Full Text for Dogmatics 4- Volume 33 - How is closed Communion related to excommunication? (Video)

No. 33. >> I am guessing that the practice of closed Communion somehow fits in with all of this. Am I right? >>DR. JOEL D. BIERMANN: Yes. It definitely does fit in with all of this. Closed Communion or Close Communion, however you want to name it or pronounce it or define it, really is the practice of the pastor, the shepherd, looking after his flock. And making sure that those who are receiving the sacrament are receiving it to their benefit and are participating fully as God's people in that congregation. Now, does that mean you need to be the little church police or have a little, you know, investigation ring going? Absolutely not. But you do need to know as Scripture tells us the state of your flock. And so the practice of closed Communion is you, the pastor's, responsibility in fulfilling your job as shepherd. You see, that's one of the real pitfalls of open Communion is the sense that anybody who feels like they are forgiven or is repentant and wants to receive forgiveness, come on up here, it's up to you. Well, where are you putting the burden? You are making it their responsibility to decide whether or not they are worthy. That's not their job. You as the pastor have that responsibility. You are to make sure that your flock is in good order and that they are walking with Christ. So closed Communion is the practice of ensuring that those who are along the rail belong there. Now, there's more to closed Communion than that as well. And we can get into that. But that's not really the topic here. I'm assuming you'll cover that in the sacraments and the other aspects of the fellowship aspects and the unity aspects and all of those things we get into. And the CTCR documents have done that very nicely. But from our standpoint here the whole idea of the Christian walk, we want to encourage each other to be walking with Christ. To practice the minor ban or to practice closed Communion is an aspect of helping people to be responsible and accountable for how they are living before Christ.