Letter: Morality side of liquor issue should be addressed as well
The local community is made up of all the folks that live and work in it. The community includes the retired, the disabled, the widowed, the orphaned, the unemployed, those living on the streets, those sick and in need of assistance, and, yes, those who visit.
There has never been and never will be a question that does not include morality. The question of liquor by the drink has an economic side covered in very professional ads for three elections now. Let me speak to the moral side.
The United Methodist Church has an official statement: “Alcohol and other drugs — We affirm our long standing support of abstinence from alcohol as a faithful witness to God’s liberating and redeeming love for persons.”
The total community includes the communities of faith. We are together in this world trying to help create a community that Jehovah, The Creator of this world, would approve of. We are only the stewards of His world. He asks us daily to “deny yourselves and take up the cross and follow Christ.”
Just because we might want something or benefit by something, we cannot overlook God’s call upon the people He created. God placed the Church in the world to proclaim His Words.
This Methodist Church in Pigeon Forge has been drawn into the battle: Within a short time after I preached my first anti-liquor message, the City of Pigeon Forge all of a sudden said our little church had to have a permit for anything we did outside on our own property. I was told serving communion, praying, VBS, or a Baptism outside needed a permit. They have since recanted in enforcing but have not changed the ordinance, after many calls from parishioners to City Hall.
The second sermon against liquor by the drink brought a City of Pigeon Forge employee to the parsonage to remove a “Vote no” sign from my yard the next day. Now some of the restaurants that have been partnering with us on our Wednesday Community Meals have quit helping with supplies to serve the homeless. Now maybe that is all a coincidence?
We will all be here in this community after the election. We will be the ones left in this community after all the tourists have gone home. You may totally disagree with me on this issue. But know this. I will love you the day after.
The pastors, churches, and all Christians are not responsible for the outcome of this election, just how we represent Christ as His Ambassadors! We love Christ and we love all in this community. Please don’t try to intimidate or hush the prophets of today. I would rather have the favor of the Lord than all the money in the world.
Are we building the City that Jesus Christ will be proud of when He comes for His Children? For He is coming again!
Pastor Denny Ford
First United Methodist Church