Monday, September 26, 2005

A toast then

Di applaud you for standing your ground on not drinking. It can be dangerous on multiple levels relative to the amount of consumption and can also make one very silly.

What’s the hang up with drinking? Not speaking for myself we’re all relatively mature and capable of handling ourselves in respective fashion.

I know we’ve trod down this path several times but I would like some of Di’s input because she is younger than the rest of us and also a young Christian. So Diana, with out BCV form the peanuts, do you not enjoy drinking at all, didn’t feel like it, didn’t like or trust the situation, didn’t want to appear as a Christian and someone who may take a couple of sips of a libation or what?

It’s known that I’m pretty liberal on the subject the ingestion of alcohol, the subject of not the consumption of, mind you. Chuck and I stashed booze at FU sometimes and I usually have a couple of Corona’s at the house, though a six will tend to last much longer in our fridge than in other folks. I will sometimes get a beer when out with my family, Mexican food is a weakness usually opting for a “grande dos equis.” When Jules and I are out with just each other we’ll get a stronger drink or two sometimes.
When Jules goes out with her work friends I trust her to be responsible.

I’ve seen everybody (sans wives, except Jules b/c she was part of the core) in this group have drinks and they could each give to take their beverage no worries.

The other night I gathered a bit of a surprise party for Jules at a local karaoke place, being a BYOL establishment I did. We mixed a few drinks for the table and had a really good time. No one was near trashed but we all felt good and were all good enough to drive. Everyone there knows that we are parents and have an active belief in God and there wasn’t any judgment on the subject. We were just having some fun.

I just think it’s funny that I’ve had conversations in this circle where we’ve mentioned that we’ll drink; wine, beer or other choices and that’s ok but there is still a stigma placed on ”having a drink.”

I know all the arguments to “appearing and acting like a Christian for the sake of others” and I believe that’s correct along with “drunkenness” being sinful.

On a side note Jules and her friends have gone to a place called “Cotton Eyed Joe’s” for a girls night or what ever and each time Jules has gone she’s seen a lady named Cathy Hensley. Cathy goes to this place every Friday night and is a solid and active member of our congregation. One night Jules told her that she was surprised to see Cathy there. Cathy’s response was that she did enjoy a beer or two and enjoyed hanging out with her friends there. She followed that statement with the fact that she sort of considers CEJ’s her mission field having successfully invited several of her friends to church with her the next Sunday.

I think the subject of dancing could fall into the same discussion because for as scary as I am dancing I do love to shake a tail feather. Though I’m sure my Deadhead undulations are far from Di’s coordinated two-stepping.


Jamison said...

without hurting your feelings, I think that drinking around folks who know you to be a christian, who are not christians themselves, is not the best thing to be doing.

Most of the non religious world would LOVE to see someone who professes to be a christian so they can say "Oh look, this 'christian' drinks, they are all hypocrytes."

I dont drink anymore due to Larissa. She frowns upon it because her father has a quasi problem with it. Well, maybe not a PROBLEM, but he drinks beer often and she doesnt like that.

I do enjoy a margarita, but if I ever enjoy one again it would be around you guys, who know me. And it would not be around your wives, particualrly our new christian friend Dianna. I dont think it would do any good.

I have maybe one alcoholic beverage a year. I dont think it is sinful. I do think getting drunk is. I also think that being open about drinking to people who know you are a christian is not doing any good to further the cause of Christ, but could perhaps be preventing the cause.

my 2 cents, take it for what you will.

Paul didnt eat meat sacrificed to other gods for the sake of new christians who USED to worship those gods... was it wrong to eat that meat? no. would these new christians see it as wrong? maybe, thats why Paul didnt eat it.

Jamison said...

LOL! by the way mullins, nice touch with the photo in this blog, gave it more depth...

bigsip said...

I still think it's about self-control. I think you can fall into more drinking if you drink at all, especially in a weakened spiritual, physical, emotional, or mental state. If you do, then you will only be dragged down farther by the mind-altering substance you're using.

Here's a for instance, not that this would ever happen:

My wife and I drink socially and like to go "have a good time" with some friends every once in a while.

One night, she and I have a fight and I go to the "meeting place". I'm depressed and assume that drinking will raise my spirits, but, naturally it makes me more depressed and angry.

In this lower state, I decide to cheat on/beat/leave my wife.

As any drug is wont to do, alcohol alters your mind.

In my personal life, I stay away from it for 2 reasons:

1) I don't need it to feel good and have a good time,

2) I think it weakens you and makes you more susceptible to losing control and possibly falling into sin.

Maybe some people can handle themselves, or at least think they can under any level of influence. But, why risk it? Does feeling good or buzzing equate to the possibility of losing respect or life or trust?

Again, I'm not saying anything like this would happen, but could it?

I don't think it's worth even the remote possibility that my life could be changed for the absolute worst, so I try to avoid it.

Admittedly, I have had some enjoyable drinks, myself. But, I try to make them very few and far between.

It all comes back to limits and self-control, I think.

Jamison said...

I dont think that way.... i have had cigarettes, alcohol, and cigars... and I am pretty sure I will never become addicted to any of them.

When I was sick last, I did put some vodka in my hot tea which was very good. We had the vodka to make sorbey (vodka has little taste and alcohol doesnt freeze.)

I find the image you portray to others is more dangerous than Mullins or any of us becomeing alcoholics.

Since Di is a dear friend to me and us, this wont apply, but if I am in contact with a brand new christian, I am not going to laugh and yuck it up about the sinful stupid things i did in the past like I would with you guys. This new christian is likely to think "what IS this I have gotten myself into?" Or worse yet, they could get "Real_world_faulkneritus"

This happens when you surround yourself with people who appear to be wonderful christians then one day all of the sudden you see them doing (what you precieve to be) un-christian things. Then the depression set in since these people you trusted let you down and are just as bad as the non chrisitians you know.

mullinz8 said...

Sipper do you personally feel that if you have a drink and get depressed that you will have a huge blow up of hit your wife???

I don't want to talk about generalities and “for instances” I want to talk about actual reasons.

Jamison’s response was exactly what I was looking for. Larissa doesn’t like it for reason X to support her I don’t drink… That along with your 2 points are real answers. I would like to know, if it’s not prying what you really think you would be susceptible to if you’re out on a date with your wife and had a couple of drinks?

At the karaoke place Jules and I were is a place where we knew everybody and everything was very safe.

I also know my limits and have learned from stupidity to know when to say when.

I guess most of this comes back to the idea of someone “losing control.” I really don’t know what that means. I’ve seem people in the situation where they are far beyond their faculties and need someone to call them a cab. I’m not talking about those people I’m asking you what you are losing control from? I’m sure it’s just personal perspective but there seems to be something hiding just under that statement “losing control.” I know text about God commanding control over ones self and mind.

Maybe it’s the sense that people are actually enjoy something a bit more hedonistic and worried about feel guilty for enjoying it, still not sinful mind you but say indulgent. I don’t know…

Maybe a weakly formed analogy of church building might work. coC’s are as bare boned as church buildings come, services are typically non eventful and fulfilling, do you feel guilty for enjoying the great cathedrals and connective ceremonies of other churches or can you enjoy them for what they simply being a work of great architecture and unique cultures?

Why do you smoke cigars until you chase the buzz and then stop? They are in ways as toxic as any liquor. They are aromatic and soothing is a strange way. The aroma typically is a manufactured and the soothing feeling is the nicotine. If someone walks out of church and lights up a stogie, pipe or Camel no one says a thing.

bigsip said...

Yeah, I see where you're coming from, Jamison.

I just always take the stance of warning people of potential dangers. Most people look at it as some sosrt of distorted pessimism.

I just feel better when I can warn folks that something bad might happen. At least then, I have a clean conscience if it does.

It's pretty selfish in a way, but I really am trying to help when I point out possible pitfalls.

mullinz8 said...

I know that I just posted something but Jamison’s part point was awesome. No names are used but you fellas should remember this. At FU there was a very respected Bible major and student whose girl friend came out and told him that she was pregnant. He freaked because he knew this a very real possibility. I remember how disappointed Jamison was because this guy was someone he looked up to. I had tremendous respect for the guy too even though we ran in totally different circles. I thought even back then that at least people know who I am and a secret scandal wouldn’t throw people into a lather over me screwing up. I whole heartedly owned my faults.

Jamison said...

I have no fear that if I were to have a few drinks that I would do something horrible to my wife or someone else.

I do fear that if someone I know sees me drinking, i would have ALOT of explaining to do.

I have good friends at my church who are a bit more strict when it comes to drinking than I am (as far as I know) and i love these people dearly. Religiously, they (or the person I think i see) are the people I want to become. I would feel horrible if they saw me drinking or if they saw me WITH someone drinking.

And I like living that way. I like living a life where I think that people I lvoe and respect could be anywhere and see me. I WANT to be held accountable... I am less likely to do anything wrong.

But if Mullins shows up at my house one night and my wife is gone and he has a 6 pack of mikes hard lemonade, Ill toss some burgers on the grill and we will enjoy one anothers company... assuming my nbext door neighbor doesnt see me (I used to go to church with them and love them like family)

Jamison said...

Mullins... Thats funny that you remember something about me that I have forgotten about. I have no idea who the guy is that got his GF preggy.

bigsip said...

Oh, were asking why I don't drink. Same reason as Jamison I guess. Rachel doesn't care for it. I also don't care to show our kids that I think it's anywhere close to being ok.

As I said in my last post, I hedge my bets on this sort of thing. My parents did this for me and my brother. They never drank. So, I won't either. I plan to pass this down. Alcoholism can crop up anywhere, anytime.

I refer back to the passage (had to throw it in, Mullins) He who thinks he stands take heed lest he falls 1 Cor 10:12. You NEVER know what Satan's gonna throw at you. We're supposed to be on guard.

Why should we give Satan any kind of opening? I guess that's why I make it clear that you have to look at every side of it, not just the "fun" side.

Here's another side of it. You don't need it to survive, so why use it at all?

I like to feel good and have fun. I like a good drink and a cigar. But, I have to consider that maybe it's not such a good example to my son or anyone else for that matter. Plus, it might wind up costing me something in the long run.

I don't know...It's more of a gut feeling that something isn't right with it than anything. But, it's all based on what I've witnessed and what I believe, overall.

Jamison said...

i think the "example" example (hehe, funny) that Sipper gave works not only with your off-spring but with friends and perhaps co-workers as well.

I guess you could even liken it to cursing.

Are letters put together in a row really sinful? Is an S word that refers to fecal matter REALLY a sin in an of itself? But we dont speak that way in general do we? Much less around people we dont know well and even less around new christians.

But why?

Hmmm, looking back on this comment it is tending to get a bit off topic, my apologies to the original blogger senior mullins (tipping my hat in Matts direction).

mullinz8 said...

You my dear friend jamison make me laugh.

I totally understand where you're coming from. Contrary from the tone of this whole discussion I really don't drink much at all.

If I ever show up with that six of Mike's I would never expect you to imbibe.

It's sort of like when we ate at that country club in Destin. I wanted some wine and I got some. My intent wasn’t to bother anyone or force anyone to drink but I do like wine and I felt it would be a good match to accentuate my meal. A few of you guys tried it, Sipper more than the rest of you and we all had a grand old time.

Dos Equis is a great beer with Mexican food just like a good margarita.

Sake works with Japanese food but is too strong for me so I don’t get it.

I think the consumption of booze with food is one thing where the consumption of booze to “feel good” or the twisted motivation of “getting ripped” is something else.

mullinz8 said...

I gotta tell you the response that “it’s just not for you” is far sounder than the losing control answer.

I know all too well the temptation, my dad didn’t have a drinking problem he was an alcoholic flat out. I’m realizing that my step father who for many years I just thought liked to drink was also something of an alcoholic too. I never drank in high school and don’t really care to drink now because I saw want it did to my bio-dad. My mother who still doesn’t really drink will on rare occasion enjoy a distilled beverage never drank in front of me but was also sound enough to let me know that there was a lot of responsibility involved with it.

I pray (and am sure you will) that you do as good of a job rearing your kid(s) as your parents did raising you because statistics (which I’m convinced are not “faith-based”) say that kids who are raised without casual acceptance and discussion of illicit beverages and substances are more likely to abuse smokes and drinks. I remember that you my dear friend once admitted your own struggles with smoking and I think it was through the confrontation with your folks, as subtle as it may have been, that made you quit.

Jamison, the guy was a really big brown haired Zeta jock with the really small mousy blond girlfriend. I can’t remember his name but always thought they made a really strange looking couple, big strong jock tiny quite girl.

bigsip said...

I don't think having a drink is all bad. But, again, I just want to make sure others, including my offspring, get the strong idea that drinking, smoking, bad language, etc. are not things to be taken lightly.

I want them to learn restraint in things that are done for themselves and adundance in things they do for the benefit of others.

It all comes back to denying one's self and doing good to and for others. It's just an overarching philosophy that I have been trying harder to incorporate into my life.

I liked Jamison's comments about this because they are all interconnected.

I also think if we guys (just guys) got together for the lemonade and cigars (in a private place) I'd partake, too.

I'd never want to make it a habit, though. Then again, I'd probably feel bad doing it since I'd never want Luke to know. Of course, I tell Rachel EVERYTHING, so she'd automatically know, anyway.

If she said, OK, I'd do it. Otherwise, I'd just hang with you guys and scarf Cokes and snacks and enjoy some big laughs!

Jamison said...

For the record, when you get a glass of wine with dinner when you eat with us, Mullins, I never take it nor ever have taken it as an attempt on your part to force others, hurt others, or to get drunk.

I hardly think a small glass of sour grape juice will do you in for the night.

bigsip said...

It's true, my friend, that I have struggled with smokes for a long time.

I still struggle.

I have never struggled with alcohol and doubt I ever will.

But, my kids might. You just don't know. Or someone who saw me having a drink might struggle and lose control.

I'm not speaking of myself losing control, but my little lack of not doing something becoming a moving event for someone who has a big lack of self-control.

So, I'm being careful. I plan to discuss drugs, sex, alcohol, and smokes with my kids, too.

The reson I have had self-control with most of these things is because of the discussions and openness we had.

Smoking's different for me somehow.

I love smoking. I believe strongly that I am genetically predisposed to be a nic-addict.

I hid it from my folks because I didn't want to quit.

Fortunately, they caught me. Actually, I think I set myself up to be caught because I knew it wasn't good for me and would hurt my loved ones.

Anyway, everyone has their own weaknesses. Some more than others.

We just have to drive defensively through life, is all I'm saying.

bigsip said...

I second Jamison's comment. No harm, no foul.

mullinz8 said...

See smoking for me is a useless activity. I love the smell of a variety of smokes but I don’t like the whole process of smoking its self.

Sipp what you’re saying about what you’ll be telling Luke is what I’m trying to get a feel for in some aspects. Someday I’ll talk to Isaac and Caleb about smoking, drinking, drugs, sex and I’m sure tons of stuff that I can’t imagine yet. I have no idea what I’ll say when push comes to shove but I will have to be completely honest. It’s all about knowing how you really feel about something and being able to explain it.

I’m not asking this stuff now to figure out what I’ll say then but I still think it’s a minor fascination for me to know the why’s, what’s and how’s that motivate people. Sipper why do you think that your genes are attracted to smoking?

I think of drinking and smoking as the same thing. I just wonder why they are looked at so differently in both a religious and secular society. They are both addictive and produce a mental and physiological change in a person when ingested but their stigmas are totally different.

Next time we get together the wine and smokes are on me. Only if you want them though.

Diana said...

I just feel like the best way to avoid getting carried away is to not do anything. The best way to not get addicted to drugs is to never try them. I have tried alchol before, a few sips of wine at Christmas and champagne at a wedding and my Bday party. But it's my choice. To me, if I let anyone talk me into just a little bit of beer, I'm just as weak as if I let them talk me into a little bit of sex/lies/drugs. I try not to judge anyone who does it just like try not to judge someone who has sex before marriage.

I'm a little bit of a control freak. Not over my environment or of other people but over myself. I never want to be in the situation where I'm vulnerable or don't have my wits. Which is why I want to do natural childbirth. It has nothing to do with "it's better for the baby" or anything like that, I just want to be in control. So it's not that I don't want to loose control, I don't want to loose ANY control. I guess it just goes back to remembering the helplessness of living at home and I refuse to put myself in a position where I can be the victim.

That said, It's also a mixture of don't want to set a bad example and I just don't like the stuff and don't need it. And, like Larissa, I've seen the pain it and other drugs can cause to family members. Honestly, It's not even a religeous thing for me because I knew in high school I never wanted to be like my family and swore of drinking and drugs. However, now that I know more about the Bible, I understand why it's so important to "keep your guard up" as Sipper said. So many good things have come out of my childhood experiences and one is that I have no desire to do anything to "let my guard down."

Jamison said...

I must say... that when I first saw the said topic, i was rolling my eyes thinking "Not this topic again" but Mullins, this has been one of more enjoyable posts as of late... a toast to YOU!

funny alcohol story and the lesson is yours:
Mullins' "bachelor" party...
I wasnt sure what I was in store for, but it ended up being just the midnight cafe with lots of alcohol. Well, no beer or anything, but lots of rum. It was very odd because mullins was telling me how to drink this stuff... the conversations went a bit like this:

"No jamison, you put coke it in and drink it"


"Hey! Try it with dr pepper"

even then

"Here, put some orange juice in with it"

And I swear to you, the man had chocolate milk and I was drinking some alcoholic beverage mixed in with chocolate milk... there was actually more non alcoholic drinks to MIX into the alcohol than there was alcohol.

I hope no one thinks bad of mullins for this, it was 15 years ago... thats how long he has been married ya know.

bigsip said...

I think it's funny! I probably would've had rum and everything had i been there, too.

I appreciate Di's comment. I feel much the same way.

mullinz8 said...

I really appreciate your input Diana. I’m very proud of you for standing you ground based on your own sense of self.

It’s funny because I’ve heard you say several times that your childhood and teen years were very tough due to the family situation. Isn’t it interesting how those rough times have molded you into an extremely resilient and strong person today. I think your lucky (insert blessed) because there are many people, that I’m sure are obvious to you, that end up traveling the other path into self destruction. Good girl, your big brothers are smiling at you.

Jamison’s story is a good example of a safe situation. Having drank more than anyone else in the room at that time my bachelor party, more like a bachelor hang out, it was a very safe and controlled environment. We had a few drinks and no one got hammered or even really buzzed I would guess and nothing happened. No one lost control or did anything crazy. In public drinking can be very dangerous. I private, among friends it’s a bit safer because I know that I wouldn’t let any of my friends go past a certain point in that controlled environment.

Our preacher has told us a funny story, from the pulpit no less, about a time right after he was married when they went to a restaurant and the waitress asked him if he wanted a tea. He wasn’t really paying attention so he said sure. When the waitress came back he wondered why the tea was in such a strange glass. It turns out that the waitress asked if he wanted a long island iced tea which consists of vodka, tequila, rum, gin, triple sec, sweet and sour mix, and Coke. Curtis said the drink was delicious having shared and finished the first but wondered why he and Nancy were feeling warm all over. They ended up waiting a bit longer and going home and going right to bed.

I will say this about an un-named lady I’ve known before. After a few drinks she’s a T.I.G.E.R. Sometimes losing just the right amount of control (insert inhibitions) is a LOT of fun for two people. Go ahead and get that lady a margarita and remember BB’s words and “Let the good times roll.” Imagine “her” face turning three shades of red right now and giggle.

Brewster said...

I'll wind up posting a bunch of comments here. I missed the full force of the commenting and I'll end up posting replies to several comments.

I think a lot of it is common sense. I have a drink now and again, but I know my limits. When I start to feel a buzz, I stop.

Would I take a six pack to the chuch pot-luck? No, because someone would get offended. Would I order a glass of wine while dining with the preacher? No. Would I invite a couple of new converts that I don't know well to the local pub? No again.

If I am out with you guys and they've got a great margarita mix going, will I order one? You bet.

I had many a glass of wine while in France. Culturally, wine drinking there is about like drinking water. There really isn't a taboo associated with it. Our non christian friends knew Amy and I were christians, but didn't see us as hipocrites for having a glass of wine.

They also learned to respect that we wouldn't go out clubbing with them, or bar hopping to get trashed.

Even at house parties everyone knew we would have a glass or two, but not get drunk.

Of course if you are with people who think its non christiany to drink, then you shouldn't do it. That's why generally I don't drink while in the states.

Brewster said...

I would say that if you have a fight with your wife, then go get drunk and beat her or cheat on her then there were some major problems in the first place.

Blaming booze for some really soddy actions is a load of crap in my opinion.

But ultimately, we're talking about have a drink or two, and not getting trashed. Once you get trashed we've passed into a different realm. I think we've all agreed that drunkeness is sinful.

Brewster said...

Are the initials of the FU guy who pregnanted his babe SS?

I wonder if we found out that the guy has been having sex, but not got her pregnant, if we would have felt the same way?

Somehow bringing a baby into it makes it much, much different.

Brewster said...

It's weird to me that if someone saw you having a drink you would have ALOT of explaining to do.

I mean, why is that? Why is a little drink so unacceptable in so many sub cultures?

I talked to the French missionary and he admitted that he had a drink once in awhile. He generally stayed away from it because he is primarily funded by Americans, and he is in charge of American AIMers. But ultimately he didn't find it wrong to have a glass of wine.

Jamison said...

I still dont know who "S.S." is (Sam Sipper??? NO!) but I do remember a man named G.B. only had anal sex with his girlfriend because he said it was not sex... and he was not committing sin as long as his penis didnt go into her the other way...

Brewster said...

>Why should we give Satan any kind of >opening?

I don't think having one drink is giving Satan an opening. One glass of wine doesn't effect me enough to make me do anything crazy.

>Here's another side of it. You don't >need it to survive, so why use it at >all?

Neither do I need a glass of Dr. Pepper, a scoop of ice cream, or a bowl of Fruity Pebbles. Having a little fun, enjoying a good beverage isn't wrong in itself. Certainly the extremes get you into trouble, but nixing anything that isn't neccessary makes it a pretty dull life.

Jamison said...

oh, i forgot to mention... i like the idea of Di being the "little sister" of the group... its fun!

mullinz8 said...

I can’t remember the Zeta guys name. Really big guy who dated some really mousy blond. She ended up NOT being pregnant but wanted so badly to marry the guy that she thought she could trick him into it. She got busted and he dumped her for a little while and maybe married her some time later on.

Brew brought up the “fatherly” idea a while back and I consider myself more brotherly because I only want to be a father to my boys. The reason that I bring up different and controversial subjects is so that the other “brothers” don’t drown her with the overly zealous penance for every worldly enjoyment aspect. Yeah, Sipper that one’s to your corner of the park and I’ll blog a full reasoning for it later.

Di is like a little sister to me though I think we’ve only met once, we’ve all had the opportunity to share a unique relationship where we’re concerned with how the others are doing and accept each others short coming and accomplishments with honestly and sincerity rather than strict critique and disapproval.

bigsip said...

Understandale, my friend. I like the discussion and think there has to be balance. I say things to one extreme while others have another side of the subject. To me, I'm just helping tip the scales toward the middle by giving an adverse view. I respect your doing the same.

bigsip said...

Just for Di's sake. She's a big girl and I don't try to tell her or anyone else what to do. She makes up her ownw mind about stuff.

All I'm doing is giving my opinion on stuff and telling how and why I try to live the way I do. Everyone's different and no one thing is gonna work for everyone.

That being said...Truths are evident and defensible in light of scripture. I support every action in my life from that standpoint. Separating the two would be like trying to take white out of rice.

So, I don't mean to be overly zealous or judgemental. I'm just telling things the way I see them with the full understanding that not everyone sees things exactly the way I do. I LOVE y'all!

Diana said...

Since I've met you guys I've felt like the little sister. I know if anyone messed with me you'd all be on them. And it's funny I have all these big brothers that are the different kind of big brother. You all represent different things to me.

Diana said...

Well, let's put it this way. I don't drink but not necessarily for religious reasons. However, now that I’m a Christian I understand more of why I should not.

With that said, I don’t like alcohol. I’ve never had any drink I care for. So I KNOW that if I drink, it’s because of a weak submission. If I liked alcohol, it would probably be different, and I would see nothing wrong with wine at dinner. However, I don’t. Therefore, the only reason I would ever drink would be to try to show someone else I’m “cool” which would compromise my personal beliefs and cause me to be weak.

bigsip said...

We're your brothers, but Bob's your Uncle.

I see your point and agree. I think just asking the question, "Is it helping me, hurting me, or nether?" works.

If it hurts, drop it. I don't really know how it could help unless it's medicinal, but Bob's your uncle. Neither, to me, just means it doesn't really have any worth anyway, so it's anybody's call.

In any case, everyone has to make the call for themselves.

Diana said...

Or I would drink to escape, which frankly, is below me.
I cry to escape, it works well.

Diana said...

I agree. Rachel's going to be proud for you using Bob's your uncle so much.