When we visit the churches, we noticed maybe 10% of the congregation goes forward for communion.
Caleb and Monika Sannoh, serving in Liberia, share how their radio program prompted local churches to reevaluate their communion traditions.
There is a lot of false teaching in Liberia due to a lack of knowledge. There are traditions in the churches that have no biblical basis and actually hinder the gospel. One example is the practice of taking communion. The various churches believe that only a selected few can partake of communion. When we visit the churches, we noticed maybe 10% of the congregation goes forward for communion. We asked why this was happening.
Here are some of the hindrances that prevent people from taking communion:
1. You need to be married.
2. You have to be baptized.
3. You can have no sin in your life.
4. A woman cannot be menstruating.
We asked our radio audience, “what is the biblical basis for these traditions?”
We taught through Scripture that the purpose of communion was to remember Jesus. The focus is not on us or what we can do. We pointed out that neither Jesus nor Paul were married, yet took communion. The verse that says ‘examine yourself’ refers to members of the Corinthian church who were excluding their brothers and sisters by not sharing their bread and wine with them. They were not walking in Love toward their brothers (1 Cor. 11:17-22). It does not say to examine your sins. Our thoughts should be focused on the finished work of Jesus.
As far as the women are concerned, we told them that if they want to practice the Old Testament law of being separated while on their monthly cycle, then they need to be outside of the village for that time period!
Through the Grace to Liberia radio program, we have explained that these traditions were hindering the body of Christ. We thank God that many pastors and church leaders are benefiting from the program.
A couple of months ago, just after our 9 pm program, a man was waiting for us at the radio station. As soon as we stepped out of the studio, he met us and started thanking us for the teachings on communion. He told us that he was a Sunday School teacher and has been listening to our teachings on communion. He searched the scriptures to confirm all the scriptures we gave, and they were correct. He excitedly handed us a booklet he had put together for his church.
It was such a blessing to see how the ministry is changing lives! We are currently on four radio stations and hope to add more.