Info

Mr. Spurgeon, as we have seen, permitted non-baptized persons temporarily to partake of the Lord?s Supper unchallenged but if there appeared a disposition to make participation habitual, one of the deacons in a private interview explained Baptist doctrine and urged the duty of baptism. If this advice was not taken, participation in the Lord?s Supper naturally ceased. Dr. P. S. Henson proposes a middle path between open and closed communion, as follows, ?Preach and urge faith in Jesus and obedience to him. Leave choice with participants themselves. It is not wise to set up a judgment seat at the Lord?s table. Always preach the Scriptural order, which is 1. Faith in Jesus; 2. Obedience in Baptism; 3. Observance of the Lord?s Supper.? J. B. Thomas: ?Objections to strict communion come with an ill grace from Pedobaptists who withhold communion from their own baptized, whom they have forcibly made quasi-members in spite of the only protest they are capable of offering and whom they have retained as subjects of discipline without their consent.?

A.H. Strong, Cleveland Sermon on Our Denominational Outlook, May 19, 1904 ? ?If I am asked whether Baptists still hold to restricted communion, I answer that our principle has not changed but that many of us apply the principle in a different manner from that of our fathers. We believe that Baptism logically precedes the Lord?s Supper, as birth precedes the taking of nourishment and regeneration precedes sanctification. We believe that the order of the ordinances is an important point of Christian doctrine and itself teaches Christian doctrine. Hence we proclaim it and adhere to it in our preaching and our practice. But we do not turn the Lord?s Supper into a judgment-seat or turn the officers of the church into detectives. We teach the truth and expect that the truth will win its way. We are courteous to those who come among us and expect that they in turn will have the courtesy to respect our convictions and to act accordingly. But there is danger here that we may break from our moorings and drift into indifferentism with regard to the ordinances. The recent advocacy of open church membership is but the logical consequence of a previous concession of open communion. I am persuaded that this new doctrine is confined to very few among us. The remedy for this false liberalism is to be found in that same Christ who solves for us all other problems. It is this Christ who sets the solitary in families, and who makes of one every nation that dwells on the face of the earth. Christian denominations are at least temporarily his appointment. Loyalty to the body, which seems to us best to represent his truth, is also loyalty to him. Love for Christ does not involve the surrender of the ties of family or nation or denomination but only consecrates and ennobles them.

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment