Ministry at the Pub: Is this legit or what?

BeerIf your are Southern Baptist, you are told to work against "the manufacturing, advertising, distributing and consuming of alcoholic beverages."  However, one church in St. Louis (The Journey) has other ideas where they offer a ministry that serves beer and theology.  [The Christian Post: Mixing of Beer, Church Contested]

To bring this thought to the blogging world, I discovered a blog that seems like they appreciate what this church in St. Louis is doing.  [Pub Ministry Blog]


What do you think about beer and theology, or beer and evangelism?

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

56 comments

  1. Hmmm. I did a little research. Here are a few verses I found:

    Mathew 15:11

    “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

    1 Corinthians 19 – 23

    “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.”

    1 Timothy 5:22,23

    Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure. No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.

  2. Hmmm. I did a little research. Here are a few verses I found:

    Mathew 15:11

    “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

    1 Corinthians 19 – 23

    “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.”

    1 Timothy 5:22,23

    Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure. No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.

  3. Hmmm. I did a little research. Here are a few verses I found:

    Mathew 15:11

    “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

    1 Corinthians 19 – 23

    “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.”

    1 Timothy 5:22,23

    Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure. No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.

  4. Hmmm. I did a little research. Here are a few verses I found:

    Mathew 15:11

    “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

    1 Corinthians 19 – 23

    “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.”

    1 Timothy 5:22,23

    Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure. No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.

  5. Gotta love the inovative and Christ-pursuing church ministry, thanks for the honorable mention and keeping us alert to the new and thought provoking.

  6. Gotta love the inovative and Christ-pursuing church ministry, thanks for the honorable mention and keeping us alert to the new and thought provoking.

  7. Gotta love the inovative and Christ-pursuing church ministry, thanks for the honorable mention and keeping us alert to the new and thought provoking.

  8. Gotta love the inovative and Christ-pursuing church ministry, thanks for the honorable mention and keeping us alert to the new and thought provoking.

  9. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Alcohol is such a divisive topic. I don’t know what is theologically correct, but I enjoy the ole hops and barley!

  10. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Alcohol is such a divisive topic. I don’t know what is theologically correct, but I enjoy the ole hops and barley!

  11. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Alcohol is such a divisive topic. I don’t know what is theologically correct, but I enjoy the ole hops and barley!

  12. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Alcohol is such a divisive topic. I don’t know what is theologically correct, but I enjoy the ole hops and barley!

  13. Now that I have heard from some of you, I now will chime in…
    Is it legit?

    Yes, since this is under the leadership of a local body and accountable to a pastor and his board and is missional in reaching people it is indeed a valid ministry.

    Alcohol?

    I choose to not make this an issue as far as a law. For me, I choose one thing, but I cannot put that on others. The scripture does not forbid consuming it, just the abuse of it. John Piper says that “legalism is far worse than alcoholism” and I agree.

    Unity!

    What is important, mostly, is to support your local church and the UNITY of that body. There is nothing more immature than to demand your rights over the greater good of your church body or the Church at large. So, if you have the right to drink, do not flaunt it. If you choose to be abstinent, then do not demand that others do so. All things are lawful, but not profitable.

    Thanks for the great conversation…keep it coming!

  14. Now that I have heard from some of you, I now will chime in…
    Is it legit?

    Yes, since this is under the leadership of a local body and accountable to a pastor and his board and is missional in reaching people it is indeed a valid ministry.

    Alcohol?

    I choose to not make this an issue as far as a law. For me, I choose one thing, but I cannot put that on others. The scripture does not forbid consuming it, just the abuse of it. John Piper says that “legalism is far worse than alcoholism” and I agree.

    Unity!

    What is important, mostly, is to support your local church and the UNITY of that body. There is nothing more immature than to demand your rights over the greater good of your church body or the Church at large. So, if you have the right to drink, do not flaunt it. If you choose to be abstinent, then do not demand that others do so. All things are lawful, but not profitable.

    Thanks for the great conversation…keep it coming!

  15. Now that I have heard from some of you, I now will chime in…
    Is it legit?

    Yes, since this is under the leadership of a local body and accountable to a pastor and his board and is missional in reaching people it is indeed a valid ministry.

    Alcohol?

    I choose to not make this an issue as far as a law. For me, I choose one thing, but I cannot put that on others. The scripture does not forbid consuming it, just the abuse of it. John Piper says that “legalism is far worse than alcoholism” and I agree.

    Unity!

    What is important, mostly, is to support your local church and the UNITY of that body. There is nothing more immature than to demand your rights over the greater good of your church body or the Church at large. So, if you have the right to drink, do not flaunt it. If you choose to be abstinent, then do not demand that others do so. All things are lawful, but not profitable.

    Thanks for the great conversation…keep it coming!

  16. Now that I have heard from some of you, I now will chime in…
    Is it legit?

    Yes, since this is under the leadership of a local body and accountable to a pastor and his board and is missional in reaching people it is indeed a valid ministry.

    Alcohol?

    I choose to not make this an issue as far as a law. For me, I choose one thing, but I cannot put that on others. The scripture does not forbid consuming it, just the abuse of it. John Piper says that “legalism is far worse than alcoholism” and I agree.

    Unity!

    What is important, mostly, is to support your local church and the UNITY of that body. There is nothing more immature than to demand your rights over the greater good of your church body or the Church at large. So, if you have the right to drink, do not flaunt it. If you choose to be abstinent, then do not demand that others do so. All things are lawful, but not profitable.

    Thanks for the great conversation…keep it coming!

  17. Personally, I don’t enjoy alcoholic beverages, particularly beer. I can appreciate wine if someone else is paying for it, but I still don’t really understand the attraction. As my wife says, it tastes like cough medicine.
    But I completely don’t understand how so many Christians have such a negative view of others who do enjoy controlled consumption of alcohol. There is nothing wrong with enjoying beer, wine, or even something harder. Clearly, the Bible warns us against getting drunk. It also warns us against gossip, and much more severely, I might point out.

    Do we think that Jesus didn’t drink the wine that He miraculously created at the wedding? And did He not create it for consumption? Did He withhold it from those who were already drunk? Do we think that Jesus never drank any alcohol when he was meeting with the tax collectors and drunks? Do we forget that at the last supper, the drink that He said was His blood was in fact wine?

    Do the religious elite of today not see how much they sound like the religious elite of Jesus’ day when they condemn anyone who consumes any alcohol?

    When Louie Giglio used a bottle of wine to make a point during a session at Catalyst (and admitted that he drinks wine occasionally) the Catalyst blog got inundated with criticism from people who felt that Louie was wrong to even drink a drop. It got so heated that they shut the comments down. And these are from next-generation leaders!

    People who are like that make we want to acquire a taste for alcohol (and why not, even serve it at church) just to rile them up. But that’s the rebellious part of me, and it’s something I have to be careful about sometimes. It’s just insane, though, that people can be so critical about something so trivial when there are much bigger problems of spiritual formation that they should be focusing on.

  18. Personally, I don’t enjoy alcoholic beverages, particularly beer. I can appreciate wine if someone else is paying for it, but I still don’t really understand the attraction. As my wife says, it tastes like cough medicine.
    But I completely don’t understand how so many Christians have such a negative view of others who do enjoy controlled consumption of alcohol. There is nothing wrong with enjoying beer, wine, or even something harder. Clearly, the Bible warns us against getting drunk. It also warns us against gossip, and much more severely, I might point out.

    Do we think that Jesus didn’t drink the wine that He miraculously created at the wedding? And did He not create it for consumption? Did He withhold it from those who were already drunk? Do we think that Jesus never drank any alcohol when he was meeting with the tax collectors and drunks? Do we forget that at the last supper, the drink that He said was His blood was in fact wine?

    Do the religious elite of today not see how much they sound like the religious elite of Jesus’ day when they condemn anyone who consumes any alcohol?

    When Louie Giglio used a bottle of wine to make a point during a session at Catalyst (and admitted that he drinks wine occasionally) the Catalyst blog got inundated with criticism from people who felt that Louie was wrong to even drink a drop. It got so heated that they shut the comments down. And these are from next-generation leaders!

    People who are like that make we want to acquire a taste for alcohol (and why not, even serve it at church) just to rile them up. But that’s the rebellious part of me, and it’s something I have to be careful about sometimes. It’s just insane, though, that people can be so critical about something so trivial when there are much bigger problems of spiritual formation that they should be focusing on.

  19. Personally, I don’t enjoy alcoholic beverages, particularly beer. I can appreciate wine if someone else is paying for it, but I still don’t really understand the attraction. As my wife says, it tastes like cough medicine.
    But I completely don’t understand how so many Christians have such a negative view of others who do enjoy controlled consumption of alcohol. There is nothing wrong with enjoying beer, wine, or even something harder. Clearly, the Bible warns us against getting drunk. It also warns us against gossip, and much more severely, I might point out.

    Do we think that Jesus didn’t drink the wine that He miraculously created at the wedding? And did He not create it for consumption? Did He withhold it from those who were already drunk? Do we think that Jesus never drank any alcohol when he was meeting with the tax collectors and drunks? Do we forget that at the last supper, the drink that He said was His blood was in fact wine?

    Do the religious elite of today not see how much they sound like the religious elite of Jesus’ day when they condemn anyone who consumes any alcohol?

    When Louie Giglio used a bottle of wine to make a point during a session at Catalyst (and admitted that he drinks wine occasionally) the Catalyst blog got inundated with criticism from people who felt that Louie was wrong to even drink a drop. It got so heated that they shut the comments down. And these are from next-generation leaders!

    People who are like that make we want to acquire a taste for alcohol (and why not, even serve it at church) just to rile them up. But that’s the rebellious part of me, and it’s something I have to be careful about sometimes. It’s just insane, though, that people can be so critical about something so trivial when there are much bigger problems of spiritual formation that they should be focusing on.

  20. Personally, I don’t enjoy alcoholic beverages, particularly beer. I can appreciate wine if someone else is paying for it, but I still don’t really understand the attraction. As my wife says, it tastes like cough medicine.
    But I completely don’t understand how so many Christians have such a negative view of others who do enjoy controlled consumption of alcohol. There is nothing wrong with enjoying beer, wine, or even something harder. Clearly, the Bible warns us against getting drunk. It also warns us against gossip, and much more severely, I might point out.

    Do we think that Jesus didn’t drink the wine that He miraculously created at the wedding? And did He not create it for consumption? Did He withhold it from those who were already drunk? Do we think that Jesus never drank any alcohol when he was meeting with the tax collectors and drunks? Do we forget that at the last supper, the drink that He said was His blood was in fact wine?

    Do the religious elite of today not see how much they sound like the religious elite of Jesus’ day when they condemn anyone who consumes any alcohol?

    When Louie Giglio used a bottle of wine to make a point during a session at Catalyst (and admitted that he drinks wine occasionally) the Catalyst blog got inundated with criticism from people who felt that Louie was wrong to even drink a drop. It got so heated that they shut the comments down. And these are from next-generation leaders!

    People who are like that make we want to acquire a taste for alcohol (and why not, even serve it at church) just to rile them up. But that’s the rebellious part of me, and it’s something I have to be careful about sometimes. It’s just insane, though, that people can be so critical about something so trivial when there are much bigger problems of spiritual formation that they should be focusing on.

  21. The alcohol debate has been interesting at my church. A couple years ago my pastor preached on it honestly, that the Bible does not prohibit drinking, but sternly warns against its dangers.
    The reactions to that sermon were interesting. There was a group of people who ONLY heard “Pastor said it’s ok to drink.” It revealed their hearts. All they wanted was a blank check. Some college students, confronted months later about their excessive drinking, protested, “But Pastor said it’s ok.” No, he didn’t.

    Alcohol is a big problem in our community. Of the families experiencing marital trouble in our church, there isn’t one where alcohol isn’t a major factor. Because of this, our staff have covenanted together never to touch alcohol, even though we are free to do so. I cannot fathom fashioning a ministry around it.

    Having said that, I would not presume to speak against The Journey. I attended there once and was impressed with their church and their leaders. I think I read their hearts well enough to know that they want to build bridges to people far from God. God bless them, and may they be wildly successful.

    It’s my opinion, however, that the bridge of alcohol is both unnecessary and filled with dangers. I was in my friend’s wedding; he’s part of a church that has no bones about alcohol consumption. At the reception, I watched many members of his church, and two of his pastors get pretty wildly drunk. I wondered what they taught their teenagers about alcohol, and what they taught their children.

    Piper is right: legalism is more dangerous than alcoholism. But our sinful hearts want so badly for our idols to be affirmed and cherished, and I can’t wonder if that’s what’s happening here.

    Grace to you all.

  22. The alcohol debate has been interesting at my church. A couple years ago my pastor preached on it honestly, that the Bible does not prohibit drinking, but sternly warns against its dangers.
    The reactions to that sermon were interesting. There was a group of people who ONLY heard “Pastor said it’s ok to drink.” It revealed their hearts. All they wanted was a blank check. Some college students, confronted months later about their excessive drinking, protested, “But Pastor said it’s ok.” No, he didn’t.

    Alcohol is a big problem in our community. Of the families experiencing marital trouble in our church, there isn’t one where alcohol isn’t a major factor. Because of this, our staff have covenanted together never to touch alcohol, even though we are free to do so. I cannot fathom fashioning a ministry around it.

    Having said that, I would not presume to speak against The Journey. I attended there once and was impressed with their church and their leaders. I think I read their hearts well enough to know that they want to build bridges to people far from God. God bless them, and may they be wildly successful.

    It’s my opinion, however, that the bridge of alcohol is both unnecessary and filled with dangers. I was in my friend’s wedding; he’s part of a church that has no bones about alcohol consumption. At the reception, I watched many members of his church, and two of his pastors get pretty wildly drunk. I wondered what they taught their teenagers about alcohol, and what they taught their children.

    Piper is right: legalism is more dangerous than alcoholism. But our sinful hearts want so badly for our idols to be affirmed and cherished, and I can’t wonder if that’s what’s happening here.

    Grace to you all.

  23. The alcohol debate has been interesting at my church. A couple years ago my pastor preached on it honestly, that the Bible does not prohibit drinking, but sternly warns against its dangers.
    The reactions to that sermon were interesting. There was a group of people who ONLY heard “Pastor said it’s ok to drink.” It revealed their hearts. All they wanted was a blank check. Some college students, confronted months later about their excessive drinking, protested, “But Pastor said it’s ok.” No, he didn’t.

    Alcohol is a big problem in our community. Of the families experiencing marital trouble in our church, there isn’t one where alcohol isn’t a major factor. Because of this, our staff have covenanted together never to touch alcohol, even though we are free to do so. I cannot fathom fashioning a ministry around it.

    Having said that, I would not presume to speak against The Journey. I attended there once and was impressed with their church and their leaders. I think I read their hearts well enough to know that they want to build bridges to people far from God. God bless them, and may they be wildly successful.

    It’s my opinion, however, that the bridge of alcohol is both unnecessary and filled with dangers. I was in my friend’s wedding; he’s part of a church that has no bones about alcohol consumption. At the reception, I watched many members of his church, and two of his pastors get pretty wildly drunk. I wondered what they taught their teenagers about alcohol, and what they taught their children.

    Piper is right: legalism is more dangerous than alcoholism. But our sinful hearts want so badly for our idols to be affirmed and cherished, and I can’t wonder if that’s what’s happening here.

    Grace to you all.

  24. The alcohol debate has been interesting at my church. A couple years ago my pastor preached on it honestly, that the Bible does not prohibit drinking, but sternly warns against its dangers.
    The reactions to that sermon were interesting. There was a group of people who ONLY heard “Pastor said it’s ok to drink.” It revealed their hearts. All they wanted was a blank check. Some college students, confronted months later about their excessive drinking, protested, “But Pastor said it’s ok.” No, he didn’t.

    Alcohol is a big problem in our community. Of the families experiencing marital trouble in our church, there isn’t one where alcohol isn’t a major factor. Because of this, our staff have covenanted together never to touch alcohol, even though we are free to do so. I cannot fathom fashioning a ministry around it.

    Having said that, I would not presume to speak against The Journey. I attended there once and was impressed with their church and their leaders. I think I read their hearts well enough to know that they want to build bridges to people far from God. God bless them, and may they be wildly successful.

    It’s my opinion, however, that the bridge of alcohol is both unnecessary and filled with dangers. I was in my friend’s wedding; he’s part of a church that has no bones about alcohol consumption. At the reception, I watched many members of his church, and two of his pastors get pretty wildly drunk. I wondered what they taught their teenagers about alcohol, and what they taught their children.

    Piper is right: legalism is more dangerous than alcoholism. But our sinful hearts want so badly for our idols to be affirmed and cherished, and I can’t wonder if that’s what’s happening here.

    Grace to you all.

  25. Mark, here are some thoughts about the wedding verses the Journey…
    Legalism is so seductive since we are fearful of the freedom we have in Christ. This fear makes us set up standards that are not in the Bible, but that might be practical (at least in our minds) to keep us from sin. Where things go wrong is when we impose these practical fences we setup that meet our own personal sensibilities but are not prescribed by scripture.

    Really, alcohol is NOT evil. That has to be stated. If that was so, Jesus would not have made wine at the wedding in Cana.

    The obvious thing is that idolatry is one thing and drunkenness is another. Drunkenness when it comes to alcohol can be measured and observed while idolatry gets a bit messy. I would suggest caution in this regard. Can we really judge motives?

    Reaching people “far from God” is messy. The very things the Journey is being slammed for makes them in good company–Jesus himself was slammed by the Pharisees for hanging our with sinners. The more fences we keep up the further we keep people from freedom they might find in Christ.

  26. Mark, here are some thoughts about the wedding verses the Journey…
    Legalism is so seductive since we are fearful of the freedom we have in Christ. This fear makes us set up standards that are not in the Bible, but that might be practical (at least in our minds) to keep us from sin. Where things go wrong is when we impose these practical fences we setup that meet our own personal sensibilities but are not prescribed by scripture.

    Really, alcohol is NOT evil. That has to be stated. If that was so, Jesus would not have made wine at the wedding in Cana.

    The obvious thing is that idolatry is one thing and drunkenness is another. Drunkenness when it comes to alcohol can be measured and observed while idolatry gets a bit messy. I would suggest caution in this regard. Can we really judge motives?

    Reaching people “far from God” is messy. The very things the Journey is being slammed for makes them in good company–Jesus himself was slammed by the Pharisees for hanging our with sinners. The more fences we keep up the further we keep people from freedom they might find in Christ.

  27. Mark, here are some thoughts about the wedding verses the Journey…
    Legalism is so seductive since we are fearful of the freedom we have in Christ. This fear makes us set up standards that are not in the Bible, but that might be practical (at least in our minds) to keep us from sin. Where things go wrong is when we impose these practical fences we setup that meet our own personal sensibilities but are not prescribed by scripture.

    Really, alcohol is NOT evil. That has to be stated. If that was so, Jesus would not have made wine at the wedding in Cana.

    The obvious thing is that idolatry is one thing and drunkenness is another. Drunkenness when it comes to alcohol can be measured and observed while idolatry gets a bit messy. I would suggest caution in this regard. Can we really judge motives?

    Reaching people “far from God” is messy. The very things the Journey is being slammed for makes them in good company–Jesus himself was slammed by the Pharisees for hanging our with sinners. The more fences we keep up the further we keep people from freedom they might find in Christ.

  28. Mark, here are some thoughts about the wedding verses the Journey…
    Legalism is so seductive since we are fearful of the freedom we have in Christ. This fear makes us set up standards that are not in the Bible, but that might be practical (at least in our minds) to keep us from sin. Where things go wrong is when we impose these practical fences we setup that meet our own personal sensibilities but are not prescribed by scripture.

    Really, alcohol is NOT evil. That has to be stated. If that was so, Jesus would not have made wine at the wedding in Cana.

    The obvious thing is that idolatry is one thing and drunkenness is another. Drunkenness when it comes to alcohol can be measured and observed while idolatry gets a bit messy. I would suggest caution in this regard. Can we really judge motives?

    Reaching people “far from God” is messy. The very things the Journey is being slammed for makes them in good company–Jesus himself was slammed by the Pharisees for hanging our with sinners. The more fences we keep up the further we keep people from freedom they might find in Christ.

  29. Appreciate your thoughts, Rich.
    I had a great conversation with a friend of mine several years ago. (Name’s Bud; he’ll actually be at re:create.) He pointed out to me that if we have hard and fast rules, we don’t have to figure things out in relationship with God and others. If you have a rule: “never drink alcohol” that’s clean and easy. It requires no thought and no risk. It’s similar to the rule “I will drink alcohol whenever I want.” It makes no demands of your heart that would test your loyalty to Jesus.

    Compare that, however, to something like this: “I will drink alcohol only when it will bring more glory to God than if I were not to drink alcohol.” All of a sudden, you’re off easy street. Now you have to think about the glory of God in your life and relationships, and about your brothers who might stumble, and all manner of things. It’s messy. You have to think and pray and figure it out and do your best.

    If I went to a wedding and drank because I wanted a buzz, that’s one thing. If I sat down and had a beer with my lost high school buddy for the sake of conversation, it might be something else. The scary part might be that no one but you and God could really measure your own motives, so you can’t rely on the dictates of others to find out if you were right or not. You have to be sufficiently intimate with Christ and make the determination there, solely. For a lot of Christians, that would be new territory.

    You’re exactly right: alcohol isn’t evil. It’s true. But the other side is that it is a source of bondage. Again, that’s nothing about alcohol; it’s a statement about our hearts. Sex isn’t evil, either, but it is a major source of bondage. Do we de-sexify life because of that? No. But we should be cautious and deliberate.

    Frankly, I admire the folks at The Journey. They’re taking risks to reach people for Christ. I think that pleases God. Even if they’re wrong, their spirit should be applauded.

    Look forward to meeting you next week.

  30. Appreciate your thoughts, Rich.
    I had a great conversation with a friend of mine several years ago. (Name’s Bud; he’ll actually be at re:create.) He pointed out to me that if we have hard and fast rules, we don’t have to figure things out in relationship with God and others. If you have a rule: “never drink alcohol” that’s clean and easy. It requires no thought and no risk. It’s similar to the rule “I will drink alcohol whenever I want.” It makes no demands of your heart that would test your loyalty to Jesus.

    Compare that, however, to something like this: “I will drink alcohol only when it will bring more glory to God than if I were not to drink alcohol.” All of a sudden, you’re off easy street. Now you have to think about the glory of God in your life and relationships, and about your brothers who might stumble, and all manner of things. It’s messy. You have to think and pray and figure it out and do your best.

    If I went to a wedding and drank because I wanted a buzz, that’s one thing. If I sat down and had a beer with my lost high school buddy for the sake of conversation, it might be something else. The scary part might be that no one but you and God could really measure your own motives, so you can’t rely on the dictates of others to find out if you were right or not. You have to be sufficiently intimate with Christ and make the determination there, solely. For a lot of Christians, that would be new territory.

    You’re exactly right: alcohol isn’t evil. It’s true. But the other side is that it is a source of bondage. Again, that’s nothing about alcohol; it’s a statement about our hearts. Sex isn’t evil, either, but it is a major source of bondage. Do we de-sexify life because of that? No. But we should be cautious and deliberate.

    Frankly, I admire the folks at The Journey. They’re taking risks to reach people for Christ. I think that pleases God. Even if they’re wrong, their spirit should be applauded.

    Look forward to meeting you next week.

  31. Appreciate your thoughts, Rich.
    I had a great conversation with a friend of mine several years ago. (Name’s Bud; he’ll actually be at re:create.) He pointed out to me that if we have hard and fast rules, we don’t have to figure things out in relationship with God and others. If you have a rule: “never drink alcohol” that’s clean and easy. It requires no thought and no risk. It’s similar to the rule “I will drink alcohol whenever I want.” It makes no demands of your heart that would test your loyalty to Jesus.

    Compare that, however, to something like this: “I will drink alcohol only when it will bring more glory to God than if I were not to drink alcohol.” All of a sudden, you’re off easy street. Now you have to think about the glory of God in your life and relationships, and about your brothers who might stumble, and all manner of things. It’s messy. You have to think and pray and figure it out and do your best.

    If I went to a wedding and drank because I wanted a buzz, that’s one thing. If I sat down and had a beer with my lost high school buddy for the sake of conversation, it might be something else. The scary part might be that no one but you and God could really measure your own motives, so you can’t rely on the dictates of others to find out if you were right or not. You have to be sufficiently intimate with Christ and make the determination there, solely. For a lot of Christians, that would be new territory.

    You’re exactly right: alcohol isn’t evil. It’s true. But the other side is that it is a source of bondage. Again, that’s nothing about alcohol; it’s a statement about our hearts. Sex isn’t evil, either, but it is a major source of bondage. Do we de-sexify life because of that? No. But we should be cautious and deliberate.

    Frankly, I admire the folks at The Journey. They’re taking risks to reach people for Christ. I think that pleases God. Even if they’re wrong, their spirit should be applauded.

    Look forward to meeting you next week.

  32. Appreciate your thoughts, Rich.
    I had a great conversation with a friend of mine several years ago. (Name’s Bud; he’ll actually be at re:create.) He pointed out to me that if we have hard and fast rules, we don’t have to figure things out in relationship with God and others. If you have a rule: “never drink alcohol” that’s clean and easy. It requires no thought and no risk. It’s similar to the rule “I will drink alcohol whenever I want.” It makes no demands of your heart that would test your loyalty to Jesus.

    Compare that, however, to something like this: “I will drink alcohol only when it will bring more glory to God than if I were not to drink alcohol.” All of a sudden, you’re off easy street. Now you have to think about the glory of God in your life and relationships, and about your brothers who might stumble, and all manner of things. It’s messy. You have to think and pray and figure it out and do your best.

    If I went to a wedding and drank because I wanted a buzz, that’s one thing. If I sat down and had a beer with my lost high school buddy for the sake of conversation, it might be something else. The scary part might be that no one but you and God could really measure your own motives, so you can’t rely on the dictates of others to find out if you were right or not. You have to be sufficiently intimate with Christ and make the determination there, solely. For a lot of Christians, that would be new territory.

    You’re exactly right: alcohol isn’t evil. It’s true. But the other side is that it is a source of bondage. Again, that’s nothing about alcohol; it’s a statement about our hearts. Sex isn’t evil, either, but it is a major source of bondage. Do we de-sexify life because of that? No. But we should be cautious and deliberate.

    Frankly, I admire the folks at The Journey. They’re taking risks to reach people for Christ. I think that pleases God. Even if they’re wrong, their spirit should be applauded.

    Look forward to meeting you next week.

  33. I am torn in a way. As a former youth pastor’s wife, we felt that consuming alcohol in the presence of the kids or, in view of the kids, only brought confusion. Many kids were unable to see that gray areas are not untouchable. To them, you are either a drinker (drink often) or you never touched the stuff. Black and white. We abstained in order to keep those youth from stumbling.With adults it seems different. Can you be a witness and have a drink at the same time? I think so. But I believe your entire life must reflect Christ. If you are winning others to Christ through a relationship of trust and integrity, through backing the theology, but exhibiting grace, then I believe it is not an issue.
    This was a great issue. Thanks Rich.

  34. I am torn in a way. As a former youth pastor’s wife, we felt that consuming alcohol in the presence of the kids or, in view of the kids, only brought confusion. Many kids were unable to see that gray areas are not untouchable. To them, you are either a drinker (drink often) or you never touched the stuff. Black and white. We abstained in order to keep those youth from stumbling.With adults it seems different. Can you be a witness and have a drink at the same time? I think so. But I believe your entire life must reflect Christ. If you are winning others to Christ through a relationship of trust and integrity, through backing the theology, but exhibiting grace, then I believe it is not an issue.
    This was a great issue. Thanks Rich.

  35. I am torn in a way. As a former youth pastor’s wife, we felt that consuming alcohol in the presence of the kids or, in view of the kids, only brought confusion. Many kids were unable to see that gray areas are not untouchable. To them, you are either a drinker (drink often) or you never touched the stuff. Black and white. We abstained in order to keep those youth from stumbling.With adults it seems different. Can you be a witness and have a drink at the same time? I think so. But I believe your entire life must reflect Christ. If you are winning others to Christ through a relationship of trust and integrity, through backing the theology, but exhibiting grace, then I believe it is not an issue.
    This was a great issue. Thanks Rich.

  36. I am torn in a way. As a former youth pastor’s wife, we felt that consuming alcohol in the presence of the kids or, in view of the kids, only brought confusion. Many kids were unable to see that gray areas are not untouchable. To them, you are either a drinker (drink often) or you never touched the stuff. Black and white. We abstained in order to keep those youth from stumbling.With adults it seems different. Can you be a witness and have a drink at the same time? I think so. But I believe your entire life must reflect Christ. If you are winning others to Christ through a relationship of trust and integrity, through backing the theology, but exhibiting grace, then I believe it is not an issue.
    This was a great issue. Thanks Rich.

  37. I have several friends who are members of The Journey. I recently spoke to one of them after reading several web items about what the Post-Dispatch labeled a “beer ministry.” She said that the church does not buy or serve beer, but simply sponsors a current events discussion at a restaurant/pub where people do often imbibe alcoholic beverages.
    In a comment here, Pastor Darrin Patrick said, “The Journey’s policy on alcohol is that we do not personally encourage nor do we corporately promote alcohol as a church.” They just go where people want to talk about worldview and culture… even if it’s in a bar. Makes sense.

    This may not have any specific bearing on the discussion presented in this thread, but I know The Journey would appreciate as many people as possible understanding their method and intent behind this outreach.

    I’m a friend of Mark’s and found your site through his blog.

  38. I have several friends who are members of The Journey. I recently spoke to one of them after reading several web items about what the Post-Dispatch labeled a “beer ministry.” She said that the church does not buy or serve beer, but simply sponsors a current events discussion at a restaurant/pub where people do often imbibe alcoholic beverages.
    In a comment here, Pastor Darrin Patrick said, “The Journey’s policy on alcohol is that we do not personally encourage nor do we corporately promote alcohol as a church.” They just go where people want to talk about worldview and culture… even if it’s in a bar. Makes sense.

    This may not have any specific bearing on the discussion presented in this thread, but I know The Journey would appreciate as many people as possible understanding their method and intent behind this outreach.

    I’m a friend of Mark’s and found your site through his blog.

  39. I have several friends who are members of The Journey. I recently spoke to one of them after reading several web items about what the Post-Dispatch labeled a “beer ministry.” She said that the church does not buy or serve beer, but simply sponsors a current events discussion at a restaurant/pub where people do often imbibe alcoholic beverages.
    In a comment here, Pastor Darrin Patrick said, “The Journey’s policy on alcohol is that we do not personally encourage nor do we corporately promote alcohol as a church.” They just go where people want to talk about worldview and culture… even if it’s in a bar. Makes sense.

    This may not have any specific bearing on the discussion presented in this thread, but I know The Journey would appreciate as many people as possible understanding their method and intent behind this outreach.

    I’m a friend of Mark’s and found your site through his blog.

  40. I have several friends who are members of The Journey. I recently spoke to one of them after reading several web items about what the Post-Dispatch labeled a “beer ministry.” She said that the church does not buy or serve beer, but simply sponsors a current events discussion at a restaurant/pub where people do often imbibe alcoholic beverages.
    In a comment here, Pastor Darrin Patrick said, “The Journey’s policy on alcohol is that we do not personally encourage nor do we corporately promote alcohol as a church.” They just go where people want to talk about worldview and culture… even if it’s in a bar. Makes sense.

    This may not have any specific bearing on the discussion presented in this thread, but I know The Journey would appreciate as many people as possible understanding their method and intent behind this outreach.

    I’m a friend of Mark’s and found your site through his blog.

  41. I have several friends who are members of The Journey. I recently spoke to one of them after reading several web items about what the Post-Dispatch labeled a “beer ministry.” She said that the church does not buy or serve beer, but simply sponsors a current events discussion at a restaurant/pub where people do often imbibe alcoholic beverages.
    In a comment here, Pastor Darrin Patrick said, “The Journey’s policy on alcohol is that we do not personally encourage nor do we corporately promote alcohol as a church.” They just go where people want to talk about worldview and culture… even if it’s in a bar. Makes sense.

    This may not have any specific bearing on the discussion presented in this thread, but I know The Journey would appreciate as many people as possible understanding their method and intent behind this outreach.

    I’m a friend of Mark’s and found your site through his blog.

  42. I have several friends who are members of The Journey. I recently spoke to one of them after reading several web items about what the Post-Dispatch labeled a “beer ministry.” She said that the church does not buy or serve beer, but simply sponsors a current events discussion at a restaurant/pub where people do often imbibe alcoholic beverages.
    In a comment here, Pastor Darrin Patrick said, “The Journey’s policy on alcohol is that we do not personally encourage nor do we corporately promote alcohol as a church.” They just go where people want to talk about worldview and culture… even if it’s in a bar. Makes sense.

    This may not have any specific bearing on the discussion presented in this thread, but I know The Journey would appreciate as many people as possible understanding their method and intent behind this outreach.

    I’m a friend of Mark’s and found your site through his blog.

  43. I have several friends who are members of The Journey. I recently spoke to one of them after reading several web items about what the Post-Dispatch labeled a “beer ministry.” She said that the church does not buy or serve beer, but simply sponsors a current events discussion at a restaurant/pub where people do often imbibe alcoholic beverages.
    In a comment here, Pastor Darrin Patrick said, “The Journey’s policy on alcohol is that we do not personally encourage nor do we corporately promote alcohol as a church.” They just go where people want to talk about worldview and culture… even if it’s in a bar. Makes sense.

    This may not have any specific bearing on the discussion presented in this thread, but I know The Journey would appreciate as many people as possible understanding their method and intent behind this outreach.

    I’m a friend of Mark’s and found your site through his blog.

  44. I have several friends who are members of The Journey. I recently spoke to one of them after reading several web items about what the Post-Dispatch labeled a “beer ministry.” She said that the church does not buy or serve beer, but simply sponsors a current events discussion at a restaurant/pub where people do often imbibe alcoholic beverages.
    In a comment here, Pastor Darrin Patrick said, “The Journey’s policy on alcohol is that we do not personally encourage nor do we corporately promote alcohol as a church.” They just go where people want to talk about worldview and culture… even if it’s in a bar. Makes sense.

    This may not have any specific bearing on the discussion presented in this thread, but I know The Journey would appreciate as many people as possible understanding their method and intent behind this outreach.

    I’m a friend of Mark’s and found your site through his blog.

  45. HAHAHA!
    It never fails….say alcohol and Christian in the same text and EVERYONE (myself included) has something to say.

    The most hits that I have ever received was for an entry on the SBC & alcohol….

    It’s a hot button.

    PUSH IT PUSH IT!

    Cheers.
    Chad

  46. HAHAHA!
    It never fails….say alcohol and Christian in the same text and EVERYONE (myself included) has something to say.

    The most hits that I have ever received was for an entry on the SBC & alcohol….

    It’s a hot button.

    PUSH IT PUSH IT!

    Cheers.
    Chad

  47. HAHAHA!
    It never fails….say alcohol and Christian in the same text and EVERYONE (myself included) has something to say.

    The most hits that I have ever received was for an entry on the SBC & alcohol….

    It’s a hot button.

    PUSH IT PUSH IT!

    Cheers.
    Chad

  48. HAHAHA!
    It never fails….say alcohol and Christian in the same text and EVERYONE (myself included) has something to say.

    The most hits that I have ever received was for an entry on the SBC & alcohol….

    It’s a hot button.

    PUSH IT PUSH IT!

    Cheers.
    Chad

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