(b) Obedience to this command is not an individual act but is the joint act of many.
(c) The regular observance of the Lord?s Supper cannot be secured nor the qualifications of persons desiring to participate in it are scrutinized, unless some distinct organized body is charged with this responsibility.
(d) The only organized body known to the New Testament is the local church, and this is the only body of any sort, competent to have charge of the ordinances. The invisible church has no officers.
(e) The New Testament accounts indicate that the Lord?s Supper was observed only at regular appointed meetings of local churches and was observed by these churches as regularly organized bodies.
(f) Since the duty of examining the qualifications of candidates for baptism and for membership is vested in the local church and is essential to its distinct existence, the analogy of the ordinances would lead us to believe that the scrutiny of qualifications for participation in the Lord?s Supper rests with the same body.
(g) Care should be shown that only proper persons are admitted to the ordinances, not by open or forcible debarring of the unworthy at the time of the celebration, but by previous public instruction of the congregation and if needful, in the case of persistent offenders, by subsequent private and friendly admonition.
?What is everybody?s business is nobody?s business.? If there be any power of effective scrutiny, it must be lodged in the local church. The minister is not to administer the ordinance of the Lord?s Supper at his own option any more than the ordinance of Baptism. He is simply the organ of the church. He is to follow the rules of the church as to invitations and as to the mode of celebrating the ordinance and of course, instructing the church as to the order of the New Testament. In the case of sick members who desire to communicate, Brethren may be deputed to hold a special meeting of the church at the private house or sick room and then only may the pastor officiate. If an invitation to the Communion is given, it may well be in the following form: ?Members in good standing of other churches of like faith and practice are cordially invited to partake with us.? But since the comity of Baptist churches is universally acknowledged, and since Baptist views with regard to the ordinances are so generally understood, it should be taken for granted that all proper persons will be welcome even If no invitation of any sort is given.
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