A blog reader provided a thoughtful and though-provoking review of my writing on binding and unbinding, much of which I will respond to. I thought I would share this useful bit of writing and thinking with the other readers.

Also for your reference, I have uploaded some Lord's Supper discussion questions that served as fodder for this discussion. It is at http://yeldell.org/robin/bible/LordsSupper.doc .

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From: Clifford Yeldell
Sent: Saturday, April 15, 2006 9:51 PM

Looking at your paragraphs, I make these observations: 

#1    I agree that much time was spent on what part about the Lord' Supper was binding, and which was just incidental to their eating it.  We did not talk so much about whether the eating of it is binding.  Much time was spent on trying to determine if certain "breakings" of the bread was a common meal, an Agape feast, or the Lord's supper.  Most of the writings prior to the April fool's meeting, was directed to deciding which incidents were the Lord's Supper, and which were not.  There was a wide difference among us just on this point.  It seems nearly impossible (up to this point in time) for us to understand the language alike about these bread breakings 

#2  No comments here, but will be in #4. 

#3  You say "the disciples" would bind, etc.  I would question that, if you mean a group larger than the apostles.  I have always thought that only apostles, and not others would do the binding and loosing.  Are you (Robin) saying that 19b includes more than the apostles?  In 15:28,29, I hear you saying that "they" bound "not eating idol meats for the Gentiles."  I think you have told me that "Paul" very likely loosed that "eating of idol meat" later when he wrote to the Corinthians in 8:4,8.  We would not say that Paul loosed the "fornication. 

I don't like to be as comprehensive and broad as you are when you say "commandments, rules, rituals, ceremonies, patterns, traditions."  "These six things" may not be in the Ac 15 reference. 

I need you to help me see just which one(s) of your four bullets are "tradition," which, if any are "examples," and which are the "commands."   

#4  What did Jesus bind??  He told the 12, and the 11 many things that were bound, but they could "not bear" the many other things that He must have wanted to tell (bind) to them Jno 16:12. To Paul, Jesus "bound" some things (I Cor 7:10).  I assume, Robin, that you are not probing into something like "just which examples did he bind on us today (for instance washing of feet after 'the Supper')". 

What did the disciples bind? and then you ask if "the Twelve only" bind.  I think the Apostles could and did bind things.  I also think that certain non-apostle writes inspired by the Holy Spirit could and did bind things (for example:  Don't grumble (grudge) against one another  Jas 5:9) Was it permanent/temporary?  Some of the "Apostolic directions" given would have likely been for a certain time period and because of some prevailing circumstances (for instance: I Cor 7:26 . . . . . ."for the present distress/crisis").  Some "directions and doctrines" (like "would that we should remember the poor" Gal 2:10) would hardly fit into any type of a "temporary" category.  I tend to think that when a thing was bound in heaven, it was permanent.  I don't have a lot of experience in sorting out what things are just temporary, and which things don't change at all, regardless of circumstances.  Some of you need to influence me on this point. 

You are right, saying the answer to these questions affect one's practice.  We had better make sure that we do not "loose" some "bound" things as we direct our followers. 

I will address the last two paragraphs in the next sitting.  All of you who read this may think that is too much attention given to such an unimportant thing.  Too tight and/or too loose approaches to understanding the language of the N.T. text is dangerous.  The statements and stances of some need to be examined and weighed by others, especially on these "disturbing type" matters. 

The NASB rendering of Prov 18:17 is "The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him."  It would be wise to follow this closely as we are in the mode of "adopting or shaking-off" beliefs and practices. 

From: Clifford Yeldell
Sent: Sunday, April 16, 2006 11:21 PM

Paragraph #5:  I would not choose the words "enforce weekly observance" however I think that the apostles taught the disciples to eat it.  I know that Paul "received of the Lord" I Cor 11:23 something about the Lord's Supper and Paul delivered something to the Corinthians.  I would like to think that it was something that Paul taught in all churches (ICor 4:17; 7:17 & 14:33b). 

Paul wrote Timothy "you know all about by teaching . . . faith" 2nd 3:10 and then he wrote to the Corinthians that Timothy would "bring them in remembrance of his ways which be in Christ" 1st 4:17.  Do we think that Paul told anything about "observance" of the Supper?  If so, what is it?  Do you think that all of us could agree about what Paul "delivered" to the churches? 

Let me ask some simple questions:  1.."If eating the Supper is bound, cite the passages that say Christians are to even eat the Lord's Supper?"  2.  If eating it is bound, then is it loosed regarding the day of the week, day of the month, day of the year to eat it?  3.  Is it binding that we use only bread and only fruit of the vine in the eating of it?  4.  If we are "bound" to bread, then is the type of bread (leavened or unleavened) loosed?  5.  Are we "bound" to drinking of a cup whose content is juice of only a grape?  If one has the "essence" (real basic nature) right in his heart when he is eating the Supper, is the "what and when" of any importance? 

I would not put the "where" (in an upper room) we eat it in the same category with "what we eat" and "when we eat."  I would be more inclined to say that the "upper room" is only a circumstance, whereas the "what and when" are specifics to be followed. 

#6  Yes, we should always "stick to the essence", and we should also avoid a "contentious" (quarrelsome and argumentative) attitude and practice.  However, I think it is incumbent on us to practice the thorough testing of views advanced, or doctrines held . . . . . much like they did in Ac 15 and Gal 2. 

Certain "forms" are to be taught and contended for (like "obey from the heart that "form" of doctrine" Rom 6:17).  Rituals of men, and rituals of church groups, should be avoided.  If some want to use watermelon juice, and ordinary leaven loaf bread when they are in "essence" eating the Supper, and the others do not want to use those "elements", then are you proposing that these "divided in view brethren" eat together and "let love and patience rule?" 

It seems that in Corinth, the group that "had knowledge" were to not lay a stumbling block before the ones that were "weak." I Cor 8:7-9.  I think that the "watermelon & loaf bread" advocates should "educate" the "weaker" brethren before they introduce the practice. 

Before "the law" from God can be written on our hearts today, it needs to be found-out from the written word, which we have. 

What ideas will the next episode bring to the discussion table?  

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