and the summarisation is excellent (gets rid of all the more winded comments, as you said :-)
As the song goes, "the long and winding road" leads to the door - eventually!!
I also have to question the no alcohol policy - didn't Jesus turn the water into WINE??? Perhaps the powers that be in SMC ('scuse the unintended poetry) think that their congregation are too immature to decide for themselves how much alcohol is too much - so, to be on the safe side abstinence is the order from the pulpit. I wonder how the anointed ones would fare if Jesus stopped by for a wee dram and all they could offer him was a cup of tea. Are they saying that Jesus was sinful for turning water into wine? Or is it just that they think the members haven't got the intelligence to drink alcohol sensibly.
Cbarb: When I first attempted to copy and paste the EDITED version of your contributions cbarb - the forum software complained that I had exceeded the limit for character count in posts - so had to edit it down further ! - i'd say to about HALF - of your original edited stuff !!!!.
( Of course I say this merely to taunt you even further )
As to the alcohol issue - even as someone who really enjoys the stuff and luckily has managed to avoid any kind of addiction - I do have some sympathy for their teetotal stance - particularly in church - in order to take into account alcoholics or recovering alcoholics.
Referring back to Jesus' time - alcoholism would have been present, but the total lack of a sympathetic welfare state would have meant that the majority of these would quickly die off. Unless they were rich.
If - as most protestants believe - the eucharist is a metaphor. not literal then there is no reason that any red - safe - non-alcoholic liquid couldn't substitute for wine in the ceremony. In any case - in those ancient days it was customary to drink wine very diluted down for common everyday use. One of the most important reasons wine ( or beer ) was drank almost as water - was due to its anti-bacterial properties ( sugared alcohol ) meant people didnt die so much from
drinking infected water.
As to personal drinking habits I think it pays to ask oneself ( and ones close friends ) whether one is an addict - or has a predisposition towards addiction. These things have been shown to have genetic roots. But as long as one is not one of these I dont see any great problem.
On a different topic - I happened to be in Ardrossan recently at a party, where a friend of mines family was present - including one of his brother-in-laws - who happens to be a Baptist Pastor. After we had broken the ice it transpired that he - as I - was an ardent fan of the series The Wire, and - contrary to what you here might think - we managed to have an extensive long chat - where - to my recollection - we agreed on virtually all topics we discussed !.
Since he _didn't_ fit the "target psychological/doctrinal/cultural demographic" of my atheist rants we actually ended up agreeing on everything we discussed I simply saw no point in "debating" any remaining differences theistically. If only more Christians were like him. And no - he wasn't some ultra-liberal non-evangelical "wooly".
You won't be surprised to find out he had most definitely heard of Struthers Memorial Cult, and had the same misgivings and attitudes towards "this sort of thing" ( quoting Father Ted ) as me.
TO ALL AT SMC: 35-37
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/04/2013 10:12PM by Clive.