Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Lord's Supper

A new thread about the Lord's Supper has started so I have opened up a new post. (post your comments on this topic here)
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Devil's Advocate said...


Oh, so technically then we should have Communion every Saturday...the Lord did not change the Sabbath. I think we should banish worship on Sundays as it is just not Biblical. We should also not call Sunday the "Lord's Day" because it technically isn't.

October 29, 2007 8:43 PM
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UP said...

"Oh, so technically then we should have Communion every Saturday...the Lord did not change the Sabbath. I think we should banish worship on Sundays as it is just not Biblical. We should also not call Sunday the "Lord's Day" because it technically isn't."

That is an insult to the devil's intelligence. If that's the best you can do, I feel sorry for you.

Take a look at Colossians 2:16-17. Note that Paul writes, "the reality, however, is found in Christ." Christ is the fulfillment of the OT Sabbath laws. I learned that in Sunday school. Surprised you didn't.

I seem to recall Jesus calling himself the Lord of the Sabbath. (Matthew 12, Luke 6)

Since Christ rose on a Sunday, I think we can call it the Lord's Day. Seems most of the rest of the Christian church through the last 2,000 years agrees with me.

No, you don't HAVE TO have communion every Sunday. You don't have to breathe every Sunday either. Why would you not want to receive the gift of our Savior's Body and Blood given for the forgiveness of your sins, life, and salvation? Even if you feel no need for the Sacrament every Sunday, the comment above yours says "offer the Sacrament every Lord's Day", not force devil's advocate to receive the Sacrament every Lord's Day. So, even if you do not receive the Sacrament every Lord's Day, why would you deny it to the rest of the congregation?

UP

October 30, 2007 8:12 AM
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Devil's Advocate said...

"That is an insult to the devil's intelligence. If that's the best you can do, I feel sorry for you."

No need to feel sorry for me or the devil's intelligience(and let's be honest folks, he wasn't the brightest bulb that ever burnt when he attempted to "tempt" Jesus), I was being sarcastic, but thanks for the sympathy, though it's not needed.

The desire for the Sacrament every Sunday as I am reading it here is becoming a bit legalistic--almost like it is someway makes you more holy if you take it every time its offered. Remember, that even if it is offered every Sunday to be careful to examine yourself--after all you can take it to your damnation if you take it in an unworthy manner...so be careful.

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Devil's Advocate said...

"Take a look at Colossians 2:16-17. Note that Paul writes, "the reality, however, is found in Christ." Christ is the fulfillment of the OT Sabbath laws. I learned that in Sunday school. Surprised you didn't.

I seem to recall Jesus calling himself the Lord of the Sabbath. (Matthew 12, Luke 6)

Since Christ rose on a Sunday, I think we can call it the Lord's Day. Seems most of the rest of the Christian church through the last 2,000 years agrees with me."

Hmmm...so because *you think* it is appropriate because Jesus rose on Sunday, it is therefore the new "Sabbath" day. Interesting that you would insult my intelligence because I am suppose to based my beliefs off of what you "think."

I actually worship on Sunday. I have not issue with it, but technically it isn't the "Sabbath" day as defined by God. Sunday is the day we choose to worship. Since I believe the 3rd Commandment is about worshiping God and setting time apart to focus on my God, I have no issue with saying that Saturday is the Sabbath technically, but we may worship on any day of the week. Any day that we choose to worship is the "Lord's Day"...no matter if it is Monday, Wednesday, etc.

If that is true....then shouldn't we have communion everyday? Why is it that we should only have it once a week? Is that truly enough? Why is it that once a week is more "godly" than twice a month...if we use that train of thought that wouldn't it be better to have it offered daily?

As for church history. There is a significant evidence that there was a time where communion was only celebrated once a year....do we ignore that part of church history simply because we don't like it?

October 30, 2007 8:17 AM

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mav said...

"examine yourself"

Just curious, what do you think this means?

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Devil's Advocate said...

"examine yourself"

Just curious, what do you think this means?"

What does it mean to you?

To me it means focusing on what communion is, repenting of all your sins...etc. Focusing on the real reason for the Sacrament and not just to fufill a legalistic rule in my head that I have to take it when it is offered or I am sinning...the Sacrament is important to me and I refuse to judge another's "faith" based on how often they take it. We've got plenty of people in the pews at our church keeping tabs of who does or does not take communion...it's nice of them to help God out don't you think (and yes that was sarcasm)?

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Anonymous said...

Moderator,

I think this is a meet, right and salutary topic. I think your fellow, kind bloggers would benefit greatly from reading this article on the Supper of our Lord. It certainly enriched me.

http://www.motleymagpie.org/v1n1_a1.htm

There are wonderful Scriptural truths that are revealed here that are not often heard in our midst.

RTMM

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Moderator,

I think this is a meet, right and salutary topic. I think your fellow, kind bloggers would benefit greatly from reading this article on the Supper of our Lord. It certainly enriched me.

http://www.motleymagpie.org/v1n1_a1.htm

There are wonderful Scriptural truths that are revealed here that are not often heard in our midst.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

The question about frequency of communion, of course, has been spooking around for many years, but really it's a completely worthless question. As was pointed out, following the logic of the "every Sunday people" leads us in circles. Why should we "deny" the Sacrament to the people during the week? Shouldn't we offer it first thing in the morning every day? But then why should should we deny it to those who could only come in the evening? And so on, until we have no other choice but to offer Communion non-stop at every second of the day and night. Offering Holy Communion once a week is just as much a sanctified human decision regarding frequency as offering it twice a month is. Claiming that one is better or one is worse, or throwing around the "you're denying the people" charge is pointless. Just bringing up the question does nothing but divide, which is the exact opposite of what Holy Communion was intended to do. If a congregation offers it once a day or once a week or twice a month or once a year, praise and thanks be to God for his gift to us! Why say anything more than that?

Pseudonym

UP said...

DA-"it is therefore the new "Sabbath" day."

Not what I wrote. Here's what I wrote:"Since Christ rose on a Sunday, I think we can call it the Lord's Day."

DA-"The desire for the Sacrament every Sunday as I am reading it here is becoming a bit legalistic--almost like it is someway makes you more holy if you take it every time its offered."

Who said this? Please quote where I or anyone else besides yourself wrote this. You are attibuting thoughts to me that I don't have. As for desiring the Sacrament, see the AC quote below from Article 28 and the here from introduction to the Small Catechism: "Now, whoever does not highly value the Sacrament shows that he has no sin, no flesh, no devil, no world, no death, no danger, no hell. In other words, he does not believe any such things, although he is in them up over his head and his ears and is doubly the devul's own. On the other hand, he needs no grace, no life, no paradise, no heaven, no Christ, no God nor anything good. For if he believed that he had so much evil around him, and needed so much that is good, he would not neglect the Sacrament, by which such evil is remedied and so much good is bestowed. Nor would it be necessary to force him to go to the Sacrament by any law. He would come running and racing of his own will, would force himself, and beg that you must give him the Sacrament."

DA-"Hmmm...so because *you think* it is appropriate because Jesus rose on Sunday, it is therefore the new "Sabbath" day. Interesting that you would insult my intelligence because I am suppose to based my beliefs off of what you "think"."

No, we're basing it on the history of the Christian church and the Lutheran Confessions: "It is a great error for anyone to think that it is by the authority of the Church that we observe the Lord's Day as something necessary, instead of the Sabbath Day. Scripture itself has abolished the Sabbath Day (Colossians 2:16-17). It teaches that since the Gospel has been revealed, all the ceremonies of Moses can be omitted. Yet, because it was necessary to appoint a certain day for the people to know when they ought to come together, it appears that the Church designated the Lord's Day (Revelation 1:10) for this purpose. This day seems to have been chosen all the more for this additional reason: so people might have an example of Christian freedom and might know that keeping neither the Sabbath nor any other day is necessary." AC XXVIII


DA-"If that is true....then shouldn't we have communion everyday? Why is it that we should only have it once a week? Is that truly enough? Why is it that once a week is more "godly" than twice a month...if we use that train of thought that wouldn't it be better to have it offered daily?"

Again, from the Augsburg Confession, this time Article XXIV The Mass: "But Christ commands us, "Do this in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19). Therefore, the Mass was instituted so that those who use the Sacrament should remember, in faith, the benefits they receive through Christ and how their anxious consciences are cheered and comforted. To remember Christ is to remember His benefits. It means to realize that they are truly offered to us. It is not enough only to remember history. (The Jewish people and the ungodly also remember this.) Therefore, the Mass is to be used for administering the Sacrament to those that need consolation. Ambrose says, "Because I alwasy sin, I always need to take the medicine."
Because the Mass is for the purpose of giving the Sacrament, we have Communion every holy day, and if anyone desires the Sacrament, we also offer it on other days, when it is given to all who ask for it. This custom is not new in the Church. The Fathers before Gregory make no mention of any private Mass, but they speak a lot about the common Mass, Communion. Chrysostom says "that the priest stands daily at the altar, inviting some to the Communion and keeping back others." It appears from the ancient council decisions that one person celebrated the Mass from whom all the other presbyters and deacons received the body of the Lord. The records of the decisions of the Council of Nicaea state, "Let the deacons, according to their order, receive the Holy Communion after the presbyters, from the bishop or from a presbyter." Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11:33, has this command in regard to Communion: "wait for one another" so that there may be a common participation.
Therefore, since the Mass among us follows the example of the Church, taken from the Scripture and the Fathers, we are confident that it cannot be disapproved."

DA-"do we ignore that part of church history simply because we don't like it?"

No, we don't follow practices that withhold the Gospel from penitent believers.

UP

LM said...

Pseudonym,

You said:

"Offering Holy Communion once a week is just as much a sanctified human decision regarding frequency as offering it twice a month is."

I don’t know that any one has argued this, but now that you’ve brought it up, I think it begs the question: What are your reasons for not wanting your Church to offer the Lord's Supper more often?

So far, the only reason I can discern is that we don't have to (I know, I'm ending a sentence with a preposition--forgive me). Doesn't that seem like a perverse way to view our glorious gospel freedom? Do you see your Christian freedom as a freedom from Christ or as the freedom to regularly receive His body and blood and the forgiveness of sins? That "there is no rule" or "we don't have to" hardly seem like good reasons not to offer it to those who desire it. Would you be comfortable if your Pastor decided to only preach every other Sunday? Would you feel like something was being withheld from you? Would you mock those who did?

You're right--we shouldn't make any law about how frequently we must commune, but (1) no one is saying we should and (2) how does offering it every Sunday do that?

Your slippery slope argument isn't particularly convincing, either: "If every Sunday, why not every minute" (I’m paraphrasing). I don't think anyone here expects to receive communion outside the setting of corporate worship. Does you Church offer more than one service a week (you know, like every minute)? I hope you see that this is a silly way to argue against those who seek to exercise their Gospel freedom by receiving the body and blood of Christ as often as they gather.

LM

Anonymous said...

LM,

You completely missed my most important point. Even bringing up the question of how often "do this often" means, we are causing division where Christ intended unity. So if a church offers Holy Communion once a month--great! Twice a month--great! Once a week--great! Once a day--great! Why try to determine which is greater or worse? Why destroy the "greatness" of the unity created by the Lord's Supper by accusing some of "denying" the Lord's Supper or "withholding" it from the people. If a Christian congregation celebrates the Lord's Supper more often or less often than another, so what? That's the beauty of Christian freedom.

Pseudonym

Anonymous said...

Why so much heat but not so much light here?

The best explanation I've heard is one a pastor I know once said.

Two people visit the doctor's office. Both have an illness. The doctor tells the first person, "I know why you are sick. I have the cure for your illness. All you need to do is take this medicine I offer you. Take it and you will be better." The first person says, "No, I'd rather wait a week or two and see if the illness goes away. Then I'll come back and see you when I am ready."

The second person is examined. The doctor comes to the same prognosis. The doctor has the same offer. Just as the second person opens their mouth to receive the medicine, the first person comes into the room, smacks the doctor's hand, and says, "No! If I don't receive the medicine, this person doesn't receive it either."

The person who desires the Sacrament frequently is the second person. The first person is forcing their will on someone who desires something beneficial. The second person is refused because the first person thinks they know what is best not only for them, but for everyone...including the doctor.

Should any of us presume to know our neighbor's faults better than our Lord?

Then why do people play God and force their private opinion concerning sin and grace on someone else, especially our Lord's generous offer of His True Body and Blood?

RMC

LM said...

"You completely missed my most important point."

No, P., I think you are missing THE point. It isn't about saying, "my way is better than yours," as you have repeatedly mischaracterized it. See RMC's post above. He (or she) explains it exceedingly well.

You also say:

"Even bringing up the question of how often "do this often" means, we are causing division where Christ intended unity. So if a church offers Holy Communion once a month--great! Twice a month--great! Once a week--great! Once a day--great! Why try to determine which is greater or worse?"

This doesn't make any sense. If we can never "bring up the question" then how do we determine how often the Lord's Supper will be offered in the first place? For that matter, WHO determines this? Those that don't desire it? I'm not sure if this "discussing it causes division" idea is original to you, but if so, I don't think that you've thought this all the way through.

LM

RNN said...

Pseudonym,

Let us return to Jesus' words, a good place to start. Jesus' words (the words of institution) tell us that the sacrament is for the forgiveness of sins. This is the chief and primary benefit of the sacrament. And where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.

And yes, unity is a gift given in the sacrament, or as you say, created by it. This is after all, what communion means: fellowship, being united as members in the one body of Christ. And this is God's gift to us in the sacrament.

And because its his gift, because it is being united to Christ, it is far more than everyone agreeing on how often we'll have communion. So to say: "We're all agreed that we'll have communion just once a year" is to say: "We don't think the unity offered in the sacrament is needed more than once a year." To say this would be to reject the unity given in the sacrament, save for one Sunday a year.

But of course, this is not the main benefit of the sacrament, which Jesus' words tell us. How often do we need forgiveness? So long as we have the sinful flesh clinging to us. That is why Christians eagerly desire and run to the sacrament, recognizing their need for it.

To discuss the frequency of communion as only an exercise in Christian freedom is to miss the point. To cite Christian freedom as justification for having the Sacrament rarely is to say: I have the freedom to say no to the gospel. For communion is the gospel, given to us to eat and drink for the forgiveness of sins.

Jesus' words point us to the forgiveness there offered; if we are to discuss how often "as often as you drink of it" means, we need to include forgiveness in this discussion.

To the aptly named Devil's Advocate,

Your pseudonym may have an unintentional second meaning: not just one picking a fight, but one advocating for the devil. Now, I am sure that you did not mean it that way and I am not questioning your faith; I am merely pointing out the irony of your chosen name.

For Luther, On the Councils and the Church (AE 41) argues that the devil tries to draw men away from the sacraments; that the devil tries to undermine them. (See pages 167-172.)

You write that in church history, the church observed communion only once a year. Please--when and where was this? Vague references to church history are unconvincing; we rejoice in the specificities of time and place. This gives a locatedness to your argument; an argument that floats in some general church history reference needs to be grounded in place and time. Do please tell us when and where--and more importantly--why this was the case.

Many thanks!

RNN

Anonymous said...

To RMC:

"The person who desires the Sacrament frequently is the second person."

Why do you presume to judge peoples' desires and to define the word "frequently"? By that analogy you're claiming that those who partake of the Sacrament twice a month have improper desires ("No, I'd rather wait a week or two and see if the illness goes away.") and that they have an improper understanding of how frequent frequent is. Can you really make those charges against someone simply because their church celebrates the Sacrament twice a month? Couldn't someone who communed everyday make the same charges against someone who communed only once a week?

"Then why do people play God and force their private opinion concerning sin and grace on someone else,"

But by celebrating the Sacrament only once a week aren't you doing something similar to those who may desire it more often than that? My point is that among many here once a week seems to be the agreed upon definition for "frequently" and the exact right amount of time for those who truly "desire" the Sacrament. Why is once a week the only proper frequency for the doctor's medicine?

To LM:

"It isn't about saying, "my way is better than yours," as you have repeatedly mischaracterized it."

You personally may not have said it like that or characterized it like that, but some here have done just that by using words like "denying" or "refusing" or "withholding" the Sacrament. The MM often uses those same words. Those words connote a negative action, thus implying that one way is better and one way is worse.

"If we can never "bring up the question" then how do we determine how often the Lord's Supper will be offered in the first place?"

I meant, of course, that bringing it up here (or in the MM) is what causes division. Obviously it's a question that pastors and elders and members of a congregation must discuss within each congregation. But once congregations start comparing with each other, and pastors (and laypeople) begin promoting a definite answer to that question for all congregations, then there is a problem.

To RNN:

"So to say: "We're all agreed that we'll have communion just once a year" is to say: "We don't think the unity offered in the sacrament is needed more than once a year." To say this would be to reject the unity given in the sacrament, save for one Sunday a year."

Again, just like RMC, you are using your preconceived definition of "frequently" to judge the desires of other Christians. You also paint a very crass and unfavorable picture of the motivations of other Christians. Again, the same charge could be leveled against once-a-week communers by once-a-day communers. Isn't saying "We will commune once a week" akin to saying "We reject communion the other six days."?

"if we are to discuss how often "as often as you drink of it" means, we need to include forgiveness in this discussion."

I agree completely, but we need to beware of two things. First, we must reject the opinion that defining "often" differently than someone else means that they "reject" forgiveness. Second, and related, we must realize that forgiveness doesn't come only through the Lord's Supper nor does it come "better" in the Lord's Supper. Often it seems as if the Means of Grace are being pitted against each other, as though the Lord's Supper was superior to the Word, as though the proclamation of forgiveness isn't quite as effective as the forgiveness offered in the Lord's Supper. If a congregation decides that on one particular Sunday that they would like more time to study God's Word and thus don't have the Sacrament that Sunday, does it make them any richer or any poorer? No, it makes them equally blessed, since all the Means of Grace are equally effective and offer the same blessings of God.

Pseudonym

Anonymous said...

I'm always amazed at two things about my synod.

1) People will fight tooth and nail against a more frequent celebration of a means of grace. (Why not have the sermon every other week?)

2) People will work as hard as they can to make sure that something in the OT is not a messianic prophecy.

Anonymous said...

Pseudonym:

It is futile dealing with you because you make consistent fallacial jumps that are entirely inconsistent with logical thinking. LM and UP show this to be true elsewhere.

The operative word in my post above is OFFER . Offering something, then having someone refuse that offering on behalf of someone else, is the problem. The problem is not your eisegesis of my use of the word "frequently".

Our Lord gives one way: more. If someone doesn't want more Jesus, 'tis a shame on their part.

If someone dares speak on behalf of others and tell our Lord He ought not offer His Body and Blood, that is quite presumptuous, no?

The fault of not offering the Body and Blood of Christ weekly in God's Service is not that of the priesthood of the baptized. The fault is that of our pastors and seminary professors, who do us a great disservice by not teaching the Sacrament of the Altar in full. Not teaching and preaching about making frequent use of the Sacrament as well as not aligning practice with our doctrine as confessed by the Book of Concord, a book that confesses what Scripture says is neglecting the Gifts Christ gives the Church.

Friend, read people's words for what they mean, not what you think the person really means.

Rejoicing always (and again I say REJOICING) in our Lord's Gifts:

RMC

RNN said...

Dear mysteriousmy named Pseudonym,

Since you keep coming back to this daily communion thing, a couple things to keep in mind: 1) Check the book of Acts. Daily communion is what the church had, coming togethere daily for the breaking of bread. Perhaps then this is not quite the absurd extreme you keep making it out to be.

2) I have visited churches that offer communion daily during Lent (Lutheran, no less!). Again, read the Augsburg Confession quote above.

No one here has said that weekly communion ought to be a law, but I admire your persistence in trying to make this a matter of the law. Why every Sunday? To commemorate everly Lord's day by receiving a foretaste of the heavenly feast. Why every Sunday? Because that is the model that the church, in the wisdom gained from centuries of practice, has handed down to us--or at least to the Reformers. The Pietists and Rationalists changed that, but that's a different story.

Glad you think communion should be part of the discussion. Pity you never mentioned it until I brought it up.

Since, as you point out, the means of grace offer the same forgiveness, your argument could also read: why not meet daily to hear a sermon? Does your church offer this? Why restrict a service of the word and preaching to only once a week?

The model handed down through centuries of history is daily prayer offices--for prayer and reading of the word, and communion on every Lord's day and the festivals. Is this law? No. Neither is having a sermon every Sunday. But it is the tradition of the church handed down to us. Yes, we are free to reject it and change it; but changes ought to further extol the gospel, not remove it.

Since I have (apparently) painted a crass picture of the motivations of other Christians, what are those motivations? I see that you make no response to my points above on Christian freedom. That is the only motive that I have seen from you. Unless we count wanting more time to study the word--but I have not come across a church where this actually takes place; every church I have been too has had shorter services when there is no communion.

Even if that is their motivation, then they are the ones making the word superior to the sacrament. Word weekly--some weeks so much word that we don't have time for communion; but the sacrament we only need every other week. This elevates word over sacrament.

If they are equally valuable (which they are--but not identically valuable), and we ought to come together as a congregation every week to hear the word, why not also come together every week for the sacrament?

Again, we need to rejoice in the specificities of each of the means of grace. For each one--baptism, absolution, communion, word--has specific blessings and aspects that the others do not have. What does communion bring? Body and blood eaten and drunk for the forgiveness of sins; Calvary brought right to me, here and now--on my lips, not my neighbors; communion with all saints, who are there in Christ.

But I ramble on. Back to the question: What motivates a congregation to not want communion every week? Christian freedom is insufficient; more time for the word elevates word over sacrament. Are there others?

Perhaps a useful book to read is The Blessings of Weekly Communion . That's right: BLESSINGS. Why every Sunday communion? Because that gives us the chance to receive these blessings weekly.

RNN

Anonymous said...

"you make consistent fallacial jumps that are entirely inconsistent with logical thinking."

And yet you couldn't even be bothered to point out a single one of them. Interesting.

"The operative word in my post above is OFFER....Our Lord gives one way: more. If someone doesn't want more Jesus, 'tis a shame on their part."

So how often should we OFFER the Lord's Supper then? I think we should OFFER the Lord's Supper "more" than once a week. How about everyday? Maybe twice a day. And if you don't want it twice a day, then I guess it's just "shame" on you for not wanting "more Jesus". Don't you see the inherent flaw with your argument? Once again, you are defining a word, this time "more", as "once a week". That's fine. But my point is that if another Christian or group of Christians define "more" or "often" or "frequently" as twice a month, we shouldn't judge their faith and motivation by saying, "Shame on them for not wanting Jesus."

This is exactly why do many Lutherans resist offering Communion weekly and why they so stubbornly defend having it twice a month: because of people like you, RMC, who say "Shame on you...you don't want Jesus...you're withholding...denying...etc..." Perhaps if you simply talked about the blessings of the Lord's Supper without immediately then judging the motivations of other Christians, they might not become so defensive about the issue.

"If someone dares speak on behalf of others and tell our Lord He ought not offer His Body and Blood, that is quite presumptuous, no?"

But by offering Communion once a week, aren't you guilty of speaking on behalf of others and telling our Lord that he ought only to offer his body and blood once a week? Isn't that equally as presumptuous?

"The fault of not offering the Body and Blood of Christ weekly...is that of our pastors and seminary professors...[n]ot teaching and preaching about making frequent use of the Sacrament"

Once again, the same error. Here clearly you say "weekly...frequent". So whose fault is it that some churches only offer the Lord's Supper once a week? Yours, RMC, for not teaching that daily equals frequent?

Pseudonym

Anonymous said...

"People will fight tooth and nail against a more frequent celebration of a means of grace."

I agree. But don't you see why that is? It's because people, like the people here, constantly harangue those who offer the Lord's Supper twice a week, they write journals about how terrible it is that these congregations "withhold" and "deny" the Lord's Supper, they go on blogs and imply that those who don't offer the Supper weekly just don't "want Jesus as much" as other people, and because they elevate the Lord's Supper to the point where it's somehow better or more effective than the Word itself.

If these people would simply extol the virtues of the Sacrament without immediately judging those who don't offer it weekly or puffing themselves up for "wanting Jesus more", then perhaps the people themselves would ask for it more. Congregations who offer the Supper twice a month aren't doing it because they despise the Sacrament or because they have no use for it. So when people accuse them of such things, it only causes them to become defensive and to "fight tooth and nail." Why not motivate change using the Gospel (extolling the forgiveness of sins offered in the Sacrament) rather than the Law ("You don't want Jesus as much. You despise the Sacrament. You're denying the people." etc...)

Pseudonym

Anonymous said...

RNN,

I wasn't making daily communion an "absurd extreme". I think daily communion (and daily sermons) would be a great thing. My point in referring to daily communion was to point out that no matter how frequently or infrequently you offer the Sacrament, it's a matter of Christians making a sanctified decision. In other words, there's not one correct frequency for the Lord's Supper. That's why we can't judge other groups of Christians if they make decisions that differ from ours. Otherwise the daily-communers could complain on a blog about the infrequency of the weekly-communers, just as the weekly-communers are complaining about the twice-monthly-communers. That's the type of disunity I was talking about before.

Pseudonym

Anonymous said...

Pseudonym:

You ask for specificity? Here is specificity.

The Lord's Supper should be offered whenever there are communicants who are examined and absolved.

Rejoicing even more in the Gifts!

RMC

LM said...

P wrote:

"Congregations who offer the Supper twice a month aren't doing it because they despise the Sacrament or because they have no use for it."

So what is the reason? It sounds like you are saying it is because someone made them feel bad about not offering it every week--are we really that petty (wait, I think I already know the answer to this.)

As for a specific example of your logical fallacies, lets start with this one: "Again, the same charge could be leveled against once-a-week communers by once-a-day communers. Isn't saying ‘We will commune once a week’ akin to saying ‘We reject communion the other six days.’?” Answer: No, because my congregation doesn’t gather the other six days.

This fallacy is called the slippery slope. I've already noted this in my first comment, but maybe you missed it. You are arguing in a vacuum here. It isn't about setting a specific interval or defining the word often. Instead, the point is, if your congregation has a weekly service, why wouldn't they offer communion at least that frequently? Can you answer that?

LM

Curious said...

Devil's Advocate wrote - "after all you can take it to your damnation if you take it in an unworthy manner...so be careful."

Could you please explain what you mean by this? If a person partakes in an unworthy manner are they damned? St. Paul talks about judgment for partaking in an unworthy manner - does that judgment equal damnation?

Just curious

Anonymous said...

"So what is the reason?"

Knowledge of the history of the Lutheran church in America would tell you the reason. Lutheran congregations are still dealing with much of the baggage of European Lutheranism. This includes the practice of offering Communion four times a year. American Lutheran congregations have slowly been increasing the frequency and most currently offer it twice a month. (Much better than 4 times a year, right?) Change in congregations is often very slow going and requires a great deal of patience. But accusing these congregations of "not wanting Jesus" and implying their spiritual inferiority will not help the situation, it will only hurt. Sad to say, things like the MM have only served to slow the process even more, because its tone and accusations have left a bad taste in many mouths and left a desire not to "give in" to accusations in many congregations.

"As for a specific example of your logical fallacies, lets start with this one: "Again, the same charge could be leveled against once-a-week communers by once-a-day communers. Isn't saying ‘We will commune once a week’ akin to saying ‘We reject communion the other six days.’?” Answer: No, because my congregation doesn’t gather the other six days."

But my point was that someone could argue that your congregation ought to meet everyday of the week. They could claim that since you don't meet everyday for Word and Sacrament that you're depriving the members of the congregation and rejecting Word and Sacrament.

"This fallacy is called the slippery slope."

Yes! Exactly! I am purposefully pushing us down the slippery slope to demonstrate that arguing about frequency is a slippery slope. "Frequent" and "often" are relative terms. Once we try to define them we can only slide further and further until we end with absurdities like 24/7 communion.

Pseudonym

Rev. Fr. John W. Berg said...

Pseudonym, if that is your real name (my attempt at a joke),

A little bird, a screeching magpie I believe, directed me to your words,

"You personally may not have said it like that or characterized it like that, but some here have done just that by using words like "denying" or "refusing" or "withholding" the Sacrament. The MM often uses those same words. Those words connote a negative action, thus implying that one way is better and one way is worse."

If communicants, desiring the Blessed Body and Blood of our Lord, are denied, refused, and the Viaticum is withheld from them, then one way is better and one way is worse, much worse. And by the way, what words would you suggest we use to describe such negative actions?

The Motley Magpie - you should read it, not misrepresent it – never castigates a pastor or congregation that doesn't offer the Sacrament, only those who refuse to offer it to those desiring and of not preaching so that people beg for it and or who refuse to understand its place in the church (cf. the first article of our journal). The editors know of many Wisconsin Synod congregations and pastors who do just that. The editors of the Motley Magpie always remind us that catechesis is needed here and they have offered their journal to the church to hear if it wants to that end. Additionally, when the editors of the Motley Magpie extol the benefits of the Sacrament, offering a catechesis they were denied in their training, the usual arguments are trotted out against the practice, which are too odious to repeat here, one of which you have offered (why not have it every minute – such blasphemy against our Lord’s Body and Blood!) These the undersigned editor has exposed for what they are.

Here is a test for you. Ask your pastor if he would celebrate the Sacrament on one of the non communion Sundays and see how many come forward. You and I know that there will most likely be as many communicants as on a regular Sunday, and there will be those (I know this for a fact) who will be angered. There are soul's desiring this. A pastoral heart is one which meets those desires.

The authors of and subscribers to the Lutheran Confessions say, this is what our churches do, every Lord’s Day, festivals and when people ask for it. This is not a legal requirement, but simply what "our churches do." And you will learn much when you ask, "and why doesn’t your church do what 'our churches' do." The editors of the Motley Magpie have asked that question for years in the Wisconsin Synod which has led them to use words like, deny, withhold and refuse. The editors of the Motley Magpie also have many letters and personal words of thanks from pastors who have benefited from our simple offerings and have lead their flocks to enjoy, weekly and more, the inestimable blessings of the Sacrament of the Altar.

I pray that your eyes will be opened to see the fullness of God’s gifts to us.

Rev. Fr. John W. Berg

UP said...

"Knowledge of the history of the Lutheran church in America would tell you the reason."

I agree. The practice of circuit riders contributed also. If there were no pastor at a congregation on a Sunday, there was no Lord's Supper.

"Sad to say, things like the MM have only served to slow the process even more, because its tone and accusations have left a bad taste in many mouths and left a desire not to "give in" to accusations in many congregations."

Prove it. Which congregations have been affected this way?

"They could claim that since you don't meet everyday for Word and Sacrament that you're depriving the members of the congregation and rejecting Word and Sacrament."

No, but when the congregation is gathered together, why would you not OFFER it? See the Augsburg Confession: "we have Communion every holy day, and if anyone desires the Sacrament, we also offer it on other days, when it is given to all who ask for it."

You are arguing about the term "frequency". The point has already been made, but here it is again. No one is arguing that once a week is the corect frequency. Most are writing about OFFERING the Sacrament, specifically when the Church is gathered together, which is usually once a week. However, there are churches that offer it at midweek services, special services, and some do have services every morning. The point is, why would you not do this when the church is gathered together?

"Change in congregations is often very slow going and requires a great deal of patience."

I agree. This is why before a responsible, loving pastor starts the practice of offering the Sacrament more frequently than a congregation is used to, there should be teaching by the pastor as to what gifts and benefits are received through the Sacrament. In the congregation I currently belong to, after this teaching was done, we laypersons wanted more frequent chances to receive the Lord's Body and Blood for the strengthening of our faith, forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. We now celebrate the Supper every service, which works out to much more than once a week. However, not everyone receives every time, and that is their choice, but those who choose not to receive have no business telling me that I can't receive.

UP

LM said...

P said:

"Change in congregations is often very slow going and requires a great deal of patience."

UP responded:

"I agree. This is why before a responsible, loving pastor starts the practice of offering the Sacrament more frequently than a congregation is used to, there should be teaching by the pastor as to what gifts and benefits are received through the Sacrament."

Well, you're both in good company. Contrary to what some have implied, Fr. John Berg (and in the MM of all places) agrees with you:

"The only legitimate objection, which holds for the time of congregational catechesis, however long that may be, is “we’ve never done this before.” This objection - so dismissively parodied - is the layman’s legitimate defense against the capriciousness of preachers, those liturgically informed or not, especially “innovative ones,” and ought never be mocked, only catechized. Patience must always be exercised with the misinformed weak, but not with the misinformed strong."

LM

LM said...

P,

Re: the slippery slope logical fallacy, you said:

"Yes! Exactly! I am purposefully pushing us down the slippery slope to demonstrate that arguing about frequency is a slippery slope. "Frequent" and "often" are relative terms. Once we try to define them we can only slide further and further until we end with absurdities like 24/7 communion."

For the slippery slope argument to have any validity, there must be some independent justification of the connection between its terms. That does not exist here. The fallacy is compounded by your insistence that this discussion is about defining the terms "frequent" and "often." UP has already explained this, but for emphasis, I'll repeat what she says: "You are arguing about the term 'frequency'. The point has already been made, but here it is again. No one is arguing that once a week is the corect frequency. Most are writing about OFFERING the Sacrament, specifically when the Church is gathered together, which is usually once a week."

LM

LM said...

Whoops, referring to UP, I said: "I'll repeat what she says"

Sorry, I meant to write s/he. It's a mark of my liberal education--excesive use of female pronouns.

LM

RNN said...

P,

Say, what motivations are there for not offering communion when the church regularly meets? Now I'm just curious. Don't want to set up the proverbial straw-man.

RNN

Anonymous said...

RNN,

I already answered that very question. Kindly reread (or maybe read for the first time) my comment at 4:47. UP, LM, and Pastor Berg all even agreed with me.

Pseudonym

Anonymous said...

RNN & RMC--
Would you recommend offering communion at every church gathering? (Voters meetings, committee gatherings, etc.) Why or why not?

K

UP said...

"I already answered that very question. Kindly reread (or maybe read for the first time) my comment at 4:47. UP, LM, and Pastor Berg all even agreed with me."

No, you didn't answer the question. You didn't give a reason for not offering communion when the church regularly meets in worship.

Please read carefully. I agreed with your quote that I copied. Here it is again: " Change in congregations is often very slow going and requires a great deal of patience."

That is not a reason for infrequent celebrations. If you look at what I, LM, and Pr. Berg wrote, you'll see that we wrote that teaching about the Sacrament is necessary before increasing the frequency of its offering. In previous comments, you have written that if one church offers it once a year, another once a month, another once a week, we should all just get along. That's the practice you need to defend, which you have not done. What a church does with the Means of Grace shows what they believe about them. Infrequent celebrations show the attitude you displayed above, "so what?". Christ offers His Body and Blood for YOU and you say "so what?".

UP

Anonymous said...

Pseudonym,

Christ did not say, "Leave this out, or, despise this,"but,"Do this, as often as you drink it"

Now, whoever does not highly value the Sacrament shows that he has no sin, no flesh, no devil, no world, no death, no danger, no hell. In other words, he does not believe any such things, although he is in them up over his head and his ears and is doubly the devil's own. On the other hand, he needs no grace, no life, no paradise, no heaven, no Christ, no God, nor anything good. For if he believed that he had so much evil around him, and needed so much that is good, he would not neglect the Sacrament, by which such evil is remedied and so much good is bestowed.

DML

Anonymous said...

K:

It all depends on what the term "church gathering" means.

Dressing up as a straw man for Halloween....

RMC

Anonymous said...

UP and DML,

Your responses are exactly the kinds of responses that I earlier said hinder the wider appreciation of the Lord's Supper in many congregations.

UP said, "That [weakness in a congregation] is not a reason for infrequent celebrations."

It is if you a true Seelsorger and not a bull in a china shop.

UP said: "we wrote that teaching about the Sacrament is necessary before increasing the frequency of its offering."

I agree wholeheartedly! When did I say something else?

UP said: "In previous comments, you have written that if one church offers it once a year, another once a month, another once a week, we should all just get along."

So differences in frequency of communion mean we shouldn't "all just get along"? Sadly based on the condemnatory tone of many of the comments here that seems to be true. But to the point--your paraphrase is a distortion of what I really said. I said that no matter how often a congregation celebrates the Lord's Supper we ought to thank and praise the Lord for it, without writing diatribes about how some congregations "just don't want Jesus" or are "rejecting" him.

Let me give you an example of my point: If I have a friend who is a weak Christian, who has never in his life opened a Bible at home for personal study and devotion, and then one day that weak Christian tells me with joy that he has started to study the Bible once or twice a week at home, will I blast him out of the water for not doing it every single day or will I rejoice that he is in the Word a couple times a week (even if I personally am in the Word every day)?

UP said: "Christ offers His Body and Blood for YOU and you say "so what?"."

This is exactly the type of thing I'm talking about. You've leveled a serious and personal attack there. You really believe that I despise the Sacrament?

DML said: "Christ did not say, "Leave this out, or, despise this,"but,"Do this, as often as you drink it""

Once again we're leveling the "despise" charge! Rather than trying to change behavior through the condemnations of the law, why not rather proclaim the wonderful blessings given through the Sacrament and then simply let the Gospel do its work without immediately pointing fingers to show which people, which pastors, which congregations "despise" it?

Pseudonym

RNN said...

Dearest Pseudonym,

I see that you give insufficient education as one reason for not having communion every Sunday, in the regular worship schedule of the church. I assume then that you also agree with the MM, UP, RMC, LM, myself and the other posters that we should have communion every week and that the only impediment to this is insufficient education. Is this accurate? Or are you suggesting that such teaching cannot be done?

DML,

It's always good to hear your voice, especially from beyond the grave. It is good to be reminded of your words to which we, as confessional Lutheran church bodies, have subscribed. Thank you for showing us the proper attitude towards the sacrament, to value it highly, rather than to neglect it.

UP,

Thanks for taking up the question while I have been detained with other matters.

K,

Cool sunglasses and suit! Keeping the world safe from aliens by keeping them secret--the job of the Men in Black.

(Please don't be offended at my attempt at a joke. I'm just reminded of the movie.)

When the church gathers for worship. The church is free to gather for other things--Voter's Assemblies and what not. But when gathered for such meetings that do not include a worship service, no, no communion.

Rejoicing in our Lord's gifts,
RNN

DML said...

Pseudonym,

A bit harsh to criticize me and the Small Catechism on Reformation of all days, isn't it? If you are a WELS member, maybe you should know what your church body teaches.

DML-Dr. Martin Luther

UP said...

"UP said, "That [weakness in a congregation] is not a reason for infrequent celebrations."

P-"It is if you a true Seelsorger and not a bull in a china shop."

UP-Not weakness in a congregation (My "that" is a pronoun refering back to your "Change in congregations is often very slow going and requires a great deal of patience." I never said I was talking about weakness in a congregation. PLEASE READ WHAT IS WRITTEN.) If you want to bring up weakness in a congregation, that's fine. This weakness, in most cases, is caused by poor practice by that congregation's pastor and former pastors in not offering the Gospel to those who wish it. So, you would rather a pastor continue to withhold the Sacrament instead of patiently catechizing and preaching his people toward a more frequent celebration? No one is saying that a pastor should enter a congregation and immediately change their practice, if that's what you meant by your bull in a china shop analogy.

P-"You've leveled a serious and personal attack there. You really believe that I despise the Sacrament?"

UP-I am quoting what you wrote. I've pasted it below. If you do not agree with what you wrote, write more carefully in the future.

"Why destroy the "greatness" of the unity created by the Lord's Supper by accusing some of "denying" the Lord's Supper or "withholding" it from the people. If a Christian congregation celebrates the Lord's Supper more often or less often than another, so what? That's the beauty of Christian freedom.

Pseudonym

October 30, 2007 11:17 AM"

UP-Christian freedom is not the freedom to ignore the Gospel or to withhold it from penitent believers. Yes, withhold. If it is not being offered, it is being withheld.

P-"Let me give you an example of my point: If I have a friend who is a weak Christian, who has never in his life opened a Bible at home for personal study and devotion, and then one day that weak Christian tells me with joy that he has started to study the Bible once or twice a week at home, will I blast him out of the water for not doing it every single day or will I rejoice that he is in the Word a couple times a week (even if I personally am in the Word every day)?"

UP-This is not a good analogy. The Lord's Supper is not something that WE DO. Our Lord offers it to us and WE RECEIVE. That is a big distinction you have failed to grasp through this whole discussion.


UP

LM said...

DML,

Such tone!! Have you always spoken this way, or did some Magpies make you do it?

LM

Anonymous said...

"I assume then that you also agree with the MM, UP, RMC, LM, myself and the other posters that we should have communion every week and that the only impediment to this is insufficient education. Is this accurate? Or are you suggesting that such teaching cannot be done?"

Well, I wouldn't say that we SHOULD have communion every week since "should" is a law word, not a gospel word. Offering the Lord's Supper is not something for us to turn into a law that we should or ought or must obey to avoid condemnation as "despisers". But it would be fair to say that having communion every week is a wonderful thing and something to be encouraged through education and proclamation of the blessings of Communion.

"A bit harsh to criticize me and the Small Catechism on Reformation of all days, isn't it? If you are a WELS member, maybe you should know what your church body teaches."

Give me a break. Anyone with an ounce of intellectual honesty can see that I neither criticized Martin Luther nor his Small Catechism. I criticized the fact the you took his words and used them to condemn me and all congregations that don't offer the Lord's Supper weekly as "despisers". Big difference.

Martin Luther is a perfect example of patient teaching rather than forcing a change on congregations. He allowed the people to continue with questionable practices (like abstaining from the cup) for years while educating them in God's Word before making changes. Can't you grant the same patience to congregations today?

Pseudonym

Anonymous said...

"This is not a good analogy. The Lord's Supper is not something that WE DO. Our Lord offers it to us and WE RECEIVE. That is a big distinction you have failed to grasp through this whole discussion."

UP, you missed the point of the analogy. The man is analogous to a congregation, not an individual. Offering the Lord's Supper is something that a congregation does. (Yes, yes, something Christ does through the pastor of the congregation.) So the point of the analogy is that when a congregation begins offering the Lord's Supper, say twice a month rather than once a month, it's a cause for rejoicing, not a chance to blast the congregation for not offering it every Sunday.

Pseudonym

UP said...

"not a chance to blast the congregation for not offering it every Sunday."

Show me when I did this.

"Give me a break. Anyone with an ounce of intellectual honesty can see that I neither criticized Martin Luther nor his Small Catechism."

Yes, you did. You wrote this in response to a direct quote from the Small Catechism: "Once again we're leveling the "despise" charge! Rather than trying to change behavior through the condemnations of the law, why not rather proclaim the wonderful blessings given through the Sacrament and then simply let the Gospel do its work without immediately pointing fingers to show which people, which pastors, which congregations "despise" it? "

If you would like to discuss Lutheran theology, you should at least be familiar with the Lutheran Confessions. By your writing against the words of the Small Catechism, you make it clear that don't know much about what you are debating.

UP

Anonymous said...

UP,

You can't be serious! Of course I realize that DML was quoting directly from the Small Catechism!!! My problem wasn't with the quote itself. My problem was with the application of the quote to me. Don't you see the difference?!?

Look, let's say I quote Scripture about the rich man suffering in hell, and then say that you will be just like him. Most likely you would have a problem with that, right? But your problem wouldn't be with the words of Scripture themselves, but with the fact that they were used to judge your faith and imply that you would suffer in hell. See? You would be criticizing me for using those words improperly to describe you, not criticizing Jesus for using those words.

Pseudonym

LM said...

P,

You said:

"So the point of the analogy is that when a congregation begins offering the Lord's Supper, say twice a month rather than once a month, it's a cause for rejoicing, not a chance to blast the congregation for not offering it every Sunday."

No one is saying that it is "a chance to blast the congregation for not offering it every Sunday." Those are your words, P.

You also said:

"Well, I wouldn't say that we SHOULD have communion every week since "should" is a law word, not a gospel word."

No, in this instance "should" is a conclusion, as in, if people ask for it, and there is no reason not to offer it, we SHOULD we offer it. A legalistic way to approach it would be to say, you must offer it because that is the rule. NO ONE IS SAYING THAT.

Here is the problem with this discussion, and it almost always goes the same way. If someone says, "I think we should have communion every Sunday," the responses are: "You can't make me--there is no rule that says I have to." (I know you don't like the phrase “straw man,” but that is what this response is) OR "Even discussing it causes division" (actually that is a new one) OR "When you say we should have communion every Lord's Day you are condemning me and all congregations that don't offer it weekly" OR "If we offer it every week, won't people who want it every second still be deprived" OR...well, you get the picture.

It has already been explained that these all non-responsive. These are not reasons for not offering the Sacrament to those who desire it (which is everyone who knows that they are a poor, miserable sinner)--these are excuses.

From the weak, yes, these excuses should be patiently addressed. From the strong, as you seem to be, these responses are disgusting and offensive. Now I’m not saying that your disgusting or offensive--I understand that you may just be repeating the excuses you’ve already heard.

You also say:

"Give me a break. Anyone with an ounce of intellectual honesty can see that I neither criticized Martin Luther nor his Small Catechism. I criticized the fact the you took his words and used them to condemn me and all congregations that don't offer the Lord's Supper weekly as "despisers". Big difference."

I read this as a charge of taking Luther's words out of context. I disagree. Who are these words spoken to (d'oh...to whom are these words spoken)?

LM

RNN said...

Pseudonym,

Please pardon my confusion; but if you think that every Sunday communion is a good thing, why spend so much energy giving us the impression that you do not think so? And why spend so much time on arguments to justify not having every Sunday communion? I am confused by your motivation here. But before I assume that I know what it is and so set up a straw man, I will ask you: why are you making all these arguments in defense of not having every Sunday communion?

RNN

UP said...

P wrote:" My problem wasn't with the quote itself. My problem was with the application of the quote to me."

UP-From your arguments, the quote does apply to you.

P-"Look, let's say I quote Scripture about the rich man suffering in hell, and then say that you will be just like him. Most likely you would have a problem with that, right?"

UP-My sinful nature is always offended by the law. However, as a baptized child of God, I am saved. You are again assuming a lot about my feelings and future hypothetical actions, which have no basis in reality.

P-"Of course I realize that DML was quoting directly from the Small Catechism!!!"

UP-Sure.

John said...

"It was said so well, so many times here, all we need to do is embrace and love. KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid."

Guess where this quote is taken from?
-----------------------------------

I appreciate the thought filled conversation going on here. This is what WELS pastors should be discussing.

You might have guessed that the above quote was not from the Reformation era but from the folow up page (foul up)on the C&C site. This is what the changers said about the deep theological issues discussed at the C&C conference.

..embrace and love...can't we all just get along?

Mr. T said...

On a side note, I hate the phrase "KISS" (and C&C did not create that acronym btw) because name calling isn't mature or worthwhile.

As to the communion issue--OFTEN...that is the word used. What exactly does that mean is up to the individual in my opinion and something we can't judge for another.

Should we offer it every Sunday? I honestly don't see why not, but to say another is basically sinning or at the very least in "error" is stretching it a bit. After all--"often" could be daily, several times a day, every other day, weekly, monthly...it's open to interpertation.

I find it interesting that Christ never laid down a formal rule. He never told us to do it twice a day or once a month or whatever...maybe we could learn something from that.

I'm not up to verbal sparring, so please don't even bother trying with me. I don't play those games....sorry.

LM said...

Mr. T,

In honor of your wishes to avoid verbal sparring, feel free to ignore this. (In fact, "I pity the fool" who doesn't honor those wishes!). But for everyone else:

"As to the communion issue--OFTEN...that is the word used. What exactly does that mean is up to the individual in my opinion and something we can't judge for another."

This is where the argument falls apart for me--it is self defeating. As to the frequency we receive it, okay. As to the frequency it is offered, well if it isn't offered "every holy-day, and, if any desire the Sacrament, also on other days, when it is given to such as ask for it" then we are preventing some people from acting on their own "sanctified opinions," as some have put it.

Does anyone else see this?

Now to clarify a few things:

"to say another is basically sinning or at the very least in "error" is stretching it a bit."

Okay, but no one has said this.

"After all--"often" could be daily, several times a day, every other day, weekly, monthly...it's open to interpretation."

There is a natural limit to this idea that the word "often" (which again isn't really the issue) is open to infinite interpretation. But this point has been pretty thoroughly addressed already with some good references to the statements and writings of the Reformers.

"I find it interesting that Christ never laid down a formal rule. He never told us to do it twice a day or once a month or whatever...maybe we could learn something from that."

Well, I think we could also learn something from the Reformers and the early Christian Church. For example, AC XXIV:34 says: "Now, forasmuch as the Mass is such a giving of the Sacrament, we hold one communion every holy-day, and, if any desire the Sacrament, also on other days, when it is given to such as ask for it. And this custom is not new in the Church; for the Fathers before Gregory make no mention of any private Mass, but of the common Mass [the Communion] they speak very much. Chrysostom says that the priest stands daily at the altar, inviting some to the Communion and keeping back others."

With respect to the early Christian Church, one writer has even noted that "...it is...clear from Acts 20:7, 1 Cor. 11:20,33, that when the Christians did gather at one place, they were accustomed to celebrate the Eucharist."

Comments, suggestions, correction?

LM

Anonymous said...

"to say another is basically sinning or at the very least in "error" is stretching it a bit."

"Okay, but no one has said this."

Really? You're kidding, right LM? When you accuse people of "not wanting" Jesus, of "despising" the Sacrament, of "denying" and "withholding" the Sacrament (among other things), aren't you accusing them of sin or at the very least error? Last time I checked, despising the Sacrament was a sin. No?

ABC

LM said...

ABC,

This is what our Large Chatechism says:

"Some pretend that it is a matter of liberty and not necessary, and that it is sufficient to believe without it; and thus for the most part they go so far that they become quite brutish, and finally despise both the Sacrament and the Word of God."

"Now, it is true, as we have said, that no one should by any means be coerced or compelled, lest we institute a new murdering of souls. Nevertheless, it must be known that such people as deprive themselves of, and withdraw from, the Sacrament so long a time are not to be considered Christians. For Christ has not instituted it to be treated as a show, but has commanded His Christians to eat and drink it, and thereby remember Him."

Your issue isn't with me. Again, I haven't said these words to anyone: "you are 'basically sinning or at the very least in 'error.''"

Yes, if the church doesn't offer communion to those who desire it, they are "denying" and "withholding" the sacrament. You're free to draw whatever conclusion you like.

LM

LM said...

ABC,

So what about my other points?

Or is this like the Jesuits who, after being accused of killing three men and a dog, in their defense proudly produced the dog still alive?

LM

Anonymous said...

LM,

I'm quite amused by the way that you are able to twist words and sentences however you need to. You say that despising the Sacrament is a sin. You say that people here are despising the Sacrament. But yet you never said that people here are sinning. I love it! A=B and B=C, but don't accuse me of saying that A=C. Nicely done.

You remind me of my 7 year old son who says, "I'm going to kick my leg repeatedly as I come near you. If you happen to get kicked it's your fault. But I'm not guilty of actually kicking you!"

Zero credibility in my book.

Mike

LM said...

"You say that despising the Sacrament is a sin. You say that people here are despising the Sacrament."

Actually, if you look at what I've written, I've never said either of those things. (Though ABC said the latter). So, I guess that is where your sylogism falls apart.

If you would like to respond to something I've actually said, I'm happy to discuss this further.

But I have no interest in labeling anything as a sin or error. That really isn't the point of this discussion.

LM

LM said...

Mike,

Yep--I just looked over all my posts again--I did not say what you say I said. But it is okay. There are a lot of people posting on here and a lot of quotes. Sometimes it can get confusing. No big deal.

"You remind me of my 7 year old son who says, 'I'm going to kick my leg repeatedly as I come near you. If you happen to get kicked it's your fault. But I'm not guilty of actually kicking you!'"

Hmmm...clever kid. Is that a Simpson's reference?

"Zero credibility in my book."

Well, I guess I could say the same thing to you, Mike, based on your factual misrepresentation. But like I already said, it is of no consequence--everyone can read what everyone else has written (or not written, in this case). As The B pointed out on another topic, since we're not giving out our full names, we can't exactly complain that our reputations are being tarnished even if words we never said are put in our mouths.

So, no hard feelings, okay? And good luck teaching your son that if he intends to kick someone and voluntarily moves his foot in such a way that it makes contact with another person (even if it is not the person he originally intended), then he is culpable (I usually charge in increments of 6 minutes, but that one is free).

LM

LM said...

Mike? ABC? P? Are you folks still out there or is this conversation over?

LM

RNN said...

LM,

I'm still here. I am rejoicing in the opportunity to receive the gifts of our Lord in His most holy supper this weekend. I hope that this is the weekend that you also have that opportunity at your church.

RNN