For Christ's Crown and Covenant

What about Paedocommunion?

Any study of the Lord’s supper would not be complete without considering the question: Who are the proper recipients of communion? As one aspect of this question, we will consider the issue of paedocommunion. The term paedocommunion refers to the teaching that infants and toddlers of believing parents who are members of the church are entitled to receive the elements of the Lord’s supper. A consideration of this doctrine is important for a number of reasons:
First, paedocommunion is a repudiation of the teachings of all the Protestant Reformers as well as all the Reformed symbols regarding the proper recipients of communion. As Reformed Presbyterians, we adhere wholeheartedly to the Westminster Standards which are explicitly anti- paedocommunion (see Confession of Faith, 29:1, 3, 7, 8; Shorter Catechism, Q 91, 96, 97; Larger Catechism Q 170, 171, 172, 174, 175, 177). The standard Reformed position (briefly stated) is that the elements of the Lord Supper are only to be received by church members who are old enough to examine themselves and receive the elements by faith.
Second, the teaching of paedocommunion has spread rapidly throughout both Presbyterian and Dutch Reformed circles in the last thirty years. If paedocommunion is contrary to Scripture and the Reformed Standards (which it clearly is), then Reformed believers need to understand the arguments for paedocommunion and refute them effectively based on proper biblical interpretation of Scripture (i.e., the historical-grammatical-theological method).
Third, the arguments for paedocommunion are often attractive to people who hold to covenant theology yet are untrained in biblical hermeneutics (i.e. the science of interpretation), theology and church history.
Fourth, the doctrine of paedocommunion often leads to or is connected with other false and dangerous teachings (e.g., sacramentalism [i.e., the sacraments operate automatically or magically, ex opere operato], mysticism [e.g., the “creative” hermeneutics of James Jordan and the rejection of Reformed worship in favor of Eastern Orthodox concepts of worship] and the rejection of the biblical distinction between the invisible and visible church, etc.)

Read more: Paedocommunion: A Biblical Examination by Brian Schwertley


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