Monday, June 9, 2008


I've been thinking about communion and what Paul has to say about it in 1Corinthians 11:27-34. I've always been taught, and believed, that people were not to take communion if they were not Christians. This has been of particular concern to me where children are involved. I'm not sure what a child thinks when their parent forbids them to participate in communion for fear of the instructions Paul gave to the church in Corinth. But, like many doctrines I've been taught and just accepted as fact because of who was teaching me, the text from 1Corinthians11 seems to indicate that this is more about an attitude rather than being a believer or not.

27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world. 33 So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment.

Isn't communion to be a time of reflection on what Christ has done through the sacrifice of the body and the blood? I don't see how a child, who may not fully understand sin, cannot still reflect on Christ's love for them and partake in communion. Here's another thought. Not sure about other denominations but the Baptists believe in the "age of accountability"...still searching the scriptures for where that comes from and I'm sure that's another thread...But, IF a child is unsaved without an understanding of sin are they not considered innocent if they have yet to reach this "age of accountability"? Then my question would again be, why not let them participate?

I really didn't mean to get caught up in the issue of children being allowed to participate in communion. I mainly was thinking about when any lost person shows up where communion is being given and they are told they should not participate in communion because of what !Cor11 says. Is the instruction from Paul more about our attitude toward Christ's sacrifice and an honest evaluation of ourselves? Could our presumption that we are worthy of partaking in communion because of a profession of faith in 1999 be an example of partaking in an unworthy manner?

My goal in this discussion is to dispel legalism and traditions of man to figure out what God says about this.