Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Open Communion

Sometimes one comes across inferences that the FP Church practices closed (as opposed to restricted) communion. Closed communion means that no one outwith that denomination or congregation can be admitted to the Lord's Supper. The following longstanding Synod resolution gives the accurate statement of the position:

"The Synod would record their strong disapprobation of the conduct of some individuals connected with this Church, who have circulated unfounded charges among our people about the meaning of a resolution passed by the Synod in November last year. The resolution reads follows—"That the Synod approve of the procedure adopted by Mr Macintyre at Winnipeg in the matter or admitting persons to the privilege of the communion, and give it to be understood that, while this Church does not hold close communion, none are to be admitted to the privilege mentioned but such as are known as God-fearing persons by a majority of those who are responsible for admission." The Synod declare that the meaning attached by them to the above resolution is as follows- 1) The office-bearers of the Church in Canada, having sent a request to the Synod to give a deliverance in regard to the position held by this Church about communion, the Synod gave it to be understood that neither the Church of the Reformation, or the Fire Presbyterian Church of Scotland, held or hold close communion; 2) The Synod gave it to be understood that none are to be received to the Lord's table in this Church 'but such as are God-fearing persons'; and that none shall be admitted without the approval of the majority of the Kirk Session. That this has been all along the way of admission to the Lord's Table in the Free Presbyterian Church will be quite manifest to all their people. 3)The Synod would also declare that it flows from ignorance or something more blameworthy on the part of some, to have spread a report to the effect that the Synod, by foresaid resolution, had changed the Constitution of the Church and opened a wide door to receive members wholesale from other Churches to the Lord's table. The people of this Church may rest assured that the Synod did not and does not intend to open the door to communion in the least degree wider than it has been in the Reformed Church of Scotland since the Reformation, and in the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland hitherto."