For more than 1800 years Christians drank wine when participating in the Lord's Supper. There was no debate or question as to the use of an "alcoholic beverage" in the Church of Jesus Christ, how could so.
The reason for no debate about the correctness of wine in the Eucharist has several causes. One reason was because all Churches from the time of Christ had always used wine and this was simply the normal thing to do. Another reason was, unless you pressed the grapes just before you took part in Communion, the natural yeast on the grape skins would turn juice to wine in short order (transformation from sugar to alcohol complete in less than two weeks).
Dr. Thomas Welch, a dentist, who happened to be Methodist, and a confirmed teetotaler, was bothered by the fact that wine was used for the Eucharist at his, and everyone elses church. He learned of a process, discovered in 1862 by Louis Pasteur, called pasteurization, and he used it on grape juice. This process prevented the juice from fermenting.
Now, for the first time in the history of the Church, the Communion Cup could be drank without evil alcohol being present. We are so blessed to have men like Dr. Welch, who are so much wiser than God, and are able to fix God's occasional errors.
I am certain God meant for the Church to use grape juice, instead of wine, the whole time.,He just needed an English born, New Jersey tee-totaling dentist to figure out the process 1800 years after the fact.
It is also a credit to the American Protestant Churches that so many of them were able to grasp the truth that Jesus, the Apostles, and all the church for over one thousand eight hundred years, had been doing the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper wrong all those many years. What a joy it was to grasp Dr. Welch's Communion correction and finally be able to do what God intended from the beginning, and replace wicked wine with (sinless) Welch's grape juice.
It is good that a mere mortal (like Dr. Welch) can, every now and then, fix God's faux pas.
5 years ago