Monday, November 12, 2007

"Don't you mean ROBERT RANDOLPH?!

I found myself yelling at my friend, who, as a result of drinking entirely too much beer and gatorade + vodka, couldn't manage to correctly pronounce (or remember) Mr. Randolph's name.

"You ready to see Randall Robolph?!" he shouted at the girl standing beside him (who absolutely did not need to judge his perfected shouting skills.) And this made me mad. Not because he offended me and mispronounced his name, but because he always drinks too much and always annoys me.

There has been a gap between where I came from and where I am now. The conservative lifestyle I grew up around, one which didn't seek to understand but rather to memorize and repeat and act accordingly, caused me to be one who questions much as I entered college. I didn't turn from my faith; I embraced it. I like to think of myself like Tony Campolo-- the conservatives think I'm liberal and the liberals think I am [very] conservative.
I bring this up to say that after having spent so long running from many half-truths of my upbringing, I am now enterting a discerning phase, where I can safely and calmly revisit ideas and truths and doctrines of my past, and still embrace some of those.

One is alcohol. I am not Baptist; I don't stand by its stance on alcohol, that if you have a sip you're sinning. I do, however, treat it like anything else, with moderation and wisdom. Drinking too much and forgetting the latter part of your evening the night before does no good for anyone, in fact, it can definitely do you harm. I have watched many of my friends who came from ultra-conservative backgrounds turn around and run the complete opposite direction. But instead of embracing moderation, they have embarced extremism quite different from the extremism of their theologically conservative pasts. Instead, it is okay to [always] drink too much, because alcohol isn't sinful.

No, alcohol isn't sinful, just like food isn't sinful, just like money isn't sinful.

But oppression of others with your love of money and your drive to get as much of it as possible... is sinful.
Ungratefulness and wastefulness of the overflowing food on your table... is sinful.
Being reckless with your friendships and words as a result of repetative intoxication... is sinful.

And I'm not asking for perfection. I'm asking for confession.

1 comment:

Clifton said...

Drinking Red Stripe or Jagermeister in any amounts under any circumstances whatsoever ... is sinful.

Other than these blasphemies I'm well known to be fond of pretty much anything fermented. But, while I plan to keep enjoying pretty much anything fermented. But I'm starting to see alcohol as a target in the process of simplifying, freeing my life of material noise, and cutting back on luxuries to free up money for Christiany things. Nonetheless, when (not if) you and Jeff come to Memphis we'll have to take you to the Flying Saucer, where many of the best beers God ever gave to mankind can be had for cheap.