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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.

Requirements for Pastors


Salyan
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  • Moderators

This is an offshoot of the thread on Looking for a Local Church. I wanted to respond to the comment on pastors/children without taking that thread off-topic.

35 minutes ago, swathdiver said:

Consider this.  A NT church plants another in a nearby town.  However, the pastor they chose has only one child.  After several years the pastor has multiple children.  So when the new church was planted it did not have a qualified pastor but in time he became qualified and the church is now scriptural.

I disagree with the view that a pastor must have more than one child to be legitimate. He could have no children at all and be legitimate. I believe the passage is speaking more to a leader's need to correctly train and lead whatever family God may give him. To make it say anything else puts a burden on people that they have no control over (what if there are medical reasons preventing children? or children die?).

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  • Lady Administrators

Exactly, Salyan.

The word used for children in both passages listing the qualifications has the meaning of both singular and plural.

If, in fact, it is required that there be more than one child, then in a family with only one child, that child would not have to obey the admonition "Children, obey your parents."  I know, that sounds silly. But that is the logical end of the thought. And 1 Cor 7:14 would only apply to people with more than one child. Etc., etc.

When God calls a man, that man can disqualify himself. But God is the giver of children, and if He chooses to only give that man one child (or none), He would be a capricious God should He require multiple children for a man to qualify as pastor and then not give them to him.

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Put another way: the wife has 2 miscarriages and a child that dies @ 2 months old. They have no living children and she is no longer able to conceive. Can he pastor? They have 3 children but none are in the home. (I personally know a similar case -- just a couple of particulars changed). What if the 2 children each die before adulthood, before puberty, before weaning? Not being belligerent, looking for serious response (remember, not all pastors are in the US, Canada, UK or Australia and not all pastors in other countries are American).

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What is a NT church? The Brethren claimed to be this when they began in Ireland when they read that believers met from house to house breaking bread.  They soon moved from that to being exclusive, only those who agreed with them when only those who agreed with them,  were allowed o break bread.

nioned



 

 

 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

"One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;" - 1 Timothy 3:4

"Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well." - 1 Timothy 3:12

"If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly." - Titus 1:6

 

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41 minutes ago, swathdiver said:

"One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;" - 1 Timothy 3:4

"Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well." - 1 Timothy 3:12

"If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly." - Titus 1:5

 

The Greek word for 'children' in those passages is teknon. In Matthew 21:28, teknon is translated both 'sons' (plural) and 'son' (singular). When Jesus was talking to the man sick of the palsy in Matthew 9:2, He called him 'son' (teknon).  Your argument creates an unsustainable doctrine out of translational semantics.

Revelation 12:5 speaks of the child of the woman, Who should rule all nations with a rod of iron, as a teknon. By the above reasoning, Jesus, rather than being the Only Begotten Son, King of Kings & Lord of Lords, would be one of a multitude of rulers/gods.

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56 minutes ago, swathdiver said:

ss"One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;" - 1 Timothy 3:4

"Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well." - 1 Timothy 3:12

"If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly." - Titus 1:5

 

Yep, my question though was how long do the children have to live to fulfill the above. If he begins the pastorate when his kids are 2 months and 3 years of age and they die in the car wreck that leaves his surviving wife unable to conceive 14 months into his pastorate ------ must he resign?

Or, if he pastors in Myanmar and the kids die in the RPG attack on the church?

Or, does Mainland China not have any Biblical churches or pastors due the one child law that was in effect for half a century?

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11 hours ago, Salyan said:

Consider this.  A NT church plants another in a nearby town.  However, the pastor they chose has only one child.  After several years the pastor has multiple children.  So when the new church was planted it did not have a qualified pastor but in time he became qualified and the church is now scriptural.

So according to your interpretation if a pastor has two children and one or both die, he is disqualified from being a pastor?

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31 minutes ago, Invicta said:

So according to your interpretation if a pastor has two children and one or both die, he is disqualified from being a pastor?

Check your quotes. Swathdiver said that, not me. I'm disagreeing with it. 

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  • Lady Administrators

The verses on children are not a mandate to have children, but, rather, a mandate to make sure those children (whether one or 100) under the pastor's roof are also under his control.  To try and force into the qualifications passages the demand for having multiple children is crafting a tradition of man rather than just obeying the Word.

And then comes OFP's point - if a pastor has children and some or all of them die, is he then disqualified? That's the trouble with traditions of men. Not only do they not hold up scripturally, they don't hold up logically.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

" A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;" - 1 Timothy 3:2-4

 

"Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well." - 1 Timothy 3:12

 

"If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly." - Titus 1:6

 

         As for me and my house, the King James Bible is sufficient for all matters of faith and practice and do not have to rely upon the Greek for correctly understanding the scriptures.  God preserved his Word in the King James and it is perfect and inerrant.  Having said that, let’s dig in, shall we?

 

         Under the rules of grammar regarding 1 Timothy 3:2-4, we must examine the entire sentence to gain context.   This means “a bishop then must be” applies to each requirement (grammatically a predicate adjective) in the sentence.  These include: blameless, husband, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given, apt, given, striker, greedy, patient, brawler, covetous, one, and having.  A bishop then must be having his children in subjection…  Children is the plural form of child.  Child is singular, meaning one.  Plural means two or more.  The bishop must have children.

 

         Now let’s address 1 Timothy 3:12. “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife” means each deacon be a husband of one wife.  “Ruling their children” means each deacon must rule his children.  The word “their” could be either singular or plural and pertains to all of the deacons in ruling their own children.  This verse could be taken either way, children in the general sense.

 

         For Titus 1:6, “If any be” is akin to anyone, any one man and again lists the predicate adjectives/requirements which include blameless, husband and having.  This plainly states that a requirement for ordaining elders is for the elder to have one wife and children.  Children is again here plural else the translators would have written one child like they wrote one wife.

 

         In the context of verses 18 through 22 in Colossians 3, we can understand that Paul was speaking to ALL wives, ALL husbands, ALL children, ALL fathers, and ALL servants, each being in the plural.

 

         1 Corinthians 7:14 speaks of children in a general sense as we speak of the church elsewhere in the scriptures.  Sometimes it means many churches other times a specific church and so on.

 

          As for the situations where children die at varying times, well, these 3 sentences and five verses use children in the present and it would then seem to me that if a man was called to preach he would always have more than two living children during his ministry as pastor.  What about adult living children that die?  I don’t know and haven’t prayed for wisdom on such.

 

          Some have not carefully chosen their words for they are contradictory.  They are making the scriptures say something because of their beliefs.  We need to all, myself included, take the scriptures literally and not read into them lest we make them say something that isn’t so.

 

         In summary, the scriptures show that a pastor must have more than one child, children, that are in subjection and are not accused of riot or unruly.  This teaches us that the pastor’s children must be of age to understand subjection and good behavior.  Remember, he’s not to be a novice either.

 

         Many thanks to my daughter, Julia, for helping Dad diagram sentences.  I know what I know through prayer and study but she helped show me the mechanics of it so I, we, could shed more light on the subject with you all.

Edited by swathdiver
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So, in other words, Mainland China has not had anyone qualified as a pastor in over half a century. Therefore, they have not had a Scriptural N.T. church in over half a century.

Thank you for your answer, if this is not consistent with your answer feel free to explain why not.

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I'm aware of the communist China's one child policy.  I'm also aware that many of her people have successfully ignored it.  I have never been to China and thus cannot comment on the state of New Testament Churches in that country.  This is akin to saying "Yeah, But..."  The bible says what it says and I'm not going to try to make it say something it doesn't.  Maybe there are more verses that shed light on this subject? 

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Under the rules of grammar, proper diagramming means knowing what the words mean. Unless and until one knows what the words mean, it is a futile exercise to try and parse.

An example would be that of the old english word "conversation." That word now means a dialog between 2 or more people. However, that is not what it means in the KJV. And, no, you cannot glean just from the context what it means. You actually have to go back to the old english AND the greek. I realize that to many people that is considered verboten, but that's the truth of the matter, else you will be teaching untrue things about God's Word. The old english "conversation" would include our words, but in the KJB, it means every action/lifestyle.

Now, before folks get on their dudgeon and claim that they don't need the greek, realize one thing: if you know that the word "conversation" in the KJB means more than just speech, it is because someone who looked into the greek passed it on either to you or the one who taught you what it means.

The word for "Children" in the KJB is both singular and plural. And there is NO mandate to have a certain number of children in order to pastor. That is a creation of man, and has become a tradition. It puts an onerous burden on people and is why Christ warned of taking for truth tradition of men.

To tell someone who is called of God to pastor that he is not qualified because GOD (who, anyone who knows anything about the KJB 

knows is  the giver of children) did not give him children (or only gave him 1', or took his children through death) is a cruel, ungodly trick of the devil.

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1 hour ago, HappyChristian said:

 realize one thing: if you know that the word "conversation" in the KJB means more than just speech, it is because someone who looked into the greek passed it on either to you or the one who taught you what it means.

 

I'm going to disagree with this statement because these

(Gal_1:13  For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

Eph_2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Jas_3:13  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.)

all seem to be more than speech.

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Eph_6:1  Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Col_3:20  Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

So, if these children (always plural) have a parent die (now making it singular) do the children still have to obey?

 

Not trying to be overtly sarcastic (it comes naturally) but you asked if there was anything else that might bolster or detract from said views.

Okay, I'm bowing out lest it begin to look like "bash Swathdiver day"

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4 hours ago, OLD fashioned preacher said:

I'm going to disagree with this statement because these

(Gal_1:13  For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

Eph_2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Jas_3:13  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.)

all seem to be more than speech.

Not meaning to argue, but if you look at the greek from which all three of those come (anostrophe) - it's talking about behavior.

And I'm most certainly not meaning to bash anyone. I hope nobody feels that I am.

I shall also bow out, because I think anyone who reads this knows I disagree that multiple children is required. Only a capricious God would call a man to preach and then not give him the "required" amount of children and keep them all alive.

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7 minutes ago, HappyChristian said:

Not meaning to argue, but if you look at the greek from which all three of those come (anostrophe) - it's talking about behavior.

And I'm most certainly not meaning to bash anyone. I hope nobody feels that I am.

I think we just had a breakdown in communication. What I disagreed with was the implication that the only way to recognize that 'communication'  involved more than 'vocalization' was via the Greek.

Using just one of the aforementioned verses:

4 hours ago, OLD fashioned preacher said:

Eph_2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

This is obviously far more involved than merely spoken words .

 

And (Though we both know better than to begin a sentence with a conjunction, just as a preposition is something we wouldn't end a sentence with.) if anyone honestly thinks you are bashing, they have a huge chip precariously perched upon their shoulder while standing outside in a hurricane.

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