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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.

Pastor’S Salary Cap


The Glory Land

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  • Advanced Member

Some Pastors are under paid and some are overpaid. How and what standers should be considered, how many members the church haves. How can you stop a Pastor demanding more money every year, or he himself getting a raise.  I am the Boss?    :boxing:

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We're independent... there are no standards. Lots of our pastors are missionaries, or are supporting themselves with little or no help from their tiny churches. I don't think pastors being paid too much are really a problem for IFBs. :wink

 

The Biblical principle that we as the church body should probably be applying is that the laborer is worthy of his hire.  In our church, we periodically will kick pastor out of the business meeting and move a salary increase for him. We probably don't do it as much as we ought to. He certainly never brings up the issue himself.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Our pastor puts most of his pay back in the collection plate. We have been keeping him in used cars and tires things like that. He is not the norm.

 

I've seen other pastors who couldn't get enough. They would come in and say "our washing machine died, we don't know what we are going to do" then the church would buy them a new washer. Why didn't they just say, will the church buy us a washer? Some of the younger college educated preachers tell the church how much money they need to be paid to "take" the church.

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I strongly believe a pastor should be compensated as well as the congregation can afford to pay.  A good rule of thumb is for the pastor to be paid a salary comparable to the average income of those in the pastor's age demographic in the church, perhaps even a bit higher depending on the finances and size of the church.  This is a tremendous amount of responsibility, and the pastor should not have to worry about his family's finances if possible.  

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If a church wants the benefits of a full time Pastor, it should pay him a living wage - one that will support his family in the style that the membership is accustomed to.  Some churches are not able to do that, I understand.  But the preacher and his family should not be treated as "poor relatives"

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Our pastor puts most of his pay back in the collection plate. We have been keeping him in used cars and tires things like that. He is not the norm.

 

I've seen other pastors who couldn't get enough. They would come in and say "our washing machine died, we don't know what we are going to do" then the church would buy them a new washer. Why didn't they just say, will the church buy us a washer? Some of the younger college educated preachers tell the church how much money they need to be paid to "take" the church.

 

 

i remember a pastor saying the same thing, the problem with this is, our was paid very well. Why can't he go buy one, just like we do? Pull out out that credit card, just like we do. Monthly payments just like we do?

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If a Pastor is paid very well, why are you paying his rent, home phone, cell phone, water bill, light bill, lunches, dinners, Health Plan, retirement, dental, vision, church car, gas, tolls, Internet and more? Just checking… :puzzled3:

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If a Pastor is paid very well, why are you paying his rent, home phone, cell phone, water bill, light bill, lunches, dinners, Health Plan, retirement, dental, vision, church car, gas, tolls, Internet and more? Just checking… :puzzled3:

 

Who exactly is doing this? No one here has stated that their church does such a thing.

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Who exactly is doing this? No one here has stated that their church does such a thing.

 

There are readers here that might be going through this, and those that are blind to all this, for their pastor is the final authority.

 

These pastors, don't like members like me very much. :verymad:

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

This topic is going to irritate me, since we basically live paycheck to paycheck AND I have to work a job to help make ends meet.

We have four kids and live in a parsonage and have our utilities paid, plus a salary, but the salary is definitely low enough to qualify for food stamps (although we are not on food stamps). We pay our own cell phone and most of our own gas, and bought our own cars, and pay for our own internet, etc. We also pay for Christian school.

If a church can pay a pastor enough to have a savings account and a retirement and live as comfortable as his people, then more power to that church. Amen. AMEN!!!!!

And to those who think pastors do not work to earn their salary....well I am going to leave the topic before I blow up on that one.

Honestly and frankly, what I wouldn't give some days for my husband and myself to be OUT of the ministry. Perks? Choose a church of your own choosing. Choose the ministries you are comfy with. And find a job that pays you enough to support your family that matches your talents and skills. But we are IN the ministry because God called us....and when people say things like "Pastors should work" or "Pastors are overpaid" it just makes me ANGRY.

I had my sister in law who makes six figures a year tell me it must be nice that I have a free house and utilities paid. REALLY? She'd really like to live in my parsonage from 1940 that needs tons of work that nobody can afford to do right now? She'd really like to have my bank account with little more than $100-$200 in it at any one given time?

Yeah. People who grudge pastors and their families for the sacrifices they make REALLY get me annoyed. And I'm cranky today so that makes it worse. hahaha.

I will say God provides for us and I'm thankful for it. But most people who criticize pastors would NEVER want to trade places with their family if they had to walk in their shoes and in their budget for a month. Nope.

(Oh, and yes, we generously give to our church as a good example...most likely we give a larger percentage of our income than anyone in the church, although we have never looked at the record books to find out.)

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

If a pastor is over paid he should put the over paid part back into the church.

 

How much he is paid should be determined on what the church can afford to pay.

 

What I dislike is churches that are run totally by the pastor & the pastor will not tell anyone what he is paid. That is totally un-scriptural 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Our church board sets the pastors salaries. The base pay is based upon local wages and raises are considered once a year. Our pastor lives in the parsonage, but all expenses are his responsibility except for repair and upkeep on the parsonage. For years there was no retirement account but thanks to God's increase we now have a retirement account for our pastor too.

 

Our pastors, senior and associate, are at the church 6 days a week and tending to church business when they are out of the church on one of those days. Our pastors "earn their pay", and considering the hours they put in (plus the fact pastors are basically "on call" 24/7) they are making less than they would working the same hours in many other jobs where they would have the perks of overtime pay.

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Pastors should be paid enough that they need not worry about $$.  There are ways though and times, that they should live by faith.  I wonder sometimes about missionaries that "can't go to _______until they raise enough money.  Myabe have their air fare paid, and some for "necessities", but going to the field is a faith mission, and Gos will never let him down who fully trusts in him.

 

Besides, that's what tithes are for in the church! :clapping:

 

(Sorry, I couldn't resist it!)

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Pastors should be paid enough that they need not worry about $$.  There are ways though and times, that they should live by faith.  I wonder sometimes about missionaries that "can't go to _______until they raise enough money.  Myabe have their air fare paid, and some for "necessities", but going to the field is a faith mission, and Gos will never let him down who fully trusts in him.

 

Besides, that's what tithes are for in the church! :clapping:

 

(Sorry, I couldn't resist it!)

It amazes me that when we read of the missionaries from years gone by, when the Lord called them to go, they collected together what they could as they prepared to go, and then they went. No going around pleading for money and saying they won't go, or having some missionary board unwilling to allow them to go, until they raised a certain amount of money. Also, many of the missionaries mostly supported their own way once in the field and were grateful to get whatever did come their way from a church or individual Christians.

 

Too many missionaries today, at least from America, think they have to have enough money to live as close to the way they did in America as they can overseas.

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