Public Profession of Faith

“Why do you have to profess faith to come to the Lord’s Table when coming to the Lord’s Table is a profession of faith?”

Doug Wilson, Blog and Mablog, “Gerazim and Ebal – Topic: Paedocommunion”, 7/14/2009 7:03:29 PM

[Click to see originan context]


3 Responses to Public Profession of Faith

  1. hmm .. i thought that part of the reason to wait until a child can make oral professions of faith was to allow them time to properly examine themselves in order to receive the elements in a worthy manner; and that therefore, Elders are refraining from allowing them to take communion as a protective measure for the child, in the case that the child is not ready (without faith, love and repentance) … in this case, they would do the same thing for adults who were mentally incapable of certain levels of verbal articulation (?)

    i profess faith verbally, and in the act of consuming the Lord’s supper, however, i am commanded to test myself before partaking. … this is probably something you hear all the time, but i’m just curious how you deal with it; it seems to me the question should be when is a child ready to examine their hearts? seems like it would be wise to refrain from taking something at all if there is a chance of bringing condemnation on myself (even on believers); i would rather keep my child from the possibility of harm until there can be more confidence that they are able to check their hearts to see if they are ready (trusting Jesus as every covenant member does, loving their Family of faith, and repenting of sins the Spirit is convicting them of)

    would love your feedback


  2. saintluke says:

    Thanks Steve,

    I am wishing to begin an answer now, even though I don’t have time to give an adequate response. I may fall asleep writing this, so bear with me if the answer seems fuzzy or incomplete, =).

    I write, work on, talk about and think about this a lot, but I rarely get the chance to answer this exact question. BUT, let me ephasize….BUT…your question is the perfect question, because it is really a good beginning description of the anti-paedocommunionist position.

    The position of Calvin and the reformers in general was this – as you have said:

    1 Cor 11 requires 1) mental ability for conscious self-examination of every member at the time of the service 2) mental ability to “remember” 3) ability to “discern the body.” There may be a fourth that I can’t remember.

    This view, which I used to hold very strongly, began to give way as I heard a sermon about the intention of 1 Cor 11. That the point is being misread. Maybe I will say this and make your wait for a real answer on Monday, not as a punishment – but let me throw some BIG cards on the table so that you can mull them over before I write more.

    1) I assume the faith of covenant children
    2) I think 1 Cor 11 is not at all about what we have made it into as a proof-text.
    3) I think that Paul is explicit about the doctrine of “full covenant communion” in 1 Cor 10, and 1 Cor 12, in a way that would rule out the modern reading of 1 Cor 11
    4) I think that the Passover, Manna and Quail, Water from the Rock, and Peace Offerings not only demonstrably included children, but are USED as examples IN THIS PASSAGE of the norm.
    5) I think the History of the church is on my side, since there is basic unbroken use in East and West of paedocommunion for the first 12 centuries.
    6) I think there is good reason to think in 1 cor 11 that our children are in no danger of judgment for eating their father’s feast.

    That’s a little to look at, and I have purposefully avoided any real bible argument because I am tired. But I will definitely give you a better answer in the next few days. I am glad you wrote; happy coming Lord’s day.


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