Northeast Park Baptist Church
Friday, July 21, 2017
One Small Thought:
 
July 10, 2016
 

I am not, nor have I ever been, a fan of Perry Noble. I have found he presents himself as brash and brazen. I do not approve of his methods of worship or ecclesiology, and have often found his gospel presentations to be lacking.

I believe that it is not a sin to drink alcohol. Scripture forbids drunkenness, but not the use of alcohol. Therefore, I believe it is wrong to declare someone to be sinning who has a beer, or a glass of wine.

Saying these two things, you might be surprised for me to say that my heart breaks for Perry Noble, his family, his church, and the countless lives that are ruined by strong drink. Anyone who kicks Perry Noble while he is down does not understand what it means to love your neighbor.

Changes are occurring in the evangelical movement and reformed theology is continuing to gain ground. Martin Luther’s works are being read with new vigor as the slogan “Ad fontes!” is being shouted from the pulpit. People who grew up under strict legalism are beginning to learn that God does not forbid the use of alcohol. And let’s not forget that Martin Luther had more than one drink in his life. This new freedom has people running to the wine selection menu and reveling in this newly discovered freedom. The results are catastrophic. Alcoholism is being introduced into families that had never felt its sting, and lives are being ripped apart. This has happened to Perry Noble, and it is happening to countless families that will never make headlines.

What we have failed to teach is that with freedom comes great responsibility. (Okay, fess up. Did you just think about Spiderman? Stay focused!) Alcohol is the great mocker, who promises joy and happiness; Instead, it destroys. Alcohol can bring people together at the party, and then tear them apart in the home. When we teach people their freedom in Christ, we need to speak out about how destructive freedom can become when not used with the greatest of care.

Let me make an analogy. It is not a sin for me to counsel a woman in my church without other people in the building. It is not a sin for me to close the door. Yet, I do neither. Why? Because I am free to not walk near the cliff of sexual sin. Of course it is not a sin to talk with a woman regardless of the state of the door, but why would I take the chance? I also know that temptation is a viper I do not want to give a chance to bite me. It is the same with alcohol. It is not a sin to take a drink. Do I drink beverage alcohol? No! That is a viper that tried to destroy my family when I was a child, and I do not want to give it a chance to destroy the blessings God has given me.

I caution ministers to beware of ever being alone with a person of the opposite sex without matching wedding rings. I warn all believers of the danger of entertaining the drink in the glass. Do not judge those who have a drink, for it is not a sin to do so. Yet, if you do choose to drink, handle that drink as you would handle a cobra. Do not give it a chance to strike.

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise. Proverbs 20:1 (ESV)

 


---Pastor Steve