wine and losing your religion

"Hierarchy of Needs" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Hierarchy of Needs” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

Well, of course this is a joke. We have other needs. Like coffee!

When I was leaving the Presbyterian church in 1995, I applied to see if I could get back into the Pentecostal church, since that was my background. I met with the district board. I was denied because I would not concede that drinking was a sin.

When our church went through a massive church split in 1997, the leadership team would meet in our homes and we would drink wine and talk and talk and talk. A rumor got out that our leadership meetings were drunken messes.

Going through deconstruction or massive spiritual transformation was strenuous. I’ll have to admit: wine helped. There are a lot of people who know exactly what I’m talking about.

Do you?

This is just one of the things we joke a lot about at The Lasting Supper. Please accept my invitation to join us! Check us out!


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16 Responses

  1. Ducatihero says:

    Lol David – I don’t intend to be insensitive in laughing, rather, to laugh at the silliness of it, a comedy tutor once said to me that comedy is about alchemising what has been pain into passages of great beauty.

    I wonder what your Pentecostal friends with their thinking of drinking wine being sinful would think of me and others using fortified wine – port – in the Church of Scotland I guess that must make us the worst of sinners then :).

    Seriously – the thought that came to my mind about your leadership meetings being drunken messes was the reputation of cannibalism the early church had for their communion meetings got from “this is my body broken for you”.

    I believe all this stuff is what comedians call “material” :).

    Thank for this enlightenment about why some in the Pentecostal church are so against and form of sin, heaven forbid that it could lead to involvement in a wine appreciation society. 😉

  2. Tim Chastain says:

    Another sad case of legalists placing baggage on those to whom Jesus said: Come all who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.

  3. ESBEE says:

    Have you heard of the inklings? It was the group that S.C Lewis and Tolkien and others would meet at a pub or in their offices, drink (stronger than wine) and smoke and discuss God and share their writings, Narnia and Lord of the Rings.

    Jesus made the water into wine and no it was not strong grape juice, if it was, the miracle was the party goers got drunk on grape juice.

  4. ESBEE says:

    forgot to mention – this is what really causes church problems-pretend there is a triangle around the words below—

  5. Sabio Lantz says:

    So you are whining about wine.

    You were lucky they didn’t take you back — otherwise you may be still waving your hands imaging some holy ghost was possessing you, speaking through you and hoping to be used for prophecies. Seriously? You were saved by wine.

    It is so strange that many Christians think some holy ghost lives in them but not in there religion-free friends.

    Well, heck, it is just strange period!

    Praise Jesus! (who, I felt the spirit move — Calvin was right — once saved, always saved. That holy spook must still be inside me.)

  6. Sabio Lantz says:

    By the way: How many members of your Leadership group are now AAA members?

  7. Gary says:

    David, The alleged sinfulness of the consumption of alcohol in any form was actually the very first church teaching I decided to fully study for myself. What followed became a watershed moment in my life when I finally recognized that most all of the “rules” of legalism were nothing more than the personal opinion of stuffed shirts (and seemingly hollow heads) who apparently had their panties in a knot. 😉

  8. Gary says:

    Oh and for the record…I now have a beer when I get home from work and a glass of wine nearly every evening. 🙂

  9. Sue Bonner says:

    I know that traditionally Pentecostals have been opposed to alcohol. Much of that has to do with the fact that Pentecostalism was formed in the early 1900’s which was the height of the temperance movement, just before Prohibition. But these days that attitude isn’t universally present. The Pastor of the last Pentecostal church I attended had a very reasonable idea: It’s okay to drink, but getting drunk is a sin. Getting drunk can cause people to do foolish and sinful things. This obviously isn’t smart.

    I’ve chosen not to drink, not because of any moral or religious objection to alcohol, but due to the simple reason that I can’t tolerate alcohol. I can never stop at just one. One beer will quickly turn into a six-pack. I’ll get so drunk that I do stupid things. Thankfully I realized this a long time ago before drinking ruined my life. If someone can drink moderately I have no problem with it. I’m just not one of those people.

  10. Ducatihero says:

    Sabio, you wrote “many Christians think some holy ghost lives in them but not in there religion-free friends.” Now I know that to you, the folks you call “Christians” have some “invisible friend” in this case holy ghost) that is s symptom of a delusion or mental illness. However humour my irrationality if you will for a moment and consider what I am about to suggest.

    Lets for a moment say there may be such a thing as the Holy Spirit. If he exists then I find myself in agreement with you to a degree. I don’t think he is present only with “Christians” but not with “religion-free” friends. If so, I think he is like a wind – no-one knows where he comes for or where he is going and that trying to pin him down is like trying to nail jelly to the wall. Is he even a he – could he be a she? Could be something in-between or no gender?

    Love your story Esbee about the inklings meeting in offices and the pub, drinking smoking and discussing God and their writings. Sounds great to me :).

  11. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ Duca,

    Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
    1 Cor 3:16 (KJV)

    If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
    Rom 8:11 (ESV)

    And of course you are familiar with the controversy over the gifts of the holy spirit.

    BTW, I use to be very charismatic — hand waving, speaking in tongues, laying on of hands etc. I wasn’t crazy or delusional — I was working on my engineering degree at Cornell University at that time. I just had this fun make-believe life with lots of people supporting me. It was very therapeutic.

    Remember, no matter what you believe, I am correct in saying a very large number of Christians believe that the holy ghost (giver of divine wisdom and much more) only lives in believers. Don’t matter if they envision him/it as the wind or a spook with sheets. Either way, it is this invisible thing filling you and talking to you.

    The struggle of Charismatics to FEEL the holy spirit and display the gifts would be humorous, if it weren’t sad.

  12. Ducatihero says:


    Yes that’s interesting. I agree with partly about there being controversy about “gifts of the spirit”. Without using such in proportion to character then damage can occur and charismatic environments can lend themselves unhealthily to a celebration of “gifts” rather than wisdom in using them and maturing in character. However of course you do realise that it is opinion about truth with your life being “make-believe”. Anyone could say their opinion of truth being about their experience of similar is about being real in their life and it would be as rational and valid as your comment.

    Of course whether real or make believe he/she/it is not visible.

    Yes, of course you are correct in saying a very large number of “Christians” believe that the “holy ghost” only lives in so-called “believers.” To anyone who have mixed in Christian circles for any length of time, this is obvious.

    When I left the Charismatic Vineyard church over frustrations I experienced there among them being what I regarded as a cavalier exercising of “gifts” causing damage someone came to me with a word of encouragement on my last day. As you are aware, the claim is made in such environments that prophecy is used for the building up of the church, sometimes through visions. What she mentioned was that she was sad to see me go and that she had a vision of an acorn for me. Unknown to her, the acorn was the emblem of the apprentice squadron I joined in the Royal Air Force. The motto of the squadron was “Non Plerique Delicaturi” with in Latin means “Few are Chosen”. So I had a sense of bein honoured by her and “God” in my decision to leave.

    Now there are people who would call that coincidence and me in my mental state of the difficulty in choosing to leave and leaving the church being susceptible to anything that looks like an encouragement. Maybe they are right, maybe they are not. I’m OK with the idea of the Holy Spirit being active within her with a sense of a collective consciousness being affirming towards me at a time when I needed it. I am not ashamed of that either.

    If anyone wants to try take away the comfort I had for that by telling me that was make believe then I would put that down to what is going on in them rather than what I have experienced or my perception of what I have experienced.

  13. “Well, of course this is a joke. We have other needs. Like coffee!”

    Just about lost it when I read that! And yes, I DO know what you are talking about… 😀

  14. Shazza tha dazzla says:

    David, I love this cartoon! I can SO relate!!! Hehehe…….. Ah, the overheated issue of alcohol and church.

    In my early Baptist years, I didn’t drink at all, of course. My Pentecostal years were also dry. “Not drunk with wine but filled with the spirit”. Hootin’ and hollerin’ drunk with the spirit. It was fun, I have to say. Except for the excessive and paranoid rules around character, behavior, church attendance, finances, thoughts, feelings, child rearing and the possibility of demonic presences in your home and contents!

    It wasn’t until I moved into the manse as an assistant pastor of an independent middle-of-the-road charismatic church that I joined the senior ministers in discovering the healing effects of red wine after a long hard day. Lots of hard days. Lots of red wine! Wine that makes the heart glad, so the psalmists sing.

    My love of church may have waned, but my love of red wine has not deserted me. A gift I’ve brought with me to help me navigate the more secular road ahead.

  15. Hey everyone! Thanks for your delicious, rich, and spicy comments. They go down smooth! 🙂

  16. Shazza tha dazzla says:

    Especially with dark chocolate…….. Mmmm……….. 🙂