Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hate Beer? Not Here!

I am a brewer by nature. I have been making beer since I was all of 12 years old with my dad. It is a tradition I hope to pass on to my son or daughter, someday. I am proud of my heritage and traditions. It has been a real blessing from God, because, apart from beer brewing, my dad and I had nothing in common for pretty much my entire childhood.

Growing up brewing beer, I learned to appreciate it for what it is. To me, a fine beer is better than the best wine. I would rather have 6 oz. of a strong German doppelbock or tripelbock in my wine glass (at room temperature and uncarbonated, no less) than the finest wine. It is like drinking kobe beef. Then you have Budweiser, which is like the cheap hamburger you get at the store that has all of those other animal "adjuncts" added to it to stretch it.

Why all this rambling about beer? I guess because I rail against the faction in the church that is anti-alcohol. I hate being made feel like a second-class citizen of the kingdom because I brew beer. The US has one of the most prudish religious cultures in the whole world, and I don't think that is a good thing. It keeps us from having healthy discussions about subjects that other brothers and sisters around the world talk about openly. Why don't we ever talk about sex openly in the church, other than "Don't do it before you are married?" Why don't we talk about alcohol use? Why don't we talk about video games, other than "Grand Theft Auto is so sinful, don't even touch it?" I am not saying I necessarily disagree with that statement, but that totally stops short of saying anything significant.

I drank beer and played video games most of my formative years, and I think that I turned out pretty well, given my circumstances. I know Jen would agree. She tells me I am a pretty stellar husband. I have confidence that I'll be an okay dad, too.

I feel that the root problem tends to be that we who call ourselves Christians tend to be comfortable with a level of legalism embraced by the culture in the past so that we don't have to think or reason things out that might make us uncomfortable. I know this from dealing with personal conviction in certain areas (that would be the flip-side of the coin I am talking about). I think it is time for us to embrace that, and to accept others for who they are. You don't have to give up beer to come to Jesus. You do have to give up a lifestyle of drunkenness once you are His, but, if you truly belong to Him, you will allow Him to lead you out of it. Just a few thoughts today...

Oh, and a joke:

A man who had a son in prison was getting on in years. He loved to garden, but he was to old and frail to dig up all the soil he needed to so that he could plant. Feeling sad, he wrote his son in early June:

"Dear Joseph,

I certainly wish you were not in prison, as I would like to plant a garden. I miss you.



His son wrote back:

"Dear Dad,

Don't dig up the garden. That is where I hid the bodies!



Having read the out-going letter (as they do in prisons), the cops showed up and dug out the place. They searched for a few days, but never found any bodies.

A week later, the father received another letter. It was from his son:

"Dear Dad,

Now you can plant. Happy Father's Day.





Kathy Brown said...

Great blog! I LOVED the joke. And I am in total agreement with this perspective on alcohol. In my view, the best witness a person can be for God is a person of moderation and self-control (the good kind).

I struggled for a while with Christians who have the perspective that we cannot drink and wondered how to discuss it. However, I am of the opinion that it is best not to argue about it. You never know who is dealing with internal issues.

My own family has issues in this area, though not in a Christian sense. My brother is a lifetime alcoholic and it has stolen his life from him in so many ways. He will be lucky to live beyond 50 in my view.

There are pastors I know who feel that pastors are not to drink. I have not investigated that in the bible.

Anyway, it is an interesting discussion.

God Bless.

Sarah Downey said...

It's good to see other perspectives Jared because I don't normally think about other Christians who drink. While the Bible clearly says that getting drunk is sinful, I know that it's not a sin to drink. I think sometimes that the reason the church can be so black or white about the issue is because we don't know where to "draw the line" as to what kind of drinking is sinful and what kind is not. It's probably just easier to not. I think too that because of problem drinking, we can go to the extreme and tend to view all drinking as bad. One of my professors at Harding was explaining this one time in class and he said, "It's not necessarily a sin to drink alcohol, but tell me what you would think if you saw the president of this Christian university coming out of the liquor store?" I have to admit that it makes me think twice. Probably because of stereotyping. How would I know what he was there for or what he was buying?!?! It's unfortunate, but apart of how a lot of people think.

That being said, I think it's a good example of what Paul talks about when he says that what causes someone to stumble may not be a problem for others and vice versa. Some of us struggle with different things and we should always be mindful of that, not ever wanting to cause someone else to stumble. Personally, I can't touch alcohol. I'm an alcoholic who is in recovery, and I know what that stuff does to my body. For me, it WOULD BE a sin to take even a drink, for I know it would set my addiction in motion again. I think that's great that some people can enjoy alcohol socially; I just have to remember that I cannot. I usually just don't put myself in situations where anyone is drinking so that it's not a temptation.

If you are able to drink in a way that's not sinful, but enjoyable, then I support that. Some people drink a glass of wine with dinner or on special occasions too. As long as your heart is right about it and you know that God is please with how you're living as a follower of Christ, then don't worry about what other people think. He's the most important one to please! Thanks for the post...

Lexa Roséan said...

Well, I'm a Jewish pagan but I enjoy reading your blog. loved the joke!

Looney Mom said...

You need to come visit me and teach me how to home brew. It sounds awesome. Legalism sucks!

I did grow up in an abusive alcoholic home and I HATED who my dad became when he was drunk. I realize that he was trying to escape the horrors of Vietnam and the demons that he fought constantly, but STILL - it was tragic!

I like to enjoy a drink now and then but I am not a slave to it.

And the joke was funny. I guess that's one way to get the tilling done! Ha ha.

Niki said...

Love the joke too!

Yep! You said it on the rest of the stuff! Way to go!