Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Poor Theology?

I mentioned a couple of blogs ago about the importance of having a God who never gets tired of hearing us ask "Why" when it's part of our pursuit of knowing Him better. When you have been blessed to have had some incredible teachers through the years, those incredible teachers sometimes become so idolized that they become the personification of truth. That's a problem that students must work through not the teacher. Any teacher worth their salt wants to point their listeners in the right direction, motive them to further study, and create a seeking mindset that will sick with the student through their life. A some point, each of us must discover God's will, the truth, for ourselves or it will continue to be a borrowed theology rather than an owned theology.
For example, several of us were challenged the other day about which day of the week the Lord's Supper is supposed to be taken. I was taught that our practice of Sunday only communion was the only biblically correct view that any doctrinally correct Christian could possibly have. After all, we've always done it that way, the Church Fathers said it was done that way, and the early church, according to Acts 20:7, came together on the first day of the week to break bread. Done deal! Biblical example = biblical command = restoration of NT practices.
Why would anyone dare question it? It's poor theology, that's why. Acts 20:7 says they broke bread, and it's our tradition (and reverse interpretation - imposing what we believe on the Bible) that declares this verse to be talking about the Lord's Supper. Any really good commentary will say that "It's traditionally believed that this was the communion," but NO ONE knows that for sure. Jesus gave it to us on Thursday night and Paul reminds us of that in 1 Corinthians 11 without pausing for heart beat to point out, "But now we do it on Sunday." Not only that, the Acts 20 story is taking place on Saturday evening, when Sunday day began at 6 P.M.. As far as the Church Fathers go, what Christians did in the second and third century is a long way from what happened in the first half of the first century. Do you know how long it takes for a church practice to become a tradition and thus law? I've always said it takes about three weeks of doing it the same way without change.
There is no "church ordinance" example in Acts 20:7. When you start out looking for ceremonial acts of worship that we assume must be part of a "formal worship time," we find them. Unfortunately, we got that presupposition from Catholicism not Restorationism.
Jesus took the most common elements from every meal of that day, and said, use these tools to remember my physical body given for you and the Body you have become as my church, and "whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes." It was a simple meal to be used as a simple tool to help the followers of Jesus remember who they live for - anytime they choose to use it. In the New Testament it was always part of a common meal and according to Acts 2, they were doing that daily.


Deborah said...

You are such a radical...

...I am so thankful.


Anonymous said...

A Radical? Perhaps to some ;-] But a breath of fresh air to many who have learned to think for themselves and seek the real meaning of scripture! Preach on, goog brother!