Open Or Closed Communion

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Bro. Williams, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. Bro. Williams

    Bro. Williams
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    Who is for Open?

    Who is for Closed?

    Why?



    (This was brought on based upon recent arguments from some Landmark Baptists, just curious in regards to Biblical passages and reasoinings)
     
  2. David Michael Harris

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    It has to be open.

    You cannot stop a believer partaking in what God has provided for him/her.

    That would be to deny the believer their access to Christ. That would be very wrong.

    Even if someone was not from that particular fellowship or denomination.

    It's things like that that fragments the Church and our Lord prayed that we may be one.
     
  3. Bro. Williams

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    Thanks for the reply, I look forward to more discussion on this subject.
     
  4. Bro. James

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    Open, Close, Closed Communion

    Yes, there is a third possibility. What one believes is based on what one believes regarding the possibility of the Church being: universal-visible, universal-invisible, or local-visible only. This division has been going for many centuries.

    I believe in closed--it pictures one body.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
    #4 Bro. James, Sep 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2007
  5. David Lamb

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    As is so often the case, it depends what you mean by the terms. I know some churches where "open" seems to mean that anyone who happens to be at the service, believer or not, may take part in the Lord's Supper. I know of other churches that say that to partake, a person must have been baptised (as a believer), and some, like the Gospel Standard churches, go further, and say that a visiting Christian must be a member of a church "of the same faith and order", i.e. another Gospel Standard church, to take part.
     
  6. David Michael Harris

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    From what I see, being open causes no offense but being closed creates division.

    Imagine a early NT fellowship and some 'brothers' came from a distant land, could you see Paul or Timothy or any other saying, nope you cannot break bread with us!

    Utterly rediculous.

    It might have happened with the Jewish Christians because they were hung up on loads of issues and had to be put straight.

    Paul had to deal with a lot of these Judaizers, people who want to impose restrictions on the Christian life.

    Has the Church not learnt?
     
    #6 David Michael Harris, Sep 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2007
  7. Salty

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    I think you should open the glass bottle and the box before partaking!:laugh:

    Seriously, though, I am open - provided the pastor does it scripturally. That is, he should inform the congregation that they should not take it unworthily.

    I was serving communion once, and a small child - maybe 5 years old- wanted the elements. (I knew he was not saved) I held the plates high enough so he could not take the bread and juice. After I went back to the front, his mother came up and took the two items back to her son.
    I had already talked to the pastor about this before. He did not see it as a problem.

    So open communion not only deals with church membership, but to any why may - unworthily - partake

    Salty
     
  8. swaimj

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    In a Baptist church, anyone who partakes of communion should be a person who is baptized by immersion. On a personal level, I can agree to disagree with a believer who is not immersed, but at the level of corporate worship I would view immersion as a prerequisite to communion.
     
  9. David Michael Harris

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    I personally think that only a believer can take the bread and the wine in an unworthy manner.

    Unbelievers who take part in the bread and the wine are not disciplined by God. Look at the majority in the Roman Catholic system.

    Believers are disciplined if they partake in an unworthy manner so that they are not condemned with the rest of the world.

    Christianity is a living thing. Christians who do wrong will be disciplined by God in the present. The world will cop for it later.
     
  10. Brother Bob

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    I am for closed Communion. There were many believers in Jesus's day, but he did not invite them in to take communion.

    2Cr 6:14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

    How do we know they are believers, just because they say so?

    Mat 7:21¶Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    Mat 16:19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    Church has more "power" than just making rules.

    Jesus had a "closed" communion. We can't no be more "bibilcal" than that.

    It is how we do it, Let ever man serve the Lord for himself. IMO
     
    #10 Brother Bob, Sep 22, 2007
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  11. saturneptune

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    100% open. To use a man made standard of a local church roll as a basis for receiving Communion is not acceptable. The NT tells us to examine ourselves, and that we are answerable to God for taking the Lord's Supper lightly.

    The thing that bothers me about the local church roll is that, first of all it is not the standard the Bible tells us to use, but second, all across this nation, church rolls are packed with people (I am going to guess well over 50%) that have not darkened the door in decades, or shown any signs of regeneration. That is one sad standard to set.

    As stated above in one of the posts, closed communion results in division and tears churches apart. This I will have no part of.

    As for the Baptism argument to take Communion, how many times has it been emphasized that the Baptism does not have anything to do with salvation, but only a public sign. Therefore, who are we to deny the Lord's Supper on that basis? It gets back to examing yourself.

    If you are going to have man made standards, they must come from the Bible. Saying this is the way it has always been, or Jesus only invited the disciples to the Last Supper is not a Biblical argument.
     
    #11 saturneptune, Sep 22, 2007
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  12. rbell

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    Well said.
     
  13. David Michael Harris

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    I fail to see what any of the verses you quoted have to do with the breaking of bread within a fellowship. The Lord knows those that are His.

    You forgot this one Bob...

    Another parable set he before them, saying, The kingdom of the heavens has become like a man sowing good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed darnel amongst the wheat, and went away.

    But when the blade shot up and produced fruit, then appeared the darnel also. And the bondmen of the householder came up and said to him, Sir, hast thou not sown good seed in thy field? whence then has it darnel? And he said to them, A man that is an enemy has done this.

    And the bondmen said to him, Wilt thou then that we should go and gather it up ? But he said, No; lest in gathering the darnel ye should root up the wheat with it.

    Suffer both to grow together unto the harvest, and in time of the harvest I will say to the harvestmen, Gather first the darnel, and bind it into bundles to burn it; but the wheat bring together into my granary.

    ( Mat 13:24-30 ESV)


     
  14. Brother Bob

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    Thank you,
    1Cr 5:11But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

    I take communion to be very sacred and we are very strict to who we allow to eat with us. It is what we believe to be bibical.
    I can't imagine "opening" the door for communion and not know who sits down with you. I know there are tares among the wheat but the scripture says they come in "unawares", which is far different than just opening the door to them. It is not just my church but several Associations I correspond with that hold closed communion and been handed down for many many years. God Bless,
     
  15. David Michael Harris

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    If you know that a person is like those you mentioned then surely he would be put out of the Church. Especially if he is/professes to be a believer.

    What you find is there are the really nice people within the fellowship, how can you say to them ' your not a Christian' you will break their hearts :)

    When you start to say, you can, you can't you basically fall into the category that James talked about, you sit here and you sit there.

    You start to be the Lawgiver.

    In the early days we are told that 'no-one dared join them'


    Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem.

    ( Act 5:12-13 ESV )

    Alas things seems to be a bit different today.
     
  16. Brother Bob

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    Thank you,
    You have stated the very reason we have "closed" communions. We do cast such a one from among us and do not go around picking and choosing. We have communion for our members who we have fellowshipped with and know their lives, the best we can.

    ARTICLE 8. We believe that the Lord's Supper is the command of the Saviour, and that by use of bread and the fruit of the vine, and feet washing should be kept up until his second coming by his believers.

    We also believe in washing feet, of which I find on BB that not too many believe in.


    Not to hijack you thread, but wonder how you and others recieve the following scripture?

    Jhn 13:14If I then, [your] Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
    Jhn 13:15For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
    BBob,
     
    #16 Brother Bob, Sep 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2007
  17. David Michael Harris

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    Problem is you will end up like the Plymouth Brethren.

    Besides most fellowships I know do not have big issues with this.

    People seem to want to make an issue out of it.

    We all come from different backgrounds I guess and all have different convictions on things.

    What we should all be looking at is the Lords prayer that we may be one.

    I almost hear His ( excuse the flippancy ) Father's answer, 'your joking, do you know this lot'.

    Respectfully,

    David
     
  18. Brother Bob

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    Now that is a wonderful thought, but I am afraid we will not see that until the resurrection. It seems "spliting" is a Baptist thing and we have it all around us and in us. What would we do on BB if that were to happen.....:)

    BBob,
     
  19. David Michael Harris

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    Make the world believe maybe :thumbs:
     
  20. Aaron

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    Closed communion causes division and tears the church apart? Get real!

    What does the bread and the cup show? It shows the Lord's death till he come.

    What does partaking of the bread and the cup show? That we were crucified with Him, and therefore a part of His body and members of one another, (the communion of saints.)

    What does ex-communication show? That the one under discipline can be no longer regarded as a member of Christ. He is cut off from the Lord's table.

    Who has the authority to excommunicate? The local body, the one to whom the disciplined man was joined.

    It seems to me that if a body doesn't have the authority to cut me off from the Lord's table, neither do they have the authority to allow me to be a partaker.
     

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