An Open Table?

Many Protestant denominations say that they have an open table. They invite all baptized Christians to participate.

I have a question about that, that many someone here can help me with.

These same denominations say that baptism is an outward symbol of something that has already happened internally. It makes it sound that people are Christians as soon as they believe, and that baptism doesn’t have a real effect on the person.

So I wonder why, then, that the open table is closed to believers who just haven’t been baptized yet?

What is the reasoning behind not sharing the eucharist with some believers?

There must be a verse that covers this. :slight_smile:

Perhaps you have a particular denomination in mind?

Nope. Just a question to anyone who believes that Baptism is a sign but doens’t have an effect, and who believes that the Eucharist is reserved for baptized Christians.

And it brings up a 2nd question. I have more confidence that someone can answer this one.

If Baptism is a symbol of something that has already happened within, why does someone need to be baptized?

I’ve never heard it being described as both open but then reserved to those baptised by immersion. You have a specific denomination in mind?

Probably to show by their works, that they truly are saved.
When we are saved we should through obedience want to be baptised. :slight_smile:

Kalt the only verses that come to mind would be from 1 Corinthians 11. Partaking in the supper in an unworthy manner. I suppose some of the denominations you are referring to may say that not being baptized and taking communion is taking it in an unworthy manner.

But if baptism has no effect…???

I’m surprised that more non-Catholic Christians haven’t responded. They vigorously denounce Catholic’s so-called closed table, but they can’t explain their own so-called open table. Why?

You added a second condition of the baptism before the table becomes open. I’ve never seen it myself perhaps others onboard have not either?

Well I’ve never seen or been to a church that said you have to be baptized to receive communion nor have I ever seen a church preach that Baptism does nothing. Our church openly offers communion to those that consider themselves followers of Christ. But we also point out the message Paul relates to the church in Corinth as noted in 1 Cor 11. Incidentally we do require baptism for membership and firmly believe that it has a dramatic effect.

Perhaps the situation you are speaking of doesn’t exist or only exists in very particular sects which could account for the unresponsiveness of Non-RCCs. Just a thought.


I think that most non-Catholic Christian churches require that you be baptized to receive communion.

Everyone, if you’re a non-Catholic Christian, can you tell me if baptism is required to receive Communion? And do you believe that baptism has an actual effect, or is it an outward sign of something that has already taken place internally?

I’m flabergasted that no one seems to be able to answer these questions.

If they have church membership conditions thus presumbly would know if they baptised you or not then it is not announced as an open communion.

Here’s what went on in my church (Pentecostal - Church of God)…this was 20+ yrs ago. Their doctrine hasn’t changed very much
Note the practical and doctrinal commitments. These were never written down like they are now. The declaration of faith was hung in the foyer of the church and was also printed in the bulletin every Sundy (my Mom used to do the bulletin). The practical and doctrinal were their oral commitments back then. Sound familiar??

Communion (they called it The Lord’s Supper) was “open” for non-members who were baptised in Christ (saved); although, this could also mean Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Ghost). They were REALLY big on this. Proof of which is speaking in other tongues. They also afterwards did “washing of the Saints’ feet”. Yes, literally. Children weren’t encouraged to partake in the Lord’s Supper.

My personal take on this is…(this is just ME, no doctrine included, just experience) and I’ll just refer to the Lord’s Supper portion…I feel that they did it because Jesus said to. Like it was said, it was considered a symbol; not to be taken literally like the Catholics believe in the Eucharist.

Again, that’s how it was then. I’m only speaking of my experience from the time I was little til I left home when I was 17.

Hope this answered your question.

God Bless!

kalt, I was evangelical Protestant for over 40 years, and was extremely active–an evangelical of evangelicals.

NEVER in all those years did I see an evangelical Protestant church that required baptism before a believer was allowed to take Communion. Never.

I’m not sure what church you have observed this in. Perhaps it was a mainline Protestant church? Or perhaps one of the non-denominational churches? The non-denominational churches practice a hodge-podge of doctrines, often based on the personal experiences of the founding pastor. So perhaps you have run into a non-denom that teaches baptism before communion?

But it wasn’t an evangelical Protestant church, I can pretty much guarantee it. The only requirement for taking communion in evangelical Protestant churches is that the person be a “believer,” someone who has asked Jesus into their heart to be their personal Savior. Sometimes the evangelical Protestant churches will require that the person be a MEMBER of their church–this is to ensure that the person is not “taking communion unworthily.” But this is rare nowadays. I actually never saw this.

Evangelical churches teach that baptism is an outward sign of an inward change. It is merely a SYMBOL, just as communion is merely a symbol. The evangelical Protestants call these “ordinances,” not sacraments, and practice them only because Jesus told us to. It is solely an act of faith. Evangelical Protestants do not believe that these ceremonies have any effect whatsoever.

Hope this information is helpful to you.

Yes, it did.Thank you, Kathy. :slight_smile:

Others have suggested that someone doens’t need to be baptized to recieve Communion. I’ve been to a few non-Catholic Christians services, and at each the person recieving had be be baptized.

I wonder what denominations let unbaptized people recieve.

Thank you!

It was mainline Protestant churches.

I read that, too. I was wondering did they mean baptised with water or baptised - saved:shrug:

I’m not aware of a community with such a requirement, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were one. If a community considers both communion and baptism to be something less than sacraments as catholics define the word then it makes some level of sense.

Consider that Jesus clearly commanded believers to be baptised. Since protestants believe in obdeying Jesus (to their understanding of His comands), then it would be reasonable to limit participation in a memorial meal to those who have displayed obedience to this command of his.


Yep. That’s actually what I was asking. It seems that the table is open to baptized people only in the Protestant churches I’ve been to. And they mean baptized, the actual event.

I’m wondering what verses they use to support that practice.

It might be the more fundamentalist churches that believe strongly that baptism doesn’t have an effect, that it doesn’t confer grace, and that it is an outward sign of something that already happened.

If you’re a Baptist, can you weigh in on this?

I just found this site.

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