Authored by John Beehner, founder of Wise Counsel, a process for Christian Entrepreneurs and author of the new best seller “The Freedom Revolution...Rocking our World.”

Friday, February 10, 2012

Jesus, Budweiser, and Freedom by Mike Whittymore

Do you ever wonder if Jesus were here today that He, being the King of Jews, would drink the King of Beers? These are the types of questions that plague my day. But deep within the sarcasm, there's a good question. Would Jesus drink beer? What do you think? 

We know Jesus drank wine
We know He made wine
We know He illustrated with wine

Yet, we live in this bazaar reality where legalism has forced our humble protestant reformation to use a breathalyzer. For the orthodox among us, the issue over freedom and drinking isn’t a problem. In fact, most would agree that our Catholic friends are fairly liberal with alcohol. 

So where's the rub? Well, like most issues, (sex) the church doesn't effectively teach on them. Our lack of teaching over the last 50 years has crippled our view on major life issues, causing one generation to label them taboo, and another generation to embrace them without regard. 

The reality is that most Protestants are at a weird crossroad. The fundamental, evangelical Protestants label alcohol as a sin, and that abstinence is the only option. Conversely, the mainstream, non-denomination protestant sees alcohol as a choice and enjoys the freedom to indulge. If you're a Christian and drink - you're a heathen. If you're a Christian and you abstain - you're a prude.

Even Mark Driscoll, the King of Seattle, can't gain traction on this issue. 

The problem is not FREEDOM. Yes, Jesus died for you, and you have liberties in Him. But drinking and freedom are not in the ring together. Drinking and TEACHING are. 

We simply do not teach correctly on this issue. To teach abstinence as a directive is wrong! There is no biblical mandate to support this. Likewise, there's no scripture to support all out permission for consumption. 

Here's what we know: we know that all things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial .In other words, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. 

What we need to do, is stop waging a beer war on each other, and focus on teaching. What are we showing the next generation? Division! Should that be our legacy? It's ridiculous and shameful that we've wasted so much time on arguments of futility. 

Do people abuse alcohol? Yes.
Do people abuse each other? Yes.
Do people abuse food? Yes
-should we do away with all of these? NO!

Your freedom came with a price. Is this really how we want to honor that sacrifice? Arguing? Dying on pathetic hills of legalism? Let’s open the scriptures to our children, and show them that freedom is meant to be kept in check and that life is meant to be enjoyed.

Let’s teach our children about the dangers of alcohol.
Let’s teach them about hereditary tendencies.
Let’s teach them to obey the law.
Let’s teach them not to give in to drunkenness, which leads to debauchery.

Moreover, let’s teach them that we are called to be a people of MODERATION!
 [for the record, you cannot be anti-alcohol, but pro-Golden Corral]

Look, people spend money, have kids, and get married. As a Pastor, I've spent years trying to get people to do all those things the RIGHT way, because when they do, not only are their lives better, but so are the ones they impact. 

Protestants must understand that legalism cannot share the New Testament with the Cross. Likewise, we must also use our freedom to teach, and not just to indulge. 

Who I am:  I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. I'm a husband, a father, a worship leader, a student pastor, and a blogger.

What I know:  I've come to find that God has fashioned me into a man that is humbled by the grace given to me and the responsibility to show God's glory through it.

Email me:

1 comment:

  1. I loved this article. I pray that the Lord will use your words to encourage people to live in moderation as they follow Christ.