Tuesday, January 15, 2013
I was talking to friend who is in the process of applying to the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and he informed me that one of the requirements was to be alcohol free; no beer, no wine as long as he was employed by NAMB. I asked him if that meant even in private, at home while having dinner, he said yes.
Of course he asked them why they had the policy and they said that drinking alcohol "diminishes his witness". I can understand NAMB asking someone to not drink alcohol in public, for it could be a stumbling block to other believer's, and I assume they don't see abstinence as a salvation requirement, but to restrict the consumption of a glass of wine or beer in your own home is problematic.
Of course we as Christians are free to enjoy the good gifts God has given us and in moderation, sex is good but too much is bad, chocolate is good but too much is bad, steak is good but too much is bad and so on.
If NAMB says drinking alcohol diminishes your witness do they let overweight people serve? What can be be more visible than an overweight Christian? At the the heart of being overweight, for most people that do not have a goofy thyroid or other medical issue, is a lack of control. I am not suggesting that all Christians should be within a certain BMI at all times. Self control is not only limited to food and gluttony is a matter of the heart not the waste line!
But when you assert that drinking alcohol diminishes your witness, then doesn't overeating do the same? Whatever you do, do not drink any alcohol, not even in your own home, but somehow overeating doesn't diminish your witness? When you point to my beer and ask "what are you doing with that?" can I point to your belly and ask the same thing?
I wonder if NAMB allows their missionaries to teach about Christ turning water in to wine? Would NAMB allow me to drink the wine that Jesus made? Oh, I know, that wine was weak so it is not the same right?
Not all overweight Christians are in sin, but many are and the worst part is they don't care. I have heard believer's say, "hey I like food and yes I am fat, I admit it", well what about the believer who says "hey I like sex and yes I'm fornicating, I admit it." Why do we press the fornicator to stop and repent, but not the overweight person who is that way because of their gluttony? I know the answer, but is self control a fruit of the spirit and evidence of His indwelling?
I realize that food and weight are sometimes the most difficult struggles we have, I know how hard it is to stop eating that awesome food. I am very sympathetic to people who struggle to not eat too much, It is HARD and I pray they would have success.
I am simply trying to make a point, which is: when you are more conservative than Jesus you have a problem.