1 Corinthians 11:11-29 (ESV)- Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.
I am a POISON-GIVER. People do not know that I give out poison every Sunday.
This poison is worse than what the Reverend Jim Jones poured into the Kool Aid he made his followers drink.
Jim Jones’ poison killed people’s body- but it didn’t affect their souls. The poison I hand out every Sunday doesn’t seem to work automatically- because it is “time-released.” My poison is patient… Unless the participant takes proper action (repentance), this poison will not only kill the body…it has the power to rightly cast the soul into hell.
Matthew 10:28 (NIV)- Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
The poison I hand out ever Sunday is the sacramental body and blood of Jesus Christ.
It is my responsibility to look after the spiritual health of the Christian community. As a Pastor of a Christian congregation, I am ordained to be the chief steward of God’s “means of grace” to His people.
But I have failed, as most Pastors have. The ignorant and the ungodly demand Holy Communion as if it were something frivolous- a token of permissive (and careless) love. It is the responsibility of Pastors to withhold Holy Communion even to congregations where the love of Christ is not tangibly evident (John 13:35; Galatians 5:15).
It was St. Ignatius of Antioch (the disciple of St. John) who first called Holy Communion “The Medicine of Immortality” in his letter to the Ephesians 20.2. But a person who does not love God in Jesus Christ, is actually eating and drinking death unto himself.
As a Pastor I am supposed to stop anyone from participating in the Sacrament who is evidently not devoted to God according to the Apostolic standard (2 Corinthian 5:15).
As God’s chief steward, I have the pastoral authority to give Communion to those who might not seem to fulfill the requirements for partaking of the Sacrament… especially when I have judged in righteousness and compassion. I also have the pastoral authority to lovingly and authoritatively withhold Communion from anyone who is not devoted to God and to the fellowship of the believers. (Acts 2:42-47)
I have done so in the past…but not without repercussions. My family and I know in the flesh what it feels like to suffer the backlash for the “crime” of not freely distributing the poison they so irrationally crave.
So like the great majority of Pastors in our nation… I hand out the Medicine of Immortality to those who do not want to live devoted lives to Christ Jesus. I do so knowingly. I hand out Communion to the ones who do not love Him- to the accursed (1 Cor. 16:22)
The Medicine of Immortality becomes the poison that rightly condemns- them for not loving God; me for not loving them enough to withhold the poison.
I am a Poison-Giver. I am worse than Jim Jones… and so is your Pastor.
*Inspired by Srila Prabhupada’s Purport for Baghavad-Gita As It Is 1.36 and to his godly disciple, Kartikeya.