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Pastor David
12-21-2011, 10:08 AM
Discussion: Do you have to be baptized to take the Lord's Supper?

Tom Butler
12-21-2011, 10:15 AM
Yes

Baptism is a local church ordinance. Therefore, only members should participate. And all local church members are baptized.

All of the disciples who were present when Jesus instituted the ordinance were baptized.

Water baptism is the door to membership in he local church, and it may be safely assumed that when Paul instructed the church at Corinth regarding proper observance of the LS, he was writing to baptized believers.

Ruiz
12-21-2011, 10:19 AM
Baptism is your public proclamation and identification with Jesus Christ. In other words, if you are not Baptized then you have not Biblically identified yourself as a Christian. The Lord's Supper is only for those who have identified themselves as Christians. Therefore, if you have not been Baptized then you should not take the Lord's Supper.

Pastor David
12-21-2011, 10:19 AM
Yes

Baptism is a local church ordinance. Therefore, only members should participate. And all local church members are baptized.

All of the disciples who were present when Jesus instituted the ordinance were baptized.

Water baptism is the door to membership in he local church, and it may be safely assumed that when Paul instructed the church at Corinth regarding proper observance of the LS, he was writing to baptized believers.

Is the LS only for baptized believers or simply believers? How do we defend it is for baptized believers, biblically?

Ruiz
12-21-2011, 10:30 AM
Is the LS only for baptized believers or simply believers? How do we defend it is for baptized believers, biblically?

David,

To defend Baptism Biblically, you must first take the understanding of Covenant. I would begin by showing that Baptism is the Sign of the Covenant just as circumcision was a sign of the covenant. WHile there are distinctions between the two covenants, I would show that God would not consider you a part of the covenant community without the sign of the covenant. The Supper is a celebration of the covenant community, bringing those who identify with Christ together, eating and drinking in fellowship, worshiping the Lord within covenant. I wish I had time to develop this idea, but while Baptism does not save you, it is the only means the church has in recognizing believers from the world

Secondly, I also reject the idea that the phrase "simply believers" is an accurate term. While Baptism does not save you, a person who is not Baptized is not identifying with Christ. Why would they want to identify with Christ in the Lord's Supper but not in Baptism? Only Baptism identifies you with Christ, not a mere statement that you believe. Biblically, believers were Baptized.

A church should not recognize people as being believers who have rejected publicly identifying with Christ.

InTheLight
12-21-2011, 10:32 AM
A church should not recognize people as being believers who have rejected publicly identifying with Christ.

Yet, Christ identified the thief on the cross as a believer and there is no record of his baptism.

annsni
12-21-2011, 10:37 AM
What of those who become believers but have not had the opportunity to be baptized yet. In our church, we meet in a hotel with no swimming pool so logistically, baptism is difficult to do. We could do it at the home church - but then it would not be public as there would be no one around on off hours. So it could take months for a believer to be baptized. Should we withhold the Lord's Supper from them?

Pastor David
12-21-2011, 10:37 AM
"I would begin by showing that Baptism is the Sign of the Covenant"

- Where would you show them this?

"The Supper is a celebration of the covenant community"

- Paul states the Supper is a remembrance of Christ's death (1 Cor. 11).

"a person who is not Baptized is not identifying with Christ"

- Jesus said those who confess me before men, I will confess them before my Father. No mention of identification through baptism, only confession.

I admit I'm playing something of an antagonist here, as I have been challenged myself on some of these matters.

Ruiz
12-21-2011, 10:43 AM
Yet, Christ identified the thief on the cross as a believer and there is no record of his baptism.

Yes, Christ did identify the thief. There are several key problems with trying to draw a parallel in this case.

1. Jesus is God. His assessment is far greater than any of ours.
2. The person was not partaking in the Lord's Supper.
3. Baptism was not an option.
4. The thief was not refusing or delaying Baptism.

Baptism does not save; therefore, someone can be saved and not Baptized. However, a person who is saved should be baptized in order to be recognized as identifying with Christ; baptism is a sign of belief. There is no other sign given to recognize someone's confession is true and valid.

This goes back to my question, why would someone wish to identify with Jesus in the Lord's Supper but refuse to identify with Him in Baptism?

If Baptism is a sign of the covenant, the initiatory sign, then publicly allowing people to partake in the Lord's Supper should be reserved for everyone who has publicly identifies with Christ. Only Baptism is given to publicly identify with Christ.

Pastor David
12-21-2011, 10:51 AM
"Only Baptism is given to publicly identify with Christ." - Ruiz

"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven." - Mt. 10:32

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." - Rom. 10:9

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:9

Confession also appears to be a way to publically identify with Christ. Is not a credible profession of faith then a legitimate prerequsite to the LS?

InTheLight
12-21-2011, 10:52 AM
This goes back to my question, why would someone wish to identify with Jesus in the Lord's Supper but refuse to identify with Him in Baptism?

Because Christ commanded us to take the Lord's Supper.

If Baptism is a sign of the covenant, the initiatory sign, then publicly allowing people to partake in the Lord's Supper should be reserved for everyone who has publicly identifies with Christ. Only Baptism is given to publicly identify with Christ.

You mean like the Ethiopian eunuch? Was he publicly baptized?

This idea that you can't take the Lord's Supper unless you have been baptized is simply a rule of the Baptist church. There are so many rules for taking communion among the denominations that it staggers the mind.

Biblically, I only see:
1 Cor. 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

Pastor David
12-21-2011, 10:53 AM
"There is no other sign given to recognize someone's confession is true and valid." - Ruiz

Does not Scripture speak saying by their fruits you shall know we are Christ's disciples? Is baptism ever listed as one (or the only) sign of a true disciple of Jesus Christ?

Scarlett O.
12-21-2011, 11:15 AM
This idea that you can't take the Lord's Supper unless you have been baptized is simply a rule of the Baptist church. There are so many rules for taking communion among the denominations that it staggers the mind.

Biblically, I only see:
1 Cor. 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

Nail. Head. You hit it.

Jim1999
12-21-2011, 11:31 AM
It is very clear in scripture that baptism is the witness of one's receiving Christ as Saviour. Baptists are no different to the Church of England, which restricted communion to "baptized" confirmed Anglicans, and originally refused service to anyone else......things are different in modernity.....

Whilst I believe only baptized members should partake of the church's communion service, I always left the option to partake up to each individual.

"Let a man examine himself" always applies. Mr. Spurgeon was a strict baptist, but observed "open" communion. So, not all strict baptists restricted the observance to members only.

Plymouth Brethren restrict partakers, even to those who were in the room.

By the way, baptism, to be biblical, does not always need an audience. It can be done in private. If a soldier requested baptism, we didn't always have an audience available. I still gave them a certificate of baptism. It might have been done in a river or even a "mud" puddle.

Cheers,

Jim

12strings
12-21-2011, 11:57 AM
Also, What would you say to a church that had, say, a 6-week class for new beleivers to make sure they understood certain basics before commiting to baptism? Should that believer skip the first communion that comes along?

MB
12-21-2011, 12:18 PM
I believe we should all be in compliance with what the Lord has commanded. I believe Baptism is one of those things where we are not completely right with God with out it. A person doesn't have to in order to be saved but everyone who truly believes in Christ should be It's part of God's Plan. There are warnings about taking communion with out being right with God. It should never be taken lightly. It is a very serious remembrance of our Savior.
MB

freeatlast
12-21-2011, 03:23 PM
Discussion: Do you have to be baptized to take the Lord's Supper?

No there is no such command, but based on every example in scripture the saved are expected to be baptized immediately after salvation so I would find such a situation extremely unlikely. I totally reject the idea that baptism is a" local church ordinance" as some claim.

Tom Butler
12-21-2011, 03:39 PM
What of those who become believers but have not had the opportunity to be baptized yet. In our church, we meet in a hotel with no swimming pool so logistically, baptism is difficult to do. We could do it at the home church - but then it would not be public as there would be no one around on off hours. So it could take months for a believer to be baptized. Should we withhold the Lord's Supper from them?

Since I hold that baptism is a local church ordinance, and baptism is a pre-requisite for church membership, my answer is no.

The timing of the baptism is a logistical thing for your church. Your congregation has established its own roadblocks to baptism, which it certainly has a right to do. But it shouldn't take months, in my opinion.

JesusFan
12-21-2011, 04:22 PM
David,

To defend Baptism Biblically, you must first take the understanding of Covenant. I would begin by showing that Baptism is the Sign of the Covenant just as circumcision was a sign of the covenant. WHile there are distinctions between the two covenants, I would show that God would not consider you a part of the covenant community without the sign of the covenant. The Supper is a celebration of the covenant community, bringing those who identify with Christ together, eating and drinking in fellowship, worshiping the Lord within covenant. I wish I had time to develop this idea, but while Baptism does not save you, it is the only means the church has in recognizing believers from the world

Secondly, I also reject the idea that the phrase "simply believers" is an accurate term. While Baptism does not save you, a person who is not Baptized is not identifying with Christ. Why would they want to identify with Christ in the Lord's Supper but not in Baptism? Only Baptism identifies you with Christ, not a mere statement that you believe. Biblically, believers were Baptized.

A church should not recognize people as being believers who have rejected publicly identifying with Christ.

Is that a strictly reformed position on Baptism though, as part of a Covenant theology stance?

Isn't the requirement to be a member in most baptist churches to be water baptised, but that the communion itself is "open", as ONLY requirement being that one has ben washed by the blood of the Lord Jesus, as been born again?

freeatlast
12-21-2011, 04:39 PM
David,

To defend Baptism Biblically, you must first take the understanding of Covenant. I would begin by showing that Baptism is the Sign of the Covenant just as circumcision was a sign of the covenant. WHile there are distinctions between the two covenants, I would show that God would not consider you a part of the covenant community without the sign of the covenant. The Supper is a celebration of the covenant community, bringing those who identify with Christ together, eating and drinking in fellowship, worshiping the Lord within covenant. I wish I had time to develop this idea, but while Baptism does not save you, it is the only means the church has in recognizing believers from the world

Secondly, I also reject the idea that the phrase "simply believers" is an accurate term. While Baptism does not save you, a person who is not Baptized is not identifying with Christ. Why would they want to identify with Christ in the Lord's Supper but not in Baptism? Only Baptism identifies you with Christ, not a mere statement that you believe. Biblically, believers were Baptized.

A church should not recognize people as being believers who have rejected publicly identifying with Christ.

Well put. :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs: I would add that this is why I always have a problem with any church's leadership that puts off baptism for a “more convenient time”. By the way they have a myriad of excuses, but that is all they are. It shows they do not understand baptism as they make a mockery of what Baptism is about. Every example in the bible is immediate baptism after accepting Christ and even the eunuch in Acts understood the need for baptism immediately after accepting Christ but sadly many church leaders today do not.

JesusFan
12-21-2011, 04:47 PM
"Only Baptism is given to publicly identify with Christ." - Ruiz

"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven." - Mt. 10:32

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." - Rom. 10:9

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:9

Confession also appears to be a way to publically identify with Christ. Is not a credible profession of faith then a legitimate prerequsite to the LS?

The Bible staes ONLY that a believer in jesus is able to take the communion, and that he needs to be in "good standing" at the time of taking it before the Lord...

Its a stretch to add water Baptism, as that would appear to be the requirement for official local church membership, sign to assembly that one has placed faith in jesus and been saved by God...

My church has "open" communion, we do not check baptism modes, or if even been water baptise, but do require them to be saved!

Think also the question of just HOW one sees the church, what baptism is, closed/open communion etc comes into play on this OP!

annsni
12-21-2011, 05:24 PM
Since I hold that baptism is a local church ordinance, and baptism is a pre-requisite for church membership, my answer is no.

The timing of the baptism is a logistical thing for your church. Your congregation has established its own roadblocks to baptism, which it certainly has a right to do. But it shouldn't take months, in my opinion.

I wish it didn't take months as well but honestly, we haven't found a good solution. We did a beach baptism this summer but what do we do in the winter? As I said, we could do a baptism at the home church but there would be VERY few in attendance (we like to have at least the person's small group in attendance) and it's over 40 minutes away from the location of the hotel. We checked at the local YMCA, the health clubs, schools and other hotels but so far it's been a "no". The next thing we are going to do is to find another church with a baptismal and see if we could use their facilities after church on Sundays for baptisms. Hopefully that could work.

gb93433
12-21-2011, 11:16 PM
In other words, if you are not Baptized then you have not Biblically identified yourself as a Christian. The Lord's Supper is only for those who have identified themselves as Christians. Therefore, if you have not been Baptized then you should not take the Lord's Supper.Before I was baptized I openly proclaimed Christ in the college newspaper in college. Later in the free speech platform. What I saw in other Christians led me to believe that baptism was nothing more than a dunk in the water especially when I saw how some of them lived and did not proclaim Christ except inside the church building.

If a church believes that one must be baptized to partake of the Lord's Supper then they must always have a baptismal service.

gb93433
12-21-2011, 11:23 PM
Baptism does not save; therefore, someone can be saved and not Baptized. However, a person who is saved should be baptized in order to be recognized as identifying with Christ; baptism is a sign of belief. There is no other sign given to recognize someone's confession is true and valid.Baptism in the early church had far more meaning then today. To have been baptized in the early Chruch one could have lost his life for naming Christ as Lord and renouncing the emperor as lord.

What would be the equivalent in America?

matt wade
12-21-2011, 11:24 PM
If a church believes that one must be baptized to partake of the Lord's Supper then they must always have a baptismal service.

I agree with you. I also agree with Tom Butler that the Lord's Supper is for local church members only.

My church will baptize at any time. If someone is saved in a service, we will (if they choose) baptize them at that service, whether the water heater was turned on or not :).

freeatlast
12-21-2011, 11:44 PM
Before I was baptized I openly proclaimed Christ in the college newspaper in college. Later in the free speech platform. What I saw in other Christians led me to believe that baptism was nothing more than a dunk in the water especially when I saw how some of them lived and did not proclaim Christ except inside the church building.

If a church believes that one must be baptized to partake of the Lord's Supper then they must always have a baptismal service.

The sad thing is that your experience is the same for many because of many who lead our churches baptism is treated like "nothing more than a dunk in the water" as they put it off with excuses and then justify it in their own minds. If they really felt it to be important nothing would get in the way of baptizing new converts as they are saved as is the biblical example. Even if it is done in a bathtub or in something else if it was properly honored and sanctified it would be done and not put off or neglected.

After I was saved I was on the way to be baptized and was in a motor cycle wreck. It had been snowing but was just cold and rainy and I was bleeding and my clothes were shredded. This happened on a rural road with very little traffic and a guy came by and stopped and I asked him to take me to the church down the road and he shouted through his open window that he was not driving to any church and sped off leaving me there alone wet, bleeding and with my clothing shredded. I left the motor cycle in the ditch and I walked about 5 miles to get to that church where I was then baptized. By the time I got there the service was almost over and I refused to take medical attention or to leave until I was Baptized. Nothing was more important to me then that baptism as it was my first command after salvation and it identified me publically with the Lord. Many others have put their lives on the line just to be baptized knowing that they could be murdered for doing it and yet today many just do it when ever. Certainly we have lost our way. The liberal agenda has so over taken our hearts and churches many have no clue as to what it means to be a Christian and because of that the world does not know what it means. The salt is losing its taste.
Today for many that identification means little to nothing as they feel they can do it any time that fits their schedule and many churches (the leadership) promote that mind set by their actions.

freeatlast
12-21-2011, 11:49 PM
Baptism in the early church had far more meaning then today. To have been baptized in the early Chruch one could have lost his life for naming Christ as Lord and renouncing the emperor as lord.

What would be the equivalent in America?

For most there isn't any equivalent as baptism has little to no regard in importance for most churches as it is nothing but a ritual to many to do at our convenience. :tear:

matt wade
12-21-2011, 11:50 PM
The sad thing is that your experience is the same for many because of many who lead our churches as baptism is treated like "nothing more than a dunk in the water" as they put it off with excuses and then justify it in their own minds. If they really felt it to be important nothing would get in the way of baptizing new converts as they are saved as is the biblical example. Even if it is done in a bathtub or in something else if it was properly honored and sanctified it would be done and not put off or neglected.

I agree with you. For any church to say that there are "logistical" or "practical" problems that keep them from baptizing someone right away is absurd. If they are unable to baptize people right away, they have no business running a church.

annsni
12-21-2011, 11:54 PM
I agree with you. For any church to say that there are "logistical" or "practical" problems that keep them from baptizing someone right away is absurd. If they are unable to baptize people right away, they have no business running a church.

So how do we baptize someone immediately if we meet in a hotel? Do we get a bathtub? How do we get the congregation into the bathroom to watch?

freeatlast
12-21-2011, 11:57 PM
So how do we baptize someone immediately if we meet in a hotel? Do we get a bathtub? How do we get the congregation into the bathroom to watch?

Sounds like you have another excuse and what is wrong with a bathtub? There is no command for the congregation to watch, just to be Baptized. The eunuch in Acts had no congregation to watch but his heart wanted to obey contrary to what we see in the church today so he was baptized.

matt wade
12-22-2011, 12:03 AM
So how do we baptize someone immediately if we meet in a hotel? Do we get a bathtub? How do we get the congregation into the bathroom to watch?

Well, without knowing the exact situation there I obviously can't come up with an exact solution. Some ideas however, would be:


Use a hottub or pool at someone's house
Use a portable baptistry at your location or someone's house
Go to the nearest lake, river, or pond
Rent a hotel room (at your location) and baptize. Who said everyone needs to see it?

Tom Butler
12-22-2011, 01:09 AM
So how do we baptize someone immediately if we meet in a hotel? Do we get a bathtub? How do we get the congregation into the bathroom to watch?

Ann, I appreciate your church's logistical problem, and don't wish to be critical. In fact, these days, maybe we ought not to be so quick to dunk new converts until we've talked further with them following their conversion. We need to make sure of their understanding of what's happening to them.

That said, a delay of several months does seem to be too long.

Re: the OP, Paul wrote in I Corinthians 11:2, telling the congregation to "guard the ordinances." That means to me that the congregation has the authority to decide whom it will baptize. Thus, baptism is a local church ordinance.

Later in Chapter 11, Paul deals with the right and wrong ways to observe the Lord's supper.

I think it's reasonable to assert that Paul was writing to baptized believers, members of the congregation at Corinth. Paul was instructing baptized believers on the proper way to have the LS.

That's why I hold that the LS is for baptized believers.

I also hold a minority view that only baptized members of a local church should participate--closed communion. My view is based partly on the question of church discipline, but that's another story.

OldRegular
12-22-2011, 01:36 AM
Ann, I appreciate your church's logistical problem, and don't wish to be critical. In fact, these days, maybe we ought not to be so quick to dunk new converts until we've talked further with them following their conversion. We need to make sure of their understanding of what's happening to them.

That said, a delay of several months does seem to be too long.

Re: the OP, Paul wrote in I Corinthians 11:2, telling the congregation to "guard the ordinances." That means to me that the congregation has the authority to decide whom it will baptize. Thus, baptism is a local church ordinance.

Later in Chapter 11, Paul deals with the right and wrong ways to observe the Lord's supper.

I think it's reasonable to assert that Paul was writing to baptized believers, members of the congregation at Corinth. Paul was instructing baptized believers on the proper way to have the LS.

That's why I hold that the LS is for baptized believers.

I also hold a minority view that only baptized members of a local church should participate--closed communion. My view is based partly on the question of church discipline, but that's another story.

I agree Tom. I also believe in closed communion.

JesusFan
12-22-2011, 11:41 AM
I agree Tom. I also believe in closed communion.

the person taking the Communion must be saved, washed in the blood of Christ...

jesus sees Him as belong to the Body of Christ, His own Church, so why deny based upon something that does not affect His eternal standing one way or another?

Can we really close off communion to them who Jesus sees as being part of His flock?

Pastor David
12-22-2011, 11:49 AM
Ann, I appreciate your church's logistical problem, and don't wish to be critical. In fact, these days, maybe we ought not to be so quick to dunk new converts until we've talked further with them following their conversion. We need to make sure of their understanding of what's happening to them.

That said, a delay of several months does seem to be too long.

Re: the OP, Paul wrote in I Corinthians 11:2, telling the congregation to "guard the ordinances." That means to me that the congregation has the authority to decide whom it will baptize. Thus, baptism is a local church ordinance.

Later in Chapter 11, Paul deals with the right and wrong ways to observe the Lord's supper.

I think it's reasonable to assert that Paul was writing to baptized believers, members of the congregation at Corinth. Paul was instructing baptized believers on the proper way to have the LS.

That's why I hold that the LS is for baptized believers.

I also hold a minority view that only baptized members of a local church should participate--closed communion. My view is based partly on the question of church discipline, but that's another story.

We practice 'close' communion. We do not allow unbaptized people to partake in the LS. But we do invite members and vistors alike who have been baptized, not under church discipline, involved in open sin or scandal, and who can, with a clear conscience, confess Christ through partaking to do so.

convicted1
12-22-2011, 01:04 PM
What if someone is saved on their death bed and wants to take communion? If they are too sick to get baptized, would you reject them wanting to partake of the Lord's body, seeing that they have been saved? What do y'all think about this scenario?

Pastor David
12-22-2011, 01:59 PM
What if someone is saved on their death bed and wants to take communion? If they are too sick to get baptized, would you reject them wanting to partake of the Lord's body, seeing that they have been saved? What do y'all think about this scenario?

We believe local congregations should set forth their doctrine and practice based on that which they understand to be 'normative' in the life of the church. Therefore, it is normal that a person is baptized, received into the fellowship of the church, and then begins partaking in Communion with the Body of Christ. Circumstances which occur outside that which is considered normative simply have to be prayfully dealt with by the leadership, with the help of the Holy Spirit, and the light of God's Word.

convicted1
12-22-2011, 02:04 PM
We believe local congregations should set forth their doctrine and practice based on that which they understand to be 'normative' in the life of the church. Therefore, it is normal that a person is baptized, received into the fellowship of the church, and then begins partaking in Communion with the Body of Christ. Circumstances which occur outside that which is considered normative simply have to be prayfully dealt with by the leadership, with the help of the Holy Spirit, and the light of God's Word.

I, personally, would serve tem myself, if I had to. I wouldn't want to not serve them, considering their circumstances. But I agree that each church should handle this the way they seem fit.

Pastor David
12-22-2011, 02:09 PM
I, personally, would serve tem myself, if I had to. I wouldn't want to not serve them, considering their circumstances. But I agree that each church should handle this the way they seem fit.

I would not find fault if a pastor or church choose to serve the LS in such as case.

convicted1
12-22-2011, 02:11 PM
I would not find fault if a pastor or church choose to serve the LS in such as case.

Good. I know that this probably isn't the normative case, but one worthy of thoughts and prayers, don't you think?

Pastor David
12-22-2011, 02:13 PM
Good. I know that this probably isn't the normative case, but one worthy of thoughts and prayers, don't you think?

As the occasion arose, yes. But issues like this can only be handled case by case.

OldRegular
12-22-2011, 02:24 PM
the person taking the Communion must be saved, washed in the blood of Christ...

jesus sees Him as belong to the Body of Christ, His own Church, so why deny based upon something that does not affect His eternal standing one way or another?

Can we really close off communion to them who Jesus sees as being part of His flock?

I believe both Baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances of the local body!

convicted1
12-22-2011, 02:25 PM
As the occasion arose, yes. But issues like this can only be handled case by case.

Exactly!! :applause::applause:

JesusFan
12-22-2011, 03:26 PM
I would not find fault if a pastor or church choose to serve the LS in such as case.

I have notice that those who practice communion 'closed" tend to see "church" meaning local assembly of believers only, while those like us who practice it open, tend to see a Universal Church in view!

As I can takeit within confines of any church body locaslly that upholds core Christianessentials, regardless baptist or not, as we would still be one in Christ, part of His Church!

Tom Butler
12-22-2011, 08:02 PM
I have notice that those who practice communion 'closed" tend to see "church" meaning local assembly of believers only, while those like us who practice it open, tend to see a Universal Church in view!

As I can takeit within confines of any church body locaslly that upholds core Christianessentials, regardless baptist or not, as we would still be one in Christ, part of His Church!

I think your first paragraph is about right. It appears that OldRegular and I are in the minority regarding closed communion. And I grant that any congregation may decide for itself whom it will invite to the Lord's table. But given my views, I could not in good conscience participate in another congregation's observance.

Paul, in I Cor 11:2 urged FBC Corinth to "guard" the ordinances. By definition that must mean exercising some discretion regarding whom it invites to participate, and may, indeed, involve excluding some.

For example, in his first letter, he scolded FBC Corinth for allowing a member who was having an affair (with his father's wife) to stick around. He demanded that they exclude him, and, in fact, told them not to even eat with him.

In that day, the fellowship meals were followed by the Lord's Supper, so it's obvious that Paul was saying, by no means allow this man at either your fellowship table or the Lord's Supper table.

How can a congregation "guard" the ordinances if it allows each one to decide for himself, particularly non-member visitors who may not be known to the members.

And what if somebody shows up whom you know had been disfellowshipped from another Baptist church for flagrant sin (or any reason, for that matter)? Would you allow him to participate, knowing that his own church would not?

What about one of your own members whom you had disfellowshipped? He shows up on Lord's Supper Sunday. Do you allow him in the building, much less take the Lord's Supper.

Finally, since i hold that the Universal Church does not exist, and there are only local congregations; that Paul's instructions regarding the LS were written to a local church; that when Jesus initiated the Lord's Supper, the table was limited to the eleven (Judas had left); for all those reasons I hold to closed communion. And the Body of Christ with which I commune is the congregation I serve.

OldRegular
12-22-2011, 08:36 PM
I have notice that those who practice communion 'closed" tend to see "church" meaning local assembly of believers only, while those like us who practice it open, tend to see a Universal Church in view!

Not necessarily. There is a Universal Church, not in the Roman Catholic sense of a visible body, but made up by all true believers. Water Baptism does not get one into the Universal Church, which is the Bride of Jesus Christ; Salvation does.

MB
12-23-2011, 11:50 AM
Not necessarily. There is a Universal Church, not in the Roman Catholic sense of a visible body, but made up by all true believers. Water Baptism does not get one into the Universal Church, which is the Bride of Jesus Christ; Salvation does.
I would think that the term "universal" should not be applied to the Church Of Jesus Christ. There is nothing universal about the body of Christ since we are all considered the same both Jew and Greek. Our focus should also be the same. Denominations are non existent where Christ is concerned.
MB

JesusFan
12-23-2011, 01:59 PM
Not necessarily. There is a Universal Church, not in the Roman Catholic sense of a visible body, but made up by all true believers. Water Baptism does not get one into the Universal Church, which is the Bride of Jesus Christ; Salvation does.

there is indeed a "catholic" Church, Full Body of Christ fir those saints who died and those still living, NOT the RCC!

Its ALL of those who have been saved by the Grace of God, through Cross of Christ!

JesusFan
12-23-2011, 02:02 PM
I think your first paragraph is about right. It appears that OldRegular and I are in the minority regarding closed communion. And I grant that any congregation may decide for itself whom it will invite to the Lord's table. But given my views, I could not in good conscience participate in another congregation's observance.

Paul, in I Cor 11:2 urged FBC Corinth to "guard" the ordinances. By definition that must mean exercising some discretion regarding whom it invites to participate, and may, indeed, involve excluding some.

For example, in his first letter, he scolded FBC Corinth for allowing a member who was having an affair (with his father's wife) to stick around. He demanded that they exclude him, and, in fact, told them not to even eat with him.

In that day, the fellowship meals were followed by the Lord's Supper, so it's obvious that Paul was saying, by no means allow this man at either your fellowship table or the Lord's Supper table.

How can a congregation "guard" the ordinances if it allows each one to decide for himself, particularly non-member visitors who may not be known to the members.

And what if somebody shows up whom you know had been disfellowshipped from another Baptist church for flagrant sin (or any reason, for that matter)? Would you allow him to participate, knowing that his own church would not?

What about one of your own members whom you had disfellowshipped? He shows up on Lord's Supper Sunday. Do you allow him in the building, much less take the Lord's Supper.

Finally, since i hold that the Universal Church does not exist, and there are only local congregations; that Paul's instructions regarding the LS were written to a local church; that when Jesus initiated the Lord's Supper, the table was limited to the eleven (Judas had left); for all those reasons I hold to closed communion. And the Body of Christ with which I commune is the congregation I serve.

We are open communion, but WOULD NOT allow anyone known to be involved in continual sinning, not showing any remorse/confession to take it...

We believe that the person needs to meet 2 requirements...

Be genuinely saved, and be confessed to known sins, evidence of being saved life...

Not perfect, but showing remorse/confession.going forward in walk with Christ!

Tom Butler
12-23-2011, 02:33 PM
We are open communion, but WOULD NOT allow anyone known to be involved in continual sinning, not showing any remorse/confession to take it...

We believe that the person needs to meet 2 requirements...

Be genuinely saved, and be confessed to known sins, evidence of being saved life...

Not perfect, but showing remorse/confession.going forward in walk with Christ!

Ah, so you're really not open communion. There are some whom you would exclude.

I submit there's some inconsistency in a church's policy which invites a stranger to participate in the Lord's Supper, but will blow of that same person's refusal to obey Jesus' command to be baptized.

JesusFan
12-23-2011, 02:52 PM
Ah, so you're really not open communion. There are some whom you would exclude.

I submit there's some inconsistency in a church's policy which invites a stranger to participate in the Lord's Supper, but will blow of that same person's refusal to obey Jesus' command to be baptized.

We stronglt encourage them to be batized if saved, its just some need to be taught why should be from Bible, we have a class to take before it happens...
Also, some will be , but at a later time

Also, its a requirement for church membershio, but not Communion, as we understand the Bible!

matt wade
12-23-2011, 04:21 PM
Also, its a requirement for church membershio, but not Communion, as we understand the Bible!

Can you demonstrate where in the Bible that Communion was shared with someone not of the local church?

JesusFan
12-23-2011, 04:32 PM
Can you demonstrate where in the Bible that Communion was shared with someone not of the local church?

Who were instructed to take the communion?

Christians...

So IF you are saved, following Jesus in your walk, than you qualify to partake of it!

matt wade
12-23-2011, 04:47 PM
Who were instructed to take the communion?

Christians...

So IF you are saved, following Jesus in your walk, than you qualify to partake of it!

Where do you see the instructions given to Christians? All the instructions I see were given at a local assembly level.

Could you also please attempt to answer my question, instead of simply posing your own question.

Can you demonstrate where in the Bible that Communion was shared with someone not of the local church?

annsni
12-23-2011, 04:53 PM
Can you demonstrate where in the Bible that Communion was shared with someone not of the local church?

Did Paul share in the Lord's Supper with the different churches that he visited?

Tom Butler
12-23-2011, 07:15 PM
Did Paul share in the Lord's Supper with the different churches that he visited?

Ann, the scriptures are silent regarding your specific question.

This occurred to me. Paul, in I Cor 11, raked the congregation over the coals for its behavior at the fellowship meals and the LS. From this I deduce that Paul had never shared the LS with them, otherwise he would have corrected their behavior personally. I think he had either heard about their problem or somebody wrote him about it.

And, because of my views about closed communion, which I based on my reading of scripture, to be consistent, I must say no.

I will say this. A congregation's views on access to the Lord's table is not a test of fellowship for me. If it were, I would not be a member of the church I serve, because it is close communion, but not closed. So my view is a minority opinion, even in my own church.

matt wade
12-23-2011, 09:37 PM
Did Paul share in the Lord's Supper with the different churches that he visited?

There is no evidence that he did.

Jerome
12-23-2011, 10:14 PM
Acts 20:7-11
7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. 8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. 9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. 10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. 11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.

righteousdude2
12-23-2011, 10:27 PM
Nail. Head. You hit it.

I would have to agree with this understanding. Communion is and always should be based upon 1 Cor. 11:28 "Let a man [thoroughly] examine himself, and [only when he has done] so should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup!" the Amplified Bible.

Anyone can come to the table simply by the word that they have confessed their faith. The same is true when it comes to baptism. We baptise believers upon their confession of faith and their personal request, desire and need to follow Him in baptism.

Personally speaking....church membership, the card holding member types, will not stand the test of time or faith.

When we stand before God, you can be sure that He is not going to admit one soul to heaven based upon the membership card they carry with them.

This entire born-again thing is based on one's confession of faith, and it is that very same confession (following self-examination that admits any individual to the table, the water, and to sit in the pew of a church and be called a member. Membership should be based upon nothing more and nothing less.

To go beyond this (confession of faith) is to make members by way of the principles of church catechism!

Never in my years as a pastor serving communion have I held a card check point. Never have I made a person "prove" their status before taking the bread and cup. It is solely up to the individual and God (For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are representing and signifying and proclaiming the fact of the Lord's death until He comes [again]). If they partake of the elements, and they are not right with God, they eat and drink condemnation upon themselves (So then whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a way that is unworthy [of Him] will be guilty of [profaning and sinning against] the body and blood of the Lord).

This comes back to us being called to be witnesses, NOT the judge and jury system here on earth!

matt wade
12-24-2011, 12:55 AM
Acts 20:7-11
7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. 8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. 9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. 10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. 11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.

The breaking of bread talked about here is simply a meal.

Tom Butler
12-24-2011, 01:26 AM
I think I'm correct that the majority of us see water baptism as a pre-requisite for membership in a local church. I don't know of any Baptist church of any stripe which allows unbaptized people to be members. If I'm right, then it doesn't make sense to invite an unbaptized person to the Lord's table.

Paul had this to say in I Cor 10:17:
Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

Paul is clearly referring to the body as a local congregation. He reinforces this in 12:27 when he refers to the congregation at Corinth as "YE are the body of Christ."


So, to me, if we require one ordinance--baptism-- as the door to local church membership, but do not require it for access to the other ordinance--the Lord's table--this is a glaring inconsistency.

The arguments for each side hang on the question, Is the LS a Christian ordinance or a church ordinance? Your answer will determine how much access you will allow to the Lord's table.

(Psst. It's a church ordinance. Pass it on).

agedman
12-24-2011, 02:44 AM
I have a problem with the thinking of close or closed communion folks.

First, the reference to "guarding" made is a bit out of play.

There were obvious excesses addressed by Paul concerning the communion, and Paul was not stating that communion was to be restricted in the sense of close or closed rather in exactly what communion consisted.

Rather than a whole meal with some members going to excess and then ending with the communion, Paul was telling the folks to eat at home, but when you come to the LS here is what you are to do.

That is the guarding. It was NOT given to any person or group such as - we are so puffed up with self righteousness that we can to tell someone else they are not eligible.

ALL are to examine their own life to find for THEMSELVES their worthiness or not. It is not up to the group or the neighbor to make that decision. It is not up to the local reputation and gossip chain, either.

To tell a visitor they cannot partake because "we don't share the ball" is not only selfish but denies what communion is all about.

It is the highest point of worship in which total introspection takes place. It is between that believer and God - no one else is invited into that space!

To read that some would deny such joy and closeness of the Savior to a fellow believer who just doesn't happen to belong to your holy huddle is ...

is ...

is ...

Absurd!

convicted1
12-24-2011, 03:42 AM
I have a problem with the thinking of close or closed communion folks.

First, the reference to "guarding" made is a bit out of play.

There were obvious excesses addressed by Paul concerning the communion, and Paul was not stating that communion was to be restricted in the sense of close or closed rather in exactly what communion consisted.

Rather than a whole meal with some members going to excess and then ending with the communion, Paul was telling the folks to eat at home, but when you come to the LS here is what you are to do.

That is the guarding. It was NOT given to any person or group such as - we are so puffed up with self righteousness that we can to tell someone else they are not eligible.

ALL are to examine their own life to find for THEMSELVES their worthiness or not. It is not up to the group or the neighbor to make that decision. It is not up to the local reputation and gossip chain, either.

To tell a visitor they cannot partake because "we don't share the ball" is not only selfish but denies what communion is all about.

It is the highest point of worship in which total introspection takes place. It is between that believer and God - no one else is invited into that space!

To read that some would deny such joy and closeness of the Savior to a fellow believer who just doesn't happen to belong to your holy huddle is ...

is ...

is ...

Absurd!


I have always been an open communionist, but how a church and/or association does theirs is their own business.

agedman
12-24-2011, 04:38 AM
I have always been an open communionist, but how a church and/or association does theirs is their own business.

I agree. The local church can resolve to support anything their holy huddle decides.

What bothered me was the vain attempts at justifying close and closed communion. Especially, using the "guarded" line. As if they are doing someone a favor!

Rather, take a brief time and explain to the gathering what is about to take place. That this is the most important and worshipful time a believer in this life can have before the Lord. That there is warnings given to all who partake and are unworthy - be they believer or unbeliever.

Then give time for earnest reflection and quiet mediation (with out the noise of music or disturbance). How many times have I seen and been in a service where the music continues throughout the LS. As if the silence would be unbearable.

If the people cannot be still, somber, and reflectively worshipful before the Lord at this point, perhaps the whole fellowship is unworthy.

Allow all who will to partake.

Even the children. For our Lord said to forbid them not, and what makes us the arbitrator of whether that child is less tuned to Christ than we more schooled and historically more sinful.

When we sit down with the Christ at the heavenly feast, the only folks excluded will be the ones not present. How dare we in our puffed up attitudes consider others unwelcome at the table of the LS just because they don't meet some man made up standard.

If some hold that only the eleven were partakers and exclusions were enacted, then the rule would also exclude women. For only the male gender took of the first cup and bread.

This is all soooooooooooooo Ridiculous!

Tom Butler
12-24-2011, 03:43 PM
agedman,

We've been having a pretty civil debate on this matter.

Then you made it uncivil, with pejoratives such as "holy huddle," "puffed up attitudes," "puffed up with self-righteousness, "doing someone a favor," "selfish, absurd" and "ridiculous."

And to tell the truth, you were doing a pretty good job of defending your position until you went into the attack mode, impugning motives and going ad hominem.

We who share my view hold it because we believe it is a scriptural view. That's it. You are welcome to disagree with it, and, of course, you do.

But please don't poison the conversation with vitriol and sarcasm.

InTheLight
12-24-2011, 04:46 PM
Is the LS a Christian ordinance or a church ordinance? Your answer will determine how much access you will allow to the Lord's table.

(Psst. It's a church ordinance. Pass it on).

I'm going to answer a Christian ordinance.

When Christ instituted the Lord's Supper He gave the disciples the wine and the bread and said, "Do this in remembrance of Me." Where was the local church? There was no local church, it had yet to be founded. Yet here is the command by the Lord himself to take the Lord's Supper.

webdog
12-24-2011, 05:43 PM
I'm going to answer a Christian ordinance.

When Christ instituted the Lord's Supper He gave the disciples the wine and the bread and said, "Do this in remembrance of Me." Where was the local church? There was no local church, it had yet to be founded. Yet here is the command by the Lord himself to take the Lord's Supper.

Exactly!


















The Lord's Supper is only for the 12 :D

agedman
12-24-2011, 05:46 PM
agedman,

But please don't poison the conversation with vitriol and sarcasm.

My sincere apologies if the vitriol and sarcasm were over the top of what is considerate and appropriate.


I used sarcasm because the arguments that I read in support of the view were coming from people whom I regard as far more capable than the support they were offering.

You and Old Regular are consistently very insightful and wise in your posts, but the balance you both regularly express seems to be missing from the approach and defense of what you supported in this thread.

Did you miss the game motif of the response I made? I figured since you both were using "guarded" that I would use holy huddle. Isn't that what is actually being done? Kind of like a gang protecting their basketball turf? The visitors and children become mere spectators, excluded from the real and intimate fellowship that the Lord commanded and instructed.

Have you considered that fellowships that practice close and closed communion establish the fellowship as the judge of what God considers His territory - that is, who is or is not worthy?

As such, are they not "puffed up" in attitude and self righteousness? Is not the attitude of exclusivity "selfish?"

Is not that sort of thinking dwelling in the range of "absurd" and "ridiculous?"

Is it not Christ alone that knows the heart(s) and is the final judge of all?

Perhaps, those who are from inside the exclusionary fellowship don't view the practice as problematic, but, from those of us who would have been grateful to join in the worship and were summarily banned, the words I chose though admittedly strong - were pretty accurate to the view from the excluded who were just too kind to ever object.

Perhaps I am wrong in my assessment of the closed and close communion thinking and folks.

Tom Butler
12-24-2011, 06:10 PM
I'm going to answer a Christian ordinance.

When Christ instituted the Lord's Supper He gave the disciples the wine and the bread and said, "Do this in remembrance of Me." Where was the local church? There was no local church, it had yet to be founded. Yet here is the command by the Lord himself to take the Lord's Supper.

I don't want to derail this thread by getting into a discussion of the date of the beginning of the church, but it's already derailed. Here's what I posted in a thread back in September.

Let's see what we have before Christ died. We had twelve men, chosen by Jesus. He ordained them. It had a Head, and it had a treasurer. It had a commission. It had a message. It had the ordinances (baptism, Lord's Supper). It had doctrine and teaching. Jesus instructed them on how to deal with a recalcitrant brother, with the ultimate solution: tell it to the church. (Matthew 18)

It had power. One may insist that they were without power until Pentecost. But the seventy disciples returned from a mission trip saying even the demons were subject to them (Luke 10:17) And throughout Jesus' earthly ministry, the disciples saw power displayed in their Head.

It had the Holy Spirit. John 20:22, Jesus: "Receive ye the Holy Spirit..."

So, the question is, what did this group have at Pentecost that it did not have while Jesus was on the earth? The answer is--nothing. If this group was a church after Pentecost, it was a church before Pentecost. ]

Regarding the OP:
Every one of those who participated in the first Lord's Supper was a baptized believer. Okay, we're back on track.

righteousdude2
12-24-2011, 08:55 PM
I have always been an open communionist, but how a church and/or association does theirs is their own business.

....you da man! Merry Christmas brother!

Jim1999
12-24-2011, 09:13 PM
But baptism is an order, so, isn't it disobedience not to be baptized?

Cheers,

Jim

agedman
12-24-2011, 10:41 PM
I am not opposed to establishing various times when the church was started.

That the church was started; that is really all that matters.

The issue isn't if the Apostles were organized as a local church body or not.

The ordinances, enjoyed by the total body of Christ from the beginning, were set forth (as if by command of law) by Christ. That is not in dispute.

That the local church has authority to administer the ordinances and establish frequency and time of the observance is also not in dispute.

The question is whether each body stands alone to make laws concerning who can partake of the ordinance, or did Christ as the head establish the ordinance and to whom it applies.

There are those of the opinion that the authority to administer also translates to establishing the law in who can partake. But the Scriptures both in example and in word gives no such authority to any local body of believers. Neither did Christ establish such restriction. The apostles knew they had no authority in that matter and did not apply restriction or exclusion.

If one were to contend that the example given by Christ at the last supper sets exclusion standards, then women and children would be excluded as well as anyone not having visual physical and social contact with Christ before the cross. No exclusions were established, and the Apostles did not mark out any lines of who could or could not participate.

Paul did not establish any exclusionary standard, but he certainly warned of participation by those unworthy. He did not say they should not participate, but that, if those who were unworthy did participate, they brought condemnation to their own bodies.

Each person must make the determination to engage in the ordinance or not based upon the personal decision of worthiness. The exclusion is to be personal and not made by some political body.

This applies to BOTH baptism and the Lord's Supper.

Tom Butler
12-24-2011, 11:07 PM
My sincere apologies if the vitriol and sarcasm were over the top of what is considerate and appropriate.

I appreciate that. I'm a big boy, and I can take it. I just want us to defend our views in a civil manner, and it seemed that we were getting away from that.

I used sarcasm because the arguments that I read in support of the view were coming from people whom I regard as far more capable than the support they were offering.

You and Old Regular are consistently very insightful and wise in your posts, but the balance you both regularly express seems to be missing from the approach and defense of what you supported in this thread. Actually, I thought OldRegular and I were making some pretty good points. Eye of the beholder, I guess.



Did you miss the game motif of the response I made? I figured since you both were using "guarded" that I would use holy huddle. Isn't that what is actually being done? Kind of like a gang protecting their basketball turf? The visitors and children become mere spectators, excluded from the real and intimate fellowship that the Lord commanded and instructed. Here is the reason I used the word "guarded."

I Cor 11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and guard the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

Have you considered that fellowships that practice close and closed communion establish the fellowship as the judge of what God considers His territory - that is, who is or is not worthy?

As such, are they not "puffed up" in attitude and self righteousness? Is not the attitude of exclusivity "selfish?"

Is not that sort of thinking dwelling in the range of "absurd" and "ridiculous?" You are mis-defining "unworthily." It has nothing to do with our being worthy to take the LS. It has everything to do with observing it in an unworthy manner, as the Corinthians were doing. It was so serious that God killed some of them.

Paul gave stern instructions to refuse the Lord's Supper to the man (Chapter 5) who was having an affair. In fact, to refuse to fellowship with him. Paul demanded that the Corinthian church do exactly the opposite of what you advocate. He demanded that it pass judgment on whom it would allow to fellowship with them and allow to take communion.

5:12b-13 Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you!

Is it not Christ alone that knows the heart(s) and is the final judge of all? True. But Paul was not demanding that the church judge hearts. It was to judge behavior which it had allowed to go on.

Perhaps, those who are from inside the exclusionary fellowship don't view the practice as problematic, but, from those of us who would have been grateful to join in the worship and were summarily banned, the words I chose though admittedly strong - were pretty accurate to the view from the excluded who were just too kind to ever object.

Perhaps I am wrong in my assessment of the closed and close communion thinking and folks.Yes, you have assessed us wrongly.

Brother, you are always welcome to disagree with my view and the scriptural rationale that I give for it. But you presumed to know my heart, and labeled it as puffed up, self-righteous and selfish.

Were it not for my being convinced that Scripture supports my view, I would gladly join you in yours. But I can't.

Tom Butler
12-24-2011, 11:40 PM
That the local church has authority to administer the ordinances and establish frequency and time of the observance is also not in dispute.

The question is whether each body stands alone to make laws concerning who can partake of the ordinance, or did Christ as the head establish the ordinance and to whom it applies.

There are those of the opinion that the authority to administer also translates to establishing the law in who can partake. But the Scriptures both in example and in word gives no such authority to any local body of believers. Neither did Christ establish such restriction. The apostles knew they had no authority in that matter and did not apply restriction or exclusion. .

So, bottom line here.
Should a church require its members to be baptized?
Should a church require participants in the Lord's Supper to be baptized?
Should a church have the right to determine whom it will baptize? Or can a candidate simply ask for it and he church has no choice but to grant his request?
Should a church have the right to determine whom it will allow to take the Lord's Supper? Or may a total stranger express his desire to participate, with the church having no say in the matter?

OldRegular
12-24-2011, 11:41 PM
I have always been an open communionist, but how a church and/or association does theirs is their own business.

I am a member of a Southern Baptist Church. If I were to visit an Old Regular Baptist Church would I be allowed to participate in the communion service?

OldRegular
12-24-2011, 11:47 PM
So, bottom line here.
Should a church require its members to be baptized?
Should a church require participants in the Lord's Supper to be baptized?
Should a church have the right to determine whom it will baptize? Or can a candidate simply ask for it and he church has no choice but to grant his request?
Should a church have the right to determine whom it will allow to take the Lord's Supper? Or may a total stranger express his desire to participate, with the church having no say in the matter?

MYy belief!

Should a church require its members to be baptized? YES!
Should a church require participants in the Lord's Supper to be baptized? YES!
Should a church have the right to determine whom it will baptize? YES!
Or can a candidate simply ask for it and the church has no choice but to grant his request? NO!
Should a church have the right to determine whom it will allow to take the Lord's Supper? YES!
Or may a total stranger express his desire to participate, with the church having no say in the matter? NO!

agedman
12-24-2011, 11:53 PM
Paul gave stern instructions to refuse the Lord's Supper to the man (Chapter 5) who was having an affair. In fact, to refuse to fellowship with him. Paul demanded that the Corinthian church do exactly the opposite of what you advocate. He demanded that it pass judgment on whom it would allow to fellowship with them and allow to take communion.

5:12b-13 Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you!

True. But Paul was not demanding that the church judge hearts. It was to judge behavior which it had allowed to go on.



I find no place in 1 Corinthians 5 that Paul is talking of the Lord's Supper.

Paul is talking about the most obvious and public sin (leaven) of a person that needed to be put out of the assembly and association between the person and the assembly irrevocably broken. This was to be done immediately and not conditioned upon the communion. Being put out and shunned by the assembly means that the person was allowed no fellowship at all.

Liars, fornicators, idolitors ... were and are all publicly known affronts to the testimony of the church. Of course, the local body should address the person who flaunts sinful behavior and brings shame to the testimony of Christ.

Again, that is irregardless of the Lord's Supper, but is guarding the testimony of the church as displayed before the world and as it impacts the body.

A person so shunned by the body of believers has no fellowship with any believer be it local or international. The Lord's Supper is mute to the discussion of a person in such a condition.

agedman
12-25-2011, 12:21 AM
These are all good and practicle questions.




Should a church require its members to be baptized?

Baptism is an ordinance given by Christ to believer not the church. If the church wants to extend membership to all who are baptized, they are certainly free to do so. If the person determines to be baptized but refuses church membership that is that person's right. Again, the ordinance is given by Christ. Baptism and membership do not always need to go hand in glove.


Should a church require participants in the Lord's Supper to be baptized?

Why? These are separate ordinances. Who am I that I would categorically state that one must predate the other. For instance, Baptist believe that a child is in a state of grace before the age of accountability. The church would teach that if the child were to die they would go to heaven, yet that same church would deny allowing that innocent child the Lord's supper. Did Christ not tell the disciples to NOT forbid the children...?



Should a church have the right to determine whom it will baptize? Or can a candidate simply ask for it and he church has no choice but to grant his request?

What does baptism signify? If that person does not confess Jesus Christ as Savior then they are not believers and have no right to ask to be baptized. If that person does express and confess Jesus Christ as Savior, what right has the church to not baptize? Again the emphasis is placed upon the person not the institution.

Let me further ask, what would it gain a person who is not a believer to be baptized? Selfish motives of greed, political gain, ... Would not the fruits of such a person reveal the truth? Would not the assembly then be obliged to remove the person and shun them (1 cor. 5)?


Should a church have the right to determine whom it will allow to take the Lord's Supper? Or may a total stranger express his desire to participate, with the church having no say in the matter?

The correct answer is no the church is not the determiner of who will or won't be allowed. If a person has been irrevocably shunned (1 Cor. 5) there is no contact with that person and the question is mute. If the person is a stranger, then the church falls to no condemnation if that person takes of the elements unworthily. Why should it matter to the church if a stranger partakes or not? Is the condemnation heaped upon the fellowship if the person is unworthy? Is there broken testimony to the community of unbelievers is the person takes or doesn't?

The church leadership should conduct the Lord's table in such a manner that it is a sober time of reflected introspection. Each person doing private business with the Lord. It is between the believer and Christ. There is no more Holy and close worship communion with Christ than at the time of this supper. If the stranger isn't wise enough to understand or chooses to ignore the warnings, the fault is NOT with the church.

The church should not take upon itself that responsibility.

agedman
12-25-2011, 12:27 AM
But baptism is an order, so, isn't it disobedience not to be baptized?

Cheers,

Jim

yes, a believer is disobedient if they are not baptized.

Tom Butler
12-25-2011, 10:56 PM
I find no place in 1 Corinthians 5 that Paul is talking of the Lord's Supper.

I based my comment on I Cor 5:11
But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

My understanding is that the Lord's Supper was often observed at the same time of the fellowship meal. Paul speaks of it in chapter 11.

I think you're right that excluding members for flagrant sin has the same effect as denying them communion, and denying them access to the fellowship meal.

And I certainly don't think you're advocating that the church adopt a hands-off attitude toward those offending members regarding the Lord's Supper.

I also want to comment on your comment:
The correct answer is no, the church is not the determiner of who will or won't be allowed.

It seems to me that your position allows an individual to substitute his judgment for that of the church. Are you sure you want to carry that argument to its logical extreme.

jaigner
12-26-2011, 02:40 AM
According to most (if not all) Baptist churches, yes.

But the answer as I see it is a resounding, "No!"

agedman
12-26-2011, 03:02 AM
It seems to me that your position allows an individual to substitute his judgment for that of the church. Are you sure you want to carry that argument to its logical extreme.

Trust you and yours had a blessed Christmas!



Isn't individual's judgment is exactly the point of the argument?


Do all stand individually before Christ - believers for what they have done, and unbelievers for what they did not do?

The individual must be ultimately responsible.

When Paul states that some of those who partook of the supper unworthily were "asleep," it shows that the individuals were held accountable but not the assembly. When Paul warns that, if the assembly allows open publicly known and flagrant sin (such as in the 1 Cor. writings we shared) that is not expunged and shunned by the assembly, most certainly the assembly suffers.

Where is it ever indicated that the assembly suffers if one takes of the ordinance of LS unworthily? The assembly doesn't. The individual does.

What might be the problem with the extreme of this position?

Perhaps it would be wise to actually place in writing the items that God does hold the assemblies responsible.

False doctrine;
not adoring the Scriptures;
worshiping man, music, methods, programs, policy, politics, and idols of wood, stone, flesh, and other such things rather than God;
having a form of worship but no true worship;
proclaiming life knowing the assembly is dead in sin and excess;
being tepid as those who desire the gospel not to be offensive.

Perhaps I missed something that some might desire to add or clarify.

(See the Revelation for explanation of God's view of the assembly and what He holds as accountable.)

agedman
12-26-2011, 03:12 AM
I based my comment on I Cor 5:11


My understanding is that the Lord's Supper was often observed at the same time of the fellowship meal. Paul speaks of it in chapter 11.


I neglected to remark on this part of the post.

No, Paul is not discussing the Lord's Supper in this chapter nor this verse.

He is addressing a known and flagrantly shameful sin that mars before the public the testimony of the assembly.

The person is put out of the assembly and shunned (no fellowship) and therefore that makes the Lord's Supper unavailable to the person and therefore a mute argument in support of guard-ship over the ordinance by the assembly. For if it were applied to the ordinance, then the person would be allowed to sit in the assembly's presence - which that person is not.

Tom Butler
12-26-2011, 11:34 AM
I neglected to remark on this part of the post.

No, Paul is not discussing the Lord's Supper in this chapter nor this verse.

He is addressing a known and flagrantly shameful sin that mars before the public the testimony of the assembly.

The person is put out of the assembly and shunned (no fellowship) and therefore that makes the Lord's Supper unavailable to the person and therefore a mute argument in support of guard-ship over the ordinance by the assembly. For if it were applied to the ordinance, then the person would be allowed to sit in the assembly's presence - which that person is not.

So, what we have are two separate standards, one for membership and the other for observing the Lord's Supper. This is the logical extreme I had in mind.

We both agree that the church has the authority to disfellowship someone, the effect of which is to deny him access to the Lord's table.

If the individual is the sole arbiter of his right to the Lord's table, then that comes into conflict with the church's right to determine its membership.

This view would allow the offending member to demand the right to participate in communion, even though he is not welcome for fellowship.

It seems to me that one cannot have it both ways.

JesusFan
12-26-2011, 02:41 PM
I think I'm correct that the majority of us see water baptism as a pre-requisite for membership in a local church. I don't know of any Baptist church of any stripe which allows unbaptized people to be members. If I'm right, then it doesn't make sense to invite an unbaptized person to the Lord's table.

Paul had this to say in I Cor 10:17:


Paul is clearly referring to the body as a local congregation. He reinforces this in 12:27 when he refers to the congregation at Corinth as "YE are the body of Christ."


So, to me, if we require one ordinance--baptism-- as the door to local church membership, but do not require it for access to the other ordinance--the Lord's table--this is a glaring inconsistency.

The arguments for each side hang on the question, Is the LS a Christian ordinance or a church ordinance? Your answer will determine how much access you will allow to the Lord's table.

(Psst. It's a church ordinance. Pass it on).


again though Tom, you take the position of there just being the local church assembly, which would fir the closed communion position, while those here like my tale Universal church position, so open communion!

NOT an issue to break fellowship over though, not an essential doctrine ALL must adhere to, so lets feel free to disagree!

agedman
12-26-2011, 03:53 PM
So, what we have are two separate standards, one for membership and the other for observing the Lord's Supper. This is the logical extreme I had in mind.


No double standard at all.

The observance of the ordinances are a completely separate issue.

> Baptism and/or the Lord's Supper should never be considered providing automatic qualifiers resulting in church membership.

Membership in a local assembly requires a lot more weight be placed on a lot more issues by and upon the assembly than what the individual shows in baptism and the Lord's Supper.

For the assembly to accept a person, with the financial, political, emotional, educational ... support the assembly must extend to any family member, it requires the assembly to know the person personally and to have some history of the person's character and life choices.

The local assembly holds control over the membership/fellowship as Paul stated (1 Cor. 5). Guarding the membership from outside forces as well as internal rot is extremely important.


> Also, church membership should never be considered as automatic qualifiers for the worthiness of participation in the ordinances.

In my opinion, this is a reason some in the modern day members do fall ill, have serious personal problems, perhaps even die. Just as Paul through Christ indicated.


Along this line, Baptists extend "the right hand of fellowship" to those who come by "statement of faith." Who is to say that person has been baptized or been discharged by another assembly?

I realize that the pew sitters place faith in the leadership understanding (perhaps have privately validated) behind the reason one comes on statement of faith. Never the less, the fellowship is extended when the general assembly is assuming the person is worthy.

Yet, the same acceptance is not offered to the stranger who just happens to attend when the Lord's Supper is scheduled. Is not this a double standard - at least from the visitor's view?

Again, I would remind the readers that the Lord's Supper is highest fellowship with Christ.

It is not direct fellowship of member to the membership other than as a person examines their own life, living, and love and in so doing must deal with the personal sin and affronts made to both man and God before taking the elements.

Christ said we are to do this in "remembrance of Him." If there is broken fellowship in the assembly, that is a sin and someone(s) is/are unworthy to partake. If choosing to partake (unworthily) there are personal and individual repercussions.





We both agree that the church has the authority to disfellowship someone, the effect of which is to deny him access to the Lord's table.

If the individual is the sole arbiter of his right to the Lord's table, then that comes into conflict with the church's right to determine its membership.

How?

If the person is not allowed to "darken the door" of the fellowship, then they have no business being in attendance - even at a funeral, wedding, or any other gathering in which the membership has given approval or is in agreement. The person physically cannot be in the assemblies presence.

If the ousted person is determined to attend a service - whether the LS is to be held or not - the church may choose one of two options. Ask the person to leave suggesting that if they don't that force to remove that person is an option. If the assembly is non-violent thinking, the other option would be for the assembly to walk out leaving the person behind in the empty meeting place. The person could drink and eat to their heart's content, but the eating and drinking would not constitute the Lord's Supper. Or perhaps, just quietly not celebrating the LS.



This view would allow the offending member to demand the right to participate in communion, even though he is not welcome for fellowship.

It seems to me that one cannot have it both ways.

First, that person isn't a member - offending or not. All traces of their influence and membership have been removed.

Perhaps as a extreme example, that person comes in disguise so that the identity is unknown and the church has no knowledge the person attending is one shunned. Sounds ridiculous, but pretend it could happen. What then?

The church is not held accountable. The individual, unworthy in public sin and confirmed in unrepentant attitude by their hidden scheme, would still be accountable to God.

agedman
12-26-2011, 04:10 PM
Tom,

I neglected to remark about "unworthy" being "unworthy manner."

A person is going to demonstrate (manner) when sin has blossomed and born fruit. They are knowingly self aware of being unworthy far sooner than then.

The ones who were asleep were full blown fruit glaringly sinful for all to see unworthy.

Because Paul said the word "some," it indicates that there were "some" who, though judged and reaping the benefits of being unworthy yet partaking, had not yet reached the place that God would take their life.

We must all "examine ourselves" as honestly and carefully as Peter did, when examined by Christ, and made personal judgment of his own condition after the cross. At least Peter was humbly honest enough to admit he didn't love Christ the way Christ loved him.

Being humbly honest and without a crack (what sincere means) before Christ at the LS, moves the believer from unworthy to worthy.

Tom Butler
12-26-2011, 07:50 PM
I think the unworthy manner Paul criticized in I Cor 11 shows the close relationship back then between the fellowship meal and the Lord's Supper.

I think the Corinthians were getting tipsy at the fellowship meal, and were mistreating the widows, eating like pigs and generally behaving boorishly. Then they had the gall to have the Lord's Supper on the heels of all that. On top of that, they were coming to the Lord's table with unresolved conflicts among them--which made the observance a sham in many ways.

That's how they were taking it unworthily. The adverb has nothing to do with their worthiness. They were not properly "discerning the Lord's body."

webdog
12-26-2011, 08:38 PM
If failing to be baptized and observe the Lords Supper are both disobedience, why is it ok to allow further sin be denying the latter?

agedman
12-26-2011, 09:03 PM
I think the unworthy manner Paul criticized in I Cor 11 shows the close relationship back then between the fellowship meal and the Lord's Supper.

Absolutely correct.

I think the Corinthians were getting tipsy at the fellowship meal, and were mistreating the widows, eating like pigs and generally behaving boorishly. Then they had the gall to have the Lord's Supper on the heels of all that. On top of that, they were coming to the Lord's table with unresolved conflicts among them--which made the observance a sham in many ways.

Again, absolutely agree!

That's how they were taking it unworthily. The adverb has nothing to do with their worthiness. They were not properly "discerning the Lord's body."

Not "discerning the Lord's body" is a sin. A personal sin. An affront to the holiness of God.

By that I find them not only unworthy in manner, but unworthy by sin.

Not all were involved in the excess, but the individuals that were were certainly punished.