Roman Catholicism and The Lord’s Supper – Pt. 2

Jones Deerstand picOne of the best resources on the celebration of the Lord’s Supper in the early church is the book by John Mark Hicks, Come to the Table.  It is certainly a must read for anyone who wants to research the topic.  Some of the information in this blog can be credited to that source.

Come-to-the-TableIn the example of the observance of the Lord’s Supper in the gospels, we find the  following: (a) people reclined around one table (Matt 26:20);  (b) it was done in the upper room (Luke 21:12);  (c) it was taken in context with a common meal , the Passover, (Matt 26:21, 26);  (d) it was taken with thanksgiving (Matt. 26:26);   (e) it was observed on a Thursday night (Matt 26:17);  (f) it involved twelve people (Matt 26:20).

In the first century church the Lord’s Supper was celebrated within the context of a common meal,  however this celebration was not without problems.  Some of the Christians did not wait for others to share the meal (1 Cor 11:21, 33) and some drank too much (1 Cor 11:21).  The atmosphere was more celebrative than quiet and reverent. As the Passover celebrated the exodus from Egypt, the early church celebrated the life and ministry of Jesus (Acts 2:42) and their “exodus” from the world of darkness into the kingdom (Col 1:13).

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Roman Catholicism and The Lord’s Supper – Pt. 1

Jones Deerstand picIt holds true—we each see the world through our own mental glasses. Experiences, chronological age, physical and mental health, and even genetics interact to form our perceptions of the world. Perhaps the Talmud states it best, “We do not see things as they are. 
We see them as we are.”

As we begin this study on the influence the Roman Catholic Church has had on the theology and practices of the church of Christ, several observations need to be made.

  1. A combination of information and experiences form the mental filter through which we each interpret life.
  2. It is easy to equate what we have done, especially for a long period of time, as the right way or as the only way.
  3. It is not easy and sometimes impossible to determine the original context of scripture.
  4. The passage of time and influence have a way of altering the original intent and meaning of an event; e.g., Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter.

Even though it in inevitable that my comments will be influenced to some degree by my own perceptions, it is my prayerful intent to remain true to the text in content and meaning. [Read more…]

A Beginning

Jones Deerstand picJuly, 2013, marked my 60th year in Christ and what a journey it has been! The mountaintops and the valleys of my life have run concurrently alongside vast changes both culturally and in our community of faith. Perceptions that seemed so straightforward in my younger years have been tempered by time and experience. The study of scripture and the realities of life have provided continual avenues of learning.

JJonesDeerstandfinalEarly in my Christian life I determined two ‘non-negotiables’ would govern my choices: (1) the Bible is the word of God; (2) Jesus Christ is Lord. In an effort to remain true to that foundation, I have occasionally found myself challenging my own paradigms and have been forced to answer the question, “ What really drives my life—the fear of being ‘wrong’ or the pursuit of truth?” Having to admit that I have been mistaken in a number of areas has not been easy yet I feel I am a wiser and more humble man as a result. I realized long ago the fallacy of getting it all ‘right’. I was never intended to. Most importantly a God who is gracious in my life is gracious in my theology. The purpose of this blog is to explore some of the things that I have struggled with both in life and through scripture.

For the past 16 years Lynn and I have been involved in a ministry that has taken us into the trenches of 43 states, 4 foreign countries, and over 450 churches. About 13 years ago I began an intensive study of the marriage and divorce issue—the end result to be published in 2014. As part of that study I became intrigued with the significant influence the Roman Catholic Church has had on our fellowship. For that reason the influence of Catholicism on the churches of Christ since the first century will be the subject of the next several blog entries. Some of the topics I plan to explore are: the influence of Catholicism on marriage, divorce, the Lord’s supper, church buildings, priesthood, church membership, salvation, and baptism. I invite you to accept, reject or modify my thoughts, but I invite you to prayerfully journey with me.