I’m introducing a “column” of sorts here. From time to time I’ll be prone to just introduce a topic just because it annoys me. Please excuse me if I don’t apologize for venting.
Here’s #1 – Communion / the Lord’s Supper
I’ve worshipped in a variety of traditions, and I’ve become convinced that if I made a “Top Ten list of doctrines that have largely been made up as we go” this would be in the list for sure, and near the top at that. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard one (or more) of the following about the Lord’s Supper in church:
1. Jesus is present in the bread and wine/juice (like he wouldn’t be there anyway–so is this something special? How do we know that?);
2. The spirit of Jesus is present in the bread and wine/juice (ditto);
3. Jesus (or his spirit) is “in and around” (in the room or something) the bread and wine/juice (ditto again);
4. Children must not partake of the Lord’s Supper, unless they have made a profession of faith (and been baptized in some circles);
5. We need to confess known sin before we partake of the elements, or else we might become ill and even die (at God’s hand);
6. The Lord’s Supper is a means of grace (without ever telling anyone what that’s supposed to mean, or how that doesn’t contradict salvation by grace through faith, or how forbidding children would make any sense in light of this!).
The main passage for the Lord’s Supper (its meaning) is 1 Cor. 11:17-33. The original event that spawned the institution is recorded in Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19, 20. The meaning of the bread and wine are of course found in John 6:22-71. I’ll give people a pass on John 6 (but if you read closely–and we will–it isn’t rocket science). I’ll be unpacking the items in the list and talking about them, but for now, here’s my question: where do we find ANY of the listed items above in these passages?