Category Archives: Lord’s Supper

A STUDY REGARDING THE FREQUENCY OF THE LORD’S SUPPER

{Note: Due to the nature of this topic and my background, this post serves as an in-depth study. While not an exhaustive study that covers every little point, it covers the points and Scriptures that changed me. Therefore, this post will be much lengthier than my normal posts.}

Advertisment FinalIt was August, 2010. I flew to Toronto, Canada to participate in a formal debate regarding which day of the week Christians must meet. The man I debated was a former Senator of Jamaica, Mr. George Ramocan. He affirmed in the debate that Christians must keep the seventh day Sabbath. I affirmed that Christians must meet every Sunday and are only authorized to partake of the Lord’s Supper on Sunday. Nine months before the debate, I started my study with the subject of the Sabbath day. The more I studied, the more I became convinced that Christians were not obligated to keep the seventh day Sabbath. My studies were going as planned and the biblical arguments were stacking up nicely in favor of my position. It was then time to focus in on studying for my affirmative arguments which would set out to prove that every Sunday and only Sunday is the only authorized day to take the Lord’s Supper.

I figured it would be easy enough. How hard is it to affirm truth, right? However, I began to notice that the arguments that I had presented in my lessons in the past were not holding up to the scrutiny of Scripture in my in-depth debate preparation studies. I realized that it was much easier to affirm a belief and preach it unchallenged to a group of people who already assumed I was right. A formal debate does not give you that courtesy. I read multiple books, articles and debates hoping that I could find something to justify my position. I knew I had truth. untitledI just had to find the evidence. As each day came to an end, I became more anxious. I became afraid. What if there wasn’t a mandated day to partake of the Lord’s Supper? What if I could partake of the Lord’s Supper any day of the week?  No, I couldn’t be wrong. Was I that arrogant to think that I was smarter than all of the great brethren of the past and present? I called up my moderator and told him that I didn’t think I could go through with the debate because of the doubts I was experiencing with trying to prove that Sunday and only Sunday as being the only authorized day one could take the Lord’s Supper. He reminded me that we still had several months before the debate to prepare and that we would keep searching for answers.

Around two months before the debate, I decided to call Mr. Ramocan, the man I was going to debate, to ask him if we could limit the discussion to just the topic of the Sabbath day. I didn’t tell him why I wanted to exclude discussing about Sunday. I certainly didn’t want to give my “opponent” any reason to believe that I was questioning my own proposition. He replied by saying something to the effect of, “No, I want to make sure we cover both sides of this issue.” Great! Now what was I supposed to do? I only had one option in my mind. I had to study more. Within a couple of months before the debate, I finally found the argument that I was looking for. The argument went something like this, “The command to partake of a memorial meal or feast necessitated a specific time/day to partake. Since the Lord’s Supper is a memorial meal, there must be a specific day that the Lord’s Supper had to be taken. The specific day (and only authorized day) that we read of in the New Testament is Sunday. Therefore, my conclusion was that every Sunday was the mandated day that the Lord’s Supper must be taken. Case closed. What a relief! I had truth after all. The world made sense once again.

Case closed. Yes, this is all too often the problem with our study. We fail to leave cases open for continual examination. After the debate, I didn’t give this subject much thought. I had “won” the debate and proven that I had truth (on a side note, all formal debaters feel like they won after their debate). That pride stuff can be pretty powerful (Prov. 16:18). You see, I didn’t feel like I had a need to re-examine what I already knew. That is, until one day. You know how things randomly pop in your mind when you are not even thinking about them? This happened to me several years after the debate. I began to think about the argument that I used. Something occurred to me that I had never thought about before. I never proved my argument! I had only assumed it.

I immediately went back and pulled out all of my notes and slides that I had used in the debate. Sure enough, I realized that I gave absolutely no evidence or proof for the main argument that I used in the debate. The argument I had used was invalid. I was guilty of doing one of the things that I teach so much against, I had assumed my point. I just stated the argument as if it were a fact, I didn’t prove anything. When I went back to restudy, I came to realize that whenever God wanted something to be done or observed on a specific day, He explicitly said so. He always stated if there was a specific, appointed time. Below is a short list of Old Testament examples that demonstrate this:

Leviticus 23:4: “These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.”

Leviticus 23:16: “Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord.”

Leviticus 23:24: “…In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.”

Leviticus 23:27: “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement…”

Leviticus 23:34: “…The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord.”

Leviticus 23:39: “Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days…”

In advertising, there hasIn order for a day to be mandated, there was always a law, it was specific, it was explicit and it was clear. In the New Testament, however, it is granted by all Bible students that there is never an explicit law stating that every Sunday and only Sunday is the day that the Lord’s Supper must be taken. Unlike the Old Testament, we never read of a mandated day of the week that the Lord’s Supper must be taken. For example, when referring to the time that the Lord’s Supper must be taken, the New Testament uses language like “as often” (1 Cor. 11:26). This would have not been God’s typical way of mandating a day based upon the Old Testament knowledge we have of God. He was always explicit when mandating a day. Why now would He choose to be implicit? Yes, God can do what He wants to and if He wanted to mandate a day implicitly, He certainly could. But my position obligated me to prove that He did.

I continued to rehash arguments and test the consistency of them and I eventually found my past belief of binding the Lord’s Supper on every Sunday, only Sunday lacking in biblical proof. For clarity and transparency, I have outlined below different points and commonly used Bible verses for examination. I have provided my explanation under each section as to why my mind has changed on this issue. I do not claim any infallibility in my understanding and encourage you to “test all things” (1 Thess. 5:21). Below you will find my train of thought of where I used to be and what brought me to where I am now.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “MUST” AND “MAY”

From the onset of this study, I want to make it abundantly clear that I am not arguing against taking the Lord’s Supper on every first day of the week. I have always done it that way and I am currently doing it that way. I believe that it is a good tradition and that there are many good biblical reasons to do it on the first day of every week. That being said, we need to recognize that there is a difference in teaching authorization for what one may do versus obligating a law on others on what one must do. We are obligated to partake of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:23-26). However, are we obligated to take it on a specific day and only on a specific day? That is the question.

 WHERE IS THE LAW?

Gavel resting on bookIf I believed that the Lord’s Supper must be taken on every Sunday only on Sunday, I would be obligated to affirm such from the Bible. Whenever we as Christians attempt to bind a practice on another Christian as law, we had better make sure that God has bound it first. If God has “given no such commandment” (Acts 15:24), then I surely couldn’t make it a commandment. I couldn’t “go beyond what was written” and write my own law (1 Cor. 4:6). Binding where God has not bound is not a “safe” approach (Mt. 15:1-9, 13-14). Biblical authority is at the root of all we do, or at least it should be (1 Pet. 4:11; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). We have no authority to add to God’s Word and make laws that God Himself never made. The Bible says that “where there is no law, there can be no sin” (Rom. 4:15). In fact, sin by its very nature is violation of a law (1 Jn. 3:4). Therefore, if there is no law in the New Testament mandating a day that the Lord’s Supper must be taken, then any day would be authorized. Therefore, in order to mandate a specific day, I would have to first provide the New Testament law.

 THE FIRST PARTAKING OF THE LORD’S SUPPER

Jesus first partook of the Lord’s Supper with His disciples on a Thursday night (Mt. 26:26-30; Mk. 14:22-26; Lk. 22:14-23). I couldn’t deny this fact, but I had always tried to explain it away. I argued that since this was during the Passover it wouldn’t prove as an authoritative example. Furthermore, this was before Jesus died so how could they actually be taking the Lord’s Supper anyway? I reasoned that if someone wanted to find authorization for a day to take the Lord’s Supper, they would have to look after Acts 2. However, I found myself with many biblical problems when I attempted to explain away the example of a Thursday night Lord’s Supper.

Last Supper MormonLet me show you how unfair I was being with the text. I will show you how I believed every single element of the Thursday Lord’s Supper was New Testament doctrine except for the Thursday partaking. The bread used in Matthew 26? I believed that was New Testament doctrine. The cup used in Matthew 26? I believed that was New Testament doctrine. The prayer prayed in Matthew 26? I believed that was New Testament doctrine. The method of the Lord’s Supper found in Matthew 26? I believed that was New Testament doctrine. The purpose of the Lord’s Supper found in Matthew 26? I believed that was New Testament doctrine. The day revealed in Matthew 26? Well, now I believed that was…sinful? Wait, that didn’t make any sense. I was arguing that all of the components for Lord’s Supper, as revealed in the gospel accounts, was New Testament doctrine except for the day!  It began to be even clearer to me the more that I studied. Now, let’s move on to Paul’s instructions concerning the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians as he alludes back to the gospel accounts.

 PAUL’S INSTRUCTIONS: 1 CORINTHIANS 11

 Now that we have studied the institution of the Lord’s Supper and have seen an example of a Thursday partaking, I want to turn our attention to the writings of Paul. Paul picked up with the same example of the Lord’s Supper that Jesus left us with in the gospel accounts. I want to observe three points from this context.

First, Paul directly quotes (as New Testament doctrine) the example and words of Jesus (1 Cor. 11:23-26). If there was any doubt about whether or not this was New Testament doctrine, Paul settles the issue here. The very fact that Paul quotes this example to the Corinthians proves that when Jesus and His disciples partook of the Lord’s Supper, they were partaking of a New Testament practice. Some claim that the disciples couldn’t have actually taken the Lord’s Supper in the gospel accounts since Jesus had not been crucified yet. However, it must be noted that the sacrifice of Jesus was just as powerful when it was “foreordained” before the foundation of the world as it was when it was finally “manifested” (1 Pet. 1:19-21). Furthermore, God can and has established memorial meals before the event to be remembered actually happens. The Passover is a perfect example. The Jews were to begin the first Passover before God passed through Egypt. The first Passover began at twilight (Ex. 12:6). God didn’t pass through Egypt till midnight (Ex. 12:29). How could the Israelites observe a memorial meal before or at the same time the event they were to memorialize took place? Because God told them it was going to happen. The same is true with the disciples taking the Lord‘s Supper in Matthew 26. Jesus had already foretold of His death and His blood and told them to take the bread and the fruit of the vine for the same reason we are to take it. If the Jews who took the first Passover actually “observed” the Passover hours before God passed through Egypt, then why couldn’t the disciples actually observe the Lord‘s Supper when they took it just  hours before Jesus death?

New Testament doctrine began being taught and abided in while Jesus was teaching it (Lk. 16:16; Mt. 5:32; Mt. 19:9; Mt. 5-7; 1 Tim. 6:3). This included the Lord’s Supper (Mt. 26:26-29). Paul clearly taught that what Jesus and the disciples did on Thursday night (1 Cor. 11:23) was New Testament doctrine (1 Cor. 11:23-26).

Second, my former belief forced me into an absurd conclusion. I had to believe that Jesus partook of the Lord’s Supper with His disciples (which Paul states was a New Testament practice), on a day that was not authorized! I had to honestly ask myself one important question. Was 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 New Testament doctrine? If so, then I had a New Testament example of a Thursday night partaking of the Lord’s Supper. If not, then I had to conclude that part of 1 Corinthians was not New Testament doctrine. Was Paul alluding back to an example of the Lord’s Supper being taken on a Thursday that, if followed, would cause one to be lost? I had unintentionally rewritten 1 Corinthians 11:25-26 to say, “This do (but not on the day Jesus did it on because that would be wrong and sinful) in remembrance of Me…Therefore as often (Sunday Only, Every Sunday) as you eat this bread and drink this cup (but not on the day Jesus did it because that would be sinful) you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” I was guilty of forcing my belief into the text.

Third, I was faced with major inconsistencies with how I was applying the text. The reason that I believed unleavened bread was the only authorized kind of bread to be used in the Lord’s Supper is because that is what Jesus would have used on Thursday night during the Passover when He instituted the Lord’s Supper. So, on the one hand, I was using the gospel accounts to mandate unleavened bread for the Lord’s Supper, while on the other hand, I was arguing that the gospel accounts couldn’t be used as an example for authorizing a Thursday partaking of the Lord’s Supper. I was not applying my argument consistently. How could I use the exact same example to be binding one element (unleavened bread) while not even allowing another element (Thursday)?

The truth was that the disciples partook of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday and Paul used this as an example in the New Testament. Intellectual integrity forced me to conclude that there was an authorized, New Testament example of the Lord’s Supper being taken on Thursday. Let me also clarify that I do not believe that Paul was mandating a Thursday partaking, but he was alluding back to and authorizing a Thursday partaking (1 Cor. 11:23). Paul never mandates any day that the Lord’s Supper must be taken. The only imperative Paul ever gives is in 1 Corinthians 11:26 when he says “as often.” Paul never gives an imperative for the day of the Lord’s Supper, he only gives an imperative that it must be done.

 WHEN YOU COME TOGETHER

I used to argue that even though Paul never gives a specific mandated time for the Lord’s Supper, the phrase “when you come together” (1 Cor. 11:20) would necessarily imply every Sunday and only Sunday. Since this is when the church was meeting, they would understand this phrase to mean Sunday.

Ok, so I must admit. This was circular reasoning at its best (or worst). I do not know how I missed that. I wasn’t proving anything, I just was assuming. I couldn’t use the phrase “when you come together” to prove this means Sunday by saying that Sunday is “when they came together.” This is only circular reasoning and it assumes itself. This has to first be proven. Paul, in dealing with church discipline in 1 Cor. 5:4 says, “when you are gathered together…deliver such a one to Satan…” Does this mean the only authorized day the church can withdraw from an erring brother is on Sunday? If a brother is in a blatant and rebellious continual sin and the church finally decides on Wednesday that he needs to be withdrawn from, must the church keep fellowship with him until Sunday? Does this also mean that psalms can only be sung on Sunday and no other day since Paul instructed the church about psalms “when the church comes together?” (1 Cor. 14:26).

As you can see, this argument loses its consistency very quickly. The reason is because the phrase “when you come” or “but when you are gathered” was not a phrase synonymous with “only Sunday, every Sunday.” There is not a shred of evidence for this.

The phrase “when you” or “but when” and its equivalents are never equated with specific, mandated times. This phrase is seen as being a conditional statement. The word “when” literally carries the idea of, “when the condition is met” (Mt. 6:2, 6; 10:12; 24:15; Mk. 13:7; 1 Cor. 8:12; etc.). In other words, Paul is not giving a command on when to do it. He is teaching them how they must do it whenever it does occur or when it does happen. If Paul wanted to give a specific time and day for the Lord’s Supper, he could have. Instead, he simply instructed that it be done “as often” (1 Cor. 11:26). The word or phrase “as often” never carries with it specificity. There are several passages that state or imply that the church met on a regular basis (sometimes even daily) to fellowship, evangelize the lost, exhort one another, pray, sing, etc. (Acts 2:46; 4:31; 5:42; 6:1; 11:26; 12:12; 14:1, 21-28; 15:25, 30; 17:17; 19:9; 20:20, 31-32; etc.). Most of the instructions in Paul’s letters show that Christians would be fellowshipping and worshipping together often (e.g., Heb. 3:13; Eph. 5:19, 21; Col. 3:16; etc.).

So, thus far we have three New Testament books (Matthew, Mark and Luke) that show the Lord Supper being taken on a Thursday night when it was instituted and we have one New Testament book (1 Corinthians) that gives a generic command to partake of the Lord’s Supper “as often.” Not any indication so far of a mandatory partaking of the Lord’s Supper on the first day of every week. However, Paul did talk about the first day of the week in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 16:1-2). This will be the passage we examine next.

1 CORINTHIANS 16:1-2

When I came to 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, I thought I had found my “homerun” passage. This passage commanded Christians to assemble every first day of the week to give of their means. Certainly anybody could see that! Furthermore, Paul was writing to “all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:2). What Paul taught to the Corinthians, he had taught “everywhere in every church” (1 Cor. 4:17). How could anybody get around that? However, I realized I was neglecting one very important fact, context. I was called out on this fact and greatly challenged by a friend. There was a series of important questions that I had neglected to ask myself. Below I have simulated into one dialogue a series of discussions I had. Consider the back and forth on the subject in regards to the contribution in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2.

DIAOLOGUE ON 1 CORINTHIANS 16:1-2

Friend: “What was this collection for?”

Kevin: “Well, this collection was to pay the preacher, the electric bill, the Lord’s Supper cups, bread and of course to broaden the boarders of the kingdom (I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that prayer before the collection).” Of course, I missed the question. I answered by talking about what we do with the collection today, not what the collection was actually for back then. It was then pointed out to me that this collection was a “certain” contribution (Rom. 15:26). This collection didn’t go to any of their own needs or any of the congregational needs. They were taking up a special collection for the needy saints in Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:1; 2 Cor. 8:4; 9:1; Rom. 15:25). This was not the collection of the saints; this was the collection for the saints (1 Cor. 16:1). I then was challenged with another question.

Friend: “Who was commanded to participate in this collection?”

Kevin: “Well, the context is pretty clear to me that every church was to participate in it. Paul did write this to “all saints” (1 Cor. 1:2) and “every church” (1 Cor. 4:17).”

Friend: “Are you sure that every church was commanded to participate in this collection?”

Kevin: “Well, yeah, I am pretty sure.”

Friend: “What about the church in Jerusalem?”

Kevin: “Well, no they didn’t participate because they were the reason for the collection (1 Cor. 16:1).”

Friend: “So, the church at Jerusalem was not commanded to give every first day of the week?”

Kevin: “Well, of course not…but every other church was commanded to.”

Friend: “So, you believe every single church in the world was commanded to give a collection that would go to the church at Jerusalem?”

Kevin: “Yes, I suppose so? Well, maybe not.” My confidence began to dwindle with every question.

Friend: “If every church in the world gave a collection to the needy saints in Jerusalem, how rich do you believe the church in Jerusalem would have been?”

Kevin: “Well, they would have had quite a bit of money, wouldn’t they?” I began to see how ridiculous my conclusion really was.

Friend: “Paul never commanded all churches to participate in this contribution. Paul only involved a few churches (1 Cor. 16:1-2; Rom. 15:22-33). This was never a universal command.”

Kevin: “Ok, that makes perfect sense within the context. However, how do you explain passages like 1 Corinthians 1:2 and 1 Corinthians 4:17? Doesn’t this teach that Paul taught this contribution was to be done everywhere?”

Friend: “Well, we already established that not every church was commanded to give. Certainly the church in Jerusalem wasn’t commanded to give and to say every other church was commanded to give would turn the command and the purpose into an absurdity. What Paul taught in every church was the same faith (Eph. 4:5). He taught the same manner of lifestyle (1 Cor. 4:16).”

Kevin: “Ok, yes, that makes sense. But, isn’t this still a command for us today? Certainly you are not denying the pattern of sound words (2 Tim. 1:13)?”

Friend: “Do you believe that individuals today can raise people from the dead and instantly heal the sick?”

Kevin: “Well, no. I believe those miraculous abilities ended in the first century. It wasn’t something that was going to last forever. Wait, what does this have to do with following the pattern of sound words and the contribution?”

Friend: “This contribution was not to last forever.”

Kevin: “Yes it was.”

Friend: “You believe that these churches were going to continually give to the church at Jerusalem forever?”

Kevin: “Well, no. But, I do believe in following the pattern.”

Friend: “What pattern?”

Kevin: “The pattern of sound words. The pattern of giving on the first day of every week”

Friend: “Do you believe in following the pattern of giving on the first day of every week for the needy saints in Jerusalem so that no collections will be made when Paul comes?”

Kevin: “No. I believe in the pattern of 1 Cor. 16:1-2.”

Friend: “Does your church give for the needy saints in Jerusalem?”

Kevin: “Well, no.”

Friend: “Does your church collect money for its own needs?”

Kevin: “Yes.”

Friend: “Was the collection in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 even for the churches own needs?”

Kevin: “No. But are you saying that the church can’t collect for its own needs?”

Friend: “No, of course not. The church should meet financial needs as opportunity arises (Gal. 6:10; Acts 2:46; Acts 4; Acts 11; etc.). My point is that the specific, certain contribution of 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 had nothing to do with the church’s needs.”

Kevin: “Yes, I agree.”

Friend: “So, you agree that 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 was not for the congregational needs?”

Kevin: “Yes.”

Friend: “And, you agree that the collection was for the needy saints in Jerusalem.”

Kevin: “Yes.”

Friend: “So, your church isn’t waiting on Paul to pick up the collection and your church isn’t giving for the needy saints in Jerusalem?”

Kevin: “No.”

Friend: “But you believe you must follow 1 Corinthians 16:1-2?”

Kevin: “um…” So, at this point I was finally beginning to understand what my friend was saying. How could I claim 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 was binding when I wasn’t following it? I couldn’t use 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 to mandate a weekly giving without mandating what the weekly giving was for. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 wasn’t just a command to give every week. It was a command to give for the needy saints in Jerusalem every week so Paul could pick it up. If the command was to give money for the needy saints in Jerusalem and my church wasn’t doing that; then I wasn’t following 1 Corinthians 16:1-2.

Friend: “Did you know that this certain contribution for the needy saints was going to be completed in the first century?”

Kevin: “No, I didn’t. Are you sure about that?”

Friend: “Well, the Bible says that these churches must complete the doing of it (2 Cor. 8:6, 11). Paul was going to go pick it up when it was ready (1 Cor. 16:1-2). There is nothing more in Scripture about a continuation of this contribution, but only a completion of it in the first century.

EVERYTHING MADE SENSE

It took me several months before I would finally come around on that issue because I had always taught and been taught the exact opposite. But, everything made sense. Everything was biblical, consistent and logical. While churches could certainly give on the first day of the week, I realized that I could no longer rightfully use 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 to bind a weekly giving without binding what the weekly giving was for because that was part of the command. I realized that the command was temporal, restricted and completed.

I still thought I had some light at the end of my tunnel with this passage. Even though this weekly contribution was temporal and never universal, it still proved something! The church would have already been coming together on the first day of the week, otherwise, why would Paul have specifically said, “the first day of every week?” However, I would soon find out that the light at the end of the tunnel was coming from an on-coming train that would, once again, derail my proposition. I figured that since I could show that the church was already coming together on the first day of every week, then certainly that would mean they were taking the Lord’s Supper on the first day of every week, which would mean we would have to take it on the first day of every week. I must admit, I did notice myself taking several leaps of logic and assumptions to get my desired conclusion. Preconceived ideas can be hard to get over. Let me explain.

The first assumption I made was that the church universally was meeting on the first day of every week. While the fact that 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 may have proved that some churches were meeting every Sunday, it didn’t prove that all were since this was not a universal command. The second assumption I made was that the Lord’s Supper was being taken every Sunday. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 doesn’t even mention the Lord’s Supper, much less the Lord’s Supper being taken every Sunday. Therefore, I just assumed with no proof. However, I wanted to assume that those things were correct because it was what I believed. In doing so, I still had a big problem. Even if it could have been proven from Scripture that the church was meeting on every Sunday and taking the Lord’s Supper on every Sunday, there was still an obstacle that I couldn’t hurdle: An example cannot be a law!

I realized that even if all of my assumptions were true, at best I only produced an example of what the churches did, not a law of what Christians must do. I could prove many things that the church and Christians did. I could prove that the church: (1) met daily (Acts 2:46), (2) sold their possessions to give to the poor (Acts 4:34), (3) had a daily distribution for widows (Acts 6:1-2), (4) prayed on the Sabbath (Acts 6:13), (5) reasoned in the synagogues (Acts 17:1-3), (6) met in upper rooms to worship (Acts 20:8-9), (7) worshipped with many lamps (Acts 20:8), (8) preached until midnight (Acts 20:7), (9) fasted (Acts 13:2-3) and (10) met in homes to worship (1 Cor. 16:19). I could prove that the church did all of those things, and many more things as well. But I realized that just because I could prove what the early church did didn’t mean that I could prove it was a law. “Where there is no law, there is no sin” (Rom. 4:15). I could provide the examples of fasting, foot washing, meeting in upper rooms, having daily distributions, meeting daily and selling possessions. However, where was the law for those things mandating that they had to be done?  Even if I could have proven that the Bible did teach that the church partook of the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week, a command to partake every Sunday would have still been absent from the text.

I SPEAK NOT BY COMMANDMENT

I want to quickly bring up another point that is often times overlooked. There is a possibility that this giving was not even a “commandment” in the sense of being essential. The Greek word for “give orders” in 1 Corinthians 16:1 can also mean “arranged” (Acts 20:13, http://biblehub.com/greek/1299.htm). Instead of an essential command to give, this could have been an explanation and arranging of plans for the Corinthians to help give to the needy saints. Here is why I say this. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 8:8, says, “I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others.” Paul went onto say, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). Therefore, this information needs to be highly considered first before any conclusion is properly formed.

 AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW OF 1 CORINTHIANS 16:1-2

Aside from all of the above, there is a good possibility that 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 wasn’t even speaking about an assembly. When I first heard this view I quickly dismissed it as heresy (I had a tendency to do that with something I already didn’t agree with). I went back and read 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 and realized that there was no mention of an assembly anywhere in that context. I don’t know how many times my mind had automatically read “assembly” into that text. Furthermore, the phrase translated “lay by in store” appears to carry with it the idea of something done at home. Consider the following evidence from the quotations below (Joyce, http://haqol.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/is-1-corinthians-161-4-a-pattern-for-today-a-response-to-wayne-jackson/).

“Lexicographers and grammarians are supposed to be objective with the data.  The evidence is before us; will we let it into the courtroom?

 “The prepositional phrase ‘par eauto’; that is, ‘in his home” (389, The New             Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament).

 “Lay by him in store . . . By himself, in his home. Treasuring it.” (Robertson’s Word Pictures)

“Put by himself treasuring. Put by at home.” (Vincent’s Word Studies in the NT”)

 “On every first (day) of the week let each of you by himself (= at home) lay up, making a store (of it), whatever he may be prospered in.” “par heauto – thesaurizon, ‘making a treasure,’ describes each householder till at the end the accumulated store should be paid over.” (W. R. Nicoll)

 “par heauto–“with one’s self, at home, 1 Co. 16:2.” (H. K. Moulton)

“Concerning the reflexive pronoun ‘heauto:’ “reflexive pronoun of the 3rd person.  It is used 1. Of the 3rd pers. Sing. And plur., to denote that the agent and the person acted on are the same; …Of the phrases into which this pronoun enters we  notice the following: …par heauto, by him i.e., at his home, 1 Cor. 16:2 (Xen. Mem. 3, 13, 3).” (J. H. Thayer)

“Concerning para and heautou it says, “reflexive pronoun of the 3rd pers., …of  himself, herself, itself, …’par heauto, at one’s home.” (Liddell and Scott)

 “In his article on ‘para’ with the dative of location Riesenfeld says “cf. 1 C.16:2:   par heauto, ‘at home.’” (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT))

 “Concerning the preposition ‘para:’ “2. [with the dative it means] at or by the side of, beside, near, with, …1 Cor. 16:2.” (Bauer, Ardnt, Gingrich and Danker  (BAGD, BDAG)

“With himself, meaning at home” (The Complete Word Study Dictionary, Spiros Zodhiates)”

Church historian, Robert Banks, affirms the individual, free, home storing of  funds over against the temple tax: “…All marks it off from the legal and cultic character of the Temple tax.  There are differences between the two collections. One is voluntary, the other compulsory.  One is gathered at homes, the other at a central collection point.  One is paid to those within the Jerusalem community for charitable disbursement, the other to the Temple authorities. (P. 168 Banks “Paul’s Idea of Community”)

If Paul desired the Corinthians to give into a treasury we might expect, βάλεtw  χαλκὸν εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον/thesauron, or ἕκαστος ὑμῶν παρ’ ἑαυτῷ τιθέτω εἰς  τὸn thesauron τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον, if Paul meant to say “put money in the treasury box.” But there is no indication that there were treasuries in people’s houses. Paul says, “ἕκαστος ὑμῶν παρ’ ἑαυτῷ τιθέτω θησαυρίζων,” each of you set aside  (where) by himself, not by itself, and this was an idiomatic way of saying “ at home.” θησαυρίζων (save up, store up) functions  verbally; the money they are  setting aside (notice not giving or putting in) weekly is to be saved up, keeping  with each persons on income. In short, I do not see the slightest hint of a treasury  here—nor have I found any reputable Greek scholars to support such.”

This evidence seemed reasonable. The Greek language certainly favored an “at home” collection and not a collection done at an assembly. I only heard one attempted rebuttal to this. The alleged rebuttal argued that it was the decision and consideration of setting a specific amount that was to be done at home. In other words, this position argued that Paul was saying let the person make the decision and divide up his money when he is by himself at home and then bring it to the first day assembly. This attempted refutation was anything but convincing to me for the simple fact that the Bible doesn’t mention an assembly in the context. If the context doesn’t mention an assembly and if the Greek doesn’t demand an assembly (and would actually favor an “at home” giving), then why did I believe that 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 was speaking about an assembly?

The reason I believed that this collection was to be done at an assembly was because Paul said that, “there be no collections when I come” (1 Cor. 16:2). Paul didn’t want to have to go from house to house to collect the funds when he came to pick it up. At least that is what I thought the text was saying. Paul wanted to be able to come and pick it up so that no collections would have to be made when he got there. Therefore, if someone argued that this collection was done at home, wouldn’t that go completely against what Paul was saying in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2? I thought that was a pretty good argument. However, I had to ask myself who was doing the gathering and the collecting? The gatherings refer back to the collection and their saving of money (1 Cor. 16:2). Paul was not concerned with having to collect the funds personally. He was concerned with making sure there were no collections that had to be made after he arrived. In other words, Paul wanted them to be saving up incrementally so that they would have sufficient money gathered for the saints in Jerusalem by the time he got there, as opposed to the Christians waiting until the last minute to try and collect their funds.

In fact, the very purpose for Paul’s coming was “to collect.” Therefore, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 could not be in reference to what Paul would do, but what the Christians were doing. The collection Paul was speaking of in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 was not his collections, but the saints who were supposed to already have the collections ready to go when he came. Collecting money almost always meant selling something you already owned, converting animals or produce to money or collecting small amounts of money week by week (Acts 2, 4, 5, 11, etc.). Therefore, they could not wait until the last moment. Paul was in essence making sure that they were not waiting until the last moment to collect and was warning against such.

The other belief states that Paul was saying, “Hey, make sure you have all of this in one treasury because I don’t want to have to go from house to house to pick it up.” This explanation is almost humorous in light of the character of Paul and the immediate context for the following reasons: (a) first, churches were fairly small, small enough to meet in houses. Therefore, it would not take much time to go to the handful of families who had gathered monies for the needy saints, besides, Paul loved going from house to house to be with the saints (Acts 20:20); (b) second, Paul said he wanted to stay a while with them and that he might even be able to spend the winter when he comes to pick up the collection (1 Cor. 16:6-7). Clearly, Paul was not going to do a quick drive-by. He wouldn’t be in a hurry when he came; (c) third, as per the information above, the collection in view is not the one Paul would be doing, but the ones the Christians would be doing. The other view has Paul saying that he was not going to be doing the very thing he was coming to do (namely, to collect funds, 1 Cor. 16:2)! In other words, the other view states that Paul wasn’t coming to collect the funds when the whole purpose of Paul coming was to collect the funds.

This explanation was not only plausible but was very possible, especially in light of the Greek words and the immediate context. If this position was accepted as truth, then there would be no implication of an assembly in this verse. Instead, there would only be instructions as to how the Christians were to save up some of their money at the beginning of each week. Certainly this would be true purposeful giving (2 Cor. 9:7).

Either way, even if one refuses to accept this view and still believes that Christians did gather to give, then this still would only leave us with an example by implication that the church met on Sundays, not a law mandating that it was or is necessary or obligatory to meet on Sundays. At best, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 would be an implication of fact, not a directive of law, which I do not even believe that could be proven based upon the information above.

At this point, I realized that my verses which supposedly proved my position were quickly running out. So far I not only lacked a law mandating the Lord’s Supper to be taken every Sunday only on Sunday, but I didn’t even have any Bible that spoke about the Lord’s Supper even being taken on Sunday. I had three New Testament books that were in favor of authorizing a Thursday partaking (Matthew, Mark and Luke), one New Testament book that authorized a partaking whenever the churches chose to partake (1 Corinthians), the same New Testament book referencing the Thursday night partaking of the Lord’s Supper and one verse that spoke of a collection being gathered on Sunday. Of course, there are still a couple of passages that we haven’t dealt with that are found in the book of Acts.

 BINDING EXAMPLES? ACTS 2:42 AND ACTS 20:7

Leave a Reply Cancel replyI had always taught and believed that Acts 20:7 was our “binding example” mandating every Sunday and only Sunday as the appointed day that the Lord’s Supper must be taken because it was when the disciples came together to break bread. I also paralleled Acts 2:42 with Acts 20:7. Furthermore, Paul was hurrying to get to Jerusalem, yet he stayed at Troas to take the Lord’s Supper with the disciples on Sunday (Acts 20:16). Clearly this provided us with a mandated day, Sunday. This reasoning pacified me for a long time because I never even challenged it. Isn’t it ironic how we often times assume our belief to be correct because it is never challenged? However, as I studied this argument, I noticed that this line of reasoning had many flaws and inconsistencies.

On a side note, I am still not even fully convinced that we can even prove that the “breaking of bread” in Acts 20:7 is even in reference to the Lord’s Supper because the phrase “break bread” can also mean a common meal (Jer. 16:7; Lk. 24:30, 35; Acts 27:34-35; etc.). However, I do not want to make that a point of contention here because it doesn’t affect why I changed my view. Therefore, I will assume that Acts 2:42 and Acts 20:7 are speaking of the Lord’s Supper. With that in mind, here are the problems that I just couldn’t ignore and the reasons why I believe that Acts 2:42 and Acts 20:7 cannot be used to bind a frequency of the Lord’s Supper.

First, an example in and of itself can never be binding. Positive examples authorize practices, but they do not obligate practices. I used to apply passages such as 1 Cor. 11:1; 1 Cor. 4:16; Phil. 3:17 and 1 Thess. 1:6 to teach that examples were binding laws. However, I realized that these passages were in reference to imitating lifestyle, not specific details. You see, there are plenty of “examples” that we do not bind such as: meeting daily (Acts 2:46), fasting (Acts 14:23; 1 Cor. 7:5), selling of possessions to give to the poor (Acts 2:45; 4:34; etc.), washing feet (Jn. 13:14), preaching until midnight (Acts 20:7), using many lamps to worship (Acts 20:8), meeting in an upper room to worship (Acts 20:8), praying on the Sabbath day (Acts 16:13), singing hymns at midnight (Acts 16:25), being baptized in a river (Acts 8:36), meeting in homes to worship  (1 Cor. 16:19), preaching in synagogues on the Sabbath (Acts 17:1-3), etc. This list could literally go on and on. The fact is that the above examples by themselves were authorized, but they were are not binding or mandatory.

Second, this way of applying Scripture is chaotic and inconsistent. I saw the glaring inconsistency of how I was applying this logic. If I argued that examples were binding, then I would also have to argue that they are all binding. If not, why not? If I believed that some examples were binding while others were not, then I would have to provide the biblical method of how to gauge the difference. Why was I binding the example of Acts 20:7 as a mandatory law, while leaving these other examples mentioned above to be nothing more than optional? On what biblical basis was I deciding which examples I was going to bind? There was none! I was simply picking and choosing.

Third, an example is not binding when it has a background command. Among many books, I read Thomas Warren’s book entitled, “When is an Example Binding?” Warren argued that we can know if an example (or “account of action”) is binding through logic and proper reason (p.165). Yet, this doesn’t answer the question. He assumes his position and then calls it logic and reason without explaining the logic and reason that led him to his conclusion. I was also taught in the Church of Christ preaching school that I went to that an example is binding if it had a background command. While this initially sounded like good reasoning, it fell short when put to the test. For example, James 1:27 is a command to help widows. Acts 6:1-5 is an example of the Christians having a daily distribution to help widows. Thus, does Acts 6:1-5 provide a binding example that proves we must have a daily distribution to help widows? While Acts 6:1-5 is an example and something we can do today, it is not something we must do because it isn’t a law. An example showing the frequency of helping widows in Acts 6:1-5 didn’t mandate the frequency. But, isn’t that exactly what I was arguing for in Acts 20:7? Both passages had background commands, both passages were authorized examples and both passages had a frequency. Yet, why was I only binding the frequency of Acts 20:7 as law but not Acts 6:1-5? I was using the same criteria but applying it differently. I realized I wasn’t dealing fairly with the texts. When I was growing up, my family would sometimes go and play mini-golf. If I didn’t do very well, I would pick up the ball and say, “That one didn’t count.” Suddenly in my studies I felt like a kid again reading the New Testament and picking which “examples” were law and which ones “didn’t count.”

These examples could be multiplied. For example, we are commanded to meet (background command), but we claim the example of meeting in an upper room isn’t binding. We are commanded to give (background command), but we claim the examples of selling possessions in order to give aren’t binding. We are commanded to sing (background command), but we claim that the example of singing at midnight isn’t binding. We are commanded to preach/teach (background command), but we claim the examples of teaching/preaching on the Sabbath in the synagogues aren’t binding.

Can an example ever be binding without a law? Can an example in and of itself ever be a law? If some examples in and of themselves were laws while other examples in and of themselves were not laws, how do we identify the difference? How do we gauge such? 1221951_to_sign_a_contract_2.jpgThese were all questions that couldn’t be answered. I realized that an example in and of itself did not and cannot make a law. Examples are not binding. Proving the church met on Sunday to partake of the Lord’s Supper didn’t provide a law any more than showing that Christians had a daily distribution provided a law to have a daily distribution. When considering the evidence, I realized that I could no longer use Acts 2:42 and Acts 20:7 to bind an every Sunday, only Sunday partaking of the Lord’s Supper because it wasn’t a law; it was only an example.

 REVELATION 1:10: THE LORD’S DAY

In my preparation for the debate, I had read where some argued that the “Lord’s Day” was Sunday. Thus, we needed to come together on Sunday. I always struggled with this because the Bible never calls Sunday the “Lord’s Day.” It wasn’t until around the middle of the second century that the first day of the week began being called “the Lord’s day” (The Gospel of Peter, 35, 50; etc.). I had a hard time putting significance in a phrase that is never defined by Scripture and then mandating a law based upon that significance when that phrase is only used once. This is what the Mormons have done to the phrase “baptize for the dead” (1 Cor. 15:29). I cautioned working with phrases used only one time and building some sort of pattern or doctrine from it. The phrase “Lord’s Day” has rendered many conflicting conclusions because there is just not much context to work with. The Sabbath keepers believe that this has to be the Sabbath because of passages such as Isaiah 58:13 that call the Sabbath the Lord’s “holy day.” Jesus was even spoken of as being “Lord over the Sabbath” (Mt. 12:8). If anyone was going to form a doctrine based upon this one verse, which I didn’t believe should be done, the Sabbath keepers did have an edge. Obviously, my point is not that the Sabbath keepers have it right; my point is that we cannot make doctrines, much less mandate worship days with an ambiguous phrase.

When I studied this passage in 2010, I came to the conclusion that John probably wasn’t even referencing any specific day of the week. He was more than likely speaking of the coming judgment and proclamation of God. You see, the phrase “Lord’s day” was not used anywhere else is Scripture, but the phrase “day of the Lord” was used quite a bit. This phrase was used to reference coming judgment and proclamation (see: Zech 14; Isa. 2:12; 13:6, 9; Jer. 46:10; Ezek. 13:5; 30:3; Joel 1:15; Obd. 1:15; Zech 14:1; 1 Cor. 5:5; 2 Cor. 1:14; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Pet. 3:10; etc.).

John_on_PatmosWhat was John’s ultimate message in Revelation? Reward for the faithful and destruction/judgment for the wicked (Rev. 20:11-21:27). God gave John a vision in which he was able to see the coming judgment and tell us about it. I believe this conclusion not only harmonized with the context of the book of Revelation, but it also harmonized with how the phrase “The day of the Lord” was used elsewhere in Scripture. Furthermore, even if it was granted that Sunday was the day John spoke of, I was still hard press to see how that would mandate a only Sunday, every Sunday Lord’s Supper assembly. Even if the premise would have been granted, the conclusion would have still been unwarranted because Revelation 1:10 is not a law mandating that the “Lord’s Day” be kept or that Christians have to come together on the “Lord’s Day.” And Revelation 1:10 certainly has nothing to do with the Lord’s Supper.

 THE OLD TESTAMENT SHADOW?

Some time ago, before I quit binding this practice, I believed that I could use the Old Testament to prove that the frequency of the Lord’s Supper was foreshadowed. Here is what I said in an article, “The Old Testament foreshadows the frequency of the weekly Christian memorial feast known as the Lord’s Supper. It helps for one to understand the shadows of the Old Testament. The Bible teaches that the Old Law and Testament was a shadow of the New Law (Heb. 10:1; Col. 2:17). In other words, the Old Testament oftentimes prefigured that which was to come in the New Law (Heb. 8:1-5; 9:1-10, 23-28). For example, the tabernacle (the first house of God under the Old Testament) was a shadow of the New Testament church, which is the house of God under the New Law (1 Tim. 3:15). The Levitical priesthood in the Old Testament was a shadow of the Royal priesthood in the New Testament (1 Pet. 2:9). In the Old Testament, the priesthood would partake of the showbread once a week in the house of God (Lev. 24:5-9). In the New Testament, the royal priesthood (Christians) partakes of the showbread (Lord’s Supper) once a week in the house of God (1 Tim. 3:15; Acts 20:7). Just as they partook once a week, so we also partake once a week.”

My former argument was assumptive and flawed because there is absolutely nothing in the New Testament that parallels the Lord’s Supper with the showbread found in Leviticus 24:5-9. In fact, the Lord’s Supper is never tied in any way to the showbread of Leviticus 24:5-9, much less the frequency. The showbread mentioned in Hebrews 9:1-6 speaks of the Old Covenant and how it has been done away with (Heb. 9-10). “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation” (Heb. 9:11). If an argument is going to be made by trying to draw a parallel between the Lord’s Supper and Leviticus 24:5-9, then those who argue that point are first obligated to prove (not just assume) that it is indeed a parallel.

In reality, if any parallel can be made at all between an Old Testament feast and the Lord’s Supper, it would have to be the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread because Jesus is called our Passover (1 Cor. 5:7). Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God without spot and blemish (Jn. 1:29; 1 Pet. 1:19). The Passover and week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread was supposed to be kept every year (Ex. 13:3-10). How many brethren would attempt to use this “shadow” to bind an every year, once a year partaking of the Lord’s Supper? Furthermore and ironically enough, even when Israel went an extra week, God’s favor was still upon them (2 Chron. 30:22-27).

My point is not that we should try and bind or mandate a frequency for the Lord’s Supper by looking to the Passover; my point is that we cannot take an Old Testament shadow and begin to make laws of frequency when the New Testament doesn’t do such.

 EARLY CHURCH HISTORY

I always found comfort in the fact that I could point to (non-inspired) documents showing that the second century church met on Sunday. However, I wondered why I would sometimes reference early church history when it appeared to be in favor of a doctrine that I believed, yet if I realized that the early church taught or practiced a doctrine that I didn’t agree with, I would simply brush it off as being nothing more than non-inspired, unauthoritative early church history. I once again realized that perhaps I was guilty of the whole “picking and choosing” thing. If early church history was in my favor, I would use it. If it wasn’t, then it didn’t count anyway. How convenient of me, right?

I do not doubt that second century Christians met on Sunday. I believe that the writings from the Didache, Justin, Bardesanes and others show that they did (Ferguson, Early Christians Speak, p. 67-70). However, early church history is by no means our authority, the Bible is (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Furthermore, there was no unanimity on most doctrines in the second century.

To make sure you understand my point, let me give you some examples. Many in the early church such as Hermas, Athenagoras and Augustine seemed to oppose remarriage in all cases (Brewer, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible, pp. 238-258). Some argue, such as the Roman Catholic Church, that the general teaching in the second century was that all remarriage after divorce, even when the exception was applied, was condemned (Athenagoras even believed remarriage should be refused after the death of one’s spouse). Another common teaching in the early church had to do with the way Christians understood Hebrews 6:4-8 and 10:26-21. Many in the early church took these passages to mean that “one could only repent once, and any sin committed after baptism would be unforgiveable” (ibid., p. 241). Also, where do you believe the practice of “one bishop” that eventually led to the Pope came from? It came from the early church. Ignatius argued that there was one bishop and that the church must follow the bishop as Jesus followed the Father (Ferguson, Early Christians Speak, pp.168-169). It can be seen from the writings of Clement of Alexandria that the early church had already begun making a distinction between presbyters and bishops (ibid., pp. 168-169). Origen believed that there was one bishop to rule and lead the congregation (ibid., p. 170). Furthermore, the second century church generally opposed any type or kind of military service (ibid., p. 221). In addition to these examples, Tertullian taught that the church had a monthly collection, “Rather, on the monthly day, if he likes, each puts in a small donation—but only if it is his pleasure and only if he is able. For there is no compulsion; all is voluntary” (http://www.apuritansmind.com/stewardship/earlychurchalmsgiving/). Barnabas, 2 Clement, Ignatius and the Didache speak of meetings being held daily and more frequently than just once a week (ibid., pp. 69-70). Justin is often cited as “proof” that the Lord’s Supper was taken on Sunday. However, the same brethren who would bring Justin’s writings to your attention might fail to mention that Justin also spoke of each church having a President who presents the Lord’s Supper and the fact that he wrote about water being used at the Lord’s Supper in addition to the bread and wine (ibid., p. 81). Our human nature has a tendency to bring forth only the facts that agree with our preconceived position.

These examples could go on and on. Was I willing to see the early church as authoritative? If so, then not only would I be denying the all-sufficiency of the Scriptures, I would also find myself in a sea of confusion since the early church had just as many problems as the church does today. I came across a quote from church historian Everett Ferguson that was very fitting:

“All who strive to be New Testament Christians in the present age are in a way second-century Christians. Not that they have, consciously or unconsciously,  followed the second-century church or taken it as an authority. But, at best, we stand in relation to the first-century Christians as did the second-century Christians…Apart from the second-century’s geographical and chronological  proximity to the first century, we stand in the same relation to the first century as did the second century” (ibid., p. 10).

Certainly the early church was worth studying, especially when it came to the Canon of Scripture. However, when it came to interpretations and discernment of those Scriptures, they had no more advantage than we do today. Furthermore, quotes from the early church could be cited to show that some Christians believed in gathering daily and more often than just Sundays.  I needed to understand that as interesting as early church history is, it is not authoritative. If I wanted to prove something, I had to prove it by using Scripture.

QUESTIONS

 Below are just a few questions that, I believe, cannot be biblically and consistently answered for one who binds the Lord’s Supper every Sunday, only on Sunday:

1.Where is the New Testament law that requires the Lord’s Supper to be taken only on Sunday, every Sunday?

2. Was Paul teaching New Testament doctrine in 1 Corinthians 11?

3. Was Paul referring back to a Thursday partaking of the Lord’s Supper?

4. When is an example (account of action) binding?

5. What is the difference between a binding example and an optional example?

6. How does one gauge the difference between a binding example and an optional example?

QUALIFIERS, CLARIFICATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS

To summarize: (1) we have three accounts of a Thursday partaking (Matthew, Mark and Luke), (2) we have one account of Paul referencing the Thursday partaking (1 Corinthians), (3) we have possibly one or two examples of the Lord’s Supper being taken on Sunday (Acts 2:42; 20:7), (4) and we have no imperative of when the Lord’s Supper must be done other than the fact that it must be done (1 Cor. 11:26). On another note, I have heard some argue that God wouldn’t command us to have the Lord’s Supper without having a specific time for it; otherwise, how would we know? Strong-blog-post-conclusionsThis is a straw man argument because it assumes that God’s people are too dense to agree upon a time to come together. Furthermore, these types of questions can easily be turned against the asker with their own reasoning. I could argue that since God didn’t command a specific time of when I must help widows, orphans or  “do good” to others (Gal. 6:10), I guess I could just “do good” one time and God would be pleased with that? Obviously, this shows you the smoke screens (whether intentional or not) that some preachers and Christians try to put in the way of logic and reason. If we are smart enough to operate and work for businesses and schedule dentist appointments, surely we are smart enough to be able to come together and choose when to meet.

Even though I have already emphasized this fact, let me say this once more. I do not believe it is wrong to partake of the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week. I am not trying to get anyone to change their practice. What I am trying to do is get Christians who bind the “every Sunday, only Sunday” Lord’s Supper and who make it a test of fellowship and division to change their dogmatic attitude. I have been able to discuss this issue with quite a few in the Churches of Christ. I have been surprised at how many people actually do not bind this but are too afraid to let those around them at their church know. Brethren, we cannot be afraid to speak truth and be liberated from the dogmas and traditions of men. If you are still studying this topic or perhaps you are questioning yourself, I can assure you that there are many brethren right where you are. Please think for yourself, study the Scriptures and “test all things” (1 Thess. 5:21). “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (Jn. 8:32).

– Kevin Pendergrass

***If you would like to be notified when new material appears on this blog, please send an e-mail to kevinpendergrass@gmail.com with subject heading “subscribe” or please “like” my page on Facebook.