I have always been a member of the (multiple cup) church of Christ. But, I was just reading some info. from a book written by Garland Smith. Can you tell me why we believe in having classes and multiple cups in the communion?
Cup as used in the New Testament when Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper had reference to the contents and not the container. Jesus did not bless the container but the contents, they did not drink the container but the contents. Those who today use one cup usually use at least two. I grew up in such a place where we used two goblets not just one. For a congregation of any size it would be impossible to have a single container large enough to accommodate the whole congregation. If they have two why not three, four or more. Furthermore it is more sanitary for everyone concerned to have individual containers. I have heard people say well, the Lord would not allow some contagious disease to be transmitted by using just one cup for everyone. Would you want to drink out of the same container some snuff dipping, tobacco chewing person has just drunk from? How about someone who has a contagious disease like tuberculosis that has not been diagnosed? The Lord expects us to use common sense and it is plain common sense to let each person have an uncontaminated individual container. When one uses an individual container one is still drinking the fruit of the vine and doing so in memory of Christ's death per his instructions. As to utilizing classes that too is just plain common sense. We are taught in the scriptures to teach the word of God to everyone. Elders are commanded to feed the flock and it is not speaking of food for the body but rather the soul. A little child is not capable of learning on the adult level and the adult does not need spiritual pablum. The teenager needs lessons relevant to his/her situation and it is just plain common sense again that we teach on levels wherein the most can be accomplished for the Lord. The important thing to remember here is that the Word of God be taught by God fearing teachers, and not the number of classes that are utilized.
Should the members of a church partake in the Lord's Supper when there is a division in the church. The pastor is part of the problem. He has turned members against members. But, yet he refuse to take responsibility for what has happen. Everyone fault but his.
It is tragic when severe problems arise in a congregation - however, the Lord Supper is for the purpose of remembering the Lord and his death for our sins. One can and should partake of the supper because this is something the Lord ask us to do.it - Matthew 26:26-29.
The Lord's Supper
On the occasion of Jesus final meal with the twelve disciples on the night of his betrayal and arrest, He took unleavened bread used in the Passover feast and blessed and broke it, and distributed it among the diciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body. And He took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But this I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day I drink it new with you in my fathers kingdom" (Matthew 26:26-29). Thus we see that the communion or Lords Supper represents the body and blood of Jesus that was offered for our sins.
Christians partake of the Lords Supper every first day of the week in commemoration of our Lords death until he comes again (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). We note that the early church observed this memorial on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). There is no Biblical account of New Testament Christians observing the Lords Supper any other time than the first day of the week or the Lords day as it is called in Revelation 1:10. If we are going to follow the example of the early church we will confine our observance to that day, but we will observe it every Lords day not just on a certain few Lords days each year.
While the observance is designed for those who have put their Lord on in obedience we are not in the position to forbid anyones participation. Paul the apostle said, "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup" (1 Corinthians 11:28). Pauls statement was directed to New Testament Christians and the benefits of proper observance are confined it appears to the same, however, it does not appear that others will be condemned if they choose to particiapte in the observance.