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Re: [conculture] Digest Number 360

From:Adrian Morgan <morg0072@...>
Date:Thursday, June 8, 2000, 5:19
Barry Garcia wrote, quoting anonymously:

> > My current favorite are the logical contortions > > non-alcohol drinking people will go through to > > prove that all the references to wine in the > > Bible are in fact references to grape juice.
> In my experience, it has been protestants of the > evangelical sort that consider refereneces to wine > as really meaning grape juice. Some have told me > that Catholics are bad because wine is allowed at > communion, and that Jesus never drank wine (note, > these are very extreme people, who I dont waste my > time with). I'm pretty sure the Greeks, Romans, and > Hebrews had different words for wine and grape > juice, and that it would be very hard to > mistranslate something like that ;).
These people certainly are very extreme! But it is true that their wine was _weakly_ alcoholic, compared to modern wine. Also that wine was much more important than it is here and now because of problems of water quality. Hardly grounds for declaring Biblical imperatives against alcohol, however! Now I *am* opposed to the idea of wine at communion, unless grape juice is also available, because I am opposed to anything which makes it morally (or legally) awkward to serve communion to children. (I realise that in the Catholic church and a few other denominations you have to be a member to receive communion, but that's another thing I'm opposed to because of Biblical ideas about unity and so on). In addition, I was told an anecdote by an ex-alcholic, who still felt in his conscience that he was not yet recovered. He went to a church and refused an alcoholic communion, and got given absolute hell for it. That is a very sad story about people taking things far too seriously. So there are at least two reasons why communion should be non-alcoholic, or at least have a non-alcholic option. Adrian.