Brandon Barthrop, founder of Red Letter Ministries, tells us why being “drunk on the glory” is scriptural.
There is not a shred of Biblical evidence in this video. What he does take from the Bible is twisted and contorted into what Brandon wants it to be. He first cites Acts 2, where the disciples received the Holy Spirit and were regarded by mockers to be as drunk men.
I wanted to first examine the allegation that Peter and his fellow preachers were drunk in some form. Here’s the text in question:
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? “And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs–we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.”
(Acts 2:1-13, NASB)
In his video, Brandon uses this text to justify being “drunk on the glory”. Critical problems arise with this interpretation, however. First, Peter and the other disciples were not exhibiting drunken behavior. Just the opposite, in fact. Very soberly and clearly, they preached the Gospel and three thousand were converted that day (Acts 2:41). Furthermore, each recipient heard all the preaching in his or her own language, not the nonsensical and slurred ramblings of drunk men. Contrast the perspicuity of one of the longest sermons in Scripture (Acts 2:14-36) with the drunken behavior exemplified in the video below:
This video represents what it means to be “whacked”. Whacked indeed. Is this the sad state that Brandon Barthrop advocates us being in? Is this what he suggests Peter and the others were behaving like? Does he truly believe that unless a believer acts like this, they aren’t saved? It would appear so.
Besides the fact that there is no evidence that Peter and the other disciples were preaching in a drunken stupor, another problem comes about when attempting to use Acts 2 to justify acting drunkenly in the name of worship. The issue lies in that Peter did not describe himself as being drunk, but rather those who were mocking the work of Christ did. Revilers during the speech on the Day of Pentecost were attempting to publicly discredit the disciples by accusing them of being “full of sweet wine” (Acts 2:13). It was slanderous and intended to drive those listening away. The disciples did not claim it for themselves. Furthermore, Peter afterward addresses the mockers and refutes their claim that the Holy Spirit filled believers were drunk (Acts 2:15).
Even so, a litany of other verses instruct that the believer is to conduct him or herself in an orderly and sober fashion. One such verse, Ephesians 5:18, clearly prohibits drunkenness. Paul does not advocate drunken behavior while being “filled with the Spirit”. In verse 19, he further explains what he meant: “…speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” In no way is there any indication that being filled with the Spirit means acting like you’re hammered.
The second proof-text Brandon offers is Isaiah 29:9: “Be delayed and wait, blind yourselves and be blind; they become drunk, but not with wine, they stagger, but not with strong drink” (NASB). Brandon’s use of this verse is among the worst scripture-twisting I have ever run across. The prophet here is not referring to being drunk in the Spirit. He is talking about the spiritual blindness of the people of Israel. Their figurative blindness and drunkenness were judgments from God because they had not trusted in Him and instead turned to religious harlotry.
The other referenced verse from Isaiah is from chapter 51. Verse 21 reads: “Therefore, please hear this, you afflicted, who are drunk, but not with wine…”. This proof-text is actually even more twisted than the last. Here’s the verse in proper context:
I have put My words in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, “You are My people.”
Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the LORD’S hand the cup of His anger; the chalice of reeling you have drained to the dregs.
There is none to guide her among all the sons she has borne, nor is there one to take her by the hand among all the sons she has reared.
These two things have befallen you; who will mourn for you? The devastation and destruction, famine and sword; how shall I comfort you?
Your sons have fainted, they lie helpless at the head of every street, like an antelope in a net, full of the wrath of the LORD, the rebuke of your God.
Therefore, please hear this, you afflicted, who are drunk, but not with wine: Thus says your Lord, the LORD, even your God who contends for His people, “Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of reeling, the chalice of My anger; you will never drink it again.”
“I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, who have said to you, ‘Lie down that we may walk over you.’ You have even made your back like the ground and like the street for those who walk over it.”
(Isaiah 51:16-23, NASB)
In honestly viewing this text, does the prophet Isaiah mention even the slightest reference to anything resembling being “drunk on the glory”? Absolutely not! The only thing Israel is drunk off of is God’s wrath! That is what is being framed here. Not a single reference to some kind of drunken and sinful form of worship exists. And no doubt Brandon knows this.
How is it that Brandon can be this wrong? The only two options are that he is either incredibly deceived or being duplicitous himself. Both would qualify this man for a public marking and separation from the Body of Christ.