Monday, August 18, 2008

General Assembly Resolution: Unfermented/De-alcoholized Wine

Note: Bracketed text [ ] are words that are to be deleted from the current Manual. Underlined text ___ are words that are to be added to the current Manual.

34.5. . . . (Only unfermented or de-alcoholized wine should be used in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.) . . .


. . .NOTE: Only unfermented or de-alcoholized wine should be used in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.


1. Jesus used wine, and the Bible instructs us to use wine.

2. There really is no such thing as "unfermented wine." No one (including manufacturers), except those within churches that only use grape juice for the Lord's Supper, speak of "unfermented wine." It is simply grace juice.

3. "De-alcoholiezed wine" was not available at the time that the Manual developed the language of "unfermented wine." However, one may now purchase "de-alcoholized wine." This is wine that has gone through the fermentation process, BUT it has also gone through a process of being de-alcoholized, leaving no more alcohol in it than what one might find in orange juice.

4. Therefore, de-alcoholized wine maintains the church's strong stance against the use of alcohol, but allows those who strongly believe we ought to follow our Lord's instructions more closely to do so. Thus, it resolves for them an issue of conscience.

5. While the use of de-alcoholized wine does maintain the church's strong stance against the use of alcohol, the current rendering of par. 34.5 and par. 802 does not make room for its use in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, because, technically, it is not unfermented wine. (It has fermented, but the alcohol has been removed.)

6. The proposed change retains the language of "unfermented wine and the use of grape juice by those who would prefer its use would not be threatened in any way.

7. The proposed change does not require anyone to make any changes in their current practice, but it does allow for an additional option in the administration of the Lord's Supper which is still consistent with our church's stance on alcohol and which some see as being more faithful to our Lord's instructions.


Eric said...

I'll second that motion.

Seriously, great to see you posting again. I missed reading your blog. Thanks for sharing the ideas.

Since I'm not much on "procedure" how would I go about submitting these to our delegates? To the DS? To any singular delegate? To all the deglegates?

Thanks for the help.

Eric said...

How about this one:

Whereas the USA and Canada are now deemed missions areas;

And, those who minister in missions areas are understood to be missionaries;

Be it resolved that all USA/Canada pastors be designated as missionaries entitled to the same rights and priviledges as missionaries (eg, health coverage).

Todd Stepp said...


Contact your district office or district secretary. They should let you know procedure.

Your DS, of course, is a part of your delegation to the GA. However, your DA should have elected your other delegates (if you've already had your DA). Someone in that group should be taking care of resolutions.


Katharine said...

It's a step in the right direction, but seriously, how silly is it to worry about the amount of alcohol in a sip of communion wine? Cough syrup will make you drunker.

The first time I had wine in communion I was so brain-washed that I couldn't accept the experience and it made me feel tainted. How sad, to feel that way about the sacrament.

J.B. Chapman said...

I agree fully, but should we not also try to undue the last revision of this section which allows the use of leavend bread.

Paul said...

This is all absolutely ridiculous. The stance held by the denomination (as well as other protestant denominations) is completely pharisaical. I'm sorry but as I read the Bible, the pedagogical nature of the law has been fulfilled in Christ and is no longer the way things operate. Protestant Christians, at least in America, have not caught on. We're afraid people may sin so we make new laws that prohibit them from doing something that is not a sin. I think if God wanted us to not drink alcoholic beverages He would have told us not to partake. More importantly if He didn't want us to partake, then He most definitely would not have used it as an element for the sacrament of communion. God is clearly ok with me drinking alcohol, why is the Church of the Nazarene against it? Aren't we supposed to be on the same side as God? Instead we're on the same side as the Pharisees. We tell people that they can't be a member of our "holy club" if they partake of alcoholic beverages.

I am reminded of the words of Jesus, "woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces."

How do we think we know better than God?

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