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I was raised Lutheran but really didn't come to know the Lord until college. Thirty years later my dad dies suddenly and I am now bringing my mom to her Lutheran church during her transition. I was impressed with its evangelical style and how alive it seemed compared to when I was younger.

 

One thing that has changed was that communion is now served every Sunday rather than once a month; I am not sure if this is the individual church's preference or not. They also emphasize that the table is open to everyone including non-believers. Funny how I never considered this before, namely, should unbelievers be allowed to take communion.

 

I would like some opions or resources I could go to to better understand this concept.

 

Bruce

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It will be interesting to see the different opinions on this topic as it compares to this one. :)
Well, if you consider the Lord's Supper the New Covenant counterpart to the Passover and if God's Word can be considered a resource (lol), consider: Ex. 12:43: "And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it"
Your Lutheran church must be in the ELCA. Our congregation and pastor take Holy Communion seriously. Only members of the LC-MS and churches that are in fellowship with the LC-MS are allowed to partake in Communion. One of the concerns about letting anyone take Communion is 1 Corinthians 11:29 - For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. Also, it is perceived that those that are going to the altar rail to receive the Body and Blood of Christ are in agreement in doctrine.
The reason I hear they allow communion to be open to unbelievers is the fact that Jesus served Judas knowing he was an unbeliever. I would think that this would depend upon one's viewpoint because to the disciples Judas may have appeared as a believer. As one response said in another blog, what good does communion do to an unbeliever?
Communion is for Believers, to remember the sacrifice Jesus has made for our sins, to also look forward to the 2nd Coming. Non-Christians don't accept both those tenets. What could communion possibly mean for them?
Paul gives the warning about sickness and death resulting from taking communion when you haven't settled stuff with God.
Judas was judged rather harshly. In my understanding it is not the giver of the communion that judges whether a person is in the right place to take it, but the individual. It was up to Judas to take it or not. Judas did not betray Jesus until after. Peter denied Jesus after as well, he just didn't get paid to do it. They both took communion, so I am not sure what point is made in reference to Judas.
Historically communion involved a whole meal (love feast) in the early church, and it was about sharing things as a community. The church is made up of all kinds of people, but it is those who are committed to following Jesus that are part of the body (Jesus is the head). Non-Christians (unfollowers of Jesus) are not by their choice and lack of commitment. The question to ask is, "What are you doing with Jesus today?"
All of your points are well taken. It is one of those questions where one appears to have a steady theological posiiton until challenged. I agree that communion should be for believers only. If it were an open table it would give the impression, to an outside observer, as if Christianity was accepting pluralism. Its sacred meaning would certainly be diluted.
As it turns out, the church is, in fact, ELCA.; I had not heard of this branch before. I recently found a "statement of faith" on their website which I have decided to not be critical of but simply remain in disagreement. The historical context and verses given cannot be imposed on the communion altar. I am happy that the essentials of the faith are taught and my mom (at 78) has an active, salvation-promoting church to attend that seems to positively affect the surrounding community. What I attended at a younger age was less.
Wow, what other areas am I not thinking about?

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