Wednesday, February 07, 2007

God and Beer

Provocative read.
Every month dozens show up at the brewpub to drink beer and talk about issues ranging from racism in St. Louis to modern art controversies to the debate about embryonic stem cell research. First-timers are invited to check out the church on Sunday, and Journey leaders say many have. Theology at the Bottleworks is just one of The Journey's ministries, but it has helped the church grow from 30 members in late 2002 to 1,300 today.

The Rev. Darrin Patrick, The Journey's founder and lead pastor, says its nontraditional approach is aimed at those who are not likely to attend church.

"We want to go where people are," he said. "We don't expect them to come to us."


At 6:54 PM, Blogger Thinking in Ohio said...

The real issue here comes down to beer. I think there's more than one valid conviction one can take on this matter. Though my personal view and conviction is the more conservative, I'm not sure throwing rocks at Christians who drink is the best use of time and resources.

The boomers debunked their parents traditional bans against jewelry, dress and haircuts as unbiblical rules and regulations. The emergents are simply taking in one step father... to their peril? Perhaps so. I'm not going with them, yet building a *biblical* argument against consuming alcohol is difficult.

At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

Proverbs 23:29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
Proverbs 23:30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
Proverbs 23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
Proverbs 23:32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

That sounds to me as though we aren’t supposed to look at wine when it is fermented.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

That sounds like we should abstain from all appearances of evil!

As far as the Proverbs being more like books of wisdom than commandments…

Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Thinking in Ohio said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9:12 PM, Blogger Thinking in Ohio said...

This isn't my blog and it's not my debate, as I am a conservative on the issue of drinking, but I will suggest that those random verses aren't going to convince most emergents.

More too the point, the Bible certainly speaks against drunkeness and I think an strong biblical argument can be made against it, but a prohibition against any and all drinking? Let's be honest, it's an traditional ban rooted in the American soil and the Prohibition Movt. of the past century.

Having said that, I often attempt to make logical and practical arguments against drinking with my friends; though I'll confess I think there are more urgent matters at hand.

Dr. Ken Schenck, an IWU professor, has recently written an excellent piece addressing this issue on his blog, if anyone is interested.

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Sean Scribner said...

Well said, Doug. I would also fit in the "conservative" group on this issue too, although I think a valid Biblical argument can be made against Christians drinking alcohol in this present culture, even if there doesn't appear to be a direct Biblical prohibition (aside from drunkenness).

With that said, perhaps the greater concern (for me at least) in this issue is the extent to which the church is willing to go to "reach" the lost. At what point do we draw the line? Anymore it seems as though anything is up for grabs. At this rate, are we going to have groups called "Potheads for Christ" or what? Perhaps that sounds extreme, but then again so would this story for Christians just 50 years ago.

At 4:56 PM, Blogger Jason Miller said...

Sean, the problem with your "Potheads for Christ" analogy is that marijuana is illegal, alcohol is not.

And while this story may have seemed extreme to many Christians 50 years ago, that is primarily in America--Christians in many other countries do not share American Evangelicalism's rejection of the use of alcohol. You point out correctly that this issue is highly cultural.

At 5:47 PM, Blogger Thinking in Ohio said...

Sean Scribner, my arch-nemesis, okay that was that "Anonymous-Q" guy talking. :-)

Of course we're in agreement here, and I think you're right in pointing out the extent too which emergents are willing to go to be "all things to all people". But then if you look at it from their perspective "drinking isn't sinful"... they aren't "extreme" as much as they are "practical" in their evangelistic efforts.

Again, we're in agreement, I'm just trying to see where these guys are coming from.

And I agree with Jason too!


At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Stewart said...

I am Lutheran, and of course we drink beer. I average perhaps 3/4 of a beer per month. The key is moderation, of course, and not doing anything that would cause your brother to stumble. If I were at a restaurant with friend whose denominational prerogatives proscribe consumption of alchohol, I would abstain for his sake. To demand adherence to any practice which is not biblically mandated is symptomatic of what brought down the Pharisees.


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