Johannesburg, South Africa
| Re: |
"Touch not; taste not; handle not"
Why are we taking sides here? I have agreed with many of your previous posts but you are coming across as spiritually arrogant here...as though you are just on a slightly higher level spiritually than the brothers who posted previously on this thread.
I am most certainly not in awe of rituals etc and am pretty grounded in the truth of Christ in me...I think.
Your quote from Colossians has no application though, to either Communion or foot washing.
I, for one, completely agree that foot washing is not taught as an ordinance / ritual to be religiously observed by the church, however I believe we can still find real value in it when led by the Holy Spirit to do so.
As far as Communion is concerned, this is pretty clearly laid out in Corinthians that our Lord Jesus Christ wants us to DO this in remembrance of Him. He died Physically and wants us to physically remind ourselves and each other of it. I find no basis for spiritualising this at all...
In His Love,
| 2016/7/29 9:56||Profile|
| Re: |
This are merely my thoughts & I will say that right upfront:
I do not necessarily see foot-washing as an ordinance in scripture. I think there was greater scriptural truth Jesus was conveying in this act at the Lord's last Supper with His disciples. The indicator, to me, is that when Peter refused, He said if I don't do this, you have no part in me. Why would Jesus make merely washing feet mandatory for salvation and a part in the Body? And then not have another word of it in all of scripture? And then Peter said, "not just my feet Lord, but my head also!" And The Lord said Peter was already made clean & had no need of a bath, but that his dirty feet be washed.
Well, what's going on here exactly? I think there's something being communicated by the Lord just like "unless you eat of my flesh". Because Jesus wouldn't keep someone out of the Kingdom of God because they merely wouldn't let Him wash their feet merely as a stand alone act/ordinance would He? I don't think so. What I see conveyed is that Jesus has already "washed the head" & "made us clean" at our new birth, but our "feet get dirty" just walking through this unregenerate world, & we need each other in the ekklesia & Body of Messiah to "wash each other's feet". And I see the act of "humble servant hood" that this represents. It is a humble servant's heart to grab another man's dirty feet (especially in those days/conditions) & wash their feet. There is no mention of foot-washing as an act in the foundations of the faith where the 6 acts of baptisms, the laying on of hands, repentance from dead works, etc., are listed in the book of Hebrews. So I would not say that it as an actual physical act of washing each others' feet is some NT "scripturally mandated ordinance" per se. I think the message being conveyed here was even deeper than the mere physical act alone.
However, I will say this: the actual physical act is one when you really think of it is extremely humbling. I actually remember in high school when I was a "pre-Born again" typical "cultural Christian" pre-convert & athlete & attended FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) meetings. One of my coaches who led the meetings got down on his hands and knees & washed the feet of me and all these other high school aged kids. This to me was profound. Not saying it's some required ordinance (nor is opening the door for my wife, but I still do it to show her my love and respect for her), but it was profound to consider this grown man, on his knees, at the bare feet of teenagers, humble, meek & serving, all while teaching through these passages. Not as an empty ritual or rite, but as a principle of humble servant hood. It really struck me then, and even more now as I think back & consider this man's humility & true servant's heart at the feet of his students (this was at his house & in those days wasn't a problem. Maybe now these days someone would be getting sued by the ACLU afterwards or something, I have no idea?).
So I would just caution and say to be careful in making foot washing some required, ritualistic ordinance as being "ordained" because of this one passage, & would also say to the other side of thought to be careful as portraying it "necessarily" as "a dead ritual always performed by those not willing to do the real work of sacrificial Christian love...", etc. That's my 2 cents worth of thoughts on the subject anyways.
| 2016/7/29 10:01|
Johannesburg, South Africa
| Re: |
That is a more balanced view and quite acceptable, as far as I understand it.
In communities of faith, we often wash each others "feet" spiritually through ministering the gifts of the Spirit and the anointed Word of God to one another and He could, and often does, lead folks to physically wash feet as well.
Maybe it just makes His heart and Will tangible and visible...?
In His Love,
| 2016/7/29 10:07||Profile|
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Very well said and I agree as well thanks for bringing wisdom and balance to this topic.
| 2016/7/29 10:10||Profile|
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And yes, the "touch not, taste not", etc. passage is about the Mosaic Law in context. Touch not dead bodies or anything unclean. Taste not unclean foods, etc. Context, context, context. We are all prone to taking scriptures out of context with our own pretext meaning & building a case to defend something, but at some point, we have to be good students of the Word, use a very basic hermeneutic of exegesis, not eisogesis, & make sure the way we are using the verse is consistent with its contextual meaning. If we will be judged for "every idle or careless word" & "not many should presume to be teachers, for we know that those who teach will be judged more strictly", etc. we need to really be careful how we quote scripture. We all can do it in ignorance at times, no doubt. But at some point, at some time along the way, we need to be responsible stewards of the Word & make sure we are rightly dividing the Word of truth before always being quick to speak/share it & not being careful & responsible in this way. That's not at all a slam, but honestly a word of caution when such a pattern is consistent.
| 2016/7/29 10:10|
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by TMK on 2016/7/29 9:13:06
Taking literally the words of Jesus like "eat my flesh and drink my blood" and "this is my body" or "this is my blood" is how we got the abomination of the catholic mass and the doctrine of transubstantiation that has led millions down the road to perdition.
Jesus performed the needed act of foot washing because no one else did it. It was a beautiful act of humility and service.
When he was through and he said "you ought to was each other's feet" he was saying "as my follower serve each other in humility."
I don't believe there is further mention of this in the NT.
TMK, there is not further mention of it in the NT for good reason. In the Middle East, they have communicated truths for many millenia through stories, allegories, metaphors and symbolism. The people of this culture understand that a deeper meaning is being communicated and that is why we do not see the Apostles practicing foot washing. They grasped the meaning behind what Jesus was acting out. Jesus often acted out for His disciples a spiritual lesson, not intending for His act to become a ritual. The Western, Aristotelian trained thought process doesn't often grasp this technique and therefore trips themselves up thinking the act, or story should be ritualized.
Jesus often demonstrated through His actions that the the character of the kingdom was
completely opposite to all forms of pride and egocentricity, even the subtle forms of religious and spiritual pride, that we often find in Protestantism.
Jesus acted out His message of how divine love humbly serves others. The Catholic Church has co-opted the actions of Jesus and then turn around and present a false Jesus. Rather than receiving the true Person of Christ, they have created a caricature based on rituals and ordinances and non-Catholics fall into the same trap in many ways. Jesus wants man to receive HIM, not institutionalize His actions or words.
Jesus said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matt. 20:28),
and was willing to perform the function reserved for the lowest servant, that of washing the guests’ feet. Jesus knew the plot of Judas to betray him (Matt 18:7, Luke 22:22 and John 6:70) but He washed Judas' feet in love fully recognizing that His Father's objective could not be derailed. It was Peter who had a disconnect with what he was witnessing as his mind could not process it. The Messiah functioning as the lowest slave in washing someone's feet. Peter, then engages in mock humility (what many do today), refusing to submit to the Lord's washing of the feet. He failed to understand that Jesus was acting out the humiliation of sacrificial serving of others, even those who betray you and hate you. Having a foot washing ceremony for fellow Christians who love you, is very far from what Jesus was teaching. Judas was His betrayer.
Like Peter, much of religion still fails to understand much of what Jesus taught by His life and actions. It is the attitude of Christ that led Him to the cross that is to be perpetuated in us (Phil 2:5) as the living Lord Jesus continues to serve others through us. So, Peter's response was to go to the opposite extreme of requesting a complete bath having failed to understand the spiritual lesson of Jesus' comments. Jesus in turn, patiently points out to Peter that the other disciples are clean, physically and spiritually with the exception of one in their midst. And Judas was not clean, because he failed to be receptive to the spiritual cleansing that Jesus offered. Which basically means, he failed to receive Christ.
| 2016/7/29 10:37|
| Re: Foot Washing|
Jesus himself answered the question on Foot Washing.
John 13:12-"For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. "
Jesus just gave an example of humility by washing the feet of his disciples. It is not the action he did that is important, it is the example he gave to show his humility.
I have said this before, in our Church in one of the meetings, a brother noticed that one of the toilets was not cleaned after a child has made a mess of it. He thought he has to call the person responsible for cleaning it. But by the time he caught hold of someone and took him to the toilet to show the mess the child has created, there was already an elderly man cleaning it. He later came to know this elderly man was the main speaker in the Church meeting as well. This elderly man also has the most sermons on this site and his name is Zac Poonen. So being the teacher in the Church did not prevent him from cleaning a toilet mess made by a child. This example is far superior to any foot washing that a church can faithfully practice because Jesus told them so.
Humility is the attitude of heart.
| 2016/7/29 10:44||Profile|
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The example is the attitude of the heart not the act itself. The act was only the object lesson to reveal the character required of a follower of Jesus, by the Master, Himself.
| 2016/7/29 11:16|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
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It seems to me very hard to escape 1 Corinthians 11 towards the Lord's supper, Paul clearly is speaking that the Lord is revealing this by the Spirit:
1 Corinthians 11:23-34New International Version (NIV)
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.
33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together. 34 Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.
And when I come I will give further directions.
Brenda is right towards the Quakers and Salvation army, for the army it was a gradual choice they made and they used many reasons that were pragmatic, and reactionary to the religious environment in England and perhaps at times not as Biblical reasons. Here is an article describing their position from the early WarCry periodical of the salvation army:
Why doesn't The Salvation Army hold any communion services?
(from The War Cry, 28 February 1987)
The answer must be a two-part one.
First, it is felt that there are some very real dangers in forms of religion which place heavy dependence on ceremonies and rituals. Meaningful symbols can become meaningless rituals, and have often done so. The Salvation Army places the emphasis on personal faith and on a spiritual relationship with God which is not dependent on anything external.
Further, Church history shows that disputes about the detailed practice and meaning of such ceremonies have often been a divisive factor between Christians.
The second part of the answer is to point out that the belief of many Christians that the use of the sacrament of communion was commanded by Christ as essential for all Christians for all time, can be no more than an assumption.
They interpret certain texts in the light of hindsight: that is, they read back into history their present background of belief and practice and assume that Jesus or the Early Church leaders were requiring observance of the ceremony - though it may be possible to interpret their words in other senses.
For example, take the sentence in Luke 22:19 (AV), 'This do in remembrance of me', which is thought by many to command what we now know as communion. It could equally well be a suggestion to the Twelve that they should think of Jesus whenever they shared the annual Passover meal or had any meal together (for that is what they were doing), in much the same way as Christians today remember Jesus whenever they say grace before any meal.
The binding nature of this statement is further brought into question when one studies the background of the sentence. It does not appear in Matthew or Mark, nor does it appear in some of the oldest manuscripts in Luke (and therefore is left out of some modern translations of that gospel). It has been suggested that it comes from elsewhere, eg 1 Corinthians 11:24 (to which we shall return). If we look at John's gospel we find that the symbolic act there (John 13:3-17) is feet-washing. Why do sacramental Christians not observe this as a binding command, when they do so with the rather less certain one about bread and wine?
There is no doubt that Christians in the Early Church did share common meals, but initially they were meals, not ceremonies (Acts 2:42-46; 4:32; 20:7, 11, 27:33-38). 1 Corinthians shows, however, that in that one church at least they soon ceased to be occasions of real sharing (1 Corinthians 11:17-22) .
To give the meal more spiritual meaning and dignity Paul used the traditional teaching about the last supper (11:23-24) to steer them away from selfish 'bingeing' and towards real Christian sharing in the spirit of Christ.
It should be noted, however that 15 of the 21 New Testament letters make no mention at all of the ceremony which so many Christians now regard as essential to Christian living.
For a time both kinds of meal continued (Sunday morning - communion; evening - common meal). Then gradually the ceremonial became dominant and more and more ritualistic.
The Army does not hold its position as an article of faith or doctrine, but simply as one of practice. So it does not debar anyone who wishes to partake in such a ceremony or prevent anyone who wishes to enter a communion service as a sign of fellowship with other Christians.
It also recognises that many sincere Christians find the communion ceremony to be a deeply meaningful aid to worship and devotion, and a help towards drawing a Christian community closer together.
The Army Founders' attitude to baptism was similar to that of Communion. They saw dangers that the rite could replace the reality of entering into a living relationship with Jesus, and so they decided that the Army would not practise adult baptism.
To become a Salvation Army soldier a person must first and foremost acknowledge that they have asked God for forgiveness for their wrongdoing and that Jesus Christ is their saviour from sin.
Recruits - as those who wish to become Salvation Army soldiers are known - study the Army's doctrines and the principles and practice of a Salvationist lifestyle before a swearing-in ceremony takes place, usually in a Sunday meeting. During this, recruits stand under the Army flag and publicly acknowledge their salvation from sin, state their belief in the Army's doctrines and promise to live by the standards laid out in the 'articles of war'. They then sign a copy of these articles of war and a prayer is said asking for God's help in keeping those promises.
While this ceremony is a serious occasion, it is also a very joyful one with the new soldier being warmly greeted by the congregation and by individual fellow-Salvationists.
As with the ceremony of Communion, Salvationists are not forbidden to be baptised in another church if they feel this is right for them as individuals, and the Army has from time to time reconsidered its stance on the sacraments, and continues to keep it under review.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2016/7/29 11:42||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: |
What also does not sit right with me is that the Lord's Supper and water baptism were practiced by ALL early church people, any secular writing such as Joshephsus or the Didache bear witness to this practice.
I personally have not found an account of a dissenter group in the early Church times that practiced "no baptism" and "no Lord's Supper". Would there not be at least 1 small group if this were the truth the Apostles practiced?
Of course I agree that it become more of a ritual by AD 200 that was a way going away from the life of the purpose of the symbols.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2016/7/29 11:44||Profile|