– 1 –
“If you vow abstinence from wine…if you have some end in view that is not perverse, no one can disapprove.” Yet the opposite applies after childhood – in making ‘Profession of Faith.’ For “there is one vow common to all believers which, taken in Baptism, we ‘confirm’ and as it were sanction by our Catechism and partaking of the Lord’s Supper.” In the Early Church, “the infants…who had been initiated by Baptism – not then having given a ‘Confession of Faith’ to the Church – were again, toward the end of their boyhood or on adolescence, brought forward by their parents and were examined by the Overseer [or Minister] in terms of the Catechism…. The ceremony of laying on of hands was also used. Thus the youth, on his faith being approved, was dismissed with a solemn blessing.” J. Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion, IV:13:4-6 & 19:4.
– 2 –
Even if the fall had never occurred – covenant boys would nevertheless have been born to godly couples like the unfallen Adam and Eve. Genesis 1:26f. Yet each such boy would have remained a minor – till he himself would have become old enough to leave his father and his mother and to cleave to his wife and thus become one flesh with her. Genesis 2:24.
Yet that could not occur till adolescence or thereafter. Matthew 19:5f. This was still the case, even after the fall. Genesis 17:26 & 18:24-32 & 21:20f cf. Exodus 12:3f & 12:24-27 & 12:37 with First Chronicles 21:5 & Proverbs 22:6 and Luke 2:40-49. Furthermore, this would still continue to be the case – also after Calvary. First Corinthians 3:2 & 10:8-21 & 11:28-32 & 13:11 & 14:20 & 16:13 – cf. Ephesians 6:1-4; Colossians 3:20f ; Hebrews 5:12 to 6:2f.
Before Calvary – minors were never permitted to eat the meat of the Passover lamb. Since then – it is similarly impermissible for minors to eat of the Lord’s Supper which precisely in Christ’s Calvary week replaced that ancient sacrifice.
In Holy Scripture, we are told that – at Calvary – Baptism replaced Circumcision. Romans 4:11-24; Galatians 3:16-29; Colossians 2:11-13. The Lord Himself declares that Circumcision was administered usually in infancy – just eight days after birth. Genesis 17:12f ; 21:4f ; Luke 2:21; Philippians 3:5f.
God’s Word also teaches that the Lord’s Supper replaced sacrificing in general and the Holy Passover in particular. Luke 22:1-20; First Corinthians 5:6f ; Hebrews 10:1f. Yet such sacrificing and the Passover were only for catechized adults. Genesis 18:2,7,12,32f ; Exodus 12:3f,26f,37f,48f ; Numbers 9:2-14; First Chronicles 21:5; and Luke 2:40-47. So too is the Lord’s Supper. First Corinthians 11:27f ; 13:11f ;14:20; 16:13. Thus – Catechism before Communion! Hebrews 5:12-14; 6:1-2; 10:22-23; 13:10-17.
Ancient Paedocommunionism was conceived in Paganism. Only later did it infiltrate into the Early-Medieval Church. It did so, through the magical syncretism between the Eastern Rites and Eastern Paganism, and also by way of Post-Christian Judaism. Yet, as such, it is totally averse and foreign to God’s infallible Word.
As Rev. Professor Dr. John Calvin remarks in his Institutes of the Christian Religion (IV:15:30): “The Supper is intended for those of riper years…. He does not admit all to partake of the Supper – but confines it to those who are fit to discern the body and blood of the Lord…. ‘He who eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body’ [First Corinthians 11:29]…. Why should we offer poison – to our young children? The Passover for which the Supper is substituted…was duly eaten only by those who were of age sufficient to ask the meaning of it. Exodus 12:26.”