The Bible, Baptists, and Beer

Christianity Today has an article {with extra links} about the situation “brewing” among some Baptists…

My thoughts on drinking alcohol always come down to the fact that John the Baptist abstained but Jesus didn’t! I guess everyone falls somewhere between, but the core issues must be 1} Don’t get drunk 2} Don’t force ideas/thoughts that cannot be backed up definitively by Scripture 3} Don’t drink cheap beer, if you’re gonna drink…



  1. I enjoy reading your blog simply because you tend to challenge my thinking. But concerning this issue of drinking, how do you rectify Paul’s exhortation (Rom 14:13-23) not to put a stumbling block in another brother’s way with your thought expressed in point #3? I can’t argue Scripturally with points 1 and 2, but your cavalier attitude towards something that has destroyed countless lives and families troubles me. Perhaps I am the “weaker” brother and my Baptist background and past history of living with an abusive alcoholic colors my point of view, but I would have expected a more measured and reasoned response from you. Nevertheless, keep up the good work and continue to provide thought provoking content.

  2. Just for clarification, the weaker brother is not one who struggles with alcohol as in alcoholism, but one who is weaker in the faith to not understand the liberty one has in Christ.

    Causing a weaker brother to stumble is not with regard to tempting an alcoholic to drink, but tempting one to violate his/her conscience by drinking, which he/she considers to be sinful behavior.

  3. I echo Gunny’s thoughts…and certainly don’t want to come off with a “cavalier attitude” towards alcohol. Yes, it does ruin lives, whether it be Coors/Bud Light or Guinness…I like John Piper’s reasoning for not bringing up Calvinism until he had pastored his church for 5 years, but he immediately tackled legalism, for he said that legalism sends more people to hell than alcoholism. Anyways, the point was if you’re gonna drink, drink the good stuff. Not some cheap watered down beer. Much to the same way I would argue about many a thing- if you’re gonna have a computer, use a Mac {this statement will probably cause more controversy than the beer!!}, if you’re gonna enjoy art, skip Thomas Kinkade and go for some Matisse, Beckman, Rouault, etc…

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  4. Legalism sends more people to hell then alcoholism?

    HAH! Ironically, a bit legalistic himself to say!!! 🙂

    Some day on my blog I will share my own battle with alcholism…

    I am not ready because it’s been something God has been showing me since about April this year. When you wake up from being passed out at 6am on a bathroom floor and the first thought in your mind is, “I feel amazingly free right now” it’s by the grace of God only that we are able to remove that from our lives.

    I never dreamed growing up that this would be such a huge part of my testimony at 28 years old. Do I mind when people drink around me? Hah, no. In fact, I think a lot of people drink around me continually because I was many of their drinking buddies (both believing and unbelieving friends). They expect me to. I don’t cast judgment, and I never will. I don’t think I have any friends who feel the way I did about alcohol (in the sense that if I could I would hook myself to an IV of beer), therefore I don’t concern myself with their personal habits. There are many facets to this though, and I could probably write a 40 page paper on my experiences. I will say this, none of my friends know that I am sober right now. I do not announce it to anyone, and have no plans to. If we go out, I drink water or coke. If they offer to buy me a pint I politely refuse or say, “make it a soda”. Currently, nobody asks questions. And if they do I will casually answer that I am not in the mood. It’s not my place to try and tell people (especially while they are in the act of drinking) that I am sober and why. Those conversations are better left for those who want to hear it, who ask, who feel led to talk to me. Until then, it’s best that I remain humble and self contained. This is something between me and Christ. And believe me, there are a lot of other sins I need to be more concerned about at this point. This is also another reason I haven’t blogged about it, even though it’s so personal and deep (and something I am dying to write about) it’s something I don’t want to “announce”. I don’t want to become the center, I want God to take the stage – and by preaching about myself I think I am taking the stage not God.

    I get by through the support of my amazing wife, one of our Church elders, my parents (God bless them too!), and 2 accountability partners by the way. So while I don’t talk about it, I am also not private.

  5. Wow, John. I had no idea. We need to be more connected as family, even though we’re miles away. We hope to see you guys sometime this year. We should catch up over the phone sometime. Praying for you guys…


  6. Yeah, I agree. I do hope to get out to Texas to visit with Beth. It would be nice to come out for 3 or so days and visit the church, etc.

    Also, I came accross this verse in a devotion recently, by the Grace of God, which speaks to this topic:

    Colossians 2:20-3:4: 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, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)–in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 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. Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

    We have so much to learn still….

  7. Amen!
    Anytime you guys want to come out for a visit, let us know. We’ve got plenty of room. And if you haven’t been to Texas, you have to experience it. In fact, Heather just told me the other day that she wants a bumper sticker that says,

    “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!”

    She’s totally converted…gone are the California-genes…

  8. looks like some really enlightened discussion here and all well worth reading, however I have had a busy summer youth pastoring with all that entails and gotten behind on my blog reading (and down right neglected my own blog all together) so instead of reading what all has been discussed here I think I will just go home and throw back a cold one or two… maybe end the night with some episodes of monk or the shield and a mojito! thanks for the inspiration.

    you still owe me a meeting at Two Rows or the Old Monk, or somewhere!!!

  9. I know! We have to meet up some time soon….and yes, you have much neglected your blog. I was weary of looking at LUST CONTROL everyday…but each time I saw them it did bring back memories of seeing them at “Footloose” or whatever it was called 400 times later…I can still see Doug VP singing the Big M….he,he…

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