LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 244

Reflections on the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689

23 Aug 14 began a perhaps unbroken, orderly, and personal journey through my favorite written confession of faith. These are my personal reflections on this beloved historic Particular Baptist confession of the Christian Faith.


Chapter 30. Of the Lord’s Supper. Paragraph 4: “The denial of the cup to the people, worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and reserving them for any pretended religious use, are all contrary to the nature of this ordinance, and to the institution of Christ.”

I cannot put into words how much I love the Lord’s supper!!! It is a mix of my greatest joy and sadness for sin each time. Every time I put the bread in my mouth, I slowly bite it to observe it in my spiritual hunger. Every time I drink, I keep the cup tipped back to get every drop possible in my spiritual thirst. Jesus taught us that our “coming and believing” is the true eating and drinking. John 6:35. I know this. I remember this each time I come to this table. The Table is just a visual reminder he was kind enough to give us. It attaches our seeing minds to our invisible truth. The moment someone tries to take this from me by telling me it’s something it’s not I react in disagreement. The elements of the Table are just bread and drink, nothing more. I can no more dare to say that I eat Jesus than I would say I later poop and pee him out. I can accept differences on this by degree, but if you wish to make it a salvific issue then so be it, you’re condemned by it.

I mentioned last time the scandal of Luther’s troubled associate Karsladt offering both the drink and the bread in the Lord’s table in Germany centuries ago. It’s no scandal today in churches with non-superstitious views.

There are foundational errors in the ordinance (or sacrament) that get a person to a place where they’d begin withholding what Christ commanded in both elements. A worship of these elements is another example of an errant theology on the ordinance. Bottom line up front here: Jesus would never have people worship crackers or wine. Period. Full stop. Doing so is nothing short of idolatry. It is evil. I mentioned Nehushtan from 2 Kings 18:4 last time also. God ordains something as a sign and men began to worship the sign, so it was destroyed. What was good became not good. The elements of the Lord’s table have also been Nehushtanized in the same idolatrous errors as they had in the Exodus and it’s happening today in thousands of churches. We should pray against it. Just like churches with crappy theology will allow rock concerts each weekend with fog machines and laser lights, churches with theologies on transubstantiation conduct themselves in a vacuum of spiritual truth. I’ve read prayers from certain views I’d agree with…if prayed to God, but they were prayed to the elements of the Eucharist instead. This is forbidden and to be utterly opposed. The writers of this confession simply wished to put distance between themselves and Rome at every point.

Parades carry idolatries through cities, people bow down to these idols as if it’s good. Whole reliquaries existed across Europe at the time this was written. They still exist today, of course, but far less. I’ve been in them across Europe. They made me spiritually ill. Catholics taught paying customers that observing sacred relics in faith helped them cut their time in purgatory down. This is the kind of superstition that accompanied much of medieval Catholicism. The Reformers, by the Spirit of God, did well to shake off most of such shackles. Beloved, these things don’t honor God, they dishonor God. We do what we do from the heart, observing this ordinance until Jesus comes again for the final time. Worship God, not stuff.

Joseph Pittano

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