Sooper Bole Picks

February 2, 2007 at 7:34 pm (Sports thoughts)

I one thing i really can’t stand is when people tell you all about how they “knew” the game was going to turn out that way.

Yeah sure you knew, so how much money did you win with all your big betting?

Well here is your chance to put down in writing your prediction for the “big game”. (I am careful not to use the trademark most often used with the NFL championship because I would hate for the NFL nazi’s to shut down my blog. Those dang Antichrist’s).

I predict the Bears win the game 27 to 17.

Lets sweeten the pot by awarding the closest prediction with a lotto scratcher (those have been known to be worth up to $100).

Game On!

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48 Comments

  1. itsasecret2u said,

    I predict it will be a team of boys… Most certainly. They will likely be wearing tight pants, too… Yes, tight pants for sure.

    OK, fine, how about: Colts 20-17.

  2. shoelie said,

    46 – 21 Bears win.

  3. loulie said,

    36 points for the Colts
    31 points for the Bears

  4. Matt said,

    I “know” the score will be:

    Colts-31
    Bears-20

  5. Matt said,

    Just think of the publicity LWC could have gotten if only the Chargers could of made the “Big Game”.

    PS What would we have charged for an admission fee?

  6. Lants said,

    who am i going to take in the super bowl?? hmmm….. lets go with…. DAAAAAAAAA Bears…. oh boy having heart attack…

    35-14

    good ol peyton manning is probably going to throw 2 interceptions returned for TD’s…

  7. Lants said,

    heck…change that… robbie needs a FG… 38-14

  8. Albino Hayford said,

    Bears win by a touchdown. 24-17

    Mortgage your house and take the money to Vegas. This is a lock.

  9. RubeRad said,

    I’m going for Chicago by a freethrow in triple-OT, 109-108.

    Why do the rest of you all have such low scores? What do you think this is — college ball?

  10. Pablo Honey said,

    This is going to be a game filled with turnovers, which means lots of points. I think Peyton’s 2 picks will pale in comparison to Rex’s 4. Prediction: Pain

    Colts – 35
    Bears – 17

  11. Peyton Manning said,

    Dungy 31
    Lovie 27

  12. Echo_ohcE said,

    I predict that I won’t know the score till Monday, on account of being in church on Sunday night, celebrating the Sabbath.

    Just thought I’d throw that in there to keep ya honest. hahahaha…

    E

  13. Pablo Honey said,

    That’s good Echo, SOMEBODY should be in church Sunday night because the rest of us are having a huge Sooper Bole party at my place…. Cigars & boxed wine on the house!

  14. Albino Hayford said,

    Echo, you really are something…legalistically frowning on those watching the super bowl, filling us in on your cigar and boxed wine preferences, while you, on another blog, defend not sharing Christ at work, because that’s the pastor’s job. Wow. I can’t wait to visit your church when you are frocked. I thought you were the big defender of grace? My head is spinning…gotta sit down…where’s that Dr. Pepper in a box?

  15. Echo_ohcE said,

    Albino,

    This is what you’re saying to me:

    – it’s ok to ditch church to watch the Super Bowl. God won’t mind.

    – Every Christian must force their beliefs on everyone around them.

    – tobacco is bad, wine is bad, but I can talk about watching Soprano’s all I want.

    Yeah, I’ve no idea what grace or the law is all about. You’re the genius.

    E

  16. Danielbalc said,

    Echo, this is a chance at a free lotto scratcher. Doesn’t that appeal to you at all? All you have to do is make a prediction.

  17. Matt S said,

    I guess that would be gambling so does it fall in the category of the acceptable with drinking alcohol and chewing tobacco, or is it in the category of the unacceptable with Super Bowl watching?

  18. Matt S said,

    BTW Echo, what is the difference between you telling us we should not watch the Super Bowl, and us telling you you should not drink and chew?

  19. The Donut said,

    24-17 Colts win

    I’m afraid of Echo

  20. Albino Hayford said,

    Echo, Echo, Echo,
    re: 15

    it’s ok to ditch church to watch the Super Bowl.

    If our parishoners faithfully attend church every Sunday night of the year, but take a break to watch the Superbowl on one of those Sunday nights, I have no problem with that. I would rather host a Superbowl party at the church, sharing the Gospel at halftime, but because of our culturally diverse congregation, it’s not appropriate.

    Every Christian must force their beliefs on everyone around them

    I guess on this issue, I’ll let Paul speak for me:

    2 Corinthians 5:11Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

    16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    Of course, you probably struggle with that “sins of the world” part and the “imploring on Christ’s behalf” part, but that’s too bad. You are Christ’s ambassador, whether you want to be or not, and you MUST implore people to be reconciled to God, whether you are clergy or not.

    tobacco is bad, wine is bad, but I can talk about watching Soprano’s all I want.

    Not sure what you’re getting at here. You are the one that has the whiff of legalism in your posts, and I’m calling you on it. Throwing the charge back at me doesn’t stick, because I am not proclaiming legalism. I’m simply pointing out the problem with advocating drinking and smoking (I assume between services on Sunday), while at the same time condemning Sunday football. That’s misguided legalism, as well as congnative dissonance, and it is impossible to ever satisfy a legalist.

    BTW, I have never advocated Sopranos viewing, I think what you might be referring to is a comment about how lovely New Jersey was, and the fact that we all connect that state with Tony Soprano because of the popularity of his show. If I mention Paris Hilton or Jessica Simpson in my blog, does that mean I am tacitly advocating their testimony and music.? Of course not. Tony Soprano is a cultural icon.

    Yeah, I’ve no idea what grace or the law is all about.

    Here again, in your sarcasm, you betray your false sense of superiority as member of Calvin’s perfect theology club. Just because you call your system “the Doctrine of Grace” doesn’t mean that it is completely correct, or that you have a thorough understanding of grace. Your anti-evangelical bias blinds you at times, and you fail to exhibit grace, instead coming across as a legalist.

    But, as I said before, I’m getting used to you. And if I were a genius, I wouldn’t have wasted all this time here today when I am still preparing two sermons for tomorrow. That’s right, Echo, I’ll be in church too, with the 30 or so faithful saints that don’t care about football. But can I still watch the game on tivo as long as it’s before midnight, right Echo? Ugh….

  21. momo said,

    24-21 INDY

  22. dado said,

    17-10 colts

    I’m a pessimist and my prediction reflects that.

  23. Matt said,

    Wow, Dado, admitting he is a pessimist, no longer hiding behind the “realist” tag is very suprising!

  24. danielbalc said,

    Ok so maybe that was me typing it for him but you get the point.

  25. Matt S said,

    haha that is funny I thought he had an epihany

  26. Albino Hayford said,

    At least this time we can expect no ugly phone call trash talking 5 seconds after the game ends.

  27. Anonymity Requested said,

    BTW Echo, what is the difference between you telling us we should not watch the Super Bowl, and us telling you you should not drink and chew?

    FWIW, having reread the above comments, I didn’t actually spot anyone saying you shouldn’t watch the super bowl. I only saw a reference to sabbath observance. So, let me answer this question with another question:

    What is the difference between you telling us we shouldn’t have sex with another man’s wife and us telling you you should not drink and chew?

    If you can’t answer that, or worse, don’t even get the distinction, then maybe you should skip the super bowl .

  28. Echo_ohcE said,

    Albino,

    I have to apologize again for getting carried away. See my more robust apology on your blog and reapply here. I’m sorry. I am easily entangled in sin.

    That said, I am trying to make a stand for the distinction between God’s law and man’s law. That’s all.

    There is no law of God that says you can’t watch the Super Bowl. Feel free to enjoy it. But there IS a law of God that says that you have to give God his due worship. We believe that the first day of the week is set apart for that purpose. That’s why we typically worship morning and evening.

    Some churches don’t have an evening worship service. In that case, the conscience is clear for those souls, they may watch the Super Bowl without violating the law of God. Nothing they have done has gotten in the way of their participation in the worship of God.

    But in those churches where there is an evening service (the better, wiser option, but not a LAW), the consciences of those who belong to that church are bound to attend. In our church government structure, we say that the elders call us to worship at that time. We have no right to ignore that call. It becomes a law of God because we are to submit to our elders. It’s not a law of God that they should have a second worship service, but once they decide to do it, then it becomes a matter of obedience for the parishoners to attend. They are not free to skip out for whatever reason they feel like.

    If you are convinced that it’s ok for someone to skip church once in a while for special reasons, I would strongly disagree. There is never a good reason to skip church. This is not legalistic, this is only parroting Scripture. God never says that there are exceptions to Sabbath observance. Wisdom tells us that when someone is sick or otherwise unable to attend, that is obviously an exception. But if someone is able to attend, and they simply choose not to, whether it’s to go to Grandma’s house or to watch the Super Bowl, they have allowed something to become more important to them than being in church.

    If you are concerned not to bind your members’ consciences like this, then I would suggest you stop having evening worship services. If you do have the services though, you might want to ensure that you are encouraging your members to attend every time. Some will resent that and call you a legalist. But all you’re saying is that there’s never an excuse to sin. At no time does God allow us to sin. He never says that sin is ok. He never gives his permission to sin.

    That’s different from saying that he has forgiven our sin by sending his Son to die for us. In fact, that’s certain proof that he takes sin very seriously. Look at what he went through to make sure it was properly paid for and that justice was served! But because we are aware of the tremendous price Jesus paid for our sins, we should be MORE concerned to obey God’s law rather than LESS concerned about it. Out of gratitude and fear, we should make every effort to lay aside the sin that so easily besets us. There is never any excuse for sin. Jesus paid for them all. We should desire greatly to foster righteousness in ourselves and those around us. Look at what Jesus did to pay for our sin! How could we then turn around and say that it’s ok to sin? We offend God severely when we do that.

    As for smoking and drinking, there is at least one relevant law. There is a law against drunkenness. It’s never, ever ok to get drunk. That’s a law of God. You don’t say, well, I like to get drunk on New Year’s Eve. It’s ok once in a while. No, you don’t say that. You dare not say that, right? But the law never says don’t drink. The law says don’t get drunk. There is no law about tobacco use. Some say that we are to be stewards of our bodies and take care of them. Very well, I am on a diet (Jenny Craig), and as I said, I don’t dip snufff because that stuff will kill ya. I love that stuff, but I avoid it, because I’m convinced to do it is to seriously damage your body. I am not convinced that smoking cigars is comparable damage. And of course, I don’t do it in the house, because I love my wife.

    Meanwhile, the same people who rail against a glass of wine are remarkably silent about eating cake or twinkees. We all know that’s bad for you.

    The Bible, I think, clearly commands us to be good stewards of our bodies and to pursue good health. But we must not let doctors add to the law of God. Jesus knew how alcohol affected the liver. He drank anyway. He didn’t get drunk, but he enjoyed a few drinks. He was accused of being a drunkard and a glutton. How come? We know he wasn’t either of those things. But I think it was because he didn’t shy away from enjoying food, nor did he shy away from enjoying wine. He affirmed that those things were good because they were made by God. We know he affirmed wine as being good. The wedding at Canaa is a good example. The guests had drunk all the wine. But he made more. And it was delicious. It was a good thing he did. It was loving and merciful. He wasn’t cajoled into it by his mother. He didn’t succumb to pressure. He did it because he is God and he chose to do it, knowing exactly what he was doing.

    Sure, you can argue that cigars are bad for your health. And maybe they are. But so is ice cream, cake, etc. In fact, driving a car is bad for your health. It’s a really big risk. But we all do it.

    All I’m trying to say is that honoring the Sabbath, going to church, THIS is the law of God and should not be compromised. Do not drink alcohol is NOT the law of God. Do not smoke cigars is NOT the law of God. Today’s doctors are not smarter than Christ. They say alcohol is bad, Jesus says differently. I like Jesus’ message better. So I choose to follow his example.

    I would encourage you though. You’re right. As a pastor, you don’t want to make a big deal out of someone missing church on Sunday night once a year. You’ve certainly got bigger fish to fry. But there is an attitude of worship that is behind that decision that you might want to consider addressing. Worship is serious business. We need look no further than Lev 10, the sons of Aaron. Worship is no joke. It’s confirmed in the NT too in Heb 12. “Let us worship God acceptably with reverance and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” That reminds us of what happened to the sons of Aaron. They were consumed by fire from the altar for not taking God’s commands about worship seriously.

    As such, worship is something I really strive to take seriously. I take it probably more seriously than anything else. I think that’s pretty consistently the reformed position, and I think it’s thoroughly grounded in the Scriptures. Worship is serious business. It should be taken seriously. Sin and the gospel are also very serious. On these matters, we should never, ever consider compromising.

    For what it’s worth.

    Again, I apologize for how I came across. My zeal to uphold God’s law and denounce man made additions became an idol in my heart. Please forgive me.

    E

  29. Echo_ohcE said,

    Daniel,

    Being a Chicagoan, I hereby assert that the Bears will win. I don’t know by how much, nor do I care, but the Bears will win. If you could hear me speaking these words, it would be with determination in my voice, as I am trying to convince myself as much as you.

    I myself won’t be watching the game, as I have church to go to, and one of the professors invited all the students at our church to his house afterwards, and I guarantee the game won’t be on.

    But when I get home, I expect a blog entry on who won. I will come here and look Sunday night.

    E

    PS The headline better be: BEARS WIN…AGAIN!!! (Because Chicago rules.)

  30. Lants said,

    If the bears win i call Echo’s lotto scratcher 🙂

  31. Albino Hayford said,

    If you need more reasons to cheer against Indiana, this should provide some: Remember this incident?
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/brennan/2003-11-06-brennan_x.htm

  32. Albino Hayford said,

    Ok, this was only intended to provoke and annoy; please don’t respond with the usual suspects, past and present, in the Dallas Cowboys organization.

  33. danielbalc said,

    Anonymous,

    I think people are dealing with the inference that Echo makes.

    Everybody,

    Echo isn’t the only one who will be at church during the superbowl, In fact just about every person on this thread will be. That’s why this argument is so silly.

  34. Matt S said,

    Anonymous posts hold no water. Be bold, stand up, identify yourself, and speak out

  35. Pablo Honey said,

    Echo, On many separate occasions you have made clear your belief that God’s law clearly allows alcohol as long as you do not get drunk. I agree with you 100%, it is very clear scripturally, as you stated with biblical references.

    My question is: what qualifies as drunk? I believe you have said before that you will enjoy 3-4 glasses of wine. Are you implying that after these glasses your physical state is in no way altered?

    I have a handy little add-on in Firefox that lets me double-click on any word to see its definition and synonyms. Here’s what I got for drunk: Intoxicated with alcoholic liquor to the point of impairment of physical and mental faculties. Just to be safe, I went ahead and checked impairment as well: To cause to diminish, as in strength, value, or quality.

    I have to believe that after 1 glass of wine, let alone 3-4, your physical and mental faculties are to some degree diminished. In fact according to standard charts used by law enforcement to estimate blood alcohol content, your driving skills would be affected by only 2 glasses.

    So when Paul said it was OK to drink but not get drunk was there a specific drink limit in mind? My Greek is pretty poor, does the Greek word for drunk define a certain blood alcohol level? I think it would be pretty easy to scientifically prove that you are “drunk” after just 3 glasses of wine based on blood alcohol levels and the established definitions of the word “drunk.”

    Now you probably think I am being legalistic, trying to establish a level of unacceptable alcohol consumption where Paul left ambiguity. But the scriptures are open for interpretation, which is why discussions like this one and others even exist.

    Is it OK for you to believe I am sinning by missing Sunday evening service but not OK for me to call you drunk after you’ve had 3 glasses of wine? Just as Paul doesn’t define drunk, the Bible never says “You have to attend both services on Sunday.” I believe your interpretation of keeping the Sabbath holy is legalistic, as you probably would find my definition of drunk.

    I will probably be at church tonight, but I might stay home. I go to church because I enjoy the fellowship with my family in Christ, and I love to worship God and learn his word. But if I am caught up in the action on field and decide to stay home, then I will do so while praising God for the freedom he has given to me to make that choice. And I hope you’ll feel free to enjoy your wine tonight knowing that some legalistic Bible thumper isn’t going to call you a drunkard.

  36. Albino Hayford said,

    Idea for our moderator: You may want to start a new thread with one of your signature catchy titles and move all these drinking comments into it.
    ======================================

    I would submit that in our culture, here in America, it is a stumbling block to openly drink as a Christian. Alcoholism is such a problem, and has destroyed so many families, that maybe we should be willing to lay down our “right” to drink so as not to cause our brothers to stumble. Here’s what Paul says, talking about eating food sacrificed to idols:

    1 Corinthians 10

    23″Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. 24Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others…31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

    Note that he says that we can “drink” to the glory of God, and even have the “right” to eat food sacrificed to idols, but couches those declarationsin the context of not causing our brothers to stumble…and clearly causing our brother to stumble trumps our Christian liberty.

    For this reason, I don’t drink alcohol.

  37. Echo_ohcE said,

    Albino,

    Re: 31

    Your article provides me with an opportunity for a discussion I find to be relevant.

    Many (fundamentalist/legalist – leaning) Christians speak against watching football on Sunday afternoons (at least in reformed circles). There was an intern at a church I attended not long ago who must have mentioned the idolatry of football on at least 4 occassions or so throughout his year-long internship, during which he preached every Sunday night. He really didn’t like how Christians watch football on Sunday afternoons, and considered it a very big deal. We all smiled at it, thinking he had a point but made it a bit too passionately, due to his youth and inexperience. But we had to admire his zeal and his willingness to be unpopular in order to take God’s side on an issue.

    This is where your article comes in:
    “You’re a sports fan, so you want to believe. You want to believe so badly in this guy, this one particular guy, the player you’re cheering for on Sunday afternoon from your family room. You just know he is one of the good guys.”

    This is the problem we need to be mindful of when we watch sports. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a sporting event. For myself, I am a big advocate of enjoying the things of the creation to the glory of God. As the psalmist prays, giving thanks to God for wine that makes the heart glad, and oil that makes the face shine (apparently, he was very unfamiliar with modern medicine), I have been taught that enjoying the creation is a way of enjoying God. We can righteously admire what God has made human beings capable of by enjoying a good sporting event. For that matter, we can enjoy the beauty of any human acheivement righteously in the same way, perhaps a skyscraper. But when we glory not in God but in the creation itself, then there is a problem.

    In this article, what the writer (likely unknowingly) points out is that some sports fan idolize the players. I didn’t use the word “idolize” arbitrarily. Some of us tend to make heroes out of sports stars and turn them into idols. For some, the NFL hall of fame is sort of equivalent to the Roman Pantheon (a temple built to honor all the gods). I think we have the same tendency when it comes to all celebrities. We honor them as gods in our culture, from movie stars to sports stars, even some politicians.

    So, my only point is, let us enjoy a good sporting event to the glory of GOD, not to the glory of the people playing the game. Indeed, their acheivements are not to be dismissed, but this ought to cause us to give glory to the God who created human beings in a way that made us able to acheive these great things we do. Ultimately, sports are a gift from God, just as mountains, sunsets and a host of other wonderful things come from him. There are a thousand pleasures at our right hand everyday. Let us gives thanks to God for them, and so give him his due glory.

    In the words of the apostle John, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”

    E

    PS That was John calling us all his children, not me calling you MY children.

  38. Echo_ohcE said,

    Pablo, honey,

    Re: 34

    You bring up an excellent point/question. I’m glad you did.

    Here’s the thing. 1 glass of wine affects you. God didn’t give us wine, hoping that we wouldn’t be affected by it. He gave us wine so that we WOULD be affected by it.

    Let me explain.

    Psa 104:14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth
    Psa 104:15 and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

    Here the psalmist gives thanks to God for the effects of wine, namely to gladden the heart. In so doing, he even affirms that this is why God gave it to us in the first place. This is saying that God gave us wine specifically BECAUSE of the effect it has on us. And not that we don’t all already know this, but it’s a helpful reminder: this is the voice of God speaking here.

    Interestingly, this ties in with the things I said about idolatry in 36 above. Anything, anything can become an idol, even the things that God himself gives us. For example, God gave us sex to be used in a specific way, but man turns it into an idol more often than not. How does this happen? Sex is a good thing, given by God, but man perverts it. Man turns sex into an end in and of itself. Sex becomes an idol when it ceases to be a means of enjoying God’s goodness, becoming an end in itself. This deepens when men and women use it to control one another, or to satisfy lust. We have to be very careful to understand the distinction between lust and desire here though. God gives us desires. God gave us all the desire for sex. This is a good thing. But it can quickly become an idol when we place that desire on God’s throne in our own hearts. When the desire controls US, and we place it first and foremost, that’s when it becomes an idol. Some men place the desire for sex above the call to love our wives, for example. Some men forget that their wives need perhaps this or that in conjunction with sex. They don’t have sex with their wives for the sake of bringing God glory, or for the sake of loving their wives and affirming and manifesting that love for their wives. Sex should be a way to express our love for each other in a God honoring marriage. And God gave it to us for this purpose. Thus when we use sex properly, we are honoring God, glorifying God with our use of sex. Some women, in the same way, use sex as manipulation. They use sex as a way of controlling their husband, to get him to do what she wants. This too is an offense toward God, just as much as when a husband is unloving in his sexual activity. Porn is perhaps the ultimate expression of sinful idolatry with regard to sex, culminating in prostitution. The man seeks to use the other person as a means to his own ends, rather than God’s ends. Sex becomes a means of self glorification, a means of putting himself on a pedestal, using people as objects to satisfy his cravings.

    So the improper use of wine is similar. It is not the same, of course, but similar in principle. God gave us wine to gladden our hearts, to inspire us to thank him, thus bringing him glory. Wine is associated with happiness, prosperity and blessing in the Bible. We can draw perhaps a better parallel between wine and money. God gives us money to be used properly for his glory. But money can quickly become an idol when we sinfully and wickedly seek money as an end in itself. Those who are driven by their greed for money have made an idol out of money. It has become a way for them to measure their own self worth. The more money they make, the greater they think they have become in their own eyes. Their bank account becomes their judge rather than God. They judge themselves and others by the size of their bank account, rather than being content with the law of God and his righteous judgment. Thus in the heart of the greedy man, money sits on God’s throne rather than God himself. So they seek to serve money rather than God. And Jesus said you cannot serve two masters, you cannot serve God and money. This is of course an absolute statement of law. We, as Christians, retain thousands of idolatrous desires in our hearts, though we do serve God. But that only gives rise to the war that Paul talks about in Rom 7 that takes place within us, or James in chapter 4 of his epistle. We cannot serve God and our idols, thus there is war within us.

    So wine becomes an idol when it is an end in and of itself. When men are driven by greed for wine and its effects, then it becomes an idol. When they have switched from serving God to serving wine, they have put wine on the throne of their heart. While little can probably be gained from a Greek word study on the word “drunkenness” (though I don’t REALLY know, for I haven’t done such a study), this really is what is meant. Drunkenness refers to the idolatrous use of wine. All sin, ALL sin is a matter of idolatry in the heart. That’s why the law is summed up as loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, strength, etc. Yes, it is true that we are to love our neighbor as ourself, but that is only a manifestation of love for God. For if we love God, we will obey his commands. In short, all truly righteous actions are motivated by love for God and a desire to see him glorified.

    The use of wine becomes sinful in a very subtle way. As I have said, God’s glory is revealed in the creation, and so creation becomes a means of enjoying his glory. An example might be a sunset. As Christians, we see a sunset differently than non-Christians. When we see a sunset, we are moved at how effortlessly God can astonish us with his beautiful creative power. Something so simple as the way the sun’s light waves bounce off our atmosphere can reveal God’s greatness to us who believe in him and trust him. For the non-Christian, he may be moved by the sunset as well, but not in the same way. He is moved at the beauty of creation perhaps, but not consequently at the beauty of its Creator. The non-Christian stubbornly looks at the sunset and REFUSES to acknowledge God. He marvels and glories in the creation rather than the Creator. As Paul says:

    Rom 1:25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

    They glory in creation, even acknowledging it as glorious, but this is no act of worship of the Father who created it, but actually an act of worship of the creation itself. The non-Christian adores the creation as a means unto itself, rather than a means of showing off God’s greatness and glory.

    Wine is no different. People idolatrously use wine as a means of blinding themselves to reality, a means of deepening their wicked self deception that seeks to deny God his glory. Such people get drunk, seeking to be intoxicated with wine, given over to IT, rather than being impressed with God and given over to HIM.

    I have given this question a lot of thought over the years. (Of course you couldn’t tell.) In my mind, the distinction between right use of wine and wrong use of wine boils down to the intention of the heart. Are you using wine to enjoy life, and thus to enjoy God, or are you using wine to enjoy yourself and deny God?

    The motive of the heart will affect the outcome. The person who is using wine properly and giving thanks to God for it, has no desire to be given over to it. He has no illusions about its effects on him, but he is not seeking those effects for their own sake, he has not become greedy for those effects. Rather, he uses wine as a way of enjoying the goodness of God’s creation, and thanks God for it. Such a man has no desire at all to drink too much. But others, who are greedy for the effects of wine, are given over to it. They worship IT, rather than God when they do this. They are serving wine, not God. Thus no matter how drunk they get, they only want to drink more to deepen the effect. The only thing that will stop them is their passing out or feeling sick. This only proves that there is no satisfaction to be found in the effects of wine.

    Once upon a time, I used to be a bouncer in a bar. I saw this for myself in many, many examples. I saw lots of people who were given over to alcohol. They could never have enough. They did reach a point where they had had too much, and out of exhaustion they finally give up for the night. But they are never satisfied with their drinking. This is particularly true of alcoholics, of whom I have seen many. They are so given over to alcohol that they must be drunk constantly. They spend ALL their money on it, devote all their time to it and completely serve it as master and lord. They pass out with exhaustion every night, and in the morning, they can’t wait to get up and have another drink. They refuse to participate in life. They cannot bear reality, because God is found in reality. They refuse to acknowledge him, they are given over to idols of their heart.

    The proper use of wine is first and foremost a matter of the heart. I know one Christian who likes to drink beer. But he will never, ever have more than one. While it’s fine to control yourself numerically in this way, and I would never try to talk him into violating his conscience to have a second beer, having a second beer wouldn’t be a sin. Not inherently. What matters is the heart. As Jesus said, it’s not what goes into a man that makes him sinful. Sin is first and foremost a matter of the heart.

    If we say that one beer or one glass of wine is ok, but two is sinful, we are being legalists. If we say that two is ok, but three is sinful, we are being legalists. If we say that three is ok, but four is sinful, we are still being legalists.

    What matters is not how many you have, but your heart. WHY are you using wine? HOW are you using wine? The answers to these questions will make a difference in how many you drink. If you are using wine to enhance and enjoy life, to the glory of God, you won’t want to drink a lot. It just doesn’t make sense. It robs you of joy and makes you feel sick and tired, not to mention it makes you unable to safely drive. If you are using alcohol as a means in and of itself, then you will never really be able to have enough. You won’t want to stop when you feel dizzy, you’ll only want to drink more. You won’t want to stop when you throw up, you’ll only want to drink more. You won’t want to stop when you wake up the next day and forgot how you got home or who you slept with, or whatever. You will never, ever find satisfaction at the end of a bottle of booze.

    Satisfaction only comes in God. The Christian who enjoys wine to the glory of God won’t mind when he is invited over to someone’s house and he isn’t offered a glass of wine. He’s not there for the wine, but for the fellowship. He’s there to enjoy the company of those people to God’s glory. Wine is good, because God gave it to make our hearts glad, to make us thankful to him for his goodness and kindness toward us. But when wine becomes more important than God’s mercy and goodness, then there’s a problem, and one of the key indicators that that problem exists is when someone wants to drink more than they should, when they want to stumble around like an idiot and have a ready made excuse for obnoxious behavior. “I’m sorry, I had too much to drink.” No, the problem isn’t the alcohol, it’s your wicked, idolatrous heart. The alcohol just exposed it.

    E

  39. Echo_ohcE said,

    Albino,

    Re: 35

    That’s a great point. But it still doesn’t demand of us to never drink. If we are in the company of someone who thinks it is inherently a sin to drink, we should refrain, or if we are in the company of someone who tends to drink too much and is trying to give it up, he might not understand that we are using alcohol differently than he is used to, and he might very easily use our use as an excuse for HIS perverted use.

    In perhaps the same way, if there is someone in your church recovering from a porn addiction, you probably don’t want to talk to him about the wonderful sex you had with your wife last night, and how much God taught you about himself through it.

    So we definitely need to be cautious about the weaker brother. However, at the same time, we don’t have to conform to legalistic standards for the sake of legalists. Some fundamentalists think it’s a sin to go to the movies. I hereby refuse to stop going to movies. I might not talk to him about how great the new James Bond movie is (and that’s one heck of a movie), but I’m not going to stop going to movies.

    So the answer isn’t to not drink at all. In fact, if you, as a pastor, never, ever drink, and someone with my view of alcohol (a view I think is grounded in Scripture) comes into your church and sees that you never drink, you might actually make him feel GUILTY for something that God does not condemn. You have to be careful not to appear as a hedonist on the one hand, but you have to be equally careful not to appear as a legalist on the other. Either way you could cause someone to stumble.

    The best thing to do is refrain from drinking if someone is offended. Sometimes, when we have someone over to our house, we will simply ask them if they’ll be offended if we serve alcohol. If they answer is yes, we refrain with no regrets. Pastors, however, need to be shepherding this person to overcome their legalistic attitude. Legalism is also a sin. We must not add to the law of God, nor take anything from it.

    Deu 4:2 You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.

    Here, God condemns legalism every bit as much as antinomianism. We are neither allowed to ignore laws, nor add to them. Both are equally sinful. The man who thinks it’s a sin to drink any alcohol at all commits just as evil a sin as the one who thinks lying is ok or adultery or murder. One adds to the Word of God, one takes away from it. Both are condemned in Scripture.

    But above all else, we should remember that the law never goes alone. As a pastor, or even as a Christian, whenever we discuss the law of God, and I’m speaking to myself too, we should always remember to discuss the gospel as well.

    As Christians, we are not condemned for our sin. Jesus paid for it. So when one Christian points out the sin of another Christian, it cannot be condemnation. There IS NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. But there is still sin, and we should help each other to discover it and kill it, nailing it to the cross of Christ.

    I am terrible about pointing this out, but there it is.

    E

  40. Brad said,

    Yikes

    Are we allowed to get back to Football?!?! Indy Wins. Bears quarterback fails to take the field. 🙂

    Brad

  41. danielbalc said,

    Congratulations to Donut who had the best prediction to the actual score. She said 24-17 while the actual score was 29-17. For her efforts she won a lotto scratcher. Rumor has it she didn’t use a lucky penny and settled for her keys. Needless to say her scratcher was worthless. But she still has bragging rites.

  42. danielbalc said,

    Congratulations to Tony Dungy as well. I am going to post something under Frederick Douglass regarding the significance of skin color in Coach Dungy’s eyes.

  43. Matt S said,

    That is a net of 5 points away, as is my prediction of 31-20, so it was a tie, I had the lucky penny so you should of let me scratch it!

  44. Matt S said,

    Also, congrats to Tony Dungy, and on a lesser watched note, Aaron Baddley( http://www.badds.com) who won the FBR Open (that is golf by the way)

    Nice to see two committed Christians get the spotlight and use it to give Him glory!

    PS I love watching the interviewer squirm when the interviewee starts talking about the Lord, always funny!

  45. danielbalc said,

    I agree with you regarding the point differential, however she had one score exactly correct. Thus she wins the tie-breaker (AND she went to church instead of staying home and wasting her time watching that pathetic excuse for a “super” bowl). But if you want I am sure she wouldn’t mind sharing her winnings with you.

  46. danielbalc said,

    yo albino and the rest. Ask and it shall be given unto thee. New post for everybody who wants to talk about getting hammered.

  47. The Donut said,

    Lucky penny or not, everyone knows that the same scratcher rarely wins twice!
    I was “pre destined” to lose. Oh well!

  48. Sensational Basin Picks « Daniel’s Den said,

    […] Super Bole Picks […]

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