There are many people who asks who can partake the Lord’s Supper. They wonder why some churches does not allow a believer unless he is baptized to be a partaker.

The Bible is silent about baptism as a requirement for partaking the Lord’s Supper. But here are a couple of thoughts about this practice.

There are 2 main school of thoughts in that. The first one is called “Close Communion”. Some churches does not allow non-baptized believers to participate in the Lord’s Supper. They view members of the body of Christ to be “baptized believer” (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). Without baptism, you are not yet a part of the body of Christ. So strictly speaking, those that are part of the body of Christ which are baptized believers are the only ones allowed to partake. These churches also allows baptized members of other Christian Church to partake, while some extreme churches does not. Only their own members can partake.

Lord's Supper

The danger of this is that, we may be putting a hindrance to those who are real believers but have not been baptized to enjoy being a part of the body. The New Testament is quite clear however that the believers rejoices every time new believers come in.

The second one is called “Open Communion”. Some churches allows a believer, baptized or not to be partakers of the Lord’s Supper as long as he is a believer and has professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.   Acts 10:44-48, Peter while in the house of Cornelius, while he was speaking witnessed the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to those who are listening. And then afterwards, they were baptized with water. It is quite unlikely to their previous experiences that baptism of water comes first before the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In this scenario, it comes the other way around.

The danger of this however in our time is that, Churches may be too complacent and that people who are actually a new believer may partake it in an unworthy manner which is sinning against the body and the blood of the Lord (1 Corinthians 11:27).

So in short, it boils down on how the church view who are “members of the body”, of the Church. Either way, I will not say which one is wrong or not. Both have dangers in it.  Personally however, our church practice Open Communion. However, a strong emphasis on partaking it in a “worthy manner” is being done every time.

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