Theological error concering the Lord's Supper.

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Grillsy

Puritan Board Junior
I have read many odd opinions written about Communion/Lord's Supper.
But I have recently come across someone who claims the Lord's Supper is
not a church Sacrament with bread and wine so much as it is an actual meal. I mean literally. What constitutes the institution of the Lord's Supper is an actual church dinner with some bread and wine mixed as a type of ceremony within the meal.
Has anyone ever heard this before? Am I mistaken in my understanding of this Sacrament?
This particular friend is also very into house churches and church autonomy (I am not sure if that has any relation to his Lord's Supper view).
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
1 Corinthians 11:17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. 20 When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 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.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
 

Grillsy

Puritan Board Junior
That is what I quoted in opposition to my friend's view. He said it proved it his way. I then went crossed eyed.
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
The problem in Corinth was that they WERE treating the sacrament as a meal. They all brought their favorite foods and the rich would bring their best while the poor had to stay out in the ante chamber. It was not meant to be a fill your face meal, it was a sacrament of remembrance and the means of God's grace to the whole church.
 

Grillsy

Puritan Board Junior
That was my thought and what I contended for. I just find the perspective that it was a meal to be very troubling for some reason. I had never heard anyone say such a thing before. And all from the mouth of minister. But even though I am just a pup I did my best to present the Biblical truth.

-----Added 7/6/2009 at 03:29:10 EST-----

Oh and thank you very much Mr. Vigneault. I do not have enough posts yet to give a formal thank you.
 

John Weathersby

Puritan Board Freshman
Sounds like hebrew roots

I have read many odd opinions written about Communion/Lord's Supper.
But I have recently come across someone who claims the Lord's Supper is
not a church Sacrament with bread and wine so much as it is an actual meal. I mean literally. What constitutes the institution of the Lord's Supper is an actual church dinner with some bread and wine mixed as a type of ceremony within the meal.
Has anyone ever heard this before? Am I mistaken in my understanding of this Sacrament?
This particular friend is also very into house churches and church autonomy (I am not sure if that has any relation to his Lord's Supper view).

Grillsy,

I’ frequently deal with someone on Hebrew Roots ‘stuff’ lately, the Lords Supper being a Seder dinner comes up often! The argument goes something like this: “If you understood the history and traditions of the Jews you would be able to recognize that what you celebrate as communion with your Messiah was your Messiah participating in a Seder dinner, when he took the cup, this was the 3rd cup of the Seder dinner and we should have the MEAL often”.

However, this argument comes from a hermeneutic which interprets the New Testament through the old, which is a fallacy (Hebrews 10:1, Colossians 2:16-17).

Also, if the meal in the upper room was a Seder, what was Judas going to buy, John 13:29? I hate to be blunt, but with Hebrew roots people, I often find that their ears need a sufficient tickling, no matter how you show them in scripture error of their way, they are interested in the sacraments, and cleanliness of food, and Sabbath days.

I would imagine that the person you’re talking about is not too into Church membership or the idea of accountability and consequently Church discipline. I’d advise that you show the truth of scripture and preach the gospel to this person, also remember salvation is the work of the Lord.
 

Grillsy

Puritan Board Junior
"I would imagine that the person you’re talking about is not too into Church membership or the idea of accountability and consequently Church discipline. I’d advise that you show the truth of scripture and preach the gospel to this person, also remember salvation is the work of the Lord."

John,
I think you are right about this. I understand that salvation is a work of the Lord. Being Reformed definitely has taught me patience is this regard. I am just more troubled by this because this person has a sizable group of people that he teaches and influences.

But I do not think this person I coming from the Hebrew roots perspective (although you make a great point). It is really just a case of someone being allowed to go too far without discipline and loving correction.

Are there any other scriptures relevant to this issue that anyone can think of?
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
"... when he took the cup, this was the 3rd cup of the Seder dinner and we should have the MEAL often”.

However, this argument comes from a hermeneutic which interprets the New Testament through the old, which is a fallacy (Hebrews 10:1, Colossians 2:16-17)....
The problem is not exactly that these folks come at the NT as though via the OT. But rather, that they read the OT through the eyes of modern Judaism, and then approach the NT as though modern Judaism has practices that inform Christianity.

Wrong answer. It assumes the legitimate development of modern Judaism from an OT root, absent the Christ of fulfillment.

What is a Seder? It is a post NT development of the OT Passover. The Lord's Supper (as traditionally commemorated) has as much right to be identified with the Passover as Seder does, and in truth much more. The thought that Seder is "more authentically Jewish" in relation to the Final Passover (ever, in the Upper Room) is a fiction, and a reading-back into history of customs that were not taught by Moses or later prophets.

It assumes the validity of at least some Pharisaic traditions as having real religious significance. And this, after Jesus expressly condemned the idea. Even if it could be positively demonstrated that "the cup" Jesus took belonged to a "Seder-like" meal, there is no reason to suppose from the NT record that there is any intent to carry on any trace of it.

Without the modern introduction of "Seder-interpretation," would the Christian community have been misapprehending this service for nearly 2 millennia? I think not.


But to go back to my first statement, there is a correct way to read the Bible "from front to back" so to speak. There is a great deal concerning the NT that is made clear if you have a biblical (i.e., an Abrahamic vs. a Pharisaic) OT-mindset.

We are not obliged, as it were, to read the Bible "back-to-front", as if we took all our present-age applicable theology pristinely from the NT, and then superimposed a New Testament theological grid over all the previous material in order to make some reconditioned use of it. If our faith is fundamentally identical to Abraham's (and Seth's or David's, etc.), then such a procedure is unnecessary.

The Bible (NT/OT) is one book, with a single redemptive message.
 

Claudiu

Puritan Board Junior
I have read many odd opinions written about Communion/Lord's Supper.
But I have recently come across someone who claims the Lord's Supper is
not a church Sacrament with bread and wine so much as it is an actual meal. I mean literally. What constitutes the institution of the Lord's Supper is an actual church dinner with some bread and wine mixed as a type of ceremony within the meal.
Has anyone ever heard this before? Am I mistaken in my understanding of this Sacrament?
This particular friend is also very into house churches and church autonomy (I am not sure if that has any relation to his Lord's Supper view).

Grillsy,

I’ frequently deal with someone on Hebrew Roots ‘stuff’ lately, the Lords Supper being a Seder dinner comes up often! The argument goes something like this: “If you understood the history and traditions of the Jews you would be able to recognize that what you celebrate as communion with your Messiah was your Messiah participating in a Seder dinner, when he took the cup, this was the 3rd cup of the Seder dinner and we should have the MEAL often”.




However, this argument comes from a hermeneutic which interprets the New Testament through the old, which is a fallacy (Hebrews 10:1, Colossians 2:16-17).

Also, if the meal in the upper room was a Seder, what was Judas going to buy, John 13:29? I hate to be blunt, but with Hebrew roots people, I often find that their ears need a sufficient tickling, no matter how you show them in scripture error of their way, they are interested in the sacraments, and cleanliness of food, and Sabbath days.

I would imagine that the person you’re talking about is not too into Church membership or the idea of accountability and consequently Church discipline. I’d advise that you show the truth of scripture and preach the gospel to this person, also remember salvation is the work of the Lord.


One of my friends had brought up the point that it was a real meal once when we were discussing this subject. He mentioned that in the Jewish tradition it was a real meal that was eaten. Even more, he said that the early church practiced it in the Jewish "Seder" (I guess you call it) custom and that the meal was eaten anytime people would meet together.

-----Added 7/7/2009 at 12:10:31 EST-----

I do have a question which goes along with this subject. There are people who gather together and do the House church thing and take the Lord's Supper together. I know a couple of people who do take the communion on their own. One of my relatives family practices this form of house church communion.

Is there any scripture that sheds light on the problem with this form of taking the Lord's Supper (on your own, or in a house with other people that are not ordained)?
 

Grillsy

Puritan Board Junior
Communion is meant as a corporate activity.
In the Scriptures the congregation always gathered to celebrate the Lord's Supper. It is the duty of the ordained minister to administer the Sacraments.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Others more learned have jumped in, so I hope I'm not obfuscating here. I do think it's worth considering the breadth of the Old Testament reflected in the Lord's table as well as its escatological nature -- it is reasonable to see the day of atonement, the showbread in the temple, and the feast of tabernacles reflected in addition to the passover.

Clearly the timing of the institution of the table was important because it serves as a symbol of Christ as our passover. If it is just seen as an extension of the passover, than folks would be correct in arguing that it is part of the home rather than placed in the church.

Seen as a reflection of all the sacrificial system, (or as Jeff Myers would argue, as part of covenant renewal) it is rightly observed in the context of corporate worship and not as part of a family meal.

Nor should we not forget that we look forward with communion to the great wedding feast with Christ. In that sense, communion can only be a foretaste, certainly not the "full meal."

That said, I love it when a meal is part of the day, but not part of the worship. At our church, we break for a meal, then the elders are careful to say we are resuming worship as we move back to our worship and the Lord's Table.
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
I'm finding myself in between on this one. In fact, I don't see how we can state that it must be either way, during the meal or separate. The Corinthian error was not in associating the Lord's Supper with their meal, but in their elitist mentality in doing so. They were partaking unworthily, because they esteemed themselves as greater than their brethren. This denies the unity of the body of Christ and the fact that God is not a respecter of persons.

Observing the Lord's Supper as part of a fellowship meal or agape feast is not unscriptural. We don't do it because of tradition. But I wouldn't be offended by it, as long as it was done in a way that properly focused on Christ and was worshipful.
 

Grillsy

Puritan Board Junior
Thanks Joe,
But the person I am dealing with says that it is tradition to NOT have the Lord's Supper as part of the meal. Therefore the only way to do is in the context of a full meal. Also in the context of preferably a house church. He also rejects the term communion. I think you can guess why.
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
I know Willie,
I was simply offering balance. I agree that he's off his rocker. But I also think there is an opposing reaction that is extrabiblical. It might be helpful, if you're so inclined, to simply show him that Scripture does not dictate what he says it does, rather than trying to convince him that it has to be done a certain way at a certain time in a certain place with certain people doing certain things... etc. For what it's worth.

Blessings,
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Some pietistic denominations, or those with pietism in their origins and backgrounds, do consider the Lord's Supper to be an actual meal that includes communion. The National Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (national headquarters: Winona Lake, Indiana) is such a group. They also hold to literal footwashing (men and women separately) as part of their communion service, just for the record.
 
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