Credo-Baptism Answers Does Your Baptist Church Acknowledge Paedobaptism as Valid for Membership?

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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Baptists would not call this open communion, but fenced or guarded communion. The idea is that agreement on the topic of baptism is necessary to fellowship together as members of the same local church, but not required to call someone a brother in Christ. Therefore if a Presbyterian for example we’re visiting, we wouldn’t feel the need to exclude them from the table even though we would exclude them from membership.
This is exactly how we in my church view this discussion, as see far more important one relationship to Jesus than mode of Baptism in regards to who can take Communion.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Our church is similar to many here in that we would require immersion before membership, but gladly extend the Table to visiting Presbyterians. The Table is fenced by the statement that if one is born again, and a member in good standing at another Bible-believing church, they are welcome to partake. It is laid on the conscience, then, of the paedobaptized person to examine himself whether he be in the faith. If he lies, he does not lie to men, but to the Holy Spirit. Externally we can accept that his church, which watches over his soul, regards him a member there.
There is no inconsistency in allowing visitors to partake with less examination than it takes to have members--the elders have a charge to watch for the souls of members, and to fence the membership by knowing the members and seeing their testimony--but they have less responsibility with visitors who are under care elsewhere, and perhaps only passing through that day never to be seen again. I have partaken, while travelling, of the Lord's Supper at many paedobaptistic churches (OPC, RCUS, CRC, etc) who accepted my membership elsewhere, and I was most glad to commune with them, so it would be churlish in the extreme to have them barred from the communion at my church when they were passing through.
How would you view say a free will gospel Baptist taking Communion? They had believers Baptism, and yet deny Càlvinism?
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
Pastor Bill,

Thank you for participating in this thread.

In your first sentence are you referring to Dachaser's characterization of who his church admits to the Lord's table (open communion)? I wasn't entirely sure where to trace this comment back to.

With regards to baptism being necessary to fellowship in the same church, but not required to call someone a brother in Christ, I couldn't agree more with you. However, when talking about admitting someone to the Lord's table baptism is considered a prerequisite (Baptist Faith & Message 2000, Art. 7).

In the scenario you provided of not excluding a visiting Presbyterian from participating in communion would your view change if that one-time visitor became a regular attendee at your church and held fast to the validity of his/her infant baptism?
We require Baptism in order to receive the Lord’s Supper because we believe that the table should be reserved for only those who profess Christ and are not in open disobedience to him. If a person does not profess Christ, then obviously they are not permitted to come to the table, and if someone does profess Christ and but has not been baptized, then this would mean they are in open disobedience and thus also disqualified.

The reason we would allow someone who professes Christ and was baptized as an infant to partake is because we understand that they have been in obedience to Christ as they understand it and are thus not in open disobedience. However we would not allow them to become a member because disagreement over such an issue, while not affecting salvation, could bring serious division into the church.

In terms of someone who was visiting long term, such an occasion would be irregular and would have to be decided by the elders.
 

B.L. McDonald

Puritan Board Freshman
Greetings All,

John L. Dagg penned a relevant chapter in his Manual of Church Order, which I commend to all, but especially to those who do not hold to closed-communion. See Section III and Section IV of Chapter V here.

Have a joyful evening friends!
 
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