LifeWay has just released a fascinating study on Southern Baptist practices as it relates to the celebration of the Lord’s supper. Two things are clear about this topic:
- The Baptist Faith and Message is pretty clear that only biblically baptized believers (by immersion after salvation – if that was necessary for anyone) should receive the Lord’s Supper.
- Most Baptists are ignoring the BF&M on the topic.
Look at the graphic here.
The SBC Practices OPEN Communion
Fairly shocking to me. I must give an admission here. Our church practices with the majority on this one, but I am surprised the stats are this strong in that direction. We are with the 52% that ask only that people have placed their faith in Christ. We do not bring up baptism as a prerequisite. Another 5% don’t even require someone to have professed faith in Christ. Only 35% make a requirement of baptism at the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. I was actually surprised (pleasantly so) that only 4% practice the strictest form of closed communion that used to be common.
The SBC Practices QUARTERLY Communion
That, unfortunately, did not surprise me. I’ve heard the reasoning a thousand times. “If you have communion weekly, it will become an empty celebration.” I do not think that such needs to be the case. In fact, a reasonable argument can be made the early Christians busted out the Welch’s and wafers every time they got together. But, in my judgment, 4 times a year just is not enough to honor the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. At our church, we do it around 10 times a year. I still think that is probably not enough, but it’s all we are doing right now.
So, lots of interesting information here. What do you think?