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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.

Forcing boy to get chemo


Kitagrl
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I don't know of a single state that allows a child to decide which parent they will live with. The judge may take their preference into consideration, but that decision is for the law to decide, not the child. I'll agree that the law is not perfect, but until it is changed, it is still the law and the law is supreme.


Check out Washington State, my friend. Precedent has even been set that 13 year olds can "divorce" their parents if THEY choose.

Good points, kind.
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Should we pay our taxes and obey the laws then?




Yes. You should. Until the government asks you to commit genocide, an abortion, or any other immoral act, you must obey tax laws and other laws.
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A little off point, but at what point should we disregard the law?

For example, let's say your state begins paying for abortions for anyone who wants them. Is it moral for you to pay taxes that supports such a government?

What if our government began committing genocide? Should we pay our taxes and obey the laws then?



What if our government made it law to coral all persons of Jewish descent and then legal orders from a judge were carried out to kill them via gas chamber? Is the law still supreme?

Don't tell me it's a ridiculous example, as it has already happened to 6 or 7 million of my fellow humans.....a little war was fought over it....perhaps we were wrong to go against the German law.....
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Yes. You should. Until the government asks you to commit genocide, an abortion, or any other immoral act, you must obey tax laws and other laws.


I have to disagree here. What would have happened if the church in Germany had stood up to Hitler? Sadly, we will never know.

If we pay to support such a government, are we not doing the act itself? If I hire a hitman to kill someone, I still kill them. If I pay the government to perform an immoral deed, am I not as guilty as the government?

Were the early colonialists in America wrong for refusing to pay taxes to Britain?
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Jesus said render to Ceasar what is Ceasers. To me this mean pay the tax to the government. The Romans were much worse than the U.S is now' date=' but we are getting there.[/quote']

But at what point does the government beocme illegitimate? If the government stops listening to the people and not representing the interest of the people, then is the government really a government? If the government abuses its power in terrible ways that are horribly inhumane such as genocide, do we not support that policy and are guilty of murder by supporting a government carrying out these actions?

How are we not guilty if our money is paid to further an immoral purpose? If the government murders, and we pay for the government to murder and do nothing to stop it, how can God not view us as guilty as well?
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We can preach the gospel. I see this as the only way. Making laws and being lied to by politicins hasn't worked. Change one person at a time. :hijack: Now to the thread. I don't know I am fence straddling on this issue.

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[offtopic]Jesus said to render unto Ceasar - He was in a government ruled by an emporer. We are in a republic: We the People are Ceasar. My money doesn't BELONG to the government. There are certain taxes that are Constitutional - Income taxes are not. Congress has power to levy taxes - not an independent taxing arm like the IRS. That's just my input...we do pay taxes. If we didn't, we could go to jail. Isn't that amazing and amusing? According to the IRS yellow book paying taxes is voluntary. Just try to volunteer not to pay.[/offtopic]


How are we not guilty if our money is paid to further an immoral purpose? If the government murders, and we pay for the government to murder and do nothing to stop it, how can God not view us as guilty as well?

That is a conundrum, kind, that really, truly bothers me!!!
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I have to disagree here. What would have happened if the church in Germany had stood up to Hitler? Sadly, we will never know.

If we pay to support such a government, are we not doing the act itself? If I hire a hitman to kill someone, I still kill them. If I pay the government to perform an immoral deed, am I not as guilty as the government?

Were the early colonialists in America wrong for refusing to pay taxes to Britain?


You are not guilty of things you do not intend to do. If you own a business and someone comes and works for you and you pay them, then that person uses the money you pay them to buy drugs, are you breaking the law? The same principle applies to the government. We pay taxes to support our government. When you write your income tax check, you don't apportion $5,000 for abortions, $10,000.00 for nuclear development . . . You just write a check and rely on your elected officials to act in your best interest. You are in fact paying the government to work for you. If the government then takes that money and uses it for immoral/illegal purposes, you are not held responsible because that was not what you intended to be done with the money.

You are judged by the content of your heart, not the uninteded results of your actions.
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In your example, the employee on his own time does not represent me. However, the government reprsents the people. The government acts for the people. If it then engages in terrible attrocities (such as Sadaam Hussein, Hitler, and others), how do the citizens of the country not have an obligation to stand up and try to stop it when they can feasibly do so?

If I send money to a non profit organization who pays for women to abort their children, how am I not guilty of aborting the child? If I hire a hitman, how am I not guilty of the murder? If I send taxes to a government engages in terrible attrocities such as genocide, how am I not guilty of genocide?

All I am saying is at some point, the government ceases representing the people, and there are times in history where resising such a regime is appropriate and good. There is a point when the citizens are responsible for the actions fo the government if they do nothing about it.

Right now in the US, we can fight within the system and get things done. It is difficult, but it can be done. What would happen if those channels were cut off and we could not work within the system to change it? Is that not the point at which civil disobedience is justified, and perhaps even necessary? At some point, a government gets to where it no longer respresents the people, and at that point, the people are justified in overthrowing it, not paying their taxes, and setting up a new government. This is how our country was born. It happened in history before, it can happen again.
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There is a point when the citizens are responsible for the actions fo the government if they do nothing about it.


So you are of the opinion that we should have tried every german citizen that failed to resist the Nazi government for the crimes their government committed? That sounds extreme but that is where your logic leads.
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I have to disagree here. What would have happened if the church in Germany had stood up to Hitler? Sadly, we will never know.

If we pay to support such a government, are we not doing the act itself? If I hire a hitman to kill someone, I still kill them. If I pay the government to perform an immoral deed, am I not as guilty as the government?

Were the early colonialists in America wrong for refusing to pay taxes to Britain?


Had the church stood up to Hitler, it would have probably met the same fate as many Jews did. There was no strong Christian presence in Germany. That is why Hitler came into power. The church presence that was there had lost its savor, very much like the church we have in the US today. I can name at least 100 people I personally know that didn't vote and call themselves born again Christians.

Jesus Christ paid taxes to the Roman Government. Did that make him guilty of the misdeeds committed by the Roman Government? Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's... If Christ was guilty of lawbreaking, He would not have risen, and we would all still be hopelessly lost.

As far as the government being representative of the people....that is a joke. This administration and the last does/did not represent the will of the people. While the current administration has a high approval rating, the vast majority of Americans disagree with most of the policies he has pushed and aims to push through. The people only matter at election time to our government. In between, we might as well be Rome.
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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,520607,00.html

They are literally thinking about strapping this kid down...he's a teenager!!!.....and forcing chemo on him. Wow.



The governments God ordained job is to protect its citizens from evil doers. I don't think that parents choosing an alternative method to chemo (which is sometimes worse than the cancer itself) would be considered evil doing by God. The courts need to stay out of it.
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If I send money to a non profit organization who pays for women to abort their children' date=' how am I not guilty of aborting the child? If I hire a hitman, how am I not guilty of the murder? If I send taxes to a government engages in terrible attrocities such as genocide, how am I not guilty of genocide. [/quote']
I can't make any comment about what's right and what's wrong here, but I just want to point out that in the first two examples above you are not 'rendering' and in the last example you are rendering. Perhaps a better example would be, if you were paying back a loan plus interest to the bank and the bank started using its profits to fund crime, would you be guilty of funding the crime simply by continuing to render to the bank what is the bank's? This isn't a perfect analogy either, but it does involve rendering something and that might be the key word.

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The governments God ordained job is to protect its citizens from evil doers. I don't think that parents choosing an alternative method to chemo (which is sometimes worse than the cancer itself) would be considered evil doing by God. The courts need to stay out of it.


:amen::goodpost:

"Standard" medical methods are often a matter of guessing, come with many side effects, don't always work and sometimes cause death. These are the same factors used to knock various "alternative" methods!

Medical decisions are the provence of parents and should remain so.
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:amen::goodpost:

"Standard" medical methods are often a matter of guessing, come with many side effects, don't always work and sometimes cause death. These are the same factors used to knock various "alternative" methods!

Medical decisions are the provence of parents and should remain so.


Wilch and John,
I find myself in agreement with you both again.
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Yes, I'm a jazz fan. That is actually not may favorite album or artist (though it is a close second). My favorite is Coletrane's A Love Supreme.

Anyway, if I paid interest to a bank, and the bank used it to fund crime, if I did not know about it, i would not be guilty. But if I knew about the activity and continued to support the bank anyway, I do think I would be guilty (maybe not under the law, but certainly morally). I can tak my busienss and go elsewhere.

With the government, we really do not have a choice. We are citizens of the country. We pay taxes. But if a government is not responsive to the citizens and does things that are morally reprehensible and a complete disregard for people, such as Hitler did, or any other number of rulers, and if the citizens continue to pay for that government and do not resist, I believe that is participating in the actions of the government.

There is a time and place for resistance and civil disobedience. I think taking such actions must be done VERY carefully, with much thought, and be well organized. The founders of this country did just that against Britain.

Now, when you start throwing religion into the debate, it gets more complicated. If a government behaves in ways that are contradictory to our religious beliefs (not just persecuting Christians, but disregarding humanity as a whole, committing genocide, being ruthless and opporessive, allowing soldiers to rape and kill people, etc.....is that not the point a country is getting close to Sodom and Gomorah?? When a dictator is ruthless, and permits lawlessness, destruction, and harm?

At that point, the as Christians, would the citizens of such a country not have a moral obligation to resist? If they do not resist and try to change things, are they not guilty of murder and rape??? They knowingly sent their money and supported such a regime. Why? Because they are rendering under Ceaser what is Ceaser's, or becuase resistence might get them thrown in jail, or thier women raped, so they do what is easy?

If it is wrong for citizens to resist a dictator, how can the US be justified in removing a dictator such as Sadaam Hussein for them? If the citizens do not want to stand up, how can we justify our actions?
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Best's viewpoint (having been there...):

NEW ULM, Minn. ? The search for a Minnesota mother who fled with her 13-year-old cancer-stricken son to escape court-ordered chemotherapy has turned to Southern California where authorities say the two were spotted Tuesday night.

A proponent of natural medicine, who launched a similar battle against chemotherapy in 1994, says he would hide the boy if necessary.

Authorities initially suspected that Daniel Hauser and his mother Colleen might be on the run with Boston resident Billy Best, who as a teenager in 1994 ran away from home to escape chemotherapy for cancer similar to Daniel's.

Best, who says he was cured by natural remedies, had appeared at a news conference in Minnesota recently to support the Hausers.

Best, in a phone interview, said he was in Boston and hadn't talked to the Hausers since they fled. He said he last saw the family May 9 when he was in Minnesota for court hearings.

But he told the Boston Herald in an interview that appeared on the newspaper's Web site Thursday he would do "anything" to help Hauser, including hiding him from authorities.

"I've been really upset about this case," Best said Wednesday during a phone interview with the Associated Press. "I don't know what to do. I want to help. I want to help them in any way, if they need a place to stay, or someone to talk to, I just want to do whatever I can for them, but I can't."
Best, now 31, was 16 when he was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma in June 1994. He had five chemo treatments at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston before he told his parents he couldn?t take anymore and fled to Texas.

?I had already lost so much weight and my hair and there?s a taste that comes with it. It?s a metal taste in your mouth,? he told the Boston Herald. ?You start falling apart. I was listening to my body and I didn?t think I could handle another one.?

Best spent three weeks in Houston but returned home when his parents promised they wouldn't force him to have the chemotherapy.

"The reason I left is because I could not stand going to the hospital every week," Best wrote in a note to his parents. "I feel like the medicine is killing me instead of helping me."

Best credits the natural blood cleanser Essiac, which his family sells on its Web site, and other herbal supplements and dietary changes for curing him. He has been cancer-free since July 1995.



http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,520960,00.html
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