Beverage Alcohol

1988 Church of the Brethren Statement

We, the Bassett Church of the Brethren of Virlina district, assembled in congregation business meeting on August 17, 1986 petition the district conference of Virlina district held at the Christiansburg Church of the Brethren on November 14 and 15, 1986, to consider carefully our concern and pass it on to Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren to be held at Cincinnati, Ohio, June 30-July 5, 1987.

WHEREAS, we are constantly being exposed to television, radio, magazine, and bill board advertisements or commercials designated to sell beer, wine, and liquor, and since we are taught to be total abstainers from the use of beverage alcohol; and

WHEREAS, many deaths on the highways are due to drinking, and more is being learned about this deadly drug; and

WHEREAS, it is a leading factor in broken homes and trouble with the law (statistics show that about 80 percent of all convicted persons in local jails are connected with beverage alcohol abuse);

Therefore, we believe that we need to respond to our biblical calling by:

  1. requesting the federal government to ban advertisements on television and radio and in print; and
  2. becoming more involved, as Brethren in teaching and preaching the biblical truth about beverage alcohol as applied to today’s spiritual and social circumstances.

We request Annual Conference to appoint a committee to study and recommend action on the concern of this query.

Ralph M. Stone, Church Board Chairman
Linda R. Stout, Church Clerk

The statistics used in the query were given by Richard Morris, Chaplain of the Henry County Jail Ministry.

Action of the Virlina District Board appointed a study committee in lieu of presenting the query to the 1986 Virlina District Conference. After study of earlier actions of Annual Conference regarding alcohol, their conclusion was that it was appropriate for the query to go to Annual Conference. It is the district board’s recommendation to the 1987 district conference that the query be approved for passing on to 1988 Annual Conference.

Action of Virlina District Conference November 14, 1987: Approved and passed to the 1988 Annual Conference

Glenn Kinsel, Moderator
Betty Humbert, Recording Secretary

Action of the 1988 Annual Conference: Barbara McCann a Standing Committee delegate from the district of Virlina, presented the recommendation from Standing Committee for the query, BEVERAGE ALCOHOL Standing Committee acknowledges that alcohol is one of many drugs abused today and recommends to the 1988 Annual Conference that the concerns of the query be adopted and implemented in the following ways:

  • that Annual Conference Officers convey to federal government officials our desire that all advertising of alcoholic beverages be banned;
  • that the 1976 statement on alcohol (urging abstinence) be affirmed;
  • that the General Board’s effort is through the Brethren Health and Welfare Association’s Substance Abuse Task Force be affirmed and lifted up;
  • and that our preaching and teaching make use of those resources and others to educate our people about the dangers of drugs.

The delegate body of the 1988 Annual Conference adopted the recommendation of Standing Committee.