Thursday, December 24, 2009

Quinn Hooks, Legalism, and Alcohol

South Carolina pastor and blogger Quinn Hooks has written an informative post spelling out the tragedy inflicted upon so many lives by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). FAS afflicts thousands of babies born in the United States each year. A survey by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services found that over half of all American women aged 15-44 admitted to having drunk alcohol during a pregnancy.

Regarding FAS, the Centers for Disease Control reports: “[FAS is] 100% preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy. There is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant. There is also no safe time during pregnancy to drink and no safe kind of alcohol.” (see here) In spite of this fact, in one survey 41% of (uninformed?) physicians noted that they advised pregnant women merely to reduce alcohol consumption to no more than three drinks per day.

Nevertheless, no matter what deleterious effects the consumption of alcohol may have on their bodies and their babies, it is important for Christian women to understand and to celebrate their freedom in Christ to drink alcohol, even during pregnancies. The Bible says nothing about abstention from alcohol during pregnancy. Indeed, we know from the Bible that people drank wine at weddings (John 2:1-11), we know that such a wedding was a tradition in which Mary participated (since she appears prominently in the John 2 passage), and we know that Mary herself was pregnant with Jesus at the time of her own wedding feast (Matthew 1:18-25).

Q.E.D. the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is a biblical and righteous practice, and is even a subtle portion of the Christmas narrative. Mothers who have abstained from alcohol during pregnancy probably need to repent of that abstention. I plan to confront my mother with this sin while home for Christmas. To all of you pregnant Christians out there, bottoms up!

Anybody who says otherwise is just a Fundamentalist legalist, and probably a Landmarker, too!

40 comments:

Bob Cleveland said...

It's not the choice that shows the freedom, it's the choosing. Even when one chooses "no".

You forgot a couple of labels. Namely "Humor", "Sarcasm", "Outlandish", etc.

Bart Barber said...

Bob,

If I were not of a mood to be "outlandish" I simply would have posed the question(s) "Is it a sin for a pregnant woman to drink alcohol? Why or why not?"

Care to take a stab at it?

Benji Ramsaur said...

Bart,

"Is it a sin for a pregnant woman to drink alcohol? Why or why not?"

Is it a sin for a president to seek the removal of a Hebrew teacher with a sick husband based on gender? Why or why not?

John 13:34-35

Debbie Kaufman said...

Bart: The question is do you trust a born again Christian to have a choice? To choose rightly? To choose period?

The Holy Spirit is our guide and where the Bible speaks of alcohol, is what our view should be. In that we really don't have a choice. Your argument could be used against choosing the wrong kind of foods, too many women, too many men etc. But should we abstain from food or those from the opposite sex?

Debbie Kaufman said...

I also like Benji's question.

Grosey's Messages said...

Happy Christmas Bart...
And the libertine calvinists I am sure will toast you. :)
Blessings over Christmas as you keep omn preaching Christ.
Steve

volfan007 said...

And, the Bible says to drink fermented, undiluted wine is foolish according to Proverbs. And, to get drunk on wine is sin against God according to Ephesians.

Soooooooooo...I agree...let's let the Bible tell us what's foolish and what's not, and what's sin and what's not. Alcohol usage for pleasure, to drink intoxicating stuff on purpose, to get high(drunk) on it...is foolish at best, and is sinful at worst.


David

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Bart,

When one cannot clearly answer with a reasonable argument, one will try to change the subject of the debate.

Have a Merry Christmas, and enjoy the New Year celebrations (free of alcohol of course, but some may say the Bible encourages you to enjoy alcohol during the celebrations because it is wine that makes the heart merry [sic]).

Blessings,
Tim

CB Scott said...

I deal with this every day.

One of my little girls suffers from FAS.

So many people continue to be intentionally blind. They desire to appear to have a knowledge that "frees them." They want to be politically correct. They say they are reaching the culture with the gospel. Sad. So very sad.

cb

Tom Parker said...

Bart:

What a silly post by you. I am suprised given the red meat by you that there are not more fireworks here. I guess it is because people know your view on alcohol--100% abstinence.

Biblical verses please?

Tom Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Parker said...

CB:

You said:"So many people continue to be intentionally blind. They desire to appear to have a knowledge that "frees them." They want to be politically correct. They say they are reaching the culture with the gospel. Sad. So very sad.

cb"

The sad part is that people like yourself and Bart and others are drowning in legalism and are intentionally blind to it.

December 26, 2009 8:02 PM

volfan007 said...

The sad thing is that you can show some people verse after verse... even write a book about all the verses in the Bible about alcohol(Peter Lumpkin)...and some people still have the nerve to cry legalism and actually say,"Show me the verse." lol

David

CB Scott said...

Tom Parker,

The truly sad thing is not that I am blind or that you are blind, but that little children are born blind and worse because Christians are not being wise, but foolish about beverage alcohol in direct rebellion to what Jesus said about taking heed to one's self in this present day.

Debbie Kaufman said...

So I take it the answer to my questions are no. :) This has been discussed ad nauseum so I will not reply to those who continually refer to drunkenness as opposed to the
Bible's view of moderation(that would be in all things).

CB Scott said...

Debbie,

Do you remember the first comment you ever made to me on a blog post?

cb

David R. Brumbelow said...

Just returned from a joy-filled, peaceful, no-alcohol Christmas. Hope you all had the same privilege. Ever notice the difference between parties with alcohol, and those without?

Since some found your question, “Is it a sin for a pregnant woman to drink alcohol?,”
difficult to answer, I’ll take a stab at it. The answer is, “Yes.”
David R. Brumbelow

Tom Parker said...

David R:

You said:"Just returned from a joy-filled, peaceful, no-alcohol Christmas. Hope you all had the same privilege. Ever notice the difference between parties with alcohol, and those without?

Since some found your question, “Is it a sin for a pregnant woman to drink alcohol?,”
difficult to answer, I’ll take a stab at it. The answer is, “Yes.”
David R. Brumbelow"

Question--Does your not drinking make you more righteous than others that drink.

What do you know first hand about parties that have alcohol?

You think you are not, but your trying to place other believers under the LAW.

David R. Brumbelow said...

Tom,
I believe drinking is wrong. I’ll let the Lord decide who is most righteous.

I’ve been around folks who drink and notice the change that comes over a person when they do so. I know that beverage alcohol coarsens everything it touches. I know the first thing alcohol does is take away your good judgment. I know we are commanded to be sober (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8; 1 Peter 1:13; 5:8).

According to your definition, wouldn’t it have been wonderful if all the FAS children would have had moms “under the law.” Yet some still go to great lengths to defend drinking. Abe Lincoln said alcohol has many defenders, but no defense.

What is your answer to whether it is sinful for a pregnant woman to drink?
David R. Brumbelow

Tom Parker said...

David B:

Wow! How you twist what I wrote. You are 100% right and I am 100% wrong by your STANDARDS.

By all means continue your CRUSADE!

You asked me:"What is your answer to whether it is sinful for a pregnant woman to drink?"

Define-drink.

Anonymous said...

Tom Parker..............
Did you serve in the Clinton administration?

volfan007 said...

Anon,

lol whooo hooo.

David

volfan007 said...

The thing is...if we were talking about smoking cigs and cigars, then I could agree with Hooks and some of the rest of you. If we were talking about rock music, or country music, then I could agree with Hooks and some of you. If we were talking about music styles in worship, then I could agree with Hooks and and some of you. But, the Bible does deal with alcohol. It does. In Proverbs, it does deal with alcohol, and it looks very clear. In Ephesians, the Bible does deal with alcohol, and it's very clear.

Soooooo, when people cry legalism about using alcohol, then they really dont have a leg to stand on.

David

David R. Brumbelow said...

Tom,
I think Anon summed it up pretty well. I find it interesting that you have a problem answering the question.
David R. Brumbelow

Tom Parker said...

David B:

You said to me--"I find it interesting that you have a problem answering the question.
David R. Brumbelow"

I do not live in the all black or all white world that some of you do.

I'll let God decide what is a sin and not me.

Anonymous said...

FAS effects 200,000 out of 335 million in the US. Its considered a rare disease (Mayo Clinic).

volfan007 said...

Anon,

One case of FAS out of 2 million births would not only be one too many, but it would also be 1 that was totally and completely avoidable.

Any woman in child bearing years, who drinks alcohol, is being totally reckless and completely selfish.

David

volfan007 said...

Anon,

And, another thing, for you to state the stats that you did, in the context of which you wrote it, is cold and heartless.

David

volfan007 said...

Tom,

God has told us what's sin and what's not. You can find these things written in a book called the Bible. It's a best seller. Read it sometime.

David

CB Scott said...

Anony,

You are very misinformed about FAS. Or you quoted something from the 1960's

Quinn Hooks said...

"Anonymous said...

FAS effects 200,000 out of 335 million in the US. Its considered a rare disease (Mayo Clinic)."

Anonymous,
You quote Mayo Clinic to state that it is a rare disease. With this in mind, are you aware that it is the most preventable form of mental retardation?
Let me present the research for further edification:

Alcohol exposure during pregnancy does more damage than any other legal or illegal drug. It has more neurological and behavior consequences than even heroin. In spite of this fact, alcohol remains a legal drug and socially acceptable (Kyskan, C. & Moore, T., 2005). Research has indicated that the most common biological cause of mental retardation is preventable. Pregnant women consuming alcohol during their pregnancy has disastrous results for the child. Consuming even small amounts of alcohol by pregnant women can cause harm leading to Fetal Alcohol Effects which the affected children exhibit some but not all of the problems of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (Feldman, 2008). The characteristics of fetal alcohol syndrome are facial deformities, stunted growth, and neurological irregularities (Wacha & Obrzut, 2007).

Bill said...

I am a moderationist and I don't have a problem saying it is a sin for a pregnant woman to drink alcohol, assuming she knows the danger. The bible is clear that to know the right thing and not do it is sin. I would say the same for smoking while pregnant.

bapticus hereticus said...

bapticus hereticus: that alcohol (at some level) negatively affects the developing fetus in general is not equivalent to stating that alcohol negatively affects the developing fetus specifically. But given our current knowledge, however, why risk the health of the fetus and subsequent child?

I have a relative, a very gifted musician, whose talent moved him in directions that kept him from developing his relationship with God. He subsequently ceased being a musician, fearing that returning to such talent and life would likely facilitate a move in the wrong directions again.

For him it is a wise decision, but who here wishes to assert that the lifestyle/talent is inherently wrong?

Even if all is permissible, all is not beneficial. Let each person search him- or herself, but not just for the benefit of self, but for the benefit of the other, too.

Tom Parker said...

David B:

I truly am sorry for the way I have treated you lately. You deserve much better. I shall try to engage you in the future in a Christian manner.

David R. Brumbelow said...

Tom,
Thank you, my brother. We all need to watch ourselves.

On the blogs I try real hard to act like I'm not a jerk :-).
David R. Brumbelow

Anonymous said...

I believe we need to look at the root of the problem more closely.

So many of these couples have no business of bringing a child into the world. It does not take nearly as much effort to bring a child into the world as it does to train up one in this wicked world in which we live. So many times these horrible settings will naturally end in separation and or divorce. Only to accomplish what? The parties repeating the horrible process all over again with someone else. And you have the merciless children lost in the shuffle. Then you hear them bemoan why all of this is happening to them. Is it any wonder? All of us in our 40's and 50's just may be at the mercy of these younger mindsets if we are allowed to reach old age. Let us just pray we do not end up in a nursing home.

Bart Barber said...

It appears that you all had fun while I was away for Christmas.

The serious point of the non-serious post, of course, is simply that the hermeneutic employed to justify recreational consumption of alcohol among Christian believers provides absolutely no grounds for consistently opposing (in and of themselves) recreational consumption of alcohol by pregnant women, by teenagers, etc., nor for consistently opposing the recreational use of other intoxicants or hallucinogens.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Bart: Are you guys looking to science or the Bible for your theology? Not all pregnant mothers who drink one glass of wine are going to develop FAS. It again is an individual choice based on consultation with a doctor. I would not be so quick to call it sin anymore than I would call someone who overeats once in awhile sin.

The Bible is clear in that drunkenness is sin. Period. That is where we should let it lie as well, no matter how good the intentions. IF the Bible does not call it sin, neither can we no matter how much we want to.

Bart Barber said...

Debbie: Thanks for unmasking the Centers for Disease Control as the brood of Bible-thumping fundamentalist vipers that we all suspected them to be all along.

volfan007 said...

Bart,

lol

Thanks for bringing a smile to my face on this fine day.

David