Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Eight Key Points: Part Seven (Drinking Wine)

7. In the catholic church, during communion, wine is given to those who take the communion. Yet, Numbers 6:3 and Proverbs 23:31 affirm that we should not drink fermented wine, but fruit of the vine, a.k.a grape juice. I never liked that idea as a child, and the truth behind that act was revealed to me in becoming a born again Christian.
If you look closely, all the biblical prohibitions are against getting drunk. Responsible drinking is certainly acceptible. Jesus and the Apostles all took wine to drink at the Last Supper (see here). He would not have made himself sacramentally present in wine if wine was prohibited. Jesus' first miracle was turning water to wine (John 2:1-11), and this after they had already drunk freely. Jesus drank wine, but perhaps you would call him a glutton and a drunkard, like the Pharisees did? (Lk 7:33-34). Finally, Paul told Timothy to "use a little wine for the sake of your stomach" (1 Tim 5:23).

As for the OT evidence, was Jacob wrong to drink the wine that Isaac brought to him (Gen 27:25)? Was Melchizedek wrong to offer it as a sacrifice to God (Gen 14:18)? Nehemiah commands the people to drink wine (Neh 8:10). The Psalmist says that God gives man plants so that he may make from them "wine to gladden the heart of man" (Psa 104:14-15). Wine is even used as a symbol of new life (Isa 25:6; Amos 9:14; Zech 10:7).

With all this, how can we say that we are never to drink it?

Now, on to your final point ...

4 comments:

PatterNoster said...

The main point of your argument should surely be that wine is not in fact given out at communion, rather it is the Blood of Christ. The accidents of wine remain, including its alcoholic content, but its not wine!

phatcatholic said...

"patternoster", you said:

The main point of your argument should surely be that wine is not in fact given out at communion, rather it is the Blood of Christ. The accidents of wine remain, including its alcoholic content, but its not wine!

....but, his problem, as least as far as this question is concerned, is not with the Real Presence but with the elements that are used, specifically wine. So, I have to defend the use of wine at the Last Supper before I can defend the belief that Jesus changes that wine into his Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. I surely believe in the Real Presence!....but I also felt that transitioning the conversation to a defense of the Real Presence would have taken it off topic.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

If you run across any fundamnetalists arguing this sort of silliness (not that they're going to listen to reason but...) you can point out the two different "wines" spoken of in the NT. They assert that the 'new wine' means grape juice. If you can get them to admit this (therefore justifying the use of wine at the last supper) then you disprove them by pointing out that some at Pentecost accused the apostles of being "drunk with new wine". How do you get drunk on grape juice?

phatcatholic said...

Good call! I'll keep that in mind ;)

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