MUST A Christian Be Baptised Before Can Observe Communion?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JesusFan, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. JesusFan

    JesusFan
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    What ids the traditional viewpoint on these?
    Believe in jesus/Baptised/Church member or?
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    Well, I expect there will be more than one view on this.

    My view is that it is only for baptized church members. More specifically, I am a closed communionist, which means that the Lord's table is restricted to the members of the congregation observing communion.

    I hasten to point out that this is a minority view within the congregation I serve. But I do not make it a test of fellowship. As a general rule, my church is not closed-com but CLOSE-com, which basically I define as restricted to Baptists. In practice, it's left up to the individual.

    If I visit another church when the Lord's Supper is observed, I do not participate.
     
    #2 Tom Butler, Mar 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2011
  3. annsni

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    Our church has practiced that communion is for baptized believers but hubby did some study and could not find the directive for that in Scripture. So our new church campus speaks (we give a small talk/teaching before communion) that any believer on the Lord Jesus Christ can participate in communion.
     
  4. Scarlett O.

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    My church has gone through varying positions across the years, but I have always believed that if one is a Christian, that he or she can participate in the Lord's Supper at my church.

    If someone who is a brother or sister in Christ from the Presbyterian Church or Methodist Church is visiting my Baptist Church on a particular Sunday with family members and we offer the Lord's Supper, I have never understood why they could not participate.
     
  5. matt wade

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    I agree with Tom. :thumbs:
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    Ann, I'm sure there are many who share your view.

    We have two instances in scripture where the Lord's Supper was observed.
    First, when Jesus instituted it at the Passover meal. All those present were baptized believers. Judas, of course, was not saved (I believe), and I think the case can be made that he left to do his dirty work before Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper. Therefore, only baptized believers (who, by the way, were members of the first church) were present and participated.

    The second is mentioned In Paul's letter to the Corinthian congregation (I Cor 11) where he gave instructions for proper observance and scolded them for abusing it. All those present were members of the Corinthian congregation, all baptized believers.

    One other point: when Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper he demonstrated to the disciples how to do it, and instructed them as to its frequency. He also explained the symbolism of the elements. I hold that the Lord's Supper is an ordinance of the local church, not of the Christian community at large.

    That, in brief, is how I came to my view on communion.
     
  7. Ternera

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    In our church, every believer, baptized or not, can observe the communion. However, non-baptized believers are expected to be baptized in foreseable future :smilewinkgrin:
    BTW, I will be baptized on March, 13th, and I'm so excited about it! :thumbsup:
     
  8. jaigner

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    No, there is no reason to restrict it.
     
  9. Tom Butler

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    Jesus did, to the eleven.

    Paul did. He told the Corinthians to observe the Lord's Supper "when they came together" as a congregation. The scripture knows nothing of unbaptized believers, and nothing of unbaptized believers participating in the Lord's Supper.

    Even Open Communion folks restrict the Lord's Table. To believers only.

    Let me pose a scenario. A sister Baptist church disfellowships a man for flagrant, open, persistent and unrepented sin. He visits your church on Lord's Supper night. Knowing about it, do you welcome him to participate?



    Let's say you don't know about it, and serve him. Paul said some are dead because they wrongly partook. Do you bear any responsibility for not guarding the ordinances (I Cor 11:2) If God kills this guy, do you share the blame?

    What if it was one of your own members in flagrant, open, persistent and unrepented sin? He shows up. What do you do?

    Or does your church do its best Sgt Schulz impression: "I see nothink, I hear nothink, I know nothink."

    Are there any circumstances at all that you would deny someone communion?

    Brother, I'm not just firing at you, I'm asking these questions to the entire board.
     
    #9 Tom Butler, Mar 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2011
  10. Osage Bluestem

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    My grandpa held this view. I have not found a mandate for it in scripture. Why do you hold it?
     
  11. freeatlast

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    One of the problems here is that most churches do is not follow the example of scripture for baptism. In every case that I know of where someone is saved in scripture they are baptized on the spot. This thing of waiting several days, weeks or months cannot be found in scripture and I believe that the waiting we do is contrary to scriptural intent.
    Because of the examples of when people should be baptized I think that the intent of the table was for baptized believers. If a person has not obeyed the first command then they should not take part in the table since they would not be in good standing until they are baptized. I would add this. At no time is the church ever told to police the believers on this issue of the table. It is up to each person to police themselves so while a new convert should be baptized as soon as possible they should also be encouraged and explained to as to why they should wait to take the table until baptism takes place, while at the same time they should not be forbidden from taking the table. It should be their choice after clear instruction. That way if they are in diosobediance they will suffer the sickness or death if the Lord so chooses to bring it on them.
     
    #11 freeatlast, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2011
  12. Salty

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    Monkey Wrench Alert!
    1.) Okay lets suppose this is the teaching of Scripture.
    Have you notice that there are no women present at the first observance of the Lords Supper. Either that means women are not to be church members or women are not to partake of communion. In fact is there one instance of a woman partaking of the ordinance in the New Testament

    2.) I agree with [email protected]
    3.) Now Tom did bring up some good scenarios-(post # 9 ) So lets add this - Suppose John, a member of First Baptist starts living with his unsaved girlfriend. First Bap disciplines him - strips him of his Sunday School teaching position, and refuses him communion. So John goes to Second Baptist- now the Pastor know about his situation. Just prior to the elements being served Pastor reminds us Scriptures requires us to examine our own heart. Well, John takes communion anyways.
    At the end of the service - Pastor says "Today someone took communion unworthily - Our church believes we should not restrict a person - but I believe this person should repent before God and this congregations"

    Thoughts?
     
  13. freeatlast

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    If the second pastor knew of the discipline of the first church and did not honor what that church did he would be in sin himself and should not take the table himself. His church (the leadership) should not have even allowed this man to attend the service much less take part in the table.
     
  14. annsni

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    Well, you see, in the first century church, following Christ very well could mean your death. Today in the 21st century United States, that would certainly not be the case. How many false converts were there in the first century church? Yes, I'm sure they were there but it was a much smaller portion of people than we have today. I'd liken it to becoming a believer in Afghanistan - I don't think there are many false converts there. So in my belief, today's new "believers" are not all truly new believers. I think as ministers of the Gospel, we need to be sure to disciple the person for a time before they can be baptized. Additionally, our church has a bit of an issue in that we do not have a bapismal. So we've been open for 6 months and have a number of new believers but we need to figure out how to actually do the baptisms. The hotel that we meet in does not have a pool and none of the places that have pools would accomodate us. So I think we're going to approach another local church to see if we can use their baptismal.
     
  15. jaigner

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    I should have been more specific in my answer. I'm talking about restricting communion to unbaptized believers.
     
  16. michael-acts17:11

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    Where does Scripture give the authority to any person or group of persons to mandate who can & cannot partake in communion? I see closed communion as an attempt to add to the authority of the church(pastor in particular). It is never right to add our own traditions to Scripture; no matter how well-intentioned they are. Closed-com & baptismal requirements are a beliefs based in Scriptural exclusion instead of direct command. This is similar to the Church of Christ doctrine of the elimination of musical instruments within the congregation. Scripture does not mention it, therefore we should restrict the behavior!? Where Scripture is silent or does not give direct command, does not give us license to "fill in the blanks" with our own traditions & commands. ALL believers are members of the family of God & may therefore worship Him together in communion. It is about Christ,not about our little churches.
     
  17. Jerome

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    :confused:

    I'm not aware of any Baptist church that restricts communion to unbaptized believers.
     
  18. Bro. James

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    There are at least two of us who believe the supper is a closed occasion for members in good standing with the congregation, for the reasons already stated. Also, to let anyone but the congregation participate destroys the picture of one body. None of this makes sense if one believes in the universal church, visible or invisible. The heresy of trans-substantiation and con-substantiation. These concepts are still being thrashed about in the hallowed halls of higher theologic studies.

    What is so difficult with: "This do in remembrance of me".

    Peace,

    Bro. James
     
  19. michael-acts17:11

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    I may not have been clear. Restricting communion to official church members who have been baptized is unScriptural. It sound good, but is an addition to His Word. We only have the authority to warn of partaking unworthily. It is a matter of soul liberty & relation-based Christianity.
     
  20. mandym

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    So where in scripture does it say directly that The Lord's Supper and who it is administered to is a matter of soul-liberty?
     

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