Monday, November 18, 2019

Church Leaders: You do not need to protect the Lord's Supper

Church leaders should protect the Lord’s Table in a literal, physical sense. That is, from those who might vandalize or mock the sacrament, or steal the elements, or encourage the thievery of the elements, such as that total embarrassment to my profession, P.Z. Myers (an old post, but he hasn’t changed his repulsive spots).

The protection should stop there. Because as we all know, God himself will protect the Lord’s Supper from invisible assaults. You cannot do it with any reliability, only God can, so don't  even try.

I do not grasp the concept of fencing the Lord’s Table from non-members. If someone wants to participate, then unless you have a threshold of negative information, welcome them. What is the threshold? I submit it is something like this: if you have enough reliable data that would, if they were a member, clearly bring them under church discipline, then exclude them. Otherwise let God take care of it.  You know, he has not actually asked for your help in this matter.

My question for church leaders is this: on judgment day, would you prefer for God to ask you why you gave communion to a closeted unbeliever, or ask you why you withheld it from someone whose sincerity you had no reason to  doubt? 

To me the second question is much scarier.


  1. Anonymous12:00 PM

    do you believe the sacrament is merely bread and wine? Or does a miracle take place?

    1. Both. The elements remain ordinary bread and wine. However it is more than a commemoration. Christ is more than a spectator. Grace is bestowed, and that's a miracle.

    2. (That reply from "unknown" -- and this one, well that's me. David.)

    3. Anonymous11:55 AM

      Are you saying that any visitor (non-member) should be allowed to partake? i.e. someone who has no respect for the sacrament? And by no respect I don't mean what some atheists have done but someone who just thinks they're getting a free snack.

      same anon

    4. Is that a joke? Do you think there are people who take communion because they want a free snack? At any rate if they are not obviously mocking the sacrament, then their sincerity rate would be more or less the same as that for members. In fact, I would say that a visitor who claims to be a believer might be more likely to be sincere than a member, since the latter might be there just out of cultural inertia.

  2. Anonymous5:22 PM

    I read your original post as non-Christians should be able to take Communion. Perhaps I was wrong.

    I mean people have no regard for Communion as a Mystery - perhaps just want to experience it for the sake of an experience alone.

  3. I cannot tell whether a non-member "just wants to experience it for the sake of an experience alone". Nor can I tell if a member is secretly engaged in some manner of gross immorality. It's on them if they come to the table in an unworthy manner, it is not on me.