Archive for the ‘Paedocommunion’ Category

Bad Exegesis Illustrated

December 26, 2008

I stumbled across an example of truly terrible exegesis today (link). It’s not exegesis of Scripture, but exegesis of another written document, the PCA’s Book of Church Order. The author of the post, Gabe Martini, argues that this restriction, “58-2. The ignorant and scandalous are not to be admitted to the Lord’s Supper,” should bar all from the Lord’s table, because all men are ignorant or scandalous on some level. This is a bizarre reading of the text.

What the PCA BCO is saying is that those unable to “discern the Lord’s body” (1 Corinthians 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.) and those who are living in open, unrepentant sin (Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.) should not be admitted to the Lord’s table.

Now, this bad exegesis is not because Martini cannot read, but because he disagrees with what is written. He generally understands that these two restrictions are meant and not that “Nobody’s Welcome” as he proclaims.

I am guessing that Martini is not opposed to the latter restriction, but only to the former. In fact, I don’t have to guess, his railing continues:

Realistically, this is simply meant to ban two groups of people that Jesus hates from the Table: retarded people and babies. Yeah, those [expletive omitted] babies and retarded people! God surely doesn’t care about them, right? Right.


Martini’s objection is misplaced. 1 Corinthians 11:29 doesn’t teach that Jesus hates children and the simple-minded, but rather that the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is a serious matter, not to be undertaken without proper self-examination. Barring children and the simple-minded from the communion table is not out of hatred for them, but love for them – and concern that they do not eat unworthily.


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