I thought that this should be added to the post below:
Lest anyone think otherwise, I am a T-totaler. I voluntarily abstain from alcohol as a beverage. I have never even tasted an alcoholic beverage in my life. I am currently a student at SWBTS, and when we apply to the seminary we agree to abstain from the use of alcohol, and I abide by my agreement. However, this agreement is not what compels me to abstain from alcohol. I choose to voluntarily because I know how lacking in self-control I can tend to be some times. If I took away that self-imposed wall for myself, I am certain that I would rush headlong into drunkenness. So I choose not to even let it be an option, and by God's grace I was never exposed to it before I came to this personal decision.
My objection to the ruling of the MBC executive board is not because I think that churches should evangelize by meeting in the bars--I don't. My objection is that I don't think that total abstinence from alcohol is something that is biblically mandated--so we ought not preach that it is, and we ought not draw lines of fellowship separating from those who would hold different convictions. In my understanding, the MBC board can have whatever requirements for denominational service that they deem fit. I agree that they have the right to do what they did. I simply question the wisdom of drawing the line where it has been drawn--in a place that separates conservative, Bible believing, Bible preaching, biblically evangelistic churches from the support of the convention.
In addition, I'm very encouraged by the fact that the MBC is in the hands of conservative leadership. The Battle for the Bible in Missouri is seemingly won--and I rejoice for that. However, drawing lines excluding conservative churches from the support of the convention may give ammunition for the old leadership to throw. Yet, it is possible that they would throw this ammunition either way. My guess is that the old leadership was probably against the use of alcohol too. It's the social issues that give theological liberals a hearing when they claim that they are conservative. They can point to their record on social issues like alcohol, abortion, and homosexuality and claim to be conservative even though they don't believe the Bible--and the average church member doesn't know the difference as long as they support the Republican party. Again, this is one of the reasons why its important to take a stand where the Bible does and to not go further. If we go further we will end up eroding biblical authority and we will raise the next generation of liberals inside of Bible believing churches.
4 days ago