Thursday, May 17, 2007

Question on Wine

Before I post my thoughts and conclusions, I would like to ask a question of you all.

Why do you think this is such a huge issue for people?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think it is such a big issue because the "rules" are so vague. God has called us to live a life above reproach but there is so much freedom in that and when it comes to things like this people panic without concrete black and white answers. Most people are afraid to voice thier opinion and be okay with their decision one way or the other in case they could maybe sort of offend someone that they end up shying away from it all competely. B

tam said...

I definatly think that we all get to make our own call on this, I can only share from personal experience that for us, over time, we recognized a growing dependence on alcohol. I think the addictive nature needs to be taken very seriously. We choose not to have this in our home and I believe we've given our kids an advantage as a result. I do believe for us that was the right decision, again that's just us. Great Conversation!

Melissa Brosch said...

I'm taking a guess here, but I think it might have something to do with church history. There's got to have been some denomination or movement that made abstinence from alcohol a "rule". I'm going to have to look that up.

Eric Wakeling said...

I should state that I understand that alcoholism is a huge and real issue. I like where Melbro is going with it though. It seems like an issue that has a different sort of baggage around it. Hmmmm...

Anonymous said...

I feel like the issue over wine was not an issue at all pre-abolition. All alcohol was demonized during the 13 years that alcohol became illegal in this country. Before the Eighteenth Amendment people knew the dangers of abusing alcohol, but they still drank. They drank in the home and both men and women spent a good amount of time in pubs which did not have the same stigma that saloons did later and bars do today. Alcohol, in my opinion, was not viewed with such disdain as it is today before prohibition.

Melissa Brosch said...

The abolition comment is compelling. It is interesting to think that the stigma doesn't exist in European countries. Its quite the opposite there. Instead of going to IHOP after church, many European Christians go to a pub.

Jason said...

Evangelical American Christians relate far more to fear than to freedom in this matter. I think we fear being like the partiers or sinners who use alcohol for the drunkenness. Also, I think we confused the opposite of drunkenness as abstinance instead of it being self-control.
I think this has morphed into a strange position of power - 'I'm better than you, because I don't drink.' It created this other thing that consists of our constructed american evangelical morality that catholics and lutherans and others don't have. We fuel this opinion with
'there may be an alcoholic in the room and I don't want to cause them to stumble.' (Instead of demonstating our dominion over creation and controlling ourselves with wine). Where, all the while, the partying people seem to know something about really living that I guess I missed.
So now you've got guys like John Eldridge writing books called "Waking the Dead" because Christians somehow lost the essence of being alive - really alive, which is freedom that comes from Christ.
So we replaced wine with grape juice, and further made ourselves less like the culture on the outside but on the inside are still gripped by fear instead of freedom.

Lois said...

I have found that Christians who think alcohol consumption is wrong tend to look at what the non-Christian world does with it – how it’s advertised, sold, where you consume it, with whom, etc. Admittedly, most of that is not good. I can see how those who think its wrong could get caught up in that thinking, perhaps believing that abstaining is the most obvious way not to be “a part of this world.” I think there’s a lot of judging going on in Christian circles.

I can also see how Christians who come out of a lifestyle that included the negative elements of alcohol would want to put the related non-Christ-honoring behavior out of their new lives. They may view everyone’s Christian life through their own filter. I guess that’s where the stumbling problem might pop up. It’s also a maturity issue.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see a study done like this on Christian freedoms. What does Christian freedom really entail for Christ followers?

One part of the study would be: Galatians 5:13 - "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."

Are we set free to pursue gray issues in life? Or set free to pursue holiness (ultimately in order to reach others thru love)?

Eric Wakeling said...

I think the last comment is very interesting. That would be a good study and I think that Christ followers should pursue holiness and not gray issues. However, I think the use of the word "pursue" in this study is a bit overly dramatic. I think the questions raised have not been about "pursuing wine" but "responsibly using wine." It would be horribly wrong to pursue wine especially over holiness, but I think that is a false dichotomy.

Brooke said...

I came from a weird place (in being raised a Jehovah's Witness) in that drinking is not frowned upon in that religion but, of course, being is drunk is. When I left 15 years ago it was with the knowledge that there had to be someplace where there was just freedom- freedom in worshipping God without all of the legalism and rules (and of course a place where you weren't in a cult! lol I didn't realized I was in one as I was, well- in one) anyway, when I found Calvary Chapel and subsequently Calvary Church I was, of course, totally jazzed to have found the truth but also incredibly confused as to why this was such a big deal...
We can look at rules that JW's have and be totally blown away- like: a man cannot say prayer for the congregation unless he has a suit & tie on, or when you go out door-to-door you must report to the elders how much time you went out and how much literature placed, etc. Also a woman would hardly EVER say a prayer in front of a man (to recognize his headship) and I could go on but the point is, wouldn't they look at us at Calvary and be confused about our "no-wine" policy because of all of the instances that are noted in the Bible about wine being used by Jesus and others, of it being a blessing, etc.?
I can also appreciate everyone's wanting to be sensitive in this issue, not wanting to just jump up and down saying "Jesus used wine! Jesus used wine!" because that's not the point - it IS really good to look at it and wonder if we're doing something for the right reasons; not as the Pharisees, to have a reason to wave our "holiness" in front of others...