Sunday, May 20, 2007

hey baptists! this bud's for you!

Once I was told that in order to join a Baptist church you had to sign some document stating so. And in the fine print, it acknowledged that you would not consume any alcoholic drink. I don't know if that's true. Someone clue me in.

My church of christ (coc) upbringing had no formal documents, but the culture of that troupe just made it understood that you shouldn't drink or something.

That's all kind of nutty considering a) Jesus turning water to wine and b) Luke 7:33-34. But I'm sure some seminarian somewhere can explain this away.

I really enjoyed being in the Boston area with other believers where drinking beer in the presence of others was not an issue. I mean, during the conference, we went over to a joint called "Beer Works" like three times. With the conference host and speakers.

That wouldn't happen in Texas. Certainly not the fair mother city.

I once escaped from a conference in San Antonio that I was forced to attend by calling up an old college buddy of mine. He picked me up at this church and we spent the rest of the day at some beer joint.

I still owe him for rescuing me.

There's not too many places in the fair mother city to enjoy a good brew with other believers. But I guess I did just that with some of the local agents tonight in my back yard. So...I guess my back yard is safe.

It's just nice to enjoy something simple and it not be a big deal to anyone.


Anonymous said...

Explain away? Let em try. I dont think there is a good seminary student somewhere who can do that. (Note: I said "good")

You can have a beer with me too. Now I am dissappointed for not being in your back yard.

I know what you mean about openly v. hiding out. But I must say that on at least two occasions I have been invited to a bar with my "care group" from church, and went once. I also attended a New Years party with my "care group" that got a little wild even - CoC people cant hold their liquor!

So, I am one of those who enjoys a beer sometimes. And I worship with some like minded church people! -a blessing let me tell you.

At the same time, I remember when I was in college at ACU going to the Green Frog down town one night to see Ian Moore Band play. I went with my wife and two college buddies. One of these buddies was wound up pretty tight with his faith too. He had lived a wild and crazy teenage life, but had settled down before college and had become very strict about spiritual disciplines etc.

I had not respected his position too much. I did not know what to do with him. And while at the Green Frog, each of us ordered a single drink (which may have been the minimum) and though none of us got drunk or wild at all, a few weeks later, this buddy of mine dropped out of school and disappeared for nearly a year. When he resurfaced, he had been out of Texas and picked up a drug habit etc.

I do not think I did that too him by myself. I think his uptight CoC background had more to do with his problem than my one drink. However, I did not appreciate how "weak" this brother was in the face of alcohol. I contributed to his downfall. I will never forget that. I may have to answer for that in some powerful way before God! Yipes!

And I never heard from that buddy again.

I am not saying freedom to drink automatically causes others to fall. Far from it. But they are linked and one must be cautious, which is hard to do when dipsy. They are related. And I know that I think of that buddy every time I take a drink with friends. I will never be free from that.

Jesus is Lord!

Agent X

Agent B said...

Yeah, I've heard (and agree mostly) with the "don't cause the weaker bro to stumble" stuff.

But if that were the only reason people in TX don't drink out much, than TX must be filled with a bunch of drunks. Because it ain't a big deal in New England.

I mean hey, even the pubs in New England are fairly classy places that parents bring their small kids to for Sunday afternoon lunch...

Different culture, I guess.

And don't take the blame for the guy falling into drugs...

Dustin said...

When I worked with the Southern Baptists they wanted me to sign a document prohibiting me from drinking alcohol and I flat out refused. They said I could still be a part of the program, but I would not receive any financial support.

The NW is a different culture too. We meet for church in a pub. Portland has the most microbrews per square mile in the world (recently dethroning Germany), and people just hang out there. It's Portland's hang out of choice and people drink beer all the time. But I have rarely seen people drunk in these places. When I lived in the Midwest I saw people drunk all the time, because people did not know how to be responsible with alcohol but out here people just grow up with it all around and know how to drink it moderately. It's never been an issue out here, in seminary, in the church. people just like beer.

Obviously part of that is that there is a different quality of beer. People drink Bud Light in the midwest to get drunk. People drink beer out here because it is actually good!

Agent B said...

Dustin - right on about that quality vs. quantity mention.

When I actually have money for beer, it's the kind of beer you can't afford to abuse. ie: it tastes good.

Bud Light is like the national beverage of Texas or something...

Verbny said...

Did anyone at that wedding in Cana develop a sudden sensitivity to alcohol, and fall into a life of sin because of the "GOOD" wine that Jesus created? When does personal responsibility kick in? Christians always want to make policy, and pass laws based on scripture that is directed to individuals. Without freedom there can be no self discipline. We forget we have freedom in Jesus, and He told us to have self discipline. Are we being Christ-like when we obsess over making other people conform to what we think Christ wants them to do, or should we examine ourselves and spend our lives trying to be more like Him?