Baptists/commion

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Question
do  you have to be  baptize  to partake in  holy  commion?

Answer
Roger, thanks for your question. This is a hard question. You are asking "do you have to be baptized to partake in holy communion" and the key word is HAVE TO.  Let’s ask it this way to break this down. Do you have to be baptized and the answer is “yes.” To be saved one has to ask Jesus into their heart, confess that Jesus is their Lord and Savior, and then you are saved. Baptism is an ordinance of the Church where the new saved believer is identifying to the Church of the Salvation experience he/she has had and the congregation is celebrating with them their new change. The Baptism does not save anybody. Some high churches believe that Baptism saves but this is false doctrine.
If a person  becomes baptized, he is identifying himself as a saved believer of a congregation or church community and the Lord’s Supper is for saved believers who are identifying with Christ. If the person is truly saved he would not want to take the Lord’s Supper unless he is saved and baptized. But some “saved believers” say they are saved but they live like the devil, and they will take Communion. But only God can judge their hearts and they will have to answer to Him.
But some churches will have closed Communion in which the Pastor will give the Lord’s Supper only to baptized members of their church. If the Pastor is giving the Lord’s Supper to a 1,000 member church at the same time, he is not going to know if each and every member is baptized and saved. Some churches have open communion who offer the Lord’s Supper to all members of the same faith and who are born again believers and who are baptized. I prefer the open communion and let God be judge of their hearts.
To get back to your question “do you HAVE TO be baptized to partake communion” and the answer is “no.” Communion is and always should be based upon 1 Cor.: 11:27-28  which states “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” David Guzik states if correctly “Paul is warning the Corinthian Christians to treat the Lord's Supper with reverence, and to practice it in a spirit of self-examination. However, this is not written with the thought of excluding ourselves from the table, but of preparing us to receive with the right heart “(emphasis is mine). I emphasized the main points of what David Guzik was saying. We should self-examine ourselves before taking the Lord’s Supper and maintain the reverence that Lord Jesus deserves when He gave us this gift. If a Christian is in sin and stubbornly unrepentant and takes Communion  he/she  “are mocking what Jesus did on the cross to cleanse them from their sin” (David Guzik).
Paul states in 1Cor. 11:29 “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.” Here,  Paul is talking keeping the Lord’s Supper as something that deserves reverence. When we partake of the Lord’s Supper without examining ourselves we are “eateth and drinketh unworthily”. Christians that profess salvation (“I’ve been baptized so I can take Communion”) and do not possess salvation (“I am a sinner saved by grace and saved by the blood of the Lamb”) are partaking Communion unworthily also.
“Eateh and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body” is exhibiting irrelevant behavior at the Lord’s Table and inviting corrective action (damnation to himself) by God.  This taking the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner goes back to what I said “But some “saved believers” say they are saved but they live like the devil, and they will take Communion. But only God can judge their hearts and they will have to answer to Him.” This corrective action (damnation to himself) is God’s judgment and corrective action.  Being baptized has nothing to do with taking the Lord’s Supper in an worthy manner, it just means you are a sinner saved by grace because of the blood of the Lamb, identify with a local congregation that you are saved, and you participate with the congregation in celebrating the gift of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus and what he did on the cross for us by partaking in the Lord’s Supper. Gets kinda deep don’t it.
But again, a baptized saved person will want to take the Lord’s Supper in a worthy manner and keep the Lord’s Supper reverent.  Baptism is not a blank check condition that one has to obtain to take Lord’s Supper.  Being born again is the blank check to be  worthy.
I have been with patients that I  have lead  to the  Lord  and they have confessed their sin, asked God to forgive them of their sin,  and accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior while on their death bed. I could not baptized them due to being on their death bed in ICU, but because of their confession of sin (this the key word) to God and accepting Jesus as Lord, they were reverent and worthy, I gave them Communion.
Roger, I hope this helps.
Blessings,
Rev. Dr Don Howe, RN, PhD, ThD

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Dr Don Howe

Expertise

I welcome questions that deal with addictions, drug abuse, military issues, theological issues, relationship issues, church history, world religions, current events from a Christian worldview, "gray areas" that are present today, church growth movements, false prophets, spiritual abuse issues, end time events, prophecy, medical ethical issues, hermeneutical questions, and how Israel fits into God's economy today. I will answer all questions in a grammatical/historical normative interpretation of God's Word. If you are looking for a liberal theological answer or argument, do not ask. I am not an expert on church planting or evangelism. I am Military Chaplain in the Texas State Guard in Texas and would enjoy questions from soldiers in the military, their families, and children dealing with religious/spiritual issues/marriage issues/assimilation back into the civilian life issues/addictions. I welcome questions dealing with addictions and the problems that lifestyle places on people's lives.

Experience

I have over 20 years of experience doing ministry as a bivocational minster and Military Chaplain. I have over 39 yrs of experience as Registered Nurse. I am a Military Chaplain in the TXSG in Texas and welcome questions from military. I am a Chaplain with the TX DPS department and Certified Master Chaplain with the American Board of Certified of Homeland Security. I do ministry as a volunteer with ministries that are nonprofit and not able to pay for ministers. I have experience working with youth, children, elderly in different placement settings, mentally ill and mentally challenged in different settings, felons in state prison and county jails, hospital chaplaincy, choir ministry, and deacon ministry. I am an ordained SBC minister. I am a Professional Chaplain. I am currently doing hospital ministry, ministry to shut-ins, and a chaplain with Victim Relief Ministry working with victims of disasters and domestic violence. I have over 43 yrs of experience in Mental Health field and specialize in Addictions. Also work as a professional nurse in federal agency.

Organizations
American Association of Christian Counselors, Nurses Christian Fellowship, Therpon Institute, Victim Chaplain & Counselor Association of America, International Board of Christian Counselors, American Society of Christian Therapists, International Nurses Society in Addictions. National Center for Crisis Management American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress American Board of Certified Master Chaplains (ABCMC),

Publications
N/A

Education/Credentials
PhD, Therapon University, USVI, 12/07 in Biblical Counseling, DCC, Southwest Bible College & Seminary, Jenning, LA 04/05 in Christian Psychology and Counseling. ThD, Slidell Baptist Seminary, Slidell, LA 02/04 D.D., Slidell Baptist Seminary, Slidell, LA 07/03 Tyndale Seminary, Fort Worth, TX 2001-2003 BSN, Univ. of Texas in Arlington, Tx 05/93 ADN, Midwestern State Univ., Wichitia Falls, TX 5/77 Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock, Externship 08/04-12/05, 4 units of CPE earned.

Awards and Honors
Certified Addictions Registered Nurse by International Nursing Society on Addictions. Board Certified Christian Counselor by International Board of Christian Counselors. Issued 01/24/06. Board certified as Expert in Traumatic Stress by the American Academy Of Experts In Traumatic Stress (BCEST). Fellow (FAAETS) of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. DAPA and FAPA by American Psychotherapy Association. Diplomate (DAAETS) of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Diplomate (DNCCM) of the National Center for Crisis Management, issued 11/18/09. Currently serve as Secretary on the American Board of Certified Master Chaplains (ABCMC), which is an Advisory Board under the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security (ABCHS). Certified Addictions Registered Nurse (CARN).

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