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Today’s reason is because Facebook has once again proven itself to be a platform for catwalking the worst about us—which in this case is the inability to admit when one is wrong.
Let me explain.
I don’t know if you really even care, but the topic was “closed” versus “open” communion. I happen to be a pastor in a particular branch of Christianity that subscribes to closed communion, which means that unless you confess the real presence of Christ in, with, and under the bread and the wine for the forgiveness of sins, you shouldn’t participate in the sacrament. This practice gets a bad rap from most mainstream protestants as being cold and unfriendly, and while I don’t have time to go into all of the reasons as to why it’s exactly the opposite, just know that I tend to agree with Saint Paul and his instruction in 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 and am therefore a closed communion subscriber.
Still, even as I take the administration of the Lord’s Supper very seriously, I won’t go out of my way to hassle you if you practice open communion. I’ll answer to God for my practice. You’ll answer for yours. Done. Let’s go get a whisky.
Anyway, open communion is as it sounds. Anyone who believes anything about anything regarding the sacrament is welcome to participate. And why? Because its chief significance is not Christ’s presence and the giving of forgiveness, but rather it is a memorial meal of remembrance for all who, at a minimum, acknowledge Christ.
So here’s why I hate Facebook…
A gentleman in favor of open communion chimed in and said that since Judas participated in the very first Lord’s Supper that must mean that Jesus was in favor of open communion.
The huge leap that it is, for some, I’m sure the argument sounds like a convincing. At the time of the Lord’s Supper, Judas was an unbeliever, a man set on betraying Jesus to the ruling council. If Jesus allowed someone to receive His holy supper even as an unbeliever, then He must be suggesting that Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 11 with regard to discerning the real presence aren’t as paramount in the practice as Paul teaches.
But there’s a problem. Judas wasn’t even there during the Lord’s Supper. He’d already left to go and get the guards and doesn’t get mentioned again until the arrest in Gethsemane. How do I know this? Because each of the four Gospels provides various pieces to the timeline. As it relates to Judas, John 13:18-30, the place where the betrayer ducks out to do his deed, occurs right between verses 21 and 22 of chapter 14 in Mark’s Gospel account. It’s the same for verses 25 and 26 of chapter 26 in Matthew’s account. It’s a very simple logging of the evening’s events. And by the way, don’t forget that logistics apply in these circumstances, too. Judas didn’t own a teleportation device, so if he stayed through until the end of the meal, and then went with Jesus and the disciples to Gethsemane, to accomplish his task he must have been a track star, because he covered a lot of ground in a very short period of time. I mean, how would he have managed to get all the way back into the city, gather the guards, and get right back out to the garden without a single one of the disciples noticing or the Gospel writers mentioning it?
That’s why we have John 13:18-30. That’s when Judas left. John tells us—rather explicitly—so that we know.
With that, Judas wasn’t there and so the point is nullified as proof that Jesus supports open communion based on the fact that He included Judas in the distribution. Now, maybe the point could be made somewhere else in the Bible that the Lord promotes open communion. But if so, I don’t know where that is. I know it isn’t here in this argument regarding Judas.
I hate Facebook, because it is a safe place for potshot stupidity in conversations that you can simply delete or abandon what you’ve said rather than apologize and admit to error. Or you can do what the one making the argument did in response. You can type something like, “Well, at least we can admit that Judas was there that night and probably ate with Jesus.”
Man, I hate that. Sure, we can admit Judas was there. But we can assume that there were bugs in the room, too, since I doubt they had regular visits from the Orkin man in first century Jerusalem. Does that mean that bugs are invited to participate in the sacrament? The point is that the sacrament was instituted for human beings—at a minimum, human beings of faith—and when it was instituted, Judas wasn’t there. With that, just apologize for being wrong about this particular proofing effort and let’s move along to a discussion point that actually has something in its middle—something that we can discuss. How hard is it?
I think it’s really hard. I’ve shared with all of you before that one of the most courageous things a person can do is admit fault and seek forgiveness. It doesn’t take much courage to defend error. Fear defends error. But it takes an unearthly measure to set oneself below another and admit fault. Those kinds of people are the ones I respect the most.
So, I don’t care which camp you’re in. I really don’t. But if you are going to argue one position or the other, you should at least be somewhat familiar with the basics of the biblical narrative—you know, the place where we get the stuff used in a debate about open or closed communion. What if the folks making whisky just started throwing useless assumptions together thinking that it would result in the perfect recipe for a fine dram? My guess is that’s how the world ended up with Scoresby. Thankfully, Wayne Gretzky’s group isn’t doing that. They seem to be carrying truth into the process, and with that, the results are worth your while.
Take, for example, the Ninety Nine Proof edition. The nose of this little gem is a wash of dark cherries, wood spice, cinnamon, and a little bit of something to singe the nostrils—although, not in a bad way, but in an enlivening way.
In the mouth, the Ninety Nine is creamy cerate of fruit and caramel. The Cabernet Sauvignon cask is more than influential, and it binds to the caramel, which you also notice has been enhanced with a dash of the wood spice from the nose.
The medium finish is one of the better conclusions I’ve experienced lately, being a consolidation of both the nose and palate. In fact, I’d say it unapologetically held the nose and palate together very well—unlike the argument from the guy who tried to support open communion by insinuating that Jesus communed Judas.
But Jesus didn’t commune Judas. You’re wrong. Judas wasn’t there. And catwalked unapologetic stupidity makes me hate Facebook.