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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
6 minutes ago, heartstrings said:

Don't stop doing what you're doing. You know, this very thing turned my son off from the last church he was a member of. My son was in charge of the bus ministry at his IFB church and had begun bringing some kids like that. But one day his pastor called him aside to tell him, during "fellowship", to have these kids sit in a separate room and bring them takeout plates AFTER everyone else had gone through the line. When my son later went to him to question him about this, the pastor began a progression of retaliation towards my son and ended up taking  him off the bus ministry. THAT is the "Behavior" which "stinks" in the nostrils of God.

James 2:3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:

Continue treating your lady visitor, and the rest, like honored guests. It is LOVE that draws people to Christ.

Amen, and AMEN!!!!!

My comment above was NOT intended at all to discourage, only to explain.

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15 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

2.  1 Timothy 2:9-10 -- "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."  

Seems some have ripped this page from their bible and replaced it with being haughty.

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10 minutes ago, swathdiver said:

Seems some have ripped this page from their bible and replaced it with being haughty.

I believe that 1 Timothy 2:9-10 is being addressed to believers. Maybe I'm wrong. I've seen church ladies and preacher's daughters, in an IFB church, come in the house of God with cleavage displayed  and "slits" way up their thighs and nothing was ever said about it from the pulpit  That verse should be preached from the pulpit along with verses to the men. IE  "men shouldn't look.....ladies shouldn't solicit looks". Also, back in the Sunday School rooms, Godly ladies should be teaching all the younger lady-believers how to dress and behave, while Godly men teach men how to dress and behave. When all the church folk are doing right, the visitors will stand out like a sore thumb. I mean, guys, how would you feel when you walk in in casuals and everyone else is dressed in three piece suits? A little out of place huh? It's probably an even bigger deal when a woman wearing revealing clothes walks in and everyone else is dressed modestly. Just that is a huge statement to the visitor without having to say a word.

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9 minutes ago, heartstrings said:

I believe that 1 Timothy 2:9-10 is being addressed to believers. Maybe I'm wrong. I've seen church ladies and preacher's daughters, in an IFB church, come in the house of God with cleavage displayed  and "slits" way up their thighs and nothing was ever said about it from the pulpit  That verse should be preached from the pulpit along with verses to the men. IE  "men shouldn't look.....ladies shouldn't solicit looks". Also, back in the Sunday School rooms, Godly ladies should be teaching all the younger lady-believers how to dress and behave, while Godly men teach men how to dress and behave. When all the church folk are doing right, the visitors will stand out like a sore thumb. I mean, guys, how would you feel when you walk in in casuals and everyone else is dressed in three piece suits? A little out of place huh? It's probably an even bigger deal when a woman wearing revealing clothes walks in and everyone else is dressed modestly. Just that is a huge statement to the visitor without having to say a word.

Indeed, one of the ways in which the light is able to reveal and reprove the darkness is simply by shining faithfully. (See Ephesians 5:8-13)

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5 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Sister,

Please understand that I myself do NOT stand in complete agreement with Brother Stafford on this matter.  Nevertheless, I would recognize that your comparative examples above are something like comparing "apples to cucumbers."  Smelling badly is NOT a moral issue.  Dressing immodestly (toward that which God's Word defines as "nakedness") IS a moral issue.  The two issues are NOT an equivalent comparison.

Sorry I realize they were not the best examples.  The man I mentioned it was the alcohol smell , meaning he had been drinking and recently before service, by the strong odor.  The boy I mention , because of the discussion of proper church behavior.   But yes a smell is not the same.   

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5 hours ago, swathdiver said:

Seems some have ripped this page from their bible and replaced it with being haughty.

Im not sure if this is directed at me , but I apologize if I came across that way.   Its difficult in a venue where body language and voice inflections are not heard.   Its like when we deal with the deaf.   Just making the signs is often not enough for them to understand,  body language and facial expressions help to get a full meaning.  

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19 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

Sarcastic comments such as this are unbecoming to Christians. I, for one, can do without them and would encourage your future comments written in a godly manner. 

I would admonish all participants of this thread to check their spirits and attitudes. 

Even if your position and stance are right, that does not give an excuse for a proud, arrogant, or condescending attitude. 

I find it interesting how someone can get so upset and treat others so harshly for their views about modesty and treating visitors, yet could at the same time be so very harsh to other children of God. 

there is a passage that comes to my mind: 

Matthew 7

1  Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

3  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

 

NOTE I did not highlight vs 1, that is how the copy and paste came out.

 

Edited by Jordan Kurecki
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1 hour ago, Thief on the Cross said:

Im not sure if this is directed at me , but I apologize if I came across that way.   Its difficult in a venue where body language and voice inflections are not heard.   Its like when we deal with the deaf.   Just making the signs is often not enough for them to understand,  body language and facial expressions help to get a full meaning.  

Sister, I am not Brother "Swathdiver" and do not claim to speak on his behalf; however, having followed each part of this thread discussion, I do NOT believe that this comment was directed against you.

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Like many people, I read a chapter of proverbs every day.  Today's is interesting:

"As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion." (Proverbs 11:22)

Edited by Brother Stafford
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31 minutes ago, Brother Stafford said:

Like many people, I read a proverb every day.  Today's is interesting:

"As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion." (Proverbs 11:22)

I do not disagree with the Word of God.  But not what I would quote to an unsaved woman who happened to walk in to a service.   😁😁.  

Here is another good one from today.

"When pride cometh, then cometh shame, but with the lowly is wisdom. (Proverb 11: 2)

I need wisdom when dealing with the unsaved .  Just like the woman that first invited me to church.  She new my biggest issue was not undress , but unbelief.  

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I could be wrong, but I don't think the word "discretion" in that verse is referring specifically to a woman's clothing (or lack thereof).

The word "discretion" as defined in the 1600s...

From Robert Cawdrey's "A Table Alphabeticall"...

https://extra.shu.ac.uk/emls/iemls/work/etexts/caw1604w_removed.htm#d

Quote

discretion, wise choise of one from another

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33 minutes ago, No Nicolaitans said:

I could be wrong, but I don't think the word "discretion" in that verse is referring specifically to a woman's clothing (or lack thereof).

The word "discretion" as defined in the 1600s...

From Robert Cawdrey's "A Table Alphabeticall"...

https://extra.shu.ac.uk/emls/iemls/work/etexts/caw1604w_removed.htm#d

My answer was in keeping with the original post and discussion.   I do not understand the point of the proverb being posted in any other context.    If it was not directed at the woman of the OP , I dont see the point othervthan to cause contention,    im to sick and tired (literally) to go around in circles .   I was hoping to have civil discussion and fellowship on this site as Im shut in quite alot.   I dont think this is the place for me.   

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Yes, that is a good verse. And NoNi, you'r right. It has nothing to do with clothing (but I don't think that was the thought behind the posting anyway 😉)

Thief, Proverbs 11:22 is an excellent verse that does apply to your OP.  How would I apply it? I would say that it applies in the manner in which an unsaved (or even newly saved) woman is treated when she comes to church.  Wise choices (discretion) would mean loving the visitor, befriending her, and once saved, discipling her; teaching her to love the Savior, His Word, and His church. Modesty in dress would be part of that, but would not be the complete focus.  (for women...men, you take other men under your wing, not women 😜 )

I would also like to address the idea that was raised about a woman coming in to church in a bikini...I strongly disagree that the men of the church would be horrid sinners with no self control if they looked (and looked again) at the woman. (the children as well - because I guarantee the kids would gawk) Why do I say that? Because any woman who wears a bikini into church is doing it FOR ATTENTION. Even in this day and age of people putting on as little clothing as possible, people know better than to wear a bikini to church (even the lost...and, really, very often the lost are MORE concerned with how they dress for church). A woman who wears a bikini to church is doing it as a poke in the eye to the members of that church. Some might argue that, but I know I'm correct (husbands, ask your wives what they think about it...I bet they'd agree with me. Because we're women and we know how women think...).  (men coming in spandex might just be men who don't think...I know someone who came to work in a public library dressed in his biking shorts...gross...he didn't do it a second time, because the boss told him not to. But he didn't see anything wrong with it. In all my years at the library - 17 - no woman ever came in in her bikini [without being modestly covered, let me qualify]. His employer can tell him not to do that. But should a church forbid him entrance unless he changes clothes? I'm not sold on that...but on the bikini? Yes, I think I am...)

As was pointed out, modesty is a moral issue. It is an important principle to learn, to understand, and to teach. But the lost are not children of God. They have not the Spirit, and so they will only dress as they were taught to do in the home and as their associates do around them, unless they ask someone at church. Discretion - wise choices in every area, including how we speak to the lost. The lack thereof in a woman is like putting jewelry in a pig's nose. My Dad raised pigs. He loved those piggies. But he NEVER put jewelry in their snouts because that would be ludicrous.  

MEN need to be discrete as well. Proverbs 2 deals with that. Wise choices. In how we deal with the lost. With the newly saved. With those who've been saved a long time. With fellow forum members.

Here is a great scripture for discretion in our words, for everyone: "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth [no choices here...no means none], but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God..."

Folks, let's practice that discretion, yes? Don't post inflammatory things simply to hammer your opinions into someone's head. Let's not post snarky comments directed personally at people with whom we have a disagreement. And let's most definitely not use scripture to try and shame someone. Let's let the Holy Spirit do His work and mold us the way HE desires.

@Thief on the Cross - I sure hope you don't leave. Sadly, things like clothing incite a lot of emotions that aren't always very well handled. Sometimes it's zealousness, so if we can remember that, mayhap it would be easier to "handle." One thing that I think is good: I think it's a truth that the folks on this site love the Lord and wish to see people saved. Sometimes we just differ in how we go about it.

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3 hours ago, Thief on the Cross said:

My answer was in keeping with the original post and discussion.   I do not understand the point of the proverb being posted in any other context.    If it was not directed at the woman of the OP , I dont see the point othervthan to cause contention,    im to sick and tired (literally) to go around in circles .   I was hoping to have civil discussion and fellowship on this site as Im shut in quite alot.   I dont think this is the place for me.   

I certainly meant no disrespect, nor did I mean it to be a jab at anyone.  I was just sharing a bit of scripture that I thought fit.  I apologize if it was the wrong thing to do. 

Please, stay with us.  This really is a helpful place.

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10 minutes ago, Brother Stafford said:

I certainly meant no disrespect, nor did I mean it to be a jab at anyone.  I was just sharing a bit of scripture that I thought fit.  I apologize if it was the wrong thing to do. 

Please, stay with us.  This really is a helpful place.

Thank you for clarifying, Bro. S. I'm glad it wasn't meant as a jab. Sharing the scripture was not the wrong thing to do, at all! Sometimes, though, when emotions have become involved, things can be taken in a way not intended. No fault on either side, it just happens.

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On 8/27/2018 at 2:44 PM, Thief on the Cross said:

A friend and I were discussing this .   She attends a different church a Brethen Assembly.   They are very conservative,  close to IFB in practice and standards, at least her assembly is.  Well they have this woman that attends every once in awhile.   She dresses , well like the world,  the bible would call it a harlot.   Anyway, she is unsaved as of yet.   She wears what my friend says is "cleavage first" and a short skirt.    I asked has anyone said anything to her?   She said, no we just warmly welcome her.   Well I thought that  was really great.  But the truth is Im not so sure what my church would do.  We rarely have visiters that dont belong to another church.  Im not sure what would happen if she came to ours. I personally would welcome her, but others where I attend may do differently.    Some are very protective of their families,  and rightly so.    Opinions on what you might do?   

Is it opinions you are seeking actually, or actions, details, to know what is done ? 

 

One or more times,  when a woman came to an assembly improperly attired,  she was perfectly calmly and peacefully led to another room or area where the proper clothing was available and was (willingly) used (put on).

A multitude of time, when a woman came to an assembly improperly attired (often the wife of the pastor, or leading music ministry),  it was not even thought of (by the  leaders or the group) as sinful,  and ongoing as sin was planted and nurtured at every assembly, more people fell or were led onto this path of destruction,  

instead of anything Christlike, beneficial, helpful or healing.

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This at first glance seemed a good thing...

 

On 9/6/2018 at 4:57 PM, Thief on the Cross said:

I have a solution for the debate on clothing. We should all go back to wearing tunics like the bible times.   Yes Im being silly,  but honestly I would be all for it.  I wouldn't have to think about what to wear.  No one could judge another about their spiritual state based on what their wearing.   And comfortable!!  Im mean what could be more comfy.   

 

then devastatingly to me,  this immediate next insidious blatant departure from KJV character >

 

On 9/6/2018 at 4:57 PM, Thief on the Cross said:

I understand everyones point of veiw to some extent.   As far as bikinis .... I   maybe if you decided to hold a service on the beach, then perhaps. 

 

as such has caused millions (or billions?)  to go into error and sin often without ever any thought of repentance (turning to God for His Healing Help and HIs Salvation).

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On 9/11/2018 at 7:03 PM, Thief on the Cross said:

My answer was in keeping with the original post and discussion.   I do not understand the point of the proverb being posted in any other context.    If it was not directed at the woman of the OP , I dont see the point othervthan to cause contention,    im to sick and tired (literally) to go around in circles .   I was hoping to have civil discussion and fellowship on this site as Im shut in quite alot.   I dont think this is the place for me.   

There is apparently little effort used to censor the wicked or the sinful or the misleading visitors or members.   It is like going to the grocery store - be aware that not everyone is able or even inclined to search out the truth ,  and anything or anyone you /we/ meet must be evaluated as directed in Scripture.   i.e. nothing is as it seems is a true proverb (whether directly in the Bible or not),  and in the way Scripture reveals 'all men are liars' (and worse).   Do not judge by what the (physical) eyes can see,  but judge with a righteous judgment (the Father's judgment , accept His Way, as revealed by Him in His Word).   

One point you made ,  you'd like it if we dressed as they did in the Bible (times). Yes  , that would be better than it is anywhere in the usa except where they do still dress as in the Bible times, as the Bible directs and instructs Godly living.

However, you followed it with a mention of maybe wearing bikini would be okay if a church service was on a beach.   That is not good nor faithful testimony.

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At least she did blush.   God says somewhere "MY PEOPLE have forgotten how to blush".  (that is a very bad thing to happen,  apparently after years or decades or longer sliding into sin more and  more)

 

On 8/30/2018 at 2:31 PM, Brother Stafford said:

Letting the world set the standards for when we draw the line in our churches is a dangerous thing because of the ever lowering of standards of decency.   Again, since many people no longer know what is appropriate to wear in to a church, they need to be taught.  As I said above, we are to be understanding, to a certain degree, with new converts and visitors, but not to the point of allowing unacceptable immodesty.

@Brother Staffordquote continued: 

"I also find it interesting that some of the strongest push-back I receive on this issue is from female church members.  When I have invited non believers as guests, often they ask my what they should wear, but if they don't ask, I will just tell them that the men usually wear suits and the women wear loose fitting, high neckline dresses that come below the knees when seated.  I have never had any of my guests balk or complain at all.  They always seem to understand and respect it.

Also, requiring a certain standard is also to make sure that the guests are not uncomfortable.  As a man, I would feel incredibly uncomfortable being the only one in a t-shirt and jeans.  I know that women feel equally uncomfortable when they are the only one under dressed.  I attended a Baptist friend's wedding years before I was saved.  My girlfriend, at the time, was going to meet me there.  Being raised Catholic, I thought I should wear a suit, but she showed up wearing a tight black dress that came to her mid thigh and high heels.  I don't know if I have ever seen another woman blush as much as she did.  She was so uncomfortable that she asked me if she could wear my suit coat and she asked me if we could leave the second the ceremony was over.  Had my friend taken a moment to make sure we were on the same page, or had I made sure she knew how to dress for a church, we could have saved my girlfriend a tremendous amount of humiliation.

I have heard a handful of stories, mostly from women, that tell of a visiting female guest being spoken to about her attire and that that guest never returned.  I have heard the same scenario illustrated, time and time again, that if we hold to such standards, then visitors will be so offended that they shall return again no more.  I have never witnessed it happening, but even if a visitor, who was dressed too immodestly for church, got so offended by a kind and loving explanation of the dress requirements that they never returned, I have no problem with that.  If they are put off by such a reasonable request, they probably were not in the frame of mind to get much out of the service anyway. 

We are not to lower our standards for unbelievers.  Many IFB churches have adopted worldly CCM music for their services to appeal to more people.  Some have even started being okay with bible versions, other than the KJV being used by members. Churches in almost every denomination have full scale coffee shops and there are even some that have actual Starbucks in them.  Standards slip a little bit at a time and never stop falling unless intentional action is taken to stop it and/or reverse it.  We are not to lower our standards to accommodate the world."

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