Hypothetical Communion Question

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by LarryN, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. LarryN

    LarryN
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    A couple of threads over on another message board got me thinking about this hypothetical (for Baptists, anyways: it's actually happened within some other denoms.) question:

    What if your pastor announced one Sunday morning that, after much study of the Bible and prayer, he had reached the decision/conclusion that to be faithful to Scripture that alcoholic wine would henceforth be used during the Lord's Supper at the church. Let's also assume that the Deacon/Elder Board has concurred. Finally, let's say that they have also decided that the switch won't entail an either/or choice; but that grape juice will still be offered & available for those who may decline to use wine during the Lord's Supper.

    If your pastor made such an announcement, what would your reaction be? (Those of you who are pastors- your thoughts too please.)
     
  2. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    No problem. More Biblically faithful than the Ribena we have

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  3. Window Wax

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    I'm not exactly sure how most Baptist churches would respond to this, simply for the sake of avoiding the "appearance" of evil.

    However, for myself, I can say that it would not bother me. Of course, all laws should be obeyed, such as restricting those under 21 years of age from using real wine (in countries where that is the law, as I believe in France, this would be legal).
     
  4. Bro Tony

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    I don't see how it would add to the time of communion. The elements don't make it more biblical, but the heart of the people before God.
    The warning in Scripture is not to take of the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner. There is no need to serve wine, it would simply cause disention rather than unity in sharing the supper.

    Bro Tony
     
  5. Squire Robertsson

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    Me, I partake of the vin ordinaire served by my Russian brethren when I attend one of their services without turning a hair.
     
  6. gopchad

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    Alcohol in wine ruins the symbology of the purity of Christ's blood in much the same way that leaven in the bread ruins the symbology of the purity of his body. With all due respect to our euro friends, the fact that their culture is accepting of alcohol does not mean that it is right.

    Chad
     
  7. Window Wax

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    I'm not so sure that using alcohol in wine actually ruins the symbology of anything.

    After all, did the wine Jesus used at the Lord's supper have alcohol in it?
     
  8. rjprince

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    Personally can argue against on the basis of not causing a weaker brother to stumble.

    But, I do get tired of hearing from some circles that Bible wine was non-alcoholic.

    May post my study on that one. Spent a lot of time on it.
     
  9. Bartimaeus

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    Just start serving it down at the city mission and watch attendance surge!
    Thanks -------Bart
     
  10. rjprince

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    Surge, and Stumble, and Fall. That is why we don't use it.
     
  11. Matt Black

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    Personally, I think it's about obedience to the Lord, not about European vs American culture: either He did take bread (not biscuits, cookies or crackers) and wine (not grape juice, Vimto, Diet Coke or Ribena) and command that we do that in memory of Him, or He didn't. To my mind, the words on the page of the Gospels and I Cor are quite clear.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  12. Shiloh

    Shiloh
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    This is in the "Fundamental Forum"? This doesn't suprise me from people that don't believe the Bible.
     
  13. Matt Black

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    Yep, the Bible's pretty plain: wine and bread, not tea and biscuits, or grape juice and vol au vents

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  14. rjprince

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    Actually, although the NT uses the word 'oinos' 33 times, it does not use "wine" in any of the passages related to the Lord's supper. In all of those it is called, "fruit of the vine" or "cup". It is clear that the Cornithian church used wine, for some were "drunken". It was Jewish tradition to use wine at the Passover meal. It is an overstatement to declare that "the Bible's pretty plain: wine and bread".

    Personally, I believe the lack of specificity gives us leeway to use non-alcohol juice at the Lord's supper. Or, is Paul saying that for the sake of a weaker brother he will stop taking communion?

    Rom 14:21 - "It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak."
     
  15. HankD

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    I wouldn't have a problem.

    HankD
     
  16. LarryN

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    Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I think the crux of the question in my mind is this: Which would win out in such a situation: Pastoral authority; or the general Baptist conviction against the usage of alcoholic wine? If each person personally had the choice to not partake of the real wine during the Lord's Supper, (hence my stipulation that grape juice be available in this hypothetical situation), do you think most Baptist church members would challenge the pastor's decision to make it available to others in such circumstances?
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    If he said he would do it to be true to Scripture, then a vote should be immediately called to remove the man from the pastorate of the church. He is not spending enough time studying if he thinks that is true to Scripture ... Okay, so maybe that is a big overboard, but seriously, there is no reason to serve exclusively alcoholic wine. The wine of Scripture was vastly different from the alcohol of today. It was greatly diluted and its intoxicating properties were vastly different.

    There is no reason to serve alcohol at all. You may have some people who were saved out of drunkenness (no, they are not recovering alcoholics). Why tempt them with the taste? If you are going to serve alcoholic wine, why? What purpose does it serve?

    Serve both and give people an option if you must; don't serve exclusively wine.
     
  18. Matt Black

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    To be faithful and obedient to Scripture. I too, like an earlier poster on this thread, find it bizarre and not a little ironic that that is being questioned or at least 'interpreted away' on a Fundamentalist Forum, no less!

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  19. HankD

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    Good suggestion "if you must".

    But I agree, grape juice would cause the least turmoil, though personally I have no doubt that alcoholic wine was served at the Passover which Jesus and the Apostles observed.

    HankD
     
  20. LarryN

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    Thanks again for all of your thoughts. The main idea for this thread arose from a statement I saw over on the Fundamentalist Forums (posted there by one of our regulars here on the BB) in which he said that he knew of some denoms. which, when passing the tray during the Lord's Supper, have real wine in the cups in the inner rings of the tray; and grape juice in the cups in the outer rings of the tray (and it's made clear which is which).

    Having not heard of such a situation (my church uses juice and has never thought of using anything but) I simply began to wonder how other Baptists would feel about the situation I read about on the other forum.
     

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