Ya know what I never hear around my Christian friends? “Hey the BevMo 5¢ sale is back!” But you can be rest-assured that I do hear this from all my non-church and Chreaster friends. Oh, right; Chreaster – that’s a little bit of Christanese.
Chreaster – noun [KREE-stir] A person who doesn’t attend church on a regular basis, but does attend Christmas and Easter services. A conjunction of Christmas and Easter.
So the amazing seasonal BevMo sale, this is where you buy one bottle of wine and get a second bottle (of equal or lesser value) for 5¢. But for some reason we Christians don’t talk about having the occasional glass of wine with our meals (or bubble baths). It becomes a weird little dirty secret. I don’t like it. Not one bit.
I had a group of friends over from my church, they toured themselves around the house. In a part of the home, you can’t miss the obvious wine cellar filled with scrumptious wines. A week or so later, some of us got together again and the topic of ‘drinking’ came up and how “…God said we are not to drink”.
SCREECHING RECORD SOUND WHAT?!?! Halt! Hold on! Back up!
As an outspoken girl, I said “there is nothing wrong with drinking wine!” Then, this is the best part; there was shock that I drank wine.
I said, “Did you see that wine cellar in the house?”
She said, “Yes.”
I said, “Did you see the bottles of wine?”
She replied, “Yes” and looked at me puzzled, not understanding.
I then said, “Those aren’t props, I drink the stuff, almost daily.”
She says with tons of hesitation, “…But God says we are not supposed to drink.”
I say, “That’s where you are wrong…” Then I had a ton of stuff to say about the difference with drinking as opposed to drunkeness and lack of self-control. I proceeded to explain that the verse she was referring to came from Hezekiah 3:16. Another Christianese joke that fell flat (note to self: I will post on this very important book of the non-Bible soon).
Hezekiah – noun [HEZ-i-kahy-ahh] Meaning #1: A fictional book of the Bible used for placing all Bible myths and misquoted Biblical references. Example: In the book of Hezekiah, it says, “thou shalt not drink wine”; it also says “money is the root of all evil”.
But the wierd honest truth is, most of us, even I sometimes, think this way. It’s one of those made-up rules , that I talked about here, that are drilled into our heads.
I think I’ve heard almost every argument on why it is okay, or not okay, to be a Christian and drink wine. I also understand my responsibility as a follower of Jesus to not trip up another person with things they have a hard time controlling. (Two great passages on this topic Romans 14:13-23, 15:1-13) When I was little, drinking wine was a secret (not for me personally I only drank Welches Grape Juice, but my parents and their adult friends enjoyed wine). See, the pastor at my childhood church did not approve of wine. Or at least not for head deacons, like my dad, and such. But my parents occasionally had wine, especially at dinner parties. Now I’m grown and some say I throw all caution to the wind by OPENLY standing on the ‘okay’ side of wine and such. But I must profess – I totally get the ‘not okay side’. And I’m very cool with it. I will never say your convictions on alcohol abstinence are unfounded. I will even whole-heartedly support you. I will abstain from my own desire in your presence to support your personal struggles with addiction or strong convictions.
Conviction is a funny thing. It’s a personal thing. What is okay for you may not be okay for me. I’m not talking about the non-negotiable Ten Commandments and greatest commandment given by Jesus. I’m also not talking about civil laws that we must obey. I’m talking about stuff like eating pork, watching PG-13 and non-rated movies. I’m talking about dressing up for Halloween, tattoos and enjoying an alcoholic beverage with a pile of fruit and a cute umbrella on the side. These are the crazy side issues that a lot of Christians get up in arms about that have nothing to do with loving each other.
I really feel bad for pastors, like my brother, that have to abstain from wine or umbrella drinks in public. Pastors are under the unfair judgmental eyes of the world. But I guess it comes with the territory. It’s part of the job. You are held to a higher standard and have to practice uber-perfectness (and work 25 hours a day). Nearly un-human. That type of pressure would be enough to make me want to crawl into a cave. Pastors around the world, thank you for your sacrifices and courage. You have crazy jobs.
For myself: what I know is that if any of that stuff, wine – tattoos – etc, gets in my way of being Light and Salt to those around me, then I’ve got an issue I need to deal with. If any of that stuff gets in the way of my relationship with God, then I have a very serious problem that MUST be dealt with. Otherwise, honestly, I see it as a non-issue. My focus is on love. I keep it simple.
With that said: Hey Friends, there is a sale at BevMo! Meet me there?
What is the most crazy religion “Taboo” thing you’ve heard someone tell you that makes no sense or shocked you? Just wait till you see next weeks post on ‘crazy religous’ stuff… I hope I don’t find myself in hot water…I hope I keep my nerve and post it.
PS: I love Gladys Hardy – check out this clip from the Ellen Degeneres show… Yes it’s 7 minutes long, but worth every moment. Especially at the 4-minute mark (but you need the 3:59 minutes before it get it). You will be laughing so hard, you’ll be crying. Hope your weekend is awesome.
Really, I do love Jesus – but yeah…BevMo.