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 Vol. 7, No. 4 

April 2005

Since You Asked

~ Page 20 ~

Image Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld. Please check our Archive for the answer to your question before submitting it; there are over 1,000 articles in the Archive addressing numerous biblical topics. Submit a Question to GGO.

Misnomers About the Lord's Supper

By Louis Rushmore

Image Dear Bro. Rushmore, I have a question converning the Lord's supper. There is a congregation that passes the collection plate in about the middle of the worship hour, after this the Lord's supper is passed. After the preaching and singing and the giving of announcements, just before dismissal prayer the brother making announcements asks if anyone needs to take communion (those arriving late) usually there is always someone who does. There is no request if they would like to give of their means. I believe when you pass the communion a second time to the late-comers it does not give them an incentive to get to worship on time (these are always the same people). Also, I am under the impression that when we do not do the five items of worship, we have not worshiped in spirit and in truth. Please help me to understand this better. Thank You in advance. A.R.

Generally, Bible students freely admit that there are five acts of worship that comprise the Lord's Day assembly: the Lord's Supper and preaching (Acts 20:7), singing and prayer (Ephesians 5:19; 1 Corinthians 12:15), and the contribution (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). It is true that Acts 20:7 appears to place a special emphasis on the Lord's Supper, yet the religious instruction (preaching) on the same occasion is not diminished to "take it or leave it" status. "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight." In fact, the verse and passage in which it appears imply a protracted amount of time allotted to preaching. In addition, there is no biblical reason to suppose that the other three acts of worship deserve less Christian interest than preaching. Doubtless, the Catholic Mass, where an emphasis on a corrupted form of communion exists, amounts to some extra-biblical baggage that has found its way into denominational churches and sometimes into the churches of Christ.

The "Truth" part of worshipping God in "spirit and truth" (John 4:23-24) leads faithful Christians to assemble each Lord's Day (Hebrews 10:25; Revelation 1:10) to worship God in his own appointed way. The "whole church" is supposed to "come together" for worship (1 Corinthians 14:23), that is, at the same time in the same place. No part of worshipping God in his own appointed way dare be reduced to "take it or leave it" status. However, an undue emphasis on the Lord's Supper often leads to a de-emphasis of the other four acts of worship. This is manifested in a number of ways: (1) Members leaving worship after communion, (2) Taking communion only to members who are homebound or hospitalized, or (3) Offering communion only to latecomers to worship. (Some elderly, homebound members, though, may request communion be brought to them, and as a matter for their conscience sake it should be taken to them--along with prayer, etc. as much as possible.)

The Lord's Supper is not some magical abracadabra by which anyone's Christian membership is validated until next time. Christianity is heart and soul religion that becomes the convert's whole way of life (Matthew 22:37; 1 John 1:7). Intentionally slipping in for the Lord's Supper or slipping out of worship after the Lord's Supper is hardly indicative of true conversion, and brethren who pose as enablers for this type of conduct are doing no one any eternal favors.Image

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