Tuesday, March 25, 2008

WHY I AM A CREDO-COMMUNIONIST

Hello again all those who enjoy drinking here at The Reformed Oasis!

With our recent transition into paedobaptism, a few have asked me whether we embrace paedocommunion. I have told them no, for the main reasons that (1) children did not partake of the Passover, and (2) children cannot examine themselves in the way Paul mentions in 1 Co 11.

One must of course do their own research on these two assertions I listed above, but I have personally found the arguments for paedocommunion extremely weak, and many times downright sentimental.

I thought I would include an article from a website that I thought was a good summary and a quick read, and with excellent proofs for the Reformed position of credo-communion. I think it also demonstrates that Reformed theology is NOT being inconsistent by believing in baptizing covenant children while granting access to the Table during later years.

The article follows below. I also recommend Kenneth Gentry, Brian Schwertly, and especially Francis Nigel Lee's articles on the subject of anti-paedocommunion/credo-communion.
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In Reformed circles there are different positions on peadocommunion. There is the “pro” (P-PC) and the “anti” (A-PC) positions. Ra McLaughlin, a trusted and scholarly theologian at IIIM, endorses the “Pro” position (see link below) and I personally endorse the “Anti” position (Third Millennium Ministries' official position). Why do I endorse the A-PC position?

1. 1 Corinthians 11:28-29.

A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.

The first reason I endorse A-PC is Paul’s reasoning above. Infants and smaller children, not instructed in the Lord, cannot “examine themselves” or properly “recognize the body of the Lord.” Though this qualification was not specifically mentioned by the Lord “verbally” at his institution of the Supper, it was by “example” as the Bible holds that only thirteen adults were present (Matt. 26:20; Mark 14:17). Moreover, though this requirement was not mentioned by Christ himself it is given to us by Paul who was taught by the revelation of Christ (Gal. 1:12). The P-PC position states in numerous ways that 1 Corinthians 11:28-29 was written “only” to adults and “only” to the Corinthians. However, church history records that the church letters were read from church to church (F.F. Bruce, The Canon of the New Testament, etc.) and the reasoning that 1 Corinthians 11:28-29 was “only” meant for adults does not stand up under the further scrutiny of Paul’s letters. Least we forget, infants and children are to obey their parents (Eph. 6:1) and they are to be raised with the training and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4) - part of this training and instruction would be 1 Corinthians 11:28-29 and thus Paul’s argument is for the entire visible church (including infants and children) and not just the Corinthians or only adults.

2. Covenant Inclusion, Element Exclusion.

The second reason I endorse the A-PC position is that there would not biblically be any in drunken diapers present at the Meal (Rom. 13:13; 1 Cor. 10:7; 11:21; Gal. 5:21; 1 Thess. 5:7). In other words, drunkenness by infants, young children, and adults would not be tolerated by the Lord or Paul at the Meal (or any other time)! The Lord’s Supper is based upon the Passover Meal.

During Passover, each Jew is obligated to drink four cups of wine at specific times during each Seder (i.e. order): the first at the start of the Seder, following Kiddush; the second before the meal, after reciting the Haggadah story; the third following the Grace after the Meal; and the last after completing Psalms of Praise (Hallel). The Four Cups represent the four expressions of deliverance promised by God (Ex. 6:6-7), "I will bring out," "I will deliver," "I will redeem," and "I will take." At times a fifth cup was added symbolizing Elijah the Prophet. How would “infants” and “children” react under such a volume of wine? Historically, The Babylonian Talmud states concerning the Passover Meal,
....Nor shall a person have less than four cups of wine.....Rabhina, however, said: "At all events, the four cups cannot be conjoined, for each one represents a different duty."This also corresponds to what happened during Christ’s institution of the Meal. In the New Testament synoptics, we find reference to the First Cup, also known as the Cup of Blessing (Luke 22:17); to the breaking of the matzoh (Luke 22:19); to the Third Cup, the Cup of Redemption (Luke 22:20): to reclining (Luke 22:14): to the charoseth or the maror (Matt. 26:23f), and to the Hallel (Matt. 26:30).Moreover, The Babylonian Talmud makes some more significant statements concerning our understanding of the Meal and children,
R. Jehudah, said: "What benefit would children derive from wine? They should rather be given nuts, parched corn, etc., on the eve of Passover, so as to keep them awake at night, and that may make them inquire into the reason of the festivity." It was said of R. Aqiba, that he would deal out nuts and parched corn on the eve of Passover to the children, in order to keep them awake and have them ask for reasons. Boraitha, R. Eliezer said: On the night of the Passover the unleavened bread is snatched out of the children's hand in order to keep them awake and have them ask for the reason. This is momentous. Above, we see “covenant inclusion,” but “element exclusion” (just as we should have today). Since infants and children are part of the covenant they should “participate” in the Meal (by asking questions, etc.), however they should not “partake” of the elements. The children’s participation (covenant inclusion) in the Passover Meal was to ask questions [though not the topic of this question, the wife's inclusion could be seen in the prepartion of the meal]. For instance the youngest child would ask, "Why is this night different from all other nights?" After the asking of a specific question, the main portion of the Seder, Magid, would give the answers in the form of a historical review. At different points in the Seder, the leader of the Seder will cover the matzot and lift his cup of wine; then put down the cup of wine and uncover the matzot — all to elicit questions from the children. [information gathered from The Shalom Center]. This is also consistent with the teaching in the New Testament that children should be raised with the training and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).Since drunkenness is a sin at the Meal (1 Cor. 11:21), the children, even according to Jewish Passover custom, would not have “partaken” of the elements, though they would have “participated” in the meal in another way!While I believe that many churches should reconsider how to structure their communion meal – to include instruction for children – I do not believe they should be restructured to the point of allowing children to partake of the meal. Covenant participation in the meal does not absolutely mean partaking of the elements.

3. Census of Men and Lambs.

The third reason I prefer the A-PC position is seen in the way Israelites prepared for the Passover Meal as a nation. Though Passover began as a family celebration it developed into a national celebration. In this national celebration adult males went to Jerusalem, children were what we call catechized, (Deut. 16:2), and the numbering of Israel was taking place (Ex. 12:26-27, 21). Only the Israelite males were commanded to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The census included males 20 years of age (Num. 20:1) and those that had been properly catechized (Prov. 22:6) and were at least 12 years of age (Luke 2:40-41). Though there is not an actual record of Jesus’ participation at twelve years of age in the Passover Meal (Luke 2:40 ff) the text does say that he, "waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him" (Luke 2:40) and thus he was eligible for the Passover and thus the reason he would have accompanied his parents on this particular pilgrimage (please note the text says that his parents went to the feast “every year,” but only records Christ coming in his 12th year). Please also note the detail John goes into in John 6 in Jews traveling for the Passover (John 6:4) and the fact he specifically mentioned a “lad”(John 6:9) that by definition (paidarion Friberg, Thayer, and BDAG, etc.) would have been eligible for the Passover as well.Did Israelite woman and children participate in the Passover? Exodus 12, the original Passover narrative, does not openly spell out that women, underage girls, underage males, and infants participated in the meal. Morton Smith states the PCA report on the matter of children partaking of the elements saying,
Children participating in the first Passover would need further maturation beyond the nursing stage. The Passover meal consisted not simply of liquids and semi–liquids, but of roast meat, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs. It is highly unlikely that an Israelite father would feel constrained to force such a diet on an infant that was newly weaned. The same would apply to the meat of the sacrificial meals such as the peace–offerings.The point is simple enough. The Passover differed from circumcision in that children had to be older to participate in it. The nursing child, drinking milk rather than eating meat, could not at that state participate in the Passover. The point of the distinction is clearly expressed by the author of Hebrews: ‘[you] are become such as have need of milk, not of solid food. Everyone that partaketh of milk is inexperienced in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But solid food is for fullgrown men, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil’ (Heb. 5:12–14). Morton H. Smith, Systematic Theology, Volume One: Prolegomena, Theology, Anthropology, Christology, Index created by Christian Classics Foundation.; Published in electronic form by Christian Classics Foundation, 1996., electronic ed., 525 (Greenville SC: Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Press, 1996, c1994).The Paedocommunion view has been implied from the term "household" (Ex. 12:4) that this included "infants and children" and simply “assumed” this to be a fact. But, did they partake of the Passover? If the children didn’t this would explain the catechism, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' (Ex. 12:26) immediately following the command for the Passover (Ex. 12:1ff). Again, as Morton Smith states,
Exodus 12:26 does not give evidence that the child himself partook of the Passover. The question, “What mean ye by this service?” would seem to indicate that the child was not one of the partakers. He does not know what the service was intended for, and so the father is to instruct the child. (Page 687).The Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible parallels Joshua 4:6 and Exodus 12:26-27 (including, Deut. 6:20-25) supporting this view. Compare,
Exodus 12:26 And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' Joshua 4:6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' Above we observe nearly the identical language to describe children inquiring about an act in which they did not participate! Thus, according to Jewish history only Jewish boys – normally thought to be 12 yoa, or older – and adult men partook of Passover meal [in feminist Judaic circles today Miriam’s Cup has been added so the women may participate. They even have woman Seders today!]. Moreover, we might add that if wives and children normally partook of the Passover meal where were Peter’s (Matt. 8:14-15) in Luke 22:1f? (It should be noted that adult women today should be included in the Lord’s Table as the John the Baptist baptized women as well as men (Luke 3:21), the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20 includes men and women, Acts 8:12 states men and woman were baptized (cf. Acts 16:33), and of course Paul’s inclusion that “all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:27-28). Please note that Paul’s inclusion did not go as far as saying, “there is neither child nor adult”).

Lastly, I will end with a quote which I believe sums up the A-PC position nicely. Calvin stated,
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? (Institutes IV: xvi: 30).
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Indeed, these are many of the reasons why the Reformed faith has always and unanimously rejected paedocommuion as a serious error.

Credo-communion is the position of the Reformed faith, and for good reasons.

48 comments:

orthodox said...

Firstly, what verse says that children did not partake of the passover? You realise that the whole point of the passover was to save the firstborn children? If you want to link the passover to communion, then the children should be paramount.


Secondly, how is the argument that children cannot examine themselves different to the argument that in the command to "repent and be baptised", children cannot repent?

orthodox said...

Oh yes, I couldn't let this one pass:

"but the practice justly became obsolete."

Obviously Calvin didn't know what he was talking about since in the East it never became obsolete. In the west it didn't go out till the 2nd millenium. Obviously Calvin is a slave to his (late) Western traditions.

Josh Brisby said...

Orthodox,

Read again sections 2 and 3 of the article. Again, it was doubtful that children partook of the Egyptian Passover, because they would have had to drink of *four* cups of wine. The author demonstrates this from Scripture. Do you really think that the children drank four cups of wine???

Furthermore, although it is *doubtful* that children partook of the Egyptian Passover, the author shows *certainly* that they did not partake of the Levitical Passover--and nor did women.

The difference in the command for "repent and be baptized" versus "examine yourselves" is deep. First, with baptism, there is never the qualifier "only" or "all." With the Table, especially with 1 Co 11:27-29, we have language like "whoever", etc., *in connection with* "let a man examine himself" and "he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner."

In other words, Paul says of the Table: "Whoever partakes, let him examine himself." If it were the same for baptism, then somewhere we would need to find, "Whoever is baptized, let him believe."

But we never find the concept anywhere in Scripture of "whoever is baptized, let him believe." But we do find the concept in Scripture of "whoever partakes of the Table, let him examine himself."

The difference in Scriptural language applied to both sacraments I don't think neither Baptists nor paedocommunionists appreciate.

Also, continuing on, I don't think that paedocommunionists (and many Baptists as well who admit children to the Table very early on) really appreciate the deep spirituality that takes place at the Eucharist. It is to be done *in remembrance of* Christ, and self-examination is more than just a profession of faith. Indeed, one is searching their *conscience*. Indeed, even the fact that the Table is repeated weekly (or should be) and baptism is only once in a lifetime shows a vast difference in the meaning and application of the two sacraments.

When all is said and done, paedocommunion's arguments from covenant theology appeal to many prima facie, but when one probes them and takes the time to study it out, they will find that the promised gold is only pyrite.

Jnorm888 said...

What you said in the other post

You said:

"quote:
We reject paedocommunion on several grounds. The following will merely state as to why, but I ask that you do your research to validate the following claims:

First, children did not partake of the Passover Feast. Jesus Himself did not partake of it until He was twelve.

Second, our Lord's institution of it makes it more of an active sacrament: "Do this in remembrance of me." If one tries to argue that that is merely speaking of adults, then I refer them to 1 Co 11, in which the apostle makes clear that all who partake need to examine themselves.

The nature of what takes place at holy communion (feeding on Christ's body and blood by faith and the deep self- examination required) I think makes it clear that the Table is only for those who are of age.

Furthermore, the Reformed tradition has been unanimously credo-communion, and has unanimously rejected paedocommunion. All of the Reformed standards reject it: The Three Forms implicitly, the Westminster Standards explicitly, specifically Larger Catechism 177.

For deeper thoughts and research, Kenneth Gentry and Brian Schwertly have done quite a bit of work on this issue. Also, Francis Nigel Lee has as well.

I hope this helps."




my reformed friend said in responce:

"Yo,

That's b/c Gentry and friends are inconsistent. I've meet and ate lunch with Dr. Gentry. The bulk of our convo was about Eschatology and Preterism. He needs to read Douglas Wilson (A known Heretic) view on the Covenant Children in Strawbridges book. Wilson gives some of the strongest arguments I've yet to come by in favor of Padeo Communion.


He'd have to prove Jewish Children didn't partake in passover which is ridiculous b/c anyone raised Jewish would say otherwise. 1 Corinthians 11 says let a man examine himself, not a child. And we know Christ wouldn't forbid children from his Kingdom, nor his Table. To say that Jesus didn't take Passover until he was Twelve is an inference into the text. Where does it proclaim that they had to be twelve to participate in passover? I think they got the custom mixed up. The Divines who wrote the Westminister also use to be Anglican but reformed and became Presbyterians. Okay, so they are not infallible. Nor were the Reformers who all had crazy views thinking the Pope was THE ANTI CHRIST spoke of in the Scriptures. Okay..... They were off. So tell your friend, if he's going to be Covenantal he's going to have to swallow the whole pill. Just like the rest of the Presby's...


Grace and Peace,
seal"




Well, in choosing credo-communion, you have chosen to go with the majority of the western church.

It's good that you have reasons for believing in what you do.






JNORM888

orthodox said...

they would have had to drink of *four* cups of wine.

Firstly, no verse says that! What you're talking about is a tradition from the Talmud. So be consistent! Are you going to take extra-scriptural tradition to be authoritative? Then listen to the tradition of the early church which gave it to infants. Are you going to reject extra-biblical tradition? Then forget this Talmud nonsense.

Secondly, why assume that infants must drink four full, and full sized glasses of wine? Jesus might have done that (maybe), but does that mean your church does it? Do you serve full sized glasses in communion? Then why assume they wouldn't adapt the size of the glass or its contents to the infant? You're trying to enforce a pedanticism onto the ancients that you yourself wouldn't do.

the author shows *certainly* that they did not partake of the Levitical Passover--and nor did women.

Firstly, scripture never says that. This is a bunch of extra-scriptural speculation.

Secondly, where does the NT say that women should partake communion? It doesn't. So by that argument you shouldn't give it to women. Will you be consistent?

But we never find the concept anywhere in Scripture of "whoever is baptized, let him believe."

Can you see what a slave you are to your interpretative tradition? You try to force scripture to have the keywords arranged in your predetermined line up. How come nobody for a thousand years saw this?

I don't see the distinction. We have

Acts 2:41 So then, those WHO had received his word were baptized;

Acts 8:12 But WHEN they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized

Acts 8:36 What prevents me from being baptized?”
And Philip said, “IF you believe with all your heart, you may.”

I can't see the difference between "He who partakes should examine himself" and "if you believe, you may be baptised" or "When they believed they were baptised" or "who received the word was baptised".

I don't think that paedocommunionists (and many Baptists as well who admit children to the Table very early on) really appreciate the deep spirituality that takes place at the Eucharist. It is to be done *in remembrance of* Christ, and self-examination is more than just a profession of faith. Indeed, one is searching their *conscience*.

You are obviously completely unaware of what goes on in Orthodox churches. The priest will definitely turn you away from communion if he doesn't know for a fact that you recently confessed your sins. Clearly nobody is taking the "deep spirituality" more seriously than the paedocommunionists. My bet is no church you ever went to, actually checked if the members "searched their *conscience*", right?

Indeed, even the fact that the Table is repeated weekly (or should be) and baptism is only once in a lifetime shows a vast difference in the meaning and application of the two sacraments.

There's a difference, but don't you find it odd that Christians in the church are not partaking of the body and blood of Christ? It's like you're only half-in the church.

1Cor. 10:17 Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.

Are these children part of the one body or not? The communion is a symbol of the one body of Christ, and if you're not partaking, that's saying you are not in the body. It says "we ALL partake". Do you ALL partake or not?

Gospel.or.Death said...

Josh,

Wow, they're really dishing it out, huh?

It's ironic how the Reformed/Presbyterian tradition fences the table but baptizes infants, while most Evangelicals today fence baptism but give communion to children that can hardly talk, much less profess their faith. Mom and Dad get to decide when to give it, the elders don't really pay attention.

It's ironic that the two sides could have such vastly different views on both sacraments.

Well, I just got my issue of New Horizons today in the mail, which is the magazine of the OPC, and the cover announced that this latest issue is about paedo-communion. The cover article was great. Here's a quote:

Profession ought to precede participation in the Lord's Supper. Commitment should precede communion because the words of Jesus in instituting this meal say as much. Jesus says, "Do this in remembrance of me." Now whatever the bread and the wine may be, at least they are memorials. When we see the bread and the wine, we remember Jesus. Well, what do we remember? What? You see that to ask the question is to raise the issue of what we profess about Jesus when we come to the Table. In other words, we plainly cannot come to the Table of the Lord properly without professing to remember something about him. Remembering the Lord at his Table requires a prior profession.

You can read the rest of the article here:

http://www.opc.org/nh.html?article_id=550

I just thought that little argument was great.

Josh Brisby said...

JNorm,

I suppose your friend is further proving what I have always thought about the paedocommunion position. All I saw in your friend's thoughts were bare naked assertions, but never any argumentation. In my post, I asserted, and backed it up with an article that I thought well-demonstrated the assertions biblically, historically, and practically. I would suggest having your friend read the article and interact with the argumentation there.

I have read The Case for Covenant Communion; I have read Tim Gallant's Feed My Lambs; and I have read articles from Peter Leithart on paedocommunion. To further the dialogue, your friend needs to interact with the substantial argumentation that the article I posted gave, and that Gentry, Schwertly, and Nigel Lee have given. If these men are so easy to refute, then let the paedocommunionist interact with their arguments instead of giving assertions.

Orthodox,

Did you even read the article I posted in its entirety? The author gives plenty of Scriptural and historical evidence. To further the dialogue, please interact with his argumentation.

Now, to interact with where you did argue:

In all your Scriptural quotes for baptism, I don't understand how any of those even employ the *concept* of "whoever is baptized, let him believe." I'm not talking about being a slave to mere words. I am making the point that the concept of baptism as *restricted to* **only** those who profess faith is a non-sequitur from those passages. But that is not the case with communion. It is clear in 1 Co 11 that communion is *only* for those who can examine themselves. The language used here employs this concept, but we never find that with baptism.

Again, 11:27-29 are all connected. 27 says whoever does it in an unworthy manner is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord; 28 says a man must examine himself; 29 says he who eats and drinks without discerning the body and blood brings judgment to themselves.

I honestly see a stark difference between that and "if you believe, you may be baptized." The latter phrase is spoken to the *category* of adults. The Table warnings are given to *all* who partake. I see a big difference in categories here.

The author already addresses what you allege to be inconsistent with regards to the fact that Jehovah considered the children as part of His covenant people, but would not have the Passover given to children (or women). Jehovah Himself did not see that as inconsistent, so it is only a mere assertion to claim that children are only "half" in the church if they are not given the Table.

I tell my sons that they are full citizens of the United States of America. Imagine them saying, "Great dad! So I can vote in the next election this November!". I tell them, "No, that's only when you are of age and have the ability to examine carefully the candidates." Do you think they would say they're not full members of the country? Would you say they are full members before voting age?

orthodox said...

we plainly cannot come to the Table of the Lord properly without professing to remember something about him

Uh, like what? Even the youngest person can remember *something*.

solafidelity.com said...

Exodus 12 is so clear, I always marvel at the gymnastics that have to be done just to keep covenant children away from their Lord’s Table. Who was the meal for? “You and your children forever.” (Ex 12:24) And who was it not for? “No uncircumcised person may eat of it.” (vs Ex 12:48) Where is the third category? Where are the "non-communicant" community members?

Josh Brisby said...

Ron,

How do you get from "no uncircumsised person may eat of it" to "*ALL* those who are circumcised may eat of it"?

How do you get from "this ordinance is for you and your children forever" to "this ordinance is for you and your children *RIGHT NOW* forever"?

Again, I tell Gabe that he is a full citizen of the U.S. His voting privilege is his, forever. How does that mean that he can vote right now?

I would encourage you to interact with the Scriptural and historical argumentation that the article I posted gives. What do you think of the article? Can you refute its claims with argumentation?

Josh Brisby said...

Orthodox,

You had claimed that the four cups of wine argument came from later tradition and not Scripture, but the author of the article argues this specifically from Scripture. Read the article again.

Brother Echo,

You bring up an interesting situation. Also, I have thought that even many of our Reformed Baptist brothers, as well as many of our Presbyterian brothers, admit children to the Table too early. The Table is more than just a profession of faith. It involves deep self-examination of the conscience. Indeed, many young children are not able to do this.

orthodox said...

Did you even read the article I posted in its entirety? The author gives plenty of Scriptural and historical evidence. To further the dialogue, please interact with his argumentation.

Yes I read it, and if there were anything here worth interacting with, I'd be doing so. But what is there? I don't see a single reference here to ANY glasses of wine in scripture associated with the passover, let alone FOUR glasses. Will you at least admit that scripturally you've got zip here, or else point us to the verse commanding wine at passover?

Historically, all I see here is a bunch of inferences drawn, and no actual statement contemporary with Jesus that says anything about wine in the passover. But let's say for the sake of argument that all this historical speculation is actually correct, and this is what the Jews were doing.

Do you mean to say that the unique central religious act of Christianity is based on an extra-scriptural tradition? Jesus based this pivotal moment and pivotal ceremony on extra-scriptural tradition?

As Calvin admitted, it is a FACT that the early church practiced paedo communion. By what hypocrisy do you appeal to an extra-scriptural practice of the Jews as an authoritative tradition, and you reject the practice of the early church?

And I don't see the refutation against including women in communion by this argument. Yes, Paul said there is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus, and he baptised women. But if you're going to automatically extend this principle to women, you might just as well extend it to church leadership or anything else. This is special pleading.

Concerning this idea that "whoever" needs to be rigourously and pedantically applied to infants, have you considered what a mess it turns scripture into?

For a start "whoever does not believe is condemned" (John 3). That means infants MUST be going to hell, because we must have rigorous and pedantic application of "whoever".

Imagine Presbyterians applying 2Chr. 15:13

"and whoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman."

The presbyterian goes up to all the babies: "Do you seek the LORD God"? Answer: "gargle gargle". Presbyterian slaughters child.

Tartanarmy said...

Is it just me or is this "orthodox" fellow just a tad arrogant and lacking in grace?

Maybe there is a history or something, I do not know, but sheesh, reading him leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Mark

Josh Brisby said...

Orthodox,

I have to admit, I got a good laugh out of the humor of your last post. (Seriously. I'm not being condescending. It was funny.)

But seriously now. My point as well in both 1 Co 11 and in 2 Chr is that the "whoever" (if we just want to talk about the word itself) is qualified in the passage by those who are included in it. I agree with your assessment of "whoever" in 2 Chr. Again, I also had a good laugh out of it.

So "who" is the "whoever" in 1 Co 11? We are told that, included in the category of "whoever" we have:

(1) the one who eats or drinks in an unworthy manner; (2) the one who must examine himself; and (3) the one who must judge the body rightly.

The Orthodox priest goes up to the baby: "Can you eat or drink in a worthy manner? Can you examine yourself? Can you judge the body rightly?" Answer: "Goo-goo-gaa-gaa." *Orthodox priest stuffs wine and bread down infant's throat.* *Infant coughs it back up.* *Enter St. Cyprian.* Cyprian: "That infant hates God! That's why he coughed up the body and the blood of Christ! Idolatrous infant!".

Jnorm888 said...

I never saw any infants cough the mysteries back up.


We have been doing this for 2,000 years. I think they know how to safely do it for infants.


If I ever have children, my infants will partake of it.








JNORM888

Paul Manata said...

solafidelity.com said...
Exodus 12 is so clear, I always marvel at the gymnastics that have to be done just to keep covenant children away from their Lord’s Table. Who was the meal for? “You and your children forever.” (Ex 12:24) And who was it not for? “No uncircumcised person may eat of it.” (vs Ex 12:48) Where is the third category? Where are the "non-communicant" community members?

10:33 PM

*********

Hi Ron!

If Ex. 12 is so clear, and Ex. 12 is to be done "forver," why the waffer and sippy cup of wine? Oh, you must not mean that all that we read, that the *passover* is to be done forever, gotcha?

And, as Josh pointed out, you're making leaps in logic. Furthermore, women (adult of infants) weren't circumcised, so I guess you don't believe that *they* ate the meal.

Let's also look at some more from Ex. 12:

6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight

Look, it says "all" and "community." Must have been real messy to see those infants shanking the lambs.

11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD's Passover.

So did those little 1.5 year olds have their Baby Gap cloaks and sandles on? Their Fischer Price staffs in their hand? How did they "eat in haste?" Ever seen a 1.5 or a 2 yr. old eat, Ron? Were they making finger pantings out of the pashal lamb? Perhaps throwing food around? No, they were perfect! They didn't throw the passover meal on the ground. or spit it up. Hey, the women must have been super mom's too! Every seen a baby eat? They had to do the airplane thing (well, they didn't have airplanes, but they probably did some other fun stuff with their wooden spoons), get the food--most of it--in the mouth, and scoop up the lamb parts that were slidding down the chin. And, feed themselves too. And, all this "in haste!"

Ron, we already debated this thing a while back. At every direction you were shown to have weak arguments, refuted by sound arguments, solid exegsis, acurate reports from history, or just plain funny rhetoric like the above.

Yeah, Ex. 12 is sooooooo clear, aint it.

Josh Brisby said...

I've often thought that both the Baptist position as well as the paedocommunion position both seem to "vulcanize" texts, as you mentioned before to me Paul. The Baptist says of the jailer's household rejoicing: "Infants can't rejoice, so infants must not have been there!". The paedocommunionist says "see, it says all the mouths of the house, and household, so infants must have partaken!".

And both positions are sloppy on biblical context.

orthodox said...

Apparently I'm sour AND humorous. I must be treading well some middle line then.

Paul, which side are you arguing on?

Yes sure the infants didn't have a staff and belt, but you can betcha that those moms got their dinner down their throats with as much haste and with all the mom-tricks they could muster (including the airplane thing, but it probably wasn't callled that then). It seems obvious to me, that the bits that could be applied to infants, were applied to infants. The moms didn't starve their children that night because they lacked staffs and belts. Neither did they let them eat leisurely and take all night to eat because they lacked staffs and belts.

Josh, I don't get you. You say that "in both 1 Co 11 and in 2 Chr is that the "whoever" is qualified in the passage by those who are included in it."

Well, who IS included in 2 Chr?

"whoever would not seek the LORD whether small or great, man or woman."

Do infants "seek the LORD"? If so, why exclude them from communion? If not, then they are included, right? And small or great, man or woman seems to be a statement that is deliberately written to be expansive. That would literally include everyone, right? So how exactly do you get out of slaughtering your babies without the application of common sense?

Orthodox priest stuffs wine and bread down infant's throat.

The priest applies as much of the conditions as can be expected of a person of that age. Just like those babies who didn't get slaughtered, and the children who didn't starve because they lacked staff and belt.

Now Josh, who is the "whoever" delimited to, as regards to communion?

1Cor. 10:17 Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.

You're stuck between a rock and a hard place here. If you say that "all" doesn't actually mean "all", then you are attempting to use common sense to exclude children from the literal meaning of the text which includes them. But if you include children, you have to apply common sense to the "must examine himself" passage, that it doesn't apply to children.

Either way, pedantic application is not going to do it for you. You'll have to ignore the pedantic literal meaning on one verse or the other.

Now, what gives you the right to pedantically apply "must examine himself" to children to whom it can't be applied, and yet to ignore the literal meaning of the text that "all" partake the one bread?

Paul Manata said...

Jnorm888 said...
I never saw any infants cough the mysteries back up.

***********

Hmmmm, they must only do that with EVERYTHING ELSE THEY EAT! :-D

Paul Manata said...

O-duck,

I'm not a paedocommunionist.

When the paedocommunionist says, "It's just obvious from Ex.12 that all the children whoever ate the mean," I then take a look at Ex. 12 and say, "they did this too?"

The argument from Ex.12 *alone* is weak.

I successfully pointed that out.

It's nothing but arbitrary to apply only those rules that help your system and deny those that don't.

R1 = Take lamb for household.

Analysis of the rule: See, everyone ate, that's the RULE.

R2 = This is how you eat, with cloak tucked in, sandles on, staff in hand, and in haste.

Analysis of the rule: See, the 1.5 year olds had their Osh Kosh Bgosh sandals on and their Fisher Price staffs in hand.

PC argument have been weighed and found wanting.

To just say, oh, the parts that can apply to infants did, strikes me as self-serving, question begging nonsense.

And, the moms had to eat in haste AS WELL.

And, I guess the rule for circumcision only applied to males.

And, the "go hungry" line is ridiculous. How about the later meals? The ones where there were rules. For instance, being on your monthly cycle would make you unclean. Were unclean, menstrating women preparing the blessed meal?

What about if you touched a dead man? Was there "nothing to eat" for that whole period of time it took to get clean? They starved for *weeks*?

Of course not. So, what did they eat? Well, they either ate the passover food in a non-cerimonial way, or there was other food lying around.

Some may want to say, "Okay, then I'll just have my kids eat in a 'non-cerimonial way,' would that make you happy, Paul?" To which I say, "If you're hungry, stay home and eat!"

So, you can hold to PC based on the tradition (allegedly) of the church, and whatever other EO justifications you have, but it's not for any *scriptural* reasons.

Furthermore, we read in Ex. 12 "when your children ask what you mean by this meal..." and we also find that *exact same phrase* later on in Joshua 4:6 we see the same thing, "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 children were not involved in that *event,* and so it is also probably that the young, unchatecized children were not involved in the passover. They probably began at age 12. The extra-biblical evidence supports this, and the evidence of the NT lends support to this as well.

There's something like an abductive argument here. Credocommunion best explains all the biblical evidence.

orthodox said...

The argument from Ex.12 *alone* is weak.

It's not my position that everything you need to know has an unambiguous answer in scripture. In fact, you've basically admitted that scripture doesn't tell us these things. All you can do is make a speculation about what position *seems* to fit the data better, so so you think.

Analysis of the rule: See, the 1.5 year olds had their Osh Kosh Bgosh sandals on and their Fisher Price staffs in hand.
PC argument have been weighed and found wanting.


I don't find it wanting at all. To assume that, for example, cripples who didn't have a staff therefore didn't eat, is to stretch common sense to absurdity. Similarly, anyone who didn't have sandles or belt for other reasons like age, it hardly removes them from being "all" of the community and eating. You can interpret it in a silly pedantic way if you like, but I won't. Everybody in a family eats. It is very obvious to me. Even more so when one considers WHO the passover was intended to save, which is the first born children.

And, the "go hungry" line is ridiculous. How about the later meals?

At later meals, not fleeing Egypt, they could have the luxury of preparing different food for those unclean. And in the exceptions, it is explicit about who is excluded. Why is there no explicit exception for children, either at the first meal or later ones? One would expect a clear statement about what age you would be excluded from the meal.

There is no statement in the first meal excluding those unclean, or those travelling. So what extra-biblical assumption do you want to make? That the unclean ate separately, perhaps they could have a leisurely meal while the others scoffed down the passover? Trouble is, the uncleanliness laws were yet to be delivered to Israel.

And according to the original text above "in feminist Judaic circles today Miriam’s Cup has been added so the women may participate."

But do you admit that as far as the bible is concerned women did participate in the passover? Even the Mishna admits that. So all this reference to women being excluded is either an admission that sola scriptura is false, or else it is an admission that later Jewish practice is false. So choose your poison, what will it be?

Furthermore, we read in Ex. 12 "when your children ask what you mean by this meal..." and we also find that *exact same phrase* later on in Joshua 4:6

How does an inquisitive question in two unrelated circumstances show whether they were or weren't involved? Children will ask questions in ALL circumstances, whether involved, not involved, day or night. Imagine what nonsense we could turn the bible into if everywhere in the bible people asked a similar generic question, we could assume all sorts of things are the same which aren't explicit in the context. It is just as rational to assume that they ate the stones in Joshua 4:6, because that is what they did with the subject of enquiry in Ex 12.

Paul Manata said...

O-duck,

Apparently you need help following arguments. I was responding to someone who made the claim that paedocommunion was clear *because* Ex. 12 was so clear. If you want to shift goal posts, that's fine; but you can't hold my comments to a standard different than the one assumed in the context of dialogue I was in.

You are clearly eisogeting the text, O-duck. "Since paedocommunion is the case, then the passages that can apply to infants do, and the ones that do not, don't." My argument was that you can't *exegete* paedocommunion from the text. Sure, you can *impose* that grid on the text, and then try to make it make sense, but I'm here to argue that you can't *derive* it from the text. You need to be clear on who, and what, you're arguing against.


Since you've now admitted that the "all" passages and the "rule" pasages do not apply to all, then you can't very well non-arbitrarilly say, "Oh, look at the 'household' texts, all means all there!" You are clearly playing fast and loose with the text. Since you have admitted that we can't assume "all" in these passages, then I would need to see an *argument* for children inclusion. From Ex. 12 *alone.* You walked into my trap. Welcome to my parlor said the spider to the fly . . .

As far as an explicit exclusion, if you're going top argue that, there is: "no uncircumcised," thus, follow the logic out: women--both adult and infant-- were not circumcised, therefore, no women--adult or infant--ate of the meal. And, no infant male did either who was under 8 days old. So, I see your "explicit rule" and raise you a reductio ad absurdem. Now, I guess you can deny that those rules had any effect, but then you're argument because not only swiss cheese (full of holes) but melted swiss cheese. (This also negates your 'unclean' rule as uncircumcised = unclean.)

Here's another rule:

"If a stranger comes and wants to partake, let him and his males be circumcised and then HE can eat."

So, this was a rule, did his precious children not get to eat too?

And, yes, I believe the meals, which communion replaces, i.e., not just the Ex. 12 passover, were for men and catechized males only. Notice that in Acts 2, at the feast, only MEN were there. Women would travel with their husbands to Jerusalem sometimes, but the men ate.

Lastly, the question shows that they were not eating since they would have said, "what do WE mean by this." But, they said, what do YOU mean by this. And, when we look elsewhere, we find the same structure to indicate an occasion to *teach* the children. The instances are similar too. We have *signs* indicating a spiritual event.

At any rate, feel free not to beg questions, to place my comments in their original context, and to familiarize yourself with the debate--which you're obviously a bit unstudied on.

Paul Manata said...

"It's not my position that everything you need to know has an unambiguous answer in scripture. In fact, you've basically admitted that scripture doesn't tell us these things. All you can do is make a speculation about what position *seems* to fit the data better, so so you think."

I partly addressed this comment above by mentioning that the claim I was arguing against, which O-duck commented on, and which I presumed (mea culpa) he was trying to be relevant to, was precisely that PC *was* clearly taught in Scripture via Ex.12. So, O-duck couldn't follow the context of my argument; or, he was not being relevant and uncharitably critiqued an argument of mine specifically intended to address a specific claim with an argument of his that was irrelevant to that claim.

Anywho, I do not believe that CC is taught in Scripture via I Cor 11, and other places. I'm specifically speaking of all the "meal" and "passover" and "feast" narratives when I say that my view fits all that data best.

But, as a debater, I know to be able to fight on many fronts. So, rather than debate I Cor. 12 endlessly, I can, with a *covenant theologian* deny the premise that children partook in the OT meals. This undercuts the CT argument. It also takes away *any* continuity argument. But, since there is no explicit verse in the OT that says "only catechized male children may partake," and there is also no verse that says "all your children and women may partake" then it's true that we don't find anything explicit *in this sense* in Scripture (same with the Trinity et al, though). But my argument is, if all the data is gathered and looked at, a credo positions makes sense out of the data. My argument is more inductive in nature. And I have no problem drawing warranted conclusions from those kinds of premises. Remember, I'm not bound by, nor do I buy, the RC or O-duck constraint that I must be certain that P in order to know that P.

At any rate, philosophically (epistemologically), you and the RC are in the same boat.

There's many a slip b'twixt the "infallible" cup and the fallible lip.

orthodox said...

Acts 2 doesn't say there were only men present. That Peter chose to address the men as heads of the families, doesn't prove the women weren't there.

In Acts 13:14, Paul goes into the Synagogue and addresses the "men of Israel". So unless you want to argue that women didn't attend synagogue...

And also, is it not setting off any warning signals to you, that to try and prove to me OT religious practice you've had to resort to quoting me the NT? I guess those Jews weren't following sola scriptura for thousands of years, because you can't show the correct OT practice from the OT.

And again, let's say you're right and the women weren't there. What does that then say about women taking communion?

See, I'm not the one here who could care less about drawing parallels between wine in the passover (which itself is extra-scriptural!) and the communion cup. That whole comparison is completely bogus as far as I'm concerned. But if you want to draw the comparison, and by it exclude children, then you must also exclude women.

And what do you wish to achieve by quoting: "If a stranger comes and wants to partake, let him and his males be circumcised and then HE can eat."?

So what is your position? That the women ate, despite scripture's silence (aka common sense), or that the stranger came into town, and they let the women folk die of starvation? How has this helped your case? I guess you think they let the women starve, otherwise why did you quote this?

Concerning this:

Ex. 12:26 “And when your children say to you, ‘What does this rite mean to you?’

It doesn't say the children weren't partaking, it says the children asked the parents what it MEANS to them. You can eat a meal without it meaning something to you. They couldn't ask what it means to US, because if it actually meant something to the child, they wouldn't be asking the stupid question in the first place would they?

Concerning the uncircumcised being not allowed to partake, now you are going to reductio ad absurdem, and a few steps even further. By this reasoning, Josh. 5:8 Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation, means that he circumcised all the girls.

If this verse means to exclude women, it would be the only verse in scripture that uses that term as a means to exclude women. Other places in scripture, women are identified according to the circumcised status of their men-folk. e.g. Judg. 14:3 Then his father and his mother said to him, “Is there no woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?”

Lastly, where is your great scriptural perspecuity when you have conceded that the OT doesn't speak to whom may partake passover, and the NT doesn't speak to whom may partake communion?

Even let's say we bought into the long bow you want to draw in say, Joshua 4. Well what did the people do prior to Joshua being written? They followed the tradition huh?

You're trying to forensically dig through the circumstancial evidence to find out what the Jews practiced, because the scripture which institutes the practice isn't clear. That means God must have relied on them to keep the tradition about these details apart from scripture. A budding Martin Luther alive at this time could have challenged the whole system, whichever way they were doing it.

But why don't you care about what the early church was practising? You seem to have absolute faith in the Jewish nation to hold to the correct traditions, even lacking a clear statement from scripture. But you won't accord to the Church the same faith. If you read some Jewish text you think sheds some historical light, you take it as gospel truth. If you find some historical text about what the church practised you take it as evidence the church was in apostasy.

Josh Brisby said...

Orthodox,

Just to quickly make a point and then I'll step back and let Paul and you go at it: you asked Paul where his "great Scriptural perspicuity" was. I think you have been corrected on this before, if I'm not mistaken, but the Reformed doctrine of the perspicuity of Scripture is well-defined in the Westminster Confession of Faith 1:7, which reads:

"All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for SALVATION [emphasis mine], are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them."

You see, Orthodox, the doctrine of the perspicuity of Scripture never stated that everything in Scripture was alike clear in the same way. The perspicuity of Scripture has to do with those things that are required to believe for *salvation*.

Yes, I am saying that God's Word is not as clear on the sacraments. Why else do we see godly men in history who fall both on the paedobaptist side as well as the credobaptist side?

As a credocommunionist, I would of course argue that Scripture is much more clear on the issue of the Lord's Table. As Manata mentioned to me over the phone, with baptism, you don't have expressly set down in Scripture *how* we are to do it (mode or proper subjects), but just historical narrative. But with the Table, we do indeed have set down in Scripture expressly *how* we are to do it (elements as well as proper subjects).

Besides, you haven't proven to us what's so "clear" about the Orthodox Church anyways, not to get on a tangent.

Jnorm888 said...

"But why don't you care about what the early church was practising? You seem to have absolute faith in the Jewish nation to hold to the correct traditions, even lacking a clear statement from scripture. But you won't accord to the Church the same faith. If you read some Jewish text you think sheds some historical light, you take it as gospel truth. If you find some historical text about what the church practised you take it as evidence the church was in apostasy."




This is common in alot of protestant denominations.


But I'm gonna ask another Reformed person I know who is Dutch Reformed, and he too agrees with Paedo-communion. I know about two or three reformed protestants that embrace paedo-communion. So I'll help you out with Paul Manata.






JNORM888

orthodox said...

You see, Orthodox, the doctrine of the perspicuity of Scripture never stated that everything in Scripture was alike clear in the same way. The perspicuity of Scripture has to do with those things that are required to believe for *salvation*.

Well this is a bit of a problem. Scripture doesn't say on what topics it is perspicuous on. Yet you have it in the Westminster confession of faith.

So why does the Westminster confession make an article of faith about something scripture doesn't say? My guess is that there is a certain obviousness that what is required for salvation ought to be clear in the rule of faith. Ok, fair enough.

But aren't I equally entitled to believe that those things necessary for the orderly running of the Church should be clear in the rule of faith also? Clearly you can't run a church in an orderly fashion when the elders are teaching infants can't have communion, and the laity are free to believe and practice otherwise, or vice versa. If the Westminster confession can make rulings based on obviousness, then I could with the same logic state that scripture is insufficient as a rule of faith in the Church.

So since you seem to be keen to concede on this issue of paedo-baptism that scripture is not "plain in itself, nor clear unto all", and since being a protestant you must affirm an individual's right to interpret scripture in line with their own conscience and interpretive abilities, you are also in effect conceding that scripture is insufficient for the orderly running of the Church. Or else you would be saying that it is inline with God's plan that people separate into denominations where every permutation of belief is practiced separately. But then if that is God's plan, it would be conceding that God is happy with paedo-communion.

Either way, I'm not sure how you can stand where you do.

Josh Brisby said...

Is it God's plan that the Greek Orthodox Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church separate on so clear a doctrine as the hypostatic union? Which is right: the monophysites or the Chalcedonian definition? After all, isn't it God's plan that it would be so clear for an inquirer to know?

Inquiring minds want to know, Orthodox. So pray tell us. And tell us why one should accept your type of Orthodoxy over say, Coptic Orthodoxy or Russian Orthodoxy. After all, it's so clear, right?

orthodox said...

There is no difference between Greek Orthodoxy and Russian Orthodoxy, so that is a non-sequitur.

The Copts are not in communion since Chacedon it is true. But myself, and many others who have investigated, can't see any difference in the Copts, other than terminology. They would reject the term monophysites, BTW. The Popes of Rome and Alexandria have met and affirmed a common understanding. The same for Eastern Orthodox hierarchs and the Copts. As far as I see this is a political problem, not a theological one.

Does pointing out _one_ "problem", (that is apparently not even a problem), help you justify the dozens of divisions that divide protestants? How many long term divisions arose from 33-1000AD compared to from 1500-1600AD?

Jnorm888 said...

Josh said:

"Is it God's plan that the Greek Orthodox Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church separate on so clear a doctrine as the hypostatic union? Which is right: the monophysites or the Chalcedonian definition? After all, isn't it God's plan that it would be so clear for an inquirer to know?"



They don't like being called "monophsyites". They call themselves Miaphysites. And from what I can tell most of it is semantics.

We are mostly the same.




We all know there are way more divisions in Protestantism. From it's very inception you had 3 or 4 divisions.

1.)Lutherianism (Evangelicals) also called the Protestants by Rome.


2.)The Calvinists (Reformed) Rome called this segment of prots Reformed.

3.)The Anabaptists. This group broke away from Zwingly

4.) Anglicans



And from those 4 came thousands more.









JNORM888

Josh Brisby said...

JNorm and Orthodox,

First, is it about comparing who has more offshoots? Granted that the "monophysites" prefer being called "miaphysites," I know plenty other Orthodox who still consider them heretics. So we're still left with how to answer an inquirer.

Second, the books included in the canon, which is part of the rule of faith, is not agreed upon by the Orthodox. Read my closing statement again. Orthodoxy offers all this certainty, but is unable to provide it.

Third, Orthodox, you said "The Copts are not in communion since Chalcedon is true." Don't you see what question-begging is involved in that statement? All I have ever heard from the Orthodox boils down to "Orthodoxy is true because Orthodoxy claims it is true, so it therefore must be true." Well, the Copts say the same thing about themselves and about you. They would say you are out of communion with them b/c you are false and they are true. They would say "The Greeks, etc., are in schism b/c Chalcedon is NOT true." Many Orthodox do not think the issue is mere semantics. Who should an inquirer believe?

Josh Brisby said...

Finally, there are many differences amongst the Orthodox, not the least of which is the inclusion of books in the canon. The only reason you downplay the differences is because they have tacked on the name "Orthodox" to themselves. It's like Tommyboy saying "It's just a guaranteed piece of *@&!."

And then Tommyboy says, "Look, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it 'guaranteed' I'd be happy to in my spare time."

But as a Protestant, I would tell you the same thing Tommyboy told his customer: "For your sake, for your daughter's sake, you might want to think about buying a quality product from me."

Jnorm888 said...

Josh said:
"First, is it about comparing who has more offshoots? Granted that the "monophysites" prefer being called "miaphysites," I know plenty other Orthodox who still consider them heretics. So we're still left with how to answer an inquirer."


You don't understand Orthodoxy. We are not a Machine. We are not mechanical. We are Dynamic. We are an Organism. You have to change the way your western mind thinks in order to understand Orthodoxy.




Josh said:
"Second, the books included in the canon, which is part of the rule of faith, is not agreed upon by the Orthodox. Read my closing statement again. Orthodoxy offers all this certainty, but is unable to provide it."


I disagree. One doesn't need a 100% unified canon in order to have certainty in communion. It's obvious the slight difference in our canons (due to Roman Catholic and Protestant influences from the 16 to 18 hundreds) doesn't cause us to schizm.

The church of the first 4 hundred years didn't have a 100% unified canon either, yet they were still in communion.

Sola scriptura was never a doctrine of the Church. A difference in one's canon is only a problem for Protestants who hold to the doctrine of sola scriptura.

And to be honest...both the Slavic and Byzantine canons have all of the same books. The main difference is how one view certain books.

In the Byzantine Canon 4th Macc is in an Appendix....whereas in the slavic Canon it is not.

Sometimes the prayer of Manessah is in an Appendix.

So it all comes down to "the appendix".


100% Uniformity in the canon has nothing to do with Unity.


I don't expect you to understand this, but this is the way the Church has always been. I may be wrong, but I think the Latin Vulgate has less books than the LXX. Yet it didn't cause a schizm between the east and west. The east and west was still in communion.


Josh said:
"Third, Orthodox, you said "The Copts are not in communion since Chalcedon is true." Don't you see what question-begging is involved in that statement? All I have ever heard from the Orthodox boils down to "Orthodoxy is true because Orthodoxy claims it is true, so it therefore must be true." Well, the Copts say the same thing about themselves and about you. They would say you are out of communion with them b/c you are false and they are true. They would say "The Greeks, etc., are in schism b/c Chalcedon is NOT true." Many Orthodox do not think the issue is mere semantics. Who should an inquirer believe?"


Just because you have some on both sides that still reject eachother doesn't mean you don't have many on both sides that accept eachother. The Church is not a machine. The Church is an Organism. And healing is a process. It takes time. I know many OO that see the issue as semantics. Scholars from both sides already came together and judged the situation as semantics. Since then the process of reconciliation was restarted.
But the healing isn't gonna happen over night. We are not a machine....we are an Organism.

Many OO go to our seminaries and we are doing alot of things together. But one shouldn't expect full communion to happen over night.



Josh said:
"Finally, there are many differences amongst the Orthodox, not the least of which is the inclusion of books in the canon. The only reason you downplay the differences is because they have tacked on the name "Orthodox" to themselves. It's like Tommyboy saying "It's just a guaranteed piece of *@&!."


I disagree. Just like Rome, Orthodoxy has different rites. A difference in "some" customs is common. Unlike prots we don't run and form a new church over slight differences. 100% uniformity in custom doesn't have anything to do with unity.


Josh said:
"And then Tommyboy says, "Look, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it 'guaranteed' I'd be happy to in my spare time."

But as a Protestant, I would tell you the same thing Tommyboy told his customer: "For your sake, for your daughter's sake, you might want to think about buying a quality product from me."





You don't understand Orthodoxy.

However, I do understand various forms of Protestantism.






JNORM888

Paul Manata said...

O-duck,

The men in Acts 2 is provided as more data that fits the scheme I was presenting. I don't mkae one-text cases. So, you weren't following my argument. This is a common problem with you.

I don't break apart my NT and my OT. So your comment was irrelevant. And, it is a sure sign of losing a debate when you try to stear the debate in another direction. I'm not here to debate sola scriptura.

I'm here to rebut the specific claim that: "PC is so clear from Ex. 12."

I rebutted that. I have not seen you counter that argument other than to try to drag the debate somewhere else.

I know that EX.12 doesn't say "Children did not partake" in any explicit language. I made, again, another probabilistic, inductive argument. You may not *like* those kinds of arguments, but thankfully some dweeb on the internet isn't the Standard Of Argument.

My comment about circumsiced not being able to eat was, because, that was a RULE. You asked for A RULE. Now, it appears that you won't accept any RULES and you were being disingenuous.

This is why I don't waste my time with you, O-duck. You're not an honest debater or thinker. I've already shot myself in the head over being subjected to your arguments against compatibilism, and I'm not going to bother with you.

I have made specific arguments, and specific rebuttals to many of your claims. You now take the tactic of playing dumb. Or, are you dumb?

At any rate, my specific task of showing the "ex 12 is not clear proof of PC" has been established.

I also got you to admit that PC can't be shown from the Bible (show me a verse that says, "children eat it." I have one of those for circumcision). So, I don't give tw **** if you feed kids the sacramanetal teet (it's in tha breast milk, baby!) because you have some dude with a funny hat (or some other absurdity) telling you to do it.

I'm not hear to debate that stuff. I'm here to debate protestants who hold to sola scriptura. You have admitted that they can't prove their case.

Jnorm888 said...

Did all "Israel" partake of the covenant commandments? You know...the whole community?

If so then how can you not include infants in the passover meal?




JNORM888

Jnorm888 said...

Also if the infant is Baptized because of the "faith" of the parents.

Then why can't the infant partake of the Divine Mysteries because of the "self reflection" [1 Cor. 11] of the parents?

It's "inconsistent" to have one and not the other.

I may be wrong, but it would seem as if to be "consistently" covenantial you would have to have both.




JNORM888

Jnorm888 said...

In Exodus 12:43-51

I see:

Everyone who is circumcised gets to eat of the meal.

Now, if one believes that Baptism is linked to circumcision then that would mean that everyone who is Baptized gets to partake of the Divine Mysteries.

Since Infants are Baptized......they should be allowed to partake of the Divine mysteries.




JNORM888

orthodox said...

"I know plenty other Orthodox who still consider them heretics."

Thinking someone is a heretic is different to proving they are a heretic. If you think you know better than the Pope of Alexandria, the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Pope of Rome put together on this issue, then you will have to prove it.

"Second, the books included in the canon, which is part of the rule of faith, is not agreed upon by the Orthodox. Read my closing statement again. Orthodoxy offers all this certainty, but is unable to provide it."

You assume that the canon is an important issue to have unity on. If the historic church never had unity, how are YOU suddenly going to have certainty? Do YOU have certainty, and if so where does it come from?

To the extent that protestants have unity, it is because they appropriated the decisions of the Masoretic Jews. Even then, protestants now can't agree whether Mark 16 or John 8 should now be scripture. Funny how the protestant methodology doesn't seem to be working when it is put to the test this way.

"They would say you are out of communion with them b/c you are false and they are true."

Where are they saying that? Show us the statement from a Coptic hierarch.

"All I have ever heard from the Orthodox boils down to "Orthodoxy is true because Orthodoxy claims it is true, so it therefore must be true."

So you have done zero investigation into these things. Pity.

orthodox said...

"The men in Acts 2 is provided as more data that fits the scheme I was presenting. "

Except.... you were totally refuted when I pointed out that Paul addressed the synagogue in the same way. So you are left to either claim women didn't attend synagogue or else special plead.

But I guess, as a protestant who was refuted, you don't need to deal with anything but your feelings.

"I don't mkae one-text cases. So, you weren't following my argument. This is a common problem with you."

A bad multi-text argument is still bad.

"I don't break apart my NT and my OT."

"I made, again, another probabilistic, inductive argument. "

Maybe you should become a Jehovah's witness. They don't break apart the OT and NT either. The OT doesn't refer to multiple divine persons. So probabilistically I guess, that should be true.

"thankfully some dweeb"

Thankfully, ad-hominem is not a valid argument, and just makes you look bad.

"My comment about circumsiced not being able to eat was, because, that was a RULE. You asked for A RULE. Now, it appears that you won't accept any RULES and you were being disingenuous."

And in line with protestant exegesis principles, I pointed out that the bible never uses "uncircumcised" as a terminology to distinguish men and women Jews, but rather to distinguish Jews from other races.

But again, if you want to use special pleading and not protestant exegesis principles, fine. That means the male babies more than 8 days old did partake, right? So all we've got left to deal with is the females.

BUT WAIT! Protestants are willing to include the females in communion on the basis of special pleading! So I guess we don't need to deal with that at all.

"This is why I don't waste my time with you, O-duck."

For someone who doesn't waste your time with me, you're wasting an awful lot of time.

Josh Brisby said...

JNorm,

Please see above. Your assertions were answered by Manata and me. Please make an argument and don't just assert so we can further the dialogue.

Also, I have to say that, if I had just a penny for every time I have read or heard an Orthodox person claim "you don't understand Orthodoxy" to me or to anyone who tries to critique it, then I would be rich.

Do you really think that all these scholars, etc., who have tried to critique Orthodoxy "don't understand it"? This seems to be a catch-phrase for the Orthodox. When they get trapped into a corner by solid critique, their cop-out is: "You don't understand Orthodoxy."

So tell me where, pray tell, I don't understand Orthodoxy. Tell me where I have misrepresented it.

orthodox said...

"Do you really think that all these scholars, etc., who have tried to critique Orthodoxy "don't understand it"?"

Tell me what critiques you have in mind, and I'll tell you if I think they understand or not.

"When they get trapped into a corner by solid critique, their cop-out is: "You don't understand Orthodoxy."

Well, do YOU understand? Do you for example grasp.... REALLY grasp, why Orthodox see Catholics and Protestants as being two peas in a pod?

Tartanarmy said...

This convo is getting a wee bit gnostic for my liking.

Mark

Ron Smith said...

No one answered my question as to where the third category is described in Ex 12. Josh asked,

"How do you get from "this ordinance is for you and your children forever" to "this ordinance is for you and your children *RIGHT NOW* forever"?

There is no instruction as to when children were to partake, so there is no reason to believe that the children who could partake of a meal with the rest of the family did not partake of the Passover meal with the rest of the family. It is clear in verse 3 that the meal was for the household/family.

Again, there is no third category. There are only two groups described in Gen 12 - the partakers and the non-partakers. Which category do the children of the covenant fit into and why?

Paul commented,

"women (adult of infants) [sic] weren't circumcised, so I guess you don't believe that *they* ate the meal."

Circumcision defined the covenant community as a whole (Gen 17). Women were not circumcised themselves, but they were members of circumcised households and of a circumcised community. Is Jeremiah 9:25 a threat against covenant males only? Jeremiah 4:4 addresses the people of Israel as well as the men of Judah. When God called the people of Israel to be circumcised in heart (i.e. not in flesh only) (Deut 10:16, 30:6), were the women exempt from that exhortation since they weren't circumcised in the flesh? No, they were explicitly included along with all the children. (Joshua 8:35)

Paul again,

"Look, it says "all" and "community." Must have been real messy to see those infants shanking the lambs."

The scripture is clear that the heads of households prepared the lambs (Ex 12:3,21). I am not making my argument from the words “all” or “community” anyway, so I don't know who you are arguing against. I am making my argument primarily from the phrases “your children” and “uncircumcised”. Which category do the covenant children fit into?

We see elsewhere that the women and children were to be included in worship (Exodus 10:10-12). And we have no reason to believe that women and children were excluded from meals. This was a worship meal, thus they were to be included.

Where does the scripture say that the women and children were to be excluded from the Passover meal? I have offered plenty of evidence to the contrary.

Josh Brisby said...

Ron,

When it says that they were to eat in haste, and to do with with their cloak tucked in and their staff in their hand, did the children do that too?

In other words, it seems entirely arbitrary on your part that you would *not* apply the above to infants, but then all of a sudden apply the meal to infants. Read the article again I posted. The writer argues *from Scripture* that four goblets of wine were required.

Ron Smith said...

Josh,

The first time they did it, I am sure everyone ate in a hurry and were ready to get out of there. The kids weren't in their jammies. They all had to run for their life first thing in the morning.

During the ritual celebration and reenactment of the first Passover, I have no reason to believe that fathers did not include their children in that particular point of the drama. Perhaps some did and some did not. The point is the whole family was commanded to do a reenactment of the first Passover as a memorial. I believe as soon as the children could participate in the reenactment, they ought to have been included. I have no reason to doubt that many were. The ones who forgot, however, were probably not included.

This is just like teaching children to pray or sing or listen to the word preached. There is no concrete age given in scripture as to when fathers are supposed to talk to their children about God and His Law. Fathers are simply told to talk to their children about God and His Law and to do it often. So my understanding of this is that the father should do it as soon as the child is capable. The same with prayer and praise. If a child can say, "mine!" or sing a nursery rhyme, they can be taught to give thanks to God and sing His praises. Likewise, if a child can eat and give thanks, they can be taught to participate in the Meal of Thanks.

This is not arbitrary because the criterion for participation is covenant membership and ability. We are told point blank the meal was for the children and the whole family. So whether or not a covenant family member participates is contingent upon only their ability. I think you believe this too, only you would differ with me as to what constitutes ability.

Josh Brisby said...

Ron,

The point, though, is that you are trying to argue from the words "household" and "children". You are still begging the question. I haven't heard you answer it yet. I am asking how you can be consistent here. I am arguing that the paedocommunion position is inconsistent by *not* applying "household" and "children" in the *same* way when it comes to their cloak tucked in, their staff in their belt. BTW, do you think the women did this too? The women didn't have staffs and belts.

So, the point is, just b/c the terms "household" and "children" are used, we can't making a sweeping application every time they are used. As we have seen above, when we do that, we run into nonsense.

Ron, you need to *argue* for your position, and don't just assert that "household includes the children always." Maybe you are not saying this, but it certainly seems like you are.

Can you give me an argument that doesn't beg the question as to why you believe that children (and women) partook of the Passover?

Ron Smith said...

Josh said, "I am arguing that the paedocommunion position is inconsistent by *not* applying "household" and "children" in the *same* way when it comes to their cloak tucked in, their staff in their belt."

But I am being consistent. I have said the criteria for participation were covenant membership and ability. I'll say further that this is consistent across the board. There is nothing in the command to drive a covenant head to exclude a capable family member from the feast. Would it be wrong for a father to dress his 15 month old son up in a cloak and give him a wee staff upon which he could barely stand so they could rehearse the event together? If so, why? What in the text would cause you to think this?

The partial-paedo position is grasping at straws when they deny that the entire household was commanded to participate in the Passover meal. The only reason to deny this is that paedo-Passover supports paedo-Communion.

This is the last thing I will say on the matter here, and I know it is anecdotal, but here it is. My children have been partaking of the supper as early as they could chew bread. They have received visible blessing from it as well as from the other special means of grace. My wife and I have had numerous families come to us and ask how we train our children. I don't say this to toot my own horn, in fact, I just emphasize the effectiveness of God's special means of grace and I direct all such inquiries to Wilson's family books. This is all just to say that I have seen the effectiveness of the Supper on my children's hearts. On the sad flip side, I have seen children twice as old as mine who couldn't give a rip about Jesus because their parents waited for them to "come to Jesus" on their own instead of bringing them as infants the way the faithful parents did in the Gospels.

Josh Brisby said...

Ron,

This will be my last comment as well.

I know you *asserted* that the criteria for participation were covenant membership and criteria, but you have yet to prove it. As far as the 15-month old son dressing up in a cloak and a little staff in hand, I can't tell if you're serious or being humorous.

As to the last bit of your comment, you assume that "waiting" for the age of examination means not *full* membership. What would you tell your children if they asked you "Daddy, am I a full citizen of the United States?".

Of course you would tell them they are full citizens of the U.S., right? Imagine them saying, "But daddy, I'm not allowed to vote, right? I must not be a full citizen, but only halfway a citizen."

I tell my children they are full citizens of the U.S., and that voting is for them when they are older and are able to *examine* the candidates' qualifications for and against. They must be able to reason to vote.

Likewise, a pertinent, concrete example: two Sundays ago, we were blessed to partake of the Lord's Table at our new Presbyterian church. Aaron was sitting next to me (3 years of age) and he asked me, "Daddy what's that?". I told him, "This is the blood of Christ, son." He asked me, "Daddy can I have some?".

I rightly told him, "Son, this is for you *when you get older*."

He understood.