I also wonder how the church does communion and baptism? Do you serve wine and bread to yourself and do you baptize yourself?Well, actually, I read an article a few months ago posted by a conservative Christian on his blog - one of the most widely read Christian sites on the net - about just such a church. It did the Lord's Supper on-line. People in that church were on-line at the same time and connected to the church's streaming video service, and served communion to themselves. The blogger and his commenting readers were aghast at the idea. What is this world coming to? What an utter lack of regard for the Lord Jesus and his ordinance of communion! What kind of blasphemous wackos could be attending such a church?
It's not surprising to me at all. In fact, I think it is only a small step away from how most of us are used to doing church already. It's a relatively small stride from the giant leap we've already made from how the New Testament describes the Lord's Table. The NT describes the Lord's Supper as a meal, not something smaller than a snack. It was in the context of a feast. There was enough food to fill people and enough wine to make some drunk. It was eaten right after this feast meal. Bread was broken amongst them, as people together. Most of us today are used to a time of somber introspection, as opposed to a feast. We have fingernail sized stale wafers, often getting stuck in the molars, and a half thimble of grape juice, not real wine. Not enough for a meal, and not even with a meal. Bread for many of us is already broken in some factory somewhere, and the cup is also pre-divided into small portions. We sit in silence and have no interaction with the others around us, contrary to what is done in a feast. Each of us partakes alone, even though we might be in the presence of those we are not interacting with. There is little, if any, celebration in "celebrating" the Lord's Supper.
I think the problem with the idea of having communion on-line is not that we've suddenly radically changed the way we view the Lord's Supper. There was something wrong all along, so that in going cyber with it, no ill affects have been recognized. The same would be true of doing cyber church itself.