Does the Lord’s Supper Belong to the Church to the Exclusion of the Body?

Posted on 12/15/2006


Alan Knox  has an excellent site and I am humbled that he would post my thoughts on the Lord’s Supper.  In reality they are the product of my interaction with the writings of the first Baptists. 

In my opinion, much of what Southern Baptists believe about the nature of the ekklesia and its relationship to the ordinances and the greater Body of Christ, are positions that owe some influence to Landmarkism.  There definitly has been a shift of thought on these issues over the centuries. 

 The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper was not JUST given for the use of a local gathering.   In the case of the LS, we see even a sadder misuse of this beautiful symbol of our oneness/ covenant with Christ and each other (I know it means so much more, please allow brevity here) To make the Lord’s Supper symbolize the doctrinal conformity of a group to the exclusion of others that ARE in the body of Christ, because of denominational and doctrinal walls, is in my opinion a concept that is totally foreign to the spirit of Scripture.

Again, we have taken authority away from Christ, for it is His ordinance, and has not been given to a denomination or even a local church to be used to foster and propagate their particular denominational distinctives. The Lord’s Supper does not symbolize our covenant as “Baptists” but our covenant with Christ, the head of the Body. If a person is deemed to be truly regenerated by the Spirit and by the Spirit baptized into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12.13), it would be a sin against the Body to refuse to break bread with him, because of doctrinal differences or denominational affiliations.  Although it is
valid to exclude individuals based on matters of discipline and gross theological error of the highest order. 

The Lord’s Supper clearly was not given to symbolize our unity as Southern Baptists, or our unity as a local assembly, but to symbolize our covenant with Christ through His Blood. To make it an ordinance of a denomination is in effect rending that part of the Body away from the rest of the Body. Denominations may be a necessary reality, but when any denomination attempts to act as if the ordinances are theirs to the exclusion of the rest of the Body, they are in grave error. We should take the Lord’s Supper with all Blood bought children of God, even if they don’t see eye to eye with us on every issue.

The Test: If they are in the Body of Christ, we better break bread with them!


Posted in: Ordinances