Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Someone Who Gets It!

In our day of Styrofoam wafer Christianity, it sure is refreshing to come across someone who understands the issues at stake in our practice of the Lord's Supper. Russell Moore writes:

Too often in our contemporary Evangelical church culture, the act of barring a member from the table seems quaint or even meaningless. After all, who really cares if he is deprived of a wafer and a splash of grape juice?

Sometimes Christians in other traditions assume that all low-church Protestants take this kind of view, but that’s simply not the case. While disagreeing with the sacerdotal theologies of many of the older traditions, Baptists (before we were to this extent washed up in the riptide of parachurch Evangelicalism) shared with other Christians a common conviction that the Lord’s Table is a place of profound gravity—much more than the kind of “communion” we might have with the Lord and with one another while talking about the Holy Spirit over coffee and doughnuts.

This is why many low-church Protestants have shared historically with their high-church brothers and sisters the conviction that the Supper must be tied to discipline (1 Cor. 5:11). The table is not just an individual reminder of the gospel; it is the very locus of church fellowship, the place where we experience Christ present in proclamation and in one another. It is here that we experience a foretaste of the wedding supper to come, and where we announce those we hold accountable to struggle with us until then. The church is “recognizing the body” of Christ (1 Cor. 11:29) by defining the boundaries of communion at the table in terms of those who are in union with Christ and who are able, should they deny him, to be disciplined.

You can read the whole thing here. It seems as though so many of my Baptist, Presbyterian, and Bible church brothers look at me with blank stares when I talk about these things. We can't even have a meaningful disagreement because they assume that Lord's Supper has as much significance to Christianity as a Jesus t-shirt. They both proclaim Jesus, right? And aren't my personal thoughts of Jesus what the Supper is all about? And after all, it is the gospel that matters, not how we choose to portray it. Why should it matter who we allow to the Supper?
No, no, no, my friends. "It is the very locus of church fellowship."

1 comment:

Scott Aniol said...

I agree Jason. The climax of a worship service is the Table, where God invites believers to join with him in fellowship with his Son!