Showing posts with label Communion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Communion. Show all posts

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Traitors at the Table

People: you just can’t count on them.

That’s one of the things you can count on about human nature. We don’t have what it takes to see things through.

Oh, we mean well enough … and we intend to try our best … but often our best is a lot less impressive in the delivery than we thought it was going to be.

And let’s face it: most of us are just not in anything for the long haul. While the idea is new and the fire in us is fresh, we’re all enthused about whatever’s going on. But fires cool, and new turns old, and we lose interest.

A career, a program, a plan, a commitment, a hobby or a marriage … all fine in the short term, but give any of them enough time and everything turns out to be work.

So we quit. And honestly, sometimes by the time we do it’s just as well that we do.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Reclaiming Communion

The Lord’s supper. The love feast. Communion. The Eucharist. The breaking of bread.

Call it what you are comfortable with. Like baptism, this ordinance-of-many-names has been co‑opted by the institutional church. The Lord’s table has been quietly moved from the home into the precincts of the “sanctuary”, where the permission of church leadership must be obtained in order to participate.

It’s high time ordinary Christians moved it back.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Anonymous Asks (146)

“Is it okay to take communion at home?”

As is the case with many questions about the Christian faith, the answer to this one very much depends on the motive.

On the ‘yes’ side, there is plenty of New Testament precedent for taking communion at home.

Friday, April 02, 2021

Too Hot to Handle: Let’s Get Together

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Recently asked on an Internet philosophy site:

“If God is everywhere, why do Christians have congregations?”

We Christians may think the question a bit clueless, but to someone who doesn’t know the first thing about the Church or about God’s purposes in establishing it, it’s not unreasonable to consider.

Tom: Immanuel Can, the man has a point. God IS everywhere. You and I can call on him anytime from anywhere, and we’re awfully grateful for it. So why exactly do we get together?

Immanuel Can: In a word, relationship.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

How Saved Are You?

Most of us associate our salvation with a specific incident: a conversation, a sudden realization, a moment in which it became clear to us that the Lord was speaking; that God was right and we were wrong; that we were sinners and that there was something we urgently needed to do about that. So in our own way we cried out to God: some with tears, some more tentatively, still not completely sure what might be involved. How much we may have fully grasped of the role of Christ in both salvation and in the government of our lives from then on almost certainly differed from person to person.

But my point is … it was a point in time. And if you say the word “salvation”, that event is primarily what we think of.

An event is good. If you have one to look back on, I’m glad.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Subhumanity and Satisfaction

“Deliver my soul … from men of the world whose portion is in this life. You fill their womb with treasure; they are satisfied with children, and they leave their abundance to their infants.

As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.”

David spends a portion of the 17th Psalm asking God to deliver him from wicked men and deadly enemies. But he finishes his meditation by asking for deliverance from a third, arguably less offensive group.

This last crowd sounds awfully familiar. Basically, it’s everyone who simply doesn’t appreciate the value of knowing God.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Christian Confession: An Elaborate Fabrication?

Is it really necessary for Christians to confess our sins in order to be forgiven them?

Peter Ditzel says no, that being forgiven for the sins we commit from time to time as believers does not depend on regular confession. That, he says, would be working for our forgiveness.

He is also not a fan of John MacArthur’s take on 1 John 1, which draws a distinction between judicial and parental forgiveness that Ditzel thinks is an “elaborate fabrication”. He sees the ongoing search for MacArthur’s “parental forgiveness” as a Protestant form of penance.

The judicial/parental distinction probably did not originate with MacArthur. I’ve been hearing it my whole life. It is a very common explanation of what the apostle John has to say about forgiveness.

But is it correct?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Too Hot to Handle: Let’s Get Together

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

What Does Your Proof Text Prove? (1)

Someone just murdered my favourite verse ...
It’s time for a new semi-regular Coming Untrue series, I think.

Writing four to five blog posts every week for more than three years involves a fair bit of research, as you might imagine. I don’t keep track, but I suspect I average as many as ten hours a week just looking things up, whether it’s Greek or Hebrew in Strong’s, cross-checking other people’s statements of fact, or looking up verses that others have quoted as evidence of this or that. Hey, I’m not complaining; I benefit greatly from the exercise.

But one thing I notice is that way too often Christian writers cite proof texts that have little or nothing to do with what they are alleged to demonstrate.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Traitors at the Table

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Here Comes the Baggage

Yesterday I briefly noted some of the different approaches taken within Christendom to remembering the Lord Jesus. If you haven’t read that post first, this one will probably make less sense than it might otherwise.

The New Testament does not lay down many hard and fast rules about the mechanics of worship, only that we are to “remember” our Lord in the sharing of the bread and the cup and to examine ourselves prior to doing so. Arguably this is the most important part of the Christian life. One can be as active in church as humanly possible, as diligent and and hard-working as anyone, and even passionate about meeting with the people of God.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Calling an Audible

Some call it the Lord’s Supper or the Lord’s Table. Some refer to it as Communion, Holy Communion or the Eucharist. Some call it the Breaking of Bread. Some call it the Worship Service. And some would argue that not all these terms refer to precisely the same thing.

I agree, actually, but it’s not my purpose to set out all such similarities and differences in a single blog post. My point is that, different as they may be, all these overlapping practices (rightly or wrongly) draw their scriptural authority from the words of the Lord Jesus to his disciples at their last Passover supper and the things he did there.

Let’s concede this: whatever we call it, none of us celebrate it precisely the way it was celebrated in the early church, and it’s quite possible that even in the first century there was little consistency from one local church to another in the way it was practiced.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

How Saved Are You?

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

How Saved Are You?

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Traitors at the Table

The most recent version of this post is available here.