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Faith Related Q and A
» Are there any groups within the WELS who reconsider our positions on various items, particularly, close communion? I am a life-long WELS member. However, I have some concerns related to our practice of close communion, and believe we should reconsider this position. There are many clear biblical issues on which we should, and do, take a stand. This seems like a desire to set ourselves apart, not from the world necessarily, but from other Christians. I don't believe, therefore, that this is a biblical position. We reference I Corinthians 11:27-30, yet we seem to ignore verse 28 in which a person is to examine himself. The Bible does not state that the church body or fellowship is to determine whether the person is prepared to receive the Lord’s Supper, but the person is to judge him/herself. Matthew 10:32 which you reference states: “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven.” Have we become so arrogant as to believe we must be a member of the WELS to acknowledge Jesus as our Savior? While the gospels do not make it clear when Judas left the upper room vs. the timing of the institution of the Lord’s Supper, the order in which Luke presents his gospel (Luke 22:19-23) very strongly infers that Judas was still present at the institution of the Lord’s Supper and it does not seem that Jesus excluded him from the sacrament at that point. If Jesus, who knew Judas’ heart and lack of faith, included Judas in the sacrament, why would we as the church who cannot know someone’s heart believe we should determine whether someone can or cannot participate in the sacrament based on the fact that the person is or is not a member of the WELS or ELS? I believe that we are more in line with Scripture when we allow Christ confessing Christians who are not members of the WELS to commune with us, than we are when we refuse communion to believers confessing Jesus as their Savior when such believers attend our churches but are not members of the WELS. I fear this practice of close communion puts us in fellowship with the church in Corinth that Paul is admonishing in I Corinthians 11:17.
» Circumcision related to baptism heard from Calvinist perspective. Are the two in any way associated? What is the history of this discussion?
» I was always taught to stand respectfully during the playing of the National Anthem. Now days it seems like people, particularly these professional athletes, disrespect the anthem, the American flag, and our military to “protest.” I’m worried this mentality is going to trickle down to our kids. What can we tell our children God says about respecting government, authority and the U.S., even when you don’t agree with something that is happening in the country?
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