Only the ungrateful or the purblind can fail to see that sugar in the grape and yeast on the skins is a divine idea, not a human one. Man’s part in the process consists of honest and prudent management of the work that God has begun. Something underhanded has to be done to grape juice to keep it from running its appointed course.
Witness the teetotaling communion service. Most Protestants, I suppose, imagine that it is part of the true Reformed religion. But have they considered that, for nineteen centuries after the institution of the Eucharist, wine was the only element available for the sacrament? Do they seriously envision St. Paul or Calvin or Luther opening bottles of Welch’s Grape Juice in the sacristy before the service? Luther, at least, would turn over in his grave. The WCTU version of the Lord’s Supper is a bare 100 years old. Grape juice was not commercially viable until the discovery of pasteurization; and, unless I am mistaken, it was Mr. Welch himself (an ardent total abstainer) who persuaded American Protestantism to abandon what the Lord obviously thought rather kindly of.
That much damage done, however, the itch for consistency took over with a vengeance. Even the Lord’s own delight was explained away.
Often they insist that Jesus’ wine, while alcoholic, wasn’t “fortified” like all of today’s evil wines. Jesus’ wine was watery, they proclaim! If Mike Harding would actually imbibe for once, he might realize what an ignorant statement this is. Good wine isn’t ever watery. Ever. Never has been.
But instead of sipping, Mike writes 7563 words about something he knows nothing about. It’s a perfect metaphor for the entire fundamentalist culture.
The very opposite of honest and prudent.