Frank Page and Alcohol Use: Heart of the Disagreement

First, I don’t believe anyone has been clearer nor dealt as exegetically with the issues in this debate in the SBC of alcohol abstinence vs. moderation than the material by ConcernedSBCer. This issue has been dealt with on this blog without using the iron fist in the lace glove technique.

Brad Reynolds has quoted an article by new SBC President, Frank Page. Read the article for yourself. I don’t believe there is really anything new in it.

One comment did stand out to me as I read Dr. Page’s article. I have bolded the part below.

Personally, I believe that alcohol, as a beverage, should be avoided by believers. I particularly believe that those who are in positions of leadership and ministry should refrain from any usage of alcohol as a beverage. The Scripture says in I Timothy 3:3 that an overseer must “not be given to drunkenness.” I believe that the issue goes even deeper. While indeed, we must not be given to drunkenness, I believe there is a Biblical principle that encourages believers to abstain all together from alcohol.
[Emphasis mine]

What really boggles my mind is the scripture quote and then the statement “I believe that the issue goes even deeper.” It reads as if to say “scripture says X on the subject, but it doesn’t go far enough i.e. scripture is not sufficient in my judgment.” I’m sorry if this sounds disrespectful, but that is how it reads. The point is built up, then, scripture quoted and scripture knocked down.

Some of the arguments for the total abstinence side seem to be similar to Roman Catholic arguments from sacred tradition and authority. This circumvents the whole doctrine of Sola Scriptura. If you don’t believe me just find some online discussion boards where you can debate Roman Catholics on doctrine and find out. Or, better yet, go to AOMin and purchase some MP3s of James White debate Roman Catholic apologists over the years. The MP3s are a great deal for the quality of the material though I’d encourage you to donate a little more than the few dollars for the MP3s.

I’ve seen Justin Martyr and Cyprian used to “prove” that wine was mixed with water, but I never see the explanation of why. Do these same folks use wine mixed with water in their communion? Why not? Same issue with being a credo-baptist. I can quote early church positions supporting infant baptism, but that doesn’t mean it’s biblical. I mean, why in the world are we Baptists anyway? I certainly hope it’s because Sola Scriptura has been applied and then the doctrine of baptism developed by scriptural exegesis.

Something I have been wondering for a while is how many people in the pews of the SBC churches actually know what the BFM2K is and/or says? Maybe some of you readers can share your experiences. (That is, if I have any readers left.) Hey, maybe the confession of faith doesn’t really matter though I think it does. My point is: I wonder how many people jump on the band wagon in support of total abstinence and yet don’t even know the doctrinal positions of their own denomination?

Okay, yes……I’m ranting, but I still love you.

Let's connect!

in Church Issues,Culture,Southern Baptist,theology

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Howard Fisher July 26, 2006 at 9:59 pm

I agree. The Bible has so much to say about other things. Why is there so much time wasted on enforcing laws making that belong to the state anyway?

Lets face it. This alcohol issue is just trying to get people to obey a rule without getting people to deal with the real issue, which is the HEART!

Having a bunch of unregenerated sober people in the pews following man made rules may be worse than hanging out with drunks.

Been in any Fundy churches lately?

2 Howard Fisher July 27, 2006 at 1:48 pm

I was thinking about Dr. Page’s hermeneutic. Let’s say the overseer must only be man of one wife to be the situation.

“Personally, I believe that women, as wives, should be avoided by believers. I particularly believe that those who are in positions of leadership and ministry should refrain from any woman as a wife. The Scripture says in I Timothy 3:3 that an overseer must “not be given to polygamy [actually a man of one wife].” I believe that the issue goes even deeper. While indeed, we must not be given to polygamy, I believe there is a Biblical principle that encourages believers to abstain all together from wives.”
[Emphasis mine]

There you have it. Since Paul speaks of being single as better, Dr. Page could just as easily say pastors should not be married. We should follow Rome on this. Shouldn’t we?

3 johnMark July 28, 2006 at 6:58 am

howard,

Good comments and points. The problem is as you’ve seen is that no one wants to apply anything but alcohol to these positions. There is no consistency.

Mark

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