November 18, 2017

Laugh or Else: The Reasons Baptists Give For Not Celebrating the Lord’s Supper More Often

wigs-clown-top-pennywise.jpgThe Internet Monk Research Division, headquartered in the Internet Monk compound deep beneath the Boar’s Head Tavern here in the mecca of post-evangelicalism, St. Sadies, Maryland, has been conducting a research project. With the completion of extensive research conducted at the highest levels of professional standards, it’s now time to reveal the results to a world waiting to know the answers to a burning question:

Why won’t Baptists celebrate the Lord’s Supper more often than the average of four times a year?

Less than 20% of Southern Baptist churches have communion more frequently than four to five times a year. The weekly communion practiced by British Baptist Charles Spurgeon is rarer than an actual sighting of someone using the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

Christmas. Easter. Two or three other times a year. There’s no excuse too small to discourage Baptists from having communion. Inquiring minds want to know: in a denomination that talks about Biblical inerrancy and authority, why do so few Southern Baptists read the passages in Acts on “breaking bread in their homes” as meaning what they obviously mean: frequent communion?

Southern Baptists are sticklers for doing what the Bible says, right down to the point of taking up arms. Yet on this subject, thousands of Baptist ministers and scholars know what the Bible says and respond with a big shrug.

We sent our researchers into the streets, back roads, megachurches, hollers and storefront church start-ups to get the answers, and here they are: Why don’t Southern Baptists celebrate the Lord’s Supper more often?

1. “We don’t want to be too catholic.”

Excuse me, but there’s about as much chance of your average Southern Baptist church coming off as “catholic” as there is of the iMonk being invited to be the next guest blogger at teampyro. I’ll be purchasing a corporate box at Yankee Stadium when anyone mistakes Dry Creek Baptist for Mary Help of All Christians.

I can’t see Deacon Smith leaning over to his wife during communion and saying “When was the last time we went to confession?”

If the fact that Catholics take weekly communion ought to put a church on its toes for creeping papist tendencies, then post this list of other items to be put on careful watch: sermons, offerings, prayer, singing, hymns, organs, saying amen, reading the Bible, bingo.

Ok. You can take the bingo off the list. But keep an eye on the rest. They could be trouble.

Seriously, preachers, this sounds like a line from a Monty Python episode. No one is deciding whether you are going Catholic based on your version of the Lord’s Supper. I’ve been to a few Masses and a few Baptist Lord’s Suppers, and you can relax. No one is going to get confused unless they are having a massive cranial bleedout.

What did the research department find was the #2 answer to the question “Why don’t Baptists celebrate the Lord’s Supper more often?”

2. “If we do it more often, it won’t be as special.”

I’d love to see the response of these preachers if their wives came up with that line regarding sex. “I’m sorry sweetheart. More than once every three months would make it so much less special.”

Weekly preaching, weekly offerings, weekly invitations, weekly musical entertainment, weekly Sunday School……somehow these Baptist essentials have survived frequent use without being sucked dry of all meaning. Is communion just too fragile?

I’ve been to Southern Baptist communion services and, while some are “special,” some are “not special.” Some have all the majesty and mystery of standing in line at Wal-Mart. If we’re keeping things special, we could do a better job.

Most of those in Baptist life that want more frequent communion would be thrilled to have it once a month. Would communion 12 times a year make it so common we’d all have to be forced to come?

“Communion again. We just had it four weeks ago. Commune, commune, commune. It’s all we do around here.”

And in the number three spot, a preacher’s special.

3. “I don’t want to give up the sermon time.”

I’ve heard this one myself, uttered with a straight face and no clown make-up. The markdown from 45 minutes to 30 minutes more than 4 times a year was such a threat to the preacher’s ministry that the Lord’s Supper will just have to take a back seat.

At one deacon’s meeting, I heard a deacon ask when was the last time the church had the Lord’s Supper. He couldn’t recall. I wanted to say, “Why don’t we just say that we take the Lord’s Supper so infrequently that you’ll never need to worry about having to actually know what it means. Why don’t we just call it, “that other thing we do” and do it once every five years?”

Southern Baptists know they are wrong on this issue. They know the Bible isn’t describing Quakerism in the books of Acts and I Corinthians. They know Spurgeon wasn’t crazy. They know they’ve erred and they need to make it right. Pastors who will never admit there’s no mention of Mother’s Day in the Bible know that communion once every 12 weeks is ridiculous.

We don’t need anyone to write a big book and we don’t need to have a big cry. We need to schedule communion once a month and design our corporate worship to emphasize and explain it as the New Covenant passover.

It’s a small thing with a huge potential impact. If someone objects, ignore them. They’re wrong. You won’t go catholic, it won’t lose its “specialness,” (as if any more could be done than we’ve already done to demean it) and pastors will survive with 15 minutes less preaching each month.

The whole flock will be fed, strengthened and reaffirmed. The scripture will be obeyed. Jesus Christ will be remembered and we will fellowship in his death and life.

Get started.

Comments

  1. The frequency issue is not just a SB issue, it’s in the PCA, Methodist, and from what I’m told some Lutheran churches. So, we ought not waste our time picking on each other, but as a new generation of Christians setting forth the future – recover Christ in all things for His people’s faith, hope and love. Because one day very real persecution will come to American Christians, it may be decades from now or millennia, but it will come. And THAT generation will need all of Christ to hold them. What we pass down is important. Take the labels off and examine the paradigm occurring. The fact that confessing sacramental churches (non-Baptistic) have an issue with frequency betrays that while being sacramental in words and theory, practice betrays a different “faith” (similar to what James is saying, what you do reveals the reality behind what is or is not confessed). There are two ways to deny Christ crucified, by actual Words (e.g. Trent) and by actual church practice and life (most of American Protestantism today, some may call it pietism). Make NO mistake, BOTH, deny their Lord. Infrequency even in confessing sacramental churches, thus, betrays a non-sacramental (that is no Gospel) shift in sacramental churches, a disconnecting of God’s reality in the service.

    This is the church equivalent of secular deism. It makes baptism and the Lord’s Supper man’s work and not objectively God’s and drains them from any efficacy to the believer’s ear. Once again we smell the sulfur of the devil using the Word of God, sacraments in this case, to destroy God’s people by taking the Gospel out of them per se. The real battle is always Satan trying to remove Christ crucified FOR YOU from the Word and the Sacraments. And we are fools to think other wise. Suffering brings this out, no Gospel in suffering and the devil has you in some form of spiritual suffering and you will fall. The devil is not a stupid strategist and he is not inactive despite modern society’s denial of him.

    In all honesty the best way to approach the issue is not “denominationally”. I’m not advocating rebellion and I’m not advocating “anti-denominationalism”, but the examination of paradigms. One should take off all denominational blinders and examine doctrine in light of, “where is Christ crucified for me” in this. If He cannot be found there, then you ought to suspect it right away, regardless of who (person or denomination) said it (e.g. The Bereans). Otherwise you are manifestly following the opinions of men. It’s not about “I’m right and you are wrong” or “You are right and I am wrong”, false law. It’s about Christ and Him crucified for you/me. Only THAT will carry you through suffering, only that will BE THERE for you when you lay dying wracked with cancer, heart disease, any number of killing disease, or entangled in some accident, or even of old age in your death bed. Only THAT will carry you through when your mother, father, spouse, child or loved one dies, you loose your means of income, become homeless, are alone, are suffering depression. Nobody else will be there with you dying when you die, you will be the one dying not the group gathered around your bed. You will be there alone in a full room because everybody else will be eating at Applebees 30 minutes after you’ve past. And the devil will attach at the last time, so you better have Christ crucified FOR YOU or you are in trouble.

    Perhaps this “neutral” stance helps one at least objectively examine the paradigms. When that happens finger pointing goes away. I discuss this with my closest brother in the faith, a baptist pastor/elder. And he’s used it to change all kinds of issues from music to alter calls. The congregation began to see that in the end the pastor is preparing them to die and suffer with the only thing that will stand. So they began to see that what the music says does matter, what you learn and repeat every Sunday does matter and so do the Sacraments/ordinances.

    I told him in all honesty I came from the outside in from the farthest most point, rank atheism. I recall years ago before coming to the faith always pondering, which religion is true and if Christianity which denomination. From an atheist or agnostic point of view Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Buddhist, Muslim are just 7 differing religions. Coming in to the faith (Christianity) that afforded me a true “neutral” situation from which to grow. I was not bound particularly by my history or upbringing to any one “denomination” by tradition or emotion or prior loyalty or even defensiveness. I had heard the Law strongly in my soul and the Cross and all I’ve ever sought is the merciful God, I always ask myself, “Where is Christ GIVEN FOR me and others in this”.

    In summary the problem of frequency is much wider than just SB. A PCA or Lutheran church that practices infrequently, for example only, is practicing as if no means of grace is there. Luther, before the “Lutheran church” arose saw the similarities and the devil’s hand in both Rome and Anabaptist, he saw both deny Christ crucified for people. The cry is always to the next group down that “X” didn’t finish the reformation so “Y” carried it out further. But in reality the Reformation begun and stopped at Christ Crucified, the recovery of the Gospel. Anything beyond that was a return to fallen religion be it Roman Catholic or Anabaptist or any other name/group. The reformation was singularly Christ and Him crucified for the believer.

    Blessings,

    Larry KY

  2. macteague says:

    C’mon, Monk – I think you pulled some punches on this one. I believe that RR (above) has actually hit on the real issue here. You provided some excuses as to why Baptist pastors neglect to celebrate LR more often, but the reality is this – communion is possibly one of the most seeker insensitive activities in which you can engage in a worship service. Way too liturgical for the seeker set. There seems to be a perception (or perhaps the polls, focus groups and surveys have told us) that the seeker set doesn’t like stuffy, formal worship. They want it relaxed and casual. Designer coffee and Danish prior to the service is much more in line with this than bread and wine (or grape juice) administered in a reverent, meaningful ceremony.

    Consider as well – every good Baptist pastor (and probably many not-so-good ones) know the significance of 1 Cor 11:23-34. So, what is a pastor to do? A) Allow the congregation to partake of LR without the strong cautionary language of 1 Cor 11? B) Provide the cautionary language and scare away many of the seekers (and this is especially frightening if you are conducting the LR frequently ‘—“Ooh, honey, let’s not go back to that church; they are always doing that bread and grape juice thing and talking about sin.”); or C) Just avoid the LR as much as possible.

    The safest thing to do is to show a movie scene of the Last Supper on the Jumbotron and call it a wrap.

  3. “Pretty strong stuff, gentlemen. Is style and pragmatism EVERYTHING in the new SBC?”

    For some, yes. If it reaches people – makes disciples who through their changed lives live out the Kingdom values every day, and then go on to replicate through their witness to others in Jesus’ name, then yes.

    Worship isn’t just what we do on Sundays. I’ll confess that the longing I read for the Eucharist/Communion/Lords Supper is totally outside my frame of reference. I’m less concerned about what happens for that one hour than I am with what happens the rest of the week – not unconcerned – but less concerned.

    My house and office probably contain upwards of 8,000 books (though we are in culling mode) and our family bent is history. So I’m not ignorant of the church’s path to where it got today. While I don’t agree with the conclusions the Founders Movement have come to about that history as it affects the SBC, I appreciate their work. I’ve corresponded with Tom Ascol several times and would count it a pleasure to meet him or Mark Dever some day.

    But history is like fish, you eat what is profitable and spit out the bones. Tradition is fine, until it impacts mission negatively.

    And I will not budge one inch on the essential Baptist doctrines of autonomous local churches, soul competency, and the priesthood of every believer. That’s what I read between the lines here in some of the comments. We have (speaking for the majority of SBC people) no desire to be liturgical, confessional, hierarchical in nature. Our burning desire is to make disciples and baptize them, teaching them to obey Jesus’ commands.

    So I plead guilty as charged.

  4. David: There’s a lot I’d like to say, but I don’t want to be critical of you. You are saying that Christianity = The Great Commission + whatever works. If that’s the case, let me off at the next stop. Christianity is missional, but it’s not a make it up as you go matter. SOmething does matter other than me and my Bible and the last expert I liked.

    On Non-SBC Commenters: I’ve addressed this before. You folks are VERY welcome, but I am not interested in posts that basically say “Well you don’t have the Real Presence. Duh!! LOL!!” We’re all aware of the confessional differences, and I think we’re aware that part of the issue is those confessional differences. But I’d put Fr. Creson up as an example of the “way” to do it. His RCC tradition and confession are very different from our own, but his contributions to the conversation are within shared concerns, so its actually a conversation, not a revisiting of what has been obvious for centuries.

  5. Well one way to go about it, if everyone wants to be honest, is to answer a simple question or two. Why infrequently? I don’t mean pragmatically (e.g. we have a congregation of 500 and its logistically problematic). Why the increased decrease in frequency? Not because my particular church does it or pastor blow Joe and elder Berry says so. Rather, why do we do it that way? And the parallel most important question of all that will probably reveal the answer to the first question is why do you take the Lord’s Supper at all (I’m using “you” generically meaning “any of us as we individually consider it”, not anyone in particular posting here – it’s the same question I ask myself). And don’t quote confessions or standard answers, honestly examine and ask yourself, why, what does it mean that very moment when I actually eat the flesh/bread and drink the blood/wine, why do YOU take it and what does it mean/do, in your own words. That takes some real revealing deep down and dirty soul searching rather than just flashing a confessional quote like a gun slinger.

    Often that’s more revealing than sparring confessions back and forth and firing Luther bullets and Calvin bullets and Spurgeon bullets at each other (and I’m not against confessions or these men of faith, but just trying to get to the root on a very individual heart of the issues). Because quite frankly many just hang out a confession like so many certificates of achievement on the wall (in all denominations). Consider it this way: It’s one thing to confess the X points of being a fish and say, “I adhere to that”. Quite another to BE a fish. How would a fish speak of being a fish, not some taxonomist study and listing of being a fish. One is doing it from the outside alien observation point of view, the other from the nature of the thing at hand.

    BTW: I know of at least one Baptist church (in my state) that believes in the real presence, stronger than many who presumably confess it so. And I know of at least one other, in my state, that is strongly leaning that way (and is SB). So the we Vs. them battle lines do break down in some cases.

    But that’s not the question at hand.

    Christ’s grace be richly yours in MUCH abundance,

    Larry – KY

  6. David,

    I sense that you are honestly thinking this through and that is great!

    You stated something that caught my eye:

    “Worship isn’t just what we do on Sundays. I’ll confess that the longing I read for the Eucharist/Communion/Lords Supper is totally outside my frame of reference. I’m less concerned about what happens for that one hour than I am with what happens the rest of the week – not unconcerned – but less concerned.”

    That’s right so what is the connection? Ponder this one, I think it will help (I’m not the author, I’m not that bright, but I didn’t want to reword it!). I think it may flip flop your paradigm about concern!

    “That Christ, by His perfect active obedience, has already fulfilled your vocation (all of one’s various callings in life – how you love your neighbor, L-KY clarification) for you and brought it to its glorious telos (perfect completion) in His all-reconciling death (which means there’s no way for you to screw it up except the refusal to be reconciled), that you’re essentially dead, you no longer live but Christ lives in you, so that it is Christ at work who serves your neighbor, and Christ is in your neighbor to serve (“as often as you have done it to the least of these, you’ve done it to me”).

    So the One who receives your ministrations of vocation (the services of one’s callings, father, mother, son, spouse, policeman, doctor, garbage man, etc…, L-KY clarification) is also the One who perfected them in His vocation as the embodiment of humanity under the Law, and who gives you His perfection as a free gift that you might enjoy your vocation in His glorious liberty and stop agonizing over it.”

    The power of the Gospel, it’s inexpressible joy and release in that one hour or so, brings about afresh every week one’s loving service to their neighbor. The Gospel thus releases one to joyful serve. This is the crucial FOR YOU is the Good News that creates love in the heart of the believer to thus serve in his/her callings every weekday. And we cycle it every Sunday, because, we still struggle in the flesh. If we must have a cheap analogy, it’s a refilling of the gas tank. Without that one hours worth of gas, the rest of the weeks driving will not occur. The freedom of the Gospel is glorious and it brings about this glorious action of loving the neighbor, but it is necessary continually, not just at “conversion”, because we partly don’t believe it is as good as it really is.

    The Gospel is always MUCH better than we imagine it to be.

    Blessings,

    Larry – KY

  7. Bob Sacamento says:

    Michael,

    It’s TBN to the rescue!

    You will be happy to know that Benny Hinn has received personal revelation from God to the effect that the communion bread and wine really is the actual flesh and blood of Jesus. (Who would have ever thought?) Also, I know of at least two TBN preachers with “teachings” on CD (for the low, low, price of …) that encourage us to take communion frequently so as to participate in God’s plan for our greater health. (By the way, I’m not making this up.)

    Looks like communion is making a come back, so don’t despair!

  8. quote: “I believe that RR (above) has actually hit on the real issue here. You provided some excuses as to why Baptist pastors neglect to celebrate LR more often, but the reality is this – communion is possibly one of the most seeker insensitive activities in which you can engage in a worship service. Way too liturgical for the seeker set.”

    Me: Right, this was what I was getting at. Communion, though only done a few times a year before at my old SBC church, was moved to Sunday nights because the Sunday morning services are for “seekers” while Sunday and Wednesday nights are said to be for committed, believing church members. Of course, the focus of the word being preached on Sunday morning was changed as well and is also now more in tune of the needs of “seekers.”
    As for non-SBCers commenting and SBC distinctives, I understand that SBC churches have no desire to become liturgical or sacramental. Still, I don’t think doing things like holding the LS a few times a year and relegating it to only Sunday evening services to avoid scandalizing “seekers” can be justified biblically. And isn’t the LS about remembering and proclaiming the Lord’s death in SBC theology? Isn’t that the Gospel? And isn’t the Gospel the whole point of what church is about anyway?
    If nothing else, more regular communion on Sunday mornings might help some SBC churches avoid becoming Lakewood/Joel Osteen clones.

    rr

  9. caplight says:

    “I am not interested in posts that basically say “Well you don’t have the Real Presence. Duh!! LOL!!”

    In regards to Michael’s comment. I hope I didn’t sound like I was saying anybody doesn’t have the real presence. If I sounded that way I apologize.

    I am trying to say that somewhere between RCC style real presence, which is based on a theology of repeated sacrifice and a Zwinglian mere memory recall event there is a middle ground where according to 1 Cor 10:14-23 there is a participation or fellowship with Christ at the table. I’m not sure I know enough about Baptist theology though I was raised in it and experienced it. but is there anything inherently against Christ through the Spirit making himself known to his people in the LS?

    If he does it in the Word as preached, read and sung why not also in the Word as enacted?

  10. I think most people who have actually read Zwingli on the LS- not second hand theologians- would be thrilled if Baptists were Zwinglians. We’re much less than Zwingli, at least in practice. I don’t know of any Baptist writers who are anywhere close to as eloquent on the meaning of the LS as the best of Zwingli.

  11. Ok, haven’t read any of the other comments, but may I just say, Mr. Spencer, that I love you sincerely in Christ?

  12. Patrick Kyle says:

    It seems we’re finally getting down to some basic questions, one of them being “What is the primary purpose of the worship service?” Is it for the edification of the saints or is it outreach? Or both? This seems to be a large part of the controversy regarding worship ‘styles.'( and also frequency of communion issues) Do we have a biblical mandate to use the worship service as our main evangelistic outreach? I have a theologian friend who often says ‘Christ died for the Christian too.’ When asked what this means he makes the point that so many of our worship services are devoted to evangelizing unbelievers that in the rush those who are already Christians are ignored or have to feed off the ‘spiritual’ crumbs left over from what are essentially mini evangelistic crusades. My question to those who view the service as outreach is where do we come up with this idea? Jesus said ” Go…make disciples” He didn’t say ” Make a building and a service and BRING people into it and convince them to believe in Me.”
    Many traditions view the worship service as the primary place for the building up and strengthening of the believer’s faith. (Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God) Secondarily the service may serve an evangelistic function. These considerations I think are close to the core of our discussion

  13. marymargaret says:

    Michael, I am one of those “non-SBC” folks. I am RCC, and I’ll readily admit that I’m not terribly familiar with Baptist theology. I have attended Protestant services, and all those that I attended had a weekly celebration of the Lord’s supper. (Disciples of Christ, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian(I think)) I don’t think I’ve ever attended a Baptist service of any kind, but I know that the LS is not frequently celebrated. It would seem to me to be a good thing to celebrate it frequently, as a remembrance of what our Lord Jesus Christ did for us all. It does bring to mind His sacrifice, I think, which is surely central to all Christians. I don’t see that the belief in the “Real Presence” is necessary to remembering the sacrifice of the cross.

    Oh, and Michael– “Maybe we should dispatch a committee to the RCC and let them know they may be doing a few things that might be interpreted as “going Baptist.”– too funny!! Maybe I should write to Rome about this????

    God bless you all, and may I compliment you on a thread of this length that has not descended into a “bash fest”. I don’t see many in the Catholic blogosphere that can do as much!

  14. Tim Smith says:

    Lots of interesting comments, most beside the point. The question is why a group of people don’t do a thing. So we get 500 word essays on what some other people, often dead, think or thought about it. Huh?

    I’m sure there are SBC resources to support a “rich” view of the LS, but none of that answers the original question. The fact is that actual SBC preachers and people do not think anything significant happens in communion. “Remembrance”? That’s insignificant in their worldview. That’s a thumb-twiddler. That’s a biblical word they pull out of the hat to give themselves something to do when they have to suffer through it. So they close their eyes and have a devotional moment — one they could do very well without the cracker and grape juice.

    I say “they”; I grew up a SB.

    It’s irrelevant, Michael, what somebody like you might do with SBC documents. You’re not them; they don’t do anything with those texts you read. You correctly brushed aside the ostensible explanations and asked why Baptists really don’t something very often. Occam’s razor: nobody will do something unimportant to them more than they have to.

  15. >The fact is that actual SBC preachers and people do not think anything significant happens in communion. “Remembrance”? That’s insignificant in their worldview. That’s a thumb-twiddler. That’s a biblical word they pull out of the hat to give themselves something to do when they have to suffer through it. So they close their eyes and have a devotional moment — one they could do very well without the cracker and grape juice.

    Fortunately, Tim, there are thousands of SBCers who do believe something very significant and important happens in communion, and they don’t minimize the word “remember” to nothing and they don’t “suffer” through it. I thank God for those people and hope they can be encouraged to keep working for theological renewal.

    If you left the SBC, I pray you’ve found a church that avoids all the errors you’ve pointed out.

  16. Tim Smith says:

    You’re right: “suffer” was too strong a word.

    And just one error, really. Simply that the LS’s significance is explicitly minimized in preaching and in pastoral practice in the SBC. And that this simple reality — I thought it well known by everyone — might answer your question about the empirical neglect of the institution.

    But maybe my memory of a small, suburban, appalachian SBC is atypical. Maybe the phenomenon that you actually pointed out first is better explained by some other, more complex factor.

    I haven’t found a church, no. I don’t really need one without errors.

  17. Michael, I do appreciate your restraint and kindness to me, as I do the sincere efforts of many a brother and sister in Christ to help me over. I’m afraid I’ve merely served to solidify some stereotypes and that’s a shame. It wasn’t my intention to do so. However we’re very far apart on this and it seems on other matters. That won’t keep me from profiting from your journey as you share it though.

    I hope one day to meet one of the thousands you point to within the SBC as believing the LS is more than a remembrance so as to try to understand what you are sincerely longing for. So far I have met none. They may be residing in the dually aligned churches of which I have no knowledge.

    When we do observe the Lord’s Supper again, I’ll certainly recall what I’ve learned here. Come see us Christmas Eve.

  18. bookdragon says:

    Larry asks a very good question. For me, I believe Christ is, in a way that defies exact definition, present with us in communion. Over the years my view of the LS has moved toward a higher view, but back when it was just a remembrance (involving dreadful grape juice and stale bread cubes), there was still something special there or I wouldn’t have been drawn so greatly to churches that practice it weekly. I think what that was/is is entering into Gospel teaching in an embodied way.

    But I think what reaches each person is different. My daughter has slight learning disability and so I have learned a lot recently about different learning styles. Some people learn best aurally, some visually, and some kinesthetically (by physical engagement). Teachers, esp. for the youngest children, are increasingly encouraged to try to teach in a way that incorporates all of these to some degree in order to most readily get the concepts across to the greatest number of students. I wonder if this has anything to do with worship ‘styles’? It seems to me that more liturgical/traditional/sacramental churches have inherited services that weave together all of these teaching modalities – the gospel is presented visually, aurally, and kinesthetically. I think most low churches out there include the aural and, to a lesser degree, visual components, but the kinesthetic side is largely lost. For people for whom that learning modality is unimportant, that’s may be fine, but those who learn best kinesthetically are left behind.

    I know I am primarily a visual learner and aural is the absolute worst mode for me (At work I tell people to send me e-mail. I have near zero recall for telephone conversations). Maybe that’s why 45 minutes of preaching really does little for me, but following the readings in the bible and viewing and participating in the symbolism surrounding reading the gospel and celebrating the Eucharist seldom fails to touch me.

  19. macteague says:

    Patrick Kyle — very good point. Let’s call it the “evangelistic perspective (EP)” and the “building up perspective (BUP)”. The EP says bring the unsaved into the church community and keep them as long as possible, or bring them back as much as possible. During the time that you have them within the community (usually the four walls of the “Worship Center”, education building or gymnasium), you drop evangelistic nuggets on them, trying to get them to a “decision”. Most of the time, effort and resources of EP churches is focused on these activities.

    The BUP says that the church community is to equip the saints for evangelism and service out in the broader community. So, they make no excuses for deeper teaching from the pulpit and Sunday school teachers, more meaningful (but uncomfortable) worship services, and fewer ancillary activities. As the believers are equipped, encouraged and strengthened, they can then go to the workplace, school, neighborhood, etc. as salt and light and evangelize there.

    Follow-on thoughts: 1) how does soteriology factor into these two perspectives? and 2) does on e perspective have the tendency to create a dual lifestyle mentality — i.e. my church life and my regular life? vs. a lifestyle of Christian service and evangelism?

  20. I’ve been pondering David’s comments on the Bible and mission. Sort of sounds like something out of my own background.

    But here are my rejoinders:

    1. Once mission has been successful, what then? Re-evangelize the next generation? Isn’t it precisely Evangelicalism’s (not just in the SBC) failure to consider anything else but Mission and me and my bible alone that has led to the loss of youth in the church?

    2. Without getting into theological distinctives – what is the LS, and why were we instructed to celebrate it? I mean, if Christ instructed us, it must be important, right?

    3. Leading from 1, The great Commission isn’t the Bible. It is an important instruction from the Bible. So is loving your wife, raising Godly children, baptising, celebrating the LS, worshipping with the saints, doing everything as unto the Lord etc etc etc.

    4. The minimalising of the LS, in one sense, might be the resukt of rampant individualism. Why? Because you see, in Baptism, an individual is baptised. But in the LS, we celebrate together with the saints, even if we disagree with them. Baptism is an entry thing, thus in a sense individualistic, but the LS is a communion, a practice of a community. But if we are just a bunch of individuals, each with his own bible, and his own interpretation, communion and community will necessarily take a back seat.

    As I said before, these do not just pertain to the SBC (I’m non-Baptist) but to many in the Kingdom today.God be merciful on us all!

  21. for caplight,

    re: “somewhere between RCC style real presence, which is based on a theology of repeated sacrifice”

    Just to clarify, RCC theology has nothing to do with any “repeated sacrifice”. The only sacrifice in the RCC understanding of the LS is the one single sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. The RC understanding is that it is one sacrifice only, but entered into repeatedly according to the ancient concept and practice of anamnesis (or in hebrew: zakar/zikkaron) through representing by retelling and reenacting.

    peace

  22. RR is right. At one of my later Rick Warren clone churches we attended they moved the Lord’s Supper to the evening. But it was for two reasons. One was the seeker friendly issue. But the second was more of legalistic/pietism reason. As the theory went, the more involved Christians, blessed are the busy (a crowd I shamefully was part of) rather than the poor in spirit, show up in the evening. Thus, the implication was explicit; by moving it to that time zone one is “rewarded” as an “on fire for the Lord” Christian. Ironically, I ran into that at an anti-Warren SB church for which we belonged for a while that was openly “reformational” per se.

    Picking up on something Michael well observes: People do, even in formerly non-real presence churches, kind of inherently know that the Lord’s Supper is more and Christ’s presence is truly there. They may not draw all the dots as to the issue of mode but they know Christ is there for them. I saw it a lot in my former SB days. If you could get some of the laity to open up and talk about it, many times, sheepishly because they don’t want the SBC Sanhedrin to find out, they’d admit it was such.

    When I was first converted, again from rank atheism and I’m a scientist to boot so I’m not given to spiritual superstition, inherently the Lord’s Supper meant His presence. And that was waaaaay before any doctrinal learning, I was green as a gord (some might say still am, I won’t argue). It was just obvious to the Word and the institution and I was baptized in a SB church and belonged for years afterward.

    I don’t want to down play the real prescence, but another point I think is most important to many just considering things. The Lord’s Supper, even if you struggle with or are not sure about the presence, even if you are fence rider like myself right now between Reformed Vs. Lutheran on this (I’m trying to ferret it out) is to understand that the Lord’s Supper, like baptism, is a receiving function and work of God. Even a non-presence person can profit food from that. Because too many teach that baptism and the Lord’s Supper, along with worship, is primarily what we are doing or proving or lifting up to God. That’s pagan religion point blank under any name. It reverses the direction of worship to be from “earth to heaven” law and false law at that. When in reality worship (and baptism and the Lord’s Supper) are heaven to earth, gifts of the Gospel. Jacob’s Ladder comes down from heaven to earth FOR US, we don’t ascend it. I mean that’s the entire Crux of the incarnation and the idea of incarnation, that God came for us, not vice versa. And so the Lord’s Supper (and baptism) and service of the Word come to us FOR US to strengthen our faith and feed our faith, not vice versa. Faith is not proving ourselves to God, paganism, it’s the dead receiving. When Luther said on his death bed “This is true we are beggars all”, that was a confession of real faith. Literally we are bums, beggars, improvished, moochers and utterly so – that is the confession of faith. Faith says, “I cannot”. That is to know God as God and man as man in the truest sense. It’s important to understand that the prime sin was not the negative sins we all think of, the negative sins are effects of the judgment. The prime sin was attempting to be MORE pious than God, true Satanism purely distilled. The thing that more holds men from free grace is some consideration of their own piety and goodness, so they think. That literally is the true bondage of the will of the fallen man, his utter addiction to his goodness and good doings.

    So, that little shift in concept of receiving in worship is huge step different than what most run into in most churches today. Any responding praise we give is response to that received. That’s why the Word, baptism and the Lord’s Supper are all works of God, not man. God literally performs them through the hands of sinful men. Almost like you or I picking up an ink pen to write our names. The pastor/pen is just an instrument, poor instrument at that, at the end of the day.

    Blessings to all again,

    Larry ky

  23. Patrick,

    Thank you for asking the question about what is the purpose of worship and/or the Sunday morning service. I know from experience that it is very hard to do both evangelism and encouraging believers to grow more like Christ. Some churches are very good at getting people in the door, but then leave them eating baby food for the rest of their lives. (I happen to like tough jerky every now and then).

    How do we manage both? I don’t know. Perhaps there are churches out there that succeed. But in bouncing around the country, I haven’t seen any.

  24. 1. Once mission has been successful, what then?

    “teaching them to obey…” I think follows if I recall. We work harder than any SBC I have ever been in on Spiritual Formation. It’s a growing trend with the SBC and you can blame Rick Warren. He made it okay to have new membership classes with covenants which spell out participation responsibilities. He gave us the CLASS system (we modify it) where you have touchstones and milemarkers of progress. Then we added mentors and small groups. This sort of craziness is breaking out all over the SBC, even gasp – church discipline.

    2. Without getting into theological distinctives – what is the LS, and why were we instructed to celebrate it? I mean, if Christ instructed us, it must be important, right?

    It is important as a symbol, but the Bible doesn’t proscribe a frequency.

    3. Leading from 1, The great Commission isn’t the Bible. It is an important instruction from the Bible. So is loving your wife, raising Godly children, baptising, celebrating the LS, worshipping with the saints, doing everything as unto the Lord etc etc etc.

    Amen and amen. No one said we weren’t striving after those things as well, but when day is done, we want to see people become Christ-followers.

    4. The minimalising of the LS, in one sense, might be the result of rampant individualism.

    I’m not agreeing with the minimalising. But we are American Christians and here’s no doubt individualism raises its ugly head. It may be as difficult for people of different denoms to grasp just how we value the local church made up of individual believers who covenant together for mission. Pastors like me are called by them, and then have to work through them if anything good is going to happen. I have to love and trust them and they have to love and trust me. Even the frequency of the LS is a congregational decision born out of prayer for guidance.

    My prayer is that we will see more ties for kingdom gain between SBC congregations and other churches. We won’t minimize the differences, but celebrate them.

    Again, I’m grateful for all of what you have written.

  25. Gary, sorry for the delay — I was out of town. I said “at the risk of coming off as regulatory”, the implication being that I do not hold to the regulatory principle. So my response is simply my personal understanding.

    While I do not believe (for even a second) the argument of those who claim that all references to wine in Scripture really refer to unfermented grape juice, I also do not believe that they all refer to fermented grape juice, either. As such, even if I was regulatory, I wouldn’t see fermentation (or lack thereof) as clearly delineated in Scripture.

    My inclination would be — at a minimum — to allow the observer the choice of drinking unfermented, in deference to children, those who have medical restrictions that contra-indicate any alcohol, and the recovering alcoholic (many of whom are instructed never to even take a sip of alcohol again). I read a statement by a strict regulationist (?) that God would not allow the alcoholic to slip back into drunkenness because he took communion with alcohol. Such a statement is no more valid than refusing to see a doctor simply because all healing ultimately comes from God — He also gave us brains and knowledge about our bodies.

    If a particular church body wishes to have only unfermented available, for any reason other than a misinterpretation of Scripture’s non-view on teetotalism, that is (IMHO) their prerogative.

    As to unleavened bread, my bad. When I think “loaf”, I think of leavened bread. My vision of unleavened bread is matzoh crackers from the “ethnic foods” aisle at Kroger. My point was that, since leaven has specific symbolism in Scripture, that it should not be involved in communion (whereas fermentation has no such symbolism).

  26. Dear Michael,

    I’ve resisted jumping into the comment pond on this excellent post because I suspect that the longer I follow Jesus, the less I really understand intellectually all that the Lord’s Supper means. I am really reluctant to make definitive statements anymore about the Lord’s Supper. There is too much Mystery that I don’t have all categorized and rationalized out. I do want to share my experience….

    For the last year before we moved to our current location, we were part of an extremely vigorous church plant. Because the church was a brand new thing and didn’t really have any denominational ties, the leadership were incredibly free to go in whatever direction God lead. One of those directions was weekly communion.

    That weekly communion looked lots of different ways–a common cup, little bitty cups, huge loaves of bread, broken matzo crackers, everyone going to the front, families serving each other, friends serving each other, elders serving the congregation, everyone going to the back, everyone going to stations. The delivery method was varied. The focus on remembering Jesus’ death stayed the same. For an entire year.

    During that same time, the church also had Wednesday night prayer meetings that were always very informal and ALWAYS ended in the Lord’s Supper.

    The end result for us was that we took communion twice a week for nearly a year. It also happened to be one of the hardest years of our lives. There were ways in which I was nourished spiritually during that year that I’ve never experienced before or since.

    I grew up in the Christian Reformed church and have spent all of my adult life in evangelical churches. Before this experience, I don’t think I ever took communion more than once a quarter. This background has left me without words or concepts to describe the really real nourishment I got from the Lord’s Supper. I lack the language to even understand how it nourished me. I just know that it did. I know that I would dearly love to take communion twice a week for the rest of my life.

    My question for anyone who feels that 4x a year is great plenty is this: have you ever participated in the Lord’s Supper much more frequently? I think that we, as a church, have lost something precious by celebrating communion as if it has no Mystery.

    bk

  27. this is a great post. i’ll be checking back more often for more content. thanks.

    REVOLUTION

  28. witchcat says:

    Just introduced to this site full of people who really think. WOW. I’ve received a surfeit.
    40 years ago my church had communion once a month, if that; provided no place for women in the service except in the choir; and actively believed that children shouldn’t bother the more devout adults by attending any sort of service. NOW we believe that people should be fed at least once a week; have women in all aspects of the service (I’m one of them); have an articulate, multifaceted woman as our national leader; and bend over any direction we can to include children in our worship, even to the point of feeding them adult food.
    The times they are a changing…

  29. The second to last post brings a good thought. Part of the problem, I suspect, with many of us, self included, is that we are SEVERAL generations down the road of the effect of infrequency. There’s the present effect of infrequency Vs. the root cause of infrequency (what has led us here). Everybody TODAY sense intuitively something wrong but cannot quite put their finger on it. It’s kind of like CS Lewis’s analogy of the boy who only knows making mud pies in the dirt never knowing what a feast by the sea is like.

    The cause that led us here is difficult to objectively determine for numerous reasons.

    1. There’s always subjective defensiveness of one’s denominational background/heritage. One cannot truly analyze a situation objectively as long as one holds to that or is not at least inherently very aware of one’s own tendencies in this area. Where ever a man stands today, broadly speaking, spiritually, he will always defend as the RIGHT way. Even an atheist does this. It’s hard to “get out of that”. For example Luther the man is a good example of someone who “got outside” of his prior moorings, Rome. At the end of the day he singularly sought the merciful God for he felt the draught of his soul so much that eventually he said, “the church is wrong”. Sometimes we forget that fact, there was no “Lutheran” church for him “defend” like it is today, thus Luther was defending the Gospel because THAT is the living water his soul needed. I told my wife, I understand that, I could care LESS about the GREAT tradition of X denomination, none of that bled for me, carried the wrath of God for me, nor gives me righteousness that will stand.

    2. One should not underplay the natural tendency of men, even one’s own self, even Christians toward legalism, even what should otherwise be Gospel things. Confessions of faith are wonderful summaries of the faith, if they are good. However, their primary purpose is to protect the Gospel, not set forth a new legal way to heaven. The subtle difference is crucial because ANY confession, office such as elders and so forth can be proper, to protect the Gospel or false, nothing more than a new way of works righteousness. Even a GREAT Gospel confession can be re-interpreted by men, who naturally gravitate that way by fallen inertia, as a new law to heaven. But there’s a BIG difference in something that GIVES Christ, Gospel and something that explicitly or by implication requires of you first to GET Christ. Often the yeast of the Pharisees may only be a single word adjective or an inversion of verbs or the presentation of another Christ that is not Christ, e.g. WWJD, Jesus the encourager, Jesus the helper, etc…those are all false Christs. Christ crucified FOR YOU is the only Jesus there is that is actually Jesus. This is why Paul’s warning language is not, “beware of legalism” but beware of another gospel, another spirit, another Christ and so forth. Because the devil will enter men’s minds and give these “others” but they will have the name “gospel”, “holy spirit”, and “jesus/Christ”. As Jesus warns the bible only persons of His time, the Pharisees, “You search the scriptures and think that by them you have life, but it are these that continually bear witness of ME!” There’s a path to hell being “bible only” and having the bible as the “only rule of life”.

    3. There’s the over numerous generations of spanning that this issue of infrequency has led, and similar issues concerning the Word and Sacraments. It’s very difficult so many generations down the road as we are here and understand how something slowly slipped away from us. Our pastor gives this great example of this: Some years ago a woman who studies her bible every night has to tie her cat to the chair leg because the cat always gets playful and distractive when she’s studying. The woman does this her whole life. Her son grows up under this and when he studies he does the same thing, ties the cat to the chair leg. He continues this in his own home when he studies, many cats down the road. His daughter grows up and observes this practice during bible study about tying the cat to the chair leg and so she too caries this forward into her household when she grows up. One day her daughter asks, “Mommy, why do we tie the cat to the chair leg when we study the Scriptures”. Her mom replies, “Honey, I don’t know why, I just know we always do.” You see this principle both throughout the Scriptures of God’s people and throughout the history of the church even unto this very day.

    But there’s nothing like the dryness of soul, that thirsting after a righteousness that is not one’s own, spiritual suffering to set a man or woman in the right conditions for the feeding of the Gospel in Word, baptism, bread and wine. If one seeks the Gospel, that is Christ purely GIVEN to YOU and FOR YOU, I guarantee it will lead you in a direction you never before thought and you’ll be surprised whose doctrines on Word and Sacrament it will forever lead you away from, and no one will ever be able to tear it away from you. Because it is like trying to take a feast away from a man who really knows hunger. A doctrine on an issue such as Word or Sacrament that begets only hunger and starvation will never be returned to by those who discover that it was really a feast. It would be tantamount of taking Christ crucified from them.

    Seek Christ and Him crucified for you in these things, that’s the advice I’d give.

    Blessings,

    Larry

  30. Commenter says:

    [Comment pulled by request. Contained a reference to the LS being “boring.”]

  31. “It’s boring.”

    I just had to type that again.

    Hopefully, we’ll get some suggestions on how to spice things up a little so there’s at least some entertainment value.

  32. “It’s boring”.

    I must agree with Michael’s retyping. You almost have to do a double take.

    I don’t mean to sound harsh here but simply forth right in analysis. It shouldn’t be personally taken.

    This actually proves the point. And it does reveal a problem in what is being preached weekly. This is actually not surprising as the Cross if folly to those perishing and life to those being saved. That’s just a simple reality of the Gospel.

    I’d say some more strong and real Law needs to be preached, that ought to “spice up” the Lord’s Supper for one.

    I’m a sucker for analogies to bring point home (I tried to keep the math ratios similar):

    “I attend a home that eats meals about three times day. It’s at the same times during the day done the same way all the time. It’s boring. In previous homes we did have meals about seven times a month and the events of the day were built around it. It was special and meaningful. I’m not going to say that three times a day can’t be special. With some thought and creativity, it could be. But in a home where it’s done the same over and over again, I find myself using that time for a bathroom break.”

    What it comes down to is that the Cross being presented in Word, water, bread and wine is always “boring” to the fallen man, the religious doer in us, but to the man being saved, the naked and only trustor and expector of grace, it is the very essence of life, that is eternal life. Needing excitement over and above, even beyond the Lord’s Supper just proves man’s natural proclivity to not want to look at the cross but see through it, get around it, dance around it, redecorate it…anything but LOOK at it point blank in all its wonder and horror.

    The moving onto the deeper meat of Scripture from milk is not moving on from “getting saved” having already heard the Gospel and then mining it for things to do or deeper spiritual things – what Paul means to say there is a deeper meatier understanding of Christ and Him crucified for you in all of Scripture and redemptive history and what it teaches. The Bible never really moves off of Christ crucified and risen, Old or New Testament.

    The reason the Lord’s Supper is not varied, and should not be in the least, is God knows the old man in us, his/her proclivity to continually hone an idol and thus take our eyes off of Christ crucified for us. We are like those who drool and stand slack jawed and google eyed at the grand apparent glory of fire works and big bangs, yet miss the power in the nothingness of the smallest of blades of grass beneath our feet.

    It goes back to the reversal of worship. Pagan religions attempt grandiose things to move god and themselves, but THE God is found savingly in the nothingness of the Cross. Where God appears to not be, a baby in a food trough, making messy diapers in the arms of Joseph, bleeding in as a very real human body on the Cross is exactly where God really is. Just like pagans of old who danced themselves into a frenzy and cut themselves to bleed, so is far too many churches today trying these things. We may not “cut ourselves any more”, seeing how in modern society that’s barbaric, but pagan churches do rise up and dance. God is not there at all, and any god that is there is Satan. But mean while God is there in the simple Word proclaimed, His name is where the water is and where He puts His name on people, some how in the bread and wine – that is where Christ crucified for you is proclaimed in Word or visible Word (water, bread and wine so instituted with the Gospel) – there truly is God. Thus, the King is masked in a paupers dress and not where the grand “tada” is.

    Blessings,

    L ky

  33. At least you just had to re-type it, Michael. I had to repent of what I said when I read those two words. Then I had to repent again after reading “bathroom break”.

  34. What a great discussion! I grew up Baptist and married into the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. My church has once-a-month Communion.

    What I don’t care for now in the LCMS is the growing emphasis on “close” or “closed” Communion. To me it says we arrogantly believe we are the only true Christians. Also, how about the belief that only an ordained male person may distribute Communion, otherwise it is not valid? I know these concepts come out of the Lutheran Confessions, but are they scriptural?

  35. commenter says:

    [Comment pulled by request.]

  36. Marty,

    I’ll collectively apologize for not taking you seriously, but you need to understand that everything in Christianity is boring because boring is a measurement of entertainment. Your choice of the word created the yardstick of measurement.

    I understand that repetition isn’t stimulating, and if stimulation is what you need, then it’s a problem. OTOH, repetition for those who want repetition is not a problem. It’s a welcome form of security.

    I see a lot of teenagers who proclaim everything to be boring, including things overtly designed to be entertaining. OTOH I see a lot of people transfixed by worship in the catholic tradition that is repetitive and regulated.

    I’ll take responsibility for being snarky, but I’ll ask you to reconsider if “creativity” and keeping human beings from being “bored” is really what’s important here.

    All traditions agree that in the LS we’re at the cross, where the Lamb of God is dying to keep us from the wrath of God. In any form, that’s amazing, and if I am bored in the weekly celebration of it, I won’t blame my church for not making it “creative.”

    As I said, my apologies.

  37. Lois,

    I’m not really that up on all the details of the LCMS closed communion issue, but I understand some of the historic Lutheran reasons why, I think.

    From what I understand, and it may be little, any enlightenment would be appreciated, but it has to do with the real presence issue, even in difference to the Reformed. But I don’t find the Lutherans closed communion offensive, even if it means me. I would hope to understand why rather than just pick a side and defend it. I respect deeply why they do. Though not perfect, most that follow out of Luther defend and proclaim more than any denomination I know of the real Gospel in purity. And I say that even of my present denomination, it’s clear as day, even if I don’t understand and thus don’t adhere to everything they say. It goes back to seeking Christ crucified and risen truly for me/one in all things and not even my own present denominational adherences.

    I’ll give you an example of what I mean: I was once given a book of my former denomination to read. The title was “Why I Am A _______” (the denomination in the blank left out). So I read it. A few years later I picked up a very similar book entitled “Why I Am A Lutheran”, and I’m not a Lutheran. What struck me between the two, honestly, and neutrally, was the difference in the sum of what the two books said. The first book was essay after essay of “the great X tradition”, “the great X history”, “the great suffering of X”, “the great stands X have taken”, etc. The Lutheran book was absolutely pregnant with Christ and Him crucified, the Gospel, the forgiveness of sins for Christ’s sake, the righteousness of Christ given, and any mention of the tradition was so to merely point out Christ again crucified. I was shocked at the difference for it was clear what each truly communicated and both books were saying “Why I Am A Something” books.

    Now I know that no denomination or church is perfect, I have no such foolish notions. But it is crystal clear when one hears the Gospel preached, taught and proclaimed in everything and not, the over all message given is always clear in its parts and summary, this is not rocket science. And one can argue about what belongs to the Gospel message and what is not to defend non-gospel preaching calling it Gospel. BUT, at the end of the day, regardless of labels, the essence of message X is either Christ crucified and His righteousness for you or it is not and over thrown rather subtly and mostly post-conversion. One is either literally Christ alone always and forever or it is Christ + something else even if that something else is slipped in later as a post conversion over throw of the Gospel message. Opposing sides may argue the former and the later they give is the real Gospel respectively, but make no mistake the messages are clearly two different messages and thus two different opposing religions. Thus, Paul warns not of “legalism” but “another gospel” as it will be labeled “gospel”. It’s very telling why the Apostle did this numerous times.

    So if they are protecting the Gospel in the Lord’s Supper, even if I don’t understand it myself right now, I deeply respect that because it guards life…eternal life, I don’t care who else doesn’t like it nor one wit of the GREAT tradition of X, Y or Z.

    Blessings,

    Larry

  38. I’m on the fence. I agree that doing it more often would be great for me, as it does make me reflect on the sacrifice and my own sins. But I grew up in a church where we did it every week, and there were many kids who made flase confessions just because they wanted to be part of the communion. A neighboring church handled that problem by allowing children to partake, but then you take away all meaning. So what is the answer?

  39. In a Baptist context, the answer is church discipline. Sound teaching of converts. Baptism meaning something. It’s not hard to determine if someone makes a confession just to take communion. If they hvae to meet with the elders and make a credible profession before Baptism, that helps.

    But this has always been a problem. I’m far less concerned that an unconverted teen might take communion than I am that hundreds of Christians are denied the supper entirely.

  40. Being from Kentucky, the answer should be quite obvious. In most any crossroad in the mid-South, you’ll likely find two church buildings: one with Southern (or Missionary) Baptist over the door, the other with a sign out front saying “Church of Christ Meets Here”.

    Baptists eschew weekly communion not because they’re anti-Catholic, but because they’re anti-Campbellite!

  41. Mike S,

    Since you have responded to this thread, I’ll tell you a story about one of my spiritual grandfathers. In the biography of Dr. Gibson, once pastor of Walnut Street Baptist in Louisville, this story was told. His father in law once had people rip out some flowers planted for Easter because it was “too P____” (derogatory term for Catholics.

  42. kookimebux says:

    Hello. And Bye. 🙂

  43. Dennis W. Hicks says:

    Let’s suppose all we had was our Bibles, and we had to answer the question, “How often did the New Testament church celebrate the Lord’s Supper?”

    I think we’d find the answer to be, every time they met. When they met every day, they celebrated the Lord’s Supper every day (See Acts 2:46). It seems they did this in various homes.

    Eventually, the church met weekly on a regular basis, on the “Lord’s Day”, and they celebrated the Lord’s Supper every week — every time they met (See Acts 20:7).

    It appears the New Testament pattern for the church was to remember the Lord in the “breaking of bread” whenever they met, including when they met in homes.

  44. very intresting