Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Historian seeks return to communion wine
apb ^ | 17 July 2013 | Jeff Brumley

Posted on 08/20/2013 2:08:32 PM PDT by Gamecock

Discussion leader Bill Leonard, an author and church historian at Wake Forest Divinity School, was asked why Baptists don’t use wine in the rite. He immediately proclaimed “I long for the day” when they do.

Most Baptists and other Protestants, except Episcopalians and Lutherans, switched from wine during the temperance movements of the 19th and 20th centuries.

But if Baptists today are going to argue – as some do – for full immersion baptism and re-baptize new members from other Christian churches, then they should embrace the biblical standard of wine in the supper, Leonard said.

“Here we are talking about retaining immersion, but we gave up wine at the drop of a temperance hat,” Leonard said.

Leonard has previously noted that Primitive Baptists stuck to wine while the rest were abandoning it.

But Leonard’s longing is likely to remain an unrequited one, at least for the foreseeable future.

‘No movement’

Recent tradition is partly responsible for that, and so is a genuine concern for recovering alcoholics, said Curtis Freeman, a research professor of theology and director of the Baptist House of Studies at Duke University.

Romans chapter 14 is often cited in making that argument because it instructs Christians to accommodate weaker brothers and sisters, he said.

Freeman speculated that Fellowship Baptists may be open to the idea of returning to wine in worship, compared to other Baptist traditions. And younger Baptists involved in the emergent church also are open to it.

“But there is no movement in Baptist life to return to it,” Freeman said.

‘Habits hard to break’

It’s even a tough sell in congregations where members have experimented with communion wine and liked it, said Rodney Kennedy, senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio.

For five weeks in February and March, the American Baptist church hosted an Episcopal parish whose building was being renovated. That act of hospitality required FBC to provide wine stations for the Anglican visitors in addition to the usual grape juice. Kennedy said he was amazed to see how his congregants responded.

“Almost everybody went with the real thing,” he said.

Kennedy describes himself as a “small c, small b Catholic Baptist” who would switch to wine in a heartbeat.

“But it would be a pretty controversial switch,” he said. “There are people who drink wine (socially) but if you ask them to change the church’s policy, they would be reluctant, to say the least.”

That, even though Scripture is clear Christ used wine in the Last Supper, he added. “Habits are hard to break even if they haven’t any biblical sense about them.”

‘Fundamentalist mindset’

Even so, some can see it happening in the next one or two generations.

One of those is Troy Dixon, pastor of Normandy Park Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Jacksonville, Fla.

Dixon said he abstains from alcohol to keep from scandalizing others.

“We are still under the grip of that fundamentalist mindset where any alcohol is taboo, forbidden, of the devil,” Dixon said.

“But around the periphery” there are others rejecting that mindset, he said. He noted that some larger SBC churches, especially in the Northwest, have experimented with microbrewery classes to draw in the unchurched.

It all makes him think future generations of Baptists may embrace social drinking and, eventually, wine for communion – at least in some parts of the country.

“I could see some groups over the next generation beginning to embrace it.”


TOPICS: General Discusssion; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: communion; wine
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-117 next last

1 posted on 08/20/2013 2:08:32 PM PDT by Gamecock
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Gamecock
Romans chapter 14 is often cited in making that argument because it instructs Christians to accommodate weaker brothers and sisters, he said.

Was Jesus concerned about weaker brothers and sisters when he converted water into wine?

Dixon said he abstains from alcohol to keep from scandalizing others.

Just who was scandalized when Jesus served up great wine at the wedding in Cana?

2 posted on 08/20/2013 2:11:45 PM PDT by Gamecock (Many Atheists take the stand: "There is no God AND I hate Him.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: Gamecock

As a Southern Baptist, let me just say that I see no real reason to do this. I don’t think the Bible commands that wine be used.

On the other hand, I see no real reason not to, either. I drink a little; I know other Baptists that do, too. I also dance and play with a standard deck of cards, not Rook cards, although I play with Rook cards, too.

Still, what is the point in pushing the change?


4 posted on 08/20/2013 2:15:17 PM PDT by chesley (Vast deserts of political ignorance makes liberalism possible - James Lewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Vigilanteman

Baptists are a lot more liberal today. Heck, it’s gotten to the point that they wave at each other in liquor stores.


5 posted on 08/20/2013 2:15:19 PM PDT by Gamecock (Many Atheists take the stand: "There is no God AND I hate Him.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

The CRC we were a part of for a long time used wine. (They also had a number of cups with white grape juice for those that did not want wine.)


6 posted on 08/20/2013 2:16:10 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea." Isaiah 27:1)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lee N. Field

Grape juice for the kids?


7 posted on 08/20/2013 2:18:14 PM PDT by GeronL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

My Dad was once on the Vestry of our small Episcopal parish in the NE. They were working with the Rector to brainstorm ideas of how to bring new membership into an aging church in a town that was itself aging out as the kids left for greener pastures.

His idea: use a different wine for Communion every week, and announce what the weekly selection would be in the little 4-5 line section in the local newspaper that the church was given for services-related information.

The other members of the Vestry looked at him like he was nuts. I, on the other hand, thought and still think it’s a really good idea ...


8 posted on 08/20/2013 2:18:55 PM PDT by tanknetter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

My kids have been using wine in communion for as long as they have been taking communion.


9 posted on 08/20/2013 2:19:46 PM PDT by Gamecock (Many Atheists take the stand: "There is no God AND I hate Him.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Vigilanteman
Ok, This is really good. hahahh!!!
I am going to freepmail my favorite, use it or not. ;-) (No it is not crude but some maybe offended or not, I laughed)

10 posted on 08/20/2013 2:20:14 PM PDT by svcw (Stand or die)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock
My Presbyterian church experimented with this years ago and gave up. You can't have all wine because many communicants are not of legal drinking age. Some adults don't or can't drink (recovering alcoholics). We typically take communion in the pews, served on trays. So, there was a procedure to divide the tray into a wine side and a juice side, but then one or the other would run out or people would get confused.

The church gave it up as not worth the brain damage, so to speak.

11 posted on 08/20/2013 2:29:01 PM PDT by colorado tanker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

I am a Lutheran pastor (LCMS). I only use wine for the Sacrament.


12 posted on 08/20/2013 2:32:05 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson (Lutheran pastor, LCMS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: colorado tanker
You can't have all wine because many communicants are not of legal drinking age.

Not so. We Lutherans do not have a problem communing those who are under 21.

13 posted on 08/20/2013 2:33:59 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson (Lutheran pastor, LCMS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

Protestants don’t recognize the Pope.
Jews don’t recognize Jesus.
Baptists don’t recognize each other in the liquor store.


14 posted on 08/20/2013 2:34:19 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory, and He will not be mocked! Blessed be the Name of the Lord forever!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Vigilanteman

Q: How do you keep your Baptist friend from drinking your beer on a fishing trip?

A: Invite another Baptist.


15 posted on 08/20/2013 2:34:19 PM PDT by pgyanke (Republicans get in trouble when not living up to their principles. Democrats... when they do.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: chesley
I don’t think the Bible commands that wine be used.

Interesting story.

Jesus did use wine, so while it might be a stretch to say it is a biblical command, He did say "Do this..." after He took the cup.

I once heard of a Southern Baptist who claimed that Jesus had actually changed water into grape juice, not wine. The rationale was that after changing from water the juice did not have time to ferment and change to wine.

And I have got to say that I don't care at all for the little glass cups in the metal dispenser. I once told my wife that it sounds like a Holy Hubcap clanking down the pews.

16 posted on 08/20/2013 2:35:15 PM PDT by Martin Tell (Victrix causa diis placuit sed victa Catoni.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: chesley

“I see no real reason to do this. I don’t think the Bible commands that wine be used.”

You think Christ had grape juice in that Last Supper cup?


17 posted on 08/20/2013 2:35:50 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (Making good people helpless doesn't make bad people harmless.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Vigilanteman

Do you know why you never take just one Baptist fishing with you? He will drink all your beer.


18 posted on 08/20/2013 2:36:17 PM PDT by Martin Tell (Victrix causa diis placuit sed victa Catoni.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Vigilanteman

Mine is:

Always invite two Baptists along on your fishing trips. If you just bring one, he’ll drink all your beer.


19 posted on 08/20/2013 2:37:27 PM PDT by SpinnerWebb (In 2012 you will awaken from your HOPEnosis and have no recollection of this... "Constitution")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Martin Tell
I don’t think the Bible commands that wine be used.

No it does not and I don't drink, period. I wouldn't attend a church that gave alcohol to kids either.

Then again I'm a Baptist and I don't do all these weird extraneous rituals. Rituals are not Christian.

20 posted on 08/20/2013 2:38:00 PM PDT by GeronL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

I’m in a rare position on this.
I’d ALWAYS had “grape juice communion” thru age 38.
Then I had it with wine. The effect happened just once: a flush of radiant warmth, a sense of life coursing thru my veins unlike any other Lord’s Supper experience. I understood then that was the intent both in real experience and spiritual implication.
Grape juice is missing the point.


21 posted on 08/20/2013 2:42:39 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (Making good people helpless doesn't make bad people harmless.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

I guess it’s because there were no “recovering” alcoholics (or no alcoholics) in Jesus day that He was free to both miraculously create and drink wine Himself.

After all, they did accuse Him of being a “wine-bibber”....partaker.....

;-)


22 posted on 08/20/2013 2:43:29 PM PDT by Arlis (.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

“Just who was scandalized when Jesus served up great wine at the wedding in Cana?”

The chief steward, that’s who. When he sampled the water changed to wine, he summoned the bridegroom and basically said,

“You moron, why did you save the best wine until last? Your guests are already too snockered on the cheap stuff to even know the dfference!”

And if the servants had brought him grape juice as some maintain, the steward would have tasted, thrown his goblet down, announced “I quit!!” and stormed out.


23 posted on 08/20/2013 2:45:47 PM PDT by elcid1970 ("The Second Amendment is more important than Islam.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Vigilanteman

That’s always been my favorite Baptist joke, too! It says so much about the priorities. And I think you really have to have been immersed in the Baptist church to really “get it”. As a Baptist P.K., I think it’s hilarious.


24 posted on 08/20/2013 2:49:37 PM PDT by MayflowerMadam ("A hyphenated American is not an American at all." Teddy Roosevelt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

All we like sheep have gone astray............
I would like to see wine in my communion cup.
But I would argue we have gone too far astray in other ways. I have been convicted to grow out my hair. I believe women would be wise to return to wearing head coverings and modest clothing. One young woman at our church always has her head covered on Sundays. And if I was a young married, I would ditch my birth control and allow God to choose the number of children I had, although I had four in spite of the birth control!
We have become entirely too worldly when we were told to separate ourselves from the world. Grape juice is scratching the surface of our disobedience.


25 posted on 08/20/2013 2:59:31 PM PDT by Wiser now (Socialism does not eliminate poverty, it guarantees it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GeronL
I'm a Baptist and I don't do all these weird extraneous rituals.

So you just ignore what Christ said ("Do this") as a "weird extraneous ritual?"

And do you know that the wine (alcohol) is only a very small amount? In my church, it's only a spoonful. Not enough to even physically affect a baby, but it is eternal life! John 6:54.

26 posted on 08/20/2013 3:00:28 PM PDT by Martin Tell (Victrix causa diis placuit sed victa Catoni.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

Have you heard about the discovery of the long-lost cask of wine just found by archeologists digging at the site of the Wedding of Cana in Israel? They think it must be some of the wine created from water by Jesus when Mary told him that the host had run out of wine! Surely the taste must be heavenly!


27 posted on 08/20/2013 3:00:43 PM PDT by 2harddrive
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Wiser now

I urge you to check out the Orthodox Church. We have all the things you mentioned, plus a lot more. We call it the Fullness of Faith.


28 posted on 08/20/2013 3:02:59 PM PDT by Martin Tell (Victrix causa diis placuit sed victa Catoni.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Martin Tell

No its not. You can worship a spoonful of wine if you want but worshipping Christ does not require a pantry


29 posted on 08/20/2013 3:04:54 PM PDT by GeronL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Charles Henrickson

I don’t understand your post. It is illegal in this state to give alcohol to persons under 21.


30 posted on 08/20/2013 3:05:04 PM PDT by colorado tanker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: colorado tanker

parents are allowed to give their own child a glass at dinner or something

but a non-parent like a church seems a bit weird


31 posted on 08/20/2013 3:06:47 PM PDT by GeronL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

I’m not a Baptist, but being born and raised in Jerry Falwell’s town, I know quite a few of them; some are in my husband’s family.

The Bible cautions against becoming drunk with wine, but does not command abstinence. In fact, Psalm 104 lists “wine that gladdens human hearts” among the many bounties God has given us.

My husband’s sister got married a couple of months ago. There was wine and champagne for those who wanted it, and the Baptists in the family were fine with that.


32 posted on 08/20/2013 3:08:12 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon (Support Christian white males----the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: elcid1970

They key is to use really bad wine.


33 posted on 08/20/2013 3:09:01 PM PDT by AppyPappy (Obama: What did I not know and when did I not know it?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: GeronL
Rituals are not Christian.

So someone who attends Sunday service every week is not a Christian?

What about someone who reads a chapter from Scripture every night before they go to bed, or before they leave for work in the morning?

What about someone who prays every night?

How random and unplanned must one's actions be, in order to be considered a true Christian?

34 posted on 08/20/2013 3:16:50 PM PDT by wideawake
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: zot; Interesting Times

whining about wine. the time is ???


35 posted on 08/20/2013 3:28:15 PM PDT by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: colorado tanker

ever hear of the separation of church and state?


36 posted on 08/20/2013 3:35:10 PM PDT by aumrl (let's keep it real Conservatives)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

I thought non-Catholics didn’t believe in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Or the bread and wine they come from.


37 posted on 08/20/2013 3:35:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aumrl

Good luck with that. Do you have a case citation where a church giving wine to minors got First Amendment immunity from a court?


38 posted on 08/20/2013 3:39:37 PM PDT by colorado tanker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Not sure where you are going with this.

You do know we celebrate communion, right?


39 posted on 08/20/2013 3:46:17 PM PDT by Gamecock (Many Atheists take the stand: "There is no God AND I hate Him.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: chesley
Still, what is the point in pushing the change?

By what right did your forefathers in the church change it to begin with?

I have been involved, as chairman and otherwise, in a nondenominational Christian school for the past 11 years. I came upon this abstaining from wine (at communion and otherwise) when socializing with families there, many of whom are evangelicals with Baptist roots.

I must say, for people who consult the epistles of Paul for guidance about hemlines and worship music, they are awful quick to disregard or explain away Jesus' charge to Peter or the clear and consistent use of wine in the church for almost two thousand years, following the Lord's own actions. "Do this" He said. DO...THIS. Not much room for interpretation there.

There are not many things that Jesus prescribed in an unequivocal manner. With regard to breaking the bread and sharing the wine, however, the scriptures are perfectly clear (as they are about remarriage after divorce, too, by the way).

The Baptist mainstream is fine with discarding wine and with remarriage after divorce, but not with minor ephemera teased out of various parts of the Bible.

Straining at gnats while swallowing camels, perhaps?

40 posted on 08/20/2013 3:49:05 PM PDT by Jim Noble (When strong, avoid them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: colorado tanker

Churches have always been able to give the Sacrament to communicants under the drinking age.


41 posted on 08/20/2013 3:53:34 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson (Lutheran pastor, LCMS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

But not the transubstantiated Body and Blood of Jesus Christ — as he did at the last supper, correct?

Do you view the communion you have as plain bread and wine or something more?


42 posted on 08/20/2013 3:57:21 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: colorado tanker

You reasoning is excellent. That’s why in the Catholic Church the Body and Blood is present both in the consecrated host and in the consecrated wine in the chalice. If people are gluten intolerant — they can receive the wine. If people cannot drink the wine — they can receive the consecrated host — the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.


43 posted on 08/20/2013 3:59:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: GeronL
Grape juice for the kids?

Nothing for the kids. I don't know if paedocommunion has become the practice in the CRC. It wasn't when we were there.

44 posted on 08/20/2013 4:15:23 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea." Isaiah 27:1)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock
My kids have been using wine in communion for as long as they have been taking communion.

I do miss the practice. It stuck me then (and now) as more in line with what the Bible prescribes.

45 posted on 08/20/2013 4:20:50 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea." Isaiah 27:1)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: colorado tanker

are you serious ?


46 posted on 08/20/2013 4:20:58 PM PDT by aumrl (let's keep it real Conservatives)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Martin Tell
I once heard of a Southern Baptist who claimed that Jesus had actually changed water into grape juice, not wine.

I hear that kind of thing, and I just don't buy it.

47 posted on 08/20/2013 4:22:00 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea." Isaiah 27:1)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: elcid1970

Those who say Jesus created only grape juice at the wedding in Cana deny half the miracle, in my opinion. Not only did Jesus prove mastery over the physical world by transforming water to wine, but he proved mastery over time itself, because fermentation and ageing take time.


48 posted on 08/20/2013 4:23:34 PM PDT by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Something more.


49 posted on 08/20/2013 4:23:53 PM PDT by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: DManA

**Something more.**

Meaning?


50 posted on 08/20/2013 4:25:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-117 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson