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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         33
      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.

What would you do?


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
8 hours ago, Salyan said:

I would modify that a bit to say that women who refuse to wear pants because they consider them to be men’s garments should also not wear culottes. 

If a woman does not wear pants because she considers them to be too form-fitting and immodest, then wearing culottes would not be hypocritical. 

Fully agreed.  IF the position is that Deuteronomy 22:5 forbids ANY pant-wear on women as an abomination against the Lord, then ANY and ALL pants-wear should be included for the sake of Biblical (and apparently -- "spiritual") consistency.  (By the way, without at all seeking to be crass, and praying that this will be taken in the correct spirit -- this would also include such things as PANTyhose and PANTies.)

(For the sake of the moderators, if that last parenthetical is deemed inappropriate for this discussion, let me know; and I will edit it out of the posting.)
 

3 hours ago, swathdiver said:

Somehow we went from wearing culottes to shorts for sports activities.  At least the culottes were modest and identified one as a girl from a distance.

As to the earlier discussion, when folks in my local church tried to school an unbeliever about their immodest dress, without ears to hear with, they were offended and never came back.  Hard lesson.  When I pulled into the parking lot for the first time at our local church, my wife refused to get out of the car, saying it was a cult, all these ladies wearing dresses and long skirts!  We left but I prayed and persisted and we came back and the Lord wrought his Work on my dear wife's heart.  In the pew on a Wednesday night she leaned over and said we're home.  We did not live around women who dressed modestly.  Everything tight and or hanging out is the norm.

I had a job delivering to convenience stores once, it was tough being a child of God and going into those places with the ladies everywhere biblically naked.  I had to keep my thoughts on the Lord continually.  I loved the work but not that aspect, it was terribly stressful and soon after I was injured and could not do it anymore.

When these young ladies dress up, their dresses end barely below their belly buttons and barely the other way too!  Not a whole lot is left to the imagination.  But that is business attire, clubbing attire, its what they wear to weddings and funerals.  When not in dresses they're wearing those active wear skin tight clothes or even less.  Their momma's did too and they know no better. 

 

Only under conviction of the Holy Spirit will they begin to get curious and ask questions and have ears to hear with, then we can help win them for the Lord and get them to dress proper.

Brother "Swathdiver,"

While (I believe) you and I do not hold precisely the same position concerning the "pants-wear on women" issue, I am compelled to commend the above posting with an expression of hearty agreement.  

Praise the Lord for the testimony concerning how the Lord our God worked in the heart of your dear wife.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Some food for thought for those who think ladies wearing trousers is ok.  Who started this?  Who started the trend of women dressing in pants and men's clothing being tailored for ladies?  Why the liberals in Hollywood did beginning in the 1920s in America.  So why would Christians adopt the lifestyle of Hollywood, allowing them to move the ancient landmarks that had been in place since the creation?

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22 hours ago, swathdiver said:

Some food for thought for those who think ladies wearing trousers is ok.  Who started this?  Who started the trend of women dressing in pants and men's clothing being tailored for ladies?  Why the liberals in Hollywood did beginning in the 1920s in America.  So why would Christians adopt the lifestyle of Hollywood, allowing them to move the ancient landmarks that had been in place since the creation?

This is a guilt by association fallacy.it would be the equivalent of saying that if whoever created the first firearm did so to murder someone, that owning a gun is sinful because of that.

While the intentions behind the agenda for woman to wear pants may have been wrong, today women do not wear pants for the same reasons.

in fact, many of our wedding traditions can be traced back to idolatry and false religious beliefs. Does that make the traditions wrong? I don’t think so.

Cultural traditions can change in meaning, and so can the meaning and purpose of wearing particular articles of clothing.  

Women today as a whole do not wear pants to be masculine or to rebel against gender identity.

I also fail to see in the Bible where landmarks are set out since creation that woman are to wear dresses and men to wear pants. Pastor Markle study showed what the Bible says about clothing, men should be wearing skirts then right? 

Edited by Jordan Kurecki
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
10 hours ago, HappyChristian said:

I can't believe how far from the OP this thread has gone. 

Agreed, and it is partially my fault.  For that I do apologize, and I shall refrain from adding anything further in this thread discussion to the "rabbit trail."

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2 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Agreed, and it is partially my fault.  For that I do apologize, and I shall refrain from adding anything further in this thread discussion to the "rabbit trail."

I honestly don't mind the discussion. We've had it many times here, but each time I learn something new. Mayhap starting another thread would be the answer?

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I find it interesting that this thread has taken the direction it has. The Op was in regard to a lost woman wearing inappropriate clothing to church. I has now taken a turn for the wearing of suits and ties for members and leaders.

While not strictly off topic, I would still contend for my original reply above that said in effect, "she is lost and we can't, or shouldn't dictate to a visitor how she should dress."

Which is more important for the ministry of our church, what a visitor wears, or the fact that their very attendance might have a saving, life changing influence, resulting in proper Christian qualities?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
11 hours ago, Saved41199 said:

If a lost person shows up at church, they should be shown the love of Christ, not slammed for their clothing...they're lost, they don't know any better. Perhaps instead of singling out that person or immediately talking trash about their wardrobe, maybe have a member of the congregation reach out to them in love and disciple them.

I don't think anyone in this thread has suggested that we "slam" or "talk trash" about anyone.  Kindly addressing something is a far cry from talking trash.

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  • Moderators
6 hours ago, Brother Stafford said:

I don't think anyone in this thread has suggested that we "slam" or "talk trash" about anyone.  Kindly addressing something is a far cry from talking trash.

She's explaining it from the point of view of the visitor, and she's right. To walk up to a first time, possibly unsaved visitor and tell them that they have to change their clothing to visit the building/service, no matter how 'kindly' meant, is just plain rude.  (And kind intentions are no excuse for rude behavior.) The visitor will feel humiliated and unwelcome.  

 

Mod Post: I feel that we're beginning to run around in circles on this. Thief, has your question been answered?  If so, I'd encourage you to consider closing this conversation. If not, by all means, continue. 🌝

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
1 hour ago, Salyan said:

She's explaining it from the point of view of the visitor, and she's right. To walk up to a first time, possibly unsaved visitor and tell them that they have to change their clothing to visit the building/service, no matter how 'kindly' meant, is just plain rude.  (And kind intentions are no excuse for rude behavior.) The visitor will feel humiliated and unwelcome.  

Exactly. I know if I had been spoken to about my clothing the first time I set foot in a church, I'd have never returned. In my pre-IFB days, my primary wardrobe was jeans, concert t-shirts or tank tops and tennis shoes. If I had gone into a church and someone decided to pick on my wardrobe rather than being happy I was at least there, well...my mouth would have gotten the best of me and I'd have never returned. It would have also reinforced the idea I had that Christianity was some exclusive club that only took those who walked, talked, lived a certain way. Fortunately, we were blessed to find a church that did not look down on us because of our situation (pretty much dirt poor and on welfare). We were immediately surrounded by love...and that is what made the difference. 

So, the next time someone shows up at church in raggedy clothing or revealing clothing, understand, they don't know any better and it's not YOUR job to point that out in their first visit. Love them, pray for and with them, and let GOD do what He's good at. Years ago there was a t-shirt that was very popular among the Christian crowd. It said "Fisher of men, I catch them, HE cleans them". There's a lot of profound wisdom in that short, pithy saying. 

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1 hour ago, Saved41199 said:

So, the next time someone shows up at church in raggedy clothing or revealing clothing, understand, they don't know any better and it's not YOUR job to point that out in their first visit.

Just out of curiosity, since I;m assuming that you wouldn't allow someone to come in to your church wearing, to the extreme, as little as a bikini, where would you draw the line to where you would speak to them?  

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
15 minutes ago, Brother Stafford said:

Just out of curiosity, since I;m assuming that you wouldn't allow someone to come in to your church wearing, to the extreme, as little as a bikini, where would you draw the line to where you would speak to them?  

I live in Las Vegas...there are times when you're happy with the bare legal minimum (which ain't much in Sin City). 

In terms of "allowing"...it ain't your church, it ain't my church, it's God's church. 

Now...quit it. 

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  • Members

I have been reading through all the comments and finding them interesting.

  I am still after several years attending an IFB church ,( which I love for the most part) trying to figure out some of the practices.   The dress code has always been one .  You see I attened 2 different churches prior, well actually 3.  The church I was saved in I only attened 3 times as I moved , it was a sovereign grace baptist.    I attened in jeans , no one looked at me differently,  believe me I was looking for it.     After that attended community church and then fellowship baptist.  What I don't undrrstand is why I was never convicted of the Lord or by any church member all 9 yrs about my clothing.   It was never ever mentioned , preached or talked about,  it was a non issue.    When first saved I read and read every spare moment the bible, its all I wanted to do.   You would think the spirit would have convicted me in that time.     It wasn't until attending the IFB that I had ever heard of such a thing , except for cults like Amish or Mennonite.       What I was convicted of though were my thoughts.   I did not want to dress any longer to appear attractive to the opposite sex or to make other women jealous.      Never did that equate to never wearing pants.      Never all those years prior did I ever look at someones outward appearance and judge whether or not I think them to be saved or sanctified.    I hear this alot where I attend, that people can tell your different by the way you dress.    I will be brutally honest here.    I REALLY dont get it.   The preoccupation of clothing with the IFB , the ties the skirts and dresses ,  the whole dressing for the Lord.    Some of the best times with the Lord Im in my PJs.     I find it to be a burden , that has brought me to tears some Sunday mornings as I look for something to wear that won't draw LOOKS in my direction.     I have never felt the pleasure of the Lord in my spirit by anything I have put on my flesh.  

I am concerned for my son with this issue,  I dont want him to be preoccupied with this.  I dont ever want him to look at a person and make a judgement about them by their outward appearance.     I have had to rebuke him several times.   Once he pointed out a man on the road with tattoos and mentioned "how ungodly "  that man is.   It broke my heart.     There are so many wonderful things about our church , but the clothing , outward appearance issues IMO is not one of them.    I sincerely hope I am not offending anyone,  that is not my intention.  Im just speaking from where Im seeing things.  

 

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No, that's a very fair assessment. Honestly, speaking as a person who does tend to judge outward appearances (although I know I shouldn't), I wish I had your disregard for them!  My observance is that the churches, like people, tend to swing to one of two opposite extremes - either the liberal or the legalistic. Either clothes don't matter at all, or they matter too much.

There are several guidelines I think we can defend Biblically.  You made mention of a couple of them in your testimony above.

1. Modest Apparel (1 Tim. 2:9)  This includes
     A. Covering the body appropriately. 
           This principle was set in place by God Himself in clothing Adam & Eve after the fall. There isn't as much clear definition in Scripture as I'd like to have defining modesty, for sure. I like Isaiah 47:2-3 for a (somewhat lopsided) definition. 
    B. Not dressing out of pride or ostentation (gold & pearls & costly array)

2. Not dressing like the opposite gender (Deut. 2:5)
     Much as I would love this verse to apply to all forms of pants -  I really don't think pants are modest at all, unless you're skiing or trapeze walking - I honestly don't believe we can apply it so in this generation. Three generations ago, sure. 

3. Not causing our brother to stumble (Rom. 14:13, 21)
    I think this, here, ought to cause us ladies to watch our clothing. Men are absolutely responsible for their own thoughts, and this must not be corrupted to blame women for men's sins, but if we really care for our brothers, wouldn't we want to give them a break  from everything this world throws at them?

There's one more guideline that I live by, but I'm not sure if it's quite so much a Biblical guideline so much as a cultural one. And that is that in this culture, we wear out best when going to important places or to meet important people. Different people, depending on their background, or current circumstances, may have widely varied levels of 'best', but the point is that they are being respectful and honoring God by dressing up. (this is constrained by the Biblical principles, of course - I have a fancy dress for concerts that would be too ostentatious for church.)

Edited to add: I do absolutely believe that churches and camps, like any other organization, have the right to set dress standards for their workers. If people don't wish to submit to the standards, they are free to not assist in that area. This isn't the same as simply attending. 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

What disturbs me greatly here is the idea of "my church" or "your church". The church does not belong to men...It belongs to Christ. 

A person can wear the "right" clothes, say the "right" things and still have a heart blacker than the night. Yet, that person would be welcomed and accepted in IFB-world over someone who isn't wearing the "right" clothes or saying the "right" things, yet DOES the things that Jesus tells us to do "love one another as I have loved you". 

We, as people, cannot judge hearts. So what if someone shows up in a bikini or speedos? Shouldn't you just thank God that they came to church to hear the Gospel? 

Give it a rest folks...clothing is the LEAST of things we should worry about...

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13 minutes ago, Saved41199 said:

What disturbs me greatly here is the idea of "my church" or "your church". The church does not belong to men...It belongs to Christ. 

A person can wear the "right" clothes, say the "right" things and still have a heart blacker than the night. Yet, that person would be welcomed and accepted in IFB-world over someone who isn't wearing the "right" clothes or saying the "right" things, yet DOES the things that Jesus tells us to do "love one another as I have loved you". 

We, as people, cannot judge hearts. So what if someone shows up in a bikini or speedos? Shouldn't you just thank God that they came to church to hear the Gospel? 

Give it a rest folks...clothing is the LEAST of things we should worry about...

Well to be fair, saying "my church" doesn't necessarily imply the idea of ownership it actually also contains the idea of belonging to something or associations with something. for example, if I say "my school" it doesn't mean I own it, it means I belong to it, that I have membership. Consider similar phrase "my country" or "my nation" "my tribe" etc. 

Yes the church belongs to Jesus Christ, but honestly how many people who say "my church" actually mean that they think it belongs to them. 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
On 9/4/2018 at 7:28 PM, Brother Stafford said:

Just out of curiosity, since I'm assuming that you wouldn't allow someone to come in to your church wearing, to the extreme, as little as a bikini, where would you draw the line to where you would speak to them?  

 

5 hours ago, Saved41199 said:

So what if someone shows up in a bikini or speedos? Shouldn't you just thank God that they came to church to hear the Gospel? 

Give it a rest folks...clothing is the LEAST of things we should worry about...

Thank you for answering my question.  I appreciate you being candid and honest with your position.  What you have seemingly deemed acceptable attire for church attendance is what the Bible calls nakedness (Ex. 20:26, 28:42 &c.).  To have no issue with anyone attending a church while biblically naked, and, essentially, in their underwear, is beyond obscene and is objectively wrong by biblical standards.  I was planning to not speak anymore on this, but this is just plain wickedness.

While I admire your zeal for reaching the lost, what about the saved?  Men have to constantly guard their eyes and thoughts because of the carelessness of immodest women in the world.  Although many saved men experience a certain amount of relief from this issue, being saved does not eliminate the issue entirely.  For many men, church attendance offers a brief respite from the constant barrage of immodest imagery offered by the world.  If a member is struggling with porn addiction, for example, allowing immodestly dressed people into the church would be incredibly cruel to that member.  Cannot they at least have the expectation of a sanctuary when gathering with others to worship God?

This goes for women too.  In my past, I had known many women that spoke very candidly about how certain visual aspects of men cause their thoughts to drift.  Over the years, I have had many women call attention to and compliment, in one way or another, my posterior.  For years now, I have gone out of my way to make certain that my pants completely disguise the shape of that aspect of me, when I am out in public, and I always wear a suit jacket that covers that area while attending church services.  I also keep my tattoos covered and I always wear long sleeve, loose fitting, button down shirts; in church or in public.

Guests should also be able to experience an atmosphere where sexual temptations are eliminated as much as possible.  Immodestly dressed members, or other immodestly dressed guests, can provide a very strong distraction and interfere with them hearing the Gospel being presented. Requiring appropriate clothing from both guests and members is for the benefit of both the guests and members.

Edited by Brother Stafford
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
3 hours ago, Brother Stafford said:

While I admire your zeal for reaching the lost, what about the saved?  Men have to constantly guard their eyes and thoughts because of the carelessness of immodest women in the world. 

Ummm....nope. Men need to learn SELF-CONTROL. Seriously. My husband can walk down the Strip and not have a single untoward reaction to any of the lovely ladies hanging out. Men can control their own thoughts. Now, do you think women aren't affected visually? I mean, I'm old, not dead. Yet, I can look at a nice-looking man and not think about anything other than..."gee, nice looking guy". 

I'm sick and tired of men blaming women for their lack of self control. I would point you to Galatians 5:22-23 

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

You do know what "temperance" is, right? It's self-control. 

3 hours ago, Brother Stafford said:

If a member is struggling with porn addiction, for example, allowing immodestly dressed people into the church would be incredibly cruel to that member.  Cannot they at least have the expectation of a sanctuary when gathering with others to worship God?

Gee...there's that self-control thing again. It is entirely possible to go through life without being tempted by pornography, need some sort of blocking software or controls on your computer. My husband has done it for at least 21 years. 

 

3 hours ago, Brother Stafford said:

Guests should also be able to experience an atmosphere where sexual temptations are eliminated as much as possible.  Immodestly dressed members, or other immodestly dressed guests, can provide a very strong distraction and interfere with them hearing the Gospel being presented. Requiring appropriate clothing from both guests and members is for the benefit of both the guests and members.

No, Christians should be able to develop self-control. Get over it. Women have curves and bumps. Men have certain attributes. That's the way God made us. If it makes you get utterly hormonally irrational, then YOU have the problem. Not me. My husband traveled the world in the Navy. I'm sure he saw all sorts of sights...yet, know what makes him more of a man? SELF-CONTROL. Yes, he went to bars, topless bars...and didn't lose his marbles in them. He came home to me. There has been no pornography in my house for 20+ years. Why? Because he is not interested in other women. Why? SELF-CONTROL. 

Don't blame women for your inability to control your own thoughts. You're not an animal, driven by hormonal lusts. 

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      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
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    • Razor

      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
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    • Bro. West  »  Pastor Scott Markle

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    • Bro. West

      Seeing it is Christ----mas time and I was answering question on Luke 2:33 concerning Jesus, Mary and Joseph . I thought it would be fitting to display a poem i wrote concerning the matter.
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