(d) It tends to do away with all discipline. When Christians offend, the church must withdraw its fellowship from them. But upon the principle of open communion, such withdrawal is impossible, since the Lord?s Supper, the highest expression of church fellowship, is open to every person who regards himself as a Christian.
H. F. Colby: ?Ought we to acknowledge that evangelical Pedobaptists are qualified to partake of the Lord?s Supper? We are ready to admit them on precisely the same terms on which we admit ourselves. Our communion bars come to be a protest, but from no plan of ours. They become a protest merely as every act of loyalty to truth becomes a protest against error.? Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, book 2, section 7 (A. D. about
250) ? ?But if they [those who have been convicted of wickedness] afterwards repent and turn from their error, then we receive them as we receive the heathen, when they wish to repent, into the church indeed to hear the word but do not receive them to communion until they have received the seal of baptism and are made complete Christians.?
(e) It tends to do away with the visible church altogether for no visible church is possible unless some sign of membership is required. In addition to the signs of membership in the invisible church, open communion logically leads to open church membership. A church membership open to all, without reference to the qualifications required in Scripture or without examination on the part of the church as to the existence of these qualifications in those who unite with it, is virtually an identification of the church with the world. Without protest from scripturally constituted bodies, this would finally result in its actual extinction.
Dr. Walcott Calkins, In Andover Review: ?It has never been denied that the Puritan way of maintaining the purity and doctrinal soundness of the churches is to secure a soundly converted membership. There is one denomination of Puritans that has never deviated a hair?s breadth from this way. The Baptists have always insisted that regenerate persons only, should receive the sacraments of the church. And they have depended absolutely upon this provision for the purity and doctrinal soundness of their churches.?
At the Free Will Baptist Convention at Providence, Oct. 1874, the question came up of admitting Pedobaptists to membership. This was disposed of by resolving that ?Christian baptism is a personal act of public consecration to Christ and that believers baptism and immersion alone, as baptism, are fundamental principles of the denomination.? In
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