Carne Levare

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Closed Communion

Posted by Remy on April 9, 2009

Feed my lambs 

To affirm closed communion is to go whoring for the old covenant.  Churches that practice it have a higher standard than Jesus.

Tend my sheep

In the old world Israel was the priestly nation and drew near to Jesus on behalf of all believers. Godfearers not in the priestly people were not allowed to go before His presence. This hiearchy of second class citizens -while necessary then- has been done away with in Christ Jesus. St. Peter was rebuked for just this sin by St. Paul.

Feed my sheep. 



16 Responses to “Closed Communion”

  1. Josh said


    Did you know that Mormons, who are not Trinitarian, deny the real presence of Christ in the elements and claim that communion renews the covenant we have made with God in our baptism?

    Further, Mormons and Presbyterians alike close the other off from the Lord’s table.

  2. Remy said

    You mean some Presbyterians, but all Romanists, and all Orthodox do not recognize the Lord’s body.

    Mormons are not only anti-Trinitarian, they are also not even Christians.

  3. Josh said


    All Christian denominations fence the table. Your church does. My church does. You’re offended that you don’t get to dictate how my church fences the table. I, on the other hand, am perfectly comfortable letting your church fence the table however it pleases. What ultimately bothers you is the math. Your church allows for self-proclaimed Christians to partake, my church allows for fewer.

    You say “closed communion” as though you were offended by this, as though your own church closed communion off from no one. You’re unwillingness to call Mormons Christians is disturbing. Why are you closing them off from your table? A Catholic or Orthodox Church might not let you partake, but they’d certainly call you a Christian.

  4. Remy said

    Mormons deny Christ Jesus is God. Either the word “Christian” means something or it doesn’t.

    For one, we don’t fence the table like you presume we do. As in, we let all baptized members of Christ Jesus partake. God will defend His own table. The principle is if they are in Christ, then the Church should feed them.

    So like I said above, if a church will not feed a child of the Lord Jesus, meaning they will not stoop as low as Jesus does, then they are whoring for the Old Covenant.

    And while I know your Logos training dictates you argue this way, your use of “dictate” and “self proclaimed” is unjust. Jesus says “feed my sheep” that is my standard. If they belong to Jesus they should be fed. What was wrong with what St. Peter did that made St. Paul rebuke him? Treating the Gentiles like second class Christians.

    It is not that we allow self-proclaimed Christians partake, Christ claims them, you acknowledge that Christ claims them. Any church that sets itself above a brother is Judahitic, it is grasping for the old world that has passed away.

  5. Josh said


    I used to argue along the same lines you argue now. I understand your outrage.

    Regardless, you might say that Mormons deny that Jesus is God, or you might just say that they honestly swallow the reductios of the doctrine of penal substitution. Your call.

    The problem with your claims about the Lord’s Supper is that they aren’t complicated by every other thing the Scriptures describe about salvation and the Triune relationship and good works and submission to ecclesial authority and winds of doctrine. You’ve turned the Lord’s Supper into one more monolithic Sola claim. Sola Supper.

  6. Remy said

    You may hide behind your complications, your old covenant machinations, it is all just piling things in front of Jesus. Jesus said “feed my sheep”, you may go logic chopping, but Jesus said, “feed my sheep.”

    Though it’s your favorite and admittedly a powerful claim, a bit along the lines of my prayer-condom routine, I cannot be charged with “Sola” due to my robust view of excommunication.

    If you want to put a Sola on me, how about Sola Jesu? You would be Sola Ecclesiologia, by church structure alone. You are in the odd position of accepting Joseph Stalin and Ivan the IV the Terrible to the table and turning aside Pope Gregory I and St. Francis of Assisi. I suppose they’d make an exception for Jesus so I won’t list Him.

    A cherrypicked list? Sure, but it shows that if you want to stick a Sola charge on someone you’re sticking it in the wrong direction. The Orthodox and the Romanists are the same, bloody handed in a power grab.

    You may hide behind circumcision, dietary laws, clothing restrictions, Levitical hiearchy and call it submission to ecclesiastical authority in gold pointy hats and bushy beards, but Jesus still says “Feed my sheep”.

  7. Josh said


    Even the Sola Jesu approach is foolish because it’s monolithic. Chuck Smith is “Sola Jesu.”

    But this was great, “If you want to put a Sola on me, how about Sola Jesu? You would be Sola Ecclesiologia, by church structure alone.” Seriously, if you don’t want to pray to the saints and Mary, then don’t. They don’t want to hear from you. You come across more like Orual, though, insisting that Psyche has been imprisoned by the Brute. You have no idea what you’re talking about and I can’t explain it to you.

    “The Orthodox and the Romanists are the same, bloody handed in a power grab.” To put Orthodoxy and Romanism into the same lump so far as “power grabs” are concerned reveals a pretty startling ignorance of history, but I’ve come to expect this.

  8. Josh said

    By the by, the accusation of whoring for the Old Covenant is rendered somewhat comical by the fact that the OCA formally opposes the death penalty. You do know that Orthodox Christians tend to not be theonomists, right? There’s nobody I worship with on Sunday that’s bummed out we don’t get to slaughter homosexuals in the street.

    What do you think theonomist law would prescribe as punishment for venerating icons?

  9. Remy said

    Good for the OCA, but you misunderstand if you think that “whoring after the old covenant” means adopting it in every way shape and form.

    And mentioning theoretical sins of kooky minorities does not get you off the hook for supporting the current sins the Orthodox church. Jesus has made all things new, the veil has been torn, the “Jew”/”Gentile” distinction is done away with.

  10. Remy said

    Also, you would really enjoy Kieslowski’s Decalogue #5. I favor it to the slightly longer version of “A Short Film About Killing”. It’s awesome.

  11. Josh said


    Just in case: when Christ said, “Feed my lambs,” you don’t, by any wild chance, think all He meant was, “Give everybody communion,” do you? Because it’s starting to seem like you do.

    Word to the wise: giving everyone communion is not even a weightier matter of the law. Giving and taking communion is not even what constitutes “true religion” according to St. James. Really, I remember back before Wilson/Credenda/etc thought communion was terribly important. I remember when CEF took grape juice and crackers every once in a while. And I wonder which authors it was that helped put a focus back on communion? Protestants, I suspect… Soon enough, making a fetish of the Lord’s Supper and hanging every new piece of theology on it’s singular relationship to the Supper will pass, because if you don’t believe in the real presence, to quote O’Connor, the Supper has “no damn use.”

  12. Remy said

    I will continue to affirm real presence as did John Calvin. If you want to make communion of Christ hinge upon faith in the blue prints of a council in the 17th century that’s your business.

    First I got the Mormon herring, then a weak equivocation on the meaning of the word “body”, and next a “well, you do it too”.

    Then you mention how Scripture “complicates” things like feeding children, funny because those distinctives Rome and Constantinians hold are not strictly speaking Scriptural.

    I missed the first “Till We Have Faces” post, but I can amend my preferred Sola (yes, I know the gender is off) with a Totus, by the whole Jesus alone, that includes the saints.

    So now, after all the tactics you’re down to saying that the Supper is no big deal and that the Protestants fetishize it. Even my friend Dave wouldn’t go this far.

    And it turns out I’m made of rubber. To open the whole family of God to the supper cannot be construed as making the Supper a fetish. But it begs the question if you truly think the Supper isn’t foundational then why do the Romans and the Constantinians act like it is?

    But it is a point that I hadn’t considered before. The refusal to serve the whole body of Christ makes the Supper cultic and fetishistic. Thanks for that one.

  13. joshgibbs said


    If you don’t believe in the real presence of Christ in the Supper, why wouldn’t you offer it to anyone? Your point makes too much sense. It’s just bread and wine, and if it’s just ordinary bread and wine, of course everyone can have it.

    In fact, as I recall, you don’t think the bread and the wine are special in themselves- let alone believing that they are actually Christ. That’s why you think sick people who can’t make church shouldn’t get served, because taking the bread and the wine isn’t significant. Now I get it.

    So then what does taking the Supper actually accomplish? Knits us all together? Yes, I can see how an open table has really knit the Protestant church together. Or knits us all together spiritually, even while we continue to sever further down here. And I can see how Protestant Church history upholds that claim, too.

    Well, glad there’s no gnosticism going on here.

  14. Remy said

    I do believe in Real Presence. I don’t buy the explanations of Rome or Luther. For you to insist that I believe in the Blueprints of the sacrament is gnostic. You’re such a Presbyterian to think that way. Christianity is belief in Jesus, not a systematic. I believe in Jesus and the words of Jesus.

    Right, and you also don’t believe the bread and wine are special in themselves. Nobody in Christendom believes that. Now I believe that Jesus works through the bread and wine. Jesus is special.

    My point about the sick was that I don’t presume that Jesus penalizes His children when providentially hindered. But I understand how you would think that Jesus would act that way since you also believe that Jesus wants the Constantinians to not feed His children. Just keep working through those New Covenant implications…

  15. Josh said

    Ah, Remy. Put the checkers back on the board, buddy.

    You wouldn’t mind explaining what you think Jesus actually does through the bread and wine, do you?

  16. Remy said



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