Communion

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by DavidGA, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. DavidGA

    DavidGA
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    Hey everyone. I am new here, but wanted to jump in asking for your thoughts. I hope i am putting this in the correct section.

    What are you thoughts about serving communion at at a Christian Concert held at a church, promoted by a local college. It is open to the public of course, no ticket fee, and several local congregrations involved?

    Help me out here, what is the right answer... fitting to serve communion or not fitting.

    I have some strong feelings, but i will share them a little later.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. billreber

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    Over the years, I have participated in communion with several different denominations, all of whom stated before hand that the taking of communion is between God and the individual, NOT between anyone else and the individual.

    I would have no problem in partaking of communion in the situation you are describing.

    I have also met a few individuals who believe taking communion should be limited to the local church body to which the individual belongs. That is their choice. I will also support anyone who has such feelings, since it is only God to whom the taking of communion relates.

    Therefore, I must recommend that the option of taking communion be offered, and the desires of individuals be honored as well.

    Bill
     
  3. Deacon

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    I've seen instances where communion was offered in different settings than usual.
    I'm against it.

    I was a member of a wedding party where communion was offered and recognised that the people we congratulating the bride and groom rather than looking inward at what Christ did for them.

    The expectation for many is that a concert is a place where they go to be entertained.
    You may get some that can disconnect that expectation and take communion honorably but many probably can't.
    IMO it would dishonor Christ.

    Rob
     
  4. Brother Ian

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    It doesn't matter whether communion is conducted at a concert or in church as long as it is conducted in accordance with the Scriptures. I do not believe in closed communion.
     
  5. EdSutton

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    I'm kinda' partial to 'close communion', myself.
    Ed
     
  6. standingfirminChrist

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    I would agree with Rob. Communion is not for concerts. Too many go to concerts that will not go to church. Many will be there that will partake of the Lord's cup unworthily. IMO
     
  7. Clean1

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    Read 1 Corinthians 11:24-30, 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." You first need to ask God to forgive any sin that you have in your life before you can partake in communio. Pay special attention to verses 27-30. Are all the people at this concert saved? No one knows for sure. I believe that communion should be closed and only performed in the church. I agree also with Ed and Deacon.
     
  8. PastorSBC1303

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    I agree.
     
  9. austinthebaptist

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    I read in the word that in regards to the Lords supper there were those who were making of it a common meal or feast. They were not discerning the Lords Body (The Church) in that they were all eating and drinking before the rest of the bretheren were assembled. Thus some were left out. the purpose is "proclaiming the death of our Lord until he returns" the purpose of checking yourself before you partake is not to see if you are completely clean of sin for he who says he has no sin dedieves himself. Rather this is a remembrance that Christ died for us, and has set us free.
    Now as far as closed communion. (only for the saved) who is going to be the monitor of this in the churches. The building is just a building the church are those who are saved of the Lord. In alll the gatherings of the saints there are gooing to be those who are not saved. Do you think the Church in Sardis had communion if so they also had many who were dead and only a few whos robes were clean. Even in a "closed communion" unbelievers partake.
    This is a precious time when we come together and proclaim the Lord giving thanksgiving as a body of believers as we "check ourselves and see whether we be in the faith"
    Not to many people go to these Christian Concerts whe are not believers, save the few who may come with a Christian friend. Is the Church gathered there? "for where 3 or more are gathered in my name there am I in the midst of them. Will the Lord be angered that his gathered saints proclaim his death in the midst of a sick and dying world? Do we tarry one for another in this communion? communion comes from the same word as fellowship and the collection
     
  10. Tom Butler

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    Paul's instructions regarding proper observance of the Lord's Supper were given to a local congregation in Corinth, not some nebulous and useless "universal" church. This is the sort of mischief which results when that is forgotten.

    Tom Butler
     
  11. mnw

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    It doesn't seem a concert would be a fitting situation to observe the Lord's Table. It is a local church ordinance.

    Further, Paul states that some were sick and some had even died because they took the Lord's Table unworthily.

    While it is a time of celebration because we look forward to Christ's return it is also a sombre time of recognising the Lord's sacrifice and self examination.

    In short, I do not believe a concert is the right setting.
     
  12. saturneptune

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    Clean 1,
    This is just my opinion, and I respect yours and agree to a point. I do believe that a communion should be in a church, its not a party. However, as per the verses you posted, the responsibility for taking communion rests with the Christian by self-examination, not local church membership. I am a deacon in a Baptist church called upon to serve communion several times a year. Our particular church has no written policy on the subject, as it has always been one of those things which the congregation can never be in unity over. I look at it this way. If I was a person serving communion, and a person who was a member who had not darkened the door in 20 years came for communion, and another person passing by on a trip came to worship with us, and I had to make a decision which one to serve and which one not to serve, guess which one I would choose? In reality, I would offer it to both, but you get my point.
     
  13. Tom Butler

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    Hey Saturnneptune,

    The folks reading this should know that you and I serve as deacons in the same church. The view you expressed demonstrates why our church can't arrive at an official position. Even the deacons can't agree.

    [B the responsibility for taking communion rests with the Christian by self-examination, not local church membership. B]

    The church is responsible for the administration of the ordinances, not the individual. The local church determines who is a candidate for baptism and who participates in the Lord's Supper. Your position depends on whether you view communion as a Christian ordinance or a church ordinance. I hold to the latter, and therefore am a closed-communionist. Remember when Paul told the church at Corinth to exclude a man who was in an illicit relationship with his stepmother? If one holds that it is an individual choice alone, then the Corinthian church would have no grounds to denying communion to that fella. You want it, you got it. The same goes for the town drunk who wanders in, or any other member who's involved in flagrant sin, or the member who shows up every three months just to take the Lord's supper.
    Within a congregation, each member should examine himself or herself and act accordingly.
    I regret that because there is not unanimity on this question in our congregation, we are open communionists by default.

    Tom Butler
     
  14. RayMarshall19

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    I would like to commend those who have posted on this thread so far for not condemning those with different points of view. Narrow-mindedness and condemnation regarding issues over which there is legitimate difference of opinion is much too frequent on this site. That's just my opinion, of course.
     
  15. saturneptune

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    The man at Cornith was committing blatant sin within a local church, which of course needed to be dealt with in a proper manner. It is the right of a local church to discipline, and if possible, restore the member to the fellowship of the church.

    With that said, I have to wonder if this man was ever saved at all, to commit such a sin. It is possible for a Christian to commit a one or few time sexual sin and have Holy Spirit conviction, ask for forgiveness, and return to fellowship with the Lord. However, this passage implies this was an ongoing sin, with no remorse. If a person is truly saved, in a relationship with Jesus, then church discipline, should not be necessary. The Holy Spirit should have taken care of the problem long ago. By the time the situation is so obvious, that it is disrupting the church, it seems to me there is no Holy Spirit to convict, therefore this person is most likely not saved. Not being saved, he needed to be excluded from the local church until an act of regeneration occurred.

    So, with that said, what if the church had not have noticed it? The Lord's Supper would have been offered based on his membership in the local church, and it is obvious he would have taken it, since lost people don't tend to self-examine themselves.

    Now, today, in 21st century America, look at our standards of church membership compared to then. The standards had to be much much higher then. They were higher 50-100 years ago if you all read your church minutes. Look at our church rolls. We for instance, at one time had near 500 on our rolls as a reminder of what attendence was like in the 50's and 60's. The problem is that 100 is now a good healthy number for Sunday morning and more often than not is in the 60 range. We have gotten our rolls down, but this is my point. If we are running 30-50% attendance at best, less on Sunday night, even less on Wednesday night, how many people on our church rolls have a rock solid, forever relationship with Jesus Christ? This goes for most churches in America, Baptist or otherwise. Church membership has been diluted so many times over it tastes like someone forgot the coffee grounds. And with churches allowing membership by a yea vote and little else, I have to wonder if a church membership would recognize the need for church discipline if it smacked them in the head. Look what is normal behavior today and what was acceptable 50 years ago. Gay priests, same-sex marriages and "alternate life-styles" condoned. The list goes on and on. So we certainly dont see not supporting your local church as a need for discipline. It seems to me most churches are totally in the dark in this area.

    Even if I believed in closed communion, with that standard present today even in our most conservative churches, there is no way I can see using church membership as a standard for the Lord's Supper.
     
  16. buckster75

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    Can a churched person partake?
     
  17. Tom Butler

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    Hello Bro. Buckster,

    The obvious answer is that he shouldn't, but this situation presents the open communionists with a problem. You would think that if this church was the one who disfellowshipped him, they would not want him to participate. But if communion is a Christian ordinance, and the decision to partake is left up to the individual and his conscience, then there is no basis for denying him the Lord's Supper. And if this guy is a visitor, and unknown to the church members, it's the same problem. In closed-communion churches, the question would never come up.


    Tom Butler
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    Hey Saturneptune, I'm amen-ing you all the way through. Well, almost all the way through, until the last sentence, but I certainly understand the frustration. As you know, we have removed more than 100 names from our rolls in the past year or so, most of whom we don't even know where they are, dead or alive. To exclude other non-members, like my sainted mother, but allow those 100 to partake (before they were removed), would make a farce the concept of closed communion. A congregation cannot practice closed communion and not exercise church discipline. Of course, it would help if churches would guard the front door. The past 75 years of easy believism, pray these magic words, evangelistic pragmatism, obsession with numbers, methods and strategies and Arminianism, have produced churches who are thrilled if 40% of their members ever show up.
    For you who are reading this, Saturneptune (real name Mike) and I serve as deacons in the same church. He is a godly, deeply spiritual and humble man, whom I love and admire greatly. He is a serious student of the Scriptures. We may not be in complete agreement on this subject, but my love and respect for him is undiminished. And we walk together as one on many, many other things.


    Tom Butler
     
  19. saturneptune

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    Tom Butler has been a blessing to my family and church for many, many years, and would trust him with my life. For those of you who want to debate him on a theological issue, be sure you have your ducks all in a row. Oh, and by the way, this subject is hard enough. I'm no where near ready to debate anyone on free will vs Calvinism.
     
  20. EdSutton

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    What's a 'churched person'? Is this someone I should recognize somehow? Or someone I should avoid?
    Ed
     

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