Apr 252013
 

anglicanThe Cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the Lay-people: for both the parts of the Lord’s Sacrament, by Christ’s ordinance and commandment, ought to be ministered to all Christian men alike.

Still in reference to Communion, this is one that I would be pretty staunch on. I know many denominations disagree with this article. Please, explain why.

 Posted by at 4:00 am

  188 Responses to “XXX. Of both Kinds”

  1. Which denom denies the layity?

  2. Any denom that has a “closed communion” to believers only sanctioned by the denom. Lutherans for a start.

    See, Anglicans believe if you are a believer, you take communion, Anglican or not.

  3. Reuben – closed communion is not what this article is about.

    The Roman church used to only allow the lay people the bread and ONLY the priest would drink from the cup. The article is speaking against that practice,

    You also need to brush up a bit as to what closed communion is – I don’t think it means what you think it means. You do not have to be a Lutheran to take communion with Lutherans.

  4. Yeah, I read this as ministers can take it, lay people cannot. I didn’t realize anyone did that.

  5. If you are being persecuted, in a concentration camp, etc.. not sure what denomination is going to deny any believer the elements Lutheran or not. That is just my take. My concern more is what exactly is the distinction between the Layity and others that would cause even such a question to be raised. I lead a home fellowship and Bible study. We don’t celebrate communion together but I thought about doing it although probably won’t. What do people think?

  6. I think it’s a fine thing to do Andrew, especially if you have people there who are not in any other fellowship.

  7. I should point out Andrew, if this bible study is part of a church, you should definitely speak to the pastor about it first. Different churches have different views on communion, and you wouldn’t want to unknowingly commit a major violation.

  8. Josh,
    Yes, you hit the nail on the head. I am unsure what our churches stance really is on this. I should probably ask.

  9. Josh,
    And our church didn’t have a pastor for long time. New pastor now is quite different than previous pastor. But don’t see anything in our church’s bylaws or constitution or confessional statement that would prohibit this. But I don’t want to cause anyone to doubt anyone.

  10. Exactly, just to be above board. IF your church has a memorial view (most evangelical churches do), it will probably be fine.

  11. Josh, I think probably half of the attenders have a memorial view but I don’t really have that view. We are probably more reformed than most churches and would say probably the other half have probably more of a sacramental view. But most of the church is Chinese so its really hard for me to communicate these deep theological truths since my Chinese in limited. But I love my church and won’t cause division over this.

  12. Awesome. I love your heart on this. Question, if you are a sacramentalist, wouldn’t you need to be an ordained minister to deliver the sacraments? Admittedly, I’m a staunch memorialist and don’t know the ins and outs of how the sacramental thing works.

  13. You ask a good question Josh. I don’t know the answer to your question. I am a sacramentalist but not sure where it talks about being an ordained minister to deliver them in the Bible. That is the part I am struggling with.

  14. Michael says his position is different than either. It isn’t sacramentalist and it isn’t memorial. Maybe it is more along your lines.

  15. When I saw this article, I figured it was due to the RCC position outlined in MLD’s #3.I thought they still did that though.

  16. Derek. I think you and MLD are correct. This sounds like it is in reference to the RCC position.

  17. Is the reference to “men” similar to the universal mankind, or is this directed to men and not women?

  18. Very astute observation Alex. I what hope that it means universal mankind.

  19. “not sure where it talks about being an ordained minister to deliver them in the Bible.”

    Reason #1 for my being a memorialist 🙂

  20. Dare anyone disallow a lonely stranger to the family table?
    Those who are too busy, too distracted, too full of excuses to value the time and company create all the empty chairs that a generous host fills with adopted beggars.
    It’s only the hard hearted sons of privilege who hear of the host’s generosity and sneer at a banquet serving fatted calf to such outsiders they deem unworthy.

    The irony never escapes me.

  21. Our church does say you must be baptized to take communion and they do believe in believers baptism. However, there is no age requirement for baptism. Its a little circular but I can live with it.

  22. In my visits to an LCMS church with my beloved inlaws, the pastor has said to the congregation that if you are not LCMS you have to talk to him before taking communion.

    So it did not appear to me to be necessarily limited to people in the denomination.

    Maybe you have to give evidence of salvation, or be from Missouri, or something. Next time I will find out and report back.

  23. Does the RCC, or some segments within, still practice the witholding of the cup from the laity?

    Just curious as this may finally explain a situation from long ago which confused me. When I was in college and taking a Christian theology course, one of our assignments was if we were Protestant, we were to attend a Catholic service and vice versa for Catholic students (the student body was heavily Protestant). So there was a group of 4 or 5 of us from the class that attended mass on a Sunday morning at a particular RCC church and during the service they served the bread but not the wine. Maybe the priest drank the wine, but I can’t remember or even didn’t notice in the first place. None of us who attended knew the reason why this happened, nor did others I talked to afterwards. So maybe I finally have my answer. Not that it’s been a lifelong pursuit to find out. Probably something I hadn’t even thought about in years. But this article sparked that memory.

  24. PP Vet
    All you had to do was ask the pastor – he would have told you. He wants to know if you believe the bread and wine to be the true body and blood of Christ and he wants to know if you are taking the elements for the forgiveness of sin.

    This can also be an alert for you – so that you don’t accidentally commune with those whose beliefs you may despise and you can protect yourself

  25. Kevin,
    I just looked it up and found this article.
    http://catholicism.about.com/b/2008/04/11/reader-question-why-do-catholics-receive-only-the-host.htm
    That is just taking it a step too far IMO.

    I am gonna write up a thing here on how I view communion, how I see the memorialist view, how I agree with some views and how I differ. This is just to clear up any misunderstanding that all memorialists hold the communion in a low view. And not talking about anyone who actually holds to the memorialist view here, I just have heard some outrageous stories on here about the way some churches treat communion.

  26. My thoughts on Communion. No scripture references, just thoughts from a lifetime.

    1. I believe in the memorialist view. I can hear MLD already, “Does that mean you don’t remember Jesus throughout the rest of the week?” No, it is not what I mean. No Christian is 24/7 thinking of Jesus, lot of stuff going on in the world and distractions. What it means is that I believe that the Lord thought we should have a special ceremony for us all to collectively meditate on the sacrifice he made and the sins that necessitated it.
    2. I believe communion is holy. By that I mean, the Lord set it aside for Christians. It is special and should be treated as such.
    3. The communion is for all Christians. I have never attended a church that would deny communion to a believer. At the same time, it is for Christians and not for the world.
    4. Communion is always preceded by reading of communion scriptures and the pastor generally gives a short message on the meaning, the remembrance and asks that Christians examine themselves before partaking and even not to partake if you feel you shouldn’t. I spend the time waiting on being served meditating on my sins and thinking on the sacrifice my Lord made.
    5. I never just think of it as “cracker and juice”, but I don’t think of it as literal “blood and body”. I don’t think that the Lord is either literally present in the elements or spiritually present. I have the Spirit with me at all times.

    Just some thoughts from the laity.

  27. Agree with Derek on all 5 points, and I would also add the corporate element. When we partake of the supper, we join in fellowship with everyone else who has ever taken the supper. It’s an act of unity among the historical, present, and future Body of Christ.

  28. Agree with Derek and Josh. Paul says we being one body all partake of the one bread – so there is a horizontal communion aspect as well as the obvious vertical communion with our Lord.

  29. Thanks for the link, Derek.

  30. “I have the Spirit with me at all times.”

    Do you mean the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, or do you mean Christ’s Spirit?

  31. “Do you mean the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, or do you mean Christ’s Spirit?”

    Same thing.

  32. Josh,

    Do you believe in the Trinity? I didn’t realize the Holy Spirit was same as Christ’s Spirit or the Spirit of Christ. You might be right but I thought they were distinct. I am no expert though.

  33. Yes, absolutely a Trinitarian. It is one of the essentials.

    Yes, Christ’s Spirit is the Holy Spirit.

  34. Agree with Josh. Just one example is 1 Peter 1:11.

  35. The “trinity” concept is impossible to understand, it is complete illogic. Doesn’t mean it issn’t true, it just presents the contradiction and confusion that results as demonstrated by part of the conversation above.

    I think it’s probably true just inexplicable (my faith is such, though I don’t understand it and I can’t explain the concept with all certainty and understanding and I can’t resolve contradiction in how the concept is presented in the bible and by theologians…yet I accept it on child-like faith due to an innate desire to believe and to want to be orthodox).

  36. I don’t disagree with Alex @ 36 – I would just change it to – The Trinity is beyond my present ability to understand. I think it is logical, is understandable, just not by me at this point in my journey.

  37. Hope MTM can weight in. I always appreciate his insights.

  38. Josh, when I use the term “illogical” it is in the context of man’s logic and reason. I think we agree, we are just using two different definitions of “logic” and “reason”

    I would assume when you say it is logical and reasonable, it is in the context of God’s logic (though God doesn’t have logic, but I think you mean God’s paradigm which we can’t understand).

  39. No, I still mean Man’s logic. I think these things are possible to be understood during my life on earth. However, I am no where close to understanding them now.

    At 3 years old, I looked at letters on a page and thought “By Golly, that’s beyond my comprehension”. Within two years I was reading like a champ.

    There are things of the spirit that made no sense to me a few years ago, that I am now able to better understand.

    It just seems that The Trinity is one of those “further down the road” concepts. I’m not going to get it today or tomorrow, but if I live long enough, who knows?

  40. Josh @ 36

    As logic is a rule set established by man, to explain things to ourselves in a way we can comprehend, I do not believe God will ever be logical.

    To suggest God (trinity) is logical, is to suggest He can be placed in a box and defined by the human mind. I believe this to be impossible.

    Will we understand God and the Trinity someday? Possibly. If it is His desire for us to have that vast of knowledge. But is ‘trinity’ logical or will it ever be? No. If the day comes when we do ‘understand’ the trinity concept…we will no longer be dealing in logic imo.

  41. The trinity is apparently all three are one and all three are separate, two things that are inexplicable in our Universe. We have nothing in our experience and in this natural physical law universe to compare it to. That’s a fact. That is why I say it is illogical and not reasonable, not that it isn’t something that could be real in the spiritual dimension outside of the laws we are bound by in our physical existence.

  42. All I can say on this is that when I attended memorialist churches (which I did for nearly fifty years) I dreaded communion because I did not understand why we went from cheerful hymns and choruses to an upbeat sermon and then the lights were dimmed and the organist / guitarist began to play gloomy music and everyone got all serious. I used to think “something must be happening!” but the pastor assured us that no, nothing was happening, we were just going to “Remember the Lord.” Well, I hadn’t forgotten Him so I tried to “remember the Lord” in some different way, tried to ramp up my thoughts to a greater level of piety so it all would make sense but it never did. All around me people were closing their eyes and looking spiritual but I could not muster up much, myself. (Just being honest here, folks.) I dreaded communion because while it appeared to mean something to some of the folks, it meant absolutely nothing to me and as always during my evangelical years, it was one more thing that caused me to doubt my salvation. Yep, evangelical-style communion was a faith-killer for me because the partaking of the elements failed to evoke any special feelings of love, gratitude or thanksgiving towards the Lord. It was for me an empty ritual that was troublesome because it appeared to be having some kind of beneficial effect on *some* of the people but it had no effect on me, ergo, I was probably not a genuine Christian and I dreaded being reminded of this every month. I am just telling you how I felt at the time, not denying that some memorialists genuinely receive some sort of benefit.

    Now at Communion I hear “This is Christ’s Blood, this is His Body. It’s the Medicine of Immortality. Take it and be healed.” So I take it. Some mornings I feel more “emotional” about it than others but it’s the Medicine of Immortality no matter what my emotions are that day. I don’t have to produce some kind of emotional high in my mind for it to be real. It is real, outside of my mental gymnastics. It is the Lord.

  43. @ Crowned1 – I disagree, but it seems it would take us way off the course of this thread to really dive in. However, it seems that you fall in line with Kierkegaard’s “leap of faith” assumption? That in order for man to believe in God he must be willing to set-aside reason, and act in blind faith? I simply disagree.

  44. My only question with Christ’s Spirit being the same as the Holy Spirit is in regards to Christology and anthropology. Jesus was a man. If so, he would have a human spirit so to speak. But maybe my logic is wrong. Its hard for me to see how his human spirit can be the same as the Holy Spirit without bordering on some type of Monphysitism but to separate them into two spirits would seem to border on Nestorianism.. But if we go as far and say that Jesus had a human Spirit that was somehow united to the Holy Spirit in one person that I am adapt to think that Christ’s Spirit is distinct from the Holy Spirit. Just my thoughts. And you can shoot down all these arguments if you have anything better to chew on.

  45. Logic is over-rated.

    It’s useful to decide what kind of car you should buy or how to arrange the furniture in your house. It’s a useful tool for deciding mundane matters. It is without much value at all in the spiritual realm.

  46. Amen to Josh’s #32.

  47. Crowned1 said, “To suggest God (trinity) is logical, is to suggest He can be placed in a box and defined by the human mind. I believe this to be impossible.”

    Agreed.

    This is why, in my journey, I continue to be range-bound in a loop that goes like this:

    When I try to view truth and God through the prism of Logic and Reason, I become very much a Hyper-Calvinist (though recently I see the other side of that coin is Love Wins Universal Reconciliation).

    or, when I take a really strict view of truth and God through the prism of Logic and Reason, I end up doubting most everything under the God Umbrella.

    When I view truth and God outside of Logic and Reason, and rely more on emotion, innate feeling and child-like faith…I find myself believing in the supernatural and in miracles and in things we cannot prove or see.

    I really don’t know for sure what is true, but I “feel”…which then pushes more to the Mystical or the Charismatic, etc. When I turn off the Logic and Reason and “feel”…it’s a much different conclusion.

  48. Josh, again, you demonstrate a lack of understanding of what Logic and Reason is and means as defined by the Greek Philosophical Construct that created it. You are redefining terms and redefining a Construct that was created outside of Religion and is Universally accepted as having a certain set of rules and definitions etc. You seem to want to apply a different set of meanings to words connected to Logic and a different set of rules connected to the Construct.

  49. Alex @ 42 – I understand that, but I disagree. “We have nothing in our experience” is correct, but is a matter of perspective. It also implies that all logic is bound by what I personally have experienced. I have to assume that what I am able to perceive, understand, or figure out, is just a small portion of what is actually out there waiting to be figured out. Thus, unless I can claim 100% knowledge on all things, I have to leave open that the Trinity may one day be understandable, even in this life time.

  50. Josh @ 44

    I disagree with Kierkegaard. We could go deep into physics to prove why God exists…but to give you a short answer…science has already proven that matter & energy cannot ‘just be’…something created them ‘in the beginning’.

    The fool has said in his heart, there is no God. Because even with our limited reasoning capabilities…there exists proof of a creator of matter & supplier of energy that keeps our universe running at a ‘constant’.

    We can see proof of God all around us. We cannot see proof of the trinity concept anywhere.

  51. Alex @ 49 – Instead of insulting, show an example of where I’ve changed a definition. Thanks.

  52. Kierkegaard and many others who applied philosophical logic to religion/Christianity come to their conclusions based upon their understanding of logic and reason and the incompatibility with the bible and much of the essential doctrines of the faith.

    Presuppositionalists take a giant leap and accept as fact certain assumptions and THEN they attempt to loosely use Logic and Reason to create their apologetic.

    You seem to be in this Camp (Presuppositional). Logic “after” accepting things as logical which are not logical.

  53. “We can see proof of God all around us. We cannot see proof of the trinity concept anywhere.”

    1. Sure you can!
    2. Then you would have to say that you have seen (and by extension understood) every piece of evidence available. I think your perspective is too small to make such a claim.

  54. Josh, I didn’t mean it as an insult, I communicated it the only way I could and didn’t use ad hominem.

  55. We are not Vulcans. Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and are in communion with the Triune God. We do not have to apply exacting logic to the things of the Spirit.

    Who is the best theologian? He or she who prays.

  56. Josh,

    You stated you believe in the trinity as foundational. I agree. Do you also believe that Jesus was 100% man and 100% God as foundational as well? If so, do you believe Jesus had a spirit as does any other man in his human nature? Could I say Josh’s spirit or Andrew’s Spirit or Alex’s spirit, etc…?

  57. I guess the closest we can get to seeing a Physical World example of the Trinity is the Atom…but that still falls way short, and we can’t really “see” the Atom, we see its markers.

    An Atom is one “thing”…yet it is made up of protons, neutrons and electrons that are held together by atomic/nuclear forces.

  58. Alex, your 49 and 53 still show no support that I have done the things you accuse me of.

    Xenia @ 56 – I agree completely. However, I think prayer brings one closer to God who is the source of all true knowledge, and the closer one gets to that source, perhaps, the more mystery one will be able to understand.

    Again, I have not reached that point, but that does not rule out the idea that such knowledge is available.

  59. Josh said, “Alex @ 49 – Instead of insulting, show an example of where I’ve changed a definition. Thanks.”

    OK.

    Here’s a few:

    Trinity is not logical.

    Literal miracles are not logical, they defy natural physical law.

    Resurrection from the dead is not logical.

    Talking snakes are not logical.

    I could go on for days…

  60. Now, the one fact that keeps me from completely doubting when I get in that direction is that Theoretical Physics and many of their conclusions are not logical either, they assert that in other dimensions, other parallel universes, the natural physical laws are different and not necessarily the same as our natural physical laws…which opens the door for all sorts of whacky stuff outside of this dimension.

  61. “You stated you believe in the trinity as foundational. I agree. Do you also believe that Jesus was 100% man and 100% God as foundational as well?”

    Yes.

    ” If so, do you believe Jesus had a spirit as does any other man in his human nature?”
    That’s a lot harder to answer to answer. When I think “human nature” I think “sinful nature”, which Jesus does not possess. Jesus has a Spirit. It is God’s spirit, and has been around for Eternity.

    “Could I say Josh’s spirit or Andrew’s Spirit or Alex’s spirit, etc…?”
    I think so, but you couldn’t really say “Josh and the Father are one, anyone who has seen Josh has seen the Father”. That is the 100% God part of Jesus that we do not have.

  62. “Trinity is not logical.

    Literal miracles are not logical, they defy natural physical law.

    Resurrection from the dead is not logical.

    Talking snakes are not logical.

    I could go on for days…”

    Those are not definitions, and I didn’t say any of those things in this conversation. You accused me of changing a definition. POint out in a comment of mine in this thread where I did so, or simply apologize for being mistaken.

  63. Well parallel universes can not be proven and is strictly theoretical. But quanta mechanics is really cool especially when it comes to things like quantum entanglement which I think has already been proven. Some day maybe we will even have quatum computers that will be instantaneous. To me this appears to be outside of the dimension of time altogether when you approach zero processing time to compute.

  64. Josh @ 54 said “Then you would have to say that you have seen (and by extension understood) every piece of evidence available. I think your perspective is too small to make such a claim”

    Your making an assumption here that ‘trinity’ can be observed and that it leaves evidence.

    My argument is that you ‘cannot’ understand the trinity because how your brain is wired (your concept of how you might come to understand the trinity) isn’t compatible with what the trinity is.

    Let me give you an analogy. If you try to run a mac disk on a PC, you will get the error “Cannot read disk, not formatted correctly”

    Now, data is still on the Mac disk…if you have the correct software you can boot up the disk and read/understand its contents…its just the software on the PC doesn’t understand it.

    ‘Trinity’ is a Mac disk…our brains are a PC. That’s what I believe in a simplified format.

  65. In the context of Theoretical Physics, it’s very possible that the blinders are the fact we cannot “see” the other dimensions that are so close to us as to be skin (as asserted by some Theoretical Physicists).

    It is very possible that Jesus and the devil and demons etc are what some describe as inter-dimensional beings and what the bible describes as spirits or angels or demons or in Jesus’s case God incarnate with a resurrected glorified body, and that the appearance of Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration was an appearance in our dimension.

    The problem I see is that we don’t see the literal miracles and the appearances of interdimensional beings etc in our age. We get Benny Hinn and we get Dion Warwick, etc.

    I guess if Revelation is more literal than metaphorical, things will get whacky like the OT and NT times with all sorts of illogical manifestations of beings and all sorts of miraculous stuff that can’t be explained by Science, logic etc.

    The “New Heaven and New Earth”…possibly a translation into another dimension which Theoretical Physicists assert is already there as a parallel universe.

    Dunno, all highly speculative.

  66. Josh, you asserted the stuff is logical, which makes your definition contrary to the universally accepted definition of logical.

    Do you think the list I provided is logical?

  67. Crowned1, I think that’s as good an analogy as any. We are limited by our biology and we are bound by natural physical law of this universe we are in. God seems to exist in all dimensions, dimensions that Theoretical Physicists assert are there and real, but we cannot see them and we cannot know them, we just see their markers through mathematical theorem and through trying to resolve the paradox of origins and existence.

  68. Josh, the universally accepted definition of Logic and Reason is connected to the Natural Physical Law of this Universe we are in. In that context, the Trinity, Literal Supernatural Miracles, Talking Snakes, Resurrection from the Dead etc are by definition “illogical” and unreasonable.

  69. Crowned1 – what percentage of everything in the perceivable universe do you understand? 1% maybe? Are you still discovering, still developing, furthering you understanding? So, let’s say when you are 90 years old, you are able to understand 8% of everything available. How could you possibly say for sure that in the 92% of universal things that you don’t understand, that The Trinity is not one of them?

    And the MAC / PC caomparison is OK. Walking daily with Christ includes a “renewing of the mind” so who am I to say that over a period of time of having my “PC” mind renewed, that at some point it will not be able to read a MAC disk? I am just unable to make that statement of fact at this point. Limited perspective.

  70. Josh at 62.

    “but you couldn’t really say “Josh and the Father are one, anyone who has seen Josh has seen the Father”

    In a sense you could say Josh and the Father are one if you read John 17:20.

    I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me

  71. Again, Presuppositionalists claim Logic and Reason, but only after they accept a ton of illogical things on their face as claimed by the bible (things which are by definition not logical or reasonable in this universe which is bound by natural physical law as demonstrated by observation science many many times over).

  72. Andrew, good point.

  73. Anyways, I don’t want to get in a Logic p***ing match.

    Suffice it to say, for me (and many others)…the stuff isn’t logical or reasonable, yet that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

    I will (again) try to lean on my innate feelings and spirituality and try to turn off the brain so I can believe like a child.

  74. Alex, the only thing that we are talking about is the Trinity. Your tactic of changing the subject 100 times is not gonna work.

    “Natural Physical Law of this Universe”
    Perfect, because those are only tied to what we are able to observe. Funny that you mentioned an atom a little earlier. How did Paul the Apostle think the atom tied into Natural Physical Laws? Answer: He didn’t. He was unable to observe such things at that time. If presented to him the concept, he would not have been able to conceive of a world where such things are observable. He had a limited perspective, as do I. Because I am unable to understand the Trinity today does not mean that I will not be able to understand it later.

  75. “Again, Presuppositionalists claim Logic and Reason, but only after they accept a ton of illogical things on their face as claimed by the bible ”

    All you have to do is point out where I’ve done so. To this time, you have been unable to do so.

  76. The good thing is (for me) there is a strange paradox and duality regarding “doubt”. I cannot shake my doubt in the position of “No God” and “No Jesus”. I may doubt the pat answers and “our way is the correct understanding!” of God and Jesus…but my doubt in a position like Atheism that is so confident in “No God” is very strong doubt. Innately, I don’t believe that premise, even when I’ve tried to.

  77. Josh, do you believe that the Genesis account is literal and that a snake talked to Adam and Eve?

    If so, do you believe that is logical/reasonable?

    If so, you have redefined Logic and Reason as universally accepted in the context of philosophical logic, science etc i.e. the Group that defined the construct and defined its meanings.

  78. Josh, same goes for Resurrection of the Dead, Literal Miracles (water into wine, walking on water etc etc), the Trinity, etc.

  79. MLD #24 “He wants to know if you believe the bread and wine to be the true body and blood of Christ ”

    Thanks that helps – it would have made me feel awkward to have asked, since as a young believer 🙂 I actually have not yet decided what I believe on that topic.

    So I would have had to decline. This saves me embarrassing my in-laws by going and talking to the pastor and then coming back and saying I could not join in the communion.

    It all hinges on what the word “true” means. I will have to research what that means in the Lutheran tradition so that I can decide whether I agree.

  80. Josh,
    I am a little confused at your logic in 62. You mentioned that
    “That is the 100% God part of Jesus that we do not have.”

    Now I pointed you to John 17:20 where Jesus appears to be saying that just as He and the Father are One we will be one with them so to speak.

    Are you implying that we somehow become God?

  81. Alex @ 78 and 79. You have to change the subject (I’ve not mentioned any of those things) to get me to fit into the group that you classed me in. WE are simply talking about the trinity and our ability to understand it.

  82. Faith, by it’s nature is “illogical”
    Ask me if I care…
    “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
    (Hebrews 11:1 ESV)

  83. It always baffles me when Presuppositionalists attempt to defend such a glaringly weak position regarding Logic and Reason. I tried to defend it to the death many years ago…and even I couldn’t keep it up, it was such a weak position on that point (and I left it all on the field, believe me, I argued every known angle, it just doesn’t square with Logic and Reason).

  84. “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
    Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
    (1 Corinthians 1:18–25 ESV)

  85. Michael, do you care? I’m assuming no. Good for you.

    A ton of other folks care. I admire your ability to not think logically and reasonably. Child-like faith and leaping from the launch-pad of Presuppositionalism is a blessing (if the faith is real).

  86. @ 81 – How could I be implying that?!? Note the quote you posted…”That we do not have”

    John 17:20 does not say that we are one with the Father as Jesus is one with the Father. HE prays that we (the followers – specifically the 12) would be one, as Jesus and the Father were one. Two different categories.

  87. Yes, good example that backs up the claim I’m making above. The gospel and the bible is folly…from the perspective of Logic and Reason…and the bible itself confirms such.

    Josh?

  88. Alex, I assume @ 84 was directed at me, which is another point of you changing the subject. Here is your quote, the start of the discussion:

    “The “trinity” concept is impossible to understand,”

    I disagreed with that by saying we are in no position to make such an absolute claim.

  89. Does the heart control the mind or does the mind control the heart? I believe neither. There is the primacy of the Heart and there is the primacy of the Mind. Mind deals with logic and reason. The Heart deals with all the other stuff. Both were affected in the fall and I believe we were given a new heart and mind with re-generation but the old heart and old mind are still wasting away. That is just my thoughts for what it is worth.

  90. Alex,

    I’m at the end of this.
    While this is a game to you and you think you’re flashing brilliance, I see it as something that could damage the faith of someone precious in the eyes of God.

    It’s not going to happen here anymore.
    Go on with your atheist friends and enjoy…but I will no longer have you sucking the life out of anyones faith.
    For some of us, it’s all we have right now.

  91. Wow Michael, that was unexpected and quite a wrong (and sinful) accusation. I am offended.

  92. Oh man, I’m sorry. I thought this was a decent conversation. I realize the Trinity is off topic, but I followed it because it sprung from the original topic.

    I did not intend to contribute to a faith destroying discussion for anyone. My deepest apologies.

  93. For those of you with honest doubts about the Bible and those honest doubts are leading you into honest inquiry, I suggest J.I. Packers’s book “Engaging the Written Word of God”.
    It will be very helpful and you will find that you can trust the Scriptures…and the critics aren’t as brilliant as they think they are.

  94. Hey Andrew,
    I can’t pretend to understand it completely, but two times the Spirit of Christ are mentioned in the NT it appears to me to be in reference to the Holy Spirit. Especially Romans 8:9, which alternates with the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ and makes reference to the Holy Spirit’s indwelling. Sorry, no Trinity expert here. I don’t fully understand it and I don;t expect to until the resurrection when I will know fully even as I have been fully known.

  95. Alex,

    I’ve been quite offended by your mockery of the word of God and the faith once delivered to the saints.
    I’ve asked politely and frequently that you take it to your own blog or anywhere else that welcomes you.
    You have refused.
    Now, I have to step in.

  96. “John 17:20 does not say that we are one with the Father as Jesus is one with the Father. HE prays that we (the followers – specifically the 12) would be one, as Jesus and the Father were one. Two different categories.”

    “that they also may be in us” is what the text says.

  97. “I admire your ability to not think logically and reasonably.”
    You have a whole lot of people on your own blog to insult and demean.
    Let them deal with you,I don’t have the time.

  98. Michael, I have to take most of the blame for this one. If you look at Alex’s 36, nothing he said was wrong. He did some of his jumping around during the Trinity discussion, but it was all in response to me.

  99. ‘“that they also may be in us” is what the text says’

    Yes, but not One with us.

  100. And Andrew, I’ll gladly let you win this one. I’m not doing anymore off-topic debate right now. (obviously, nothing to do with you 🙂 )

  101. Josh @ 70

    “How could you possibly say for sure that in the 92% of universal things that you don’t understand, that The Trinity is not one of them?”

    When I reach the ripe old age of 90 (Lord willing), I believe I will have a 0.000000000001% understanding of the universe. The smarter I get, the dumber I realize I am.

    The reason I will never understand ‘trinity’ is because my mind is not structured to understand the concept. Much like the concept of eternity. Sure, you can draw an infinity symbol, use words like ‘forever’, or tell people you ‘will live forever’. But to truly understand eternity, if the Lord wills us too, our minds have to be re-wired to accept that timelessness is a reality.

    “who am I to say that over a period of time of having my “PC” mind renewed, that at some point it will not be able to read a MAC disk?”

    Because if you are finally able to read a MAC disk…you will no longer be a PC.

  102. Josh, believe me I am not trying to win. I really don’t think any of it is really off topic either. The trinity, the incarnation, etc.. are all relevant to communion. If not, I am not sure what is.

  103. Josh,

    God knows I have no problem with discussions of theological issues.
    I’m flat tired of being insulted because I believe the word of God and very worried that the continual assault on it in the name of “logic and reason” could damage someone who is already hanging on by their fingernails.
    There are many places online where the Bible and those who believe it can be mocked openly and with vigor.
    This won’t be one of them.
    Period.

  104. I have to take my son to the doctor and other pressing issues so I won’t be available to read the flood of Facebook posts and comments here about how unfair I am.
    Sorry for the inconvenience.

  105. Gotcha Michael, again I apologize for my part today.

    Andrew and Crowned1, I’m done with this for today except dealing with the “Of Both Kinds” article. No offense, just trying to be respectful of our host. Either of you can feel free to friend me on facebook and we can continue there. If not, that’s OK, but I’m sticking to the topic here for now. 🙂

  106. Hey Andrew, re: your #90, I would ask you to rethink your position on the mind vs. heart. The heart is driven by passion which makes many people do things that our mind knows is wrong. I can think of countless decisions that I have made based on passion and emotions knowing full well in my mind that these were wrong decisions and were illogical.

    I believe that faith is a condition of the heart because we can’t wrap our minds around things like the Trinity and many, many other faith related issues.

  107. Oh and Kevin,
    I don’t know if that is the official position of the RCC. All I know is that while growing up, I always saw RCC priests give the wafer, but never the wine. I also know that a lot of the 39 articles were written to address concerns the Anglican Church had with both the RCC and other Protestants (Thank Reuben for that, I had to look it up a few weeks ago). So when I saw the article above, my mind immediately jumped to the conclusion that this was what that was about.

  108. It’s your blog to moderate as you see fit. Praying for you and your son.

  109. “When you argue against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.”

    C.S. Lewis

  110. Josh @ 106 – Blessings to you brother. I, for one, appreciated your input and arguments for the validity of the trinity being definable by logic.

    Not only is the accumulation of knowledge & understanding other individuals perceptions on life a blessing…I also cherish the opportunity to discover how I can best relay my own conclusions to multiple audiences.

    Thank you for the civil debate and I pray you have a wonderful day.

  111. You too, Crowned! Great talking to you today! 🙂

  112. Praying for you and Trey today and always …May God give help and strength to endure, along with the grace we need every moment. You have never been unfair, to anyone here.
    My own two bits, for what it’s worth.

  113. Covered at 107.

    Sure I will rethink it. Do you have any suggestions for reading? The reason I believe this is because I know my own logic and thoughts as processed in my brain at times are faulty. This does not negate logic or reason it just negates my own brain being subject to the fall. Sometimes, I use my heart when I see a need in the body of Christ. If I were to use my logic and brain, 9 times out of 10 I would not give to those in need. My logic (corrupted) would tell me that why should I give if my giving is just going to be taken in vain and I would be used. I believe the heart and brain are equally important. I could be wrong and this idea is based more of my own experience than any doctrine. If what you are concerned about is this idea of sola scriptua than I am with you. I 100% believe in Sola Scriptura and not our experiences. I am only referring to our organic brain working correctly to process logic. Brain injuries, mental illness, emotional abuse and a slew of other issues all a result ultimately of the fall can affect ones ability to reason and think logically.

  114. And one more thing, when I see Alex’s name anymore I don’t even bother to read what he has written. His postings do damage, they undermine faith in the written word and I am one who is hanging on by my fingernails due to a family situation. I need to be built up and encouraged to believe and have faith in what has been written, including the mysteries and hidden things, even if I can’t adequately explain some of the loftier matters discussed here, I do believe in the ineffable mystery of the Godhead and the One who died that I might live. I am sympathetic to Alex, but as one who has suffered from an abusive parent, I can tell you that there is healing to be found and place where bitterness is replaced by a healthy respect for Gods power and knowledge that there is more to this life than we know. I don’t want to start anything with Alex-I pray for him as my brother, but sometimes his scorched earth policy makes me cry. There–I’ve said too much already.

  115. Catherine,

    Don’t give up on the faith. Jesus is very real. Read the gospel of John. It is awesome and its all about “belief” in Him. I don’t get tired of reading this gospel. Its amazing. Jesus only requires us to believe in Him. This belief really is a trust. Trust Him with your life. No one else has the words of eternal life. No one.

  116. Well Said, Andrew @ 116 – Thank you!

    Re: Gospel of John, I just read the intro over and over. So brilliant, and so inspiring.

  117. bless you, catherine

  118. Andrew, I believe that if you are going to believe 100% in Sola Scriptura, then it will be your heart that guides your walk. Furthermore, if you are going to take these scriptures as truth and literal, then it will be because of what your heart is telling you and not what your mind will reason with you.

    As far a the mind and heart being equally important, well that is absolutely correct but they have 2 different functions. As far as the “heart” as we are discussing it here, we aren’t talking about a blood, pumping organ but the source of spiritual life (kardia).

    In the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology by Colin Brown, he describes the heart as the seat of emotions, tranquility, pain, understanding and knowlege.

    I believe that it’s the heart and not the brain that causes you to love and obey God. If it were up to my brain to believe in God then I would have walked away years ago. When He took my wife home with Him, my brain wanted to walk away and my heart made me search Him more and that caused to love Him more. He is good because my heart tells me so.

  119. Thank you…Steve and Andrew…I love the gospel of John, that book captures the picture of Jesus for me and I see more perfectly Who He is.

  120. Covered,

    Here is a great verse advocating both the the heart and the mind.
    1 Peter 3:15

    “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”.

  121. Good word Andrew. For some things I need to think and reason with my brain and for the more important “God stuff”, I search my heart and trust that His answers live there.

  122. covered, to me its more like a chicken/egg thing. Which comes first the chicken or the egg. But I am not dogmatic about this.

  123. We give the communion to the whole family at the parents discretion.

  124. Rut-roh. Did Alex get the boot?

    BTW: whatever it’s worth, I never take Alex seriously, he has never damaged my faith.

    Many of his arguments are silly and something to be laughed at (ok, some are downright insulting, but that’s what you get dealing with a wild donkey). I never understood why Derek or anyone else gets so emotional over him, just ignore… outside of Bob Grenier, and maybe Steve Wright, he does not damage or destroy.

    I think people engage because they think they have answers to his tough questions. And by all means, they should try to answer them, maybe we’ll all be more encouraged and wiser for their answers.

    Anyways, I’m not cheerleading for Alex to return. But I think he adds to this community of misfits. 🙂

  125. Alex has never damaged my faith but I am always mindful of lurkers. I personally could not run a blog where thirty percent of the posts were faith-destroying. A blog owner is accountable to God. We all are.

  126. I have travelled the road Alex is taking before. I do not know him personally, but I too have wrestled with my faith in the face of logic & reason.

    If it helps…the best science & reason can do to disprove God is to place Him into a box and then declare “based on the box I have placed God in, He cannot be real”.

    But who are we (humans) to define ‘the box’? Have we ‘ascended into the highest’ so that we have the authority to fully define all realities? Of course not.

    Alex of course has to decide as I did, what he has faith in. Is it only in logic & reason? Or does he accept logic & reason…but also have faith in God and His Word? What he believes does not change reality…only his perception of it.

    Doubting faith is a tough season. Many of my church friends turned on me. And although my faith is as stronger than ever, those old friends want nothing to do with me.

    So now as I approach other brethren in love…even those struggling with faith…I remind myself that God commanded me to love my enemies. How much more so then, should I love His lost sheep?

    If a post is only filled with vitriol, non-response may be the best for some. For me, I love the challenge to contend for my faith. To share God’s love with others. To remind them that I am a failure just like them and that we all are in need of Christ’s grace.

    The mightiest work God has done in my life has been to destroy my pride.

    Alex could lash out against me, curse me out, tell me how dumb I am (I’d agree to that one probably) or debate with me on how flawless his logic is. I love him anyways…but more importantly God loves him.

    So what I would challenge Alex to do is not to ask God to “prove Himself to me”…but instead to “grant me the wisdom to understand truth”. Then dig into His Word and watch what happens. I have faith God will open his eyes, as He did mine.

    God bless

  127. I haven’t booted anybody.
    Alex has a very popular blog and can take those endless queries there in front of a ready made audience, or he can do as he told me he intended to and start another blog showing all the contradictions and foolishness in the word of God.
    There are innumerable alternatives to taking every thread here in one direction.
    We have 35 or 40 people who comment here regularly.
    We have another couple thousand who read here…and to some degree I’m accountable for them.
    “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.”
    (1 Corinthians 14:1–3 ESV)

    We need a whole lot of being built up, being encouraged…and being consoled.
    That’s not going to happen without faith in the Scriptures as being the revealed counsel of God.

    I have my own questions, doubts, and fears…my desire is not to prove that they are the “real” truth, but to find reasons for myself and others to live in a little more hope, a little more faith, and a little more love, despite them.

  128. I respect Michael for making the decisions if Alex got booted. Although this is not a church it does appear to be a community of believers for the most part. Booting someone from a blog is similar but not the same as church discipline. In any case, I haven’t been around long enough for all of Alex’s statements he made but if there is any similarity between booting someone from a blog and church discipline, I think it would be about restoration. I hope Alex would learn to tone down a bit and I hope Michael will set some very clear guidelines of what is acceptable questioning or behavior on the blog. Although this is Michael’s blog I think it would serve him well to establish rules of conduct and possibly add a few moderators to help if things get out of control. But what do I know..

  129. I have lived through long periods of doubt and, upon reflection, I asked a lot of questions during those times rather than making pronouncements. Pronouncements come from confidence, inquiry comes from doubt.

    I’m pretty confident of that. 😉

  130. Fil,

    Exactly.

  131. I repeat…I haven’t booted anyone.

  132. Michael: Fair enough. I was just asking because your earlier comment sounded like something bad happened.

    BTW: I wouldn’t think it was wrong if Alex got booted. You’re a very patient man and he got plenty of chances to stay within the lines.

    And it’s funny how everyone tells Alex to go to his own blog. I can’t imagine Alex acting this way on his blog. Methinks he acts out here because he knows he can. 😀

  133. filbertz @ 130 said “Pronouncements come from confidence, inquiry comes from doubt”

    I can Amen to that. Breaking my pride was one of God’s first steps in restoring me.

  134. If I recall Alex has even asked to be banned in the past. I think it was just a way for him to make a point for others to go and do likewise in their churches when someone hasn’t behaved properly. I think he may have even said that on this blog but not sure.

  135. Uh, wow…

  136. Xenia wrote “Now at Communion I hear “This is Christ’s Blood, this is His Body. It’s the Medicine of Immortality. Take it and be healed.””

    I enjoy that at the EOC too although I can’t take communion since I’ve not been Chrismated. It is joyful there and not as emotionally based.

    My own view of communion evolved over a couple of years. I was a pastoral intern at a startup church in OC where the pastor assigned me the task of preaching a short communion message. He was a baptist (little ‘b’) in theology and I was probably as well at the start on the subject of what communion meant. But as I started to reflect and prepare over the course of a year or so of preaching these short messages my view changed dramatically from “let’s get emotional and remember what Jesus did” to “let’s partake of Christ Himself”. I don’t think the SP enjoyed it as my teaching changed.

    He also didn’t enjoy when I told the Roman Catholic lady that she didn’t need to be rebaptized and that her baptism as an infant was just fine. Nope, he didn’t enjoy that at all – although it was the position of the denomination. I just think he wanted numbers…

  137. And I agree with the original statement. Communion should be both elements – the wine and the bread.

    Xenia – I forgot to mention the blessed bread in my last post. Although I can’t take communion at my church I can get the blessed bread. In fact, there’s a nice lady that bring the bread for me and my kids when we attend. Also they have the blessed bread at the back door. And that bread tastes really good. Specially good knowing it’s been blessed.

    The tough one here is the blessing of the waters. They go out in the winter and throw ice into the ice covered lake here. I did that once. It was interesting but I can live without it other years.

  138. I look forward to Pasca (Passover – Easter to the western church) where the EO church marches around the church building singing. Christo Anesti

    Check this video out. I find it a great blessing. It’s a flash mob in Lebanon singing Easter music. Really cool:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d26DSsQvFDM

  139. Just before Alex got booted I was thinking about his 79 . None of that is logical and that is what makes it so awesome. I am a logic and reason type person and it has not served me well at all in dealing with others. It makes me heartless, unreasonable and quite frankly a total ass at times. There is to much to know that we will not know in this life. Besides love doesn’t make sense and is not logical to me but I am sure glad that He loved me and revealed Himself to me. Now that is awesome and truly not logical.

  140. The EO practice communion in a way that is different than many if not all Protestant Churches. They put the bread into the chalice and use a little spoon to serve them together. They also share a common load and chalice unless there is more than one person serving communion (rare but it happens). I’m pretty sure it’s real wine, too.

  141. Mr. Tundra, I think I might have posted this wonderful video here myself last year. It’s the Paschal Troparion in Arabic.

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    Trampling down death by death,
    And upon those in the tombs
    Bestowing life!

  142. (It’s real wine for sure.)

  143. “We have another couple thousand who read here…and to some degree I’m accountable for them.”

    This is one of the most mature statements made here! Amen

    What if we all approached all aspects of our life the same way. Boy what a light on a hill that would be! (People read our lives every day).

    BTW I consider mush of what Alex says ignorance and not a very intellectual discussion at all about the scriptures.

  144. And here’s some soccer fans in Russia shouting “Christ is risen, indeed He is risen” back and forth. Who would ever think we’d see the day?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WotZUI2hurM

  145. MTM,

    Communion by Intinction is not just found in EO churches. I had it once in a Presbyterian church.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intinction

  146. Lutherans will do by intinction on some occasions

  147. Hey Josh the Baptist…..you respnded to Andrew early on today with the following, in response to his question about potentially sharing Communion at his home fellowship….see your answers below….

    “I think it’s a fine thing to do Andrew, especially if you have people there who are not in any other fellowship.”

    “I should point out Andrew, if this bible study is part of a church, you should definitely speak to the pastor about it first. Different churches have different views on communion, and you wouldn’t want to unknowingly commit a major violation.”

    Can you shed a little light on this for me? Are you really saying that one needs their Pastor’s permission to share in Communion at a home fellowship?

    What does not being in another fellowship have to do with it, as you suggest above?

  148. Xenia, that is mind blowing!

  149. MTM & X, two inspiring videos, thanks. This one blessed me:

    http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2013/04/14/at-105-mpls-pastor-has-no-plans-to-retire/

  150. 1Timothy 1:18-20

    “Timothy my son, I give you the following charge. (And may I say, before I give it to you, that it is in full accord with those prophecies made at your ordination which sent you out to battle for the right armed only with your faith and a clear conscience. Some, alas, have laid these simple weapons contemptuously aside and, as far as their faith is concerned have run their ships on the rocks. Hymenaeus and Alexander are men of this sort, and as a matter of fact I had to expel them from the Church to teach them not to blaspheme.”

    Another bible version says it like this:
    “Then you will hold on to faith. You will hold on to a good sense of what is right and wrong.

    Some have not accepted these teachings. By doing that, they have destroyed their faith. They are like a ship that has sunk.”

    And another version says it like this:
    ” Keep on believing. Do only what you know is right. Some people have not done that and they have stopped believing.”

    The way that I see it is this blog is for believers. Michael does have the task as a gate keeper to not let someone possibly poke holes in another’s boat by casting aspersions upon faith.

    Alex boat is dangerously close to sinking. He may be acquiring a mill stone about his neck if he is not careful. Jesus cares a lot about His little ones.

    Matthew 18:6
    But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

    Catherine is one of His little ones! She has clearly stated that she is holding on by her finger nails…and she says that sometimes Alex “scorched earth” policy makes her cry.

  151. PP Vet, hardworking old gentleman!

  152. He shall be placed under a large stone, until he is dead.

    Stone the heretic, say the chosen.

  153. Goose:

    Re: “Can you shed a little light on this for me? Are you really saying that one needs their Pastor’s permission to share in Communion at a home fellowship?

    What does not being in another fellowship have to do with it, as you suggest above?”

    I’ll take a crack at this since I have a little personal experience. About 10 years ago, I was at a CRC, but led a home Bible study that was not linked to any one church. When I offhandedly mentioned to my pastor that we were going to have communion, he was a little startled and asked if anyone from our church went. When I said ‘no’, he was relieved, and I found out that the CRC holds a position where only elders can serve communion. If said group was attached to our church, an elder would have joined for the evening and participated.

    At first, I was a little put off, and then I realized that the position was taken not from a legalese perspective, but from a deep respect for the sacrament and a desire to make sure it was done with the respect and reverence it is due.

    So, does one need permission? Maybe, maybe not. But if I knew that my serving communion could cause problems, I’m not sure I would do it.

    As for someone not being in another fellowship, they would be free to take communion in a small, unaffiliated group because they have not placed themselves under another authority, so it can make a difference.

    Hope that helps and that I didn’t answer for JTB too much.

  154. Interesting experience tonight. I noted that Alex has updated his blog today with a decision from the court to allow his parents to move forward against him for slander.

    I made one comment as to how I interpreted the judges decision and followed it up with a suggestion, not overbearing, not snarky, just my my own honest to God perspective. To which I was summarily and sternly warned to essentially shut my mouth or I would be banned and gagged from his site.

    That is so unreal and creepy to me, especially in light of how Alex has literally overrun this blog with his continuous and unrelenting arguments about whatever…

  155. no heretics here. perhaps some confused, some distracted, some misguided, but no heretics. Even if there were some or was even one, no stones would be thrown. I imagine there would be arguing, heated discussion, even some unkind words or labels…but no stones. Prayerful pleas, heartfelt communication, compassionate entreaty I would expect, but no stones. No, the stone has been rolled away. The Stone the builders rejected has become our cornerstone. He will make him who stumbles to stand. We won’t throw stones, but instead offer a hand.

  156. Filbirtz…that was awesome!!

  157. Hey Goose! I pretty much agree with David @ 154.

    I am a memorialist, and don’t believe I need a priest’s blessing to take communion.

    At a sacramentalist church, that would be a huge problem. Not knowing Andrew’s church, it would have been awful to advise Andrew to do something that would have gotten him into trouble.

    The other part of that is that I know a little of Andrew’s story, and was just trying to help him go forward in the most peaceful way possible.

  158. Josh,
    I appreciate your advice. I think it would probably raise some eyebrows if I had communion at our home fellowship. I have no problem from refraining from doing so. It doesn’t bother me at all. Now if someone stops me from having Bible study for no other reason that just because its not their vision than I may decide to leave the church. Just saying….

  159. Yeah, I know what you mean. Hopefully that won’t be the case.

  160. Passing by – you have been “ALEXed”
    No disagreements allowed on his blog.

    It’s the Alex way of the highway. Some of us were asked to take the highway.

  161. Passing by, unreal and creepy for having a moderator on a blog?

    I guess Alex is the Moses of his blog. But I certainly did enjoy that one vote I had for the color scheme of his blog. Actually we were encouraged to vote as many times as we wanted.

  162. Guys, perhaps you haven’t noticed, but this thread has been “ALEXed”.

  163. I don’t moderate the CC Abuse blog. Maude does. She is the HMIC. The blog Moses. If you don’t like it, submit a letter to CCAOF and we’ll get back to you.

    MLD was invited back, the reason I personally zapped him there was b/c he went after my brother Paul and the big brother instincts kicked in (if we were all in a room together when MLD took that shot, I would have decked him and he would’ve been picking his dentures up off the floor, instead he got zapped from the blog. I’m protective of my bro like that, so sue me or try to kick my arse).

    Some of you guys are freaks. YOU make it about me. I have opinions, I thought this was a “safe place” and a “hospital” and a “community”…that’s what I was told after thinking it was a CC Watchdog. Now it seems it’s no longer the safe place/hospital/community either. If I continue to participate, it will be anonymously as you guys are freaks and give my take way too much power and then you all freak out and make me a scapegoat and some sort of evil comic book villain like Dr. Evil.

    I’m just a regular guy with an over-active mind who clinged to fundamentalism, who stepped out b/c of a belief in fundamentalism (expose the deeds of darkness, rebuke them publicly, pastoral qualifications, help the weak against the powerful etc) that God would supernaturally act and miracle something, who became increasingly disillusioned and sobered by how un-spiritual things in the church really are (CC, the variety of denom/box/faith representatives on this blog, etc), and questions I have always had re-emerged stronger.

    I’ve always wanted to know what is true and what isn’t and have learned “truth” is about as illusive as pinning down a “correct understanding” of a concept like the trinity or a concept like M Theory (to pull and example from another box). Empiricism observes the low hanging fruit of what is true. Unfortunately the really big questions aren’t so black and white and not so testable and verifiable.

    I’ll go anonymous in some form as some of you just can’t handle the questions and challenges coming from me. I’ll probably wait awhile before coming back on.

    I hope the moderators and blog host will extend the same protection of my identity as they profess to do for others and will respect my wanting to be anonymous from here forward due to the freaks and weird stalker dynamic and even Michael’s turning on me for honest questioning.

    People are complex. Like I said, I get tugged in one direction or another in my Journey and I thought this space was the place hash those things out when they re-emerged.

    If someone wants the CC Abuse blog, they can have it. I should publish the pile of allegations I’ve got from CCCM insiders (shuffling a pedophile to South America among much other stuff) but no one would really care and the CC apologists would call it gossip and lies etc and me and my family would suffer.

    Love wins? Hardly. Money, power, influence and politics wins, every time.

    God has been absent. It is what it is. So call me names, ban me, mock me, blame your freakish responses on me, make it about me, whatever.

    Be glad I’m not God, I would have drowned all of you in the flood and started over.

  164. Actually, Maude is like my CC Board. I have nothing to do with anything. It’s not me, it’s my Board. Again, if you have a beef, send a letter to CCAOF and we’ll get back to you. Make sure to put down everything that you think is wrong that happened to you, name names, give specifics, give your personal information. We’ll forward it to our attorneys so we can prepare a defense…I mean we’ll pray hard and lift this up to the Lord and we’re here to help you and we are the accountability arm of the Movement, I mean blog.

  165. I went to Alex’s blog and was treated well. They were doing a thread that included information on the old booklet Larry Taylor wrote on the associate pastor. I brought up that Larry is not that man any more and the moderator added a note to the article that Larry would no longer endorse what he had written. The moderator also allowed me to leave links to articles Larry had written concerning mental illness and the suicide of his son. And the good news is people have been reading the articles and my prayer is they might make a difference in a person’s life. I was encouraged that the moderator wanted to be sure there was an accurate depiction of Larry as he wrote that booklet decades ago while acknowledging that booklet led to great harm for many.

  166. This will be my only comment about this – but I want it to be clear.
    1.) I did not “go after Paul” – I made a comment about Paul
    2.) Paul commented back to me a couple of times.
    3.) I made clarification to Paul
    4.) He accepted my clarification.

    We didn’t have to be friends, and “big brother” didn’t need to intervene.

    The End

  167. Do I take the bait…do I take the bait….don’t take the bait.

  168. Alex,
    Keep it real, keep on the journey, don’t lose heart, choose to believe in Jesus simply because it is the best choice you can make. You’re in the midst of real and honest struggles with the faith called “Christianity”. It’s, in my opinion, imperfect, but there are gems, for me, The4Gospels, Paul’s 1 Cor 13, many of the Psalms. I pick and choose. Feel free to pick and choose, holding on to what you can, honestly shelving the rest until such a time as you want to revisit.

    Wishing you only the best, today and ongoing.
    -g

  169. Full disclosure, Alex – everything that my former pastor taught is now suspect in my mind. I know the destruction that occurred in the spiritual lives of many after he left his mark on them. Funny, a pastor should endeavor to leave the love of Christ as preeminent in the minds of the sheep, but the battered sheep I have dealt with are left in shambles, spiritual crises, questioning their salvation, or leaving the faith altogether. You are not alone, buddy.

    You have been on my mind a lot. I think if many of us are honest, the rug pulled out from under us can knock us and our spiritual footing. Knowing your story and the countless stories I get and desperate phone calls from wounded souls, it gets to me. These stories never leave me. You’ve been doing it 3 yrs compared to my 1+ yr. What will I be like if I continue? I don’t know. How can one make sense of the insanity going on in the Church of all places. What in the hell is going on?

  170. I haven’t turned on you for honest questioning.
    I’ve had enough of every thread being turned into your personal diatribe against Christianity and faith.
    I asked politely, respectfully, and frequently and this is your response…the one you chose out of all the possible responses you could make.
    Yes, this is supposed to be a “safe” place, whatever the hell that means.
    It’s not safe for broken believers if every time they come on the site someone is attacking the little piece of shredded faith they have left.
    They matter as much as you do.

  171. Julianne, I think what is going on is that maybe we are seeing what the Bible predicted would happen in the last days. The love of many would grow cold. Apostasy would be rampant, etc…I think we are seeing all of it. Doctrine is very important. Love is very important. You cannot have one without the other. Alex is searching for truth. Jesus said, I am the way the Truth and the Life. This is what we need to hang onto. Its the only thing we got. Lets stick to the topic of the thread. Do you have any opinions or convictions on communion?

  172. Julie Anne,

    I’m in my tenth year.
    Between the end of the prophecy of Micah and the coming of John the Baptist, God was silent for 400 years.
    Silent.
    The Jewish faith survived because they had the Word and traditions passed down from generation to generation.
    Sometimes it seems like God is silent in my life and the lives of others here.
    That’s when I cling to the Word, both written and living.
    I’m just hanging on myself.
    Jesus didn’t lie…He said that it would be a mess until His return.
    Until then, we are to occupy, to show His truth in the face of the lies of the world, the flesh, and the devil…especially when all three are in the church.
    It’s not enough to just expose the darkness…we have to be lights in that darkness as well.
    It ain’t easy and we do so with various degrees of success and with sometimes we find ourselves as graceless and mean as those we expose.
    We repent and start over…waiting for Him to come and set all things right.
    They won’t be right until He does.

  173. Michael’s 171. Excellent. That was spoken from a pastor’s heart.

  174. Andrew: My background: My family flip-flopped from Baptist to RCC. From 5th grade on, I was RCC. When I was in high school, a dear friend gave me Keith Green’s Catholic Chronicles. I devoured them and they challenged some very important ideas that were already unsettled in my mind about Catholicism. I spent 4 yrs at a Catholic HS and took those newsletters to religious teachers (brothers/priest) and no one was able to provide answers for me. I spent hours in the very quiet library researching. No answers. I knew that if it was that hard to find answers, yet the bible spoke so plainly, something was amiss. From my sophomore year on, I continued to go to Cath. church to honor the faith of my family, but got spiritually fed at the protestant youth group and in reading the Bible on my own.

    That said, my communion beliefs are pretty run-of-the-mill. I believe communion is important and for all professing Believers, using both bread/wine (grape juice, whatever). I think it can be administered by anyone, although most of our churches we’ve attended, it is administered by pastors/elders.

    I’m glad I don’t have to go up to a priest who puts a wafer on my tongue. I used to get pretty grossed out about the fact that the priest may have touched someone else’s tongue and I might have someone else’s spit on my wafer. Oh, same goes for the sharing of the wine chalice. They would wipe the chalice after someone took a sip and then pass it to the next person. I remember when AIDS was just coming out in the news and I grossed out about that, too, thinking we could catch it from the communion cup. LOL

  175. Michael: Your #173 was very important for me to read. I’m going to copy it for future down days. Because I know there will be more of them. Thank you.

  176. I thought this thread was about how the Anglicans rejected the RC practice of giving communicants only the bread and not the wine???

  177. Julie Ann,

    I was preaching to myself as well…blessings on you.

  178. David @ 154 and Josh @ 158….thanks for your replies.

    Can either of you point me to some Scripture that supports the idea that permission from a Pastor/Elder or any sort of authority for that matter, is needed and/or is a good idea as it relates to someone administering Communion for others or someone engaging in Communion with others?

  179. I am way late to this party, and have only read about one third of the comments, but at this point have to say that the longer I know the Lord and read His Word, the more I have to agree with Xenia’s #46 and 56. There are just some things on which logic has no bearing whatsoever.

  180. test

  181. “Logic is over-rated.
    It’s useful to decide what kind of car you should buy or how to arrange the furniture in your house. It’s a useful tool for deciding mundane matters. It is without much value at all in the spiritual realm.”

    — The important Orthodox doctrine of the incarnation, that is, the divine Logos who became flesh, rendered philosophy and metaphysics irrelevant to our deeper knowledge of the divine truth. Christianity offers access to divine grace for the salvation of mankind through the resurrection of Christ. We cannot speculate about the Logos after the coming of Christ, who is the divine Logos in the flesh, and who sent the Holy Spirit to the world and “teaches us all things.” The mystical experience spoken of by the classical Greeks is abstract and conceptual. That is, in ancient Greek philosophic contemplation, the soul or spirit goes outside the body to be liberated. Philosophy plays only a linguistic role in Orthodoxy, lending the use of its terminology after the terms have been transformed and purified of their secular meanings, “Christianized” philosophy and culture, as Father Georges Florovsky used to say. A master of spirituality, a monk of Mount Athos, describes this point in the following manner: “Many of the Greeks tried to philosophize, but only the monks found and learned the true philosophy.” The Logos became flesh and revealed to humanity the divine revelation. He is the Truth and through him we can attain knowledge of the divine will. The metaphysical patterns of the philosophic speculation of the Christian revelation distort the divine mission of the incarnate Logos. http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith9284

  182. I agree with MTM’s quote

  183. i’m not sure if I agree with the quote. On some level it’s using words, putting them together into a coherent argument about what the limits of logic area. That seems problematic. Does the quote present a case that it expects people to believe/accept? Is that case itself based on logic? Any statement of epistemology assume logic works. Otherwise the statement can’t be made and shouldn’t be accepted. Does the ontology of the Logos negate the epistemology of the logos or is the ontology what enables us to speak about the Logos?

  184. “He is the Truth and through him we can attain knowledge of the divine will.”

    I don’t know that it is speaking of limits on logic as much as it is saying that logic is inadequate for the topic – in other words logic cannot go far enough. If that is a limitation, I can live with that.

    What one who would try to measure or apprehend with logic will find that this area is an article of faith, given in the revealed knowledge of God given as a gift to us in his written scriptures. God teaches us things that we would not know unless God taught us so.

  185. MLD, that quote at 182 and your 186. I had to read them several times to take it all in. Wow. Really beautiful! Thank you. I mix socially with academics and also learning disabled folks, and I have heard some of the most profound statements of faith from folks who can barely write their names. Intellectually, they are “disabled,” but by the power of the Holy Spirit, they have “knowledge” that is heavenly.

  186. Goose @ 179 – Probably too late to catch you, but I wanted to answer your question. I don’t know of any scripture that speaks directly to that issue. You could go the route of being submissive tot hose that God has put in leadership…that sort of thing.

    Again, I’m a memorialist, so that is not my take. You have to also remember that in many sacramental churches, scripture is not the only rule of law. They also use church history and that sort of thing. So again, not knowing anything about Andrew’s church, I cwas not able to tell him if it would be OK or not. Probably best to consult the pastor.

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