Thursday, March 17, 2005

They serve beer, too

Md. Church Rethinks Liquor License:
The elders of Evangel Cathedral in Upper Marlboro have withdrawn an application to serve alcohol at their new banquet hall after a state lawmaker raised questions about the propriety of a church holding a liquor license.

The application to the Prince George's County Liquor Control Board was submitted in January by caterer Frederick Johnson, who was hired by Evangel to operate "Camelot of Upper Marlboro" in a newly renovated building that once served as the church's Family Life Center. The church's address, 13901 Central Ave., is listed on the application.

On Tuesday, Del. Joanne C. Benson (D-Prince George's), chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees the county liquor board, said the application raised a "red flag."

"We now have a church in Prince George's County doing something that goes completely against the grain of our ministers and our churches," Benson said. "It is one thing to have a banquet hall. It is another thing to have another outlet for alcohol."

It is indeed, but perhaps not for the reason the Delegate states. Listen to a description of the program:

"Johnson, president of Effie's Catering, said he understood the church's request. "We are on holy ground and we are going to be obedient to overseers of the house," he said. He said he still planned to run a 'premier facility.'

A brochure included with Evangel's application said the banquet hall would rival Martin's Crosswinds and La Fountain Bleu, two of the county's top venues for large events.

Evangel's application came at a time of growing concern among county leaders about the proliferation of so-called mega-churches and their impact on neighborhoods and the county's tax base. Evangel moved to Prince George's from the District in 1991 and opened a $22 million, 2,350-seat sanctuary in Upper Marlboro 10 years later."

This is more than a fellowship hall writ large. More likely, it's an economic development program; it may generate revenues for the church, and perhaps provide a place for unemployed members to work. In other words, it's perilously close to a straight-up business, minus the tax burden.

If I were an elected official, I'd be concerned about that too.

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Christian who is worn out by the hypocrisy of other “so-called” followers of Christ; I am shocked and dismayed that this news even hit the papers. It is true that the catering company for the banquet facility applied for a liquor license -- for the ability to serve wine. This is not condemned in the Bible.

The first mention of Jesus performing miracles was at a wedding where he turned water into wine. The Bible does not condemn the drinking of wine, it warned about over drinking.... I know many Christians who order a glass with dinner (or have a bottle or 2 in their homes). To name this section "They serve beer, too" is a slap in the face and equally uncalled for. Those in glass houses should not throw stones.

Reporters look for the bad … Christians should not be fueling the fire. This sounds more like a political agenda in the making. It forces me to keep my eyes open that much more for Christians in government and places of worldly power --- and this shouldn't be so, especially since I am a Christian. Are we helping Satan in his fight against God’s people? Where is the Christian code of honor?

One principle in following Christ is to go to your fellow man and tell him when he is off the mark -- not make a public mockery of nonsense. As Christians we are suppose to be our brother's keeper - I guess that does not mean much in these times. There are all sorts of things going on in the world and you chose the request to serve wine at weddings to make the top news. Lord Help Us!!!


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