Good news for a local PCA church, Grape Juice to Wine in Lord's Supper

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Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
This may come as a shock to some (being cheeky), but yes there are more than a few PCA churches striving to be reformed and reforming.

I have some good news about a PCA church.

I have an update and a praise. Our session just approved our local congregation to move towards using wine in communion beginning in July. I know this may seem like a small deal to some, but the local congregation has never used wine before. I am excited and thankful for my Church, Session, and Pastor. The Pastor’s faithful preaching of a Lord’s Supper sermon was used to bring this change about. It was a blessing to see so many in the congregation have their opinions changed and conform to the word with little to no grumbling. It was equally a blessing to see how the local session supported the Pastor with side discussions with the sheep for a few weeks after the sermon to be peacemakers.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Initially it will be split tray with hopes of moving to wine only. Scott you can still be a little happy like: :rolleyes:. You don’t have to be like:banana:.

Oh, I am overwhelmed w joy w this news! Truly. Most churches that are transitioning will go with the split tray to begin with . It’s progress In the right direction.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
I did respectfully push for “wine-only” privately with my Pastor; however that is just not the way the cookie crumbled and I am not the Pastor or an Elder. No point in me being upset about it because I still see it as a step forward.

At this point I am not sure how the juice will finally be removed since so many steps took place to make the change to an inner/outer ring split.

Personally, I have never been afforded the opportunity to use wine in communion and I am really excited about that regardless if I still see that beloved phony in the tray.:detective:
 
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Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
I sit in the balcony of our church. In the last row. My pastor has one of the elders bring my family separate little box with four little cups of wine in it. It’s almost Masonic! A few of the congregants that sit near us have asked ‘what is that the elders are bringing you?’
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
No games. What do you mean?:)

No games. :) My conscience will no longer allow me to partake of grape juice, which is the only thing our elders serve. So I simply eat the bread and pass on the "fruit of the vine". Also I plan on partaking every 6 months at a congregation which is faithful to Our Lord's command. Some will think I am being over scrupulous, but imagine using milk instead of water for baptism.
 
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Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
No games. :) My conscience will no longer allow me to partake of grape juice, which is the only thing our elders serve. So I simply eat the bread and pass on the fruit of the vine. Also I plan on partaking every 6 months at a congregation which is faithful to Our Lord's command. Some will think I am being over scrupulous, but imagine using milk instead of water for baptism.
Makes sense Earl. Thanks for sharing that.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
My Pastor does agree with only serving wine; however, I think he was content with doing the split to, as he put it, “ to aid some members with a weaker conscience”. My Pastor has only been 3 years in with the church (his first). I think many Pastors will understand the dynamic of dealing with pre-existing traditions if you are new and trying to slowly keep reforming without everyone running off at once. Some things just take time, that’s not always good, but it is often reality.

Edit: P.S., I am a “wine-only” advocate, so don’t shoot the messenger.
 
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Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
“When somebody inquired whether, when a sick person wished to have the sacrament but could not tolerate wine on account of nausea, something else should be given in place of the wine, the doctor [Martin Luther] replied, ‘This question has often been put to me and I have always given this answer: One shouldn’t use anything else than wine. If a person can’t tolerate wine, omit it [the sacrament] altogether in order that no innovation may be made or introduced.'” — Martin Luther, “Table Talk” (Luther’s Works 54:438)
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
It is always worth rejoicing when a church takes steps to conform to the Scriptures. I pray more will follow suit. Threads like this make me more grateful that my small PCA church is wine-only. Praying that our new church does the same.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Moving to the appropriate forum.
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timfost

Puritan Board Senior
We use wine, but we have one member who is a recovered alcoholic. We are happy to provide grape juice for him as he is not able to drink any alcohol.
 

JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Junior
I sit in the balcony of our church. In the last row. My pastor has one of the elders bring my family separate little box with four little cups of wine in it. It’s almost Masonic! A few of the congregants that sit near us have asked ‘what is that the elders are bringing you?’
Like the special meal on a flight.
 

Gabriel Barnes

Puritan Board Freshman
Rejoicing with you friend! As someone who has some background in the PCA (a former PCA member), I certainly understand what you mean. I was a member of a certain PCA church when the session decided under some study, and an unanimous decision to to include wine for the Lord's Supper.

How do you think the congregation will take it?
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
Rejoicing with you friend! As someone who has some background in the PCA (a former PCA member), I certainly understand what you mean. I was a member of a certain PCA church when the session decided under some study, and an unanimous decision to to include wine for the Lord's Supper.

How do you think the congregation will take it?
I think/hope it is taken very well. It will likely not be a surprise. Timeline:

1. Session asked the Pastor, if he be willing, to give a sermon on the Lord's Supper the next time our congregation observed the supper.

2. Pastor wrote the sermon and discussed the sermon with the session so that they had a heads-up that he was going to preach that we should be using wine as 1 point of his sermon.

3. Session made a plan to intentionally discuss the matter (in a supportive manner) with members in the days/weeks after the sermon was delivered. Sermon was given 03/03/2019.(https://www.pearlpres.com/sermons/sermon/2019-03-03/food-and-drink-am-service)

4. Session reported that all was well in the congregation and a motion was made/approved this month to begin using wine (split tray) in July (currently we observe the supper once every other month).

P.S. Hard to tell if there will be any unsettled until it is actually implemented.
 
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bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
I did respectfully push for “wine-only” privately with my Pastor; however that is just not the way the cookie crumbled and I am not the Pastor or an Elder. No point in me being upset about it because I still see it as a step forward.

At this point I am not sure how the juice will finally be removed since so many steps took place to make the change to an inner/outer ring split.

Personally, I have never been afforded the opportunity to use wine in communion and I am really excited about that regardless if I still see that beloved phony in the tray.:detective:

So, I guess any recovering alcoholics or people who can't have wine for medical reasons are just out of luck? Split-tray is always the best idea.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
So, I guess any recovering alcoholics or people who can't have wine for medical reasons are just out of luck? Split-tray is always the best idea.
Richard,

Personally I don't buy it, considering the amount in each cup. Both of those groups could likely take an even smaller sip.

Further the idea of a split tray does not really find support from the Westminster Standards or the PCA BCO (See 58-5), nor in the Bible (their are two elements in the supper not 3). However, I still have sympathy for those who disagree and are sensitive in conscience, hence my own glad submission to my Pastor and Session. But if all things could be "Grant's Way", I support weekly observance-, unleavened bread-, wine-, breaking the bread-, and one cup, ;)).

After all, we would not remove the bread element for almonds for a recovering bread glutton:detective:

P.S. We are all recovering "Sin" addicts; however we do not let our prior sins dictate how we worship God in the sacraments especially since we have direct clear commands for "bread" and "wine" in scripture. Further our confessions (all historic reformed ones), the PCA, and OPC BCOs specifically state “WINE”. Grape Juice is not mentioned once in the Westminster Standards, Heidelberg, or the PCA/OPC BCOs. “Alcoholism” was likely present when the Westminster Standards and the other reformed confessions were written.
 
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Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
So, I guess any recovering alcoholics or people who can't have wine for medical reasons are just out of luck? Split-tray is always the best idea.

Grant said I could post in response Richard. I asked him because I didn’t want to derail the thread.

Alcoholism is a not the biblical term. Being on the PB we should use what God says. It should be called what it is - idolatry of alcohol. It is sin. Idolatry, however, should not ruin the blessedness God has given us in the celebration of Christ’s sacrifice for us.

Further, a split cup actually can be seen as divisive. Everyone partaking of the same thing is to symbolize our communion together. What you partake of is to be a sign of the same thing. To have 2 different elements for the cup is to show division amongst the body, correct? To those who can't have wine for allergy reasons, that should be taken up and determined by the Session on case by case basis. Such is “an exception to the principle/rule.”

At the end of the day we should not be asking, “how can we appease everyone?” Rather we should be asking, “What has Christ commanded?” Let’s do that lest we be consumed by our holy God.
 
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lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
I'm not supposed to have any alcohol with my Graves disease meds because the meds are hard on the liver. I doubt a sip would hurt. But I see grape juice as embryonic wine. It seems to me like saying the early clump of cells isn't a baby, its just an unformed embryo, and we say no, from the moment of conception it is a baby. Well, that juice is unformed wine. Fetal wine. I rejoice in my savior and what he did as I swallow the fruit of the vine. He is the true vine. But I'm glad the OP is happy.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
I'm not supposed to have any alcohol with my Graves disease meds because the meds are hard on the liver. I doubt a sip would hurt. But I see grape juice as embryonic wine. It seems to me like saying the early clump of cells isn't a baby, its just an unformed embryo, and we say no, from the moment of conception it is a baby. Well, that juice is unformed wine. Fetal wine. I rejoice in my savior and what he did as I swallow the fruit of the vine. He is the true vine. But I'm glad the OP is happy.
Lynnie,

I am sorry to hear about your condition with Graves Disease. What a awful name for a disease. I am glad you at least stated you could likely have a tiny sip. There is likely more Alcohol per volume in vanilla extract than most communion wines.

No one who advocates wine-only on this thread supports abortion as we see it in our society. Likening the wine only advocates (this is a confessional Board) to those who have a murderous and unbiblical view on conception and abortion is not biblical and further is an invalid emotional comparison that I hope will be reconsidered.

A better example (if you want to use an embryo): In Mississippi you have to be a person 21 years of age to purchase alcohol, well an embryo is a person but still does not meet the Laws requirement. Similarly the Bible and the historic confessions speak of using “wine” in a cup. While grape juice is close (same fruit depending on the brand), it does not quite fit the command we have. It is missing a few important qualities we are intended to experience and needs to age. Hope that forms a more positive comparison.

Jesus did not give 2 elements to represent his blood in the supper, the historic confessions do not list 2 elements for His blood in the supper. The PCA & OPC BCOs clearly state wine. Even if someone one says “well we can still use grape juice”, then fine but at least admit our supporting documents prescribe wine.

My conscience with my vows to scripture, the Westminster Standards, and the PCA BCO binds me to using only wine because that is the word they all three use.
 
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earl40

Puritan Board Professor
I have a question. Where exactly is the justification for the use of grape juice in the PCA and OPC?
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
The addition of Grape Juice into the shaping of The Lord's Supper in the Church was nothing more than a cultural pressure (invasion) that many gave into.

Just because it is not a fresh cultural pressure, does not make the above any less true. Modern examples are adding rock bands, changing understandings of sexuality in society. How many are willing to admit that the grape juice invasion was a cultural pressure? The addition of un-fermented grape juice certainly was not a reforming to the scriptures.

As @Pergamum stated in another thread. Here in America we really have no excuse not to be using wine as the norm.
 
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