August 20, 2017

Third Affirmative

By Douglas T. Hawkins 

Proposition: The Scriptures teach that the cup (drinking vessel) in the communion represents the New Covenant. 

When a man is unable to overthrow the truths of an argument by pointing out the fallacy of what has been stated, he must resort to tactics that divert the audience’s attention away from the issues of the discussion. This is precisely what brother Moore has done in his opening paragraph and with the other unrelated matters he has introduced in his second negative. I guess now would be as good a time as any to give him (with sympathy) #13 to add to his lengthy grocery list of complaints. Brother Moore has clearly evaded his responsibility in this discussion as the negative. A great part of my second affirmative dealt with metaphors and metonymy in answer to his objections that I ignored these figures of speech. In responding, he didn’t say a word against it. Why not? Either he plainly could not answer what I have written or else he purposely is waiting until his last article to say something about it so I will not have the chance to respond to him. I need to remind him that it’s his job to take up my arguments and not vice versa. Also, if brother Moore seriously wants to confuse my attack of his error with a personal attack of his character, then I feel terribly sorry for him. Despite brother Moore’s allegation that “(I) ignored (his) rebuttal arguments,” I want to pick up where I left off and quickly cover the rest of the relevant material that I did not have the space to address the last time. Then I’ll note his second article. 

“In Remembrance” 

Brother Moore contends that the proposition is untrue because it does not serve to meet W.E. Vine’s opinion of “affectionately calling that person to mind.” Brother Moore’s conclusion is that the bread is a fair representation of Christ’s body and that the fruit of the vine fairly represents Christ’s blood, but he can’t see how a “container” would serve the purpose of calling someone to mind. Let’s help him. Brother Moore, Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant (Heb. 7:22; 8:6). To have a symbol of that covenant is to have something that reminds us of what he accomplished, the ratification of this new and better covenant. To remember what Christ accomplished is to remember him. Brother Moore, in his first article, also said that a number of things are stated in connection with the shedding of Christ’s blood (i.e., the remission of sins, the purchasing of the church, etc.). Yes, but Christ didn’t say anything represented the remission of sins or that anything symbolized the church. What he did say though is that something represents the new covenant. What is it? Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant” (Luke 22:20). Of the cup that Christ took in his hand, he said, “This cup” represents the new covenant. Elmer denies it, but the Lord still said it. 

“Only Two Elements” 

Brother Moore also quoted 1 Corinthians 10:16 and stated that there are only two elements of significance mentioned in the communion, the body and the blood. In addition, in the questions of his last article, he pointed out that we would only be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord if we partook unworthily (1 Cor. 11:27) and that nothing is said “of the covenant” to indicate a third element in the communion. First, the reason is because it is established in several other places in the Scriptures that the blood of Christ is the “blood of the new covenant”; therefore, it does not need to be stated again. Brother Moore I’m embarrassed for you. I thought you knew that. You see friend, Brother Moore’s sectarian argument proves nothing. (The sectarian will argue that Jesus, in the latter half of Mark 16:16, didn’t say “and is not baptized” attempting to prove that baptism is unessential to salvation. That must be where brother Moore learned his argument. I think I can help him though.) (Brother Moore, I’ll be very glad to correspond with you when this is over.) Secondly, to enjoy the communion of the blood of Christ is also to share in the fellowship of the new covenant, but conversely, to splash carelessly through the blood of Christ is to desecrate that one ratified agreement. Thirdly, so closely connected are the blood and the new covenant (as I pointed out in my first affirmative) that to state one would be to imply the integral relationship of the other. Fourthly, Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:16 and 11:27 didn’t assign representative significance to any element of the communion. The Lord had already done that. Jesus said regarding the cup that he took, “This cup is the new covenant” (Luke 22:20), giving it just as much importance in the Lord’s supper as the bread and the fruit of the vine. Basically, brother Moore’s objection comes down to this: Paul only mentioned the body and the blood and said nothing of the covenant in 1 Corinthians 10:16 and 11:27. Therefore, he concludes that there are only two significant elements in the communion. Brother Moore, where in Acts 20:7 or 2:42 when discussing the breaking of bread does it say anything about drinking the fruit of the vine? Do these verses teach that there is only one significant element in the communion? 

“The NASV”

In quoting this particular translation of Luke 22:20, brother Moore has sought to prove that Luke teaches the “cup is the blood.” However, this particular version inaccurately translates the passage. The phrase “which is poured out for you” doesn’t modify “cup” as the NASV has rendered it. Rather, the phrase modifies blood. The New King James Version says in Luke 22:20 “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” Another translation says, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” In these other translations the sense is not that the cup was poured out, but that the blood was poured out or shed for us, which is vastly different from the NASV. Which translation is right? Let’s ask ourselves, what was shed or poured out for us? A cup? Fruit of the vine? Blood? Obviously, it was blood. To translate the passage as “This cup, which is poured out for you” is to say that Christ poured out a cup or shed fruit of the vine for us. Is that what you believe brother Moore? Christ didn’t shed a cup nor did he shed fruit of the vine. Secondly, if brother Moore’s reasoning is right, the pas- sage means the blood is (represents) the new covenant. It would not mean that the cup is (represents) the blood as he has concluded. The passage in the NASV says, “This cup (symbol of blood according to E.M.) which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Hence, the blood is (represents) the new covenant. That is completely absurd. The blood was shed to ratify the covenant, but it is not a symbol of that covenant. The blood and the covenant are two separate things. Brother Moore’s main problem is that he cannot see that the statement “This . . . is the new covenant” means that something symbolizes the new covenant. He can see that the statement “This is my blood” means that something represents the blood, but he can’t see the truth that something represents the new covenant. Will you base your faith upon this faulty translation? Brother Moore has. 

 “The Order of Record” 

Brother Moore has stated a number of times (as innumerable as Abraham’s descendants I believe) throughout this exchange that “the order of record is not always the order of occurrence.” In the preceding article, he said that I ought to be ashamed for accusing him of arbitrarily relocating words within a sentence. Let’s look at his application of Luke 22:20 in light of his example in Romans 10:9 because they are nothing alike. Maybe then we can determine where the shame rightfully belongs. In Romans 10:9, we all know that belief precedes a confession of our faith. Notice, that “confessing with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believing in our hearts that God raised him from the dead” are two finished and complete thoughts that are understood in their proper sequence. However, this example is a far cry from saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” means that the cup (contents) represents the new covenant (actually the blood) because the order of record is not al- ways the order of occurrence. To say that faith naturally precedes our confession doesn’t alter the truth of either statement, but to say that “This cup is the new covenant,” teaches that the contents represent the blood changes the thought altogether. Brother Moore, is the order of record ever the order of occurrence? If so, how shall we know when it is? (Oh yeah, I forgot. You will correspond with me.) Brethren, if the statement “this is my body” means that something represents the body, and the statement “this is my blood” means that something represents the blood, then why, oh why, pray tell does the statement “This . . . is the new covenant” not mean that something represents the new covenant? I believe I should say, “Shame on you” brother Moore. These statements are not the same as you have said, and yes, you have arbitrarily changed the words within the sentence of Luke 22:20. Furthermore, I have comparatively shown the difference in the statements: “This cup (filled with fruit of vine) is the new covenant in my blood” and “this (the fruit of vine in the cup) is my blood of the new covenant” in my first two affirmatives. Despite the insinuation that you, the reader, are too doltish to understand such a “conglomerated process,” we clearly see that these statements affirm two different, yet complimentary, truths. (Perhaps brother Moore can correspond with you after he’s finished with me.) 

“My Waterloo” 

Much to my chagrin, my contention that the literal container represents the new covenant has been “totally devastated” because: (1) Brother Moore has turned my illustration of the boiling kettle against me. (2) Thayer and Bullinger actually agree with brother Moore. (3) I have contradictingly said the literal container represents both the blood and the new covenant. “It” in Luke 22:17 — brother Moore contends that since the pronoun “it” in Luke 22:17 is used to refer metonymically to the contents of the cup that I’m wrong in what I’ve contended for. The only problem is that it is in Luke 22:20 (not v. 17) that Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant.” The demonstrative pronoun “this” shows that Christ was referring to “the cup” that he had just taken. If it is solely the contents that are considered as brother Moore has insisted, why did Jesus say “this cup”? The Lord just as easily could have said this fruit of the vine to indicate only the contents. Why did Christ refer to the container at all? Furthermore, if it’s the contents that represent the blood why did Jesus say, “This . . . is the new covenant in my blood,” meaning that this is the agreement ratified by my blood? In Matthew and Mark Jesus said, “This is my blood,” but according to Luke the Lord also said, “This . . . is the new covenant.” If the Lord wanted something to symbolize the ratified new covenant, what language would he have had to use? Clearly, it re- quires the container and its contents together to represent both the new covenant and the blood of Christ. Jesus said, “This cup (filled with fruit of vine) is the new covenant in my blood.” It comes down to this: do you believe the Lord meant what he said? 

Thayer and Bullinger — Brother Moore says that these scholars “establish precisely what [he has] been arguing, that the container is named for its contents.” Of all the assumptive, specious, and tenuous things I’ve ever read, this tops them all. Brother Moore you need to reread what these men have written because they changed their minds. They don’t agree with you after all. In fact, Thayer on page 15 said the cup represents the new covenant and the wine represents the blood. Bullinger said the nouns in a metaphor must both be mentioned and are to be taken absolutely literally. In other words, literal fruit of the vine represents the literal blood of Christ and a literal cup represents the literal covenant. (Brother Moore’s desultory remarks about the Catholics are altogether irrelevant.) Why didn’t you deal with Thayer and Bullinger? You plainly ignored these points, Brother Moore. 

Contradictions — Time and again brother Moore has said that I have made Luke contradict Matthew and Mark by saying that the container represents both the blood and the new covenant. I’ve said no such thing. What I have said speaks for itself. This is just another classic example of brother Moore’s sly misrepresentations. I’ve said the fruit of the vine symbolizes the blood and the cup represents the new covenant. I’ve noted that these two elements must be together before anything is emblemized in the communion (see the end of my first affirmative). Now then, I don’t have to distort what Elmer has written to show his discrepancy. Brother Moore has continuously said: The cup (contents — fruit of vine) is the blood and the cup (contents) is the new covenant. Can’t you see brother Moore that your reasoning has Luke contradicting Matthew and Mark? The reader and I can. It’s not Napoleon Hawkins who has met his Waterloo. It’s Elmer Bonaparte. Finally, as to your question, there is no place in Luke or 1 Corinthians where the Bible teaches the fruit of vine represents the blood. That teaching is found in Matthew 26:28 and Mark 14:24. Let me ask you, where in Acts 2:38 is faith taught? Does the fact that it is not void the role of repentance in the plan of salvation? 

Conclusion 

Brethren, the issue boils down to this: do you accept what the Lord said? Jesus didn’t say “this cup is my blood,” nor did he say “this fruit of the vine is the new covenant.” What the Lord could have said, he didn’t. The Lord said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.” Elmer hasn’t been debating me. He’s been debating the Lord. This isn’t about what Doug Hawkins said. This is about what the Lord said and whether or not the Lord meant exactly what he did say. Why does brother Moore take exception to the Lord’s statement? The reason is because his back is against the wall to uphold the man-made arrangement of using “individual cups.” Brother Moore noted the consequence of making a law where God has not. Let me add to that. It’s as equally dangerous to disobey a law that God has made. In light of the evidence, I must call upon you brethren who use individual cups to abandon the practice and restore the ancient order of worship. Please consider these things prayerfully. A word of thanks to brethren Mike Willis, editor of Truth Magazine, and Don King, editor of Old Paths Advocate, for printing this exchange. Brother Elmer Moore, thank you for your part and for the hours that you spent prepar- ing your articles to make this discussion possible. And a word of thanks to all of my preaching brethren who spent time in conversation with me about this discussion. Finally, thanks to you, the reader, for the time you’ve invested in reading this discussion. May God bless this effort. Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant.”

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