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      Beers, Brothers, and Bible Study

      During our vacation, we stayed with my sister-in-law and her family for a couple of days in Columbia, SC.  It was fun to catch up with my nieces and to get a glimpse into the lives of our extended family.

      As part of the visit, I was invited to attend a men’s Bible study group where they were discussing the attributes of a Biblical man and husband.  The discussion was interesting, and I definitely left the meeting challenged to step up in my role as a husband.

      But there was something else that happened at the meeting that really got me thinking.  As the men were filing into the house where we met, we small talked about the newest Burger joint to open up in Columbia, the latest happenings in their church community, and the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State latest news.  As the small talk continued, the host came out with cookies and chips.  And then two six packs of beer emerged from the kitchen that were strategically placed by the chips.

      As the meeting started, a few guys grabbed a beer without a second thought.  Not everyone participated in the beer, and it was certainly not forced on anyone nor was it the focus of the meeting.  I just thought it was a great way for guys to be guys – a way to help some guys feel a bit more comfortable with the group.

      I’m not sure if there’s any Biblical evidence, but I suspect there would be wine or other alcoholic beverages when Jesus gathered with his disciples.  Can’t you just see Peter commenting to John about the great taste of the 4 B.C. wine?

      I realize that this could be somewhat controversial for some.  After all, the Bible clearly states that we shouldn’t do anything that causes another brother or sister to stumble.  So having beer or wine at a small group meeting could be somewhat risky.  But I also wonder if the risk is worth it people who are far from God are drawn one step closer to Him, because they feel comfortable and welcomed by a group of guys doing what guys do – talking about sports, drinking a beer, and talking about things that matter.

      What do you think?  Have you ever had beer at your small group meeting?