Now that I've at least got your click through, let me state something before going further. Neither excessive drinking or excessive eating is acceptable, and I am not condoning either.
If you're a pastor, and you decide to make a statement about how one should not drink, please know I will be standing up and asking a few questions in the middle of your rhetoric as this is the last time I have decided to write about this for a good while.
I continue to land in this conversation sometimes by my starting it, but usually drawn into it.
Not drinking is simple not a Biblical rule. Drunkenness, however, most certainly is, and yes I understand how one leads to another. I also understand how one cheesecake leads to a fat butt and a major aggravation to the person next to you on a plane. (If you're fat guy, the person on the plane next to you will smile at you through their hate and judgment)
I am fortunate to be under a Baptist pastor that does not preach such stupidity, but more and more I am running into this silly no drinking rule making, when there are larger problems afoot.
I was sitting in a Sunday School class once while a gentlemen was teaching. One of the church pastors came into the room quietly in the back. He was not in the straight line vision of anyone, and he was moving cautiously as not to disrupt the class. At the back of the room were all the donuts. We Baptists are famous for needing "food for thought". This church pastor, which I would guess is a minimum of a 350 lbs man, is headed to the donut table. His hair is a mess, his clothes obviously could never fit properly, his shirt is open at the top and he just looks, well, pathetic.
He grabs a donut and puts in his mouth. It rests there while he grabs a napkin and then places two more donuts in the napkin, still having not chewed any of the donut in his mouth. Now maybe he was taking the other donuts to his baby chicks, or maybe he was going to put them in his tree for the winter, but I'm pretty sure the plan was to devour all three donuts.
He then quietly left the room with his sugary treats tucked in hand and cheek.
Now first, I will never take advise from a man who cannot keep from stuffing his face with a donut. Second, what a lousy testimony to people outside the church. Third, what a lousy example to church goers. It is fiercely visible and grossly dismissed, creating a wealth of issues.
I grew up in Baptistdom which is riddled with fat men and women. While I do understand there a few people that have health issues that they cannot combat, and I beg their grace here, most are fully able to control their intake.
We had pastors we called 'Big Man', "Pastor Big', 'Steven the Large' and these men embraced these names instead of realizing what a lousy witness they were. Oh, and they also told me I should never have a drink.
In the Baptist world, without saying a word, we teach children that gluttony is perfectly ok, while drinking is the greatest sin of all time.
Now I have committed both sins. Gluttony and drunkenness. There have been times where I kept stuffing the chocolate cake in my mouth day after day. And, there have been times I have continued sipping the Jack Daniels. I've also been a drunkard and a glutton at the same time. I fully understand the danger and consequences of both.
I have always had to work at controlling my food intake to keep it from being sinful, and I have had to work at controlling my alcohol intake to keep it from being sinful. I don't have a drink very often, so the food control has been the bigger problem.
The signs of drunkenness are usually very clear. Slurred speech, maybe excessive friendliness or anger. And of course, poor decision making. The potential to harm others is increased not only by incident, but by example.
The long term result can turn you into a complete failure and an unhealthy person.
The signs of gluttony are clearly obvious as well. Fat, sloppy, excessive friendliness to make up for society's judgment and embracing the condition as normal. There is also the potential to harm others with your example.
The long term results can turn you into a complete failure and an unhealthy person.
What I find amusing about the 'don't drink' rule making of pastors is this.
1. Most times they have been very fat men
2. They were taught at the seminary that the wine did not have alcohol
3. They forget Jesus first miracle was at a party where He made more wine
4. They forget Jesus was called a glutton and a drunkard. Not because he was, but because he ate and drank with people
5. There is nothing that tells us not to drink. Paul tells us not to drink too much and gives medical advise to Timothy of wine's value
Too much of anything can arguably be dangerous for us. No need to dissect this as we all understand this.
We are never told not to eat, and we are never told not to drink.
I am not looking to justify any of my sinful behaviors. I just want pastors, priests and preachers to shut up about this and move on to things of the hour that matter, like our piss poor prosperity gospel, our lack of love for the unlovely, our retreat of discipleship, and our excessive selfishness and failure to share our faith. What about the epidemic of porn use in the church?
50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women are addicted to pornography. 60% of the women who answered the survey admitted to having significant struggles with lust; 40% admitted to being involved in sexual sin in the past year; and 20% of the church-going female participants struggle with looking at pornography on an ongoing basis. From the results of a ChristiaNet poll reported by Marketwire.com
Yet, you will seldom ever here a preacher dig into porn and the need to hold each other accountable.
Every preacher is human, so they are struggling with something. We accept this. But fat preachers are immediately dismissed consciously and unconsciously. They have only their jolly personalities to fall back on. But I promise you, we do not take you seriously, and I have interviewed enough people to tell you, it is almost all of us.
A donut or a glass of wine both cause chemical reactions in the brain and stimulate the senses. Both can lead to sin and trouble. Neither is inherently bad for you. If you had to make an argument, which was worse, it would no doubt be the donut. Yet we fill our churches with donuts and dismiss the wine.
Drunkenness and Glutton are both a bad witness. Gluttony is more continuously visible and judged by Chistians and non-Christians alike. Drunkenness is generally temporary, but can be just as harmful, but is usually only judged by Christians.
So as to not be fraudulent, here's exacylt what I'm thinking, and I know it's ugly, but then I don't have to write it again, and writing is a form of theropy.
You fast pastors need to stop stuffing crap down your throat. You look patethic. You are not beleivable. You are not cute you are ugly. I do not take you seriously, because you can't take something as simple as food and exercise seriously. You do not have permission to pull the thorn oout of my eye, because you ate the tree. I would not invite someone to your church because I would not want them to think you're the example to aspire too.
I've resisted writing that for five years.
I like donuts and I like Brunello wine. I intend to consume both. Not at the same time as that would ruin the wine. I will continue to work on balance to avoid sin. And, if you are a fellow traveler, and feel I am abusing either, please hold me accountable. But if you are a fat pastor - shut up and jog.