Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Volume 02, Number
church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker HWY
P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
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Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
Mt. Baker church
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!
and Social Drinking
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
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
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
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.
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