Nashville: March 12th
The Southern Baptist Convention has long been a stalwart opponent of alcoholic beverage consumption of any kind. While this stance has always been accepted among our most faithful members, many new members who have arrived into the Baptist fold from other denominations and creeds have always questioned the Biblical accuracy of such positions. Francis Adams, curator of the SBC office of Archives and Records provided the following insight, "While the Bible is vague if not neutral on the subject of alcohol consumption, the Baptist Covenant is not". Today however, it appears that all "bets are off" on the issue. Convention President Fred Luter, Jr. announced at an Arkansas pastors conference that the SBC is removing any reference to ministerial or lay consumption of alcohol from its recommendations, positions, or statements of doctrine. Dr. Luter stated, "We have created a stumbling block to the faithful by insisting on a position which basically isn't mentioned in the scriptures. While drunkenness and gluttony are decried, there is ample evidence that the Apostles and the Lord himself were moderate consumers of wine and strong drink." Dr. Luter later quoted Matthew 11: 18-19 " For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” This pronouncement should bring about much debate in local associations and churches. Stay tuned to the Modern Baptist and SBC Today for more info.