I grew up when Diff'rent Strokes was a popular television show. That's no big deal unless your last name is Willis. To this day I still hear those famous words popularized by Arnold: "Whatchu talkin bout Willis?" Usually they are uttered by someone looking at me as though I may have never heard it before. Yeah, right! Well this blog is what I (Willis) am talkin bout...my thoughts, observations & opinions. Enjoy...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More Than a Slogan

I didn't grow up "attending church" so I don't have a lot of the traditional baggage of some. (I have acquired some preferences for sure!). Typically we see the Lord's Supper being distributed to seated congregants by men. Why? Is this some sort of s t r e t c h interpretation being applied to the situation involving the widows in Acts 6? That's about the only possible "biblical evidence" I can find and it is most unconvincing. Did Jesus (or an apostle) say much about how the communion elements are distributed? I find no mention of shiny trays, mini-shot glasses or chiclets! Not to mention how it's served or who can serve it. Yet, I have noticed a very passionate resistance by some of my conservative brethren to the idea of women being involved in serving communion in a Christian assembly. I even heard one of my favorite preachers say women weren't supposed to serve communion in the church because they were to "be silent." Huh? Frankly, that's eisegesis not exegesis!

Here's my philosophy: We must not allow what God prohibits & we must not prohibit what God allows. Of course local elders must make a call on matters of expediency. So, can women serve communion next Sunday? If not, why not? My readers know I'm a committed complimentarian (It is the biblical view). But why is it that women can serve chicken in the "fellowship hall" but can serve communion in the "sanctuary." Why can she pass the plate to the brother beside her, but she must not stand up and pass it to the entire assembly? I understand church autonomy and I respect the right of brethren to do things differently when the Lord has not spoken specifically on a matter.

Here are my concerns... Could it be that we think serving communuion is somehow equivalent to "teach or have authority over a man"? Wow, that's bad theology. Perhaps it is rooted in the practice of elders and/or deacons only serving communion. Hence, people might think we have women elders. C'mon, is this really the problem? But, what about the question some ask about "where it will lead?" "Next thing you know she'll be up there preaching!" Spare me the non sequiturs. I say we speak clearly on gender roles (& kick the men in the seat of the pants a time or two). The irony is that many churches think nothing of allowing a woman to teach the the adult Bible School class but would never let a women serve communion! Friends, this completely backwards!

Finally, PLEASE DON'T LET THIS ISSUE DIVIDE US. We have enough division already. Do they preach the Bible? Are they faithful? Then who serves communion is their call. Let's not run off good brethren because their practices do not mirror our antiquated traditions. Here is an old slogan that needs revisiting...

"In Essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love"

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