Not even ‘Likeminded sister churches’ or ‘likeminded brethren’ should share communion.

The communion service is frequently used as a tool to promote so-called evangelical unity, in which Protestants and Roman Catholics get together for shared communion services. On a fundamental level, not only does this completely jar with the correct definition of the church as already outlined in previous articles, but moreover, it is especially important to note that ecumenicalism is nothing more than a strategy invented by Catholicism to induce Protestants and non-conformists to convert to Catholicism. In all ecumenical ventures involving Roman Catholicism, it is noticeable that it is always the Catholics who call the tune and set the terms of the merger. At ‘interfaith’ communion services, the Catholics hardly bend one jot or tittle of their liturgy and process, and it is always the unwitting Protestants who find themselves partaking in a Catholic mass, rather than Catholics being enticed away from papal liturgy.

As an additional extension of this long-term Roman Catholic strategy, lower key shared communion services between solely Protestant groups (Anglican, Methodist, Episcopalian, Baptist, Presbyterian, and divers free evangelical fellowships) at regional and local levels are also encouraged. This is always taught and perceived by the Protestants concerned as a positive exercise in ‘discarding our differences as fellow Protestants’, but in reality, it is simply a part of the wider Roman Catholic ruse to fuse the many strands of Protestantism into a more manageable united creed which can eventually be incorporated as one unit into the Roman Catholic order, in the same way that digestion occurs in the human body to break down the many types of bulky and diverse foodstuffs on your dinner plate into the basic final chemical synthesis required for easy absorption into the human bloodstream to feed the body. Ecumenicalism at a purely protestant level is thus simply the hoodwinking Roman Catholic digestive system at work, breaking down the unwitting opposition into manageable chunks in advance of the final smooth and defenceless absorption into the Papal cult.

Therefore, sharing communion supper with other denominations and churches is obviously a dangerous and satanically authored diversion, to be heartily avoided considering its intended end and the overall weakening of doctrinal resolve which it achieves along the way.

But can completely likeminded churches with historical ties, or neighbouring churches of very similar doctrinal persuasion, or even two Strict Baptist churches hold a ‘joint communion service’, or can dear brethren ‘in good standing’ known intimately to us from other likeminded churches not likewise share in our communion? No, they certainly cannot, and must not.

To clarify the objection, let us ask the question ‘Can Christ’s body be present and complete in a church in another locality at the same time as He is present and complete in your local church?’ The answer is yes. Because Christ said that wherever two or three are gathered, etc etc, there would He be”, the body of Christ is discretely yet wholly present in both local churches, that is, if they don’t forsake the assembling of themselves together. So holding a joint communion service would have no logical reason, no scriptural warrant, no profit whatsoever, only danger. That’s their church, and we’ve got ours. They are a separate body. A separate lump. They must formulate their own working relationship of corporate service to Christ in their locality. Christ probably has different plans for that church than for yours. Someone might say “Won’t it look a little stand-offish not to have a joint communion service? Kind of like ‘Us and Them’? Shouldn’t we make more of a show of unity, that the world may believe that God sent Jesus, according to John 17:23?” No. Because that idea is not according to John 17:23.

Jesus never commanded his churches to make any artificial show of ‘unity’ towards the outside world. We are not to pander to the unbelieving world’s idea of what the church of Jesus ought to look like! We are simply to preach the gospel.

If every church in the world simply got on with preaching the gospel, and each church looked tightly to its own affairs, and refused to compromise with doctrines of other so called religions and the tenets of science falsely so-called – Then the unbelieving world would soon see that us Christians were “one”.

J.C. Ryle said “Let your Christianity be so unmistakable, your eye so single, your heart so whole, your walk so straightforward, that all who see you may have no doubt whose you are, and whom you serve.” To the world, we may look foolish. But we confound the wise. We may look weak, but we confound the things which are mighty. Popular culture today however has put churches under immense pressure to trade in our apparent foolishness in exchange for the wisdom of this world. But if a church is worried that turning away so-called like-minded Christians from the communion table will deplete its numbers, then they should go out and evangelise to harvest a new crop of Christians to fill their church pews instead.

When I visit another church, I always refuse communion. But it is certainly not because I think I am better than them. It is simply because I am already a member of my own home church, and I take communion there. Even if I am visiting a Strict Baptist church exactly like my own church, and even if I know the pastor and all the members very well and on the best of friendly terms, I would still refuse their communion. Because I am not a part of their body, and it is my express duty to return to my own assembly as soon as possible and engage in my role as a member of Christ’s body in my own ekklesia. That is where God has placed me.

If a Strict Baptist church that you are visiting refuses you communion, you are not being judged, or castigated, or eternally ostracized from the whole of Christendom. It is simply assumed by that church that you are already in obedient and responsible membership of your own church.

Churches which wrongly hold an open communion, wrongly say of visitors “We assume he’s in good obedience with his home church, so we’ll give him communion”. But remember that the Lord’s Supper is not a sacrament. So a Christian does not need communion wherever he goes, to top up his salvation or spirituality as he travels, (as Roman Catholics think). For scripture teaches that ‘once saved, forever saved’, and no human endeavour can ever add to that. So if you are visiting another church, they don’t owe you anything. In fact, a correctly functioning Strict Baptist church operating a closed communion table should say: “Because we assume he’s in good obedience with his home church, we will not give him communion. We don’t need to, because we know he’s going to get it when he gets back to his own church”.

So, I am a member of a Strict Baptist church, but by refusing you communion when you visit my church, we are not judging you. We’re judging ourselves! It’s the business of your own church back home to judge you. We’re certainly not judging you. We don’t have time. We’ve got our own affairs to get on with here. We wouldn’t want to drag you into our affairs. We want you to enjoy your visit with us. We don’t want to drag you into a disciplinary procedure. You’re nothing to do with us, and were nothing to do with you. If you are out of fellowship with the Lord, then your own church should be dealing with you. Not us.

Thus, closed communion that is restricted to members-only is not an exclusion of committed believers. Rather it is the opposite, in that it is an invitation to uncommitted believers to become more committed believers, more committed to responsible participation in a local assembly of the body of Christ. More committed to our assembly, or to some other assembly closer to your home.

We exclude you because we want you to want it more. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, fasting makes the body hunger, being out of communion should make you want to be in communion, and should make you examine yourself while you are away from your home church… …and then determine to go home and get involved again where God has placed you.

An invitation to the Lord’s Supper is not something we give away cheap. Why is that so hard to understand? Jesus gave His very life to procure salvation for us, and yet people expect churches to dish out the remembrance elements of that to every Tom Dick and Harry who comes in the door? No way. You don’t get into the privileges of the Church that easily. You should either take this seriously, or else go away again, and don’t come back until you are truly hungry and thirsty enough for a part in the body of Christ to play by the rules next time. We’ll be waiting. How important is your salvation to you? The prescribed self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:27-28) prior to joining in the communion supper is designed to clarify that to you.



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