Southern Baptists and Close Communion

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Mark Osgatharp, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    In another thread TexasSky made the following statement regarding Southern Baptists and the doctrine of the virgin birth of Christ:

    "If you identify yourself as a member of the Southern Baptist Convention, you are saying to the world that you agree with their belief statement."

    Just as surely as the Southern Baptist Faith & Message confesses the virgin birth of Christ, it declares that baptism by immersion is a pre-requisite to participation in the Lord's supper. I quote:

    "Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper."

    Does that mean that if you identify yourself as a member of the Southern Baptist Convetion you are saying to he world that you believe in close communion?

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  2. FundamentalDan

    FundamentalDan
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    Uh-oh, here goes the communion fight. Hey, Mark, before it gets started, please define the terms open, close, and closed communion for the great unwashed masses.
     
  3. Artimaeus

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    Hey, now, I took a bath Saturday. but, uh, go ahead with the definitions. [​IMG]
     
  4. Kiffen

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    All depends how you define Close Communion.

    One version is that any Christian baptized in a Baptist church can participate in the Lord's Supper at the service.

    Another version of Close Communion would mean any Christian baptized by immersion could partake of the Lord's Supper.

    I think any of those statements would be consistent with the [email protected] I would say that even Closed Communion could fit under that Tent also in that I know of at least one SBC church that practices Closed Communion.

    Open Communion, that any Christian who has been baptized (Be it Believer's or Paedobaptized) can partake would seem to be at odds with the [email protected]

    Then again the Baptist Faith & Message has no binding power over SBC churches.
     
  5. webdog

    webdog
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    Why is baptism a requirement at all? Shouldn't it be believers who are to take the Lords Supper? Baptism is not required to be a believer. This sounds like COC.
     
  6. Kiffen

    Kiffen
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    The reason Baptism is required by the [email protected] is because in a general sense a unbaptized "Christian" is refusing to identify with Christ by being immersed. This implies open rebellion against the Word of God to identify with Christ in water baptism. If you refuse to be obedient in Baptism, why would you want to take Communion anyway?

    Even most Open Communion Churches require Baptism (They just view both Believer's and Paedobaptism as valid). I know of only very few Open Communion Churches that invite the unbaptized to take communion. It has nothing to do with viewing Baptism as producing regeneration.
     
  7. guitarpreacher

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    So if a person is saved but hasn't had an opportunity to be baptized, you would allow them to celebrate the Lord's Supper with your church?
     
  8. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    The BF&M prescribes immersion of a believer as baptism and that such baptism is prerequisite to participation in the Lord's supper. That means those who practice open communion are practicing inconsistently with Southern Baptist belief, just as much so as those who deny the virgin birth.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  9. imported_J.R. Graves

    imported_J.R. Graves
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    Kiffin,

    You wrote: "I know of at least one SBC church that practices Closed Communion."

    I know of dozens of Southern Baptist Churches throughout western Kentucky that still pratice closed communion. As a matter of fact, both SBC churches I have pastored pratice closed (church memebers only) communion and both of the SBC churches I grew up in praticed communion. It is interesting to note that each of these churches were in a different county scattered throughout western Kentucky.
     
  10. Kiffen

    Kiffen
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    I said "general" sense not the exceptions. I think you are saying if someone got saved that Sunday when the Lord's Supper was served but did not have the opportunity to be baptized? [​IMG] I think It would probably however be better and more special if he waited until next month's communion service (We have it monthly).


    I agree with you BUT I would not place those who practice Open Communion in the same category as those who deny the virgin birth.

    Denying the virgin birth places one outside the Christian faith and is a blatant heresy. The issue of Communion is not a fundamental doctrine (In other words if you have a wrong view of it, you want go to Hell [​IMG] )

    There has been much diversity on the Communion issue among Baptists for many centuries.
     
  11. gb93433

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    Your statement is not always true. When I was a new believer I was told that baptism was an outward proclamation of an inward commitment. By the time I was a Christian 3 years I had led people to Christ, led Bible studies in my dorm, began discipling people and spoke openly in the free speech platform at the university testfying of Christ and writing openly of Christ but was never rebellious against baptism. I simply saw church baptism as a weak testimony compared to what I had already done. So I saw no need for baptism if that is what it meant. Of coursee now I know that it meant much more then in the NT than it does now. The cost could have been much greater.

    So many today are afraid of making Christ known among the world that they are in fear. As for me baptism was much of a joke by comparison to what I had already done in claiming Christ as my Lord. Many disobedient baptized folks have never led one person to Christ and have done little to testify of Christ as Lord.
     
  12. rufus

    rufus
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    Yeppers! I agree, Mark O.

    The Missionary Baptist Association of America believes similarly.

    Rufus
     
  13. Reformed Mike

    Reformed Mike
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    The mode of communion (the way a church offers it) and the doctrine of the Virgin birth are NOT in the same class of doctrine.

    1) You can offer [closed|open|close|whatever] communion and STILL be a dedicated Christian and an upright disciple of Jesus Christ, and have some liberty in this area.

    2) You CANNOT reject the Virgin birth and be a productive Christian.

    To deny the Virgin Birth is outright heresy. To have one opinion or another regarding the mode of offering communion is just personal preference. There are no direct references in Scripture that describes what one must do regarding communion.

    Mark O/Rufus: That is a distinction you have missed. I would challenge you to produce Scripture that would say otherwise.

    Regards,

    -PM <><

    P.S. I’m not holding my breath…

    P.S.S. The BMAA is not a monolith on the communion issue…
     
  14. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Reformed Mike,

    To start with, the topic of this discussion was about what constitutes stated Southern Baptist belief, not what constitutes being a good Christian. The point I was trying to make is that the Southern Baptist establishement, while making an issue out of the virgin birth (which it most certainly should) largely ignores the sinful practice of open communion which is just as much contrary to stated Southern Baptist belief as denying the virgin birth.

    Having said that, let me say that I agree with you insofar that a man who denies the virgin birth cannot possibly be saved while a man who practices open communion may be a saved man who is doing something contrary to God's word.

    Notwithstanding, open communion versus close or closed communion is not just a matter of personal opinon but a matter of monumental consequence insofar as it effects the purity of the church. Open communion makes a mockery of Christian baptism as well as the sanctity of the church. It makes every man his own judge and totally overthrows the corporate judgment of the church.

    One only need to read I Corinthians chapter 11 to know that God killed some of His own people because of the way they perverted the Lord's supper. If inviting every man who fancies himself a "Christian" without discrimination does not constitute a perverion of the Lord's supper, I don't know what does.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  15. rufus

    rufus
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    Good ole Mike; loyal "BMAA" to the "end."

    Good to hear from you?
     
  16. Reformed Mike

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    Typical "We-Are-A-Better-Holier-Baptist-Than-You'll-Ever-Be" attitude...

    Take something that not everyone will agree on, and that many will not make a test of fellowship in the denomination itself, and then challenge a person's "loyalty" to the denomination over it.

    A person's view on how he participates in communion with his church has NOTHING to do with his dedication to the orthodox, historical, Christian faith and doctrine. I am loyal to Christ and his Word...everything else is relative.

    For you it's just another chance at a cheap shot. Typical.

    Regards,

    -PM <><
     
  17. rufus

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    Mike, I really love the way you handle these kinds of discussions. Strawmen do not suit your level of intelligence! Too bad.

    Mike, how did your view of the BMAA become so distorted? As far your "loyalty," I could (if I would, but I won't)produce "assertions made by you to demonstrate the point. At any rate, I wish you God's blessings.

    I'm very glad that you see yourself being loyal to Christ and His Word...but that does NOT mean that everything else is RELATIVE. That statement says volumes.

    God bless.

    Rufus
     
  18. Mark Osgatharp

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    This statement assumes that how e "participate in communion" is not mentioned in the Christ's word. Anyone who had read I Corinthians knows that is a load of garbage.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  19. Reformed Mike

    Reformed Mike
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    Mark,

    Can you give us lucid exposition, from Paul, on how one is to do communion? (Closed? Close? Open? etc.)

    If it is that clear, then there should be no trouble explaining it in clear, unambiguous terms, correct?

    Maybe you can put this topic to rest after all.
     
  20. buckster75

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    What if a "churched" person visits your chuch. We are obligated to hold our members accountable. We won't know too much about a visitor.

    it is an accountability thing. Paul said not to partake unworthily. How do I know about a visitor? We tell the people (vistors and members) at our church what we believe (closed) and why then tell them if they still want to partake they are free to but the accountablity falls on them not us.
     

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