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 Re:

What concerns me is all of the half and completely empty (or half full) glasses of wine which all of the 'elite' had in front of them during the Al Smith Memorial Fund Charity Dinner.

http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2008/10/17/sot.obama.dinner.cnn

http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2008/10/17/sot.obama.dinner.cnn

...subsequently, they seemed to be quite amused with themselves. I would not suggest that many of them were drunk, but the nearest thesaurus words I could find are buzzed, feeling no pain, flying, glazed, or high.

The catholic church, mixed with politicians, and mixed with wine... :-(

I am not sure of my point, except that it was a little saddening to watch...and not very God glorifying.

I could be wrong; it has happened before.


P.S. If my 'Christian' friend invited me to this event, I would refuse knowing what I know now and like a pub invitation, I would refuse with no explanation, unless asked for one.

 2008/10/17 8:15









 Re:

Quote:
Steve, brother, can I ask you plainly why you drink?



OK, lets be very very careful here. I'm not promoting drinking. I'm also not going to put a blanket condemnation on something that the Bible does not put a blanket condemnation on. I think that is putting man's rules over top of God's.

The Bible is replete with warnings about alcohol, but never condemns the consumption of alcohol. Therefore, we would do well to heed the warnings of scripture, and Christians are certainly better off to leave it alone.

In America the church's attitude toward alcohol has very much been shaped by the "temperance" movement of the 1800's, which eventually led to Prohibition in the 1920's... which was an utter failure. Why did it fail? Because it wasnt about changing the hearts of men... it was about legislating morality.

In other cultures, such as in Italy or Germany for instance, alcohol is not viewed as we in the US tend to view it. Are there problem with alcohol? Certainly there is. But at the same time many people in those societies drink a glass of wine with dinner and it's no different to them than having an ice tea with dinner here. I'm speaking of Christians. I have friends who are missionaries in Germany and Italy, and we've had this discussion.

I'm honest about the fact that 2 or 3 times a year my wife and I have wine with dinner... and people here react like I'm a drunk or something. It's quite silly, really.

But here's the key factor: every Christian has to consider how their behavior effects other believers and non-believers. Paul spoke about our freedom in Christ, and I am wholly convinced that this issue falls under that category. Whether I drink a glass of wine or a cold beer with a steak dinner at my favorite steak house (which is called The Peddler's Inn in Hendersonville, NC... if you're ever passing thru) has no bearing whatsoever on my salvation. And on top of that, I do so with a clear conscience before my Lord.

[b]BUT[/b]... at the same time Paul also warned that we should never let our freedom be a stumbling block to a younger believer. Therefore this is not something I do in front of someone who I know will stumble because of my freedom in Christ to do so. I will "sacrifice" (tho it's not really a big deal to me to refrain) my freedom in order to not cause someone to stumble.

In fact, my wife is generally the only person around... when I have that glass of wine or beer every 4 - 6 months.

Some might say I may cause someone to stumble simply by being open about my freedom in Christ. I dont believe it will. First off, to act like I dont exercise this freedom is to be deceitful. So therefore I'm not going to be a hypocrite about it and join the chorus of people roundly condemning moderate alcohol consumption because I do not believe it is a sin.

Secondly, it is a great teaching moment on several different levels. It's a challenge to believers to go to the scriptures and see if what we've all been taught is true. Is alcohol forbidden in scripture? The simple answer is no. Tho most believers think it is. Our Lord's very first miracle was turning water into what? Grape juice? No... wine. It was a celebration, a wedding. The grooms father asked why the best wine was saved for last when everyone knows you serve the best wine first... and the worst wine gets served after everyone is feeling good.

So Jesus contributed to the celebration. Let that sink in.

I've heard the arguments that He created grape juice, or that it barely had any alcohol in it. But in context it's obvious to anyone who is honest that it was wine... as in wine served at a great celebration like a wedding.

It's also a great teaching example of what Paul taught about freedom in Christ... and how we can exercise our freedom responsibly, and not cause others to stumble. How we should put others first, and sacrifice our freedom as needed.

Thats why I insist on being honest and open with y'all about this. Paul called out Peter for eating meat with Gentile believers and then pretending that he didnt when the Jewish believers showed up. I dont want to be like Peter in that situation... I'm already enough like Peter! lol

I am convinced within my heart that what I do is unto the Lord, and with a clear heart. I also sacrifice the exercise of that freedom as the Holy Spirit leads me to do so. I am very sensitive about not causing others to stumble. I never want to be guilty of that.

Over a private romantic dinner with the beautiful Georgia peach I married... having a glass of wine is a pleasure. And we only get to go out to dinner alone (without 4 hungry boys in tow) only happens a couple times a year. So relax, y'all... I am not a slosh! lol

Love y'all... and I'm not interested in debating this. This is the clearest way I know how to express my position on this issue. I'm totally convinced that this is a 100% scriptural position. So if I dont respond to opinions against what I've wrote... I'm simply choosing not to argue about it. Dont take it personally. :-)

Krispy

 2008/10/17 8:38
Ruach34
Member



Joined: 2006/2/7
Posts: 296
Beijing

 Re:

Paul and Frank, thank you for your candor and frankness. (no pun intended)
Would like to tell a quick story that may relate more to the original post on this thread...

During my days in the far-country i thought i was saved and going to heaven, but lived far from God without an internal witness of His saving power over sin. It was one day before my wedding and we were living in Missoula, MT. Many friends had been invited, friends both from un-saved condition and some from a born-again condition. So, what did we do but plan a night out dancing and drinking... My long-time friend, who was with me in China growing up, came and sat with us in the bar, a glum lump. Oh, how my heart longed for him to take part, liven up etc... The night got progressively worse as drinks turned to shots and then violently ill. At one point I found myself on the curb outside the pub sitting, depressed at the condition I was in, then came my friend, so perfect and in the Holy Spirit. Cannot recall a thing he said to me, but it was in full love and grace, without a hint of condemnation. It ruined me and as I watched him through out the whole night he was as an indictment to my hypocrisy and life.
So, I can attest that the Lord God used him mightily in my life to draw my heart back to the Lord. It was his obedience that the Lord honored.

O, I praise God for those who can obediently go into pubs, the hoosegows, the hovels of whoredoms and pull out the lost souls. This is the love that is from Christ Himself and that will wrestle the world from anyone.


_________________
RICH

 2008/10/17 9:29Profile









 Re:

Dear brother Paul....now brother, I like that answer much better. You said exaclty what you said the first time, only with such sweetness :) And, by the way, I completely agree with you. And I also agree with you and brother Tozer about C.S.Lewis..........your brother in Christ........Frank

 2008/10/17 9:49
mamaluk
Member



Joined: 2006/6/12
Posts: 524


 Re:

Quote:
I'm glad you brought up C.S. Lewis because I feel he perfectly illustrates my point above. C.S. Lewis is not a man I consider mighty in God, and I think there were serious flaws in his theology, and His writings I find more allegorical and intelligent than Holy Spirit unction-filled and transforming. C.S. Lewis was primarily an apologist for Christianity, which is pretty much the norm for men who cling to worldly vices with one hand and Christ with the other.



Brother Paul, I too am glad to see C.S. Lewis brought up, for the longest time, I thought I might be holding some unfair prejudice against his writings since everyone around me seem to love his them alright,yet I can't seem to figure out why I dislike his works.

Could you please explain the part of the Christian apologists' views or works and their impact on Christianity to us a bit further?

As for the drinking and smoking bit, everyone on this thread has some valid points , this verse comes to mind here in Colossians 3:23
"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men." It'd be hard to smoke and drink, in whatever quantity, ...heartily, as to the Lord. :)

I thank the Lord for delivering me from the power of all such (drinking, smoking cig/pot) years ago, praise HIM so much really. I fully agree with brother Paul's stance on his encouragement to the body of Christ here on SI, for it appears most edifying and honoring to God.

Unfortunately, sometimes, it is just that one, one glass, one shot,one sip, one dose..that causes problems down the line. One glass of wine or beer with dinner is enough to be a stumblingblock for my grown children in our household. Hope I don't come across as self-righteous.

Thanks,


Margaret

 2008/10/17 12:32Profile
rbanks
Member



Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Re:

Brother Paul I must say that I appreciate the candor that you have written in your posts. I thank you for the depth of concern that you have displayed concerning our witness and devotion to our lord Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul stated that if eating meat would offend his brother that he would eat no meat as long as the world standeth. He also said for us not to use our liberty for a stumbling block to others. We are also not to let our good be evil spoken of and we are also exhorted to live above reproach. Any Christian that does not understand this has not matured in his walk with God. I have seen many destroyed by alcohol and I have warned my children not to touch it and they will never become addicted nor will they ever be an alcoholic. God has saved me from a terrible past life and I appreciate so much what God has saved me from that I don’t want to please myself but only my Lord and Savior.

I have asked the Lord that before I would ever bring reproach to his name to please take me out of this world. I had rather die early than to live long and bring any kind of shame to his name. I don’t care where you find me at home or in a restaurant I will not have in my possession anything that could be a stumbling block to someone else no matter how old or young they maybe in the Lord. The Apostle Paul said follow me as I follow Christ and what you see me do then you can do and God will bless you.

I believe God is calling Christians praying for genuine revival to a higher calling than to please ourselves in any matter that is related to an ungodly lifestyle. The bible tells us to be filled with the Spirit and you want desire the lusts of the flesh. I have never met a true Holy Spirit filled man/woman who could enjoy drinking any alcohol for pleasure. A person filled with the Holy Spirit enjoys the things of the Spirit. The apostle Paul told those at Corinth, you are yet carnal and walk as mere men. God save us from carnality!

 2008/10/17 12:36Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
Brother Paul I must say that I appreciate the candor that you have written in your posts. I thank you for the depth of concern that you have displayed concerning our witness and devotion to our lord Jesus Christ.


Thank you so much for the feedback. And I also thank my precious brother Frank and our dear little Krittr - who just happens to be Krispy (aka Steve) - for their mature responses as well.

You know, standing up for what you believe is right can often make you seem like a villian. It can make you quite unpopular and appear self-righteous and arrogant. I've lost friends because of these convictions, and fellowships have been broken (not by my choice). Words can be interpreted wrong, motives scrutinized and miscontrued. I happen to hold the view that a mature Christian is not given to alcohol and tobacco - not even on occasion. This kind of absolutism is very often put down and misunderstood by others when a person vocalizes such stringent convictions publically. Those who do partake of these vices will stand up and throw down the gauntlet of challenge, usually citing how the Bible does not explicitly prohibit drinking alcohol. In the worst case scenario, they will write you off as one attepting to push legality and personal convictions to strip others of their freedom in Christ. If I have come off like that in this thread, I sincerely repent. This is not my intention. This may sound surprising, but I believe in allowing the Holy Spirit to do His job sovereignly, without my interference.

I dearly love Steve and anyone else who may not see eye-to-eye with my convictions, and I take any and all contstructive criticisms pertaining to my postings and ministry here on SermonIndex to heart. For the most part, I receive unanimous support and appreciation through private email and PM's - but I occasionally get the angry, resentful email and PM as well. I take those to heart just as much (nay, even more) than the favorable ones, because as ministers of righteousness and holiness we must always be examining and inspecting our inner condition, lest the enemy break through with sublity and contaminate our words or advice. Sometimes God uses others to show us just that.

Even with my criticism of C.S. Lewis, I realize I must take caution with what I say and how I come across. In truth, I count the man as a sleeping brother, and I'm fearful to lose a reward on judgment day because of an incautious statement made about him here in forum. Sharpshooting one's theology and pointing out that which is obvious is not a malicious thing in itself, but the motive behind it may be, and nothing ever passes God's radar undetected.


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2008/10/17 16:37Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
Krispy (aka Steve)



I was thinking to myself today that Krispy is SI's Joe the Plumber. (That's meant as a compliment) ;-)

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2008/10/17 16:46Profile
rbanks
Member



Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Re:

Ac 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

God doesn’t wink at wrong doing.

Mt 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Mt 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Lu 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

 2008/10/17 17:31Profile
KathleenP
Member



Joined: 2008/4/3
Posts: 228
Maine

 Re: Pub Situation

I've been blessed and encouraged by this thread. Sometimes I've been a bit unsure of the overall views of some and then become hesitant to post lest I open myself up to a rebuke. I do attempt to display meekness and pray that that is felt through what is put on paper.

I simply feel that God himself has laid the plumbline and that we are entering into walks that will require us to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are to be holy in all manner of conversation. I also recall the verses of II Corinthians 6:3-4. Giving no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses...

I read alot of times in Daniel and study the manner of his character and how they could find no fault in him. The world will be scrutinizing us more and more and it will not help when those that are false will set such shameful examples. May we strive be the opposite and display such integrity to the world.

May I recommend Art Katz's Growing into Sonship. Very very good.

Lastly, I pray that we chose to simply avoid all appearance of evil and desire to set a precedent for the bride to come.

Kathleen


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Kathleen

 2008/10/17 18:34Profile





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