Written by: Christopher Sernaque
Debra R.: We don't drink in excess, but wine is allowed, and is actually important for Passover, and was vital to many of the feasts under the law, as well as for communion today, even if it is a very small amount used. We aren't better the Yeshua, who created real wine at the wedding feast and drank it Himself. There was no such thing as grape juice in His days. As soon as a grape is crushed, wine begins to form, and in the lands of Bible where it is very warm much of the time, and water was not always clean, wine was a part of daily life. You misuse the scriptures in the way you quote them to forbid wine and strong drink, when it is only limited in its use at times in certain conditions which you do not understand because you don't understand the Jewish foundation of Christianity. Drunkenness is forbidden as a practice, of course, but you mix abuse with reasonable use like so many who are not rightly dividing the Word of truth. You have never had genuine communion if you use leavened bread and anything other than real wine. God gave us only a very few commands that represented the death and resurrection of our Lord, water baptism and communion, and He expects us to do these as they were commanded, not as we in our own minds think it should be done. Too many people decide by their own feelings of self-righteousness that wine is the Devil's tool, when it is only a tool if it is abused, just like food, and by this put our sinless Christ who kept the Law perfectly (because He was God in the form of human flesh), in the same camp with sinners, because He made wine, and drank it as well. Shame on you.
Your claim is that this article is written in “self-righteousness” and that it regulates Christ Jesus to the “camp with sinners.” These two claims are not only uncalled for but could not be further from the Truth. Let me start by saying that Christ Jesus Ministries affirms the sinless perfection of Jesus Christ. The Word of God says that Christ was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) Furthermore, this article was written with the knowledge that addiction to alcoholic beverages leads to the destruction of many family homes. According to the American Addition Center, “Alcohol abuse and alcoholism within a family is a problem that can destroy a marriage or drive a wedge between members. That means people who drink can blow through the family budget, cause fights, ignore children, and otherwise impair the health and happiness of the people they love.” Thus, concern for the well being of families, and a desire to speak the Truth, was what prompted the writing of this article and your slanderous attacks on the author’s character constitute projection on your end.
Let’s address each of your claims. Your response makes it evident that you either did not understand the article or you are deliberately making false claims. For the sake of courtesy, I will assume that you simply misunderstood the article.
Your first claim is that it is okay to drink wine in moderation. Based on the evidence presented in the article, and the evidence that will be presented in this response, your claim that the moderate drinking of intoxicating beverages is not sinful is incorrect.
Your second claim is that alcoholic wine is utilized in both the Passover and the Communion service. The article addressed this claim already. Christ, in neither the Old or New Testament, approved of the consumption of alcoholic beverages for sacred or social purposes. Christ Jesus makes it very clear that the wine He used in the communion service was non-fermented by distinguishing it from alcohol by calling it, “new wine.” (Matt 26:28-29) Your claim that the Passover meal included fermented wine betrays an ignorance of chemical processes.
Fermentation and leavening are two sides of the same coin! The Passover meal quota forbade the consumption of anything leavened or fermented. (Ex 12:19) Thus, your claim that fermented wine was used in the Passover is both incorrect scripturally and scientifically.
Your third claim is that Christ both created and consumed alcohol at the wedding feast in Cana in John 2. This could not have been the case. With our modernistic lenses on, it is easy to assume that fermented wine would be served at a wedding, as that is customary in our day. However, that is not the case with Christ and should not be assumed to be so. In both the Old and New Testament Christ forbade the distribution of fermented wine. (Hab 2:15, Lk 12:46, Eph 5:18) Even if you want to argue that these verses forbid “excessive” drinking, Christ would have, in your view, have filled six pots with fermented wine. Each of these Cana pots can hold up to 30 gallons. Multiply that by six and you have 180 gallons of alcoholic wine! That is well beyond what anyone should even consider to be moderate! Furthermore, that is assuming that there is such a practice as “moderate drinking.” As seen from the evidence in both the article and this response, the consumption of fermented wine is a sin. There is no such thing as “moderate sinning” and no such practice of “iniquity in moderation” belongs in any form in any Christian household. From the fact that the groom received a compliment from the governor on the purity of the beverage and the fact that it was called “new” any reader of the text can rightly conclude that Christ miraculously generated unfermented wine at the wedding feast of Cana. (Jn 2:4, 6, 9-10, Mk 1:24, 2 Sam 16:10.)
Your fourth claim has to be the most incredulous. You made the claim that there was “no such thing” as unfermented wine in the days of Christ. This is resoundingly false. There is no dispute in Biblical scholarship that the phrase “old wine” indicates the fermented variety. If there is no such thing as unfermented wine in Christ’s day then what does the term, “new wine” refer to? Surely, you are not proposing that unfermented wine originated with Welch’s in 1869?
Your fifth claim that the view that fermented wine is forbidden by God for us to consume does not reconcile with the quote on quote “Jewish foundation of Christianity” is equally as baseless as your previous assertions. The Hebraic text discriminates between unfermented and fermented wine by utilizing two different words for each item. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word tîyrôsh is used for new unfermented wine, and yayin is generally used for fermented wine. In the New Testament the type of wine that is being consumed is determined by the context of the passage, as there is only one word, oinis, used when referring to both unfermented and fermented wine. In passages like Luke 5:37-39, we have Christ distinguishing new and old wine. The Bible clearly distinguishes unfermented wine from fermented wine by calling it “new.” (Mark 2:22) This text was given in the article, and since you chose to ignore it, I must bring it to your attention again. Here it is: “Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all.”- Isaiah 65:8 The natural fruit of the vine is the grapes found in the cluster! As Pastor Batchelor aptly said in this analogy, “After wine goes through the process of fermentation, it is no more the fruit of the vine than yogurt is the fruit of a cow.” God promised that He would provide this blessed wine, or unfermented wine to His people, proving that grape juice, or unfermented wine, was a staple of the Biblical diet. (Gen 27:28, Gen 40:11, Gen 49:10-11, Num 15:7, Deut 7:13, Deut 11:14, Deut 14:23,26, Deut 27 and 28, Deut 32:14, Ps 104:13-15, Hos 2:8)
Your sixth claim is that the article does not rightly divide the Word of Truth. Your sixth claim is erroneous as well. Christ Jesus, who is the Truth, did not drink fermented wine. He is our standard. (1 Jn 2:6) Proverbs 20:1 declares that whoever is deceived by wine or lies to themselves about it benefits in “moderation”, is not wise. Jesus was wise and thus He did not drink wine. Micah 2:11 states that false prophets condone the drinking of wine. Jesus was a true prophet and thus did not drink. Jesus said in Matthew 9:17 that His teachings are like new wine, which is grape juice according to Isaiah 65:8, so why would Jesus (the teacher) drink old wine? In Matthew 26:28-29, Jesus says that New Wine is the beverage of the New Heavens and the New Earth and it only goes to follow that He would begin the New Covenant with New Wine, which is grape juice.
Your seventh claim is a total departure from Scripture. You wrote, “You have never had genuine communion if you use leavened (sic) bread and anything other than real wine.” The statement, “You have never had genuine communion” applies to yourself. In your view, leavened bread and fermented wine must be coupled together as fermentation and leavening are one and the same process. Forgetting whether or not the wine was fermented, the Bible, in both the Old and New Testament clearly says that the bread was unleavened not leavened as you claimed! (Ex 12:15-20, Deut 16:3, 1 Corinth 5:6-8)
In conclusion, let us observe, for the sake of argument, the possible worlds that would come into existence if both of our positions were taken to their fullest extent. In the view presented in the article and in the response, the possible world that originates is one in which Welch’s has great sales numbers! However, taking the view that fermented wine is acceptable can open up the possible worlds of abuse, neglect, wastefulness, pain, separation, humiliation, self-destruction, accidents, and suicide. No alcoholic becomes an alcoholic without taking the first drink. Thus, just from looking at the results of what could happen should people be encouraged to drink, makes me want to stay as far away from intoxicating beverages as possible. I personally would not have that on my conscience, and I would advise you to steer clear from telling people that “moderate consumption” of sin is acceptable. In the words of the prophet Habakkuk, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!” (Habakkuk 2:15) For more information please see: https://www.amazingfacts.org/media-library/book/e/63/t/the-christian-and-alcohol#What-About-the-Last-Supper-
Wine is a Mocker