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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.

Church Covenants: Yes or No?


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  • Moderators

I am aware that many IFB churches, (I don't know about others), have Church Covenants, and to be a member, one must sign the covenant and promise to follow it.

Is this biblical? Are we under only the covenant made with Jesus Christ on the cross, and should that be sufficient, or can anyone point to somewhere in scripture that local churches should have a covenant, requiring certain behaviors by their members?

I can see where it would be a nice thing to have everyone understand at the outset of joining a local church that certain behaviors are expected, and others are discouraged, but is a 'covenant' biblical? Or can such a thing be considered liberty for a church? Does a covenant go against where the Bible says that our yea should be yea, and our nay, nay?

With my goal of obtaining a greater unity in our church, I have considered a covenant of some sort, though I am not sure that a covenant, per se, is the way to go. I believe a church, a pastor, ought to teach the way and lead as an example, but a covenant would be perhaps a step beyond that, setting a fear in the heart of 'If I don't always obey, I'll get kicked out". I have heard of female teachers in Christian schools being kicked out because on their own time they wore a pair of pants, and were seen by the pastor. I don't see that every aspect of a believer's life should be under constant monitoring, and I think maybe a covenant might set a precedent for that sort of thing.

So, where do others stand on such an idea?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
45 minutes ago, Ukulelemike said:

I am aware that many IFB churches, (I don't know about others), have Church Covenants, and to be a member, one must sign the covenant and promise to follow it.

Is this biblical? Are we under only the covenant made with Jesus Christ on the cross, and should that be sufficient, or can anyone point to somewhere in scripture that local churches should have a covenant, requiring certain behaviors by their members?

I can see where it would be a nice thing to have everyone understand at the outset of joining a local church that certain behaviors are expected, and others are discouraged, but is a 'covenant' biblical? Or can such a thing be considered liberty for a church? Does a covenant go against where the Bible says that our yea should be yea, and our nay, nay?

With my goal of obtaining a greater unity in our church, I have considered a covenant of some sort, though I am not sure that a covenant, per se, is the way to go. I believe a church, a pastor, ought to teach the way and lead as an example, but a covenant would be perhaps a step beyond that, setting a fear in the heart of 'If I don't always obey, I'll get kicked out". I have heard of female teachers in Christian schools being kicked out because on their own time they wore a pair of pants, and were seen by the pastor. I don't see that every aspect of a believer's life should be under constant monitoring, and I think maybe a covenant might set a precedent for that sort of thing.

So, where do others stand on such an idea?

IMO it is far from Scriptural Mike. Guide them in how to live for Jesus through your preaching. Signing a document won't make them walk in the Spirit, it will just make them more religious through rules and ritual.

Sad about the pants thing, that makes little Scriptural sense. If the pants were made for women and not form fitting/immodest, it is hardly sinful.

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We used to belong to a Missionary Baptist Church, and they had the Church Covenant on the wall...close to the pulpit area. It wasn't just on the wall...it was huge...about 10 feet tall x 6 feet wide (just an estimate there).

No one paid attention to it, and no one seemed interested in following it. I remember there was one section that said the members wouldn't drink alcohol or work in an establishment that sold alcohol. Not sure about the drinking part, but there were lots of folks who worked at grocery stores (including Wal Mart) that sold alcohol, and they were never reprimanded or kicked out.  :nuts:

My personal opinion is "no church covenant". I think the Bible, its teachings, and the teaching of it are all that is needed.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” - Amos 3:3

“That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” - Romans 15:6

“Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” - 2 Corinthians 13:11

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;” - Philippians 1:27

“Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” - Philippians 2:2

“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:” - 1 Peter 3:8

 

Without a church covenant there is confusion.  God is not the author of confusion.  New Christians and new members need to know where your local church stands on the universal and universal invisible church.  They need to know where your local church stands on divorce, marriage, the Lord's Supper and Baptism among other doctrines and responsibilities.

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1 hour ago, swathdiver said:

Without a church covenant there is confusion.  God is not the author of confusion.  New Christians and new members need to know where your local church stands on the universal and universal invisible church.  They need to know where your local church stands on divorce, marriage, the Lord's Supper and Baptism among other doctrines and responsibilities.

Wouldn't that be a Doctrinal Statement...or Statement of Faith (as many now call it)?

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21 minutes ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Wouldn't that be a Doctrinal Statement...or Statement of Faith (as many now call it)?

Maybe a written/posted doctrinal statement? Though covering all the items Swath suggested is really a much more indepth statement than many churches do, dealing with issues such as divorce, marriage, baptism, Lord's Supper, etc.

Now I teach on all these things-that's just my thing-if I give regular sermons/lessons on the various doctrines, is it necessary to write each down and post it? I guess I kind of see the Bible, particularly the New Testament, as our church covenant, seeing as it covers everything-it is getting people to read it and learn it that can be a challenge.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

It can take some time to get back to preaching on these topics as you well know.  My local church has a handbook for new members that is very much like the Baptist Handbook that Pastor Moser has on the Baptist Challenge website.  A link to it cannot be posted right now as the website is under reconstruction.

Such a doctrinal statement/statement of faith will bring new members up to speed very quickly on where that local church stands rather than them waiting a year or more to hear it from the pulpit or to burden the pastor with multiple inquiries from as many new members repeating the same thing.

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When I first became the pastor, they had a handout for new members, but a lot of it was a little closer to southern Baptist than IFB. Guess I need to dig one up and go over it. But that's a good idea, putting together a book. Should have done that before.

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When I was still in Alaska my church there had a church covenant that was framed and hanging on the wall. We also had small ones that we could give to people to put in their Bibles if they chose. I still have one in my Bible

Ours was from the Baptist Sunday School Committee in Texarkana. It outlines what we as church members covenant together to do. We hung the large one on the wall so that new folks could quickly see what we stood for, rather than getting an unexpected surprise.

This is the text of that covenant:

Having been led, as we believe by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ. We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor and the spread of the gospel throughout all nations. We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of, and use of, destructive drugs or intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to shun pornography, to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior. We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Saviour to secure it without delay. We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word.

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3 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

This is the text of that covenant:

Having been led, as we believe by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ. We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor and the spread of the gospel throughout all nations. We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of, and use of, destructive drugs or intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to shun pornography, to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior. We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Saviour to secure it without delay. We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word.

I "think" that's the exact same one that I spoke of earlier!

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12 minutes ago, Ukulelemike said:

I like that. It isn't "THOU SHALT DO SUCH AND SUCH!!". The wording is more of, This is how a believer ought to live their life and what we seek to do"

I agree Mike. There are many church covenants and statements of faith out there. We chose this one because it came the closest to what we believe and wanted. Although it is put out by the ABA, the wording was what we were looking for and this fit the bill. Their book store sells many different covenants, so I don't know if this one is the one they actually use or not, not that it matters at all.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
On 4/18/2016 at 7:38 PM, Jim_Alaska said:

When I was still in Alaska my church there had a church covenant that was framed and hanging on the wall. We also had small ones that we could give to people to put in their Bibles if they chose. I still have one in my Bible

Ours was from the Baptist Sunday School Committee in Texarkana. It outlines what we as church members covenant together to do. We hung the large one on the wall so that new folks could quickly see what we stood for, rather than getting an unexpected surprise.

This is the text of that covenant:

Having been led, as we believe by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ. We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor and the spread of the gospel throughout all nations. We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of, and use of, destructive drugs or intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to shun pornography, to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior. We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Saviour to secure it without delay. We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word.

This is really nice IMO. Throw in KJB, church attendance and some Biblical differences in men and women in behavior and appearance and you got a complete discipleship program you could teach in a church over a period of 12-16 weeks (Sunday Nights and/or Wednesdays maybe). For bigger churches, make it a Sunday School or Friday night training class over 12-16 weeks so you can thoroughly expose each area Scripturally to newborns. Or all those church members you often wonder about because they stopped growing while they were in diapers. This might just weed them out.

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Well, a constitution is generally done for legal purposes for a church that is incorporated as a 501C3 entity, which we are not. We DO have one because we used to be until I became the pastor, but mostly it concerns rules and regs for what members can and can't do. It isn't really a document with doctrines.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

What were the requirements to join the church exampled in Scripture?

From what I've noticed, without doing an exhaustive study at this time, there were only two requirements.

Being saved (born again), followed by baptism, added to the church.

After being added to the church members received preaching, teaching and instruction (as well as examples) of what they should know, how they should live, etc.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Here's my opinion, you can take it or leave it. A church covenant, like many things, can be good or bad depending on how it's used. It can be a good thing to have expectations in writing, that way no one has an excuse for not knowing. If they are required to read the church covenant before becoming a member than they know what is expected of them as a member and they can't say, "I wasn't there when you taught on that". What should you put in a church covenant? I guess that all depends on what you expect from your members. I would say, if you are going to have a church covenant, write it yourself. Don't rely on someone else to decide what is Biblically right to expect of the members.

Just my two cents.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Church Covenants are neither biblical nor unbiblical. They are just one of a number of ways to assist in making sure everyone is at least roughly on the same page. Given that church membership is voluntary not compulsory, given that covenants are commonplace in scripture, and given that it is not uncommon for people to enter a church with ulterior motives a church covenant can be one tool to make subversion of a congregation a bit more difficult. 

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  • Moderators

Update:

Well, today the church voted on how binding it should be, an actual covenant, or just a general list of what the church holds to, and they absolutely voted for a covenant that they would each be accountable to. Kind of surprised, really, but that's what they want. Guess we'll see how much they want it when I hold them accountable. lol.

So we all brought up idea of what should be on it, went over dress and modesty, hair length, KJV, as well as mandatory reading of the Bible. (They actually ASKED for 'homework'!) And of course, tattoos and piercings, doctrines, marriage between man and woman. Smoking and drinking. I will add to that some other things, as well as some of the suggestions above.

On 4/21/2016 at 6:13 PM, John81 said:

What were the requirements to join the church exampled in Scripture?

From what I've noticed, without doing an exhaustive study at this time, there were only two requirements.

Being saved (born again), followed by baptism, added to the church.

After being added to the church members received preaching, teaching and instruction (as well as examples) of what they should know, how they should live, etc.

I think one thing we deal with that the church in Acts 2 didn't, was believers coming from other churches, already saved but moving location. So we need to have some set idea as to bringing them on. One is that they must be saved and scripturally baptized, (Acts 2) and then that we are in one accord, also found in Acts 2. Thats the point of the covenant I am looking at.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

We accept members who have made a profession of faith and been baptized in our local church, by letter from their former church and by statement of faith.

If they come from Calvary Chapel, a Catholic Church or any church holding to a universal, invisible position, they must of course have a biblical testimony of salvation and be scripturally baptized before coming to a vote for membership.  I've seen some families keep attending but not join because there daddy baptized them in the Pentecostal church when they were whatever and others who could not possibly believe their former church and pastor were biblically wrong in doctrine.  Most came around eventually and some left to continue happily in their sins, rather than be burdened with conforming to truth.  Our Gracious Father brings people into our lives to be a blessing and He removes them too!

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