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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.

Do you have any problem with this photo?


E Morales
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2 hours ago, Bouncing Bill said:

No one. But the woman in the photo is holding an assault rifle and a Bible. The only purpose of this rifle is to kill people. So, as she is holding a Bible I want to know where in the Bible it is justified to kill people. Can you give me an answer?

To' me it is a sin to show the Bible and at the same time show it is acceptable to kill people. Show me where in the Bible this would be acceptable. 

I seen a great movie one time where Christian men got together to pray with their Bible before going out to battle. This doesn’t count right. It was just a movie, you are confusing our great bravery of our bothers and sisters in Christ, those  that went to war for our freedom. By then carrying their weapons you are calling them killers, you go to Afghanistan and minister to them having nothing to defend yourself with. Let me know how it works for you. 

Edited by E Morales
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6 minutes ago, E Morales said:

I seen a great movie one time where Christian men got together to pray with their Bible before going out to battle. This doesn’t count right. It was just a movie, you are confusing our great bravery of our bothers and sisters in Christ, those  that went to war for our freedom. By then carrying their weapons you are calling them killers, you go to Afghanistan and minister to them having nothing to defend yourself with. Let me know how it works for you. 

And then there are the millions of dollars, or billions perhaps, of dollars of opiates and other drugs brought back through military channels and others opened up by the 'war' ,  to young people and old people in the Untied states causing more harm than good.    The ones who made a lot of money or wanted more power and had the power to do so started the war(s),  and made massive amounts of money. 

Some who went without the wrong motives of course ,  but many went AWOL when they found out they were just killing innocent people over there and protecting the opium crops.

They might have been brave,  yes.   But the reason they were sent there was not the reason they went there, if they were honest folk,  unaware of the powers in control and the purpose of the war(s) and action(s).

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Perhaps you did not realize that the opium, heroin, and other so-called illegal drugs are not a recognized part of pharmakeia (pharmacy) in the Untied states ?    It is entirely a different ball game,  although they may or may not be entertwined with each other. 

People are tricked into thinking the 'legal' pharmaceutical industry is somehow beneficial ?   

People usually don't think the drug trade in opium and heroin and such is beneficial at all,  except the ones making billions of dollars a day or week or whatever in it.

Soldiers of every rank reported the massive drug trade / channels / at all the wars we participated in since the Korean War or thereabout,  maybe more.  (i.e. it is not a secret at all) 

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3 minutes ago, Martyr_4_FutureJoy said:

Perhaps you did not realize that the opium, heroin, and other so-called illegal drugs are not a recognized part of pharmakeia (pharmacy) in the Untied states ?    It is entirely a different ball game,  although they may or may not be entertwined with each other. 

People are tricked into thinking the 'legal' pharmaceutical industry is somehow beneficial ?   

People usually don't think the drug trade in opium and heroin and such is beneficial at all,  except the ones making billions of dollars a day or week or whatever in it.

Soldiers of every rank reported the massive drug trade / channels / at all the wars we participated in since the Korean War or thereabout,  maybe more.  (i.e. it is not a secret at all) 

I’m glad I didn’t watch your 🎥 movie. 

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On 9/4/2021 at 8:27 AM, E Morales said:

I don’t see any problem here do you…

DE18E68C-CCF0-445C-A55C-39EF2EAEDCBD.jpeg.952d068a151881ed83af5170b32e4b8b.jpeg

1. I'm not a fan of intentionally using God, or His Word, for politically divisive posturing.  It appears that this woman is using God's Word as a prop for the purpose of exhibiting self righteousness and intentionally aggravating those who disagree with her.  A visual representation of the bumper sticker, "God, Guns & Country."  However, that is not what Scripture is for.

Quote

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV)

 

God is a God of love and forgiveness, and we are commanded to share the good news of the Gospel with every creature.  He is also a God of wrath and justice and He can be severe in His reproofs, corrections and punishments, but they are always made for the purpose of either convincing the lost to believe in and turn to the one true God, or to convict the chosen/saved of their sins and to repent and turn back to Him.  This often involved the ones left living learning from the lessons of the ones who were destroyed.  

People will reject the Gospel because the truth of the Gospel is unattractive to them and they will harden their hearts against the Gospel.  We don't need to try to make the Gospel even more unattractive to them for the sake of feeling patriotic.  We must remember that there are millions of people, in the U.S. and all over the world, who have either never heard the Gospel or whose only exposure to it was a misrepresentation of it; so photos, like the one in the OP, can be frightening and/or confusing to people.  Some may even think that you have to be an American or move to America or think like Americans in order to be a Christian.

Did Jesus say "...Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and a love for the United States to every creature?"  Of course He didn't.  We are to obey our leaders, unless it would conflict with our faith, and pray for our leaders, but our love and our passion, I believe, we must reserve for obeying and glorifying God and our allegiance to the Kingdom of Heaven.  

There are many positive things about the United States.  There are also many ungodly things about the United States.  Many people will say that the U.S., although it isn't perfect, is still the best nation on the planet.  Let us remember what God has said about man that it might humble us and take us down off of our high horse:

Quote

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isaiah 64:6 KJV)

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: {11} There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. {12} They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Romans 3:10-12 KJV)

So let us not amalgamate our country, or any other, or intentionally divisive politics, with the Bible or the ways of God.

This woman (Holly Fisher) posed for another photo while standing in front of a Hobby Lobby store, holding a Chic-fil-a coffee cup and wearing a pro life t-shirt (while wearing very short shorts, by the way).  Again, political posturing; using her faith as a cudgel of division for the purpose of raising the ire of those with whom she disagrees; in this case, by saying Liberals' heads will explode if they look at the photo.  A similar sentiment as an "I Drink Leftist Tears" mug/t-shirt;

https://images.app.goo.gl/TC7KzGYGrbvjvAWJ8

2. As Christians, we are to be separate from the things of the world, for our own spiritual protection, but we are not to be divisive for the sake of divisiveness.  By posing with a Bible, she is saying that she is a representative of Christ.

She has said, in interviews, that her being launched into the conservative spotlight took her off guard and was a "whirlwind."  So much, in fact that she says that she lost her faith in God and faith in her marriage, to the point that she entered into an adulterous relationship with another man, a Tea Party member named Joel Frewa, while her husband was serving in the military.

I believe this happened because, like many people, she focused on herself and her personal, political and patriotic passions and simply sprinkled some Jesus flavoring on top of them.  Since then, she says that her and her husband have worked things through and they have recommitted their marriage to God; which is a very good thing and I hope it's true.

However, when I see women, who purport to be Christian, while they dress in very immodest, tight, sexual clothing, wear all sorts of make up, have expensive and fancy hairstyles &c. and love posing for the camera, well, "Ye shall know them by their fruits."   I will not post them here, but a quick internet search shows photos of her wearing other tops that almost completely expose her chest as well as skin tight trousers and leggings &c.  She seems completely oblivious to the concept of modesty.  This can only mean that, either she has never read the verses about modesty or she chooses to willfully disobey them.

So, to answer the question: "I don’t see any problem here do you…"

Yes.  I do see problems.

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

1. I'm not a fan of intentionally using God, or His Word, for politically divisive posturing.  It appears that this woman is using God's Word as a prop for the purpose of exhibiting self righteousness and intentionally aggravating those who disagree with her.  A visual representation of the bumper sticker, "God, Guns & Country."  However, that is not what Scripture is fo

I'm with you on that. 

I remember feeling a little annoyed when Trump walked across the road from the white house (or wherever he was) and held that bible up while standing on the sidewalk. I'm not trying to bash Trump by any means but the few times I heard questions posed to him about the bible he side stepped the question by just kind of summarizing basic beliefs, and not to ,mention the biblical interpretations of his faith mentors like Paula White.

When he did that it wasn't for the Christians be ause he already had their support for the most part so it felt like he was antagonizing the leftists more than anything. I'm sure Christianity didn't get any new believers because of that and most likely pushed people further way from Jesus since it felt like a political move.

Edited by Disciple.Luke
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YES!

This is wrong in so many ways that i won't bother to explain.

i sincerely hope you would bring this topic down if you can, remove it or if you can't, ask the administrators to do so.

It is plainly in contrast with everything the Bible teaches.

Do not forget, 'Thou shalt not kill'. Take this and apply it and that would be enough for you to understand, if you did not or have not yet, it is un-Christian.

i will pray for you and your soul.

Bless your hearts,

Totoo

Edited by Totoosart
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PS:

In addition to that, do you not recall the two commandments Jesus Christ gave us?

The first one is of course 'Love the Lord your God with all your might, . . .'

The second one is 'Love your neighbour like yourself.'

I cannot understand why a true Christian would take arms against anyone, when Jesus says, love your enemy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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It is clear that, many times, in the Old Testament, God found it appropriate for certain people to kill other people; even after He gave the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill;” as in the commands to kill the Canaanites and the Amalekites and for the reason of committing sins worthy of death; but it was when He commanded it.

Think of a parent telling their child not to go into the street.  It’s a rule they have made for their child; except for when the parent holds the child’s hand and crosses the street with them.  The rule still applies, but the parent has the authority to apply exceptions for specific reasons.

Paul, in Romans 13:1-4 and Acts 25:10-11, seems to support the right of the state to use capital punishment appropriately.

In Luke 22:36-38, Christ tells His disciples to buy swords and, when they tell Him that they already have two of them, He says, “It is enough.”  He tells twelve disciples that two swords are enough; so, it would seem that, whatever His reason was for telling them to have swords, He didn’t seem to be telling them to rely on them, but, rather, to rely on the sword of the spirit; the Word of God.  If anything, those verses could be used to make a case against stockpiling weapons.

I believe that Matthew 26:52 pertained to the disciples defending Christ with weapons.  He says, in the very next verse, that He could ask God to send legions of angels for that, if that’s what He wanted.

By applying various other verses to the subject, I believe that Christ was telling His disciples to have weapons to defend themselves against certain kinds of violence.

I think of it like this:  If I walk into a store and a gunman is threatening to kill people, it is my duty to use deadly force, if necessary, to end the threat.

If a shooter is going through a school, and is shooting people, it is my duty to use deadly force, if necessary, to stop them.

If a gunman is holding someone at gunpoint and says that they will kill them unless I renounce my faith, if I am unarmed and unable to stop them, I would offer myself as a substitute; but if that was not accepted, then I must maintain my faith and let the gunman do what he will; but, if I also am armed, then it is my duty to end the threat.

In short, I believe that it is a Christian’s duty to save lives that are being threatened, unless unable to do so or if doing so would require him to renounce his faith.

I do not, however, see any value in boasting about such things or finding joy in them.  I find even the practice of hunting for pleasure and hobby, most distasteful.  I believe we should be grateful for being able to provide for ourselves and our families, if that’s how we do it, or for being able to defend ourselves and others, but I don’t believe we are to use them as entertainment.

Lest anyone think I am anti gun, I say these things as someone who carries concealed whenever I leave my house, and have been doing so for the past twelve years, but I pray to God that I will never have occasion to use it and, so far, I never have.  I also keep the fact that I even own a weapon to myself and only a handful of people in my life even know about it.

While I don’t believe it is sinful to display, “Come and take it,” or other 2nd amendment kitsch, I find it to be a foolish and prideful display of machismo and that it does nothing for the cause of Christ.

I am not dogmatic about any of this; this is just how I understand the scriptures.  I am always open to correction and instruction and, if I have misunderstood the Word of God, I will alter my beliefs accordingly.

*edit - David Cloud’s thoughts on the Old Testament commands to wipe out certain people are very helpful.  They can be read here: “Is the God of the Old Testament Cruel?

*note that most, if not all, of the reasons given for God’s judgement on those nations are being committed, in one way or another, by America.

Edited by Brother Stafford
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5 hours ago, Totoosart said:

YES!

This is wrong in so many ways that i won't bother to explain.

i sincerely hope you would bring this topic down if you can, remove it or if you can't, ask the administrators to do so.

It is plainly in contrast with everything the Bible teaches.

Do not forget, 'Thou shalt not kill'. Take this and apply it and that would be enough for you to understand, if you did not or have not yet, it is un-Christian.

i will pray for you and your soul.

Bless your hearts,

Totoo

How you feel if someone said to you, let remove this website site, it’s against what we believe. It’s okay not to agree here.

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On 9/11/2021 at 2:52 AM, Disciple.Luke said:

I remember feeling a little annoyed when Trump walked across the road from the white house (or wherever he was) and held that bible up while standing on the sidewalk.

That did irk me as well, as I'm not sure if he is a Christian or not, but it seems most of his life was not Christian and it did seems that he used the Bible as a prop. 

This girl in the OP picture on the other hand, I know nothing about her. Does anyone know... has she killed or threatened to kill someone? Is the Bible part of her everyday life at work and/or school, or did she just grab one for the photo?  I honesty don't know so I give the benefit of the doubt instead of casting stones at her.

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2 hours ago, PastorMatt said:

That did irk me as well, as I'm not sure if he is a Christian or not, but it seems most of his life was not Christian and it did seems that he used the Bible as a prop. 

This girl in the OP picture on the other hand. I know nothing about her. Does anyone know... has she killed or threatened to kill someone? Is the Bible part of her everyday life at work and/or school, or did she just grab one for the photo?  I honesty don't know so I give the benefit of the doubt instead of casting stones at her.

Not a Christian president but he surely did support them and Israel. More then any other, that a plus for me.

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On 9/11/2021 at 6:04 AM, Brother Stafford said:

It is clear that, many times, in the Old Testament, God found it appropriate for certain people to kill other people; even after He gave the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill;” as in the commands to kill the Canaanites and the Amalekites and for the reason of committing sins worthy of death; but it was when He commanded it.

Think of a parent telling their child not to go into the street.  It’s a rule they have made for their child; except for when the parent holds the child’s hand and crosses the street with them.  The rule still applies, but the parent has the authority to apply exceptions for specific reasons.

Paul, in Romans 13:1-4 and Acts 25:10-11, seems to support the right of the state to use capital punishment appropriately.

In Luke 22:36-38, Christ tells His disciples to buy swords and, when they tell Him that they already have two of them, He says, “It is enough.”  He tells twelve disciples that two swords are enough; so, it would seem that, whatever His reason was for telling them to have swords, He didn’t seem to be telling them to rely on them, but, rather, to rely on the sword of the spirit; the Word of God.  If anything, those verses could be used to make a case against stockpiling weapons.

I believe that Matthew 26:52 pertained to the disciples defending Christ with weapons.  He says, in the very next verse, that He could ask God to send legions of angels for that, if that’s what He wanted.

By applying various other verses to the subject, I believe that Christ was telling His disciples to have weapons to defend themselves against certain kinds of violence.

I think of it like this:  If I walk into a store and a gunman is threatening to kill people, it is my duty to use deadly force, if necessary, to end the threat.

If a shooter is going through a school, and is shooting people, it is my duty to use deadly force, if necessary, to stop them.

If a gunman is holding someone at gunpoint and says that they will kill them unless I renounce my faith, if I am unarmed and unable to stop them, I would offer myself as a substitute; but if that was not accepted, then I must maintain my faith and let the gunman do what he will; but, if I also am armed, then it is my duty to end the threat.

In short, I believe that it is a Christian’s duty to save lives that are being threatened, unless unable to do so or if doing so would require him to renounce his faith.

I do not, however, see any value in boasting about such things or finding joy in them.  I find even the practice of hunting for pleasure and hobby, most distasteful.  I believe we should be grateful for being able to provide for ourselves and our families, if that’s how we do it, or for being able to defend ourselves and others, but I don’t believe we are to use them as entertainment.

Lest anyone think I am anti gun, I say these things as someone who carries concealed whenever I leave my house, and have been doing so for the past twelve years, but I pray to God that I will never have occasion to use it and, so far, I never have.  I also keep the fact that I even own a weapon to myself and only a handful of people in my life even know about it.

While I don’t believe it is sinful to display, “Come and take it,” or other 2nd amendment kitsch, I find it to be a foolish and prideful display of machismo and that it does nothing for the cause of Christ.

I am not dogmatic about any of this; this is just how I understand the scriptures.  I am always open to correction and instruction and, if I have misunderstood the Word of God, I will alter my beliefs accordingly.

*edit - David Cloud’s thoughts on the Old Testament commands to wipe out certain people are very helpful.  They can be read here: “Is the God of the Old Testament Cruel?

*note that most, if not all, of the reasons given for God’s judgement on those nations are being committed, in one way or another, by America.

I'm all for our right to own and carry guns especially for self defense purposes.

Back when people were walking into churches and killing the worshippers for no reason and without restraint I liked the idea that we had off duty officers in the pews with concealed guns just in case.

When I started to hear that some Pastors decided to carry guns while preaching the sermon it didn't feel right to me. Just the idea of the Shepherd carrying a Glock as opposed to a "staff" felt a little hypocritical to me.

My opinion later changed after I met Pastor  "Mac". Somehow in our conversation he mentioned to me that he had his gun on him every Sunday. I don't remember my exact response but I know I inquired why he felt it was necessary for him to be armed when there were other men who brought guns too. He basically explained that the reason was that he believed it was his responsibility to not only protect the flock spiritually but physically as well. He also brought up that because of the lay out of the building and sanctuary entrance he would be the first person to see a threat and react to it. After getting to know Mac I felt completely different about Pastors arming themselves.

I'm sure many Pastors feel a responsibility to protect their congregations during church services. I was glad Mac wanted to protect us during worship, but it was a situation that occured outside of church that made me realize that my Pastors concern for his congregation went far beyond 40 minute talks and hospital visits.

There was a situation about two years ago where my brothers wife's ex-husband told him that he was going to come to their house and kill everyone Including his own children. Being that my younger brother and I have been as  close to each other as any siblings could possibly be I was going to stand with and share the threat with him without hesitation. I suggested that we have his wife and the three children go stay at a hotel and I was going to spend the night there with him Incase the ex acted on the threat. 

I called Mac later that day to explain the situation and asked him if he would please pray for our safety. He assured me that he would. To my surprise after he prayed he them immediately asked if I needed him to come over, bring his gun and insert himself in a very real and dangerous situation by staying the night to face the potential threat with us. There aren't words that even begin to describe how thankful and emotionally touched I was that my spiritual leader was willing to risk his life without hesitation out of concern of me being harmed or worse.

Despite how grateful I was for his willingness to help I in turn declined his offer. This was man who I already respected as a preacher,  a missionary, a student of the Bible, a mentor, an author, etc.. and now as protector. It's really unfortunate that non believers only get exposed to Christianity through church scandals, televangelist frauds, abuse claims, and the nice preachers who don't judge people by not confronting sin because he loves you SO much that he don't even want to hurt your feelings. I'd be willing to bet that the majority of those pastors who seem sensitive, always positive, and are so loving that they would NEVER judge anyone aren't so "loving and caring" during the week once the office hours close. Many of them probably wouldn't even come help you change  a flat tire even if it deflated right in front of their house. They will tickle your ears by saying what they think you want to hear so church becomes a place where you come to hear how great you are every week so they can get paid.

All the wrong "Christians" end up getting all the attention for all the wrong reasons and the non believers see it. Meanwhile they never hear bout the Pastor of a small church in a insignificant town. The leader who prefers you call him "Mac" instead of his religious title, and has a daughter going through a rough divorce like most imperfect normal families. He's the kind of man that just might confront your hidden sin in a sermon and you think he's personally attacking you or being too judgemental. The truth can hurt but it's still the truth and some pastors love you enough to tell it to you. 

 

"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

  Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for his 

  friends".        - John 15:12,13

 

 

 

On 9/11/2021 at 6:04 AM, Brother Stafford said:

It is clear that, many times, in the Old Testament, God found it appropriate for certain people to kill other people; even after He gave the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill;” as in the commands to kill the Canaanites and the Amalekites and for the reason of committing sins worthy of death; but it was when He commanded it.

Think of a parent telling their child not to go into the street.  It’s a rule they have made for their child; except for when the parent holds the child’s hand and crosses the street with them.  The rule still applies, but the parent has the authority to apply exceptions for specific reasons.

Paul, in Romans 13:1-4 and Acts 25:10-11, seems to support the right of the state to use capital punishment appropriately.

In Luke 22:36-38, Christ tells His disciples to buy swords and, when they tell Him that they already have two of them, He says, “It is enough.”  He tells twelve disciples that two swords are enough; so, it would seem that, whatever His reason was for telling them to have swords, He didn’t seem to be telling them to rely on them, but, rather, to rely on the sword of the spirit; the Word of God.  If anything, those verses could be used to make a case against stockpiling weapons.

I believe that Matthew 26:52 pertained to the disciples defending Christ with weapons.  He says, in the very next verse, that He could ask God to send legions of angels for that, if that’s what He wanted.

By applying various other verses to the subject, I believe that Christ was telling His disciples to have weapons to defend themselves against certain kinds of violence.

I think of it like this:  If I walk into a store and a gunman is threatening to kill people, it is my duty to use deadly force, if necessary, to end the threat.

If a shooter is going through a school, and is shooting people, it is my duty to use deadly force, if necessary, to stop them.

If a gunman is holding someone at gunpoint and says that they will kill them unless I renounce my faith, if I am unarmed and unable to stop them, I would offer myself as a substitute; but if that was not accepted, then I must maintain my faith and let the gunman do what he will; but, if I also am armed, then it is my duty to end the threat.

In short, I believe that it is a Christian’s duty to save lives that are being threatened, unless unable to do so or if doing so would require him to renounce his faith.

I do not, however, see any value in boasting about such things or finding joy in them.  I find even the practice of hunting for pleasure and hobby, most distasteful.  I believe we should be grateful for being able to provide for ourselves and our families, if that’s how we do it, or for being able to defend ourselves and others, but I don’t believe we are to use them as entertainment.

Lest anyone think I am anti gun, I say these things as someone who carries concealed whenever I leave my house, and have been doing so for the past twelve years, but I pray to God that I will never have occasion to use it and, so far, I never have.  I also keep the fact that I even own a weapon to myself and only a handful of people in my life even know about it.

While I don’t believe it is sinful to display, “Come and take it,” or other 2nd amendment kitsch, I find it to be a foolish and prideful display of machismo and that it does nothing for the cause of Christ.

I am not dogmatic about any of this; this is just how I understand the scriptures.  I am always open to correction and instruction and, if I have misunderstood the Word of God, I will alter my beliefs accordingly.

*edit - David Cloud’s thoughts on the Old Testament commands to wipe out certain people are very helpful.  They can be read here: “Is the God of the Old Testament Cruel?

*note that most, if not all, of the reasons given for God’s judgement on those nations are being committed, in one way or another, by America.

Sorry guys I accidentally posted the same post twice and it merged the two

Edited by Disciple.Luke
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    • Razor

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

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

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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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