Fundamentalist Snake Charming Especially for pastors and leaders...
Recently a good friend of mine, Bruce Oyen posted a warning about the use of alcohol. It brought to mind the sad statistics I read last week regarding the use of alcohol among Christian pastors and leaders, much less their congregations. That, in turn, brought to mind the young men I have personally buried as a result of this scourge. This flashback evoked memories of the half naked and hungry children we shuttled into our Sunday School buses (when it was still socially acceptable to run bus routes) and the long trail of counseling and admonitions relating to the abuse, scandal, and destruction this scourge brings. That, in turn, evoked my last provocative thought:
Surely, any pastor who labors in the trenches must hate alcohol in his very soul. Notwithstanding all those debates about the wine at Cana, we all know that we are not comparing apples with apples when we use Cana to justify the modern use of alcohol. While we rightfully bemoan the effects of tobacco and second hand smoke, our duplicity is overwhelming and our silence is deafening. And, those who insist that alcoholism is a disease must still admit that it is contracted on the lip of the glass, a glass we Christians complacently hand off to our children when they "come of age." Alcohol is the scourge we refuse to see, exacting a horrific toll on the “church” and the world. It is another elephant in room, affecting a shocking number of families in our own Christian circles.
- We do not see the consequences of this scourge because we refuse to see it. We prefer to close our minds to the daily toll this substance takes right before our very eyes.
- We don’t see the danger, because we blithely think that our drinking in moderation will spare us (and our children for generations to come) from going down that same path. Yet the facts prove otherwise. The flood waters may still be up river, but sooner or later they arrive and this dancing viper willstrike someone you love. Pray to God that the first missteps of their downfall will not be at your hands.
- We don’t see the danger, because to stand against alcohol is to be labeled as a legalistic vestige of a bygone era. Perish the thought that our legalistic fathers could have been lovingly warning us against the things they saw, firsthand!
- Mostly, we choose to ignore this issue because we kowtow to a peer driven culture which professes tolerance to all (except those who would warn against evil). The thin veneer suggesting that our motives are evangelistic, is just that. One can be as wise as a serpent without dancing with one.
The fear of man brings a snare (Proverbs 29:25), and few snares are as damning as alcohol.
It’s time we let our blood boil with a little more indignation instead of boiling with the inebriating bubbles that portend destruction. It’s time we stepped away from snake charming.
Pastor, when was the last time you warned your sheep about this scourge? Are you willing to face the truth about the use of alcohol among your sheep?
The next time you think of those supposed snake charmers, ask yourself, “Who’s really charming whom?”
Take a few seconds and read Bruce Oyen’s blog on this vital subject.
For a good biblical treatment, read Bob Thompson’s paper on alcohol.
Wine and Strong Drink.pdf
Forty Percent of Evangelical Leaders Drink Alcohol
Moody Drops Alcohol Use Restriction for Faculty and Staff
Need an inexpensive and basic tract on this subject?
Posted at: http://mynewcovenantlife.blogspot.com/2013/10/fundamentalist-snake-charming.html
Composed by: James Steel