Communion Controversy

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by uhdum, Sep 2, 2002.

  1. uhdum

    uhdum
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    A church recently split and the new mission that was formed recently asked me to preach for them for a while. They then asked me to perform the Lord's Supper for them. I did without hesitation...this resulted in one preacher friend telling me I had insulted God since I hadn't been a member of their church and another close friend saying it was open communion and borderline ecumenicalism. The mission is Baptist and, as a Baptist, I expressed it would be more close communion.

    Was I wrong?
     
  2. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Sounds like a little vestigal Landmarkism - something that circulates still in a few pockets of baptist life.

    It's God's meal, and an appropriate act of community any time God's children gather in reverance. It always struck me as ironic how Landmarkers - who are generally rabidly Anti-Catholic - could be positively Roman on this issue.

    Joshua
     
  3. SaggyWoman

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    Oh, please.

    I don't think you were wrong.

    "As oft as you do it, do it in remembrance of me" doesn't have that kind of restriction.
     
  4. Jamal5000

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    I don't think you were wrong, uhdum because you performed the communion with good intentions. I agree with Saggy.

    Please go watch some football, and put the matter behind you as water under the bridge.

    Grace and Peace to you.

    Jamal5000 [​IMG]
     
  5. SBG

    SBG
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    I agree with Josh, probably for different reasons.
    I think the supper should be open to anyone in attendance. After the admonition 1n 1 Cor 11:23-30 is read. The truth is, that there are plenty of church members that are not worthy to partake.
     
  6. HankD

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    We are ALL unworthy.

    Its a paradox. When we admit it, then we can partake.

    HankD
     
  7. Jim1999

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    Did not Judas sit at the same table with Jesus? Whilst I believe the table is intended for the believers, I also believe it is up to the individual to determine his participation.

    In one Baptist Church I served as minister, we had about 15 Baptist families and 27 families who were Lutheran (Mo Synod). The Lutherans were the workers. What a nice pickle it would have been to deny these beloved people the opportunity to break bread in the house of the Lord.

    I wonder sometimes if we are not forming private clubs, rather than New Testament churches.

    Jim
     
  8. Justified

    Justified
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    Only if the doctrines perverted, then you will have your private club. [​IMG]
     
  9. Pastor_Bob

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    The NT principle for taking the Lord's Supper is 1Cor 11:28 "But let a man examine himself , and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. (KJV)

    It is not my place, even as Pastor, to determine who is and who is not worthy to partake of the Lord's Supper. A previous poster was correct in saying that we are all unworthy. But those of us who have been bought by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ have been made worthy by His righteousness.

    All those who profess to know the Lord as Savior may take communion. It is a fact that Judas was present in the upper room that evening. The Lord knew Judas was a devil (John 6:70) but He did not forbid him from partaking.

    uhdum, I'd say you did the right thing and were biblically justified in doing so.

    Pastor Bob
     
  10. latterrain77

    latterrain77
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    The LORD’s example of the “Last Supper” (which the church communion service attempts to mimic) was a common typical “meal” of food – not unlike saying grace around the dinner table. Note: the LORD did NOT perform the Last Supper in a synagogue worship hall with priests and so-called “laity” in a public display of pomp and circumstance. Not at all! (Luke 22: 10-13). It was an extremely private affair.

    Where in Luke 22 or 1 Cor. 11 does it teach that we are to practice what is typically performed as a “communion service” in the typical church? It does not. In fact, does 1 Cor. 11: 20 strongly suggest that the communion service should NOT take place in church at all?

    The typical church version of the communion service is largely a throwback to ROME. It has little or no resemblance at all to the Last Supper example provided by our LORD. Please re-read the Last Supper text and explain to me HOW this resembles the church service (it does not).

    The church communion service has long been a public performance at best (unlike the Last Supper) to imbue the idea that somehow, the “priest” (i.e. pastor) has some special mystical power. How untrue that is.

    The 1 Cor. 11: 28 directive to “examine yourself” speaks not merely about ones self-judgment concerning their worthiness (we are ALL unworthy), but also that we examine the worthiness of our participation in the service PRACTICE itself. When was the last time you examined this? Admit it! You NEVER have.

    When you partake of “church style” communion, aren’t you just puffing yourself up a little? Are you watching to see who is watching you partake? (even a little?). Are YOU watching to see which others are partaking? Do you notice the “pastor” putting on an air of pomp and self glory as he conducts the service? I do! I can’t be alone in seeing all of these things. EXAMINE YOURSELF on this very question. Be honest! Tell the truth, at least to yourself. What is your answer? [​IMG]

    Eating food or substance can NEVER make anyone “Spiritually whole.” The LORD himself made this VERY clear - what you eat in your belly comes out in the draught (Matt. 15: 16-18). Spiritual wholeness comes through YOUR heart, when GOD Himself touches you and SAVES you. I prefer to be Saved by Grace (Eph. 2: 8), not by the works of men.

    In a sense, we perform the “remembrance” command of the LORD when we STUDY the Bible. This is a COMMUNION of remembrance of his words (Luke 24: 8). The LORD himself IS the Word (John 1: 14).

    latterrain77
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    Just did "open" communion at my church yesterday. My home church (remember, I am a missionary-type and fill in for weeks/months/years in a variety of locations) practices "close" communion.

    Jesus told His disciples to "do this" and it was a specific ritual and picture. Much more than latterain suggests. Actual importance of elements and actions.

    So we do. Not much else the NT church is commanded to do. Baptize. Lord's Supper. Meet and teach believers. Minister in Christ's name. Share the Gospel message and allow God to give fiath/repentance to His own.

    So we do it. It IS a local church ordinance and commend a group without a pastor that feels the need to have this special observance. ANYONE they permit may be involved in the ceremony. It is not just for ordained clergy. Again, it is up to the local church.
     
  12. Kiffin

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    I don't think you were wrong either. Jesus is the presider over the Lord's table and has given it to the Church not ordained men. The Lord's Supper is for all faithfull believers who have identified themselves with Christ in water baptism though certaintly not for the unconverted (Judas if you read John 13 and Mt.26 in harmony you will see he had left when the Passover part of the supper was completed) nor is it for disobedient or unrepentant Christians.
     
  13. SBG

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    It is not my place, even as Pastor, to determine who is and who is not worthy to partake of the Lord's Supper. A previous poster was correct in saying that we are all unworthy. But those of us who have been bought by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ have been made worthy by His righteousness.

    AMEN!!!!! Made worthy by the blood of the Lamb!
     
  14. rlvaughn

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    First, a comment to uhdum, and then a few comments on communion in general:
    1. Baptists partaking the Lord's supper in Baptist churches other than their own has a long history and was not referred to as open communion until recent years, and then by only certain people. Close communion more clearly defines what you practiced.
    2. Paul said nothing about whether we were worthy or unworthy to partake the Lord's supper, but rather used the word "unworthily." It is an adverb and modifies not the character of the person but the manner in which the person partakes.
    3. Though Paul did clearly say "let a man examine himself," he did not say it in a vacuum. Whom did he advise to "examine himself?" A baptized believer in church capacity.
    4. Strict (or restricted) communion is the dominant historical position of Baptists. This does not prove it is right, just that it is the historical position of Baptists. Strict communion is not "vestigal landmarkism" (which circulates in more than a few pockets of Baptist life). Strict communion was the common Baptist position over two centuries (assuming you take the English Separtist origin position) before anyone ever heard of J. R. Graves or commonly used the term "landmark" to refer to any group of Baptists. But to call "close" communion "open" communion probably does reveal a smidgin of landmarkism. ;)
    5. Probably even the most rabid landmarker would say that it is the Bible, not the pastor, that determines who should partake of the Lord's supper.

    [ September 05, 2002, 06:33 PM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  15. Michael Estes

    Michael Estes
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    I grew up a Baptist in the mountains of Eastern Tennessee. Baptist is what my dog tags read when I fought in the Persian Gulf War. And I even have my dog tag info tattooed on my rib cage, including me religious preference---Baptist. But what a lot of people forget is that being a Baptist isn't what matters most. Being a Christian is. Having said all that I'll say this: being a "member" of any particular church or denimination DOES NOT matter. Being a true follower of Christ does. All Christians are required to partake of the Lord's Supper whenever we get together to eat. Also, it never says in the Bible that a minister is the one who has to perform the service. Any Christian can and should. Of course, as a matter of respect, the actual performance of the ritual should be deferred to the senior ost Christian present (e.g. a minister, deacon, elder, etc.) But in the absence of these types of leaders within the church, anyone willing to officiate should do so.
     
  16. Mark Osgatharp

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    In I Corinthians 10:17 Paul identifies the "partakers" of the Lord's supper as those who are "one body." Since the body of Christ is a local congregation of baptized believers, then that is the capacity in which the supper should be celebrated.

    In I Corinthians 5 the church was commanded not to eat with unrepentantly immoral persons. Restricting the supper to the membership of the local church, assuming the church practices discipline, is the only way to safely avoid eating with the impenitent.

    To invite anyone in attendance to the service, or even anyone who professes to be a Christian, or even anyone who professes to be a "good Baptist" throws the door wide open to eating with every sort of heretic, apostate, and infidel imaginable.

    Judas, by the way, did eat the supper with the others, but to use him as an example (and not an exception) would be just as ludicrous as saying we should ordain unbelievers to the ministry because Jesus did.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  17. latterrain77

    latterrain77
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    Hi Mark. I don't believe the body of Christ is “…a local congregation of baptized believers…” The Body of Christ is EVERY True Believer wherever they may be. [​IMG]

    latterrain77
     
  18. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Latterrain,

    Sorry, but you are wrong.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  19. latterrain77

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    Hi Mark. Please tell me why I'm wrong. Chapter and verse please. Thanks Mark.

    latterrain77
     
  20. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?" But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. - MT 9:11-12

    Seems like sharing fellowship with heretics and apostates puts us in good company.

    Joshua
     

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