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Brandon Barthrop on Being “Drunk on the Glory”

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.


5 Responses

  1. If I recall correctly, wasn’t it the harlot who had a cup of wine her hand? And didn’t the Lord say that he would send strong delusion and make them drunk in his anger? From what I see, I see a table of devils (nothing to do with Pentacost). I don’t see anyone talking about repentance, partaking in the sufferings of our Lord, striving for holiness, or the sovereignty of God.

    It is the Lord who sends this strong delusion, so that they may believe a lie. Pray that, as God hands them over to the lie, that he also calls many of them out and into the wilderness in order to purge them of this nonsense. Perhaps a firm Fatherly chastening will purge out all of that delusional alcohol which is so readily welcomed nowadays. God have mercy on this nation for exporting this kind of gospel to poor places where people give up their food money to the wolves who preach this nonsense.
    The Lord called me out of Babylon about 2 years ago. I am thankful that he brought me and many others out of the harlot city, and into a desolate wilderness.

  2. Josh, you are absolutely right in what you’ve said. Men like Brandon Barthrop and John Crowder preach a false gospel absent of repentance, holiness, and the atoning work of Christ. All they can offer in its place is some kind of breath-induced, temporary high. They trade brilliant gems for dull stones.

    The image of the cup and the wine contained therein universally represent God’s judgment and wrath towards sin. Even Christ Himself makes use of this symbolism while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. I find it almost ironic that these false teachers would highlight verses such as these to argue their point.

    I too wish the Lord would cleanse, even purge, our nation of this spiritual rot. Like a tumor, these blasphemous and evil teachings need to be promptly removed and tossed aside. It cannot be allowed to continue.

  3. Everything you say is right. I get so grieved by the condition of our nation. What is even worse, is when you express the fact that you even grieve at it’s condition, people are so unwilling to hear anything you have to say. It usually results in scorn or some kind of scolding.
    I am a veteran. I was once proud of my country because it once said no to homosexuality, corruption, corrupt talk on TV and radio, and respect for hard work. Just in the last 10 years, I have noticed an exponential increase in carelessness and idleness in both arenas (Christian and the world). My TV is currently just sitting on my furniture chest, unplugged. The only thing I watch is DVDs if I ever get any. I work a lot on my computer doing research, articles for websites, or for my own website. If I turn on the TV, I know that I will get nothing but garbage (unless I watch National Geographic or the Discovery Channel of course).
    And then I could go on about how the dumbing down of our nation’s youngsters in the form of third person war games. It takes very little brain power to destroy and mutilate another human being. Makes being a killer or a soldier seem easy, convenient, and fun. Especially in god mode, huh? Big sin to play or endorse these games don’t think? They only glorify violence and war. They also sear (did I spell that right?) the conscience of our children…..Like it is fun or cool to destroy…. Modern day Chaldean (warrior) mindset…………….

  4. Brandon- Penny, we love you.. get help.. you guys are out of control and going to die physically and spiritually if don’t. Auntie Pady

  5. Pady,

    I’m not sure how to respond to that.

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