Communion: Closed, Close, or Open?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Mark Osgatharp, Jul 16, 2003.

?

Communion: Closed, Close, or Open?

  1. Closed

    56.1%
  2. Close

    43.9%
  3. Open

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does the church you attend practice closed, close, or open communion. "Open" means participation is open to any believer present. "Close" means that baptized believers of like faith are invited. "Closed" means that only members of the church conducting the communion service participate.
     
  2. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    44,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ours is closed. The Elders and Deacons serve and the members of the church partake.

    We have many, many visitors each service and it would be impossible to make sure each one of them is saved.

    There is a danger in taking communion unworthily.

    Blessings,
    Sue
     
  3. untangled

    untangled
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello,

    I have actually never been to a Baptist Church that practiced closed communion. However, I believe in open communion. We are all One Body. Sue brings up a valid point though, however some of the members you can't be sure about either. It lies within each heart.

    Without having to start another thread I have a question for some people. I would love to hear comments.

    A few months ago I finished an interim at a small disciples church that needed someone to fill in. They were a conservative congregation. The only difference in that particular congregation from a Baptist Church was that they took communion every Sunday.

    Would anyone here like to take communion more than just quarterly or once a month? How often does your church take communion?

    In Christ,

    Brooks
     
  4. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Our church has closed communion BUT our pastor will, before the deacons come forward, invite anyone who has been saved and baptised to join us. He explains what 'saved' means. He will also give us a time of reflection and stresses how scripture commands us to come to the 'table' with a repentent heart, etc. He reads the scripture where it says that 'many have fallen asleep and died'.

    We have communion every 5th Sunday but also on all special holidays.

    I have a concern for those who work in the nursery or children's church. We are brought our communion wafers and cup and the deacon will stand and pray with us but in the bed babies or early toddler areas there is no 'spirit' of communion (noisy, etc.) and sometimes I will refuse or step outside and participate alone.

    Diane
     
  5. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    0
    untangled,

    But when a person manifests what is in their heart by refusing to be immersed as a believer or by some open act of immorality, we have an obligation not to eat him. "With such an one, no, not to eat" Paul says.


    How often a church takes communion is strictly up to that church. The Scripture only says "as oft as ye eat."

    If the only difference between the church you mentioned and the Baptists is weekly communion, it is not really a "disciples" church - for the Disciples are a Campbellite denomination, believing in baptismal salvation, falling from grace, and elder rule, and restorationism.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  6. Jeffrey H

    Jeffrey H
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi Diane,

    Ask your deacons to serve communion to you and other nursery workers after the worship service in a quiet place.

    Bless you as you work in the nursery! That is a wonderful ministry in your church

    In regards to your church's communion, it's appears your church actually practices "close" communion rather than "closed." As long as your pastor invites visitors to partake that are saved and baptized, then your church is not really "closed" to non-members.
     
  7. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Jeffrey, I voted correctly but grammar caught up with me there and it's too late to edit!

    Thank you for the suggestion! I only work in the nursery on a rotating basis but am in C/Church a bit more. I am close friends with many of the deacons and our pastor and am going to suggest that to them!

    Thank you for catching my error. Yes, our church has close communion. Not closed.

    Diane [​IMG]
     
  8. Artimaeus

    Artimaeus
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    3,133
    Likes Received:
    0
    We practice close communion and for the last 78 years we had it monthly but, recently decided to go with once a month. I prefer once a week but as I am only one vote and scripture isn't compelling, I have submitted to the will of the congregation (actually it was at the urging of the last couple of pastors).


    Sue mentioned, "a danger in taking communion unworthily" and Diane mentioned "'spirit' of communion". I had always understood that Paul was instructing them about the MANNER in which the communion service was conducted. Seriously, soberly, and not in a "party" atmosphere. As far as who is worthy, none of us are but, being Christians makes us qualified. "unworthy" is an adjective describing ME and "unworthily" is an adverb describing HOW I do something.
     
  9. Terry_Herrington

    Terry_Herrington
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    4,455
    Likes Received:
    1
    What is the difference between "monthly" and "once a month?" :confused:
     
  10. Jailminister

    Jailminister
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Messages:
    907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Open communion here. We looked at the communions focus to be more on the condition of the heart rather the membership of the person.

    A very important question should be are you qualified to take communion?
     
  11. untangled

    untangled
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mark,

    Any Baptized believer should be able to take communion. At most congregations I've visited the pastor has explained salvation and invited all baptized believers to take communion.

    I was not speaking for the denomination as a whole when I was talking about that small disciples church. They were a conservative, old-fashioned congregation. They held more to baptist beliefs than DOC. Why they were still a disciples congregation I do not know. I would guess they wanted to stay one because of tradition.

    In Christ,

    Brooks
     
  12. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    0
    untangled,

    What about a baptized believer who is living in adultery? What about a baptized believer who has been excluded from the church?

    For example, if church A excludes a member because he moved in with his girlfriend and, rather than repenting, he gets mad and goes to church B. Church B practices "close" communion and so invites this unrepentant whoremonger to the Lord's supper.

    Church B is guilty of eating with a person which the Bible said, "with such and one, no, not to eat."

    Or what if a church which invites all baptized believers to the supper excludes an impenitent drunkard. The man shows up at the next Lord's supper and, since he is still a baptized believer, feels free to accept the invitation to the Lord's table.

    This church will be guilty of taking the Lord's supper with a man they excluded for immorality. They will be guilty of eating with a man whom the Bible says, "with such an one, no, not to eat."

    Mark Osgatharp

    They
     
  13. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    What about a baptized believer who disobeyed their mother earlier in the day? What about a baptized believer that looked at pornography earlier in the week? What about a person who coveted another person's vehicle on the way in the church? Can we go on here?
     
  14. untangled

    untangled
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Brothers and Sisters,

    My point is that you can never know what each person has done. If a pastor thinks he knows everything about every member than that pastor is mistaken. To me it is most important for my heart to be in the right place. Christ set me apart through His work at Calvary. I am not worthy because of what I have or have not done. Christ is my righteousness.

    God Bless.
     
  15. Artimaeus

    Artimaeus
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    3,133
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is the difference between "monthly" and "once a month?" :confused: </font>[/QUOTE]:eek: [​IMG] My bad, it was supposed to be formerly weekly and now monthly. Whew!!! it is good to get that annual mistake out of the way. :D
     
  16. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,143
    Likes Received:
    25
    Brooks, I don't want to put to much weight on technicalities and definitions as opposed to what the Scriptures say, but I noticed above that you said you believe in open communion. Here it appears that you believe cpmmunion should be restricted to those believers who have been baptized. Just wondering?
     
  17. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,143
    Likes Received:
    25
    Mark, I believe in closed communion and also that those living in adultery should be excluded from church membership. But think about this story from what I remember from a conversation between a closed communion brother & close communion brother, both landmark missionary Baptists.

    Closed C Brother: What if a drunkard who is a member of my church comes to your church when you are observing communion?
    Close C Brother: What if he comes to YOUR church when you are observing communion?

    Closed Communionists that don't practice church discipline don't have much strength in their argument.
     
  18. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    Let me demonstrate how it makes little sense to some of the arguments concerning open and closed. I know a woman that I had witnessed to over several years. She came to church with my family once. That was the day they had communion. The pastor said that only those who were Christians and were baptized could participate. Well she had been baptized as an infant and thought if she were to choose between being a Christian or not that she was. So she partook. That just flew in the face of what we had told her about being a follower of Jesus Christ. So it took someone else to correct the dilemma.

    What a mess until she finally became a Christian. She fully understands now. The right religious jargon means absolutely nothing to the person who has not heard those terms before. The fact of the matter is that many Christians do not really even understand what salvation means.

    IF you don't believe me just start asking some in the congregation. Better yet, start with some of the deacons.
     
  19. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scott,

    According to I Corinthians chapter 5, if the church is aware that a brother is guilty of such sins and has not repented, they should not commune with him. I certainly did not mean to limit the issue to adulterers; I only used that as one example of a thing for which someone could be excommunicated.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  20. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    I think we are assuming too much to think just because someone comes forward and gets dunked that they are saved. That is not salvation. Salvation is made evident by a new person who is born again. Not Americanized indoctrinated religion.

    Why do you think so many pastors that God is using are asked to leave their pulpits at the hands of godless men.

    I believe that many who profess will not be found in heaven because they are not possessers. Where is the evidence of their faith in the disciples they make?

    Matthew 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to Me, ` Lord , Lord ,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. "Many will say to Me on that day, ` Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'

    Jesus calls us to give our lives for Him and to come follow Him and be fishers of men. If people are not fishing I would seriously doubt their salvation experience. You can lead a person to Christ in 20 minutes to 2 hours but it takes 20 months to 2 years to get them on the road and growing so that they can reproduce. Imagine in the NT someone just going sitting in the pew and never sharing their faith. That happens all the time in America among what we call believers. Are we sure they are believrs and not just pew sitters? Too often we say they are nice therefore he or she must be a Christian. Well Jesus when He turned over the tax gatherers tables was not nice at all. HE came in with whips and drove them out.

    But let's get down to the historical context of communion in 1Cor. 11. Can you imagine Paul standing before the people present at the love feast saying, "This time is for believers only the rest of you may not eat with us because you are not one of us and we can't have fellowship with you because you don't know Jesus. It was not a quick five minute time with a wafer and a shot of grape juice. It was a celebration and a time to celebrate. I'll just bet that the children of believing parents came with them to the feast and ate just like everyone else.

    I have been in two churches where we celebrated by people bringing food and sharing it with others. Some of those who were poor got to eat some of the food of those who brought dishes that would have cost more to prepare. Almost evryone of the people who came and saw how Christians rejoiced and the words of testimony of God's grace and love have now become Christians. The fact is that almost veryone of them have become Christians because of what they saw and experienced. They could not have had fellowship and worshipped God but they could see how other do and hear their words. In the NT there would have been non-believers present in church assemblies.

    It would be very easy in a closed situation for a non-believer who has high standards to point the finger at someone else he knows who lives on a lower plane than he does. I have seen it first-hand. So you include the person who cheats his customers during the week and calls himself a believer and was baptized but you exclude the person who may not be a believer and would never think of cheating someone. I have seen it before my eyes just recently. Remember not all believrs act like believers. But you as the pastor may never know.

    When non-believers are in the service just imagine how they feel when they are excluded versus if they exclude themselves. I cetainly think it is very appropriate to talk about 1 Cor 11 and let the people know what it means to celebrate the Lord's death until he comes. I have welcomed many into the fellowhip as non-believers later becoming believers because they felt loved and accepted. We didn't judge them we let them be under God's judgment. All I can do is to preach the Bible and let God do the rest. If people see and hear discipleship they wil evrntually respond either negatively or positive. You will see the real disciples by their response.
     

Share This Page

Loading...