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1969: A Space Oddity

I’ve already responded to the communion in space article on Twitter and Facebook, but I wanted to put my position on record here, as well, with some additional material for consideration.

On July 20, 1969—fifty years ago this Saturday—Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. It was not only the first moon landing, but, as Joe Carter wrote yesterday, “the first celebration of the Lord’s Supper on the Moon.”

imageI’m afraid I must take issue with that: What Aldrin did was not a legitimate administration of the Lord’s Supper. Though served by an elder (as is appropriate), it was not taken in the church, with the church, as a remembrance of Christ, proclaiming his death until he returns. Though some words of Jesus were read (John 15:5), Aldrin did not serve the bread and wine as a remembrance and proclamation of Christ’s death, but rather instructed his listeners “to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his own individual way”—hardly an echo of the scriptural instruction to “‘do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”

imageObjection has been raised to my assertion that the Lord’s Supper must be observed in the context of the church. This objection shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Lord’s Supper is—and that is no minor error. In response, I give you this from 9Marks, which sums up my position on Buzz Aldrin’s communion in space exhibition quite well: Lord’s Supper in Nursing Home. Of the two positions presented, I agree with the first, but can accept the second. Both rule out the space scenario, which was really little more than an exhibition, by getting to the nature and purpose of the ordinance. For more on that, see also How the Lord’s Supper Makes a Local Church.

Posted 2019·07·18 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Links · Lord’s Supper · Ministerial Malpractice

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