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Just Mike

Open or Closed Communion?

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Should a church have Communion just for church members, or open it for all present who are Saved?

I have changed my opinion over the years. I once thought it should be open to all who say they are saved. However I think having it during the service can cause some to feel that in order not to be embarrassed they will pertake, and they may not even be a Follower of Jesus Christ. I

 

I suggest that after the service, or even better have a special service just for members to have Communion. This protects those who might be taking it unworthly. I believ Communion is so special this should be a service all by its self.

 

What are your thoughts.

 

 

justme

 

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Most of the churches I've been in practice 'open' communion. The pastor uses most of the service to explain what communion is and allows for time for everyone in the congregation to reflect on their own lives and what Christ has done for them. When people are busy contemplating for themselves -- they will not be inclined to observe what others around them are doing. And even if they Do, I'm not going to question the why or why Not of Anyone taking or not of communion. And, in the process of reflection -- a person Might accept Jesus Christ as their Savior as they are sitting contemplating.

 

This Is speaking from the vantage point of remaining seated in your pew seat and having the containers of wafers and juice being passed down the individual rows of seats. No one is getting up to go to the front of the church.

 

And, besides -- taking communion is remembering what Jesus Christ did on the cross for us. It's a Memorial service. Part taking in it or not does not affect a person's salvation or the lack of it. But we are also Not to take part of it in a haphazard manner either. If a person is hungry -- excuse yourself and get a candy bar. Don't take communion in order to get a small drink and a smidge to eat.

 

It is a great witnessing tool for the pastor as people from the community might be curious about it.

 

There was a Baptist church I went to around the corner from us. The pastor Did have a communion service after the regular service. It was a RCC community and one of the RCC older ladies didn't want anyone to realize she was taking it. Instead of talking to her about the real meaning of -- he could have used that as an opportunity to share the Gospel with her. But he didn't. That particular pastor didn't want to offend the RCC lady. It was a small Chek / RCC community. He felt he had to appease both segments of the town.

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My wife and I were talking and she may have given some more to think about. I have never been in a church that had closed communion. She thought it would be one additional more service people would skip. Hardly anyone shows up for Sunday night or mid week service, so she wone that one. See I am not too domineering after all, LOL.

 

 

justme

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"Once upon a time" there were church services 3 times a week. What ever happened to that?! My parent's had us at church for all the services.

 

There's something about communion services that seem to bring people To church. Maybe is just depends on your geographical area?!

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If they're adults and they believe, let em. As long as they're warned that is.

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I believe communion should be open to all who are believers. I don't believe those who take communion should have to come forward to do so. If everybody can see whether you are taking communion some who aren't believers might feel pressure to take it so they won't stand out.

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I believe communion should be open to all who are believers. I don't believe those who take communion should have to come forward to do so. If everybody can see whether you are taking communion some who aren't believers might feel pressure to take it so they won't stand out.

 

Many years ago I'd visited a RCC and sat in the very back -- there were others there who didn't go forward for communion ,either. We didn't want to call undue attention to ourselves by Not going up for the communion part of their service.

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On 10/9/2017 at 1:48 PM, Just Mike said:

Should a church have Communion just for church members, or open it for all present who are Saved?

I have changed my opinion over the years. I once thought it should be open to all who say they are saved. However I think having it during the service can cause some to feel that in order not to be embarrassed they will pertake, and they may not even be a Follower of Jesus Christ. I

 

I suggest that after the service, or even better have a special service just for members to have Communion. This protects those who might be taking it unworthly. I believ Communion is so special this should be a service all by its self.

 

What are your thoughts.

 

 

justme

 

Open. What if a true believer is visiting your church and is then excluded from the sacrament? That's not right. And really, there is only one church.

 

If someone partakes unworthy (realize that a member could do this as well) then that is on them, not on you.

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1 minute ago, davidtaylorjr said:

Open. What if a true believer is visiting your church and is then excluded from the sacrament? That's not right. And really, there is only one church.

 

If someone partakes unworthy (realize that a member could do this as well) then that is on them, not on you.

If one verbally warns people of partaking unworthily then that is a closed or verbally fenced table.

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Definitely Open. Each person should examine themselves as to whether they should participate. By keeping it open everyone is to allowed to make that examination. 

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23 minutes ago, Erik said:

Definitely Open. Each person should examine themselves as to whether they should participate. By keeping it open everyone is to allowed to make that examination. 

You are alluding to 1 Corinthians 11:23-32.

 

Just for FYI, if the Pastor recites those Scriptures then that is a closed communion. A verbal fence has been establish around the table of the Lord.

 

If the Pastor gives no verbal warning to anyone attending the church then that is an open communion.

 

A closed communion doesn't necessarily mean a physically fenced communion table. I have attended such closed communions where members needed a communion card to prove they were in good standing in the church. I have seen actual fences around the table where members had to present a card to enter through the gate. John Calvin stretched out his arms over the communion elements and prevented Libertarians in his day from partaking. Calvin observed members engaged in sexual immoral conduct, drunkenness, gambling etc throughout the week days and come the Lord's day without a thought approached the communion table. Calvin's actions would be a physical closed communion table, but a closed communion table can also be formed by a verbal fence or warning.

 

What is your opinion Erik? Do you think a Pastor should warn attendees about bringing judgment on themselves as you stated? If so, then you're supporting a closed communion table.

 

God bless,

William

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I took the context as being open or closed to church members only or to non church member Christians as well. 

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10 hours ago, William said:

Just for FYI, if the Pastor recites those Scriptures then that is a closed communion. A verbal fence has been establish around the table of the Lord.

I don't think that is closed communion though in the context of the original post though.  I agree with what you are saying, but I don't think that should be the understanding for this conversation.

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3 hours ago, davidtaylorjr said:

I don't think that is closed communion though in the context of the original post though.  I agree with what you are saying, but I don't think that should be the understanding for this conversation.

Our church invites everyone that has been baptized through a bible believing church to come and partake of the elements, then the Pastor recites 1 Corinthians 11:23-32 and explains that if anyone is not a "communicable" member of the church (catholic) to withhold. "Communicable" members are adults which have professed faith in the church that are in good standing, "non communicable" members may be children which have been baptized into the catholic church but have not yet professed faith.

 

We are open if we define an open communion as allowing communicable members from other churches to partake. We are closed by a verbal fence which is a warning to non members and members of the judgment they may bring upon themselves without self-examination.

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3 hours ago, William said:

Our church invites everyone that has been baptized through a bible believing church to come and partake of the elements, then the Pastor recites 1 Corinthians 11:23-32 and explains that if anyone is not a "communicable" member of the church (catholic) to withhold. "Communicable" members are adults which have professed faith in the church that are in good standing, "non communicable" members may be children which have been baptized into the catholic church but have not yet professed faith.

 

We are open if we define an open communion as allowing communicable members from other churches to partake. We are closed by a verbal fence which is a warning to non members and members of the judgment they may bring upon themselves without self-examination.

Willian, could you please explain  what "communicable" means? I have never heard of this before.

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28 minutes ago, Just Mike said:

Willian, could you please explain  what "communicable" means? I have never heard of this before.

Sure, communicable members stand in contrast to excommunicated and also non-communicable members. And these groups stand in contrast to "attendees" which are not members of the catholic church.

 

Communicable members are those which are able to communicate the essentials of faith, held accountable to the church in both life and doctrine, and even participate in the church sessions etc.

 

Excommunicated members are receiving disciplinary actions in life or doctrine. They are in essence "cut off" as in 1 Corinthians 5, they maybe cut off because of doctrine, that is, they communicate heresy going against the essentials of faith and refuse to be corrected (apostate). Attendees at our church maybe excommunicated by other Nicene churches.

 

Non-communicable members are those that are not yet able to communicate the essentials of the faith or participate in the church through sessions etc., such as infants or small children. They are technically in good standing unlike excommunicated members and they share in the same blessings by being members of the New Covenant, but they haven't yet demonstrated the ability to communicate the essentials of faith. When children are able to self examine themselves and communicate the essentials, they become communicable members (no longer children) and may access the communion table.

 

God bless,

William

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William so if I were to be in a service where the Lords Super was being served or celebrated or whst ever its called in your church could I be welcomed to partake?

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6 minutes ago, Just Mike said:

William so if I were to be in a service where the Lords Super was being served or celebrated or whst ever its called in your church could I be welcomed to partake?

Yes, considering that you're quite capable of self examination, have been baptized (Trinitarian) into the New Covenant, and are in good standing with a bible believing church.

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Just now, William said:

Yes.

Thanks, I thought so. 

 

What bothers me is parents who allow very small children to partake. I am thinking these small kids think its a snack. Our pastor is very open that this is for believers in a relationship with Christ,  they have no hidden sins and a right standing with our members and those outside our church/

 

Over the years I have always been a pastor of open Communion. However as I think about it closed Communion looks good as well. Perhaps with just a service where only members are present, it might be a more somber service with Holiness. Something like that I would be in favor of.

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