If you are mad at someone or they are mad at you are you supposed to avoid communion?


Let us see what the Bible says about this: Matt 5:23-24 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”  NIV

The message is clear, practice what you believe.  Don’t bring a gift of reconciliation to God if you have not set straight something that a brother has against you.  It is your duty to set that straight!

In the verse we read-Matthew 5:23,24, Jesus says: if you realize someone has something against you, (that is, if its your fault,) then you go to them and settle it.  But He addresses the other scenario in Matthew 18:15.  “If your brother sins against you, (that is, if its their fault) then you go to him....!"  Whether we like it or not -- when a relationship breaks down, regardless of who is at fault, Jesus puts the burden on you and on me to initiate reconciliation.

Why?

1. As a witness to the world

John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  NIV

2. As we are forgiven by God

Eph 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  NIV

Matt 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  NIV

Matt 18:35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."  NIV

Mark 11:25 “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”  NIV

You can’t be forgiven by God if you can’t forgive others!  You can’t harbour ill feelings towards others and then pray for God to bless you.  The whole gospel message can be summarized by one word: Forgiveness.  If we can’t forgive others, we have not understood the gospel message!

3. To follow Jesus example

Acts 13:38-39 “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.”  NIV

This is the heart of the gospel message: forgiveness.

Eph 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  NIV

Col 3:13 3 “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  NIV

How often should we forgive our brothers?

Luke 17:3-4 “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.  If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him.”  NIV

Matt 18:21-22 “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?  Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”  NIV

In other words, if you have Jesus in you, you will be enabled to forgive others all the time.

Some practical advice: James 1:19 “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” NIV

Wow! Are you ready to put into practice what you have learned?  The gospel message is not a message of retaliation and condemning people to hell.  It’s a message of reconciliation and forgiveness.  Are you ready to put into practice the loving message Jesus Christ gave to us?  Forgiveness will set you free from the burden of unforgiveness and retaliation.  It will set you free to cast all your burdens to Jesus and experience true inner peace Matt 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  NIV  If you want to experience true freedom, why don’t you come to Jesus now and answer His call at http://www.answers2prayer.org/saviours_call.html.

Rob Chaffart

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John 6:53 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54) Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 5)5 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56) Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57) Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58) This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever."

It doesn't say that we should not take communion if we are mad at someone. It states that we will have eternal life if we are to eat His flesh and drink His blood. But, I guess we could go to the popular saying of "What Would Jesus Do?" Okay, we know that Jesus doesn't want anger between people. He wants love. His most treasured commandment. We are to turn the other cheek. We are to forgive if the Lord is to forgive us. By not forgiving and letting go of ones anger and indulging in communion just isn't right because you are not in the correct frame of mind. You are not letting the Holy Spirit into your heart, you are yielding to "Self." Cast off the opinions of yourself and open your heart to the Lord and let Him in. Once you do that, then you are in the right frame of mind to take communion.

DeeDee

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There are degrees. If you hate someone, no do not take communion. Hate is the opposite of love and Christ is Love.

Dislikes, uncomfortable, it depends upon the depth of feeling. One must come before the table with a clean spirit, however, we are never perfect. Perhaps taking communion for the one we are having problems with would be a step in the right direction, a step towards forgiveness for ourselves and for the other.

B. J. Cassady

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YES, until you get it straighten out with them. if you don't you are taking of the body and blood unworthily and it could cause you to have a early death. Now some people won't reconcile with you, but if you have done all you can to be reconciled with them, you leave it in the hands of the Lord and find your place at the communion table

Lgore1944@aol.com

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The answer is - OF COURSE NOT! Scripture says, "When you are giving your gift and there remember . . ." Coming to the Eucharist is not giving a gift to God, it is receiving the ultimate gift from God in physical form. When you remember something against someone else, put your offering in your pocket or purse. That is a gift we are giving to God, specifically, returning the gift God gave us back to God's ministry. Churches would spend more time reconciling brothers and sisters to one another if they knew the gifts were to be less, instead of just hoping someone we are angry with "finds another Church where they're comfortable" and thus avoiding honest reconcilation. It attacks our pride, but pride gets in the way of worship also! PEACE and JOY!

Pastor Paul FitzPatrick

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It is unfortunate that for many communion is viewed at something we do for ourselves. There is any work, rite, practice, or prayer that we do that exists outside of grace. Holy Communion is a gift Christ Jesus gave to us. How do we become worthy of gifts?

In Martin Luther's Large Catechism he addressed the issue of worthiness in receiving communion, saying, "What should draw and even impel you to come is that Christ wishes it and that it will please Him. You should never again let yourself be forced by men into the faith or into any good work. All that we are doing is to urge you to do what you ought to do, not for our sake but for your own. Your Lord invites and encourages you: if you despise that, then you yourself must answer for it....But suppose you say, "What if I feel unfit?"

Answer: I am tempted the same way, which is a carry-over from our former situation under the Pope. There we tortured ourselves with efforts to become so totally pure that God might not find the least flaw in us; as a result we all became so timid that we easily took fright and would say, "O how unfit I am." At that point human nature and reason begin to measure our unworthiness against the greatness of the Sacrament's priceless treasure, in comparison with which our unrighteousness seems like a smoke-darkened lantern in the brightness of the sun, or like junk in comparison with jewelry. Nature and reason, seeing this contrast, keep people from going to the Sacrament until they feel more prepared. But one week become another, and on half-year leads to the next.

If you insist on weighing how good and pure you are and if you wait until you feel no stings of conscience, you will never approach the Lord's Table.... But he who really wants grace and consolation should push himself into going and should let no one make him shy away. What he should say is, "I would really like to be worthy, but I come not on the basis of any worthiness in me but on account of Your Word, because You commanded it, and no matter what the state of my worthiness, I want to be a follower of Yours." This is a difficult things to say and do, for there is always this obstacle and hindrance, that we focus more on our own selves than on the words from the lips of Christ. For human nature likes to act only when it feels sure that it can stand solidly on its own merits; otherwise it won't budge."

Pastor Paul Wigtil Word of Life Free Lutheran Church Mankato, MN

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NOT avoid, but delay or repent. In other words, take care of it...reconcile with them...

The verse that comes to mind is from the sermon on the mount: If you are at the altar and remember that your brother had offended you, you are to go and be reconciled to him and then come back to the altar. Paraphrase mine. This is the verse God uses on me...

In accordance with scripture and in reverence to my God, I let the Holy Spirit search my heart before I take the elements of Holy Communion. At least two times, God has reminded me of someone that had offended me and I needed to be reconciled to. I decided both times to heed God's Holy Spirit of conviction. I passed up communion and immediately went to the person who I would rather not talk to. God insisted that I be His ambassador of reconciliation.

This is similar to another place in the Sermon on the Mount where God says He will not forgive us if we do not forgive those who wrong us. God bases our relationship with Him on how we treat the people He has created, for He has created them in His image. We are the ones who think we are more important than other people. God does not think you and I are MORE important than anyone. We are all equally valuable.

Jesus established everyone's worth as priceless when He died on the cross for all of mankind.

 Todd Shilt



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