I’ll admit in my study I didn’t see anything about Wesley and the Eucharist or his use of wine in the sacrament, so would definitely love to read about that. However, in his sermons he often ranted against the use of wine (“You see the wine when it sparkles in the cup, and are going to drink of it. I tell you there is poison in it! and, therefore, beg you to throw it away!”) so the use of the wine in the Eucharist would seem counterproductive to his reasoning. In the rest of that sermon I linked to, he goes on talk about making your brother stumble as you aptly pointed out. In my research, I did know he worked predominately with the working class poor who engaged in alcoholism and gambling, which made sense in regards as to why he saw the need to preach against it. Yet, I also find this problematic because in taking to account Paul’s words we must also remember not to snub our noses at those “who eat [and] despise the one who abstains,” which is exactly what his movement eventually did. While his intentions may have been good, just like the story I told in the beginning, it trickled into those he influenced, then to his congregation, giving way to Thomas Bramwell Welch, and eventually to Prohibition, which we can now see had some real flaws leading to the judgement and condemnation of others. That was my point in writing about him. Not to single him out, but show how something can snowball. And yes, I’ve had some beers myself with Methodists in years past as some of the church has eased their stance because they learned the history behind our traditions as I have.

To your other point, as a 12-Step sponsor myself, I very much understand the alcoholic/addict’s mentality and that there should be those that never touch the wine. Luther addressed this hundreds of years prior to Wesley, in fact, stating that “If a person cannot tolerate wine, omit [the sacrament] altogether in order that no innovation may be made or introduced.” Yet, that’s EXACTLY what we did. I tend to land with Luther on this. If your heart cannot be in the right place to have a thimble of wine while remembering the blood shed, it is best to omit it and take the bread only and like you stated, touch the bread to the cup edge in reverence.

Storyteller | Combat wounded veteran | Metalhead | Designer | Bleeding on a page just makes it more authentic: https://benjaminsledge.com

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