Puritan News Weekly receives various and sundry questions from its readers. Here is a question we recently received:
> One question I have is regarding the Lord's supper. I could never understand why the Lord's Supper is so different from the rest of worship that someone can be banned from it but not the other aspects
(except maybe hearing the word read and preached). I know that it was the practice of the early church but how can this be supported by scripture? If someone sings psalms and isn't regenerate, isn't it
still sinfull since he has to have a new heart to glorify God (otherwise it's like taking God's name in vain to them)? Why the Lord's supper only?
And here was our response:
The Lord's Supper should only be partaken by those who are worthy to partake (I Corinthians 11:27). They can only partake who are sufficiently knowledgeable of the Christian faith so as to be able to examine themselves based upon the precepts of the Christian faith (I Corinthians 11:28). While Jesus Christ preached the gospel indiscriminately to the multitudes, it was only the trained disciples who
partook with Him in the Lord's Supper at its institution. The elders of the church must make sure professing Christian disciples who are living scandalously are not permitted to partake of the feast (I Corinthians 5:7-8).
While it is true that to listen to preaching or to sing the Psalms insincerely is sinful, we never read that the elders are to try to fence who listens and who sings. Nor is there evidence that someone must have a certain amount of knowledge of the Christian faith to listen or sing. Indeed, all evidence indicates even the children are to participate in these aspects of worship.
I hope that helps you understand why the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland (FPCS), along with the early Christian church and the historic Reformed Protestant churches, admit to the table of the Lord only catechized Christian disciples who are living in evangelical obedience insofar as the elders are able reasonably to determine, and why even then the disciples individually should examine themselves whether they can partake worthily.