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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.

When Is A Non-Baptist A Baptist?


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  • Moderators

Jesus, before His ascension, told His disciples, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."  Jesus did not preach a Jewish gospel to His disciples, then gave a different one to Paul-His direction was for them, His disciples, to preach to ALL the earth, everyone. Not later, after the church age, but directly. This was part of what peter was sent to do with Cornelius, and then, we see the gospel begin to spread with the persecution in Jerusalem, believers going out and preaching and churches beginning among the gentiles, with, presuambly, the same gospel they learned from the Jewish believers. They weren't made Jews first, then Christians.

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We have had a family leave our church because they realized they were not Baptist and could not agree with the Baptist Distinctives. Well, they now go to another Baptist church. Like they saying goes, If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it prOBably is a duck.

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We have had a family leave our church because they realized they were not Baptist and could not agree with the Baptist Distinctives. Well, they now go to another Baptist church. Like they saying goes, If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it prOBably is a duck.

 

Huh? So is the other Baptist church not Baptist?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Before we met, my Wife and broinlaw once visited a church, near here, named "The independent Baptist Tabernacle". But she said they were speaking in tongues and women were dancing with the 'preacher". That may be "independent" but it ain't Baptist. Certainly isn't Biblical.

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Back in the late '70s the large SBC in Ft. Walton Beach, Fl (1st Bapt) had a tongues service and a teen dance on Wed nights. Gainer's Mill BC in Chickamauga, Ga had a healing service (including healing by proxy if you would be anointed and prayed over for someone who was not there) in the mid 80's and are listed as an IBC.

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I once got talked into driving a motorhome from northern Oregon for my daughter, down to Reno. It was on a Saturday, and we were supposed to leave very early in the AM, so I would be home that night, and to church Sunday AM. However, due to engine issues, we got out very late.

 

So I got another brother to preach for me, and we visited a church in S. Oregon, named The Conservative Baptist Church. It wasn't. Not conservative, nor Baptist. It had everything I would expect from a modern 'church': multiple Bible versions, all of it on a screen, and no one opening their Bibles; a band, even a sermon on....wait for it....Love. Not a good biblical understanding of love, just ...luuuuve. All it needed was a woman preacher and it would have been a stereotypical modern example.

 

I'm sorry, this was more like, "When is Baptist NOT Baptist", which should be a different post altogether.

 

back to topic.

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There are many who are BiNO (Baptist in Name Only.

BiNO's are called such because they stray from doctrines taught in the Baptist Distinctives In my opinion, true Baptist's are far reaching but few in numbeR. So many things taught in practically every Church (not just Baptist) are in total contradiction to the Word of God.

About the only thing that Baptist seem to agree on is that Jesus died according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again according to the Scriptures. But from there things seem to get discombOBulated.

Which Jesus?

Was it the one who made alcohol for a wedding reception? or the one who made a non-fermented wine?
Was it one who was God in the flesh? or just a great prophet sent by God?
Was He a member of a Trinity? Or was He not?

Did he warn of hell? or not.

PrOBlem is, there are many false christ's in the world today... and many of them have leaders behind pulpits in churches all over the world.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I think this would be sort of like this analogy:

 

All Baptists are considered Christians (OBviously only God knows the heart), but not all Christians are considered Baptists.

 

You can be a Christian and not be a Baptist.   So if people say they are "like a Baptist" it really means they are saying they are saved, but not taking on the Baptist name.  Which can happen.  But if they aren't Baptist, then they aren't Baptist.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

There are a few churches that sort of follow a man instead of a denomination...I think those would be the "baptistic" ones which I agree, that's silly.

 

Ruckmanite and Hyles type churches come to mind, particularly the "Bible" churches.

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I've always chuckled at the descriptive "baptistic" applied to churches that don't have Baptist in the name. If you can't call yourself a Baptist, why describe yourself as baptistic?  :ROFL:

Because some have rejected the term Baptist, while still following the polity, to try not to offend others, and gain a larger group.

 

The college I have my MA through is called Salt Lake Bible College-no Baptist, yet they are firmly Baptist in their doctrines and polity, but they seek to get more to attend and be taught, so they don't use Baptist in the name. After all, their goal is to teach, not Baptist, but Bible, so its appropriate.

 

Why do we put Baptist, or, for that matter, AOG or Lutheran or Methodist or anything else on our signs? because we are advertising to others who we are and what we believe. To just say "Church" or "Christian" anymore means nothing to most. A "Christian" church might teach Jesus is a man, Hell is one earth, and have a lesbian for a preacher. So we say Baptist, or Independent Baptist, or even, for the braver souls, Independent Fundamental Baptist, and those who drive past have an idea of they want to be there. Some will know nothing about it, but some will know, at least within reason, what is being taught there.

 

So really, there's a good reason to have the label, but its not required. I always just wanted to be "the Church at Herlong" but now there is a specific group with a specific set of doctrines who call themselves "The Church". and I don't want to associate with them. Of course, you can't Google them, because try looking up "the church".     Just fouind out they are church of Christ, soo....still wouldn't want to be associated with them.

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Oh, I agree that there is no requirement to have the name in there...but (and this is coming from someone who went to "baptistic" colleges) I think it's too often a cop-out to not be identified with Baptists for those agin 'em and yet be identified for those for 'em.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Considering Baptists come in all stripes, flavors and sizes who gets to decide which Baptists are really baptists, which doctrines are truly Baptist, what it actually means to be Baptist, etc.?

 

If you are Baptist does that mean you and every SBC member are the same? Even among the SBC Baptists run the gamut from very liberal to very conservative. What about Westboro Baptist, Charismatic Baptists, Seventh Day Baptists, General Baptists, American Baptists, what about even IFBs now running a similar gamut as the SBC ranging from liberal to conservative?

 

Should we not be more concerned about being known as true followers of Christ rather than by a church name?

 

I still love the Baptist name and don't shy away from it, but depending upon where I'm at, when I mention being Baptist I always have to qualify what that means because it means different things to different people in different parts of the country. The one thing that doesn't change is Christ and what the Word of God says regarding Him and how we are to follow Him and how we are to be known as His followers.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Well this was never meant to be yet another thread where people set out to confuse what it means to be a Baptist. ........

This was about people who, for instance come into your church and say "I am not a Baptist, but I am just the same as a baptist", but when you talk about it you find out that they have no idea what it means to be a Baptist.

However it seems to me that there are a few "baptists" who are not certain what it means to be a Baptist. .....

There really was no need to introduce SBC etc - I OBVIOUSLY was not talking about them..........

This is (was supposed to be) about non-Baptist who don't know the differences and don't think they matter.

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Well, at the risk of sounding contentious, which everyone knows I NEVER am :nuts: , maybe we should make an outline as to what is meant by Baptist.

 

There is a historical precedent for what is Baptist. Even some Catholic made a comment that, even though the name wasn't around yet, the earliest church was Baptist in polity.  So what does that mean?

 

Fundamentals, of course: salvation by grace through faith, no works; baptism as a sign of that salvation, not for salvation, but because of it; deity, virgin birth, literal death, burial and resurrection of Christ; the Godhead, (God in Father, Son and Holy Ghost); Congregational, what we call Independent, not part of any larger denomination, each church an individual body, joined in Spirit with like-minded churches, but not by matter of authority; eternal security of salvation; Pre-milennial, literal, bodily return of Jesus Christ to reign on earth for a thousand years. Etc.

 

Many have come claiming to be Baptist, but disbelieve in many of these things, and others which I have not included-feel free to add. And they claim to be Baptist: are they? Many others believe these same things, but don't use the name Baptist-does that make them wrong? This is sort of what the post is about, right?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Indeed, anytime we claim to be Baptist or someone says they hold Baptist beliefs, we have to describe or clarify what that means.

 

When IFBs first formed about a hundred years ago they did so around five fundamentals of the faith. Beyond that they typically believed the "independent" aspect of IFB kicked in. There were a few other points most IFBs had in common, but the way they practiced them varied. It wasn't until more recent times that some IFBs began adding more, sometimes many more points to their statement of "fundamentals".

 

The early part of Baptist history is murky due to many factors, but we do know before the time of the Reformation there were followers of Christ who had become known as Baptists. While still not fully detailed, we do have a more clear Baptist history from around the time of the Reformation to this present time.

 

There have long been those called Baptists who held to various differing views. As time has passed, Baptists have become an ever more varied lot which is why one has to explain, or ask, just what is meant by one saying they are Baptist or have Baptist beliefs. That's just the reality of our world today.

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Indeed, and no big surprise, because even as Paul and peter were still preaching, even as the word of God was being put on paper, churches were varying, error was leaking in, and I suspect some had to discuss just what a Christian was, what it meant. So surprise then that we would have to today.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I had a book on Denominations put out by the U.S. government for the armed forces, and it said that any denomination that immersed was considered, in their terminology as 'baptistic', and put in the 'Baptist' section of the book. The 'church of christ/christian church' organization was listed as Baptist. I no longer own that book but that is what I remember reading.

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