A Maryland church caused a ruckus after applying for a liquor license for their new banquet hall, and then quickly withdrew the application after a state lawmaker raised concerns.
“Many communities are concerned about the real intent of the church when people who are very devoted to the Christian principles apply for a liquor license,” said lawmaker Joanne C. Benson.
I’m not much of a drinker myself—communion wine is all I ever imbibe, and I don’t even like the taste of that—but I don’t see why the church has to be so incredibly anti-alcohol. I would think being devoted to Christian principles would require a responsible approach to alcohol, not an abdication. Certainly the church shouldn’t be encouraging drunkenness, but why can’t a church-owned banquet hall be a safe place to drink alcohol?
What would it say to the community if the church stepped up and brought responsibility to alcohol? What if the church’s banquet hall was a place where you could have a wedding or other party, serve alcohol, and not be worried about drunken guests? What if the church led the way in helping recovering alcoholics, in stopping underage drinking, in ending drunk driving, and in providing a setting where responsible drinking could happen?
Instead of facing tough issues and trying to be a voice of societal change, we get backpedaling: “We choose not to present this type of image to our church and local community,” wrote the church’s senior pastor Bishop Don Meares. Too bad Jesus set a different precedent when he changed water in to wine.