Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Sharks in the water. . . beware. . . Lutherans probably snicker because there is a great debate in Rome about receiving the Host on the hand or on the tongue.  After all, this is exactly the kind of legalist ceremonial that Lutherans objected to already in the Augustana, right?  In the same way, Lutherans delight in smugness over the issue of restoring the cup to the laity only they don't use the cup -- too messy -- and so they have replaced the cup with many cups.  How foolish Rome is to make an issue of such things, right?

Those in Rome are not promoting a different preference but actually targeting the way the real presence has been treated casually and they believe that the method of distribution actually has contributed to the irreverence regarding the presence of Christ in the Sacrament.  Their complaint has less to do with some idea of priestly authority than it does with fact the more Roman Catholics than ever do not believe that Christ is really present in the elements of the Sacrament or, if they do, do not seem to be concerned about the reverence due that presence.
These Roman curmudgeons who have the nerve to complain about communion in the hand are routinely dismissed by the so-called ancient evidence of the practice (St. Cyril of Jerusalem described communion in the e hand and St. Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and St. Ambrose seem to suggest that it was the norm at that time).  Antiquity is enough to have justified the change, they insist.  Of course, there is no question that at some point the practice was re-evaluated and changed so that by the 7th or 8th century, communion on the tongue was the norm.  Antiquity is important but not everything that was done in the ancient church has survived nor should it.  In this case, I wonder if there is not something to their complaint.

When I was a child no one would have presumed to offer their hand for the Sacrament and Pastors Oesch, Guebert, and Durdell would never have placed the host in the hand.  It would have been unthinkable.  The reverence for the Sacrament would have prevented the laity from extending the hand and the pastors from placing the host into the hand.  For most of that time the Sacrament was offered quarterly and only to those who prepared by the confessional service offered days prior to the reception of the Sacrament.  No one would have presumed to have offered a shot glass (sorry, could  not resist) as their personal communion cup.  The sterling silver chalice purchased in 1914 was the only means of receiving the Sacrament and reverence for the Sacrament would have prevented any suggestion of anything else.  Now, 50-60 years later, people routinely extend their hands and individual cups are offered in that same place.  Can it be said that the reverence for the sacramental presence has remained the same?  I wish.

In both parishes I have served, individual cups were the only forms offered and everyone expected to receive in the hand.  I reintroduced the chalice to parishes who had long before given it up.  They saw my own family receive on the tongue and some began to follow.  Now about half those communing receive from the chalice and about a third receive on the tongue.  When I came to both places, the consecrated hosts were mixed with the unconsecrated and the consecrated wine in the cruet poured back into the bottle -- something Luther would have found horrifying.  Reverence for the Sacrament had declined.  It had to be taught again.  It is every Sunday.  Not only in words but in example.  When a spill has occurred and the people see their pastor in vestments on his knees carefully cleaning up the spill, it is clear that this bread and this cup are worthy of the reverence due Christ Himself since they are His flesh and blood, given and shed for us for the forgiveness of sins.

Can we blame individual cups or communion on the hand for this disrespect of the Sacrament?  Probably not.  Do the ordinary use of individual cups and communion on the hand contribute to such disrespect of the Sacrament?  Probably so.  When I was a child, there were things in my home and in the home of my grandparents that were off limits.  They were not to be touched or played with -- at least not by me and my cousins.  There was respect expected and respect given to the value of these things -- even though such value was not automatically seen or understood by me at the time.  Out of respect for my parents and grandparents, these things were untouchable.

By the time history got to St. Thomas Aquinas, communion on the tongue was normative for the  Latin Church, and he gave a clear theological reason:

Out of reverence towards this Sacrament, nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for touching this Sacrament. Hence, it is not lawful for anyone else to touch it except from necessity, for instance, if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency. (Summa Theologiae, III, 82, 3)
In the end, this is not about rules that need to be laid down but about teaching. It is not about priestly superiority but about humility and respect.  It comes not from fear but from faith.  Some of you will probably snicker at me and suggest that if I think so much like Rome I should start swimming.  Those of you who think this way should read the accounts of Luther's own adamant respect for the Body and Blood of Christ, his sanction of those who treated the consecrated and unconsecrated elements the same, and who never gave the Sacrament on the tongue or via an individual glass and never would.  It was for him as it is for us, a matter of faith, respect for the Sacrament, and humility before the awesome gift of the Lord in the Eucharist.  Can you honestly say that communion in the hand and the introduction of individual cups has had no effect upon reverence for the Sacrament or has not been part of the irreverence and disrespect for the Sacrament that has become the norm? 

Practice accompanies doctrine and doctrine shapes practice.  At least that is how it ought to be.  Lutherans once used hand patens and houseling cloths to prevent crumbs from falling to the ground.  Now they are as foreign to Lutheranism as monstrances or humeral veils.  I certainly don't advocate for introducing the monstrance or humeral veil but I wonder if a hand paten or houseling cloth just might shock us into respect for the presence of Christ given us in bread and wine.  Something ought to!  At least when the majority of Protestants use these practices it is because they believe you receive nothing but a snack in the Eucharist.  If we believe something different from them, should not our practice also be different?


Anonymous said...

Amen. Thanks for raising these points as we endeavor to install more honor and awe for the body and blood of Jesus in the blessed sacrament.

Carl Vehse said...

Where is a communicant drinking from "many cups"?!? In the Lutheran celebrations of the Lord's Supper I've seen, each communicant drinks from only one cup, either one of the large cups or one of the small cups being used for communion.

Claiming that the ordinary use of individual cups and communion in the hand "probably" contributes to disrespect of the Sacrament is as valid as claiming the ordinary use of machine-processed wheat disks rather than a loaf of bread broken into pieces, or referring to individual communion cups (typically holding 3/4 oz.) as "shot glasses" (typically holding 1 to 2 ozs.), "probably" contribute to disrespect of the Sacrament.

Like the ghost of Martin Stephan, confusion between "descriptive" and "prescriptive" still lurks within the Missouri Synod.

Anonymous said...

Jesus took the Cup (singular) and gave it to them. Scripture is clear. There is ONE cup they all drink. How did every Christian on earth survive the first 1900 years until the Methodist introduce the shot glasses (and grape juice)?

Communion in the hand is more complicated as there are Church Fathers validating this practice; in the first millennia perhaps this was the norm?

Vehse, if you wish to see a tray full of 40 cups = 1 cup that they all drink, perhaps math and not theology needs some work.

Carl Vehse said...

Again, I know of no Lutheran church in which the pastor gives more than one cup to each communicant at the Lord's supper.

And where does do the Gospels mention Jesus handing out machine-processed bleached-wheat disks? How did every Christian on earth survive the first 1900 years without those?

Anon, both your reading skills and your theology seem to need some work.

David Gray said...

The use of the word Communion implies a shared cup. People taking their own little cups are not communing together, they are communing separately. More pietism.

Carl Vehse said...

The use of the word Communion implies the eating and drinking of the body and blood of Christ.

The Lutheran doctrine of communion recognizes that BOTH bread and wine AND Christ's true body and blood are present in the Lord's Supper, and that participation in eating the bread and Christ's body and drinking the wine and Christ's blood is a confession of the unity of faith.

There is no Scriptural and Lutheran doctrinal prescriptive for the cup size, shape, and construction materials.

Those who claim such a prescriptive may belong to some pietistic Lufauxran church.

Anonymous said...

I guess we know who takes individual glasses.

Anonymous said...

So Vehse, since Scripture does not ever explicitly speak of a woman receiving Communion nor the Confessions, is it "some pietistic Lufauxran" idea to say that a woman needs to receive the Sacrament? Is it an un-Lutheran positions to insist my wife Commune with me every Sunday if see can receive it worthily?

Likewise, while not to make a Law out of it, I say it is "wrong, poor, bad" for my children to eat chocolate for supper; instead insisting they eat meat and potatoes based on many factors. In this decision of my Christian freedom, to state something is "best" and something is "poor/wrong/bad" just a parental pietics overture? This isn't just an Article X aidaiphoron issue or dichotomy of prescriptive vs. descriptive excuse.

Anonymous said...

They were called "shot glasses" long before they were called "Communion vessels." Just saying...

Carl Vehse said...

Anon at April 11, 2018 at 3:23 PM, you don't know your guess from a hole in the ground.

Anon at April 11, 2018 at 4:49 PM, what do you mean by "a woman needs to receive the Sacrament"? What do you mean by your second question?

In your last snarky paragraph, Article X does not cover the issue of letting children eat chocolate, meat, or potatoes for supper.

Anon at April 11, 2018 at 4:53 PM, do you Anon guys share the same room?

Ted Badje said...

When you take Communion, it is the very Body and Blood of Christ. It should be handled reverently. That being said, do we make the event a joyful experience, or a heavily somber one? I have heard one person say they let the wafer dissolve in their mouth, rather than chew it. I tend to think this goes to the legalistic side. I think it is the discretion of the Pastor to see whether his parish takes Communion too lightly. I don’t have a problem with most of the rubrics of Lutheran churches, unless they dispose of unused wine and bread improperly.

Joseph Bragg said...

Oh, the folly and comedy of sola scriptura!

Anonymous said...

What the pseudo Mr. Vehse is doing is NOT sola Scriptura. I don't know what it is but it is not the way Lutherans approach things in their Confessions.

Joseph Bragg said...

Oh, the folly and comedy of individual interpretations of Scripture, the Confessions and Sola Scriptura.

Carl Vehse said...

Anon at April 12, 2018 at 10:51 AM is not telling the truth. His words are not Lutheran based on Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.

The issue of individual communion cups has been explained previously by Prof. J.T. Mueller in his article, "Argument against the Individual Communion Cup from the Ex Autou" (Concordia Theological Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 7, 1938, pp. 520-522) as excerpted in three posts on Pastoral Meanderings.

1. October 21, 2017 at 4:49 PM comment
2. October 21, 2017 at 4:51 PM comment
3. October 21, 2017 at 4:54 PM comment

Especially relevant for the various comments from the Anons is Prof. Mueller’s closing comments:

“When we say all this, we do not mean to urge the use of the individual cup. Whether a congregation wishes to do so or not depends on its own decision; for also with regard to this adiaphoron it may exercise its Christian liberty, provided no offense is given. Personally, for many reasons, we prefer the common Communion cup. However, as we must attack every attempt to say less than Holy Scripture does, so also we must combat every attempt to say more than Holy Scripture does. In other words, it is offensive and unchristian to make that a wrong which Scripture itself does not declare to be wrong. The principle of Christian liberty must never be violated." [Emphasis added]

Excerpts on the individual communion cup from John H.C. Fritz's Pastoral Theology (CPH, St. Louis, 1932, p.130), and from the CTCR's "Theology and Practice of the Lord’s Supper" (1983) are given in this October 20, 2017, comment on Pastoral Meanderings.

David Gray said...

I can find lots of articles that explain women's ordination as well.

This isn't Mr. Strickert's first dalliance with liberalism.

Anonymous said...

If you click the link Vehse has provided, you will see that in reality this addresses primarily the argument that from the words of institution there is a requirement for one cup for all communicants. While that may or may not be true, the issue here is not a hyper-Biblicism of parsing the words of Jesus but also the witness of individual cups. What do those cups do for the people who fear spreading disease or who see communion in mostly individual terms or who simply find it distasteful? Do the cups not also suggest that there is something to be feared by the common cup, that it is mainly a personal moment with Jesus and not really communion with other members of the Body of Christ, or that personal taste should trump nearly 2,000 years of Christian history and practice? That no dogmatic conclusion may be rendered regarding the substitution of individual cups for the chalice does not in any way minimize the way individual cups cater to the fears or preferences of people at the very moment when they should not be central.

Carl Vehse said...

Mr. Gray first tosses in the red herring of women's ordination, which has nothing to do with individual communion cups, then jumps right into the ad hominem cesspool, demonstrating he has no other cogent Lutheran response to the excerpts from J.T. Mueller, J.H.C. Fritz, and the CTCR.

Anon (or his twin) joins Mr. Gray in desperately tossing red herrings. Nonetheless, even after all his huffing and puffing, Anon is forced to admit there is no dogmatic reason against the use of individual communion cups.

Anonymous said...

Both Drs. Tom Winger and John Stephenson would disagree with you Carl Vehse.

Carl Vehse said...

Well, Anon, if so, then regarding the acceptability of either individual or common cup for communion, given the absence of any specific Scriptural mandate, the Canadians would also disagree with J.T. Mueller, J.H.C. Fritz, and the CTCR.

I'll stick with the explanations from J.T. Mueller, J.H.C. Fritz, and the CTCR.

Carl Vehse said...

And also agreeing with J.T. Mueller, J.H.C. Fritz, and the CTCR is another Anon, at April 12, 2018 at 12:59 PM, who admitted that "no dogmatic conclusion may be rendered regarding the substitution of individual cups for the chalice."

Anonymous said...

Our sacramental practice must above all be faithful to Christ’s founding words. All four New Testament accounts of that Thursday night Passover are unanimous in describing what Christ did. He took “the cup––i.e. a large, single “chalice” of wine––blessed it, and passed it around to the disciples. He said “Drink from it, all of you”. Check out St. Mark’s Gospel for example: Mark states that Jesus took the cup and when He had given thanks, “He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.” (Mark 14:23). When Jesus said, “Do this”, He was concerned that we might be certain that the Sacrament we have is the same one He instituted. Should we deviate from Christ's own words? It's His Supper.

Secondly, St. Paul argues that there is meaning in the elements Christ chose for the Sacrament of Unity: “Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a communion in the Blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a communion in the Body of Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor. 10:16-17). He argues that in the Sacrament many individual Christians are joined into one body as they share Christ’s Body and Blood. He emphasizes this by speaking of the bread of which we all take a part, and “the cup”, the one cup from which all drink the same Blood of Christ. Individual cups destroy the meaning of the Sacrament as Paul describes it, and replace the Gospel message of oneness in Christ with our modern society’s sad message of rugged individualism.
It should not surprise you at all that the whole Christian church throughout the world (from the time of the Apostles!) communed from the chalice for over 1800 years. The Church was simply being faithful to Christ’s institution.

Where did individual cups come from? Individual cups were first introduced by American Methodists, and soon made their way into other Reformed church bodies––that is, churches which denied that the bread and wine are truly Christ’s Body and Blood. Because they rejected this core Scriptural teaching, they were unconcerned about who communed (or what kind of vessel the “wine” was placed in; many churches even replaced the wine with grape juice!). Trays of individual cups were convenient for a practice of “open communion,” by which the trays were passed down the pews allowing anyone to commune. Churches which confessed the Real Presence (Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Orthodox) rejected this shocking practice, and resisted the use of the individual cups which represented such a position. The Lutheran Church has nothing in common with this Reformed false doctrine (heresy). Should then our Communion practice mirror what goes on in the Reformed churches?

Carl Vehse said...

Anon at April 12, 2018 at 8:10 PM, you need to catch up on your reading. Your first two paragraphs have already been addressed by J.T. Mueller, J.H.C. Fritz, and the CTCR in links I have provided to another Anon. Look 'em up.

Your third paragraph is irrelevant because it is not the shape, size, or construction materials of the cup that determines the presence of the body and blood of Christ in, with, and under the bread and wine in the Lord's Supper celebrated in Lutheran churches.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Peters, do large confessional Lutheran churches or chapels like Kramer use more than one chalice to serve a large number of communicants?

Anonymous said...

Carl, the issue is not whether the shape, size, or construction materials determine the presence of the blood of Christ; the issue is whether or not we are being faithful to Christ's institution. Practice reflects doctrine. Hence, why the reformed started the individual cups in the first place. Those churches still confessing the true presence of Christ in the Supper rejected the Reformed heresy and practice. Lutheran churches began adopting individual glasses when the aids crisis began. It's germaphobia that keeps them in our churches. Using individual cups for this reason (fear of sickness) becomes a matter of theology and confession of faith, for it is to doubt the benefits of this Holy Meal; it is to doubt the Body and Blood of Christ; it is unbelief, plain and simple. Health talk is faithless talk. “Never regard the Sacrament as something harmful from which to flee, but rather as purely wholesome and soothing therapy that is helpful and life-giving both for the soul and for the body. For if the soul is healed, the body is helped as well. Why, then, do we act as if the sacrament were a poison which would kill us if we ate of it? ” (Large Catechism, 119)

You go right ahead and do your theology standing upon the CTCR (it's not as though the CTCR could possibly ever err or anything [sense the sarcasm]). I'll stick with Scripture, our Confessions, the Church Fathers, and the clear testimony of the one, holy, Christian, and apostolic Church.

Carl Vehse said...

Because the cup's shape, size, and construction materials (or where they came from or who made them or sold them) are not a doctrinal issue (You don't seem to have read the linked documents of J.T. Mueller, J.H.C. Fritz, and the CTCR that I recommended previously to other Anon.), the practice of using a common communion cup or of using individual communion cups is a reflection of true Lutheran doctrine in distributing the body and blood of Christ in, with, and under the bread and wine in the Lord's Supper. There is no article of doctrine proscribing the individual communion cup. Another Anon has also admitted this. There is a doctrine on Christian liberty.

As such it is not only I, but also J.T. Mueller, J.H.C. Fritz, the CTCR and other Lutheran writers (noted in the links), as well as the Missouri Synod (1944 Proceedings, Vol. 39, p. 254), who are in agreement with Scripture (norma normans) and the Lutheran Confessions (norma normata) on the Christian liberty of using either individual or common communion cups in the Lord's Supper.

In your attacks against Lutheran theologians and the use of an individual communion cup , you should ponder the words of J.T. Mueller, who writes in his Christian Dogmatics (pp. 226-7):

"If a person takes offense because a confessing Christian is compelled to use his Christian liberty on account of the confession involved, no guilt attaches to such a Christian for using his liberty for the Gospel's sake. The guilt rather attaches to those who compel the true Christian to insist upon his liberty, Gal. 2, 4. 5; cp. with Acts 16, 3."

BTW, Anon, you also err in claiming Lutheran churches began adopting individual communion cups when the AIDS crisis began. LCMS churches began using individual communion cups in 1918 during the influenza pandemic.

Again, read and learn.

Anonymous said...

They became a more widespread universal sight at the time of the aids epidemic. Citing the 1918 influenza pandemic still proves my point: they were introduced because of a fear of germs and the spreading of sickness and disease, the very antithesis of what the Supper of our Lord's Body and Blood is all about! To fear that one will get sick from our Lord's Supper is not faith but unfaith.

Carl Vehse said...

Anon at April 13, 2018 at 11:00 AM, citing the 1918 influenza pandemic simply shows that your previous comment was wrong. Also, the pandemic ended by 1920, yet the use of the individual communion cup (and no doubt the eisegetic rhetoric opposing it) continued in the Missouri Synod during the 1920s and 30s such that Lutheran theologians like J.T. Mueller and J.H.C. Fritz exposited on the doctrinal issues in various LCMS theological publications in the 1930s, and the Synod in convention confirmed their conclusions in a 1944 Resolution. (Hint: This was all well before the AIDS epidemic.)

Furthermore you are going to have to provide substantiation of your telepathic skill before you try to speculate on the motivation of any Lutheran communicant who does use an individual communion cup.

Despite all of your sophistic tapdancing, the Lutheran position remains: “There is no dogmatical reason why the individual Communion cup should not be used."

Sean said...

Lots of great things to ponder here, but I also wanted to throw in some other thoughts as devil's advocate (unfortunate term, but I can't think of another).

So the main question here seems to be the following: Do our practices promote a proper amount of reverence for the Lord's Supper? I guess my first question is who decides what is considered the appropriate amount of reverence or even what practices constitute a reverent attitude? I won't attempt to answer the question, it's meant to be rhetorical; however, I think it is worth pondering. Obviously there are things out of bounds (violating the Lord's institution by substituting soda and oreos for bread and wine), but sometimes I think we are just trying to figure out how many angels we can fit on the head of a pin. Do some practices promote more reverence than others? Receiving the host on the tongue vs. on the hand? Receiving the common cup vs. the disposable plastic cups? I don't know that those impact my reverence for the Lord's Supper near as much as my pondering of the words of institution and knowledge of the gospel.

The first thing that I would point out is that for every thing the Catholic Church has gotten right about the Eucharist, they have gotten something wrong as well. The Eucharist became a re-sacrificing of the body and blood of Christ, rather than a declaration of the once-for-all justification we have obtained through Christ's death and resurrection. Some of the practices they adopted out of concerns for "reverence" such as performing the Eucharist in one element created a two-tiered understanding of the church (priesthood vs. laypersons). Some of these "reverent" practices actually caused more confusion than they resolved.

That being said, I think that I agree that some of these practices can add to the confusion, but not in the way that you presented in your article. It is the overemphasis on personal piety that concerns me.

Let's step back for a moment to the event that occurred on Maundy Thursday when the Lord instituted Holy Communion. What was the context? It was a shared, intimate meal between the Lord and his disciples. And while it was a holy holiday it does not appear that it was a highly formalized ritual that they were engaged in. They blessed their meal. They broke bread together, handed it down to one another, and ate. It was casual in a sense. Why would we add to that?

They shared their meal with the God who created the universe but chose to condescend down to us. They participated in the meal, even through they were unworthy of their own accord and would desert their master less than 12 hours later. And yet, after the resurrection, they were restored to fellowship with the Lord (Judas excluded) and sent forth as ambassadors to the proclaim the gospel to the world.

So understanding this original context, why in the world would we introduce rituals and traditions that seem to indicate that it is my reverence or worthiness that allow me to participate in the meal, or emphasize my piety rather than the work that Christ was about to do on the cross? It seems to me that receiving the host or the wine "correctly" gives the wrong message. I am unworthy to receive the Lord's Supper. I am just as unworthy to receive it in my hand or on my tongue, in a chalice or in a plastic shot glass? (Warning - tangent - why not use clay or stone cups for the matter to be consistent with first century Judean glassware?). It is only through his work and his righteousness that I can approach the altar to be in his presence.

I think the constant proclamation of what the Lord's Supper is and does for us that is the key. While I agree that we should be intentional about our practices, it defeats the purpose to be dogmatic about them. Sorry if that was a bit of a rambling response.

Sean said...

PS. I do agree to the use of the common cup though over individual cups. Not so much for the sake of piety or reverence, but for the symbol of being in close fellowship with one another. That's just my opinion.

Sean said...

P.P.S. Pastor Peters, I just wanted to say I have enjoyed reading your blog. Lot's of thought-provoking topics here.

Anonymous said...

Carl Vehse: Despite all of your sophistic tapdancing, the Lutheran position remains: “There is no dogmatical reason why the individual Communion cup should not be used."

Well, except for our Lord's own words. Without those, then everything is a free for all, including grape juice used in the Sacrament, laymen celebrating the Supper, open communion, female ordination, homosexuality, just to mention a few (there are others). All these aberrations (all of which are sinful!) happen when we let go the Word of God. Luther would have excommunicated a pastor who mixed consecrated wine with unconsecrated following the service. Today, plastic disposable cups are used widely and are tossed out unwashed after the service, like common trash. The Lutheran position isn't "There is no reason individual cups should not be used." That's simply the current LCMS position. The two are not the same.

As I said before, you go right ahead and do your theology based on CTCR documents (which can and do err) and Fritz. I'll continue to take my stand on the very Word of God ("He took the CUP after supper", singular, and said "Do this"), the Holy Fathers who wouldn't have dreamed of deviating from our Lord's mandate, and the one, holy, Christian and apostolic Church that remained faithful to Christ's institution for 1900 years. "New" is never good in the Church (and individual cups are new in the life of the Church). Go ahead and take your stand on "Thus saith the LCMS" (very shaky ground, my friend). In contrast, I'll stand firmly upon the rock of "Thus saith the Lord."

Oh, and they are most certainly in our churches because of the fear of the spread of sickness and disease. You said as much yourself, citing the 1918 influenza pandemic. It is little surprise that they remained following the two year pandemic; novelty introduced grabs a foothold quickly and is difficult to get rid of afterward. Also the very reason for their introduction–fear of germs–remains to this day. No one in the early church gave a second thought to such things! They were too busy being consumed with the essence of the Supper itself–the Life of Christ in a dying world.

David Gray said...

Just a reminder, his name is not Carl Vehse. It is Strickert. He takes on a play name when he posts.

Carl Vehse said...

Our Lord's own words do not proscribe the use of the individual communion cup, as has been shown by numerous Lutheran theologians, Anon. When you tossed in misleading and erroneous red herrings, they do not change the meaning of God's Word as these Lutherans theogians have explained from Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. And, Anon, claiming that God speaks what He has not spoken is a sin against God through the First, Second, and Eighth commandment.

David Gray said...

Our Lord's own words don't include the word "Trinity."

For an orthodox Lutheran, not entranced by novelty, all of Scripture are "our Lord's own words."

Anonymous said...

All four New Testament accounts of that Thursday night Passover are unanimous in describing what Christ did. He took “the CUP––i.e. a large, single “chalice” of wine––blessed it (the one cup), and passed it (the one cup) around to the disciples. He said “Drink from it (the one cup) all of you”. Check out St. Mark’s Gospel for example: Mark states that Jesus took the cup and when He had given thanks, “He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.” (Mark 14:23). "Do this" our Lord says. Seems pretty clear to me! You stick with whatever modern understanding you wish; it is without the support of the constant confession of the one holy Christian and apostolic church. I'm good to go with our Lord's own words. It is hardly a sin against God to confess God's own words and to do as He says. How preposterous!

By the way, your approach to theology is very same approach that leads to female ordination in many circles, including those who go by the name "Lutheran". Just sayin'...

Carl Vehse said...

Confessional Lutherans have rightly agreed that Scripture and the Lutheran Symbols does not proscribe the use of the individual communion cup.

It is the anonymous Stephanites, who continue to post eisegetic novelties, pretending they, instead, are what the Word of God is supposed to mean. Such Stephanites have only built a Lufauxran sandcastle.

Anonymous said...

Eisegetic novelties? Really? Adhering to our Lord's own institution is eisegetic novelty? Individual cups are not novelty? After 1900 years of undivided church history adhering to the chalice alone? Now I've heard it all! Lutherans didn't invent individual cups; the Reformed did (those who deny much of everything else our Lord says too!). Too bad the apostles and early church fathers and the church's 1900 year practice didn't have your wisdom to set them straight! It is you who is guilty of "eisegetic novelty". But I'm done! It is abundantly clear that your hermeneutic approach is drastically different! You'd probably argue for the use of grape juice too–since that is "fruit of the vine" as well.

Carl Vehse said...

Yes, Anon, it is your (and other Anons') eisegetic novelties, which have been refuted by Prof. J.T. Mueller in his article, "Argument against the Individual Communion Cup from the Ex Autou" (Concordia Theological Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 7, 1938, pp. 520-522). To keep foisting such eisegesis, despite evidence to the contrary, suggests a scotoma in not being able to recognize Lutheran doctrine.

And since there is no proscriptive against the individual communion cup, your 1900 years of repetition is useless for overcoming the Scriptural and Confessional doctrine of Christian liberty.

And again you demonstrate you have no significant arguments to raise against the choice of communion cups by throwing in another ad hominem about grape juice. You are scraping through the bottom of your Stephanite barrel.

William said...

Anon's arguments are significant and valid, Vehse, and he has the support of countless very well learned theologians and doctors of the church! (both past and present). Our confession and practice is not based upon Mueller. He is not even required reading at our seminaries. Also, the constant witness of 1900 years of undivided church history can hardly be cited as "useless" in theological discussion. It is most certainly relevant. It's how good theologians do theology.

Carl Vehse said...

William, the arguments from the various Anon personalities are insignificant and invalid in attempting to establish doctrine based only on centuries-old tradition. Furthermore, the Anons also attempted to denigrate the motivations of any communicant who uses an individual communion cup. For that the Anons had no doctrinal support from Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions, or from demonstrated telepathic abilities. To no surprise, along with the Anons were the usual anti-sola Scriptura comments.

And then there were the red herrings and ad hominems further demonstrating the Anons had no worthwhile arguments left. (The flurry of red herrings we have seen here is similar to those hurled by proponents and sycophants of paedocommunion or episcopal polity in past Lutheran blogs.)

And now, William, you toss in another red herring, "Our confession and practice is not based upon Mueller." No one had made such a claim. As stated earlier, "not only I, but also J.T. Mueller, J.H.C. Fritz, the CTCR and other Lutheran writers (noted in the links), as well as the Missouri Synod (1944 Proceedings, Vol. 39, p. 254), who are in agreement with Scripture (norma normans) and the Lutheran Confessions (norma normata) on the Christian liberty of using either individual or common communion cups in the Lord's Supper."

Of course, William, if you disagree with, reject and will not support or teach this doctrinal position of the Missouri Synod, then clearly state this, as well as whether you are an ordained rostered member of the Missouri Synod.

As for your other red herring that Mueller's abridged Dogmatics (or Pieper's complete 3-vol. Dogmatics) may no longer be used in Lutheran seminaries, that is a concern that should be addressed in some other column.

The constant witness of 1900 years is important in theological discussions of maintaining orthodox doctrine, but the use of individual or common communion cups is no more a doctrinal mandate than the introduction of pews, a tracker or electric organ, electric lighting, or HVAC used in churches during worship services.

David Gray said...

Mr. Strickert, why not use your name like an honorable man?

Anonymous said...

I will occasionally visit my Episcopalian sister and attend church with her. (We were both confirmed LCMS) They welcome me at the alter and I quickly caught on to their practice of intinction. So then I’ll go back to the LCMS and take our mother to church and dip the host in the wine.

William Tighe said...

Why would anyone not an Episcopalian wish to receive communion in that apostate body still known as The Episcopal "Church?" Anonymous should be trying to persuade his sister metaphorically to "flee sodom" rather than chowing down with her in it!

Carl Vehse said...

Probably because, despite the claim of "confirmed LCMS" (?!?), they were never Lutheran in the real sense of the term. And if an LCMS church allows the practice of intinction for an Episcopalian, it really isn't a Lutheran church anyway.

It would be like a seminary claiming to be Lutheran but then inviting a XXXA theologian to address its sponsored public convocation... oh, wait!

Anonymous said...

Fort Wayne? Fort Wayne!?! Why? To dialog? I'm confused.