Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 30 image

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 30

[I had a long conversation with a good friend of mine about "online church" this week, and much of our conversation revolved around whether, and how, you can meaningfully take the Lord's Supper if you're not physically present. It was a fascinating discussion. Heidelberg has no notion of that sort of thing, obviously, but

*Q81. Who should come
to the Lord’s table?

A81. Those who are displeased with themselves
because of their sins,
but who nevertheless trust
that their sins are pardoned
and that their remaining weakness is covered
by the suffering and death of Christ,
and who also desire more and more
to strengthen their faith
and to lead a better life.
Hypocrites and those who are unrepentant, however,
eat and drink judgment on themselves.

Q82. Should those be admitted
to the Lord’s Supper
who show by what they profess and how they live
that they are unbelieving and ungodly?

A82. No, that would dishonor God’s covenant
and bring down God’s wrath upon the entire congregation.
Therefore, according to the instruction of Christ
and his apostles,
the Christian church is duty-bound to exclude such people,
by the official use of the keys of the kingdom,
until they reform their lives.

*The original version omits Q80, on the differences between the Lord’s Supper and the Roman Catholic mass.

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