closed communion

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by chris_price, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. chris_price

    chris_price
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    I am looking for information about Closed Communion. I was raised to do Closed Commuion. but am looking for more information in books and web sites. Dont forget your comments. They are important to. I have had difficulty finding infomation on this as many have gone to Close Communion and some have even gone to Open! Help please!
     
  2. west

    west
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    Many years ago I went to a Reformed Presbyterian Church to visit .They said they were having the Lords Supper the following week and if you never recieved it their before you had to meet with the Pastor and Elders after the Service .
     
  3. chris_price

    chris_price
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    That is intresting


    since there is noe other replies I tkae it that no one else does closed commuinion.

    Is that right?


    HELP???


    bump...
     
  4. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed
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    I am Primitive Baptist and we practice close communion.(Someone may partake if they are members of any Primitive Baptist church with whom we are in fellowship)

    Are you speaking of closed in it's actual meaning? (Only members of Church A are allowed to take Communion with Church A)

    Is there any paricular type of info you are looking for about this subject?
     
  5. R. Charles Blair

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    If we really believe the Bible, there is no such thing as truly "open" communion. I Cor. has 3 key passages documenting this.

    Ch. 5 makes it clear that no person known to be immoral, and unrepentant, may partake: "with such a one no not to eat," v. 11.

    Ch. 10 makes it clear that no one acknowledged to be lost may partake: "ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of demons," v. 21.

    And ch.11, which emphasizes "When ye come together as a church" (where the Lord set His table on the night before His crucifixion), says there are to be no divisions (vv. 18-20). It is a serious enough matter that some abusers were sick, and some "sleep" (in death, evidently).

    How can we keep these three thoughts, and avoid making a mockery of this solemn ordinance? The only way to do so without trying to judge anyone is to open the table to self-examined members in good fellowship with the local congregation. If we open the door "a bit wider," there is no stopping place on that "slippery slope."

    As a Southern Baptist Associational Missionary for many years, and Bible college educator before that, I visited many congregations, held several interims, and would have been welcome at the table in some of these. But my convictions, which grow out of the Passover being eaten ONLY by households (or the extended family when one member lives alone nearby, Ex. 12:4, simple practicality), do not allow me to do so. That is especially true because it would encourage the churches to invite others, and then there must be "judging" or sheer mockery. To avoid both, is it not best to keep the ordinances where the Lord placed them, in His congregations individually? (Compare I Cor. 11:2, where "the ordinances" (some translate "traditions," usually understood to include church government and practice) are to be kept by the church at Corinth as Paul delivered them to that congregation.

    Yes, there are multitudes of Baptists who still observe some form of "close," "closed," or (as I prefer)"church communion." Contact a friend of mine for more info: <[email protected]>. (Or if that e-dress doesn't work, try @ethixs.com). He has a website dealing with such issues, and would be interested in some new subscribers.

    Best - Charles Blair - Rom. 8:28
     
  6. Ben W

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    Your best luck would be to try the websites of the Episcopal and Lutheran Churches, both of which practice Closed Communion, it is unlikely to be found in evangelical Baptist circles to much!
     
  7. dh1948

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    The churches of the American Baptist Association are strictly closed communion. You might want to go to their website. I think they have a link to their bookstore and/or publishing house. You should be able to find books, pamphlets, etc., defending their position of closed communion. Also, you might want to do a google search on closed communion vs open communion. You may find something there that would give you a balanced presentation.
     
  8. Bro Tony

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    There is no Scriptural support for the practice of "closed" communion. Paul says in 1 Cor. 11 that each person should examine themselves, then let them eat. Passover being held in particular homes has no impact on taking the Lord's Supper. It is apples and oranges. The disciples even shared Passover together before the instituting of the Lord's Supper and they were not of one household. Neither were they the church when they shared the first Lord's Supper with Jesus.

    I would dare say that every time the Lord's Supper is taken there are those who should not take it whether in a open or closed communion. Just because someone is a member of a local church, does not make them right with God and ready to take the Lord's Supper.

    The practice of closed communion is a local church polity matter and not a biblical doctrine matter. Those who try to exalt this issue to a place of biblical doctrine are adding to the Word.

    Bro Tony
     
  9. Bro. James

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    Disagree.

    "Open, close, closed" cannot all be optional ways of observing The Lord's Supper.

    The reason there are several variants of this practice is because of the false doctrine of "Holy Catholic Church" which has permeated the "Christian" religion. The universal church teaching is obviously incongruent with "closed" communion. However, "closed" is congruent with the teaching of local, visible assembly which describes exactly a New Testament Assembly.

    The Church Universal is "visible" to those who are of the "holy see", and "invisible" to her daughters--universalists from the 16th century who were defrocked by Rome, commonly called--The Reformation.

    The terms "trans-substantiation and con-substantiation" could be introduced here as well--this is all false teaching coming from the same basic source.

    Such false teachings have never been a part of the New Testament Churches which Jesus is building, which have been in every generation--a pillar and ground of the Truth. They have always rejected the universal church doctrine along with baptismal regeneration, infant baptism, apostolic succession, papacy, etc.

    Universal Church destroys the picture of the Supper--i.e. the Lord's body and blood.

    Closed communion pictures His body and blood--any other communion cannot do that.

    That's scriptural, brother.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  10. USN2Pulpit

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    Bro.James, I find it difficult to arrive at the conclusion you did, even with the facts you cited. In truth, weren't the Roman Catholics were among the first to hold "Closed" communion - not open? Maybe I'm misunderstanding your meaning.
     
  11. Bro Tony

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    Bro James--

    Your fear of the RC church and their teachings (which I also dispise) has clouded your thinking. You did not provide one verse of Scripture in your response, why--because you can't to support closed communion. Yet you close your response by saying "that's Scriptural, brother". Well brother I am still waiting for the Scripture. I respect your right and your local churches right to have closed communion, but I am always offended when someone adds to the Scripture that which is not there. You give the enemies of God a reason to attack His church when it attributes to Scripture that which is not there.

    Bro Tony
     
  12. R. Charles Blair

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    Bro. Tony: How do you know from Scripture that the group in which Jesus instituted the Lord's supper was not the first church? Remember that a rabbi's disciples were considered his closest family, so they partook as a "household," then Judas left (Jn. 13:21-30), then the elements of Passover were used to institute the New Covenant replacement.

    Also, it was to a local church that the Spirit through Paul spoke the words "But let a man examine himself . . . ." (emphasized by the repeated use of the expression "When ye come together as a church" in the chapter).

    We have 2 choices: allow anyone who chooses to partake, thus frequently making a mockery of a most sacred event, or some form of restricted communion. The most logical form is to allow the members in fellowship with a local congregation to examine themselves and partake as they feel led. If there are some who should not (and there may well be, as you suggest) then they "eat and drink condemnation to themselves." But if we let down the standard, we condemn ourselves.

    Do you hold any form of "church discipline"? If so, consider this scenario: Member A of Church X has been disfellowshipped. Church Y down the road is "open communion." Member A's immoral conduct is well known; he attends church Y and openly ridicules church X for their action. Is this the position we want to encourage?

    Member B of Group Z, which holds baptismal regeneration and communion for continued salvation, comes to visit with Member C at Church Y (kinfolks, or old friends), and, with clearly known false doctrine, decides to partake. Is this the position we want to defend?

    Lots of folks think they are "Christian" in some sense; lots of folks think they are "baptized." Shall we leave the decision to every individual conscience and return to the days of the Judges?

    Yes, this is local church polity; but many of us, including lots of Southern Baptists, still hold some form of "close" or "closed" communion; I still like the term "church communion." When the SBC voted on the 2000 Faith and Message at Orlando, one brother moved to take out the closed communion statement, and was voted down by a huge majority, after a clear explanation by Richard Land. Whatever the practice of some local congregations, the SBC has formally voted not to endorse "open communion."

    I appreciate and share your concern for Scripture; don't write off the Passover model without some careful consideration. That is also Scripture. Also, consider this question: if you are present when someone makes a profession of faith in a church other than your own and asks for baptism, would you feel hurt if they didn't ask for your vote on the matter? If one ordinance is clearly a local church matter, why not the other? Best - Charles - Ro. 8:28

    (Please be patient; it may be some time before I get back to the computer.)
     
  13. gb93433

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    Some churches are so closed that they will not allow someone who is a Baptist but was not baptized in that particular church to partake.

    My questions has alweays been to those folks, "How can they be 100 percent sure that everyone who partakes is a believer.

    Years ago I was a student in Memphis and one of the deacons in the church I was attending came forward to receive Christ who had been a deacon for years. BTW it was a IFB Church.
     
  14. Rhetorician

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    Reply to BenW.

    Ben,

    I received my doctorate from The University of the South/Sewanee/Episcopal; and we had communion every day or mass as they call it. I could not/did not participate because of doctrinal and conscience reasons. But, they went out of their way to make sure I knew I was welcome to participate. They were very cordial and open more than I believed they would be to a Baptist.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  15. Rhetorician

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    Reply to topic:

    Hey gang,

    I'm new to the board so here goes.

    I practice "close" communion. I have always made the logical tie to excommunication. If we have "wandering Christians" who go from church to church; how do we know they are not out of fellowship and under an excommunication from another church b/c of gross sin or immorality?

    It ties so neatly to church discipline (a lost doctrine in Baptist circles). If we excommunicate them, they must be excommunicated from something.

    Example: I love your kids but I don't come over to your house and eat with them all the time and whip them when they are bad.

    I hope this helps.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  16. rlvaughn

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    Chris, here are some online articles/info on the subject of closed communion.

    A Case For Closed Communion
    Four Facts Showing Supper A Local Church Function
    Closed Communion - What We Believe
    The Case for Closed Communion
    Closed communion
    The Baptist Position on the Lord's Supper
    Thoughts about the Lord's Supper
    Baptism and the Lord's Supper - Local Church Ordinances

    I haven't read all these - just found them - but maybe this will get you started. Perhaps these links will provide links to other resources as well.
     
  17. Bro. James

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    Scripture supporting "closed communion":

    Acts 2:41-47

    I Cor. 10:16, 17

    I Cor. 11:17-34

    Note: This plain teaching of the scripture cannot be received using the paradigm of "church universal".

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  18. MTA

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    I am Missionary Baptist and we practice closed communion. The reasons are much the same as has already been shared by a few. The ordinance was given to the Lord’s church, and we hold that the correct way to observe the ordinance is to observe it as a body. Consequently, we reserve the Supper to only those that are members of our local body of baptized believers.
     
  19. Bro Tony

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    Bro James,

    Not one of the Scriptures you posted teach the practice of closed communion. They teach concerning the church sharing the Lord's Supper in each case. Who is the church. Paul says there is one body, one baptism, one church. That one church is not your local church. The true church is not big enough to include all groups that call themselves the church, but those who have genuinely received Jesus as their Savior. You reject the church universal, am I and my church not part of the true church? Since I am at a different fellowship than you, do I have the right to tell you that you are not part of the church? The table is the Lord's, it does not belong to the local body, all who are genuinely His should be welcome at His table. Those who are not His are not welcome, even if they are on your church roles. I would dare say you have some people at your church that are on the roles who don't know Jesus. I believe this is true of all churches. None of your verses teach closed communion, if your church chooses to practice it thay is your priviledge, just don't say it is biblical doctrine, because it is not.

    Charles thanks for your input. I don't in anyway write off Passover. But the model does not hold toward the NT church. I have a problem even seeing the closed system of sharing the passover or the Lord's Supper in the passover occurance. There was never any exclusion toward others in the celebration of Passover. Jewish people even today will have friends and others over to celebrate the Passover meal. So, one might say in the first Passover they met in their own homes. No kidding-where else did they have to meet? They were in bondage in a foreign land. There still was not statement in Scripture that only those of a particular household could share the Passover together.

    As to you second point about me being upset about not being able to vote for someone who has just received Jesus in a church I am visiting. It would not bother me in the least. If I went to a church with closed communion I would not partake out of respect for that church. My point is that it may be their practice, but it is not taught in Scripture. By the way, I will open up another can of worms here with your question. Voting in people who have received Jesus as their Savior is also a matter of church polity and is not practiced in the NT or taught in the Scripture.

    Some might say then what do you do at your church. We receive them with open arms. We are not a club that one needs to be voted in to. They share their desire to be apart of our fellowship and we receive them and share that now they are accountable to us and us to them. And yes we do and have had to do church discipline, both time in the last 5 years the result of the discipline was wonderful as the individuals repented and returned to the Lord. This happened because we were genuinely apart of each other and were functioning as the church.

    Thanks for listening.
    Bro Tony
     
  20. dianetavegia

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    Our communion is open to any baptized believer from any church BUT our pastor gives scripture and makes it very clear who is to take communion and under what circumstances. He also stresses the need to be 'prepared in ones heart'.

    1 Corinthians 11:27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
     

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