Jenny Hintze

"We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams." – Willy Wonka

The whole drinking thing July 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jhintze @ 9:06 pm
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So whether drinking alcohol is okay or not is pretty much a taboo subject in many Baptist churches. Even in “forward thinking” Baptist churches like the one we go to you still have to be careful. And not just Baptist churches but just the “Christian community” in general. You’re careful who you mention it around and you always feel the need to preface the discussion with “hypothetically speaking…if we drink…blah, blah, blah.” You know what I mean, right? And here’s the thing. I just don’t get it. I don’t get why it’s such a big deal.

I didn’t grow up in a home where alcohol was abused or even used for that matter. Maybe if I had I would have a much more negative opinion on alcohol. I haven’t personally witnessed lives and families destroyed by it so there again, I might feel differently if I had. But lets say you’ve got a man who never drinks alcohol but is somewhat of a rotten individual in many other (worse) ways, abuses his family, lies, does indecent things to kids. Does the fact that he doesn’t drink make him a good guy? No, it doesn’t. So if we flip that around and take a humble, joyful family man who loves Jesus and helps others but occasionally likes to have a few beers…does that last little bit make him a bad guy? No, it doesn’t.

I understand that alcohol can be abused. I understand that some people have a very difficult time knowing when to quit. I get that. But not everyone who drinks on occasion is an alcoholic. And not everyone who drink cheats on their spouse or drives drunk. I think that is a stigma that we really need to let go of. It’s false.

And you know what? I occasionally drink alcohol. What did she say?!? Yes, I do on occasion. And I really don’t feel that’s anything to be ashamed of. I don’t drink in front of my kids and I probably won’t until I feel they’re old enough to understand the responsibility that needs to go along with it. I usually don’t drink in public because I don’t want to “ruin my witness” whatever in the world that means. But I’m kind of tired of that too. I think if I want to have a margarita at El Toro during busy dinner hours, I should be able to do that without feeling guilty or scared of who’s going to see me. I like to think of myself as a fairly transparent person so why would I hide something that I honestly don’t see anything wrong with?

So anyway, I hope I haven’t offended anyone or embarrassed my family. I just don’t like the silly games we play with each other. Let’s just be real with each other and let the chips fall where they may. I like frozen margaritas. There. I said it. Oh yeah and bloody mary’s…I like those too.


11 Responses to “The whole drinking thing”

  1. thestunzfamily Says:

    Ok, so I agree. I didn’t at one time but I’m so glad I’m free from that legalistic and judgemental mentality. There are others I’m working on but that one is conquered.

    That being said, we do have to look at things from a lost person’s vantage point and our children, of course, wanting them to come to know Christ. I find myself not really caring what most “Christians” think because it usually falls under them being legalistic and judgemental. Takes one to know one, I guess. But I definitely care about those who are searching which includes my children. That being said, I do think we need to live honestly and get over the stigma that drinking is wrong even with our kids. It’s just often very confusing to them though. But so is why we eat a whole pack of oreo’s. That’s wrong too.

    Anyway, you’ve most likely ruined your chances of leading a bible study in most churches in Brazoria County, and I guess I have too now :), but I’m glad you were honest. You’ve said what most people probably aren’t brave enough to.

  2. thestunzfamily Says:

    Oh. And after thinking about it a little more… It is good for organizations to have standards and guidelines. Otherwise it would all be chaos and generally a mess. So… for what it’s worth, I understand the church’s position on the matter as well. Just over the years, some things have been taken to a legalistic extreme.

    I do think, though, that if bible study leaders were honest, and not drinking alochol is one of those rules, we wouldn’t have near as many bible study leaders in our midst.

  3. Granny Says:

    “The whole drinking think” is what makes Baptists look like hypocrites to others, Christians and non-Christians alike. I’ve been a Southern Baptist all my life, and I don’t drink alcohol, because I would just rather have water or tea, but I know of very few Southern Baptists who, truth be known, wouldn’t pass up a margarita at El Toro’s or a beer or two after working all day. And I don’t think Jesus would have a problem with it. I don’t believe that having abstinence in our doctrine is biblical. But I do believe that the Bible has plenty to say against abusing alcohol and getting drunk. I have believed for a long time that if our drinking one drink puts a stumbling block in front of a lost person, it’s because we are Southern Baptist who “don’t believe in drinking”. There is nothing our children and lost people hate more than hypocrisy. I believe that alcohol abstinence in our doctrine is right up there with not dancing, not “playing cards” (remember when we had board game nights at the church, but were not allowed to bring a deck of cards?), and if we go back a little farther, wearing shorts was a sin too. Maybe that’s been dropped by now. Bottom line is, I think that either the “alcohol abstinence” in our Baptist doctrine should be taken out, or as Baptists, we should either abstain or change to another Christian denomination.

    • lindseymichelle Says:

      I agree! (except not about the bloody mary thing… I hate tomato juice) You must have been reading my mind… or my blog 🙂

  4. Granny Says:

    I meant “very few who WOULD pass up–“

  5. Debbie Says:

    You’ve chosen a pretty public forum for this so I will reply publicly as well. I am opposed to drinking and it isn’t because I am a Baptist. It’s because I HAVE seen the underbelly of it. I know that it can change someone who is normally a nonviolent person into one who beats his wife. I know that it can change someone who is quiet and sweet into a loudmouth bully or a confident person into a whimpering weakling. I know that it has the power to change people into things they would never choose if they were sober. And, in my opinion, something that has that much power over people should never be a part of their lives. No one who drinks that first drink ever thinks “Well, I want to become an alcoholic! So here goes. I want to hurt the people I love, so let’s have a drink.”

    And maybe there isn’t anything wrong with someone having a drink in the privacy of their own homes. I don’t know. But I know that the apostle Paul said that all things are permissible but not all things benefit. So what good does drinking alcohol do? Can you give me an example? It all just sounds a little selfish to me and the Bible does teach that we are not to live for ourselves.

    You also mention the thing about ruining our witness, whatever that means. No matter what you think, the world does expect the Christian to live differently and by a different standard. Why in the world would they even want to become a Christ-follower if we are no different than them? I believe that Jesus does want us to come to Him as we are. But I also believe that He wants us to become like HIM! I cannot picture Jesus putting something into His body, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, that has so much capacity for bad.

    And what about after you leave El Toro after having that margarita? Science proves that brain cells are affected by alcohol. What about your children if something happens to you? What about the children of the person you injure or kill in an accident because your perceptions have changed because of the alcohol? I don’t want my grandchildren or anyone else’s grandchildren to grow up without one or both of their parents.

    Maybe I am naive, but I think I know a whole lot of Baptists who would never even think of ordering an alcoholic drink in a public place. And they aren’t just pastors. They are the people who fill the pews each Sunday, loving God and wanting to serve him. They aren’t legalistic either, they just care about others and know how damaging alcohol can be.

    Writing these things is not easy for me. I weep as I write them because it brings up things in my memory that hurt so much that I do not talk about them. I do NOT think I am being “judgmental” or “legalistic”. I just know that I have experienced more than you have. And I am not going to apologize for it.

  6. thestunzfamily Says:

    Debbie, I love what you’ve written and am thankful that you took the time and pain to do so. It’s very thought provoking. I would NEVER in a million years think of you as legalistic. What I’ve written is from my own legalistic tendancies from some bad information programmed in from my own personal churched background. But you have to admit, there are far too many “of us” who do judge and condescend. It’s the “cast the first stone” concept and frankly, I’m pretty sick of that.

    Anyway… I think we all just need to be thoughtful, as you have been, and figure stuff out. It does take these types of conversations, whether public or not, to help figure some of this stuff out.

    I applaud Jenny for her boldness to post this as I’m sure just writing things down and reading helps us all to process and think. I also applaud you, Debbie, for your comments. It takes guts and I wish there were more public conversations about this, honest ones, even in the church, without all the pre-programmed, legalistic mumbo jumbo, then maybe it wouldn’t seem so taboo.

  7. Tommy Stunz Says:

    I think it is interesting that the first miracle that Jesus performed is one that changed water into a substance that has the ability to alter the mind.

    The leader of the party said “usually the family serves the good stuff first and then when the people at the reception are a little tipsy they bring out the cheap stuff”.

    I listened to that story growing up and had to wonder about the Baptist view that abstinence is the only course.

  8. Tommy Stunz Says:

    Abstinence from ALCOHOL that is …

  9. jhintze Says:

    I certainly didn’t mean to upset anyone by this post. I think being honest often translates into being a trouble maker. This blog is only a venue for me to write my opinions, right or wrong, they are just my opinions. I believe we would all be very surprised if we knew the true lives that people live out in private. My true life is what you read about on this blog. And I only have the life experiences that I have and can’t be expected to carry the life experiences of others. Mine have been a large enough burden to bear.

    I love you all. And I never mean to hurt anyone.

    • Stephanie Says:

      I agree with you Jenny 100%… I wish that people would not judge or act like they were better than anyone else… People who pretend to be perfect or live perfect lives’ are the ones who ruin the witness for all of us… because when we do something totally normal like have 1 margarita at El torro with dinner, we have to worry that we will be judged by the exact people who are not suppose to be judging us… People who are judging one another are just as bad as us who are having one drink…lol anyway… I have missed living in Lake Jackson for a while now… but that just made me glad that I don’t live there anymore !!! lol

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