My husband and I have had a conviction about not drinking alcohol since we were children. We don’t allow it in our home. We do care a lot for other unchurched friends and do not condemn others if they choose to drink. However, our church is now saying “We should have a BBQ and give out beer to friends in order to relate to unchurched people.” They also want to have retreats and serve cocktails to show unchurched people we are not weird. My question is…Will alcohol, served by the church, really win unsaved or unchurched souls? Am I missing a bigger picture? I am sure alcohol is already a problem they are trying to escape. They need Jesus not another drink? What do you think about churches serving alcohol?
Getting drunk is a sin. Drinking alcohol (but not getting drunk) is a matter of personal conscience. Read more about that issue here.
Churches offering beer and cocktails to attract the world? How is that any different than offering a feel-good, positive “Jesus will improve your life” Gospel? How is that any different than the sugary, success-vocabulary presentation of Osteen that is devoid of any mention of sin or guilt, and physical indications of Christianity?
This is the natural progression of what is occuring in the Church over the last couple of decades:
- Entertainment to attract the world to hear about Jesus
- Anecdotal, story-telling sermons to attract the world to hear about Jesus
- Worldly events, seminars, workshops and support groups to attract the world to hear about Jesus
- Remove all Christian symbols and vocabulary to attract the world to hear about Jesus
- Create a rock concert atmosphere to attract the world to hear about Jesus
- Expand programs, resources and facilities to attract the world to hear about Jesus
- End all negative teaching about sin, hell and condemnation to attract the world to hear about Jesus
- Offer a comfortable, appealing, success-oriented, self-improvement message to attract the world to hear about Jesus
That’s just off the top of my head. Basically, we have decided that the simple preaching of God’s Word, ALL OF GOD’S WORD, is not sufficient… not sufficient for bringing people to Christ, or for equipping people to live a fulfilling, emotionally healthy and spiritually victorious life.
If rock concert music, lattes, support groups, beer and cocktails attract people to “hear about Jesus” then why not:
- Free drugs for drug addicts; that will get lots of people in the door.
- Perhaps the Apostle Paul should have arranged orgies or prostitutes for the Corinthians who would have come in droves for that
- Let’s create an MTV music video New Testament so the youth wil be interested
- Let’s write a book where God and Jesus are worldly, crude humans that we can relate to (oh wait, that’s been done – “The Shack”)
- Poker is all the rage… I say we conduct a “World Church Series of Poker” tournament, sell a televangelist’s airplane, and use the proceeds as prize money. Given the popularity, that will draw thousands to “hear about Jesus”. We could have poker cards with Bible verses on the back and preach sermons about the “river card of life” and “mucking” the Gospel invitation.
- I know, let’s just PAY PEOPLE to come hear about Jesus… the megachurches could get hundreds of thousands in the door doing that.
If the end justifies the means, then NOTHING that attracts people feel comfortable around us, and hear about Jesus, should be off limits. If ANYTHING is off limits, there has to be a reason why… and if there is a reason why, then we have to determine that reason, and figure out if it applies to offering beer, teaching positive-thinking sermons, or delivering entertainment instead of worship and preaching.
The alcohol being served (in the question above) is just a symptom. The disease is that we have turned to MAN’S MACHINATIONS in some futile and absurd attempt to improve on God’s presentation of the Gospel in Scripture.
Listen folks, there is no difference between offering beer and avoiding sermons about sin. There is no difference between giving out drugs or creating a “postive, comfortable, unoffending” church environment. It all comes from the same mindset: man’s tricks, or the presenting the simple truth of God without manipulation or gimmicks.
Study the following list about “The Gospel” and tell me if a beer would make it more appealing to the world. The Gospel:
- Is good tidings of great joy for all people. Lu 2:10,11,31,32
- Exhibits the grace of God. Ac 14:3; 20:32
- The knowledge of the glory of God is by. 2Co 4:4,6
- Life and immortality are brought to light by Jesus through. 2Ti 1:10
- Is the power of God to salvation. Ro 1:16; 1Co 1:18; 1Th 1:5.
- Is glorious. 2Co 4:4
- Is everlasting. 1Pe 1:25; Re 14:6
- Preached by Christ. Mt 4:23; Mr 1:14
- Must be believed. Mr 1:15; Heb 4:2
- Brings peace. Lu 2:10,14; Eph 6:15
- Produces hope. Col 1:23
- There is fulness of blessing in. Ro 15:29
- Awful consequences of not obeying. 2Th 1:8,9
- Gospel of peace. Eph 6:15
- Gospel of God. Ro 1:1; 1Th 2:8; 1Pe 4:17
- Gospel of Christ. Ro 1:9,16; 2Co 2:12; 1Th 3:2
- Gospel of the grace of God. Ac 20:2
- Gospel of the kingdom. Mt 24:14
- Gospel of salvation. Eph 1:13
- Glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. 2Co 4:4
- Word of salvation. Ac 13:26
- Word of truth. Eph 1:13; Jas 1:18
- Word of life. Php 2:16
- Torrey, R. (1995, c1897). The new topical text book : A scriptural text book for the use of ministers, teachers, and all Christian workers. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos research Systems, Inc.