Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Installation

It was good to see our new president installed, even though it had to be on-line.  Some of the pomp could lead one to wonder if we were installing a president or a pope, but that is the way it works in large organizations, I suppose.  I am puzzled that the Holy Supper is served in a crowd with so many of other faiths acknowledged to be present.  How does one regulate admission to the altar?

I guess this is why I am merely a humble parish pastor.


Carl Vehse said...

The Installation Service folder had this notice:

"Because those who eat and drink our Lord’s body and blood unworthily do so to their great harm and because Holy Communion is a confession of the faith which is confessed at this altar, any who are not yet instructed, in doubt, or who hold a confession differing from that of this congregation and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and yet desire to receive the Sacrament, are asked first to speak with the pastor of the host congregation. For further study, see Matthew 5:23ff; 10:32ff; 18:15–35; 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:17–34."

The CTCR's "Theology and Practice of the Lord's Supper" regards this as an evangelical and winsome method so that "the appearance of unknown communicants at the altar is minimized as much as

Libertas said...

Rev. Fish Sr,

Pertaining to your sermon:

Very strong argument.
How does this pertain to Heb 8:6- 13? How does law/gospel relate to the old/new covenants. Particulary in light what you said about the unchanging nature of the covenants and Heb 8:13 talking about the old covenant vanishing.

Cuda said...


A good question. The covenant of Moses, to identify it with a name, is the Law, which came 430 years later. It is vanishing in that it has been superseded. It has been fulfilled by Christ, and the new covenant established by Him in His death and resurrection is the fulfilling of the promise to Abraham, and so says the Apostle Paul.
The Law is still true, just no longer the applicable answer to the question of eternity. So, the older covenant, the promise which is the Gospel, is the new covenant, although I prefer the word "testament". Once, Israel was judged on its obedience to the Old Covenant, but no more. All are to be judged in accord with the New Testament of the forgiveness of sins received by grace through faith. Prophetic language tends to say things in an absolute sounding way when it does not mean those absolutes in the way we often choose to understand them.
So, is the Law still true? Yes. Does it have the power to condemn? No. That has been taken away by the New Testament of Christ and grace and forgiveness. In that sense, the Law has passed away, even though it is still true, and holy, and good, and deadly to us if we demand to be measured by it. Both its permanence and its passing away are true.
I am often amazed at how God can do these things.

Cuda said...

To Carl Vehse,

The is approach to supervising the altar is dependent on people reading the statement and acting faithfully in accord with it.

That is open communion.

The CTCR's opinion in this matter is of no significance. Further, how is the pastor of the host congregation supposed to be able to assess the fitness of every person who comes to the altar in this sort of crowd? I have had to deal with the sad circumstances of a well-intended pastor dealing with excommunicated members as members in good standing, upon which circumstances one of the individuals then died unexpectedly. It created a difficult and unnecessary situation. The individual was no longer excommunicated, and yet not repentant, nor rightly re-admitted to the congregation. But I had to bury him.

And the CTCR has not issued guidance on that situation yet.