The Bible says (Rom 14:20-22 NIV) Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. (21) It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. (22) So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.
It doesn’t say that if you believe that it is unacceptable to drink wine you have the right to disregard verse 22. The verse says whatever you believe about these things. Those who believe wine to be evil in some way have rolled obstacles in the way of many, even though much that they preach is true.
I’m going to attempt to dance around the subject a little without revealing what I believe about wine.
Once when it seemed as though I was defending drinking the leader of a Bible study asked me “What good is wine?”. I have to admit that I was not prepared for that question and I could not answer. Now, I don’t know about you, but when someone asks me a question that I don’t know an answer for I rejoice, because I know I have something more to learn, and I know God will give me an answer. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating; if you have the perfect Teacher all you need are the questions.
Because we can not talk (openly) about wine let’s think about yeast and Communion.
Yeast is used in the Bible as a symbol of sin (malice and wickedness- 1 Cor 5:8). The symbolism of bread without yeast is that Jesus came to this earth in bodily form with out any malice or wickedness. In fully fermented wine all of the yeast is destroyed, so God chose wine to represent the blood of Jesus; which destroyed the power of sin.
Grape juice is not the symbol that God gave us; it is the symbol that those who have a knee jerk reaction to wine, and have chosen not to obey verse 22, have given us. Anytime we change anything God instituted, for any reason, we error. Even if our motives are good (remember Moses and divorce).
Think about this and perhaps you will see other problems preaching against wine has caused. I could list a few, if you so desire. I did not include those who preach wine is good, because I don’t know anyone who does so: but if there are any, I mean them also.
I had to edit this post as it could be construed as if I meant we should change the “emblem of the Blood” back to wine. I think this would create great riffs between my weaker brothers, so please understand that I did not mean this and please do not try to change the emblem without considering your brothers.