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John Mackie was the president of the Church of Scotland after WWII. He traveled to a remote parts of the Balkan Peninsula to check on missionaries that they supported. On one trip he was accompanied by two ministers from a severe and pietistic denomination that supported the same missionaries.

These three visited an Orthodox priest in a small Greek village. The priest was excited by their visit and wanted to show them the best hospitality as if they were Jesus himself that had come to visit. So he offered them a glass of some rare and expensive wine. Horrified, the two pious ministers refused. Dr. Mackie, on the other hand, took a glass, sniffed it like wine connoisseur, sipped it, praised it quality, and thanked the priest for such a rare and gracious gift. He even asked for another glass. His companions were noticeably upset with Dr. Mackie’s behavior.

Later when they were on their way again and out of the village, the two pious clergymen confronted Dr. Mackie.

“Dr. Mackie,” they said, “do you mean to tell us that you are the president of the Church of Scotland and an officer of the World Council of Churches and you drink?”

They obviously had already judged and convicted him.

Dr. Mackie had seen their expressions and the looks that they had given each other and he had had enough. His Scottish temper got the best of him and he said, “No! I don’t drink!! But somebody had to be a Christian back there!”