Sunday, June 25, 2017

He chose poorly

For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself (1 Cor 11:29).

There are churches that fence the table because this is supposed to protect reckless communicants who deny the real presence. But if their interpretation is correct, shouldn't there be empirical consequences for communicants who deny the real presence? Why doesn't this ever happen?

If true, some interpretations will have observable effects. Some interpretations predict for certain results. If that doesn't happen, it ought to call the interpretation into question. 

This isn't melodramatic. Consider what happens to some sinners in the OT, viz. Gen 19:26; Num 12:10; 16:32; 26:10; 2 Sam 6:7. Or Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). Or the fate of Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:23).


  1. I suppose that this might be a reason that some pastors or priests cite but my experience has been slightly different.

    I have a friend who is an LCMS pastor and, not being a Lutheran or a real presence person myself, we've had conversations about this. His reason for fencing the table is to protect his communion not the communicant. He is excluding people who don't share the, in his tradition, orthodox belief.

  2. Without going into the details, when I was making my way back to Christianity I took communion in a very unworthy/arrogant manner. I had embraced a view that says the supper is symbolic and nothing more and anything more is just superstition. 24 hours later I was in urgent care. Either it was one heck of coincidence, or something more was happening. I didn't dare approach the table out of fear for another year and when I did it was with true repentance.

    1. It may not be coincidental, but it's not as if that routinely happens, say, to Baptists who deny the real presence. So if your experience was a divine warning or disciplinary, that isn't correlated with belief or disbelief in the real presence.

  3. Ecc 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

    It is not inevitable that sin will receive immediate punishment.

  4. I listened to a talk delivered by D. A. Carson today titled "The Lord's Supper" and I thought his take was fairly good. It can be found on YouTube in the first page of "da carson" results.

    I specifically liked the way that he directed his hearers to the commandment to "Do this in remembrance of me," which often plays second fiddle to "This is my body," in discussions like this.