Church Yesterday

The S.E. Idaho Baptist preacher (a dispy) sat in with the brothers and sisters yesterday at Christ Church.  A new experience.  And the little cup of red wine at communion just about kicked me out of my chair.

Here is yesterday’s sermon.  Intriguing thoughts.  Especially since I questioned Rahab’s deception in our present Wednesday night study in Joshua.

Thanks to all up in Northern Idaho.  And thanks to Jeremy Bunch.  It was very nice to meet his family.


  1. Using wine for communion AND shot glasses?

    The shot glass method came into use after a Methodist dentist by the name of Welch figured out how to process grape juice such that it could be kept unspoiled in a non-fermented state. He was a tee-totaler, and, because of that, found it incongruous that congregations had to use wine for communion.

  2. You’re right, Fr. Greg. Although, I don’t think there was a connection between the shot glasses and Welch’s product. The shot glasses were introduced for sanitary reasons (whether those reasons were founded or not is another topic). The introduction of grape juice came as a result of the women’s temperance union. And I’m sure those women are rolling in their graves after my toddlers drink the wine at communion, and then ask for more.

    In fact, the teetotalers didn’t like the shot glasses when they were introduced in the churches. Participation in the Eucharist suddenly looked like a bar room activity, with shot glasses brought up and heads tilted back.

    Nice to meet you in person as well, Todd. Come back anytime.

  3. Greg and Jeremy,

    My Baptist background is teetotalism, from the Northern Baptist Convention in the 1800s, to the CBA in Oregon in the mid 1900s, to independent Baptist fundamentalism in Idaho in the late 1900s.

    In Idaho Falls (Eagle Rock) in the early days, we had all saloons and no churches. But the late 1800s changed everything. The episcopalian minister and the Catholic priest were ecliped by the fiesty Rebecca Mitchell, rolling into town as a missionary from the American Baptist Missionary Society. She took control of an abandoned saloon (1882), turning the town upside down. She organized the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in Eagle Rock. And soon after the LDS settlers under the marching drum of Brigham Young dominated the landscape. Teetotalism became the culture. No dark, potent brew for men.

    But today, the liquor laws on Sunday Sabbath are lessoning.

    I don’t drink alcohol. I have a beef with the drunken abusers in the area. It’s bad. Yet I also have angry reactions with those who make teetotalism a fundamental part of the credentials for entering celestial light. We are messed up in S.E. Idaho.

  4. Todd, I completely agree with your last paragraph, and that dynamic is not just found in S.E. Idaho. In South Carolina, it seems that one is often either a drunk or a tee-totaler with relatively few people being moderate drinkers.

    I was last in S.E. Idaho ten years ago. It turns out that besides Mormons, many of the original settlers in the area were (white) refugees from the South who moved out there after the Civil War. I discovered this after I had previously noted that S.E. Idaho and South Carolina often have very similar cultural vibes (and frankly, the emergence of a neo-Reformed subculture in Moscow, Idaho is not at all surprising in this context).

    Moderation in all things. (No, I know that this is not a biblical quote, but it does, I think reflect a biblical principle.)

  5. The way that it is supposed to work among brothers is like this – I don’t despise teetotalers, and they don’t judge me. I think Paul in Romans encourages Christian liberty to be manifest in just that way. Some are free to drink in moderation, and some are free to not drink at all – so let’s all get along.

    But to those who haven’t quite realized the joy of a dark beer or a deep red wine, I would echo one phrase – Semper Reformanda 😉

  6. LOL, Jeremy. Last time I checked, tee-totaling was pretty much a Protestant/Mormon phenomenon in Christian circles (apart from those who cannot drink for health reasons, including alcoholism). What Belloc wrote about Roman Catholicism also applies to Orthodoxy:

    “Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!”

  7. I do believe you folks can help me get the answer I need for completing the second book in a series I’m writing set in the Eagle Rock area. Do you know what churches and/or faiths were established in that area from 1880 on? Thank you for any help you can provide.


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