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People Are Strange. The Doors and Beyond! Part Seven - Lesson 1.

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People Are Strange

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People are strange l.jpg

People Are Strange

The Doors and Beyond!

Part Seven - Lesson 1


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ESV Luke 1:50 And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; 52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.


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ESV Jeremiah 23:1 "Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!" declares the LORD. 2 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: "You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the LORD. 3 Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the LORD.


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LIX. When thou instruct the people, O bishop, command and exhort them to come constantly to church morning and evening every day, and by no means to forsake it on any account, but to assemble together continually; neither to diminish the Church by withdrawing themselves, and causing the body of Christ to be without its member. For it is not only spoken concerning the priests, but let every one of the laity hearken to it as concerning himself, considering that it is said by the Lord: “He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” [Apost. Const]

ESV John 17:11 Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.


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After this let the sacrifice follow, the people standing, and praying silently; and when the oblation has been made, let every rank by itself partake of the Lord's body and precious blood in order, and approach with reverence and holy fear, as to the body of their king. Let the women approach with their heads covered, as is becoming the order of women; but let the door be watched, lest any unbeliever, or one not yet initiated, come in.– Ap. Const. Bk II Sec. VII, LVII


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If any brother, man or woman, come in from another parish, bringing recommendatory letters, let the deacon be the judge of that affair, inquiring whether they be of the faithful, and of the Church? Whether they be not defiled by heresy? . . .And when he is satisfied in these questions, that they are really of the faithful, and of the same sentiments in the things of the Lord, let him conduct every one to the place proper for him. – Ap. Const. Bk VIII Sec. II, XII


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“This food we call Eucharist, and no one may receive it unless he believes that our teaching is true, and has been washed with the washing for forgiveness of sins unto regeneration, and lives as Christ handed down to us.” [Apology I, Justin Martyr, 150 AD]

“We do not abolish the Mass but religiously keep and defend it. In our churches Mass is celebrated every Sunday and on other festivals, when the sacrament is offered to those who wish for it after they have been examined and absolved.” Apology, XXIV, The Mass

Chrysostom says that the priest stands daily at the altar, inviting some to Communion and keeping others away. Augsburg Confession, XXIV


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Closed Communion: Rome & East = 61%


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Passover eaten in homes

Only for Israel

Growing division/corruption

Corruption/Division

Samaritans, Sadducees, Pharisees

Luther

Corruption of doctrine/life in West

East/West split

Christ eats Passover with His disciples

Institutes Eucharist

Early Church admits only the baptized, and those united in doctrine and life

St. Paul to Corinth

Early Church admits only the baptized


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From a Roman Catholic Website . . .

Even Christians who don't believe in the Real Presence generally understand that Communion is a Christian rite, and is therefore reserved only for Christians. Only the most liberal Protestant denominations would allow non-Christians to receive Communion.

Since the Catholics and Orthodox constitute the large majority of Christians, closed Communion is actually the norm for most of the Christians in the world!

The policy of a "closed Communion" is nothing new; in fact it goes back to the earliest Christians. The Didache, a book of Church discipline dating back to the late first century A.D., clearly states that only Christians can receive the Eucharist:

"But let no one eat or drink of this eucharistic thanksgiving, but they that have been baptized into the name of the Lord."

Didache 9:10-12


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As tragic divisions started to form within Christendom itself, it soon became necessary to close access to the Lord's Table even to some baptized Christians.

And on the Lord's own day gather yourselves together and break bread and give thanks, first confessing your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. And let no man, having his dispute with his fellow, join your assembly until they have been reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be defiled; for this sacrifice it is that was spoken of by the Lord; "In every place and at every time offer Me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great king, saith the Lord and My name is wonderful among the nations". - Didache 14:1-5

Why? Because Jesus once said "If you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift." (Matthew 5:23-24). God wants us to worship Him in love, humility and unity, not with prideful divisions among us, rooted as they are in sin.


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Questions to Ponder . . .

According to Christ, can a person from another denomination, who has an unreconciled dispute with our doctrine and practice, properly commune at our altar?

St. Paul writes (1 Corinthians 10:18): “Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?” How does the principal of comm-unity prohibit people taking Communion where there is division in faith and love?

Are there ever exceptions to the rule? That is, are there cases where a baptized, repentant Christian MAY be admitted to an altar that is not his or her own?


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  • Again from that Roman Catholic Website . . .

  • Mother Church makes some exceptions to her closed Communion policy in certain situations. She would allow an Eastern Orthodox Christian to receive in an emergency (although that person's own church would forbid it). Members of the Polish National Catholic Church, an Old Catholic communion, are also allowed by the Vatican to partake in our Eucharist if they have no recourse to their own Communion. And a Protestant may be given permission to receive the Eucharist, but only if he or she:

  • - has a serious spiritual need (i.e., is dying or under persecution);

  • - is unable to receive in his/her own church for a long time;

  • - is living a genuine Christian life, not a life of sin;

  • agrees with the teaching on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist;

  • - gets permission from his/her own church to receive Communion in another.

  • Unless all these circumstances are met, a Protestant cannot receive Communion in a Catholic church. The Church is not being mean, snobbish or exclusive. Christians who are not in union with us cannot receive Communion with us, nor can those who have a dispute with us. The Eucharist cannot be used as a means toward a unity which does not yet exist.


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Communion Practice at Saint Luke

We believe and teach that holy communion is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink. (Luther's Small Catechism)

We believe that this meal we share does not belong to any pastor, congregation, or church body. It is truly what it is called: the Lord's Table. Because it belongs to the Lord Himself, we welcome everyone to this table whom our Lord welcomes to this table, namely every Christian who shares this belief and desires what He gives to sinners in this meal: forgiveness, life, and salvation.

We welcome children who have not yet been instructed concerning the Lord's Supper or who have not yet been confirmed to come to the altar to receive a blessing. Please let the pastor know beforehand whether a child has been confirmed.


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Communion Practice at Saint Luke

We believe and teach that holy communion is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink. (Luther's Small Catechism)

We believe that this meal we share does not belong to any pastor, congregation, or church body. It is truly what it is called: the Lord's Table. Because it belongs to the Lord Himself, we welcome everyone to this table whom our Lord welcomes to this table, namely every Christian who shares this belief and desires what He gives to sinners in this meal: forgiveness, life, and salvation.

We welcome children who have not yet been instructed concerning the Lord's Supper or who have not yet been confirmed to come to the altar to receive a blessing. Please let the pastor know beforehand whether a child has been confirmed.

Communion Practice at Saint Luke

We believe and teach that holy communion is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink. (Luther's Small Catechism)

We believe that this meal we share does not belong to any pastor, congregation, or church body. It is truly what it is called: the Lord's Table. Because it belongs to the Lord Himself, we welcome everyone to this table whom our Lord welcomes to this table, namely every Christian who shares this belief and desires what He gives to sinners in this meal: forgiveness, life, and salvation.

We welcome children who have not yet been instructed concerning the Lord's Supper or who have not yet been confirmed to come to the altar to receive a blessing. Please let the pastor know beforehand whether a child has been confirmed.


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Next Week

Through the Doors!


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