Paedocommunionists urge that the privilege of partaking of the Lord's Supper belongs to all church members as church members. This raises the question whether there are any privileges that a paedocommunionist believes the Scripture to forbid a child member from exercising. In other words, paedocommunion calls into question the integrity of the communing/non-communing member distinction, and may even call into question the distinction itself. A whole host of pastoral questions surface. Is a six or seven year old member of the church entitled to vote in congregational elections? To stand for church office, if the congregation so desires? What about church discipline? In the Presbyterian Church in America, there are special procedures for discipline of non-communing members. Would a paedocommunionist understand young members of the church to be subject to the same formal judicial process to which communing members are subject?
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Challenging The Communing/Non-Communing Distinction?
Posted by Adam Parker
This is an open question to paedocommunionists. The question was actually raised by Guy Waters and Ligon Duncan as I was reading through their book Children and the Lord's Supper (on page 27). In the introductory chapter, they discuss troubling questions which paedocommunion raises. In particular, they bring up the paedocommunionist argument that if one is a baptized member of the church (regardless of age) then one should not be restricted from participating in the life of the church, including - of course - communion.