Moody Bible Institute drops alcohol and tobacco ban for employees

(RNS) The Chicago-based evangelical Moody Bible Institute has dropped its ban on alcohol and tobacco consumption by its 600-some faculty and staff, including for those who work in its radio and publishing arms.

The change in August reflected a desire to create a “high trust environment that emphasizes values, not rules,” said spokeswoman Christine Gorz. Employees must adhere to all “biblical absolutes,” Gorz said, but on issues where the Bible is not clear, Moody leaves it to employees’ conscience.

Employees may not drink on the job or with Moody students, who are not allowed to drink while in school.

Dwight L. Moody was an influential evangelist and the founder of Chicago's Moody Bible Institute.

Dwight L. Moody was an influential evangelist and the founder of Chicago’s Moody Bible Institute.

Moody, seen by many as one of the more socially conservative institutions with its radio programs, books and campuses, is among several evangelical institutions breaking from its cultural past.
In 2009, Focus on the Family issued new grooming guidelines that men didn’t have to wear ties, women didn’t have to wear dresses or skirts and pantyhose, and employees could display tattoos.

Alcohol and tobacco have been traditional taboos in evangelical and fundamentalist circles because of their ties to personal holiness and sanctity.

Founded in 1886 by evangelist D.L. Moody, the Moody Bible Institute pays the cost of tuition (about $6,000 per semester before federal aid) for its 1,600 undergraduates who attend the main campus in downtown Chicago, many of whom go into ministry after graduation.

Students must abstain from tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs and “sexual promiscuity” for at least one year before they enroll and during their time at Moody.

“In addition, students are to refrain from gambling, viewing obscene or pornographic literature, and patronizing pubs, bars, nightclubs, comedy clubs, and similar establishments,” the catalog says. “There will be no on- or off-campus dances sponsored or organized by Moody Bible Institute students or personnel.”

Last year, the school lifted a ban on long hair for men and nose stud earrings for women. “Hair is to be well-groomed and should avoid extremes,” the guidelines say, and hair should be of natural color.

The change at Moody represents the latest shift in attitudes at different Christian institutions in recent years.

Ten years ago in suburban Chicago, Wheaton College lifted the ban on student dancing and now allows faculty, staff and graduate students to drink, though not on campus. Other schools, including Huntington University and Asbury Seminary, have changed their stances on employees and drinking in the last five years, said Jennifer Woodruff Tait, managing editor of Christian History Magazine.

“It’s part of a larger trend of wanting cultural acceptance,” said Tait, who noted that professors would go to academic conferences and be embarrassed when they couldn’t drink with friends. “A lot of people saw attitudes to alcohol as a witness. Many people are saying there are other ways to witness and this is a way to fit in.”

Colleges and seminaries are one barometer to gauge current evangelical thinking on social issues, said Larry Eskridge, associate director of the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals.

“Generally, permissive attitudes about alcohol within an evangelical denomination or school are looked upon by many conservative evangelicals as a hallmark of decline, perhaps even of apostasy,” he said.

“By contrast, more ‘progressive’ elements within the evangelical community these days are likely to look upon those institutions with strictures against alcohol use as legalistic and accuse them of ‘majoring on the minor.’”

Many, if not most, Christian colleges do not allow undergraduates to drink, but the policy for faculty and staff varies. The umbrella organization Council for Christian Colleges & Universities does not keep statistics on where its member institutions stand. CCCU spokeswoman Pamela Jones says she knows of no CCCU-affiliated school that allows alcohol on campus.

Many late 19th-century evangelicals and fundamentalists were leaders of the temperance movement against alcohol. The evangelist Moody was among those who argued for voluntary abstinence rather than the prohibition enforced by law, according to the encyclopedia “Alcohol and Temperance in Modern History.”

Moody was particularly interested in reaching drunkards, according to the book “Moody’s Talks on Temperance, with Anecdotes and Incidents.” He stressed “the power of God’s grace to take away the appetite for liquor,” wrote the Rev. James B. Dunn.

“I think for us, this is really about what Scripture says,” Gorz said. “I don’t know if what D.L. Moody’s opinion might have been was really taken into consideration.”

Policies on Christian college campuses can be trickier than other religious institutions like denominations, as some students are under the 21-year-old drinking age limit.

Forty percent of evangelical leaders said they “socially drink alcohol,” according to a 2010 survey of evangelical leaders conducted by the National Association of Evangelicals. In a survey of mostly Southern Baptists, the SBC’s LifeWay Research found that 29 percent of Southern Baptist congregants drink alcohol, compared with 3 percent of Southern Baptist pastors.

Affirming a long-standing stance, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution in 2006 of “total opposition” to alcoholic beverages, urging that no one who drinks be elected to leadership in the denomination. Individual SBC churches determine their own position.

Like sex, alcohol has been a sensitive issue for younger evangelicals as many were told to abstain from both.

“You have a generation that’s eager to dive into the gray areas. Sex and alcohol aren’t on the same page, but we were told to not do both,” said Tyler Huckabee, a 2007 Moody graduate who’s now the managing editor of Relevant, a magazine for young evangelicals. “It backfired as some started doing (one or both).”

Young evangelicals still fall on different sides of the aisle, he said.

“It’s something that we need a developed philosophy and theology on,” Huckabee said. “It’s like, instead of just being told to abstain from sex, we need to develop something on what a healthy sense of sexuality is.”

Moody Bible Institute has campuses in Michigan and Spokane, Wash., and owns 36 radio stations across the country. Popular Moody Publishers authors include Gary Chapman, Jerry B. Jenkins and Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

About the author

Sarah Pulliam Bailey

Sarah Pulliam Bailey is a national correspondent for RNS, covering how faith intersects with politics, culture and other news. She previously served as online editor for Christianity Today where she remains an editor-at-large.


Click here to post a comment

  • “There will be no on- or off-campus dances sponsored or organized by Moody Bible Institute students or personnel.” Well thank heavens they’re still standing firm on something.

  • While attending the school im saw fifths hidden under pillows, students walking a couple blocks to have a smoke and walking in on guys looking at porn all the time it doesnt matter if you slap bible on the front its still a college.

  • to bob bill, i don’t know when you attended moody, but I can say with confidence that people were not hiding fifths under their pillows or walking a couple of blocks to have a smoke when I was there. From what I hear, they only accept about 20% of their applicants and, like the article says, all students had to have never took a single sip of alcohol or puff of tobacco for a whole year before being accepted. So, its not like addicts were getting in and walking a few blocks to get their nicotine fix. The internet filter is so strict that porn is not accessible and if you even try, they have accountability software which blocks you and notifies the RS. After repeated notifications, the RS lovingly asks you to get proper accountability and they work with you. All students know about the accountability software beforehand and agree to it. The only time I came across people with a porn problem was when they were confessing and repenting. No offense, but somehow I don’t even think you went to Moody. If you did, you never went to one that was “still a college” because their is no comparison

  • Although I don’t think it is as bad as the previous poster. The fantasy land that you have portrayed doesn’t exist anymore. I graduated a year ago and I know of guys that went their whole moody career with a porn problem (un confessed) it’s not that hard to get around the internet blockers and virtually everyone has a cell phone that has no blocker. This was the minority but still happens. As for alcohol and smoking. Not as big an issue but maybe I didn’t run in those circles so just didn’t know about it. Moody is by no means perfect but it is a fantastic school to get an education.

  • Yes, it is still a college, filled with imperfect people – we are all sinners in need of saving grace, but Bob, your post definitely misrepresents Moody. I wish you had taken the time to bring a realistic perspective if you felt compelled to leave that comment.
    Moody has been instrumental in my life and it provided a good environment to study and grow in my convictions during a formative time in my life.

  • Bob Bill, if you are going to have the guts to throw around such accusations then maybe you should have the guts to use your real name. That is the worst fake name I have ever heard. Oh also, this article doesn’t even mention porn, if you are just trying to create drama for the sake of creating drama I think you have a lot of growing up to do.

  • “Employees must adhere to all ‘biblical absolutes,’ Gorz said, but on issues where the Bible is not clear, Moody leaves it to employees’ conscience.”

    Ironically, the Bible is clear and absolute on the issue of alcoholic drink – Jesus Christ made and drank wine and the Bible consistently and copiously condones the use of wine in moderation. The Bible condemns drunkenness, not drinking, just as it condemns gluttony, not eating.

    The concept of “teetotalism” is foreign to the Scriptures and is a relatively modern idea, dating to the so called “temperance” movement of the early 1800s.

  • As a 4 year graduate of MBI, I think the vast majority of Moody students love God and try to serve him. I spent a year on Culby 9, then another year on Culby 13 before becoming an RA for 2 more years on the first floor of Dryer Hall.

    When I first arrived there, I discovered that that particular floor, for whatever reason, had a good number upperclassmen who didn’t tremendously care about being godly. Most of these guys were friends with each other and chose to all live on Dryer 1, since the floor had gained a reputation for being the ‘rebel’ floor. I think the reputation changed a bit during my 2 years, but it showed me that there were pockets of students whose parents had pushed them to go to a school they didn’t choose for themselves. Those guys definitely broke lots of rules–very covertly. But they were in no way representative of the vast majority of the student body.

    That said, a freshman on Dryer 1 in my 1st year as RA might have gotten a wrong impression about what the school was like. Thankfully, I had plenty of experience elsewhere on campus and knew better, and during my tenure as an RA I had weekly meetings with all the other RAs and it was indeed clear that my floor was an anomaly.

  • I personally don’t care one way or the other, but the reason given for faculty being permitted to drink is that they otherwise wouldn’t feel accepted by their peers at conferences. ??? Really? I don’t drink for health reasons and when others do I just don’t. Probably some figure I’m an alcoholic in recovery – that’s fine too. Wouldn’t it just be simpler to be truthful: faculty can now drink because some love the taste and buzz like “normal:people. Honesty becometh!

  • I’ve been part of the Moody community for about six years now, both as a student and now an employee. The majority of students I’ve met and spent time with have a sincere passion for following Christ and are grateful for their education at Moody whether they agree with the Student Life Guide or not. Of course there are students who don’t want to be there and have been forced by parents or are just there since it’s tuition-paid. I think that’s really sad and it’s a dishonest use of someone else’s generous gift, but it’s not a fair representation of the entire school.

    Having gone to public school my entire education previous to Moody, I wasn’t expecting some kind of Christian utopia. That would not be real life. I was, however, pleasantly surprised by the incredible relationships I’ve developed since becoming part of the Moody community, and it in no way compared to my experience in public school.

  • Let me also add that I’ve now got a couple of graduate degrees too, and have taught at 3 Christian colleges. That’s given me the ability to observe those other student bodies and to gauge the spiritual ‘feel’ of them. MBI stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of the godly atmosphere which exudes from the men and women getting an education there.

  • There are many rules that organizations employ that are not making a statement about it being directly “biblical” or not. I’m afraid that you, and many others, may have missed the point of community standards in the leap forward into hedonism. MBI used to be a different and highly respected institution among the nearby neihgborhoods like the former Cabrini Green. That’s less and less the case. Now it’s just another one of those “average” colleges in the city. No real differences and no real stand on helpful and unhelpful sociatal practices, let alone the spiritual implication.

  • I graduated in 2010 and yes it was going on. Even I struggled with a lot of those things, but I did strive for holiness and could never claim that I am perfect. It was an issue but I did not want it a part of my life. It was a temptation and sin, but I think we all strive to be better each and every day. Am I perfect? no of course not. Do we all struggle? Yes.

  • I am a graduate, and I loved Moody for what it was. I don’t claim to be perfect myself, but I knew a couple people that had sex, drank, and smoked. I heard that people were doing these things. But as Christ followers, we aren’t to judge and condemn. We are to support, encourage, help, pray, and try to help them in their lives. If we were to turn people in and get into sinner’s faces, that is not the right thing to do. Even if we were absolutely perfect, which we aren’t, God does not call us to shove the Bible and the code down their faces. We wouldn’t be helping them.

  • Seriously, chris? I was a student at Moody, and knew of many students who secretly drank and smoked. You’re making the common evangelical logical fallacy of assuming that everyone who partakes in a substance, whether it be alcohol or tobacco or marijuana, is an “addict” and needs an intervention. Maybe some students just enjoy the occasional cigarette?

    And in regards to the internet filter, that thing is so easy to bypass, it’s basically a joke. Anyone who wants to find porn to look at will be able to. Besides, EVERYONE masturbates, whether they admit it or not. Putting a guilt trip on students for their god-given sexuality doesn’t just make it go away.

  • Just like the personalities shining through these comments, Moody takes in a plethora of student types. Thank God that not all of us were molded with the same cookie cutter. And as an alumni (2005), I also have to say, thank God that He nudges us little by little to let go of our man-made institutional rulebooks that we slap on each other. Understood why they did this though; the faculty are mentors for the students, who really are kids. I was such a naïve kid, when I was a student there! I thought the rules were stupid but I followed them (for the most part) because it was my adult responsibility to the contract I signed thanks to the donor that paid for my tuition. But I’m glad they’re letting go on this one for the faculty. That’s an annoying rule to have to follow for your whole life (not just 4 years like the kids). The principle is what’s important. Hopefully the kids will get that. It sure would have helped me because after I graduated, I had to learn that principle the hard way. Booze is not evil, but it can be when abused.

  • i would hope there is a chapter of AA at such a school. i know i couldnt stomach attending such a school in a sober manner.

  • I’m very disappointed in the decision for staff and faculty. There has been talk of a new culture at Moody. Is this what they were talking about? Since it is a school started by D.L. Moody, why wasn’t the thought of his possible thinking not considered? Are we getting away from a solidly based Christian school with strong social ethics? What makes the leaders of this school above the values set for students?

  • “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
    “…Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, DOUBLE MINDED people!”
    “Wine is a mocker, beer is a brawler and whoever staggers from them IS NOT WISE.”

  • Does this clear the way for a coffee AND martini bar in the church lobby?

    Get your cappuccino with Baileys and a donut – or a brewsky and beer nuts before you settle in to get your ears tickled!

  • A 2007 Moody graduate isn’t sure about ‘what a healthy sense of sexuality is’? That’s pathetic! — No, that’s nauseating!

  • I am a senior and a follower of Jesus and the Bible and for many years heard and knew of The Moody Bible Institute and am feeling somewhat confused but at same time trying to have a right perspective regarding some changes the Moody Institute is planning on making and perhaps have already established , I am aware , that society and it’s value system to-day is considerably different than in past and due to this most Institution’s ,,Universitie’s and School”s to-day are willing to change and perhaps compromise and to be known as inclusive in order to interest and reach young people of today- and ofcourse these kind of changes and policies . decision”s are the responsibility of each admiistration . however I believe there is a different mandate and expectatation for Christian people , Institutition’s and ,Businees’s etc. in that we must first of all get our direction and wisdom from God and His Word the Bible and with knowing this the Moody Institution should not use the word BIBLE in It’s Institutional Name as the changes they are making do not line up and /or adhere to what the Bible repesents. so please advirtise it as a secular Institution “The Moody Institution” then it will not mislead anyone as being Christian..

  • So everyone masturbates? I suppose you hid out the window and watched? The only God given sexuality is what occurs within the confines of Biblically defined marriage. I have known many Christian people down through the years who I feel sure did not practice masturbation (although I did not watch them from a window). People with the kind of attitutes you have are what is causing the steep decline in Christian morals. The Word of God says clearly that we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice and that we must not be conformed to this world. In all reality what Moody and other Christian institutions should be doing is tightening their standards instead of loosening them. Maybe if they did there would be fewer people in Christian colleges who think like you do.

  • Thanks for all the knee-jerk, hyper conservative responses on this article. You have kept me from ever wanting to talking to you. You can’t be engaged in conversation or mild debate. Your rules and laws are so rigid you break yourselves and all of your relationships over them so that you can claim at the end of the day, you were right, you were holy.
    Freedom is messy, but God is the first one to grant us it.
    We can quote bible verses all day and yell at each other and get “disappointed at this decision” but if we can stop attacking each other for our slight differences in conviction and then maybe we could face outwards and help the world that is sinking away with every moment we bicker.

  • bob bill’s comment is accurate (and I’m delighted to see MBI taking baby steps in a correct direction). As a naive student/graduate in the mid 80’s, I attended a comedy show at The Second City (I found it to be genuinely funny and I enjoyed a Fuzy Navel during the show). I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark in a real theater (only my second, after ET…), I smoked a Swisher Sweet cigar in Lincoln Park (all of these were “rule breakers”) and I saw a real scrotum (accidentally) for my first time at Oak St. Beach. I also witnessed 2nd floor Culby morph into a covert “gentlemen’s club” when the concession closed each night, and my counselor (*at* MBI) confided that counselors and professors were “up to their ears” with students struggling with homosexuality.
    I graduated Moody, and then spent the next 20 years struggling with self-hatred and loathing. (Nevertheless, I survived.)
    And I applaud Jon C’s (and a few others’) responses.

  • DEAR BILL BRAY, I take it from your comment that you think Christians should be able to smoke or drink if they desire. . .and live just like any other whenever they want to. Right? If that´s true, then let me say this: Christians that drink in moderation DO SO because they take Jesus Christ in moderation. Now let me ask you, is there ONE pot smoker who didn´t first smoke a cigarette at least one time in his life? I say no. IMPOSSIBLE!. AND, is there ONE alcoholic in HISTORY who can say that he just one day something happned and BOOM!, he turned into a full-blown alcoholic. . .without ever having drunk a beer or a glass of wine one day in his or her past? IMPOSSIBLE!!!! It just never, ever, ever, ever, happens. NOW. . .why ¨play with fire¨ as it were, and practice worldly habits without ever expecting there to be personal, spiritual, family, or career problems down the line? IF WE CLAIM TO BE SAVED, we´re to be IN THE WORLD, NOT OF THE WORLD. If there is NO DIFFERENCE between a Christian and the average non-Christian or non-Church attender, THEY WHY GO TO CHURCH? WHY CLAIM TO BE CHRISTIAN if you can´t even live by the simplest of godly-living issues we can see in the Bible? YES, BILL, IF YOU ARE SAVED YOU HAVE THE LIBERTY TO DO WHATEVER. . .BUT. . . if there is no difference in our lives that the WORLD can see in us, then why o why should we even bother to think about God, Christ, the Church, or any kind of a spiritually-related occupation? Have a nice day!

  • Actually, if you are saved you don’t have the liberty to do whatever. Your liberty is restricted in the same way that Adam’s and Eve’s liberty was restricted, which was to and by the law of God. Such a restriction on liberty isn’t arbitrary or unfair; it exists for a purpose – to protect people from sin and its consequences – from the logical and natural consequences experienced in the temporal realm (e.g. the sordid affair of David and Bathsheba, and the sorry train of events arising from it) to those experienced in the eternal, namely eternal death.
    When we are saved, it is from the penalty (eternal death) and power (bondage) of sin. Jesus lived and died to free us from both, and we must be free of both to be saved in His eternal kingdom (Romans 5 & 6). To abuse liberty as licence amounts to putting our Saviour to an open shame (Hebrews 6:4 – 6) and giving opportunity to His enemies to deride Him and His gospel.

  • Why is it becoming commonplace to tear from the Scriptures that does not suit our desires? Does the Word say that he who endures til the end shall be saved?
    Matt 10:22. Are we not told to come out from among them? To accept Christ it is necessary to reject whatever is contrary to Him.(Tozer) Who is behind our wanting to become like the world – nobody but satan. Just study the Word and it will be our guide in controversy such as this.

  • Come on people,wake up.The Lords return is so near,and the world is so wicked.The Holy Spirit is telling us(true Christians)to separate our selves from this evil world.There is no truth any more,and only by the leading of the Holy Spirit,these issues being discussed can come to light.

  • I heard a preacher talking about this, and he emphasized the part of the Bible is grey in this area…I guess we all do use different Bibles because He found over 120 verses in the Bible that talk about alcohol use-do we forget the most important “What know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, and ye are bought with a price and ye are not your own…” If our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost…why would we put alcohol in it and defile our bodies…What happened to Christians being separate? Lord help us

  • 1 Pet 2:16 [Act] as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but [use it] as bondslaves of God. Gal 5:13 For you were called to freedom , brethren; only [ do ] not [turn] your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this– not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. 14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. I quote these verses because they speak of a direction for our decision making. Are decisions to drink, dance, etc., leading towards Christ or away from Christ? Are these decisions acts of love of others, weaker others, such as our society, or are they acts of self-love without regard to their impact on others? We have been given the power in the Holy Spirit to love others as Christ loved and loves us. Let us use this gift of freedom to honor our Savior and his heart of love.

  • Pauline, I feel so bad that I haven’t been drinking at conferences. Everyone looks at me. I want everyone to like me. If I don’t drink they will not like me. Now I have a complex about it. I cannot be a good influence on anyone unless I am like THEM. Stop bothering ME. Get outta MY way. I’M going to the BAR, I need a drink…like everyone else! Oh, I feel better now. No one can distinguish me from any one else here. Time to shine…

  • Ah, good ol’ Evangelicals and their funny little taboos (a.k.a. unbiblical, man-made traditions!) This is a positive step for Moody, to be sure. Anecdotally, I would add that while still hanging out in Evangelical circles, I once started to pursue a job opening at MBI. Was in the process of filling out the application when I came across their ridiculous requirement for all staff & faculty to be teetotal. My pursuit stopped right there. No thanks! I’d much rather apply my talents to helping an organization that’s not bound by Pharisaical rules…

  • Josh, It is true that people do things in secret. But what happens when they no longer have to do them in secret? By lessening standards the adults of the Institute have no moral right to insist upon students saying no to alcohol and cigarettes while attending Moody. These activities could accelerate. As a pastor I see what these things do to people. It’s not pretty.
    I graduated from Moody in 2001. The first year I was there in 1997 was the first year that Moody ladies could wear pants.And now we are talking about alcohol and tobacco. Where will the next 15 yrs take us?

  • Chris, I graduated Moody in 2001. Since I was an older student and was already married with three children (Our fourth was born while at Moody. I call her, “our little Moody Miracle”. She’s 13 now and hates the nickname) I was able to go to movies since I lived off campus in Stickney,IL But I did keep to the code about drinking and cigarettes. One of the things I said to students who complained about the Student Life Guide is this, “Ok, you don’t like these rules, but remember this is just a small part of your life. You will someday leave here and can then choose what you want to do. Remember that Moody is giving you a tuition free education. So you have to decide if that is more important than these rules you want to break”. Some of those students understood what I was saying. It’s all about values. When I left Moody I didn’t have any student debt. Go ask somebody at a secular college who has $100k in debt and they might give up alcohol and cigs to wipe out their debt.

  • The problem with pulling scriptures like this is there are also scriptures that make it clear that Jesus made wine, drank wine, and Paul even instructed Timothy to drink wine “for his stomach.” How can you say that simply drinking alcohol defiles our bodies if Jesus and Timothy drank wine? If research shows that alcohol in moderation is very good for your health (and there are many studies that prove this) then even the issue of doing what is good for your body does not lead us to an absolute ban on alcohol. I really don’t drink alcohol, and have never been drunk. If a school wants to ban alcohol I don’t care (and I think it is a good idea to have a ban for students who are mostly immature). What I do care is if we misuse scripture.

  • D.L. Moody would roll over in his grave, instead of standing firm in the Word of God, we are now telling the younger generation, that sin is okay. When will we stand for the whole Gospel of God instead of just parts? This is so sad and disappointing to read. Wow no dances, big deal. We can never compromise God’s Holy Word.

  • I pray we have eyes to see and ears to hear what Jesus bids for true disciples to pick up their cross and follow Him. Jesus calls us to a life of self denial. A true follower of Christ is consumed with Him and focused on His will for our lives. If we are looking for how far we can go in our moral and social choices, I would encourage you to set your eyes on Christ and seek him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. God is not looking to make our lives miserable but that He would be our highest treasure and our complete satisfaction. He is faithful!!!

  • I appreciate your reciting some key verses from the Bible to relate to this topic. I think it is important to realize that the freedom Christ brings us is not to indulge in whatever we want, but rather, to be free to become all Christ wants us to be, and that includes glorifying Him in our bodies, and showing our love for others, even in what we do and say. Having graduated from Moody in 1971, I have seen many changes, not only at Bible Schools, but also in our churches. Sadly, my atheistic professor (1965) probably had it right when he said, ” The church acts as a brake in society – it holds back on a lot of vices – but it usually catches up with the rest of society in 5 years!” At the time, I felt very offended, because, after all, God’s Word does not change, so how would Christians change their morals? I am very concerned that the goal of many people (and even Christians) is to ‘fit in”, rather than following Paul’s admonishment to those who are the temple of God, “Come out from among them and be separate.” 2 Cor. 6:17 Every organization has rules, and for any Christian group, I think they should err on the ‘white’ side of gray areas, rather than on the “black” side of gray areas; not to say, how close can we get to what is acceptable in the ‘world’, but rather, how far can I stay away to keep my testimony (reflection of Christ) untarnished.

  • I attended another bible college not Moody. And from what I am reading.. I can say that I saw the same things.. especially with the porn and sex even in the dorm rooms. So this is everywhere not just Moody Bible college. God help us. WE NEED YOU LORD EVERY MINUTE WE BREATHE.

  • All I can say is WOW! I can’t believe the intense legalism that still destroys so many Christians is still so prevalent.

    Alcohol isn’t banned anywhere in the bible. We are instructed to not be drunkards, given to strong drink. That doesn’t even mean never get drunk, just don’t BE a drunk, ergo an alcoholic. If the body temple argument is valid against alcohol or tobacco then it would also be valid against obesity. Are obese people condemned because they’re fat? How about GMO’s?? Should Christians refuse to eat food produced with evil Monsanto seeds?

    Pornography defiles us, alcohol doesn’t. For many, alcohol leads to defiling acts and by definition they find themselves GIVEN to it. They should avoid it. To the Christians who fear tobacco or alcohol I say stay away from it, but stop creating division by condemning your brothers and sisters in Christ over it. Jesus would never have tempted others to sin which is exactly what would have happened if drinking wine was a sin.

    My heart aches for those who would be saved but for impression that Christianity is about bondage to rules rather than freedom from sin. They are not the same.

  • Dear Ron (and all those with similar comments), I’ve come back to this article a number of times. I know its old and I don’t know if you or any other have subscribed to the comments, but I find these comments so disturbing. I hope this reaches you.

    Yours represents the majority opinion here and you seem very passionate about it, but I would ask you something. How is it that you see outward actions like abstinence from alcohol or tobacco as more righteous than the attitudes of our hearts?

    I go to my first comment on this. If drinking alcohol was a sin then Jesus would have tempted guests at the wedding with sin since he turned the water into wine. God does not tempt anyone. To read your comment is to take away that you don’t believe a person who drinks or smokes can be saved, I remind you that Jesus was a friend of sinners, accused of being a drunk himself. I would also remind you that it’s not what goes in a man, rather it’s what comes out that defiles him. Alcohol can provoke a lot of defiling, but it can also be a healthy drink or even medicine.

    I don’t want to belittle your passion but your theology is destructive and not helpful at all. I can easily defend a Christian’s freedom to drink alcohol within the common sense Biblical guidelines. What I can’t do is understand how you and so many others assume the mantle of judging the hearts of fellow Christians when Jesus distinctly instructed us not to do so. Read Luke 6:37.

    There are many ways to show we are not of this world. I don’t think judging other Christians over this is one of them, in fact, I think it makes us look just like them. The freedom from sin has to do with the heart and our attitudes; thats what directs our actions. If your heart is fixed on Jesus then a drink won’t change that.

  • / Hi, RN. Here’s something different – found it lately while onlining away! /

    Left Behind’s Jerry Jenkins: Casino Hypocrite!

    by Bruce Rockwell

    Jerry Jenkins, board chairman of anti-casino gambling Moody Bible Institute, has been casino gambling while telling students they can’t!
    Jenkins (along with Tim LaHaye who’s been chummy with “blasphemous” Moonies!) knows how to make a fortune by promoting the pretribulation rapture!
    First, some background. As you may know, pretrib began in Scotland in 1830. The earliest developers, including Edward Irving and John Darby, admitted that it was then a totally new view that had never been part of any church’s theology.
    They also admitted that it had suddenly sprung from only OT and NT “types” and “symbols” and not from any clear Bible statement!
    As late as 1957, pretrib expert John Walvoord admitted in “The Rapture Question” (p. 148) that “pretribulationism” is NOT “an explicit teaching of Scripture”!
    Since the early 1900s pretrib has been sold by novelists like Sydney Watson (in 1913) and by Salem Kirban whose “Left Behind”-type novel “666” came out in 1970 – the same year Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth” started breaking sales records.
    The very first rapture novel titled “Left Behind” came from the joint pens of Peter and Patti Lalonde in mid-1995 before LaHaye (and Jenkins) later came up with their novel title: “Left Behind”!
    The pretrib rapture view, which admittedly is only an “inference” and not “explicit,” rests basically on verses in John 14, I Thess. 4, and I Cor. 15, none of which have either a “taken/left” separation or exciting, nail-biting scenarios that can “sell” pretrib.
    An aspiring writer can go to Revelation’s action-packed chapters instead and realize they can be tied to end time details found basically in the Olivet Discourse.
    As you may know, pretribs believe in two stages; Stage 1 is the pretrib rapture which supposedly occurs several years before Stage 2 which is the posttrib second coming to earth.
    Since the three “rapture” chapters listed above don’t have any clear rapture-type separation between the “righteous” and the “wicked,” the best launching pad if one wants to be a bestselling author is “the one shall be taken, and the other left” phrase in Matt. 24:40, 41 and Luke 17:34-36.
    Trouble is, Dr. Walvoord and many other pretrib leaders declare that the “one taken” refers to the “wicked” taken in judgment while the “righteous” are left! But since the average pew-sitters don’t seem to know this, one can easily convince them that the “one taken” is a sort of code for an any-moment pretrib rapture!
    And pew-sitters don’t know that Walvoord etc. also teach that the same phrase is part of “non-imminent” Stage 2 which is posttrib (and not pretrib) and is on “Jewish” (and not “Church”) ground!
    In order to preserve and emphasize Stage 1 (the pretrib rapture), pretrib merchandisers in recent decades have been quietly stretching forward various aspects found in Stage 2 and applying them to Stage 1. Aspects include “the day of the Lord,” “God’s wrath,” “the taken/left phrase,” “the unknown day and hour,” and Christ’s coming “as a thief” (which in the Bible is always tied to Armageddon and other posttrib events).
    (For more on the above Google “The Correct Answer to Who’s Taken” etc. on Joe Ortiz’s blog of Apr. 12, 2010. Also Google “Pretrib Rapture Stealth.”)
    LaHaye and Jenkins, well aware of everything in this revealing paper, have used the pretrib rapture to break all-time sales records and make millions of dollars that are destined to be left behind!
    For more on them and their partners, Google “The ‘Left Behind’ Rupture,” “LaHaye’s Temperament,” “Jerry Jenkins Apologizes for Being Seen Gambling in Casinos,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Walvoord Melts Ice,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism,” “Evangelicals Use Occult Deception,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Letter from Mrs. Billy Graham,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics” and “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty.”
    In closing let me say that Jeremiah 17:11 warns that “he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.”
    And you can bet on this!