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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.

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The video comes up as private so I cannot comment on it.

However, the short is answer is no.  God says it is an abomination for a woman to dress as a man and men wear pants.  People are to dress modestly, to not be a stumblingblock to others which is almost impossible to do by a woman in pants.

Before this thread gets locked, there may be folks showing up to justify this style of feminized pants or that or making claims that pants are not for men only and that men and women wore robes back in the day or over there, wherever there is.

It's nice to see a lady dressed as a lady in a dress or blouse and skirt.  It is so rare to see them, I try to give a complement whenever possible.

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I have never seen a transvestite who is trying to look like a woman, wear pants...wonder why?  If more women wore what men wear when they are trying to look like women, there would be no problem. What a twisted world we live in. 

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This question is as old as the hills. I heard it discussed over forty years ago by Baptists. To my mind it is a subject steeped in legalism. It goes hand in hand with another question, "should women wear a head covering."  Which is almost always determined to mean a hat.

I have always thought it very telling when the subject of women wearing pants comes up that there is always a certain phraseology connected with it, especially when preached against by certain pastors who bring the subject up. And the phrase is: "Split Legged."

It is used in this context; "Split legged pants." Now why is it that this phrase is only used by those that are against women wearing pants and never even mentioned in passing by  anyone else in the Christian or secular world?

I go along with GP's scripture reference that reinforces that women should dress in modest apparel, but then, so should a man. Tank tops and shorts have no place in church.

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Wow, this is surely a contentious subject. What is the Bible saying when it commands that a woman not wear that which pertaineth to a man, and vice-versa? As was mentioned above, woman and men wore somewhat similar clothes in the time it was written-though I suspect they weren't uni-sex or even close to identical. Unfortunately, since Israel didn't make much in the way of pictures or sculptures of themselvs, there's little we can go off to compare. But since the command is there, we have to assume there was enough difference to tell the difference. But I suspect the command is more in the way of a woman seking to imitate a man, or a man imitate a woman. After all, sandals 'pertain' to a man, but women also wear them.  If I can get an image to upload, we Do have images made of them by other cultures. hebrews_exile.jpgThis is pretty good showing men's clothes. (also notice the short hair!). We see they have the fringe on the borders of the garments, just as the Lord commanded they have. Looks like the garments were layered, the coat with the robe underneath.

image015.jpgHere we see an Egyptian depiction of apparently Hebrew women. Their clothes are very different from the men. I don't know if this was during their time living in Egypt or later. According to the website this was them when they first sojourned into Egypt. Notice long hair, no headcoverings.

So it continues to be a question-clearly the women dressed differently from the men, but I don't know if that difference would be seen in a modern difference bwteen a dress and pants. My personal preference is women should wear full, covering and loose, though not like a bag, dress. But if loose pants that don't hug the figure are worn, or lower than the knee culottes, I suppose I would not be too worried. The question is MODESTY, which is as much borne out in the attitude as the clothing. A truely modest spirit will be marked by modest attire. I have known women who wore modest clothes but in spirit were anybut BUT modest. So we need the package. And again, in the difference between that which pertaineth to a man or a woman, I believe that there is to be seen an intent to emulate the other sex, and thereby challenge the God-given order.

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7 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

This question is as old as the hills. I heard it discussed over forty years ago by Baptists. To my mind it is a subject steeped in legalism. It goes hand in hand with another question, "should women wear a head covering."  Which is almost always determined to mean a hat.

I have always thought it very telling when the subject of women wearing pants comes up that there is always a certain phraseology connected with it, especially when preached against by certain pastors who bring the subject up. And the phrase is: "Split Legged."

It is used in this context; "Split legged pants." Now why is it that this phrase is only used by those that are against women wearing pants and never even mentioned in passing by  anyone else in the Christian or secular world?

Can I ask a question about the phrase 'split legged'? The people you mentioned who used it... how did they specifically define it? And did they apply it to everything - leggings, long johns, nylons, etc.? I'm genuinely curious - because, you see, the conclusion I've come to is that if women are to avoid pants because they're split legged, they should be avoiding everything else split legged to. Which in our climate means pretty much everything we generally wear with a dress to stay warm in winter. So I'm very curious whether those that use this terminology actually apply it consistently.

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Salyan, I never heard it actually defined. But it is used , as far as I can tell, to mean pants. they always call it "split legged pants." Maybe no one else has heard this term, might just be me, but I have heard it too many times to count.

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54 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

Salyan, I never heard it actually defined. But it is used , as far as I can tell, to mean pants. they always call it "split legged pants." Maybe no one else has heard this term, might just be me, but I have heard it too many times to count.

Is there another kind of pants? :D

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20 hours ago, Genevanpreacher said:

The Bible does not say a woman can't wear pants.

I have seen women wear dresses and skirts more immodestly than pants much more often.

Many times I think the 'modesty' question has more direction toward the mind of the man and less toward the dress code of the woman.

If us guys could contain our minds better, less questions about pants would be involved. Modesty is the point.

"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works."

There it is.

You've addressed the subject of modesty and ignored the admonition for a woman not to wear men's clothing.

In our western society men wear pants and ladies wear dresses and skirts.  That split legged thing when I heard it thirty years ago was derogatory.

Watching old movies from the '20s and thirties, Hollywood's most prideful women appeared in movies with the tailored suits.  Bible believing women wore dresses and skirts even while working the fields on farms in all weather for hundreds of years.

Since those fraudulent Egyptian bibles came out and have become widespread, bible doctrine after bible doctrine has been questioned, redefined and discarded so the Burger King Christian can feel good about having Christ "Their Way" and not the Lord's Way.

 

Wayne, AMEN AMEN AMEN Brother!

Edited by swathdiver
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Good post, Pr. Markle.

 

Before I say anything else, you all should know that I wear skirts almost exclusively (except for skiing and sledding), and I really, really don't like to see ladies in pants. I've got an incredible aversion to pants and don't think the girls in our churches should be wearing them (btw, culottes are pants, too!). I believe them to be immodest. Just putting that out there so no one gets the idea that I'm a feminist who condones pants. :-P

That being said... I really don't think that today, in this culture and time, we can reasonably say that pants are men's garments. That definition is based on a particular time and place in Western history, and doesn't take into account all the myriad others cultures, eras, locations across human history. And no, 50's era American clothing is not somehow more 'godly' because it was American. :-P  Yes, some cultures as they degrade (including ours), start to blend the lines of male vs female clothing, but you can look to multiple cultures - even pagan ones - that clearly delineated dress between the genders. I think when our churches try to hang on (so very desperately) to this argument, we come across to our young people and the world around us as being outdated and oblivious - and all for a extra-Biblical definition. (I really wish it were otherwise - I would love a good chapter and verse to back up not wearing pants!) The only mention in the Bible of bivurcated garments, specifically, has to do with the dress of priests. Yes, priests are men, but not all men are priests. So perhaps Biblically only the pastors should wear pants? But wait... in the New Testament dispensation we are all considered priests, so maybe we can all wear pants.... see how silly it gets? 

We are instructed to a) wear what pertains to our gender and b ) dress modestly. IMO, the modesty argument is the best way to address pants - because a modest skirt will always be more modest than modern pants. Unless, of course, you're skiing or standing on your head.

 

 

On another line of thought... the OP recently commented elsewhere that common sense was a good reason for someone to be excused from something he otherwise felt was a command. If women are not to wear bivurcated garments, ever - well, common sense would have to excuse any of us living where there is snow and freezing temperatures from that anyways. Cause otherwise we'd never be able to stay warm. I am not generally a fan of using pragmatic arguments to prove/disprove the Bible, but thought it was a point worth making (just for the OP).

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Salyan, I realize other cultures don't traditionally wear "western clothes" which is why I said "in our culture". But I think if you're a desert nomad and both sexes wear ankle- length robes then the men should wear the "man robe" .  If you're an woman eskimo, you aught to wear the woman parka. And Canadians......perfectly understandable. :D

Image result for inuit clothes

Edited by heartstrings
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1 hour ago, heartstrings said:

Salyan, I realize other cultures don't traditionally wear "western clothes" which is why I said "in our culture". But I think if you're a desert nomad and both sexes wear ankle- length robes then the men should wear the "man robe" .  If you're an woman eskimo, you aught to wear the woman parka. And Canadians......perfectly understandable. :D

Image result for inuit clothes

You are definitely onto something here. It seems to make sense that the type of decorations on the fabrics or ornamentation determined whether a parka, robe, or burlap sack back in the day was male or female. Based on old sculptures, etc. like the one Mike posted and you just now, it appears decorative fabric and ornamentation was the only real difference and continues to be in most cultures including western culture. Appurtenances also determine male and female then and now. Similar to garments like a man with a necklace or earring(s).

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Many cultures are heathen cultures and did not, do not follow, nor care for the things of God.

Mowhawks and tattoos are symbols of rebellion (to God) and have been so for thousands of years.  Does the fact that millions of toddlers are running around with those silly mowhawk chickenhead haircuts being watched by their parents who are covered in tattoos and piercings make them ok for God's people today?

 

Nope, still rebellion.

 

Should a Christian woman engage in an activity that would cause her to dress immodestly or as a man?  Will the Lord wink at a Christian woman who puts on a skin tight wetsuit to go diving or wear those short skirts for playing tennis or the leotard for gymnastics?

Why was it unseemly for a lady to straddle a horse but today it is not? 

Food for thought but as for me and my house, such is sin because the bible tells me so.  I was against culottes and riding skirts but caved in.  Today, our girls volley ball team wears them and my youngest has made the team.  I ain't never seen no man wearing culottes or riding skirts or maybe I'm being hypocritical or maybe just want to please my wife and children?  Lord help me!  

 

I reckon that I look funny to those rock-n-roll Christians and wonder if the Christian of the Victorian era for example, would think of me as I think of those rock-n-roll Christians?

Edited by swathdiver
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22 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

In order to answer the issue of the question in the opening post, Biblical, doctrinal integrity compels us to answer the following three questions:

1.  Is it a spiritual abomination for a woman to wear that which is inherently man's wear?  The answer to this question is Biblically easy, since Deuteronomy 22:5 directly declares, "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God."

(Note: Both sides of this declaration should be honestly considered.  Since God's Word indicated that it is equally a spiritual abomination for a woman to "wear that which pertaineth unto a man" and for a man to "put on a woman's garment," then this matter should not be a one sided consideration.  Thus we are moved also to ask -- What is inherently "a woman's garment," such that a man should never put it on?)

2.  Is pants-wear inherently man's wear?

(Note: If one answers to the affirmative, what Biblical evidence might be provided in order to support this answer?  Indeed, wherein does God's Word speak concerning "pants-wear" at all, in relation to men or women?  In those places wherein God's Word does speak concerning "pants-wear" (if it actually does), does God's Word ever speak negatively concerning a woman's wearing of "pants-wear"?  On the other hand, in those places wherein God's Word does speak concerning "pants-wear" (if it actually does), does God's Word ever speak positively (or, even neutrally) of a godly woman's wearing of "pants-wear"?)

3.  What exactly is the definition for "pants-wear"?

(Note: A basic English dictionary definition for "pants-wear" would be "an outer garment extending from the waist to the knees or ankles and divided into separate coverings for the legs."  Within this definition culottes, although commonly accepted among Fundamental Baptists for women to wear, are indeed "pants-wear."  In fact, an English dictionary definition for "culottes" would be "a women's or girl's garment consisting of trousers made full in the legs to resemble a skirt."  Furthermore, wearing any form of "pants-wear" under the skirt or for bed clothes would still be wearing "pants-wear."  So then, how absolute and consistent do we believe the declaration of God's Word in Deuteronomy 22:5 actually is?)

I like this.

Also, a question... the "garment" in verse 25... was it a 'specific' garment... like 'personal' type of garment? 

Like 'under clothes'?

Just wondering if it is, and if that changes the normal 'view' there.

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