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Monday, September 9, 2013

“Don’t Be Deceived”

By Dan Chambers

     It never ceases to amaze me what goes on in some churches. Just when I thought I heard it all, along comes this newspaper story: “D.C. Church Brewing up Fellowship with its Own Brand of Suds”?
     The article reported how one church in Washington, D.C—St. Mark’s Episcopal Church—started brewing its own brand of beer last fall, and every Sunday after the 11 o’clock service there is a fellowship meal in the “parish hall” which consists of sandwiches, soup, salads, bread, soda, beer and wine.
     For many years the beer they served at these fellowship meals was “dominated by commercial brands,” but that changed last summer when one of the members started brewing beer especially for St. Mark’s. This “heavenly brew” is packaged as “Winged Lion Lager,” with the bottles featuring a winged lion, “the symbol of St. Mark the Evangelist.”
     Now get this—the priest insists that “we do not encourage or dissuade people from drinking” (beer or wine). To prove it, he said they also offer “non-alcoholic beverages in a way that is as attractive as alcoholic beverages.”
     There was a time when you could count on churches to warn people of the evils of drinking and exhort them to stay far away from it. There was a time when fellowshipping in public around alcohol meant going to the local bar, pub or saloon. As this article shows, though, times have changed. The truth about alcohol, however, has not changed. Proverbs warns of the deceitful attractiveness of alcohol and graphically portrays its brutal consequences:
Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints?
Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly!
In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.
Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things.
You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging.
“They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!
They beat me up, but I don’t feel it!
When will I wake up so I can find another drink?” (Proverbs 23:29-35)

- Dan Chambers; ia The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City Church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com



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