"Open" or "Closed" Communion

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by USN2Pulpit, Apr 29, 2003.

  1. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    My personal stand on this issue is that anyone of "like faith and order" (in other words, a public profession of faith, baptism by immersion, and in fellowship with God) my participate in the Lord's Supper. There are churches, however, that have the Lord's Supper only for their own membership. Visitors who are of like faith and order are asked not to participate.

    What are your views on Open or Closed communion? And regardless of your views, for what reasons might a church have closed communion. Same question for open communion.

    Thanks...
     
  2. Molly

    Molly
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    Anyone who is a believer. [​IMG]
     
  3. KPBAP

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    As a Baptist since I was 8 years old I was "taught" and exposed to the belief that anyone who had accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior was a part of the family of God and would never be excluded from participating in the Lord's Supper. It was not until I was an adult in a Baptist Association meeting that the topic arose and I was shocked when I heard "my brother" say he would never participate in the Lord's Supper at anyone else's church but his own (where he held membership) OK, where did that Landmarkist idea ever relate to being Christian let alone Baptist??
     
  4. dianetavegia

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    Any believer is invited to partake. Only God knows that man's heart.

    Diane
     
  5. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Thanks for the inputs so far.

    I am interested though in what things would tend to support the idea of closed communion and what scriptures support the idea of open communion.

    Even if you don't agree with closed communion, upon what basis do those who practice it make their stand?
     
  6. KPBAP

    KPBAP
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    Maybe this might help-http://bmaweb.net/Metropolitan.Chicago/Communion.htm

    Unfortunately, Baptists through history have been more RE-actionary than Pro-active.
     
  7. J.R. Graves

    J.R. Graves
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    Four Quick Reasons Why I pratice Closed Commuion:

    1. Communion is a Church Ordinance - I Cor. 11:17-20. There is no biblical reason or example to take the Supper to the hospitals, nursying homes, or in priviate homes. It should only be observed by the assumbled church.
    2. Proper Baptism is a Prerequisite to communion. Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 2:41-42, I Cor. 14:40 Only those scripturally baptized have the biblical right to take communion.
    3. Church Discipline is connected to communion. I Corinthians 5:11. A church can only discipline its own members and only knows if its own members are living godly lives. Therefore it should only offer the Supper to its own members.
    4. I Corthians 11:2 gives the church the right to restrict the Lord's Supper. Yes, those observing are to examine themselves. But the Bibles sets up several prerequites to communion. Also if an athiest, muslim, or hindu comes to your services and wants to take communion, are you going to allow them? I am reminded of a story of where John Calvin (not a Baptist or a landmarker) was approached by several drunk soldiers during a communion sevice who asked to be served the Supper. Even though they were armed, Calvin refused and said they could even kill him, he would not do this.

    Three Pratical Keys to Praticing Closed Communion Without Spliting Your Church.
    1. Observe the Supper during the Sunday night service. It is the Lord's Supper, not the Lord's Lunch. AMEN!
    2. During this time, do not have a regular service, but only have a communion service. (No full preaching or full singing service)
    3. Announce several weeks ahead of time from the pulpit and in the bulletin that "the members of ???? Baptist church will be observing the Lord Supper on ??? Sunday night".

    You will be surprised how this will cut down on visitors in your communion services and stop many of the problems associated with closed commumnion
     
  8. SaggyWoman

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    Believer.
     
  9. ras

    ras
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    AMEN!!! AMEN!!!! AMEN!!!!!!
     
  10. Mitsy

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    I posted about this on another thread, but I generally think that ANY believer in Christ as their Savior should be able to partake in a communion service. I think it is elitist of any church to limit their communion to "members only" or to those of the same denomination only.

    The Primitive Baptist Church that I'm currently attending has communion only open to Primitive "members". Even though I'm a believer, and still align myself as "Baptist" for the most part, I am not able to partake in their communion because I haven't "joined" their church. But, to join them, I must be re-baptised and I personally do not feel the need to be baptised (or dunked) a third time. I have been through that twice now (in different denominations). So, chances are real good, that I won't be joining the Primitive Church either.
     
  11. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    Open to believers. However, I do believe each church is autonomous on this issue.

    It is connected to discipline, but that is directly from the Lord, not the church. So, that argument is extremely weak.
     
  12. Istherenotacause

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    Since partaking in the Lord's Supper is a time of judging one's self for any acknowledgable sin, all believers should have ample time to prepare. What might surprize everyone is to hear some one stand up before the congregation and say,"I'm not right with God this moment on this particular, will anyone help me pray until I get this thing right so I can worthily partake." :eek:

    I wonder how many Phariseeical "whispers" would be heard. :confused: Those who wisper and those who listen might need a little more time to look within themselves before taking the bread and the cup. :D
     
  13. ras

    ras
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    It should only be taken by members of that local body. NO other church has the right to discipline a member of another body. You are probably thinking "that`s judging" and I can`t do that. PLEASE read 1 COR.5:1-13!!!! AS for those of another denomination,it should be unheard of to eat with.
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Personal? I practice "close" communion to believers who are "walking in obedience". And I carefully outline out a general definition of that (although we do NOT police the table and stop a person; it is up to a man to examine "himself")

    The church I am with (for 7 more weeks, as I am an interim/missionary pastor) practices "open" communion for anyone who claims to be a "christian" (whatever they define that as). So each month, I teach and train a little more on the value of a more restrictive supper.
     
  15. Jim1999

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    I am always amazed when some evangelicals express disfavour with closed communion. A closed table is served in Catholic, Anglican, Plymouth Brethren and a host of other churches.

    Like Dr. Bob, I never policed the table but did make the invitation clear. My wife, as an Anglican, did not take communion in the churches I pastored, except one, when the deacons made a personal invite to her and she accepted.....they would not take no for an answer and we just didn't make an issue of it.

    Communion is not a universal table, in my mind. It is part of the local church, and so the partakers ought to be the members, I think, but I wouldn't lose sleep if a church decided open communion is their practice.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     

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