The following is the monthly letter our Barry County Southern Baptist Associational Director of Missions, Jerry L. Williams, wrote for the Monthly Newsletter. I pray you will hear his heart.
“Look not thou upon the wine when it is read, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.” (Proverbs 23:31-32)
“I do not believe that our Lord contradicts Himself in His Word, do you?
‘I also believe that when His word states, “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright…” that that is referring to when the wine is fermenting.’
‘I am sharing this because it seems that today there are some ministers in SBC and MBC that believes it is alright to drink alcoholic beverages. I never thought that we would hae to deal with this issue in Southern Baptist life, but I guess I was wrong.
Now I know that there are some in our churches that probably drink and think nothing of it, but that doesn’t make it right and I feel that they are wrong in doing it. Look at what he alcohol industry has done to the lives of so many; deaths, ruined families, homes, marrigaes and on and on I could write.
The Acts 29 and Emerging Church movement claims to be “theologically conservative and culturally liberal.” Alcohol, Acts 29 and the Missouri Baptist Convention…, below is an excerpt from the St. Louis Post Dispatch:’
“As Tolliver (MBC Interim Executive Director) was speaking, another group of pastors gathered at a lake house a couple of miles away, drinking Red stripe and Fat Tire beer, watching football and talking shop: the influence of music in their worship services, their inner-city social justice efforts, the challenge of having so many new babies in their congregations.”
“The young men are part of Acts 29, a network of more than 100 emerging churches across the country that have a conservative theology but a more liberal take on some aspects of the culture than do traditional Southern Baptists. The group’s focus is on starting more new churches. The Journey in south St. Louis is one such church, and there are others in the State — St. Charles, Eureka, Hannibal, Columbia and Ozark.
Our MBC Executive Board met last Dec. 10, 2007 in part to discuss their concerns about alcohol use and alcohol-based evangelism strategies within the greater Missouori Baptist family. They concluded by taking significant action on the issue.
In an historic move members of the board voted by a nearly 3-1 margin to cut off state convention Cooperative Program support to Acts 29 Network churches/church plants in Missouri. The vote does not impact MBC churches who, on their own are assisting Acts 29 churches.
The controversy over Acts 29 began when one church, the Journey, started holding regular discussion sessions in a bar where some participants drank alcohol. The “Theology at the Bottle Works” (the name of the bar).
I agree with Roger Moran when he stated, ‘One of the most dangerous and deceptive movements to infiltrate the ranks of Southern Baptist life has been the Emerging/Emergent Church Movement”.
I will be bringing a message this month at our worker’s conference dealing with this issue. May we as Barry County Southern Baptist stand firm on our doctrine, the Word of God, and the teaching of abstinence when it comes to the use of alcohol beverages.
My we send our number of messengers to this years MBC in October and stand with our State Executive Board Members and what they did in Dec. 2007. Let’s go and vote with them to hold the line on this movement within our convention.”
The Barry County Southern Baptist Association has sent a letter to the Executive Board of the MBC voicing the approval of their December 2007 actions. We do fully support this action of the Board, and will continue to do so.
-by Tim A. Blankenship