Dear Salvation Army: Communion, It’s Not What You Think It Is…

Dear fellow Ponderers…
I have been dragging my feet in writing this for some time.
Not because I didn’t want to write this edition to Pastorsponderings, but rather because I want to be careful in how I broach this conversation.  I do not wish to offend and upset you – the reader.   Some will no doubt become offended anyway, and I have come to terms with the fact that I will not always make everyone happy – that’s a fool’s errand anyway.

Perhaps in light of this Holy Week that we are all entering into we might also reflect on the Passover feast that Jesus participated in with His disciples…what we now call “The Last Supper”.

Thus, I write this with the utmost sensitivity and respect.

I have been contemplating the topic of Communion once again
(See previous conversations on this:
https://pastorsponderings.org/2014/07/23/dear-salvation-army-communion-survey-results/

Is Communion Considered Taboo in our Army? 
Within The Salvation Army, even the conversation of the Lord’s Table/Supper/Communion has become a taboo topic.  It is almost as if we are forbidden to talk about it, let alone partake in this ceremony.  Some have postulated that despite not participating in this ceremony, we have created our own sacred ceremonies in place of it, thus making the argument that we are non-sacramental in practice null and void.

I fear that failure to discuss such topics within our Army can lead to a polarization of our theological perspective, and variants of our doctrine might splinter and break off (as in some locations, it already has).

Some within our Army would treat the topic of communion with deep disdain to the point that the practice of it is almost treated as an organizational sin.  It is my estimation that too much focus on such a topic in this light is a waste of time and not conducive to unity within our Army.  There should be more open dialogue on this topic as I believe there should be on the topic of baptism.   -Someone will inevitably lambaste me for that, but that would just prove my point that we treat such innocent conversations on the topic as complete taboo and even sinful to even mention, which is ludicrous.
Davinci

Is Communion Misunderstood In The Universal Church? 
In Luke 22 it is recorded the celebration of Passover that Jesus and His disciples were partaking of.  This has now been dubbed “the Last Supper”, where Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to fulfill the final act of Salvation in His false trial, torture, and death by crucifixion.  Thus, Jesus reclines with His disciples and takes in these final private moments with those He is closest with:

14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:14-19)

Could it be that over the centuries the emphasis (or fixation) upon the bread and wine have been misplaced?  Didn’t Jesus preach in parable and often teach as Rabbis of His day taught?  With questions and metaphor?  When Jesus spoke of doing “this” in remembrance of me, is it not possible that it wasn’t just the bread and wine He was talking about, but rather the entire dinner together, the fellowship and unity of disciples?  Is it possible that instead of coming together just to contemplate the bread and the wine, the whole ceremony of remembrance is just as vital?   Coupled with the remembrance, the unifying love of Christ that binds it all together is the common denominator.  So much so, that when the disciples gathered in another upper room together in perfect unity, they encountered the second blessing an the day of Pentecost?  (Acts 2:1-31)
fellowship 2
Perhaps, it is in the very practice of gathering in unity and prayer that we find the proper practice of Communion to be viable and appropriate – even commanded by Christ Himself.  After all, didn’t Jesus also pray for unity of the believers when we said, “ that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:21)
fellowship3.jpg
Dear Salvation Army,
Let me ask you a question:  When are our Soldiers unified with the love of Christ?
When is it that we remember Jesus as our Savior and source of resurrection power?
Would you suggest that it is when we gather in times of confession, of worship, of fellowship?  When does the mission of Christ within our Army become the most galvanized and evident in the body of believers?
fellowship
Is there a time for ceremony and formal recognition?  Of course!
What do those intentionally consecrated moments look like?
Could it be that Communion has been vilified in our Army?  (Perhaps that is too strong a word)…
Is it possible that what Communion truly is – is the coming together of His disciples in fellowship and unity instead of mere ceremony?  Can we do this over a meal together?
fellowship 4
Perhaps instead on the over emphasis of the elements we have lost sight of the One who broke the bread and poured the wine?

What do YOU think? 
Post your comments below and let’s continue this pondering together.

*Disclaimer:  The views expressed here are of the author’s views and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Salvation Army.  Reader desecration is advised. *

 

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36 Replies to “Dear Salvation Army: Communion, It’s Not What You Think It Is…”

  1. Scott, very brave of you to start this conversation….I look forward to reading the responses.

    Dad

  2. Tustin Ranch has a Love Feast (communion) at least once a year. Most congregants participate.

  3. Actually, we all practice communion, when we pray before a meal, (breaking bread)

    1. That is not exactly accurate. What is the focus of the prayer during both events? When we pray before a meal we are thanking God for the food. When we practice Communion, we are thanking God for Jesus in the fellowship of other believers. It is a different focus. Also, Communion is shared within the church community; with my brothers and sisters in Christ. When I eat a daily meal, my Christian community is not always with me. The focus of Communion is on Jesus as well as the community of believers.

  4. Scott, I appreciate your courage to post your views. It has been my experience that any conversation about the subjects of Communion and Baptism were met with misunderstanding along with downright hostility. I’m talking about raised voices and fists slamming on tables. Such anger! Its quite sad really and difficult to have a conversation with anyone who comes with preconceived ideas and a hardened heart. So what does it take to have an open conversation? Perhaps those who interpret or create doctrine can meditate on 2nd Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

  5. Your topic is touching.At the point you outlined that most of Jesus teachings based on parables,when He shared the holy communion with his disciples does not shows its real meaning as(sharing of meals with others)please elaborate on that!

    1. I believe the author of this post is clarifying the point that Jesus was applying new meaning to the traditional Jewish Passover meal (which is the context for the event that has come to be known as “The Last Supper”). Jesus was not actually practicing Holy Communion. That ritual was developed by the church years later. The only other scriptural reference made to the Passover meal Jesus shared with his disciples in that upper room is found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 11:17-33). Even then, it was not the ritual it had become, but a common meal.

      1. That is a statement that begs to be defended. What leads you to believe that Jesus was not practicing Holy Communion; what leads to you saying that the ritual of communion was developed by the church years later? What leads you to say that the meal in 1 Corinthians 11 was a common meal? Or for that matter, what leads you to say that 1 Corinthians 11 is the only scripture that refers to communion?

      2. The biblical text must always be the primary source for such considerations. However, church history is responsible for most of what we know of the practice and its development.

        With regards to the notion that Jesus was participating in Holy Communion, we need only look to the texts of Matthew, Mark and Luke to find that Jesus and his disciples were taking part in the annual Passover feast.

        The term “communion,” in reference to the practice we find in the Protestant church today, is a post-Reformation term. Prior to the Reformation, the practice was known throughout the Church as the Eucharist. The term “communion” is not used in the Bible to describe the Passover meal that Jesus shared with his disciples, the “breaking of bread” meal of Acts 2, or the “Lord’s Supper” of 1 Corinthians 11. The 1 Corinthians 11 account is the only place where the term “Lord’s Supper” (in English) is used.

        As for identifying the meal as a “common meal,” it was customary in the first century to have a meal when people were gathered together for an occasion. The use of the terms “breaking bread” (Acts 2) and “eat together” (1 Cor 11) are descriptions of common shared meals in the original language. Additionally, Paul’s description of the church gathering in 1 Corinthians 11 is described in the context of a large group gathering for a meal, during which he reminded the inconsiderate and selfish attendees of Christ’e selfless act that was communicated to the disciples through the use of broken bread and poured wine — not dissimilar to what we might call an object lesson. In fact, Paul references that Passover meal here to illustrate the selflessness of Jesus in contrast to the selfishness of the Corinthian believers.

        For a more in depth study on this, you might be interested in the book by Major Phil Layton, “The Sacraments and the Bible.” Here Layton explores the topic of the sacraments through a purely biblical lens, without the additional perspectives of church history.

      3. The terminology isn’t particularly important. Both the term ‘eucharist’ and the term ‘communion’ became common because they did well to describe what was taking place. So with that, I can affirm that the last supper was not referred to as ‘holy communion’ at the moment he was doing it, and I can affirm that he and his disciples were participating in the Passover Feast. The real question is whether or not he was performing the prototypical act of breaking bread and passing a cup, which represented his body and blood and all the salvific meaning that goes along with those two things, and was intending that act to be a normative practice for the church. The typology of the Passover as well as Jesus’ own words about his flesh and blood, make it very clear the meaning of all this was that it was his death, as the unblemished lamb, saving us from spiritual death. The reading that it was about him and his disciples sharing a common meal together and having fellowship drains this portion of scripture of its most important purpose.

        I am not entirely sure what your argument is about the common meal, because it almost seems like we are agreeing. Yes, I can affirm that the early Christians participated in the Eucharist through a meal, much like what was customary in those times. What I am trying to say is that it wasn’t common,meaning the point wasn’t just to alleviate hunger and serve as a means for people coming together. It certainly was both those things, but Paul uses both 1 Corinthians 10 and 11 to reprimand people for not discerning the deeper and most important purpose of these meals: which is an act which both celebrates and unites us to Christ’s sacrifice. Paul reprimanded those who were eating selfishly especially because it wasn’t a common meal.

        He says in 1 Corinthians 11:21-22 :”for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in?”

        and then continues to say in verses 26-29: “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 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. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.”

        He wanted them to approach the meal with the upmost piety, and was warning them that it was a grave matter to approach the food present at communion as common food without discerning the body of Christ, because to do was a sin against the body and blood of the Lord.

  6. Scott, i’ll speak personally, (on behalf of my hubby and I). We as Officers have always shared in a time of Remembrance at Easter, with our congregations, on Good Friday where we have bread and grape juice available to take and reflect on the sacrifice and love of Jesus for each one of us. Some years these were placed on the mercy seat and became a beautiful time of recommitment as well. One year we also shared in a similar time during a Sunday Anzac service, remembering the sacrifice of Jesus, and those who died during wartime; powerful moments.
    Also, we were stationed in Tamworth, and a Godly, gentleman pastor, Mathew Burrows, in his 70’s held interdenominational prayer and praise nights in our Corps. These were wonderful times of powerful prayer and intercession, where the Spirit was manifested in amazing ways. I attended regularly with others from our Corps. For some weeks before we left that appointment, I felt God laying it on my heart to be baptised. Which for a little while I did struggle with. Then Pastor Mathew approached me before one of his services, about two weeks before we were leaving, to say that he felt it was unusual, but God was telling him that he needed to tell me, he would like to baptise me before we left the appointment. That was it. For me, it was a God-ordained appointment, and I was baptised in a friends backyard pool, with my family and a couple of close friends present.
    Many of my Officer colleagues share my thoughts and feelings on these subjects. It is something that is personal between us and God. My Officer Covenant comes after my Covenant with God. Thanks for this forum, bless you! By the way, this is the the first time I’ve shared my baptism story in a public way.

  7. “When Jesus spoke of doing “this” in remembrance of me, is it not possible that it wasn’t just the bread and wine He was talking about, but rather the entire dinner together, the fellowship and unity of disciples?”

    I suppose it’s not impossible to conclude that this is true, but only if we are only considering the words Luke 22:14-19 alone. However God, through Christ and his apostles, has much more to say about the last supper than just that segment of Luke. Like most (likely all) of Christ’s ministry, there is some beautiful typology to Old Testament revelation that charges his words and deeds with meaning. First consider the motif of bread, blood, and wine through the entirety of scripture, to which Christ regularly references. These are helpful in understanding what is happening in the last supper.

    It’s already been mentioned that Jesus and his disciples were participating in the passover meal. It’s a familiar ritual, but for the sake of the argument, we need to point out that the passover commemorates the sacrificing of an unblemished lamb whose blood would save the Israelites from the angel of death. The Israelites were then required to eat the lamb.

    So it’s here in this context, Christ gives us his discourse of the last supper. The account in Matthew says the following: “26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

    The typology should be apparent, but I want to highlight the statement: This is my blood of the THE COVENANT. It should be very clear that the emphasis is on the very specific elements of the meal, namely unleavened bread and the cup, and these elements are charged with the symbolism of atonement. It’s not surprising that Jesus would be continually be referred to as ‘The Lamb of God’ throughout the rest of Christianity. This last supper is very far from being painted as a neutral or natural meal, and is very far from being just an encouragement for fellowship.

    Even after accepting this, to some there may still be a question about whether the emphasis is on the actual food or on just the spiritual principals. To this, we can consider this very straightforward and poignant moment that can be found in John 6.

    In it, Christ says the following: “51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.””

    Here the tension rises from Christ making a connection between food and his flesh & blood is right on the surface as demonstrated in verse 52. His audience was scandalized at such a statement, because they recognized Jesus wasn’t just using bread and drink as non-literal symbols to simply communicate a spiritual concept. Verse 60 says this: “On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” and later in 66 “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” Here Jesus watched his disciples walk away because of his extreme statement that they would be required to eat his flesh and drink his blood, as it is REAL FOOD and REAL DRINK, leaving no room for misinterpretation. We never had people scandalized at him claiming to be ‘a door’ or ‘a vine’, because those were solely symbolic statements. This was a different kind of statement.

    If at any point in the church age, people approached this meal of communion, which the disciples did in fact continue practicing (were they mistaken in doing so?), Paul speaks bluntly against them, emphasizing the meaning and purpose of this practice, and harshly rebuking them for ever thinking of the elements of communion as mere food.

    1 Corinthians 11:23-29 “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 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. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.”

    I could go on and point out that it’s a fact of history that the Christians after Christ’s ascension practiced communion, and in fact were persecuted as they were accused of cannibalism as they stood by the claim that the bread and wine was indeed the flesh and blood of Christ, which I believe demonstrates a passionate commitment to this practice as integral to the Christian life, which seems to be a conviction that remained for over a millennia, which to me is also a powerful testimony.

  8. As a Salvationist in the United Kingdom I have not been aware of the eucharist being treated in any way as a taboo subject. I have listened to many sermons addressing it, and even back in the Training College 40 years ago we participated in a love Feast. For many years, we shared a fellowship meal on Maundy Thursday, remembering the events of the Last Supper. When we were out of our hall, we shared will a local Methodist Church on Sunday evenings, and once a month the evening service was communion. The minister at the time explained everything very clearly for those who were not familiar with the Eucharist, and many of us participated in the communion itself. Interestingly enough, he moved after a while and his replacement seem to treat it in a much more glib fashion, and it was not so meaningful. I think the saddest thing is how divisive the Eucharist has been in the history of the church, with various interpretations, and arguments over who is able to participate.

      1. We are having communion at the Salvation Army temple. In Peterborough in our service this morning.

        Usually a yearly event in Peterborough Ontario

    1. Point of clarification…

      In the Canada & Bermuda Territory (as elsewhere) communion is not to be practiced in the context of Army worship. However, the International Spiritual Commission clearly encourages Salvationists to participate in communion in other denominational worship experiences, as long as the host church allows (“The Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine”, p. 300).

      1. Peter , in Canada it is done in corps with bread and syrup, if the CO wants to do it regardless to what is in the handbook .

      2. Hi Edgar.

        That’s a new one for me…and I’ve been in the Army for 45 years.

        Perhaps it’s a practice unique to a certain context.

      3. Never heard of bread and syrup. Must be under eye to a particular congregation.

        Anyway, I’m not going to belabour the point that communion is not part of our denominational liturgy. It hasn’t been since William Booth ended the practice in Army worship in 1883. Any officer offering the practice is willfully stepping out of line with the practices of the Army (my opinion).

    2. It’s not really been *that* divisive in the history of the Church though. Historically speaking, the sacraments were not a cause of division in Christianity until the Reformation, and even then they were a cause of division between certain Protestant churches. There were many causes of division between the Protestant churches and the Roman Catholic Church, but eucharistic and baptismal doctrine wasn’t one of them, at least not at first.

      Furthermore, surely some amount of division/exclusion along sacramental lines is biblical. Paul, after all, called for people to be kicked out of the Eucharistic fellowship due to particularly sinful behavior.

  9. A Jehovahs Witness once told me that though they present the wine and the bread they do not partake of it, that was only for his disciples. Why do we assume that we have a right to break into that circle. Isn’t that being egotistical?
    A Catholic friend recalls as a young boy, seeing the nuns take the bread and wine out of a cupboard and thinking that God had mysteriously placed it in there. When he eventually asked the nun and was told the bread was baked in the kitchen and the wine came out of a bottle, he was disappointed. Communion never was the same after that.

    1. I want to confirm that your question is whether it is egotistical or not to assume that Christ was inviting all believers into the practice of communion when it may have been just for the apostles.

      If it is, I first want to point to the hermeneutic dilemma of asking if a teaching in scripture is for all believers or for just those who were physically present to hear that teaching… It’s dangerous ground, and has been a point manipulated by many, Jehovah Witnesses included, to distort important theology. A close look into who the target audience is for each teaching in the Bible, and proof for any statement on the matter is imperative.

      In this case, I think 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 makes it pretty clear that this ordinance was not simply meant for the apostles.

    2. I want to confirm that your question is whether it is egotistical or not to assume that Christ was inviting all believers into the practice of communion when it may have been just for the apostles.

      If it is, I first want to point to the hermeneutic dilemma of asking if a teaching in scripture is for all believers or for just those who were physically present to hear that teaching… It’s dangerous ground, and has been a point manipulated by many, Jehovah Witnesses included, to distort important theology. A close look into who the target audience is for each teaching in the Bible, and proof for any statement on the matter is imperative.

      In this case, I think 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 makes it pretty clear that this ordinance was not simply meant for the apostles.

  10. Communion is not a taboo in the army. In Canada we as officers can make our own decisions about communion.
    As a Salvation Army Protestant chaplain in correctional institution I had the right to serve communion in prison
    This also applies to officers in corps if the are comfortable doing it.
    It is just another sacrament, such as wearing a ring when married,

    1. Edgar.
      I’m not sure where you’re getting your information from about communion in Salvation Army worship in Canada. Whether to practice it or not is not up to the officer (Canadian or otherwise). The Salvation Army’s position on non-observance is international. Salvation Army officers do not have ecclesiastical authority to offer communion, nor does our denomination teach a particular practice or theology of it, as is required in many other denominations. In Canada, just as in every territory, Salvation Army officers are bound in covenant to uphold the practices and principles of The Salvation Army. If I were to offer communion as a Salvation Army Officer, I would be in willful disobedience to that covenant, and would sully something that is a tremendous means of grace for many. As a Salvationist I am not prohibited from taking communion when engaged in worship in contexts outside of Army worship. And for this I am grateful.

  11. Scott, thank you for sharing your thoughts and stretching us to think. I am always encouraged to have a dialogue with fellow Salvationists about the Scriptures. Although I still prefer the face to face type of conversation. Many interpret things written in the Word to align with their own personal preferences. But what is it exactly that causes us to think a certain way regarding Communion? Or, our other personal beliefs? The Salvation Army has great rationale for the positions they have determined are best for our organization. Many of the practices historically are determined by consensus of a group of scholars who recommend these positions to the General for his decision. The factor we sometimes fail to recognize is how a practice or belief is viewed in all of the 128 countries where the Army serves suffering humanity faithfully. We understand the meaning of last supper in a certain way. Maybe from a historical painting as interpreted by the artist. However, I would think our interpretation is not universal, but biased on our own cultural views. How did the symbolic Bread (Wafer) and the Wine or (Grape Juice) migrate to a plastic cup and a bland morsel? I tend to agree with your thought process, that the act of communion and fellowship is an integral part of the body of Christ! In today’s culture maybe we should share Iced Tea and Bagels in the name of Christian Unity at a weekly Pot Luck. Thanks again for challenging us to ponder!

    1. Consider my previous comment, which addresses the importance of the specific elements of bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper. Although, there is much more than can be said about how the bread and wine that Jesus shared eventually became the wafer and and wine/grape juice we have today, and whether what we have today is valid or not.

      A serious exhortation I have within this entire conversation is that we must avoid the trap of relativism because Christianity is not a relativistic religion. If the issue of the sacraments truly is one of personal or cultural prerogative, then an argument needs to be made that proves that; otherwise, there is in fact a’ right’ and a ‘wrong’ on this debate, regardless of their nation or culture, and convincing arguments must be made to discern who fits into which category.

    2. Thank you Bob, you are correct when you say that culture plays into our interpretation of scripture, that’s why it is paramount to study the culture around Jesus and to impose that upon our own and not the other way around. In the soldiership book “chosen to be a soldier” in the back, past the study of doctrines there is a section on the sacraments and baptism, and the writers say something very similar to what I have written here. The sacrificial life and the constant fellowship of believers in the presence of God is what and how we ought to remember.

      The Army world IS big and you’re right, many cultures can impose its views on the text instead of the other way around.

  12. Thank you for posting this. I recently have been thinking of this after discussing it with a friend from another denomination. I looked into our official position more fully and found that it matches very closely with what you say here. I think often there are deeper and more subtle positions in our official documents than what we necessarily say at the grass roots level – which is why discussing these things is so important. I’ve put some quotes below:

    “We confess one sacramental meal, not administered ritually, but presided over by Christ himself at any table where he is received and honoured” – Handbook of Doctrine p271

    “Recognising the freedom to celebrate Christ’s real presence at all meals and in all meetings, the Commission’s statement on Holy Communion encourages Salvationists to use the opportunity to explore together the significance of the simple meals shared by Jesus and his friends, and by the first Christians. It also encourages the development of resources for such events, which would vary according to culture, without ritualising particular words or actions.” – Handbook of Doctrine (Appendix) p295

  13. Jacob has done a good job of laying out a lot of the issues with The Salvation Army’s position on the Eucharist, but I’ll add a few more.

    First, even if we accept that the core of the ritual is communion, that doesn’t mean we’re free to jettison the ritual if it was commanded by God. For example, the OT rituals are no longer required of us because they reached their fulfillment in Jesus, and Paul is quite clear that the rites were not what justified Abraham or his descendants, but that it was their faith. At the same time, they weren’t free not to circumcise their sons until the law reached its fulfillment in Jesus. This can clearly be seen in Exodus 4:24-26 when the Lord is prepared to kill Moses because he didn’t circumcise his sons.

    Second, if communion is the core of the ritual, then its seems antithetical to the purpose of the ritual to choose not to practice it since not practicing communion (and baptism) scandalizes the rest of the Christian world. The Salvation Army is fond of appealing to apparently divisive nature of baptism and communion to justify not practicing them, but the very act of choosing not to practice them is *also* divisive. Thus, if communion among believers is the purpose of the sacrament it would seem to be the best course of action to do the sacrament in order to be in better communion with the rest of Christianity, no?

  14. Another good Friday service at the Peterborough Salvation Army temple.
    Communion was served in the service, even tho not ever one participated.
    This is a yearly event usually on Good Friday.

    1. The church has watered down communion, most churches use juice instead of wine, it is mostly about symbolism. The Blood of Christ never changes, it is the only cure for sin.

  15. We don’t worship a man or tradition. We worship God. Like all faith traditions we have our beliefs about what God intends in His Word. Some agree and others disagree. The important thing to remember is when we stop trying to learn the truths of Scripture we have failed as a Christians (Christ-followers). Like I heard it said by others… “I know there are errors in my theology, if I knew what they were, I would change them…” Be a student of God’s Word at all times. Let no man stop that…

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