California Pastor Warns Against ‘Flaunting Liberties’ After Perry Noble Fired for Alcohol Abuse

Idleman-compressedANDERSON, S.C. — In light of Perry Noble’s recent firing from South Carolina’s NewSpring Church over admitted alcohol abuse, a pastor in California is sharing about his personal struggle with alcohol and warning Christian leaders not to “flaunt” their perceived personal liberties.

As previously reported, Executive Pastor Shane Duffey announced to the NewSpring congregation on Sunday that Noble had been removed as senior pastor effective July 1. Duffey stated that Noble “had made unfortunate choices and decisions that have caused much concern” and made him “no longer qualified to serve as pastor.”

He also read a statement written by Noble, who expressed his remorse for his life choices.

Noble
Noble

“I never had a problem drinking alcohol socially, but in the past year or so I have allowed myself to slide into, in my opinion, the overuse of alcohol,” he said. “This was a spiritual and moral mistake on my part as I began to depend on alcohol for my refuge instead of Jesus and others.”

“I have no excuse; this was wrong, sinful and I am truly sorry,” Noble continued. “For those who are disappointed in me, let me assure you no one is more disappointed in me than myself. I realize that I cannot continue to do effective ministry if this issue in my personal life is not adequately addressed.”

Noble also posted a video message to social media on Wednesday, during which he advised that he will be checking into a treatment facility.

“I am taking steps to get better,” he said. “I am serious about fighting for my wife and my daughter, and I am serious about following Jesus. That has not changed.”

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Noble said that he believes NewSpring made the right decision to remove him as pastor, noting that as a result, “God has gotten my attention.”

In light of the news report about Noble’s abuse of alcohol, Shane Idleman, pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, is now sharing his own story and the lesson he learned from behind the pulpit—as he too once viewed alcohol as a liberty.

“Alcohol is a dangerous liberty,” he wrote in an article for the Christian Post. “I learned this lesson the hard way, even as a Christian involved in ministry.”

“I could have a beer or two on special occasions, but because of my past problem with alcohol as a young adult, the addiction was always ready to take hold of me again. It took an embarrassing situation, and a subsequent relapse for me to realize that my supposed ‘liberty’ was really an opportunity to awaken a dormant addiction,” Idleman outlined.

“I apologized to those I affected. I also told my wife and a few trusted friends that I could no longer exercise this liberty; it was too easy to digress beyond the boundaries of responsibility,” he explained. “God used this situation to reveal my blind-spots.”

He expressed his concerns over what he sees as a growing problem in the visible Church, including with the “flaunting” of one’s perceived liberties.

“The trend of young Christian leaders consuming alcohol on a regular basis is alarming. Many will look back and regret the damage that was done to lives, churches, and their own testimony,” Idleman stated. “We often flaunt liberty and laugh in the face of God’s grace by posting our favorite beer brands and wines on Facebook, all under the guise of ‘exercising liberty.’ If you’re in any position of leadership, please don’t do this.”

“We cannot calculate how many people are affected by today’s social media. A person with 500 ‘friends’ may be encouraging dozens to stumble. It is the selfless motivation of love that keeps us from causing others to stumble (cf. Romans 14),” he noted.

Idleman said that those who see alcohol as a liberty should keep it private lest they cause others to fall into sin.

“A few years ago, I attended a conference where pastors were encouraged to meet at a pub after the general sessions. A few of these pastors could exercise their liberty, but why publicly? I wondered how many people at the conference stumbled because of it,” he explained.

“Personally, I believe that abstinence should be practiced by most Christians, especially if they drink often and in excess (these can be signs of alcoholism),” Idleman opined. “And this is especially true of leadership. The list of men and women who have lost a great deal because of alcohol is proof enough that liberty has limits.”


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  • Stephen W.

    This is puzzling. Why would a “true” Christian “struggle” with anything?

    • Hal Slusher

      We all struggle obviously you are not a Christian unless you are a saint

      • Greg Trujillo

        All Born Again Christians ARE Saints. Check your Bible.

    • http://HisPlaceDanville.com Stephen Anderson

      Sodomite troll.

      • Stephen W.

        Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

        • http://HisPlaceDanville.com Stephen Anderson

          Why are you on a Christian website? The web is filled with porn, did you make a wrong turn.

    • hytre64

      Paul “struggled” with a thorn in his flesh – was he not a Christian?
      Timothy struggled with physical illness – was he not a Christian?
      Peter struggled with unbelief – was he not a Christian?
      Literally all of the epistles were written to believers who were struggling with issues – were they not Christians?

      Jesus, Himself, was led into the wilderness where he was tempted for 40 days and 40 nights. Was that not a struggle? Jesus also struggled in the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing the trials that were about to take place.

      Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

  • Tux

    “I cannot continue to do effective ministry if this issue in my personal life”

    You are already disqualified Perry. Do not think about continuing with your “ministry”.

    Titus 1:7 – For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,

    • tcbarnabas

      Study prayerfully those scriptures. Does it say “must never have been” or “must not be” ?

      • hytre64

        Thank you.

        None of us are truly above reproach about our past.

        1 Cor 6 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you;”

        Hopefully, Pastor Perry can straighten out his personal life, get some accountability to senior men of God, and again be of use to the Kingdom of God.

  • Greg Trujillo

    No REAL Pastor drinks alcohol. Period. Matter of fact, no REAL Christian does.

    • http://HisPlaceDanville.com Stephen Anderson

      Don’t go beyond the Scriptures.

      • Becky

        I agree, however, there is a fine line between sober and drunk. I wouldn’t want to take that risk really. What if I died while drunk? Drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God

        • http://HisPlaceDanville.com Stephen Anderson

          A drunkard is a habitual abuser of alcohol (or drugs), what is called today an alcoholic or an addict.
          Your salvation depends on God, not your performance. What if you die while not loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength? Your righteousness is a gift from God and not your own based on your works. Your salvation depends on what Christ alone did for you. If you are trusting in your own obedience, you are not trusting in Christ.
          If a person is born again, they will not be a habitual sinner. God will discipline them and lead them to repentance. God has given them a new heart that loves the Law and hates sin. But they remain in a body of flesh and have a brain with sinful habits programmed in.
          That is what sanctification is all about, overcoming and being more and more conformed to the image of Christ.

          • Becky

            Do you have to be solely a habitual thief to be lost? Of course not. God condemns drunkenness, whether a person is a habitual drunk or a one time drunk…it’s a sin. The bible clearly explains (eg Galatians 5:21, 1 Thessalonians 5:6-10, Ephesians 5:18) that someone who is drunk, and not just a habitual drunk, isn’t among God’s people, neither will they be saved.

            I agree that salvation is a gift from God and not from works (Ephesians 2:8). However, we mustn’t forget that we are still to obey his laws, else what are they for? Romans 3:31 says, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.” Ezekiel 18 states that a righteous (just and lawful) man who commits sin will lose his righteousness and his righteous deeds will be remembered no more by God. Also, keep in mind the “saints” (God’s saved) kept/keep his commandments (Revelation 14:12). Obviously, obedience and faith go together.

          • http://HisPlaceDanville.com Stephen Anderson

            The biblical word translated as “drunkard” is of one who habitually gets drunk.
            If your salvation depends on your obedience, you are toast. Obedience is the fruit of salvation, not its cause or condition. You ought to read Galatians.

          • Becky

            I didn’t dispute the meaning of drunkard, neither did I say that I’m dependent on my obedience for salvation. We’re to study and follow the entire word of God and not just one specific book/chapter/verse. I can’t ignore the scriptures that clearly teach being “drunk”, per se, is an unequivocal sin. As for obedience…not obeying God’s word will surely keep you from salvation (2 Thessalonians 1:8). In Matthew 19:16-19 take note of the very question and answer that took place between the rich young ruler and our Lord and Savior, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “…But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Did you get that? Clearly, there’s action (to obey) on our part for salvation.

            “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3

          • http://HisPlaceDanville.com Stephen Anderson

            Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed should come to whom the promise had been made.
            20 Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one.
            21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.
            22 But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
            23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.
            24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith.
            25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
            26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:19-26 NAS)

          • hytre64

            Would you agree that someone who cheated on their spouse is an adulterer? Even if they did it only once? Likewise a thief is someone is has stolen. Even if they repent, they just become a repentant thief (like the one on the cross).

            I agree, though, that obedience is the result of your salvation. You can’t save yourself through obedience – that way is the Law, and all who trust in the LAW are guilty under the Law and will be judged by the Law. Instead, if you are saved, then God will write His Law in your heart and will send the Holy Spirit to live within you to Help you live a godly life.

          • http://HisPlaceDanville.com Stephen Anderson

            No, I do not agree. An adulterer that no longer practices adultery, is no longer an adulterer, though they may have been guilty of adultery. David committed adultery, but he did not practice adultery. In the same way, there is a difference between a liar (someone who habitually lies or practices lying) and a person that occasionally speaks a lie.
            “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.” (1Co 6:9-11 NAS)
            These are lifestyle issues. If a homosexual is saved from his sin, is he still a homosexual? No. Is a thief saved from his sinful life still a thief? No.
            BTW the thief on the cross was not there for stealing one item. The Romans did not crucify people for theft. He was a bandit, an outlaw, a highwayman, lived a wicked and lawless lifestyle.

          • hytre64

            James 2:10 “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in just one point, he has become guilty of all.”

            Why was Stephen killed? The crowd through that he had spoken blasphemy, so they called him a blasphemer and stoned him. (For speaking once.)

            Definition Thief – One who steals something

            Definition Adulterer – a married person who has sex with someone who is not that person’s wife or husband : a person who commits adultery.

            Definition Murderer – One who has committed the crime of murder.

            It doesn’t have to be habitual – the would be a serial murderer. Doing it once makes you a murderer.

            In the Natural, once you have committed a sin ONCE, you are guilty of that sin and are a sinner who will be held accountable by God for that sin. But for Christians, Jesus not only paid the price for that sin, He has effectively wiped it off of God’s books. As Christians, we have died to our old life (for such were some of you) and have been given a new life / new nature in Christ. He has also given you The Helper (Holy Spirit) so that we do not fall back into that old nature.

        • Marty George

          then Noah and god have a real problem on their hands.You don’t think God knew that Noah would be a husbandman and start growing grapes and making wine?

  • http://HisPlaceDanville.com Stephen Anderson

    Part of this problem arises from the unbiblical old American “holiness code”, no alcohol, no movies, no dancing, no cards. Stick with the Scriptures, alcohol is not forbidden but drunkenness is. But do not flaunt your liberty and offend brethren whose conscience is violated by drinking.
    The problem with many pastors is they have never been saved and are still in love with the flesh. You will know them by their preaching and life.

    • michael louwe

      Drug induced euphoria or alcohol drunkenness will result from an excessive intake, eg binge drinking of alcohol. Drug addiction or alcoholism will only take hold after daily n excessive intake for more than a month, ie has caused permanent brain alteration or brain damage. But moderate or occasional intake should be OK, eg social drinking.
      …….That is why Dr.s seldom prescribe sleeping pills n steroid hormones(for anti-inflammation) for more than 2 weeks bc of the danger of dependency or addiction n withdrawal symptoms.

      Problem is, many Christian youths r not aware of the danger of falling into addiction by dabbling in such intoxicating drugs/chemicals. So, it is best for Christians to not try to be too smart, thinking that they will never become alcoholics even if they drink socially. It is best for them to avoid all intoxicating or psychotropic drugs/chemicals, as per LEV.10:9 n DEUT.29:5.

      Bear in mind that drug addiction or alcoholism can be passed on, eg addicted crack babies n meth babies. IOW, such babies will grow up with damaged brains.

      • http://HisPlaceDanville.com Stephen Anderson

        “Addiction” is a result of God giving people over to their sin. “God is not mocked, as a man sows, so also shall he reap…”

        • hytre64

          God can also CURE an addiction in the blink of an eye. I have seen addicts who became Christians become cured in a moment, while others had to “sweat it out”, but were given the strength to go through the trial.

  • Josey

    All I know is that the Bible clearly speaks against not doing certain things and then there are things not mentioned that we must seek God as individual about whether it is right or not for us and we are not to judge others for their personal walk with God if they are doing what is right as said in God’s word just because we find something they might be doing that God has never even mentioned as sinful, just pray for them. Pride is what caused lucifer who now is that old lying serpent and devil to fall and we must never allow pride to cause us to even flaunt anything, a liberty or no liberty, goes both ways and I have been guilty of both in my younger years and to this day must watch out for that old demon of pride because he’s a sneaky one and he brings other evil things with him such as hypocritical spirit, judgmental spirit, a whole host of evil beings so be watchful and check yourself for a spirit of pride for if you have allowed that one in, you got others with him operating out of you and you need to surrender that to Christ. As for this minister, he has repented it sounds like to me, he has fallen down and is taking responsibility. I pray for those ministers of God that are close to him to have some compassion toward him and help strengthen him, forgive him as God has done and help him get back to the pulpit serving God, blessing his wife and child and sharing his testimony to others. God is not finished with him! We as children of God make mistakes and yes we sin and we have to own it as God brings it to us and repent, I repent daily that’s how many sins I commit everyday because I am not perfect yet, my spirit is at war with this flesh. I think God hates the spirit of pride and a judging spirit far more than he does someone warring with an addiction and I hate alcohol, I’ve seen what it does to families first hand but the spirit of pride, whoaaaaaaa, it does a lot of harm unseen and sneakily, bring it into the light of the gospel and watch it runnnnnnn from the name of Jesus.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Drinking alcohol leads to drunkenness and sins and it destroys countless lives and families. Alcohol is strongly addictive like tobacco and drugs and makes one rely on the substance instead of the Lord Jesus. Drinking alcohol leads to worldliness instead of holiness. Drinking alcohol itself does not make anyone go to hell, but Christians must drink juice and abstain from alcohol altogether for the wholesome healthy growing Christian life. If anyone argues with the earthly diet of the Lord Jesus, he should keep the entire Jewish diet. Besides, Jesus was never drunk. The Holy Bible prohibits drunkenness.

  • michael louwe

    It is general knowledge that alcoholism, cigarette/nicotine addiction n drug addiction will shorten n degrade life, eg liver damage in alcoholics, lung damage in chain-smokers n brain damage in drug addicts. Such immoral practices r quite common among the Gentiles. It is uncommon among the Jews bc LEV.10:9 n DEUT.29:5 of the Old Testament or Moses Law prohibit intoxicating drinks or chemicals.

    Salvation unto the kingdom of heaven is solely thru faith in Jesus Christ, n not thru the works of keeping the OT Law or Moses Law, but the Law ensures blessings from God which will result in a good n long life on earth.(DEUT.28) It is only logical for Christians to try to achieve both blessings, ie a good n long life on earth plus being saved from hell when they leave this rotten earth or die((= resurrected (or raptured)at the 2nd Coming of JC to earth – 1THESS.4:16)).

    Some Gentile adults may hv been chain-smokers or alcoholics or drug-addicts b4 coming to Christ. For them, salvation or eternal life is more important than long life on earth thru the Law. Hence, at ACTS.15:24-29, God has exempted such new Gentile Christian adults from any law of Moses which will be a burden to them, ie no need to keep LEV.10:9 n DEUT.29:5 unless God/Jesus has forgiven/pardoned n healed them of their addiction or brain damage..
    …….Quitting smoking, drinking or drugs suddenly would likely kill them or cause more mental problems for them, eg Delirium Tremens n cerebral hemorrhage/stroke. So, it is OK for them to be addicted or dependent. Such addicted GC r little different from Type2 diabetics who r dependent or addicted to artificial insulin for the rest of their lives.

    Bear in mind that such chemical addiction is inheritable, eg addicted crack babies n meth babies.

  • hytre64

    In my personal Bible study, I am convinced that Jesus actually drank wine (although diluted with water), just as Paul advised Timothy to drink a little wine for the sake of his health. Because my Pastor interprets these verses differently, I do not drink alcohol, lest I cause my wife and children to stumble. If they see me doing things differently from what is being taught at our church, that gives them license to disregard other things that are being taught, which could have severe consequences.

    All things are lawful for me (including drinking wine), but not all things are profitable. I would rather forsake the “liberty” of alcohol, and set a good example of a godly man for my children.