May 12, 2007

Chapter 41 -- Infant Regeneration

It is not my intention, in this chapter, to revisit the "argumentation" and "logic" that Hardshells put forth relative to the supposed "regeneration of infants," but will rather look at the issue from a Baptist historical standpoint.

I dealt much with the Hardshell's "logic" on this point in chapter 7 and showed how they reasoned and argued erroneously and unscripturally in supposing that such infants (and idiots) are beyond the reach of God's power to use "gospel means." Their favorite argument, on the supposed "regeneration" of John the Baptist, while in his mother's womb, I have shown to actually prove the opposite, that gospel means were used, miraculously, and that John the Baptist had understanding of the gospel while in his mother's womb, hence the reason why he "leaped for joy."

This was an important issue debated by Hardshell John R. Daily in his second debate with W.P. Throgmorton (Missionary Baptist) in August of 1912 (and from which debate I will be citing from in future chapters, along with other debates with Mission Baptists).

In this debate there was a discussion of what God could do or not do. I think it was successfully shown by Elder Throgmorton that the Hardshells were the ones who limited the power of God by arguing that it is impossible for God to use means in the quickening of sinners. It was not simply a case where God chose not to use means, the preaching of his own word, according to Daily, but that it had to be done this way, God himself not being able to use gospel means in quickening dead sinners.

This is a point I too have raised previously in this work of rebuttal against the Hardshells. I have shown, for instance, how the case of Ezekiel and the Valley of Dry Bones destroys this "logic."

The "vain reasonings" they put forth relative to this issue, and the "logical deductions" they make relative to the "inability" of infants and idiots, and similar reasonings they make relative to the "inability" of "dead sinners," have all been shown to be what they are, human speculations that are against the plain teachings of the word of God and the experiences of the Lord's people. Let the Hardshell try this "logic" on the "bones" in the resurrection performed through the preaching of Ezekiel! Did those "bones" have any "ability" to hear? No! But, the power to cause the dead bones to "hear" it, to do what it was not humanly possible to do, was not from Ezekiel, but from God. "With God all things are possible," and this includes quickening spiritually dead sinners by the preaching of his servants.

Brother Bob Ross too has shown how the Hardshells and other "refomed" and "Hybrid Calvinists" have imbibed the old Pelagian argument that a "command implies ability," and falsely reason that since the dead must be given life before they can act, so too sinners dead in sin must be regenerated before they can believe or repent. I have shown also how they falsely reason too on the inability of infants and idiots to understand the gospel or come to know Jesus Christ in the forgiveness of sins.

The issue of the regeneration of infants and idiots, and to some extent, those who die without having opportunity to hear the gospel, would make an exhaustive book in itself. Perhaps I can do that one day when this book is completed. But, I do want to look at the issue historically, primarily among the Baptists who signed the Old Baptist Confessions, the first, 1644, and the second, 1689 (or 1677).

That this issue of "infant regeneration" became a matter of heated debate during the 17th century is not denied, but what is denied is that this debate created en masse Hardshell Baptists or Hy-per-Calvinistic Baptists, for the first Particular Baptists, as we shall see, who signed the first Baptist confessions, did not give up believing in gospel means, and clearly did not see the "logic" in what the Hardshells now put forth on this question. Ironically, as we shall see, the ones who were arguing "Hardshellism" and "Hy-per Calvinism" were the Paedo-Baptists! Not, the Baptists!

I know the Hardshells will not want to acknowledge this fact of history, but they will have to quit calling themselves "Baptist" on this issue, and especially the name of "Primitive" or "Old Baptist"! The Hardshell forefathers and foremost debaters and apologists, like Elder Daily, have argued that these first Baptists, who signed the confessions, believed Hardshellism, and did not believe in gospel means! Yet, as we have already shown, to a great degree, the confessions are very clear in supporting gospel means in regeneration and the new birth, so how can they deny that they who wrote the confessions did not believe what they wrote? Yet, as the following exchange between Baptist leader and confession signer, John Spilsbury, and Thomas Bakewell (Presbyterian) will show, Sprilsbury shows what he meant by being saved by the means of the gospel.

I do not know why Throgmorton did not present evidence from the signers of the confessions, from their own private writings, to show what they meant by those statements, in the confessions, dealing with regeneration by means of the preached word of God. It certainly is proof against those Hardshells who assembled in Fulton, Kentucky, in the early 1900's, and who affirmed that these first Baptists, who signed the Confessions, did not believe in gospel means and further that the confessions themselves do not teach it. Yes, it is absurd. More honest Hardshells have come forward and acknowledged that this is all a lie, farcical, for the confessions clearly teach gospel means and the Fulton Convention only sought to make the confession say what it does not say by adding their "footnotes" and "explanations" to the confession!

Rather, as we shall also see, the ones who were arguing for regeneration without faith, without gospel knowledge and means, were the "baby sprinkling" Paedo-Baptists! It is another substantiation of the historical fact that the idea of "pre-faith regeneration" or "sub-conscious regeneration" started among the Paedo-Baptists and that the first Baptists, as John Spilsbury , argued against the Hardshellism and Hyper-Calvinism being put forth by Spilsbury's opponent, Bakewell.

In introducing this chapter I will cite the dialogue between Spilsbury and Bakewell on this topic, make and cite commentary upon it, and then address other relevent historical material relative to this most important topic of thought. Well has a writer said of this debate and its relevance to the heresy of Hardshellism.

"Please note that the majority of modern Baptists and many so-called Old Baptists hold the same theology, concepts and conclusions that Thomas Bakewell held. Bakewell was a Presbyterian. This means that the modern Baptists and many of the so-called Old Baptists, if they had lived during those days, would have sided with Bakewell against John Spilsbury. John Spilsbury was one of the most important Particular Baptist leaders and writers of that or any other era. Is it any wonder then that those who are in truth and reality the old Baptists are despised by the modern Baptists and many of the so-called Old Baptists? The sad part is that these rejectors of the old Baptist faith and order are calling themselves Baptists, and even Old Baptists." (emphasis mine - SMG)

This is a true statement and one that ought to be quite evident once one has read the following debate between Spilsbury and Bakewell.

"By Thomas Bakewell (against Spilsbury)"

This was the title of the "diatribe" that Bakewell, on behalf of the Presbyterians and other "baby sprinklers," made against the Baptist Confession and its stated belief that faith in Christ is necessary for regeneration, which is next to be given, together with Spilsbury's defense of the Baptist and means position.

Bakewell raised his attacks against the Baptist confession for limiting regeneration to the means of the gospel, and he sounds like a Hardshell apologist ex tra ordinaire.

Bakewell's Attack

"In their next article (the articles of faith & Confession of Spilsbury and the Particular Baptists) they believe that all who know God and Christ shall have eternal life, but vengeance shall be rendered on all that know not God and Christ: but here I doubt they exclude all infants that die in their infancy from salvation, because they are not capable of such knowledge of God and Christ. You (Spilsbury) answer saying you know not what is this knowledge, neither hath the Scripture revealed any such that were saved. But was not Jereboam's child saved, when the Lord Himself saith that there was some good thing in him towards the Lord God of Israel, I Kings 14:15? And did David rejoice that his child was damned, and did he desire to go to hell to his child and rejoice in believing it, 2 Sam. 12:23? And why should not infants that die be saved, when as they may be sanctified, which is eternal life began already? And they may be sanctified as well as Jeremiah and John the Baptist, Jer. 1:5; Luke 1:15. Then, are you a teacher and know not these things?"

"But you say you will not judge them, when as you make it an article of your faith to believe that none shall be saved without this knowledge of God in Christ, which infants are not capable of; yet they may have the seeds of grace in them wrought by the Spirit of God; neither can this be denied, when as they are sanctified by the Spirit of God. Again if I should believe this article, I fear I should condemn many of God's people, which have the faith of adherence, but not the faith of evidence: for many that live a holy life, may want a clear evidence that God is reconciled to them in Christ, therefore I dare not give my faith to believe this article."

"...but is not the Word of God a necessary Instrument in the hand of Christ, whereby He works faith in us, Romans 10:17? By which we believe in Christ: then is not the Word of God necessary to save where it is, although God is able to work faith in His elect without it in places where it is not, but this being the ordinary way for our salvation, and while this lasts, we must not seek any extraordinary way..."


What Bakewell attacked, in the Old Baptist Confession, was the very thing that modern so-called Primitive Baptists attack today. What Spilsbury defended, the necessity of gospel faith and repentance for regeneration, is the thing Hardshells decry as the worst of heresies! Who then is the real "Primitive" or "Old" Baptist?

Spilbury says further, in his and the Confession's defense:

"Objection: And if any shall object from the testimony of John the Baptist, that he is said to be filled with the Holy Ghost from his Mother's womb, & c, and hence conclude, that Infants may have faith" (this is exactly what Hardshells argue today! And they would be arguing against the Baptist who probably wrote the Confession) "The Answer -- What Infants May Have and What They Do Have is Different

To this I answer in a word;

First, what infants may have is one thing, and what infants can be proved to have from this Scripture is another. For if any thing from this text can be proved for infants, it will be, that they are filled with the Holy Ghost from their Mother's womb, as John is said to be, which is another thing than to believe, Acts 6:5; & 4:31.

Secondly, all such so testified of by God, as He did of John, I shall acknowledge as much as is here meant to be in him, to be also in them so testified of by the Holy Ghost. But to affirm, because God so testified of John the Baptist in the womb, therefore the same holds true upon all other infants likewise, this is indeed weaker than infancy so to affirm, and grosser than ignorance for any to believe. Job is said to be a Guide to the distressed from his mother's womb. Shall it be concluded thence, that he was a Guide to such when he was an infant? Or if he were so, must it needs follow, that all infants are capable guides, because it is said so of him? Job 31:18.

And lastly; I am not against any that have faith, but absolutely for all that believe; whether infants or others; so that their faith appears by such effects as the Word of God approves of. Otherwise what have I or any to do, to meddle with the secret and unrevealed things of God, either to justify or condemn? And whereas in the former Proposition, there seems a restraint made of the word of Grace in an Infant over what there is in other persons, by saying, only so far as is necessary to union with Christ, and justification to life thereby."

Again, there is no way that the so-called Primitive or Hardshell Baptists can legitimately or honestly claim that Spilsbury and the first truly "Old Baptists" believed as they do relative to John the Baptist and the supposed regeneration of infants.

And then in commenting upon what it means to have "union with Christ," Spilsbury wrote:

"What is Understood by Christ and then Our Union with Christ?

Now for an answer to this, we shall first consider what in this sense is to be understood by Christ, and secondly, what by union with Christ, so as to be justified thereby.

By Christ here, I understand Him so, as the Gospel holds Him forth in the work of man's Redemption, in reference to His death and resurrection; and the only righteousness that commends such to God as believe in the same. And so Christ thus considered is the only subject of life to every soul that shall be united unto Him by faith.

To which union with Christ, these three things must be minded, as essential to the same:

First, God's revealing and tending of Christ, as the all sufficient and only way to life.

Secondly, a heart fitly disposed by faith to apprehend and receive Christ so tendered.

And lastly, The Spirit of grace uniting and knitting of the heart and Christ together, as aforesaid.

And this I understand to be that effectual and substantial union with Christ, to justification of life, which the Word of God approves of; that must decide all differences in matters of Religion. For justification to life ever presupposes apprehension of Christ, as the subject of life, and a true application of the same by faith, as aforesaid. The Gospel holds forth no other justification to salvation, but what is of faith; and faith ever presupposes the party's knowledge of the thing believe, Rom. 10:14, Heb. 11:6.

Now, let this be well examined by the rule of truth, and then let the Reader judge, how capable Infants are of union with Christ, and justification to life thereby. Now for to darken and obscure this truth, there are these evil consequences, as absurdities brought in, as to follow upon the same."

Any honest reader cannot possibly misunderstand what Spilsbury writes. The only way to receive Christ is to receive him by means of the gospel invitation and command. This is a denial of Hardshellism and Hyper Calvinism, respecting regeneration and the new birth.

To Spilsbury and the London Baptist churches of his day, the faith that receives Christ and that regenerates is the faith that is produced by the preaching of the gospel. He even cites Romans chapter ten in support.

And then again, he writes:

"Objection, First, If infants should not be capable of those graces aforesaid, then they were not elected.

Secondly, Then their bodies should not be raised again to life.

And lastly, we have not infallible judgment, but may be mistaken, as in the case of Simon Magus, &c.

The Answer

To this in a Word:

First, I would know of such, whether Infants, with reference to their non-age, are capable subjects of glory?

Secondly, If Infants so considered, are capable subjects of glory?

Election to means as well as to end

And if not, as I suppose none will affirm, then why any more in grace than in Glory? And for any to appoint God a way how to save Infants, or to draw out to themselves a way how the Holy Spirit of Grace must sanctify them to salvation, above what is written, I think it is somewhat too much boldness. God will have His creature to keep only to His Word, as the Rule by which man must judge all things; and the Word of God shows that he has elected persons to the means as well as to the end, being the way unto the same. And that was the Adoption of Sons, to be called and justified by believing in Jesus Christ, as Eph. 1:4,5; Rom. 8:29, 30; I Pet. 1:2; 2 Thess. 2:13, 14. And therefore the ground of God's calling us, and our believing is attributed unto our Election, Acts 2:47; Acts 13:48; Rom. 8:28; Rom. 11:7. And to the glory of God, as the cause of all, by the dispensation of His grace upon His chosen in Christ, and their free obedience unto Him again, Rom. 9:23, 24; Eph. 1:6, 12.

These things God has revealed in His Word, and further, I dare not go, but leave the secret things to God, Who gives not account of all His ways."

That is about as good a denial of Hardshellism one could possibly read! And, just who was Spilsbury opposing? It was Bakewell, one who did not believe faith in Christ, and repentance, were necessary adjuncts to regeneration! The Hardshells ought to "trace their lineage" through Bakewell and the baby sprinkling religionists than to the Baptists of England.

Spilsbury, continuing his defense of regeneration through faith in Christ Jesus, as expressed in the recent Baptist confession, responded to the idea of no resurrection for infants.

"The Salvation and Resurrection of Infants

And for the raising of Infant's bodies, do none rise but such as are in visible union with Christ? As for invisible things we meddle not with. It is the power of God that raised the dead, and not union with Christ, I Thess. 4:16. And when any of God's elect can, by the Scripture, be showed to die in infancy, then it will be granted that their bodies are raised to life eternal, only as they are Infants. Not that I hold all that die in their infancy to be damned, but being a secret thing, I leave the same to God. And though that we have not infallible knowledge to judge aright of the hearts of men, which thing is proper to God alone, shall we not judge at all therefore? We are to go on as near as we can by the a rule of God's Word. And in so doing, we discharge our duty, which binds us to judge of the tree by His fruit. And though we are not infallible Judges, but may be mistaken, yet this will not follow, that we should justify a tree upon which no fruit appears, but rather to go on by the rule of judgment, and if we do miss, to be humbled for our weakness rather then leave all undone, because we are not sure to do it infallibly. But I would not be understood to oppose Infants so, as to exclude them from salvation, no, I am so far from this, that I do not so much as impose any such work of grace upon them, as essential to life, in this or that way, as many do, but leave all in respect of them, as a secret thing to the wisdom and grace of God in Christ, by whom the sin of all the Elect are forever done away at once.

And for faith, that I press for in all that challenge right to any privilege of Grace, is only to have some warrantable ground to judge by, and so to know Who God does approve of; as those unto whom such privileges belong. Seeing He has proclaimed, that all by nature are children of wrath, Eph. 2. And I cannot believe that any are naturally born in grace, and so believers from the womb, though the opposite doctrine teaches and affirms the same. And, so I come to another Proposition, laid down thus:

Not that I intend in the least to deny salvation unto infants, no, I am so far from this, that I testify against all such doctrine, nor yet affirm all infants to be saved, neither do I know among infants, which shall be saved, and which shall not be saved, therefore I leave it as a secret thing to God, until He makes the same appear by some visible effect of faith, which only gives a visible right unto any ordinance of the New Testament. And therefore I cannot see by the Gospel, how infants void of visible faith, should have visible right unto the privileges of grace, neither ought they to be admitted thereunto, as has been approved, and also for these, and the like reasons following.

I would not be understood that I oppose Infants in respect of either their person or age, or salvation itself, between God and then invisibly, but honor them with all natural respects, desiring their safety and well being here, and glory hereafter. But as the same appears by some effect of faith, until which time, as I condemn none, no more dare I justify any, but leave them all to the good pleasure of God, that only knows who are His. And which shall unavoidably come to glory, as Ephesians 1 and Rom. 8:30 shows. But whose those be, that I do not know until God reveals the same by some effect of his grace appearing in them. And all that I intend by opposing Infant's baptism, is only to forbear and wait upon God in the use of means, until faith appears to meet with God in His holy Ordinance, without which the same is void and of no effect; but profaned, God provoked, and the party endangered. Friend how came you in here, not having a wedding garment, take him, & c. Matt. 22:12, 13.

All this of course runs counter to what those who pretend to be in league with the first visible Baptist Churches in England (the Hardshells), after the Reformation, who wrote the confessions, when in fact they repudiate what they believed and wrote on regeneration and gospel means."

Again, I think every Hardshell living today ought to read these words of Spilsbury; and not him only, but the other writings of the writers of the first Baptist Confessions of the 1600's, and see that they have been given misinformation about the history of their denomination, and see that many of their leading writers, on their history, and of the Particular Baptists, have twisted and distorted the facts of history in claiming that these first Baptists did not, in any sense, believe the elect were regenerated and come to faith apart from the means of the gospel.

Well, has a writer said about John Spilsbury and his views in this matter:

“...he argued, however, that the spirituality of the new covenant in Christ eliminated the possibility of an infant's participation in it. The issue of the salvation of infants dying in infancy he treated as an area of mystery.”

"The denial that there were elect and none elect infants who died in infancy. The old Baptists simply affirmed that the salvation of infants was one of the secret things of God. They didn't affirm their salvation or their damnation. See this presented in John Spilsbury's Baptism, in both the 1643 and 1652 editions."


Spilsbury wrote this, being the fifth point in his little confession of faith.

"5. I believe that God of his grace, in his own time, effectually calls such as shall be saved to the knowledge of the truth, who is said, of his own will to beget us by the word of truth: in which work of grace, nature is as passive, as a child in the parents begetting of it; and so God by His Spirit works faith in the hearts of all such to believe in Christ, and his righteousness, only for justification."

John Spilsbury, A Treatise Concerning the Lawfull subject of Baptisme, (London: Printed and are to be sold by Henry Hills in Fleet-Yardover against the Prison, 1652) [p.?] The text used for this article was taken from a version on the internet produced by The Old Faith Baptist Church Rt. 1, Box 517 Magazine, Arkansas, 72943, copyright, 1993. np


For Spilsbury, the very essence of regeneration was the change from unbelief to belief, from impenitence to penitence, and not something that preceded it.

In concluding this chapter I think it is good to include these citations relative to this issue of "infant regeneration." I think Edwards argues in much the same vein as did Spilsbury, doubting that infants could possibly be subjects of grace and glory, due to their ignorance of their sins, among other things.

Infant Baptism-Regeneration of Some Elect

"John Stagg, writing about Calvin, Twisse and Edwards on infant regeneration, claims that all these great Reformed theologians taught the doctrine of infant regeneration. It is probably true that all Reformed theologians teach that some children are regenerated in infancy, with or without baptism—indeed, before or after baptism."

"While Edwards does not deny the possibility of infant regeneration, he argues in M 816 that few are converted in infancy. The reasons he gives are two. First, such children, as they grew, would not know from experience what their sinful nature alone (apart from the regenerate nature) was. This would not be good for them if, for example, they became ministers. (like many Hardshell preachers, by their own confession!) They would not be able to understand the experience through which some of their parishioners were going. Second, persons regenerated in infancy would never be sensible of the divine deliverance from their wicked condition. We know from Scripture that God wants conversion to be a very sensible, deeply-felt experience. God's usual practice is to conclude all under a felt unbelief that He might have mercy on all. Nevertheless, Edwards realizes that it may be different in the approaching "glorious times." About that time he simply says, "I can't tell."

Edwards directly approaches the question about baptismal regeneration of infants in terms of three questions. First, he asks whether all who are admitted to baptism are regenerate? No, he replies, because the Apostles baptized many adults who were not regenerate. For example, Philip baptized Simon Magus. Therefore not everyone who is properly baptized is regenerate, even among adults. The second question is whether all children of godly persons when baptized are regenerated? The answer again is no. For this Edwards simply appeals to experience and strangely enough cites no text of Scripture.

The third question is whether all children of the godly who die in infancy are regenerate? To this he gives a very odd and unclear response. He states that if children of godly parents dying in infancy were regenerate the parents could have no better ground for hope for all their praying and desiring. His next observation is a little clearer, though no less dubious. If these parents saw their child dying they would know that they should pray for his salvation. Edwards seems to be suggesting here that if the parents knew that the child dying in infancy was elect, they could not therefore pray as they know they should pray for his salvation. Is the implied argument that if parents are to pray for dying children, then they dare not assume that the children are elect? He seems to be suggesting that if this doctrine, that all children dying in infancy are elect, were true, then parents would not be justified in their usual and necessary filial concern. It is very rare that one is uncertain about Edward's meaning, but this is one of those instances. He will not deny infant regeneration, but he seems rather reluctant to grant it even in the case of children of godly parents dying in infancy. Or rather we should say he grants the possibility of it, but is apparently unwilling to affirm the proposition that all children dying in infancy are elect, or that all children of godly parents dying in infancy are elect."


I think too that I should include these words of John Gill.

"This is to be understood of outward hearing of the word, and of adult persons only; for that, infants may have the grace of regeneration, and so faith wrought in them by the Spirit of God, without hearing the word, is not to be denied; since as they are capable of the principles of corruption, why not of grace? and also of such persons as have the right and free exercise of the faculties of hearing and speaking, and not of such who never could hear, and speak; for as the Spirit works where, and how he pleases, so he can work faith in the hearts of such persons who never heard the word, and enable them to exercise it on the proper object, and cause them secretly to call upon the name of the Lord, with groans which cannot be uttered. Moreover, this is to be, understood of the ordinary way and means of believing; for though God can, and sometimes does work by other means, and even without any, yet his usual way and method is, to bring men to faith and repentance by the hearing of the word..." (Commentary Romans 10)

But, notice how even Gill has departed from the views of the first Baptists of the Confessions, from Spilsbury. Spilsbury wants to know if those who die in infancy and yet who go to heaven are capable subjects of glory? If they are, then they would be capable subjects of regeneration. If not, they would not be capable of regeneration. Gill asks if they can be degenerated and then reasons that if they can experience degeneration, why not regeneration?

Now, to summarize, we note Spilsbury's Position:

"(1) Baptists didn't deny infant salvation, simply left unrevealed concepts alone;

(2) Spilsbury stated that none would be saved without a knowledge of God and Christ.

B. Bakewell's Position:

(1) Infants are a case of those saved who have no knowledge of God or Jesus Christ.

(2) Bakewell affirmed 2 types of saved people:

a. Those with the faith of ADHERENCE, they live a godly life but lack clear evidence that God is reconciled to them in Christ; p. 2

b. Those who have the faith of EVIDENCE, p. 2.


Again, Hardshells must line up with Bakewell, not Spilsbury.

Said one writer:

"John Spilsbery...did not affirm infant damnation. His position on the infant's state is clear and represents the early Baptist position. The ridiculous insertion of elect infants as found the Second London Confession was totally unknown to the arguments and faith of John Spilsbery and those who follows him as he followed the Apostle Paul who followed Jesus Christ.

And to affirm this to be God's way to bring persons to the faith, by working so upon them by His Spirit in their infancy, argues some ignorance of the true nature and work of grace, as the Gospel holds it forth.

I can certainly say "amen" to that.

May 11, 2007

Mohler On The Supper

Recently I have been having a difficulty alligning myself with those Baptist churches that discriminate against all Christian social drinkers and who have gone to such an extreme on abstinance that they do not use fermented wine in the Lord's Supper, although it was fine with Christ and the early church, and fine with our Baptist forefathers. I have often said that men are prone to go to an extreme themselves when they are opposing an extreme. I recently posted some information on Baptist "Church Covenants" and the "abstinance clause," making the comment that these churches violate Paul's injunctive, "Let no one judge you in regard to food or drink." (Col. 2: 16) I also plan to post more notes on this topic. What is a little ironic is that I was listening, this past Wednesday, to the Al Mohler daily radio program when the question of using fermented wine and unleavened bread came up for Dr. Mohler to address. Here is the transcript.

“We have another question that came in, and its another one of these interesting questions, that you know has to come out of some very fascinating conversation in terms of the local church. Here’s the question.”

“We have a Christian friend who has been attending our church for many years. He will not partake of communion as he believes the elements should be what Jesus used – wine and unleavened bread. He believes that unleavened bread symbolizes purity and that wine was used by the church until prohibition. What should our response be to him or is he more correct than we are?”

"I guess the next question would be, if we change the original elements why could we not change it to other items as pizza and coke?"

Raymond asked that question.

"Raymond, let me tell you about that last point, you haven’t come up with something that college students or someone else hasn’t tried before. Back in the 1970's, back during the Jesus People Movement, they were calling communion just about anything, with whatever elements they had at hand. The point, I think, of obedience to Christ, in the Supper, is to do what Jesus commanded us to do, and he gave us two elements. The elements were wine and bread. Now, when the New Testament uses the word “wine” (oinos), it refers to just what you’re thinking of as “wine.” But, it was not a highly fermented grape beverage and we know that from first century sources and we know that from the practice of the time. But, it was grape juice. I see nothing wrong whatsoever with using grape juice, either fermented or not, in terms of the Lord’s Supper, in terms of obedience to the command of Christ. The fermentation can’t be the issue.

The issue of bread. Did Jesus use unleavened bread? Well we know, in all likelihood, that he must have. Because, after all, during the Passover that is what the Jews would have used. But that does not appear to be the central point in terms of the bread. He refers to it as bread and wine and so do we when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper even if its leavened bread and grape juice. I don’t see that as a problem."

Al Mohler Radio Program Wed. May 9th, 2007

I could not believe that a man of the caliber of Dr. Mohler could take such a position. Shocking! As you can see, he did not really answer the man's question. All he gave us was expressions as it "does not appear to be the central point," and "I don't see that as a problem," and "I see nothing wrong whatsoever with using grape juice."

Yes, he could condemn the "Jesus People" for using pizza or any other "elements at hand," for a Communion Service, because the elements were not simply bread or grape juice, but he sees no problem with the bread being "leavened" or the wine being "unfermented."

Has Dr. Mohler forgotten these passages?

"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (I Cor. 5: 7,8)

"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread." (I Cor. 10: 16,17)

The church, being the "body of Christ," is typified, as is his physical body, in the "one loaf of bread." That "one loaf" is "UNLEAVENED"! Leaven is sin and corruption, in the Scriptures, as Dr. Mohler ought to know.

"When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 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. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."
(I Cor. 11: 20-34)

How a man can read this, admit that the wine here was fermented, admit here that the bread was unleavened, and then say, "well, I really don't think it is important to use exactly the same elements as Christ," is beyond me to understand, especially from someone like Dr. Mohler.

When we use leavened bread, we are affirming that the body of Christ, both his physical body and his mystical body (the church) are impure and corrupt! That loaf is a pure loaf! Dr. Mohler thinks it not important to have pure bread?

We also use unleavened wine, wine that is fully fermented, made pure, for how else could it be symbolic of Christ's blood, the life of the church, and literally be the "pure blood of the grape"?

Again, I will have more to say on this, in upcoming blogs, and I do plan to send a copy of this blog to Dr. Mohler together with others I plan to write on this issue.