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Savoy on the Sacraments. Part 9

09/10/2011

Continuing the series on how the Savoy Declaration deals with the Christian Sacraments of Baptism and Communion. In this article, Savoy Chapter 30 section 4, asserts that there is no place for private communions or adoration of the elements.

Private masses, or receiving the sacrament by a priest, or any other, alone; as likewise the denial of the cup to the people; worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and the reserving them for any pretended religious use; are contrary to the nature of this sacrament, and to the institution of Christ.

Communion is to be served to those who are present at the Lord’s Table, and not to those who are absent. Some churches have a custom of reserving some of the bread and wine and taking them out of the building to be brought to those who are sick or unable to attend public worship. Savoy will have none of this. There is no purpose to this practice, and it’s antecedents lie in the sacramental view of the sacraments practised by Catholic priests who believe that those who are sick of house bound can obtain grace from the sacrament. For the Protestant pastor, would it not be better to meet the infirm person and read the Scriptures and pray, for there would then be no misunderstanding.

There are good reasons for this:-
A) When Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper, it was for many, not for one.
B) Paul instructs the Corinthians to tarry one for the other.
C) Jesus instructs us, ‘Drink ye all of it.’
D) The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament of brotherhood. It is a symbol of the fellowship of saints.

There are similarly compelling arguments against the Roman Catholic practice of lifting up the ‘host’ to be worshipped, carrying it about and parading it through the streets.
A) Such adoration presupposes transubstantiation of the elements. Christ is not contained within the atoms of a piece of wafer just because a priest calls him down from heaven. Christ is seated at the right hand of God the Father.
B) Worship of the elements is worshipping a created entity, which is idolatry. Daniel 11:37-38 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. 38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
C) Consider the level of contradiction in this practice. Firstly, Christ is not present in a wafer, but the wafer is worshipped, yet Christ is most definitely indwelling the believer, through the presence of the Holy Spirit, yet who would dream of worshipping another Christian, or Christians worshipping each other. Also, if we should worship the wafer of communion, should we not also worship the water of baptism?

/Cont.

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