A CNN story reports on the inroads that beer is making among evangelicals:
● “Beer, Bible and Brotherhood,” an Oxford, Connecticut, group launched by the Rev. John Donnelly of Christ Church Quaker Farms, which studies Rick Warren’s “40 Days in the Word,” while quaffing Sam Adams brews.
● “What Would Jesus Brew?” Valley Church in Allendale, Michigan, sponsors gatherings for craft beer enthusiasts, designed to “reach out to people in a loving, grace-filled way that meets people where they are and as they are.”
And all this is on top of the dozens of Catholic “theology on tap” events taking place at taverns across the country.
In the Protestant world, the trend toward tolerance of alcohol reaches beyond churches into conservative college campuses as well.
Last August, Chicago’s Moody Bible Institute — which just last year lifted a ban on long hair for men and nose stud earrings for women — dropped its ban on alcohol and tobacco consumption for its faculty and staff.
In September, Southern California’s Biola University — founded as the Bible Institute of Los Angeles in 1908 — lifted its ban on alcohol and tobacco for of-age graduate students, noting that the changes “shift the responsibility of conduct from the institution to the individual.”
But John MacArthur, the watchdog of Calvinism-lite, worries about the effects of beer on the YRR crowd:
In 2011, well-known pastor John MacArthur minced no words in chastising the “Young, Restless, Reformed” movement of young Calvinists for their fondness of beer.
“Cultivating an appetite for beer,” wrote MacArthur, “is not merely bad missional strategy and a bad testimony; it is fraught with deadly spiritual dangers.”
What would MacArthur do with the Nicotine Theological Journal (the next issue of which is just around the corner)?
One of the striking features of OPC and PCA General Assemblies — in this era when the fundamentalists did win the smoking wars — is the number of presbyters who light up all manner of tobacco products and seem to know that fellowship increases with the amount of second-hand smoke.
That is a reason why I will take the Young Restless as more seriously Calvinistic (pardon the adverb) when they add nicotine to hops.