46%, 9 years old, @angels_portion, angelsportion, benromach, church, drive-thru, lutheran, peat smoke 2005, review, scotch, theology, thoma, Whiskey, whisky
Walking up to the counter, the visitor scanned the wall as if looking for something in particular.
“Can I help you, sir?” the kindly woman behind the counter offered with a genuine smile.
“Yeah, sure,” he started, still looking up at the wall behind the attending greeter. “I was looking for your menu.”
“Our menu?” the woman asked, her smile becoming more of a forced grin.
“Yeah, so, I was cruising by,” the visitor explained, “and I saw the place, so I figured I would stop in and order up a few things, but I don’t see your menu. Maybe you have a printed menu. Is there a printed menu I can look at?”
Her grin beginning to fade, the attendant was genuinely puzzled, “I’m not sure what you mean. A menu?”
“Yeah, I want to place an order,” the visitor said, “but before I do, I want to see the menu.”
“Sir,” the woman said carefully, “I’m confused. We don’t have a menu. Are you sure you’re in the right place?”
“This is a church, isn’t it?” he asked pointedly.
“Well, I’ve got some things I’ve been putting off that I need to get together so I figured I’d get going on a few of them.”
“I’m sorry, but are you a member here?”
“Oh, no,” he said, “I’m not a member anywhere.” And then lifting his finger up to his chin, with a contemplative tapping, he continued, “Okay, so, I guess I’ll just go ahead and place my order. How about, let’s see… How about a baptism? Well, actually, you better make that two. And by the way, which is it these days? Is it ‘baptism’ or ‘christening’? Are those the same thing? I guess it doesn’t matter. Anyway… give me two of those… and I suppose I’ll go ahead and take a wedding, too. Let’s just hold off on the funeral, though. That’s not really something you can plan so I’ll stop back by when I need it.”
“Sir,” the woman said, painting another obligatory grin on her face, “let me get the pastor.”
And so the story goes these days. The church is a fast food restaurant.
I blame the clergy for this. So many are willing to do or say anything and everything in order to pacify critics and display the church as desirably relevant all the while selling her soul and compromising the substance of her confession. If you are one of these clergy folk, cut it out. You’re turning the bride of Christ into a prostitute, and that, my friend, won’t end well for you.
I’m doing what I can to wage war against this. The engagement happens primarily by making sure that those who are faithful understand that the culture war has pretty much been lost and that this particular challenge bearing down upon the church is but a fraction of the contests coming our way. In all of this, we stand firm. Sound doctrine and practice is then the only steady ground in a land of shifting sand.
Relatively small in comparison, the challenge that I described above finds itself more endurable after a sip from a good whisky. The nerves calm. The frustration subsides. The person making the fast-food demand becomes one to be led into a much better way rather than being seen as an annoyance trumpeting the steady decline into the depths that will one day be recorded as the end of man.
In particular, the Benromach Peat Smoke edition (2005) can be accounted as a whisky to serve well in such situations.
The nose of this poteen is delightfully calming, giving way to a bowl of sun-soaked bananas and apricots sprinkled with honey glaze and sitting beside a small fire of peat bricks, the corners of which are just beginning to glow.
The palate has almost a sweet beer-like maltiness, except it isn’t thin like beer, but rather is comes by way of an oily resin that coats the mouth. The smoke is there – neither subdued nor dominant, but incredibly well balanced and bringing along the sense that the fire is about to get hotter.
The finish – a medium stoke – pulls back on the heat and leaves a nip or two of lemon, pepper, and ripened banana.
Fellow clergy folks, you’d do well to keep a bottle of this on hand for those “just in case” moments when the church and the world collide as a result of a rather obvious ignorance. For all others, let the Benromach Peat Smoke edition be a pleasurable edition to your cabinet and serving as a visual reminder that the church in your neighborhood is not a fast food drive-thru. And just because you desire something from this little band of “giving” folks who’ve been around quite literally since the beginning of time, this does not mean you have the slightest chance in hell – the same hell against which that little church fights – of getting it. It might not make sense to you, but neither does going to your local Boy Scout troop and demanding the highest award for your son who only managed to attend one gathering, and that was three years ago. “Friend,” they’ll probably say, “let me tell you a better way.”
I’d like to take a stab at an idea and open myself up to gentle rebuke.
In a consumer culture, what are the Gods? The products.
In Acts 17, how does Paul engage with those who worship foreign deities? He finds a deity he can use as a springboard for discussion.
In a consumer culture where goods are gods and Baptism is the good that is perceived as being for sale, might that not be the perfect time to be thankful for an opportunity to introduce the culture to the Unknown God they have not yet rightly understood?
I understand the frustration. But by their own reason or strength, they cannot believe. Let’s be thankful for the opportunity and trust the Holy Spirit to do mighty things during what the culture sees as another trip to the mall.
Just had a taste of the Benromach Hermitage. I was well pleased.
First time responder. Love the blog. I share your Scoresby article with anyone who is willing to talk whisky; it makes me laugh out loud every time.
Rest assured, each opportunity is approached this way, and I am thankful for each and every interaction, thus the “Let me go get the pastor” comment rather than “Get out of here, you heathen!” And your “Third Article” reference is indeed true. Thanks for the comment.
And thank you again for the blog. L’chaim!
I used to think the biggest difference between contemporary evangelism and St. Paul’s missionary journeys is that most contemporaries have already been exposed to the Gospel and have rejected it while it was presented completely new to the Athenians and other people groups of the First Century. Now I’m more inclined to believe that the Gospel has been so corrupted and maligned by today’s prevailing pop-culture that many obstacles must first be overcome before a postmodern will lend an ear to hear; i.e., he has a built-in bias from the get-go. Speaking of obstacles – thanks in large part to all the pseudo Christian churches out there that have confused Law and Gospel or made God out to be a genie or some cosmic slot machine. Thanks to the snake handlers; thanks to the haters Baptist church; thanks to the moralists who pile on law; thanks to the Antinomians who ignore it completely; thanks to the churches who reject infant baptism; thanks to those who relegate the Lord’s Supper to the backbench of irrelevance; thanks to all the religions that focus on the self and what man must do to be saved or otherwise become an uber Christian. You faux Christ followers know who you are. It is against all earthly odds that God brings to faith those whom it pleases Him according to the purpose of his will.