December 19, 2015
It’s all yours today…
February 26, 2016
July 5, 2010
November 23, 2015
As an owner operator in the trucking industry, it’s amazing how precipitously the cost of diesel fuel has dropped.
I remember a few years ago when the doomsday prophets were predicting the price of oil was going to go above $200 a barrel! The January benchmark just closed around $35 a barrel.
Ahab the Arab opened the spigot for different reasons, however, as a businessman whose bottom line is affected by the cost of fuel, I’m certainly appreciative of the $1.80 gallon price of diesel as opposed to the $4.00 per gallon rate I was paying.
puts a new spin on Revelation 6:6
The flipside of my reaping a benefit from the cost of fuel dropping is that there are thousands of families in our (and Canada) domestic oil production industry whose economic lives have been turned upside down.
Seems like that’s the way it always goes in the ebb & flow of business economic cycles.
Winter has come to the Midwest.Last weekend it was70° …this weekend it’s28° with snow fluries….burrr!
Well, I feel blessed…while it is cold here, my chickens are still laying eggs 🙂
Is the Reformation-era doctrine of justification by faith alone (sola fide) dead in Western Protestant Christianity? Is the sola (alone) at the heart of the issue? Has the Church determined that the sola is too dangerous and impractical to make disciples? After all, Christians might get lax, lazy, uncharitable or tight fisted with their resources. Worse yet, someone might even inquire: “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?”
Justification can’t be sola fide if there are strings attached, can it? So either the sola must go or the strings. It appears to me from surveying the writings and teachings of popular Protestants, as well as reading comments on Christian social media sites, including this one, that the verdict is in: the majority are in favor of retiring the sola and retaining the strings.
Can this state of affairs be racked up to “progress” in theologizing, better exegesis, or contextualizing different cultures and times? Or, is this an existential issue for the doctrine of justification as a whole? In other words, can a sinner be justified in the sight of God by faith without the sola? Or put another way, is faith without the sola justifying faith at all? If the answer is “no”, then the question is a matter of life and death for the Christian.
I was just adding some finishing touches to tomorrow morning’s class. I was just planning on finishing Matthew 14 but thought I should drag in some of my notes for 15 in case I run short. As I am usually 6 weeks ahead I need to go in, clean up and make sure it blends with the preceding. So, I am on the traditions of man and how we today do the same – not teach the word of God but substitute our own thoughts.
What I just wrote fits right in to your line of questioning – like do we really believe the words.
“Let’s look at an example of how some today teach traditions of man over the scriptures.
“This is my Body / Tthis is my Blood”. Clear words spoken by Jesus himself – not someone quoting him years later. So, how do some in the church handle this? Do they see Jesus’ true Body and his true Blood present in the communion? No!
Why is this? Because the rational of man is that finite things like bread and wine cannot comprehend, or cannot contain, or cannot handle, the infinite or divine things.
The traditions of man superseding the very words of God – how can this be? Do we believe Aristotle or do we believe Jesus?”
You nailed it – “to “progress” in theologizing, better exegesis, or contextualizing different cultures and times? “
when i come across this topic here, there seems to be only one alternative to the Roman Catholic and the Lutheran views of the Communion elements … the memorialist and it is always brushed aside as trivializing – well, maybe it is – dunno
the following quote is extracted from an article by one Matthew W. Mason – Curate of St John’s, Tunbridge Wells -graduated from Oak Hill Theological College. This article first appeared in Churchman 117/4 (2003)… and explains pretty well the view that i cannot explain, but believe is the correct tack to follow
“In contrast,[to Roman Catholics, Zwingli] Calvin does not separate remembering and feeding. He sees in the memorialist viewpoint a danger of dividing the signs of the Supper (bread and wine) from the things signified (Christ’s body and blood). The Supper ‘is not a bare figure, but is combined with the reality and substance.’ Whilst it is correct to distinguish the sacrament from the reality it signifies, one must not divide them: sign and signified belong together; therefore, it is right to speak of Christ’s presence in the Supper, for in order for us to feed on Christ, he must be present. Calvin’s ‘argument with the Roman Catholics and Lutherans was over the mode of Christ’s presence, not the fact of that presence.’ 
Calvin denies physical presence, which would necessarily involve a christological heresy.”
i think the whole article is worth a read as it is understandable by us pew sitters , here’s the link:
not entering into the debate – just sayin
Not meaning to be irreverent towards some.
For me personally it is emblematic serving merely as symbols.
The bread taste like any bread. The grape juice taste like any grape juice.
Because they really are.
But the significance of Christ communion statement looses none of it’s essence.
I understand the symbolism and grasp totally the concept…
“The bread taste like any bread. The grape juice taste like any grape juice.
Because they really are.”
Lutherans don’t deny that. We confess that Christ is present, hidden in and under the bread.
Just as God was hidden in a baby in a manger.
Just as God’s Word is hidden in a book.
That’s the Calvinist view which is that Christ feeds us spiritually through the elements.
It is the correct view. 🙂
But it still does not address the point that Calvin denied the actual words of Christ and chose an Aristotilian view over the Biblical statement.
It’s Calvin’s view I was addressing as the tradition of men.
I understand your view, respect your view, and disagree with your view.
If you want to get nasty, I can bring it harder than you can.
It doesn’t edify or inform anyone, however.
Why is that getting nasty? I think I stated the Calvinist position fairly. The finite cannot contain the infinite is the reason given to dent the real bodily presence.
The idea that what man cannot understand overrides true words to me ranks up there as teaching the traditions of man.
It may be a difference of opinion but it is not nasty.
There are four different views on the Supper.
I disagree with three of them
None of the four are Aristotelian, all four think they are grounded in Scripture.
Labeling any of them with scorn is pointless.
I didn’t say a view of the supper was Aristotelian. I said his position of the finite cannot contain the infinite is Aristotelian and that informed his view on the topic.
So others will know, is that not the Calvinist view? Finite vs Infinite?
We can put MLD’s explanation on every other symbolic teaching of Jesus.
You see, he really is a door. Yes, a door. Just because our finite mind can’t handle it does not give you the right to deny the “clear” teachings of Jesus. He said he was a door. So He is a door.
Except when you pick and choose your hermeneutic depending on the passage…
John’s gospel, the same as with chapter 6, contains lots of these and the Lord’s explanation whenever someone did try to take him literally that the words He speaks are spirit. You can’t jump back into your mother’s womb either
Door, Shepherd, Vine, Way,Truth,Life, Bread of Life, Light of the world, Resurrection
You must be born again, you must eat my flesh and drink my blood
After Hebrews I volunteer MLD to teach through John. 🙂
If someone wants to understand Calvin’s view of the Supper they can read the article Em linked to.
Then they can ask you why the hell you insist on twisting it.
It’s sad that a Pastor like Steve does not read his Bible carefully. A100 bonus points to pastor Steve if he can show the verse where Jesus says he is a door.
“So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.”
(John 10:7–9 ESV)
Doesn’t the Lutheran canon go past John 6?
Evidently, MLD is as good at the Bible as he says I am in Reformation history…
Michael – read closer. It says I am THE door (not ‘a’ door) and that changes the meaning completely from where the snarky denial wish to go.
That’s your opinion.
You might be right…but I don’t think so.
It is not befitting the Prince of Snark himself to object to some getting thrown his way…
Folks object to the Body / Blood and say – “well Jesus really meant that the bread and the wine represent or symbolize his body and blood” and then do just what Steve did – what about Jesus saying he was a door? – is he wood and hinges? They then follow with the good shepherd the vine etc ala Steve.
But let’s take a look. When Jesus say he is THE door as opposed to a door, there is meaning to THE DOOR and Jesus is claiming to be it – not a representative of THE DOOR, not just a representation of the door and he is not saying he symbolizes that door, No!!! he IS THE DOOR – just as he says the bread and wine are his body and blood..
There is talk in the OT of the shepherd. Is the argument then that when Jesus claims to be this very Good Shepherd that we are to believe he really is not the shepherd but he only represents or symbolizes the shepherd … but someone else is truly that Good Shepherd?
How about THE vine? We know what the vine is from the OT – so is Jesus only a representative or representation or symbol of that vine — or is he REALLY THE vine …or is it someone else?
# 11 Does this mean you did not join that Anglican church?
The Calvinist view is also the view of many Anglicans.
Cranmer held this position.
I haven’t had the time to pursue that …but I will.
So then God must be a bird?
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
An idiom’s figurative meaning is different from the literal meaning.
Walter Martin Teaching On Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus and the Holy Trinity
Surfer – and therein lies the difference between what you identify as an idiom vs. Jesus saying “I am”.
Again, if it just means he represents or he symbolizes – then out there we should be looking for the REAL door – the REAL Good Shephers and / or The REAL vine.
So, anyone have any suggestions as to who this REAL one is if not Jesus?
Also, in all these others, you would be saying that door, shepherd and vine are the metaphors – but in the ‘this is my body you would actually be saying that the IS is the metaphor.
Based on Michael’s endorsement at#18, I read the article Em linked at #8. While Calvin’s view varies from Luther’s at a couple of points, they both have a sacramental view of the Supper (not merely memorial) and both view it as God to us (not a work).
I like this statement: “The sacraments do what the Word does, but better, because they also contain a visible component: ‘The sacraments bring the clearest promises; and they have this characteristic over and above the word because they represent them for us as painted in a picture from life.’ Thus, they make the Word ‘more vivid and sure.'” I think this statement captures the essence of why God deals with us through physical means, which has been a long standing point of MLD’s.
I’m not trying to gloss over the differences between Luther and Calvin or imply that they aren’t important. But, I will say that they both are infinitely more Scriptural than the non-sacramental “traditions”.
How men have tried to complicate such a simple act of honor in memory of our LORD. All this adding to and taking away from the Word of God is pathetic. The twisted view that at the recital of the magic words, “This is my body . .” a change occurs in the elements is sheer hocus pocus — and is used as an excuse to come up with some special priesthood in order to conjure up Christ. Sheer Roman (pagan) Catholicism and an inroad for those who see themselves as another mediator between the people and God. The Reformers did not go back to square one – they just tried to sanitize the beast. So many communion tables use leavened bread nowadays. I think that is totally appropriate in some circles because leaven has most certainly crept in.
Ms ODM – the simple words ARE This is my Body / Blood – the twisting and word adding comes from those who bellow – “can’t be, it must mean something else.”
Take the simple words and that is what you get – the difference between the real presence of Christ at the supper or the real absence of the others.
Off to church and participation with the saints of all time in being in the real presence of our Lord. 🙂
A question I have then is what are, if any, the consequences if one does not adhere to the view of the sacraments as prescribed here by MLD and Jean?
we can, it seems, all come up with a different interpretation of the communion – but, in the end, isn’t it our spirits that we want nourished? whether the bread and wine have any affect on our digestive system beyond the carnal is not the point – IMV – so i think that everyone can agree at least on what we want to effect … or maybe not … dunno
the obedience of the Son, the cross is an unspeakable and unfathomable act of God’s love and righteousness bringing justice without compromising His holiness – this is what we’re to remember IMHO and ought to bring us to our knees for many reasons
“A question I have then is what are, if any, the consequences if one does not adhere to the view of the sacraments as prescribed here by MLD and Jean?”
You ask a great question. The sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are sacred acts instituted by God in which God Himself has joined his Word of promise to a visible element, and by which He offers, gives and seals the forgiveness of sins earned by Christ.
In light of what Scripture teaches about these sacraments, why would any Christian turn down God’s good gifts? Do people today think that their faith is somehow stronger than the faith of the first Christians?
I think the problem stems from two modern problems: (1) Western Protestants have moved away from the Reformation doctrines of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. (2) Western Protestants have subordinated the Word of God to their higher critical thinking concerning in their interpretation of Scripture.
Yesterday in the car, my son reminded me of Peter’s warning:
“For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: ‘The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.’”
So to answer your question, salvation is by the 3 solas. The Holy Spirit can work faith into a person through the preached Word. However, human beings are weak and sinful and will easily turn back to the law, traditions of men and works for self-justification. Justification by faith alone is not a safety net, as if to say “don’t worry if you’re not doing much good, because you are justified by faith.” No! Justification by faith alone says: “you cannot be justified before God unless you stop everything you’re trying to do to justify yourself and receive Christ’s righteousness won for you on the cross. “For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
God knows our weaknesses and therefore has given us the Sacraments to strengthen our faith and defend us against the devil and our sinful flesh. Therefore, there can be eternal consequences.
I searched the concordance – the word ‘sacrament” does not show up. The term “ordinance” does – meaning “a decree or edict” – We obey our LORD when we baptize or share the memorial supper, recognizing the symbols of the body and blood of Jesus in the wine and bread.
When Paul was defending himself in front of the people in Acts 22, he recounts Ananias saying to him:
“‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him. And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’”
So, Miss ODM, was Ananias right that baptism washes away sins or was he mistaken? Can the Bible be trusted?
Paul, instructing the Corinthians in his first letter says:
“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?”
Miss ODM, is there an error in the Bible? Is Communion a participation in the blood of Christ, like Paul says it is, or was he mistaken? I can’t find anything here about a memorial.
Paul had a perfect opportunity to clear this whole thing up when teaching the Corinthians. He could have explained how Jesus meant to say “this symbolizes my body, this represents my blood.” But he didn’t – and since the letters to the Corinthian letters were probably written before the Gospels, we can assume that this was something Jesus taught Paul during his training period.
Now, I did hear Chuck Smith and several other CC pastors interject it into the institution and say “this is my Body this is my blood– (what Jesus meant to say was represent my body etc…)
Paul was an ancient guy, 1st century and all.
It’s ironic that the group calling itself “evangelical” actually robs the people of the euangélion. Go figure.
To Scott’s question about consequences. I don’t know that is a viable question as much as why would someone move from the clear words of scripture? When Jesus spoke these words, he gave no indication from the previous verses or the following verses that he was speaking in any other genre than narrative. He givens no heads up or permission to allegorize his speech.
Also, and I am sure pastor Steve can help us out here – the biblical languages of the day all provided perfectly good words to use if you wanted to say that something represented something or if it symbolized something.
But perhaps the only consequence is that you would exclude yourself from communion with Lutherans. I would if I thought they were this whacky. 🙂
it isn’t the body and the blood that are significant – rather it is the FACT that His body was broken (not His bones) and His blood was shed
even tho Jesus prayed, sweating blood, for another way to be found, yet He stayed the course, sinless, a man in perfect in obedience to the Father … did the angels look on and hope that Jesus would call them down to intervene? i wonder… i don’t think communion is about us at all… except as we remember the cost and experience/think on the Victory
I believe that the Lord feeds us during the Supper.
Something really happens besides fond remembrance.
I also believe that God in His grace feeds all those who partake whether they believe in the Reformed, Lutheran, Orthodox, Memorial, or Roman views.
His body was broken and His blood was shed so He could lavish us with grace whatever our ignorance or error.
Back to Miss ODM,
“How men have tried to complicate such a simple act of honor in memory of our LORD.”
That is a nice and fluffy description of something you may do – but this is not what is going on at the Lord’s Table led by Jesus.
But this is not what the text says. It clearly states “…Matt 26:27-28 7And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.
Again, more than trivial difference. In Miss OBM’s position the Lord’s Table is a place where we display obedience and deliver our obedience to Jesus. This is man’s work.
At our Lord’s Table, it is Jesus delivering exactly what his words say
1.) his blood
2.) the new covenant
3.) for the forgiveness of sin.
Take your pick – your work for Jesus or Jesus delivering his good gifts of grace to you?
I was going to say, you can’t pick and choose, but I guess you do.
“I believe that the Lord feeds us during the Supper.”
What does that mean??/ Jesus didn’t say he was feeding you – he says he was working the forgiveness of sin for you during the communion.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.I am the bread of life.Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.””
(John 6:47–58 ESV)
I have no need to try to definitively parse a doctrine that has been so divisive.
There is great mystery in the works of God…and I believe His grace covers a multitude of issues.
LOL – this is hilarious. Yesterday in your #21 you accused me of not being able to get past John 6 – snarking “Doesn’t the Lutheran canon go past John 6?” – which is funny in itself as most Lutherans do not look at John 6 as a communion verse.
But now I ask you the question and you quote to me John 6 – again LOL
I still want to go back to Calvin and “the finite cannot contain the infinite” – again his argument against Jesus’ bodily presence in the elements. (finitum non capax infiniti – to make me sound smarter?) Do you agree with him?
The question for me has never been whether Jesus is present in the elements…the question was how He is present.
You said Jesus never spoke of feeding us…I just showed He very much does.
Calvin was not and is not the last word on any Reformed doctrine.
I don’t believe that Christ’s body is ubiquitous…He sent His Spirit to do His works in men.
“You said Jesus never spoke of feeding us…I just showed He very much does.”
I was speaking in terms of the supper.
LOL! Jean thinks I asked a “great question”, MLD thinks it isn’t a “viable question”.
Nice to know there’s at least some diversity of opinion among the Lutheran brothers 😉
One more for Ms ODM @ #33 – “The twisted view that at the recital of the magic words,…”
I do believe in magic words; Gen 1 “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light”
How is that for magic words that caused transformation? Nothing / darkness transformed to light.
or how about these magic words – John 11 – ““Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, ” Magic words that cause a transformation – a dead man turns into an alive man.
And yes, the magic words – this bread is now my body and this wine is now my blood. – magic words of transformation.
BTW, I really don’t think they are magic words – just the plain old words of the Lord.
Is Carolina going undefeated plus a Super Bowl?
What a bunch of religious people — “Not by works”” – what part of that don’t you all understand?
Paul – “God did not send me to baptize” — yeah because it’s just an outward sign of an inward reality.
“Faith comes by hearing – hearing the Word of the LORD”
“You are my disciples if you do what I command”
He is the Word – the Logos – the heavenly manna – eating and drinking is equal to believing — “believe on the LORD Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”
“He IS the bread that came down from heaven” – but He does not look like a loaf of Webbers
A bunch of verses that do not address the topic at all.
I asked earlier
1.) What in the text tells you that Jesus is speaking in metaphors? Nothing previous and nothing after. I see in many Jesus talks where it is obvious or he has announced he is speaking in metaphors — “the kingdom of heaven is like….”
2.) Why didn’t Paul clear it up since he got the words directly from Jesus.
3.) If it is a comparison to Jesus saying he is the door, the Good Shepherd and the Vine – and he is really not, then who is?
4.) Is Jesus in the same way really not The way, The truth and The Light – then who is
5.) Is Jesus in the same way really not The resurrection and The life – then who is.
Jesus seems to just be a metaphor for the real thing.
See, none of this is about the Lord’s Supper but about how people misuse scripture and that was my initial point way up at #7 last evening when I was responding to Jean’s point of scripture misrepresentations.
“eating and drinking is equal to believing”
You made that up.
Yes and he commanded them to eat his body and blood — thank you for the support.
“Yes and he commanded them to eat his body and blood — thank you for the support.”
Then He handed them bread and wine…not chunks of flesh and blood in a cup.
Here’s a thought.when Jesus reference mana in the desert, it was to keep them alive while letting them know that unless they depended upon God, they were sunk. when he spoke of blood and body, He was telling us that unless, we too was willing to lay out own lives down, to walk out of our own Egypt/forsaking sin and die to the self, o we could not be counted as one with Him.
To die is to live
Michael – yes and that is the mystery – how bread and wine turn into body and blood. I don’t know – but unlike most here I don’t deny it.
I also do not understand how the preaching of God’s word saves people other than Jesus said it does. But I do not deny it to be true.
I don’t understand when Jesus says being baptized forgives your sin and delivers the Holy Spirit to you – but I don’t deny it (and as Jean pointed out with the Acts 22 passage Paul believed it also.
Faith comes by hearing God’s word — not by trying to figure it out.
I went to the Missouri Synod’s question & answer section on communion. Man, all the do’s and don’ts, who can, who can’t, clarifications, reclarifications by this committee and that section of the catechism over the decades almost wore me out from reading.
Is it really that complicated?
But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my father’s Kingdom.
Scott – it only gets complicated because they are continually challenged by those who say – “it ain’t so – no, Jesus did not mean what he said.”
So, point me to your church’s studied statement on the topic. Perhaps I will believe what they say
Scott – those were answers to 11 different questions people asked.
I apologize if Lutherans discuss things above your comprehension level – but if you study it it will become less complicated.
But you challenge questions being asked – so let’s hear your reply – from the scriptures only
1.) who can serve communion
2.) are women allowed to take communion
Remember, from scripture only and addressing the topic.
For me, heis telling those in his presence what is going toaol take place and for what purpose. Likewise, we are to do as the disciples wet instructed. that is to take the wine and the bread as a remembrance of what and why he did what you did for all who believe and to walk likewise.
MLD, no need to become testy and insulting of my intelligence.
“So, point me to your church’s studied statement on the topic. Perhaps I will believe what they say”
Seriously? I doubt that 😉
“Seriously? I doubt that”
Doubt what? Does your church have a study of their own to point to? If so I would like to see it.
How would you answer my questions in #73 – you challenged my church body’s stance on the issue as complicated – I would like to see the simple biblical answer to those 2 questions.
“But you challenge questions being asked – so let’s hear your reply – from the scriptures only
1.) who can serve communion
2.) are women allowed to take communion
Remember, from scripture only and addressing the topic.”
1) not sure the scriptures dictate as your denomination states that the serving of communion is limited to just male pastors who have been ordained in the Lutheran denomination.
2) Yes, I believe women are allowed to take communion. Where in scripture does it say women aren’t allowed to do so?
someone mentioned “fond” remembrance?
the death of Christ (the broken body and shed blood) cannot be remembered fondly – the crucifixion was a terrible moment in history – the sky went dark, the ground shook, graves opened and dead saints resurrected and walked out and the temple veil was torn down the middle… it was a victory at an unspeakable price – beyond mortal man’s ken – it is remembering the death, not the incarnation of God – IMHO
i believe we should be in awe with gratitude that can’t be fully expressed when we eat the bread and drink the wine… the magic-so-called is that we are in the presence of a Holy God’s memorial event – the magic that Moses was exposed to on the mountain, perhaps…
I like your style by exception when determining how we carry out certain functions. I could ask in the same manner – where does it say babies can’t be baptized. 😉
i think we “take” communion … who serves it isn’t the point … we could get so literal that we conclude that all the people Jesus told to observe this died 2,000 years ago … this is so bogged down in legalese that the point is getting lost … or so it seems to me
now i’m gone – God keep
Well you must remember I come from CC where they once taped the communion elements to the underside of the seats so that no one served it. When it came time, you just flipped your chair over, broke the tape and grabbed the elements.
But when it is not the body and the blood and it is just some Nabisco product and Welches grape juice you are free to do so.
“Is it really that complicated?”
Church organizations are temporal organizations ruled by the law. Some people confuse church organizations for the kingdom of God. There is overlap, but they are not the same thing.
In the church prior to the 2nd coming, you have wheat and weeds growing up together. You have false prophets trying to deceive the church and above all, the entire church consists of sinners. Under-shepherds are tasked with protecting the sheep from the wolves. Any church that is serious about its confession of the Gospel must, for the sake of the souls entrusted to its care institute order and discipline.]
Your concern reminds me of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:
“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
There’s only one faith, not several. This is the picture of the Church. Organizations, such as the LCMS, take this teaching seriously.
Communion rules only seem complicated to those who are accustomed to doing things their own way without conforming to something greater than themselves.
Most of these rules are to prevent heresy or to prevent someone from receiving in an unworthy manner which, as the scriptures tell us, can have dire consequences.
What safeguards do your churches have to prevent these things?
If you believe the elements are just bread and wine with no change and it is just a remembrance of the Lord then it doesn’t matter who partakes because no harm can come from eating a small meal in honor of someone. But that is not what the scriptures say. St. Paul says people can get sick and die from taking communion unworthily.
We are to examine ourselves carefully before we partake, says the Apostle. In all my years as a protestant this admonition was never given. I never saw anyone refuse to partake because they had examined themselves and found something amiss. Everyone partook, prepared or not. But, since it was not really the Body and Blood of Christ that was being taken in an often unworthy manner, they suffered no physical harm.
In my church, I may not receive Communion if there is someone in my life that I have not forgiven. Fr. G knows this because at confession the night before he point blank asks me if I have forgiven everyone.
Not only do we practice closed communion, not every member of the parish is going to take communion on a given Sunday. One must have been to confession recently, one must not have taken any food or drink since midnight, one must be in a serious (not frivolous) frame of mind. One must be a baptized Orthodox Christian, not a visitor from another type of church even if they believe in the real presence.
Here is a good one – why do people get so upset if you suggest Jesus made a mistake?
I was having a conversation with an actual longtime people friend from my old CC days and the conversation turned to inerrancy and I told him I wasn’t a big fan, but I did believe the Bible to be inspired and truthful.
When I mentioned Mark 2 and Jesus naming the wrong high priest he went ballistic and had his CC pastor get in on the conversation … it was emails. He knows I am Lutheran and thinks me a heretic (we are friendly in person as I have attended his church a couple of times)
So I asked him if he thought Jesus made mistakes in his life and he said no – he is God. So I asked – so he got 100% on all his math tests? Yes is the reply. So I asked, as a carpenter, did Jesus ever cut a board wrong? and again the answer is No!.
Does anyone here, besides me (it’s usually me alone) think Jesus made mistakes? Remember, mistakes are no sin – so I am not suggesting Jesus sinned. Did Jesus name the wrong high priest? (I know all the literature explaining it away but none of it is satisfactory.
The practice of communion has never been complicated to me during my 41 years as a believer in Jesus Christ. “Do this in remembrance of me” is not that complicated.
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly.”
We proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes when we partake of communion and what that means so far as the redemptive price Jesus Christ paid to redeem mankind to Himself.
Paul seems to imply that partaking of the bread and wine in an unworthy results in judgment against one’s self because he/she is showing partiality against the body of Christ represented in the church universal.
I’m sure there are other reasons, however, Paul really doesn’t expound upon that.
Personal confession of sin is always beneficial, whether it’s before we are preparing for communion, or driving down the street and become convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit.
What he doesn’t do is spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with how the elements are to be administered. In one cup for all to partake of together? In individual cups? Wafers? Real bread? Gluten free? Real wine? Grape juice? Licensed minister? In a church building? In a nursing home? In a hospital? In a foxhole?
I could go on and on with those particulars. That’s what I meant when referring to complicated.
What I do object to is the inference from MLD that if I don’t believe or adhere to the Lutheran position on this subject, I am minimizing the value or significance of it’s meaning, and ultimately in danger of damnation because I’m probably not a member of the true body of Christ in the first place.
Which goes right to the heart of 1 Corinthians 11:29 in my opinion, of course.
Scott – 2 points
1. It’s not the Lutheran view – it’s the Church’s view – actually corrupted by the RCC and then recorrupted by the raddical reformers in an over reaction to Rome. That is one reason we can look to Denis and the EO – who avoided both the RCC & the RR.
2. When you say it is simple “do THIS…” may I ask. – do what?
There is a major point that I think has been overlooked unless I overlooked a comment here.
Paul spoke in the exact same passage about people coming to the communion table drunk, gluttoning themselves on food and then partaking. Context
Unworthily is an ADVERB, the manner in which they are eating and drinking. It is to be a solemn focused time in remembrance of what the Lord has done and certainly every communion service I have ever led has been just that. Memorial view or not has NOTHING to do with the warning about unworthily partaking or the consequences of those sinning in this way.Nor does somehow examining your life – I can’t argue with someone confessing their sins before God before communion but that is not what the passage is teaching or warning about. Period. Unworthily..adverb. Drunk Christians. Gluttons. I don’t care how far back some church father might have gone beyond the text on this, I care what the text says and the text is clear.
Now, we can control drunk people not taking communion at our church. However, since there is no way to control someone else’s thoughts, if a person is partaking in communion and thinking about the prostitute they are seeing that night or for that matter wondering who they are going to play in their fantasy football team this weekend, then I would expect God to deal with such a person as He sees fit but since I can’t oversee thoughts, I can only lead by example and teach what the Bible
I warn unbelievers not to partake – every time. I also share the gospel and encourage them they can get saved right then and there. All Christians including visitors are encouraged to partake
MLD and Xenia’s churches extend their warning to other Christians who are of a different persuasion..they have their reasons but that is the bottom line. I am ineligible to partake
So stick Scott, Josh, me and MLD in a prison cell somewhere for the faith, and three of us could have communion and MLD would excuse himself, waiting until another Lutheran (and I guess an ordained Lutheran pastor) got tossed in the cell first.
Likewise, if I was in the cell with 3 Lutherans, they would kick me out of the circle.
That is the fruit of the teaching. Bottom line. And that is why it bothers me so much.
(And please, no exceptions for extreme circumstances…either you stay true to what you feel Jesus insists you do or you don’t..because He either puts this burden on His Church or He does not)
If the self-examination mentioned was to determine if I was not unworthy, I would never be eligible for communion a day of my life.
I can examine myself to see that I do not partake unworthily however…and I do. Always.
Steve’s comment was important enough for me to interrupt my Doris Day Show marathon – and that is saying a lot.
“MLD and Xenia’s churches extend their warning to other Christians who are of a different persuasion..they have their reasons but that is the bottom line. I am ineligible to partake”
It is not for the matter of being of a different persuasion at all. What part do you think makes you ineligible? Do you even know? How about the part that we are doing something completely different, for completely different reasons and look at the elements used a completely different things?
How are we to have communion with each other? We can’t even agree what the “do this” is. I don’t understand why folks who say what we believe and how we do it is wrong, but they are then offended because they are not allowed to participate. It never made sense to me.
And I do agree with Steve on the part of being worthy. I take the inward look to realize I am a wicked daily sinner and that is what makes me worthy to take the body & blood. It is those who think they have handled all their sin who are taking the supper in an unworthy manner.
But you know, that really only works if you believe the actual words of Jesus who says the act of partaking of the Lord’s Supper is what does deliver forgiveness of sin.
“…and MLD would excuse himself, waiting until another Lutheran (and I guess an ordained Lutheran pastor) got tossed in the cell first.” – this is most certainly true.
here is a good Open Blogging item
Halftime at the first Super Bowl (1967) – Lenny Dawson for the younger folks
“Where has God promised to be today? The answer is found in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth:
‘When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus,
for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what
the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and
bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” which means, God with
This isn’t just another Christmas story. This is the answer to our question. In the person of Jesus, the omnipresent God is present with us. All of Scripture points to Jesus, and from the time of His conception in Mary’s womb, the Bible says, ‘Here is God, and nowhere else!’ With the incarnation of Jesus, true worship takes place ‘neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.’ Jesus’ own body literally replaces the temple in Jerusalem as the place where God is present, forgiving sins. …Martin Luther captures the truth of this answer:
‘Our joy is not that we ascend and put on his nature as is the case when the Mass is made a boastful decking of ourselves in divinity. Do not be driven to distraction, but remain down here and listen, “Unto you a Savior.” . . . Reason and will would ascend and seek above, but if you will have joy, bend yourself down to this place. There you will find that boy given for you Who is your Creator, lying in a manger. I will stay with that boy
as He sucks, is washed, and dies. There is no joy but in this boy. Take Him away and you face the Majesty which terrifies. I know of no God but this One in the manger. Do
not let yourself be turned away from this humanity.’
Luther’s insight is very important. ‘Reason and will would ascend and
seek above.’ Worship that seeks God in His omnipresence, apart from the humanity of
Jesus, finds only ‘the Majesty which terrifies,’ not the forgiveness of sins. Luther is pointing into the manger where the newborn Jesus is and saying, ‘Here is God for us, and nowhere else.’
The only question that remains is, ‘Where has Jesus, once found in the manger,
promised to be today?’ Jesus Himself answers this question very clearly (although many Christians stubbornly refuse to believe it).
‘Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and
gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a
cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it,
all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many
for the forgiveness of sins.’
In the Lord’s Supper, the incarnate Jesus has promised to be as present as He once
was in the manger and on the cross. In the Lord’s Supper, the incarnate Jesus has
promised to be present, forgiving sins. This is that worship ‘of the Father in Spirit
and truth’ of which Jesus spoke, which takes place ‘neither on this mountain nor in
Jerusalem,’ but everywhere Jesus’ body and blood are present and given to sinners
to eat and drink for the forgiveness of their sins.
God has still promised to be somewhere in particular forgiving sins. He has
located Himself someplace and nowhere else. Only now, that somewhere is many
places — every place where the Lord’s Supper is given and received.”
Todd Wilken, “Lord’s Day, Lord’s House, Lord’s Supper Part Two”, Issues, Etc. Journal, Winter 2015
And now, Immanuel means “The bread and the wine”.
Wow is right! Glory to God!
I’m very sorry to say that those who believe that way are completely missing the miracle of God with us.
Jesus would still be Immanuel even if the whole world suffered from a shortage of bread and wine.
And besides as some say “the finite cannot contain the infinite” which means Jesus cannot fit into that wafer!!!”
OH wait a minute – how did all of God fit into that embryo this Christmas season?
For those of you who have Jesus locked up in heaven, not able to do with his body as he wants, you have no God WITH us — you have God, over there.
“For those of you who have Jesus locked up in heaven”
Which applies to no one here.
Hey, if you can’t win an argument, make up one you can win.
Josh – perhaps you stand alone in your camp. So you do believe that Jesus can be physically present here on earth today?
However, despite your argumentation, subject-changing, and straw-man building, I stand with everyone else in my camp that believes God can do whatever He wants to do.
#105 – reminds me of my late husband’s response to the old question, “Can God create a rock that is too heavy for Him to lift?” … “Yes, but He’s too smart to do so.”
i’m happy this morning that i’m not on the exclusionist’s side of the communion table… i just can’t see our Lord telling Thomas that he was excluded from that Passover moment when Jesus said to the rest of those gathered in the upper room, take eat, this is my body broken for you – but not you, Thomas because I perceive that you doubt that we are really, really eating my body …
this has been one of the saddest and least edifying threads ever on the PhxP – well, maybe it has been edifying – dunno
em, I think you nailed the question properly. We do not exclude anyone – people exclude themselves.
Jesus has prepared the supper and has invited all. He says supper is served “this is my body/this is my blood – take and eat / drink.
But some say – ‘no Jesus, this is not your body and this is not your blood. We will go to the table that serves bread and wine alone’.
It is sad.
Exclusion. Ironic. No evangelical of my acquaintance would dream of participating in an RCC or EO eucharist yet they are offended that they are not allowed to. Nearly every Sunday I heard how sacramentalism is of the devil yet there is disgruntlement that they are not allowed to participate in a ritual they believe is from the devil.
“Where has God promised to be today?
With the Father.
“And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”
(John 17:10–14 ESV)
How is He with us?
By His Spirit.
“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
(John 16:7–14 ESV)
Here is another thought. Every evangelical congregation of my acquaintance insists that someone coming from a RC, EO, Anglican or Lutheran background be “rebaptized” because those sacramentalist baptisms were not Christian baptisms. We do likewise, “rebaptizing” some and receiving some by an anointing. We do not accept each other’s rituals. It goes both ways.
The difference is baptism into Christ verses baptism into the specific denomination.
Like you said, it doesn’t matter if the infant baptism was RC, EO, Anglican or Lutheran – it was an infant baptism.
That is different than saying you were baptized in the wrong denomination and you must be baptized into ours now – but it is similar to denying the table from Christians who do not share the same denomination.
For the record, there are evangelical churches that likewise insist new members be baptized into their specific church too. I denounce them. I’ve had CC people tell me the Baptist church they started going to required this. Likewise, I have had people tell me they were baptized outside of CC as Christians who were not unknowing babies an I assure them they have no need to be baptized again.
Likewise, if someone was baptized as a teenager or adult from one of those churches Xenia mentions, I would see no need for them to be baptized again. I might explain baptism to them though…
We do believer’s baptism, so if you were baptised before you were a believer, yes, you should be baptised again.
As I said in my #91 last evening – folks miss the point. We are doing 2 completely different things. There is no similarity between what goes on at the table in a Lutheran church and what goes on in say a CC or SBC church.
“It is not for the matter of being of a different persuasion at all. What part do you think makes you ineligible? Do you even know? How about the part that we are doing something completely different, for completely different reasons and look at the elements used a completely different things?”
I can say that and not be ashamed. It was like a friend of mine once said. “Let’s meet at the field for a game on Saturday.” Me and my guys show up in our baseball uniforms, our bats, balls and gloves and my friend and his peeps arrive with a football, pads, helmets etc.Are we not there for 2 completely different purposes. We are still there to play a game (call it communion) but that is how different we look and what approach we take.
Agreed. I just think its a shame that you guys are missing the boat. I don’t mind that I’m not included in your game.
I’m not rebaptizing anybody and you’re all welcome at the Lord’s Supper which we partake in every Sunday night.
We had an “agape feast” before the service last night too.
We like food and being fed.
It is clear that the apostle Paul would be unwelcome to preach in many of the churches represented here. He might get a first shot, but as soon as his sermon got to the part about “they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ” the lights would come down, Paul would be quickly ushered out the back door, and the pastor of the church would have to come on stage to explain that Christ was not in the rock in the wilderness.
Jean, again, reaching for something that is not there.
Michael, do you baptise anyone?
We accept ALL trinitarian baptisms – no questions asked. We would in fact explain to people why we would refuse to rebaptize them.
So, in the supper you are doing something different, but baptism is all the same.
Of course I do.
I made a decision a long time ago concerning these matters.
There is great debate over baptism and the Lord’s Table.
I chose to accept all Trinitarian baptisms unless the person wanted to be baptized again.
I studied the Table like a maniac for a couple of years and the best understanding I came to was something similar to the Reformed view.
I could be wrong about both, but so could everyone else be.
The grace of God will cover our ignorance.
The EO accepted my childhood Baptist baptism in Lake Erie, with a few amendments. They asked if the pastor used the proper trinitarian formula which as far as I knew, he did, as is the normal custom of the Baptists. That was the Greeks. My Russian parish would have rebaptized me.
Baptism is all from God – it is 100% gift – from God to us. If you were baptized in water* in the name of the trinity, you have been baptized correctly –
*it requires water and the word, but it does not matter how much water, it does not require a specific method, sprinkle, poured or dunked … as long as you got wet.
The Lord’s Supper is exactly the same – gift from God to us. The gift, his actual body & blood. So we actually are consistent on both.
Right, Michael. So, who do you baptize? Babies or believers? That is my question. I get that you have studied the issues and are not ignorant.
There was a ceremony at the Greek church where they corrected the errors and filled the deficiencies of my Lake Erie baptism.
Josh, “Agreed. I just think its a shame that you guys are missing the boat. ”
Why would you think we are missing the boat. At the very least I will say to Jesus one day “Jesus, I apologize for taking you and your word literally.”
That you think Immanuel means that we have to find special bread and wine and have them blessed by special people so that God can actually be with us. That is terribly missing the boat.
At 57 I’m the youngest member of our church.
Don’t have to worry much about babies…
You need to check it out – what is the special bread? – what is the special wine? Who are the special people? Have you gone mad my friend.
Tell me, how has Jesus promised to be with you physically in this day? How do Baptist have Jesus ‘in their heart’?
Missing the boat….
Well, anecdotal evidence isn’t worth much, but in my life, I was a miserable evangelical, always doubting my salvation and frankly, not really seeing the point of many of the things we did, which was detrimental to my overall faith. After my reception by chrismation and my first communion at age 50, my entire life changed. Night and day. So, that’s my personal experience, for what it’s worth. I feel like I got *on* the boat when I joined the EO Church.
So you are baptising older adults who have either never been baptised, or find their child baptism insufficient. So what is your stance? Who gets baptised in your church and why?
Fr. G bakes our communion bread himself.
I like the way the Ethiopian eunuch was baptized — right when he believed — no baptism prep classes — just here’s some water – let’s go for it. Man sure knows how to take the simplicity of Scripture and add his own reasonings to it to come up with some hodgepodge of religious ritual — pagan roots I guess.
The special people obviously is the Lutheran minister. You already admitted that from Steve’s prison example.
No, I admitted I would wait for another Lutheran. In fact depending who it was, I may wait for another LCMSer.
Is this the Inquisition? 🙂
I had 2 folks who had never been baptized that I baptized.
I believe one was 90 and the other one was in his sixties.
If someone joined the fellowship and wanted me to baptize their child based on their understanding of covenant, ( as the Reformed do) I would probably oblige them.
If they wanted wait until the child made a profession of faith, I’m good with that too.
I don’t have to answer to a denomination, so I don’t have to be dogmatic.
IN this case Miss ODM and I agree, even though she has told awful lies about me in the past for no reason.
“No, I admitted I would wait for another Lutheran. In fact depending who it was, I may wait for another LCMSer.”
Thanks for answering Michael. I think it says a lot about what we perceive baptism to mean. So you are a paedo-baptist. You don’t require it, but you would practice it. I understand.
Miss ODM, good morning to you 🙂
Very few churches of any kind baptize someone within the first few minutes of professing belief in the Gospel. The only group I can think that does this is the Church of Christ denomination.
In Ortholandia, adult baptism follows a period of instruction.
If you are a baby you’re good to go.
Miss ODM – the baptism class came in the conversation with Phillip. This is how he knew to be baptized immediately when he got around water. Phillip had explained the gospel to this guy – the gospel includes saving baptism. Check it out – it is a wonderful God we have.
Today, a person leaves the Harvest Crusade “saved” and at the moment he leaves he has no idea he is to be baptized. In fact, contrary to what you suggested it probably won’t be until he signs up at some CC church that he will be told he needs to be baptized.
Why don’t the dunk riught there after salvation since no class or explanation needs to be put in place.
“I was a miserable evangelical”
You’re not alone. Western evangelicalism is more interested in reforming the old Adam/Eve than raising the new Adam/Eve. It takes the verse “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” and changes it to “the Spirit and the letter give life.”
“So you are a paedo-baptist.”
I did not say that.
I’m a pastor.
If someone joins with us for fellowship, I understand the Reformed position enough to recognize that it may be valid.
We are waiting until Trey matures more before we baptize him.
I refuse the labels and I refuse to be forced to choose one set of propositions that may be valid in favor of another.
If you have no problem baptising a baby, then you are a paedo-baptist. Reject the labels all you want, but that is what it means.
My personal theology holds to believers baptism as being more likely the practice of the first churches.
You can call me what you want, my church could care less and so could I.
This desire to pigeon hole people in neat categories is ridiculous.
You’re not alone.”
True. Most of evangelicalism is garbage.
I think that who you baptise says a lot of about what you think baptism means.
I think I’ve studied the matter enough to know that all the different baptismal positions have some basis in Scripture.
If someone comes to fellowship with us who believes strongly in one or another , I have no problem accommodating that belief instead of demanding fidelity to the one I think most reasonable.
Good and godly people disagree on this issue and I’m not willing to make it a test of fellowship.
I’m assuming you don’t have membership in your church, right?
For a church of our size membership is unnecessary .
If we grow at some point, membership would be based of the creeds, not on specific debated doctrinal points.
Normally, we practice believers baptism and hold to a Reformed view of the Table.
I’m not kicking someone to the curb for believing otherwise.
Is baptism a secondary issue?
“Is baptism a secondary issue?”
Not for you… 🙂
When we deal with baptism I give an impartial overview of all the positions and allow the Holy Spirit to do what He will.
I give my leanings and offer to loan them Fergusons “Baptism in the Early Church” if they want to learn more.
The only thing I’m dogmatic about is the command to be baptized, not how they understand it.
Sorry, doing several things at once here. Making comments quick,and a bunch of them.
I’ve never seen or read about a church that didn’t have some type of Baptismal requirement for membership. That’s interesting.
My other big thing in this was “missing the boat”. Let me clarify. Missing the boat was in thinking that Immanuel is relating to the bread and the wine. If that is your belief, as Jean posted earlier, you are missing the boat. God IS with us. Here. Now. In reality.
“God IS with us. Here. Now. In reality.”
I agree with this statement. However, God isn’t everywhere “for you”. The Gospel, however, tells us clearly where He has promised to be for you and for me. God “everywhere” is no help at all.
He is with you in a jail cell, even if no LCMS minister ever shows up.
The one odd thing about this thread is that it seems in Lutheran theology “ubiquitous Jesus” takes the place of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said clearly that He was going to the Father…and sending the Spirit in His place.
I’m sure there’s something I’m missing, but that at least is clear to me.
There is no need for God to be “physically” present .
“The only thing I’m dogmatic about is the command to be baptized, not how they understand it.”
I hate to keep going with this, but it keeps getting more interesting. So you would baptize someone, regardless of their understanding of the event? Well, I guess so. You said you’d baptize babies, and they certainly don’t understand what is going on.
I’m betting that you haven’t had to nail down your convictions on this because of who your congregation is. If you had an influx of people across various ages and backgrounds, you (your elders if there are any) would have to decide what baptism was going to mean to your congregation.
In fact, Jesus said it was BETTER that he go away.
No, I wouldn’t.
My conviction is that on disputed matters you teach them fairly and allow people to think these things through for themselves.
I have no brand to protect, no affiliation that demands I restrict my thinking to their books.
That will always be how I do things.
Everything is disputed. I doubt you give a fair teaching against the deity of Christ.
If you started baptizing a lot of people, surely you would teach them what it means.
“If you started baptizing a lot of people, surely you would teach them what it means.”
Even if that meant teaching them after you baptized them. In other words, if you decided to baptize babies, surely you would teach them what that meant, why it was important, etc.
Way to go for the ridiculous.
I already said that the essentials as formulated in the creeds are non negotiable.
“Jesus said clearly that He was going to the Father…and sending the Spirit in His place.”
And where is the Father?
If Jesus is not physically present, then he is not present at all. I do not know the form that it takes place – but it seems to have been specified by Jesus himself to be in the bread & wine – but I do know you would be a heretic if you were to think that Jesus could be present in spirit only.
“If Jesus is not physically present, then he is not present at all.”
Why is that?
Most of the people who I would be in a position to baptize would be adults.
If someone came to me who had a Reformed understanding of baptism and wanted the kids dunked, that wouldn’t bother me a bit.
That’s one biblical and viable way of understanding baptism.
It would be an exception, not a rule, but one I have no issue with at all.
I wasn’t meaning to be ridiculous Michael. I’ve just talked to hundreds of pastors, and you are the first who has not thought that it was important to have a clear teaching on baptism.
“Even if that meant teaching them after you baptized them. In other words, if you decided to baptize babies, surely you would teach them what that meant, why it was important, etc.”
Again this is most certainly true. You would explain to the former baby what was given to them in their baptism. Again, 100% pure gift given by God to the baby … as opposed to the believer’s baptism scenario – 100% my work of obedience given too God.
Josh “If Jesus is not physically present, then he is not present at all.” – Why is that?
I asked, how do you separate Jesus from his spirit? That is heresy.
I became convicted of my position on the Lords Table about ten years ago and instituted weekly communion and used a Reformed model.
I took the time to teach through all the variations on the issue and how I came to my conclusion.
If someone in the church disagrees because their studies led them to a different conclusion, thats ok with me.
We fellowship around Jesus and what He’s done, not doctrinal specifics.
When two members became convicted of the need to be baptized, I did the same process.
I’m a teacher, not the Holy Spirit.
I Believe in the Trinity, which is Father, Son, and SPirit – Three in one. No need for separation. He is.
“100% my work of obedience given too God.”
Of course, that is a misrepresentation, but you know that.
What does the Holy Spirit use to teach His people, if not teachers?
The Holy Spirit has been teaching through men for over 2000 years and no consensus has been reached on these matters as is evident here.
I am not so arrogant as to assume that He has given me the last word.
My place is to teach what God has revealed to people through the centuries and let people come to conclusions about the matter on their own.
The norm in our church would be believers baptism…but that doesn’t have to be chiseled in stone.
“I am not so arrogant as to assume that He has given me the last word.”
Those convicted in one way or the other are arrogant…good grief.
Anywho, I’ll leave it alone. Most pastors (99.9999%) that I know of think that baptism is an important enough topic to teach on is a specific way, not a “some people do this, some do that” way. That’s all. I found it surprising.
OK, tell me why you tell people to be baptized. I know Miss ODM said it was because we were commanded, and I think Michael and or Steve said they insist on people being baptized because of the command to be baptized .. and fulfilling a command is my work of obedience to God.
But I am open to your reason’s why someone is baptized.
I think it’s more important that people understand that the universal church has understood these issues in more than one way.
I can and do offer my take, but I don’t demand complete fidelity to my opinions.
“Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.”
“Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience”
More law. And why people want to get a second or third baptism (contra Eph) when they later second guess the sincerity of their obedience.
Or why Lutherans who were baptized as babies want to get rebaptized after they get saved as adults.
I didn’t rebaptize our Lutherans…told them they were good to go. 🙂
“It is an act of obedience” – isn’t that what I said?
Isn’t being obedient a work on your part? It is for me?
This is why I differentiate between the law and the gospel – – I want to know what is promise and pure gift and I want to know when I must roll up my sleeves and get to work.
What was the difference between being baptized by John, the Baptist and being baptized by Jesus? Wasn’t one a means to make an open confession of an inward commitment, while the other had to do with the Holy Spirit and fire? The first had to do with making one’s path straight by repenting of one’s sin. The second had to do with being empowered, filled with the Holy Spirit to walk in faith and to obey while dying to the self, the world, and that which once held us in bondage.
Historically speaking, baptisms had been going on for eons before John, the Baptist came along. It was means of initiation for various religions. Most baptized by drinking and being dunked in blood. All was an outward announcement that the individual had made of decision to follow whomever/whatever.
Me think, that when much is made of this practice, it leads people to believe that there must be something mystical, magic, or even supernatural that takes place.
When Jesus was baptized, it was to fill scripture. It also mark the beginning of His ministry, as a Priest, unlike the Levite Priest. Check it out, study the washing ceremony. Think about it, Jesus knew no sin, so what in Him that existed that needed to be washed away? Nope, baptism was a means to signify a decision on the part of the individual or an event marking one’s office or role within a group of like-minded people.
This is what you said, if you forgot. You can compare it to the paragraph I posted to see the difference:
And I know you differentiate between law and gospel. It is one of the three Lutheran talking points. Unfortunately such a sharp distinction doesn’t really exist.
For me, communion is a memorial meal of Christ death at the stake. Our fellowship does it once a year on the date of Nisan 14 after sun down. We have unleavened bread with grape juice with a full meal.
I think something mystical and supernatural happens at baptism and at the Lords Supper.
I’m not even slightly interested in a faith that is not supernatural.
I do feel Jesus is physical present in the communion because of my understanding of God. God is everywhere and Jesus is God hence my thinking. I can not separate his physical nature from diety. I am compelled to believe He is in the wafer and at the risk of sounding pantheistic He is actually in all creation. So with this, I conclude as Josh concluded that we don’t need any special people or special bread for Jesus to be with us. He is with us spiritually and physically and only the unbeliever would repress this reality. Now Jesus also mentioned he would be returning. So my understanding of this is that although Jesus is everywhere as God is everywhere, he will be perceived in the future with our senses which are dulled now. So the problem I see is that some are trying to perceive with their physical senses what has been dulled at the current time. As the apostle Paul said, we see dimly now 1 Corinthians 13:12. Someday we will see God face to face and what a great day that will be.
“Jesus said clearly that He was going to the Father…and sending the Spirit in His place.
I’m sure there’s something I’m missing, but that at least is clear to me.”
That is one of those Barthian kind of questions. Language used and our thought process can lead us to think of heaven and earth as separated by distance. Rather, I believe they are more like overlapping dimensions. I’m pretty sure you would agree that the Triune God is both omnipresent and immanent, while also transcendent.
The Bible speaks of Christ being in us, while in other places the Holy Spirit. In one place the Bible says “your life is hidden with Christ in God”. In another section Paul makes the astonishing statement:
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
Unless we are prepared to throw out vast portions of the Bible, which contain mystery and/or paradox or offend our rational minds (and I’m not accusing you personally of anything), I suggest we simply believe, and pray to our Lord to help us in our unbelief.
#186, Amen Michael.
I love mystery and paradox … but that doesn’t mean I have to buy the Lutheran doctrine on the table . There is more than enough Scripture that negates it, but it is perfectly acceptable to appeal to mystery to hold it.
It is amusing that “this is my body” is literal and “I’m going away” is shrouded in mystery….
I think we have Christ dwelling in us which happens by way of His Holy Spirit. I think we have only one Spirit dwelling in us which is the personal presence of the Father Jehovah and The Son of God Jesus Christ by way of their Holy Spirit.
I believe that the decision to be baptized is an fruit of what had supernaturally taken place in my own heart, prior to this and partaking of communion. It is due to my heart being filled with the Holy Spirit that my desire to partake remains faithful and true to Him.
Being baptized is a serious decision, as much as taking communion. Each is an act follow by a decision to do or not to do. Some choose out of faith and some do out of ritual/mysticism/traditions, but not all do out of faith/ritual/mysticism/traditions.
The Holy Spirit does like to be grieved or blasphemed:
The Holy Spirit does NOT like to be grieved or blasphemed.
Faith and mysticism are not enemies…
What Jean said! Heaven and earth are not separated nor is time.
This is why and how Jesus can and does give the disciples his true body and his true blood even though he has not yet died on the cross nor shed his blood.
Michael – even you used that language without realizing you were making our point.at 109 you quoted Jesus in the garden ““And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.”
How can Jesus no longer be in the world as he is kneeling in the garden making that prayer? The exact same wya he is giving his true body and blood at the supper.
Paul knew how to write Holy Spirit when and where that’s what he meant.
When and why have “ritual” and “traditions” become bad things? These are the things that form habits, cause memorization, protect the flock against heresy, etc. The whole Bible is built on ritual and traditions, to say nothing of the Church since its beginnings.
I was baptized as an infant and again as a young adult. By far, the infant one has way more meaning to me because I see God’s hand on my life from the start. I remember becoming a believer around 11 years old so I don’t even think twice that my second baptism at 18 had anything to do with it. I don’t know I got re-baptized other than I wasn’t well trained and somehow thought I had to to be obedient. How mistaken I was. Somehow God used my infant baptism to bring me to Him.
I get what you believe .
I’m not even slightly convinced.
I am convinced that God blesses both of us when we partake in faith.
He’s good that way…
Andrew … I think that’s entirely possible.
I used to see the Lord’s Supper as something I would “Do or Take. ”
Now I view the Lord’s Supper to be humbly and thankfully RECEIVED from the Lord.
“The Holy Spirit does NOT like to be grieved or blasphemed.”
What’s the point of this statement? Are you accusing someone of this?
“There is more than enough Scripture that negates it,”
Can you name one passage that says something to the effect “this is not my body?”
When someone says “when Jesus said this is my body, what he meant was this represents my body or this symbolizes my body” – what they are really claiming is that Jesus said “this is not really my body.”
I would like to see the supporting data for that one.
MLD, Actually the church is called the body of Christ. Do we eat each other?
was it Andrew’s baptism as an infant that God “used” … or it was, perhaps, his exposure to the teachings that led him in the way he should go?
King James Bible
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
Jesus said I’m leaving and won’t be physically present. He said He would send the Spirit.
The Spirit is every bit as real and every bit as much God.
Thus I believe in communion we are lifted up spiritually to Him, not that He is hiding under the Wheat Thins. I’m totally ok with you believing what you believe but I’m unconvinced.
Em, I think baptism is part of the great commission and hence includes the teachings but I believe there was something miraculous with the water baptism as an infant.
As I see it, being filled with the Holy Spirit it is a special time to take time out, to pause, to consider, and to remember how and why and by whom, that which was done by the shedding of His blood. It is a special time to be alone in my heart with God while partaking of the supper that He “once” shared with the disciples and told all who follow after Him to continue to do so until He returns. It is a time to remember that He said that He would return and in this my faith remains focused upon and in Him. Is this mystical, no, not at all, it is the fruit of one walking in Him, waiting for my Lord and Savior to return. Is it supernatural—only in that my heart has been changed and is now living under the power, grace, mercy, love of He who dwells within me and He who died for me. Apart from this, zippo.
He told us that unless we ate and drank of Him, we would not share in the kingdom of His Father. Jesus is the logos and in Him we feed on the Word, while we drink in all that has been told to us throughout the ages from Genesis to Revelation, dying to the self and putting on the mind and heart of He who equips us to do so.
Because the church is likened to the body of Christ does not negate at all what Jesus said at the supper.
When he did the bread & the wine – he either meant this IS my body & blood or he meant this IS NOT my body & blood.
Take your choice – I know which one I read him saying.
Andrew, it is in your heart as a treasured miracle? that’s good enough for me – my miracle is that God guided my young years to lead me to Him (without a baby’s baptism, tho)
MLD, did your marriage vow include “with this ring i thee wed?” don’t lose those rings then, by your definition …
no point, except to say that your logic/interpretation of what our Lord said about His body and His blood is over the top mystical … i feel it misses the power of the symbology and the cohesion of the Body that is the Church … just saying what my view is as i sign off this thread
“Apart from this, zippo.”
That’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it.
I don’t think you could be more wrong, but you and I have almost different faiths.
I guess Jesus made another mistake – poor choice of words. He could have used the perfectly clear words for represents or symbolizes (all the words that folks here substitute for IS).
But like I said in my #86 last night, as Jesus made the mistake in naming the wrong high priest in Mark 2 – we can also accept his poor word choice.
I supposed it all depends upon what is meant by Mysticism and or vs. Supernatural.
It definitely is dependent upon where or from what it is derived. God, Satan, or Humans.
The experience can be a compulsion, or a means to measure one’s faith, and/or the realty of believing that something or someone exist. Here, we must be careful, as we can put far more weight in the “experience,” while losing the truth, the way, and the light of what the Word has told us to do or not to do. We can turn these “experiences” into that which it was never meant to be turned into: ritual and traditions that saves, lip service, and forget that it is the heart that needs to be changed, not jumping through hoops, to know Him and to make Him known to others.
How I delight in the law of the Lord, for from these my heart is convicted and set right through my repentance and that which He does provide forgiveness through the blood of Jesus, to see Him face to face one day. He washes and fill me fresh anew each morning as I meditate upon these things in spite of my circumstances and regardless of whether or not, his presence is felt by me. His word is true and He does not lie—-He is there. That faith that lives within me, therefore, will trust and believe what I may not see, but know in my heart He is as real as that which runs through the course of my veins.
Yet, in moments like these: I feel His presence all about me.
Rituals and Traditions can be good if they are kept in their proper perspectives and not used to usurp or replaced that which was accomplished already, being why the ritual and traditions were created in the first place.
That is: As a means to remember and to hold to that which was promised, if a person was born again and filled with the Holy Spirit: having their heart changed. Not using traditions and rituals to replace that which can only be accomplished by being born again.
“That is: As a means to remember and to hold to that which was promised, if a person was born again and filled with the Holy Spirit: having their heart changed. Not using traditions and rituals to replace that which can only be accomplished by being born again.”
I don’t know what to call most of the “stuff” you write, without subjecting myself to Michael’s discipline, but a few thoughts come to mind.
Do you even know what you’re saying? For someone who rails against mysticism, your comments are the most mystical of anyone. “if a person is born again and filled with the Holy Spirit” … “heart changed” … “He washes and fill me fresh anew each morning as I meditate” … “know in my heart He is as real as that which runs through the course of my veins” You and Mike Bickle are made for each other.
Take your choice – I know which one I read him saying.
MLD, I am trying to be consistent. How can use “likened” in one instance and not in the other? The scripture verse says, you are the body of Christ. So what is it? Are you saying we are NOT the body of Christ?
Uriah speaks the language of the American pietists of the early to mid 20th century.
It grates on me like sandpaper because there is always an implicit insult to other traditions in it and it’s vague enough to mean whatever they want it to mean.
Fingernails across my spiritual chalkboard.
The funniest part is that they don’t believe they have a tradition…
Andrew – I was trying to make the distinction that what is said in one place does not need to tie into what was said in another. I probably worded it poorly – but surely you are not suggesting that the meaning at the supper has to be tied to what was said at a later time … are you.
You went from us eating Jesus’ body and blood which we are told to do – to asking if that meant that we are to eat each other? If you can make sense of that, well you are a better man then me.
Jesus said “take eat” in one – no one said anything about eating with the other.
MLD, I’ll eat the cracker and drink the wine but I am forbidden to in the Lutheran church because someone tells me that can’t unless I understand its the body of Christ literally. So the tie in is, how come you don’t recognize the literal body of Christ in church outside communion.
We do – those churches that we are in communion with.We are in communion with many non LCMS church church bodies. You need to understand that for the sake of not confusing the people we need to be in agreement in order to commune.
We just don’t recognize just anyone who hangs out a church shingle as a communing church. We don’t cast them into outer darkness, we are just not in communion.
Serious question – would you commune with anyone who has Christian on their church sign? If not, you are narrow just like us.
In fact this would be a good question for all. Is there any group that calls themselves Christian that you would not commune with? If you would put a group to a test because you may think they are off, is that different that what we Lutherans would do?
MLD, Actually I was referring to myself personally and not an abstract denomination. You see God is a very personal God. When I personally went to the Lutheran church my first time I was denied communion. No big deal I guess accept after meeting with the pastor he said it would take like another 5 or 6 meetings to assess my understanding. Well I decided to go somewhere else because this just seems like way too many hoops to go through.
Too many hoops to decide if you are walking in concord with some group?
Are you above learning from others?
Why not just stay at your old CC who you have great differences with – but you can get a frot row seat at the table?
I think they thought and said similar when Jesus spoke regarding their traditions and rituals as well.
We have gone back to where I began way up at #7 at 5:48pm on the 19th – pointing out the traditions of men.
Uriah, you may have missed it but I called out those who deny the actual used words of Jesus as practicing the traditions of men. LOL 🙂
Above learning? Heaven forbid no. Do I need to be in communion? Absolutely. And regarding my old CC, I have been excommunicated. But I am told they are all independent so I guess I could get a first row seat but have no interest in their lies they have told especially now that all this KP scandals has finally come to light. No thank you!
Andrew – Well, even before communion I cannot expect someone to attend a church they don’t agree with in doctrine and faith.
MLD, I agree. I thought I was in pretty much agreement with the Lutheran understanding but I guess not since I seem to have a problem with all the hoops you have to jump through to have communion. But I still respect you guys immensely. Its just you not open to men like me.
Andrew, my classes ran about 8 weeks. Scheduled for an hour, most ran 90 minutes. When they were over I was bummed because we barely scratched the surface. I took the classes with one adult son and brought my wife to the class on Communion.
I can’t speak for every pastor, but the level of training is second to none and they commit to the Confessional teaching of the Book of Concord. So, if you have the opportunity to go through the classes at a confessional, liturgical congregation, I highly recommend it. There are no strings attached, but I don’t think you will find it a waste of time. In fact, if you give me your Zip code, I can do some due diligence for you to find a good pastor.
I always told people as I went through 12 weeks of adult confirmation that it was just as much of a time for me to evaluate the church to see if it was something I wanted to be a part of as it was them getting to know and teach me.
But I was different – I was a convinced Lutheran for 3 yrs before I erver set foot in a Lutheran church
Andrew – did you ever make it out to Jonathan Fisk’s old church? I remembered we talked about that last year.
Here, if anyone wants to go through 15 weeks of an Adult Information Class – this is your opportunity here. What Ernie Lassman teaches is what Lutherans believe, teach and confess.
So there is no doubt.
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. 2 Thess 2:15
Ever wonder what those oral traditions might be?
I just became a member at an independent Chinese ethnic church. I believe this is where God wants me for the time being.
Andrew – you have been there quite awhile haven’t you?
nope, I just moved into the area less than year ago and just became member.
“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. 2 Thess 2:15
Ever wonder what those oral traditions might be?”
Well, I was taught early on that when you read the word “therefore” you need to look “wherefore”. The wherefore in that particular text Paul is talking specifically about the second coming of Christ.
When I was a young Lutheran kid, about 8 or 9, I used to think that since God knew where every single molecule in the universe was, and had no trouble keeping track of every one, and since a human body is constantly loosing and gaining many, many molecules every day, where they float in the atmosphere, get carried around the globe by the wind, fall to the ground with the rain and become part of your food, that it was entirely possible that one molecule which had once been part of Jesus’ body was in every serving of communion wine or bread. If you partook with genuine faith, then that molecule would be there, otherwise it wouldn’t.
That was my theory. My mother used to say that was a weird kid.
My mom would sometimes say that I was a weird kid, I meant to say.
as much as it grates on me that today Believers could separate from other Believers at the Lord’s table … the focus on the sacrifice on this thread has really blessed me … i like what little 8 year old Johnny Schmidt was pondering
multiply the years by 10 and you have an old lady who wonders about that geographical site that absorbed our Savior’s blood as it flowed down into the ground … is there a doorway in Jerusalem from heaven to earth? i.e., the blood on the doorpost’s before the Exodus from Egypt? just a flight of fancy over symbolism – not something to hang a theological hat on 🙂
I think we can see in what John Schmidt says that the words of Jesus are true. You must have the faith of a child. Note that he was not doubting what he was doing – he just had an imaginative mind to see it actually happening.
It takes adult rational and reason to doubt the plain words of Jesus, or to spin them into something they were never meant to be.
Some need to regain that childlike faith (not to be confused with a childish mind.)
“as much as it grates on me that today Believers could separate from other Believers at the Lord’s table”
I don’t think some people are actually listening to what MLD has been saying. Nobody is separating from one another at the Lord’s table. What you have are entirely different “observances”.
In one church, you approach an alter. The altar has been previously consecrated for holy use according the confessions of the congregation. There, the pastor consecrates the bread and wine according the ritual instituted by, and using the words of, Jesus, by which the congregation by faith receives Jesus’ body and blood in, with and under the bread and wine. The congregation receives the elements believing the words “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”
In another church, there is no altar. There is no consecration of elements. There is belief in Christ’s real presence in the bread and wine. It might not even be wine. There is no receiving of forgiveness of sins in the “memorial.” Here, the practice is a matter of obedience.
So, it is an entirely different observance. A person can’t believe both scenarios at the same time. So, he/she would be unbelieving and insincere at at least one of the observances. Who would want to be (or put another) in such a situation?
Surely, no one here would propose that people on an individual basis just decide for themselves what the observance is and means when they get together on Sunday, do you? If that were the case, how would the pastor officiate? Or would he play no role at all?
Imagine for a moment that a couple of gay dudes came into your church and asked to be married. And you said, “I’m sorry, but here at this church we believe that marriage was instituted by God exclusively between one male and one female.” And the dudes replied, “but we read the Bible differently and believe that same-sex marriage is permitted also. We won’t tell you how to think, and you don’t impose your views on us. So, you can keep believing what you want, and we’ll believe what we want. Now, please schedule us for a marriage.” If you tell the two dudes “no” are you separating from other believers on the topic of marriage? Would that grate on you?
Jean @244, that is a bogus, self justifying argument – don’t think i’ve ever made that pronouncement here before 🙂
as is MLD’s faith of the child argument, BTW
i am not going to lay out here a blueprint for The Lord’s Supper … further, i am not sure that there is one … however, i could say that the gay couple have a kind of child-like faith and do need some instruction in righteousness
“In another church, there is no altar. There is no consecration of elements. There is belief in Christ’s real presence in the bread and wine. It might not even be wine. There is no receiving of forgiveness of sins in the “memorial.” Here, the practice is a matter of obedience.”
So, in a church where the “memorial” view of communion is practiced, how does one receive the forgiveness of sins then?
Who is doing the separating? Modern Christianity is all about separation and schism. How many denominations are there, not counting independent groups and living room meetings? Yet the Orthodox Church has never schismed from any group.
Those of you who are offended that you may not take communion at my church, can you affirm and agree to this prayer recited by the congregation before receiving? Here is a snippet:
“I believe, O Lord, and I confess that Thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Who camest into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first. I believe also that this is truly Thine own pure Body, and that this is truly Thine own precious Blood. Therefore I pray Thee: have mercy upon me and forgive my transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, of knowledge and of ignorance. And make me worthy to partake without condemnation of Thy most pure Mysteries, for the remission of my sins, and unto life everlasting. Amen.”
This prayer requires that everyone who takes communion confess out loud that they believe the contents of the Chalice really are the Body and Blood of Christ. If you don agree with this there is no reason to be disgruntled that you can’t partake with us because we are doing something you cannot affirm.
What has been presented is a case of, an either, or type of argument. That is:
1) Believing the wine and bread is the literal body and blood of Jesus, thus forgiveness of sins are received.
2) Believe that the taking of the bread and wine is to be done out of obedience, in remembrance of each symbolizes, thus forgiveness is not in the equation.
3) By faith, we are obedient, yet come solemnly to the communion table, drawing to remembrance of what was done for us through His the shedding of His blood, His death, and Resurrection, humbling ourselves with a repentant heart, to receive forgiveness, healing, and what ever else we might lay before Him.
We need not be taking communion to receive forgiveness.
For forgiveness, He is always, but always there to reconcile us to Him, when we confess with our hearts and repent of our sin (s).
Also, we do not need a priest or a pastor to administer communion. There is only One Mediator between us and God. Certainly not anyone to turn the elements into that which it is not, and never will be. Mumbo Jumbo.
Jesus has told us what to do and why and then in verse 29 which is the key to understanding what He meant. He will not drink with them again, until He returns.
But basically, do this in remembrance of why I came, I left, and I will return.
“Jesus has told us what to do and why ”
I sound like a broken record even to me – yes, he told us what to do Eat his Body and Drink his Blood – have you been obedient and done so lately?
If not, then stop being divisive.
“And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.””
(Revelation 19:9 ESV)
We’ll all partake there…and Jesus will provide us with the answer to this debate.
Looking forward to seeing you all there…
I never get an answer but I will ask again – is there anyone in the whole wide world that you would turn away from your table?
On being disgruntled or upset that others can not partake in the described methodology is a flip of the argument, where one side was merely making a point of the exclusivity not necessarily “really” wanting to take part.
With the universal church comments above….I am saved and going to heaven but can not partake with my brothers and sisters of another methodology. It’s ok though…as is not going to stop us from being with our savior for eternity. Remember in grade school math…. LCD – least common denominator, that is this.
Michael – “We’ll all partake there…and Jesus will provide us with the answer to this debate.”
You could say that about anything. I guess that end debate if non trinitarians are Christians – or if Hindus are Christians – Jesus will provide the answer to those debates also.
And the biggest one “We’ll all partake there” – who is included in the “we”
Are you asking me?
Anyone – I just wonder if anyone here has a standard and would say, “not you, not today, come speak to me after the service.”
I would fence out unbelievers.
Any others who profess Christ would be welcome with an admonition not to partake unworthily.
“Also, we do not need a priest or a pastor to administer communion. There is only One Mediator between us and God.”
We beat a lot of dead horses around here; sorry Mr. Ed. 🙂 But here goes again:
No one said pastors or priests are mediators between God and us. That is a red herring. But it does show once again that Uriah doesn’t read and/or believe the Bible.
(1) The bible clearly teaches that churches are to have overseers/pastors. This is the office of under shepherd. Pastor’s preach, teach, protect the flock against false teachers, officiate services, etc.
(2) The pastor’s office also includes the authority to absolve the sins of penitent sinners in the name of Christ.
Evangelical (or Good News/Gospel) theology is the life giving declaration of forgiveness of sins and reconciliation to God in Christ FOR US us through the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God is gracious TO US in Christ. His grace must be received by faith alone. Faith comes through hearing. Therefore, Christ has instituted the office of pastor to proclaim the Gospel in church and administer the Sacraments specifically FOR US.
If in your weekly services you are not confessing your sins, and Christ, through the pastor’s mouth, is not forgiving you your sins, then you are not receiving the Good News. Remember, the Good News is not a lecture or a sermon about Christ or what he has done. The Good News is Christ suffering, dying and being raised FOR YOU. When you realize that Christ has taken you away from all your sin (so that God will have no memory of it) and has given you His righteousness, then you are set free.
The only sin that will keep you out of heaven is the sin of unbelief. Unbelief takes two forms: (1) outright atheism; and (2) the more sinister legalism, where the sinner spends his/her life trying to self-justify himself/herself. The self-justifier won’t accept the unconditional promise of salvation. The statement: “Stop everything your doing, stop all your trying, and listen and believe” is too much for the legalist to withstand. That’s not how the world works. And so, someone has to die.
I’m not disgruntled about the exclusivity aspect of this practice at all so far as MLD, Jean & Xenia have described it.
However, I would never exclude any of them from participating in my church if they wanted to. I know that they have placed their faith and profession of salvation in the atoning finished work of Jesus Christ, that’s satisfactory to me.
And besides, who is this guy Paul to tell us if we are drunk to stay home. Narrow minded bigot he must have been.
Scott – how do you know that if a stranger shows up? Do you question him?
@257 I can’t go directly to Christ in prayer and ask for my sins to be forgiven? Bummer.
With all due respect, all the Bible teaches about the duties of an elder is that he be able to teach.
“Officiating” is not in the next.
There is much evidence the early church was governed by a group of elders, not a single “anointed” individual.
I pronounce the forgiveness of sin every Sunday night, but I’m just repeating after Jesus.
Read the letters of Saint Ignatius of Antioch for information on the practices of the early (very early) church. It is all about the eucharist and bishops.
MLD, I would do and have participated in churches over the past 41 years that have done exactly as Michael described it in his #256. I think that is sound counsel and practice.
Yes, churches are governed by a group of elders.
I wasn’t using the word “officiate” to imply governing. But to signify the role of running the church service.
The term “anointed” on this blog carries a lot of baggage. I won’t go there, but you know I wasn’t talking about a Moses model.
Scott, so doesn’t that mean you need to stop and talk to them before you allow them to partake? Don’t you need to ask them if they are a believer. What if they answered, yes I am a believer I attend the Local Church.
SJ, You can and should pray directly to Christ. However, that’s not all Scripture says on the topic. Also, according to Paul, Human beings believe with their ears.
MLD, is it possible that in your church, individuals can go through catechism, become a certified member and still not be truly converted?
If so, who is responsible if that individual partakes of the bread & wine in an unworthy manner because he is truly not converted?
Scott – “truly converted?”
What does that mean not truly converted. You are either converted or not.
But to answer your question directly – the pastor. He is the shepherd of the flock – he is the one delivering the body and blood..
One of the elders delivers it here.
Trey cleans up the cups afterward.
It’s a good system.
” Faith comes through hearing. Therefore, Christ has instituted the office of pastor to proclaim the Gospel in church and administer the Sacraments specifically FOR US. ”
Talk about a red herring:
We are all called to proclaim the Good News.
Where in the Bible does it say that “sacraments” are only “administered” by the pastor, or any other specifically.
Although, I know the response to this one, nevertheless, will pose the question. Where in the Bible does it tell us that anyone has the power and authority to forgive sins.
Your arguments reminds me of that which was removed as a result of the New Covenant. That being, the tribe who was designated to oversee the spiritual things and the high priest, only having access to the throne of heaven.
Yet, scripture tells us that we, each are of the royal priesthood, now being in Christ, Jesus.
We are all expected to protect, to guard against, and to see after one another, including holding those accountable who may be gifted and called to teach, pastor, administrate, lead the other parts of the body, without respect of person.
Scott – one other thing. People do take advantage of the grace given at the table. In our case they are actually doing harm to them selves as even unbelievers they have still received the body and the blood and they are guilty.
At the memorial table – what is the harm?
The funny thing is when I go with a friend to their Wed night service and they serve communion – I abstains out of respect to their ordinance.
@ 250 Amen, Michael. Amen!!
no, MLD, to be more precise, you are abstaining out of respect for your ordinance 🙂
em, not so. I am an invited guest and I respect their freedom to do what they want during their time together. If I participated I think that would lessen what they do as they would have someone participating in an event they don’t believe People give me the look when I don’t take from the plate being passed around. Try it sometime 😉
The harm is the result of one’s heart not being right with the Lord. Thus making a mockery of the Lord’s Supper, the Cross, God’s grace, mercy, and love.
Get away from me, for I never knew you.
one thing i must say about this long back and forth on the proper interpretation of 1Cor 11:23 and following and the list of other references…
those who look to Luther or further on back to what they hope is the beginning of church ritual are, i am sure, looking with all their heart, mind and soul to provide things honest before our Lord, not as legalists but out of a love for our Savior – likewise, so do those of us, who can see no authority for limiting participation to those who share their understanding of the interpretation of body and blood
God keep us all in His goodness and mercy
MLD, you are really good at parsing words 😉 truly converted… your system equates a person who goes through your catechism, is water baptized and participates in communion in your church as a Christian.
My point is that there are tares within the ranks of your own church just as there are within mine.
Thus, the responsibility ultimately lies with the individual himself. As the “harm” one suffers from eating in an unworthy manner, I’m not really sure what that is or how it manifest itself. How would you know?
Give me an example of how you would know for sure that a person in your church has partaken of the bread and wine in your church (in an unworthy manner) that has resulted in an outward manifested way?
“The harm is the result of one’s heart not being right with the Lord.”
My heart is not right with the Lord – this is why I sin, this is why I need to confess my sin and need to hear the absolution. This is the very reason I need to be at the Lord’s Table.
My sin does make mockery of the Lord’s Supper, the Cross, God’s grace, mercy, and love.
So, since your heart IS right with the Lord – you probably don’t need any of it.
Absolutely amazing you get away with the pompous crap you spout. One day I hope I am able to touch the hem of your robe as you pass by.
MLD, more than once i have abstained – i don’t look around to see if anyone notices, tho
On eating unworthily…
11:27–29 Paul returns to the Corinthian problem at the Lord’s Supper with an oblique warning about those who eat the loaf and drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner.
The adverb ἀναξίως (anaxiōs, unworthily) refers to doing something that does not square with the character or nature of something (cf. Eph. 4:1; Phil. 1:27; Col. 1:10; 1 Thess. 2:12).
To eat the Lord’s Supper in a manner that violates its purpose to proclaim the Lord’s death makes one “liable” (ἔνοχος, enochos) for the death of the Lord. “Liable” is a judicial term (cf. Mark 14:64; 2 Macc. 13:6), which means that the Corinthians are answerable to God, the final judge, for this abuse. They become “responsible for his body and his blood” (Engberg-Pedersen 1993: 119–20)—that is, they are chargeable for his death. Paul’s logic is this: The Lord’s Supper proclaims the Lord’s death. Those whose behavior at the Lord’s Supper does not conform to what that death entails effectively shift sides.
They leave the Lord’s side and align themselves with the rulers of this present age who crucified the Lord (1 Cor. 2:8; cf. Heb. 6:5). This explains how they make themselves so vulnerable to God’s judgment.
Paul’s use of paronomasia with words related to judgment is striking and gets lost in translation: κρίμα (krima, 11:29, 34), διακρίνων (diakrinōn, 11:29), διεκρίνομεν (diekrinomen, 11:31), ἐκρινόμεθα (ekrinometha, 11:31), κρινόμενοι (krinomenoi, 11:32), κατακριθῶμεν (katakrithōmen, 11:32). The repetition of these words serves to underscore the judgment theme (see Moule 1956). As Surburg (2000: 212) notes, “Eating and drinking the Lord’s body and blood has implications which no other eating and drinking ever does.” They cannot treat this meal as a pleasant gathering of in-group friends (Engberg-Pedersen 1993: 115). It is fraught with spiritual peril if they treat the meal or those gathered for it in a cavalier manner.
They will incur God’s judgment.
The divisions in Corinth that Paul mentions in 11:19 reveal a deeper, far more serious divide. The divide is between those who incarnate the cross of Christ with their self-sacrifice and those who put Christ to death again with their self-centered feasting. He insinuates that the Corinthians violate the spirit of the meal, which remembers Christ’s self-sacrifice, by eating it unworthily. Although no one is worthy of the Lord’s Supper, one can eat it worthily. Paul gives three key tests to decide whether one is eating worthily.
The first test appears in 11:28. All are to examine themselves. All must remember that Christ’s atoning death was necessary because of our sinfulness. Moule (1956: 470) contends that participation in the Lord’s Supper entails anticipation of the Lord’s judgment. Consequently, the Supper is to be eaten in an atmosphere of self-examination. They are to test (δοκιμαζέτω, dokimazetō) their genuineness before God does. Those who may imagine themselves to be the dignitaries and want to make sure that others recognize their higher status should check their pride at the door. They must examine themselves at this meal in light of Christ’s sacrifice for all. The cross offers a different standard for who can claim to be notable. The genuine Christian recognizes that there are no class divisions at the Lord’s table. No one is distinguished at this table except One, but all are honored together as his distinguished guests as the body of Christ. All are blameworthy before God, and yet all are forgiven because the sins of all have been transferred to One.
Through the negative example of the disciples, the Markan account of the Lord’s Supper (Mark 14:17–21) reveals a model of what Paul intends. Before the meal, Jesus announces that one of his disciples will betray him. Each one asks in turn, “It is not I, is it?” Egocentricity, however, oozes from this question. Each focuses on himself and wants only reassurance that he is in the clear. Jesus gives his life for others and laments the miserable fate awaiting the betrayer. The disciples’ response shows that they are concerned only about themselves. Self-examination requires focusing on more than just oneself.
A second key test is implied in 1 Cor. 11:22, and it concerns how one relates to brothers and sisters in Christ. If one partakes of the Lord’s Supper with indifference to them, it is no longer the Lord’s Supper. To eat the Lord’s Supper worthily, one must recognize that all Christians, rich and poor, are joined together in Christ, share equally in his blessings, and should be treated worthily.
The third test requires “discerning the body” (11:29). Those who do not discern the body place themselves in dire jeopardy by “eating and drinking condemnation on themselves.” Paul’s meaning is unclear because the verb διακρίνειν (diakrinein) has a wide variety of usages in the NT. It basically means “to differentiate by separating” (BDAG 231) and then “to estimate or judge correctly.” It could refer to distinguishing the holy from the unholy or having the right estimate of Christ’s body. But it can also mean “to recognize” (BDAG 231 lists 11:29 under this meaning). Its use in 11:29 may be a conditional participle equivalent to a conditional clause, “if they fail to discern the body” (Burton 1898: 169; Wallace 1996: 633), or a causal clause, “by not discerning the body.”
Garland, D. E. (2003). 1 Corinthians (pp. 550–552). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
“Give me an example of how you would know for sure that a person in your church has partaken of the bread and wine in your church (in an unworthy manner) that has resulted in an outward manifested way?”
All I can give you is the word of God that says so. Why is the word, the promise that it does harm not good enough for you.
Which words do you believe if you don’t believe those?
The question is, What is it that the Corinthians do not discern?
1. A venerable view going back to Justin and Augustine and reflected in some modern commentators (Godet 1887: 167; Weiss 1910: 291; Lietzmann 1949: 59; Héring 1962: 120) thinks that it refers to distinguishing the sacramental presence of Christ in the eucharistic elements from the ordinary bread on the table. But this view takes us wide of the mark of Paul’s concern. He accuses the Corinthians of despising and humiliating their impoverished brothers and sisters at their supper, not profaning the elements.
2. Another view that has gained ascendancy assumes that Paul refers to the Corinthians’ failure to recognize the church as the body of Christ or Christ’s presence among his people.18 Referring to the “body” and omitting any reference to the “blood” are taken as clues that he does not have in view the sacramental elements but the church as Christ’s body. The Corinthians would catch this play on words from his assertion in 10:16–17 that sharing in the body of Christ by partaking of the bread means that “we, who are many, are one body” (cf. 12:26–27). The “body” to be discerned, then, is not just the piece of bread on the table but the body at the table (Keck 1982: 63–64). What they were doing accentuated the social and economic differences between the “haves” and the “have-nots” and showed a flagrant disregard for the body. Mistreating fellow members in this way at the Lord’s Supper becomes an offense against Christ. As attractive as this view is, it is difficult to make it fit the basic meaning of the verb διακρίνειν, “to judge rightly.”
3. Another view asserts that “body” is shorthand for both the body and the blood and refers to the corporeal stuff that one eats and drinks.19 The meaning of “body” in 11:27, rather than in 10:16–17, should govern its interpretation here. The elements represent the crucified Lord and make this meal holy and different from any other meal. Discerning the body means recognizing this uniqueness and that the elements represent Christ’s death for them (Wolff 1996: 279). A proper understanding of what these elements represent should change the Corinthians’ attitude and behavior toward others. It reminds them of their dependence on Christ and their own interdependence and should cause them to share their own provisions with others at the meal who have little or nothing. Paul is arguing that when they recognize fully the meaning of the sacrifice of Christ, remembered in reenacting the Last Supper, they will act compassionately toward their brothers and sisters in Christ. Passakos (1997: 210) claims that the Lord’s Supper becomes “the starting line for the transformation of the relationships and structures in the community.”
Garland, D. E. (2003). 1 Corinthians (pp. 552–553). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Here, I will agree with MLD.
My heart is deceitful and wicked.
That’s why I need the Supper.
It’s for sinners.
It’s for me.
The church is a body, family, household. Like any household or family, it has a father. The father teaches, guards and protects. In spiritual matters, this is the office of the pastor or priest. The qualifications of this office are high and they are accountable to God for the manner in which they exercise their office. The household is to honor the office.
You may be right…but that is drawn more from tradition than Scripture.
I believe in a plurality of elders working with the priesthood of all believers.
I’m not more “anointed” or gifted with special spiritual powers…just different gifting that works alongside the other gifted ones in serving each other as part of one body.
While our organizations do serve a purpose (God is a God of order), the Church is the Body; it has a Father … we are not several families in the eyes of God … this looks to be one of those aforementioned slippery slopes from where i sit this afternoon
I agree, I need the table too because it’s the there that I proclaim the Lord’s death, burial and resurrection until he comes.
I acknowledge my need for cleansing from my sin. I’m a sinner saved by grace. The washing of the water of the word of the gospel enjoined by faith, is what cleanses me from sin.
That’s all I have to say, for now ?
Here’s the thing. If we recognize the horizontal aspect of communion – that same aspect that says two Christians who think differently about the table should not partake together, we are doing a disservice to the teaching of Scripture that declares the Body of Christ as one, all eating of the same bread.
There is plenty of Biblical warrant to exclude one who is not part of the Body of Christ from partaking per the Corinthian letter.
However, it seems from this seat that in the one issue of the table, despite affirming Christian brotherhood with other denominations, nonetheless the ears are saying to the eyes, “not part of the Body” (as far as partaking together)…which also is something that the Corinthian letter is pretty clear about not doing.
This is why I can share communion with other Christians who hold a different view of the table than I do – because our communion is based on saving faith in Christ and being Christians, not faith in what is happening at the table!
The fact that I would not be repaid the same consideration is unfortunate. This is all going to look silly one day when the Muslims take over the world my kids and future grandkids are going to be living in…because I for one am tired of other Christians being the real problem…
Like Scott, that’s my last word on it. 🙂
In several weeks, in Weekend Word, we will encounter the following in Ch13:
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” This is going to grate against the libertarian spirit of our culture. But, then, Christianity has nothing to do with “free will.”
If you went to MLD’s church and his pastor offered you the body and blood of Christ, what would you say to him?
Steve, yet you have stated several times you would not participate as a pastor in baptizing a baby – aren’t you excluding in the same way?
I don’t deny there are leaders in the Body. I deny that they are different except in calling.
One last time – we do not exclude anyone – we only ask that people do what we do, for the reason we do. All are welcome
But I call a baseball game and you show up ready to play football. It does not work
“I don’t deny there are leaders in the Body. I deny that they are different except in calling.”
Michael, I think we’re in agreement, provided you would affirm the qualifications in 1Tim3. So by “no different” we would agree that leaders are sinner/saints just like other members of the body.
MLD, would it be frowned upon or even prohibited as a Lutheran to play football in an away game occasionally or can you only play baseball?
Andrew – we can play any game anywhere, as long as we are playing the same game. Memorialist want to play cricket and call it baseball – close, but still not the game Jesus invited us to play.
Communion is part of the Love Feast — a meal — as the saints gathered together as a family of equals — broke bread together — and used the bread and wine to symbolize Christ giving Himself – shedding His blood, taking the stripes upon His body — on our behalf. It is a time to fellowship together and jointly praising God for this magnificent free gift of salvation by the blood of Jesus.
Again — turning it into some ritualistic ceremony is pagan.
“Communion is part of the Love Feast — a meal — as the saints gathered together as a family of equals — broke bread together — and used the bread and wine to symbolize Christ giving Himself”
Sorry I don’t have that book in my Bible. Is that in First or Second Beelzebub?
Love feast??? This is how the Bible gets trivialized. Jesus was instituting the new covenant at this time. This wasn’t some hippie gathering.
Jackie, it’s one thing to hate Rome, it’s another to mock Jesus.
Well, there is some confusion regarding a meal called the agape meal (love feast) and the communion meal (Lord’s Supper ) because they were originally held at the same time. That’s why you have Paul admonishing those who ate up all the good stuff while the poor were left out which is not something you could say about Communion proper. “If that’s how you are going to act, eat at home,” said Paul. The very early Church followed the model of the Last Supper where Christ and His disciples ate a regular meal which He concluded with the institution of communion. Eventually the two meals were separated into an agape meal and communion, no doubt because of the kinds of problems Paul saw.
So Miss ODM has it partially right.
this link might be worth a read…
Jesus and his possee didn’t eat just a regular meal. It was the Passover which was quite structured. It cannot be likened to love feast at all.
The very early Christians, most of them being Jewish, still went to the Temple and to synagogues for prayer. They did this on the Sabbath and had their own private gatherings on Sunday when they had their agape meal followed by communion. After the destruction of the Temple and after they were no longer welcome in the synagogues and due to the fact that gentiles were being saved, the Christians developed their own liturgical services based on the liturgy if the synagogues. Not much need changing, just the addition of readings from what later became the New Testament and the Eucharist.
That’s a good link, Em.
By “regular meal,” MLD, I meant something more substantial than a bit of bread and wine.
Our church, for example, has communion at the end of the liturgy and afterwards, we gather in the church hall and share a potluck meal together. We don’t call this an agape meal but it is a meal that is typified by brotherly love and affection.
Actually em’s article answers the question. The memorialists never got out of the agape dinner mode. The article makes it clear that they were 2 separate events with preaching in between.
So memorialists are eating and fellowshipping while us of a more liturgical bent are partaking of the Lord’s body and blood and the new covenant.
Jesus isnt condoning nor suggesting cannabilism in the elements as we think he is suggesting. Like Nick at night in John chp 3, we fail to understand a simple truth. Jesus came as the bread of life, as Lion of the tribe of Judah, The Prince of Peace and so on. When Jesus gave the elements this is my body, he was referring to him as the Lamb of God. And we see in the OT that the priests ate the meat of the lamb. Becoming one with the innocent sacrifice that also provided meat to eat. When Jesus said drink of my blood, surely it wasnt literal was it? Sure it was, but not drink my human blood. But drink of me for Iam the Vine and you are the branches. So we drink of the literal blood of the vine. Its sorta of a prophetic thing as well when we take the Lord Supper. Because he was so many things even in the gospels he is represented in different types. Son of Man, Son of God, etc
It seems to me that Josh’s understanding of Scripture is far more accurate as well as balanced. What more, his argument is not being presented through the filters of in t
theological school of thought, but rather straight from Scripture alone which bears witness to the Holy Spirit that speaks truth and wisdom rather than to rely upon the teaching of men who have made Scripture to fit into the particular box of Theology they have bought into.
“filters of a particular”
Uriah @ 10 what?
I respect Josh and to say his ideas are not coming through a theological school of thought is a bit ridiculous. Isn’t this understanding of the memorial view pretty much coming from the famous theologian Ulrich Zwingli?
Xenia – If the Lord’s Supper and the Love Feast were combined in the NT, by what authority do we separate them?
To keep this biblically simple as it was given to us-
We partake of His body and blood when we believe
When we repent and believe we no longer hunger and thirst
The prophet was instructed to eat the scroll – it would be sweet in his mouth and bitter in his stomach
The scroll has the Word of God written on it
Jesus is the Logos — the Word
He told Peter to feed His sheep – He was not referring to the communion elements
Peter was to feed His sheep His Word
He is the Word – the Manna which came down from heaven
Taking in His Word – Him — is eating His Body and drinking His Blood
The flesh (actual body) profits nothing but Jesus is the Bread of Life
Think on these things while you partake and you will partake in a worthy manner
If your idea of partaking is to think this is how you get Jesus into your heart via the mouth, through the body and out into the toilet — you are partaking un-worthily.
His entry into us is via our hearts filled with His Holy Spirit
“The flesh (actual body) profits nothing but Jesus is the Bread of Life”
Oy Vey – the heresies continue. To have Miss ODM come here an state that a bodily Jesus is not profitable for us, is, is, is – wait I am almost swallowing my tongue – some gnostic heresy.
Help me Lord – come take me now.
Miss ODM, surely you must recognize the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Or are you somehow thinking it was just a spiritual thing?
We gotta change the fake Josh’s name.
All throughout the OT, God dealt with his people primarily through physical means, because as Em’s article above noted “they make the Word ‘more vivid and sure'”. Blood on the door posts to save the first born’s in Egypt; the pole with the snake; the Tabernacle and all the utensils; Moses’ staff; the scroll that Ezekiel ate; the coal that took away Isaiah’s sins. I assume many other examples could be added. Everyone knows that God can work without physical means, but he does use physical means for our sake.
But some people today think God stopped using physical means to deal with his NT people. What changed? Did human beings change? Did God change? The burden of proof is on the folks who say God has stopped dealing with his people through physical means.
Josh the Beloved – said (and this is deeply embedded in the evangelical mindset.
“Jesus came as the bread of life, as Lion of the tribe of Judah, The Prince of Peace and so on.”
See, there is not thought that Jesus IS ACTUALLY those things but that he came as. It is like if I show up at a costume party as Zorro – well, I am not Zorro, but I have come as Zorro.
This why why the bread and wine cannot be body and blood… and go through the whole litany of the I AMs as pastor Steve challenged. Jesus is not a door, a Good Shepherd a vine (I use a as opposed to the to satisfy the evangelical mind)
In the same way, when Jesus claimed to be the resurrection and the life, he isn’t really, he is just a representation of that. When Jesus says I am the way, the truth and the life,… well you get my drift.
Let Jesus’ words stand true – Let Jesus be who he claims to be.
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” John 6:63
Just quoting the Master when He spoke of eating His flesh and drinking His blood – So if you call me a heretic, you have to call Him one as well.
I’m really sympathizing with John Bunyan’s dream about now.
Are you sure that you were not the co writer with Bart Erhman in his book Misquoting Jesus”?
To take a non communion verse – at least Lutherans do not consider John 6 a communion verse and to apply it to the Lord’s Supper is just tragic. And you are a leading apologist in the evangelical world?
I think you may relate better to Paul Bunyan. 😉
i think that the efficacy that the literalists want it to be (the body and blood) is the same as those who see it as an emblem to focus us – heart and mind – the expected end result is to increase Christ in us and pay homage to Him, is it not?
of course there are caveats hanging from the service, confess your sins before taking the elements, do not participate without accepting the salvation that is represented…
i am comfortable with the literalists retiring to their sanctuaries to do the eucharist correctly (hopefully they pray for us erring ones) just so long as we all DO remember the unspeakable cost and unfathomable love as we pursue the intended result
If Z happened to agree with pr rather if his understanding ageed with scripture then he and Josh are in agreement with one another but neither are the author or originator. It would be more accurate to just say that Z understood Scripture likewise as Josh shared.
Replace pr with or.
Zwinglis view was not a strict memorial one.
His writings are easily found online, but they would require actually reading something to understand his position.
Those who believe that the elements contain the body and blood overstate their historical case at times, but there is no doubt that the view was prevalent in the early church.
Everyone believes they have “scriptural” basis for what they believe.
A little grace would go a long way here.
none of the literalists have argued from the statement that our bodies are temples… that is the only valid reason to believe we are sanctified by ingesting literal blood and body of Christ that i have come across… but even that is, for me, a reach as i am well aware that my corrupt flesh is in a literal dying process … but my soul goes on and my spirit hopefully grows and gains ground in the temple
It is the prevalent view in today’s church. Less so perhaps today in America, but heck, we are just a bunch of cowboy theologians. 🙂
All I can say for those who say ‘body is not important, but the spirit’ totally miss Christmas
“All I can say for those who say ‘body is not important, but the spirit’ totally miss Christmas”
All I can say is that such over the top statements are bull… and do nothing to bring any clarity or consensus.
No one denies the Incarnation.
No one denies that after the Incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection, Jesus went to the right hand of the Father.
He sent the Holy Spirt who is every bit as real as any physical body.
What is being denied over and over again here is the reality and significance of the spiritual world and of a faith that demands we worship Christ in “spirit” and in truth.
The majority of the church does not believe in the real presence as one.
The Lutheran doctrine has real differences from the Roman view which has differences with the Orthodox view.
There is similarity in language, but not uniformity in belief or practice.
of course the incarnation was important, but to say that the corporeal body of Christ is still being distributed in the eucharist just doesn’t make any sense at all and does not equate with God becoming a man at a point in time
MLD, is your shin hurting? cuz i just kicked you there in my head 🙂
God keep me from visiting this never ending merry go round thread again, i pray
“He sent the Holy Spirt who is every bit as real as any physical body.” NOW that makes sense – amen
I do think both sides could make their cases better without resorting to hyperbolic language.
I would like to correct two other misconceptions regarding the Sacraments (and here I believe Luther and Calvin were in agreement).
A Sacrament consists of God’s Word of promise (i.e., grace – the forgiveness of sins) when attached to a physical element. The physical element is a sign and seal of the promise. Em’s article explains why physical signs are so important for Christians.
But the Sacrament (and its promise) is useless unless it is received by faith. It is from God to and for us, so it is never our work. The Sacrament is ineffective if not received by faith, so it does not violate justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
I can affirm that.
but to say that the corporeal body of Christ is still being distributed in the eucharist just doesn’t make any sense at all
I said this from my very first comment a couple of days ago. Folks put reason ahead of the clear words of Christ. I choose not to do that. This is America and folks are allowed to handle scripture any way they want with no fear of going to jail.
Those would have been clear words if He had begun ripping off chunks of flesh and bleeding in their cups.
He handed them bread and wine.
Is it really necessary to have an insult attached to every comment?
Thank you. When some of our friends strip out the supernatural and mystery from the faith and take the solo scriptura approach, what’s left: Christ the moral example. And you know where that leads.
Clear words of Jesus:
Matt. 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth,
Matt. 5:14 “You are the light of the world.
I’m not made of salt.
I do not glow in the dark.
Matt 5:29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.
So…either MLD uses reason or he’s working half blind and typing with the hand he has left.
I probably affirm mystery and the supernatural more than anyone here except Xenia.
“You are the salt of the earth, You are the light of the world.”
These are well known saying and I have never read of corresponding Christian group who claims we are glowing salt licks
I am not ready to toss the Bible because “it doesn’t make sense to me” Unlike some of you, if it comes down to my reason vs the word, I am sticking with the word.
Make youe own application 😉
I don’t think we are going to achieve consensus around the nature of the Eucharist. I do believe that if one takes Jesus at his words and partakes with faith, that one will receive God’s grace.
The truly regrettable part of the discussion, however, is the denial by many that the Lord’s Supper is a means of grace; their belief that rituals are evil (or useless), and that God does not deal with human beings through physical means.
If 3 of the 4 Gospels include the Lord’s Supper, if John includes the Bread of Life sermon, if Luke includes the breaking of the bread in the Emmaus story, if Acts Ch2 includes the early church meeting daily for, among other worship elements, the breaking of the bread, and if Paul covers the Lord’s supper (and its ramifications if not done correctly) in 2 chapters of his 1st letter to the Corinthians, then where to people get off treating it like a feckless memorial to be done haphazardly every now and then?
The Lord’s Supper goes all the way back to the earliest recorded Church tradition. If it was good enough the the earliest Christians, how has American Protestantism moved beyond? Are rituals only for the simple? Are physical means, once good enough for God’s people, now mere superstition?
People don’t want God’s grace or salvation the way he freely offers it in Christ. What they want is for the decision to be theirs on their terms. “Jesus, I accept you.” “Lord, I’m ready now, come into my heart.” “Jesus, I accept as my Lord.” It’s all hooey.
My warning is (and you know this because you understand the bondage of the will), that you can’t choose Jesus Christ on your terms.
“I am not ready to toss the Bible because “it doesn’t make sense to me” ”
This infers that anyone who doesn’t hold to your doctrine is “tossing the Bible”.
That is a lie and utterly graceless.
I just presented “clear sayings” that you use reason to interpret.
I could easily do a dozen more.
I respect your decision to hold to Lutheran theology as your best understanding of the Scriptures.
I do not respect the way you speak of other traditions that value the Scriptures as much as you do.
Excuse me but several here over the past 4 or 5 days have held up as the reason to disregard passages is based on nothing more than them saying “because it doesn’t make sense to me?”
See, it doesn’t make sense to me that people are converted by the hearing of the word. I mean that is hocas pocas at it’s best. But you know what, even though it makes no sense, I believe it.
People have offered there objections to interpreting one set of Scriptures on one particular doctrine.
This debate is 500 years old and those debating have been as committed to the Scriptures as Luther and the Lutherans.
No one here has debated if faith comes by hearing.
“where do people get off treating it like a feckless memorial to be done haphazardly every now and then?”
That assumes a lot of negative things that are not necessarily true.
Most churches I’ve taken communion in have treated the matter seriously and have not served haphazardly.
We serve the Table every week and believe Christ is spiritually present in the elements.
That is my best understanding of the Scripture and after reading countless pages of debate on the matter.
I might be wrong.
I assure you I’m neither feckless or haphazard in my celebration .
“That assumes a lot of negative things that are not necessarily true.”
One of the commenters said that their church observes the Lord’s Supper once per year. The local Baptist mega-church here observes it quarterly. When they do, it’s with no liturgy whatsoever. Thus the Word is not spoken over the elements.
Maybe feckless and haphazard were not the right words. What they are doing is more analogous to folks who go to a museum to take in the nostalgia. It’s fun to look back, but you wouldn’t want to actually go back to those primitive days.
I had a CC pastor who would only serve communion on Wed nights. His reasoning – he wasn’t happy with Wed night attendance and basically told us “if you want communion you had better show up on Wed night.”
He wasn’t a servant of word and sacrament – he was a hostage taker,
I have observed a few cases of fecklessness….
I think when an untrained mommy who teaches a Sunday school class of little children passes out crackers and juice during class and calls it communion, fecklessness has reared it’s head.
But in most cases, I think decorum is observed.
at least Lutherans do not consider John 6 a communion verse and to apply it to the Lord’s Supper is just tragic.
MLD, can you explain? I have heard you use John 6 many times to make your point about the real presence. Now maybe I haven’t been astute enough to differentiate the Lord’s supper but you have used this verse in this context many times and now you throwing this curve ball saying it has nothing to do with it.
Let me come at this from a different angle.
When someone asks me why I’m a Calvinist, I an eager to share with them why I hold to that doctrine.
I’m not motivated by being “right” but by believing that knowing these doctrines is beneficial to their spiritual well being.
I want them to enjoy their faith and their relationship with God as much as I do mine.
Demeaning and mocking views which are within the bounds of orthodoxy, reason, and church history is a poor way to convince anyone of any doctrine.
My tribe is as nasty as the Lutherans and I used to be the nastiest of the bunch.
Make your own application…
In my experience, sarcasm is a rhetorical tool that needs a light touch. A little sarcasm can cause a light bulb to turn on. Too much and the opposition just doubles down, if for no other reason than to maintain their dignity.
Andrew – it can’t be a communion verse because the setting is not that of the Lord’s Table. I think where I have used it in the past is to show the seriousness of Jesus’ words, especially when addressing the ‘eating of his body’.
See, the followers there knew exactly what he was saying and that is why they turned and left. Who is this guy who says we must be cannibals to follow him.
To the point, I think if one of those guys would have, in faith, come up and bit Jesus on the forearm, Jesus would have commended him.
Those who turned away are those who said “this does not make sense to me – I will seek another to follow..”
I, for one, would prefer reasoned discussion rather than sarcasm. However, how do you reason with people, some of whom believe modern Bible translations are corrupt, church history is corrupt, the Fathers were corrupted by Hellensim and Platonism. For them, the only thing you can trust, if you have the right Bible translation, is yourself aided by the Holy Spirit.
So, even though, supposedly, there is only one Holy Spirit, if He is saying different things to each one of us, then are we all right, all wrong, all have parts of the truth, or what? How does one know if they are receiving their interpretation from the Holy Spirit or satan?
So, yes, it tests the patience of some.
It is fruitless to argue with that group and I don’t deal with them well either.
I pray this hope-drenched word brings all of you joy and hope this Advent, no matter what you’re going through.
1. Josh the Beloved – said (and this is deeply embedded in the evangelical mindset.
“Jesus came as the bread of life, as Lion of the tribe of Judah, The Prince of Peace and so on.”
See, there is not thought that Jesus IS ACTUALLY those things but that he came as. It is like if I show up at a costume party as Zorro – well, I am not Zorro, but I have come as Zorro.
****According to MLD’s darkened understanding. Satan “IS ACTUALLY” a 492’+ (bigger) Dragon and will be like unto Godzilla because he will be big. Rev 12:16. And this satan will roam the earth crushing buildings as he roams to persecute this poor 5’4″ 120lb women as she flees in terror.
@ Andrew 312. Never heard of this person called Ulrich Zwingli.
What I can tell you is after hours and years before the Lord in Communion.
I can only tell you what I received to be from the Lord (#309) himself and didn’t read it anywhere nor would I care to either.
Josh the Beloved,
So you will continue to deny that Jesus is actually the bread of life, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and the Prince of Peace but only came to us in those costumes because you don’t understand the difference of genre? You don’t understand the difference of narrative as we see in the gospels and apocalyptic literature such as Revelation?
On the contrary MLD. You can minimize and put down as costumes. But I do believe Jesus is the bread of life. So does Satan literally roam around like godzilla chasing a hebrew a women there in the middle east.
Josh the Beloved. I am not here to doubt your sincerity or question you. My only concern is when you say you received this directly from the Lord, I personally would question myself. I would want to make sure others had similar understanding and that I wasn’t a lone wolf. Also I could learn from others including those from history. Its not a bad thing to be in alignment with others. Uriah and others can call this a theological mindset but who cares? We all have our own understanding and that is exactly what it is whether you admit it or not.
Yes Baptists are essentially Zwinglian in their communion theology.
John 3:1-8 … i’d like to believe that much of the discussion and the stand on Lord’s supper that has been verbalized here was exaggerated for drama’s sake… surely, they’ve gotten past the purely literal … as i suspect that Nicodemus did…
there is so much understanding and deepening of one’s love for God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) to be gained – the reason for Christmas is the Cross
Em, what do you think it means to be born again?
Jean, there is no need for any more back and forth on this thread – and what i “think” is of no value – see what Jesus said in the 3rd chapter @ 363
i’ve just finished putting together our traditional Christmas Eve corn chowder which will come to be a beautiful thing by this evening – praying that the Body of Christ here does also 🙂
Jean, praying a Christ filled and blest Christmas for you and yours and all the rest of the PhxP
Amen to Em’s and Josh’s commentsaol.
Holy Spirit fall afresh upon your saints and set upon our hearts and minds what is true and what is not.
I had a CC pastor who would only serve communion on Wed nights. His reasoning – he wasn’t happy with Wed night attendance and basically told us “if you want communion you had better show up on Wed night.”
Quotes usually indicate a quote. Basically told us??
MLD @347 – I am curious, did the pastor in fact say that was his reasoning, or did you jump to that conclusion
I ask because Chuck Smith only served communion at the midweek service and it had nothing to do with attendance but everything to do with the fact that you are far less likely to have unbelieving guests show up at the midweek than on Sunday morning at what was a very large church with multiple visitors each week. Even then he offered the warning for unbelievers not to partake.
You may disagree with that policy, but you can’t say Chuck was motivated by something other than respect for the table and commitment to the word and its warnings.
As an aside, I think there ought to be a policy that if a commentator is willing to trash the denomination/affiliation he speaks against, he ought to also be willing to name the name of the pastor he is criticizing. I don’t doubt these things happen, but there is no chance to check it out or possibly urge reformation if everything is anonymous. Maybe in 2016.
Well Steve since you asked –
1.) yes we were told that
2.) It was Skip
3.) I know for a fact that when I went to CCCM 1999 – 2003 they did sometimes deliver communion on Sunday mornings.
4.) I would find it odd about Chuck’s reasoning about Wednesday evenings seeing how they filled the building 3 times on Sundays and could fit only 1/3 on Wednesday.
5.) Are you saying his reasoning was that 2/3 of attenders on Sunday were ‘lookie loos’?
“As an aside, I think there ought to be a policy that if a commentator is willing to trash the denomination/affiliation …”
Odd, for all the times I have heard here “I grew up Lutheran…” or “My old Lutheran pastor used to…” or “the Lutheran church here in my town…” and I have never asked anyone to identify who they were speaking of.
Holy Spirit fall afresh upon your saints and set upon our hearts and minds what is true and what is not.<<<<
Be careful what you ask for because you might just get it!
“Maybe in 2016.”
Maybe when none need fear retaliation from the people they speak of.
Not one damned second before, either.
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