In 1886 in the Tennessee Baptist a preacher wrote of years before seeing a Baptist pastor drunk in the pulpit. So intoxicated he could not stand alone and had to hold on to the pulpit. His speech was difficult to understand. When the church tried to discipline him he declared he was not drunk because he did not fall down. He reproved them for being judgmental and said if he was disciplined he would expose the sins of other church members. The minister was not punished and according to the writer the church eventually died of strong drink. (-from Liquor in the Land of the Lost Cause by Joe L. Coker)
Such common abuse of alcohol is one reason Baptists, Methodists, and others began to speak against “distilled damnation” in the late 1700s and early 1800s. When you condone moderate drinking of alcohol, you have more immoderate drinking of alcohol.
Moderate drinking, is moderate intoxication. Many have pointed out moderate drinking is not the solution to drunkenness, it is the cause of drunkenness. That was true two hundred years ago, and it is true today.
Today many young pastors are being told the Bible condones moderate drinking of alcohol. In other words, it’s perfectly fine for even a preacher to partake of a recreational, mind altering drug. Yet, when moderate recreational drugs are accepted, it often leads to immoderate recreational drugs.
Today when Christian convictions against drinking are weakening, do we really have a problem with intoxicated preachers? Yes. For example, in his 2010 book Church Planter, Acts 29 pastor Darrin Patrick laments the significant problem of drunk preachers today:
“As I coach and mentor church planters and pastors, I am shocked at the number of them who are either addicted or headed toward addiction to alcohol. Increasingly, the same is true with prescription drugs. One pastor I know could not relax without several beers after work and could not sleep without the aid of a sleeping pill.”
For good reason, for well over 100 years, Southern Baptists and many other believers, have opposed the use of alcohol.
It is past time that believers return to the safest, sanest, most biblical conviction of opposing all use of beverage alcohol. Stay away from it. As Proverbs 23:29 says, don’t even look at it. Have nothing to do with it, and you will save yourself and others from a world of heartache.
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, April 13, AD 2015.
For more information see the books:
Ancient Wine and the Bible by Brumbelow
Alcohol Today by Lumpkins
2006 SBC Resolution on Alcohol Use in America
Deuteronomy 14:26 - Does it Commend Alcohol?
Acts 29, Alcohol, and the Southern Baptist Convention
B. H. Carroll on Pastors and Alcohol
Dr. R. L. Sumner on "Ancient Wine and the Bible"
Wine for Your Stomach's Sake; 1 Timothy 5:23
Other articles in lower right hand margin under Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels).