What is the evidence for the Communion Meal being an Ordinance?

Interested in hearing from our protestant brethren in Christ if and why they believe that the Lord’s Supper or Communion is an Ordinance and why?

Please cite the relevant scripture passages and evidence that the Church believed so in or since the apostolic age.

Perhaps you could clarify your definition of the word “Ordinance” in this context.

An “Ordinance”, to Protestants, is considered a command of Christ that we ought to follow. However, they are not recognized as sacraments and have no spiritual graces attached to them, they are merely symbolic.

Here is a good in-depth explanation of the Eucharist from the Mennonite confession of faith: mennolink.org/doc/cof/art.12.html

The Mennonite view of Communion is similar to that of Baptists, Evangelicals, and other low-church Protestants

This is what I understand as well. An ordinance is obedience to follow a command from Christ. I’m certainly open to correction here from any non-catholic’s.

I think all Christians would agree it’s an ordinance–that is, a command of Christ. But they would disagree on the existence and nature of grace bestowed.

I’m interested in reading non-Catholic answers to this, as well. My parents are members of the Church of Christ denomination (an “anti” group, for any familiar with those denominations) and, although the do NOT believe in the Real Presence, they do believe there is something more important happening than just grape juice and crackers…but they don’t articulate how or why. I also know they believe its sinful to have communion on any day but Sunday, but that it must be done every Sunday. As I find discussing theology with my father to be non-beneficial to both of us, I’m very interested in hearing what others have to say on this subject.

Because they do believe it is an ordinance–as they also view Baptism–a question they must answer is: Why does Christ command it? Is He doing it for no purpose, just for the sake of getting someone to do something? This would be interesting also.

I’m Protestant. Never having heard the word Ordinance used in a church or religious context before, I can’t say I think anything is an Ordinance.

I do think we must take communion. I’ve never thought it was merely symbolic. I don’t really feel like searching for relevant scripture passages to support my belief, but I suppose Luke 11:19 will do as well as anything.

“…evidence that the Church believed so in or since the apostolic age,” I’m not sure what you mean.

“Ordinance” is used in contrast to “Sacrament” here, in this context.

Do you believe that Christ instituted “Sacraments”?

From the Lutheran side, you’ll find us defining communion as a sacrament.

This is how we separate sacraments and rites:

“If we define the sacraments as rites, which have the command of God and to which the promise of grace has been added, it is easy to determine what the sacraments are, properly speaking. For humanly instituted rites are not sacraments, properly speaking, because human beings do not have the authority to promise grace. Therefore signs instituted without the command of God are not sure signs of grace, even though they perhaps serve to teach or admonish the common folk”

From the" Didache" 65-80AD

CHAPTER 9 Sacrement

9:1 But concerning the Eucharist, after this fashion give ye thanks.

9:2 First, concerning the cup. We thank thee, our Father, for the holy vine, David thy Son, which thou hast made known unto us through Jesus Christ thy Son; to thee be the glory for ever.

9:3 And concerning the broken bread. We thank thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which thou hast made known unto us through Jesus thy Son; to thee be the glory for ever.

9:4 As this broken bread was once scattered on the mountains, and after it had been brought together became one, so may thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth unto thy kingdom; for thine is the glory, and the power, through Jesus Christ, for ever.

9:5 And let none eat or drink of your Eucharist but such as have been baptized into the name of the Lord, for of a truth the Lord hath said concerning this, Give not that which is holy unto dogs.

God Bless:)

ctb95 already defined the word above and the OP seems to think it has something to do with protestantism. I’m just saying this protestant has never heard the word used in protestant circles so I think it is quite a strange question in the first place. And I answered the question with my belief.

I believe my Presbyterian, Methodist and Lutheran churches consider the eucharist a sacrament. I suspect my Baptist and Calvary Chapel churches did not, but I can’t speak authoritatively on the subject since, again, nobody ever used the word Ordinance to describe it.

Fair enough.

BTW: there’s no need to give the caveat that your opinion is what is being offered. That’s the default position here, whatsmyname. Everyone understands that when someone answers a question, unless it’s citing a document, it’s essentially the poster’s opinion.

Do you believe that Christ instituted sacraments?

Exactly, My GrandPa was an elder in a Baptist Church, and I had not heard this term used in any context outside of the bylaws of the church. Hence my question.

“Ordinance” is a typically Baptist term. It is not that Baptists reject the term sacrament outright, but they tend to avoid it because it has connotations of Catholic beliefs like the real presence of Christ, which they consider superstitious or at least incorrect. Other denominations use the term. For instance, the Westminster Confession of Faith (Presbyterian) calls the Lord’s Supper both “sacrament” and “ordinance.” Presbyterians favor the term sacrament, but they have more or less a similar belief about the nature of the Eucharist as Baptists do. Catholics would also call the mass an ordinance, not to the exclusion of it being a sacrament. It’s just a case of different groups having a different idiomatic vocabulary from one another.

Let’s see if any Baptists would care to comment, add insight, as to what the evidence is for their Communion meal to be an Ordinance (symbolic meal is my intent in saying this) verses a sacrament.

I’m very interested in hearing their views on how they interpret scripture and what evidence they have that the early Church believed the same as they do.

In short, was the early Church “Baptist” in this regards, or Catholic?


I agree with this.

As I was brought up in the AoG denomination and later became Baptist in every church communion was always taught of as an ordinance. Not a sacrament, only the catholics had sacraments as far as I ever knew. But it was always a solemn time that we remember ered the Lords Death as we received it.

Catholics would also call the mass an ordinance, not to the exclusion of it being a sacrament.

The Mass is not a sacrament it is the Eucharistic sacrifice. The sacrament is the consecrated bread and wine which become the Body and Blood of Christ – and received as Holy Communion.

’MASS. The Sacrifice of the Eucharist as the central act of worship of the Catholic Church. The “Mass” is a late form of missio (sending), from which the faithful are sent to put into practice what they have learned and use the graces they have received in the Eucharistic liturgy.

'As defined by the Church at the Council of Trent, in the Mass, “The same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross, is present and offered in an unbloody manner.” Consequently, the Mass is a truly propitiatory sacrifice, which means that by this oblation "the Lord is appeased, He grants grace and the gift of repentance, and He pardons wrongdoings and sins, even grave ones. For it is one and the same victim.

‘He who now makes the offering through the ministry of priests and he who then offered himself on the cross. The only difference is the manner of offering" (Denzinger 1743).’
Modern Catholic Dictionary by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

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