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2013.09.28

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CASEY

I suppose you will be criticized for bringing this 'subject' up again. But when we realize that everyday someone is 'exploring' whether to drink alcohol or not...then it is important that we show them the way of abstinence to protect their testimony. All the while, knowing there is a crowd out there that misleads some into thinking they have somehow missed out by not partaking...always joyful to tell the truth. It should never get old for us.......

peter lumpkins

Hi CASEY

I try not to allow myself to become lax in speaking a word about abstinence when I can. Yet I'm neither obsessed with the subject nor do I 'sweat it' when those with whom I might be conversing or associating shall we say, indulge.

Even so, I do get a bit testy when young, flamboyant Southern Baptists (and some not-so-young as a post I will soon publish makes clear) proceed to make my position out to be either moral legalism on one hand, or ethically idiotic on the other not to mention the dubious claim that abstinence from intoxicating substances for pleasurable purposes cannot hold up under biblical exegesis and sound moral reasoning.

volfan007

Peter,

As always, very interesting stuff....and, very informative.

David

hariette

all one has to do is read your book to see sound moral reasoning... anyone who has a clear and open mind will see the validity of your position. Alcohol Today... worth the read.
Politicians go batty every time a person goes ballistic and shoots a bunch of people and immediately call for stronger gun control. Yet, every single day someone either dies from drunkenness or kills an innocent person due to their drunkenness. shame on anyone who promotes the poison... no one knows what moderation is... no one knows who will take a drink and end up an alcoholic who causes nothing but heartache to family and friends.

Max

Well, OK, but did Spurgeon serve only grape juice and cigars at his plurality of elders meetings? ;^)

Wyman Richardson

Peter,

That's really interesting about Spurgeon. Thanks.

I haven't read your book (apologies), but I'm curious about a kind of bottom line on your views. For the record, I don't drink. My wife doesn't drink. We're raising our daughter not to drink. I say that to say that I'm asking as one teetotaler to another. I'd like to know your thoughts about this scenario:

A man goes home and has dinner with his wife. He drinks a glass of wine with his dinner.

In your opinion, has that man sinned against God?

peter lumpkins

Max

You're too funny :^)

My guess is, Spurgeon's 'plurality of elders' did not look like the elder-board being promoted amongst the SBC now. I could be wrong. I may do some digging on old Spurgeon. He may have changed his mind on elders just as apparently he did imbibing!

peter lumpkins

Wyman,

Thanks. I try to scope out a broad ethical principle of abstinence in the book, a principle based upon what we have in Scripture coupled with sound moral reasoning we must employ for any number of ethical issues we face which the Bible does not directly address.

Hence in the book, I not only briefly develop a biblical hermenuetic for morally discerning the Bible's contribution as it speaks, if not explicitly, then at minimum indirectly to every ethical dilemma we might face, but also note briefly the nature of ethical absolutes themselves. My own approach to the nature of ethical absolutes is highly influenced by Drs. John and Paul Feinberg in Ethics for a Brave New World (I studied ethics briefly under the late Dr. P. Feinberg at Trinity several years ago) and Norman Geisler in Christian Ethics. Both take a graded, hierarchical view of conflicting absolutes--'greater of two goods' model.

With that perhaps too lengthy background, I do not argue in the book that imbibing mind-altering substances (e.g. alcohol) is intrinsically wrong (e.g. medicinal purposes surely are excluded); instead I argue imbibing intoxicating substances for pleasurable purposes is wrong. From this you should be able to deduce what might be concluded about your question given the premises I hold.

Perhaps a clarifying question for you is in order:

A man goes home and has dinner with his wife. He smokes a joint after his dinner.

In your opinion, has that man sinned against God?


Scott Shaver

Peter:

The case you make for abstinence is fair and worthy of consideration by both drinkers and non-drinkers.

Any charge of "moral-legalism" for simply expounding a healthy alternative to the use of alcohol would seem petty. Especially any attack on the biblical exegesis used to arrive at the position of abstinence.

It's much easier to find good things to say about abstinence than it is finding good things to say about imbibing.

An admirable conviction in IMO

Wyman Richardson

Interesting. I think I see your position. I think I hear you saying that the man would have sinned against God for having wine with his dinner. Thanks Peter.

peter lumpkins

Thanks. Scott. To my knowledge I've never, ever had a falling out with someone over this issue, and that in the pastorate since 1981. It takes blogging and the internet to do that...

Max

Whew! If we don't fix some of this stuff in SBC ranks soon, I'm considering taking a drink! (to the glory of God, of course)

Perhaps a Calvinus beer: http://www.calvinus.ch/

Scott Shaver

Well Pete:

At least we can say that involvement with the technology gives you some insight as to what's actually going on in the minds and hearts of today's religious "experts".

Max

Putting aside the stupid old fogey un-Biblical legalistic majority SBC "do not" position on alcohol consumption, is there any possibility that many of our otherwise brilliant youth are drawn to the YRR movement simply because they “get to” drink now? Cool!

Scott Shaver

Max:

I'd be happy to compromise and have a beer along with them if they'll leave Calvin at the house.

peter lumpkins

Now you've gone and done it, Scott. I'm ruined. :^)

Scott Shaver

I knew that would get a rise out of you Pete.

peter lumpkins

'A man's got to know his limitations'

Who said it?

Scott Shaver

Stick with abstinence, safer bet with or without Calvin

Scott Shaver

Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry

Andrew Barker

'A man's got to know his limitations'
Who said it?

Peter, I hope you don't mind, but I had to chuckle when I saw this, and Scott's gentle informative prompt!

I think you will be fine so long as you don't write a book on it. I mean, enjoying God through the Harry Potter stories is one thing (rather questionable in my view) but Enjoying God through Dirty Harry might be stretching things a tad too far. :)
Blessings as ever!

Scott Shaver

Andrew:

I saw online the other day in response to a 40% discount offer on "Enjoying God through Harry Potter" the following alternative.

"How about enjoying God without Harry Potter?"

Lydia

Andrew,

I am not so sure there isn't some correlation between Dirty Harry and Mark Driscoll's "bus" where told us he is piling up bodies behind it.

Andrew Barker

Scott, how about Enjoying 'The' Potter, without Harry!

Lydia, Lt. Callahan is not always quotable ... you know what I mean, but perhaps the "bus" casualties get questioned as to whether they are 5 pointers and then "do you feel lucky!"

I think I need to knock this on the head now! :-)

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