Taiwan Church News
April 13-19, 2020
How the Bible Says about the Communion, if Broadcast Online?
Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Communion are held online by Ku-Ting Presbyterian Church of Chi-Hsin Presbytery on April 10 (Good Friday) and April 12 (Easter Sunday) respectively. With the bread and wine readily-prepared from the participating church members online, Rev Chen Seh-hau gives his thanksgiving prayer to remember Jesus’ sacrifice for us and invite the assembly to receive the sacrament via sharing the bread and wine.
As Ku-Ting Presbyterian Church is located at the 12th floor of a semi-business building complex, easily exposed to a risky cluster outbreak of Wuhan pneumonia(Covid-19), the church council henceforth decides stop all physical service en mass from the end of March and broadcasts in live stream instead.
Rev Chen Seh-Hau, pastor of Ku-Ting Presbyterian Church, expresses that it is well known many different interpretations of the nature and meanings of the Communion have long been existed in the church for centuries. Even, there might be alternative thoughts within PCT about whether the Communion should be implemented online from a remote distance, he says.
As this pandemic might extend to an uncertain future, Rev Chen suggest that perhaps it is time for PCT’s Faith and Order Committee to deliberate the problem of how to implement the Communion or other sacraments during such a pandemic for all local churches to follow.
Regarding the issue if an online communion hosted by the pastor is appropriate from the biblical point of view, Rev Dr Chiu Shu-ping, assistant professor of New Testament Studies of Yu-Shan Theological College and Seminary, responds with a terse and wise challenge: Why not?
If the Communion is defined as an union of sisters and brothers assembled at the same time whatsoever and committed to become a commonwealth community, Rev Dr Chiu explains, we cannot find any deviance of the Christian faith when everyone shared the bread and wine via a live streamline, especially the church is under such a unprecedented pandemic that the people had never experienced and dealt with before.
Translated by Peter Wolfe