Why doesn’t everybody commune at your church?
At Immanuel we believe in the time honored and biblical adminstration of the Lord’s Supper. If you are not currently a member of a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregation or a church body in fellowship with us, we ask that you refrain from taking the Lord’s Supper at this time.
If you are a member of an LCMS congregation but yet you are unrepentant we also ask that you refrain from receiving the Lord’s Supper. St. Paul teaches that when we commune we are one in faith in Christ. If you do not know what we believe, are not a member of our church body or you are living an unrepentant life, you are not in unity with us.
This does not mean we are perfect, quite the contrary! We come to the Lord’s Supper to recieve real forgiveness for real sins. If we disagree on what sins are, then we are not in unity. We don’t desire the same forgiveness.
St. Paul warns that if there is disunity, the Lord’s Supper then becomes an eating and drinking of judgement. We take your beliefs seriously. So seriously in fact that we acknowledge that you might just believe differently. If that is the case we would love to sit down and talk, maybe even over a drink, but we would never presume to ask you to publicly acknowledge agreement with us by having communion with us. If you do believe differently than us regarding the Lord’s Supper or what a sin is and is not, then we don’t want to force you to commune with us.
If you would rather wait to commune with us until you are certain we believe what the scriptures teach, then I invite you to remain in the pew during communion and pray or sing during the distribution hymn. There are some people who don’t commune for many reasons. Some of the folks are in the process of discovering what it is our congregation actually believes and teaches, so they remain seated. An usher might invite you to go up to the altar of our Lord. If you don’t intend to commune, just acknowledge the usher but don’t feel obligated to go to the altar for Jesus’ body and blood until you know what we believe and you can confidently say to us and Christ, that you are in agreement with us.
If you have questions please speak with Pastor Ottmers or an elder to discuss this matter. We desire that all would be in unity that is why we have regular membership classes for anyone to attend with the goal of membership.