Churches Of Christ/OWNING A JAZZ LOUNGE

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Question
QUESTION: BRO. ROBERSON,WHAT IS THE MEANING OF REVELATION 1:20 WHERE IT TALKS ABOUT THE MYSTERY OF THE SEVEN STARS IN CHRIST'S RIGHT HAND?

         THANK YOU
         BRO.JAMES HARRIS

ANSWER: Hello James,

The last part of chapter one sets up chapters 2 and 3 by telling us that the Son of Man holds the seven churches and moves among them. The idea of Revelation is that, despite persecution, God remains both aware of and with the churches that he is going to speak to in the next two chapters specifically, but the whole book as well.

The Son of Man can judge or uphold the churches because he holds them and is close enough to remove their lampstands based on their responses to Him.

Does that help?

Hoyt


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: DEAR BRO. ROBERSON,

        FROM A SCRIPTUAL VIEW, CAN A BROTHER IN THE CHURCH OF CHRIST OWN A JAZZ LOUNGE? I DO NOT DRINK, BUT THE COSTUMERS WILL. I HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO OWN THIS TYPE OF BUSINESS. IS IT WRONG OR SINFUL TO OWN A BUSINESS LIKE THIS? I READ PROVERBS 31:6 AND 1PETER 4:3. I REALLY VALUE YOUR OPINION.

         THANK YOU,
         BRO.JAMES HARRIS

Answer
James,

Your question has a variety of aspects which prevents an easy and concise question.

Can a member of the Churches of Christ own a jazz lounge? The short answer is, "yes."

But that's not the whole story and may not be the whole answer.

Scripture does not condemn alcohol consumption, but does condemn getting drunk. Therefore, serving alcohol isn't wrong and if you train your staff to look for those who are or are getting drunk, you should be fine. While you cannot control others' behaviors, some states have laws against serving intoxicated patrons, so you'll want to watch that.

Further, I suspect we wouldn't be having this conversation if you were going to open a corporate branded grocery store which would sell a variety of alcoholic drinks on their shelves. No one would think anything about it.

What isn't so clear is your local situation. How would owning the lounge impact the congregation's and community's view of you? How would it affect your witness for God in your community? If your standing in the community would take a substantial hit, then opening a lounge may not be the best course - in your case.

That is the bottom line to this question - what is the likely impact to your witness for God to your neighbors? If the answer to that is, "not much," then there is no Biblical argument against opening the lounge.

Hope that helps

Thanks for writing.

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Hoyt Roberson

Expertise

I can answer just about any doctrinal, relational, or Scriptural question from a "traditional" church of Christ perspective, and from perspectives of somewhat more progressive congregations. If you want an answer from a particular perspective, let me know that up front, and I'll respond in that vein. If you want to peg me on the liberal-conservative spectrum, I would suggest a bit left of center. Depending on the question though, I might be far left, or perhaps rather toward the right.

Experience

I have fifty years as a member of Churches of Christ. Over those five decades, I have taught teen classes, adult classes, served as a deacon and congregational administrator, Lay Leader at two military congregations, and finally as a shepherd of a 500 member congregation. Most of the congregations I have been a member of have been "mainline" congregations, but I am quite familiar with more conservative and more liberal congregations and views as well. I read and subscribe to various books and periodicals for churches of Christ, and have discussed a variety of topics with representatives of our various groups both in person, and via mail. One of my Masters degrees is from Pepperdine, so let that guide your understanding of my formal training.

Organizations
Christian Association for Psychological Studies, American Association of Christian Counselors, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Publications
www.robersonblog.blogspot.com

Education/Credentials
I hold a Masters of Ministry degree from Pepperdine University, as well as a Masters of Counseling degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Phoenix.

Awards and Honors
The greatest temporal honor I have had is to be an elder for ten years. The next greatest temporal honor is having been asked to preach for our current congregation.

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