2:303 – The Law And The Doctrine
#faithbites #faithjourney Doctrine
Before we start, I want to apologize if this offends anyone. This isn’t meant to do that but rather to open a dialogue of searching, questioning, and growing in faith. These also are my thoughts and don’t reflect the belief of my denomination or church.
In many #faithbites, we have discussed the difference between God, Faith, Religion, Demonination, and Church. Today was another discussion regarding communion. It was started by a post not related to open/closed communion but rather who the church allows to have it based on their political choices. This quickly turned into a questioning of my beliefs vs what my specific denomination states. This was brought up because I am a leader in my church. It’s funny as I am the Lay Director of Witness, part of my responsibilities is bringing Jesus to the people.
The LCMS believes in closed communion. Many other denominations believe in open communion. For me, I believe that all who believe in Christ should come to the table in a place they are comfortable in. That may not be my church, because of our closed communion, but it may be in others, with their communion.
I believe strongly that the Holy Spirit is working in me to help me understand Jesus, and how we worship him on earth. Through my words, I am working in God’s plan. God never said it would be easy. Jesus actually said the opposite. With all that being said, I believe in what our church stands for and am learning more about our denomination every day.
- So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” – John 6:53-58
- Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. – 1 Corinthians 11:27-29
The Gospel of John clearly describes the purpose of communion. That it is the feasting of the body and the blood. That through this, you will have everlasting life. In Corinthians, it specifically says that those in an unworthy manner will be guilty and bring judgment on themselves.
I don’t know what an unworthy manner is. I know what my denomination believes and I am learning more about it every day. At the same time, I was asked how I reconcile open vs closed communion. The answer is, I don’t know. I pray about it. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
We are all sinners and learners. We come to the body and the blood to be closer to our Lord and savior. This discussion on communion is one of the many places where we question. I will add this to the list of questions I would love to ask the Lord when I see him. For now, I continue to read, learn, follow our teachings and become closer to the Lord. What tomorrow brings, only God knows.
Is there a practice of your church that you are not familiar with? Maybe one you don’t agree with or are confused on. Look it up. Ask people who are educated in it. Read the Word. Pray on it. The Lord will look kindly on those who search their faith and come to him.
Heavenly Lord, you have given us so many wonderful things. Your blood and your body give us everlasting life. We are blessed to come to the table. You also give us inquisitive minds to debate, research, and learn. Help everyone who questions something a church is doing. Help us to know that our identity is in you first. That you have a plan, a purpose, and a reason for everything. Give us the strength to challenge where appropriate and accept what you want us to accept. We know our worship is imperfect, help it to be acceptable in your sight. In your name, Amen.