Big Bad Beer

The folks at Lifeway have done a very helpful survey of pastors, both Southern Baptist and non Southern Baptist, and protestant laity over the issue of alcohol. This was a scientific study (not a blog poll) where the issues are: do you think its a sin to drink? Do you personally drink? Do you think the consumption of alcohol will attract/detract a person from coming to Christ? I’m glad someone decided to do this study, if for no other reason than to get a good pulse on what the current church climate is.

Here’s some of their findings I find most interesting:

1. Almost half of laity agree Christians should not drink and that abstaining may attract non-believers to Jesus Christ

2. More laity who are Southern Baptist agree not drinking alcohol attracts non-believers to Jesus Christ

3. Older and younger laity do not differ in their agreement that not drinking alcohol attracts non-believers to Jesus Christ

4. More senior pastors than laity agree Scripture forbids getting drunk, but more laity agree people should never drink alcohol

Evidently, alcohol is a major evangelistic issue for many people. And they are convinced that the absence of an alcoholic drink makes Jesus Christ more attractive to non-believers.

Now, we need someone to do a study of non-Christians and ask them what they think.

note: all sarcasm has been graciously omitted from this post. Ok, I guess I left a little of it in the title.

  1. Um… so how would not drinking alcohol attract the lost?

    Let me put it this way… say I’m lost. I’m just average old Joe Lost Guy. I work hard, I’m a good person, and on the weekends I enjoy knocking back a few brewskies with my buddies while watching the game.

    Out of no where, I meet this new guy at the office. He eagerly agrees to come hang out with the gang to watch the big game Saturday night. He shows up right after the first round is ordered. He doesn’t cuss at bad plays like everyone else. That’s pretty admirable. But he also doesn’t join in on the festivities of enjoying a frothy cold one with everyone else.

    Now, as Joe Lost Guy, am I going to think this teetotaller is leading a life that is attractive to me? Not sure. It would GREATLY depend on how he presented the fact that he didn’t drink. If he said that it was a sin to drink, well, I wouldn’t be inviting him back out next weekend and I’d probably avoid him in the break room. If he said that he just didn’t want to get drunk, I’d probably kid him a little, try to get him to at least have one in the spirit of the evening and continue being his friend. If he said that Jesus drank, and has no problem with drinking, just that he believes the Bible states it is wrong to drink to excess or to get drunk, and then buys the next round and enjoys a beer with me, then I’m probably going to church with him Sunday morning.

    Am I the only one that looks at it this way?

  2. This was a hotbutton issue between the Missouri Baptist Convention and The Journey in St. Louis awhile back. Personally, as a Southern Baptist, I thought the whole thing was a bit ridiculous. Here’s where I fall: there’s no doubt in my mind that the Bible speaks against drunkeness. Somehow, that has been twisted into the idea that consumption of alcohol on any level is a sin. Now, with that being said, I choose to abstain from alcohol. I have about 100 different reasons for doing so and not one of them has to do with the Bible.

    As far as abstaining from alcohol attracting non-believers, I’m not sure what I think about that. I do know that my own personal abstinence has opened doors for conversation, but I don’t know if it’s ever serves as something that attractional. I lean to agree with Brandon that a lot would depend on how the issue is handled with non-Christians.

  3. i could guess what non beleivers think. they might think that more than 3% of pastors drink, but only 3% will admit to it. sounds mighty hypocritical.

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