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

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Logan

Puritan Board Senior
Yes, for a few reasons, but one is based on Paul’s account in Corinthians. I am very certain it was not pasteurize great juice.

No, but you're conflating a couple of things here, Grant. Practice does not necessarily equate to precept. Just be cautious.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
Maybe you couldn't see the picture clearly - It's Blue Hawaiian flavored (and colored)
So we can disqualify based off of color, but we can’t disqualify based off of fermentation ( Aside from the fact of what our confession and book of church order say)? Madness!
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
It is strange to feel dog piled on a confessional board for supporting the position that we should just be using wine in the Lord’s supper, unless there’s some form of extreme medical condition.
 

timfost

Puritan Board Senior
It is strange to feel dog piled on a confessional board for supporting the position that we should just be using wine in the Lord’s supper, unless there’s some form of extreme medical condition.

Grant,

You must realize that none of us have an issue with wine. This is not our contention. Our contention is with dogmatic exclusion of anything that doesn't meet your strict criteria. I've been to OPC churches that used grape juice. Are they in violation of their confessional standards, or by practice does the OPC (PCA, etc.) define it inclusively?

I think it's great that your church is moving towards wine. I am not as thrilled about your dogmatic approach to such a strict understanding of the element.

Does this help?

Blessings, brother.
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
It is strange to feel dog piled on a confessional board for supporting the position that we should just be using wine in the Lord’s supper, unless there’s some form of extreme medical condition.

I'm sorry you feel dog-piled. Again, please note that I don't disagree with the use of wine. I freely admit that I'm an engineer and try to be objective even when I have a strong opinion though. And I think some of the claims being made are arguing from non-objectivity, given the evidence we possess.

Regarding your comment about "confessional board" I suggest you re-read what I said regarding the confessions. I think it anachronistic to say fermentation is a "confessional" position. It may be, but I don't think you can prove that without something more explicit. Regardless, I think you're reading me a good bit differently than how I'm trying to communicate.
 

littlepeople

Puritan Board Freshman
Grant if one were to prefer Blue Hawaiian fermented wine to pasteurized grape juice, I would say he is indeed missing the entire point of the sign. I am willing to defend that vehemently. The point of the supper is not to exhibit the superiority of fermentation it's to exhibit the superiority of Christ's blood. It must show forth His death above all else.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
Anyway you slice it from scripture, from our confessions, from the mentioned book of church orders, From culture, and even from government wine and grape juice are not the same thing. Therefore the commanded 2 elements become 3 because man has a “better” way. I digress.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
Grant if one were to prefer Blue Hawaiian fermented wine to pasteurized grape juice, I would say he is indeed missing the entire point of the sign. I am willing to defend that vehemently. The point of the supper is not to exhibit the superiority of fermentation it's to exhibit the superiority of Christ's blood. It must show forth His death above all else.
And again you’re not willing to give up the color for the symbolism. We just disagree, and that’s OK by me because now I’m at PB Junior.:detective:
 

timfost

Puritan Board Senior
Grant if one were to prefer Blue Hawaiian fermented wine to pasteurized grape juice, I would say he is indeed missing the entire point of the sign. I am willing to defend that vehemently. The point of the supper is not to exhibit the superiority of fermentation it's to exhibit the superiority of Christ's blood. It must show forth His death above all else.

Amen! We use a sweet table wine at our church. I'm not in any way opposed to a dry red wine or something along those lines, but that may be more distracting than something that is helpful. We choose to use the sweet table wine because in our opinion, with the needs of our particular congregation, we feel that this is the most helpful (even though I personally enjoy dry red wines the most). And why are we considering what is most helpful in this regard? Because we are looking out for the souls of those entrusted to our care. We are seeking to build up their hearts, not pose an unnecessary distraction. The member who had previous troubles with alcohol mentioned that he might have to go to another church to receive communion. He was not morally opposed to wine as such, but in his particular situation it was not helpful and he was not able to partake with a clear conscience. When I heard this, I immediately spoke with other members of our consistory and had it arranged for him to receive grape juice the following communion Sunday. In his circumstance, this was incredibly encouraging and allowed him to partake with rejoicing. I fear that trying to convince him or insist that he take take wine would have been a violation of my office as his elder. Why should one parish for whom Christ died?
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
Anyway you slice it from scripture, from our confessions, from the mentioned book of church orders, From culture, and even from government wine and grape juice are not the same thing. Therefore the commanded 2 elements become 3 because man has a “better” way. I digress.

Grant, I feel like this is a bit surreal but I don't think you are really understanding what is being said. You're responding to things that really aren't being said.

You're reading it as willful disobedience to an explicit command to use "wine" (specifically fermented). Without being facetious, I have to ask if you're really certain the command is to use wine?

Why do all three synoptic gospels only say "fruit of the vine", a phrase (even in Greek) which to my knowledge is used for nothing else but the cup at the Lord's Supper. So the command, as I see it, is to use the "fruit of the vine".

Now, the practice in 1 Cor 11 certainly indicates drunkenness was an abuse at some of their gatherings, but all that can be proved from this is that at least at some of their gatherings (maybe all), they used fermented wine. But given that there was no other technology available, all you can logically infer from the practice is that wine was used. I don't see how you can state dogmatically that it was all that was allowed.

I have no doubt that the practice for almost all of church history, was some kind of fermented wine. But that really doesn't inform certainty on the command. Just trying to be objective here. Objectivity is not the same as defending a position.

Edit: (and for the record, I'm glad the PCA church you are in is moving in the direction of wine).
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
I don't understand, are you saying I should give that up? Congrats on making Junior ;) I've given up on ever getting out of the freshman phase.
In order for your line of thinking to be consistent then yes. Essentially what you’re telling me is that it must be a certain color right?. Yet you are not willing to see and require the symbolism that comes from wine. So according to you blue wine is invalid because of the color, but pasteurized grape juice is permissible because of the color.
 
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Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
It must show forth His death above all else.

The question isn't about wine then, it is about grape juice if I'm understanding the unintentional 'dog pile.'

So I guess the question has to be and boils down to this: "Does grape juice show forth Christ's death in connection with what Scripture says?" If so, what about grape juice shows forth His death?
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
Grant, I feel like this is a bit surreal but I don't think you are really understanding what is being said. You're responding to things that really aren't being said.

You're reading it as willful disobedience to an explicit command to use "wine" (specifically fermented). Without being facetious, I have to ask if you're really certain the command is to use wine?

Why do all three synoptic gospels only say "fruit of the vine", a phrase (even in Greek) which to my knowledge is used for nothing else but the cup at the Lord's Supper. So the command, as I see it, is to use the "fruit of the vine".

Now, the practice in 1 Cor 11 certainly indicates drunkenness was an abuse at some of their gatherings, but all that can be proved from this is that at least at some of their gatherings (maybe all), they used fermented wine. But given that there was no other technology available all you logically infer from the practice is that wine was used. I don't see how you can state dogmatically that it was all that was allowed.

I have no doubt that the practice for almost all of church history, was some kind of fermented wine. But that really doesn't inform certainty on the command. Just trying to be objective here. Objectivity is not the same as defending a position.

Edit: (and for the record, I'm glad the PCA church you are in is moving in the direction of wine).
Logan,

I am not going to spend anymore time defending that wine was used in scripture during the Lords supper to someone who also has stated that they believe that it was wine. I mean this respectfully and am stating such because I do not see this back-and-forth adding clarity.
 
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littlepeople

Puritan Board Freshman
Grant, I'm saying that blue fermented drink is not fruit of the vine in any meaningful way, whereas grape juice is fruit of the vine.
 

timfost

Puritan Board Senior
Logan,

This is going to be my last post in response to yours. I am not going to spend anymore time defending that wine was used in scripture during the Lords supper to someone who also has stated that they believe that it was wine. I mean this respectfully and am stating such because I do not see this back-and-forth adding clarity.

Grant,

Please try to hear Logan's argument. His argument is essentially that practice does not necessarily equal precept. Proving that wine was used does little to communicate that it was fermented grape juice containing alcohol that was necessarily commanded, nor is the confessional use of the term necessarily as restrictive as you insist.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
Grant,

Please try to hear Logan's argument. His argument is essentially that practice does not necessarily equal precept. Proving that wine was used does little to communicate that it was fermented grape juice containing alcohol that was necessarily commanded, nor is the confessional use of the term necessarily as restrictive as you insist.
Tim, why does your church not use grape juice 100%?
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
Interesting...Curious? What about white wine?
Does scripture give us a color? Our confession? BCO? If it can be shown otherwise that it should be a particular color, then I would likely be OK with the natural white or red.

However the fact that some of the symbolism is the shed blood of Christ does lean me to prefer a one color over the other.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
How so? The Westminster standards don't use "fruit of the vine" but "wine"?
And the WLC says more, that it is wine "by the appointment of Jesus Christ". Now, what churches have done subsequently is another matter; but what the Westminster divines intended, they could have meant nothing other than what that word meant to them which is if I'm understanding the argument a more restrictive term than fruit of the vine. Next someone is going to say that "day" doesn't mean "day" in WCF 4.1.
And my apologies if this was already addressed.
nor is the confessional use of the term necessarily as restrictive as you insist.
 

timfost

Puritan Board Senior
Tim, why does your church not use grape juice 100%?

Because we (the elders) answer to God for the souls of those entrusted to our care. In most of our history, we have used 100% wine. In all of our history we have used the fruit of the vine.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
Because we (the elders) answer to God for the souls of those entrusted to our care. In most of our history, we have used 100% wine. In all of our history we have used the fruit of the vine.
Maybe, but I’m not sure if you’re using biblical context to define fruit of the vine.
 

littlepeople

Puritan Board Freshman
However the fact that some of the symbolism is the shed blood of Christ does lean me to prefer a one color over the other.

This is perhaps the dividing line between us. I see the shed blood as the ultimate and primary image which the element conveys. All other considerations are subordinate to that. I believe pasteurized juice is problematic, but not as problematic as disunity in the body at the supper over the circumstance of the particular ABV of the fruit of the vine. My reasoning flows from there.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
But one should ask, if Jesus used wine, the apostles used wine (1 Cor. 11) and the early church used wine...and if all of church history until 1869 shows they also used wine (fermented), the Scriptures communicate wine, our confessional documents say wine then what standard then is used to say, "grape juice is okay"?

Some keep using the phrase "fruit of the vine" as the that includes pasteurized grape juice when used in Scripture . So what did fruit of the vine mean in the context of Scripture? What did it mean to Jesus? What did it mean to Paul? It didn't mean grape juice, it couldn't.:detective:
 
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