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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But 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.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Christian Psychologists?


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I think of all psychologists as ungoldy, how can one possibly be a psychologist and be a Bible-practicing Christian? When I think of Psychology I think of blaming your problems on your situation. There are NO excuses for sin! I do believe there are Christian counselors, however. What are your views? Has anyone had a positive experience with a Christian psychologist?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I think of all psychologists as ungoldy, how can one possibly be a psychologist and be a Bible-practicing Christian? When I think of Psychology I think of blaming your problems on your situation. There are NO excuses for sin! I do believe there are Christian counselors, however. What are your views? Has anyone had a positive experience with a Christian psychologist?


There may be some who would turn to psychology and psychiatry instead of God but I believe they're wasting their time.
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  • 2 months later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

This truly is an interesting topic...and I have to say not to judge too quickly...

I have had an experience with them as permitted by God and he in fact used them to His glory as hard as it will be for some to believe....also in fact if God had not planted a Christian who field was psychiatry and Christians in the field of psychology as well as those who knew not my Savior but loved people, I may have stayed in the place of hopelessness and uselessness. And yes I was in fact a believer in my Lord and Savior at the time...(at least 10 years of my life I was in need of them.) Praise God deliverance through His grace was found as He used these type of practices. He protected me and filtered out the error that may have been there.

I was condemning myself of sin because of the chemical changes that happened because of hormonal changes in my body, it was NOT sin...it was truly chemical changes in the brain...I may be throwing out gereralities here, but interestingly christians who take blood pressure meds and such the like think nothing of going to a doctor who may may not even be a christian, but they know their field well and are trusted for their education of the way the body works, why can't we acknowledge those who know how the brain works...it IS NOT always a matter of the heart.


I'm just saying...

Becareful how you may limit God's abilities by limiting those He works through (by the way, we see in the OT that there were times He worked through those who were not His children for the sake of His children, yes?)...

You very well may have a need one day, and God may use this field as a help to you, so I would bring caution as to making judgments...

I wonder if I took a poll; and asked how many are going to doctors that are not believers in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord...I am just saying...

I may get a lot of stones thrown at me for this, but I can not change what has happened in my life and who God used to bring me through by His grace...

Edited by Deb2live4Christ
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  • 1 month later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I think of all psychologists as ungoldy, how can one possibly be a psychologist and be a Bible-practicing Christian? When I think of Psychology I think of blaming your problems on your situation. There are NO excuses for sin! I do believe there are Christian counselors, however. What are your views? Has anyone had a positive experience with a Christian psychologist?


"Christian psychologist" is an oxymoron much like "Jumbo Shrimp" and "Military Intelligence." :goodpost:
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Oh I dunno...who created our "psyche"? Who made our minds? Our minds are very complex...and then add hormones and other issues to that and you can certainly have problems. Add to that the stress of living in such a sinful time (broken homes, etc).... I think a Christian psychologist can be a good thing. I think the best thing would be a pastor who has had some psychology training though, so that he can counsel the best.

Each person is different and has different needs...someone who understands the mind and emotions would be better able to help that person, no? Even as parents, we have to somewhat figure out the "psychology" of our children. I have one child who is very emotional....another who is very aloof....another who can tend to be callous....to an extent, psychology is just figuring out how somebody's mind works, and helping them with their problems using that understanding.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The thing is, no one understands the mind, emotions or the "psyche". The best human counselor would be, and is, the one who counsels according to the Word of God.

Psychology is riddled with humanism, man-made concepts and a denial of God and what Scripture says.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Psychology is opposed to the Gospel. Psychology teaches that man can fix himself and or blame his troubles on someone or something else. Psychologists admit that they rarely "cure" anyone. "See ya next week and payment is due up front". Is that a substitute for God's wisdom or the saving grace of Jesus Christ???

Modern Psychology and Psychiatry have their roots with Godless socialists and communists. Flip the rocks over yourself and see.

I watched an online sermon recently of a modern-charismatic preacher introducing psychology in place of the gospel to get his message across. Our blessed hope is knowing that even the few words of the Lord that day did not return void.

The Lord uses Godless people all the time in answer to prayer; Deb2live4Christ's experience is not unique.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Jesus used psychology when he talked to Nicodemus at night...Paul said he spoke to important people privately to make them more comfortable. The psychology I'm talking about just means understanding people....understanding where they are coming from, how they think...what their personality is...and then a good pastor can use that knowledge of basic psychology, backed up with the Bible, to help people the most.

Some of the worst "counselors" in church ever are those who think everybody fits in the same box and should be treated the same way...

Psychology: "The science of behavior and mental processes". There is nothing fundamentally wrong with that, as long as you are grounded in God's Word.

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  • Advanced Member

I say try it out if you think you need one but tread carefully. If you find on who tries to turn you away from God or pin all your problems on the bible I'd dump them. But from what I've heard many shrinks avoid doing this these days.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

And they have claimed many people were healed, rehabilitated, yet when let out they murderer once again. There is only one that can know the mind.

True. No Christian should want to be counseled by anyone who does not counsel based upon the Word rather than man-made philosophies.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The Word of God is always the best counselor. I agree with the post that says psychiatry and psychology are full of humanism--they had to go to a secular school to gain whatever knowledge they might have. Once we subject ourselves to "public education" we become "publicly educated"! If we would study our Bibles, with perhaps some spiritual guidance for those things we have not yet discovered, we would have no need of "Christian", or any type of psychologists. The only real knowledge they have about the mind was passed down from other men, who do not know the sinful heart, nor the devious minds of men.

they promote theories opposed to the Bible:
"You are your own person, and can solve any problem"
"You are not all that bad, don't put yourself down"
"Help yourself before you attempt to help others."
"It's not your fault..." etc. (Many more)

Is this not a fact?

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