Bible Wines

I was introduced to another new Baptist controversy today: “Unfermented Bible Wines”. I’ve always taken it as given that the Eucharist used normal wine by default, and that the churches I’ve been attending at used grape juice as a mere concession to those who had to abstain from alchohol. It’s only now that I’ve become aware of the silliness seriousness of the Grape Juice Debate. The prevailing prohibitionist hermeneutic seems to be: if wine is called “bad” in the bible, it’s wine, otherwise it’s grape juice. Ha.

Anyway, I started Googling for research, and guess whose page I came across… ;) (Update: Okay, it’s not that Rich Clark.)


  1. wayne says:

    I used to believe such when I was a baptist but then got over it eventually (although it took quite a while to do so). Those dern baptists are missing out on some great wines :-).

  2. Paulo says:

    Do these Baptist stands on “Bible wine” have any Scriptural justification, though? Or is it just stretching Scripture to rationalize prohibition? Rich does make some interesting points.

    What does the Greek Masta say, eh, Wayne? :D

    In any case, I’ve talked to my pastor about these Baptist foibles (e.g. successionism, KJV-ism, Bible wines, altar calls), and he’s okay with me not going along with nominal Baptist tradition. To him, these are nonessentials, so long as one is saved by grace through faith. Pretty cool pastor, actually, for a FundaBap. ;)

  3. rowster says:

    just wondering… but before the age of preservatives, didn’t all grape juice begin to ferment as soon as the grapes were crushed? so when would wine be considered “wine” and not just “grape juice”?

  4. rowster says:

    oops. followed the link and found the author’s reply to that question. :)

  5. Rich Clark says:

    Whoah, dude, that was unexpected.

    For the record, that’s not me. haha.

  6. Paulo says:

    Really, Rich? Gosh, how many Christian Rich Clarks are there anyway?! :D

  7. doug says:

    A lot of the debate is really rooted in pre-Prohabition America. Prior to the mid to late 19th century, wine was used without comment or question. For Methodist Protestants, John Wesley certainly never condemned the use of wine as a sacramental element, nor sought an alternative. It’s a bit ironic I suppose that the founder of the largest grape juice producer in the world was a Methodist layman and communion steward who manged to pursuade the denomination to adopt sweet (and spoilable!) juice to replace wine as a sacramental element.

  8. wayne says:

    Essentially they leap from biblical prohibitions against drunkeness as well as prohibitions for particular people to abstain from alcohol to the conclusion that drinking alcohol is inherently sinful at any and all occasions.

    And Paulo, have you tried a Reformed Baptist church? Looking through the list of articles at the FundaBap site you linked to makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end :-). Reminds me of the old days….

  9. wayne says:

    BTW, yes, I do love my Baptist brethren. Just a little concerned, that’s all…. :-)

  10. doug says:

    You’re right, Wayne. It’s really a sly bit of proof texting at (as always) the expense of textual and historical contexts.

  11. Paulo says:

    Wayne – If there were a Reformed or Reformed Baptist church in the area, I’d try it. But this is the Philippines, and pretty much anything here that isn’t Roman Catholic or Local-Cultic is either Baptist or Pentecostal.

    This church we’re attending at now (Berean Bible Baptist), though FundaBap in background, is solidly grounded in the essentials, without making these peripheral issues of faith binding on anyone’s conscience, so that’s okay with me.

    In fact, I’m being baptized into the congregation next week! Yes, yes, full immersion. I’ll be wearing my swim trunks. Yeah, seriously. ;D