Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
(Psalm 119:105)


Volume 02, Number 04

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

Bible Classes..........9:30 AM
Worship..10:30AM; 6:00PM

Bible Classes.........7:00 PM

Web site:
Mt. Baker church

Editor......John Bass


In this issue:


Religious Pie Throwing
By Lewis Willis

An absolutely captivating article was published in the Amarillo Daily News, Jan. 6, 1977. The potential challenges the imagination. The preacher for the First Christian Church in West Salem, Illinois, is terribly concerned over the lack of involvement in religious activities by young people. So, he has decided he will activate these teenagers. The youth program he has started is called “the God Squad.” To promote interest in the program, he has announced that the age group who brings the most visitors to their meetings will be given the opportunity to throw pies in his face! Why, he is even going to bake the pies himself. “I’ll put on a shower cap and apron, kneel and take the pies in succession right in the face. Then I’ll clean up and go to the pulpit for evening service.” Randy Whitehead, the 23-year-old preacher, explained, “it’s a contest to get more contact with Christ.” My first thought was he will establish far more contact with pie crust than he will with Christ. Furthermore, it required fire for the baker to complete making of pie crust, which establishes a suitable preparatory relationship with eternity.

You know, the possibilities of this promotion are staggering! Bowling in the sanctuary aisle; shuffleboard in the classroom annex; ski jumping off the roof; buffalo hunts on the parking lot; archery practice at the occupied pulpit; air rifles vs. street lights; high wire walking from the chandeliers. Imagine the spiritual “interest” such stunts would generate! The eyes of some of the liberal preachers among us must be lighting up when reading about this. What an asset around which to build the “Bus Ministry,” A reward of a trip to the local McDonald’s could not hold a light to some of these promotions. Why we could even call attention to the Church (?)! We might even get the attention of the Associated Press, like this fellow did.

Imagine the impact we would make on the world. Those outside of the Lord would have a solid perception of the blood-bought body of the Savior! For the first time in the lives of many, the eternal purpose of God would be fully understood.

Surely nothing could accomplish this any faster than or better than flinging a chocolate pie in the preacher’s face. “A pie in the face” is a well-chosen complement to the “Pie in the Sky” concepts of modern denominationalism, almost wholly given to the Social Gospel philosophy that is permeating our society. It has even invaded the ranks of God’s people, and its influence is spreading rapidly. There seems t be no area of New Testament Christianity so sacred as to preclude the invasion of innovative ideas such as that of the young Illinois preacher. IT seems trite to say such in our modern age but it would not be altogether out-of-order if he and others would study the implications of Romans 1:16. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation . . . .” It is with the powerful message of the Gospel that we must build, and, build we must! But, if we use humanistic schemes like pie throwing (shades of Laurel and Hardy), it is “we” who are building and not the Lord. David wrote: “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it…” (Psa. 127:1). When the Lord determined to build His Church, He used the process of preaching the Gospel to build it (1 Cor. 1:21). It was effective then and it will be today.

One of the most alarming things about this entire concept is that it is occurring in a Christian Church. These are the folks who, in about 1850, decided to introduce the. “innocent” practice of mechanical instrumental music into the worship of the church. Look what they are doing now! It has frequently been said that when apostolic authority is abandoned and the gate to liberalism is opened, there is no way to close it. Satan then parades his wares into the apostate body to the cheers of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, they shall both fall in the ditch (Matt. 15:14). As this Christian Church preacher said, “The idea (of the pie throwing) was enthusiastically endorsed by laughs and the stomping of feet.” Neither he nor his brethren could see well enough to detect the violation of the will and purpose of God which was being trampled upon. “I just can’t see anything wrong with it.” We’ve heard that before!

I am reminded of an interview Barbara Walters, the 5Million Dollar Woman of ABC News, conducted recently. She was talking with the woman who was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. After discussing the expected shock involved in making a woman an Episcopal priest, the lady made a most unusual remark. She announced to the world that she was “not very religious.” To which one must add a hearty “Amen.” But, from the news release referred to in this article, she apparently is not the only one suffering from this disease!


Intoxicants and Social Drinking
Jere E. Frost

The defenders of social drinking are ever ready to call attention to Jesus' turning water to wine, the admonition of Paul to Timothy ("drink a little wine for thy stomach's sake"), and the many references to wine without an accompanying prohibition and condemnation. The inference is drawn that all opposition to imbibing socially is resultant from prejudiced abstainers. The thoughtful and sincere will take a longer look to determine the facts. Basically, a knowledge of the words for wine and strong drink is needed as well as a respect for a given text and its context.

Bible Words for Wine

There are three words in the Old Testament, and two in the New, that we notice:

1) Shekar, rendered "strong drink" most frequently (21 times) and "strong wine" one time. "Strong drink is raging "Prov. 20:1.

2) Yayin, rendered "wine" 133 times and "banqueting" once. It is freely denounced, as in Proverbs 23:31f: "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red..."

3) Tirosh, rendered "wine" 26 times, "New wine" 11 times and "sweet wine" once. It is never associated with drunkenness, and is grape juice rather than intoxicant, as in Isaiah 65: 8.

4) Gleukos, occurring only in Acts 2:13, where it is rendered "new wine."

5) Oinos, the other New Testament word, which is rendered "wine" in all 33 occurrences. It may properly refer to fermented wine or to pure juice, the context being the sole means of deciding which.

Comparison to Modern Intoxicants

Palestinian wines reached a maximum fermentation of 5 to 8 percent alcohol, though some countries produced stronger wine due to their grapes' higher natural sugar content. Higher fermentation would kill the yeast cells producing it, rendering it impossible.

Modern intoxicants render the strongest Bible intoxicant very weak. There were no distilled beverages then, for that Process was not discovered until the 13th century. It reaches a potency of above 90 percent. Whisky, gin and brandy find no comparison in shekar (strong drink). For that matter, fortified wines of today's market are above 20 percent; that is from two to four times as strong as the strong drink of Scripture. And the strong drink of the Bible is condemned by God (see Proverbs 23:31f eknd20:1: again). Now, if God condemned wine when it reached the excessive peak of fermentation of perhaps as high as 8 percent, what does he think of it at the potency ten times increased 80 percent, or above 90 percent?

What of beer? Its alcohol content is 4 to 6 percent. (Ale is 10-14 percent.) But beer has something else -- lupulin. It is an active, hypnotic type narcotic. The hop from which it comes is in the same plant family (moraeaea) as the hemp, the source of marijuana.

A Social Drink?

We have not inveighed in this article about the ruinous effects of drink and drunkenness. The dissipated lives, broken homes and shattered dreams tell their story well enough. But the social drinker argues that he will never go this far -- he too deplores drunkenness. (It reminds one of the pope of Rome who, while publicly lamenting "the liquor evil" heads a church that traffics in intoxicants. Christian Brothers, which is a California monastery making brandy, has on hand enough brandy to supply a pint to every man, woman and child in the United States.) But whether he goes this far, or not, is not the question.

Does God condemn the use of strong yayin and then turn around and approve the social drinking of something ten times more potent and intoxicating?


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  01/22/2023

The Mount Baker Beacon is a weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA.
Send all questions, comments to the editor, John Bass at (360) 325-5149 or