Great Blog Title – “Get a Pair and Stand Up For Grace!”
Didn’t really want to post anything theological or Bible or Christian related today, but I couldn’t resist some of these:
Luther suffered a lot for the idea of grace. It was kind of a big deal to him. After Jesus saved him he wasn’t motivated by the prevailing legalism of the time. And one of the graces he enjoyed was beer. The man wrote love letters to his wife Katie telling her how much he missed the beer she brewed to help support the family when he encountered terrible beer – probably American pilsner, but I’ll have to check my facts.
Luther was quick to point out that the “Turks” or Muslims forbid the drinking of beer because the Quran is a demonic book used to imprison and manipulate. But the Bible permits almost anything as long as it honors and pleases God because it is a godly book which seeks to save and liberate by preaching Christ on the Cross. Beer: good. Drunken foolishness that unfortunately is the popular perception of how beer should be used: not so good.
What is also not so good is the way Christians, especially Protestants, stamp on the freedom given to us by Jesus and embraced by our fathers in the faith and try to turn the Bible into another Quran. Why are we so quick to stamp around like a bunch of children saying, “That’s not good enough!”
Now, the whole Christian and alcohol debate is an old, practically nearly two centuries old! I personally drink and feel every freedom in Christ to do so with a clean conscience, but I’m also aware of what the Bible actually does say about the warnings about alcohol. Drunkedness is a sin (which doesn’t mean being buzzed; intoxication is not drunkedness in Scripture). Drinking around those who are •still• weak in the faith is wrong; wait until they have matured, and then share a drink with them. Alcohol does not in any way hurt a Christian’s witness unless he is violating the basic commands to love God and your neighbor as yourself (or those two previous points).
In my own life, I’ve gone through phases where I’ve willingly given up my freedom and liberty. I’m no qualms with people who do so, unless they are for wrong, foolish, or unbiblical reasons. Many godly men and women I absolutely respect and trust do not drink, by choice, yet recognize it is not a sin for other Christians to do so. On the flipside, I know those Christians who cut off all fellowship with other Christians when they find out they drink alcohol. I firmly believe they are missing the point and painfully twisting Scripture, but there can be no reasoning with them unless God corrects them Himself.
I really like the author’s question in another post:
“Would you respect the Christian faith if Christians showed you that you can enjoy alcohol yet not let it overtake your life?”
Having really never truly been a non-Christian…I say that loosely, because of my young age at salvation and personal decision to dedicate my life to Christ (oh, that pesky Keswick theology…)…I don’t know. What I can say is that I respect Christians more, and consequently their faith more, when they appear more “worldly”, which in my fundamentalist upbringing, can be anything from listening to rock music, wearing jeans, growing a goatee, having some semblance of fashion sense, watching R rated movies, etc. But, in my young and more naive past, those things as standards led to me accepting some very foolish ideas as being wise from people who fit my silly definition of a respectable Christian.
I think that sums up a lot of my feelings and views about Christianity. I love the world, and want to continue to love the world, but at the same time, I hate the things of the world. So therefore there must be different definitions of “the world” at play here. Setting aside those things I was raised to believe were “of the world” (playing cards are worldly? seriously?!?), it’s not wrong to be worldly in the sense of listening to cultural music, engaging in cultural activities (football ain’t lions hunting Christians, Mrs. whoever-you-were back in fifth grade)(feminist theology!), or enjoying ‘worldly’ recreational ‘drugs’ such as alcohol and tobacco. But it is wrong to be worldly in that you are motivated by self, greed, lust, pride, etc; not that any Christian will ever cease struggling to fight against those urges (ever seen a Christian lose their sense of being a sinner? It ain’t pretty), but that we strive to walk in the Spirit and by the light of the Word.
So yeah, I guess I want to look and be worldly while still hating the world. And that right there sets me apart from the majority of my peers. I think it also informs why I keep telling people I am not interested in marrying a Christian girl, when the actual truth is of course I want to marry a Christian girl, just one who doesn’t look and act like a (contemporary) Christian. Just as I don’t want to look and act like a (contemporary) Christian.
This has been enlightening. Now, go and drink and sin no more. And remember – Jesus encourages drinking, and the Muslims forbid it. Don’t be religious. Be free and stand up for grace.