Communion

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by awesomedawn, Dec 27, 2002.

  1. awesomedawn

    awesomedawn
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    I was wondering how everyone felt,or better yet how we as Baptist are suppose to interpret the idea of closed or open communion? I need more study, but I thought that I might get some input here first. Thanks. [​IMG]
     
  2. Refreshed

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    There seem to be two requirements for a Christian partaking of communion.

    1. Must be baptised. This is the first step of obedience in the life of a Christian.
    2. You must have your heart right with the Lord. No unconfessed sin to come between you and God.

    Read 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.

    Jason
     
  3. Doc Yankum

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    As far as my study has taken me, there seems to be three ways that The Lord,s Supper is observed.

    1. Open, in which the ordinance is opened to all Christians.
    2. Close, in which churches offer the Supper to those of like faith and order, and
    3. Closed, in which the Supper is offered to only those who are members of the local church observing the ordinance.

    If you believe that the communion is a Christian ordinance, then you probably hold to open communion.

    If not, you probably ascribe to number 2 or 3. I agree with my Church's practice of closed communion. My church has no way of knowing if another church's members are in good fellowship with their church, but we can our own members.
     
  4. Doc Yankum

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    awesomedawn, I don't know if I answered you r question or not, Before I started reading the posts on BB I thought I knew what Baptists were supposed to believe on just about every subject that I considered to be peculiar to Baptists. But now I see that some folks who call themselves Baptist are very confused on what I believe the bible to really teach. I do not wish to start a debate with anyone and I have refrained from debating because some of the arguments are so illogical that there are no answers to them. But those positions have caused me to be stronger in the belief I had when I first came on the Board.

    Your question is a good one and I hope you find the correct answer. I can only give my opinion. God bless.
     
  5. mountainrun

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    I see no requirement in the Bible for baptism or local membership.
    Nor for us to doubt anyone from another church who wishes to take communion.
    I believe the Bible says that a man should search his own heart, not that we should search it for him.
    I am embarassed when our pastor stands up and forbids Christians to partake because they do not meet the requirements of our bylaws, which go above and beyond anything given in the Word of God.

    MR
     
  6. Caretaker

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    1 Corinthians 11:
    24
    And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
    25
    After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
    26
    For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
    27
    Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
    28
    But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
    29
    For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
    30
    For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
    31
    For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
    32
    But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
    33
    Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
    34
    And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

    The cheif argument for open communion is that it is the Lord's Supper, open to all believers and not restricted to a specific denomination.

    The reason behind closed communion is that someone might take the elements unworthily, thus bringing judgement upon his head.

    I prefer the term, "close communion" whereby the pastor reminds everyone of the need for self-examination, but after this exhortation the decision to participate is left up to the individual. Every believer should set aside a time of self-examination, to read what is written within our hearts and our lives prior to coming to our Lord's table. Brother Joe, pastor of the Bethel Baptist, sets an evening service aside as the service of the Lord's table. This offers the believers the entire day as a time to get their hearts right with God. There are also less visitors in the Sunday evening service. He also encourages each to come to the alter and spend some time with our Lord prior to receiving from His table.

    I like the idea of setting aside a day of sanctification, of setting aside our day to rededicate our hearts and our lives to our precious Lord. After a day with Jesus, we approach our Master's table with a reverential awe, the fear of the Lord. It would seem to offer us a greater opportunity for communion with our Lord our God.

    May God so bless His precious children.

    A servant of Christ,
    Drew

    Psalm 51:10
    Create in me a clean heart, O'God, and renew a right spirit within me.
     
  7. rsr

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    That's really open communion, set at a time when the likelihood of nonmembers being present is minimal. BTW, that's what my church does.

    I appreciate the views of those who hold to closed or close communion, but I prefer open. As far as I know, the New Testament does not regulate communion; it is for the person taking it to decide. If a church decides otherwise, that's fine.

    [ December 28, 2002, 11:22 AM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  8. awesomedawn

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    Thanks to Doc and everyone else for your response. I am learning as I read each one. I was wondering about the relationship between the Lord's supper and the sacrificial ceremonies which were done under the law. :confused:
     
  9. awesomedawn

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    Also in 1 Corinthians 11:29, in the King James Version it is "unworthily," while in the New King James Version it reads "unworthy manner.... :confused:
     
  10. mountainrun

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    awesomedawn, I don't believe there is any relation to the sacrificial ceremonies. It was instituted by Jesus at the passover meal and the elements of wine and bread were taken from that.
    Again, let me emphasize to the otheres that I believe that any prohibition on any professing believer against taking communion is not supported by anything in the Bible.
    The only prohibition is against taking it in an unworthy manner, local member or otherwise.

    MR
     
  11. rlvaughn

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    The command to self-examination before the Lord's supper was given to baptized believers of the church of Corinth, so should not be taken as an open invitation to all. The New Testament examples support the supper being given to believers who have been baptized. There should be more of a reason to open it to all than just not thinking that it should not be closed.

    "Unworthily" is an adverb describing the manner in which it is taken, not an adverb describing the person taking it. So the KJV "unworthily" and NKJV "unworthy manner" mean basically the same thing.
     
  12. Bible-belted

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    As to the first paragraph, I agree. While we are not told that the Corinthains were all baptised, given the fact that baptism and faith followed so closely in the NT period it is reasonable to posit that they were so baptised.

    Now this doesn't answer the question about what to do about long-time attenders who aren't baptised, but the reason for that is simple: there was no such thing in Paul's day. Rather than open communion to the unbaptised then, it might be best to encourage people to seek baptism.

    As to the second paragraph, I also wholely agree.
     
  13. Abiyah

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    Please pardon my ignorance (I came here to learn),
    but I cannot find any place which says one must be
    baptized in order to participate. Anyone know?

    It is simply one of the elements of the Passover
    seder, to which our Lord added His own words,
    thus adding to the disciples' understanding of
    what this particular element meant.

    [ December 30, 2002, 02:31 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  14. rlvaughn

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    Very good point. I am curious as to why those who openly reject the first command to the believer (baptism, e.g. Acts 2:38) so adamantly want to have a part in the Lord's supper.??
     
  15. Abiyah

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    Sometimes, it happens that opportunity is not
    given to a new convert to be baptized until months
    after conversion.

    Further, some insist that only their baptism is
    valid, and they will not accept one done previ-
    ously. For believers who think one should only
    be baptized once (of which I am not one), this
    puts them in a precarious position, especialy
    in places where that particular place of worship
    is the only one they are comfortable with attend-
    ing.
     
  16. Daniel David

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    Open communion all the way. It is not my place to know the hearts of each person. Thus the idea of close/closed communion so the pastors knows each person isn't biblical. Even in your own church, the pastor cannot know a person's heart. :rolleyes:
     
  17. rlvaughn

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    Abiyah, as to opportunity, I believe that churches are at fault to make believers wait months to be baptized. As to valid baptism, that is more of a baptism issue than a communion issue, and in itself doesn't settle the question of whether baptism is prerequisite to communion. I believe that baptism should precede communion. In the New Testament examples, baptism is the first command to the believer and always preceded communion.
     
  18. rlvaughn

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    PreachtheWord, neither close nor closed communion have anything to do with a pastor (or deacon, or any other member) knowing a person's heart.
     
  19. Bible-belted

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    That's true. And in those cases, I would say the church is at fualt for it has manufactured its own problem.

    On the other hand, a lot of people just do't get baptised by their own choice, a situation which would scandalise Paul. Surely he would ask "Why not?" It is, uner the circumstances, a very pertinent question.

    Yes, some churches insist on their baptism. It makes a cetain sense really, since their baptism is the only one they can be "sure of". But that betrays a deplorable lack of clollegiality amongst the churches.
     
  20. rlvaughn

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    I just checked my e-mail, and among the mail was a link to an article by Tony Clark on the Lord's supper. I am providing the link here for those who are interested. I scanned over it quickly and don't agree with all the points, but you can read it for yourself and let Tony speak for himself.

    http://www.geocities.com/tonygeneclark/lordssupper.html

    [ December 30, 2002, 05:22 PM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     

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