The Lord's Table: How Accessible?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Tom Butler, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    In the other thread on Why the Lord's Table on Sunday Morning?, I succumbed to the temptation and helped derail the thread by discussing access to the Lord's Table.

    I thought I had seen an earlier thread on Open or Closed Communion,but I couldn't find it, so I'm starting another thread to talk about it.

    The question, I suppose, is not whether the Lord's Table should be limited. It is already limited to believers. At least I hope so.

    The question is, how accessible?

    All professed believers, regardless of denomination?
    Baptized (immersed, sprinkled, poured) believers of every stripe?
    Only immersed believers of every stripe?
    Baptists of every kind?
    Only Baptist churches of like faith and order?
    Only members of your congregation?

    I mentioned in the other thread that my own church makes the Lord's Table more accessible that I personally prefer. I have been a member there for 49 years, so obviously it is not a test fellowship for us.

    Would it be for you? If you are open, would you join a closed-communion church? Vice Versa?
     
  2. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    One thing I have observed over the years is that your view of Lord's Table Accessibility is tied to what you believe about other things.

    If you believe that The Lord's Supper is a Christian ordinance, you are more likely to embrace open communion.

    If you believe that it is a church ordinance, your view will depend on whether you believe the "Church" is a local congregation or is "Universal," made up of all believers.

    Closed Communionists are more likely to believe in the primacy of the local church, while the Opens will likely be U-churchers.

    And, there are probably variations within those definitions. We're Baptists, remember.
     
  3. matt wade

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    And the attitude expressed against closed communion also shows what you believe about other things. It's very telling that the person on the other thread that is so hate-filled against closed communion also sees no problem with women as pastors.

    Yes, I believe in closed communion. I believe that it is the Biblical method and that it is the example given to us in Scripture. If your church doesn't believe that, then more power to them. I simply won't join and if I happen to be visiting when you have the Lord's Supper, I won't partake. What I won't do is sling mud around and call names.
     
  4. HAMel

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    In my humble opinion..., a closed communion is simply not fair. A little self-righteousness here? A "closed" communion is perhaps the only way of telling another that in "my" opinion, they aren't worthy? Who has that right?

    If one is not worthy of participating that will be dealt with later on between them and the Lord. If they say they are worthy why should anyone consider otherwise?

    Just as the body has many members who's to say a "visitor" should not be permitted? He knows if he's a member of the Body of Christ or not. He's just visiting and the rest of us don't know him. Let him participate.
     
  5. John Toppass

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    I believe the Lord's Supper should be shared by all who will partake. It should be stated that the invite to participate is intended for those that have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and who have given over their lives to Him.

    I did not find in the Scripture that no one was asked to leave the upper room where the first Last Supper was observed. In fact, even Judas took part in the Lord's Supper.

    For these reasons, I believe that observance of closing the Lord's Supper by any decision made by men is not biblical.

    I think that if any Christian is excluded from the observance of the Lord's Supper because of membership reasons, then it is a church snack and not the Lord's Supper. I would say to them if they want to close something, then have a church members only social.

    I understand why some might believe in the "closed" observance but I believe they are mistaken in their exegesis. I do prefer a "close" observance, that being one where only believers partake but that would be between them and God.
     
  6. matt wade

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    Judas did not take part in the Lord's Supper.
     
  7. matt wade

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    Will your church tell non-members that they can't be in a teaching position? Can non-members utilize your facilities in the same fashion that members can? Do you expect non-members to tithe at your church?

    Are any of these situations "not fair"?
     
  8. Jim1999

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    Our washrooms are labelled: Male or Female. Must be a privacy thing.

    Cheers,

    Jim:laugh:
     
  9. revmwc

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    Judas was not saved and wasn't worthy, the other disciples didn't know that not then, only Jesus knew his heart. Judas went to betray the Lord.
     
  10. matt wade

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    Yes, thank you for making my point. Jesus closed the first communion to those that were not worthy.
     
  11. jaigner

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    All should be welcome.
     
  12. Salty

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    We know from Matt 26:17-30, we know Judas was at the Passover meal - but where does it indicate that he did NOT partake.

    Could we also conclude that since no women participated, then communion should be closed to only men? -
     
  13. jaigner

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    This is a good point. This horrendous theological and interpretation tactic is used often by Christians to exclude others from gospel promises. Well done.
     
  14. matt wade

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    So unsaved should be allowed to partake?
     
  15. matt wade

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    Scripture does not contradict itself. You must take all of Scripture together, but you already knew that.

    John 13:30



    We also don't see any midgets there, but we don't close the table to midgets. Again, Scripture does not contradict itself. We know that both men and women can be saved and can be members of the local church. The ordinances available to one are available to the other.
     
  16. matt wade

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    You are free to partake of communion in your church, and any other liberally like minded church. What harm, exactly, comes to you from my church believing in closed communion?
     
  17. Paul3144

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    And you fundamentalists are free to deny communion to non-members. That doesn't make it biblically right. Tell me what local church the apostles were a member of.
     
  18. matt wade

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    Of course we can disagree on this and I suspect we will continue to do so.

    The apostles, at the time, we members of the only church around. The one founded and led by Jesus Christ.
     
  19. Paul3144

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    That's because the Church is universal in that regard. All of the redeemed are united under the Blessed Savior. Therefore, communion should be open to all believers. Maybe we'll have to agree to disagree.
     
  20. Salty

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    Yes, he did leave - AFTER having received the piece of bread.

    I could also say, what harm exactly comes to you from my church believing sprinkling is acceptable*

    Paul, please & Matt - closed communion is NOT a fundamentalist/liberal issue. Many fundies (as myself) believe in opening the communion table to all (true) Christians

    At the time of the Passover, the C(c)hurch had not yet been founded.

    * No, I do not believe that sprinkling = baptism. What I'm saying is that you had a weak argument.
     

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