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Old 03-27-2012, 01:42 AM   #1
RedGuitar
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Default Ministry and beer

I'm in seminary and a candidate for ordination with the Methodist church. I just received word that I'm receiving an appointment as pastor at a small rural church in NC this upcoming summer. While I have no theological/moral complications with brewing, drinking and being a pastor, I'm wondering what the church I'll be pastoring might think.

Knowing that this is a forum for homebrewers, I'm not expecting anybody on here to have any objections to a minister who brews and drinks. My concern is what would all of your grandmas say about it.

And... discuss.

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Old 03-27-2012, 01:45 AM   #2
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I am selective about who at church knows that I brew because it would be a stumbling block for some of them. My brewing partner is a fellow member at church though. Basically it is just our extended families that are aware of our hobby.

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Old 03-27-2012, 01:50 AM   #3
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I've never looked at drinking a beer or two as anything to judge a person by. I grew up a Lutheran and remember very well the pastors drinking beer at wedding receptions, no one ever judged that I was aware of. My brother is a Lutheran pastor as well and I know he doesn't have a problem with it either.

Now if they were out there chugging beer and acting a fool then there might be issues

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Old 03-27-2012, 01:55 AM   #4
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Methodist here (in Texas no less) - when I started brewing I approached my ministry team (at one of the larger UMC's) and all of them agreed that brewing beer and wine was to be encouraged, distilled spirits frowned upon, and that drinking to excess is 'the' problem to be guarded against.

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Old 03-27-2012, 02:01 AM   #5
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As a Christian, and a homebrewer, I do not see any conflict at all. I think it will really be contingent on the actual congregation you get placed in. I know many churches and pastors who have no theological problem with brewing at all. I also know some churches have REAL issues with drinking any alcohol whatsoever.

I would suggest being discreet about your brewing until you have a feel for the environment. I am NOT suggesting you be untruthful or deceptive about it, but you may not want to advertise your hobby until you have a better grasp on the mood of the parish.

Just remember that many monasteries brew beer for the monks, and to sell as a source of operating income. Also remember that the Bible says "be not drunk on wine", it does not say "do not drink" In fact, Jesus turned water into wine. I think this shows pretty clearly that the Lord does not have a problem with the responsible manufacture and consumption of homebrew.

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Old 03-27-2012, 02:04 AM   #6
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The Bible does condemn drunkenness, but in no way does it discourage the moderate use of alcohol. Ps. 104:5 states that wine makes the heart of man rejoice. The first miracle of the son of God was in fact the wedding feast in which he made water into wine.
Some who have tried to twist the clear wording of the Bible have stated that it was actually grape juice that the Scriptures were referring to. Well, try packing grape juice around in the warm middle eastern weather and guess what it turns into... That's why in Matthew 9:17 it states that people do not put new wine into old wine skins - if they do then the wine skins burst and are ruined. Anyone who has fermented anything can understand this. A new wine is still likely undergoing fermentation, and an old brittle skin could split from the pressure.
Having said that, I am sensitive of the fact that some in the congregation are stumbled by what they perceive as excessive alcohol use - having 40 gallons of beer, etc. Because of this I am very selective who I would choose to share this information with. An overseer ought to be above reproach in his conduct.

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Old 03-27-2012, 02:15 AM   #7
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Hey, RedGuitar, I just noticed you are in Raleigh... I live in Knightdale, but work in Raleigh. We could do a lunch or something, if you want to talk face-to-face about this...

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Old 03-27-2012, 02:17 AM   #8
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No problems here...in Wilmington we've got the Front Street Brewery hosting a workshop entitled "What Would Jesus Brew?" It's a Homebrew 101 with some history and theology on the side...church based teams will compete...it's also a fundraiser for the Lower Cape Fear Hospice.

A great time of fellowship, with the hope that it will attract some of the unchurched!

Team : "Brew Unto Others" says .... Relax, don't worry, have a Homebrew.

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Old 03-27-2012, 02:28 AM   #9
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Entering into a Pastoral Ministry with the UMC, I thought that I would share some thoughts on John Wesley, the church's founder.
This was taken from his latest biography:

"He [Wesley] wasn’t against alcohol, actually, unlike later Methodists. While he forbad spirits, he loved wine and beer, published home brewing tips and campaigned for real ale. He also allowed tobacco for medicinal purposes. But he discouraged Methodists from drinking tea, being a waste of time and money."

I just thought that this info could be useful in answering your OP. May God bless your ministry.

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Old 03-27-2012, 02:38 AM   #10
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No problems here either. I started a Men's Brewing Group at my church. We brew and provide beer (served at the church) for two fundraisers each year: Oktoberfest and St. Patrick's Day. It has been received surprisingly well by the congregation. We call it "Hops-Based Evangelism." Cheers!

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