"Closed" Communion

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Mitsy, May 3, 2004.

  1. Mitsy

    Mitsy
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    As several of you know, I have been attending the Primitive Baptist Church for a little over a year. I enjoy the people, the sermons, and the fellowship. However, I have sat through 2 communions now that I was unable to participate in due to the fact that I'm not a member. Never mind that I've been a baptised Christian for many years and was baptised a Baptist at 14. The church I was a member of for many years had open communion (for any believer walking with Christ). I do know that Catholics and some Lutheran Churches have closed communion though.

    Yesterday, I went into the fellowship hall (where we have our meal) and puttered around until the service was over. They had the usual song and hand-shaking after communion was over, but I decided to opt out of the hand-shaking this time. I'm thinking that I won't try to go at all the next time they have a communion Sunday. I don't care to get re-baptised, and that seems to be their requirement for membership. Thoughts on this?????
     
  2. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    Talk with the pastor about your concerns in private first. Sometiems what the pastor belieevs and what people think the church believes may be two different things.

    Many years ago I spoke with a pastor in private about a similar thing. I spoke with him about what he would say before the bread and juice was passed. One Sunday my mother-in-law who was not a Christian at the time was visiting us. The pastor said that the person needed to be a Christian and be baptized. She called herself a Christian because she went to church sometimes. She was baptized by sprinkling as an infant. So in her mind she met the criteria. After I spoke with the pastor about that his presentation changed. I doubt that he had ever considered that point.

    Tell your pastor that you really like the church and would like to be a member and then tell him what you have written to us.

    My point of view is that rebaptism like what you describe often introduces a doctrine that is not compatible with the NT teaching of baptism. Baptism covers more than just joining a local church. If for example we were to take the chruch of The Way found in the book of Acts and say that to be a member of a Baptist Church and not accept the baptism of The Way then what are we saying about those believers and their baptism as recorded in Acts?

    Now if you had been baptized in a Mormon Chruch or another cult church I would not accept that pseudo-baptism. Those people are not immersed as a testimony of their faith in Jesus.
     
  3. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,398
    Likes Received:
    0
    While I am a Baptist and have been for a 35+ years and believe in the autonomy of the local church. I believe that in order to hold the teachings of closed communion and water re-baptism in order to be a part of a local church goes beyond the pale of Scripture. That is of course assuming the individual has been Scripturally baptized. The baptismal pool and the Lord's table does not belong to that local congregation. They belong to Him, and those who are His are welcome at His table.

    I would not pastor a church or attend a church that turned genuinely saved people away from the Lord's table.

    Bro Tony
     
  4. Mitsy

    Mitsy
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well "joining" for the sake of being able to participate in the communion service is not enough of a draw for me at this point. And, as I stated, they require re-baptism for membership (regardless of where you were previously baptised), so it's basically not worth me trying to talk to the elder (in my mind). They call them "elders" rather than Rev. or Pastor. I think they only have communion maybe twice a year, but I think it's a bit exclusionary to not allow practicing, baptised believers to also participate. In the case of your Mom-in-Law, you say she was NOT a Christian but wanted to participate in the communion? That isn't similar to what I experienced yesterday. I have been a baptised Christian since 14 and was even re-baptised in the Pentecostal faith at one time, so two baptisms (fully emersed) since accepting Christ. I do not think participating in the communion service should be for "members only". I can understand requiring being a baptised Christian or even a believer in Christ before partaking but requiring membership??? I'm not getting baptised a 3rd time just for communion sake, but I admit that I felt awkward and somewhat hurt that I wasn't able to partake. Maybe it didn't bother the other non-members but it bothered me.
     
  5. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    Maybe you need to take a look at what other churches are around that you might enjoy doing ministry with. If the issue of membership bothers you now, it will bother you later too.

    Find a place where you can serve and do ministry.

    I agree with Bro. Tony.
     
  6. Shasta

    Shasta
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Bro. Tony and gb. I don't mean to be unkind but the church that you are presently attending sounds little too full of themselves..instead of the Holy Spirit. I would pray for the Lord's guidance and see if he will lead you to a different church.
    Shasta [​IMG]
     
  7. Mitsy

    Mitsy
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    I will keep in mind your thoughts. Truthfully speaking, there are very few Baptist Churches where I live that I would care to be a part of. Some of them are quite a bit larger than what I'm comfortable in, so that is why I ventured to other denominations (such as my stint in the Pentecostal Church, which was not doctrinally sound). I attended an Independent Baptist Church for a while, until one of the pastors left due to differences with the other pastor. I didn't care for the pastor who remained, so I quit attending when they had their split. Will have to think and pray on this for a while.

    I'd be curious if there are any Primitive Baptists who frequent this board and wonder if their churches have similar rules for communion.
     
  8. Shasta

    Shasta
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess that you could start a thread, that way more people would know that you are inquiring. I visited a PB one time because someone I knew was being baptized but I don't know anything about their beliefs.
    Shasta [​IMG]
     
  9. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2002
    Messages:
    2,992
    Likes Received:
    0
    In order to participate in the Lord's Supper and washing of the saints' feet in any sound Primitive Baptist church one must first be a member of the Primitive Baptist family.

    First, we do not consider it re-baptism because scripture teaches there is only one baptism. As you probably already know we consider ourselves to be the true church of God, the remnant, left here so we accept no other denomination's "baptism" as being sound.

    We believe the only true New Testament baptism occurs in the Primitive Baptist church, so there is no re-baptism.

    Also, notice in Mark 14 that the water-bearer and the goodman of the house where the feast was held in the upper room were neither invited to take part in the supper. It was only Jesus and his disciples.

    This church seems to be doing things as any other PB church would.

    The question I would ask is why do you not want to be baptized into the church? If you honestly believe the way this church does and you feel the conviction from God to do so you will not be able to resist joining the church. However, if you are not feeling that conviction then my advice is to not join. I would not join for the sole-purpose of participating in Communion. If you truly believe the way this church does then you will understand why we believe what we believe.

    In any event, I would talk to the pastor about your feelings and have him explain it to you in more detail than I have. There is no better place to go than the horse's mouth. Well, maybe God, but last I checked He had a full schedule. ;)

    God Bless.

    Bro. James
    Spring Grove Primitive Baptist Church
     
  10. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    3,348
    Likes Received:
    14
    Very Catholic, very Church of Christ, very Mormonistic, very unscriptual.

    My advice, run as fast and as far away from that "church" as possible.
     
  11. superdave

    superdave
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    2,055
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yep, I second that motion.

    In the words of Monty Python, "Run Away"

    I am blessed to be part of a church that uses the Bible as its only rule for faith and practice, instead of some imaginary doctrine that someone sucked out of their thumb somewhere along the way, and decided that anyone who didn't follow them, was not in the "true" church.

    Our church encourages anyone who is a Child of God, and has been baptized by water immersion to join with us in the Lord's table. There is nothing magical about it, it is an opportunity to remember the sacrifice of Christ, and is valid for all members of the Church as in the Body of Christ, not just my particular local church.
     
  12. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    How is that different than what the Church of Christ believes?
     
  13. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,072
    Likes Received:
    101
    Traditional CoC doctrine (if there is such a thing) tends toward baptismal regeneration. Big difference from PBs.

    The real difference is that PBs do not deny the salvation of others who believe and practice differently; but they insist others meet their rules of fellowship if they want the full privileges of the church. That's a far cry from traditional CoC (and the real life of that fellowship is not with the traditionalists) doctrine that those who are not baptized in the correct manner (or partake of the Lord's Supper in the correct manner) are lost.
     
  14. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,398
    Likes Received:
    0
    quote- "we do not consider it re-baptism because the scripture teaches there is only one baptism"

    Only one baptism, I would agree, but it does not belong to any one denomination. And it is not water baptism in the first place. Read Paul's writings to the church at Ephesus. Baptism is not the door into the church, Jesus is! The ordinance of baptism is not for non-believers to get into the church, or a church, it is an act of obedience that declares that one has received Jesus as Lord. The beauty and the great symbolism of baptism is cheapened when turned into a requirement to join a denomination or local church.

    quote-"we consider ourselves the only true church of God". You guys are going to be very lonely in heaven.

    Bro Tony
     
  15. Mitsy

    Mitsy
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree, Brother Tony, that the PB view of only one baptism (and it being in the Primitive Baptist Church) is a very narrow one. What the PB poster is telling me is that baptism in ANY other church (even if it was another Baptist denomination) is not good enough. Sort of reminds me of my time at the Pentecostal church (but there they believed THEY were the only ones going to heaven) so anyone Baptist (of any persuasion) was not saved. Mercy....
     
  16. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2002
    Messages:
    2,992
    Likes Received:
    0
    What everyone seems to be misunderstanding is that we don't believe church membership is required in order to go to heaven.

    Bro. Tony, you contend that baptism is not required for church membership. If that is the case then why is baptism taught as a duty in the scriptures?

    If we refuse to submit to baptism, then we start right off the bat by disobeying the scriptures.

    How can every church be the true church of God when we all hold to different beliefs?

    Once a church has strayed from the path of the old church she ceases to be a true church.

    That is plain and simple.

    As we don't fellowship with any of the other Baptist groups, since the 1832 split, we no longer recognize those churches as orthodox, therefore we will not and can not accept their baptism and remain ourselves a true church.

    Please read rsr's comments above in regard to comparing us to the Church of Christ. It is simply a bad comparison to make.

    Again, Mitsy, please speak with the pastor of the church. It is easier to see and understand someone's point when you are with them rather than writing over the computer.
     
  17. Mitsy

    Mitsy
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have another question then; if foot washing is part of the PB communion service, then why don't all the PM churches do that as well? Not to say I would really want to participate in that, but why do some do this and some do not?
     
  18. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,398
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bro James,

    I did not say that water baptism is not commanded in Scripture. We differ on the reason and purpose of the ordinance. You believe it is to enter your church/denomination, I say that Jesus brings us into His Body, The Church, and as an act of obedience of a believer we follow Him in believer's baptism. Baptism does not belong to a denomination, I was not baptized into the baptist church, I was baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit, and my water baptism is a outward expression of that wonderful event.

    Your narrow view of the true church makes me wonder why you are on this board. Since none of the rest of us are apart of the church, I am surprised you would fellowship with us in these discussions.

    Finally, I believe orthodox is determined by keeping what the Scriptures teach, not some denominational or traditional slant to the teachings. Your group apparently have left the clear meaning of the Scripture in this area, and I would hold your view as "unorthodox". That being said, I still would fellowship with you even though we disagree in this point. As long as you didn't teach baptismal regeneration, which apparently you don't, I would consider you a part of the church, even though you don't consider me the same.

    What a shame, apparently the Apostles weren't a part of the true church. What denomination were they baptized into?

    Bro Tony
     
  19. Circuitrider

    Circuitrider
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/circuitrider2.JPG>

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2000
    Messages:
    729
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mitsy,

    It looks like you have three choices....get baptized in the PBC, continue to attend and absent yourself from the Lord's supper or find another Baptist church to join. ;)

    Last Sunday I attended two churches (I am the director of our state fellowship) and celebrated the Lord's Supper in both. In the morning I attended a Baptist church in which the pastor simply served the Lord's supper with no instruction or requirement (essentially open communion). In the evening we attended our home church where we are members. The pastor gave a brief challenge and laid down the biblical requirements for baptized believers to participate (essentially close communion).

    Frankly, I would not consider being rebaptized to join a church nor would I feel comfortable purposely missing the Lord's supper. If I were you, I would give that independent Baptist church another try. [​IMG]
     
  20. Mitsy

    Mitsy
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Circuitrider: (like your picture by the way)

    Yes, that is the 3 choices. I'm afraid the Independent Baptist Church is not one I'd care to return to unless the pastor they presently have would leave. I'm actually quite shocked that the man is still there. This church had 2 pastors (something that was a bit unique but OK by my book). The one pastor I really loved to hear preach left over some doctrinal issues with the remaining pastor (not sure what they were) but the remaining pastor is not what you'd call "good with the flock". His personality leaves much to be desired, and I simply think there are some better choices for me in the way of a church home. However, living in a somewhat rural area, I have fewer choices than perhaps many who frequent this board. :(
     

Share This Page

Loading...