Questions for Wayne (#467)

wayne2015In his year-end podcast Wayne clears out his desk at the end of the year and with it a number of questions that people have wanted him to address on the podcast. Since none of them were enough to fill a podcast he combines a potpourri of them here to at least share how he and Sara have worked through these questions in their own journeys. Is buying insurance or preparing for retirement a violation of trusting God that can come back to haunt you? What curriculum is best to use to help children a relational journey? How can you give anonymous gifts to someone you want to help if you don't want them to know where it is coming from? What about communion, is it another sacred cow to be slaughtered? If the idea is to relax into Father's affection, how can we hurry up that revelation in our own hearts?

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  1. I loved your comment about a feminist teacher that you had. Had you or your parents pulled you out of that environment, you would not have known or experienced another worldview or how to interact with it. I think people have to be careful for running for the hills when someone else’s views don’t somehow measure up in our eyes. There’s legitimate reasons for moving children to a different school system. I just think people need make sure they’re making the choices for the right reasons and be honest with themselves.

  2. An organic, one time event turned into a ritual to perform. I think our need to remember Jesus is an excersize of the mind, a way to get us onto Christ centered things. The reality of his indwelling is so much more organic than we realize – you are never alone – sometimes you just think you are… But no one should feel shame or guilt over what they have done to draw closer, it is part of the process of transformation and discovery.
    Bread & wine (OT account of Priest Mel), Christ telling of new covenant. The indwelling: bread = LIFE, wine = Spirit. There is nothing to do, except be in him. Relationship – greatest offering of God, salvation described as “rest”, not dead works. Baptism is really done by Jesus; spiritual rebirth is not dependant upon you doing something. We will do what we feel compelled to do (traditional, religous, etc.) until it is internally accepted as no longer “working”. The Greeks morphed idol worship practices into the mix. And Paul said, “When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.”

  3. Enjoyed the podcast but thought I’d like to add the following regarding my statement on the slaughtering of the sacred cow of communion. Actually my words were that what needed slaughtering was “the concept that Jesus initiated a communion ritual” when eating the last supper with his disciples.

    Firstly, I love communion with the Lord, especially, but not necessarily, in the company of others. Having enjoyed “Finding Church” in light of the old and new creation it seems to me that this topic is also one that needs to be seen in this light. I’m quite sure the Lord is not at all offended when people celebrate communion in the traditional way but the “sacred cow” aspect is the thought that in order to participate in the Lord’s supper/communion, there is the need for the symbolic bread and wine. Why do we need physical symbols when we have the Lord present with us. He never leaves us or forsakes us, so why the need for symbols?

    Many years ago I sat back and considered what it actually means to eat and drink of the Lord. We are told in John 6:53 that unless we eat His flesh and drink His blood we will have no life in ourselves, so I started pondering. There are many very sincere people who regularly celebrate communion in the traditional way. It would therefore stand to reason that the more communion was celebrated, the more “life” these people should be enjoying. However, from my observations this didn’t appear to be the case.

    I then considered what Jesus was actually saying the night of the last supper. Why was it necessary for Him to say anything regarding the passover at that time? As far as we know He hadn’t thought it necessary to comment at any of the previous passovers He had celebrated. Is it reasonable to consider then, in light of what was about to occur, that He wanted to enlighten the disciples to the fact that for all the years the feast of passover had been celebrated, the Jews had in fact been celebrating in type, what He was/is in reality.

    Had I been at the last supper when Jesus for example picked up the bread and said “this is my body which is given for you” I would have been thinking “hang on a minute Lord, that’s the passover bread”. As we know, that’s exactly what it was, the passover bread. The realisation that Jesus is in reality our passover, is not a concept that any at that last supper could have entertained. I would also venture to suggest that it is a thought that rarely sees the light of day amongst the millions that celebrate communion in the traditional sense all over this earth. I’m not precluding those whose hearts have been given over to Jesus and are truly blessed by any remembrance of Him because that is exactly my point. When our hearts are given over to Jesus we engage in communion with Him. The more communion, the more “life” we get to enjoy, the more “bread and wine” we have to share with others. It seems to me that it is our engagement with Him and with others that celebrates the reality of the last supper. Rev 3:20 says “Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and sup with him and he with me”. Could this not be the reality of the Lord’s supper for us today?

    Wayne, you know Greek, I don’t, but isn’t it possible that “Do ye this in remembrance of me” is just the old English way of saying “you do this in remembrance of me”? In which case, instead of an instruction pertaining to the future, it could just as easily be an explanation pertaining to the past. A lot of the translations seem to miss out the “ye” which of course turns the statement into an instruction.

    1 Cor 10:21 says that you can not drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons, you can not eat of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. If the table of the Lord is a physical table surely we must also have a physical table of demons. If we have bread and wine on the table of the Lord what are we going to put on the table of demons? In our experience however, isn’t it true that we can not participate of the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Not that it’s naughty – tut tut, you can’t do that, shock, horror! It is in fact impossible. When we check out our experience, unless we have repented and let the blood of our Lord cleanse us, it is impossible for us to share the Lord’s supper/communion with Him or each other. Our access to His life and light is cut off, but there is nothing to stop us eating physical bread and drinking physical wine and living a life that is totally “old creation”.

    1 Cor 10:14-15 “Therefore my beloved flee idolatory, I speak to wise men, you judge what I say” -Why does Paul say that? If we have to judge what he is saying it seems to me that the meaning is not necessarily straight forward and obvious, otherwise why say it? He then goes on to say “Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one bread we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.” How wonderful is that – it is indeed our experience. As I see it, Paul wasn’t concerned about whether we ate or didn’t eat when making this statement but that our actions would be in consideration of the conscience of others, so that everything we did was for the glory of God and not a source of offense or stumbling.

    1 Cor 5: 7b-8 “For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” Again I ask myself “how does that fit when considering the need for a ritualistic communion”?

    Since reading “Finding Church” it has occurred to me that when Paul wrote to the Corinthians about their lack of love and consideration for others, in that they were eating and drinking selfishly with no concern for those in need, that this is a prime example of old creation/ self centred living, as opposed to new creation/others centred living. However, as we allow the Lord to live His life through us, our living will become more and more “others centred” and the church Jesus is building gains more expression. The caring and sharing amongst His body will be such, that every members will feel loved and encouraged and the needs within the body will be met. My surplus will supply you when there is a need, and your surplus will in turn supply me. In contrast to what was happening in 1Corinthians this will be occurring as in honour we prefer one another and as we not only have consideration of our own situation but consider the situations of those the Lord brings across our paths.

    As “Finding Church” is all about relationships why would communion be any different? That’s the wonderful thing about the church that Jesus is building, as long as it’s all about relationships no one is ever at an advantage or disadvantage, whatever their level of ability or disability, all are loved equally. As I said early I’m sure the Lord is not offended when people whose hearts are for Him, celebrate communion as they understand it ie in a ritualistic manner, but is it a requirement, was it something instigated by Jesus or is it just another traditional that has been perpetrated over the years. That is the question.

  4. @ NZLiz: Wow! Precisely… It’s funny how “communion” has come to mean basically one presumption, even known by “non-believers”.

    It was several years ago that I was prompted myself to read 1 Cor section on the “subject’. I could not get why I had been told the other traditional account was the truth. It seemed pretty straightforward to me that Paul was dealing locally with the Greek mythological incursion of food being offered to idols, and that mindset being brought into the Church. Their religious mindsets missing the totality of love was precisely his point. He flat out told them there was no Lord’s supper ( as some Greeks had implied) to bring it home.

    The last supper isn’t even a real theme, as he ate fish on the beach later after the resurrection. It all makes me chuckle today, but back in it, I was serious! lol Cultural (as Da Vinci’s painting) and religious traditions have, and always do, influence interpretation. And as incoming disciples, we tend to migrate towards prior associations of these things with our faith, not necessary, but hey…human! This is all part of the journey as we lean more forward in Him.

    At one point, I was in charge of communion, and that was where it all began to unravel. I stared at the box and plastic container never dreaming I would eventually be free of these, coming to a non-traditional understanding as a direct result of the indwelling spirit teaching me. This brought freedom and removed restraints from our relationship, unlike what I had been led to believe prior. In truth, this communion never really delivered as promised, it didn’t’ need to. He was dwelling inside of me.

    That’s the beauty of it – he’s not going anywhere regardless of what we pick up along the way. And his loving patience is ever guiding us to be free of these things…cause God is love. It’s great how we begin to ask “those” questions of explanations, which are staring us in the face as totally illogical.

  5. Thanks NZLiz. I was just wondering the past few weeks about the “tradition” of communion and what that should look like in my life since I did not attend an official church service. Your note provided some good thoughts to ponder on.

  6. We really need to look at JESUS WORDS only and then to those who were his actual Apostles and walked on this earth with Him when He was here. It certainty helps simplify things when we do.
    Jesus came to bring back the LOVE which had disappeared due to mans institutionalisation of Gods word and need to rule over others. He gave us our FREEDOM back from the rituals that man had put in place of love (and quite often common sense!) Jesus said the heart motive – loving GOD above all and others as you would yourself, is the important issue at hand because in the end this will be your final judgement. You cannot deceive God.

    Jesus said He is the wine and bread of everlasting life, His/Gods WORD is what we feast on after His departure until He returns and then we drink a celebration with Him in His Fathers Kingdom.( He loved His parables)
    MATT 26:
    26 (breaking of the bread) “Take and eat it,” “this is my body”.
    27 (the cup of wine)“ drink it, all of you. This is my blood , which seals God’s covenant, my blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink this wine until the day I drink the new wine with you in my Fathers Kingdom.”
    MARK 14:
    22 (breaking of the bread) “ Take it . This is my body.”
    24 (the cup of wine)“ This is my blood which is poured out for many, my blood which seals God’s covenant. I tell you, I will never again drink this wine until the day I drink the new wine in the Kingdom of God.”
    Both of these versions are literally exact. Neither give reference to having to perform this ritual again.
    LUKE 22:
    17 /18 (the cup of wine)“ Take this and share it among yourselves. I tell you from now on will not drink this wine until the kingdom of God comes.” – sounds like until Jesus returns to earth again, not when Jesus is in the Kingdom with God after He has left us.
    19/20 (breaking of the bread) “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in memory of me.” “This cup is God’s new covenant sealed with my blood, which is poured out for you.”
    1 CORINTH 11:
    24 (breaking of the bread) “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in memory of me.”
    25 (the cup of wine) “This cup is God’s new covenant, sealed with my blood. Whenever you drink it, do so in memory of me.”

    Only Luke makes it sound like a reference to initiating a ritual, then Paul hearing it second hand takes it and cements it as a ritual after Jesus death by putting in the word “whenever”. Jesus was sharing the moment with His disciples and asking them at that time to share the meal in memory to Him and His sacrifice, then and there at the table.

    The written Bible has been put together over the years and often changed to suit the times of the moment. Interestingly King James was trying to unite different religious sides with one book from the puritan model. He employed a diverse group of people to interpret the original Latin Bible and they tried to get it as close and true as possible.
    They did however change some wording so that it would “sound” better. Therefore some sentences were restructured and indeed some words. So important words like “Peter go build your CONGREGATION” turned into “go build your CHURCH”. This important word change completely shifts our whole idea of the meaning. After this project was finished war still broke out and his son was killed.
    So indeed we see that this book has been rewritten and interpreted to suit politics and the times over the centuries and we cannot discount once again that it has been manipulated at times for mans use of control over the masses.
    We really should be asking why the other Apostles who actually walked with Jesus have been omitted from the New Testament Bible, but indeed we have the writings of a minister named Paul who did not walk with Jesus in the flesh but in the Spirit as many others have. Peter whom Jesus told to go build His congregation writes(2PETER 3:15-18) -and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation – as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you.
    16 – as also in all his epistles( Paul’s letters), speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
    17 – you therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked.
    18- but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

    I wonder also what the other actual Apostles appointed by Jesus Christ have to say that we need to know? (LUKE 6:12-16) Have the rulers of that sexist time also omitted the females that walked with Him like Mary who was also the first to see and greet Jesus and recognise Him after the resurrection? (Jesus being the first of that time to treat women as important and as equals )

    Out of the box, walking in Jesus Love and Freedom is indeed an interesting journey!

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