Southern Baptists And Restricting The Lord’s Supper: A Brief Examination And Modest Proposal -- By: Jason Sampler

Journal: Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry
Volume: JBTM 06:1 (Spring 2009)
Article: Southern Baptists And Restricting The Lord’s Supper: A Brief Examination And Modest Proposal
Author: Jason Sampler


Southern Baptists And Restricting The Lord’s Supper: A Brief Examination And Modest Proposal

Jason Sampler1

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Introduction

Since the turn of the twenty-first century, numerous incidents have caused Southern Baptists to re-examine long-standing beliefs concerning the doctrines of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These reinterpretations have come in multiple venues and from different groups of people. Neither time nor focus permits a discussion of the changing paradigms of baptism within Southern Baptist life.2 However, there have been two specific incidents in the last decade in which Southern Baptists have sought to redefine their beliefs on the Lord’s Supper, and specifically, who is qualified to participate in this ordinance.

First, at the June 2000 meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in Orlando, FL a discussion concerning the adoption of a revised version of the Baptist Faith and Message 1963 (BF&M 1963) occurred.3 During the discussion, messenger Jim Goodroe requested that Article VIII “Baptism and the Lord’s Supper” be revised from its previous form. In the BF&M 1963, the article’s language on the Lord’s Supper stipulates: “Being a church ordinance, [baptism] is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.” This meant that the SBC’s confessional position on the Lord’s Supper

was one of moderate restriction, or a position known as intercommunion.4 Goodroe noted that he had been in the churches of at least four members of the Revision Committee when the Lord’s Supper had been taken, and in all four cases, the churches had practiced open communion and not intercommunion. In essence, he felt that the theology, or at least the practice, of the Lord’s Supper within SBC churches had shifted from what the BF&M 1963 specified. He called for the BF&M 2000 to reflect or at least permit the practice of open communion by taking out the phrase “and to the Lord’s Supper.”5

Second, messengers to the 2007 Arkansas Baptist State Convention meeting in Van Buren, AR heard discussion on a proposed amendment to its by-laws. The amendment called for the removal of the phrase “the Baptist Faith and Message shall not be interpreted as to permit open communion and...

You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
Click here to subscribe
visitor : : uid: ()