March 13th, 2003
Well, I think what I am saying is that I agree with you that the Lord’s Supper is a corporate action–that it is corporate worship. Would you agree that when the church partakes of the Lord’s supper the church, as a body, is worshipping and as such is engaging in a corporate action? I think you would. Correct me if I am wrong about that. However, within that command to worship corporately, there is also the command for each individual to examine himself and I believe we agree here as well. We both agree that the commands to the individuals in 1 Corinthians11 do not militate against the commands to the church in 1 Corinthians11. There is individual action in the context of corporate action. Now, where we disagree is that I believe the same thing about Galatians 6:1-10. YES, there are commands to individuals in Galatians 6:1-10, but it is within the context of the corporate action of the church bringing the wayward back to their fellowship and these individual actions of Galatians 6:1-10 do not militate against the expected corporate action of the church.
Looking at it from a slightly different perspective, your point regarding the context of Galatians 6:1 where you emphasize “looking to yourselves lest YOU also be tempted” is exactly the same kind of thing that a hypothetical someone could say in regard to 1 Corinthians 11:28, “But let A MAN examine himself and so let HIM eat of that bread. . . .” In other words, hypothetically, someone could use the same hermeneutic that you use when interpreting Galatians 6:1-10–someone could use that same hermeneutic on 1 Corinthians 11:23-34 and come to the conclusion that you come to in Galatians 6:1-10–that the context merely talking about INDIVIDUAL action. MY contention regarding both Gal.6:1-10 and 1 Corinthians11:23-34 is that just because there is language addressed to individuals in those particular contexts does not necessarily imply that in those contexts there is no corporate instruction as well. In other words, you have to make the case that Galatians 6:1-10 CANNOT be speaking about any corporate activity whatsoever. What is it that forces me to the conclusion regarding Galatians 6:1-10 that absolutely positively no corporate action is being addressed in this passage? It just isn’t enough to say, as you say, (and I am paraphrasing) “there is some language addressed to individuals in that context, so therefore, the whole context must be talking to individuals.” I am saying that the same type of reasoning could be applied to 1 Corinthians 11 and one come to the same conclusions, using your hermeneutic.