This is a post that helps you the reader to become more acquainted with where I – the author of this site – stand on various topics and theological points. Keep reading to see where I stand on today’s topic.
I have no qualms with alcohol so long as you follow Scriptures warning to not be mastered by it (1 Cor. 6:12). If you are concerned that you cannot control yourself then you need to stay away from it.
I often stay away as my stomach tends to get sensitive to acidic stuff and that includes alcohol–in other words, for health reasons. With that said, that does not mean I would flat out refuse to drink a glass of wine with a meal. It comes down to a judgment call for me in which I actively consider the state of my health–same as I would with any other consumable.
This began within the 1800s and has been felt unto the present as a result of the impacts of changes in society, especially industrialization, and the western world’s use of alcohol.
The temperance movement was a natural reaction to the abuses of strong drink in society which was made all the more plentiful by modern methods. Teetotalers were those who took things to the extent of teetotalism or complete abstinence. These were also the individuals who pushed things to the point of removing wine from the Eucharist.
To keep a long story short, I would side with the temperance individuals and not the teetotalers.
The Eucharist, Communion, or Lord’s Supper are all names for an ordinance brought about by Christ but also not brought about in a vacuum. What I mean is that the Lord’s Supper had a precursor and that precursor was the Passover.
Within the Passover there were the unleavened loaves/cakes and the red wine and these elements were carried forward into the Lord’s Supper at the Last Supper which occurred at Passover. Christ was bringing an original practice to an “end” and replacing it because He was the final sacrificial lamb (a lamb was also consumed at the Passover). The loaves became His body and the red wine still represented blood but specifically now Christ’s blood shed for us.
Today, many churches particularly in the US like to use grape juice. Not only is this not wine as it was in fact wine going all the way back into the Old Testament Passover practice, but it is often of a purplish color rather than red.
The ancient Hebrews, modern Jews, early Christians, and even Eastern Christian believers to this day that use wine in their practice continue to weaken wine the same way too. They add water to it. They often do this in prescribed amounts even. This greatly dilutes the alcoholic content to the point that those who are concerned over drunkenness involving Communion wine simply lose much of their ground. This is especially true when you consider the very small dosage taken during the ordinance.
There is much more I could say involving the Eucharist on this topic as I have already written pages and pages on it in my own time and for seminary. Suffice it to say that I believe we should be administering the Lord’s Supper with the elements that we were originally given by Christ. Purple grape juice doesn’t cut it; it must be red (otherwise we lose an aspect of the blood it stands for). The Scriptures clearly indicate wine in the Passover and the Eucharist, therefore we should use wine even if that means it is diluted with water–this was the practice even in Jesus Christ’s time.
If you wish to read more on this, see my Is It Inaccurate or Sinful to Use Real Wine in Communion? – A Research Paper
On an additional note and while I’ve said what I have said, I do not consider it a sin to use grape juice. It remains a derivative of the vine. I do not see it as a sin to use it. However, it would be better to use red wine as the Passover did. To put this another way, using grape juice has precision but it lacks the biblical accuracy of wine.
Note: I do these posts not because I think I’m somehow superior in my views or anything absurd like that but out of a desire to be up-front and honest with my readers as to where I stand. Otherwise, you’d be left to figure things out by reading between the lines and/or guessing.