution to ban the eating of meat in the SBC. Or worse, the banning of everything, since everything has a potential abuse. I would say abuse of sex in our culture destroys more lives than wine. Will there be a banning of any and all sex any time soon?

On a more serious note, I was disappointed that it wasn't made more clear to the committees that they were not only condemning others in the Bible (including the Lord Himself---doesn't that amount to blasphemy?), but refusing to obey the Scripture (and thus in rebellion against the Lord) when it declares that no one is to judge the servant of another on the matter of his or her use of "things" as long as they are not abused by that person (and thus the use of something becomes sin instead of thanksgiving to God). It emphatically states that ALL "THINGS" ARE CLEAN, but need to be used in love and consideration to others and for the glory of God (whether we eat or DRINK). So the passage states two things: 1. All created things are for our use. 2. We should not ABUSE those things and use them against our brothers, but instead to edify them and glorify God.

I just wonder how much meditation was given to Rom 14-15 and 1 Cor 8-9 before this thing was thought up. "Thus you nullify the Word of God for the sake of your cultural ideas, and you do many things like this."

Ricky said...

I am confused. I read once again the resolution passed by our SBC. It seems that the issues (from what I have read in these comments) revolve around either Biblical innerancy or doctrine and yet after reading the resolution I cannot see where either is at risk. Perhaps someone can share with me why the passing of the resolution is such a great challenge or obstacle to the reform movement.

I agree that some of what Bobby Welch wrote in his latest article were ungracious and perhaps misleading (I write "perhaps" because I have not watched the session that R5 was passed).

Thanks for the input.

Ricky

centuri0n said...

volfan007:

I formally invite you to take up the topic of what the Bible says about alcohol in my little site called DebateBlog. Personally, I see this as a great opportunity at evangelism. All the guidelines for playing there are posted, and if you're interested in doing something other than slandering people, you can e-mail me at by blogger e-mail address and I'll get you set up.

Isn't it ironic that the prohibitionist side of this argument thinks there are only two sides -- drunkenness and tea-total sobriety? Are there really only two choices?

Are my only choices "stay at home safe and sound" or "crash my car into a brick wall"? How do I get to work then?

Are my only choices "stay celebately single" or "beat my wife"? Doesn't the Bible say that a man should leave his parents and cleave to his wife?

Are my only choices "only take minimum wage jobs which have no responsibilities" or "embezzle from my employer"? Can't I have a job with in larger responsibilities whichch I behave with self-control?

When someone on the prohibitionist side can deal with this question with something other than "pheh! calvinists!", this discussion can go someplace useful.

The floors open, volfan.

centuri0n said...

I have something else for the readers of this blog, btw -- a link to the article "Wine Drinking in New Testament Times" by Robert H. Stein, from Christianity Today, June 20, 1975.

Everyone can read it and decide for themselves if it is, in fact, a thoughtful and definitive study of the topic. Nor not.

Tom said...

Ricky:

The debate about resolution #5 has to do with the understanding and use of Scripture. Some of us are convinced that it goes beyond the Bible in defining Christian conduct. Of course, that would be a very dangerous course to take. What this particular thread is about is the illegitimate characterization of those who spoke against the amendment as publicly promoting the drinking of beverage alcohol. That is simply not true and shows either a serious lack of understanding of the issues at stake or an intentional misrepresentation of Christian brothers who tried to address the issue at the convention. Regardless of the motivation, the result is the same: violation of the 9th commandment. If those who shout the loudest about the inerrancy of Scripture are willing publicly to break God's law that is clearly stated in that Scripture (or to sit quietly on the sidelines while one of their own does so) then what difference does inerrancy really make?

(Note, in an attempt to avoid being misunderstood: I am an inerrantist. I think it is an important theological position. My question is simply used as a rhetorical device to make a point.)

volfan007 said...

God bless yall. i sincerely mean it.

hey gene, do you believe in baptising babies?

btw, i dont believe that strong drink ever passed the lips of Jesus, and i dont believe that He was a demon, micah. wow!

there are those of us out here who beleive in taking the historical context into consideration when looking at verses in the bible. the jews of Jesus' day would dilute the grape juice, or oinos, with three parts water. so, even if it was fermenting....it would be watered down. i dont believe Jesus ever drank the undiluted, fermented stuff....strong drink. that would be foolish according to proverbs...and Jesus was not foolish.

wade,

drinking alcohol for pleasure...to get high...is a sin....ephesians talks about that. drinking alcohol that is diluted...for medicianl purposes, or for cooking, or such would not be sin. drinking alcohol is foolish if not sinful. on that, the bible is clear....it's foolish.

also, if any of you want to leave the sbc...well, you ought to. if it's so bad and so beneath your theology...then join the presbyterians. that's the only way they grow anyway..besides all the babies they baptise. i have had some five pointer friends to leave the sbc and join the presbyterians...i thought that was what they ought to do....since they were five pointers who beleived in elder rule and all that....they did what they should have done. probably, most of the people in this room would do good to join them too.

also, i am saying that we in the sbc voted to make the alcohol issue a resolution....it's something we believe is the teaching of the bible....we had the right to do that...we are an autonomous body. if my church wanted to make smoking cigs an issue....even thought cigs arent mentioned in the bible....if they wanted to say that cigs would not be allowed on church grounds and anyone who smoked would not be allowed to hold leadership positions...thats thier business...is it not? my church is autonomous..and if 95% of the church felt that way..they could do it and it would be ok. now, we dont have that rule at my church. we arent even thinking about that rule...this is just an example...so, please dont answer with a book about cigs. i understand that a lot of you....especially the drinkers...think that this was a bad resolution. well, you are entititled to your opinion. it's just not what the rest of us think.

anyhoooooo.....sincerely...God bless you....i love you,

from the hills and hollers of tn,

volfan007

ps. granpappy wants to start a branch of your church, wade, in his holler. he has the still fired up and ready to go.


volfan007

Brian Hamrick said...

ps. granpappy wants to start a branch of your church, wade, in his holler. he has the still fired up and ready to go.


volfan007


At least it is even more clear why volfan had no problem with Welch's mischaracterization. It's in his bag of tricks as well.

Gavin Brown said...

Volfan,

You are an IG-NO-RAY-MOOSE on this issue.

Sola Baptista, anyone?

Cliff4JC said...

Folks...please be obiedent to scripture!!!! Proverbs 26:4

bristopoly said...

"it's something we believe is the teaching of the bible....we had the right to do that...we are an autonomous body. if my church wanted to make smoking cigs an issue....even thought cigs arent mentioned in the bible....if they wanted to say that cigs would not be allowed on church grounds and anyone who smoked would not be allowed to hold leadership positions...thats thier [sic]business...is it not?"

No, it's not. It's not the business of any church to disobey the commands of Rom 14-15. That's our problem. The tradition of our culture is to ban people who drink wine responsibly and let gluttons (those who ABUSE food) take the leadership instead. If the argument had been: "We ban the abuse of alcohol from our premises and dismiss anyone from leadership who abuses it (whether that abuse is getting drunk or causing other brothers to stumble around you), then that would be Biblical. But that is the banning of an abuse, not a "created thing." How about banning gluttons from your church leadership, Volfan? How about banning the eating of food at your church because of its widespread abuse. The problem for me here is that I think you are defining sin as Americans often do: according to the immediate negative effects that sin has on OTHER people. You don't see the abuse of food as having such immediate effects. You therefore don't conjure up resolutions to ban it. But sin is that which is rebellion toward GOD. It abuses and misuses what God has given to us. You are the wrong side of this issue because you are mistaking USE with ABUSE. That is the whole issue here. And because of your definition of sin, you would never apply the same reasoning to most "THINGS" in the world (because you would see the absurdity of that).
Finally, your admition that wine really was alcoholic sets the resolution against Christ Himself, since the resolution deals with ANY alcoholic beverage regardless of its "proof." If you want to ban the use of strong drink as a beverage, I agree. That would be the Biblical thing, since the only purpose for strong drink in the Bible is to get drunk. But the ban of all drinks would cause your church to remove Jesus and the Apostles (and basically everyone in the Bible and in church history) from ministry. That is absurd.

BTW, I hate alcohol (I'm not even sure if I'm spelling it right). I've never liked the taste of it. I think the last time I tried it was when I was about 16 years old. It's no sweat off of me to get rid of it. I care about the issue of setting the standard of righteousness and qualifications of leadership to fit our "throw the baby out with the bathwater" mentality. Do that with all "things" that are abused and at least you will be consistent. Of course, you won't be alive for very long, but such is the path of your righteousness.

volfan007 said...

an autonomous church has every right to demand something out of it's members...it's autonomous. now, you may not be able to say that the bible is clear on that issue. but, the church has every right to require out of it's members whatever it wants to...under the guidelines of scripture of course. if we tell everyone to not use the side door...that we dont want anyone using the side door...we have every right to do so....if your church wants to practice close communion and ours want to practice open communion...we have every right to precede as we feel led of God to do. good grief, charlie brown.


volfan007

bristopoly said...

But, Volfan, you're missing the point. First, we're not just talking about what is a policy issue that urges people to refrain from bringing alcohol on church grounds (although I guess the whole Church would be foolish for having on Church grounds for the past 2,000 years). This is more than a policy issue and turns into a standard of godliness (what is right and wrong in the eyes of God), and that is the problem.

God commanded you not to "look upon as lesser" any brother who uses a "created thing" when he uses it in thanksgiving and for the glory of God. The "side door" analogy only works if anyone who uses the side door is seen as a huge sinner by the church and any leader who uses it is dismissed from leadership because of his lack of Christlikeness (because Christ would never use a side door---side doors are evil within themselves). If someone is abusing the priviledge in a way that is sinful ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE, then that is another matter. But the use of the side door is not sinful within itself. The same goes for wine or any other created thing. To hold a conference then and draw up a resolution that all churches within a denomination should ban the use of side doors everywhere and no leaders be allowed to use sidedoors ANYWHERE (even in their own home) because sidedoors are evil, is just as absurd as the banning of alcoholic beverages ANYWHERE (even in your own home) because drinks are evil.
Don't try to reduce this to a mere local church policy issue. That is not the purpose of the resolution. If I was your pastor, Volfan, could I tell you that you can't have sex with your wife anymore because sex is evil (sex has been so abused in our culture that its better to get rid of it altogether)? That could just be our local church or denominational opinion. Would that be my right as your pastor or our right as a church body to decide what you can do in your own home with a created thing from God, which the Lord has made for us as a good thing? I could argue that people use it for evil too much, therefore it is evil within itself, the Scriptures must be talking about something else when it talks about sex, etc. I would have legion of arguments for you, but in the end, I would be in violation of the Scriptural command that tells me NOT TO JUDGE A BROTHER concerning whether he wants to use a created thing like meat, wine, days, sex, etc. I certainly would direct the use of those things for God's glory and love of the brethren and instruct away from the abuse of them, but to call them evil within themselves and therefore to even just USE them is evil, is to blaspheme the good God by whom all these good things were made and for whom these good things hold a reflection of Him in them.

No church is autonomous from the Scripture. If it is, it's no longer a church. Therefore, no church has the right to disobey it when it says not to judge the servant of another about things that are clean to one and not clean to another/ good for one but not for another. The church that does so is in sin tossing away the COMMAND of the Scripture. And that is the true irony of the whole thing. The real sinners are the ones who passed this resolution and those who agree with it. It has to happen. Whenever one lifts up a manmade idea of righteousness, it will always nullify God's Word. Two objects of equal mass cannot occupy the same space in your life.
Suffice to say, this is an outrageous crime against the Word of God, so "No," your church doesn't have the right to nullify the Word of God for the sake of its popular religion because no one under the Lordship of Christ is autonomous.

Volfan, in your zeal, don't be blinded from the simplicity of Rom 14-15 and 1 Cor 8-9, or you will find yourself fighting against God Himself.

Amicus said...

We are not communicating here. The fact that we are right does not give us license to ignore where our opponents are coming from. Love requires that we listen carefully, even when they slander and abuse us.

Dr Welch's remarks in SBC Life were intemperate, out of line, and hurtful. They wildly misrepresented the truth, and they personally misrepresented you, Dr Ascol. But they were stated in good faith.

How can this be?

We need to go back to one of Volfan's infuriating posts. (Yes, I know, they're all infuriating. That is established. But we can learn from them.)

Yesterday (Aug. 10) at 9:49 a.m, Volfan said,

drinking alcohol for pleasure...to get high...is a sin....ephesians talks about that. drinking alcohol that is diluted...for medicianl purposes, or for cooking, or such would not be sin. drinking alcohol is foolish if not sinful. on that, the bible is clear....it's foolish.
[ellipses in original]

Now let's deconstruct this. In Volfan's universe there are two kinds of alcohol use. The first is diluted and is for medicinal or cooking purposes. The second is the use of alcohol as a beverage, for pleasure, to get high.

Three things should be noticed here. The first is that in Volfan's universe the "not a sin" kind of alcohol use is strictly hypothetical. It is set forth for the purpose of dealing with inconvenient Scriptures that teach that wine is God's blessing. But in Volfan's universe people no longer use alcohol for medicinal purposes, and hardly anybody cooks with it. For sure nobody dilutes it.

Second, and most obviously, the sinful use of alcohol involves using it for pleasure, which means one thing: to get high. Like many Southern Baptists, Volfan himself once used alcohol for this purpose, and he was delivered from it by the power of God. If you say, "Brother, you were delivered from the sin of drunkeness," he will probably ask you what your point is. Because in his world that is what drinking alcoholic beverages is. That is the only reason to drink alcoholic beverages. Those who say they want to allow drinking in moderation obviously mean that they believing in only getting a little high, goofy but not falling down drunk, not so drunk as to beat their wives but high enough to be a danger on the highway. Because that is what drinking is.

If you say, "Wine with dinner is a blessing," Volfan says, why do you have to get high to enjoy dinner? If you say, "I would choose to drink to enjoy this wonderful beverage, not to get high" he will not believe you. To him you are no different than the drunk who says he drinks beer - or whiskey - for the taste.

That is his universe. That is his experience. He will tell you, as a Southern Baptist pastor did me decades ago, that he has seen the effects of alcohol in ruined lives and he would not associate Jesus with such a filthy thing. (BTW, that man was no Armininian - he also explained eternally secure by saying, "if you were saved by your own choice, you can be lost by your own choice", meaning neither was true.)

But the third and perhaps most important thing to notice about Volfan's universe is that it is extremely large. It is not, no matter what we would like to think, just an odd corner of his small mind. It includes not only most of the rural "Southland" that is the heartland of our denomination, but also, I submit, a large hunk of all of the United States, especially of what is known (with exquisite irony) as "red America". Bobby Welch lives there, along with very many of the best members of our churches.

They simply cannot separate alcoholic beverages from drunkeness, and therefore they do not believe that refusing to condemn the use of alcoholic beverages is anything less than approval of drunkeness.

I know Volfan, and Dr Welch, and the majority of the SBC of 2006 are mistaken. I know their position is irrational and not Scriptural. But this is the universe they live in, with some of the most serious Christians we know, Christians who will be open to our message of reformation if we speak the truth in love from Scripture, if we teach patiently, and if we don't push minor issues at the beginning of the struggle, which is where we still are.

The task of reforming the church under the Word of God is an enormous one. There are some important spiritual battles to be fought. But this one - this is not the hill on which I plan to die.

SBC IS BAPTIST said...

volfan007
Pro 26:4 - Answer not a fool according to his folly,....

Sometimes a fool, or wicked man, is not to be answered at all; as the ministers of Hezekiah answered not a word to Rabshakeh; nor Jeremiah the prophet to Hananiah; nor Christ to the Scribes and Pharisees; and when an answer is returned, it should not be in his foolish way and manner, rendering evil for evil, and railing for railing, in the same virulent, lying, calumniating, and reproachful language;

lest thou also be like unto him; lest thou also, who art a man of understanding and sense, and hast passed for one among men, come under the same imputation, and be reckoned a fool like him.

Tom said...

Amicus:

I understand your point. I also have no interest in belaboring the prohibition resolution. As volfan demonstrates, it is almost impossible for critics of it to be understood by those who are championing it. I wish the issue of alcohol was not associated with, what to me is the real issue. The real issue is the sufficiency of the Word of God. That is why I think the resolution was poorly worded. Bobby Welch's comments may make perfect sense in the kind of world that you described, but that is not the real world and the Bible calls us to live in the only world their is.

Again, I appreciate your effort to promote understanding. But your gracious explanation of why people like volfan take the positions they do and make the accusations they make could equally be applied to Arius and Socinus. Your observations help promote understanding but, as you clearly state, it does not excuse the erroneous views of those who espouse them.

Thanks for your comment.

Bill Formella said...

I have felt for a long time that there is a relationship between the abstinance position and anti-calvinism. If you listen to the preaching on either position it is usually characterized by a quick departure from scripture in favor of emotionally charged statements intended to stir up the crowd.

I think Bobby Welch is just demonstrating what I have seen out of most SBC'ers in recent years. They passionately want to hold to their traditions in spite of what scripture teaches, or doesn't teach.

I can't help but wonder when obesity will disqualify one for leadership. Of course food is a need. But is that sugary gel that is sandwiched between the crust and the pecans really necessary? Yet those who go back for a third piece sit in leadership positions within SBC churches all over the south. Heaven forbid some fit person should pick up a glass of wine once in a while.

By the way, my dad was an abusive alcoholic and had a severe impact on my life. However, alcohol wasn't his problem, just the chosen instrument. After "recovering" from alcoholism, he quickly moved to other methods of masking his pain. The options seem endless.

Bill Formella said...

I've also wondered if there is a relationship between alcoholism in America and sexual perversion among Roman Catholic priests. The abstinance position was largely an American phenomenon, yet we have the highest rate of alcoholism of any industrialized nation. The Roman Catholic church has a number of very spiritually sounding reasons for prohibiting Priests from marrying, yet look at the perversion that followed.

Someone once said, "When man takes a blessing of God and calls it evil, unimagined perversion is the end result."

Byroniac said...

Colossians 2:20-23 (NASB)

20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as,

21 "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!"

22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)--in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?

23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

to-obey-is-better said...

Good post.

I've enjoyed reading and reflecting on the different comments.

One favor?

Please ignore volfan007's posts! You will never convince this person of anything. He is stuck in his ways. Just ignore him and maybe he'll go away when he gets no more response. I'm tired of him hijacking so many different sites by his comments.

By all means let him comment, but please don't reply!

In Him,

(Yes, my name links to nothing. I choose to post anonymously because I'm working overseas in a high security region with the IMB...I'll be happy to email my i.d to Tom A. if need be, just so someone knows I'm real; I just don't want an issue made over me posting anon. when volfan007 does as well!)

C. T. Lillies said...

I agree with this last comment about vol except vol's name links to nothing as well. The problem is that he and many anonymous posters like him are banging away with an "if you don't like it get out" mentality. Just because they're anonymous doesn't mean no one's listening. Thats the last thing we need is a convention split, which is what he's discussed here.

Much Grace
Josh

Sonya D said...

To-Obey-Is-Better,
Thank you! I couldn't agree more.

Amicus said...

Bill,

Your suggestion about a link between legalism and alcoholism is intriguing. However, your statement that the US has the highest alcoholism rate of any industrialized nation may be a stretch. Encyclopedia Brittanica says that our rate of alcoholism is about equal to that of most of western Europe and lower than that of eastern Europe, but then goes on to say that alcoholism statistics are unreliable because of differences in definitions and reporting. (See their article at http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-251754?hook=876794) Your basic point is sound, but you overstated your case.

Tom,
Indeed an understanding of why men arrive at error does not excuse error. And of course, experience does not determine truth, which is objective. I did not mean to suggest otherwise. I did mean to suggest that the people who oppose us on this issue are not necessarily acting in bad faith or with ill will.

reform the sbc said...

Jesus made wine,
Jesus drank wine,
and Jesus made wine for people to drink.

The SBC does not want any leaders that do this. Jesus was our ultimate leader. Do they want to exclude him also?

SavedandSure said...

Ah, dear brothers, but Welch and others are privileged to spread their views (good and bad) in the widely circulated official magazine (Southern Baptist Life) of the Southern Baptist Convention -

and none of you have that splendid opportunity.

Most of you guys cannot even get your letters printed in your state Baptist papers.

I have had numerous letters and articles REJECTED by the "powers that be."

But I persevere and occasionally one of them gets accepted.

Press on!

pastorleap said...

Enough has been said already about the scriptural inadequacy of volfan (and Welch's) position, but I would like to comment on one other thing that he states.

How DARE you volfan, stand there behind your cowardly anonymity and rebuke all of us and challenge us to get out of SBC churches b/c of our reformed and biblical positions. Do you really have the audacity to believe that your brand of narrow fundamentalism should define what is and is NOT "Baptist?" Sir, not only are you ignorant concerning the scriptures, but you are ignoring huge chunks of Baptist history. Might I remind you of a few things.

1. The supporters of this site are the ones championing HISTORIC Baptist confessions of faith, and holding that which is in line with our Baptist fathers and the founders of Southern Baptist life. Read the confessions. Furthermore, our positions are much more in line with mainstream evangelicalism than your fundamentalist rants. Your Finneyistic, revivalist, post-prohibition, Landmarkist fundamentalism is really quite new on the radar of historic theology, and you DARE rant and rave at US to go and join the Presbyterians?!?!

2. I am BAPTIST. Always have been. Always will be. I do not hold the type of covenant theology that supports or excuses the baptism of babies. I believe in the full immersion of professing adults who show evidence of regeneration. It's called the NEW COVENANT, and I believe it. For you to continually spout-off that all who believe in reformed theology and chamption Christian liberty are Presbyterian, Episcopalian, or other "less than baptist" is faulty. I could just as easily (and consistently) point out that you would be MUCH better suited for membership in a Nazarene church, Freewill Baptist church or perhaps even a Pentecostal one. Don't assume that because I am not "your type" of Baptist (or Welch's, or Caner's, etc...) that I am not Baptist. I assure you that I have much more of a leg to stand on in this area than you do, sir. BTW...in a recent research project that I wrote about 18th/19th century frontier Baptist ministers (of both the particular and general persuasion) I found it interesting that on the frontier, it was COMMON to pay one's minister with the supplies of daily life, including (often) whiskey and/or other "spirits." Sorry volfan, it wasn't just those "evil non-baptist Puritans" who promoted a healthy understanding of Christian liberty in their enjoyment of alcohol, it was also enjoyed by our Baptist forefathers. For reference sake, see Chester Raymond Young's "Baptists on the American Frontier" a firsthand account by John Taylor. You have neither exegesis, nor (pre-prohibition) history on your side sir. In an irony of ironies, it was a Baptist preacher, (actually brothers) Lewis and Elijah Craig, who stumbled upon the "recipe" for bourbon when their whiskey barrels were charred in a barn fire. The whiskey aged in a charred barrel became what we call today bourbon. As I have stated before, I am a TOTAL ABSTAINER, A TEE-TOTALER, AND I PREACH TOTAL ABSTINENCE FROM ALCOHOL (just to be clear), but I do so as practical wisdom, not as a legalistic condition for salvation or test of fellowship.

3. I cannot help but be awed at the logic of an earlier poster who pointed out that by your (erroneous) logic, the SBC is now in the precarious position of having voted to remain dishonest in its reporting of statistics! Bravo! So true!

4. Volfan, your logic is astounding in more areas than one! No, autonomy of the local body does NOT mean that churches are free to believe or hold WHATEVER THEY WANT! Christ is the head and Lord of the church, and the Word of God is our governing charter. If 95% of my congregation votes to march in the local "Pro-choice" rally, that still doesn't make it right. Majority rule does not equal biblical fidelity. Remember, a majority of Americans did not believe that African Americans were fully human in the 19th century. They were DEAD WRONG! A majority of Americans today (supposedly) support Abortion. Majority consensus does not make something right. Being autonomous, the church still has an obligation to be biblical, otherwise, it ceases to be the church at all. If your church votes 99% to remove all cigarette smokers, then I believe it would be their democratic RIGHT (in a free society) but also their spiritual undoing, making them apostate because they are making salvation conditional on something to which the scriptures does not speak! Cults are autonomous too volfan, but they are not biblical. I am not even going to dignify the "side door" thing...someone else has already addressed it.

5. If I seem a bit angry...I am. I am sick of good ole' boys with their skewed logic and unbiblical legalism slandering brothers in the faith for their positions. Though I have respect for my elders and my brethren, I am greatly disappointed with Pastor Welch's comments, and I am sure that a great number of pastors will see them as a springboard to make this an even more divisive issue. BTW...Stein's article (linked above) IS helpful. It demonstrates for us that even those of us championing liberty have no grounds on which to justify any type of alcoholic intoxication. Furthermore, I think it definitively settles the issue concerning the use of fermented beverages by both Jesus and the apostles, all of which would have been excluded from most "loyal" SB churches today. Absolutely outrageous.

Volfan, If you had the courage and/or integrity to reveal yourself, I would gladly confront you "to the face" about your wild rants, which are divisive, and show no true desire for exchange or growth, but only seek to "stir the pot." Since you have neither, I will have to be satisfied with this response.

If ever you should want to dialogue with me, I am:
Terry Leap, pastor of FBC Grayson, KY. Right on I-64, East of Lexington, West of Ashland, in a DRY COUNTY (carter), in rural mountainous, Appalachian Eastern KY. I am in my office almost every day, and not afraid to stand behind my positions. I am a born-again Christian, a Biblicist, a Baptist, a Southern Baptist, a Soul-winner, a Calvinist, a believer in Christian liberty, and a pastor.

I will not continue to allow you or your type to take any of that away from me.

I wish you all the Melchizedkian blessings in the world, brother.

volfan007 said...

pastorleap,

have you ever heard of self righteous condemnation and being judgemental. you have it, bro.

also, i never made not drinking alcohol a condition of being saved. you obviously are not reading my post correctly.

i am not a landmark baptist.

does your church practice closed communion, or close communion, or open communion? your church is autonomous. it can choose which one it beleives is the best way to practice it. i have not ever told anyone that they were lost for smoking cigs..lol....they may smell like they have been to hell though. i am not saying that a church can change the clear, black and white teachings of the bible...good gracious! i am talking about things that may not be clear in scripture but are important to a person, or a church, or a denomination. if we want to say that people that drink alcohol cant be in leadership positions in the sbc.....we can...and did. accept it. that's the way we feel about it. we believe that the scripture backs that up. we didnt tell them that they were lost....we didnt tell them that they couldnt be southern baptists.....we just voted that they could not be in leadership positions. you really need to understand things before you go off on a condemning tirade. dont you think?

whatever some baptists believed in the past is worthy of study. we can learn from them. it doe not mean that they were right. in fact, many of them were wrong about a lot of things. i am concerned with what the sbc is now...today. i want us to be all that God wants us to be today. i want us to be true to the bible today. we are not reformed. we are not five pointers...nor do we...the majority...want to be. the place that you fit better in this day and age is with the presbyterians. that's my simple, humble, country boy observation and recommendation. you are free to do whatever you want to, of course. oops, did i say free....sorry....hope i didnt offend you.

listen, bro. i dont give out personal info online at no time..with no one .....and i wont apologize for that. there are too many kooks and nuts and criminals out there. so, i choose to be anonymous....at all times online. sorry if you cant understand that and want to call me names because of it. God bless you, bro. i really mean it. i dont fight with you. i have no ill feelings in my heart towards you, nor to other five pointers in here. i just pray that the Lord will lead yall out of the extreme and into the truth. i do appreciate one thing about yall...well, really two. one is that yall get people to search the bible and respect it. the other one is that you all have made people think harder about doctrines that are many times overlooked by a lot of pastors....the doctrines of predestination and election and the sovereignty of God. thanks for that much.


well, it's time for this vol fan to rustle up some vittles and drink some sweet tea,

volfan007

IN HIS NAME said...

Could volfan007 really be P.P.

kradzo said...

volfan007, your comment of 9:49 AM, August 10, 2006, seems to be more on the line of an ad hominem attack and NOT a civil debate.

You imply that many of us here are drinkers. Do you know this for a fact? If not, you are making unfounded allegations which is unbiblical. The biblical course would to be to go to them personally first.

The issue of Presbyterians and pedobaptism is NOT at issue in this debate, the debate is on res5 and alcohol. I suggest that you stay focused on the question at hand and quit the sarcastic personal attacks - that is just the sign of a weak argument.

What sarcastic personal attack? I submit a sample of your sarcasm and ad hominem attack here:

ps. granpappy wants to start a branch of your church, wade, in his holler. he has the still fired up and ready to go.

If you are unable to control your hatred or disdain of people, it would be better to just not say anything.

Finally, the constant heaping of "blessings" you shower on people here is so offset by your sarcasm and biting remarks that your blessings appear to be insincere. It has been my experience that people who make a big show of their magnaminity are often the shallowest and most insincere of all. I hope it is not that way with you.

I suggest, volfan007, that you need some knee time before God and repent of your spiteful attitude to those who are brothers in Christ.

Jesse - from the corn fields of Missouri!

johnMark said...

bristopoly,

You said, "No church is autonomous from the Scripture. If it is, it's no longer a church. Therefore, no church has the right to disobey it when it says not to judge the servant of another about things that are clean to one and not clean to another/ good for one but not for another."

I say amen! This is one of the main points Vos makes in "The Bible Doctrine of the Seperated Life" at http://www.the-highway.com/separated_Vos.html
Wouldn't any biblicist agree?

pastorleap, I fully understand your post to volfan. I'm sure you know you're not alone.

Mark

volfan007 said...

kradzo,

i dont hate anybody. i am not mad at anyone...well, at least not right now i aint. i hold no grudges in my heart towards anyone. the Lord knows my heart. you do not.

my statement about granpappy and the still was a tongue in cheek statement to show the folly of wade's view on alcohol. that's all. i am sorry that you saw it as more.

also, my blessings are sincere. i do not take them lightly. in fact, the bible teaches us to bless those who treat us bad. that's what i try to do.


john mark,

pastorleap didnt know what he was talking about. he was just mad and blowing off steam about things that he didnt even understand. i agree with you that no church is autonomous from the bible. we should try our deadlevel best to be all that the bible tells us to be. but, in some things...in some unclear, gray areas...we have freedom...oops..i mean, personal convictions. and, some churches sprinkle while others immerse. they may both love the Lord and be great churches. some practice closed communion and some practice open communion....they may both love the Lord and are going to heaven. some churches may choose to meet at 9 am...while others choose to meet at 11 am. that's fine.

some churches may hold to no liquor using for leaders....some may not. i hold with those who beleive in no liquor users being in leadership positions...and i will encourage my members to not drink alcohol. i believe that the bible teaches against using intoxicating drink for pleasure. that it's absolutely foolish. you may not beleive that way. your church may not believe that way. i think you're wrong, but you have the right to go that road if you so choose, oops..i mean, feel led.

there are some things that we must believe in order to be brothers in Christ. there are some other things that we can disagree on and still love each other and worship together. there are other things that we can still love each other if we disagree...but, they may cause us to not be able to worship and serve in the same church. but, i would still consider you my bro. in Christ. i consider you five pointers my bro.'s in Christ....but, i would not want to be in your church. comprende?


adios mi hermanos,

volfano 007

Byroniac said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Byroniac said...

Volfan007:

kradzo,

i dont hate anybody. i am not mad at anyone...well, at least not right now i aint. i hold no grudges in my heart towards anyone. the Lord knows my heart. you do not.


That's true, Volfan. None of us can judge your heart except God. However, we CAN judge your words and hold you responsible for what you communicate, and several here have been doing precisely that (with some accuracy, I might add).

my statement about granpappy and the still was a tongue in cheek statement to show the folly of wade's view on alcohol. that's all. i am sorry that you saw it as more.

No, it wasn't. It did nothing to address the basic argument or its Scriptural concerns. It was simply an ad hominem character assault impugning the motives of the person it was directed against (and indirectly of your grandfather, too, I might add). It was simply analyzed and rejected for what it was.

also, my blessings are sincere. i do not take them lightly. in fact, the bible teaches us to bless those who treat us bad. that's what i try to do.

That's great, and I'm glad to hear it. However, in the main, I have only seen you make proud, self-righteous, insulting statements and suffer well-earned rebuke for them. Then you respond with wounded indignation, when all that is wanted is repentance and for you to treat us as Christian brothers and sisters, if indeed we truly are such in your eyes.

in some unclear, gray areas...we have freedom...oops..i mean, personal convictions...[later]...i think you're wrong, but you have the right to go that road if you so choose, oops..i mean, feel led.

Now you're just being silly. I don't believe there is a one of us who would deny human responsibility and the fact men make real choices for which they are held accountable. You have erected straw men and proceeded to ridicule them. I'll charitably say that at best this reveals a misunderstanding of Reformed Theology, and leave it at that.

there are other things that we can still love each other if we disagree...but, they may cause us to not be able to worship and serve in the same church.

I don't begrudge this, when necessary, though it is disheartening. It is especially a shame that such discord should occur over such a topic as this. To borrow some terminology from Jonathan Edwards, far more heat than light has been generated on this issue, which ought to have focused on the teachings of Scripture rather than the motives and character of individuals on either side of the issue.

Volfan, now I want to make an appeal to you, who might be my elder brother in Christ, and a Christian minister called to the defense and work of the Gospel. Would you permit the same behavior in a church member you have at times exhibited here, without rebuking if necessary and counseling the individual for his or her spiritual good? You have given no good reason to my memory (which is sometimes faulty) to operate here under a cloak of anonymity. Then several times you make the kind of statements I personally feel you would not make publicly or directly. I'm going to be rather blunt and say that without a changed attitude on your part and a willingness to address the issues and relevant Scriptures with meaningful, respectful interaction, I fail to see how your presence here or communication has much benefit for such people as myself who desire to read and engage in genuine dialogue.

Perhaps I'm hoping for too much, but I hope some of this eventually gets through to you.

Byroniac said...

Volfan007:

ps. granpappy wants to start a branch of your church, wade, in his holler. he has the still fired up and ready to go.

I can see where you are coming from in the distillery illustration, now. However, it starts off assuming what it is trying to prove: alcohol drinking is inherently evil (false premise), therefore (reasoning from the false starting assumption), manufacturing alcohol for personal consumption is bad, especially since it could lead to the (sinful excess) of drunkenness. First, a distinction must be made (and can be, Scripturally) between drunkenness and alcohol consumption, and secondly, consumption does not automatically lead to or require drunkenness. The illustration as it stands fail to address the debate adequately (or Scripturally).

fred said...

Brothers, I probably more than most can speak of the negative affects of the abuse of alcohol.

On October 12, 1985 my oldest brother, 26 years old then, stopped at a bar after work just down the block from where he was employed. After several hours and many drinks, he became intoxicated. That evening he left the bar and was killed less than a mile away when he drove his car into a bridge abutment.

Though not a Christian then, as I looked at my brother in his casket, I vowed to never drink alcohol again. I said then to him that his death would not be in vain. A few weeks later, inside a small Baptist church at the other end of the very bridge my brother lost his life, Jesus saved my soul.

As you might have expected, I was very intolerant of those who consumed alcohol after being converted. You could not have imagined the shock and disbelief I had when I learned that two Deacons and their wives while at home drank beer.

It took some time for God to change my attitude about alcohol. The biggest breakthrough came when I was greatly humbled by the Lord. In my search for the TRUE, I was permitted by God's grace to discover a little book by Martin Luther called "The Bondage of the Will". My life has never been the same since.

That book helped me for the first time truly see myself as possessing no righteousness. I didn't smoke, cuss, or drink, and for along time I thought that that was why God was pleased with me, why He loved me. I was truly in bondage however, because I did not understand the grace of my loving Father up until then.

I am in liberty now because of Christ. No, I still have not had a drink of alcohol and most likely never will. My choice!

I am a paramedic and can speak from experience and some authority as to the dangers associated with alcohol abuse. I have seen many hundreds of lives negatively affected by alcohol and I agree with the word of God, drunkenness is a sin.

I am going on record as stating that I oppose this resolution on the grounds that it is over-reaching, self-serving, and un-biblical. Dr. Welch and all others who backed this resolution are in error. Also, I watched the video of the discussion on the floor in Greensboro, and it is truly shameful that Dr. Welch has misrepresented others the way he has.

Fred Greene
Deacon
Parsons Baptist Church (SBC)
Columbus, Ohio

One Salient Oversight said...

Funny how Volfan and his ilk do not interact with the Bible at all.

Deuteronomy 14.22-26 gives Israel permission to make wine and other fermented drink.

Psalm 104.15 states that God gives wine to gladden the heart of man.

All the anti-wine verses are not anti-wine, they are anti-drunkeness.

The bible's message is clear - you can drink alcohol if you want to, but if you get drunk you're sinning.

Anything else is not biblical. Volfan does not believe the bible.

volfan007 said...

one salient,

you really need a new pic, bro.

i believe that bible with all my heart. i would imagine...from looking at your pic....that i have studied the bible for hundreds of hours more than you have. i am not bragging....i am just telling you my qualifications. i have studied the bible for thousands of hours on sermons and lessons....in seminary...in personal study and devotion...i have read it strait thru thirteen times..working on the fourteenth.

but, yall in here are much smarter than i am. you all have studied and are smarter....i am just a plain ole hillbilly with a country boy's understanding of the bible. but, i do know the Lord and i love Him and i beleive His book.

and, the Lord has led me away from the extreme of five pointism. and, the Lord has taught me...from verses in proverbs 20 and other places...that a fool drinks intoxicating drink for pleasure..to get high. all the alcohol of today is far more intoxicating than what they had back then. but, if you want to mix your mogan david with four or five parts water....go for it. you and granpappy will have a great time. he will bring a liquid substance that resembles water....but boy......it's not!


love and blessings,

volfan007

pastorleap said...

Volfan, your response was just about as I had expected…a lot of hot air lacking any substance. After claiming that “pastorleap doesn’t know what he is talking about,” you failed to respond to any of my observations. The only thing that you got right was pointing out that I was angry and blowing off steam, a point which I admitted in my post. As far as me being “self-righteous,” and “judgmental,” I neither exalted my own righteousness nor condemned you to Hades for your beliefs. It is called “dialogue” my friend. It happens a lot here at the Founders site and sometimes it gets heavy because we deal with heavy issues. I find it ironic that you do not hesitate to bring your cynical comments to the post and then proceed to speak your mind on positions, but then as soon as someone else does, you retreat to calling them “self-righteous” and “judgmental.” No volfan, as skewed as I believe some of your positions are, I do not “judge” you, nor “condemn” you, and I SURELY don’t think that I am some kind of super-righteous giant. I simply confronted your positions by stating mine. Here again, the irony is that just a few months ago, you were on here championing your hero Ergun “Pitbull” Caner, and arguing in his defense. My language was very tame compared to the caustic venom he spews forth toward all who dare oppose him, but you rebuke me as “self-righteous” and “judgmental” and believe Ergun is some kind of spiritual hero.

You constantly used the term “we” to describe those who supported the resolution and oppose Calvinism as if that means “the WHOLE SBC.” Obviously it doesn’t. There is great division on these issues and those who opposed the resolution were not some tiny minority. Please stop assuming when you talk that you represent the WHOLE of SB life; you do not. Again though, being in the minority on some of these issues does nothing to convince me that that minority position is wrong, it just proves to me that there is still so much teaching to be done in the average SB church.

I never stated that you made abstinence from alcohol a condition for salvation (so I didn’t read your post incorrectly), I was merely pointing out that some do. Further, when a denomination states that people cannot serve in leadership positions due to the fact that they hold to X (fill in the blank), when in fact X is something of a totally extra-biblical nature (i.e. long hair, KJV Bible use, social drinking, casual dress, etc…), then the denomination is absolutely establishing a LEGALISTIC precedent. I am not an antinomian either, I believe in the boundaries that scripture establishes, but this is precisely the point on the casual drinking issue…the Bible does not establish a boundary that says “thou shalt NEVER enjoy a fermented and/or alcoholic beverage.” According to Grenz’s “Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms,” legalism is defined as “the attitude that identifies morality with the strict observance of laws or that views adherence to moral codes as defining the boundaries of a community (i.e. SBC). Religious legalism focuses on obedience to laws or moral codes based on the misguided assumption that such obedience is a means of gaining divine favor.” (72) The SBC with this latest resolution has indeed sought to define the boundaries of its community by requiring adherence to a law that is extra-biblical. They have laid the groundwork for making it a clear test of fellowship in the SBC and even though it would never affect me personally (I told you, I don’t drink at all), it bothers me that they are seeking to establish this kind of legalistic precedent. Besides making us look like fools to the world, what good can come of it? Where will it lead to next? Will there be a resolution next year against tattoos? What about a resolution on Bible versions? When will there be a motion for a revision of the constitution and bylaws to exclude from SB fellowship anyone who drinks socially?

Why is it not plain enough to you volfan, that Paul’s weeping over Israel’s rejection of the Messiah in Romans 10:1-4 was based on the fact that they had missed God’s righteousness and sought to establish their own? Is Galatians 3:1-14 not plain enough for you? Do you not trust the Spirit of God to convict and lead where the Word of God is not abundantly plain? Do you really believe God’s words to Peter in Acts 10:15? Why does the leadership of the SBC call “unclean” or “common” individuals whom God has pronounced “clean” by the blood of Christ? Is the logic of Romans 14-15 really so difficult that you cannot comprehend it, so you instead establish man-made laws to “protect” God’s people? Did not Paul make himself clear by teaching these things a second time in I Corinthians 8-10?

I doubt that you will engage these questions, as you are notorious for dodging those pesky little scripture references that bother you so much. But I implore you to study them closely before you respond to me by blustering “pastorleap doesn’t know what he is talking about!” or “he is just venting!”

The real reason that I posted was to hear your response on a number of issues that you failed to engage. Please consider them once again.
1. How is it that the total abstinence view is void of almost any support throughout church history? Except that is, for the support that is given by post-prohibition fundamentalists? Could it be that the “total abstinence to be truly spiritual” argument is relatively new and more of a cultural phenomenon growing out of American Fundamentalism than it is a long-held position of the church? I agree that not everything that is historical is correct, but red-flags go up in my mind when someone or some group holds a position that is largely unheard of previous generations of Christians! BTW…this type of arrogance is far greater than any self-righteousness I demonstrated in my post.
2. You still haven’t explained on just what grounds you were challenging me and others to “leave Baptist life and become Presbyterians.” How can I be a Presbyterian (even though I respect them highly) when I hold exclusively to regenerate church membership and congregational polity? How can I be Presbyterian when I reject their view of Covenant Theology?
3. Who on this blog holds closer to the historic confessions of Southern Baptists? You? Or the myriads of men and women who post here who study and defend our historic confessions, which are unarguably Calvinistic, Evangelical, and Baptist?
4. BTW…why don’t you just join a Nazarene church? They are much more legalistic than us “sipping saints” and they are thoroughly Arminian. I genuinely thought they would suit your taste better than Baptists?!
5. By the same logic you use to assume that all of us who opposed the resolution are “sipping saints,” how can all of those who opposed the integrity in membership resolution escape the judgment of God for supporting the continual practice of lying and misrepresentation? (btw…I realize they didn’t do this, but it is logically consistent according to Volfan’s logic!)
6. Can a professing Christian join your church if they announce up-front that they enjoy an occasional glass of wine with their meal? Can they serve in leadership positions in your church? If no, then you are not dealing with an issue of “autonomy” (as you put it), but you are rather adding to the gospel something that is not required by the scriptures and something that should be left up to the leadership of the Spirit. Could they?
7. Would you also support a resolution banning from leadership in the SBC all those who overeat? Smoke? Have tattoos? Hold to 5-point Calvinism? (I just couldn’t resist that one) What is next for the SBC?

Until you are willing to deal with these questions and address these scriptures, please don’t come blustering back about how “self-righteous” and “judgmental” we Calvinists are. Just deal with these real issues, and we will all be enlightened.

IN HIS NAME said...

volfan007
SAYS: I have studied the bible for hundreds of hours more than you have. i am not bragging....i am just telling you my qualifications. i have studied the bible for thousands of hours on sermons and lessons....in seminary...in personal study and devotion...i have read it strait thru thirteen times..working on the fourteenth.


SAD,SAD,SAD, That the HOLY SPIRIT
did not reveal GOD'S WORD to you and write on your Heart, from what one read in your comments.

A Brother for TRUTH

volfan007 said...

pastorleap,

wow, what a diatribe! i have just one question for you...does your church practice, open communion, or close communion, or closed communion? which one?

now, this aint a requirement for salvation. i aint being legalistic. but, your church has certainly chosen one to practice, has it not? the bible didnt tell you which one to practice...your church chose to do it that way. correct?

your church is not adding to,nor subtracting from the bible to choose which way to do communion. it's up to you all's conviction on the matter..right? well, our sbc is not saying that people arent saved who sip a little ripple. we are just saying that we dont want them to be missionaries, nor be in leadership positions if they drink alcohol for pleasure...to get high, or happy. our sbc has every right to do this narrowing of the boundaries if we see that it's the best way for us to be...which we did. there's nothing legalistic about it. there's nothing mean about it. there's nothing wrong with it. it's how our sbc believed was what was best for our sbc. in our humble opinion(the 85 to 90%) of the people who voted for the resolution, we believe that the bible teaches that it's foolish to drink alcohol for pleasure..to get high...to get happy. we didnt want anyone who couldnt see that to be in leadership positions, no more than we'd want arminians writing our ss literature and saying that you can lose your salvation....no more than we'd want missionaries who didnt believe in immersion as the proper, scriptural way to baptise.

pastorleap,
i really dont understand all the anger and bitterness, bro. and, when talking about quoting verses and discussing them...what's the use? they have been discussed up one hill and down the other so many times that a trail has been beaten down. i could quote you verses and respond to the ones you quote from now til the sun sets and rises...and you will not change nor see it clear until the Lord opens your eyes.

well, enough...i have just about written as much as pastorleap.

love and grace to you,

volfan007

pastorleap said...

Volfan, my dear brother, There you go again!!!...WHAT ANGER AND BITTERNESS!?!?!?

Throughout the entirety of my earlier post, I was not angry or bitter...but I suppose you can make that empty charge and attempt to make me look bad If that helps your position.

BTW...We practice close communion. However, we do not exclude from our membership those who disagree. Nor do we keep them from leadership positions in our church. Better yet, we don't break fellowship with churches that differ with us on this issue. Because it is an area left open to interpretation, we don't seek to establish a law about how it is to be done. Judging issues of polity (how we do that which the Bible is not clear on) is different than judging someone unfit for service over a legalistic issue.

I answered your question, dear friend, now will you answer mine? Could a social drinker join your church? I already know how you feel about discussing the scriptures (from your last post...btw...why should a man with such great Bible knowledge NOT share it with the rest of us...and you accused ME of self-righteousness...geez) but will you at least answer a question about church-life???

Happily and lovingly yours in Christ!

volfan007 said...

pastorleap,

it's nice to see you without the anger. now, you seem like your pic...smiling. that's good.

i would not exclude a social drinker from being a member of my church. no. but, i would not want them to be a ss teacher or a deacon or a staff member. and, i would encourage them to not drink alcohol for pleasure...it's foolish. and, i would not really want anyone to be a fool....would you?

let me ask you another one. would you let someone who taught that you could lose thier salvation teach or be a church leader?

now, i must brave the hot, southern sun and cut my grass...not weed...grass...well, there are a few weeds...you know what i mean.
grace to you,


volfan007

Byroniac said...

Volfan007:

1 Timothy 5:1 (WEB)

Don’t rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father; the younger men as brothers;


I apologize for my harsh tone. I read the Scripture above and felt convicted. Though we are going to disagree on some things, that's OK. May you find all of your satisfaction in Christ alone, brother.

--
Byron

Scott Bridges said...

Forgive the off-topic question (well, not completely off topic):

Does anyone know if and where the SBC Annual Reports can be found online? PDF would be wonderful. Thanks ahead of time,

Scotty

bristopoly said...

Volfan,
I think you are mistaken on two points:

1. You seem to be applying Rom 14-15 to groups (like a local church body) when it is talking to individuals within a local body. Paul is telling individual Christians that they are not to judge others IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY concerning their use of wine, food, holy days, etc. So once again, according to Scripture (being the Biblicist that I am), the local church has not right to tell another individual (teacher or not) whether they can use a good created thing or not. The church is the mouth of God when it speaks His Word. When it doesn't, it loses all authority.

2. The issues you bring up of how a church (as the body) conducts a corporate worship issue has nothing to do with what we are talking about. This has to do with what a man is allowed to use in life (in his own home), not what the church as a gathered assembly will do on such and such occasion.

Finally, I wanted to mention that I think your view of salvation is skewed to mean "I get to go to heaven." Salvation is redeemed to become like Christ. How does one become like Christ? Through faith. Can your Sunday School teacher be like Christ if he has faith and drinks wine (not in order to get drunk) at dinner? If you say "No," then you have fallen into the error of the Galatian Judaizers and the Gnostics, since you now are denying that one becomes like Christ through faith and not the abstention from using created things. If you say, "Yes," your argument falls apart. One like Christ should be able to become pastors, ss teachers, presidents of the SBC, etc.
Before you say Christ would never be foolish and drink wine for pleasure, it would be a good thing for you to review the Wedding at Cana.
Your view of salvation also seems to be merely vertical and lacks the horizontal reconciliation between us as brothers. If salvation means I fellowship with and accept Christians with all preferences as equal in Christ (and judge them by their faith in Christ and not their responsible use of things), then I will accept and fellowship with pastors, ss teachers, etc. in my own congregation, and this will not be an issue. If I think you are like Christ based on your use of created things (like Gnostics and Judaizers), then I will not want you as my pastor, ss teacher, SBC president, etc.

So which one is it?

volfan007 said...

brist,

would you want a weed smoker to teach a ss class? or, to be a deacon? there is nothing in the bible against smoking a little weed.

also, every church is autonomous, and it decides things like who the pastor will be...what style of worship they will have....where they will stand on the communion issue...what kind of baptisms they will accept and those they wont....what color the carpet will be...etc.

i agree with you that the church....every church...ought to base what it does on the clear teachings of the bible. but, there are many things that the bible is not crystal clear about. on those things....a church must decide what they are gonna do. baptists do certain things one way...presbyterians do it another...some bible believing methodists do it another way.

and, that's ok. yall may want to baptise in a creek only...no baptistry in the church. yall may feel strong about that...ok. that's fine. baptise in a creek. there's nothing in the bible about that. there's nothing wrong with that. i like having a baptistry myself...but whatever. your church would have to decide on that, and would have every right to do so...on non essential..unclear things.


the sbc also has the right to say that we dont want to have arminians in leadership positions...or that we dont want drinkers being missionaries....that its that important to us. we are not saying that they are not saved...no one is kicking them out of the sbc...we just dont feel that they should be leaders.

i will bet that your church has some things that are not clearly spelled out in the bible...but yall feel that its important. like, some churches make people go thru a new members class before they can join. where's that in the bible?

also, there's nothing skewed about getting to go to heaven. i want to go to heaven...dont you?

also, Jesus never drank intoxicating drink for pleasure... never...the bible teaches that it's foolish to drink fermented, undiluted grape juice. i for one will not call Jesus a fool. maybe you will....i wont. Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and He is holy.

well, enough...i have got to get back to work,

volfan007

bethel said...

volfan007,
It sounds like you have never studied the 5 points of Calvinism. Go back and review those points again. There is a big difference between your views and mine. When it is 5 feet of snow on the ground, you will have to wade through it to witness to someone because you might say something to change their thinking about Christ. Yet when it is 5 feet of snow on the ground, i can stay home in the nice, warm house because I don't have the pressure to win someone in order to report a number to the SBC like you do.

Tom said...

Bethel:

I hope you mispoke. Your willingness to let 5 feet of snow keep you in your warm, comfortable house instead of witnessing to those who are lost betrays a far different spirit than that of the Apostle Paul. He prefaces his most ardent teaching about God's absolute sovereignty in salvation with these words,

“I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,”
(Romans 9:1-3).

If that spirit doesn't live in us--or if we do not at least aspire to it--then it is doubtful whether we hold our theological convictions with the same insight that Paul did.

pastormike543 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
isaiah543 said...

anybody else getting the sneaking suspicion that volfan is a bot?

volfan007 said...

isaiah,

i dont know what a bot is...but i aint one. i am a man!


volfan007

pastorleap said...

Volfan,

Your analogy (would I let someone teach who believed in falling from grace) is like comparing apples to oranges. This is so for a number of reasons:
1. Eternal salvation is a matter of theological orthodoxy, the issue of social drinking is not.

2. Eternal salvation is clearly a matter that is adequately attested to in the scriptures, and once again...the issue of an occasional drink is clearly NOT. That's why there is so much argument over it.

3. Eternal salvation is an issue of doctrinal orthodoxy clearly attested to in the bible which is also clearly spelled out in our statement of faith (BFM 2000), whereas the boundries of Christian liberty are not spelled out legalistically the way that some SBC leaders would like it to be. In other words, the doctrinal statement which our church holds leaves some room for interpretation in the area of liberty, but none in the area of eternal security.

So no, I wouldn't let that person teach, but you are no closer to proving your argument because the analogy is not valid. Too many inconsistencies.

Also, I got my issue of "Family Faith and Values" yesterday (from the ERLC), and surprise, surprise...guess what the lead article is on??? The "drinking controversy" among SBs. Richard Land gives his insight on the issue. Guess the word has clearly come down from the top that this is a "serious attack" that must be addressed by all the heavy-hitters. Guess some others (who will remain unnamed) will also soon be preaching rallying sermons on the subject to stir up the base.

And here I thought we were all about soul-winning?!?!

Cliff4JC said...

Bethel,

I'll let you borrow my snow shoes; or better yet; just give me your neighbor’s address. Honestly, what you said is the most disturbing thing I've read in this comment section today and is exactly what the non-Calvinist majority of the SBC fears. However, I'm am assuming you were simply trying to make a point and mis-spoke. I do that ALOT! LOL :)

What Tom said...

Leap, Byronic, others...really guys...take to heart what "to obey is better said" in the comment section. You keep showing up at a nonsense convention with reasoned rational arguments. If you keep doing so; the rest of us will be forced to question your wisdom. Not your intelligence mind you! Good grief you guys are so much more intelligent & articulate than I. Perhaps though it is time to exercise wisdom.
Joy,
Cliff

johnMark said...

Pastorleap,

Here is the start for ideas for a consistent solution...maybe...
http://reformatabaptista.blogspot.com/2006/08/southern-baptists-alcohol-resolution.html

Mark

Amicus said...

Yes, it's really me, the guy who has been pleading for understanding. But there comes a point... (Some time right after one has received Faith & Values and SBC Life on the same day...)

Bethel,
It has been 24 hours since Tom very charitably suggested that you had misspoken. Now Cliff has done the same. Maybe these brothers know you, although your profile leads nowhere. Did you misspeak? Or are you an actual hypercalvinist? Know, in that case, that we who are reformed have no more in common with your views than with Volfan's. A heart that does not care for the lost is not a heart that is well acquainted with the sovereign God of grace.

Or are you really an Arminian posing as a Calvinist, seeking to discredit the doctrines of grace?

Volfan,
I have tried to explain to everyone that you are not a bad guy. But please answer this question, which your assertions keep begging:
You keep saying that drinking for pleasure, to get high, is a sin. What about the many who drink wine for pleasure but not for the "pleasure" of getting drunk, high, or tipsy? It is a distinction that you assume is impossible, because of your own sick experience, but that Scripture makes all the time. The two are not at all necessarily the same thing. Compare your favorite verses in Proverbs (and there are many more that condemn drunkenness) with Deut. 14:26; Psalm 104:15; Eccl. 9:7; and Song 8:2.

I am not "promoting the use of alcohol". Nor did Tom at the Convention. Dr. Welch's comments in SBC Life look so much nastier when one sees them in print rather than on the computer screen. Something about holding slander against your brothers in your own hands. Forgive me, Tom, for even seeming, in my previous posts, to minimize the wrong that was done to you - although I know it was not for your own honor that you were indignant.

Everybody,
Volfan's "arguments" are not much of a threat to the cause of the sufficiency of Scripture. His hermeneutics are so messed up he doesn't have the foggiest idea how to carry on a discussion about the Bible. Dr Richard Land, on the other hand, makes an articulate defense of Res 5 in his paper (Faith and Values). Dr Land is nothing if not articulate. What is supremely scary about his article is that he frankly admits that he does not have Scripture on his side, but appeals instead to an impressive array of Baptist precedent and tradition. Pius XII, in establishing the doctrine of Immaculate Conception of the BVM, used much the same method.

On the other hand, Brother Leap, let's not get too dramatic here. They're not going to be passing rules against tatts or long hair any time soon. Alcohol has a very special place in the hearts of Southern Baptists. If we will just compromise on sufficiency in this one little area, things will settle down.

Or not.

volfan007 said...

pastorleap,

what are the requirements of joining your church? do you require people to go thru a new members class before they can be a member? i know that a lot of five pointer churches require this....if you are one of those...where is this in the bible? or, in your opinion, is this something that is legalistic? would this not be extra biblical?

also, would you allow a man who hung out at casinos and gambled a lot to be a church leader...a deacon, or an elder? nowhere in the bible does it say that you cant gamble. just wondering.

volfan007

volfan007 said...

amicus,

how much of today's liquor do you have to drink to be drunk? i am not talking about what our govt. says is drunkeness....i am talking about how much is too much? and, how can one know?

also, if smoking weed were legal...would you say that it's ok to smoke a little weed?
the bible does not clearly say that smoking weed is wrong.

i would say that it would not be a sin for someone to take a drink of todays liquor...foolish..but not sin. anyone who drinks alcohol is doing a foolish thing according to proverbs. if you drink undiluted, fermented, intoxicating drink...then you are being foolish.

drinking diluted grape juice was not foolish in ot times...nor would it be for you and me. if you are using alcohol for medicinal purposes...nothing wrong with using drugs for medicine. if you soak your steak in jack daniels, and then you cook it out....i guess there would be nothing wrong with that...because it would not make you high.\

the bible teaches that we are to be high on Jesus...full of the Spirit....the joy of the Lord is our strength.
we are not to be high, or drunk, on wine.

i used to drink and party all the time. my life is so much better now that Jesus saved me and i have life in Him....not in weed nor in alcohol. all praise to the Lord.

also, about my approach to the bible....i hold to what the bible clearly teaches..in its context...thus, i dont preach that things like gambling, nor smoking cigs are sin. its not in the bible. i do encourage people to not gamble and waste God's money. i do say that its foolish to gamble, just as its foolish to drink intoxicating drinks for pleasure...to get high...or happy, as you translate deut. 14. i do say that to quit smoking would be good for a person...financially and health wise....but its not a sin.

my bro., i preach the bible from my pulpit just as it is...i preach verse by verse thru books of the bible. i try my best to preach and teach it just as it is. i have always...my whole ministry...tried to abide by the clear teachings of the bible...and not get hung up on my own personal convictions. i try to not be legalistic, or more narrow than the bible. i hope that clears things up for you.

still not sipping any moonshine,

volfan007

Ryan DeBarr said...

Who here is awe-struck by the fact somebody read the Bible through thirteen times?

Reading it through thirteen times is not shabby, but by no means does it confer on one the right to say "I know more Bible than all of you do."

I know of a man who reads it through that many times in a year.



It really doesn't matter how many times you read the Bible if you skip over Deut 14:26 (or any other verse) every time you come to it.

Amicus said...

Volunteer fan double-O 7, my brother,

I wish you well. You obviously love the Lord and you love the Word, even though you add to it by your traditions. I've done worse, I am sure.

I do not want to argue with you. We agree that drunkenness is foolish and sinful. We agree that abstinence is a wise choice. We oppose promoting alcohol.

You don't seem to think that I agree with you on those propositions, but I do.

All I am really upset about is adding rules to Scripture and slandering good men.

Let's leave it at this, Vol Fan. You have refused to answer my question, and I will not answer yours. No hard feelings. Just you and I should not be debating.

I wish you well and remain

Amicus (Friend)

Bill Formella said...

Well, after suggesting that SBC'ers would choose to continue harping on alcohol rather than focus on the serious problem of obesity in the church, Baptist Press released an article "Vaccinating our Indulgences" It even addresses the problem of obesity in the pulpit.

Truthfully, I've struggled with a weight problem (though I've lost 23 lbs in the last 3 months) and wouldn't want to add to anyone's feelings of condemnation. However, it's bothered me for years how those in SBC leadership just leave this problem off their radar while picking on the guy that has a glass of wine every now and then. Maybe if these pastors would have a glass of wine to ease their mind they wouldn't reach for that third piece of pie and 5th piece of fried chicken.

By the way, I understand one of the pragmatic church growth gurus came out with a new cookbook.

How To Double the Size of Your Pastor in Two Years.

I can just hear someone bragging at a future convention, "yeah we've baptised 100, seen 30 profess that Jesus is really cool, and have added a total of 4,000 lbs to our church body this year."

Scott Hill said...

I always find it interesting that guys like Trovolfan007 don't ever have a blog or profile of their own.

Tom, you have more patience than we do at Fide-O.