Friday, April 05, 2002
In BC 35, about the Lord's Supper, we confess: Finally, we receive this holy sacrament in the congregation of the people of God with humility and reverence as we together commemorate the death of Christ our Saviour with thanksgiving and we confess our faith and Christian religion. I would take the last words, which I highlighted, to mean that participating in communion is, among other things, a repetition of one's public profession of faith. Nowhere else do we make a more public profession of our faith and of the close bond we have with one another in that faith than when we partake of Christ's body and blood. In this solemn act we, as one and with one voice, "proclaim the Lord's death until He comes" (I Cor. 11:26). To partake of the Lord's Supper is to make a proclamation of what we believe together with the other communicants. As Paul said, "Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf" (1 Cor. 10:17; cf. Eph. 4:3-6). The Lord's Supper testifies to the unity of faith of the people gathered around the table. Communing with a specific congregation implies that you present yourself as a witness for the doctrine (the "Christian religion") believed in that church. Because of this a Reformed believer may not participate in communion in a non-Reformed church. Am I right?