Lord's Supper Heads of household dispensing elements

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WestminsterOP-Pastor

Puritan Board Freshman
Can anyone give me a summary of the usual arguments against allowing a head of a household to decide whether his wife and children should or should not receive the elements.

I practice WCF 27:4 "Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord: neither of which may be dispensed by any, but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained.
And
WCF 29:3 "The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed His ministers to declare His word of institution to the people; to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and... to give both to the communicants; but to none who are not then present in the congregation."

I am assuming that those in reformed churches who do permit heads of household to dispense the elements to their family can read the confession as well as I can, so I conclude they must h ave more to say on the matter.

I am waiting for a copy of Leonard J. Coppes's book," Daddy, May I Take Communion?"
Any insights much appreciated.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
The "head of household" is not a minister of Word and sacrament, nor he as an elder to dispense church discipline.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
The Lord's Supper and Baptism are given to the church and must, therefore, be regulated by the church.

The rod of discipline is given to the family and must, therefore, be regulated by the family.

It would be just as inappropriate for a father to administer the sacraments to his family as it would be for the pastor to spank the children of his congregation.
 

WestminsterOP-Pastor

Puritan Board Freshman
Gentlemen,
Your responses both match the extracts I quoted. I was particularly asking for additional or further argumentation, particularly that found in Coppes's book," Daddy, May I Take Communion?"
Any help appreciated.
JH
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
It's usually associated with the Federal Vision, at least in my experience, and the advocates generally say things like "it's a minority position in the OPC so it's fine". Very few advocates actually care about the Confession, so don't look for arguments in favor of it coming from the Confession.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
One way you might approach this is ask what the argumentation is FOR allowing a "head of household" to substitute for an officer of Christ's church.

I suspect it will amount to having some sort of over-realization of the man being spiritual head of his household or somehow he being a "priest" for the family.

The need for men to lead their families is clear and very, very important and much neglected in our generation, but it's not the same thing as replacing the church visible, its governance and authority.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I don't know how many additional arguments you need to combat such a notion. In addition to Scott's suggestion above you might ask which churches or denominations have over the last 2000 years ever held to such a view.

Are you dealing with arguments from one of your congregants or from another pastor?
 

sdesocio

Puritan Board Freshman
I'd bet that the argument is practically reverse engineered. Something like: 'Reformed Churches have often had people other than the minister of the Word aid in the distribution of the element, ie Ruling Elders, Deacons and other members. Why not have those people helping be heads of household when possible?'
 

Weston Stoler

Puritan Board Sophomore
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The Lord's Supper and Baptism are given to the church and must, therefore, be regulated by the church.

The rod of discipline is given to the family and must, therefore, be regulated by the church.

It would be just as inappropriate for a father to administer the sacraments to his family as it would be for the pastor to spank the children of his congregation.

I have slight dyslexia so whehn I read "It would be just as inappropriate for a father to administer the sacraments to his family as it would be for the pastor to spank the children of his congregation"

I read this instead
"It would be just as appropriate for a father to administer the sacraments to his family as it would be for the pastor to spank the members of his congregation"

and I had a little chuckle
 

WestminsterOP-Pastor

Puritan Board Freshman
Pastor Klein,
I'l decline to answer your last question in a public forum like this. I will agree that the two portions of the confession I cited and the comments you and others added SHOULD decide the matter and thus end discussion- but in almost all the larger confessional denominations and in some of the smaller ones this practice is found. I'm looking for a potted outline of Coppes' arguments before buying his book
 
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