Jump to content
Online Baptist Community
  • Newest Sermon Entry

    • 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.

Reverend?


DaveW

Recommended Posts

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Here in Australia I don't know of one pastor who uses the term "Reverend", either for himself or for a visiting Pastor or evangelist, yet a few guys I know, when they have been to the US have been called "Reverend" when they have preached at IFB churches over there.

Personally, aside from not being a Biblical term, I find it a little offensive to the Lord, as He is the one due reverence, not His servants.

 

Any thoughts?

Is this common over there?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 86
  • Created
  • Last Reply
  • Members

I think of it as sort of an academic title, much like Professor.  A man can be a PhD doctor, or a Professor.  Refering to someone as Prof. is an acknowledgment of their academic accomplishment.  Calling someone a Reverend is an expression of acknowledgment of theological accomplishment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

It's a common title, as mentioned above, given upon completion of certain Christian degrees.

Our pastor, who is Baptist, who attended a Baptist seminary, holds the title of "Reverend" from the seminary. Even so, he typically uses the term "pastor".

Different pastors use different terms for various reasons. Most IFBs I know don't use the term "Reverend", even if they hold that title from a degree, except sometimes in an official capacity where such is helpful or needful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Yes, we have quite a few so-called "reverends" over here. The Bible word "reverend: is found only one time (Psalm 111:9) and it refers to God. So, if I were a preacher or pastor, just "brother" would be fine,

..holy and reverend is his name. Psalm 111:9

And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul...... Acts 9:17

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

"Reverend" in Ps 111:9 is not used as a given or proper name.  It's used as an adjective.  It's a word like any other and can be used in many different contexts.  The same verse also teaches us that God's name is holy.  But God's name is not the only thing that's holy. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

And it is not Biblical to take that attribute which is applicable to God himself and apply it to His servants.

In fact humility is the proper place for a servant of the Lord.

To take the title "Reverend" for himself is to lift his heart up in pride.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

No, it's not.  We won't be wrong to say that God is good.  Goodness itself.  That doesn't make words "good" and "goodness" off limits when talking about things other than God.  Saying that someone is a good person or that you strive to be good is not applying an attribute of God to people.  It's no different with the word "reverend".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Unless you take it as a title.

Exactly, big difference from saying "I'm trying to be good like God" and "I'm a good person/example of a good person"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

REV'EREND, adjective [Latin reverendus.] 1. Worthy of reverence; entitled to respect mingled with fear and affection; as reverend and gracious senators. http://webstersdictionary1828.com/ I know I'm not worthy of reverence... neither is anyone with a theology degree.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member

In the UK too it is a title associated with qualifications and it appears on forms and questionnaires as 'Rev'. Apparently the correct title is actually 'The Reverend' and if I remember there are peculiarities with using it in letters and stuff because it is an adjective. For example you can say "The Reverend John Smith" but it's considered grammatically incorrect to say "The Reverend Smith". Or something.

As a title associated with a person's qualifications, it's akin to 'Doctor' (learned) and 'Professor' etc, and also suffixes like 'Msc' (Master of XYZ). All of them are grand words that are designed to elevate and distinguish the bearer. But I don't think I've ever heard a baptist or methodist pastor use 'reverend' for their everyday title. Rather they use it when they need to declare their qualifications, for example on a public notice.

With the Church of England its different, because 'Reverend' is also a title associated with rank, along with stuff like 'Right Reverend', 'Venerable' etc, all the way up to the Queen herself. People will sometimes call the clergyman in charge of a church 'Reverend' instead of 'Vicar', though again I've been told it's grammatcially incorrect. None of that CofE stuff should be a surprise to anyone...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Here in Australia I don't know of one pastor who uses the term "Reverend", either for himself or for a visiting Pastor or evangelist, yet a few guys I know, when they have been to the US have been called "Reverend" when they have preached at IFB churches over there.

Personally, aside from not being a Biblical term, I find it a little offensive to the Lord, as He is the one due reverence, not His servants.

 

Any thoughts?

Is this common over there?

 

​Agreed, it is offensive. Reverend is a term synonomus with charlatan in the US. It is a worldly religious term invented by that old devil himself. Only religious hirlings apply that term to themselves, similar to priests and "fathers" of popery. Noone truly called of God.

I call noone good either. We seriously misuse that word if you apply it to any person.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Reverend is a common title in America, both through being given as a degree title and what some churches use as the official title of the pastor. While some fringe folks may seriously abuse the title, for the most part it's simply meant to convey a person who has attained a ministerial degree and/or is the pastor of a church and is used in the same manner as titles such as pastor, mr., doctor, etc.

All of the Methodist pastors I've known, and known of, were titled reverend. Many Baptist pastors also hold that title, either through degree or due to that particular Baptist church preferring that title for their pastor. It's not uncommon to hear a pastor referred to as "the right reverend (insert name)". When the man who is our associate pastor now completed his ministry degree and was officially ordained, I joked with him that he could just sign his name "RRR" since his first name begins with an "R" and so does "right reverend". Like our senior pastor, he uses the title of pastor, but most often is referred to by his first name, as is our senior pastor.

Our senior pastor's office door used to have a sign on it which read "Minister". He didn't care for that title either, preferring a sign which reads "Pastor".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

It is ok to have respect and to honour an elder or a 'good' fellow christian, give honour where hounor is due, etc, but it is the wrong way round when someone has a title put on him which says 'respect me' 'revere me' I would be embarrassed to be given Reverend I can't get in the mind of anyone who wouldn't be embarrassed other than having an insensitive conscience on the topic. Sorry 'Rev'

Its in a similar vain to getting a secular degree for studying the Bible, it is common and worldly minded, but not everyone can see the problems with that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member

Our local C of E church has a woman minister and she signs her leaflets:  Rev Rachel.

Psalm 111:9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I've never been to a IFB church here where the pastor is addressed in this manner and most that I know would not except being called Rev/ Reverend, most just call him pastor or by name never rev/ reverend ,

Some Reverends to come to mind though ' Rev. Jessie Jackson , Rev Al Sharpton, Rev. Billy Graham

one other I know of is pastor of a SB church whom uses the title Reverend of course his church just spent $160,000,00 on a new baseball field which has given him bragging rights that they are spending another $80,000.00 for lights,of course he beats his church members to death about tithing then wastes Gods money.

I remember seeing many ads years ago where you could by the status of Reverend even sent you a card saying you where a Reverend, I wonder if that's where some of the above got their Rev, status by mail order and also if someone has enough money a lot of schools will be glad to give them Reverend status as well.

God Bless

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

There are many true Christians that go by the title of Reverend.  The esteemed Reverend TI Cooper, Reverend Pastor JJ Hunter  (although he goes by Pastor Hunter Sr.) who founded The True Christian Church of Jesus (formerly the Antibaptist of Pensacola) to which I belong, the great Reverend Pastor Cal Smith, or the Reverend Jon Schultz, and many others.

Regarding Ps 111:9, there is no implication that God's name is the only thing to which word reverend (not capitalized, btw) can be applied, as I explained previously.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

 

Reverend

adj.

1400-50; late Middle English < Latin reverendus worthy of being revered, gerund of reverērī to revere1

Friend, it's not capitalized in that verse because it's an adjective; not a title. It is basically saying "God's name is holy and worthy to be revered". Taking it as a "title" is contrary to the teaching of the Word of God. Observe........

Matthew 23, (The scribes and Pharisees loved).........greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

 

That also goes for preachers who like to put "Dr." in front of their names when most of them don't even have a PHD. The apostles themselves addressed each other on a first name basis or simply as "brother". Why do you need a title?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...