Lord's Supper

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Jacob, Feb 22, 2003.

  1. Jacob

    Jacob
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    I'm currently in a little bit of a debate with a friend who says that we shouldn't hesitate to offer non-Christians the Lord's supper. He would even encourage it. He believes that if someone wants to particpate as part of their spiritual journey go ahead - perhaps participating and reflecting will someday help him come to faith.

    I believe that it was intended for the Church only and Non-Christians cannot properly partake in the way it was intended and are therefore making a mockery of it.

    Please provide your opinions; preferably backed up by Scripture and logic.

    Thanks

    Jacob.
     
  2. Bob Farnaby

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    In I Corinthians 11 it says for a man to examine himself, that he doesn't eat and drink unworthily ... humanly speaking we are all unworthy. Only those who have become Christians are worthy, not because of themselves but because of Christ.

    Regards
    Bob
     
  3. Artimaeus

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    Unworthily is an adverb telling how you do something. Worthy is an adjective describing you. We aren't worthy until God makes us worthy (saved) but that is a different topic. Worthily is HOW we are eating and drinking. Are we having a big celebration and partying hardy or is it a solemn occasion that we take seriously. It is a Christian activity and since neither you nor I get to decide who is and who is not a Christian, we should leave that decision to them. Our responsibility is to see that it is done in a worthy manner, a manner that reflects the seriousness of remembering our Lord's sacrifice and death.
     
  4. Rev. Joshua

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    My policy is that it's God's meal not mine, and I will offer it to anyone who wishes to partake reverently.

    Joshua
     
  5. Daniel Dunivan

    Daniel Dunivan
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    Jacob,

    Also the earliest traditions in the church is that the LS was not offered to anyone who was not baptized. In fact, prostelites who had not been baptized (though they believed in Jesus) were not even allowed to observe. It was a community issues. If we perceive the LS as a community meal, i.e. the church. How can we offer it to persons outside the church? I would agree with Joshua that this is God's table, but He allows us the administer it. I would not offer it to someone who is not baptized. As far as scripture references, even the one quoted above is highly debated in its application to a contemporary church with a much different ecclesiology that the NT.

    Hope it is as clear as mud.

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]
     
  6. Jacob

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    Do you think John 6:26-59 can be used confirm the intention that drinking the cup and eating the bread of the Lord's Supper was intended for believers only?

    Jacob.
     
  7. Daniel Dunivan

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    Do I think they are referencing the LS? Yes, but the logic of the text is for demonstrating those who are members, and not for providing data on who should be given the supper. Good text for thinking about the importance of the LS though. It was important enough to Jesus for him to make it a central part of his community, then why would we cheapen it through thoughtless usage of it.

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]
     
  8. Tentmaker

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  9. TomVols

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    It is the clear teaching of 1 Cor 11:17ff, et.al., that the Lord's Supper is for believers only. Daniel has rightly pointed out that historically, Baptists have only offered it to properly baptized persons. That's a whole other can of worms, though :D
     
  10. rlvaughn

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    IMO, a more consistent policy would be that since it is God's meal, we should only offer it to those He wishes to have it. That still leaves a lot of discussion open as to He wants to have it. But that seems to be the better approach. Since it is His meal, I don't see how the wishes of anyone to partake it could become the determining factor.
     
  11. Jim1999

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    I never invited anyone to partake of the Lord's Supper. My opening statement was always: "As baptized believers we will partake of the Lord's Supper. Let a person examine himself, and worship the Lord in remembrance of His sacrifice on Calvary."

    Each church I pastored set its own policy.

    In the Anglican Church, where I grew up, only Anglicans could partake of the bread and wine. The Plymouth Brethren would not permit me to partake because I was not immersed. The first Baptist Church I attended allowed any believer to partake.

    All the time I pastored, my wife, An Anglican, only took communion in one church by the specific invite of the Board of Deacons at that church.

    Interesting study, this table of remembrance, about our Lord Jesus Christ. Even Judas sat at the first table, no matter how we use gymnastics to say he didn't partake.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  12. Jacob

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    I agree, but the guy I'm debating with doesn't believe that "whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner... " refers to a non-Christian. He hasn't given me a reason why it doesn't but rather states than the "unworthiness" points to the sloppiness in the way the people were treating it - earlier in the passage.

    Jacob.
     
  13. rlvaughn

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    Jacob, perhaps you should point out that the persons in view in this context are professing believers of the church of God at Corinth.
     
  14. Mark Osgatharp

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    Here is what I Corinthians says about this issue:

    "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."

    And,

    "Now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or coveteous, or an adulterer, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one not not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person."

    This is why the process of expelling a member from the church has come to be known as "excommunication" - the wicked man is cut off from partaking of the communion.

    And,

    "For we being many are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread."

    That would tell me that whatever the "body" is - it is that entity which partakes of the supper together.

    As for Judas, he did, indeed, partake of the supper as an unbeliever. But he was also ordained to the ministry as an unbeliever. Does that mean we should ordain a professed unbeliever or an unbaptized believer to the ministry?

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  15. Mark Osgatharp

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    RevJoshua,

    You said,

    "My policy is that it's God's meal not mine, and I will offer it to anyone who wishes to partake reverently."

    How self-righteous of you to presume you can decide who is partaking reverently or not! Who made you the judge of such things.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  16. Rev. Joshua

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    Any church that asks me to be the celebrant has made me the judge of who is showing appropriate reverence.

    Joshua
     
  17. Mark Osgatharp

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    RevJoshua,

    You said,

    "Any church that asks me to be the celebrant has made me the judge of who is showing appropriate reverence."

    A minute ago it was the Lord's Supper and now it is the church's supper. Could you make up your mind?

    And those draconian words you are using - "appropriate" and "reverence." What are you, some sort of Bible thumping right-wing legalist?

    Were you not aware that the Lord really digs it when people come to His table with a flippant demeanor? Who are you to judge? Can't we all just get along? What do you mean excluding people on the grounds of reverence or lack thereof.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  18. Rev. Joshua

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    Mark,

    Obviously you've confused me with the "anything goes, no boundaries" kind of liberal. I'm not part of the "no creed but the Bible" crowd or the "I'm OK, You're OK" crowd.

    There are boundaries, and I think "worthily partake" makes it clear that the early church approached this ritual meal with reverence. I think we should emulate that example.

    Joshua
     
  19. CompassionFlower

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    Dear Jacob:

    I had the very same concern that the Lord's Supper was only for those who were in Christ. My husband however went to church with me one Sunday and to my surprise partook of the Lord's Supper. My husband is an inactive JW. I was very concerned, but when I talked to the pastor, he mentioned it was showing that my husband had a desire to be part of the Christian Church. Not to be so concerned because it would not do him any worse harm. Hope this makes sense.

    Servant of Christ, Pam
     
  20. Mark Osgatharp

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    King Joshua,

    You said,

    "I'm not part of the 'no creed but the Bible' crowd or the 'I'm OK, You're OK' crowd."

    By which boast you make neither the crowd nor the Lord, but yourself, the ulimate judge of who may partake or not partake of the Supper.

    All hail King Joshua!

    Mark Osgatharp
     

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