Robert Sumner's Biblical Evangelist blasts new BJU Press book on alcohol.

The lastest Fundamentalist periodical to criticize the BJU Press book "The Christian and Drinking" by Randy Jaeggli is "The Biblical Evangelist" published by Evangelist Robert Sumner. Here are some quotes from his review of the book:

"No way around it; this is a book advocating social drinking -- you know, 'in moderation.' . . . In his Conclusion, Jaeggli sounds like Billy Sunday or the local arm of the WCTU (Women's Christian Temperance Union), but we doubt that after 70 pages of 'okay on the sauce' it will do much good."

In his "Off the Cuff" column, Sumner continues:

"That this 'fortress of fundamentalism' would publish a book advocating boozing (in a moderate way, of course; no one in his/her right mind would promote intemperance) is so shocking to this honorary alumnus of the university I wouldn't believe it if I didn't have the proof. Sadly, I have the facts. . . . Has author and faculty member Randy Jaeggli been fired? If not, why not? He has clearly broken the rules of the institution. And are the rules in the Student Handbook being rewritten to promote social boozing by faculty and students? Will the dining hall and other eating establishments on campus, run by the university, start serving wine and beer with meals? It would be consistent with Jaeggli's book. But then, as Shakespeare noted, consistency is a jewel, found only rarely. It seems to me that a hornets' nest has been stirred up. Will this affect the donors of the university, most of whom we assume are blue-nosed prohibilitions, like early trustee Sam Small? And will fundamentalist parents want to send their sons and daughters to BJU to learn drinking in moderation? It raises a lot of questions, doesn't it?"

Obviously, the BJU administration needs to do something to end the impression that it now believes that social drinking is an issue of Christian liberty. When "Sword of the Lord" Editor Shelton Smith and Evangelist Robert Sumner agree on something, folks begin to take notice!

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John Benzing's picture

[Quote=C.D.Cauthorne Jr. ] Obviously, the BJU administration needs to do something to end the impression that it now believes that social drinking is an issue of Christian liberty. When "Sword of the Lord" Editor Shelton Smith and Evangelist Robert Sumner agree on something, folks begin to take notice![/Quote ]

There's not much BJU can do when people who haven't read the book continue to spread the news that BJU now endorses social drinking.

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

Oh brother.

T Howard's picture

The thundering voices of fundamentalism have spoken:

We must not teach the Bible, but man's tradition... All those impressionable children that go to BJU might actually have to develop some biblical discernment.

Jay's picture

C.D., is there some kind of reason why you keep bringing this issue up? We've already been down this road twice, and I doubt that we're changing any opinions on this website. We've already dealt with the issue of does BJU endorse social drinking. They don't. Anyone who http://www.bju.edu/welcome/who-we-are/position-alcohol.php ]bothers to look at their posted position knows so.

Quote:
Obviously, the BJU administration needs to do something to end the impression that it now believes that social drinking is an issue of Christian liberty. When "Sword of the Lord" Editor Shelton Smith and Evangelist Robert Sumner agree on something, folks begin to take notice!

Or maybe not. I don't listen to Shelton Smith and Robert Sumner anymore, and I doubt that most people do.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

C. D. Cauthorne Jr.'s picture

The reason I have mentioned both the SOTL and The Biblical Evangelist's reviews of the book (BTW, John, both Shelton Smith and Robert Sumner have read the book) is because I think there is a big difference between saying that moderate drinking is a sin and saying that moderate drinking is unwise for the Christian.

Old-school Fundamentalists on the right (SOTL) and on the left (The Biblical Evangelist) both perceive that the book does not call social drinking a sin (as the school's Founder would have called it). If their discernment is correct (which I hope it is not), then BJU has shifted from the stated beliefs of its Founder.

Perhaps many on SI would be in favor of seeing a BJU that is tolerant of those who drink alcohol in a manner that they believe is allowed by the Scriptures. That is fine. However, as with the issue of interracial dating, BJU ought to publically state (especially in the light of this, to say the least, confusing book) whether it believes social drinking is "unwise for the Christian" or "always a sin."

I love BJU, and I appreciate all that the school has meant to me. With either position, I would be willing for my children to go there and follow in the steps of their "old man" (as long as the school does not allow faculty, staff, or students to drink alcohol). However, it is obvious that "enquiring minds want to know." Does BJU now believe that the use of alcohol is "unwise for the Christian" or "always a sin?"

Brian Jo's picture

C. D. Cauthorne Jr. wrote:
then BJU has shifted from the stated beliefs of its Founder.

BJU has "shifted from the stated beliefs of its Founder" in several other areas, the most obvious probably being interracial dating.

You (and SOTL, Robert Sumner) seem to be holding Bob Jones Sr and other past Fundamentalist leaders as the final authority on drinking standards. Those who disagree with you on SI do so because they frankly don't see in scripture what these men claimed to see.

Jay's picture

C. D. Cauthorne Jr. wrote:
...Old-school Fundamentalists on the right (SOTL) and on the left (The Biblical Evangelist) both perceive that the book does not call social drinking a sin (as the school's Founder would have called it). If their discernment is correct (which I hope it is not), then BJU has shifted from the stated beliefs of its Founder.

Perhaps many on SI would be in favor of seeing a BJU that is tolerant of those who drink alcohol in a manner that they believe is allowed by the Scriptures.

...However, it is obvious that "enquiring minds want to know." Does BJU now believe that the use of alcohol is "unwise for the Christian" or "always a sin?"


Couple thoughts-

To be honest with you, the "old school fundamentalists", I think, have largely lost their credibility, for reasons that I won't go into on this thread. That's why I don't read them anymore. I think that their constituencies are small and dwindling quickly.

Some on SharperIron might be in favor of seeing a 'more tolerant' BJU vis-à-vis, but I still don't think that BJU needs to be the Final Authority for matters of Fundamentalist practice. We're all believers, we all have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, and we all have the Scriptures for our own study and education. Fundamentalism would be *FAR* better off if everyone would stop blindly following the IFB guru of choice and search the Scriptures themselves.

If "enquiring minds want to know", they need to contact the school directly and not use SOTL or some other means [SharperIron ] to spread gossip and slander against BJU and Dr. Jaeggli.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

LydiaH's picture

Jay C wrote:
We're all believers, we all have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, and we all have the Scriptures for our own study and education. Fundamentalism would be *FAR* better off if everyone would stop blindly following the IFB guru of choice and search the Scriptures themselves.

If "enquiring minds want to know", they need to contact the school directly and not use SOTL or some other means [SharperIron ] to spread gossip and slander against BJU and Dr. Jaeggli.

It is interesting that this statement is made. I believe what you have said to be true. The same Holy Spirit indwells all Christian -- and that Spirit guides us into all truth. It is interesting to me, however, that something gets in the way of all Christians coming to the same conclusion. And therein lies the problem. Why? What is it? Of course, it is the flesh. Sometimes I am given the impression by commenters it is because that someone else is "weak", "ignorant", "of the old school," "is simply not with it", or "doesn't have their "exegesis" down -- that is why they just don't see it the way that someone wants them to see it. What I see is that one of the means [SharperIron ] has become the "guru" of choice for many.

Jay C wrote:
To be honest with you, the "old school fundamentalists", I think, have largely lost their credibility,
Ooooooo. That "hoary head" and "bald head" comment does kind of bother me.

Respectfully,
Lydia

Jay's picture

LydiaH wrote:
What I see is that one of the means [SharperIron ] has become the "guru" of choice for many.

That might make sense, Lydia, if SharperIron [the website ] took any kind of doctrinal stands [outside of the basic doctrinal statement that everyone has to affirm to be here ] or if there was ever any kind of consensus established any given topic. In the five years that I've been here, that's been fairly rare, *especially* as far as doctrinal matters are concerned.
Quote:
I believe what you have said to be true. The same Holy Spirit indwells all Christian -- and that Spirit guides us into all truth. It is interesting to me, however, that something gets in the way of all Christians coming to the same conclusion. And therein lies the problem. Why? What is it? Of course, it is the flesh.

If that's so, then what's the point of Romans 14? After all, it seems you are arguing that unanimity of opinion is more important than a Pauline epistle.
Romans 14 wrote:

Do Not Pass Judgment on One Another
14:1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written,

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess to God.”

12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Do Not Cause Another to Stumble
13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. 22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Dennis Clemons's picture

LydiaH wrote:
... something gets in the way of all Christians coming to the same conclusion. And therein lies the problem.

Lydia - this isn't the problem. The problem is in the assumption that many have that we should all come to the same conclusion. This is precisely why the Holy Spirit that indwells us all gave us Romans 14. Some things are right for one and wrong for another. For matters of drinking, discernment is left to the individual, and not dealt with in any of the OT Law or by Christ or the apostles except when in excess.

Dennis

The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him. ~ Proverbs 18:17