the weblog of Alan Knox

The Lord’s Supper…

Posted by on Dec 15, 2006 in community, fellowship, ordinances/sacraments | 9 comments

Since I posted my tongue-in-cheek look at what I learned about the Lord’s Supper while growing up “in church”, I thought I would post what I now believe about the Lord’s Supper. However, someone stole my thunder. Tim Cowen recently posted the following in the comment section (12/11/2006 10:34 am) of another blog. I think he explains the Lord’s Supper (LS) as well as I have heard it explained. What do you think?

Furthermore, the LS was not JUST given for the use of a local gathering. In the case of the LS, we see even a sadder misuse of this beautiful symbol of our oneness/ covenant with Christ and each other (I know it means so much more, please allow brevity here) To make the LS symbolize the doctrinal conformity of a group to the exclusion of others that ARE in the body of Christ, because of denominational and doctrinal walls, is in my opinion a concept that is totally foreign to the spirit of Scripture. Again, we have taken authority away from Christ, for it is His ordinance, and has not been given to a denomination or even a local church to be used to foster and propagate their particular denominational distinctives. The LS does not symbolize our covenant as “Baptists” but our covenant with Christ, the head of the Body. If a person is deemed to be truly regenerated by the Spirit and by the Spirit baptized into the Body of Christ, it would be a sin against the Body to refuse to break bread with him, because of doctrinal differences or denominational affiliations, (it is
valid to exclude individuals based on matters of discipline and gross theological error of the highest order). The LS clearly was not given to symbolize our unity as SB, or our unity as a local assembly, but to symbolize our covenant with Christ through His Blood. To make it an ordinance of a denomination is in effect rending that part of the Body away from the rest of the Body. Denominations may be a necessary reality, but when any denomination attempts to act as if the ordinances are theirs to the exclusion of the rest of the Body, they are in grave error. We should take the Lord’s Supper with all Blood bought children of God, even if they don’t see eye to eye with us on every issue.

The Test: If they are in the Body of Christ, we better break bread with them!


9 Comments

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  1. 12-15-2006

    Alan,

    What can I say?;-)

    As you know this is a distinctly different view of the nature of the L.S. then that which is commonly heard today.

    Who are the writers or individuals that you have read that have been an inluence in your thoughts.

    TC

  2. 12-15-2006

    Tim,

    Yes, it is a distinctly different view. I have read several ecclesiologies and theologies that discuss the Lord’s Supper: Hammett, Ferguson, Grudem, Erickson… I’ve also read Augustine, Cyprian, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Hubmaier, other Anabaptists, as well as many other shorter works.

    But, (and I’m really not trying to sound “spiritual”) I get most of my understanding of the Lord’s Supper from these authors: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, etc.

    -Alan

  3. 12-15-2006

    I did not have Hammet at SEBTS, I had several classes with Dr. Puckett. Is here still there?

    What is Hammets and Blacks view?

    I had systmeatic with Patterson. He would totally deny it but he definitly is a modified or neo Landmarker:)

    TC

  4. 12-16-2006

    I love this quote! Thanks, Tim. And thanks, Alan, for posting it here where a I was able to read it.

    What you guys are saying here is precisely the reason why I must add in a caveat whenever I sign the BFM, when it says, regarding baptism: “Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.”

    I personally think this is a perspective most Southern Baptists have not stopped to think about. And, if they were to have really thought about it, they wouldn’t have voted to include this line in the latest BFM. It is, in my opinion, a “holdover” from our Landmarkist heritage, albeit one that some, who still sympathize with Landmarkism much more than that with which I am comfortable, tried to “sneak in on us” in my opinion.

    If we begin to speak out more on this, who knows? Maybe someday, this anachronistic (and, in my opinion, unbiblical) holdover can be taken out of the BFM.

  5. 12-16-2006

    and a hearty amen…

    -Lew

  6. 12-16-2006

    Tim,

    When I came to SEBTS four years ago, Dr. Puckett was not here. I just had Dr. Hammett for a Ph.D. seminar in ecclesiology. While he is willing to question some traditional baptist views, there are others that he holds very dear. I respect Dr. Hammett greatly, even though we disagree at times. He wrote a book published last year called “Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches.” He is very close to holding a closed communion view of the Lord’s Supper.

    Dr. Black expresses his views regularly on his blog and on his site in an area called “Unleashing the Church.” I believe he is writing a book with the same title.
    I have never talked to him about the Lord’s Supper.

    -Alan

  7. 12-16-2006

    David,

    I agree with you that most Southern Baptists have not thought about this. If nothing else, I would love to get people to start thinking about this, and other aspects of the church.

    -Alan

  8. 12-16-2006

    I just discovered you are blogging from a David Rogers post today. I had tried clicking on your profile previously without success. Anyway, thanks for this good post. I have added you to my blog reader so look forward to receiving future posts. Thanks for today’s quote. I too think Tim says it well.

  9. 12-16-2006

    Guy,

    Welcome to my blog… or to “my place” as David calls it. I look forward to hearing more from you.

    -Alan