This past week I was on a business trip to Montgomery, Alabama when my friend Tim and I went to a bar and grill called Tower Taproom. For the entrepreneurs and innovators out there you would love what they have done and there is some great opportunity in this al a cart setup. They had 46 taps, 42 of which were different types of beer, 4 were wines and 2 were waters and you paid by the ounce. Check out pour my beer to learn more.
I honestly cannot stand the taste of beer or coffee for that fact. They are both acquired tastes and apparently I’m not very acquired. Anyways I thought with 42 beers on tap there must be one that I might like the taste of and you can get as much or as little as you like. So I found a very fruity one that tasted like apple cider and I sat down and chatted with Tim while we waited on our food.
While we waited for our food a young couple sat down next to us as we were sitting in the shared seating section. Our food arrived shortly after they sat down and I bowed to pray quietly in my head and as soon as I bowed my head the man sitting next to us started to pray out loud. It startled me at first as I was silently praying and was the exact moment I bowed my head so I looked up quickly and saw that he was holding his wife’s hands and they were praying and thanking God for their food and their day. I smiled very big and bowed my head again as this is exactly how my wife and I pray together on our dates nights. I then proceeded to wait for him to stop praying of which I said a big AMEN at the end!
He of course laughed a bit and then we introduced ourselves and come to find out he is a priest at a local Anglican church called Christchurch. I found out his name was Andrew and his wife Mimi and we began to chat. I explained how I had never had a beer with a priest before and I gave him kudos for not judging others and for praying with his wife in pubic. He then raised his glass said “cheers” as we clanked our beer mugs together. He also invited me to come to his Bible study entitled Brews & The Bible, in which they meet in a local bar on Monday nights and discuss the Bible. We discussed a bit about this is what Jesus did by going to the lost. Many associate sin with drinking, but rather this sin is in the drunkenness not the drinking itself. In fact there is specific scripture about drinking a little wine for your stomach and for crying out loud Jesus’ first miracle was turning water in to wine.
Some would like to stay completely away from alcohol due to a family addiction or “appearing” evil or sinful. Obviously if the people you are with think it is wrong to drink alcohol you should not drink around them, similar to eating meat scriptures. However, those people do not normally hang around bars so I think you should be good to love and live like Jesus by having a beer or two in a bar 🙂
I told a family member recently who was warning me on the problems with alcohol, that I limit myself to one or two drinks, if I even drink at all and I explained that I look more like Jesus when I do this in a bar setting because I do not come across as judging or condemning. Oh and do not give me a lecture on drinking a beer with a friend until you have sat down next to a comrade in arms after losing 4 of your friends in combat. Believe me that is not the time to judge or condemn someone by being holier than though and not sharing a drink with them especially when they need to talk so badly. I hate the taste of beer, but in that situation it is the right thing to do. If you are an addict this is a different topic altogether. Oh but Tony you say, “you do not have to drink and you can still have the same effect on them and love them like Jesus without drinking with them.” Again shut your judging face unless you have been where I have been and walked where I have walked. I am happy to hear your opinions on drinking if you have been in combat and lost friends in combat. If not…shut it. If you are an addict and struggled with alcoholism that is completely different and then gives you an opportunity to share your testimony of coming out of that addition and what God is doing in your life. Off my soapbox.
Okay back to the lighter side of the story. Andrew and his wife ended up inviting us to worship that coming Sunday. I had never been to an Anglican church before. It was very interesting. They also sang a few songs I knew, which was nice. The really neat part was that Andrew preached on “Knowing God.” If you follow my blog you know this is a specific topic near and dear to my heart. If you haven’t read my post on knowing God you can read the post entitled “Do you know anyone famous?” here.
So today I will ask you a few questions and challenge you a bit.
Have you ever had a beer with a priest?
Have you ever had a Bible study in a bar or even considered it?
Are you too concerned about what others would think of you if you did this?
What other dark places can you shine the light of Christ?
Go find some sick people…