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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.

Counsel Needed About KJV Compromise


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

For a number of months during the messages at our little local church, I've been silently quoting a verse here and there that I'd memorized and found that I was off a word or two; so I thought.  I didn't think that much about it because I figured that the Pastor was just quoting only part of the verse and continuing on with the message.  It didn't even cross my mind until this morning as we were listening to our pastor giving the message on our church's radio station.  He read a verse....one that I know very well...and I was flabberghasted!  I quickly got on the cell and for some reason chose the NKJV to compare to and it what it said.....and that is exactly what the Pastor was reading from.  In all honesty, I was just so disappointed and grieved that I simply couldn't even listen to the rest of the message.  We have a copy of the Statement of Faith from 2005, and it says very clearly that the King James Version is the church's "official" version.  I am so sad.  

The closest church that uses the KJV is at least 85 miles away - one way.  Years ago we actually used to drive that far to go to church...but now that we are seniors, we simply can't go through all of the weather and the distance to go that far.  Our church was the only church in our area that uses the KJV...and now...they don't.  Please, if any of you can just give some counsel to help us with this situation it would be greatly appreciated.  We know that this little church is the one that we have to stick with; that's just the way it is.  What we need counsel for is how to deal with the disappointment and sadness in a godly way...and how to keep our attitude in check.  The pastor at the church that we used to travel so far to - once said in one of his messages how important it is that we don't "browbeat" others about the KJV, but to remember that they probably just haven't been educated about it.  I realize that sometimes just the simple truth with respect and honor, wisdom and meekness...is all that we can respond with.  However, I believe that if that is to happen, that it needs to be my husband that follows through with that.  Sigh...of course, we will be seeking the Lord's counsel overall...

A very interesting verse that came to mind was Ps 138:2, "I will worship toward thy hold temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."

Looking forward to your responses...WWMS  

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I felt saddened to hear that your pastor is leading your church away not only from the firm stand on the KJV, and using the NKJV, but he is also turning away from the written covenant of the church in a deceitful manner. Apart from seeking guidance through prayer, I would have your husband first approach the pastor, and politely as he can, and express your concerns. If you feel that the pastor needs to educated concerning the reason why, or the differences between the KJV and the NKJV, I would sit down and select several passages that deal with a doctrinal issue, put them on paper, and have your husband try and discuss these specific passages. Also, I would bring a copy of the church covenant and mention that this is the official church position on the KJV issue. After a time of pause in the issue, if it is not rectified, or hearts are hardened, I would bring the issue before the deacons of the church and seek their counsel.

 

 

Edited by Alan
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  • Moderators

If your church has, in it's statement of faith, something the entire church should have voted for, that the KJV is the only Bible to be used from the pulpit, then you need to kindly and humbly hold your pastor accountable. Pastors lead, but not like secular leaders-he is answerable to the church, and sometimes, we need to be reminded of this. 

It would be one thing to push a pastor to go against a statement of faith, or the rules set for the assembly, but quite another thing to hold him to obey them, as everyone else is supposed to. And if he continues to insist on leading down a wrong path, then the entire church needs to get involved and remind him that he serves the church, and is accountable to them, so long as they are accountable to God, and if he will not comply with the set rule, then maybe it is time for a new pastor. If he is quietly leading down a wrong path, then that path will only be the first. Sliding down the slope can be slow, but once it starts, it will continue if not dealt with swiftly.

Again, kindness, love and humility are very important, but so is truth and right.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Thank you Alan, Ukulelemike, and gracelife for your responses.  We are incorporating your thoughts into our prayers as we continue to seek the Lord's guidance.  I gave a somewhat shortened version of the situation...I would venture to say that probably the majority of the congregation uses a different version other than the KJV.  A few years ago, a fellow was chosen to teach Sunday School who uses another version.  We have yet to see an updated copy of the church's statement of faith, and we usually don't attend the business meetings, so we don't know if it was decided that the NKJV was deemed acceptable.  Sigh...I just can't help but to rehearse Jeremiah 17:9 in my heart and mind as I am seeing that "sliding down the slope slowly" as you mentioned, Mike.  Many years ago a lawyer friend of ours was adamant about our church using the KJV.  This friend also worked with the CLA traveling around the country defending churches.  There's just such a history there that we truly want to tread very wisely...and to respond in our hearts first with what is glorifying to our precious God.  Yes...we certainly will consider all of your suggestions, and again I thank you for them.  (Gracelife, thank you for suggesting listening to other preachers, and indeed we already listen to several.)

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Thank you for your comment.  I'm so very delighted in my KJV, and indeed the blessed Spirit is the most  Holy and perfect teacher of it.  Truly, it leaves me "wanting nothing".

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  • Moderators
3 hours ago, robycop3 said:

  The NKJV is an updated KJV, using the same manuscripts used to make the KJV.

There are serious difference between the KJV and the NKJV-it is NOT just updated, and they didn't use a majority of the manuscripts as the KJV translators used. Example:

See the source imageSee the source image

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  A moderator told me not to discuss the KJVO myth here, so I won't, but let me say that "by" indicates the person or agent doing something, while "trrough" can indicate the person or agent  successfully completing a project or objective, I. E. "the team  pulled out a victory THROUGH the quarterback's accurate passing." Just a matter of semantics.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
12 hours ago, robycop3 said:

  A moderator told me not to discuss the KJVO myth here, so I won't, but let me say that "by" indicates the person or agent doing something, while "trrough" can indicate the person or agent  successfully completing a project or objective, I. E. "the team  pulled out a victory THROUGH the quarterback's accurate passing." Just a matter of semantics.

So...

...which word is correct?

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28 minutes ago, No Nicolaitans said:

So...

...which word is correct?

Either.

6 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

You just can't help yourself, can you?

Not when it comes to telling the truth.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
17 minutes ago, robycop3 said:

Either

So...

Which one is interpreted correctly?

17 minutes ago, robycop3 said:

Not when it comes to telling the truth

So...

You're basically saying that God...

...who puts more importance on his word than his very name...and warns against adding to or taking away from his word...

...doesn't mind if his word is different in different versions.

Why are you here?

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15 minutes ago, No Nicolaitans said:

So...

Which one is interpreted correctly?

So...

You're basically saying that God...

...who puts more importance on his word than his very name...and warns against adding to or taking away from his word...

...doesn't mind if his word is different in different versions.

Why are you here?

 When did you become an English professor ?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

WellWithMySoul,

I would like to recommend to you a book, 'One Book Stands Alone,' by Dr. Douglas Stauffer to help you deal with the situation with your pastor using the NKJV. The book gives one complete chapter, with examples, of the corruptness found in the NKJV. Some Christian bookstores either sell the book or they can order it for you. Here is the website address if you want to order it yourself. www.mccowenmills.com

Alan

Here is a quote from the book.

Concerning the NKJV Dr. Stauffer states, “The changes found in the NKJV are too numerous to list completely. Some significant removals in the NKJV are as follows:

22 omissions of hell

23 omissions of blood

44 omissions of repent

48 omissions of heaven

51 omissions of God

66 omissions of Lord

In addition to the above deletions, the words devils, damnation, JEHOVAH, and New Testament are omitted completely from the text of the NKJV!”1

 

1Stauffer, Douglas D., Dr., One Book Stands Alone, 2001. (Millbrook, AL: McCowen Mills Publisher), Page 150.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
56 minutes ago, robycop3 said:

 When did you become an English professor ?

I never claimed to be one; however, my English Literature professor often used my papers as examples for the other students.

Now...

Which word is correctly interpreted?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Alan,

Thank you so very much for the suggestion of the book!  It sounds like a good one.  I would have to look, but we may even have that book.  We have several books about the differences in versions.  It's amazing the subtleties and changes that are made.  It's all so very "crafty" and sly and deceitful.  In my heart, I want to focus so much on what my KJV says, that it's so much easier to recognize what it does not say.  That is how over the months I was able to at least get "red flags" especially on the verses I had memorized.  That Sunday that it finally grabbed my attention, I recognized a verse that the Pastor read that I had memorized  among many back in the 80's when I was homeschooling our kiddos.  That particular verse was James 1:4 - "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." The NKJV uses the word "lacking" (or a form of that) instead of "wanting".  To me, that was a significant difference.  "Lacking nothing" to me, means there could be more - while "wanting nothing" means that it's "perfect and entire"!

Again, Alan, thank you so very much for suggesting the book!!  I truly appreciate it.

To the others discussing the differences in versions, it's all good - but what I really need is counsel on - is how to have godly integrity/attitude in my heart first, in my mind/thoughts, and in my words/behaviours concerning a response to our pastor.  I am accountable to God first for every word that proceeds out of my mouth for He knows every thought and intent in my heart.  I greatly desire to be pleasing to Him, and that whatsoever I do, that I do it to His glory!  We love our pastor and each member of the congregation and so anything that we should say or do, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal" (I Cor. 13:1).  I respect our pastor greatly, for it's easy to see that He loves the Lord.  I'm hurt and disappointed, but I love him as my brother in the Lord, as well as the others.  I don't want to in turn hurt or disappoint them by my response.

Overall, I am looking to the Author and Finisher of my faith...WWMS

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  • Lady Administrators
22 hours ago, robycop3 said:

  A moderator told me not to discuss the KJVO myth here, so I won't, but let me say that "by" indicates the person or agent doing something, while "trrough" can indicate the person or agent  successfully completing a project or objective, I. E. "the team  pulled out a victory THROUGH the quarterback's accurate passing." Just a matter of semantics.

Your initial statement with a caveat of supposedly acceding to moderator instructions is belied by your erroneous attachment of the word "myth," as well as your further statements of correction. It is not a matter of semantics. While some prepositions have similar meanings, they are not the same. You will cease and desist from "correcting" the KJB immediately, roby, in any way. You very well know that this is a KJB site, and yet you continually disrespect that. It needs to stop now. 

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9 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

I never claimed to be one; however, my English Literature professor often used my papers as examples for the other students.

Now...

Which word is correctly interpreted?

 Both.

1 hour ago, HappyChristian said:

Your initial statement with a caveat of supposedly acceding to moderator instructions is belied by your erroneous attachment of the word "myth," as well as your further statements of correction. It is not a matter of semantics. While some prepositions have similar meanings, they are not the same. You will cease and desist from "correcting" the KJB immediately, roby, in any way. You very well know that this is a KJB site, and yet you continually disrespect that. It needs to stop now. 

  Very well !

 

  However, if anyone wishes to discuss KJVO with me,  (and others) you may find me on the "Baptist Board" site, where I post as "robycop3".

 

https://www.baptistboard.com/

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