Sunday, October 2, 2011


Here is a video describing the Lutheran point of view on communion, or what we Baptists refer to as "the Lord's Supper."

Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalian/Anglican/Church of England, Presbyterian/Church of Scotland, from what I've studied, all kind of have a similar view of what happens to the bread and wine during consumption. There are two terms that, in my quick research, seem very difficult to differentiate. The two terms are "transubstantiation" and "consubstantiation." From what I can tell, "transubstantiation" means that once the priest blesses the bread and wine, they literally become the body and blood of Christ. "Consubstantiation" means that the spirit of Christ is in the sacraments and not his actual flesh and blood. If you have a better explanation of these two terms, feel free to let me know in the comments.

I am a Baptist and I can testify as to how we view this remembrance practice.

Many other Protestant denominations view communion the same as Baptist but may practice it a little differently. Some have communion every week while others may have it once every 3 months; some use grape juice and others use wine. There are valid arguments for every difference, however, that is not what I am here to discuss today.

 Baptists, and many other denominations, hold that the bread and wine/grape juice is symbolic representations to remind us to remember Christ's sacrifice on the cross.

This is how I view it: Jesus used parables and symbols to teach about justice, himself, and God the Father. The way I read it, Jesus took the parts of the Passover that they understood and used them to explain what he was about to do. Unleavened bread to represent his sinlessness and the wine to represent his blood that he would spill for us all.

The Passover was celebrated each year to remind the Israelites of how God rescued them from the slavery of the Egyptians. The unleavened bread was to remind them of how quickly their ancestors had to flee. They did not even have time to allow the bread to rise. I must admit that I do not have a clear understanding as to if that particular representation applied to Christ. I can only speculate that it may refer to the fact we do not have much time. Our time is fleeting and unknown so we must make a decision to follow Christ quickly. However, one should never take others or their own speculation as to compete with what the Bible is actually saying.

Another possible, and more probable, reference is to the lack of yeast in the unleavened bread representing the sinlessness of Christ. There are multiple instances where Jesus used yeast to describe sin in a visual way. Paul even used it to describe how a little sin ignored or tolerated can affect an entire congregation in I Corinthians 5. I believe this may be what Christ was referring to when he offered the unleavened bread. He then broke it to symbolize how his body would be broken for them/us.

The wine offered at passover was to represent the blood that spared the Israelites from the Angel of Death if they choose to paint it on the door posts. The wine now is to represent his blood that, if we choose, will spare us from eternal death.

In this particular video, there are a couple of other things that I would disagree on, besides what I listed above. One would be, he says that Jesus said four times that "this is my body." This isn't exactly accurate. Jesus only said it once but four people reported it.

The other issue I have is how he continuously says that they believe what Jesus said. However, he then turns around and quotes Jesus when he said he was "the door." This pastor says, "he is the door, he is the only way." Which is true, he is the only way, but I doubt very seriously that this man actually believes Jesus physically becomes a door.

The most irritating part of this video, for me, is how the pastor seems to talk down to Baptists or anyone else who might disagree with him. If he were to talk to me in this way, when trying to argue his point or convert me, it would irritate me more than want me to actually consider what he said. There is nothing wrong with arguing your beliefs and using a sure/assertive tone, but one must be careful not to sound condescending or give the impression that you think the other side is unintelligent or doesn't have an argument worth listening to as well.

This isn't one of those topics that should divide fellowship but can spur (hopefully healthy) debate.

I really want to do a similar post, more in-depth, discussing how Jews still conduct Passover and how it relates to Christ. There are some seriously interesting connections. There are some practices they perform during Passover that they do not know why they do them but if you explain them to a Christian, they immediately know what they are referring to.