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Communion: Closed, Close, or Open?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Mark Osgatharp, Jul 16, 2003.

?
  1. Closed

    56.1%
  2. Close

    43.9%
  3. Open

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp New Member

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    GB,

    There might be a time and place for such proceedings, but it is not at the Lord's supper. Paul explicitly said, "if any man hunger, let him eat at home." The Lord's supper was not a pot luck dinner. It was a time to commemorate the broken body and shed blood of the Lord.

    This was such a serious matter that Paul said the judgement of God had fallen on the Corinthian church for turning the Lord's supper into a pot luck dinner. And in their case, anyone who didn't bring a pot was out of luck!

    A believer who cheats his customers should not be welcome at the Lord's table. Paul explicitly said, "with such an one no not to eat." As brother Vaughn has already pointed out, closed communion has no validity apart from the practice of church discipline.

    But an unbeliever is not to feel accepted because he is not accepted. "The wrath of God abideth on him." "Thou hatest all workers of inquity." "What part has he that believeth with an infidel."

    When Paul envisioned unbelievers coming into the church worship he did not envision them feeling "accepted." He envisioned them being "convinced of all" and "judged of all" and "thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face, he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth."

    The church is not an inclusive fellowship, it is an exclusive fellowship of believers - yeah, not just of believers but of faithful believers. I think your statements here show how wide the chasm is between the philosphies of open communion and restricted communion.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  2. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp New Member

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    Brother Vaughn,

    I would state it stronger than that. I would say that closed comnunionists who don't practice church discipline are rank hypocrites. And I say that knowing it makes rank hypocrites out of a large percentage of "Landmark" churches.

    Do you think this blatant hypocricy could be at least part of the reason why our young people are leaving the Landmark churches by the droves?

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  3. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    Landmarkism is [slander erased]. The main problem is that they are elitists; proud, arrogant and useless for kingdom work.

    Too often those churches practice an exclusivity that is "us four and no more." Where I live we call them churches of the living dead. The people are living but just as dead as though they were never living. Out here where I live I have seen church discipline practiced plenty of times. In other parts of the country never public.

    [ July 21, 2003, 09:51 PM: Message edited by: Dr. Bob Griffin ]
     
  4. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    Anyone who says he has not sinned and the truth is not in him.

    MArk, I would disagree with you on the idea of communion not being a potluck.

    What were the love feast then? There were non-believrs present then.

    Are you absoultely sure that all those serve are believers? Jesus disciples were fooled so what makes you think you cannot be fooled. Just remember Judas. He acted and played the part so well that nobody else knew except Jesus. So if someone can fool Jesus' disciples by playing the part what makes you think that you are in actuality practicing closed communion? You are not because you cannot judge the hearts of people.

    Matthew 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to Me, ` Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. "Many will say to Me on that day, ` Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'
     
  5. G. M. Ward

    G. M. Ward New Member

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    With all due respect I Am Blessed 16, I thought God and the person taking the communion, are the ones that are responsible…. I would hate to see those that I tried to weed out… I think each individual should examine himself, and then if he takes the bread unworthily, it is on his shoulders alone… God said, leave them alone and I will judge them… Jesus said, let the weeds and the tares grow together….

    BTW, Jesus knew that Judas was a devil from the beginning….

    Again, not to be argumentative, you certainly have a right to believe what you want, but this is just my humble opinion……
     
  6. G. M. Ward

    G. M. Ward New Member

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    With all due respect I Am Blessed 16, I thought God and the person taking the communion, are the ones that are responsible…. I would hate to see those that I tried to weed out… I think each individual should examine himself, and then if he takes the bread unworthily, it is on his shoulders alone… God said, leave them alone and I will judge them… Jesus said, let the weeds and the tares grow together….


    BTW, Jesus knew that Judas was a devil from the beginning….

    Again, not to be argumentative, you certainly have a right to believe what you want, but this is just my humble opinion……
    </font>[/QUOTE]I Am Blessed 16, I jumped the gun before I read the explanation in your second post…. Sorry that I misunderstood…. It was too late to edit… Again, sorry for the mix up……
     
  7. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp New Member

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    G.M. Ward,

    It is not merely between God and the individual. Paul told the church at Corinth to expell the impenitent fornicator and, "with such an one, no, not to eat."

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  8. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Don't think they could sound much more elitist and arrogant than that!
     
  9. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Hey I resemble that remark but we were here before the Landmarkers! :D ... Brother Robert I NEVER knew we were held in such high esteem [​IMG] ... You brethren need to lighten up a little bit :D ... Brother Glen of the Primitive Baptist brethren and Moderator of the Baptist History Forum... Btw we only hold communion of those of like precious Faith among our own people others do not qualify and we wash feet!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  10. Wisdom Seeker

    Wisdom Seeker New Member

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    Closed, members only.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator
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    At the Free church it was Open. ANYONE who claimed remotely to be "a christian" could join. Vexed my heart, but I carefully took time to explain and use I Cor 11 to try to help folks NOT make a damning mistake.

    At our Baptist church is is Close. Saved, Baptized and Obedient are welcome to join in.


    NOTE: I will close this or any thread where we start calling people "heretics" et al for practicing closed or open communion. That is not tolerated.
     
  12. G. M. Ward

    G. M. Ward New Member

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    G.M. Ward,

    It is not merely between God and the individual. Paul told the church at Corinth to expell the impenitent fornicator and, "with such an one, no, not to eat."

    Mark Osgatharp
    </font>[/QUOTE]…. If someone feels that he, or she could take the communion, then it would be between him/her and God, I would think, unless you have a way of reading someone’s heart?

    Sure, expel the fornicator if they have openly disregarded warnings…. If the church has taken the necessarily steps and they refuse to repent…. Then, we aren’t to eat with a fornicator….Let two or three witnesses go to that individual, if he repents, then neither God, nor man holds anything against him….

    We’re not talking about a fornicator that is eating, God did say that we shouldn’t eat with a fornicator…We’re talking about a closed communion, aren’t we?

    It’s up to the person to examine their own self, and then if they ear or drink unworthily, they eat and drink damnation unto themselves….. God also tells us that he will judge, not us, how can we judge another man’s servant…. So, IMO, if they wanted to take the communion, let them decide in their hearts, and then let him, or her eat. Mighty poor judges are we….
     
  13. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp New Member

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    Then you have conceded that participation in the Lord's supper is not strictly a matter between the individual and the Lord, but that the judgement of the church must also be considered.

    We are talking, at least in part, about whether or not the Lord's supper should be thrown open to any individual present who judges himself to be a believer. You have conceded that a believer who is impenitently involved in fornication should not participate.

    So why should a believer who obstinately refuses to be immersed be allowed to participate?

    Surely a man should examine himself. No one denies that is the case. But the church is also commanded to do some examination of it's own as per I Corninthians chapter 5. If a church is not able or willing to make these judgements they are "Mighty poor judges" indeed!

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  14. MaryKay

    MaryKay New Member

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    At my church we observe closed communion. Baptized members only in good standing.
     
  15. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd Active Member

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    Close: saved, baptized, right with the Lord (though this is hard for us to judge).

    There is precedence for this in Acts - whether membership should be required - I find no precedence in Scripture - I'm not sure that you can find precedence for formal membership, such as is practiced today, in Scripture. Anyone have a verse they'd like to shoot at me?

    The young people in our church who have not been baptized are not offered communion. I always explain the Scriptural basis for communion before it is served.
     
  16. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp New Member

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    Dan,

    I don't have time to elaborate right now, but here are some references for your consideration:

    Matthew 18:15-20, Acts 2:47, 9:26, 18:27, Romans 14:1, I Corinthians chapter 5, I Corinthians chapter 12, Ephesians 2:19, I Peter 2:5.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  17. Graceforever

    Graceforever New Member

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    Then you have conceded that participation in the Lord's supper is not strictly a matter between the individual and the Lord, but that the judgement of the church must also be considered.

    We are talking, at least in part, about whether or not the Lord's supper should be thrown open to any individual present who judges himself to be a believer. You have conceded that a believer who is impenitently involved in fornication should not participate.

    So why should a believer who obstinately refuses to be immersed be allowed to participate?

    Surely a man should examine himself. No one denies that is the case. But the church is also commanded to do some examination of it's own as per I Corninthians chapter 5. If a church is not able or willing to make these judgements they are "Mighty poor judges" indeed!

    Mark Osgatharp
    </font>[/QUOTE]
     
  18. Graceforever

    Graceforever New Member

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    I think he’s talking about expelling a known fornicator…. I think you might want to begin at the beginning and read the thread… There certainly is a difference in judging someone as unworthy to take the bread with, and judging a known fornicator that will not repent of his sins… If I read it right, you’re trying to judge the inner person’s heart, which is between him and the Lord…. You just can’t do that….

    Gary, you have some very good points… I don’t think that Mark’s acknowledging what you’re saying….
     
  19. Elk

    Elk New Member

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    I am not for closed communion.
    I don't believe that Jesus would ever deny anyone who came to HIM.
    I also don't think that we are ever, here on planet earth, worthy to take communion, but I believe that we can participate in communion when we "believe what HE has done and acknowledge it". Of course, we should confess our sins prior to partaking, etc. and of course we should be a new creature in Christ.
    But I believe for someone else to judge us and decide if we are worthy or not to partake makes trouble. If we have all the baptism certificates and credicals, still may not make us fit to take communion. It is the heart.
    Also, I believe that communion is possibly the one thing that makes us accountable or keeps us accountable to the Lord Jesus.
     
  20. Daniel Dunivan

    Daniel Dunivan New Member

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    Open! Any believer is welcome. Come on down!

    BTW, all of this talk about taking the supper unworthily misses the point of Paul's intention. He is not talking about fornication (though the earlier text Mark is quoting probably does; however the bigger question here has to do with universal applicablity), but in I Cor. 11 Paul says "For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves . . . when you come together to eat, wait for one antoher. If you are hungry, eat at home, so that when you come together, it will not be for your condemnation." Paul is talking about failure to discern unity and equality in the church. They are allowing socioeconomic status to taint a central theme of the supper--we are one (one loaf, one cup). Nowhere in this text is it explicitly stated that he is talking about anything else.

    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I think that the Lord's Supper is about communion not separation.

    During my invitation to the table I often say something like: "The Lord has prepared His table for His church. All who love Him and trust in Him alone for their salvation are now invited to come to the table of the Lord. The gifts of God for the people of God. Come not because you are good, but because he is good. Come not because you are strong, but because he has given you strength. Come not because you love him, but because he has perfectly loved you."

    Maranatha! [​IMG]
     
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