Open/Closed Communion

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Daniel Dunivan, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. Daniel Dunivan

    Daniel Dunivan
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    I am doing some historical research on my denomination's (General Association of General Baptists) position on open communion. I am interested in knowing if any other group represented here affirms open communion.

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]
     
  2. Jim1999

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    Mr. Spurgeon believed that church membership was limited to a baptized believer, but the table was open to all Christians.

    The organization to which I belong varies by church on how they conduct the affairs of the table. Most of us give a strict invitation, but do not police the table. We let each person decide on their own worthiness to sit.

    That is essentialy my position on the matter. I would never tell a person they could not partake.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    My heritage (historic ifb from the NORTH) would promote "close" communion. We would lay out carefully principles of being truly saved and being "worthy" of partaking.

    Open - Anybody who claims to be saved or who want to take it
    Close - All who are saved and walking in obedience (baptized, etc)
    Closed - Only regenerated church members in that local assembly

    This would include the American Baptists, Conservative Baptists, General Assoc of Regular Baptists, Fundamental Baptist Fellowship (by and large; each church is frighteningly independent!)
     
  4. OhFWB16

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    Free Will Baptists observe Open Communion. Because it is the Lord's Table, not our own. We invite all, in the example that Jesus Christ never turned even the worst sinner away.
     
  5. Speedpass

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    And the American Baptist Association(predominant among Baptists in Arkansas) also practices closed communion.
     
  6. tinytim

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    And the American Baptist Association(predominant among Baptists in Arkansas) also practices closed communion. </font>[/QUOTE]In West Virginia, The American Baptist Churches -USA predominately practice open communion. There are a few that practice closed. Most IFB's in West Virginia are closed communion.
     
  7. Elijah

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    Most BMA churches practice closed communion. My personal conviction tends to lean toward open communion. What I would like to see is some 'CLEAR' scriptural evidence for closed communion. The standard answer I have recieved from most is "that is just the way we do it ", which falls way short of a valid answer to me.
     
  8. Debby in Philly

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    I believe the argument for closed communion comes from I Corinthians 11:27-31: "27Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. (NIV)"

    Since the pastor and/or deacons of a local church do not know the condition a visitor is in regarding their being saved and in obedience or not, communion is not offered.

    The argument for open communion is that the judgement of a person's relationship to God is between them and God, so that as long as the instruction above is given, it is the individual's responsibility to choose correctly, and so communion is offered to all.

    My church includes the explanation from scripture just before communion is served, and the deacons offer it to all.
     
  9. Singing Cop

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  10. Southern

    Southern
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    Elijah,
    I noticed you mentioned the (BMA). I am a full time minister in this denomination. While I personally lean towards close communion, my denomination reasons that the first "Lord's Supper" and all the commandments given to the church on how to observe it were given to the "church". Which is local visible bodies. They reason then that only local visible bodies can partake. (This is an oversimplification, but you get the idea).

    In Christ,
    Bobby
     
  11. Artimaeus

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    We are Independent Baptist and practice a close communion. I personally believe in a modified close communion. While we should ALWAYS be walking in obedience, I don't believe that the "worthily" is in reference to this but, it is in reference to the manner in which communion is takenm i.e., seriously, reverentially, solemn, etc. Not in a party, celebration, festive manner which takes away from the nature of remembering our Savior's death.
     
  12. Lil Sister

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    Dr Bob defined:
    I guess our little independent, New Covenant Baptist church is a "close" communion. We do not require people to be a member of "our" church. But my husband warns people if they are not trusting in Christ alone for salvation, or live scandalously (he defines that), to refrain from taking.
    We've been in other types of churches & feel that there needs to be warning without human scrutiny...as that is the job of the Holy Spirit.
    However, if we discover someone has taken the Lord's Supper and is out of order, my husband speaks to them in private and urges repentance.
     
  13. Mission Man

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    In my opinion communion should be opened to ALL BELIEVERS.
     
  14. Frogman

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    Open - Anybody who claims to be saved or who want to take it
    Close - All who are saved and walking in obedience (baptized, etc)
    Closed - Only regenerated church members in that local assembly

    Dr. Bob, can you expand on these, especially the differences between close and closed.

    Thanks.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  15. Frogman

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    This is a noble belief, but if practiced there is no way to discipline disobedient members.

    Is discipline important?...necessary?

    Bro. Dallas
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Mission Man

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    No, Is the pastor going to stand up there and say "All who are not obedient stand up" or something like that and say you you and you cannot take commumion. This would not be fair. This would only anger believers and turn them away.
     
  17. Karen

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    Especially since deacons are not supposed to be rulers but servants, I don't quite understand why deacons often seem to have the job of preventing other people from participating in Communion.

    Also, we seem to presume that only deacons can pass out the elements of Communion. Is that really the case Scripturally?

    Karen
     
  18. Frogman

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    Please expand. Any congregation in which the pastor either assumes or controls as much authority as you are describing is not a Baptist church.

    An example follows:

    I am a member of your local church. I am committing adultery against my wife. You know this to be true. You approach me. I refuse to hear you. You approach me again, this time with 2-3 witnesses so every word can be established. Again, I refuse to hear the case against me. The church is informed and action is taken against me. (Remember, the church did not die because of my sins, nor did the church resurrect for my justification). This action declares me out of fellowship only and therefore denies me the priveliges of the ordinance of the Lord's Supper.

    Still refusing to acknowledge my sin, I simply attend a church practice open communion. I am never forced to reflect upon the reasons for the action against me, and yet I still am able to enjoy a church relationship.

    It is open communion that is threatening the church. Truth can withstand any amount of scrutiny. Discipline is included in the life of a church by the Lord himself. The church has no authority to enter into the eternal realm of the individual either before or after salvation, but temporally there is a real authority granted in the name of Christ to his body.

    To deny this is a subversion of scripture because it ultimately gives me license to sin and to still enjoy a church relationship.


    Bro. Dallas
     
  19. Mission Man

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    I dont know what you mean by expand still. Although I am saying we are ALL sinners. That is in The Bible. We were all born sinners and always will be. So you can't really stand up and say I'v heard of your sins and you may no take part in communion. That is what I mean. Because everyone that has any idea about The Word knows that we were all born sinners ecept Jesus Christ.
     
  20. Frogman

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    you are attempting to ignore blatant sin committed unashamedly and are proposing the church ignore it also. That is my only point. To deny the need and usefulness of discipline is to ignore what is also in scripture.

    I also agree we are born sinners, except Jesus, but we are born sinners because we are conceived in sin. This is also found in scripture.

    I do not intend to disagree for the sake of disagreeing. I only wish to know what you view as a church member living in obedience to the commandments of God for their personal conduct as well as the commands of Christ for church fellowship.

    I am not denying that each of us continue to commit sin. I am speaking of a hypothetical situation in which I am actively engaged in sin and deny it to the point that I refuse to repent.

    Am I still in fellowship with the church at this point? I don't believe I would be. What I read from your post, you seem to think I would be. Is it possible for my actions in this situation to bring problems for the church body? What happens to a bunch of apples when one apple in the bunch is rottening and measures are not taken to separate that apple until the rotteness can be removed?

    Did Paul not discuss the need for this in his writing to the Corinthian church? Did he proclaim this member should always be considered separate? Or did he describe what was needed of that person and of the church to receive him once again into fellowship?

    By ignoring a discipline problem we only perpetuate it and indirectly reinforce it. Never does this method produced desired results except that greater discipline problems are encountered. Do we threaten the greater fellowship, unity and peace of the church to indulge me until I tire of my adulterous activities? If we do, then we have taken the first step away from Scriptural teaching on the topic of discipline in the church. Now, where do we stop this departure?

    Bro. Dallas
     

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