Does NCCG Celebrate an
Open or Closed Communion?
NCW 61, April-May 1999
Q. Does the New Covenant Church of God celebrate a closed or open communion/eucharist? Which communion do you most closely parallel? And do you partake of other churchs’ communions?
Up until now the New Covenant Church of God has celebrated a closed communion. We do, however, give our members the freedom of conscience to partake of some other church communions. At first sight this may be interpreted by other churches to mean that we are exclusivist and are secretly claiming to be a “one and only true church”. However, our reason for a closed communion is quite different.
Those of our readers familiar with the Baptist Church will know that they practice a closed communion too, restricting the ordinance to adults who have been baptised upon a personal profession of faith. We are in complete agreement with the Baptists on this issue. Someone who is partaking of the Lord’s Supper who has never made a public confession of faith and who has not obeyed the call to be baptised by immersion is ipso facto unworthy to partake of the emblems, and those who administer it are guilty of perverting the ordinance. We would therefore refuse to participate in any communion where such a watered-down version of the Lord’s Supper was being administered. This would also include churches which practice unscriptural ordinances such as infant baptism.
The Lord’s Supper is a remembrance meal but it is also a time of covenant renewal for New Covenant Christians. It would therefore be a mockery of God were we to allow those who were not of our fellowship to renew covenants that they have not taken. This is why we have a “closed communion”. In no way does it intimate to non-members that they are not “Christians” or that they have no right to remember Christ’s death with us.
New Covenant Christians absolutely reject the eucharist/mass of the Roman Catholic Church which is an occult ritual (“transubstantiation”) and the Mormon Sacrament (which is in any case closed to non-members) which makes truth claims that are false and is itself occult. This would also include the Jehovah’s Witness Annual Memorial which is also closed to an imaginary élite and whose whole church doctrine is largely false. As the Lutheran and Anglican Churches are but adaptations of the Catholic mass these too are rejected by us, the Lutherans practicing a pseudo-Catholic doctrine called “consubstantiation”. We also refuse to take any alcoholic wine.
Church communions which New Covenant Christians are largely happy to share are those of the Baptist and classical Pentecostal Churches, as well as a number of independent Evangelical Churches. It is important to establish what conditions those churches individually place on participants of the Lord’s Supper. Where there are no apostolic guidelines members visiting other churches must follow the Spirit and their consciences.
This page was created on 14 September 1998
Last updated on 14 September 1998
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