Many rules have been developed for the Lord’s supper over the years, some applying to the participants, and some to the one presiding over it. One of the biggest interpretational mistakes the church makes is believing that one must be “worthy” (i.e. “sinless”) to participate in the Lord’s supper. This comes from taking 1 Cor 11:27 wildly out of context:
1 Corinthians 11:27 – Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
Notice the word “unworthily” has an “ly” at the end. This makes it an adverb, which modifies a verb. In other words, it is referring to the “manner” in which the Lord’s supper is observed:
1 Corinthians 11:27 – So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. (NIV)
This makes complete sense when you realize that the reason Paul penned the chapter in the first place was because the Corinthian church had turned the Lord’s supper into a common meal, even to the point of excluding people and getting drunk off the fruit of the vine (oops, did you never notice before that the fruit of the vine had to have been alcoholic in the first century?). Being unloving to your brother by withholding food from him, and getting drunk on the fruit of the vine while he has nothing is most definitely “not” participating in the Lord’s supper in a “manner” worthy of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. His point: Observe the Lord’s supper in a respectful way and make sure you are “discerning the Lord’s body,” not turning it into a common meal.
Rules for the Lord’s supper
- The person presiding over the Lord’s supper must give thanks and ask for the blessing in that order. If the thanks or blessing are not included, or spoken out of order, the supper is not acceptable and must be stopped. The prayer must be said again, correctly, prior to anyone taking the bread and grape juice.
- When breaking the bread, only one break is acceptable.
- Communion is a “closed communion.” The server must know who are members of the sect, and refuse service to any non-members and disfellowshipped individuals.
- If an off-church member baptized prior to 1975 is present, he/she may be served. I would like to know how the 1975 date was derived. I knew there was a date they used for when the so-called “off-church” “fell into apostasy” and lost the Holy Spirit (or the “candlestick” as they say), but I don’t know how Merie determined that date, or how she was so confident in it to be able to teach it publicly.
- If a non-member aggressively reaches for the Lord’s supper even though he/she is not being served, it’s better to let them have the Lord’s supper than to “make a scene.”
- If the bread accidentally falls on the ground, it can be picked up and the communion can continue with the same bread.
- Once the bread has been served and placed back on the table up front, it cannot be picked up again to serve a person that was missed. Same with the fruit of the vine.
- Servers cannot have any sin upon them which has not been “taken care of.”
- Partakers cannot have any sin upon them which has not been “taken care of.”
- If a woman cannot take the Lord’s supper because of sin, she cannot shake her head or speak to the server to refuse the bread or grape juice. She must remain still while the server holds the tray in front of her, because she can neither speak nor communicate to the server in any way that she won’t be participating.
- Any part of the Lord’s supper which is left over is considered sanctified and cannot be eaten afterwards. It must be disposed of.
- Servers must not speak too long at the Lord’s table. It is not the time for a “mini-sermon.” (That’s not making up rules at all!)
- Servers must be properly dressed in a jacket and tie.
- The bread must be wheat.
- Brethren unable to eat wheat must NOT partake of the fruit of the vine only. If you can’t do one, you can’t do both.
14. The bread must be wheat.
15. Brethren unable to eat wheat must NOT partake of the fruit of the vine only.
With the Lord's Supper it's all or none. It was decided that God's mercy is there for people who can't partake of it for health reasons.
Why isn't God's mercy there for a brother or sister who forgoes the bread and partakes of the fruit of the vine only?
Can a group decide where God has mercy and where he doesn't? Isn't that for God himself to decide?
I'm sure everyone gets tired of me saying "Wow," but…Wow. Come on, people…let's stop making up our doctrines out of whole cloth. This is clearly "teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
Your first statement is completely and entirely untrue. IT DOES NOT MATTER in what order they are said. Where did you get that?
I witnessed firsthand the Lord's supper being stopped and prayers redone for having being said in the wrong order. I even remember the discussions about this subject and thinking at the time how bizarre it was.
Isn't that bordering on repetitious prayer?
And I just your 10 statement is untrue as well. WOW!You know to see how out of date your information is a relief. Because your sins no doubt, took you out of the Church, you haven't been able to (nor allowed by God) to stay around and witness the growth of the Church. And while it may come as a SHOCKER to you, Christ realized that the Church would GROW in understanding: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the… Read more »
Anonymous Oct 9, 11:26. You are most emphatically wrong about #10; at least in the congregations I have witnessed. That teaching is alive and well… A woman is not allowed to shake her head or give any indication that she is refusing the Lord's Supper. Her ONLY option is to sit still until it is passed by her; no head shake allowed. In fact, back in the earlier days of the Stanton sect shaking the head was allowed and now the teachings have evolved to a stricter "no head shaking" policy. It is definitely not a universal church teaching that… Read more »
You said "Because your sins no doubt, took you out of the Church, you haven't been able to (nor allowed by God) to stay around and witness the growth of the Church."
I rest my case. When one disagrees with the church, the long knives come out and the personal attacks start.
FYI, I left the Stanton sect on principle, because they were teaching doctrines and commandments of men that could not be supported by Scripture.
Anon 11:26, let's test your theory. Would someone have been wrong to leave a 2rd century congregation because they were elevating bishops in their region over the local elders, or should they have stuck around and tried (unsuccessfully, as history will attest) to change the practice? The problem with your way of thinking is that you carve out great allowances for the church to maintain error, but don't allow the same thing to individuals and other church bodies. If individuals disagree with the church's errors (at the time) they are castigated for it. When the church reverses course and corrects… Read more »
Kevin,At first glance it appears that you know so much about the Church, but you show that you know so little. I am NOT mad at you, but I am sad. The Church does not having a governing body that makes all the decisions. How is it that you do not know that every single "decision" made at Mayweek is discussed before and after Mayweek? This is obvious if you are around the church for at least one year! The discussions are on tapes, sir. They are distributed to any and every member that would like to hear them.However, we… Read more »
I see what's going on. If I continue to point out errors, I am only educating you on the growth of the Church, and I shouldn't do that.
If you want to see the beauty of the growth- work out your salvation, and God will allow you to witness it. Until that time, I will let you all post silly, outdated and erroneous data.
I'll let each individual decide what's silly or not, but as for outdated and erroneous, I think there's been adequate input from people who were in the sect in all different time frames to show that the only thing that has remained consistent in the 45+ year history of the sect is that it has consistently changed its teachings over time. You call this "growth," and I might agree if you didn't refuse to give the same grace to other believers and allow them the chance to grow and change their opinions over time. You need to stop putting your… Read more »
In the Church is the manifold wisdom of God.
What is the Church? His body? What is body? The members.
No, this is not what that verse teaches. 1) Ephesians 3:7-11 teaches that Paul was given the privilege of preaching the "mystery" of the Gentiles' acceptance to the Kingdom, a mystery that was hidden even to "rulers and authorities in heavenly realms." It was the unveiling of this mystery through the Gentiles' acceptance into the church that displayed the "manifold" or many-sided wisdom of God. It is rather prideful to say this verse means that "in" your church alone resides the "manifold wisdom of God." The Catholic hierarchy made the same assertions of authority over its members hundreds of years… Read more »
Anonymous Oct 9 at 11:26 pm: What do you mean by "grow in understanding"? By what standard is something deemed an "understanding" instead of "doctrine"?
Anon 11:20AM: You stated, "You see Kevin, you have not learned the very principals of God. Marie, whom you obviously have a vendetta against, broke with the Church over Heaven and Hell doctrinal beliefs. They denied that the Holy Spirit dwells within us. If we deny that then it cannot work in us and if it cannot work in us, we won't make it to Heaven." I need to correct you here Anon 11:20AM. Merie was withdrawn from and cast out of the church of Christ for heresy, including usurping the authority of elders and men. Go read the "Moyer… Read more »
It's 2017 now and I can vouch that #10 is alive and well!
The fruit of the vine is offered to every member that is served the unleavened bread even if they did not partake of it.