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Автор : Евгений Каширский
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Евгений Каширский, руководитель ЦИК
PAEDOCOMMUNION: A BIBLICAL EXAMINATION
By Rev. Brian M. Schwertley
Any study of the Lord's supper would not be complete without considering the
question: Who are the proper recipients of communion? As one aspect of this
question, we will consider the issue of paedocommunion. The term
paedocommunion refers to the teaching that infants and toddlers of believing
parents who are members of the church are entitled to receive the elements
of the Lord's supper. A consideration of this doctrine is important for a
number of reasons:
(a) Paedocommunion is a repudiation of the teachings of all the Protestant
Reformers as well as all the Reformed symbols regarding the proper
recipients of communion. As Reformed Presbyterians we adhere wholeheartedly
to the Westminster Standards, which are explicitly anti-paedocommunion. (see
Confession of Faith, 29:1, 3, 7, 8; Shorter Catechism, Q 91, 96, 97; Larger
Catechism Q 170, 171, 172, 174, 175, 177). The standard Reformed position
(briefly stated) is that the elements of the Lord Supper are only to be
received by church members who are old enough to examine themselves and
receive the elements by faith.
(b) The teaching of paedocommunion has spread rapidly throughout both
Presbyterian and Dutch Reformed circles in the last thirty years. If
paedocommunion is contrary to Scripture and the Reformed Standards (which it
clearly is), then Reformed believers need to understand the arguments for
paedocommunion and refute them effectively based on the biblical
interpretation of Scripture (i.e., the historical-grammatical-theological
(c) The arguments for paedocommunion are often attractive to people who hold
to covenant theology yet are untrained in biblical hermeneutics (i.e., the
science of interpretation), theology and church history.
(d) The doctrine of paedocommunion often leads to or is connected with other
false and dangerous teachings (e.g., sacramentalism [i.e., the sacraments
operate automatically or magically, ex opere operato], mysticism [e.g., the
"creative" hermeneutics of James Jordan and the rejection of Reformed
worship in favor of Eastern Orthodox concepts of worship] and the rejection
of the biblical distinction between the invisible and visible church, etc.)
THE PAEDOCOMMUNIONIST ARGUMENT
In order to refute the paedocommunionist teaching one must first set forth
the basic arguments for admitting infants and toddlers to the Lord's supper.
(The presentation of their basic arguments must be fair and given without
unnecessary ad hominem attacks or without setting up straw men that are
easily destroyed.) Then, once the paedocommunionist position is articulated
and understood, it will be systematically refuted while setting forth the
The basic arguments in favor of paedocommunion are simple, straitforward and
(if one accepts the paedocommunist's fallacious presuppositions) logical. It
is the simplicity of the paedocommunionist argument coupled with a woeful
lack of theological knowledge in most Reformed churches today which I
believe accounts for the popularity of this doctrine.
The paedocommunionist argument is rooted in their application of covenant
theology to the Lord's supper. Regarding infant baptism, all Reformed
believers are in agreement that baptism corresponds to and replaces
circumcision. That is why the infants of believers are obligated to receive
the sign and seal of baptism. The paedocommunists apply similar reasoning to
the Lord's supper. They point out that the Lord's supper corresponds to and
replaces the old covenant Passover. Since (we are told) whole covenant
families including infants and toddlers participated in the Passover meal,
should not also infants and toddlers be permitted to partake of the
communion meal? The connection between Passover and the Lord's supper is the
heart of the paedocommunist doctrine. Their major argument is supported by
other assertions. They argue that 1 Corinthians 11:27-30, which discusses
the need for participants to discern the Lord's body (which is a common
proof text against infants and toddlers participating in communion), is
directed to adults not children. While adults need to examine themselves in
order to avoid the gross abuses of the Lord's table that were occurring at
Corinth, infants are incapable of examining themselves and thus the apostle'
s admonition does not apply to them. Similarly, while a credible profession
of faith is required of adults before baptism, it obviously is not required
of covenant children. Further, an appeal is often made to church history. It
is asserted (erroneously) that for at least the first thousand years of
its existence the new covenant church practiced paedocommunion.
While the central arguments in favor of paedocommunion appeal to many
people, a careful examination of these arguments reveals a number of serious
problems that disprove the overall theory.
The main argument in favor of paedocommunion is founded upon the connection
of the Lord's supper to the original Egyptian Passover. The original
Egyptian Passover spoke of "a lamb for a household" (Ex. 12:3), or two
households if more people are needed to consume the whole lamb (Ex. 12:3).
The account says, "Then they shall eat the flesh on that night" (Ex. 12:8).
The "they" probably refers back to "the whole assembly of the congregation
of Israel" in verse 6. That children were present is obvious from the term
"household" and verse 26 where the children (literally "sons") are to ask
the heads of the household, "What do you mean by this service?" (Ex. 12:26).
Is this not conclusive proof that infants and toddlers should partake of
the Lord's supper since they were present at the Passover? No. We will see
that it proves nothing of the sort. There are a number of reasons why we
must reject paedocommunionist assertions regarding the Passover.
An examination of the Bible shows that any attempt to form a one-to-one
correspondence between the original Egyptian Passover and the Lord's supper
is over-simplistic and simply wrong. The Lord's supper does not merely
replace the original Exodus Passover but also all the Old Testament
sacrificial meals. The original Passover was a continuation of a larger
sacramental system that predated it. It also went through clarifications and
additions as revelation progressed. In order to prove infant and toddler
communion, one must examine the Exodus Passover out of its overall biblical
context. Consideration must also be given to the Levitical Passover (i.e.,
the permanent Passover) which was in effect for centuries and was the
Passover practiced during the life of Jesus. Consider the following germane
sections of Scripture.
(1) In Exodus 12:43-49 those who can and cannot participate in the Passover
meal are identified. The passage says that no uncircumcised person, no
foreigners, servants or sojourners are to participate. However, circumcised
servants and strangers who dwell with the covenant people that want to keep
the Passover and who submit to circumcision are permitted.
(2) In Exodus 23:14-19; 34:18-25 as well as Deuteronomy 16:1-8 we learn that
a number of the elements of the original Passover were unique and applied
only to the original Egyptian Passover. First of all, the Egyptian Passover
was an event that took place in the home (i.e. locally). God changed the
location of this feast in subsequent passages to the future temple complex
(i.e. "the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide").
Craigie writes: "The original Passover in Egypt had been performed by
families in their homes; the blood sprinkled on the lintel and door posts
had provided protection from the destructive wrath of the Lord (see Exod.
12:21-27). The continuing celebration and commemoration of the Passover,
however, was to be enacted in one place, where the sanctuary of the Lord was
located; the change from the original event to the commemoration of that
event may be significant. In Egypt, the Israelite had been a number of
families under the suzerainty of a worldly power. After the Exodus and
forming the covenant at Sinai, Israel became a single nation, the family of
God; thus the Passover became the act, symbolically speaking, of the one
large family of God, celebrated in one place where the sanctuary or house of
God was located." Indeed, as redemptive history progressed, a number of
things that fathers formerly did as part of family worship (such as offering
sacrifice) were later restricted to a specialized priesthood. Therefore,
those who argue that fathers should celebrate the Lord's supper in their own
families or that fathers should distribute the elements to their infants and
toddlers are being unscriptural.
Next, the command to appear before the Lord (i.e., make a pilgrimage to the
central sanctuary) applied only to male members of the nation. This command
likely applied to all those 20 years of age who had been included in the
census (cf. Num. 1:3) as well as boys who had been successfully catechized
(Prov. 22:6) and were at least 12 to 13 years of age (Lk. 2:41). What this
requirement teaches us is that either (a) The circumstances of the original
Egyptian Passover were extraordinary and did not continue in the permanent
Passover or (b) perhaps women, girls and uncatechized boys did not
participate in the original Passover meal. The original Passover narrative
does not explicitly specify that women, girls and young boys participated in
the meal. Such a view has always been inferred from the term "household" or
simply assumed. Interpreters who believe that females and young boys did not
eat the bitter herbs and roasted lamb often appeal to the question, "What do
you mean by this service?" (Ex.12:26) as evidence that small children were
observers rather than direct recipients of the roasted lamb. "Exodus 12:26
does not give evidence that the child himself partook...The question, 'What
mean ye by this service?' would seem to indicate that the child [asking this
question of the manducators] was not one of the partakers....The absence of
explicit command in connection with the Passover, is more likely to support
the fact that the [children] were not included...." This interpretation
has support from Joshua 4:6 where almost identical language is used to
describe children inquiring about an act in which they did not participate.
"That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their
fathers in time to come, saying, 'What mean ye by these stones?'" The act is
the carrying of stones out of the river Jordan to set up a memorial in the
promised land. The stones were carried by a man from each tribe (Josh.
4:4-5; cf. Isa. 3:15; Ezek. 18:2; Ac. 21:13).
(3) In Numbers 9:6-12 we read how God made special provisions for men who
were defiled (e.g., by touching a corpse) or away on a long journey (v. 10)
during the time of Passover to keep the Passover at a separate time. Instead
of celebrating the Passover at its regular time in the first month (Abib),
these men could celebrate it in the second month (Ziv). What is interesting
regarding this divinely inspired change is that is would have had little or
no effect upon women who were ritually unclean because of menstruation. Not
only does the account only mention men who were unclean, it completely
ignores the fact that at any given time roughly 25% of women were unclean
because of their menstrual period. "Additionally, because Israel observed a
lunar month, the solution that God gave to Moses would have been absolutely
no relief for menstruating women. They would have been unclean on the
fourteenth of the following month as well." Further, it is extremely
unlikely that ritually defiled women would even be allowed to prepare and
serve the Passover meal to their families.
(4) Additional information is given regarding the Passover in 1 Chronicles
30. In this chapter, which describes a continuing reformation that is taking
place under Hezekiah, we learn that (a) God's provision for delaying the
Passover for a month because of special circumstances is used in this case
to delay the Passover for the whole nation. (b) The Passover is not a
mindless ritual but is to be practiced with repentant hearts. The people are
not to be like their fathers and brethren who sinned against God (v. 7), nor
are they to be stiff-necked (v. 8, i.e. unrepentant), but are to yield
themselves to Jehovah (v. 8, i.e., they are to submit themselves to God's
authority). Faith in God and his word, which leads to repentance, is a
prerequisite for participation in the Passover.
(5) Another passage that sheds light on the Passover is found in Luke 2:
"And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the
grace of God was upon Him. His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the
Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to
Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast" (vv. 40-43). Here we learn
that although women were not required to attend the feast they often
accompanied their husbands on the journey. Gill writes: "Joseph was obliged
to go three times a year, as were all males in Israel, at the Passover,
Pentecost, and Tabernacles, Deut. XVI.16. The first of these is expressed
here, at the feast of the Passover; but the women were not obliged to go up:
for so it is said by the Jews [T. Hieros. Kiddushin, fol. 61.3.]...the
Passover of women is voluntary."
We also learn from this chapter of Scripture that Jesus attended the Feast.
"And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to
the custom of the feast" (v. 42). The context indicated that our Lord had
reached an age when his parents understood that he had the wisdom, grace and
ability to partake of the Passover (see vs. 40, 46-47). "At the age of
twelve a young Jew became 'a son of the Law,' and began to keep its
enactments respecting feasts, fasts, and the like. The mention of the age
implies that since the Presentation Jesus had not been up to Jerusalem"
David A. Bass writes:
That this was Jesus first trip to Passover is manifest from the context, and
in this most commentators agree. J. Jeremias, in his landmark Jerusalem in
the Time of Jesus, throws some valuable light on this custom. He says,
"...we may conclude (from Luke 2:41) that it was custom among people from a
distance to bring their children when they reached twelve years of age" (p.
76). Before twelve years of age, they remained at home. The Talmud records a
priest named Joseph (not the NT Joseph of the Holy Family) as full of
excessive zeal for bringing his entire oikos (household), children and all,
to the second Passover, held on e month later in provision for those who
were unclean at the first or otherwise unable to attend it (he would not
have dared to have brought them to the Passover in the month of Abib). The
Pesshita records that he was turned back (M.Pes.IX) that he might not set a
precedent for such behavior! If, indeed, the Passover was instituted for the
whole family-- women and children, as the paedocommunionist maintain--how
Joseph and Mary and the pious Jews were misguided! But, it seems, the
paedocommunionists are now here to set the test and tradition straight.
Hendriksen writes: "Jewish sources reveal no unanimity with respect to the
exact age when a boy became a 'bar mitzvah' (son of the law), that is, when
he attained the age of maturity and responsibility with respect to the
keeping of God's commandments. The prevailing opinion may have been that at
the age of 13 a boy should fully shoulder that responsibility but that in
order to become prepared to do this it would be wise for the parents to take
him along to the temple even earlier. We know at least that when Jesus
became 12 years of age Joseph and Mary took him along to Jerusalem in order
to attend the Passover festival. Though it is not stated in so many words
that this was the first time he went along, is not this a reasonable
Interestingly, the Hebrew Talmud (an ancient [c. 400 B.C. to A.D. 200]
collection of rabbinical comments upon the old Testament) says that males
had their most intensive catechization at age 12 because they were soon to
be regarded as men and admitted to the Passover table at thirteen years of
age. "States the Talmud: 'One trains the children a year or two before [age
thirteen], in order that they may become used to religious observances' [M.
Yom 8:4]....the Talmud describes the first manducations at the annual
Passover Feast--by the grown-up boys of pious Israelites. These manducations
occurred soon after those grown-up boys had become 'Sons of the Law' when
turning thirteen. This was after they at that time made their solemn vows,
and were then admitted and conferred as Communicants. According to the
Talmud after being catechized, and on the attainment of their manhood at
puberty--'one says to his sons: "I am ready to slaughter the Passover for
you who shall [now] first go up to Jerusalem"' [Pes. 7:6 & 8:1-7].
Although the Jewish Talmud is uninspired and often unreliable, with regard
to the Passover its comments do in general reflect the scriptural data we
have already considered (i.e., the Passover was restricted to men and mature
(6) The institution of the Lord's supper, which took place at a paschal
meal, is also informative. The disciples went into Jerusalem in the evening
to eat the Passover (Mk. 14:17). The meal had to be eaten in Jerusalem where
God's house resided. The accounts of the supper tell us that the disciples
reclined at the table. This position reflected the Jewish custom at that
time (M. Pesachim X.I). Lane notes some similarities and differences between
a typical first century Passover meal and the Lord's supper. He writes:
"While a normal meal began with the breaking of bread, on this occasion
Jesus broke the bread during the meal and following the serving of a dish
(Ch. 14:18-20, 22). The Passover meal was the one occasion when the serving
of a dish preceded the breaking of bread. The use of wine was generally
reserved for festive occasions and was characteristic of the Passover (M.
Pesachim X.1). Finally, the interpretation of the elements of the meal
conforms to Passover custom where the haggadah (or interpretation) is an
integral part of the meal. The cumulative evidence supports the claim made
in verses 12, 14, 16 that the disciples prepared a Passover meal and that
the external forms of the Passover meal were observed at the meal itself."
What is particularly important for this study is the fact that at this
Passover only adult men were present. Although one could argue that this
Passover meal was extraordinary (for in it our Lord instituted the first
Communion), there is nothing in any of the accounts to indicate that the
disciples thought there was anything unusual about celebrating the Pascal
meal apart from their families. (Remember, the disciples did not have prior
knowledge that Jesus was going to institute a new sacrament. They prepared
for the regular Passover meal.) The reason the disciples regarded everything
as normal is simple. As we have seen from an examination of relevant Old
Testament texts only fathers and catechized sons who had reached puberty
were required to attend (Ex. 23: 14-19; 34:18-25; Deut. 16:1-8; Prov. 22:6).
Although wives sometimes did accompany their husbands to the three major
centralized feasts (Lk. 2:41), there is no evidence that they ate the Pascal
meal with their husbands.. "At this meal we see precisely what our Old
Testament model led us to expect. Although Christ had shown supreme love to
His female disciples and for children during His earthly ministry, at this
Passover meal only adult males were invited. The meal did not take place in
His hometown of Nazareth nor in His adopted hometown of Capernaum, nor even
in His birthplace of Bethlehem, but in Jerusalem within sight of the
Before considering the Lord's supper itself as a new covenant ordinance, a
review of the Old Testament teaching on the Passover is in order. (1) The
original Egyptian Passover took place in the homes of the Hebrews. The
localized nature of the original Passover, however, was temporary and
extraordinary. The permanent requirements for the Passover are found in God'
s law and are revealed in subsequent old covenant historical examples. (2)
While the original participants of the first Passover within the home are
not specified, the immediate context restricts the meal to circumcised Jews,
their circumcised servants and strangers (i.e., foreigners) who submit to
circumcision (i.e., they have converted to the true religion) and want to
keep the Passover (Ex. 12:42-49). Even the original Passover (which was
unique in a number of ways) does not offer support to infant and toddler
communion because infants would not be able to consume roasted lamb,
unleavened bread and bitter herbs. (3) God's law teaches that the permanent
Passover was not to be celebrated locally in the home but in Jerusalem near
God's house (Deut. 16:2, 5-7). (4) The command to keep the Passover in
Jerusalem applied only to male members of the nation (i.e., males who were
successfully catechized and had reached puberty [Ex. 23:14-19; 34:18-25;
Num. 1:3; 22:6; Prov. 22:6; Lk. 2:41]). (5) God made special provisions in
the law for keeping the Passover at a different time (a month after the
regular Passover) for men who were ritually unclean or away on a long
journey (Num. 9:6-12). These provisions would be of no use to the majority
of women who were unclean as a result of their menstrual cycle. (6) Faith
and repentance toward God are prerequisites for participating in the
Passover (2 Chron. 30:7-8). The Passover (like the Lord's supper) is an
ordinance connected with progressive sanctification and thus requires faith
and understanding. The paedocommunionist understanding of the Passover
presupposes a Romanist (ex opere operato) magical understanding of the
feast. (7) Jesus likely attended his first Passover at the age of twelve
(Lk. 2:41). (8) Our Lord and His apostles participated in the last Passover
without their families in Jerusalem in accordance with God's law (Mt.
26:26-29; Lk. 22:17-20; Mk. 14:22-25).
Another reason why paedocommunion is unscriptural is that the Lord's supper
does not replace only the original Exodus Passover but also replaces all the
Old Testament sacrificial meals. In the old covenant there were different
sacrifices, sacrificial meals, with different recipients. For example, the
Levitical Passover included circumcised Jewish men, circumcised slaves,
converted circumcised foreigners and successfully-catechized, circumcised
boys or young men (Ex. 12:43-48; 23:14-19; 34:18-25; Num. 1:2, 22:6; Prov.
22:6; 2Chron. 30:7-8; Lk. 2:411). The covenant meal on Mount Sinai admitted
only the male leaders of Israel (Moses, Aaron, Nadub and Abihu and the
seventy elders of Israel, see Exodus 24:9-11). What is particularly
interesting regarding this covenant meal is its parallels with the Lord's
supper. In the covenant meal of Exodus 24, the heads of the nation (the old
covenant church) eat in the presence of Jehovah. This occurs at the
beginning of the establishment of what, for them, was a new covenant.
Likewise, God in the flesh (Christ)] eats a covenant meal with the heads of
the new nation--the New Covenant church. This occurs only hours before the
sacrificial death of Jesus. The guilt offering meal was only to be eaten by
the male offspring of Aaron, the priests (Lev. 6:17-18). This restriction
was also true of the sin offering (see Lev. 6:25-30; 7:10), the grain
offering (see Lev. 6:16-17) and the trespass offering (see Lev. 7:6-7). All
of the sacrifices point to Christ himself who is our Passover (cf. Jn. 1:29;
1 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 10:19-22). Since the Lord's supper shows forth the death of
Christ and thus replaces all bloody sacrifices and their sacrificial meals,
it is exegetically illegitimate to arbitrarily select the biblical account
of the Egyptian Passover meal as the only or primary text that sets forth
the terms of communion for the Lord's supper. Simply put, the fact that
there were different terms of admission to the different covenant meals,
most or perhaps even all of which excluded infants and toddlers, the
original Passover account does not justify overthrowing the teaching and
practice of the whole Protestant Reformation. Further (as already noted),
why should believers look to the Egyptian Passover yet ignore the
requirements of the permanent. Levitical Passover which was repeatedly set
forth in the law of Moses and practiced for several centuries? The
paedocommunionist argument from the Egyptian Passover is arbitrary,
inconsistent and ignores progressive revelation.
The strongest argument against infant and toddler communion comes from the
theological meaning of the Lord's supper itself. The power or efficacy of
communion does not reside within the bread and wine themselves but rather is
dependent upon the sovereign power of the Holy Spirit who opens our minds
and hearts causing us to feed upon the whole person and work of Christ by
faith. As mere bread and wine, the divinely appointed symbols produce no
spiritual effect upon the believer. But when the Holy Spirit enlightens the
mind of the participant to perceive the gospel truth that the appointed
emblems "exhibit, signify, and seal," then and only then do they become
means of sanctification. If progressive sanctification from the ordinance is
dependent upon understanding and faith, then infant and toddler communion
are useless. Those who receive the elements, who do not understand what is
going on, who do not have faith, do not receive any benefit from them
The doctrine of paedocommunion logically rests upon a materialistic,
magical, mystical, irrational, superstitious understanding of the Lord's
supper. All the Reformed symbols reject the idea that the bread and wine
have intrinsic power to change the soul, that people who consume the
eucharist are automatically transformed (ex opere operato). Such a view is
usually based on the Romanist doctrine of the real presence or
transubstantiation of the elements (i.e., the bread literally becomes Jesus
body, the wine literally becomes Christ's blood.) Sadly, the doctrine of
paedocommunion has led many professing Christians to the apostate and
heretical Eastern Orthodox Church.
There are a few paedocommunist arguments that relate to the meaning of the
Lord's supper that need to be considered. A very common argument is that the
children of believers who are members of the covenant and the visible church
are denied an important benefit of the covenant if they are not allowed to
participate in communion. Paedocommunionist writers will often refer to the
confessional understanding of communion as baptistic or individualistic,
treating covenant children as if they were excommunicated. Such an argument
must be rejected for a number of reasons.
First, the paedocommunionist argument could be applied to God himself, who
did not command the participation of infants and toddlers in the permanent
Levitical Passover. Children in the old covenant were members of the
covenant and the visible church. Yet, Jehovah himself did not see any
inconsistency in restricting the Passover to adult males and their
successfully catechized sons. Is God "rationalistic, inconsistent, gnostic,
individualistic or baptistic" in his treatment of infants and small children
under the old covenant order? No, of course not. Such thinking is
Second, the paedocommunionist argument does not take into account the
differences between baptism and the Lord's supper. Baptism is a sign and
seal of regeneration. Regeneration is an act of God upon the heart in which
the individual is passive. All that is required for a baby to be baptized is
that at least one parent be a professing Christian and a member in good
standing of a lawfully constituted church. The baby does not need to
understand what is going on to receive the sign and seal of baptism (many
babies even sleep through the ritual). Baptism, like circumcision, is a sign
and seal of what can take place in the past (e.g., John the Baptist, adult
converts), the present (e.g., most elect infants) or even the future (e.g.,
the children of believers whom God sovereignly chooses to regenerate at a
The Lord's supper, however, is different in a number of ways. (1) The Lord's
supper is not a one- time initiatory rite like baptism, but is a repeated
ordinance that, along with the Word, is used for spiritual nourishment or
progressive sanctification. Unlike regeneration or initial sanctification,
progressive sanctification requires knowledge, understanding and faith.
"Although Baptism and the Holy Supper have the same covenant of grace as
their context, and although both give assurance of the benefit of the
forgiveness of sins, the Holy Supper differs from Baptism in this regard,
that it is a sign and seal not of incorporation into but of the maturation
and strengthening in the fellowship of Christ and all His members."
Calvin's comments on this matter are excellent. He writes:
Furthermore, they object that there is no more reason to administer baptism
to infants than the Lord's supper, which is not permitted to them. As if
Scripture did not mark a wide difference in every respect! This permission
was indeed commonly given in the ancient church, as is clear from Cyprian
and Augustine, but the custom has deservedly fallen into disuse. For if we
consider the peculiar character of baptism, surely it is an entrance and a
sort of initiation into the church, through which we are numbered among God'
s people: a sign of our spiritual regeneration, through which we are reborn
as children of God. On the other hand, the Supper is given to older persons
who, having passed tender infancy, can now take solid food.
This distinction is very clearly shown in Scripture. For with respect to
baptism, the Lord there sets no definite age. But he does not similarly hold
forth the Supper for all to partake of, but only for those who are capable
of discerning the body and blood of the Lord, of examining their own
conscience, of proclaiming the Lord's death, and of considering its power.
Do we wish anything plainer than the apostle's teaching when he exhorts each
man to prove and search himself, then to eat of this bread and drink of this
cup [1Cor. 11:28]? Self-examination ought, therefore, to come first, and it
is vain to expect this of infants. Again: "He who eats unworthily eats and
drinks condemnation for himself, not discerning the body of the Lord" [1
Cor. 11:29]. If only those who know how to distinguish rightly the holiness
of Christ's body are able to participate worthily, why should we offer
poison instead of life-giving food to our tender children? What is that
command of the Lord: "Do this in remembrance of me" [Luke 22:19; 1 Cor.
11:25]? What is that other command which the apostle derives from it: "As
often as you eat this bread, you will proclaim the Lord's death until he
comes" [1 Cor. 11:26]? What remembrance of this thing, I ask, shall we
require of infants when they have never grasped it? What preaching of the
cross of Christ, the force and benefit of which their minds have not yet
comprehended? None of these things is prescribed in baptism. Accordingly,
there is a very great difference between these two signs, as we have noted
in like sign also under the Old Testament. Circumcision, which is known to
correspond to our baptism, had been appointed for infants [Gen. 17:12]. But
the Passover, the place of which has been taken by the Supper, did not admit
all guests indiscriminately, but was duly eaten only by those who were old
enough to be able to inquire into its meaning [Ex. 12:26]. If these men had
a particle of sound brain left, would they be blind to a thing so clear and
Understanding the differences between regeneration and sanctification is
important for understanding why there are different qualifications for
baptism and the Lord's supper. Sanctification begins in regeneration when
God implants a new spiritual nature in the subject of his grace. (Early
Reformed theologians often refer to this starting point as initial
sanctification.) Sanctification is definitive in the sense that it was
secured by our union with Christ. It is progressive in the sense that it is
a lifelong process whereby the Holy Spirit subdues sin and increases a
believer's personal righteousness over time. Sanctification is a work of God
in the believer. In sanctification the Holy Spirit works upon man in both a
mediate and immediate way. For example, in regeneration (i.e., initial
sanctification) the Spirit of God works immediately; that is, he works
directly upon man's soul in planting a new spiritual nature. Regeneration is
not dependent on any external means. The workings of the Holy Spirit
directly upon the elect person's heart are beyond human comprehension and
encompassed with mystery. In progressive sanctification, the Holy Spirit
work medially or through means. He works upon the conscious life of man
through the means of grace such as the Word of God, the preached Word (Jn.
17:17, 19; 1 Pet. 1:22; 2:2; Rom. 10:17; etc.), the sacrament of the Lord's
supper (1 Cor. 11:23-26), the communion with God in prayer (Jn. 14:13-14)
and the practicing of good works (Jn. 15:2; Rom. 5:3-4; Heb. 12:5-11). The
Word of God is foundational to every means of grace in progressive
sanctification (Jn. 17:17,19; 1 Pet. 1:22; 2:2; Ps. 119:9, 11, 15, 16, 33,
34; etc.). Once one understands that the Holy Spirit uses external means in
the process of progressive sanctification then one cannot accept the notion
that babies and toddlers are progressively sanctified during communion
unless one adopts the view that the bread and wine operate automatically (ex
opere operato); that Jesus is physically present in the bread and wine, one
with the elements. Francis Nigel Lee writes: "The Paedo position would force
us to embrace a Roman Catholic or Lutheran understanding of how the
sacrament conveys grace.:For anyone coming from the Reformed perspective,
this ought to be a paramount concern. After all, people were burned at the
stake during the English Reformation for the Reformed view of the Sacrament.
The proponents of Paedocommunion simply must answer the question of how
grace is conferred in their new system....At best they are left with the
Lutheran view; at worst, the Roman....
When the differences between baptism and the Lord's supper are understood we
see that a Christian father who does not give bread and wine to a two month
old baby is no more neglectful than a covenant head who starts verbally
catechizing his children only when they are able to understand the meaning
of words. The only manner in which a paedocommunionist can argue against
this objection to his position is to either equivocate on the meaning of the
word sanctification (e.g., ignoring the distinction between initial
sanctification [i.e., being regenerated and set apart by God] and
progressive sanctification or by resorting to a unscriptural definition
of communion (i.e., an ex opere operato or magical formulation). It is not
an accident that some of the champions of paedocommunion want people to
reject the attainments of the Reformation with regard to worship and
justification in favor of a more Romish medieval conception of these
The Lord's supper is different from baptism in that it requires active
participation. Believers are commanded to "take and eat" (Mt. 26:26; 1 Cor.
11:24, Majority Text). The church is to "do this act" (Touto poiete). This
ordinance involves observing, touching, breaking, eating, tasting, drinking
and so on. Dipping one's finger in the wine and placing it in a baby's mouth
is not active participation on the part of a suckling. Further, even the
term "remembrance" (Lk. 22:19, 1 Cor. 11:24-25) refers to more than a mental
activity on the part of the participants. To the Hebrew mind it involved
both thinking and acting, or thinking that leads directly to appropriate
actions. In the Old Testament "often 'memory' and 'activity' go together.
God 'remembers' and 'visits' or 'forgives' or blots out'. So also Israel is
to 'remember' by erecting a 'memorial' or by reenacting a rite (cf. Exod.
13:9)." Like the Passover which was a "remembrance" to be kept by
Israel, the Lord's supper is to be remembered and celebrated by the new
covenant church. The church remembers by her living faith that faithfully
participates in the ordinance of communion. Babies and sucklings, while in
the covenant, are incapable of the appropriate mental activity and the
corresponding active participation! This point does not mean that they are
unholy or under discipline any more than were the old covenant children who
did not accompany their fathers and older brothers to the Passover at
Jerusalem. Although babies and toddlers are not mature enough to partake of
the Lord's supper, they still are permitted to sit with their families at
the table. At the original Passover meal babies and sucklings could not eat
roasted lamb, bitter herbs and unyeasted bread. However, they were not
regarded as excommunicated. They were part of the household. They sat around
the table, protected from the angel of death by the blood on the doorposts
and lintel. The repeated accusation that nonpaedocommunionists are treating
their children as if they are excommunicated is ad hominem rhetoric.
The teachings of the New Testament regarding the Lord's supper presuppose a
level of mental maturity on the part of the participants that excludes
infants and toddlers from active participation in the ordinance. The
communion table involves commemoration, which involves the ability to
meditate and reflect upon who Jesus is and what he has done on our behalf.
"The believing and grateful remembrance of Jesus is most certainly the part
of main in this feast." Remembrance obviously involves faith in the
person and work of Christ. Hodge writes: " In remembrance of me, i.e. that I
may be remembered as he who died for your sins. This is the specific,
definite object of the Lord's supper, to which all other ends must be
subordinate, because this alone is stated in the words of institution. It is
of course involved in this, that we profess faith in him as the sacrifice
for our sins; that we receive him as such; that we acknowledge the
obligations which rest upon us as those who have been redeemed by his blood;
and that we recognize ourselves as constituent members of his church and all
believers as our brethren, We are thus, as taught in the preceding chapter,
brought into a real communion with Christ and with all his people by the
believing participation of this ordinance." Calvin concurs: "If,
therefore, you would celebrate the Supper aright, you must bear in mind,
that a profession of your faith is required from you."
The Lord's supper involves proclamation. "For as often as you eat this bread
and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes" (1 Cor.
11:26). 'It is a commemoration of his death, for it is in very nature a
proclamation of that fact." The apostle "understands by Kataggellein,
announce, the individual and collective proclamation of Christ's love in His
sacrifice, and of the glorious efficacy of this act. Each one confesses that
he owes his salvation to this bloody death."
The fact that Lord's supper is a proclamation of Jesus' sacrificial death
leads Paul to warn the Corinthians of the necessity of self-examination (see
1 Corinthians 11:26-29). "Let a man examine himself" (1 Cor. 11:28). The
term "examination" denotes a moral exercise that presupposes a certain level
of mental maturity that excludes babies and toddlers. There is to be due
preparation before partaking of the elements. In the immediate context, this
examination requires discernment or taking proper cognizance of the Lord's
body (1 Cor. 11:29). The narrow and broad contexts of this passage indicate
that this self-examination extends to three different interrelated areas.
First, the examination extends to our treatment of Christ's body, the
church. This point is plain from the immediate context, which precipitated
Paul's digression upon the holy supper. Some Corinthians had been guilty of
treating poor believers as second-class citizens at the agape feasts that at
the time were still held in conjunction with communion. (The Corinthians
were probably guilty of following the ancient Greek custom of having
different places to sit in the house, along with different quantities and
qualities of food as a result of one's social and economic status. In other
words, the rich were eating like gluttons while the poor were going hungry.)
Scripture indicates that this ethical examination extends to other areas
such as reconciliation with a brother (Mt. 5:23-24) and a refusal to repent
of immorality (e.g., 1 Cor. 5:1, 5, 8, 9, 11, 13). Self-examination requires
knowledge of God's ethical requirements as well as faith in God's word,
otherwise this examination would be subjective and legalistic. This
examination, however, is not to be a morbid introspectionism or an
expectation of sinless perfection, for every Christian knows that it is
Christ alone and his merits that render him worthy to come to communion.
Second, this examination involves "discerning the Lord's body" (1 Cor.
11:29) which in context refers to a proper consideration of the meaning and
implication of the salvation purchased by Christ. This point is obvious from
Paul's quotation of the original words of institution from Luke 22:19 where
the Lord's broken body is set before our eyes as the atonement for our sins.
Remembering Christ's passion and meditating on how Jesus delivered us from
the guilt, penalty and power of sin are connected not only to the
sanctifying nature of the ordinance but also to the dire warnings connected
to the abuse of the sacrament. Mistreating Christ's body, the church, by
unloving behavior toward the brethren, is an implicit denial of what the
supper points to. A proper discernment of Christ's body (that is, his person
and work) leads to a proper discernment of his body, the church. The two are
Third, the context of 1 Corinthians 11:29 indicates that communion also
involves a proper recognition of the elements set apart for holy use. The
elements are set apart from a common to a sacred use. Therefore, it is
wicked and dangerous to use them in a profane manner (e.g., getting drunk).
For this reason many commentators view the conclusion of this chapter as an
admonition to separate communion from the love-feast or fellowship meal.
Once again note that the admonitions associated with communion presuppose
faith, understanding and recognition of biblical ethics. It is totally
inappropriate to dismiss the implications of these admonitions by arguing
that they only apply to adults because (as noted) the holy supper, unlike
baptism, requires faith, knowledge and understanding for progressive
sanctification. The attempt to parallel these ordinances doesn't work
without a complete redefinition of communion (i.e., a redefinition in an ex
opere operato direction).
The Lord's supper also involves communion, which involves the ability to
look to the resurrected Savior as spiritually present with his people,
actively strengthening their faith and encouraging their hearts. Christ
communes with and sanctifies the souls of believers by faith. All the
important mental functions and activities associated with communion such as
self-examination, remembrance, communion and discerning the Lord's body are
of such a nature that they require faith, mature thought and understanding.
James S. Candish's comments on this topic are very helpful, especially his
emphasis on the necessity of faith. He writes:
Before coming to the Lord's table, there is needed, besides that
self-examination by which we judge if we can rightly partake of it, also a
stirring up of those dispositions and desires that are required for doing
so, especially faith, repentance, and love. For we need to have these not
merely as habits, which may go dormant in the soul for a season, but as acts
of the soul in lively exercise. It is by faith that we are not only prepared
to feed upon Christ, but actually do feed upon Him (John vi. 35,47). Coming
to Christ, believing on Him, eating His flesh and drinking His blood, are
spoken of by our Lord as one and the same thing; and all alike are connected
with having eternal life, living by Him, dwelling in Him and he in us. If
then we would enjoy this blessing at the Lord's supper, we must not only
have had faith at some former time, or have the habitual disposition to
trust in Him, but be actually trusting to Him at the time we observe it. We
must draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, i.e., with
undoubting reliance on Christ as our High Priest. So, too, our love must be
in actual exercise. "This do in remembrance of me," are Christ's words,
making the Supper the pledge of love between Himself and His disciples. But
the very purpose of a pledge or token of love is to call forth into lively
exercise the love that exists as a habitual principle in the soul. There is
always filial affection in the heart of a right minded son towards his
parents, though at times his thoughts and feelings may be necessarily
engaged with other duties. But when he looks on a keepsake that he has
received from them, the actual feelings of filial love wake up in his breast
and fill him with emotion. So, while engaged in the ordinary duties of life,
the child of God may not actually have present feelings of love to God and
Christ, though that dwells in his heart, but when called to the Lord's table
he should have these feelings in fresh and lively exercise.
Given the biblical understanding of the holy supper it should not be a
surprise to discover that the Reformed churches have always insisted that
the partaking of communion never be separated from the preached Word.
Feeding on the Word of God is a necessary prerequisite for eating the body
of Christ. Thus our Lord proclaimed: "It is the Spirit who gives life; the
flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they
are life" (Jn. 6:63). Not only does the preached Word define the sacraments,
giving them meaning, it also strengthens our faith. "Faith comes by hearing,
and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17). Interestingly, the symbolism
of the supper itself points to the importance of faith for nourishment or
progressive sanctification. The figures of eating and drinking picture a
Christian receiving Christ by faith. We are not talking about a mere
intellectual assent to certain propositions (thus, the frequent charge of
paedocommunionist that the confessional understanding of the holy supper is
gnostic is totally untrue) but a trusting in Jesus alone for salvation and
spiritual nourishment. Communion vividly sets forth the vital union effected
by faith between Christ and the believer. Further, self-examination in all
its aspects is founded upon one's faith, knowledge and understanding of God'
s holy Word.
Once one eliminates the need for faith, he also eliminates the need for the
accompaniment of the preached Word. Thus, the paodocommunionist
understanding of the Lords' supper logically should lead to the partaking of
communion apart from the Word. In other words, there would be no reason to
abandon the Romanist practice of dispensing the elements to sick individuals
apart from public worship. If the elements work ex opere operato apart from
faith and understanding then, why not dispense the elements to individuals
like magic pills? The paodocommunionist will simply ignore the abundant
biblical evidence regarding the differences between baptism and the Lord's
supper by arguing that: (a) all the admonitions relating to the Lord's
supper are directed only to adults; and (b) the overall teaching of covenant
theology proves that infants and small children should be included in the
We have proved that these arguments are fallacious by noting the following:
(1) Infants and toddlers did not participate in the permanent Passover
feast. Thus the change that paodocommuninists level against Christians who
are faithful to the Reformed symbols could be leveled against God himself.
If God did not command that infants and toddlers who were circumcised should
partake of the Levitical Passover, then God would be just as guilty of
violating the paodocommunionist's interpretation of covenant theology than
confessional Reformed believers. (2) Baptism and the Lord's supper are
different sacraments with different requirements. The Lord's supper is not
an initiatory sacrament in which a person is passive but an ordinance of
progressive sanctification. Paodocommunionists need to explain how babies
and sucklings are progressively sanctified apart from knowledge,
understanding and faith. Paodocommunionists must either redefine the
biblical doctrine of sanctification or they must pervert the meaning of
communion by adopting an ex opere operato formulation.
One paodocommunionist author attempts to circumvent the progressive
sanctification argument by arguing that the Lord's supper does work ex opere
operato (i.e., automatically) in the sense that the recipients do invariably
receive blessings or cursing during the communion meal. Paul says that
judgment comes upon those recipients who receive the body and blood of our
Lord in an unworthy manner. This argument raises the question: How could
infants and toddlers receive communion in an unworthy manner if they do not
know their right hand from their left, if they have no ability to
communicate, mistreat people or discern the body? A study of Paul's warning
in context makes it abundantly clear that this warning applies to professing
Christians who are capable of acting in an unloving manner toward the
brethren. The modified ex opere operato argument still presupposes a
magical, mechanical understanding of the supper.
Another common argument of paodocommunionists is based on the fact that the
Lord's supper is a covenant renewal meal. The argument is as follows: If
baptized children are included in the covenant and are members of the
visible church, then obviously they have a right and obligation to
participate in the covenant renewal meal that Jesus has instituted. Is it
not sinful and wrong to keep the eucharist from Christ's little lambs?
Although this argument is common and has sentimental appeal, it is easily
refuted by Scripture. Were the children of believers part of the covenant
and numbers of the visible church in the Old Testament economy? Yes, they
certainly were. Did they then have the right to participate in every
covenant meal that Jehovah had instituted? No. They did not participate in
the covenant meal on Mt. Sinai (Ex. 24:9-11), nor did they participate in
the permanent Levitical Passover (Ex. 23:14-19, 34:18-25; Num. 1:3; 22:6;
Prov. 22:6; 2 Chron. 30:7-8; Lk. 2:41). Does this exclusion mean that they
were excommunicated or regarded as outside the covenant by God? No,
absolutely not. It was God himself who instituted the various covenant meals
and determined the appropriate recipients. If, under the old economy, God
can say that infants and children are in the covenant yet cannot participate
in certain sacred activities until they are able to understand what is going
on, then he obviously can do the same in the New Testament. We may not like
it. It may not seem logical to us. However, we must submit to God's
teaching, which is reflected in our Reformed symbols.
Another very common argument used by paodocommunionists against the historic
Reformed position is that the restriction of communion to adult church
numbers and successfully catechized children who have made a credible
profession of faith is that the confessional understanding came about
because of the influence of Greek philosophy and rationalism on Calvin and
the early Reformers. This argument is refuted in two ways. First, it
needs to be pointed out that this accusation is never supported by any
actual evidence. If the Calvinistic Reformers and Reformed theologians were
influenced by Aristotilianism, neo-Platonism or Thomism (regarding
communion), then one should easily be able to demonstrate that fact by
showing quotations, similarities of thought and philosophical connections.
Until this work is done the idea that the Westminster divines were
influenced by Greek thought in their understanding of the Lord's supper
needs to be regarded for what it is: intellectual sounding but empty
accusations. Second, anyone that is familiar with the Reformed confessions
and theologians of the past knows that their arguments were based on the
exegesis of Scripture and not on esoteric philosophical considerations. Even
this brief study has shown that the new covenant Lord's supper as understood
by the Reformed symbols is thoroughly rooted in Scripture, not heathen
philosophy. Perhaps the reason this accusation (that the historic Reformed
view is Greek or rationalistic) is so frequently made by paedocommunionists
is that their position is inherently irrational. The Bible teaches that
progressive sanctification comes by God's truth (Jn. 17:17; 1 Pet. 1:22;
2:2; Ps. 19:9 ff., etc.). To argue that infants and sucklings are
progressively sanctified by crumbs of bread apart from any understanding is
irrational. Although God is almighty and can do whatsoever he desires, he
cannot contradict his own nature and work.
Our study of paedocommunion has revealed that the doctrine of infant
communion is faced with a number of insurmountable exegetical and
theological difficulties. An examination of the Old Testament shows that
"the strong support for paedocommunion" that allegedly is to be found there
is lacking. Not only is there nothing tangible in the Old Testament to cling
to for divine warrant, the relevant material contradicts paedocommunion.
Sacramental ordinances designed for progressive sanctification required
faith, knowledge and understanding in the Old Covenant just as the Lord's
supper does in the New Covenant.
A brief examination of passages dealing with the Lord's supper in the New
Testament demonstrates that the holy supper is a sacrament for progressive
sanctification (i.e., spiritual nourishment and growth) and thus requires
discerning the Lord's body, self-examination, faith, repentance and active
participation. There is simply no way a Reformed Protestant can adopt
paedocommunion without redefining the doctrine of sanctification. (Many of
course adopt infant communion out of an ignorance of both doctrines. If a
popular theonomist or conference speaker promotes it, then it must be
While the issue of paedocommunion may serve to be a minor doctrinal matter
that is not worth arguing over, the adoption of infant communion by Reformed
churches has great potential for leading people to superstitious,
sacramentalist views of communion. It can be and, sadly, already has been a
conduit to mysticism, Romanism and Eastern Orthodoxy for a number of poor
deluded souls. Thus, let us hold fast to the doctrinal attainments of our
covenanted reformation not because we have a love of tradition, but because
they (the Reformed Symbols) are excellent expressions of scriptural
 Paedocommunion was practiced from the third to the eighth centuries.
There is no evidence that it was practiced before that time. The Eastern
Orthodox churches still practice paedocommunion. Given the fact that by the
third century sacramentalism was already deeply entrenched in many churches
and the fact that all Reformed theologians teach that the means of grace
require faith and a knowledgeable response to the signs to be efficacious,
the paodocommunist's appeal to church history is rather puzzling.
 Peter J. Leithart, Daddy, Why Was I Excommunicated? (Niceville, Fla.:
Transfiguration Press, 1992). See also Rousas J. Rushdoony, Institutes of
Biblical Law (Nutley, NJ: The Craig Press, 1973), 44f, 752f, 794.
 P. C. Craigie, The Book of Deuteronomy (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1976),
 Morton Smith, Systematic Theology (Greenville, S.C.: Greenville Seminary
Press, 1994), p. 686-691, as quoted in Frances Nigel Lee, Paedocommunionism
Verses Protestantism: How Trendy Theologizers Have Retreated from the
Reformation (unpublished paper).
 Richard Bacon, "What Mean Ye?" in The Blue Banner (Rowlett, TX: First
Presbyterian Church of Rowlett, 1996),
http://www.fpcr.org/blue_banner_articles/meanye1.htm, sec. 4, 3.
 John Gill, An Exposition of the New Testament (London, 1809), 532.
 Alfred Plummer, The Gospel According to St. Luke (Edinburgh: T&T Clark,
 David A. Bass, Paedocommunion: A Return to or Departure from Biblical
Practice (Internet article: http://www.newgenecaopc.org/pb.asp), 10.
 William Hendriksen, The Gospel of Luke (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1978), 183.
 Francis Nigel Lee, Paedocommunionism Versus Protestantism: How Trendy
Theologisers Have Retreated from the Reformation), pp. 8, 9.
William L. Lane, The Gospel of Mark (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974),
Although virtually every person this author has discussed paedocommunion
with immediately goes to the comparison of the Lord's supper with the first
Passover as the main line of argumentation, some paedocommunionists are more
sophisticated in their argumentation. For example, Peter Leithart argues
from more general considerations such as the meaning of the covenant,
baptism, and his assertion that Israelite children were invited to eat
various sacrificial/sacramental meals. Interestingly, the passages that
Leithart cites as proof that all covenant children should partake of the
Lord's supper actually prove nothing of the sort. He appeals to the original
Passover (Ex. 12:3-4) which is ambiguous regarding the issue and which both
sides of the debate use as a proof text for their position. Scholars and
commentators are not in agreement as to the original recipients of the
Egyptian Passover. Then Leithart appeals to the peace offering in Leviticus
7:15-21. Leviticus 7 discusses the priest's portion of the sacrifice, but
mentions nothing about infants eating the sacrificial meat. If portions of
the sacrifice were taken home for the family to eat, one still needs to
determine whether (a) infants partook of the meat, and (b) was the meal
sacramental? The appeal to Leviticus 7 is full of unprovable assumptions.
Next, he cites Deuteronomy 14:22-29 which is simply a fellowship meal and
thus proves nothing. Leithart also points to the Feast of Tabernacles in
Deuteronomy 16:9-14 which is a time to rejoice and thank God for the
harvest. This feast points to the coming of the Holy Spirit, not the Lord's
supper. Finally, Leithart cites 1 Corinthians 10:1-14 which refers to the
eating of manna in the wilderness by the Israelite nation. Since such eating
was not sacramental and since the purpose of the passage is to teach the
need for persevering in faith and obedience toward Christ, we reject this as
well as Leithart's other proof texts.
 Richard Bacon, sec. 5, p. 4.
The fact that only men and older catechized sons participated in the
permanent Levitical Passover, and that only men participated in the first
Lord's supper naturally raises a question regarding the participation of
women in communion. If women were excluded from the Passover and the
original institution of the Holy Supper should they not also be excluded
from the ordinance of communion in the new covenant era as well? The answer
to this question is that a study of the New Testament indicates that both
men and women are obligated to attend the Lord's supper. One must keep in
mind that the Lord's supper is a new ordinance. While it has a number of
things in common with the Passover, there are also important differences.
Also when discerning the participants of the Holy Supper one must not merely
examine the original institution of the Supper but also how the supper was
conducted by the local new covenant churches.
There are a number of reasons why women have always participated in
communion. (a) New Testament historical examples indicate that everyone
present at church meetings who could examine themselves was permitted to
partake. For example we read in Acts 20:7, "Now on the first day of the
week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart
the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight." On
Sunday Christians came together to hear the word preached and to celebrate
the Lord's supper. Virtually all commentators take the phrase "the breaking
of bread" to refer to the Lord's supper or the Lord's supper coupled with
the agape fellowship meal. The reason the expression "to break bread" is
connected to communion is: First, it is always mentioned in connection with
public worship. It would be rather odd for Luke to make sure that his
readers knew that the Christians had lunch after the service. Second, in
Acts 2:42 the expression appears in a list that relates to public worship:
teaching-preaching, Christian fellowship, celebration of communion, and the
prayers of the saints. "In the Greek, the definite article precedes the noun
bread and thus specifies that the Christians partook of the bread set aside
for the sacrament of communion (compare 20:11; 1 Cor. 10:16). Also, the act
of breaking bread has its sequel in the act of offering prayers (personably
in the setting of public worship). The words breaking of the bread appear
within the sequence of teaching, fellowship, and prayers in worship
services" (Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of the Acts of the Apostles
[Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990], 111).
(b) The context of Paul's instruction to the Corinthians regarding the Lord'
s supper indicates that his instructions apply to men as well as women. In
chapter 11 the apostles deals with proper behavior during public worship.
First, he deals with the issue of head coverings for women. Women are
required to cover their heads in the worship service because of the creation
ordinance of the covenant headship of the man, the observance of angels and
the shamefulness of uncovered heads. Immediately after dealing with head
|Дата/Время: 08/10/03 12:47 | Email:
Автор : Евгений Каширский
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Евгений Каширский, руководитель ЦИК
UNTIL THE DAY DAWN
1 Corinthians 11:27
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
Those who partake of communion unworthily, not discerning the Lord's body, are guilty of sin and derive not the means of grace, but a curse there from. Therefore, those who partake are commanded to examine themselves to know if they may partake worthily, lest they eat and drink condemnation to themselves. Thus, he who is not capable of examining himself, neither of discerning the Lord's body, must not be permitted to partake lest they may bring a fatal rebuke from God against themselves, and those who permit them to do so be guilty of encouraging sin and so share in their condemnation. Rather, children should be catechized with respect to the nature of communion, the manner and necessity of self-examination, and the means of discernment until they are of age and are able to judge themselves worthy of participation.
Am echoing Calvin who explains the invalidity of paedocommunion in IC 4.xvi.30 based on the necessity of self examination and discernment commanded as requirements for participation: e.g. "Do this in remembrance of
me." cannot be faithfully, and thoroughly by infants who
have not " grasped " the historical redemption, etc.
IC 4.16.30. At length they object, that there is not greater reason for
admitting infants to baptism than to the Lord's Supper, to which,
however, they are never admitted: as if Scripture did not in every
way draw a wide distinction between them. In the early Church,
indeed, the Lord's Supper was frequently given to infants, as
appears from Cyprian and Augustine, (August. ad Bonif. Lib. 1;) but
the practice justly became obsolete. For if we attend to the
peculiar nature of baptism, it is a kind of entrance, and as it were
initiation into the Church, by which we are ranked among the people
of God, a sign of our spiritual regeneration, by which we are again
born to be children of God, whereas on the contrary the Supper is
intended for those of riper years, who, having passed the tender
period of infancy, are fit to bear solid food. This distinction is
very clearly pointed out in Scripture. For there, as far as regards
baptism, the Lord makes no selection of age, whereas he does not
admit all to partake of the Supper, but confines it to those who are
fit to discern the body and blood of the Lord, to examine their own
conscience, to show forth the Lord's death, and understand its
power. Can we wish anything clearer than what the apostle says, when
he thus exhorts, "Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of
that bread, and drink of that cup?" (1 Cor. 11: 28.) Examination,
therefore, must precede, and this it were vain to expect from
infants. Again, "He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and
drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body." If
they cannot partake worthily without being able duly to discern the
sanctity of the Lord's body, why should we stretch out poison to our
young children instead of vivifying food? Then what is our Lord's
injunction? "Do this in remembrance of me." And what the inference
which the apostle draws from this? "As often as ye eat this bread,
and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come." How,
pray, can we require infants to commemorate any event of which they
have no understanding; how require them to "show forth the Lord's
death," of the nature and benefit of which they have no idea?
Nothing of the kind is prescribed by baptism. Wherefore, there is
the greatest difference between the two signs. This also we observe
in similar signs under the old dispensation. Circumcision, which, as
is well known, corresponds to our baptism, was intended for infants,
but the Passover, for which the Supper is substituted, did not admit
all kinds of guests promiscuously, but was duly eaten only by those
who were of an age sufficient to ask the meaning of it, (Exod. 12:
26.) Had these men the least particle of soundness in their brain,
would they be thus blind as to a matter so very clear and obvious?
Also the Larger Catechism only recognizes the legitimacy of those who are " of years " and able to examine themselves to partake: this would mean older, mature individuals, in all likelihood those at least twelve years of age.
Q.177. Wherein do the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper differ?
A. The sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper differ, in that Baptism is to be administered but once, with water, to be a sign and seal of our regeneration and engrafting into Christ, and that even to infants; whereas the Lord's Supper is to be administered often, in the elements of bread and wine, to represent and exhibit Christ as spiritual nourishment to the soul, and to confirm our continuance and growth in him, and that only to such as are of years and ability to examine themselves.
There is no evidence that children partook of the Passover, but
rather were catechized with respect to the observation of its
practice, as Exodus 12:26.
Although Christ is circumcised as an infant, there is no evidence of His partaking of the Passover as one: moreover, even as a twelve year old when He is at Jerusalem
during the Passover He is rather shown to be participating in
catechism as Luke 2:46.
Thus, according to the regulative principle inferred from the second commandment the practice of the sacraments must include only that which is directly commanded, has been expressed in unambiguous scriptural example, or necessary inference there from. Consequently, since none of these three requirements exists with respect to the inclusion of infants/children for the partaking communion, it would be idolatrous to include them. Moreover, the efficacy of the sacrament is dependent on the proper employment of the same by the recipient. Thus, for those who have not demonstrated that they are capable of effectively partaking, and those who cannot conceivably do so, i.e. newborns, it is not profitable to dispense the elements to them, indeed it would be tempting to God to do so, for one would have to presume the efficacy of the sacrament in spite of not discerning the means for the efficaciousness thereof.
Furthermore, the reprobate and unregenerate would partake of communion * unworthily * irrespective of what their level of maturity. Hence, until there can be some legitimate, albeit fallible, discernment of the state of an individual's soul, that is, until the congregant can provide at least an apparently sound confession and demonstration of not only repentance, but other saving graces upon examination of the elders/congregation, it is premature to permit them access to communion. Usually, though not always of course, it is not until an advanced age, from twelve onwards, that individuals are able to express definitive signs of grace by a clear confession and proof of capacity for mature self reflection. Although, contrarily, individuals, even young children, may display definitive signs of lacking grace as a youth, consider 2 Kings 2:24 , and obviously these should not, in any case, be permitted to partake.
|Дата/Время: 21/07/03 09:23 | Email: Reformation@direcway.com
Автор : Geoffrey W. Donnan
|1. Charismatic Renewal:
A Current of Grace Touching Hundreds of Millions
Interview With Director of Vatican-based Office
MADRID, Spain, July 7, 2003 (Zenit.org).- "A grace for the whole Church," is the way the director of the Vatican-based office of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICRSS) describes the charismatic renewal.
Defined by John Paul II as "an eloquent manifestation of the always young vitality of the Church" and "a vigorous expression of the Spirit," the renewal had its origin on Feb. 18, 1967, when 30 students and professors of Duquesne University, in Pennsylvania, went on spiritual retreat to reflect in-depth on the force of the Spirit within the early Church.
The call had an amazing response. The experience of the "effusion or baptism of the Spirit" was repeated at Notre Dame University, in Indiana, and in Michigan. Groups multiplied. The charismatic renewal spread rapidly throughout the world and in all Christian confessions. In the Catholic Church alone, more than 120 million faithful experienced the "baptism in the Spirit," according to ICRSS estimates.
Oreste Pesare, ICRSS director, gave this interview in the framework of the recent National Assembly of Charismatic Renewal, held in Spain.
Q: How does this ecclesial institution live and develop?
Pesare: CR [charismatic renewal] is an experience of the Holy Spirit; therefore, everyone can have it. Far from being circumscribed to a small group of people, it belongs to the whole Church. All are called to relive the experience of the Holy Spirit that we received in baptism. It is for every state in life. „Ј
It is interesting to note that this is the largest movement, including at the ecumenical level. Considering all Protestant, evangelical, and Pentecostal churches' brethren, and a few of the Orthodox Church, Christians who have had this charismatic experience number about 600 million in the world, an extraordinary figure.
Q: CR has a certain organization, although it lacks well-defined structures. What role does ICRSS play?
Pesare: The Holy Father says that next to the column of the institution of the Church there is another column, which is the charismatic column. In fact, the whole history of the Church speaks to us of this power of the Spirit, whose novelties have come in charismatic form. From Paul VI to John Paul II there has always been great openness toward the CR. To safeguard the charismatic quality of this spiritual movement, they wanted a service to be organized in this renewal.
ICRSS is the organization that is at the disposition of all charismatic institutions worldwide -- organizations, associations, communities, schools of evangelization, ministries of the Word, ministries of healing. It must be kept in mind that CR is not like the other movements in the Church, as it does not have a founder and it lacks a structure that is the same for all. We feel that our founder and our guide is the Holy Spirit through the pastors that God has given us in the Church.
Another aspect of service is ICRSS' relation with the institutional Church, the ability to express in the language of the Church the charismatic experience that the Holy Spirit is inspiring in the world.
For example: at the end of 2001, ICRSS and the Pontifical Council for the Laity organized a seminar in Rome on the Prayer of Healing, and theologians were invited, both of the CR as well as those not involved in it, and including the early leaders of CR. Some 120 of us discussed this gift for the whole Church. This type of reflection is useful both for the CR as well as the whole Church.
Q: It is said that the CR members are dedicated to prayer and praise. Are these aspects translated into a concrete commitment before the Church and society?
Pesare: As I have pointed out, CR is not like the other movements. It is a spiritual current whose specific appeal is to change people's hearts, to take them back to the presence of God.
Whoever is profoundly united to God cannot but give his life to the world. It is the way Jesus gave his life to the world. The experience with the Holy Spirit leads to the heart of the Christian experience and makes one live that conversion of heart. It is what changes the heart of stone and gives a heart of flesh that loves, and when one loves, one serves. This is why the Church is the greatest experience of service in the world. It makes us very happy when people say that we are the group that wants to pray, because herein lies the secret to change one's life.
The Church needs saints, people who have had the experience of the Holy Spirit, who have changed their lives profoundly, who are transforming their minds and hearts and are being converted into another Jesus. These people will transform the world.
Q: More than 120 million Catholics have been through the CR experience. How does ICRSS address the topic of formation?
Pesare: This has been a very important aspect in recent years. The time has arrived for these People of God to grow, also, in formation. It is an aspect whose need is addressed by the Pope in his documents for the CR worldwide.
Certainly, prayer or trust in the Holy Spirit is not enough. Rather, as St. Peter says in his Letter, we must always be prepared to give the reason for our faith. Given that the CR is a very varied current, there are numerous ways of acquiring that formation, among which the magisterium of the Church is the most important source.
Moreover, what must be preserved is what Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the Papal Household preacher, expresses when speaking about his testimony: "Above all, I have studied the life of Jesus: his childhood, his life, what the Church fathers said about him; I knew a thousand things about the person of Jesus, but I did not know Jesus the person."
It is not enough to study to know the figure of Jesus. Formation, yes -- but as support of an experience. The experience of the Spirit is what must be preserved as the most important.
For approximately one year, we have been organizing within the ICRSS a Theological Commission, which came into being when the archbishop of Malines-Brussels, Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens, was alive. From this commission came the famous Malines documents that defined the lines for the whole of the CR. Through these seminars on the Prayer of Healing, which we organized with the Vatican, ICRSS has restarted a more specific formation on the most important topics for the CR.
This commission will meet for the first time in September. It is made up of half a dozen theologians from different parts of the world. They are experts in their field and have lived the CR experience. Among them we can mention Bishop Albert-Marie de Monl„Ion, OP, of Meaux, France, spiritual father of the Catholic Fraternity of Covenant Communities and consultor of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and an ICRSS member, Bishop Joseph Angelo Grech of Sandhurst, Australia, who presides over this commission.
The Holy Spirit is pointing out to us yet another novelty: the establishment of an international school of formation for the CR leaders from all over the world, which, naturally, will work very united to this commission.
In addition, ICRSS has always organized formation retreats for leaders. The next one will take place in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, and will focus on the topic of holiness, starting with John Paul II's apostolic letter "Novo Millennio Ineunte." The meeting will be directed by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the Papal Household preacher.
2. February 10, 2003
A Catholic College Will Rise in Florida
By TAMAR LEWIN
APLES, Fla. — On a remote 750-acre site near the Everglades, Ave Maria University, the nation's first new Roman Catholic university in four decades, is about to rise from the fields of peppers and tomatoes that stretch to the horizon.
The founder of Ave Maria, Tom Monaghan, is better known as the founder of Domino's Pizza. He has grand plans for the university: majors as varied as theology and hotel management; a Division I football team; three golf courses, including one for donors only; and a new town, Ave Maria, with a commercial center joining the campus.
But his mission is as much religious as educational.
"For 25 years, I've felt the need for a school with more spirituality," said Mr. Monaghan, who has committed $200 million to the university. "The reason God created us was to earn heaven, so we could be with him, and my goal is to help more people get to heaven. You can't follow the rules of God unless you know what they are and why they are. At some Catholic universities, students graduate with their religious faith more shaky than when they arrive."
Ave Maria will be far more conservative than most of the nation's 235 Catholic colleges and universities. While it will be independent of the church, as the major Catholic universities are, it will have no coed dorms and no gay-support groups. Although attending Mass will not be required, Mr. Monaghan says he expects most students to go regularly.
"Ave Maria is for students whose faith is central to their lives," he said. "Maybe 10 percent of Catholics would be interested in it. Seventy-five percent of Catholics don't practice their faith right now. I hope we can do something about that."
Many Catholic educators are uneasy about Ave Maria, irritated that Mr. Monaghan would start his own university rather than support an existing Catholic college and annoyed at his broad criticism of Catholic education.
"There has been concern among the colleges and their representatives, that they are so dismissive of the rest of us," said Monika Hellwig, president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
Some critics say Ave Maria reflects Mr. Monaghan's conservative political agenda more than any religious or educational need.
"Tom Monaghan has the agenda of a right-wing Republican, and he happens to confuse that with the teachings of the Catholic Church," said Richard P. McBrien, a University of Notre Dame theology professor. "I wish he had spent this money the way a really good Catholic would: helping the poor; helping inner-city schools, which are being suffocated through lack of money; helping the aged and the infirm. Those are the teachings of Jesus Christ."
Nonetheless, Mr. Monaghan's vision has attracted support from many prominent Catholic conservatives, including William J. Bennett, President Ronald Reagan's education secretary, who has agreed to teach or speak at Ave Maria.
"I'm a Catholic; I'm a great admirer of Tom Monaghan; and a good case can be made for a traditional, strongly proud Catholic university," Dr. Bennett said. "There's a lot of Catholic universities that you wouldn't know were Catholic."
Ave Maria's administrators are conservative Catholics: Father Joseph D. Fessio, the chancellor, was at the center of a dispute last year at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit institution he attacked for policies like hiring openly gay administrators and letting students perform "The Vagina Monologues" during Lent.
Just how closely Catholic universities must hew to the teachings of the church has been a vexing issue for decades, heating up with the pope's 1990 statement on Catholic higher education, "Ex Corde Ecclesiae," a Latin phrase meaning "From the Heart of the Church" that appears on Ave Maria's logo.
Highly regarded institutions like Georgetown, Notre Dame and Boston College balance their quest for first-rate scholarship from a diverse faculty and a diverse student body against their commitment to a strong religious identity. About a third of the students at Catholic colleges are not Catholics.
"There's a great range in Catholic institutions," Dr. Hellwig said. "That variety dates to the 1960's, when the Second Vatican Council opened much more positive relations to the modern world of science, technology and politics. Before Vatican II, regulations about what students could read excluded a lot of modern literature and philosophy."
At Ave Maria University, which received provisional state licensing last month, all students will take at least three theology courses.
Until the new campus is built, the university will use an interim campus in Naples, an unfinished assisted-care facility that will accommodate 200 full-time students by September.
The permanent campus is half an hour northeast of Naples's groomed golf courses, near Immokalee, a struggling town with many of the region's poorest field hands. While the plans still face several regulatory hurdles, including environmental ones, local officials have welcomed Ave Maria as a source of jobs, cultural events and sports.
The permanent campus, expected to open in 2006 with about 600 students and grow to 5,000, will be built on land donated by the Barron Collier Companies, real estate developers that saw the university as an attractive amenity for the town it was planning. Barron Collier and Mr. Monaghan will each have a half interest in the town development, and Mr. Monaghan said his profits would go toward endowing Ave Maria.
It is an unusual collaboration. While some developers have built elementary schools to attract young parents, and some retirement communities have been built in college towns where residents can attend classes, Ave Maria seems to be the first American university to be built in tandem with a town.
Mr. Monaghan says that he sees great synergy in the model and adds that it is not all that new. "There's Oxford and Cambridge, I suppose."
The Florida university is not Mr. Monaghan's first educational venture. In 1998, he opened Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Mich., and several of its faculty members are moving to Florida. The college, which has 230 students, receives no federal money, but students are free to seek federal aid.
A year later, he opened Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor. Justice Clarence Thomas delivered the inaugural address at the law school, which won accreditation last year, and Robert H. Bork, a former federal judge, is a tenured member of the faculty, teaching a moral foundations course. Mr. Monaghan also took over a former Baptist college in Nicaragua in 2000 and remade it as the Ave Maria College of the Americas.
Mr. Monaghan, the former owner of the Detroit Tigers, was born in Ann Arbor in 1937, and originally hoped to build his university there. He settled on Naples, his longtime vacation spot, after Ann Arbor officials turned down his zoning request.
He is, in many ways, a study in contrasts. He displayed a taste for flashy cars and elaborate mansions for years, then more recently decided to use his fortune to further his religious goals. He says he has enormous reverence for higher education, but admits he was never much of a student.
"I wanted to be a priest, but I got kicked out of seminary," he said. "I'm not one of those people who likes to study. If I'm not interested, I can't stay awake for more than a couple of pages. Then I wanted to be an architect. I started the pizza place to get money to go to back to school."
His commitment to the most traditional model of Catholicism was honed by the nuns at the St. Joseph Home for Boys, where he spent much of his boyhood after his father died. It continued throughout his business career, so much so that the National Organization for Women boycotted Domino's because of his opposition to abortion.
Since selling Domino's to Bain Capital Inc. for about $1 billion in 1998, Mr. Monaghan has turned his energies to selling Catholicism, through groups that he hopes will spread nationwide the way his pizza franchises did. His fellowship group for Catholic executives, Legatus (Latin for ambassador) has more than 1,700 members, he said.
"There are chapters of Legatus all over the country, meeting monthly for Mass and fellowship and spiritual speakers," he said. "I've started a Founders Club for Ave Maria, which already has 5,000 members contributing at least $10 a month. I'd love to get 15,000-20,000 members in chapters that would meet all over the country. A university has such big impact on the church and on society."
|Дата/Время: 28/06/03 08:39 | Email: Reformation@direcway.com
Автор : Geoffrey W. Donnan
|Dr. Franco Maggiotto
New York Conservative U.S. Christian organizations have joined forces
with Islamic governments to halt the expansion of sexual and political
protections and rights for gays, women and children at United Nations
conferences. The new alliance, which coalesced during the past year, has
received a major boost from the administration of President George W.
Bush, which appointed anti-abortion activists to key positions on U.S.
delegations to UN conferences on economic and social policy.
But it has been largely galvanized by conservative Christians who have
set aside their doctrinal differences, cemented ties with the Vatican
and cultivated fresh links with a powerful bloc of more than 50 moderate
and hard-line Islamic governments, including Sudan, Libya, Iraq and
Iran. "We look at them as allies, not necessarily as friends," said
Austin Ruse, founder and president of the Catholic Family and Human
Rights Institute, a New York-based organization that promotes
conservative values at UN social conferences.
"We have realized that without countries like Sudan, abortion would have
been recognized as a universal human right in a UN document."
The alliance of conservative Islamic states and Christian organizations
has placed the Bush administration in the awkward position of siding
with some of its most reviled adversaries, including Iraq and Iran, in
cultural skirmishes against its closest European allies, which broadly
support expanding sexual and political rights.
U.S. and Iranian officials even huddled during coffee breaks at the UN
summit on children in New York last month, according to UN diplomats.
But the partnership also has provided the administration an opportunity
to demonstrate that it shares many social values with Islam at a time
when the United States is being criticized in the Muslim world for its
continued support of Israel and the war on terrorism that followed the
Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
"We have tried to point out there are some areas of agreement between us
and a lot of Islamic countries on these social issues," a U.S. official
Mokhtar Lamani, a Moroccan diplomat who represents the 53-nation
Organization of Islamic Conferences at the United Nations, said, "The
main issue that brings us all together is defending the family values,
the natural family. The Republican administration is so clear in
defending the family values."
Lamani said he was first approached by U.S. Christian nongovernmental
organizations, or NGOs, at a special session of the UN General Assembly
on AIDS in New York in June 2001.
Liberal Western activists and governments, he said, had offended the
religious and cultural sensitivities of Islamic countries by proposing
that a final conference declaration include explicit references to the
need to protect prostitutes, intravenous drug users and "men who have
sex with men" from contracting AIDS.
"It was totally unacceptable for us," Lamani said. "The Vatican and so
many NGOs came up to us saying this is exactly the same position we are
The Islamic-Christian alliance claimed an important victory at the UN
children's meeting last month.
The Bush administration led the coalition in blocking an effort to
include a reference in the final declaration to "reproductive health
care services," a term the conservatives believed could be used to
The U.S. team included John Klink, a former adviser to the Vatican at
previous UN conferences; Janice Crouse, an anti-abortion advocate at
Concerned Women of America, and Paul Bonicelli of Patrick Henry College
in Virginia, a Christian institution that requires its professors to
The Christian groups and Islamic countries have been seeking to build on
those gains at subsequent UN gatherings, pressing for greater
restrictions on abortion at an annual meeting of the World Health
Organization last month and later at a UN preparatory conference on
sustainable development in Bali, Indonesia.
"The rest of the world saw a shift in the debate" at the children's
summit, said Patrick Fagan of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative
policy organization in Washington.
Some Western countries and liberal activists say they are alarmed by the
influence of the Christian right at the United Nations, where more
liberal abortion rights organizations have held sway for the past
"They are trying to undo some of the landmark agreements that were
reached in the 1990s, particularly on women's rights and family
planning," a European diplomat at the UN said. "The U.S. decision to
come into the game on their side has completely changed the dynamics."
Adrienne Germaine, president of the International Women's Health
Coalition, a New York-based organization that advocates abortion rights,
said: "This alliance shows the depths of perversity of the U.S.
position. On the one hand we're presumably blaming these countries for
unspeakable acts of terrorism, and at the same time we are allying
ourselves with them in the oppression of women."
The World Policy Center, a Mormon group established in 1997 to promote
family values through an alliance that includes conservative Christians,
the Catholic Church and Islamic governments, is holding a conference
next month at Brigham Young University School of Law. It will bring
antiabortion advocates and legal critics of the United Nations together
with more than 60 U.N. diplomats, including delegates from conservative
Catholic and Islamic countries.
Ruse first outlined his strategy for maximizing the conservatives'
leverage at the United Nations at a 1999 meeting in Geneva of the World
Congress of Families, a gathering of advocates of conservative family
values. It involves "lavishing, all our attention" on a coalition of 12
antiabortion countries that are willing to fight for their cause at U.N.
sessions, he said. Religious leaders and politicians in the United
States and in these select countries in the developing world should be
persuaded "to encourage these governments to defend life and family at
the United Nations." He also boasted that his tactics were beginning to
seize the initiative from advocates for the rights of children, women
and gays. "Our team was in a tiny conference room leaning over the backs
of diplomats, assisting with the drafting of the conference document,"
"We broke all the rules of U.N. lobbying, which forbids leafleting on
the floor of a U.N. conference. We had our people fan out across the
floor of the conference and we placed this letter in the hand of every
|Дата/Время: 07/06/03 20:15 | Email:
Автор : Евгений Каширский
The following is the first in a continuing series of information articles that we will be putting out for the purpose of helping Christians outside of Italy and Roman Catholic Europe, understand a little more about the intensely involved.
During the trip by Dr. Franco Maggiotto to the U.S. and Canada, he emphasized to many the perversity of the Greek and Roman underpinnings to Roman Catholicism. Many did not really understand that statement and this article, written back in 2001, should help to substantiate the Platonic roots to Roman Catholicism, and the subsequent implications of that as it has to do with globalization.
This is not a heavy article, but not a light one either.
THIS IS A SECOND LEVEL ARTICLE, being sent to everyone on my Italy mailing list. However, unless we have specifically heard from you (and we have heard from many), you will receive no more of such articles, because they are not for everyone, even though we think they should be.
Many of you have written in requesting to be put on the second level. This is the first installation. More will come upon my return from North Carolina where I will be at the Presbyterian Church in America General Assembly. If any of you will be there, please look my wife and I up in the Exhibitors Hall. We would be glad to meet you.
If you wish to continue to receive further articles like this, and you have NOT ALREADY requested to be placed at the SECOND LEVEL by simply sending an email and putting somewhere the phrase SECOND LEVEL, then please do so.
My upcoming newsletter will be showing that the situation in Italy, is not too much different from in Russia. But that is another story.
The article follows my normal information comments, so scroll past them if you have already read them.:
Geoffrey W. Donnan, Director
Reformation Christian Ministries
13950 - 122nd St.
Fellsmere, FL 32948-6411 U.S.A.
Phone: 772-571-8030 Fax: 772-571-8010
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the LORD, and not unto men... Col. 3:23
Reformation Christian Ministries is a church-run, mission organization committed to promoting biblical Reformation. It is an educational, assisting and encouragement ministry specifically aimed at aiding those whom God has sovereignly raised up from within their country and called to be Reformers today using the same biblical and theological foundations of the Protestant Reformation, yet applied to today's situation in their nation.
"Go ye into all the world. . .Preach the Gospel to every creature. . .make disciples of every nation." (Mark 16:15, Matthew 28:19)
This list is intended to be a service to those who wish to pray for the work and ministry of Reformation through the means of Reformation Christian Ministries, its missionaries and overseas colleagues. You are on this list either by request or referral from a friend. If you wish not to receive this information on a periodic basis, please let us know. Please notify us of email address changes or any problems in receiving this email. If you know of others who would like to receive this information, please send us their name and email address and a short description of who they are and why they would be interested. We will contact them using your name as the source of the referral unless you direct otherwise. Send to: Reformation@direcway.com
This article appears in the May 18, 2001 issue
Pope Brings `The Common Good'
To Judge Globalization and War
by Marianna Wertz
In a world-historic mission, Pope John Paul II launched, in May, a global fight in defense of what he calls "the common good," in opposition to globalization, which he branded a "new colonialism." In statements made prior to and during his ecumenical Middle East mission in mid-May, the Pope used the principle of the "General Welfare," as enunciated in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, and as developed by Lyndon LaRouche, as the basis for a monumental effort to pull the world back from the brink of war and from a new dark age.
LaRouche, on May 2, noted the striking fact, that "contrary to some nominal Catholics, what the Pope has said consistently on this issue, from Centesimus Annus on, has been exactly what I've been saying. [John Paul II's 1991 Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, celebrated the 100th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's famous 1891 Rerum Novarum (On the Condition of the Working Classes)]. Not because we're copying each other . . . but because this is a common principle of natural law; all persons who believe in natural law, in the real sense, will agree with this."
In a May 7 statement, LaRouche likened what he called the "great ecumenical mission of Pope John Paul II"-"he of weakened body but triumphantly loving spirit"-to the mission of the just-concluded conference of LaRouche's movement in Bad Schwalbach, Germany: "Future history, looking back to these days, will recognize, that the only development of world importance to be compared with our sessions here, is the closely related, continuing ecumenical mission of Pope John Paul II, beginning with his recent, strongly repeated attack, in defense of the universal principle of the general welfare, on the issues of globalization."
Globalization Is New Colonialism
The Pope's statements on globalization, issued on April 27 and 28, were clearly timed to coincide with the then-ongoing meetings of the G-7 finance ministers and central bankers, the International Monetary Fund, and World Bank.
According to the Vatican Information Service, on April 27, in a speech delivered in English to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, and again on April 28, in a statement, also delivered in English, to the new Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See, the Pope identified the "common good," the "universal common good," and the "inalienable rights" of all human beings, as the standards by which the economic system, and social practice, and specifically "globalization," should be judged.
In his speech to the Pontifical Academy, the Pope attacked all forms of "ethics" based on utilitarianism, and denounced globalization, which, he said, goes in the direction of "a new version of colonialism." Referring to his Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, the Pope noted that "the market economy is a way of adequately responding to people's economic needs while respecting their free initiative, but that it had to be controlled by the community, the social body with its common good. Now that commerce and communications are no longer bound by borders, it is the universal common good which demands that control mechanisms should accompany the inherent logic of the market. This is essential in order to avoid reducing all social relations to economic factors, and in order to protect those caught in new forms of exclusion or marginalization."
Just as Lyndon LaRouche has insisted that it is only the nation-state, as opposed to some "global" entity, that can defend the interests of human beings, Pope John Paul II said that "globalization, like any other system, must be at the service of the human person; it must serve solidarity and the common good. . . . Social, legal and cultural safeguards-the result of people's efforts to defend the common good-are vitally necessary if individuals and intermediary groups are to maintain their centrality. But globalization often risks destroying these carefully built-up structures, by enforcing the adoption of new styles of working, living and organizing communities. . . . All societies recognize the need to control these occurrences and to make sure that new practices respect fundamental human values and the common good."
The Pope also warned of the "emergence of patterns of ethical thinking which are by-products of globalization itself and which bear the stamp of utilitarianism. Ethics cannot be the justification or legitimization of a system, but rather the safeguard of all that is human in any system. Ethics demands that systems be attuned to the needs of man, and not that man be sacrificed for the sake of the system."
End Iraqi Embargo
Anticipating his Mideast trip "in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul," on April 28 John Paul II met Iraq's new Ambassador to the Holy See, Abdul-Amir Al-Anbari, and renewed his "appeal to the international community that innocent people should not be made to pay the consequences of a destructive war whose effects are still being felt by those who are weakest and most vulnerable."
"Today's world," the Pope continued, "although sadly afflicted in many regions by tension, violence and armed conflict, is seeking greater equity and stability, so that the whole human family can live in true justice and everlasting peace. These are not abstract concepts or remote ideals, rather they are values which dwell in the heart of every individual and nation, to which all peoples have a right."
John Paul II affirmed that "it is precisely the pursuit of this justice and this peace which is the driving force behind every activity of the Holy See in the area of international diplomacy."
"The Holy See therefore sees as one of its principal duties that of reminding public opinion that `no authority, no political program and no ideology is entitled to reduce human beings to what they can do or produce.' The inalienable rights and personal dignity of every human being must be upheld, the transcendent dimension of the human person must be defended," as must be "the religious dimension of human beings and human history . . . [which] is a vital element in shaping the person and the society to which people belong."
"In this context," the Pope said in conclusion, "my thoughts turn naturally to the members of the Iraqi Catholic community. Together with their Muslim countrymen, Iraqi Christians wish to work for unity and harmony. Their Christian faith and values inspire them to cultivate a spirit of mutual respect, with pride in their national identity and concern for the progress of their country."
While the Pope's Middle East trip made history in many respects, two aspects of that trip deserve special mention here, as they mirror the long-standing ecumenical work of the LaRouche political movement, to win a "Peace of Westphalia" solution to the Middle East crisis, based on economic development of the region and a mutual forgiving of past injustices.
Both in Athens and Damascus-where John Paul II was the first Pope in history to enter an Islamic mosque-the Pope called on the Orthodox and Muslim communities to put aside all conflicts of the past, and concentrate on what Catholics, Orthodox, and Muslims have in common, to build on the future. At the same time, he oriented the dialogue to the concrete task of elevating the condition of man on Earth, and called on political leaders to pursue the common good.
In order to lead by example, the Pope, in Athens, went so far as to "humble" himself in calling for pardon for the 1204 crusade, backed by the Catholic Church at the time, in which Constantinople was sacked.
Greek Basis of Christianity
Then, during the official welcoming ceremony for him at the Presidential Palace in Athens, on May 4, the Pope delivered a profoundly important address on the Platonic Greek basis of Christianity, a theme which LaRouche has repeatedly called crucial to a renaissance of Western Civilization.
"My wish is in some way to recognize the great debt which we all owe to Greece," the Pope said. "In fact, no one can be unaware of the enduring influence that her unique history and culture have had on European civilization and indeed on that of the entire world. . . . The world that Jesus himself entered and knew was already deeply imbued with Greek culture. The New Testament was written in Greek, with the result that it spread rapidly. But it was much more than a simple matter of language, for the early Christians also drew upon Greek culture in order to transmit the Gospel message."
He referenced Raphael's painting, "The School of Athens," in the Vatican Palace, which, he said, "makes clear the contribution of the school of Athens to the art and culture of the Renaissance, a period which led to a great exchange between Classical Athens and the culture of Christian Rome."
All of this, the Pope concluded, "calls us to engage in respectful and honest dialogue, and requires a new solidarity which evangelical love is capable of inspiring. . . . We are in a decisive period of European history, and I hope most fervently that the Europe now emerging will rediscover this long tradition of encounter between Greek culture and Christianity in fresh and imaginative ways, not as the vestige of a vanished world but as the true basis for the genuinely human progress that our world seeks."
In Athens, Pope Hails Influence of Greek Culture
Begins Historic Pilgrimage in Footsteps of St. Paul
ATHENS, Greece, MAY 4, 2001 (Zenit.org)
From the moment the Holy Father landed at Athens international airport, the delicate character of his mission was evident.
As is his custom on international trips, the Pope kissed the soil, which on this occasion was presented to him by a nun. The earth came from an Orthodox monastery.
Pictures of this event were not carried on Greek television, in order to avoid problems with nationalist Orthodox sectors which oppose the visit.
"I come as a pilgrim," the Pope said during his first address at the Presidential Palace, where he was welcomed by President Costis Stephanopoulos. The meeting was cordial. Stephanopulos was one of the leaders who made the visit possible. He invited the Pope officially despite the opposition of nationalist sectors.
During his meeting, the Pontiff referred to the "great debt" that European civilization and the Christian religion have incurred with Greece.
The Gospels were written in Greek, he noted, and Greek culture dominated the world in which Jesus grew up. He also mentioned the Olympic Games, one of the signs that identifies that culture. The Games will return to Greece in 2004.
Greece was one of the first Christian communities founded by St. Paul, and this is the main reason for the Pope's pilgrimage.
The Holy Father's first address acknowledged the country's great contribution to the history of Christianity. Christianity was given great impetus in Socrates' and Plato's Greece, which was concerned with virtue, respect for divine law, and attention to the education of youth, something the Catholic Church works to continue in that country today, he said.
The Pope summarized this education by quoting the words on the facade of the Temple in Delphi: "Know yourself." The Pope appealed to Europe "to know herself."
"Such self-knowledge," he said, "will come only insofar as Europe explores afresh the roots of her identity, roots which reach deep into the classical Hellenistic patrimony and into the Christian heritage which brought to birth a humanism based upon the vision of every human person as created in the image and likeness of God."
Despite media predictions of protests against the visit, the Pope's first hours on Greek soil were characterized by hospitality.
The pilgrimage that began today is a follow-up to John Paul II's journey to places of salvation, including Sinai and the Holy Land. On Saturday the Pope will travel to Syria, and on May 8 he will go to Malta. He returns to Rome on May 9.
1. I thank you for your kind words of welcome. I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to greet you, and through you to offer a cordial greeting to the members of the Government and of the Diplomatic Missions. I have happy memories, Mr President, of your visit to the Vatican last January, and I thank you for your invitation to come to Greece. Through you I likewise extend heartfelt greetings to all the people of your country. My wish is in some way to recognize the great debt which we all owe to Greece; in fact no one can be unaware of the enduring influence that her unique history and culture have had on European civilization and indeed on that of the entire world.
Last year, Christians everywhere celebrated the two thousandth anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. I had a deep desire to mark that event by becoming a pilgrim to some of the places connected with the history of salvation. This desire became a reality in my pilgrimage to Sinai and to the Holy Land. Now it is to Greece that I come as a pilgrim, in the footsteps of Saint Paul, whose mighty figure towers over the two millennia of Christian history and whose memory is etched for ever in the soil of Greece. It was here in Athens that Paul founded one of the first communities of his voyages in the West and of his mission on the European continent. Here he worked tirelessly to make Christ known; here he suffered for the proclamation of the Gospel. And how could we not recall that it was here in the city of Athens that there began the dialogue between the Christian message and Hellenistic culture, a dialogue which would decisively shape European civilization?
2. Long before the Christian era, the influence of Greece was felt far and wide. In Biblical literature, the later books of the Old Testament, some of which were written in the Greek language, were profoundly marked by Hellenistic culture. The Greek translation of the Old Testament, known as the Septuagint, had a great influence in Antiquity. The world that Jesus himself entered and knew was already deeply imbued with Greek culture. The New Testament was written in Greek, with the result that it spread rapidly. But it was much more than a simple matter of language, for the early Christians also drew upon Greek culture in order to transmit the Gospel message.
Certainly the first encounters of Christianity and high Greek culture were difficult. One indication of this is the reception accorded to Paul when he preached at the Areopagus (cf. Acts 17:16-34). While corresponding to the profound expectation of the Athenian people in search of the true God, Paul did not find it easy to preach Christ who had died and was risen, and to show that in Christ is to be found the full meaning of life and the goal of all religious experience. It would fall to the first Apologists, like the martyr Saint Justin, to show that a fruitful encounter between reason and faith was possible.
3. Once the initial distrust was overcome, Christian writers began to see in Greek culture an ally rather than an enemy, and there emerged great centres of Christian Hellenism throughout the Mediterranean world.
Reading the learned writings of Augustine of Hippo and Dionysius the Areopagite, we see that Christian theology and mysticism drew elements from the dialogue with Platonic philosophy. Writers like Gregory of Nazianzus, steeped in Greek rhetoric, were able to create a Christian literature worthy of its classical antecedents. Gradually, then, the Hellenistic world became Christian, and Christianity became to a certain extent Greek. Then there came to birth the Byzantine culture of the East and the Medieval culture of the West, both deeply imbued with Christian faith and Greek culture. And how could we not mention the approach of Saint Thomas who, in rereading the works of Aristotle, proposed a masterly theological and philosophical synthesis?
Raphael's painting "The School of Athens" in the Vatican Palace makes clear the contribution of the school of Athens to the art and culture of the Renaissance, a period which led to a great exchange between classical Athens and the culture of Christian Rome.
4. Hellenistic culture is characterized by its attention to the education of the young. Plato insisted on the need to train the mind of the young to seek the good and the honourable, as well as to respect the principles of divine law. How many Greek philosophers and writers, beginning with Socrates, Aeschylus and Sophocles, invited their contemporaries to live "in accordance with the virtues"! Saints Basil and John Chrysostom did not neglect to praise the value of the Greek educational tradition, for its concern to develop the moral sense of young people and to help them to choose freely what is good.
The fundamental elements of this long tradition remain valid for the people, including the young people, of our own time. Among the most sure elements are the moral aspects contained in the Hippocratic Oath, which emphasizes the principle of unconditional respect for human life in the maternal womb.
Greece is also the country in which two great sporting traditions, the Olympic Games and the Marathon, were born. Through these competitions a significant conception of the human person is expressed, in the harmony of the spiritual and bodily dimensions, through disciplined effort, marked by moral and civic values. We can only rejoice that to see that these competitions perdure and continue to create close bonds among the peoples of the world.
5. The inculturation of the Gospel in the Greek world remains an example for all inculturation. In its relations with Greek culture, the proclamation of the Gospel had to make a careful discernment, in order to receive and evaluate all its positive elements, and at the same time to reject aspects which are incompatible with the Christian message. In this we have a permanent challenge for the proclamation of the Gospel, in its encounter with the various cultures and with the process of globalization. All of this calls us to engage in respectful and honest dialogue, and requires a new solidarity which evangelical love is capable of inspiring, bringing to fulfilment the Greek ideal of the cosmopolis in a world which is truly united and imbued with justice and fraternity.
We are in a decisive period of European history, and I hope most fervently that the Europe now emerging will rediscover this long tradition of encounter between Greek culture and Christianity in fresh and imaginative ways, not as the vestige of a vanished world but as the true basis for the genuinely human progress that our world seeks.
Carved on the faГade of the Temple in Delphi were the words "Know yourself"; I appeal therefore to Europe to know herself ever more deeply. Such self-knowledge will come only in so far as Europe explores afresh the roots of her identity, roots which reach deep into the classical Hellenistic patrimony and into the Christian heritage which brought to birth a humanism based upon the vision of every human person as created in the image and likeness of God.
6. Geography and history have set your country, Mr President, between East and West, and this means that Greece's natural vocation is to build bridges and a culture of dialogue. Today this is essential for Europe's future. Many walls have been broken down in recent times, but others remain. The task of integrating the Eastern and Western parts of Europe remains complex; and there is still much to be done to bring harmony between the Christians of East and West, so that the Church can breathe with both her lungs. All believers should see themselves as having a duty to work for this objective. The Catholic Church in Greece desires to share loyally in this noble cause, which also has positive effects in the social sphere. From this point of view, a significant contribution is made by the schools in which the younger generation is trained. Schools are par excellence places where the integration of young people of different backgrounds takes place. The Catholic Church, in harmony with the other Churches and religious confessions, desires to cooperate with all citizens for the education of the young. She wishes to continue her long educational experience in your country, especially through the activities of the Marist Brothers and the Brothers of the Christian Schools, the Ursuline Sisters and the Sisters of Saint Joseph. These different religious families have shown that, with tact and respect for the cultural traditions of the young people entrusted to them, they are able to educate men and women to be true Greeks among the Greeks.
At the end of our meeting, I once more thank you most warmly, Mr President, for your welcome, and at the same time I express my gratitude to all who have made possible my pilgrimage in the footsteps of Saint Paul. I ask God to bestow upon the people of your country his abundant blessings, so that in the third millennium Greece may continue to offer new and wonderful gifts to the continent of Europe and to the family of nations!
[00699-02.01] [Original text: French]