the weblog of Alan Knox

When the Lord’s Supper divides…

Posted by on Jan 31, 2007 in blog links, ordinances/sacraments | 11 comments

jps at Idle musings of a bookseller alerts us to the following quote by Andrew Murray:

Think of the church at large. What divisions! Think of the different bodies. Take the question of holiness, take the question of the cleansing blood, take the question of the baptism of the Spirit – what differences are caused among dear believers by such questions! That there are differences of opinion does not trouble me. We do not have the same constitution and temperament and mind. But how often hate, bitterness, contempt, separation, unlovingness are caused by the holiest truths of God’s Word! Our doctrines, our creeds, have been more important than love. We often think we are valiant for the truth and we forget God’s command to speak the truth in love. And it was so in the time of the Reformation between the Lutheran and Calvinistic churches. What bitterness there was than in regard to the Holy Supper, which was meant to be the bond of union among all believers! And so, down the ages, the very dearest truths of God have become mountains that have separated us.—Andrew Murray in Absolute Surrender

Have you thought about this? The Lord’s Supper was meant to unite us… bring us into communion/fellowship with one another and with God. Instead, that which was meant to unite, we use to divide. Something is terribly wrong here…


11 Comments

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  1. 1-31-2007

    Alan,

    Excellent quote by an equally excellent writer!

    Thanks.

  2. 1-31-2007

    How true … how sadly true.

  3. 1-31-2007

    David and Geoff,

    Thanks for the comment. I pray this will stop being “sadly true”.

    -Alan

  4. 2-1-2007

    Psalm 133

    How good and pleasant it is
    when brothers live together in unity!
    It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
    running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down upon the collar of his robes.

    It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
    For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore.

  5. 6-3-2007

    This has been a concern to me for years. Of late I’ve been wondering if it would be possible to invited all the believers in a given town to gather just for the purpose of communion. There are three churches in my town, and many travel outside of the town to other communities. I hear God addressing the church in Ephesus or the church in Phillipi but not the “churches” in those towns. Is this a crazy idea or one that I should pursue?

  6. 6-4-2007

    Anonymous,

    I don’t think it is a crazy idea. Pray about it. Talk and pray with others about it. And, do what you feel the Holy Spirit leads you to do.

  7. 6-4-2007

    Anonymous,

    Like David, I wouldn’t discourage you from doing anything that God leads you to do. I would suggest that you start by forming with relationship with believers who are not part of “your church” – especially neighbors, coworkers, family, friends, and others that you already know to some extent.

    David,

    Thanks for your reply to “Anonymous”. I think talking and praying with others would be extremely important in this.

    -Alan

  8. 6-4-2007

    Who is the father of dissension and division? I just did a quick search in the NIV on dissension and division…

    Proverbs 6:14
    who plots evil with deceit in his heart— he always stirs up dissension.

    Proverbs 6:19
    a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

    Proverbs 10:12
    Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.

    Proverbs 15:18
    A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.

    Proverbs 16:28
    A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.

    Proverbs 28:25
    A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.

    Proverbs 29:22
    An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.

    Romans 13:13
    Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.

    Galatians 5:20
    idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions

    Romans 16:17
    I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.

    1 Corinthians 1:10
    [ Divisions in the Church ] I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

    1 Corinthians 3:1
    [ On Divisions in the Church ] Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?
    5What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

    1 Corinthians 11:18
    In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it.

    1 Corinthians 12:25
    so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.

  9. 6-4-2007

    Bryan,

    It looks like Mr. Anonymous has brought this post back to life. Thank you for the passages. I didn’t realize that Scripture said so much (and with such negativity) about divisiveness and dissension. I can’t imagine that Jesus meant for the Lord’s Supper to be used to divide like it is used today.

    -Alan

  10. 6-19-2007

    Anyone care to join me in praying John 17.21 daily?
    “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”

  11. 6-19-2007

    CCMS,

    Thank you for the suggestion. I pray for unity often – especially for the unity of the believers that I know. That passage in John 17 is very interesting, especially when you consider what depends upon our unity – according to Jesus. Hopefully, I’ll blog about that passage soon.

    -Alan