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Great Article on the History of Teetotalling in the U.S.

6 Jun

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/june/teetotalers-i-never-knew-alcohol.html

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On the Legalization of Pot, Nationwide

20 Dec

On the Legalization of Pot, Nationwide

Ben Barber points out, from his long experience and from research, how pot can destroy motivation and make someone content, in their youth, to just sit home as a long term stoner.

Questions coming from that: 1) While we all would have the right to do this if pot were legalized, is it prudent to put yourself in a possibly vulnerable position of dependence on a substance that could remake your life as you know it? 2) If so, who supports you if you have no motivation to work? 3) If the answer to #2 is “your parents, forever” then who supports your children if, while you are not motivated to work, you are motivated to have sex and manage to make some babies in the process? 4) If you happen to be the product of a broken home yourself, with no option of living with your parents forever, will the government then be required to “parent” you with room and board (and health care and all the other things to which you believe you are entitled just because you are you) while you sit home as a long term stoner? 5) If we hit “critical mass” in which a large chunk of our population prefers stoning to working, how do we remain a productive society? How do we support everyone?

Yes, I am going down a slippery slope with my comments, but I believe in counting the cost before we embark on controversial paths (or any path, for that matter).

It is not for nought that the Bible said if a man doesn’t work, he shouldn’t eat.

Bring It: A Review of “A Step of Faith”

27 Jul

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“A Step of Faith” is only available from private sellers on eBay and Amazon, but is worth seeking out.

It is the true story of Ernie and Gail Mills, who founded the Durham Rescue Mission and have run it for almost forty years.

It is a paragon of private investment, with the Mills couple turning down all federal aid due to their desire to freely preach the gospel at the mission.

The book includes numerous interviews with those whose lives have been changed or even saved by the ministry of the mission.

Ernie and Gail believe in treating homeless people and addicted people like family. That love shines through on every page.

“As you do unto the least of these, so you do unto Me . . .”

Beloved Enemy/Sexual Assault in the Military, Part II

24 Jun

I am helping a friend work through his thoughts as he writes a newspaper column on sexual assault in the military.  

One question we are asking is how the rate of sexual assault in the military remains so glaringly high.  I have seen 20%, but I also have seen 1 in 3 somewhere.

I believe that a definition changed during my career and that that may be related to the rate remaining high, even in an era when women are encouraged to report sexual assault (they were not when I first came in the military, thus I never reported the man who groped me in the top secret vault in Jacksonville in the early 1980’s).  

The definition is of the word “consent.”  It is now regarded (and rightly so) that a woman has to give conscious consent to a sexual act before it is defined as “consensual.”  If she is passed out from drinking, that is not consent.

Unfortunately, in the bad old days, there was a constant joke made about “getting you drunk and taking advantage of you.”  Almost everyone joked around that way, even husbands to their wives.  It would produce hysterical laughter in everyone when a husband said that to his wife.  

So . . . now we know that a woman (or anyone) has to be able to say “yes.”

But now we seem to be down into the weeds and seeds as to whether she can say “yes” and mean “no” because she is very, very drunk.

Or what if she doesn’t remember what she said the next day? 

What if she initially does not remember the evening, but then thinks she remembers the details about it several years later?

What if she initially thinks she was part of a consensual act (or feels pretty sure that she was, and is dealing with the emotions of a relationship that went haywire), but friends later convince her that the person must have coerced her in some way?  Maybe the man seems pretty manipulative and her friends decide he must have used her, even if she can’t remember the details of the evening . . . 

I believe examples like these are what is making the rate of sexual assault remain so very high.  I don’t think we have 20% of our women being raped by a stranger.  I think most of these incidents are cases where only two people know the details (he said/she said) and one or both of them may have been too drunk to be an accurate witness, if they even remember.

I am not making recommendations for how to handle situations like these.  Myself, I would get rid of the alcohol altogether, but that’s just me.  

Just sayin’ that it is difficult to piece together what happened when it was two friends or a boyfriend/girlfriend, rather than a rape by someone who was not involved in the servicemember’s life (or who was a power figure in her life and demanded sexual favors–that happens, too).

If you divide the categories and reask the question to separate out stranger rape from nights of drinking in which no one can be sure what happened, you may be surprised to find a bit more clarity.

Again, women must give conscious consent.  That is indisputable.  

But when the situation is he said/she said, the man should not be presumed wrong in every instance either. 

Link

Reblog of a Post on Alcohol Consumption

12 Dec

Reblog of a Post on Alcohol Consumption

This post appeared on Iconobaptist about a month ago, written by Dr. David Saxon, a guest writer who is a Christian college professor.

I agree with him that I can’t be 100% sure that a glass of wine with dinner can be called sinful in every culture and in every time.

I used to drink, mostly wine with meals, during  my years as an Episcopalian.  That was a period of about 20 years when I had left a fundamentalist Baptist background to which I subsequently returned, at my husband’s urging (he had been raised Catholic).

When I returned to the denomination of my youth, I returned to its teetotalling ways.  I don’t regret that.

As I said yesterday, in my post on the legalization of marijuana, I don’t believe in mind altering substances.  That is mainly how I define my stand on alcohol and drugs.  Life seems beautiful enough as God gives it, without the need for artificial enhancements.

I also see alcohol and drug use as big time- and money-wasters in our society, so I stay far away, believing that God has called me to accountability in these areas.

Am I perfect?  Do I never waste time on Facebook or reading things that aren’t worth my time?  No, I am still learning in many areas.  That is why I present my position humbly and without telling anyone else how to live their life.

But, as I said yesterday, I imbibed to drunkenness on several occasions in my youth and I just don’t think it is worth it.  Nor is alcohol use in general.  I can live without it.

That is where I stand.

Controversial Tuesday: If Marijuana is Legalized . . .

11 Dec

I Corinthians 6:12, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

I have been reading posts about the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington State and Colorado.  I have been pleased to see that other Christian bloggers tend to come at this from the same direction I do.  I am not usually one to check with hundreds of people and try to line my ideas up with theirs, but there seem to be a few central reasons why many Christian bloggers do not believe it would be right to use marijuana, even if it were legal in all 50 states.

The first reason I must give, and emphatically, is that even if my own personal state of Virginia were to legalize recreational marijuana tomorrow, I am still a federal employee, subject to federal drug tests.  ‘Nuff said, unless there were also a change in federal law.

But beyond that, I have often said to non-Christian friends, when asked, that the legalization of marijuana would not affect me personally at all, as I would still regard it as an off limits substance.  This comes from a strong belief that my Christian convictions, while nested within the laws of my country, can actually exceed those laws by quite a bit.

After all, I believe God’s Word forbids abortion and gay marriage, too, and that nothing man says or does will make them okay with God.

On the subject of drugs, my reason for putting them off limits is the same reason I don’t drink alcohol.  I don’t have any experience with illegal drugs in my 54 years of life (praise the Lord!), but I did indulge in alcohol to the extent of drunkenness on several occasions when I first joined the Navy.  What I learned from those experiences is that mind-altering substances are not a good thing.  The Lord has blessed me far beyond anything I could ever have imagined as a young person and I need a clear mind to fully appreciate Him and all He has done for me.  Mind-altering substances tend to erase gratitude at the same time they induce an over-emotionality that can take everything that happens as a personal slight.  Ever heard of an alcohol-related crying jag?  Yup, that was me one night, right before I decided to never drink to drunkenness again.

Also, the Bible is clear that it is not only sinful to use wine to drunkenness, but that that action also is an alternative to being filled with the Holy Spirit.  I certainly don’t wish to disparage the Holy Spirit or His work.  In fact, I have told non-Christian friends that my goal is to be high on life rather than high on mind-altering substances.  It works pretty well for me, too.  I have many faults, but I am kind of a bouncy Tigger of a person, which is totally by God’s grace.

I just maintain that, if alcohol and its altered state of consciousness is sinful (and the Bible is plain that it is), then so would be any other substance which alters our state of consciousness.

Additionally, the waste of time and money involved in drinking or drugging episodes flies in the face of the Bible passages that tell us to use our time and money wisely.  Sure, we can just as easily waste time thoughtlessly posting comments on Facebook, but there is something about dressing up to go out for a night of partying that just tends to take a block of several hours from our lives for which we have no recall or memory later.  I don’t want that to be part of my life.

So, there it is.  Regardless of whether a governor or president tells me that it is okay to use recreational marijuana, I won’t be using it.  Life is short.  I plan to enjoy it with my full faculties and to spend my time and money, as best I can, on things that will last forever.

Ambivalence About Alcohol

26 Sep

A warning to those seeking liberty by Pastor Chris Anderson:

Ambivalence About Alcohol

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