What Would You Do If Your Pastor Had A Beer?
Imagine you unexpectedly showed up at your Pastor’s house. You discover he’s in the backyard cooking out and drinking a beer. What would you do or say? Would this be unacceptable to you?
We want your opinions.
For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume the pastor, bishop, preacher, etc is not addicted to alcohol, and he/she is not drinking in front of someone that struggles with alcohol. What would your immediate feelings be? Would you think they were wrong? Offending God?
Can a Pastor Drink Alcohol? What Does the Bible Say?
In my 40 years of attending church I have found that, when it comes to alcohol, people hold their pastors to unbiblical standards. Many would literally leave a church if they were to discover that the Pastor drank even a little wine, beer, or any type of alcohol. There’s a problem with that, and here’s why. You won’t find a single verse in OLD or NEW testament that prohibits your pastors from drinking alcohol.
To have an issue with a Preacher (let alone a fellow Christian) responsibly drinking alcohol is the equivalent of being a Pharisee. You’re imposing rules upon someone that God Himself didn’t even impose.
JESUS MADE WINE AT CANA
Jesus himself performed his first miracle by turning water into wine at the wedding of Cana [John 2]. If Jesus Himself gave everyone at the wedding alcohol, well, who are we to say what Jesus calls good, is bad?
I know, some say alcohol was not as strong at that time. Maybe not, but it was most certainly strong enough to get you drunk if you over-consume it. If not, we would not see the dozens and dozens of verses warning us not to get drunk. In fact, a quick review of the Old Testament reveals it was strong enough to get Lot drunk (Gen 19:30-38), it got Noah drunk (Gen 9:20-24), and it got King David’s servant, Uriah, drunk (2 Sam 11:12-13). So, you’re going to be hard-pressed to imply that alcohol wasn’t pretty potent, even then.
SOME SAY ‘NO GOOD COMES FROM IT’
There are others that will argue that ‘no good comes from consuming alcohol‘. Sure, some people drink excessively and do bad things. Some are violent, and some even take innocent lives after drinking and driving. But to assume that alcohol is bad – simply because some abuse it – is not a justification to rewrite the bible and prohibit and/or condemn others (including your pastor) for consuming it. Let me give you an example to consider:
If you’re married you are likely enjoying sex with your spouse. At least I hope so. So, sex, when done as God intended it, is a wonderful thing. But sex can also be bad. What about other forms of sex like prostitution? Adultery? Rape? Pedophiles? As you can see, sex can be a very bad thing when it’s not as God intended it to be. But I’m betting the same people screaming ‘you can’t drink alcohol’ have no issues with having sex with their spouse? Double standard? I think so.
Religious peer pressure has a lot to say on this issue.
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT ALCOHOL?
[Psalm 104:14-15] says God gives wine “to gladden the heart of man.”
[Ecclesiastes 9:7] “drink your wine with a merry heart,”
[Isaiah 55:1] “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
[1 Timothy 5:23] No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.
DON’T GET DRUNK!
Yes, getting drunk is a sin (totally forgivable) and we should always avoid it. That’s the command. Are you addicted? Then don’t drink alcohol. Are you a stumbling block? Then don’t drink. But it’s high time we allow people to be free in Christ and not push our own non-biblical views on everyone else……including your Pastor.
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Author: Mike Cynar
Mike Cynar was raised in a church setting where he frequently noticed that many attendees would eventually drift away. The church labeled these individuals as ‘back sliders’ or ‘fake Christians’ just looking for ‘fire insurance’. However, Mike realized the issue was rarely with these individuals but instead with the church’s message itself. The teachings heavily emphasized behavior improvement and one’s flaws, with only a fleeting mention of one’s identity in Christ. It felt as though every sermon was tailored to the church of Corinth, who as we know or committing sins that even unbelievers don’t partake in. This trend was noticeable not just in one denomination, but across Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, and many other churches. Upon understanding the true essence of the gospel – that our righteousness comes from Jesus’ actions, not our own – Mike was inspired to liberate believers from lifeless sermons and reconnect them with the genuine teachings of Jesus. He believes that one can nurture a vibrant and growing bond with Jesus, unhindered by rigid religious practices. And thus, “Jesus Without Religion” was born.
It turns out that it is grace that leads to repentance. And if our heart is to get others to walk in the Spirit and live a godly life, then the best approach is not a beat down sermon, but rather to remind other that it is only when we understand our true identity in Christ that we will live it out. Yes, it’s true, if you’re convinced that God thinks you’re a dirty sinner, you will ultimately continue a lifestyle that mirrors that view, but if you truly believe that even on your worst day, you are called holy, sanctified, justified, and will be presented blameless in the end, well, it turns out this is the secret to living out on the outside what has been worked in to the inside.