Christian Life 

'Remembering His death' – in small groups

With the growing number of small groups now meeting together in much less formal structures and environments there is the need to look again at 'remembering the Lord's death until he comes'.

 


first published 20/03/2012

Ed preface: The following article focusses on a biblical view of  the Lord's Supper (aka Communion/ the Eucharist / Breaking of Bread / Mass) in the context of whether the common practices today have departed from the bibilical pattern described in the Bible and as practised by the early church.

 

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The Snack We Call Supper

by David Servant

 

bread and wine2AT the last church that I pastored, I required that our ushers wear a coat and tie on those once-a-month Sundays when we celebrated the Lord's Supper. It seemed to me that those who distributed the elements of Jesus' body and blood should demonstrate at least that much respect in performing their sacred duty.

On one of those Communion Sundays, while an usher was driving his family to the church, his five-year-old son noticed that he was wearing a coat and tie. He innocently asked, "Dad, is this the Sunday that we all eat God's holy snack?"

When his father later recounted that story to me, it was an emperor's-new-clothes moment of revelation. I had stood in front of congregations hundreds of times and said, "Let us prepare our hearts to receive the Lord's Supper," and then proceeded to pass out a miniscule cracker and a thimble-sized sip of grape juice. And nobody ever questioned it! And what we were doing had been done in millions of churches for hundreds of years! A five-year-old boy had exposed centuries of blind tradition - the snack we call supper.

The Way Things Were


Of course, just about everyone knows that the original Lord's Supper was a full meal, a Passover meal, shared by intimate friends who believed in Jesus. And anyone who reads the relevant passages from the New Testament can ascertain in minutes that in the early church, the Lord's Supper was indeed a supper - a full meal - shared by people who loved each other like family. [See Note 1. - Ed.] So when and why did the Lord's Supper become a holy snack? And what difference does it make if we celebrate the Lord's Supper as did the early church?

Before we tackle those questions, let's first take a look at Paul's words to the Corinthian Christians regarding the Lord's Supper. That will help us begin to understand what many of us have been missing.

Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper, for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said,

"This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.

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. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment (1 Cor. 11: 20-34).


From looking at the first and last verses of that passage, one often-overlooked fact stands out. Clearly, eating the Lord's Supper was a primary reason that the early Christians assembled. At least some of their gatherings revolved around a common meal, and that meal they called "the Lord's Supper." Take another look at those first and last verses to see for yourself:

Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper, for in your eating each one takes his own supper first [that is, you say you are gathering to eat the Lord's Supper, but the way you are doing it reveals something else]; and one is hungry and another is drunk... So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat... (1 Cor. 11:20, 34, emphasis added).

Lords tableIt is also obvious from these two verses that the Lord's Supper was an actual meal. Once that is settled, a few other scriptures that describe early church life seem to take on new meaning. For example, Luke describes four activities that characterized the first Christians, one of which was eating common meals:

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer (Acts 2:42, emphasis added).

And just a few verses later, Luke again highlights those common meals:

Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people (Acts 2:46-47, emphasis added).

Although Luke doesn't specifically refer to these meals as being the Lord's Supper, they certainly are similar to Paul's description of the Lord's Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:20-34. And we might ask, If the Lord's Supper is a common meal, what would be the major difference between a common meal that is not the Lord's Supper and a common meal that is the Lord's Supper, especially when bread and wine were the most common elements of an average meal in that day? (We might even go further and ask, Because Jesus said "Do this, as often as your drink it, in remembrance of Me," is it possible that He wanted them to remember Him every time they drank the most common beverage of their day?)

Paul and Luke's descriptions of early church life expose the vast difference between what was typical then and now. The Lord's Supper is generally not the reason that we meet today. Rather, the modern version of the Lord's Supper is tagged on near the end of a Sunday service. Moreover, it is not a supper at all, but a little snack.
(Actually, the "pot-luck dinners" that some modern churches occasionally enjoy are closer to what the Lord's Supper looked like in the New Testament.)

The Agapé Meal


Triclinium1It seems safe to conclude that Jude also referred to common Christian meals in his little epistle, calling them "love feasts" (see Jude 1:12). Those common meals were indeed a feast of love, a meal at which those who could brought food to share with the poor among them, which is precisely what Paul described in 1 Corinthians 11:20-23:

Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper, for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you (1 Cor. 11:20-23).

Keep in mind that when Paul wrote, "Or do you despise the church of God?," he wasn't talking about despising a building where the Christians went to church. He was talking about the Christians themselves. Getting drunk and hogging all the food at a gathering of the saints is a sure way to expose how lightly one esteems God's children, the church. By so doing, one "despises the church of God." Perhaps those food hogs were the types of people Jude had in mind when he wrote, "These are men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves" (Jude 1:12).

But let's return to Paul's words. The Corinthian Christians could not rightfully call their common meal the Lord's Supper because selfishness pervaded rather than love. Everyone who was able brought food and wine to the meal, but not all arrived at the same time. The earliest arrivals were eating without waiting for the others, and by the time the rest arrived-who were apparently sometimes so poor that they were unable to bring any food-everything had already been consumed. Some of the earlier arrivals were even inebriated from drinking all the wine, while late-comers left hungrier than when they arrived. Not much of a "love feast"!

This is why Paul admonished the Corinthians in a concluding sentence,

So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home (1 Cor. 11:33-34).

A Unique Gathering


Clearly, the Lord's Supper in the early church was a gathering of Christians from different social and economic classes, something that made it absolutely unique on planet Earth, a veritable foretaste of the marriage feast of the Lamb. Caring for the poor is part and parcel of what Christianity is intended to be, so much so that it was a component of the Lord's sacred Supper that was regularly and frequently enjoyed by the early Christians.

By means of the Lord's Supper, the first believers fulfilled a commandment of Christ that seems to be virtually ignored today:

"When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous" (Luke 14:12-14).

Surely such a dinner would truly be a "love feast"!

But back to the Corinthians. They were, in part, fulfilling the commandment of Christ that we just read. They invited the poor among them to a common meal. However, before the poor arrived, they were eating all the food! And by so doing, they were setting themselves up for God's judgment:

If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment (1 Cor. 11:34, emphasis added).

Paul elaborated more specifically on that judgment in the preceding verses:

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. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world (1 Cor. 11:27-32).

The judgment/discipline that some Corinthians were suffering was weakness, sickness, and even premature death. Those judgments fell upon them not simply for the act of hogging all the food or getting drunk at the Lord's Supper. Those were but symptoms of a larger heart-issue, what Paul referred to as "not judging the body rightly" (1 Cor. 11:29).

Perhaps Paul was speaking of the need for each person to properly regard the body of Christ, the body of believers, lest anyone, as he said earlier, "despise the church of God" (11:22) – an attitude that was revealed, for example, when they ignored or mistreated the poor among them at the Lord's Supper. The very act of eating all the bread with no concern for hungry late-comers made a mockery of what is represented by partaking of the single loaf-our unity with Christ and each other (see 1 Cor. 10:16-17).

The only other possibility is that Paul was speaking of each person judging his own selfish fleshy nature, again, something that was revealed by the inconsiderate behaviour of many at the Lord's Supper.

Both interpretations yield the same conclusion: Partaking of the Lord's Supper-what is supposed to be a remembrance of Jesus' amazing love for us and an expression of our love for one another-can be deadly if done in "an unworthy manner" (11:27), that is, selfishly. Selfishness as a tacit denial of everything the Lord's Supper represents. Imagine a few people hogging all the food and drink at the Lord's Supper so that some of the "least of these" among Christ's brethren went home hungrier than when they arrived! When that happens, the sheep look no different than the goats. And we know how God feels about the goats! (If not, see Matt. 25:31-46).

Thus you can then understand why God disciplined such goat-like sheep at Corinth. Amazingly, even that was an act of His mercy, as Paul wrote, "When we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world" (11:32). The world will one day be condemned to hell, but God disciplines us to call us back to the narrow path to eternal life. We can avoid His judgment if we, as Paul wrote, "judged ourselves rightly" (1 Cor. 11:31). That means to confess and forsake our selfishness.

I hope you are beginning to see that the little ritual we rehearse in our churches is a far cry from what the Lord originally intended for His special supper of love. And I hope no one thinks I'm calling for nothing more than a relocation of the Lord's Supper from church buildings to homes, along with an increase in the portion sizes of the food! The greater issue is our love for one another.

Naturally, a joyous meal in a home is a better opportunity to express our love for each other than is a two-minute snack that we swallow while staring at the back of someone else's head.

But more importantly, sharing some of our food with poor believers has a whole lot more to do with loving our neighbors as ourselves (a fairly important commandment) than piously participating in a church ritual that is based mostly on Roman Catholic tradition.
I tend to think that no matter if we partake of the Lord's Supper as a snack in a church or as a full meal in a home, we are just as guilty as the Corinthians if we aren't caring for those in the body of Christ who have little or no food, even if they live in another nation.
What a mockery is made of the Lord's Supper by professing Christians who sanctimoniously sip the wine yet who could care less about their brothers and sisters in Christ who are starving. They, like the Corinthians, are eating and drinking judgment upon themselves, and unless they repent, they too will be condemned along with the world, just as Christ promised in Matthew 25:31-46.

Spontaneous Lord's Suppers


I think it is quite possible that many of us have been enjoying the Lord's Supper to some degree without even knowing it, as we naturally have been drawn to share meals with those with whom we feel our relationships are sacred and spiritual. This occurs naturally when people are born again. As Paul wrote, "Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another" (1 Thes. 4:9). And John wrote, "We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren" (1 John 3:14).

Love is part of the salvation package. Yet how many sincere pastors have discovered that many of the people in their churches have no genuine interest in meeting with other Christians in small spiritual groups, much less actually gathering in a home to share a meal together? Such people will attend a Sunday-morning show and even shake a few hands during the "fellowship minute." But they really don't love each other. As soon as they've put in their time, the goats are running for the parking lot.

Meanwhile, for the sheep, church often really begins after the benediction. They stand around for a long time talking, or head out for lunch where the real food is spiritual and the fellowship is filling. And of course, they don't do it because they feel obligated, but because they really want to. The early Christians did not gather for common meals because they read something in the book of Acts about Christians sharing common meals and wanted to "get back to the biblical pattern." They did it because they wanted to do it! This principal is true for so much of what is truly the work of God. Any pastor who tries to motivate the goats to act like sheep is wasting his time. Rather, he needs to proclaim the true gospel until the goats run or repent. Those who repent God will turn into sheep. Then they'll start acting like sheep, naturally (or perhaps I should say, supernaturally).

True Orthodoxy


Christian history indicates that it wasn't until the end of the second century that the bread and wine began to be separated from the meal of the Lord's Supper. By the end of the fourth century, the love feast was actually prohibited by the Council of Carthage. In the centuries that followed, the Lord's Supper evolved into a sombre and mystical ritual during which the bread and wine actually changed into Christ's body and blood-a holy sacrifice that could only be administered by an ordained priest in a sacred spot of a sacred building.

I've asked pastors all over the developing world, "What would be your reaction if you heard that some of your church members were meeting in a private home to celebrate the Lord's Supper, without you or some other ordained minister being present to officiate and to bless and distribute the elements?" Most of them confess that their gut reaction would be one of extreme alarm, because such a thing would seem to be heretical! I then usually chide them that they are really just Roman Catholic priests! They have been blindly following an unbiblical tradition that goes back more than 1,700 years! They may not believe that the bread and juice actually become Christ's literal body and blood, but just about everything else is the same.

The truth is, however, that the Lord's Supper as practiced by the early Christians never occurred in a special church building, but in homes. And it was never a little snack but always a full meal. And there was never an "ordained minister" present to "officiate," because there were no "ordained ministers" and Scripture leads us to believe that ordinary Christians enjoyed the Lord's Supper together. [See Note 2. - Ed.] Moreover, at the Lord's Supper, the poor were fed. And every Bible scholar who has written about the Lord's Supper as it was practiced by the early church will affirm these things (if you don't trust me or the Bible!).


Ed footnotes:
1. The Last Supper
was indeed a full communal meal which Christ shared with his disciples the night before his death on the cross. This was not the Passover Seder as that special meal was on the evening of his crucifixion. See article 'Easter: myths and tradtional obscure amazing truths'.

2. As the text above states 'remembering the Lord's death' is, at one level, an ordinary everyday event but with a unique spiritual dynamic; and enjoyed as believers meet together to share a meal. It does not need a 'presiding clergyman'; indeed there were none in those days - nor does the Bible recognise such a role/responsibility. See article: 'The Westminster Confession; past help, present hindrance.'

3. David Shepherd is the founder and director of Heaven's Family with Shepherd Serve as part of that ministry. Having ministered in more than fifty of the world's nations, David has a special burden to equip pastors and Christian leaders in developing nations. To that end, he has authored a 500-page equipping manual titled The Disciple-Making Minister. He also carries a great concern for the purity of the gospel and the understanding of biblical stewardship. Two of his books, namely The Great Gospel Deception and Through the Needle's Eye, passionately address those important issues. The text of both books can also be read on our website.


David Servant, 25/09/2013

Feedback:
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Editor 23/03/2012 11:55
Fine John. As your response illustrates, it's all about 'definition'. Regarding the Corinthian situation I'm agreed that 'excess' was the problem.
Editor 17/02/2013 17:40
Placed by John Miller in relation to an article on Hallal meat and transferred here -

>>>
Quote from article -
"bearing in mind that the Lord's Supper was and should be a proper meal"

Editor that comment is a puxzzle to me. The Lord's Supper as I understand it is bread and wine. We break bread and drink wine in remembrance of Christ's atoning, sacrificial death. No meat is mentioned in any scriptures that I understand to refer to the Lord's Supper.

The Lord gave simple instructions to His disciples for their day and generation. He gave the same simple instructions to Paul, direct from the glory, for his ministry and every succeeding generation of christian believers.

Can you explain what you mean by "a proper meal"? Is it your belief that what the Lord set out in the Gospels and Paul's instructions in 1 Corinthians ch.11 should be incorporated into an ordinary meal for the purpose of satisfying the physical needs of our bodies?
<<<<

Ed note: I will respond to this soon.
Editor 17/02/2013 20:16
John, I totally agree – as I’m sure we all would – that the ‘bread and wine’ are the symbols which Jesus used as emblems of his body broken and his blood shed. However I believe to fully understand the ordinance that Jesus initiated we need to take account of the context and the phraseology.
“Breaking bread” (Acts 2:46) was the common expression for eating a meal (of which wine and bread were invariably constituent parts). This main meal of the day was in the evening when families came together to eat (Acts 20:7; Luke 24; 29-30). It would almost certainly have been in this context that Jesus introduced the practice of ‘remembrance’. The fact that there is no mention of meat is to make an argument from silence (and I don’t want to get into discussions about normative and regulative principles here; or the fact that, for understandable reasons, we often use fruit juice as substitute for wine).

Additionally, careful study of the Scriptures also reveals that Jesus ate this meal of remembrance the evening BEFORE the prescriptive Passover meal. (He was crucified at the same time as the Passover lambs were being slaughtered. The term ‘Passover’ can refer to the ‘day’ or the ‘season’.)

The evening gathering in a Jerusalem upper room was far removed from sitting in serried ranks in pews on a Sunday morning church service. Indeed the ‘Shabbat/sacred day’ was a Jewish custom and the early Christians, both Jews and Gentiles, met on the ‘first day of the week’ which in fact was Saturday evening. And we can see from the Roman letter that some regarded every day as a ‘day to the Lord’ (Rom 14:5-6). Additionally, arguments have gone on over the centuries and to this day regarding ‘How often?’ we should ‘remember the Lord’s death until He comes’ and also over the precise spiritual dynamic which is present. These debates completely miss the point. [The scriptural guidelines as we know are ‘as often as you do this’ but to avoid selfish gluttony (1 Cor 11:21-22) and failing ‘to discern the body’ at a personal level (1 Cor 11:27-29).]

And of course Da Vinci’s famous portrait of the Last Supper has compounded the error in traditional church thinking. When Jesus ‘reclined at the table’ he was gathered around a Triclinium, not seated on a chair at a banqueting table. It was an intimate and spiritual, but – at another level – just an everyday gathering of believers.

The occasion was both ‘social’ and ‘spiritual’; yet what we have done from the time of the early church fathers is institutionalised the Lord’s Supper to the point of being far removed from that instituted by Christ. Very often the only ‘communal’ element is the fact that there are others in the room. So we have the ‘spiritual’ in ‘the sanctuary’ and then remove ourselves to the church hall for the ‘communal’ church lunch.

Today more and more Christians are meeting in homes for fellowship, prayer, teaching AND ‘remembering the Lord’s death until He comes’ (on various days of the week and often in the context of a ‘pot luck’ supper; and ‘agape’ meal). It does not need to be a particular day in a particular building with a particular person officiating.

C.H. Spurgeon quote:
"There is no time that is more like the first occasion when the Master celebrated the ordinance with His disciples than is the evening of the day. Then it was that He gathered the 12 Apostles together and instituted this blessed memorial feast! At Emmaus, too, it was at the close of the day that He was made known to His two disciples in the breaking of bread. It must be sheer superstition, utterly unwarranted by Holy Scripture, which tells us that the Lord’s Supper can only be properly received in the morning and that we ought not to eat anything before we partake of the sacred emblems!"

John Miller 18/02/2013 09:29
I certainly hope that I am not "making an argument from silence". The church's authority for the Lord's Supper is in 1 Cor.11. Paul sets out clearly the exclusive content of the Lord's Table. The time of day is of no significance whatsoever.

I agree with Spurgeon. He was referring to the notion that no food should be taken before participating in the Lord's Supper. That is clearly preposterous. At our church gathering we have a fellowship meal after the Supper. This is entirely separate and distinct from the sacred occasion during which we remember the Lord Jesus in the breaking of bread and drinking from the cup.

"Today more and more Christians are meeting in homes for fellowship, prayer, teaching AND ‘remembering the Lord’s death until He comes’ (on various days of the week and often in the context of a ‘pot luck’ supper; and ‘agape’ meal). It does not need to be a particular day in a particular building with a particular person officiating."

With the greatest respect, in my view that is a very confused and possibly irreverent view of a solemn occasion that to me is the pinnacle of Christian priviledge available in a world where the name and memory of my Saviour is derided, ridiculed and scorned.


Editor 19/02/2013 18:01
John, I think what Spurgeon was saying is: "It must be sheer superstition ....which tells us that the Lord’s Supper can only be properly received in the morning and that we ought not to eat anything before we partake of the sacred emblems!"


Matthew 26:26-28 (NASB)
While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."
And when He had tken 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.

That verse makes it clear that the 'context' of the elements of bread and wine was that of 'during a meal'.
John Miller 19/02/2013 21:49
That is true. I do not doubt that what you are saying is a fact. What we have in the Gospels is set against the background of the Jewish passover.


However when we go to Paul's teaching, and we must always bear in miind that what he taught verbally and by the written word was received from the ascended Christ, there is no mention of the passover feast. Other food is mentioned in a very negative way by the Apostle. He presents the Lord's Supper in a very distinctively simple way.

I believe that divine wisdom is displayed in this. Two items of the staple peasant diet were chosen by the Lord Jesus to represent His body and His blood. We are asked to partake of them and nothing else. Paul received that from the Lord and passed it on to the church at Corinth as he had done previously. He received it for the express purpose of committing it to Christ's church without any overt reference to the Jewish feast. He was now reminding them of this and chastising them for what they had added to the simplicity of the instructions given. They had turned it into a meal for fleshly satisfaction.

The Lord's instructions given through Paul can be fulfilled by the poorest believer because the elements required are the simplest possible.

The Lord's Supper is not to satisfy physical hunger. It is to focus our minds and affections on the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love that gave all. It is symbollic and its participation is symbollic of our answering love for Him although the two cannot be compared.

I believe that to mix it up with food and drink for the satisfaction of bodily hunger and thirst is a traducement of what is the pinnacle of worship to the Lamb of God in the scene of His rejection.

In Glenrothes at one Church of Scotland the woman cleric is a German Goth, yes that is a fact. Actually she went through C of S training at the same time as Paul Gibson. Her huband is also a Goth. When they celebrate communion in that place she lays out on a table a variety of different types of bread and a selection of jugs of various drinks. The congregation are invited to tuck in. She has openly stated that if anyone doesn't like it they can go elsewhere.

That's the snack that she calls supper!
AG (Guest) 19/02/2013 23:18
I think Spurgeon's comment was probably aimed at some "Exclusive Brethren" who had adopted the practice of celebrating the Lord's Supper at 6am on Lord's Day, because they believed that nothing should take priority over this sacrament on the first day of the week. This, of course, was pure legalism, without any scriptural warrant, and Spurgeon was never slow to condemn such practices. His antipathy towards certain aspects of "Brethrenism" is well known!

It is clear that Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper during a meal with his disciples, and it appears that the early church continued the practice of combining the Lord's supper with a meal (Acts 2:46, 20:7&11. However, it was not long before human failings began to manifest themselves, with the result that some believers were more interested in filling their stomachs than remembering the Lord. And Paul had to remind them (1 Cor 11:20-34) of the solemn nature of the Lord's Supper and the danger of profaning it by eating the bread and drinking the cup in an unworthy manner. Paul concludes, "If anyone is hungry he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgement"(v 34).

In view of these warnings I believe it is wise to separate the celebration of the Lord's Supper from the enjoyment of a communal meal, so that the focus will be only on remembering the Lord and proclaiming his death until he comes.
John Parker (Guest) 21/02/2013 20:53
"In view of these warnings I believe it is wise to separate the celebration of the Lord's Supper from the enjoyment of a communal meal, so that the focus will be only on remembering the Lord and proclaiming his death until he comes."

Paul took the right line. The answer to 'abuse' is not 'disuse', it's 'right use'. To deviate from what was the common practice of the early church is to shirk the exercise of a biblical disciple. Too often 'body-swerving' a problem in behaviour results in a biblical practice being discarded.
John Miller 22/02/2013 12:05
"To deviate from what was the common practice of the early church..."

John Parker, would you not agree that there is the possibility in what Paul says in 1 Cor.11 he intends to suggest the discontinuance of such practise? Do you not think that he is placing the Lord's Supper in its simplicity involving only bread and wine, separate from a meal for general consumption?

Believe me I do not seek an argument, for the simple reason that what other churches and fellowships do is not my business. We are satisfied in our fellowship that what we are doing is in keeping with scripture. If what is done elsewhere is conducted with reverential worship "in spirit and in truth" it would not be for others to criticise.
John Smith 14/10/2016 15:45
I have three questions:

1) Has anyone noticed that Communion is being held less frequently than it used to be (in the main churches)?

2)What do you think about Internet Communion for those who can't get to a church? (There used to be a time, when the vicar would bring you communion in your home, if you were ill. Those were the days!)

3) Is there some way for Christians (churched or un churched) to meet together for really informal Lord's Suppers? Just remembering the death of Jesus with bread and wine (or substitute) and loving friendship?
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