Vol.X No.I Pg.7
March 1973

?You Know What?

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

I do not object to the church serving the Lord's Supper at both morning and evening services, but would like your comments on this matter.


Let us go back of usual arguments: i.e., the pros and cons of "convenience". Does the church "serve" the Lord's Supper? Saints act collectively in this matter, so its expenses are legitimately met from a pooled fund; but, must "the church" sanction each observance in order to make that observance valid? Space, and the lack of reference material here "on the road" make specific quotes impossible, but if one would dig into church history on this subject, the importance of my question would appear. I do not believe that the validity of this memorial is dependent upon any decree, ordinance, or prescription of "the church" -- so, I do not believe the Lord's Supper is a church ordinance.

The memorial was instituted by the Lord, for his disciples; and Christ said He would "drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom". (MAT.26:29) Units of the kingdom are citizens, or individuals. Paul, in Ephesus, and the brethren in Corinth, shared in common a fellowship with Christ when they partook of this memorial. (1CO.10:16-17) It did not matter that they were miles apart, in different congregations, and (it is reasonable to assume) partook at different times. (Note: "The cup…..which we bless…..")

The above would seem to indicate that the memorial is for personal or individual communion with Christ, and an individual could "observe" the memorial in the absence of other saints. But there is more --- . "The disciples came together to break bread" (ACT.20:7) from sunago, used also in ACT.11:26 "assembled" and in HEB.10:25 "assembling" -- where no certain or single "assembly" is being considered. The gathering of ACT.20:7 was, however, "to break bread" -- and the practice of saints doing this together is enforced by 1CO.11:18, 20, 33, 34, where Paul contrasts the right and wrong motives of the individuals who have "come together" for the avowed purpose of remembering Christ. (The Greek in these passages is sunerchomai, and is not identical with sunago.) Careful students should see a lexicon.

So, while the communion with the Lord is an individual thing (as is all worship) saints are taught to do this "together". They must not abandon the act of assembling -- with all that goes with such. There is no excuse for the fishing boat communion.

When elders set a time for assembling this (like a time set by a congregation without elders) is not a divine mandate. If some saints can be present at one time, some at another, (on the Lord's Day) I see no objection to their setting two times. The church's function here is not to validate the Supper, but to make orderly arrangements for saints to come together to worship God. For the sake of the weak saints, compromise with mere "convenience" should be avoided. "Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof" (ROM.13:14).