A look at one of the teachings of Jack Hayford
 

There is much to like about Jack Hayford in regards to his success and his dedication.  I am not a supporter of Hayford for a number of reasons especially his continual decisions to be affiliated with the "Word of Faith" preachers like Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, etc.  Jack also is the pastor of the Church on the Way in California and is the pastor to Paul and Jan Crouch of TBN.  I believe Jack should, as Pastor of the church Paul and Jan attend, unless he agrees with their false gospel, tell them how they are spreading the wrong message, correct them and if necessary discipline them.  I also disagree with his stance on having non-believers participate in the Communion process which is part of our Worship of the Lord showing our understanding of His giving his life and blood for us.  I have included below some of his remarks concerning this practice while also giving you a link to the complete article. Romans 14:23 "And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin."

Including Non-Christians in Christian Worship
We want to nurture an atmosphere where people sense God's presence and respond to him.
by Jack Hayford

Here are some things we try to do during each service to make the non-Christian feel a part of the service.

Make Them Comfortable
We recognize that many visitors find our worship service unusually open and expressive. Because they are on unfamiliar turf, we consciously try to make them feel comfortable. Here's how we do it.

Invite them to relax.

Acknowledge the awkwardness.

Encourage partial participation.

Explain the service as it progresses. 

Greeting and affirming.

Sharing and praying.

We emphasize four things during this time.

First, one of the worship leaders mentions a specific need that each group will pray for. That way the entire congregation is focused on one concern together.

Second, each person is strongly encouraged to share one prayer request for himself or herself—not for a neighbor or distant relative. Such sharing helps us bear one another's burdens and function as a church.

Third, we underline that we're about to pray. This isn't group therapy or a psychological exercise, but an encounter with the living God.

Fourth, we expect the Holy Spirit to minister to us while we're praying. We encourage people to believe healing is available or that a word of comfort will come.

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A less traditional means we use to encourage commitment is the Lord's Supper. We invite all the people to gather around the Lord's Table and partake in small groups. We believe it is the Lord's Table we are invited to, the Lord is doing the inviting, and no one is excluded. To us that means unbelievers are invited, as well.

We explain clearly, of course, what we are doing, and what an unbeliever is doing by partaking: making a commitment to Christ. We stress the gravity of the event to reflect the serious nature of faith in Christ. Comment: In our estimation, the explanation given to the unbeliever must include a full description of the salvation plan according to the Bible.  Anything less would be a deception to the unbeliever.  I do not understand how a unbeliever can make a commitment to Christ by participating in the communion process.  What kind of commitment would it be.  The unbeliever has not at that time accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and has not ask for forgiveness of their sins and promised to turn away from their sin life by repenting, so this would be a false commitment at this point for they are committing nothing of relevance it would seem.

At the same time, we want people to know that they are welcome. For example, I might say, "If you are visiting with us today, you are not only welcome to participate, you are urged to. If you were at my house and it came dinnertime, I wouldn't leave you sitting in the other room while I went to the dining room. And if you said, 'Well, I'm not really hungry,' I'd say, 'Come in and sit with us anyway.' Now, as we come to the Lord's Table, join us. And when the bread is served, take a portion."  Comment: This kind of statement is typical of how many preachers and teachers have allowed their own ideas and ideals to intervene on behalf of Holy Scripture.  I invite many people to dinner with me and my family but that is not even on the same relevance scale as Holy Communion. 

After everyone is served, I continue, "Everyone here who knows the Lord Jesus might thank him for " and here I'll encourage them to thank God for something that relates to the morning's teaching. "If you've never received Christ," I continue, "you might say, 'God, I know I can't earn salvation by partaking of this. But in receiving this, I'm telling you I'm opening myself to your life.' " If they are not ready to take that important step and partake of Communion, they are encouraged to sit with us at the table while we partake. Comment: I believe this falls under the category of taking of the communion unworthily. Scripture states it clearly as follows in 1 Corinthians 11: 27-30

"Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep".

The Bible says "this do in remembrance of me".  The unbeliever at this point in their lives has no communion with the Lord as they have not accepted Him yet and they cannot be remembering what HE has done for them because at this point the unbeliever is not a believer and cannot rejoice in what Christ has done for them yet.  Once they believe on HIM, they can at that point rejoice for ALL HE HAS DONE FOR THEM!

So the Lord's Supper is not only a significant time for the church body, we also use it as a way to incorporate non-Christians into the service, and some into the body. Comment: Once again, I state that IF the unbeliever comes into the body of Christ, they MUST learn of the salvation message first and repent and accept Christ as their Savior BEFORE they are a part of the body of Christ.  Just knowing what Christ did for all mankind is not enough and the communion observance is not the same as a Salvation message.

We recognize using Communion as an evangelistic opportunity troubles many people, and for understandable reasons. We're not arguing that every church should do it, or that it is necessary for churches that want to include unbelievers in their services. But it is one of the ways we incorporate unbelievers into our service.  Comment: If one would recognize that using Communion as an evangelistic opportunity is troubling and for understandable reasons, then I am confused as to how that makes it ok to do so if that persons understands and agrees with the reasons?  Is this not the same as saying, I know its wrong but we do it anyway?

Read the entire article here: http://www.christianitytoday.com/bcl/areas/worship/articles/031306.html
From the book Mastering Worship. Copyright © 1990 by Christianity Today International.

These are my thoughts, what about yours?  Let us know by clicking here and telling us your side of the matter.

More on Jack Hayford to come.

Blessings,
Robert Wise

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