Black Pride

It is a terrible thing that the worst of all the vices can smuggle itself into the very centre of our religious life. But you can see why. The other, and less bad, vices come from the devil working on us through our animal nature. But this does not come through our animal nature at all. It comes direct from Hell. It is purely spiritual: consequently it is far more subtle and deadly… — CS Lewis on Pride

No, the title of this post is not in reference to any racial identity movement, but rather to what Lewis references in the above quote from his classic, Mere Christianity.

It is in reference to the sickening and soul-sucking sense of superiority one feels upon hearing the consequences that result from the poor choices of others.

Yesterday, our youth pastor (JB) came in from the bullpen and preached a stirring sermon on a familiar story, Jesus’ parable of the so-called prodigal son.

JB described the older son in the parable, who couldn’t bring himself to celebrate his younger brother’s return from the figurative dead, as the son who wanted nothing more than to please his dad, by abstaining from as many things as humanly possible. He followed the description by faux applause.

With this son, it was about externals, the easy way to perdition, as the unrepentant Pharisees Jesus scolded came to find out.

Personally, at this point in my A.D. life, I find myself more like the older son. As JB aptly observed, “maybe we have forgotten what it’s like without God.”

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I don’t know how to have one drink either

Which is the major reason I needed to stop drinking, and with God’s help I did after being born again. Hard enough to pick up one’s cross as it is without attempting to do so in an inebriated state…

The post’s title says “either” because actor Shia LeBeouf told Details Magazine as much, Shia LeBeouf: ‘I Don’t Know How to Have One Drink’

I understand that there are many well-intentioned Christians who assume that God forbids all of His children from consuming alcohol. Scripture does not say this, though drunkenness is strictly forbidden and one can see why.

The decision to drink is a personal one for the Christian. Clearly, if you’re like me and don’t know when to say when, then don’t do it unless you want to open yourself up to all sorts of stumbling blocks and make yourself eternally useless (not to mention the fact that you might make someone else stumble).

Far be it from one such as I to assume that every one of my Christian brothers and sisters has this same struggle, and thus impose prohibition on them. The words of C.S. Lewis are apropos here,

One of the marks of a certain type of bad man is that he cannot give up a thing himself without wanting every one else to give it up. That is not the Christian way.

An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons–marriage, or meat, or beer, or the cinema; but the moment he starts saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who do use them, he has taken the wrong turning.