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16 June 2006

The Ties That Bind

For God's Sake Shut Up! notes that a couple of days ago the Southern Baptist Convention voted to approve a resolution condemning alcoholic beverages:

WHEREAS, Years of research confirm biblical warnings that alcohol use leads to physical, mental, and emotional damage (e.g., Proverbs 23:29-35); and

WHEREAS, Alcohol use has led to countless injuries and deaths on our nation's highways; and

WHEREAS, The breakup of families and homes can be directly and indirectly attributed to alcohol use by one or more members of a family; and

WHEREAS, The use of alcohol as a recreational beverage has been shown to lead individuals down a path of addiction to alcohol and toward the use of other kinds of drugs, both legal and illegal; and

WHEREAS, There are some religious leaders who are now advocating the consumption of alcoholic beverages based on a misinterpretation of the doctrine of "our freedom in Christ"; now, therefore...
There are many reasonable responses to this nonsense. Years of research have also confirmed the Bible's warnings against gluttony and overspending, yet I don't believe the SBC has ever voted to condemn fast food or credit cards. Guns have also led to countless injuries and deaths, but the SBC hasn't condemned those. The breakup of families can be attributed to a hell of a lot of things. My psychologist wife can say for sure, but I'm betting there are a few things higher on the family breakup list than alcohol (and gayness for that matter). I'm betting any connection between recreational alcohol drinking and drug use says more about American culture than it does about alcohol. And our President has misinterpretated his freedom in Christ to include lying, advocating torture, fearmongering, a few felonies, and a whole laundry list of other misdeeds (yeah, that was a cheapshot on a couple of levels, but it's so easy sometimes).

Perhaps highest on the list, though, is that, as For God's Sake Shut Up! points out, Jesus was known to throw back a few from time to time. Hell, he even made the stuff:

Only drinking in excess is condemned in the Bible. In addition to the numerous accounts of godly people drinking, we must remember that Jesus's first miracle was turning water into (wait for it) wine, and Paul told Timothy to (dramatic pause) drink wine! Oops. Thus to condemn all drinking as a sin is to go beyond the Bible and attack not only early church leaders like Paul and Timothy but even our Lord and Savior (and that's a dangerous thing to do).

The resolution even went as far as urging the body not to elect anyone who drinks alcoholic beverages. So apparently Jesus and the apostles would be unacceptable for SBC leadership. Jesus has just been voted out.
Not that hypocrisy is anything new for the SBC. On the very same day it voted to condemn alcohol, the SBC adopted a resolution condemning the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. While that's commendable, it fails to consider that the SBC's annuity board (GuideStone Financial Resources) is heavily invested (to the tune of $72 million) in companies that do business in Sudan. Those business operations help the Sudanese government, which is in turn financing the militias responsible for the genocide. So the SBC, while condemning genocide, is actually helping fund it.

But, hey, at least they're sober.

Comments on "The Ties That Bind"


Blogger Marty said ... (6/16/2006 11:09:00 PM) : 

Eeeuw..."heavily invested" in companies that do business in the Sudan. Oh dear. I work at an SBC church so my retirement is with the AB... er..GuideStone. I think I need to do some checking to see where my money is invested. I may need to make some changes. Thanks for this post Wasp.



Blogger jasdye said ... (6/18/2006 03:13:00 PM) : 

i think the southern baptists have confused the word use for abuse. a simple editing mistake, i'm sure.

actually, my father was a mean and nasty alcoholic abuser and as a result i never got into alcohol, hating it vehemently. i tried to back away from having a disdain for people who do drink. and now, with my first year of teaching behind me, i can say i've imbibed w/o getting anywhere drunk or destructive or abusive.

those funny southern baptists.


Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (6/19/2006 10:38:00 PM) : 


You're welcome. Cheers also!


Yeah, my grandfather was an alcoholic as well. I grew up in East Tennessee, where I was raised to believe the people in the Bible who drank wine were really drinking grape juice (strange that only the people who were drunk in the Bible had the real stuff).

At any rate, I think any addiction can be very destructive, both for the individual and the family, be it addiction to sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, overspending, etc. From a Christian perspective, the sin isn't necessarily in doing those things (except overspending, and maybe drugs, but that probably depends on the drug you're using), but in not practicing moderation. Interesting that much of the church pretty much ignores the moderation part in favor of forbidding certain objects and practices themselves.

It would also be interesting to see how we Americans stack up to the rest of the world in addictions to such things. I'm too lazy to Google for stats, but I'd bet we're leading the world in most all of them.


Blogger jasdye said ... (6/20/2006 01:48:00 PM) : 


you can tell with our wastelines, though, that at the very least, we over-eat other countries. and i think that signifies that we over-a-lot of things other countries - though i'm sure western europe and japan have their indulgences, too.

oh, and canada. those danged canadians!

grape juice, huh? that's so far been my only experience with the Lord's Supper. but really, who's kidding who? there's no way Jesus would've allowed alcohol to stand in as a metaphor for him, right? right? although, if the southern baptists took the eucharist, that might be ok, since the wine BECOMES the blood of Christ.


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