Monday, January 29, 2018

The Problem With "Pastors" Parading Their Affinity For Drinking And Smoking Online

Rom 12:1  Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 

Eph 4:29  Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 


So I just looked at his video he posted on Twitter and Joshua Jones is trying to instruct people about abuse while holding a whiskey in his hand. He looks like a haggard drunk. Clearly either this man is enslaved to alcohol or he's a fake, a parody and trying to make a point by being so unbiblical (his website is just as bad). It's so ridiculous that he's hard to take seriously. However, I have reported previously, how many "pastors" do the same thing (which is why this instance was vexing), so it's still pertinent. 

2Pe 2:19  promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. 

I wonder if his followers are mainly bots, too? 

There's hypocrisy here:


I don't know who this man is except what he's made known on his Twitter account. I decided to say something here because the more of his tweets I read, the more vexed I became, and when I saw how many followers he has, I knew this was someone who may have influence over a lot of people online. 

He talks about the equal weight of the epistles to Jesus's commands (which is true because all of Scripture is "God-breathed), so, what does Scripture ("the apostolic epistles") teach about matters of conscience? Obviously Scripture condemns drunkenness and it doesn't prohibit all consumption of alcohol. Scripture doesn't speak about tobacco. But it does tell us how to treat these issues (and anything that can enslave us) and our behavior with such things before others. 

Elders ("pastors") as well as all Christians, really, are to be examples to the lost and dying world. While drinking on occasion in a private or quiet way is not prohibited by Scripture, promoting it is flaunting a "freedom" that is diametrically opposed by God's Word. Scripture says we are to be sober-minded (1Thes. 5:7-9; 1Tim. 3:2,11; 2Tim. 4:5;Titus 2:2; 1Peter 1:3;1Peter 4:7). This is especially true of men in leadership.

Rom 6:16  Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 

While the context is about sin, the application can be made for anything that enslaves us that is not of Christ: gluttony, drinking, money.  

1Co 8:9  But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 
1Co 8:10  For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol's temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? 
1Co 8:11  For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. 
1Co 8:12  And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 
1Co 8:13  Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble

Rom 14:15  For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.

Rom 14:17  for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 
Rom 14:18  For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 
Rom 14:19  So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. 
Rom 14:20  Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. 
Rom 14:21  It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. 
Rom 14:22  The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 
Rom 14:23  But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin. 

Rom 14:21  It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.

Isa 5:22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink, 

Considering the binge-drinking problem in the UK, as well as the alcoholism problem in the US, that this "pastor" would identify publicly with alcohol and even joke about it (I can only assume his "serenity prayer" tweet is mock humor) shows a lack of spiritually sober-mindedness toward the entire issue. At best, there's maturity sorely lacking with him.

And in case one thinks he can do whatever he wants because he's "under grace":

1Co 10:12  Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 

And he should care about causing a Christian to fall into temptation by his "freedom" to parade around his love for alcohol and smoking.

The issue here is that Christians, not to mention "pastors" (who by position lay claim to maturity in Christ), should not do something that causes another to stumble, even if he has the freedom to do it (that is, freedom to do things not implicitly nor explicitly prohibited by Scripture). That's what true agape love is about: serving others even at the expense of one's biblical liberty (which is wholly distinct from licentiousness). 

Gal 5:13  For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 
Gal 5:14  For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." 

To then identify so much with alcohol such as having it part of your profile as well as profile icons and then tweet about it, shows an alarming affinity to alcohol. The Christian should identify distinctly with Christ especially on social media, especially given the rate of drunkenness among so many people in our culture. We're called to be holy and distinct. Elders are called to an even higher set of requirements and judgement (Titus 2, 1Tim 3, James 3).To try to be worldly, even if to try to "win the world" shows a love of the world and unbelief in the power of Scripture by the Holy Spirit. It is pragmatism at it's worst. It's a horrible example to all people, Christian and non-Christian.

1Pe 1:13  Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 
1Pe 1:14  As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 
1Pe 1:15  but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 

1Pe 1:16  because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY." 

If we're reproached by the world because we're striving to live godly, righteous lives, that's a good testimony and therefore we are actually identifying with Christ JEsus:

Mat 5:10  "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Eph 4:17  So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 

1Pe 2:11  Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 

1Pe 2:12  Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. 

1Pe 4:3  For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. 
1Pe 4:4  In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you

1Pe 4:5  but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead

Behavior for the Christian, especially for elders, is expressed in Scripture by Jesus Himself an in the apostolic epistles:

1Ti 3:2  An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 

1Ti 3:3  not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 

Tit 1:8  but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled
Tit 1:9  holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. 

"Free from the love of money" can also be applied to the love of alcohol.

To speak so often, boldly, and positively about drinking violates Scripture:

Eph 4:29  Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 

Mat 12:33  "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 
Mat 12:34  "You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 
Mat 12:35  "The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. 
Mat 12:36  "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 
Mat 12:37  "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." 

Elders, and all Christians really, but especially elders, are to be living godly, righteous lives in all areas. They are examples to others. Their lives and doctrines are bound inseparably together. 

Tit 2:1  But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. 

Tit 2:2  Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. 

Tit 2:6  Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; 
Tit 2:7  in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 

Tit 2:8  sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us. 

1Ti 4:12  Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. 

1Ti 4:16  Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. 

1Ti 6:11  But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness
1Ti 6:12  Fight the good fight of faith...

1Ti 6:14  that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

1Ti 6:20  O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called "knowledge"-- 

1Ti 6:21  which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you.

A person who touts alcohol and tabacco so much that his Twitter profile identifies him as having an affinity to them, is someone who thinks he has no problem with these enslaving things; that he's above being drawn into getting drunk or being enslaved to both alcohol and smoking, but Scripture also states:

1Co 10:12  Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.  

What should an then elder do? He should keep his biblical freedom (again, that's not the same as licentiousness--I'm talking about biblically defined freedom) to himself. He should seek to be above reproach and abstain from any form of evil. He should seek to not cause a young Christian or an unbeliever who has issues with alcohol to stumble. If he truly has no enslavement issue with drinking, then he should keep his occasional drinking to himself & his family and not promote or parade it publicly. And really, he should be willing to give up his drinking and smoking for the sake of the weaker brothers.

Rom 12:1  Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 

1Ti 6:3  If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness
1Ti 6:4  he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 
1Ti 6:5  and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. 

1Ti 6:6  But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 

No comments: