These articles are about the historically, and more importantly, scripturally authentic church practice known as Closed Communion. The practice is also known as ‘Restricted Communion’, and it is from the word ‘restricted’ that ‘Strict Baptist’ churches take their title.

Although the casual or unsaved visitor to a Strict Baptist church may indeed find the congregation rather stern, dull or strange at first meeting, the designation ‘strict’ has nothing to do with any such behaviour or dress code which might exist in such a church.

Rather, it refers specifically and solely to the scripturally prescribed practice of restricting participation in the communion service to a specifically limited subset of the population. Neither does ‘Strict Baptist’ refer to a denomination, as does, say ‘United Reformed’, or ‘Baptist Union’. Instead, ‘Strict Baptist’ is simply a title describing the practice adhered to within the fellowship which bears its name.

In fact, a characteristic inherent to and logically springing from the doctrine of restricted (closed) communion is that even though Strict Baptist churches will often join associations so named, this is only for fellowship or joint projects with like-minded churches, and they never unite under a centralised hierarchical denominational authority, but instead retain complete autonomy. Nor should they share a communion table with other Strict Baptist churches, for were they to do so, they would obviously be committing a nonsensical paradox.


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