A new disciple asked me a question about this. So I looked at your website and found this article on communion. I was a little surprised. My questions:
(1) Is this passage really saying that people have become sick and some have died because they ate the communion in an unworthy manner?
(2) If so, why does this not happen nowadays, or does it happen nowadays?
(3) If there is such great risk at taking the communion, should we not take it? Should we be a lot more careful taking it?
(4) Would you agree that the individual who leads the church in communion's responsibility is to prepare people so that they do not haphazardly take the communion and potentially die? -- R.S.
Indeed, it is a surprising passage -- which may be why so many spiritualize the passage (spiritually dead, ill, or asleep). My responses to your questions:
(1) I believe so. “Sleeping” is a common biblical metaphor for death.
(2) I believe so. When we have unresolved issues with others, our immune systems are affected.
(3) Certainly we should be discerning of the body — making sure we are loving all members of the body of Christ.
(4) Indirectly, yes.
Here are some further thoughts on communion talks.
(And another on welcome talks, contribution talks, etc. Click here.)