Alcohol, Acts 29, and the SBC

Here is a very interesting story put out by Baptist Press concerning an Acts 29 church in the St. Louis area.

(HT: Reformissionary)

  1. I thought the Baptist Press article left much to be desired. Miller actually misrepresented Dr. Ware pretty badly. Did you read Tom Ascol’s critique/?

    • Jonathan
    • March 31st, 2007

    No sir I have not. But I definitely will. Have you read this article before?

  2. Yessir. It’s kinda bogus.

  3. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the Southern Baptists (in general) portrayal of alcohol as the pinnacle of evil. Somehow, about 200 years ago, some people (Methodists had a lot to do with it too) decided that we should equate alcohol consumption to the sin of drunkedness. Inconsistently, the people who still adhere to this notion won’t equate the consumption of a cheeseburger to the sin of obesity; or the having a computer in your home with the sin of internet addiction; or going to the beach with the sin of lust. Why doesn’t the Baptist Press have a similar article about Bible studies in coffee houses, where people are probably drinking a little too much caffeine?

    I’ve read this article several times, and it seems that the gist of this article is that Acts 29 churches aren’t theologically and doctrinally sound because some of their members drink alcohol.

    The writer goes out of his way and then some to emphasize what he views as utilizing the EVIL of alcohol to lure in members.

    “Some attending the Theology at the Bottleworks gathering also made the connection between alcohol and the outreach effort”

    “Patrick, in e-mails to Baptist Press, was clear that beer was not a tenet of his non-traditional methodologies.”

    Did this guy really believe that since church members drank alcohol, alcohol must be a TENET of the church’s NON-TRADITIONAL methodologies? Did he seriously ask Patrick if alcohol was a TENET of his church? Actually, he probably did.

    “Still, the church’s unconventional means of reaching the lost might be shaping its internal culture as much as the church is shaping others. The bio of The Journey’s mission pastor, Jonathan MacIntosh, mentions that he enjoys drinks with his wife “at the almost secret bar beneath Brennan’s in the Central West End.” ”

    I am quite confident that Mr. MacIntosh and his wife enjoyed drinks together long before the Journey’s “unconventional means of reaching the lost” currupted them.

    “Another Acts 29 church (also non-SBC) — the Seattle-area Damascus Road Church — sponsors a men’s poker night for which gamblers are encouraged to bring beer. The website also states: “There is just something about having food on your plate and a drink in your hand that makes fellowship that much easier. Whether the food is healthy or fattening, or the drink is coffee or beer, we desire to follow Christ’s example.””

    Here, Mr. Miller goes out of his way to call the people attending poker night “gamblers.” If I drink a beer, am I a drunk? If I play a game of poker, am I a gambler? If I eat a cheeseburger, am I a glutton? Also, the Damascus Road website makes it clear that the purpose of the night is fellowship, not poker.

    The Damascus Road website asks attendees to “Bring your favorite soothing beverage (barley pop, soda, water, etc.).” Clearly, people are not “encouraged to bring beer.”

    “The alcohol issue goes straight to the top at Acts 29, whose president, Mark Driscoll — who is pastor of the Seattle-area Mars Hill Church — wrote in his book, “Radical Reformission,” that abstinence from alcohol is a sin. In a chapter titled “The Sin of Light Beer,” Driscoll explains that he came to this conclusion while preparing a sermon on the Lord’s miracle at Cana where Jesus turned water into wine.”

    Here is what Driscoll’s book actually says:
    “About that time, I was studying the Scriptures for a sermon about Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine, as reported in John’s gospel, a miracle that Jesus performed when he was about my age. My Bible study convinced me of my sin of abstinence from alcohol. So in repentance I drank a hard cider over lunch with our worship pastor.”

    Driscoll says MY “sin of abstinence.” He never made a flat assertion that abstinence was a sin. The sin was in the legalistic reasoning that he used in abstaining.

    “As a loan recipient from the Missouri Baptist Convention, The Journey — because of its practices primarily related to alcohol — has raised controversy within the state convention.”

    Not because of errant or questionable theology, but because of alcohol.

    “Church history confirms what 2 Chronicles 7.14 says,” Moran told Baptist Press later by phone. “Revival comes to a nation when God’s people get right — when they return to holiness, purity, obedience, faithfulness, and to the intent of Scripture and the purposes of God.”

    I actually agree with Mr. Moran here.

    Chase, how was Ware misrepresented? Miller didn’t really say much about him.

    • Jonathan
    • April 5th, 2007


    It is very good to hear from you. I was about to go into sackclothe and ashes over the loss of my blog buddy. Is the Teeftastic blog on hiatus or do we need to mourn the death of a dear friend?

    I was incredibly glad to hear some feedback on this article from you. I unfortunately don’t have the time to post an extensive reply, but I assure you one will be on the way. I think we are on the same page on this issue but I will still weigh in when I have the chance to go into length with some scripture references.


    • teeftastic
    • April 9th, 2007

    I’m hoping that someday I will post anew. I might just erase all previous material and start over, but we’ll see.

    I was thinking that we were pretty close to being on the same page. I couldn’t tell if you liked and agreed with the article or if you just found the article to be interesting. I’ll look forward to a furture post.

  4. Teef,

    Here is an excellent article posted by the Acts 29 peeps. I am assuming this is where Driscoll stands on the issue (the head of the Acts 29 network) and now that I think of it I am quite positive I have heard him say the same things before in some sermons that I have heard him preach.

    I agree with the way the subject matter of alcohol consumption is summed up nicely and without a whole lot of extra verbage, which I am sure would accompany my attempt at explaining where I stand on the issue. So without further ado: the link. Scroll to the bottom of the page and follow the link entitled “Acts 29 and Alcohol Statement”

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