Marfa, Texas (CBS HOUSTON) — An Episcopal priest in Hawaii and a bar owner in Texas, Father Bill Miller says that if Jesus was alive today he not only would have turned water into beer, it also would have been “his beverage of choice.”
Noting that Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine in the Bible’s New Testament, Father Miller tells Fox News that today – it would have been a different choice.
“If Jesus had lived in Texas, for example, rather than Palestine, I’m pretty sure he would have turned that water into beer,” Miller tells Fox News, noting that Jesus didn’t just make “any wine,” he made “really good wine” that was served as the best for last at the Biblical wedding at Cana.
“He had no problem with quality,” adds Miller.
Miller has written “The Beer Drinker’s Guide to God,” a book displaying his vision of how alcohol and beer play a role in revealing one’s spirituality, faith and reveal the true nature of God.
“I think for me, beer, is the universal beverage,” says Miller, who is at his bar, Padre’s, in the West Texas town of Marfa when he is not at the pulpit on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
Miller says that Jesus “would probably drink the local beverage of choice.”
“If Jesus was in Texas, he’d probably drink Lone Star. If he was in Hawaii, he might drink Primo. If he was in Scotland, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Jesus drank scotch. In Ireland, Guinness or Smithwick’s.”
When asked if Jesus would prefer a fine wine or a craft beer available today, Miller responded, “all of the above.”
Miller says that he employs a few beer strategies which allow him to connect the world of beer consumption and Christ. Using a movement called “Theology on Tap,” Miller says that some ministers are taking church messages to bars.
“I would say that a lot of my best pastoral ministry has occurred in the bar because some people will not set foot in a church, but they might strike up a conversation with me in the bar,” says Miller.
He also utilizes the “Beer Test,” in which one can decide the authenticity and closeness to God of someone simply by sharing a beverage with them. If one enjoys sharing the drink with them, “then a holier spirit abides with that person.”
Miller said that Jesus drank in moderation despite criticism from the religious leader of the time that were calling him a lush, adding that Jesus was able to live his life “according to [his] own unique identity.”
“I think it’s important not to throw the baby out with the bath water, and not to throw the beer out with the baptismal water.”
— Benjamin Fearnow