(Real) Wine for the communion ?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Spear, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. Spear

    Spear
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    Hi,

    I heard several times at my own church we used to drink grape juice instead of real wine (i don't like wine, so i prefer :)) because our supporting churches from USA were very sensible on the subject.

    Id' like to kindly ask, what the problem is (even if i don't like wine ... sad for many of my friends who always want me to taste this or that ... same with beer ... yuck) ? Is it a real problem to put a little quantity or real wine in the (very) little glasses ?
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    Get ready for plenty of discussion on this issue.

    My own congregation uses grape juice.

    But we had an elderly retired pastor in our church several years ago who would not participate because we didn't use real wine. He held that the first Lord's Supper featured real wine. He was a teetotaler otherwise.
     
  3. pinoybaptist

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    I don't like grape juice, like the lady at Giant's don't like salted mackerel fillet.
    But I don't see where there's an issue in using red wine for communion, unless you get full wine glasses, which then turns a solemn occassion into a drinking binge, which is what Paul reprimanded the Corinthian church for.
     
  4. Allan

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    I agree with Tom on this, you will get quite a discussion but it will most likely descend into bickering unfortunately. We use grape juice as well.
    I think the issue as to what is used has three aspects that need to be answered to determine what the church will do, just as it does for christians who use it socially.
    1. The persons understanding of the scriptures stand on it. (Is it sin or wrong to you)
    2. The weaker brother
    3. World's view/understanding of the act done. (does it identify one with the world/culture according to their perspective).

    I think that in America it is unwise to use during the Lords Supper, due to the reasons #2 and #3.

    It is interesting to note that Timothy, who was a disciple of Paul, would not touch alcohal, even for it's known medicinal purposes. Thus apparently the issue of alcoholic and non was going on even back during the apostles time.

    Oh, the interesting point was that if Timothy wouldn't touch it for his own health issues then it is doubtful he used it during the observance of the Lords supper, which was typically observed back then each week or gathering of the body.
     
    #4 Allan, Oct 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2009
  5. Johnv

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    It's an issue of tradition, not moral absolute. There's no scriptural admonition against serving wine for communion. In fact, churches did it regularly until pastuerized grape juice became available. I've been in Christian churches that did serve wine. My congregation uses grape juice for a number of reasons. One is tradition (the church we planted from used grape juice), another is expense (grape juice is less expensive), and it's the more preferred beverage by our congregation.
     
  6. ReformedBaptist

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    Our church uses juice. I took communion at a Presbyterian church and they offered both. I prefer wine.
     
  7. preachinjesus

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    My friend who is a Catholic priest told me this is what he doesn't get about evangelical Baptist who believe the Bible is "literally true." We don't actually practice what we believe. We don't really believe the Bible is literal because, and this is one of several points, we don't use real wine in communion like Christ commands.

    I can't disagree with him. To suggest that there is a "weaker brother" issue here is a non-sequitur. If we believe Christ we should follow Christ's command. Yet American "sensibility" (i.e. teetotalism) wins over the Bible. I don't understand it.
     
  8. Jim1999

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    The elements are not sacredotal, hence, does it matter what we use?

    During the Korean War and on the battlefield I used water and whatever bread we had....neither Protestants nor Roman Catholics complained!

    Cheers,

    Jim

    PS. In Canada, the liquor store sells communion wine, bought by Catholics and Protestants. It is non-alcoholic! Ironic, innit.
     
  9. ReformedBaptist

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    I think I'd remark to my friend that I'd rather see Baptists wrong about whether juice or wine should be used than the doctrine of justification. :laugh:
     
  10. Jerome

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    Literal? Christ commands wine? I think people are getting their Bible confused with their Presbyterian Book of Church Order or Catholic Missal.
     
  11. Zenas

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    How is it different in America than in Europe, or Asia, or Africa?
     
  12. Tom Bryant

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    Once in Viet Nam the closest we had to bread of any kind was cardboard, so we used it. :tongue3:

    Let me make a stab at why some don't use real wine. Leaven is used in some Scriptures as a symbol for sin (for example 1 Corinthians 5:7) Therefore the bread or the juice symbolizing the body and blood of Jesus ought not to have a leavening agent in it.

    This was what I was taught was the reason for it.
     
  13. webdog

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    I have no problem with either. Wine is symbolic of Christ's blood, but there is more to it than that. The wine was free from all impurities (yeast) as was the unleavened bread. It is quite symbolic of the pure sacrifice required to pay for sin. Today's pasteurized juice is also free from yeast, so there is no difference in using either at this point in time. Prior to the 1800's, there would have been (without the invention of pasteurization)
     
  14. Amy.G

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    I agree with you WD. I also read that the wine represents the cleansing of sin by the Holy Spirit due to the fermenting process of the grapes that removes the leaven (sin). But like you said, if grape juice is free of leaven, it doesn't really matter and certainly not worth making a fuss over.
     
  15. Allan

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    Actually this is something that is new and not anything understood or considered until recently so it can't be applied to scripture as part of it's reason for usage.

    This next portion isn't about the OP, but an interesting observation from scripture that I think needs to be considered as well:
    It is interesting though that priests were forbidden to even have single drink before putting on their priestly garbs (which simply meant they started their priestly duties) or even during, which would result in immediate death by God Himself. We also find in the NT the pastor (who is representitive of the priestly office) commanded not to drink. Now here is another point that needs to be remembered though in light of the priests, they could drink 'after' their duties were completed.

    However another interesting thing is that anyone who committed him/herself to the Lord (such as the Nazarite vow) was forbidden to touch or even to touch those things from which wine was even made because they were considered 'unclean' to them. Thus my question here is, how can it be seen as 'unclean' if, as some state, it is representitive of being clean or purified??


    EDITTED IN - Actuallyplease don't comment on it as it will take the OP way off course, but just something intersting to ponder.
    Remember folks, I not necessarly against wine nor do I believe it is sin to partake.

    Agreed :)
     
    #15 Allan, Oct 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2009
  16. HankD

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    Uh, pasteurization (or the addition of potassium metabisulfite ) only kills the yeast which is natural to grapes. The pasteurized juice still contains the dead yeast cells.

    You can then introduce a cultivated yeast to make a wine must (or vinegar).

    Other than that, unless you vacuum seal the juice or embalm it with chemicals it will still ferment from airborne bacteria.

    Doing this rather than letting nature take it course from the natural grape yeast may make a toxic drink of something more deadly than ethyl alcohol.

    HankD
     
    #16 HankD, Oct 2, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2009
  17. gb93433

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    If a church would have a smorgasbord of different choices then everyone would be satisfied. Gotta make sure that individualism reigns paramount.
     
  18. swaimj

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    Yes. This is one of the reasons I would use to say that non-fermented juice should be used. At Passover, the old lump, from which a pinch was taken, was discarded and a new batch of bread was begun that contained no leaven. That is why we use unleavened bread. The juice should be unleavened/unfermented as well.

    A second reason is that Jesus represented his teaching with new wine which could not be contained by the old wine skins (the law). Jesus said that the pharisees would argue that "the old [fermented] is better", but it is actually the new that Christ gives that is better. To match Jesus' symbolism for His own teaching, unfermented juice should be used.
     
  19. billreber

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    I will not speak for or against the use of REAL wine versus plain JUICE. (I do NOT believe an accurate argument from Scriptures will prove either side, BTW). I will only state that I will never partake of the Lord's Supper if an alcoholic version is used, because I am an alcoholic! It is much better for me to totally abstain (even from this highly-important religious ceremony) than to expose myself to what I consider a personal sin.

    I also have been involved in a Lord's Supper where water was used, and we had saltine crackers for the bread. A huge discussion took place beforehand, emphasizing that the symbolism of the two items being consumed (Christ's blood and body) was what mattered. Someone even suggested that, at a future observance, we should use orange juice and bagels, just to be different!

    Bill :godisgood:
     
  20. Allan

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    Well they don't understand why we hold to a great many biblical concepts they abstain or outright deny, so it isn't any wonder why he is confused.

    The apostle Paul tells us differently:
    It isn't an American view but scriptural. John the Baptist came neither eating nor drinking, the Nazarite (one who devoted themselves to God) was forbidden from coming near it, Timothy (Pauls disciple) would not touch it even though it could help somewhat medicinally. Therefore it is a scripture perspective to abstain if one so chooses.

    Secondly we have not been commanded by Christ to be or become drinkers wine.
     

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