I intended to blog on something different today, but it will have to wait for another day. I have a pressing matter to discuss since it seems like the subject matter is in my face right now.
I won’t get in to too much detail, but here’s the gist of it. Tuesday night I get an email from a list asking about low gluten altar bread with some quoted information about said LGAB and questions about how the church should store and serve it to prevent cross-contact. This was for the writer’s daughter with Celiac to receive communion in church. My initial reaction was, WHY? WHY? WHY? What are you thinking? Are you crazy? Is this person for real? Gluten is gluten is gluten.
I took some deep breaths and calmed myself before starting a reply. I explained my personal opinion on knowingly consuming gluten and reminded her that even if there is no visible physical reaction, there can still be a reaction to the gluten. I also reiterated that 100ppm is way above certification standard of 20ppm or less. That said, I answered the questions about preventing cross-contact during storage and serving. Then I reiterated my opinion. *click* Send.
I get a reply from someone else in the list berating me for not getting my facts straight and for being disrespectful of their faith. Wow. That really hurt. Here I was just trying to be helpful and answer someone’s question and someone else gets on me and tells me I offended them. After more deep breathing to calm myself down, I responded. I copied and pasted the info from the original email and told her it was not my intent to offend, that I was using the information that was given and whatever they choose to do, they choose to do. I was simply stating what my opinion in the matter is if I was given that option at church. That being no way, no how, never. *click* Send.
I am not insensitive to other people’s faiths. I grew up in a dual faith household if you could call it that. My mother was raised Methodist and we attended a Methodist church. My father was raised Catholic and when I was with his family, I went to Mass. I can relate to wanting to receive Communion. It is a great symbol of shared faith that we partake of the body and blood of Christ. It can be very affirming when we are feeling low and in need of something to edify us.
I take issue with churches taking everything in the Bible literally. Yes, there are some things that should be taken literally. There are many that shouldn’t. The Catholic church will only allow altar bread made from wheat for the sacrament because it is in the Bible. Yep. It’s there. I had to do some digging today after Heidi brought the same issue up on her Facebook page.
Exodus 29:1-2 1 “And this is what you shall do to them to hallow them for ministering to Me as priests: Take one young bull and two rams without blemish, 2 and unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil (you shall make them of wheat flour).”
If you keep reading, the wheat offerings are supposed to be burned. Yet, in the New Testament, we eat them in remembrance of Jesus and his sacrifice. This is where Old and New Testament collide. And if I got it wrong, someone tell me, but it was the only passage about wheat being used for cooking that I could find.
Anyway. There is a reason why there is an Old and New Testament. Whenever someone tries to use the Old Testament passages to prove something to me I remind them that it is Old Testament, not New. Not everything from the Old Testament applied once Jesus entered the picture. Life today is not the same as it was in the Old Testament either. Neither is our food. Especially our wheat. There is more gliadin in it today than there was back then. There are more people eating it in larger quantities than back then, too. Gluten, soy, and corn are modified and put in our foods to make them taste better. Yes, our wheat is not Moses’ wheat. Anyone that tries to tell you different either doesn’t understand or doesn’t care.
Personally, I believe that God would not force us to eat something that would make us sick. Ever. Not even for the sacrament. Yet some organized religions will force their congregations into some “safe” option that really isn’t safe at all. That is not right. It inflicts emotional and physical pain on those faced with the inability to eat wheat or gluten and feel guilted into consuming the LGAB. You must eat this or you will go to Hell for not receiving Communion! Bullshit. Pure unadulterated, straight from the bull shit. St. Peter will not turn you away from the Pearly Gates simply because you didn’t take that little piece of bread or wafer (whatever your church serves) because it makes you sick. God will not turn you away. God will keep loving you as He always does. The New Testament tells us that it is our Faith (our heart) and not just our works that will open those gates for us. For a church to guilt a member into eating something that makes them sick is unconscionable.
I say again, gluten is gluten is gluten. As Dr. Vikki Peterson said, you are “playing Russian Roulette” with your body when you knowingly consume gluten. Low gluten does not equal no gluten. If churches refuse to change their stance on this issue, it’s time to find another church that will understand your needs and not attempt to force you into choosing a seemingly lesser evil. And, thank you, Shirley for keeping me sane while I composed my response! *puts away soapbox*