(disclaimer for clarity: “Haters gonna hate” is a tongue in cheek way of talking about people who give you criticism. It’s a somewhat popular figure of speech made much more popular by the recent Taylor Swift song “Shake it Off,” where Swift also uses it in what I think is a tongue and cheek fashion. I just want to be clear I don’t think anyone is actually hating me, or hating the Upper Room, or anything involving the real definition of the term “hate.” Also, I’ve wrestled a little in if I should have made these comments public or not. For clarity sake, all but the first one were comments posted publicly on The Upper Room’s Facebook page. I deleted them after posting them anonymously here. The first message was a private Facebook sent to me but was the one message that I felt had a real malicious intent behind it, so I felt it was appropriate to share 1. to expose this type of malicious talk and 2. because it’s so far out there I have to laugh at it. I hope this is helpful. Thank you for keeping me in check to those of you who asked about this blog post.)
We had a wonderful night at our first Upper Room this past Tuesday, seeing God at work in very exciting ways. The Upper Room is a new church venue we are doing at The Loft in Lansing every Tuesday night. The Loft is a nightclub that is only open when they have a concert. Our group of pastors are buying first time guests a drink and the bar is open like it is any other night. We are doing our best to reach people who don’t have a relationship with Jesus yet. The Lansing State Journal did a nice article about us that is running in Friday’s paper.
I get some special messages from Christians about having beer at church that I feel like needed to be shared. I don’t think they need any commentary as they are pretty engaging in and of themselves. For those actually concerned, please check out the “Biblical View of Alcohol” document I write about here. I share these because parts of them are humorous, but also to show the vast array of views out there when it comes to the Bible–plenty of which downright ignore text after text after text, as well as make up their own ideas and rules that the Bible never talks about. These posts actually are a pretty good argument for the reason we are doing church at a bar in the first place, to try to reach people who have been turned off by Christians. I put my favorite lines in bold. Without further adieu:
I’m sorry Noah, but getting drunk at church is inappropriate on so many levels. Maybe you wonder why God hasn’t grown your following over the last 10 years since I first met you.
People don’t get drunk you say? Whats the verse? Romans 14:13? I really do wish you the best in your endeavors but I firmly believe what your doing is spitting in the face of your faith.
If I’m mistaken in the many verses I could approach you with about this, please justify biblically how that is so.
it boils down to selflessness the unselfish thing to do would be to withhold from drinking because you might make someone stumble.
Using your own logic- One could promote bible lessons at Déjà Vu, and quote all the scriptures where God talks about how lovely women are, and how God created the woman. Then you could tell men that the sin is in lusting after women, not in appreciating God’s craftsmanship. So as long as men used enough self control to only admire, but not to lust, then they would not be sinning. Therefore, you could attempt to reach that whole unsaved population of people who are currently using women as sexual objects, but could soon learn that they can be appreciated and used in moderation, just to admire.
It is a slippery slope, and getting drunk is just as easy as having a lustful thought. If you wouldn’t promote strippers under the guise of biblical principles allowing it, why use alcohol to win souls?
you admit that a ministry in a strip club would not be good for a man?
Why? Because most would not be able to control their bodies and minds, and would end up sinning?
I believe the same will be true of your congregation at The The Upper Room. I believe that most will not have enough self control, and will end up drunk. And you will be the one who caused them to stumble.
a drink possibly being made too strong, or one drink too many and someone ends up drunk?
Consuming alcohol is not a science, but there is scientific research done about it. In that research it shows that many factors contribute to a person’s tolerance for alcohol. How much they have eaten, the type of meal, their body mass, their history of alcohol consumption, the quality and potency of the alcohol, and even moods can contribute to one getting drunk.
Yet, even if it happened accidentally, you promoted the drinking, may have even bought them a drink, and therefore would be responsible for them stumbling.
So I challenge you as a Christian- if that ever happens, and a new believer, one of the people who has given their life to Christ during your ministry- drinks too much accidentally and ends up drunk. I challenge you to do as the Bible says- and to never drink again so you will never cause another to stumble.
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