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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.

Designer children? Ethical or


orvals
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I came accross this article on google news and thought I would pass it on for discussion.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/ ... 0346.shtml

"A recent U.S. survey suggests most people support the notion of building a better baby when it comes to eliminating serious diseases. But Dr. Steinberg says using technology for cosmetic reasons shouldn't scare people away.

"Of course, once I've got this science, am I not to provide this to my patients? I'm a physician. I want to provide everything science gives me to my patients," Dr. Steinberg said.

"But is that a good thing?" Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez asked Dr. Arthur Caplan, Ph.D, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.

"Let me quote Dr. Steinberg. He just said he predicts we will have determined sex with 100 percent accuracy and eye color with 80 percent accuracy in the next year. Does that give you pause at all?" Rodriguez asked."


It certainly gives me pause, will a child one day look at his parents and say "why did you make me this way"? Wow, what a question that would be.

orvals

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Isn't this what the early 20th century American eugenics movement as well as the Nazi pure race idea all about?

Both sought to use various breeding methods to weed out "undesirable" traits and groups while purposefully increasing that which they considered desireable.

Of course this goes much deeper for the Christian as we must consider just whether God is to select the eye and hair color of children or that's something parents should take upon themselves?

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My question is this: why would parents want to pay big-time money to determine what their child looks like? My concern is not as much with the practice itself (manipulating genes) as with the motivation for the practice. The slippery slope is something to be concerned about as well. I personally could not make an airtight biblical case against the actual practice of gene manipulation, but again, it's the motivation I'm questioning.

We do things all the time to change our appearance. There are colored contacts for those who don't like their eye color, dye for those who desire a different shade of hair, scissors to style hair becomingly, cosmetics to cover blemishes, jewerly to enhance beauty, etc. All of these are unnatural ways of enhancing physical appearance. So, I'm not sure the concept of "choosing blue eyes for your child" is any more sinful, in and of itself, than having your baby girl's ears pierced, although it would be nicer if the child had a say (which is impossible anyway, in the case of manipulated genes). That's why the motivation--not necessarily the practice--is what matters, IMO.

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Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Is man any different today than he was back them? The ungenerated man surely isn't.

The ungenerated man will not be happy until he feel he is in compete control of everythings. The more he can contol the more he will think he is in control and the more He will think that he can push God out of his life.

I sure this is something all the sports fans will love, they can design a great football, basketball player & such before he has been born.

I heard them discussing this the other day, makes me sick at how low man will stoop, he has no shame at all.

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[if they are able to manipulate hair,eye and complexion color then really what most people paying for "this service" would want is Mensa IQ"s, musically gifted, or perhaps science and mathmatically gifted children. The competition is so great for this class already. I think that is what they would value. Pixiedust :sad quote="Annie"]My question is this: why would parents want to pay big-time money to determine what their child looks like? My concern is not as much with the practice itself (manipulating genes) as with the motivation for the practice. The slippery slope is something to be concerned about as well. I personally could not make an airtight biblical case against the actual practice of gene manipulation, but again, it's the motivation I'm questioning.

We do things all the time to change our appearance. There are colored contacts for those who don't like their eye color, dye for those who desire a different shade of hair, scissors to style hair becomingly, cosmetics to cover blemishes, jewerly to enhance beauty, etc. All of these are unnatural ways of enhancing physical appearance. So, I'm not sure the concept of "choosing blue eyes for your child" is any more sinful, in and of itself, than having your baby girl's ears pierced, although it would be nicer if the child had a say (which is impossible anyway, in the case of manipulated genes). That's why the motivation--not necessarily the practice--is what matters, IMO.

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I personally could not make an airtight biblical case against the actual practice of gene manipulation, but again, it's the motivation I'm questioning.


I could. What are they doing with all the unwanted embryos?
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I could. What are they doing with all the unwanted embryos?

I am not familiar enough with the procedure to know that unwanted embryos are involved. (Are they, necessarily?) Obviously, there are moral/biblical problems with discarding fertilized embryos. I was talking specifically about the process of gene manipulation, not the discarding of embryos. If the discarding of embryos is necessary to the process of gene manipulation, then of course a biblical case can be made against the practice. Thanks for bringing this point up.
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I am not familiar enough with the procedure to know that unwanted embryos are involved. (Are they, necessarily?) Obviously, there are moral/biblical problems with discarding fertilized embryos. I was talking specifically about the process of gene manipulation, not the discarding of embryos. If the discarding of embryos is necessary to the process of gene manipulation, then of course a biblical case can be made against the practice. Thanks for bringing this point up.


There are always discarded embryos involved with even regular IVF and such like procedures, I would not expect any less for such a specialized form of IVF or whatever.

Anyway I assume they test several embryos to make sure the genetics are fine. I know some couples will try to conceive a child without some kind of genetic disease they both carry, and that involves making several embryos and selecting the "healthy" one(s).

Of course there are moral and ethical problems to this too, regarding the motive as mentioned above.
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My question is this: why would parents want to pay big-time money to determine what their child looks like? My concern is not as much with the practice itself (manipulating genes) as with the motivation for the practice. The slippery slope is something to be concerned about as well. I personally could not make an airtight biblical case against the actual practice of gene manipulation, but again, it's the motivation I'm questioning.

We do things all the time to change our appearance. There are colored contacts for those who don't like their eye color, dye for those who desire a different shade of hair, scissors to style hair becomingly, cosmetics to cover blemishes, jewerly to enhance beauty, etc. All of these are unnatural ways of enhancing physical appearance. So, I'm not sure the concept of "choosing blue eyes for your child" is any more sinful, in and of itself, than having your baby girl's ears pierced, although it would be nicer if the child had a say (which is impossible anyway, in the case of manipulated genes). That's why the motivation--not necessarily the practice--is what matters, IMO.


There are several verses that talk about God making us - knitting us in the womb, knowing us before we were, how we are wondrously made, etc. The concept of God forming us is one that I couldn't get beyond in gene manipulation.

The "unnatural" things people do to change their looks aren't permanent (well, some are, but those aren't right, either, imo). But gene manipulation is messing, permanently, with what God has created.

I think you're right, motivation is important...but the question to me would be - what is the motivation for those who are pushing this idea? A perfect person? Kinda like Hitler's dream? And I agree - it is a very slippery slope!!!
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I don't think there can be a "good" motivation for this.

The only motivation even remotely good would be to try to avoid a child with a deadly genetic disease....however, even with that there is the issue of the unused embryos.

If they would only make adoption easier...there are so many unwanted children in so many countries.

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There are always discarded embryos involved with even regular IVF and such like procedures,



That is not true. A couple has the right to decide what is done with leftover embryos. If you believe that life begins at conception you can choose that no embryos are discarded. You can donate them to another childless couple or cryopreserve them for later use. During the thawing process an embryo may not survive and that embryo can be discarded, but is is no longer alive and therefore removes the ethical concerns. Many Christian couples choose to implant all thawed embryos regardless of how "good" they are just to prevent discarding them.

As for the practice of PGD it is completely wrong even if you have a genetic issue. What they do is take the embryos and make them split in two, essentially making a twin. The second embryo is tested and if it is genetically approved then you can implant that original one into the uterus. If it has a genetic issue, or in the case of this article does not look they way the parents want it to look or is the wrong sex, the embryos are discarded. I am fine with the practice of IVF as it is combining what God designed to combine: egg and sperm. But this is playing God, deciding who has a chance to live and who does not.
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I believe this actually touches on a much larger philosophical question than eye color and such; to me it starts to push on the door of who is the giver of life (creator or creature) and what are the limits to God's patience and intervention!

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That is not true. A couple has the right to decide what is done with leftover embryos. If you believe that life begins at conception you can choose that no embryos are discarded. You can donate them to another childless couple or cryopreserve them for later use. During the thawing process an embryo may not survive and that embryo can be discarded, but is is no longer alive and therefore removes the ethical concerns. Many Christian couples choose to implant all thawed embryos regardless of how "good" they are just to prevent discarding them.

As for the practice of PGD it is completely wrong even if you have a genetic issue. What they do is take the embryos and make them split in two, essentially making a twin. The second embryo is tested and if it is genetically approved then you can implant that original one into the uterus. If it has a genetic issue, or in the case of this article does not look they way the parents want it to look or is the wrong sex, the embryos are discarded. I am fine with the practice of IVF as it is combining what God designed to combine: egg and sperm. But this is playing God, deciding who has a chance to live and who does not.


I didn't realize that about splitting the embryo. Thank you for that. It certainly is wrong.

If cryofreezing an embryo reduces chance for life, then it would be wrong. The only way I could agree with IVF is that every embryo created would be implanted. It is hard to find a dr to do that though, because you'd have to create less embryos than normal in order to reduce the risk of having a litter of kids at one time. Although obviously Octomom's doctor didn't do such. (Anyone else sick of hearing about her? haha)
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That is not true. A couple has the right to decide what is done with leftover embryos. If you believe that life begins at conception you can choose that no embryos are discarded. You can donate them to another childless couple or cryopreserve them for later use. During the thawing process an embryo may not survive and that embryo can be discarded, but is is no longer alive and therefore removes the ethical concerns. Many Christian couples choose to implant all thawed embryos regardless of how "good" they are just to prevent discarding them.

As for the practice of PGD it is completely wrong even if you have a genetic issue. What they do is take the embryos and make them split in two, essentially making a twin. The second embryo is tested and if it is genetically approved then you can implant that original one into the uterus. If it has a genetic issue, or in the case of this article does not look they way the parents want it to look or is the wrong sex, the embryos are discarded. I am fine with the practice of IVF as it is combining what God designed to combine: egg and sperm. But this is playing God, deciding who has a chance to live and who does not.


It's good that you brought this to light as far as how they were accomplishing their goals. (by destroying the twin(s) in order to test for the genetic traits they wanted expressed) Another thing to consider, that I did not think was clear from just reading the article is that they almost make it sound as if you can choose ANY hair, eye color etc. That is not true. They are bound by those genetic combinations that are unique to the two parents that are expressed within those embryos that they created. They ARE NOT talking about giving two blue eyed parents a brown eyed child through swapping one genetic sequence for another that was not originally contained within the embryo or that is not a genetic possibility because neither parent carries the genetic code for such. The article is a little deceiving in that area. They are merely using natural selection and choosing out of the available possible combinations the way Hitler would have and discarding the undesirables--only on a smaller scale.
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I believe that it is just not ethical because something inside me tells me that it would be interfering with God's plan for a life. He has predetermined our biology.(Jer 1:5)


:amen:
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