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2008.01.16

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volfan007

peter,

my head is starting to swell. now, i'm finding out that i believe like some very smart people. thanks for this series. i will enjoy it. :)

david

Byroniac

Apparently, "Lectures on Temperance (1857)" is available on Google books:

http://tinyurl.com/3b3j5a

peter lumpkins

David,

I am glad the series will assist. The guys we're bringing to the table may be a bit crusty with their understanding of exact science--part of their case against alcohol was based on some 19th century science that may not have been so exact.

Nonetheless, it is not the 'science' I am interested in but the Biblical-theological evidences they offer. And, that is the evidence over which our moderation Brothers must contend. Brother McCoy may chide us for not dealing with the plain meaning of Scripture. I think, however, the chiding will cease before the series is finished.

Grace, David. With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Byron,

When I have time, I will put up a page listing many of these works. Some have links to PDFs of the complete volume!

I think if you read Nott's entire lecture on the Bible and temperance, you will gain a greater appreciation for his committment to Scriptural authority. You may not agree with his analysis of what Scripture says, but that's an entirely different point than assuming there is no Scriptural case to be made.

Then, of course, comes the challenge: can we overturn, through our more sophisticated understanding of Hebrew, Greek and Latin...through correcting his flawed hermeneutic...through demonstrating he misread the sources--the same sources we appeal to today--his obviously failed, inferior scholarship?

Until our Baptist blogging Brothers demonstrate such, I think it premature, from my point of view, to embrace a theology of wine based on an overly simplistic running concordance approach , which I have found to be a pattern of contemporary moderationists, over the more seasoned view of men like Nott.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Keith Schooley

Peter,

Just for the record, I don't drink, and although I am not Baptist, my fellowship also holds to an abstinence position.

That being said, it seems really curious to me that you've begun this series--allegedly about the scriptural basis for abstinence--with a couple of quotes by Spurgeon (!), a quote from "The New England Journalist" in support of moderate drinking (which does actually attempt a biblical case, and which you find funny), and then this biography and quote from Eliphalet Nott, in which he merely asserts his commitment to Scripture, without actually making any Scriptural case for the issue at hand (unless it is concealed by ellipsis points).

I think a fair observer could wonder, Peter, if you're dragging your feet in getting to the point. Your assertion is that there is a Scriptural case to be made for abstinence; if so, then by all means, please make it (or link to it). All that's been done so far is appeal to human authority, and as brilliant as Mr Spurgeon and (Presbyterian, I note) Mr Nott may be, you and I are unpersuaded by certain other of their convictions.

Just intended as a friendly poke.

Keith

Chris

Peter,
I like the point made by Nott: we either come to scripture as a teacher or a learner. Humility does indeed bring more light.

Chris

selahV

Keith, so you want the reader's digest version, eh? :)

I rather like the way Peter is dangling the worm before us. For simple folk like me, it helps to see where these dudes were coming from and follow the path to the end of Peter's conclusions. selahV

peterlumpkins

Keith,

Hey, my brother. Good to hear from you. So, you think I am dragging my feet, ah? Well, maybe I am. Maybe I'm scared or perhaps the teeth of your 'poke' reveals what all moderationists know--the case for abstention is built more on human authority rather than Bibilical revelation ;^)

More seriously, Keith, I understandably perceive how I could be viewed as little more than an alley mutt barking at nothing in particular over this issue. And, I concede, that thus far it is basically assertions about Scripture rather than Scripture itself that has commanded my focus.

Know though, from my following this fishing expedition we've had in my own denominational pond, the persistent accusation leveled contra abstentionists and pro-moderationists has been and continues to be that the only scholarly view based upon Scripture itself must be Moderation in Drinking. Abstentionism is a priori ruled 'moral legalism', 'cultural argumentation', or even worst, the 'invention of extra-biblical sins'

Given that, though I could be 'dragging somewhat,' I personally find it significant to poke in my Brotherly adversaries' face the needed correction that, whatever we may call the historic 'temperance position'--or, in today's terms, those who abstain from intoxicating beverages for pleasurable purposes--it remains unequivocally unfair to tarbaby them as embracing Scriptural insufficiency.

You are right indeed, Keith, it is humorous I've thus far offered the stated views of 2 Calvinists--Spurgeon & Nott--albeit, a Baptist and a Presbyterian respectively. As for Spurgeon, he was really a little 'junior-high' joke of a spitwad blown at my Founders' brothers.

Nott was much more strategic as a Presbyterian 'temperance' scholar, rather than particularly Calvinist. Still to offer as heavy weight acamedicians who argued from Scripture for abstinence are a Baptist temperance man as well as rounding it off nicely with--and you'll appreciate this--an Arminian Methodist New Testament Greek scholar.

Grace, Keith. Always a privilege to hear from you. With that, I am...

Peter

Les Puryear

Peter,

This is good stuff. I'm looking forward to more.

Les

Steve McCoy

Is this a joke? Your post on "Laying a Foundation" has no Scripture? With that, I am...

Bored

David R. Brumbelow

I'm not bored.
Sincerely,
David R. Brumbelow

peterlumpkins

Steve,

Thanks for your participation. And, know I am sorry you are bored. Unfortunately, I do not dance to your tune, my Brother. I will offer the data at my pace and when I can at least polish the edges off a draft in the making.

If you cannot appreciate, as I stated to Keith, who, in a more courteous frame of reference, I might add, quiered a similar note, I cannot be any clearer. To him, I wrote:

"I concede, that thus far it is basically assertions about Scripture rather than Scripture itself that has commanded my focus...Given that...I personally find it significant to [offer] the needed correction that, whatever we may call the historic 'temperance position'...it remains unequivocally unfair to tarbaby them as embracing Scriptural insufficiency."

For the record, my Brother, you are welcome to stay or welcome to leave. I am content with either.

Nonetheless to demand from a post what was definitively not intended to deliver--in this case, the historic setting and the explicit assumptions about Scripture the temperance scholars possessed, rather than the specific scriptural argumentation they posed--and then, to characterize the post as a 'joke' that's makes you utterly 'bored' busts my britches, Steve. I think you may have stumbled onto one of the most unique demands a commenter has ever expected of me.

Know though: the concordance-type hermeutic you have already evidenced has been ably dealt a death blow by Eliphalet Nott. Indeed, your contribution thus far is unfortunately but precisely why the background to a proper and more sophisticated theology of wine is sorely needed.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Jeffro

Mrs. Nation...I mean, Peter,

Just because Eliphalet Nott built his apparently misguided "theology" of wine on Scripture and not culture has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not most SB's do. Most teetotalling SB's, I'm sure, are teetotalers because of their cultural leanings. I've never personally been able to find anyone who would even try to give me a reasoned argument from Scripture in this area (and I'm in the Bible Belt), though it is the majority view among pastors. When I ask them to explain to me Biblically why they are teetotalers they can't. The best "argument" I've been able to drag out of anyone around here is, "I abstain for the purpose of Evangelism." But if one is abstaining purely based on such pragmatism, is it not possible to say, "I partake for the sake of Evangelism."?

Furthermore, just because someone builds their "theology" on Scripture, by no means makes it tenable. Aren't you in disagreement with Calvinists, Continuationists, and the like. These are "theologies" based on Scripture, are they not? And do the various cults not base their errant "theologies" on Scripture? I would imagine that some would venture to think that I can't read the Bible objectively, therefore, I'm a Continuationist, Calvinistic, moderationist who is unable to see past his own "theological" and "cultural" nose. However, that argument can be levelled at everyone who holds any view from Scripture, whatever it may be. Can it not?

Cheers,
Jeffro

peter lumpkins

Jeffro,

Good to hear from you. The 'Mrs. Nation' remark slipped right past me. Sorry.

Quiet honestly, my Brother Jeffro, your entire point is lost, at least to me. I haven't a clue your purpose other than to suggest that just because one quotes the Bible or, in your words, 'because someone builds their "theology" on Scripture, by no means makes it tenable."

Actually, I did not know I implied it did, but I have to wonder: Are you suggesting one build one's theology foundationally on something other than Scripture?

Oh, Irony of ironies: I have Steve jeering me because there is no Scripture involved and you wondering what all the hoopla is about the centrality of Scripture. What is a man supposed to do? ;^)

Also, your allusion to "the various cults [basing] their errant "theologies" on Scripture' simply begs the question. How do you know the various cults possess 'errant theologies' apart discerning their errancy from Scripture? The obvious answer is, you do not.

As for your confident assertion about "Most teetotalling SB's, I'm sure, are teetotalers because of their cultural leanings", it stands an unproven assertion, I'm afraid, as does your anecdotal experience about "...[asking Pastors]to explain to [you] Biblically why they are teetotalers they can't." This is reductionistic reasoning based on a much too small sampling--your limited view alone--or, concluding from the much too narrow to the much too broad. Just because everybody I know in Carrollton, Ga. goes to my Church does not mean all the others Churches in Carrollton are empty.

Finally, Jeffro, your first line marks a dead giveaway revealing the assumption of many Moderationists which, not I only, but also many here have voiced: the foregone conclusion that Biblcal abstention cannot be rooted in the text of Scripture.

I note well your very first line:

Just because Eliphalet Nott built his apparently misguided "theology" of wine..."

Mr Nott's 'apparently misguided "theology"'? Recall, Jeffro: I have yet to offer one scintilla of Nott's case for scriptural abstinence from intoxicating beverages for pleasurable purposes. Instead, I have only offered my claims about his conclusions and his statedly clear guiding theological assumption about Scriptural authority.

Yet, within less than the first ten words written, you weigh in with an assumed skepticism that Nott's heretofore unexamined Biblical case is merely an 'apparently misguided "theology"'.

For my part, nothing else needs saying on that one. Such a priori, foregone conclusion readily reveals as much or even more raw closed-mindedness than the raunchiest, traditionally-driven Southern Baptist I've ever encountered.

Thank you, my Brother Jeffro, for your stimulating contribution.

Grace, always. With that, I am...

Peter

volfan007

steve mccoy and jeffro,

do yall drink alcohol?

david

peter

David,

Trust yor are not snowed in...yet...

I think somewhere Brother Steve has said that he chooses to abstain though decidedly embracing the moderation position, which, if I understand what many within the moderation say, is not untypical As for Jeffro, I do not think he's ever said--at least in any comment from him I have read.

It seems to me, a perpetual itch for those finding themselves adhering to moderation is to distinguish exactly how their view is not, in the final analysis--pertaining to effect, if not theory--a pro-intoxicating beverage stance. If intoxicating beverages are to be received as a gift from our Creator, a good thing to enjoy, a delight from Heaven, a symbol of mercies, a reliever to pain, a worthy stimulant to embrace--apart from excess, of course--how is it that we would ever find ourselves in an 'anti-intoxicating beverage' practice?

Also, how do we teach such moderation of intoxicating wine to children? Do we say:

"Look, kids. Wine is a good thing from God. By this blessed intoxicating liquid, we celebrate our Creator for His resources and our Redeemer for dying on the Cross for us. But, this good gift of God has been condemned by our civil authorities as a curse on anyone under 21 years of age. Thus, you will need to forego such Creation Celebration because our society bans you from doing so."

I don't know. Something seems a little odd about such a position, at least to me.

Grace. David. With that, I am...

Peter

Byroniac

Peter:

Not partaking personally doesn't and need not automatically equate into an "anti-intoxicating beverage" practice. This neither requires universal indulgence, nor specifies individual practice. Sushi is perfectly fine for people to eat, for instance, but if I never touch a bit of it, I'm not anti-sushi, except obviously in the personal sphere of reference, which is irrelevant to the overall argument at hand.

Also, you ask how we would teach moderation to children. How do we teach government, politics, or anything else to children? By dealing with them on their particular maturity and intellectual level. There are some things which are better understood with the adult mindset of maturity. And there are some things we all agree as a society that should not be taught to children which have not reached a sufficient age and maturity level. So this question is not a real issue.

That said, it's never too early to teach by good example. My mom and stepdad often drank one or two drinks after supper when I visited in the summer, and it was always a non-issue for me. Why? Because I never saw them drunk, so I never saw the substance abused in any form or fashion.

Again, it is not personal abstinence I oppose. I think I could probably speak for many in the moderation camp. Rather it is drunkenness, and the position of universal prohibition, which are two things I have yet to see here defended from Scripture, except by very shallow bible interpretations which fail to consider passage context (for example, Prov. 23:29-30 are often glossed over or given no exegesis, so that vv. 31-35 can be prooftexted to the heart's content).

Byroniac

Last paragraph of mine is in error.

Again, it is not personal abstinence I oppose. I think I could probably speak for many in the moderation camp. Rather it is drunkenness, which all oppose. And I oppose the position of universal prohibition, which I have yet to see here defended from Scripture, except by very shallow bible interpretations which fail to consider passage context (for example, Prov. 23:29-30 are often glossed over or given no exegesis, so that vv. 31-35 can be prooftexted to the heart's content, as is sometimes the case).

peter

Byron,

To lump sushi and alcohol together as do you, Byron, I do not think is going to persuade too many folk.

Unhappily, you completely avoided the question I posed about children. Given the assumptions about intoxicating wine being a good gift from God, that we are to celebrate with it, that even the NT Church employed it in the Lord's Supper, that Jesus both drank it and commended it and you place in the category that 'some things we all agree as a society that should not be taught to children which have not reached a sufficient age and maturity level."??

Please, Byron, reveal to me what it is that makes intoxicating wine--if it is every thing assumed above--an item off limits to children.

Also, supposing intoxicating wine a viable element in the Lord's Supper for today's church--the way I understand moderationists' arguments, intoxicating wine was surely the practice of the NT Church, not to mention the practice of Jesus--how is it, that the Church refuses to offer to its youngest adherents the pleasure of worshipping the Lord through the Supper? I have always understood that "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard"(Acts 4.19) was our firm committment that neither society nor government took away from us our absolute right to free worship.

That free NT worship is placed in with "some things we all agree as a society that should not be taught to children..." stands an odd position for one who keeps pushing the "Scripture alone" button. Also, supposing there were no 'societal taboos' involved, how is it the Church could, with clear conscience, withhold the Cup from young believers? Not a real issue? Not in my view.

For the record, both you, my brother Byron--and yesterday Steve--continued to receive a free pass on your insistence that "very shallow bible interpretations which fail to consider passage context ...are often glossed over or given no exegesis..."

As I took time to day to read the threads--I was so swamped yesterday--I am now looking at the screen with a puzzled look on my face.

I read your entire repertoire of comments you've thus far posted. And, while I may very well have missed something in the posts, Byron, I recorded exactly zero exegetical commentary from you. I cannot tell you how surprised I am about that since you've now critiqued these threads by suggesting the "shallow bible interpretations" found there with "no exegesis".

Unfortunately, Brother Steve's comment trail offers not much more. Unless I missed something somewhere, this is substantially Pastor McCoy's elaborate exegesis, which, I can only assume, qualifies in your view as correct exegesis:

[Proverbs] chapter 20 says it's about those "led astray"
[Proverbs] 23 is about those in a drunken state...

The Bible is clear. Drunkenness is sin...

Jesus...made wine, distributed it, drank it, and instituted it in the Lord's Supper.

[Christians] were getting hammered on [wine] in 1 Cor 11.

The rest of our Pastor McCoy's 'exegesis' basically asserts no body will challenge him or engage Scripture.

I stand open to correction, my brother Byron. If I missed something in this 'exegetical exchange' either of you offered, I humbly beg forgiveness.

I know precisely why I did not offer exegesis: it was not my intention. The larger question is, given both your and Pastor McCoy's persistent focus on proper exegesis, why nothing more exegetically substantial was posted.

Grace, Byron. With that, I am...

Peter

Byroniac

Peter:

I did not avoid your question concerning children. In fact, I answered it, but apparently not to your satisfaction. I'll try again.

Disregard alcohol for a second, and let's focus on other subjects taught to children. It should be obvious that much instruction, if not all, is geared towards the intellectual and maturity level of the child. You do not teach calculus, balancing your checkbook, and stock trading best practices to the 4th grade, for example. You probably would not trust state secrets vital to national security to a 12 year old. And on a much more sensitive matter, sex ed has a proper time and place, outside of which should be unthinkable.

Now, back to alcohol, beer, wine, or whatever. Instruction in this area must be geared to the intellectual and maturity level of the child. Exactly how that pans out is beyond my knowledge; I'm not a parent. It's safer and probably wisest to restrict consumption to adults, and since to do otherwise (AFAIK) is illegal, it's easily a no-brainer. The fundamentalist assertion that moderation must include children having the right to consume the same quantities and qualities as adults if moderation is possible, is simply not legitimate in my view, irrespective of the argument for moderation itself.

Yes, I gave no exegetical commentary. However, I pointed out the frequent omission of Prov. 23:29-30 when Prov. 23:31-35 is given, and received exactly zero rebuttals so far. No defense. No explanation. Nothing.

I'm sorry, but I refuse to accept fundamentalist dictation to my conscience based on biblical interpretations given without much explanation or adequate defense. I guess I'm just peculiar that way. The problem as I see it, is very simple. If it's in the Bible, show me. There, problem solved (and no, I'm not from Missouri).

Byroniac

Let's put the shoe on the other foot.

You believe the Bible is inerrant, perfect, and without error, right? So we could agree on that, and that the Bible is good? And that it is worthy to be taught and taught fully and accurately?

What then should prevent teaching the children the ENTIRE Bible, and not just the Sunday School-approved parts? Will you explain the metaphors for idolatry in Ezekiel 23:20? How about David's sin with Bathsheba, 2 Samuel 11? Or the failure to raise up posterity in Genesis 38:9?

If you want to pursue this line of questioning, then these matters become painfully and unavoidably pertinent, in my view.

peter lumpkins

Byron,

Once again, Byron, you're side-stepping. You attempt to mix calculus, stock markets and other subjects that are expected to be understood only through a highly developmental process with that which is extremely simple: celebrating the Creator our Redeemer for both our resources and our salvation--Sunday School 101.

Unless you can demonstrate how it takes special understanding--or better still, a sophisticated developmental comprehension like it takes for learning calculus or chemistry--to teach children that wine is a gift from God, is approved by God, that Jesus made wine, drank wine and commended wine, one is compelled, it seems to me, to reject your view.

Also, whether or not it is legal must surely be a separate question than whether or not it is moral. Nor did you even mention how it is that the Church could refuse to serve at the Supper what Christ commanded to all His Church--including the youngest members.

As for the two time description of abstention allegedly being either a 'fundamentalist assertion' or 'fundamentalist dictation' certainly offers an easy target, Byron; but to prove such is far more difficult.

Nott was definitively anything but 'fundamentalist'. Nor would I claim such for myself. Neither would I suppose any person here who would weigh in for abstention view themselves or their position as distinctly 'fundamentalist'.

Whatever the case, the creepy idea of 'fundamentalist dictation' once again implies that those of us who believe solid scriptural evidences exist which undergird a case for abstention from intoxicating beverages for pleasurable purposes are nothing more than 'moral legalists' attempting to 'dictate' to everyone else what their practice ought to be.

Indeed it is precisely language such as this that I find myself in the present series of conversations.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Byron,

See above. As for the "Entire Bible", why not? Again you skirt the question: how is it difficult to teach a child to thank God for His resources, His creation, His mercies of which, according to the moderationist, wine is an intrinsic part? That's all.

With that, I am...

Peter

Byroniac

Well, Peter, let's back up to your original question to Volfan007, "Also, how do we teach such moderation of intoxicating wine to children?" Why is this such a difficult question to the fundamentalist mindset? The answer, as I see it, is transparently simple: you teach them what the Bible truthfully teaches on the subject. And that's it.

And, you can throw in teaching by good example. As I alluded to in my recollection of summer visits with my mom and stepdad, they drank privately after supper with moderation, avoiding drunkenness in every single memory of mine of their activities. I've had the more or less implicit fundamentalist assertion that drinking must lead to drunkenness consistently and predictably proven wrong right before my very eyes. And this was before I even encouraged this tacit assumption. But really, that's the subject of a separate rant, and I'm off on another soapbox now.

But on the other hand, it's obvious that some believers (and individuals in society at large) cannot or should not drink, so that's why I have no resistance to personal abstinence, as long as it is not universally required without scriptural evidence, of which I have seen none so far (and I'm not narrowing the focus to this blog, please understand). I believe in the Holy Spirit's ability to guide the believer in the understanding of His Word and living in practical obedience to it, within divinely given boundaries of liberty expressed in the Scriptures. I also believe that the Holy Spirit can restrict Christian liberty and will do so for the good of His child at times in his or her life.

Now back to legalities and such. Yes, morality and legality are separate. We are morally bound first to God's law, and subject to human government according to what is right and proper (Romans 13). In an ideal world, morality and legality would simply define the abstract and practical definitions of righteousness, respectively, without one being a subset or a superset of the other. This happened historically in the Old Testament theocracy of Israel, and spiritually, in the New Covenant, we now have God's law written on our hearts. So yes, you very properly dinged me there.

That said, if Christian liberty includes moderation according to the Scriptures (and I believe it does), that does not dictate that all must partake. That solves one problem right off the bat with children consuming alcohol. It's simply not required.

As for partaking in the Lord's Supper, I think this too should not be an issue, for the following reasons. The "bread" and the "wine" serve as symbolic representations of spiritual realities. That is, they in themselves are not the true substance of the supper, which is spiritual, but they are physical tokens of the underlying spiritual reality shared by all true believers who have been redeemed. Typically, the bread is unleavened, and in Baptist churches that I've been to, the wine is unfermented grape juice, which both represent, according to their natural states, something symbolic which is to be understood spiritually. As far as I am aware, the Bible does not command that the bread be unleavened, or that the wine be fermented (or not). We know more about the natural state of the elements due to historical study and spiritual reflection. But whether the bread is leavened or not, and whether the wine is fermented or not, are not the most important. They are important, yes, but the most important process in the Lord's supper, does not focus on the physical elements themselves and their use, but the worship of Christ as redeemer in the heart of the one who believes. Even if moderation is true, and I hold that it is, it is no sin for a child, a man, or a woman to partake of the Lord's supper using bread and grape juice, the fruit of the vine, if that is the tradition of the church. Partaking is not required, because the foundation of moderation is found within the scope of Christian liberty in adherence to Scriptural obedience, and the Lord's Supper itself is primarily a spiritual activity than a physical one, if having the Holy Spirit and worshiping Jesus Christ means anything at all.

Let me state for the record, that I do not believe it would be inherently immoral for children to drink at the Lord's Supper (or anywhere else), but not to drunkenness, and under obedience to the supervision of the parents, and not to physical harm, and certainly not under any obligation or expectation. This would fall under Christian liberty along with a number of other activities, which arguably and conceivably could even include recreational drug use, though not outside the bounds of self-control, in the use of religious worship (as in biblical sorcery), or against moral duty as in Romans 13, or especially in any violations of Scripture. As an aside, I believe even slavery is not condemned by Scripture, though it is clear evidence of the state of man's fallen and corrupt nature, and has never to my understanding been completely and finally eradicated from the human condition across the globe. I mention all of this, because I firmly believe that Scripture is sufficient, and abiding by the clear dictates of the inspired Word, and under the guidance of biblical principles, that the believer will live out the Law of God written in his or her heart, to love God supremely, and to love his neighbor as himself (or herself).

And I want to ask again, Peter, because I find your answer unsatisfactory, will you teach the entire Bible, such as the parts I mentioned, to children? Perhaps you may, if it is possible, but to what depth? I should not even have to raise this question. And I do not believe this (moderation) should be an issue in this context, that you are attempting to force it to be. I could make reference to the current scourge of easy believism, which has produced untold multiples of professed child conversions, no doubt some of which are indeed genuine, while pointing out that in the Scriptures the most common pattern is of adult conversion and baptism. There may be a corner to back a moderationist into, Peter, but I don't believe this is it.

Byroniac

I've already let the cat out of the bag, but if it helps at all, I personally detest slavery and illegal drug use.

Byroniac

Giving credit where it's due, I believe Steve first pointed out the omission of Proverbs 23:29-30.

peter lumpkins

Byron,

This is my final comment on this particular leg of the discussion. I'm ready to move on.

Once again, Byron, if you continue to blow the horn about this issue being a "fundamentalist mindset" phenomenon, all you will do is perpetuate drawn swords in discussion. If you are content with that, so be it.

Do not be surprised, however, if the 'Liberal' label comes back toward the moderation camp. Interestingly, we lament our lack of irenic discussions among Believers only too often to find it's we ourselves who continually pinch the back of our Brother's arm.

There's too much in your rather long comment to address, Byron. A few rejoinders and I'm through.

First, to even remotely suggest I implied through my comments that moderation breaks down to 'forcing' others to drink alcohol is ridiculous.

And, if you cannot show such to be the case from the language I wrote, then it's best, it seems to me, to drop it.

Second, what is more troubling to me, Byron, is this statement you make:

"I do not believe it would be inherently immoral for children to drink at the Lord's Supper (or anywhere else)...which arguably and conceivably could even include recreational drug use"

That, my friend, is much more than a cat. It is the height of skewed consistency at best and moral irresponsibility at worst. Only a non-parent such as yourself, Byron, could muster the strength to utter such garbled values.

I wrote this on another post:

If it can be shown that, Biblically speaking, it is a perfectly moral, acceptable practice to both advocate and use, even in a moderate sense, alcoholic beverages specifically for recreational, pleasure-filled purposes, and alcoholic beverages being the mind-altering drugs they are, it necessarily follows that it is also a perfectly moral, acceptable practice to both advocate and use, at least in a moderate sense, other mind-altering drugs specifically for recreational, pleasure-filled purposes.

You, my brother Byron, have demonstrated my little syllogism may have some punch to it after all.

You wrote in your final sentence: "There may be a corner to back a moderationist into, Peter, but I don't believe this is it."

Byron, my friend: it is not about me backing one into a corner. Rather, it is about self-destructing, which, in my view, you just did.

Without even knowing it, you personally delivered, to every abstentionist, all the reason in the world we must teach abstinence, not moderation.

For, from the moderationist's standpoint--at least your brand of moderation--recreational drug use is perfectly moral for our children. Just say no to excess in doing so.

I am stunned. Also, thoroughly disappointed. Your perpetual appeal to what "Scripture teaches" just blew a fuse. For me, if that's what Scriptural principle led you to embrace, I have to tell you: we're reading different Bibles.

Maranatha. Come, Lord. With that, I am...

Peter

(I'm not even going to address the slavery issue. My, My, My...)


Byroniac

Peter:

I apologize for the "fundamentalist" label. It was wrong for me to use, added no value to the discussion, and served no useful purpose. Your reasoning concerning such is spot on, and I realize I'm in error on that. I'm not being objective, but emotional here. I apologize to all for the use of the inflammatory term; I was wrong in using it.

However, I'll willingly embrace the liberal label, if not happily. I'm no longer a conservative, and no longer desire to be one. I see no point in it. If others want to, that's fine; let them follow the dictates of their own consciences.

And you are right, because I am a non-parent as you put it, I'm probably thinking differently on this issue than I would if I had children. But my basic point was in that, which I won't belabor or elaborate further, is that it is a theoretical conclusion and not necessarily a practical or necessary condition.

Peter, you said, "First, to even remotely suggest I implied through my comments that moderation breaks down to 'forcing' others to drink alcohol is ridiculous." I think I might have misunderstood you here. I thought you were trying to suggest that we in the moderation camp would have no reason for children NOT consuming if our position is held true, and I do not believe such is required. Maybe I missed the boat on that.

Concerning slavery, I do not for any moment condone racism of any sort, or anti-Semitism, or anything of that sort. America's racist slavery was wrong primarily for its racism, and at the very least, slavery is and should be reprehensible to the civilized mind. But again, it still goes on in other parts of the world in other contexts, and I don't believe man will ever be free of it. That's why I'm glad that Galatians 3:28 and Philemon 1:16 is in the Bible, so there is indeed hope for Christian believers. Remember, outside of Christ there is no hope, and there exist far worse things than slavery and recreational drug use. That is why our only hope is in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Byroniac

I'm sorry. I want to add one more thing. Matthew 7:9-11 is what I would operate under if I were a parent. Thanks.

Frank Turk

There's no question that any position -- especially one of faith or morals -- must be founded on what the Bible teaches. None.

And while his arguments and conclusions -- which you do not publish here -- may be incorrect, Prof Nott's premise that the truth will out, and that the Bible is clear on this matter are, frankly, exactly right.

I look forward to seeing your position stated clearly at some point in this series.

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