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Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Lily, Oct 19, 2002.
What would you do if your pastor did both smoking and drinking?
I would not go anywhere near a church where the pastor smoked - not because I condemn him, I just wouldn't want that example around my children.
As for drinking ... well, Jesus did, even made His own, so IMHO thats's ok ... within "acceptable limits" of course.
Here's what the Bible says on pastors drinking...
"This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;" 1Timothy 3:1-3
Compare these verses with the requirements for deacons in verse 8...
"Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;"
Notice the stipulation in verse 8.."not given to much wine", where with the pastor, that disclaimer isn't present. It's "...not given to wine..." No amount is given, the warning says wine, period.
The inerrantist fundie in me says that pastors shouldn't drink.
[ October 19, 2002, 05:06 AM: Message edited by: Bro. Curtis ]
I tend to agree with you on this one. Whilst the minister does not place himself on a pedestal, but the people do and much more is expected of the minister than the average pew sitter.
Does this include gum-chewing?
I believe that "not given to wine" refers to not being given to being drunk. He would not drink in order to get intoxicated. The deacons being, "not given to much wine" might emphasize that they should be careful, just as the bishop should, but that they would be allowed to drink a little more.
Most churches I have attended would agree with your belief that preachers should not drink any alcohol at all; however, this does not, in my opinion, agree with what the Bible says. No where in Scripture do I find a prohibition against drinking.
For "blameless," no amount of blame is given. For "vigilant," there is no allowance for any lack of it (even sleeping). For "no striker," there is no exception for spanking his kids or hitting a baseball. For "given to hospitality," it does not allow for refusing entrance into his home of a suspicious armed stranger.
Perhaps that last one is the common link... given to hospitality; not given to wine. If "not given to" means aboslutely no wine, then "given to" should mean absolutely no inhospitality, even to that armed stranger, or a guy who has swindled him before, or a wild freaked-out joker who wants a bed for the night. If he never refused hospitality to anyone, word would get around about it.
I think we should look at the possible intent of scripture and also at the times.
At the time these verses were written, the choice of liquid to drink with meals was water or wine. No Coke, no ice tea, no juices, goat milk doesn't count.
Drinking wine was more of a requirement at the time. We see warnings around the drinking of wine. If they had these other drinks, I can see scripture very easily saying NO DRINKING ALLOWED. Just doing something that "looked" wrong was considered wrong in scripture. Therefore, it doesn't take too much to arrive at the fact that drinking any alcoholic beverage today should not be done by the pastor. Getting a little drunk just one single time as a Pastor and you have caused great problems that could severly hurt your church... if you are a more conservative type church.
So for conservative churches, NO DRINKING. Liberal churches, scriptural permissive drinking should be allowed. For most Baptist churches this means it is wrong for the Pastor to drink even one single glass of wine.
I'm not sure if this is the same realm as smoking and drinking, but what about if the pastor is overweight? Is that a sin?
Why is it we tend to focus on smoking and drinking all the time. Being over weight doesn't set a good example, just as someone pointed out that smoking wouldn't set a good example, especially around children.
After all, "...do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." (1 Cor. 6:19-20 NASB) As long as we're going to imply that neither smoking or drinking will bring glory to God, let's toss in overweight-ness (is that a real word?? lol) as well.
Hope I didn't rattle any cages with this one.
Lily, it's me,smileyfish.....I'm just a new member too!.....but it just may be that you are not the same Lily I have seen on the yahoo boards.....but anyway, I am enjoying my visits here to this board,and the subjects are really thought provoking, so greetings to you,Lily......and you asked a good question,and my upfront answer would be, he's (the Pastor) is setting a very sad example for members of his church, especially the young people......may I interject another thought,i liken drinking to playing with a fully stocked with poison rattler,,,,you can play and play and play with it, but sooner or later, harm will come,with deadly consequences.....hopefully that speaks loud and clear to anyone contemplating any form of drinking now or in days to come......it brings sadness, loss of money, loss of personal respect, and sadly often loss of that which is most precious, loss of family....... smileyfish says hello..... and bye for now......
Believe that smoking is a nasty, filthy habit. I would not want my pastor controled by nicotine and in such bondage to the flesh that he cannot even find small victory over tobacco.
Believe that there are a number of other filthy habits that also defile a man physically (with our bodies the Temple of the Spirit). Drugs, chewing snuff, overeating (gluttony), et al are all nasty and filthy as well.
Believe that drinking while in great moderation for deacons (not given to much wine) might be allowed but not recommended, but for pastors (not given to wine) calls for total abstinence.
I would not follow a pastor so involved, and actively work to eliminate him from my church if I found such to be his practice.
A hearty Amen to all of the good answers on this thread! Since Lily is a friend of ours, and I am familiar with the background to her question, I will refrain from going into much details. However, I cannot hold myself back from sharing the proverbial two cents worth.
If I am not mistaken (and those Jewish Christian friends help me out here), the Jewish custom was to mix wine with water. I believe the ration was 4 parts water and one part wine. This was the wine which was served up around the table. Now there are a number of Bible references where the OT priest was forbidden to drink wine before entering the sanctuary. So I assume that even the 4 parts vs. 1 part included. Then there were the Nazarite vows, where they were forbidden to drink wine at all. So, if the Bible says abstain from wine, we better follow the good book. For we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)
Now about smoking: I learned that the prince of Baptist preachers, Spurgeon, was smoking cigars. But the way I see it, if the good Lord wanted men (or women) to smoke, He would have put a chimney on top of our heads! That's all folks.
He or she would not be my Pastor for long,
There are three points that come to mind
1.Take My life and let it be consecrated lord to thee.
2.And the verse that says that your life is not your own,as it was bought at a price.
3.your body is gods Temple.
Okay, I'll be one of the few to stand alone on this one. I would have loved to have had Jonathan Edwards or C. H. Spurgeon or B. H. Carroll as my pastor. They all smoked. I would have loved to have a number of the Puritans or Martin Luther as my pastor. They drank beer. This comes back to the issue of Christian liberty and of what the Scriptures declare to be "sin" for a believer. While we may think these to be "foul habits," they are not forbidden by Scripture.
What would be the motivation for a pastor to drink alcohol of any kind? "Because the Bible doesn't outlaw it" doesn't seem like a good one. It says more about being "sober," and a good witness. If it raises an eyebrow and calls into question your stance with God, then it's not worth the risk.
Besides, there are too many other drinks out there that wouldn't raise anyone's eyebrows. You could drink them ALL DAY LONG. (But selling ads for you favorite one on the pulpit probably is out. )
If raising eyebrows is the goal, a good pastor should know what methods are the best to go about raising eyebrows in their congregation and city (preaching, reaching out, witnessing, etc.). Drinking shouldn't be one of the ways they raise eyebrows.
If it's drinking in a bar, then the motivation probably isn't wholly holy, sofar as a pastor's witness should be. Maybe somebody would need to talk to that guy (he said, understatedly).
If your pastor looks like this minus the smile on a day that isn't sunny, and he talks about "talking to Ralph on the porcelain phone at Hooters last night" then look out! to him.
Boy I hope they cover this in seminary. It would seem like an easy A.
Then there are other fascinating Bible verses dealing with wine. For example, in Ephesians 5:18 we read the following:
And again in 1 Peter 4:3,
[ October 22, 2002, 10:18 AM: Message edited by: Barnabas ]
Note that the verses quoted by Barnabas deal with "drunkenness" and "excess." There is a huge difference between drinking and being drunk, just as there is a difference between eating and gluttony.
Most American "bars" are places of ill repute, but what about "taverns" or "pubs"? If we want to scratch those out, then we have to get rid of C. S. Lewis (although he wasn't a pastor, per se) and quite a few others. It is interesting that Michael Horton has dubbed his radio show "The White Horse Inn." It was not only an inn, but a tavern, where the "common folk" discussed the teachings of the Bible over a pint of ale. The Reformation largely spread in this fashion, that is, through personal conversations at such places.
If a pastor is a "drunk" he is disqualified from the office of elder. If he enjoys a beer (or a smoke), and is able to do so without causing a fellow believer to stumble or to damage his witness - then let him enjoy it to the glory of God.
Oh my here we go with the bashing of not only a Pastor that may smoke but anyone. This annoys me to no end! EVERYONE has some kind of addiction to something of this world. If you say you don't you are lying. The addiction can be anything from hard core drugs to working out too much. No one knows but you.
Yes smoking is a nasty habit and so is picking your nose. Drinking is nasty too and all it does is build up the distributors and make them rich off of others sadness. A glass of wine with dinner? Perhaps but like anything else it can become a physical and/or mental addiction. Frankly I am addicted to orange soda. If I don't have one every morning I am a CRAB! Why? Mental addiction!
We had a Pastor that was overweight and drank coffee like there was no tommorow. (which in all probability could be) But we did not leave the church nor did we try and have him removed from it. Also the kids today, even in churches are so addicted to caffeine it is frightening! They sell it in the schools here in St.Louis and they are allowed to purchase it and consume it between classes. What is that?! Same kind of thing. It is a nasty habit and one that will effect them physically for years to come if they do not stop consuming it. I have the Ulcer to prove that, and I have not had caffiene in 3 years and it is a long healing process.
Anyway don't be so judgemental, you are neither the Judge nor the Jury. We all have our demon addictions so maybe we should focus on those instead of condeming others too much.
Not that people should not be called on their habits and helped, by all means we need to hold them accountable and we are to be held accountable for our bad habits. Last time I checked Accountability did not include condemnation.
Love in Christ Angie
Most American "bars" are places of ill repute, but what about "taverns" or "pubs"?
I think that's an iconic stereotype. I've oft frequented a local sports bar that is quite respectible. Staying away from a place of ill repute is a good idea, but classifying all places that serve alcohol among them is a great generalization.
Sorry, I wasn't thinking of "sports bars" and similar sites. I was thinking of the places that tend to be more like "gin joints." In my way of thinking a sports bar is more like a pub or a tavern.
Did you attend MBC?
Galatians 5:22-24 - "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."
1 Corinthians 6:12 - "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."