Should only believers in the fellowship participate in the Lord's Supper?

Do you not think a distinction should be made between those in fellowship and those not in fellowship (children excepted)?

Should not those breaking bread sit near the table and not in the last row of seats, while children and the unsaved occupy the front row?

The apostle in writing to the Church of God at Corinth recognised a “within” and “without” (see 1 Coronthians 5: 12-13). The one, hitherto called a brother, is put away from among the people of God as “a wicked person.” Such a one should also be separated from by the saints in the various relations of life—”not to keep company. . . with such an one no not to eat” (1 Corinthians 5:11)—nor should he be received in the house, nor wished God-speed (2 John 1:10). Is not this principle to extend to the Lord’s table? Is there not to be a difference then, very clearly marked, between those recognised as “in fellowship” and others not breaking bread?

Are worldlings and believers to be mingled there as in the religious denominations? Have not the words, “What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness; what communion hath light with darkness. . . what part hath he that believeth with an unbeliever?” (i.e., not necessarily “infidel” in the modern sense) (2 Corinthians 6:14, 15), any application to such an occasion when the saints are gathered to the name of their Lord, and He is in a special sense in their midst? Surely they have. The saints belong to and love Him, and are met according to His command to remember Him. May they not then hope to do so, undisturbed by and unmingled with those who are still of the world and at enmity with Him?

If, as our correspondent asserts, “those breaking bread sit on the back row of the hall, and children and unsaved ones sit at the front, and these hand the bread and the wine to those in fellowship,” does not this bespeak a serious lack of godly order? How can it be claimed by the elders that “all things are done decently and in order”? and how can confusion be avoided or proper care be exercised, as to those who partake of the bread and wine? Let not the unsaved be given a place which may deceive them into supposing that all is mostly well with them, or countenance given to what most of them think at heart, that there is no difference worth speaking of between those who “think they are saved” and themselves. It is not a world-feast at all. It is “the disciples coming together to break bread” (Acts 20: 7), in remembrance of their Lord whom the world rejected. Doubtless the world should have entrance to the hail, but only as spectators of what is in reality a testimony against themselves. Can it be imagined to be godly order that such should be in a position even to be allowed to pass the bread and the wine to others? It is Opening the door in the churches of the saints to the Babylonian Confusion, which exists in Christendom.

W.H.