The Southern Baptist Convention held its annual meeting this week and some encouraging things happened. For one, the blogging world had tremendous influence over the election of the President of the convention. There have been some efforts to narrow the parameters of cooperation in missions efforts and those who oppose that came out in force in a good way. I may say more about it later as I learn more. Being in IL, it's hard to keep up to date on all that went on.
An interesting thing happened later on. A resolution was passed about alcohol. You can read the resolution here
What is so difficult is that the statements made about alcohol are largely true. However, what I need to keep reminding myself is that abstention from alcohol (a good idea for believers) is still a Matter of Conviction.
It is the Holy Spirit's job to make that a matter on someone's heart and we are not to make a certain conviction about a food, drink or certain day (see Colossians) a Matter of Mandate. Whenever we do, we are crossing a line from inward motivation to outward conformity without any real heart change.
Not only that, the new "rules" are effectively taking the job of the Holy Spirit's work in our lives.
As much as I don't like alcohol's effects in our society, a person's usefulness to the Kingdom of God is not lost when they have a drink. A person can have a drink and still avoid the sin of drunkenness. I choose to abstain for many reasons, yet I would hate to impose my reasons and convictions on someone else. That is the Holy Spirit's role.
For better breakdown of the issue, I would recommend reading Wade Burleson's blog on this issue--click on the link below.
Grace and Truth to You: Conversion to Christ Over a Glass of a Wine