The New IFB’s strange doctrine on the Lord’s Supper

The New IFB teaches that the Lord’s Supper should not be observed in a church meeting at all. Steven Anderson has his congregation, for example, do it at their homes, perhaps inviting another family over to do so.

The justification for this unorthodox practice is a great example of why, if the New IFB is going to be so careless in interpreting scripture, that they shouldn’t be so quick to decry Bible college. It’s not like a Bible college is needed to refute this juvenile misunderstanding, but perhaps if they had their pastors go there, they would be prevented from twisting the Bible so.

So here’s why they do this: 1 Corinthians 11:20 says this: When you come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.

Now, if you’ve read the Bible and studied this passage, you are probably groaning along with me to see them try to use this verse to claim that we shouldn’t have the Lord’s supper in church, but in case you don’t know the doctrine, here it is: The New IFB, as usual, ignores the context. Here are the two verses following, as well:

20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? what shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

From the context, the answer is plain. This verse is not prescriptive, it is descriptive. Paul isn’t saying “When you come together, you shouldn’t be eating the Lord’s supper”, he is saying “When you come together, you haven’t really been eating the Lord’s supper.” In other words, Paul is criticizing the Corinthians for coming together under pretense of eating the Lord’s supper, when they are really having a drunken feast.

The funny thing is, which you’ll see below, is that the New IFB preachers normally begin their discussion of this passage by saying they have never heard anyone preach on it. That’s no surprise, because if they had heard a proper sermon on the topic, they wouldn’t believe something so foolish. Even commentators (many of which wrote their commentaries hundreds of years ago) can get this point right.

Here’s Barnes Commentary on the passage:

When ye come together therefore … – When you are assembled as a church, compare Hebrews 10:25, and see the note on Acts 2:1. Christians were constantly in the habit of assembling for public worship. It is probable that at this early period all the Christians in Corinth were accustomed to meet in the same place. The apostle here particularly refers to their “assembling” to observe the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper. At that early period it is probable that this was done on every Lord’s Day.This is not … – Margin, “Ye cannot eat.” The meaning of this expression seems to be this. “Though you come together professedly to worship God, and to partake of the Lord’s Supper, yet this cannot be the real design which you have in view. It cannot be that such practices as are allowed among you can be a part of the celebration of that supper, or consistent with it. Your greediness 1 Corinthians 11:21; your intemperance 1 Corinthians 11:21; your partaking of the food separately and not in common, cannot be a celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Whatever, therefore, you may profess to be engaged in, yet really and truly you are not celebrating the Lord’s Supper.”

Here’s Jamieson Fausset Brown:

20. When … therefore—Resuming the thread of discourse from 1Co 11:18.this is not to—rather, “there is no such thing as eating the Lord’s Supper”; it is not possible where each is greedily intent only on devouring “HIS OWN supper,” and some are excluded altogether, not having been waited for (1Co 11:33), where some are “drunken,” while others are “hungry” (1Co 11:21).

Meyer…

οὐκ ἔστι κυριακδεῖπνφαγ.] there does not take place an eating of a Lord’s Supper, i.e. one cannot eat a Lord’s Supper in that way; it is morally impossible, since things go on in such fashion as 1 Corinthians 11:21 thereupon specifies by way of proof. 

Here are Jonathan Shelley and Joe Major making their silly presentation of this passage:

Post Author: Joshua Lindsey

My name is Joshua Lindsey. I live in Minnesota, and with my wife and children am a faithful member of my local independent Baptist Church. I have taught Sunday School classes and children’s classes, and also had the opportunity to preach at several churches. I teach Bible college classes on the Pentateuch, Atheism and Faith, Chrsitian Denominations, Bible Preservation (A defense of the underlying texts of the KJV), Bible Geography and Customs, Church Graphic Design, and some others. My father is an Independent Baptist Pastor in Wisconsin, and I grew up in a home full of love for the Lord. My parents raised me in the Bible, and are faithful to this day in witnessing and discipling. Although I was constantly immersed in biblical teaching and preaching, I did not personally believe in Jesus as described in John 3:16 until my freshman year in Bible college. In the many years since then, I have grown in grace and the Lord has given me opportunity to serve him in ministry. Among other ministries, I run my church’s print shop and participate in door-to-door evangelism. In doctrine, I affirm the truth that has been passed down from church to church since the time of Christ. I affirm the deity of Christ, his death, burial, and bodily resurrection, the personhood of the Holy Spirit, the Trinity, the virgin birth, the inerrancy and infallibility of the scriptures, the inspiration and preservation of the scriptures, the imminent return of Christ and his future literal millennial reign. I accept the canonicity of the 66 books of scripture, I believe that God commands all men to repent, that Christ draws all men to himself, that any person can believe and be saved. I believe salvation cannot be forfeited or taken away. I believe Christ’s command to go to all the world and preach the Gospel is still applicable to us today. I believe in a future literal judgment seat of Christ and a Great white throne judgment. I believe that no person will enter heaven except through Jesus Christ. I reject all false religions: Islam, Judaism, new Age, etc. I reject the teaching that God elects some men to damnation, giving them no chance to be saved. I reject the idea that God did not preserve his words and that recent manuscript discoveries provide us with a more accurate Bible that was not available to past generations of Christians. I reject the concept of a universal church. I reject the idea that Baptism plays a part in salvation. I believe many things additionally not listed here. My views align with the scripture and with the beliefs that faithful churches have held since the time of Christ, and have held under the title of “Baptist” for many centuries now.

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