Alcohol and service in the church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by pk4life, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. pk4life

    pk4life
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    A question to those who think drinking is a sin.

    Is it a problem, if someone who doesn't believe that consuming alcohol is a sin, to serve in a church that holds to a standard that says "any drinking is a sin"?

    Should you reveal this to your pastor, before you begin to serve, or would it just create unnecessary problems?

    If I said "Look, I love your church, I want to help where I can, but I don't believe drinking is a sin. I have no problem with abstaining, as per your church constitution, and I have no intention of promoting drinking here."

    Should that honesty set me up for a good relationship with my pastor, or would it put a red flag on me?
     
  2. Mexdeaf

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    If'n I were your pastor, your honesty would go a long way with me. My one concern would be that you not flaunt it before the weaker members.
     
  3. Ed B

    Ed B
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    I am not one who thinks drinking lightly or in moderation is a sin. My question is since you are willing to abide by the church's constitution and abstain from drinking while in fellowship with them why bring up the issue at all? Unless you are asked to communicate your position or asked to teach against your conscience I don't see the benefit. Aside from that, if you planned to continue to partake of alcoholic beverages while serving then in my opinion you would have a dilemma, but it doesn’t sound like you intend to do that.


    At my church one of the clauses in our church by-law written decades ago says that deacons shall not partake of alcoholic beverages. Our senior Pastor has directly stated from the pulpit that drinking in moderation is not sin; however, the church by-laws predate him and still contain the abstinence clause. If I were nominated to be a deacon I would either have to decide to totally abstain or disclose that I very occasionally have a beer. It sounds like you have decided to go ahead and abstain from drinking alcohol so it appears to me any potential issue is avoided.

    I guess my short answer to your question no, there is no problem because you are voluntarily observing their standard even if you disagree with the biblical basis for such a rule
     
  4. pk4life

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    Well, we've been getting along quite well so far, and I didn't even think about it until the pastor made the statement in a meeting with the church workers, concerning not just alcohol, but everything in the church constitution. He said, "From what I know, we're all in agreement on these issues".

    That made me start thinking if he was expecting us to say something if we weren't in agreement.

    Maybe I'm just reading between the lines when nuthin's there.
     
  5. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    If you have a good relationship with the pastor, i'd give him a heads up if he thinks you'll teach his position in a class. Just ask him not to put you or him in that kind of situation. If he's the kind of pastor he ought to be, he'll understand and appreciate your honesty. If he's going to go a little crazy on it, better you know now than later.

    I'd rather know than be caught unaware by a disagreement among church leaders and workers.
     
  6. Judith

    Judith
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    If you disagree with any policy of a church you need to make clear to the Pastor/Elders (in the case of a baptist church the Pastor/deacons) what you disagree with prior to taking any position. That way they can either accept you with your disagreement or reject you from serving. Saves a lot of heart ache later down the road.
     
    #6 Judith, Jul 30, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2013
  7. Ed B

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    Interesting. That would make me start thinking too. I would assume that since you are voluntarily compliant anyway that when you tell him it will be well received and you both move forward together.
     
  8. annsni

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    You just described our situation. Our pastor doesn't believe that having a drink is a sin but he doesn't believe that a believer should be partaking. We don't agree and instead feel that moderation is OK. However, in coming on staff, both my husband and I had to sign a ministry covenant that doesn't directly say "no drinking" but certainly is worded to bring that into question. Our senior pastor has asked us to not drink - and so we don't. I still cook with alcohol but that's it.

    I don't see a problem with letting him know your stance. He can then either ask you to not participate in the church or agree that your stance is fine but he prefer for you to not drink nor promote drinking (honestly, I don't know how one "promotes" drinking though - LOL)
     
  9. saturneptune

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    It is like the answer to 99% of the other questions on this board, it is up to the local church.
     
  10. pk4life

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    Alright, then I don't bring it up to the pastor, I just ask around the church?

    Or do I ask for a special meeting where I tell the whole church my beliefs?
     
  11. agedman

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    You are being deceitful if you do not let those above you know that you are in disagreement with the written view of the church.

    If you do, you are free from future condemnation, and it frees them to not assume you are what you are not.

    If you do not, you are letting an area in which the enemy may destroy and cause hurt.

    Often, great damage is done at a later time (depending upon the work of the enemy) if something divisive becomes an issue in the fellowship and authorities are obliged to take sides which destroys the unity.

    You need to let those in authority know your view, and abide by their decision as to whether you continue with that assembly in any capacity.

    For those who responded that they serve irregardless of the founding documents, either you are obliged to leave, or the founding documents need to be revised.

    The founding documents is the basic agreement in which the assembly has as the basis for church discipline and fellowship. No proper assembly fellowship and church discipline can be proper without these agreement(s).

    The enemy is willing to wait for decades before destroying a fellowship, and most times it is over an assembly that did not review, update and keep the original founding statements of faith and constitution applicable to all who are members of that assembly.
     
  12. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    In such a church, yes it is. One cannot claim to hold to fellowship in a church and not practice the beliefs of the church. Even if those beliefs are outmoded or just plain wrong, if one is going to say "I belong to this church and will serve in it" but then fails to uphold the principles of the church, one is a hypocrite, Better to leave the church and join another more in line with one's personal non-doctrinal interpretations.
     
  13. Ed B

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    I guess the sticking point for me is what is meant by "uphold the principles of the church". If it includes how one thinks or believes about tertiary cultural issues then the logical end to all this is that eventually we will all attend a church with a membership of one. One of our Baptists distinctive just about guarantees we will disagree on one biblical interpretation or another.


    This is by no means a tertiary issue but just for fun ask your membership to write a one page summary describing the Trinity and see how many Modalists and Arians you have to kick out. How many were deacons and teachers? Be sure to tell them "No fair looking at someone else's work". By comparison, whether one believes that drinking in moderation is a sin or not seems like a tempest in tea pot. But again, we are Baptists so according to our practice if not our policy, the reasons for splitting a church or leaving one for another are is a long list indeed. At least this one wouldn't be unique.

    I hope all goes well
     

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