Why We Won’t Have Online Communion

"Many churches will work to adapt their normal practices to online formats, including the Lord’s Supper. We, too, have worked to provide continuity of worship and Bible study via the internet, yet we will not be making the same provision for the Lord’s Supper. Here are three reasons why." - GARBC

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RajeshG's picture

Dan Miller wrote:


RajeshG wrote:


If, in spite of what the Scripture reveals, it is legitimate to observe the Lord's Supper together virtually with each person ingesting the elements in his own home instead of in the gathering together of a local church in one physical place, why stop there?


In my understanding being together (real or virtual) as an entire local church is simply not a prescribed aspect of Lord's Table. For centuries, Jewish families or small groups ate Passover every year in their homes.

What Jewish families did for centuries in eating the Passover is irrelevant to what Christians are supposed to do in observing the Lord's Supper. They are not one and the same thing.

Paul begins his instruction in 1 Cor. 11 by speaking of their coming together in the church (11:18). He does not say when you come together in your homes or in your small groups, etc. Then in 11:20 he specifies that they were coming together in one place, not in multiple groups in multiple places.

At the end of the passage, in connection with the same verb (sunerxomai) that he used in both 11:18 and 11:20 to speak of their gathering together in the church, Paul issues apostolic imperatives commanding them how they are observe the Lord's Supper properly:

1 Corinthians 11:33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. 34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

He explicitly contrasts what they were to do when they would come together in the church vs. what they were to do at home. There is no basis for holding that anything Paul says in this passage supports observing the Lord Supper in one's home (unless the church gathers in the home) either actually or virtually.


Mr. Ed's picture

It has been interesting to read the different comments.  I would like to touch on what I have learned.

I asked if any felt it was OK for one person or say a couple to self observe the Lord's Supper.  One person responded with, you are not a church.  I got to thinking, when Jesus instituted the LS he did not do that with the church if you believe the church began at Pentecost. That also means that Baptism was not after the church was formed since it was given in the Great Commission prior to Pentecost.  I accept both as ordinances of the church not as sacraments or any means of grace.  So I guess I am questioning why they have to administered by a church? 

Call me a heretic if you want to, but I believe the church began in John 20:19-23.  That was when the nucleus of the church was formed.  In the book of Acts at Pentecost 3000 souls were added to them.  I don't feel we can say the Apostles were part of that number.  Modern day church planting follows this pattern.  A preacher follows the vision to start a church and works toward the launch date.

The Lord's Supper is the term I prefer.  I do not like the word communion (however it is used in 1 Cor. 10:16) mainly because of what I would call a false sense of being in fellowship with the Lord having partaken of this ritual for the lack of a better word.  See 1 Cor. 10:21.


No one talked about open or closed "communion" which would be very hard to police over the internet.  Or would you for any reason be able to deny the elements to someone watching from afar?