As a general rule, I don't respond to completely anonymous comments, but I will to this one as it is of some interest:
So, is this post actually the launch of a quest to have Asbury's temperance policy changed?
Background: Asbury Theological Seminary has an ethos statement that addresses the moral community that Asbury wishes to be. Students, faculty, and staff are expected and required to maintain it. This seminary, though it produces many United Methodist elders and deacons, is not a United Methodist seminary. It originated from the 19th Century Holiness movement, and a holiness emphasis is present throughout seminary life -- at least here on the Florida Campus; I can't speak about the Kentucky Campus.
Among its most controversial requirements for personal holiness is a prohibition on alcoholic beverages. Many students find this irritating and have written and spoken at length about how the prohibition limits witnessing and erects a legalistic concept of the Christian faith which cannot be supported Biblically.
These arguments have merit, but I think that the prohibition should stay in place. There are negative consequences to the ban on alcohol, but there would be even greater downsides to open permission to drink -- and the absence of a ban constitutes permission. What prevents a student or faculty member from drinking himself into unconsciousness in a bar? What recourse does the seminary have to uphold the moral witness of Christians affiliated with the seminary?
Drinking alcoholic beverages is not a sin. Drunkenness, however, is. But banning drunkenness is too vague, too unclear a standard to enforce. Banning the consumption of alcohol is enforceable by the individual student or instructor or the community at large.
What would Asbury life be like if we didn't have an ethos statement? I'm speaking speculatively because I've never attended any other seminary. Dr. Bob Tuttle has told me stories of open, brazen cohabitation among Garrett-Evangelical students. That is unlikely to happen at Asbury without some confrontation by the school, in large part due to the legal mechanism of the ethos statement.
The alcohol ban causes problems, but Asbury is better off with it than without it.