Wednesday, April 19, 2006think fundamentally...
(this post is in responce to the previous post... just click here!)
High-five to Pete for answering the first question correctly. Indeed, leaven, in Scripture is a picture of corruption and sin:
"Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees... Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." (Matthew 16:6&12)
"Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (1 Corinthians 5:6-8)
Sadly though, I find myself at odds with Pete, Doug, Jungle Pop and especially Scott on their positions for question #2.
First, let's set a bit of ground work. Without a doubt, the bread the Lord Jesus Christ used at the Last Supper was unleavened. I can say this with 100% certainty because the Last Supper was a Passover meal (see Exodus 12). More precisely, check out:
"In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land." (Exodus 12:18-19)
As Doug mentioned in his comment, the Passover is all about Christ. The sacrifice of a lamb for the atonement of the Israelites, the unleavened bread, every aspect of the Passover was a type of the Lord Jesus Christ and what He would do on the Cross of Calvary. That is why the bread was unleavened. Leaven being a type of sin, could not be added to bread which symbolized the body of Christ, since His body was uncorrupted by sin. And how so many of you can claim that this held importance in the O.T., but not in the N.T. is beyond me. I mean, maybe that's what you think, but what part of Scripture do you base this position on?
Now I'll be honest, when I first saw the loaf of bread at the Brethren church, I thought to myself: "okay, that's weird, they're using leavened bread... I know that isn't the best and most faithful representation, but I'm sure it's okay... and if I'm mistaken, the Lord will be gracious."
AND I CAN'T BELIEVE I ACTUALLY THOUGHT THAT!!!!!
If you're still not getting the ridiculousness of that thinking, consider this analogy:
It's your wedding anniversary. On this occasion, you offer to cook a wonderful meal for your spouse. You decide to buy a couple of fresh lobsters for your romantic dinner. At the checkout counter you remember a past conversation you had had with your spouse in which he/she mentioned his/her dislike for seafood. You think to yourself: "surely, he/she will like my dinner anyway... I mean... I'm sure it'll be alright... if he/she doesn't like it, I'm sure he/she will forgive me."
HOW SICK IS THAT???
Despite your assurances, gentlemen, I find no place in Scripture in which I could derive your level of certainty that the Lord no longer requires the bread at the Lord's Table to be unleavened. In his comment, Scott said: "While the Lord's supper is based on the Passover, it is not the Passover." To this I say: Yep, granted. However, he goes on to say: "The symbolism hasn't been transferred over into the practice." And this is where I stop and say: "Chapter and verse please?"
At best, one could say that in the N.T., we are not specifically commanded to use unleavened bread, so who knows if we are obliged to regard it or not. But to categorically claim that, for sure, it doesn't matter??? I think that's somewhat presumptuous. Actually, I think that's SERIOUSLY presumptuous!!! Anyone who has spent any time at all in studying the Passover and the Lord's Table comes to the understanding that the bread is unleavened. Why not stick with it? It is the safest course of action. None of you can, from strict Scripture, prove that the Lord is pleased with leavened bread being used at the Lord's Table; none of you can, from strict Scripture, prove that the Lord is displeased with using unleavened bread at the Lord's Table. Why risk it?
On a final note, I'm afraid I have to straighten out my friend Scott again (sorry buddy). In his comment, Scott points out that since most evangelical churches have "substituted wine for grape juice" in the Lord's Table, he suggests that using leavened bread is a non-issue. The problem with Scott's premise is that I don't believe for one second that there was ever a substitution. I do not believe that wine was used at the Lord's Table, I believe it was grape juice.
Scott objects to this view affirming that no such juice could be preserved until the Passover season, therefore it had to be wine. Problem is, grape juice could and was preserved in N.T. times, and that, for several months. This site, and this one, along with the book "Bible Wines", clearly make the case. And just thinking about it logically, the use of grape juice at the Last Supper would be far more fitting than wine; in Exodus 12, the Israelites were commanded to not even keep leaven in their houses during the Passover... how much sense would it make for Jesus to then drink fermented drink with his zero-leaven meal?
The conclusion of the matter? I didn't partake of the Lord's Table at the Brethren church. It is a decision I do not regret, and as it stands now, I would not partake of the Lord's Table if either the bread leavened, or if the grape juice were fermented.
In doubt friends, abstain.