My Response to the “Reformed Pubcast’s” Comments on My Earlier Post

A few days ago I wrote a post about Why I left “The Reformed Pubcast” which in turn caused more of a response than I ever imagines.  I blog in a corner, and usually only a few people ever read my posts.  But, after this previous post I received heated responses from some of the current leaders and members of the Pubcast.  It prompted a member of the Pubcast to write his own response to my original post, which you can find here.  Also, close friends I still have in the Pubcast told me Les (Pubcast co-founder) found my post and put it on the group Facebook page, which caused a comment stir bringing over 250 comments that were by and large negative and or angry.  Please take what follows as my response to all the comments made to me here on my blog as well as comments I received via phone and email.

It would seem (to me) that such a negative response to my original post means that I may have pointed out something those in the Pubcast really do struggle with.  If beer or any alcohol were treated in the Pubcast as a side matter and not the central matter my post would not have received much attention at all.  But, again, because the response was so fierce and emotional for so many, it tells me that I’ve hit on something real.  I spoke of immaturity present in the Pubcast and some of you asked for examples.  Look at the comments posted on my blog alone and you’ll have no need to go any further for evidence.  Some of the comments made prove everything I stated true.

Someone commented and said, “How are we making alcohol a major focus of our lives? The Pub is not our life, it’s a place where we go to discuss…beer and theology. If you walk into a chess club, would you criticize them for spending so much time discussing and playing chess?”  Good thought indeed, but if the “chess club” claimed to be a Christian Chess Club and I (after spending 4 months in the club) saw or felt that a love for chess seemed to be more prominent and important than a love for Jesus, I would leave the group and encourage them to stop playing chess so much and focus more on Christ.  To me, the same principle applies to the Pub.  Beer is not a sin, drinking it in moderation is perfectly in line with living a godly, holy life.  But if beer, or any alcohol, becomes more of a central focus than Christ Himself, it becomes unhealthy and sinful.  That is when it crosses the line of moving from enjoyment of Christian liberty to abusing Christian liberty.

We can only enjoy the gifts God gave us if we see them as just that – gifts from God to be enjoyed in line with His opinion of how we should enjoy them.  We cannot use or enjoy His gifts in whatever manner we so desire.  Paul said in view of knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection ALL OTHER THINGS HAVE BECOME AS LOSS to him (Phil. 3:1-14).  Alcohol should be included in this group of things we count as loss or count as nothing compared to knowing Christ.  Jesus is better.  Who cares if we have alcohol or not.  If we do, lets enjoy it while knowing Christ is better.  If we can’t do that, let’s put it away and focus on Christ alone.  Again, the fierce response shows that for some of the members of the Pubcast, alcohol is not seen as “loss.”

Someone also said, “It’s like he walked into a Pub, and was upset that everyone was drinking beer…” and “…It’s like he walked into youth group, and was upset that there were so many teenagers.”  No, it didn’t surprise me members of the Pubcast drink at all, I was looking for a group that encouraged the proper use/enjoyment of our Christian liberty.  I assumed members of the club drank beer just as I would assume members of a youth group would be teenagers.  Here’s the rub: I think most members of the Pubcast don’t exercise a proper use of our liberty, but rather abuse it.  There is a difference.

Second, Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana (John 2).  Question: when Jesus turned the water into the finest wine ever made, did Jesus do that to make much of the wine?  No, Jesus did this to make much of Himself.  This is what I think Jesus was up to in this. the first of His miracles.

In this wedding, there were six large jars filled with water for purification rites in-line with the OT Law.  Jesus turns all that water to wine.  In the Old Testament both the prophet Hosea and the prophet Amos speak of days when the Messiah will come and bring an abundance of wine with Him.  Amos 9:13-14 says, “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD,”when the plowman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.”

An abundance of wine was thought of in Jewish thinking as a gift of the age to come.  So when Jesus replaces the water with fine quality wine, do you see what He’s doing?  The jars of water were meant for Law-keeping and Jesus fills them with wine, a blessing of the age to come.  This shows us that the Old Testament Law is being fulfilled, and that with the coming of Jesus Christ comes a new age and a new rule.  Jesus is bringing the kingdom into existence on earth through His ministry.

So, Jesus didn’t perform this miracle to make much of alcohol or to justify the Church’s use of alcohol.  He didn’t perform any of His miracles to impress people or to show that the supernatural really did exist.  He did all of them to show that He is the One who is bringing the blessings of the age to come into this world.  Unlike the groom who failed to provide enough wine for his own wedding party, Jesus is the greater groom who provides abundantly for His own people.  When all other wines run out, His wine never will.  He is the fountain that never ends, as Psalm 36:8 says, “He lets us drink from the river of His delights…”

Third and lastly, to thanks 4 of you.

My very close friend 06dayz, Jerry Dobson, T.L. Arsenal, and Emmanuel.  The three of you have made comments on my blog and all four of you did so graciously and with maturity.  The rest of you did not.  Learn from these men how you should interact with those you disagree with.  These four men made statements I will be thinking about for a long time in and I am thankful for the time these men put into responding to me in a Biblical manner.  May we all be found to treat one another with the same grace we’ve been shown by God through Christ.

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14 thoughts on “My Response to the “Reformed Pubcast’s” Comments on My Earlier Post

  1. “Here’s the rub: I think most members of the Pubcast don’t exercise a proper use of our liberty, but rather abuse it.”

    Can you provide some kind of support for this fairly strong accusation? What exactly do you mean by a proper use of our liberty? What exactly do you mean by “abuse it?”

  2. Again you overgeneralize to a fault.

    Quote – “It would seem (to me) that such a negative response to my original post means that I may have pointed out something those in the Pubcast really do struggle with. If beer or any alcohol were treated in the Pubcast as a side matter and not the central matter my post would not have received much attention at all. But, again, because the response was so fierce and emotional for so many, it tells me that I’ve hit on something real.”

    -I’m sure its true for a few people, in any group of 4000 there is bound to be a few immature people, but that does not mean the accusations were correct. Rank overgeneralizations also get people upset and from the comments is seems fairly clear that the heatedness was due to accusations and over-generalizations. Nobody likes to be mischaricterized plain and simple. Just because people get stirred up doesn’t mean you were right, its an assumption.

    Quote – “Good thought indeed, but if the “chess club” claimed to be a Christian Chess Club and I (after spending 4 months in the club) saw or felt that a love for chess seemed to be more prominent and important than a love for Jesus, I would leave the group and encourage them to stop playing chess so much and focus more on Christ. To me, the same principle applies to the Pub.”

    – You can’t and shouldn’t be trying to ascertain the spiritual condition, walk, lifestyle of people in a facebook group that they use to chat about beer and theology in their off time… You have no idea how these people live on a day to day basis. The same way you can’t tell the spiritual life of a group of people meeting a few times a week for chess club, you would need to follow them around all week to do that.

    Quote – “Here’s the rub: I think most members of the Pubcast don’t exercise a proper use of our liberty, but rather abuse it. There is a difference.”

    What criteria are you using to make these broad statements ? A bunch pf pictures about beer frmo the same 20 people means that they and the majority of the group is abusing liberty ?
    It really seems like you have added standards that the bible does not. Your talking about 3000+ people to even qualify as “most”
    False witness is a sin right ?

  3. “It would seem (to me) that such a negative response to my original post means that I may have pointed out something those in the Pubcast really do struggle with…But, again, because the response was so fierce and emotional for so many, it tells me that I’ve hit on something real.”

    Could another option be you’re wrong, and that’s why you are receiving such a backlash? This conclusion doesn’t exactly follow.

    “if the “chess club” claimed to be a Christian Chess Club and I (after spending 4 months in the club) saw or felt that a love for chess seemed to be more prominent and important than a love for Jesus, I would leave the group and encourage them to stop playing chess so much and focus more on Christ.”

    You apparently have your own idea as to how a Christian “club” should function. Is it not possible for Christians to gather for the sole purpose of discussing something other than the Lord? What is so wrong with Christians that form a chess club to play and discuss chess, yet not have the primary focus of discussion be on Christ each time they meet?

    “if beer, or any alcohol, becomes more of a central focus than Christ Himself, it becomes unhealthy and sinful.”

    More of a central focus in the person’s life? Agreed. But you have no way of knowing that about the members of any group/club unless you know them personally. All you see is lots of people talking about beer, and it irks you. Why is it sinful for a group of Christians to get together and talk about beer and not Jesus (not that that’s the case in the Pub, at all…)?

    “Alcohol should be included in this group of things we count as loss (per Phil 3) or count as nothing compared to knowing Christ.”

    Agreed.

    “Jesus is better [than beer].”

    Amen.

    “Who cares if we have alcohol or not. If we do, lets enjoy it while knowing Christ is better.”

    It’s like you’re reading straight from the Pub’s Rules of Conduct!

    “Again, the fierce response shows that for some of the members of the Pubcast, alcohol is not seen as “loss.”

    No. No one is shouting, “Hey get off our case, we love our beer more than Jesus and like it that way!” There is no proper logic being used here. Let me illustrate:

    A. Paul says to count alcohol as loss, as compared to Christ.
    B. Pubsters get upset when you tell them they’re focusing too much on beer in their beer club.
    ergo,
    C. Pubsters are not counting alcohol as loss, as compared to Christ.

    ermmm, let’s try this again, I’m kind of confused as it is.

    A. Call Pubsters out for focusing too much on beer in their beer club.
    B. Pubsters get their jimmies rustled,
    ergo,
    C. Pubsters are focusing too much on beer in their beer club.

    I’m afraid your arguments here are not following proper reasoning and logic (which, by the way are from God and should be used properly and to His glory, much like alcohol).

    If you say accuse John Doe of XYZ, and he responds in the negative, that doesn’t automatically affirm your accusation. You could be right, but it could be that you were wrong.

    “Here’s the rub: I think most members of the Pubcast don’t exercise a proper use of our liberty, but rather abuse it.”

    [insert a few examples of why I think that here]

    “So, Jesus didn’t perform this miracle [wedding at Cana] to make much of alcohol or to justify the Church’s use of alcohol.”

    But he did make a boat load of alcohol for people to drink. And they drank it.

    “The three of you have made comments on my blog and all four of you did so graciously and with maturity. The rest of you did not. ”

    I’m not sure how I responded ungraciously or immaturely, but I’d be happy to chat offline anytime to clear up any misunderstandings. Cheers (and Amen).

  4. Adam, be encouraged, you are right here, and by and large the pubcasters (at least the vocal ones) seem quite unteachable and profoundly immature. The pubcast first came to my attention when a family sat in my office recounting how their son (who was present) was expelled from a christian college for drunkeness after he began sampling the beers extolled on the pubcast. Proverbs 23:29ff expressly warns of the folly of extolling the virtues of drink, yet that is exactly what they do, at length. If as a small church pastor I know of one life shipwrecked in part by the pubcast, how great is the extent of the damage they have caused? Adam thank you for calling them to repent, and be encouraged you did the loving thing.

  5. You really should edit this post. The “Pubcast” has two member or rather two hosts – Les and I. The “Reformed Pub” is a facebook group with over 6000 Jesus loving beer drinkers. I think you meant to write an article about the latter rather than the former. You’ve spent this much time writing about this group, you could at least get the distinction between a podcast and a facebook group correct.

    1. Wrong on both counts Tanner.

      A) I’ve written 2 posts on your group, 2 posts out of 1000’s, that’s it. To say I’ve written a lot on the Pubcast is simply incorrect and an exaggeration of your groups importance to me.

      B) I won’t update my post because when I wrote it (more than four months ago) the facts were correct.

      1. I never said you’ve written a lot. I said you’ve spent a lot of time writting on the topic. But based on your refusal to acknowledge the distinction between a podcast and a facebook group maybe I *am* wrong about that.

  6. They just banished me from “The Reformed Pub” too. I got in a pretty good parting commentary, though – all about the need to do all things in moderation (drinking included). I made the point that we drink as part of living, not live to drink.) I mentioned that there appears to be a mix of earnest seekers and those that would make shrines out of fridges stuffed full of booze. I think that touched a nerve. Hence, the excommunication – LOL 🙂

    1. Not surprising, but still sorry to see that they apparently haven’t learned anything from the many critiques they’ve received. Glad you’re out of the group Michael.

    2. You are both ridiculous. Michael, you were booted for calling a brother out saying he might not be saved because he said he drank and smoke [insert how dare you meme]. You don’t know anything about him. In fact, his friend and sister both commented calling you out and sticking up for him. But when you walk into a bat, you shouldn’t have to defend yourself for having a beer in hand.

      Adam, you know nothing about what goes on in the Pub except what people (like Michael) tell you. Obviously they’re biased, and as you’ve been shown, were wrong.

      The fact that you don’t understand how this works (Christians in a beer club talk about beer, enjoy beer, and have beer in their fridge) is silly. It really is.

  7. Hello,
    Please continue to share your post! I have a family member that is in the Reformed community and believe drinking is okay too. He will sip on beers occasionally and stands by it. I believe his friend influence him into thinking drinking is okay for believers. It’s not okay I’m sorry. These Reformers are prideful and always think they are right. They have a contentious spirit looking for a debate or become very argumentive. To me the whole Reform belief system is not of God. Please pray for those that are trapped into the deceptive practice of Reform Theology!

    Thank you,

    1. Mo’Nique,
      Thank you for commenting, but I’m afraid you’ve misunderstood me. I am reformed in theology, and I do think that to reject this theology is to reject Biblical theology. I am not against drinking, just drunkenness and the flaunting of Christian liberty. It’s this flaunting that I’m speaking of here in this post. Please do take the time re-read it.

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