Are only baptized persons qualified for church membership and admission to the Lord’s Supper?

The above question addresses the issue raised in the second point of my last post. Are different understandings of baptism important enough to determine whether Christians can join together in membership to a local congregation? If we understand the term “baptism” as only properly referring to the immersion of believers, then I think the answer must be, “yes.” As Dr. Greg Wills explains:

My answer to this question [the title of this post] is “yes.” The only person whom we ought to admit to the Lord’s table is the one who is truly baptized, one who has obeyed the biblical command of baptism.

The question before us is, What about those who profess faith? Are we to invite all persons who profess faith to the table and to church membership or only those who profess faith and have been biblically baptized, that is, immersion upon a profession of faith? Why should we deny unbaptized persons church membership and communion? Well, the basic answer, as I see it, is that they are in disobedience. They have not yet obeyed the first command of Christian discipleship, which is to be baptized.

Disobedience that is unknowing and unintentional is not as bad as disobedience that is high-handed and intentional. The Lord Jesus makes this distinction. [I emailed Dr. Wills asking for Scriptural support of these last two statements, and he responded referencing Jesus’ teaching in Luke 12:47-48 as well as the Old Testament teaching found in Leviticus 5:17 and Numbers 15:27-30.] The fact that disobedience is unintentional and sincere does not turn disobedience into obedience. Only the strangest and most perverted logic can take sincere disobedience and say that because it is sincere, it is obedience. I am glad that people who have been sprinkled or poured are sincerely trying to obey God’s command to be baptized. But I must warn them that they are yet in disobedience. Unbaptized does not mean unbelieving, but a person’s belief that he is baptized does not change the character of the divine command.

This issue is not new in Baptist life, but is one that was faced by the first generation of Calvinistic Baptists in England. In 1681 William Kiffin published A Sober Discourse of Right Church Communion. This work was a response to the errors of John Bunyan, who himself held to believers’ baptism, but argued that those who held to other opinions concerning baptism should not be denied church membership or participation in the Lord’s Supper. Kiffin noted the consistent example of the apostles in baptizing those coming to faith before admitting them to the Lord’s Supper. He cited the biblical mandate from II Thess. 3:6 to withdraw from disorderly persons, and noted that those who did not submit to proper baptism were “disorderly.” Kiffin observed that Bunyan had no command or example from Scripture for letting anyone partake in the Lord’s Supper without baptism, and he asserted that Bunyan’s practice negated the importance of the command to be baptized.

It is important for Baptists to understand that the very same logic whereby we come to our conviction concerning believers’ baptism also yields the assertion that only properly baptized persons can be admitted to church membership and the Lord’s Table. Baptists reject paedo-baptism because we find no command or example in Scripture for infants (or anyone who has not made a credible profession of faith in Christ) to be baptized. Neither do we find command or example of anyone being admitted into church communion without obeying “the first command of Christian discipleship, which is to be baptized.”

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19 Comments on “Are only baptized persons qualified for church membership and admission to the Lord’s Supper?”


  1. It is important to take note that the Bible does not say “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    Teaching them to observe THE LORD’S SUPPER THAT I have commanded you”

    It says “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe ALL THINGS whatsoever I have commanded you”

    Therefore, one cannot “shrink” Christ’s commands down to “one” thing.

    Accordingly, if one wishes to prove closed communion from the “order” that Christ gave, then one must also [if one is to be consistent] reject any nonimmersed Christian from being taught the rest of Christ’s commandments as well in the context of the local church.

    In other words, if they have not been immersed, they must NOT be taught to observe the sermon on the mount, Christ’s commands for the family in the Pauline epistles, etc.

    Also, of one wants to prove closed communion from the practice of the early church, then one must also [if one is to be consistent] practice these things that the early church practiced as well:

    Acts 2:44-45. “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.”


  2. Let me make one thing clear. What I mean by the context of the local church is not, for example, a mere sprinkled Presbyterian or Methodist who has joined a Baptist church, but a mere sprinkled Presbyterian or Methodist who has visited a Baptist church.

    It seems to me that consistency demands [for the closed communion advocate who seeks to prove his case from the order of Matt. 28:19-20] that these be asked to leave the church service in order that they not observe any of Christ’s commands taught from the pulpit since they have not been immersed yet.

  3. Barry Says:

    “…asked to leave the church service in order that they not observe any of Christ’s commands…”

    Who are you trying to kid?

    If I had someone from a church throw that at me, I’d smile and say “bye”.

    I’d have more reverance for someone sitting on a tree stump with a bible in their hand reading it than I would for that church’s service –or your view of such protocol.


  4. Barry,

    Let me be clear. I am not advocating closed communion.

    I am challenging the consistency of those who do.


  5. Barry,

    Just to make it extra clear. I am a Baptist pastor and I do not make it a practice to seek out any nonimmersed Christians at the service and tell them to leave.

  6. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    BR-

    You have touched the third rail of Baptistism, or the Reformation for that matter. In the Baptist Confessions in general and the WCF we see only two ordinances. However, as you pointed out, the commands are more extensive as to the ordering of the worship in the church. Particularly absent from most consideration is as you pointed out, also, that ordinances, commanded keepings, such as are mentioned in the great commission, are far broader than the two. And, strangely lacking in the commission is the Supper.

    The conundrum enters in as Sam Waldron points out on p. 367 of his A Modern Expostion of the 1689 BCoF, that the governing principle of the Supper and who should take it is regulated by the individual, 1 Corinthians 11:25-28, specifically,

    Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

    And also alludes to the fact that the Supper was not denied Judas.

    But, elsewhere, each church has a responsibility to govern. Exclusion from communion, then must proceed upon the lines of church discipline. To that effect, communicants can only be disciplined if they are members of the local assembly. Therefore, visitors, are under no obligation, nor can the local church accepting the confessor into fellowship hold them to such obligation. If accepting a stranger into fellowship, that is as a member of the body universal, then the Supper cannot be denied them on the grounds of excummunication, by definition, and through recognition of the law of local rule, and the sense of autonomy and nonencumberance. Excommunication, or the denial of the cup based upon discipline is the only means that a church has of excluding those from within and under its authority to govern. But, since those from without are not subject to the discipline of the local church, the only means of exclusion of visitors is through self- examination.

    Now, to the point that a person joins theirself to a local congregation or organization in covenant, it would be the covenant, that is the governing principles and agreed upon precepts and doctrines of that local assembly, that would govern whether or not a person not fits a definition of a rightly baptized partaker in the Supper.

    The sense of local authonomy being what it is in the SBC, it is unconscionable that any in the SBC would try to force their opinions on “free thinker” autonomous congregations or groups. None of the organs or portions of any kind of the SBC constitute the church, and therefore they cannot regulate as a church. They may construct their own by laws to govern their function, their own confessions of faith, but not one of the SBC departments or extensions, or local bodies, have the right to unilaterally, or systemically order doctrine outside the propriety of their own province.

    Under the BFM there is no such thing as a minimalist postition. Each congregation or organization is free to construct its own confession of faith and to draft its own covenantal membership by-laws. Even though the BFM states unequivocably that baptism is by immersion, it disqualifies itself as an impositional authority elsewhere. There is no such thing then, in the SBC, as a doctrine of baptism by immersion being the rule by which exlusion from the Supper can be weighed against.

    It is still my opinion that as to governance, the Supper locally, should be examined closely. It may be, when all is layed out, that close communion is best for the sake of peace and discipline. I am not settled upon that, however, obviously.

  7. Barry Says:

    There seems to be a somewhat nebulous connection between the service and the communion in this thread. There shouldn’t be. Few are those of any movement who’s understanding isn’t entirely in synch with the protocol of the church. There are requirements for taking communion in the Christian faith. There are no such requirements for being welcomed with open arms into a church. And, that holds for Protestant, Catholic and Jewish places of worship. I’ve been in all three, and the welcome is the same.

  8. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    There seems to be a somewhat nebulous connection between the service and the communion in this thread.

    The word communion comes to us from the word koinonia, it litterally means a common union. Our common union is not the local church membership, nor affilliation with an association, convention or denomination. It is common union with Christ. Its expression is the Supper in which we partake in the body, we being his body. Proper discernment of the body is necessary for partaking. Not understanding who the body is, that is who our brothers and sisters are in Christ is of primary importance. Therefore, there are three aspects immediately that we can discern about the body. First it is his, second, it is each individual’s individually, and third it is each individual’s corporately. The teaching most clearly enunciated on the ordinance comes to us from the books of Corinthians, and the centrality of the message is that the Corinthians are self lovers pushing ahead of one another, gluttons, drunk on themselves. To which Paul cautions them that they are sick and dying because they do not discern the body of Christ correctly.

    So there is no nebulous connection. It is pertinent. Because the question that is being asked is if immersion is the dividing line of fellowship. The word fellowship, again is that word, koinonia. Variations of which speak of our being in unity with one another and with Christ. Is immersion then the dividing line of who can partake in the common union with Christ? And, if we make it that, then we cannot have fellowship with any who do not walk according to the traditions (that is the doctrines) handed down to us in Scripture, because it is those very doctrines that inform us as to whom our brother is.

    BR’s point- Right baptism, if it is indeed the door of admission to the fellowship of the benefits of the Table, that is the mediated benefits of Christ, then wrong baptism necessarily excludes the many who have not been baptized correctly (both mode, and symbol being submersion by duely ordained authority under the authority of a rightly organized church), from those benefits. Those benefits include the right hand of fellowship, teaching, alms and burden sharing, et cetera…

    There are requirements for taking communion in the Christian faith.

    Exactly what is under discussion, what are those requirements?

    There are no such requirements for being welcomed with open arms into a church.

    But, Paul taught Timothy

    Avoid such people.

    I would recommend to you both Timothy and Titus. Yes there are requirements when it comes to those professing faith. Their doctrine must be sound. That however, is the question here. Is it necessarily sound to deny the communion based upon Scripture, and if so what Scripture? And, do the reasonings extend beyond just the serving of the Supper, or, do those Scriptures, if used to exclude, deny also the right hand of fellowship?

    And, that holds for Protestant, Catholic and Jewish places of worship. I’ve been in all three, and the welcome is the same.

    First of all Barry, we are not Catholic precisely because of broken fellowship. It is their definition of the Supper that is one of the primary points of our protestation. And, though you might experience openness as a visitor, they consider you a separated brother, one in sin, and ineligible to take Communion. Though you might have felt welcomed, you were not welcome, if indeed you are protestant and they are not apostate. There are many other reasons that we are not Catholic, among them is that they, as our unconverted Jewish neighbors believe in instrumentalism, or sacramentalism. To the Catholic the Mass is like circumcision, and without circumcision, no one is welcome in a Jewish synagogue. It is the sacrifice of the Mass which is like the sacrifices of the Temple, that among Christians Paul said was another Gospel, and is anthema. We must test, as Paul said, their doctrine, Galatians 1:9. And, if they did not test yours, how would you, let alone they, know that you were in vital union with Christ? Which is precisely why both mode and symbol is critical for understanding. This rift within Baptistism goes back perhaps as early as the late 1500’s and is still unsettled, obviously.

  9. Howard Says:

    Sam Waldron posted on this very subject some time ago.

    Read here.

  10. Andrew Says:

    Thomas,

    Re: “It may be, when all is layed out, that close communion is best for the sake of peace and discipline.”

    -This is my belief.

    BR,

    -I would not take the Great Commission as applicable, except to demonstrate that baptism is “the first command of Christian discipleship.” I would look to the apostolic example and the teaching of the NT that points to all members of the church being baptized. I would also note that every Christian tradition has historically agreed that only those who have been baptized are to be admitted to the Lord’s Supper. Those in paedo-baptist congregations do not believe that the unbaptized should partake of this ordinance. Likewise, the argument is that Baptists should not invite the unbaptized to partake of this ordinance. So the question, once again, is, “what is baptism, biblically defined?”


  11. Andrew,

    You said “I would look to the apostolic example and the teaching of the NT that points to all members of the church being baptized.”

    I agree. However, I think they did not face the challenge we face today of Christians having different interpretations as to what Baptism is [with the possible exception of those being baptized for the dead]. So, if I am correct, then it seems to me that we are faced with an issue the Bible does not “particularly” address–meaning Paul does not take this up as a challenge to answer in one of his epistles for example.

    Another issue to think about is the one Grudem brings up–the idea of sending the message to Christians that have not been immersed [through not allowing them to partake of communion] that they are not Christians in relation to what Paul has to say in Corinthians.

    On the issue of the great commision I understand that you do not, but Dagg does and so does Malcom Yarnell if I am not mistaken.

    I also believe you are right about every Christian tradition.

    In my opinion, the best way to bring Christians together on the baptism issue [and I understand you may not like what I am about to say] is for the nonexegetical foundations of the covenant framework [not the Doctrines of Grace within that framework] to be exposed.

    I am aware of the book charging Dispensationalism [another system I disagree with] of dividing the people of God.

    However, in my opinion covenant theology divides as well–particularly on the issue of baptism.

    If the paedo-baptist and credo-baptist covenantal believers are going to go back and forth on which system is more “consistent”, then I doubt much progress will be made.

    Both have weighty traditions with weighty theologians on both sides.

    I do think it will probably make some paedo-baptists move toward the position that their unbelieving covenant children can partake of the Lord’s Supper though.


  12. Andrew,

    Since the book is entitled “Dispensationalism: Rightly Dividing the People of God?” [with that question mark], then perhaps I should have said “questioning” instead of “charging” in my comment above.

  13. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Thanks Howard, that was a good read. Now, you have forced me to go and read the rest of what Waldron said about it 8)

  14. genembridges Says:

    Oh, this is fun. I disagree.

    1. I agree with Benji. An appeal to the Great Commission text proves too much.
    2. The intention of the text is not to lay out a specific order. Rather, it’s simply a command to do two things: baptize and teach.
    3. Note that the command is not “baptize, teach, and administer the Lord’s Supper.” Note the command is not for any person to be baptized to be saved.

    So, the appeal to Matt. 28 proves either too much or too little.

    The tradition of the subapostolic church was to separate catechumenates for upwards of 3 years. If we’re going to follow their practices, we should also do that. We should also immerse them 3 times. We should also pray with our hands up in the air. We should also meet on Sundays at sunrise for about 3 to 5 hours. We should also build our churches with large tables in the center and seat everybody around them. So, appealing to subapostolic tradition proves too much.

    We’re actually left with the examples in Scripture. In Scripture, we agree there was no infant baptism. So, the example is that nobody who took the elements was unbaptized. But commands and examples aren’t the same. Indeed, we don’t choose our deacons by lot. We don’t do that, because we have more specific commands from which to draw. This isn’t so with the Lord’s Table.

    That said, we need to stop talking past Presbyterians and others on this. They do not, as rule, allow unbaptized persons to partake of the Table either. Our problem with them on baptism is not that they are not baptized at all, but that they are improperly baptized. These are not convertible principles.

    Also, the Lord’s Table is self selecting. Unless, Andrew, you’re going to hand out communion tokens, you’ve got a problem.

    Dr. Kostenberger, I believe, notes that John’s baptism was “prospective,” that is to say, it’s purpose was, according to Scripture itself, intended to reveal the Messiah to Israel (John 1.31). It was Christological in orientation, not an end to itself.

    In Acts 2, Peter tells them to repent and be baptized? Why would this be important? Simply, baptism – an act that was Christological in orientation under John the Baptist’s ministry – now took on a retrospective orientation. Baptism still has a Christological orientation. It is, in essence, depicted as their public profession of faith.

    When Paul speaks of people “confessing with their mouth ‘Jesus is Lord'” this would be a typical baptismal creed. The accent here is not on baptism as an instrumental cause but on their faith in publicly professing Christ – in Acts 2 – in the heart of the very city in which Jesus had just weeks beforehand been crucified, in full view of the religious authorities who immediately begin trying to persecute them.

    However, the next baptismal narrative takes place in Samaria. What happens? A group is baptized, and the first false professor, Simon Magus, is included. Later, he is put out of the church by Peter, the first example of church discipline. I would also note that the subapostolic church, which was already dealing with the rise of false teachers from the previous generation (which we read about in the New Testament itself and now in their own, came to separate baptism from a profession of faith often for this very reason. They also withheld the Lord’s Table from the catechumenate.

    The next narrative concerns the Ethiopian Eunuch. He is baptized upon profession too. I would say this is not normative, since there was nobody else to baptize him and he was heading far from the reach of the new Way at that time.

    Then we have the baptism of Cornelius and his household. Note that here, the sign of the Spirit is given prior to their baptism, a thing which did not occur in Samaria.

    By the way, I don’t believe baptism is the sign of the covenant. It’s the sign of regeneration, and a covenant sign. However, the explicit sign of the covenant is the Lord’s Supper itself, and that by Dominical instruction.

    One can so fence the table that it results in little more than control freakery. I have in my library a history of the Charleston Presbytery of the Southern Presbyterians detailing the giving of communion tokens in the Antebellum period in lurid detail. This flies in the face of Scripture that, while I would agree licenses the elders of the church to fence the table by warning, does not license them to give out “communion tokens” of any kind. The Table, when we gather, is self-selecting. Scripture says “let each man…” It does not say, “You shall keep those making a credible profession but not baptized by immersion” away. That said, I believe that each local church should have its own say; it should not, in this matter, force its opinion on another. I’ll also add here that the best way to fence the Table is to know your members and visitors and practice church discipline. No one should be cut off from the means of grace who is not under discipline, unless they are an unbeliever and have no way to say, “I know Christ died for me and I have appropriated His benefits by faith in Him alone.” The job of the elder is to warn the people and equip the people, not hand out passes to the meal like tickets or, worse, put them under house arrest. Such actions make the eldership a paternalistic institution that varies little from that of Roman Catholic priests who hand out the wafer and keep the host, literally, under lock and key. As Steve said in August,and I second,

    Since communion is a covenant sign, the only communicants should (ideally) be members of the covenant community. It would therefore be wrong for a pastor to knowingly administer communion to an open unbeliever.

    However, one can easily get carried away with policing the communion rail. Various denominations begin to practice closed communion, as if each denomination held the patent to the Lord’s Supper.

    And some of them become so petrified at the prospect of administering communion to the wrong person that they rarely perform communion, and put members through a screening process every time communion is scheduled. The pastor has to interview every member and issue a communion token to show that this member is preapproved to partake of communion.

    All of this is well-intentioned, but it’s also an exercise in control-freakery. An otherwise valid principle as been overrefined to the point of absurdity, under the assumption that it’s better if no one rightly takes communion for fear one person will slip through the barricade and wrongly take communion.

    It also assumes a very paternalistic polity, in which the elders are the official grown-ups while the laity is reduced to the rank of perpetual minors, in a state of diminished responsibility. The laity is no longer answerable for its actions. Rather, laymen are kept under curfew. They can only go outside with an ecclesiastical chaperon to escort them and keep them out of trouble.

    Yet the true job of pastors is to equip the laity, and not to keep them under house arrest. Not only does this attitude keep the laity in a state of arrested spiritual and intellectual development, but it also has a corrupting influence on the clergy, for the clergy are by no means impeccable or infallible. Accountability is a two-way street.

    Within the trajectory of Baptist history, it is true that our forefathers often practiced close or closed communion. Why? Because they lived in a time of declension in the churches at large. Professor baptism was, therefore, for them, what it was for those gathered in Jerusalem on Pentecost. However, today, I would argue that such baptism is commonplace, so commonplace that it no longer has that significance. Rather, it’s significance is more like the Paedobaptism that my Baptist forefathers witnessed.

    Given that we know they view church attendance is highly indicative of the state of the heart, surely they would have much to say about the recidivism rate among the young people in SBC churches, not to mention the fact that less than half the “membership” of the SBC shows up to church on Sunday.

    1. What then of the Lord’s Table? Should we keep those making professions of faith but unbaptized from the Table? Baptist tradition says “Yes.” I disagree. Why? In short: The accent of the NT is not on baptism – but the profession of faith itself, even in Acts 2. Baptism was not simply a sign it was identical to their public profession. If a person has made a public profession of faith, then there is no reason to bar the from the Table, particularly if they affirm Paedobaptism and can exegetically defend it. In the Corinthian letter, Paul’s admonitions regarding what made them “unworthy” never say a word about their baptismal status. If we’re going to say that Paedobaptized persons are “in sin” and bar them from the Table, we should start issuing communion tokens to every member and every potential visitor, for we can’t very well select infant baptism and not other sins.

  15. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Thanks gene, very nicely done!

    Within the trajectory of Baptist history, it is true that our forefathers often practiced close or closed communion. Why? Because they lived in a time of declension in the churches at large. Professor baptism was, therefore, for them, what it was for those gathered in Jerusalem on Pentecost. However, today, I would argue that such baptism is commonplace, so commonplace that it no longer has that significance. Rather, it’s significance is more like the Paedobaptism that my Baptist forefathers witnessed.

    I think this is the central issue. How is it that we react, construct bylaws, which a generation or so down the line pass from tradition, no matter the reason for their institution, to doctrinal law in disregard of the rest of history or of Scripture?. As I have argued before, the adoption of resolututions made by some group, some where, when it finds populist legs, eventually becomes defining policy. We find ourselves entrapped by traditionalism so subtly that we scarce notice it, and will defend it to the death irrespective of its fallacies or currency.

    I stated:

    It may be, when all is layed out, that close communion is best for the sake of peace and discipline.

    Because, local autonomy being what it is in the SBC, and the entrenched reactionary self-defense default, the question should be answered within the local covenant. That however, is really insufficient, for as gene has pointed out, baptism is not the focus, Christ is, and he is as portrayed in the Communion which is in reality the point at which we find fellowship, communion in the covenant. That is why I proposed that Matthew 18 principles would need to be carried out if we are going to deny the Table. Why? Because we are saying of the illicitly baptised or the unbaptised, that they are in sin. It is one thing if a person rejected the clear teaching of Scripture, it is another if the person is convinced that the Scripture teaches otherwise. And here is where we break down. We hold our local autonomy dearly close, but by rejecting a professing believer, what we are saying is that our government has binding authority outside the local covenant. But, it is our profession of faith in Christ, and not our Confessionally bound baptism that extends our mutual fellowship beyond the walls of the local church. Fellowship is met in the Supper. That curious clause that Paul inserts:

    Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

    It is precisely the divisionism that Paul is deriding in the Corinthians:

    I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

    Same with John:

    I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.

    Now to what I said. It may be best to close communion, but, the means by which that is done would entail, not refusing fellowship. To eliminate offense that might be taken by any party, close communion would then need to proceed upon the basis of a closed meeting. Which would be bizarre since nothing of that kind appears in Scripture anywhere. It would require that a local body not offer the Supper publically. The justification for such a thing though would not be out of a position of liberty however, but would fall within that category of the weaker brother. As gene also mention, it would require a referee mentality, overseen out of fear.

    Paul’s prescription then is the rule:

    Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

    I am still working through these issues, so where I have appeared contradictory, grant me the grace in my confusion.

    Gene pointed out a very salient point. The fact is that for all of our braggadocio, the Southern Baptist tradition now no longer really knows the foundations upon which it was established. The need for clear instruction of the catecumen so that with clear conscience he may participate in the ordinances is as Tom Ascol and others point out, perhaps the greatest need today.


  16. re: “Baptism was not simply a sign it was identical to their public profession. If a person has made a public profession of faith, then there is no reason to bar the from the Table,”

    -You point out that in the biblical narrative, baptism is identical to the public profession, then you separate baptism from the public profession.

    re: “particularly if they affirm Paedobaptism and can exegetically defend it.”

    -This is the entire issue. They cannot exegetically defend it. They cannot exegetically defend infant baptism due to the very fact that, as you point out, baptism is a “sign of regeneration.” Furthermore, baptism is closely tied with the immediate fruits of regeneration- personal repentance and faith.

    re: “In the Corinthian letter, Paul’s admonitions regarding what made them “unworthy” never say a word about their baptismal status.”

    -This is, I believe, due to the fact that the error of paedobaptism had not yet arisen. In such an environment it would be assumed that all church members were truly baptized.

    re: ” If we’re going to say that Paedobaptized persons are “in sin” and bar them from the Table, we should start issuing communion tokens to every member and every potential visitor, for we can’t very well select infant baptism and not other sins.”

    -This does not follow. The table is fenced through the teaching and admonishment of the church

  17. Chris L Says:

    The short answer is YES. Only baptized people are qualified for communion. I thought evrybody knew that.

  18. Lisa Nunley Says:

    It is important to our family not to enable a false assurance in our children.

    Have they carefully weighed the cost of following Christ?
    Have they manifested evidence of genuine salvation?

    Though we have seen evidence of Christ in these older boys, as well as in one of their sisters who is now 6, the day they prayerfully make the decision to be baptized is the day they will take their first communion. That is our preference because we feel, even though they have professed to know God with their lips and there is evidence in their life, they must first take the steps to be baptized (a public profession of repentance and faith) before they partake of the seriousness of the Lord’s Supper wherein they have a faith that confesses, discerns, remembers, and proclaims the body of Christ while partaking. All of these things boil down to obedience and submission to God’s command out of love for the one who mercifully and willingly not only sacrificed His life but rose again.

    Above is actually an excerpt from a post I wrote HERE


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