The Lord's Table - How Often?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by mnw, Dec 12, 2006.

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How Often Do You Observe the Lord's Table?

  1. Twice a month alternating am and pm

    1 vote(s)
    3.1%
  2. Once a month

    11 vote(s)
    34.4%
  3. Once a week

    2 vote(s)
    6.3%
  4. Once a year

    2 vote(s)
    6.3%
  5. Every Service

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Never

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Other... if so, what?

    17 vote(s)
    53.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. mnw

    mnw
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    Greetings all.

    Just recently I have had an interesting conversation regarding how often we should observe the Lord's Table.

    I have always seen it as a matter that is down to local churches to decide. And this is the position I still hold. But I guess my personal stance has been challenged.

    I would have said as often as the Pastor/local church decide. My experiance has been either twice a month or each Lord's Day.

    The twice a month seems to come from, in the circles I know, having the Lord's Table once a month in the morning and once a month in the evening. Otherwise you will get some members who would never be there for it. (Which is another issue in and of itself.)

    Others I know observe it once a month.

    The position I heard today was that it should be held once a year on the Passover.

    It seemed to stem from Paul's statement in I Corinthians concerning the Lord's Table being instituted on the day of the Passover.

    This is not something I have ever come across before and wondered if any one out there could shed some light on it. I'll try and post some more details when I get them.

    Hopefully I have put enough options on the Poll to satisfy. :)

    Lastly, do you have any Scripture which you believe indicates how often it should be observed? It seems to be a topic that leaves freedom to individual churches, but wondered if there were any other ideas.

    [edited to add final question]
     
    #1 mnw, Dec 12, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2006
  2. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    You are 100% correct. This is a matter for the local church to decide. That is where the authority rests. Your ideas of how often are pretty much the norm. Our church has the Lords Supper about once a month, at times, less.
     
  3. StefanM

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    We typically schedule for once every two months, unless other events fill the schedule. It ends up at about 5 times a year.
     
  4. DeeJay

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    We have it quarterly.

    You are right it should be up to the local church, That said I think I could make a good argumnent for once a year on passover.

    I believe that the Lords Supper is a continuation of the Passover Feast.
     
  5. Not_hard_to_find

    Not_hard_to_find
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    We do twice a year -- pastor's choice. Each at an evening service.
     
  6. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes
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    Once a quarter. Totally up to the local body, and pastor's discretion AT THE LEADING OF THE SPIRIT. This year, for the first time, we'll take the Lord's Supper at our Christmas Candlelight Service. How cool is that?
     
  7. tinytim

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    Once a quarter for us... usually the first Sunday of the quarter.
     
  8. Timsings

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    We have Lord's Supper on the first Sunday of even numbered months except for the April observance when it is scheduled for Maundy Thursday.


    Tim Reynolds
     
  9. mnw

    mnw
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    I guess it is as Joshua and others have said, it is down to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the discretion of the local church body.

    So, what would be the main arguments for holding it once a year?

    Also, do you think there are definite advantages and disadvantages around having it more or less often?
     
  10. Allan

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    I can say this about an advantageous disadvantage.

    There is a Pastor In NorthEastern Arkansas who came to a Church he felf God leading him to. However, after the initial first 3 months the real Church came out of the dark corners and the Gossip and slander started out of...well...everywhere. It wasn't even 5 months into his ministry they were wanting to oust him because he wouldn't budge on preaching the Word, true salvation, and the responsibilities of the believers. He was about to give up when in his daily quiet time in I Cor. he came across that ever so well known passage of the Lords Supper. The Lord strongly empressed upon him to begin preaching about it and specifically who those who partook unworthily died. He did this the first week outside the traditional twice a year Lords Supper for that Church and was rebuked by ALL of the deacons and a good many of the 'so called' Godly Ladies. He was about to not do it the following week but he believed God wanted this to be done until God said to do it no more. So he did. In the next 4 months he officaiated over more funerals than the Church had seen in 5 years (and none of it was due to food poisoning :laugh: ) If I remember right he said it was like 12 or 14 funerals and it was about that time during the next Lords Supper one of the deacons knelt by the steps they used as a alter and began to weep. Then another one and one of those 'godly' women and before he knew what was happening most of the church BEFORE the preaching ever began was weeping and repenting before the Lord. The flock changed that day and it has grown up and out as well.

    This is not a story of a friends wife's sisters uncles best friends cousin twice removed but of a close friend to my Pastore back in Arkansas who both are still there. The Pastor I was speaking of is still there today 9 years later at that same church.

    I don't know if this is specifically theological (I personally think so) but I do know it is true.
     
    #10 Allan, Dec 13, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2006
  11. Allan

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    Christ said to do it in rememberance of Him so I guess we can do it as aften as we desire to really remember Christ. I think having a set time is good but also to be able move and bring it into and among Gods people as we feel led. We should get to much into a habit of it or we (or the congregation) could loose much of its meaning in a repetitous fashion.
     
  12. mnw

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    I believe we do risk suffering and even death if we take part of the Lord's Table with known, unrepented sin in our lives.

    I'll get back with more when I get the chance.

    Thanks for that Allen.
     
  13. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob
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    I posted this on another thread and didn't see the need to retype the whole thing.

    1. How often do you (your church) observe the Lord's supper? Annually? Quarterly? Monthly? Weekly? Other? Is it observed around noon time or in the evening (or something other)?

    Answer: We have the Lord's supper Annually but as you know we meet once a month and so we go from church to church during a month. We are free if we are in good standing at home church to take the Lord's supper with any and all churches we visit that we correspond with.

    2. Are the elements unleavened bread and wine? or something else? Are these made or purchased? Is the wine grape wine, and does it matter to your church?

    Answer: The elements are unleavened bread baked by one of a deacon's wife. We use grape juice instead and it does matter for we don't beleive in acoholic beverages at all. We meet back at 4:00 pm on a Saturday and we first have one preacher and then a song followed by prayer. The moderator then calls a recess while the deacons and their wives prepare the table by setting the fruit of the vine with cups and the unleavened bread in plates, and then covering the table with a white cloth (which represents the shroud that covered Jesus). Then we bring in the water, towels and pans for the footwashing. Then everyone is called back by a song and the Moderator comes to the stand and usually preaches and instructs on John 13 concerning the Lord establishing feet washing in the church and said if I your Lord and Master have washed your feet then you ought to wash one another, and 1 Corth 11: where the church is instructed to let every man judge himself and so let him eat, but if he eat unworthy, he eateth and drinketh damnation to himself. The moderator then inqures for peace again, for the peace call had been made in the morning services, and if all in peace. The moderator then invites all our vistors of same faith and order to take the communion and feetwashing with us that are at peace at their home church. After finding all in peace the moderator then invites all ordained authority around the table and ask one of the preacher to hold a prayer asking God to bless the table to represent the blood and body of Christ and that we can all partake of it in peace. Then after prayer the deacons wives remove the white cloth covering that has been placed over the table which represents the shroud that covered Jesus's body. All the ordained authority then partakes in the breaking of the bread in small peices and placed in a plate for serving. After the bread is broken all sit down except the moderator and our deacon and their wives. Two of the deacons will first serve the moderator, one will serve the bread and the other will serve the fruit of the vine. The moderator then instructs the deacons to start serving the brothers and the deacon's wives to start serving the sisters. We do not call them deaconess for we didn't ordain the deacon's wives.

    The sisters sit on the left of the house in most cases and the brothers in the stand and on the right. The brother deacon serve the brothers and their wives serve the sisters. After everyone has partaken of the bread and fruit of the vine the moderator inquires if all have partaken and if so then we move on to the foot washing.

    3. Who may participate? Members only? Like faith and order? Professing Christians? Other?

    Answer: We are in correspondence with several associations of Old Regular Baptist from Michigan to Fla. and we are allowed to commune with any of them, again as long as we are in peace at home. Of course they must be in an orderly fashion also.

    4. Do you observe feet washing with the Lord's supper? If so, before or after? Every time the Lord's supper is observed or occasionally?

    Answer: We practice footwashing everytime we take communion. After the taking of the bread and fruit of the vine we lay aside our garments and the deacons pour water in basins. The moderator takes the first basin and picks a brother and washes his feet and then he washes the moderators feet. Often our brethren will reach in and help wash another feet even though that is not the brother that he is going to wash his feet one on one. I have had a couple of time in 34 years a sister reach down and take a little water in her hand and rub my feet. After all have washed feet the moderator then inquires if all have washed someone's feet and if all have had their feet washed.

    5. If you practice feet washing, are the participants of feet washing limited to the same group of people the Lord's supper is limited to?

    Answer: Yes, it is all one complete happening from communion to feet washing and then we sing a song and go out without calling dismission.


    Brother Bob, Merry Christmas
     
  14. Bobby

    Bobby
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    As oft as ye do it...hence no specific time or number of times.

    Dont let it be a ritual or tradtion though...
     
  15. DeeJay

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    I think the disadvantage of holding it to often is that it becomes routine it looses its meaning for some if it is just something we do every week. The disadvantage of holding it only a few times a year is that if you miss church one time, maybe you had to work, it is a long long time without.


    My argument for holding it once a year on the Passover would be that the Lords Supper is a continuation of the Passover feast.

    The Passover, God saving the Hebrews from bondage in Egypt, is a type of Christ.

    The Passover Feast was a reminder of what God had done for the Hebrews in the Passover saving them from bondage in Egypt.



    The Passover Feast is an everlasting feast.


    When Jesus held up the bread and wine he was not holding up normal bread and wine. He was holding up the symbols of the Passover, he was saying, I am the Passover, I am Gods salvation.

    It is my belief that the Lords Supper and the Passover Feast are the same thing and we just understand more about it. We see it fulfilled.


    Those would be my arguments, but like I said before I dont think we are held to a rigid time like the Jews were. Just like I dont think it matters if we have church on Sunday instead of Saturday or even if you want church on Tuesday thats fine. The NT says, as often as you do it. So I think it should be done as often as we do it.
     
  16. mnw

    mnw
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    Hi DeeJay, good post.

    I think you got it right speaking about taking it for granted when done too often or missed for years at a time if you happen to be away those services.

    As far as it being linked with the Passover... One of the main arguments for doing it often, that I have heard, is from Acts 2 where it says they went house to house breaking bread. However, this does not necessarily mean the Lord's Table, it more than likely means just a regular meal. Over in Corinthians Paul speaks of the feasting that took place at the Lord's Table.

    Now, I think over in Acts 20 when Paul is preaching it is on the last day of the feast of the Passover... I could be wrong there.

    Anyway, he is preaching on the first day of the week which is....? Most likely Saturday evening. My first answer was a timid "Sunday" because I had a feeling I was being tested. :) BUt, as most probably know the Jewish day began at 6pm. So 6pm Saturday would have been the end of their Sabbath and the beginning of the first day of the week.

    THis would also make more sense with the fact that Paul preached until gone midnight. If he had started around 6 or 7 pm this would make sense. If he had started at 11am, as most of us may picture on the first day of the week, then it would have been a looooooong sermon!

    Those are some of the arguments I have heard in favour of linking the Table with the Passover. And I may have those a little out of order. :) Like I said, I am just hearing about this for the first time.

    Any others out there?
     
  17. David Lamb

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    Two problems with this poll:

    1. Choice 6 of the multiple choice says "Other - If so, what?" but where do I put the answer to "what?"

    2. Having chosen "Other", I got a message to say that I have already voted on this poll, and I know I have not done so. The poll only appeared two days ago, and I have not voted in any polls in that time.

    Any suggestions?

    Every blessing,
     
  18. mnw

    mnw
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    Hi David, in answer to your questions.

    1. Just post your view as a regular post.

    2. There is a forum for discussion problems. Maybe they can help there.
     
  19. David Lamb

    David Lamb
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    Hi,

    Thanks very much. There is so much on the Baptist Board that I am sure I still have a lot to learn about how it works.

    Yours by His grace alone,
     
  20. Ulsterman

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    The Lord's Supper is not our Passover, Christ is our Passover, and its purpose is to remember Him, not just in His death, but also in His resurrection and coming again. Equating this ordinance with Passover is no different than equating baptism with circumcision. Passover and circumcision are part of Jewish ritual, whereas the ordinances are distinctly Christian and belong uniquely to the church. Judas was allowed to participate in Passover as a Jew, but he was excluded from the Lord's Supper as an unbeliever. To believe that the Lord's Supper is only a revamped version of the Passover is a form of replacement theology, and I persionally cannot go along with that.
     

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