Drink Deeply of Jesus Christ

Having read the SBC resolution on alcohol consumption from last year’s SBC convention, and then receiving an email announcement from my seminary president addressing that very resolution, I quickly became aware of the foolish legalism of this call for alcoholic abstinence. I mean, there are many, many things I love about the Southern Baptist Convention and its churches, but I love God and His Word more. So it’s time to call it out:

This foolishness, this ugly Phariseeism, must stop.

The Southern Baptist Convention, its churches, and every believer in Jesus Christ would do well to pay attention to the commands, logic, and implications of Colossians 2:16-23

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

It says in essence, “Church, let no one judge you! Christ is the substance, not fleshly practices! Church, let no one cheat you! They will try to pull you away from the Head, from whom you are supplied with life!”

I preached on this passage last night at our local rescue mission and actually resisted the urge to call out the SBC on this one. I thought it was my sinful, critical nature trying to exalt myself over the convention; but it was nothing of the sort. My urge was from the Holy Spirit, because this anti-alcoholic legalism is a dangerous and deadly deception. And it is hurting, not helping, local churches.

I was reminded of this fact when I read this article from Christianity Today about the Missouri Bapist Convention and its fight against a local church who uses a local bar (gasp!) to meet people and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In response to the Journey Church’s practice of utilizin a St. Louis pub in order to “become all things to all men, so that by any means (they) might save some” (1 Cor. 9:22), the MBC has mandated the teaching of the false doctrine of alcoholic abstinence. One board member, Michael Knight, has even proposed that the MBC cut off all ministry partnership with Acts 29, the Mark Driscoll-founded organization that helps and funds many church plants, including the Journey.

With this idea, the MBC risks building folly upon folly. And it all comes from really bad theology:

  • God is not honored when people imply that alcoholic abstinence is a way of gaining His approval.
  • God is belittled when His Word is pushed to the wayside while we make rules that have nothing to do with it.
  • When we first appeal to personal experience and cultural evidence, God’s Word has become of no effect.

Let us not build houses upon sand, but upon the rock of Christ’s Word. Please join me in calling for a return to the God of the Bible.

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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

2 Responses to Drink Deeply of Jesus Christ

  1. Pingback: New Series! « Your Cross on My Back

  2. Pingback: Archives: “Do Stuff” Still Isn’t the Gospel « Your Cross on My Back

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