Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Three Resources Reflecting on Close Communion

Within Baptist life, there are three major positions on who should be invited to the Lord's Supper. Some congregations practice open communion, inviting anyone who is a believer to the table. (I've heard that some liberal churches invite all people to the table regardless of faith, but according to Dr. Greg Wills, all Baptist congregations have historically seen faith as a prerequisite to the table.) Some congregations practice close communion, inviting any baptized believer to the table. A few congregations (including the famous Metropolitan Tabernacle in London) practice closed [or strict] communion, only inviting their own members to the table.

I was raised in the close communion tradition, and I believe that this tradition is best reflective of biblical teaching. As an adult, my convictions in this regard have been reinforced by the training that I received at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Here are two resources in this regard:

The Baptism Panel Discussion from April 18, 2007.

"Should the Water Divide Us? Baptism, Church Membership, and the Glory of Christ" from April 25, 2007.

As a third resource, with sustained scriptural argument, I would also commend J.L. Dagg's Manual of Church Order on this subject. (View HERE: Chapter V, Section IV, "Open Communion".)

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