Saturday, August 31, 2013

All Christians should be transformationalists.

     A lot of times within the reformed polemical debates concerning the law of God, I think that sometimes, things get lost within the carpet bombing about the logical implications regarding the respective viewpoints or what the logical implications should be.

     Typically, theonomists tend to be the most obvious example of Christian activism along with Neo-Calvinists/Kuyperians. Also, typically, but not exclusively, (R)2K advocates tend to be very neutered in their approach, or even have a refusal or general reluctance at all to be an activist. And then you have folks who are presuppositional, not really theonomists, not Kuyperian, and not really (R)2K, and these folks are all over the map when it comes to activism. John Frame would be an example of this fourth category in that he seems generally pretty vocal (at least in his "Doctrine of the Christian Life"), while some others who are generally in this fourth camp tend to let their "pessimistic" eschatology justify their refusal to be involved, even through their presuppositionalism should belie this attitude of refusal. 

     All this to say that even if you are a presuppositionalist (as in the fourth category), this does not necessarily mean that you are a (reformed) transformationalist as a theonomist or a neo-calvinist/kuyperian is.

     Transformationalism in this sense means as the gospel goes forth, people will be changed in their hearts and minds, and thus culture, politics, economics etc... will gradually conform the moral standards of law of Christ. Transformationalism can (and should) be used to focus externals such as changing legislation. However, it must properly be understood that changing legislation or changing culture isn't an ends to itself but those changes are for the purpose of reflecting God's law publicly as a context to call people to repentance and believe and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
     It bears repeating: it is important for transformationalists to understand that true transformation comes from the gospel changing hearts. Changed legislation or changed culture can be one of the means by which this is done (law driving to the gospel), but it can also be a result of the gospel changing hearts and behavior (gospel driving people to the law). Additionally, it should again be mentioned that any attempts to change culture or legislation are not the ends to themselves.

      With this definition of transformationalism in mind, it is difficult for me to understand why all Christians are not transformationalist. Some Christians who are anti-transformationalist will say that there is an over-emphasis on worldviews, as if that somehow properly provides a rebuttal against a theonomic or neo-calvinist transformational methodology.

     An overemphasis on worldviews? This is an absolutely strange statement that is being made given what the Bible says concerning the differences between those who belong in Christ and those of the world. A simple reading of 1, 2, 3 John will clearly reveal that John clearly understood that this spiritual conflict between Christians and pagans is reflected by a difference in their respective masters, worldviews (among other things) and subsequent behaviors.

     First, at what point does an emphasis on worldviews become an over-emphasis? And how can we assume that that anti-transformationalist standard for over-emphasis is correct, while the theonomists' isn't? Clearly, this involves a lot of question begging and is logically absurd.

     3 John 7: "It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans."
     3 John 11: "Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God."
     2 John 7-9: Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. -Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
     1 John 2:9-11: "Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them."
     1 John 2: 15-17: "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever."
     1 John 3: 9, 10: "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister."
     1 John 4: 2,3:  "This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world."
     1 John 5:18, 19: "We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one."

     Even just a cursory glance should show that John labors to tell his audience that there is in fact a distinct contrast between those who are in Christ, and those who are in the world. This difference is due to our union with Christ, while those in the world do what is evil and has not seen God (2 John 9), are still in darkness (1 John 2: 9-11) etc... All of these verses that I quoted can be thought of as differences in worldview and one's subsequent actions/behavior based on his worldview. So, to disparage someone for an "over-emphasis" on contrasting the Christian worldview to the secular worldview should be really be seen as quite inconsistent with the sharp contrasts that John works hard to delineate.

      Of course, as you pull the logic train backwards and forwards, this delves into other issues involving the ontological Trinity as the true theological axiom of presuppositionalism, and the derivative concept (yet still foundational in certain ways) of the worldview.

     Different situations call for different emphasis in your apologetical methodology. In John's letters, the ontological Trinity is of course assumed but not directly dealt with, and so what is emphasized in the letters is the derivative contrast between a man who has union with Christ (1 John 4:2,3), his resulting worldview based on Christ (1 John 5:19) and his subsequent actions that he commits based that worldview (1 John 3:9, 10) vs. a man who is not of God.

     What does this have to do with (reformed) transformationalism?

     We clearly can see from this that there is a sharp spiritual (1 John 3:9, 10), moral (1 John 5:18, 19), and ethical  (1 John 2:15-17) antithesis between the Christian and the non-Christian.

     We clearly can see that the God-hating (Rom 1:30) presuppositions of natural man lead him to sin. We know that sin is breaking of the law of God (1 John 3:4).

     We know that it is the law that provides the proper context for the gospel (and vice versa). We are saved from the curse of the law and God commands us to repent of our disobedience to Him and the law and to submit to him (Acts 2:38). By implication, when in Christ, we submit to his law for our sanctification (Jas 2:8).     
     We also know that God commands his people to believe in His Son. 1 John 3:23: "And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us."

     Now then, does God call only on Christians to believe in Him and to repent of their sins (law-breaking)? Or by extension, is He calling on the entire world to believe and repent? 

     We should clearly understand that it is the latter. If He is commanding the church to believe in Jesus, He is also commanding the rest of humanity to believe in Christ as well. 
     So, as we Christians go out and evangelize, we not only tell people about Christ, but we also tell them about the need to repent of their sins (1 John 3:4) because they have broken His law and to sin no more. On a large scale, as more and more people become converted, they would repent of their sins and change their behavior personally, and their extended behavior as it delves into other areas such as the legislative process and through the arts and general culture. 

     This is what true gopsel centered transformationalism should entail and one that every Christian, no matter what polemical stripe he is, should be praying for. Sadly, we know that this isn't the case. But even through this, I know that God will accomplish His will, even with the obstinate and ignorant sheep that we all are.

    Jesus, may your will be done and please come back soon!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The low information American citizen.

     What has concerned me for quite some time now is the utter lack of information being purposely left out by such radical leftist "news" organizations such as CNN, and MSNBC. It really bothers me that I have friends and relatives who actually think that these organizations are actually worth their salt in terms of being reputable journalistic organizations.

     Even if one were to primarily get his news from these sources, if he were a thinking man, he would eventually see that what is not being reported and what is being reported is very noteworthy, which should cause him to search the Internet for other sources of news. There is almost too much information out there on the web, and there are many excellent politically conservative news sources here, and here and here and even better, Christian ones as well. There really is no excuse for a person not be informed.

     For example, this whole ridiculous debacle with the George Zimmerman trial, in which the main point behind this was that trial was about race. This is the mantra that the main stream media was pushing, and like docile sheep, so many Americans simply believed it, thereby revealing their intellectual laziness to dig deeper and actually look at the facts of the case. There is a problem in that if you actually looked at the trial and the arguments that the prosecution and the defense were using, neither side used race during the trial, and even the jurors agreed that this trial was not about race. Look it up. Dont take my word for it.

    My point behind this is that a large part of why our country is the way that it is, and a large part of why our Christians have such a weak practice of a strong Christian ethic is that they are constantly being bombarded by mediocre journalism that touts itself as the gold standard. Many Christians don't realize that they are falling into the exact same trap as the pagan, which is using the media as their authority. They may not realize it, but their Christian worldview is so weak and their doctrine so poor, that they simply replace God with the pagan media.

     For example, a Christian man that I know kept telling me how it would be a good idea to enact stricter gun control legislation after the Sandy Hook murders. Reducing the number of rounds in a magazine, and eliminating semi-automatic weapons and only keeping non-semi-automatic weapons. It was obvious to me that he was simply regurgitating the liberal viewpoints without realizing how foolish he was sounding.

     First of all, he has never handled a gun in his entire life, and he speaks as if he is the authority on weapons.. I have handled weapons in the past, so I know what I am talking about. I hope I dont have to belabor the point in terms of the absurdity of what I was dealing with. For those that dont know, whether it is 10 rounds in a magazine or 30 rounds, the amount of damage done with a 10 round magazine is the same as a 30 round magazine as long as the shooter reloads fast enough, and in the Sandy Hook case, the shooter would have been able to reload fast enough. The delay would only have been less than 1 second if he only had 10 round magazines.

     Second, automatic weapons are outright illegal everywhere in the US, and if you have one, even if it is in your home, in your basement, you will go to jail. By definition, if your weapon is not automatic, it is semi-automatic. One pull of the trigger for one firing of a round. To want to ban semi-automatic weapons and only have non semi-automatic weapons is clearly an absurd and grossly uninformed statement.

     Third, the shooter was breaking about just about every gun law on the books.. He wasnt old enough to have a gun, he was bringing guns into a gun-free zone, he took the guns from his mother, he didnt register the guns that he stole from his mom, he concealed the guns in his clothes before the shooting etc... We already have laws in place and my friend simply could not understand that enacting more laws would not have prevented Sandy Hook because the shooter was already breaking so many laws to begin with... laws that were supposedly designed to prevent gun violence.

     Fourth, his entire premise for why we need more gun control is based on the fallacy of cause. It is a basic philosophical/logical concept that items or things do not cause events, it is people who causes these events. By his logic, we should ban certain types of cars and alcohol because DUI's kill pedestrians. Or perhaps ban forks because we ate too much spaghetti and it made us gain so much weight.

     Fifth, this is where the whole idea of media comes in. He was so uninformed and so willing to make the media his God that he didn't know that on that very same day as Sandy Hook, a man in China murdered about the same number of kids with a knife. To be consistent, we should start banning kitchen knives as well. At this point, people would say, that it was the person's fault, not the knife's fault. What is the difference for a gun? Nothing...

     And I havent even begun to talk about the philsophical, theological and constitutional arguments for proper self defense in relation to guns.

     It is amazing how much control the media has on people, and how people have made the media their God, and they will absolutely refuse to listen to other viewpoints because of their authority, the liberal media, is saying something completely opposite to the proper Biblical response.. and this includes low information Christians as well.

     Another example is here. Take a look at the video, here. You will notice how grossly uninformed these college students are. It concerns me because these people are the ones who will eventually make the decisions in our country as voters and as government officials and whatever other vocation you can think of. These people make decisions based on the narrative of what is being fed to them, not because they ever actually gave the situation any critical thought.

     This should scare you and motivate you to do what you can in your current station in life.
    Dont be stupid sheep. Be informed so that you can make the most biblically consistent decision possible based on ALL the information that you got from searching and analyzing, not by being intellectually lazy and having things spoon fed for you by the liberal media.

     In theology, it is critical to understand all sides of an issue before making a decision on what particular theological viewpoint you are going to hold.. Calvinism, Arminiasm, Paedobaptism, creedobaptism etc... It should be easy to see why one needs to do this.
     Why is this any different for political and cultural issues? The point is that it isnt any different at all.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Is murder a crime against man or against God?

     One of the common arguments against having civil government enforce the first table of the decalogue, in addition to the second table is that the first table involves our duty towards God while the second table involves duty towards man. The idea is that govt was made for man and that it isn't the govt's place to "enforce" religion by enforcing the first table of the law.
     The reasoning goes that civil government is obligated to enforce the second table of the Decalogue because this is what is reflected in nature and "common" to all man.
      Predictably, this type of reasoning is full of flaws and sloppy reasoning. I will focus on a few points.

      Most people would recognize that murder is wrong, whether Christian or non-Christian., it is "common" among both. The reasoning then goes on to say that therefore, this is an acceptable crime for the government to address, and it certainly isn't a "religious" crime, since it is a "common" crime. Before I go on, unfortunately, it is not as "common" as people think to say that murder is wrong.. Why do we still have abortion then? And we have top abortion advocates finally admitting that the "fetus" is a human being and yet they still advocate abortion!

     While we can certainly understand that killing without justifiable provocation (murder) is wrong, the ultimate normative basis behind why murder is wrong is that it is an assault on the image of God. In Gen 9:6, we read: “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind."

     The entire reason that death penalty for murder is instituted is that murder is wrong because that man was made in the image of God, and that image is being destroyed when one is being murdered. 

     This point is an important one that seems to be overlooked so often. This is exactly why there is a fundamental difference between killing an ant when it is eating our food versus killing a human being because he looked at you in a grumpy way.

     Atheists will say that murder is wrong because it is wrong to harm another person. This is certainly true. But ***why*** is it wrong to harm another person? The atheist at this point has no answer. If it were wrong to kill another person simply because it is wrong, that is question begging and it's his word against another atheist's. Who is to say that Atheist A is correct while Atheist B is not? Without the normative standard of God's law as revealed to us in the Bible, we would never properly know.

     At this point, many R2K-ers will also say that we don't need the Bible to tell us that murder is wrong because of Gen 9:6 and how this is something that was naturally placed in our hearts to understand and know. This line of reasoning is fallacious.
     It seems ironic to me that an R2K-er will tell me that we cannot use the Bible to say that murder is wrong to the non-Christian and he will cite justification for doing so ***using the Bible***. How can one use the Bible to justify not using the Bible? That is like trying to prove that I dont know how to speak English by using all of my reasoning in the English language.
     Secondly, I wrote above that the ultimate reason that murder is wrong is because of Gen 9:6 (the image of God). R2K arguments, which refuse to actually use the Bible in the public square, would have a hard time informing the atheist that murder is wrong when they refuse to actually give the non-Christian the primary and ultimate reason as to why it is wrong in the first place.
     Thirdly, how would the R2K-er have even known the proper concept that there actually is such a thing as things being revealed in nature if it weren't for the Bible? Consistent atheism does not understand that anything is revealed in nature. All they see is that nature is what it is.. Christians do understand that things are revealed in nature, because of what they read in the Bible (Rom 1). R2K attempts to prove revelation in nature without using the Bible when the only way that we could possibly know that there is revelation in nature is because the Bible says so! And yet, R2K refuses to acknowledge the very reason for the very concept of revelation in nature.

     It concerns me that R2K refuses to understand the utter incoherence of its theological methodology.

     Remember when Saul was murdering Christians in Acts. From a "purely civil" perspective, this would generally be seen as a crime against another human. However, if you notice in Acts 9:4, when Jesus is talking to Saul, the first thing that Jesus says isnt, "Why are you persecuting my people?", the first and actually the only thing that Jesus says is: "Why are you persecuting ME?". Jesus reiterates this when he responds to Saul's question about who He is. Jesus repeats his assertion that Saul was persecuting him by responding "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.".

      It is interesting to note that Jesus is implying that every time Saul had killed Christians, he was actually and ultimately persecuting Jesus. Of course, Jesus understood that Saul was directly hurting His followers, and yet, it is noteworthy that Jesus never mentions to Saul about persecuting his followers, but that Saul was persecuting Him!

     This is noteworthy because although murder and persecution are commonly seen today as crimes primarily against the individual from a temporal perspective, we see that the Bible doesnt view these crimes first and foremost from the temporal perspective.

     We see that the Bible views the sins of murder and persecution FIRST AND FOREMOST as heinous acts against the Triune God. Notice how in Gen 9:6, and in Acts 9:4, what is mentioned is that these sins are against God (image of God: Gen, and Jesus: Acts), and there is no justification mentioned for these crimes being wrong because of their effect on man.

      In other words, when we are talking about murder, the standard as to why it is wrong is that it is an assault on the image of God. Through the secondary means of murdering a fellow man, this assault on the image of God is brought to bear. God clearly understands that murder is an assault on a fellow human, but He doesnt mention that as the reason for why murder is wrong in Gen 9:6. Yes, murdering someone is wrong.. (secondary means)... But why is it wrong? Because it destroys the image of God (primary).
     If man were the first and foremost reason as to why murder is wrong, Gen 9:6 would have been stated differently and focused on the harm done to man, and not the harm done to God.

     And more specifically, when talking about the state or any person persecuting Christians, they are in fact persecuting Jesus, through the secondary means of harming his followers.

     I am hoping that through this example of murder, we can see that it isn't simply a "civil" crime that has no religious significance, but in fact has as much religious significance as idol worship or blasphemy. (I also seem to remember certain non-Israelite nations (who did not directly have the law of Moses) being blotted out for their idolatry even though they were not specifically told that idolatry is wrong.........).. We can see implications of this on not just murder in general, but on other issues such as abortion. With this in mind, we should never grow cold towards abortion.

     Finally, for the persecution example, we see that there is murder or other hateful actions being done towards Christians, but our Lord looks at this persecution FIRST AND FOREMOST not as an assault on his followers, but on HIM.

     It really does concern me, and to be honest, it angers me, when I see Christians and church leaders refusing to speak out and take practical steps towards fighting against this persecution through prayer, and loving Christian action towards calling people to repent and believe in the Lord.. and other non-traditional things such as blogging and other forms of information transmission through various other media.

    In effect, the message that is being said when churches refuse to speak out and take action is: We find it acceptable for you the state, other people etc.. to continue to persecute Jesus by passing laws and bullying Christians to be silent, compromise our faith, and ultimately make us sin against our Lord.

     It is unfortunate that people don't see that the implications of refusing to speak out is that we are allowing the persecution not just Jesus' followers but persecution of JESUS himself to be accepted.

     How is it that a Christian is now somehow regarded as being orthodox (R2K) by refusing to speak out and ultimately therefore allowing Jesus to be persecuted as opposed to not allowing him to be persecuted but honored and feared (theonomic, or at least Kuiperian)?

     When did Christendom and supposed bastions of the reformed faith become so terribly backwards?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A fraud of the worst kind.

If you have been keeping any sort of passive watch on the whole homosexuals in the military issue, you probably have come across the name of Lt. Dan Choi. Here is a picture of him.

He is a West Point graduate, fluent in Arabic, an infantry officer, an Iraq war veteran, and homosexual. He made a big deal about it by announcing his homosexuality on the Rachel Maddow show, here. And he is a very eloquent and powerful orator. 

He is probably one of the most outspoken and passionate supporters of homosexual rights and for the repeal of DADT. 

Anyone who has not been in the military would be easily impressed by his seemingly solid educational, professional and military qualifications. And of course, he milks it for all its worth, detailing his troubles for being homosexual and in the military. Of course, this is to highlight the unfairness of DADT and how outstanding officers like him live in the shadows because of DADT. 

And through the Rachel Maddow show (herself a lesbian), he announces who he really is and subsequently, he gets kicked out of the military. To any average person, this would seem like an immense travesty of obscenely epic proportions. 

How can such outstanding warrior possibly kicked out for something as minor as his sexual preference!?!?!?!?!?

This post is not about the direct issue of DADT or homosexuals in the military, although it can easily be about that. And really, this particular post should resonate with those that were for the repeal of DADT. 

Lt. Dan Choi is the perfect example of utter media bias, and totally slanting the scales to his favor to make his position seem noble and righteous. I will attempt to show you that he is nothing but a big fraud and that this should be a warning to anyone from whatever side of DADT you come down on. 

1) You will notice that Dan Choi's rank is 1st Lt. As you come out of West Point, you are commissioned as a 2nd Lt. (Paygrade of Officer 1, O1). Therefore, his paygrade at the time that he went on Maddow's show is O2 (1st Lt).
While most people wouldn't think anything of this, I caught on to this immediately. 
If you notice, he graduated West Point in 2003, and he went on to the Maddow show in 2009. In the area of military promotions, if you are an O1, in almost exactly 2 years, you will make O2.. And, unless you serious were extremely poor in your performance or got a DUI or accidentally killed someone, you will make O3 (Army Captain) two years after you made O2. 
So, by May 2007, Dan Choi should have been Captain Dan Choi, and not Lt Dan Choi. 
It is convenient that no one ever has brought this up. How could such a super soldier like Choi have gotten passed over for O3? Remember, he didnt announce his homosexuality until 2009, well after 2007 when he should have made O3. 

Again, the only way that he could not have made O3 is if he had some of really really egregious performance problems, got a DUI or killed someone accidentally. 

2) You would also hear that he is a "combat veteran" from the Iraq war. Really? How could one possibly tell whether a soldier has been in combat? In the military, you can tell by the particular decorations that that person is wearing on his uniform. In the Navy and Marine Corps, it is simply a ribbon called the Combat Action ribbon. 
In the Army, it is an actual badge, either the Combat Action badge (for non-infantry soldiers) or the Combat Infantryman badge (infantry).. Basically, you must have been actually engaging the enemy (taking fire and returning fire) in order to rate the CIB. What does Dan Choi have on his uniform? 
435 × 580 -
You will notice that he does NOT have the CIB on his uniform. It would be the top badge above his rectangle ribbons on his left breast. 

3) Typically, when you attend a service academy, you incur a ~5 year obligation for all of the money that they spent on you. He transferred in 2008 to the reserves. But what is strange is that he STILL is a 1st Lt in the reserves and has not been promoted after O2. Usually, when you go into the reserves after having been passed over, you usually promote to the next rank in the reserves. 

So, while I don't doubt his ability in speaking Arabic (he is actually very good), a little digging into his military history would yield a person who has never been in combat, and performed so poorly or did something so stupid that he couldnt get promoted to O3, and couldnt even get promoted in the reserves.. Keep in mind also that he came in during the height of the Iraq war when infantry officers were in high demand, and promotions to O3 were very robust.. (~over 90% selection)... 

Funny how the media doesn't mention any of this. Again, regardless of your position on DADT, Dan Choi, while seeming to be the poster child warrior victim of DADT, was nothing but a big fraud who couldnt get promoted during a time of over 90% promotion rate, and has never been in combat while touting himself as a combat veteran. 

That's like having Michael Horton doing all of this White Horse Inn ministry stuff and then we all find out later that he never actually got a PhD, all the while touting his academic and theological credentials.

Investigation into R2K.

     The RCUS is a small continental reformed denomination. When I was visiting Nebraska, I visited a RCUS church, and I somehow got to talking with the pastor about R2K. 
      He generally told me that the RCUS is a "1K" denomination (and more kuyperian, as opposed to theonomic), although he suspected that there may be some closeted "R2K-ers". He also said that most ministers in the RCUS tend to be amill, while he specifically was post-mil. As a matter of fact, he got his MDIV from Bahnsen Theological Seminary, and studied under Bahnsen himself. 
     One of the classis (presbytery-equivalent) of the RCUS wrote a report on the doctrine of R2K, and it lays out a pretty good summary of the R2K doctrine as held by Meredith Kline (arguably the forefather of the R2K movement), and Van Drunen and Horton. I am a little surprised that RS Clark was not mentioned at all but I think that the essence of this erroneous doctrine was captured quite clearly by examining the other three men. 
     Pastor McAtee posted the relevant portion of the classis report on his blog, and the gist of the RCUS viewpoint is that the doctrine is quite a concern for its various theological points, and further study by the classis was recommended. 
     I find this to be step in the right direction. Although the RCUS is not as big as, say, the PCA, I still think that it should have enough influence that other presbyterian / reformed denominations would be able to take notice that this effort is going on (such as the URC). I doubt that the PCA will ever produce a report like this, given the fact that they can't even properly denounce aberrant doctrines of creationism (i.e. theistic evolution), or even something just as obvious as federal vision. \
     May the RCUS continue in this bold way and denounce it for the dangerous and cowardly doctrine that it is, while the PCA and sadly, even the OPC, have not only tolerated it but have fully accepted it in certain presbyteries. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Baptism, Church membership and Communion

     If you have been in a reformed/presbyterian church for any length of time, you may have noticed a fairly wide range of practices (unfortunately) of the administration of the Lord's supper.
     (1) Some reformed churches will require an interview from you (if you are a visitor) and then they hand you some sort of token coin so that you can show it and then you can then take communion during the service. 
     (2) Some churches will "fence" the table by declaring a solemn warning to those who partake by quoting 1 Cor 11:29 to ensure that those who take communion understand its significance lest they simply eat and drink judgment upon themselves. Along with this warning from 1 Cor 11:29, the minister will typically say something like... "if you have been baptized and are a member in good standing of a reformed or evangelical church, you may participate etc...".
     (3) And other reformed churches will simply say something like this: "If you are a Christian, this table is for you. There is nothing more required to come to the table."
      View (3) is probably the loosest and most careless approach to administering communion. There are absolutely no restrictions and the "requirements" are so broad that it can easy to fall into the trap of what Paul warns in 1 Cor 11:29. 
       View (1) is probably the strictest and **seemingly** the most biblically consistent, yet has great practical danger of preventing those to come to the table, say, for people who happened to come a little bit late to service at a reformed church and didnt get a chance to interview with the elders. And so it could possibly be argued that that church has now denied communion when it had no authority to do so. 
      View (2) attempts to strike a "middle ground" in that it gives the solemn warning of who can take communion, but for the most part, leaves it up to the individual. While the middle ground seems to be a good balance, this can be especially problematic for visitors who have not been baptized and are not members of any church, and yet willfully ignore the minister's warning and take communion. I have seen this happen before. I have even brought this up to the members themselves, and my admonishments were ignored. 

      View (3) does not make any attempt to do justice whatsoever to 1 Cor 11:29, and because of that, is clearly a practice that needs to be abandoned. 

      While view (1) and view (2) both have the same understanding of the theological reasons for communion and the requirements by the believer to come to the table, both have lent themselves to different practices that in certain situations can lead to certain practical difficulties. Those practical difficulties in and of themselves are not reasons for the validity of that particular practice, but it is something to be conscious of when attempting to administer communion. I personally would be comfortable worshipping at a church that holds to either view. 

      Regarding the outward practice of view (1) and view (2), they both presuppose that the member (or visitor) **must** be baptized and a member in good standing at a church before partaking in communion. Why is this significant? Why is this even necessary?

     We understand that baptism is now the New Covenant sign and seal of the covenant believer (replacing circumcision), and membership in the visible and local church is a natural extension and visible representation of your membership in the invisible church. Baptism is something that is implicitly understood as being required. 
     Membership is presupposed when the NT letters talk about submitting to your church leaders, and praying for them, and when Paul talks about church correction/discipline issues in other parts of 1 Cor. One cannot be corrected by the church leadership if he has not formally acknowledged and submitted to that leadership through the process that we now recognize as the church membership process. A session (or consistory) would not start the discipline process on a one-time church visitor. If that visitor simply started attending the church for the next several months, is there anything inherently different regarding his status in relation to the church session compared to him visiting that first time? No.. There is no difference. Hence, this is why the attender would need to formally take that step in acknowledging the session's leadership in his spiritual walk and through this acknowledgement, he is now a member of that church. 
      It is important to realize that the way that the NT understands baptism and membership is that both are presupposed for every Christian to undergo. Those two things are so basic that it is unthinkable for the NT to consider a Christian not to have undergone baptism or formally submitted to a body of presbyters at a local church. For a Christian to not have done these two things is in fact a grave sin. It is amazing to me that the wonderful sign and seal that God gives us today is willfully ignored by many evangelicals and its significance and the seriousness of being physically set apart is not properly understood. 
     This is a big reason as to why the warning is given before communion for the partaker to be baptized and member in good standing. 

     While all of this above is correct, is there anything analogous from the OT that we can draw to support from? 

     In fact, yes, there is. If we look at Exodus 12:48, the Lord gave Passover restrictions to Israel, here in particular talking about foreigners. 

     "A foreigner residing among you who wants to celebrate the Lord’s Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land. No uncircumcised male may eat it. The same law applies both to the native-born and to the foreigner residing among you.”

     For various theological reasons, I don't hold to the fact that the Passover is the OT "version" of the Lord's supper, although there are some parallels in terms of the foreshadowing of Christ in Passover and how Christ is fully revealed and celebrated in the supper. 

     However, what is clear is that the Passover was a religious ordinance that was commanded and the Supper is a religious ordinance that is commanded. 

     What was the requirement for one to participate in the Passover? If you notice in the passage, he must first be circumcised. And we understand that circumcision, in addition to being a sign and seal, also then meant visible entrance into the covenant community of Israel. This was a requirement for Passover for the native born as well as the foreigner who was not originally from the land. Notice that a foreigner was allowed to stay and participate in the cultural (civil) dimension and realm of Israel, and yet was not allowed to participate in the cultic (religious) dimension of Israel if he was not circumcised. (Among other things, this contradicts the false notion that "church" and "state" in Israel were merged.)

     I think that it should become clear as to the parallels between the requirements for Passover, and how this carries over into the NT as it applies to the Lord's supper. 

     For those who were from the land (and eventually those who came as foreigners), it was presupposed that they would all be circumcised. Therefore, they would have received the sign and seal, and by default, the physical reflection of their receiving the sign and seal and therefore being set apart is to be (a member) in the covenant community (visible). Passover was a cultic meal that was meant only for the (visible) covenant community to set Israel apart from the Egyptians (at the time) that they belonged to God (among other things). Those foreigners who were not circumcised did not perform this ceremony in order to enter into the (visible) covenant community, and therefore, were not privy to enter into the covenant meal ceremony for those in the covenant. 

     In the same way, we should see that this concept of entrance into the visible covenant community (local church) is through the ceremony of baptism initially, and declaration of membership (say, if someone moves somewhere else but is already baptized), exactly the same intent as circumcision was in the OT. 
     Therefore, the foreigner in Israel who was not circumcised did not have the sign and seal, and was not physically set apart. Because of his non-participation in circumcision, he is not part of the covenant community (visible) and therefore was not a member of the covenant community, and was not allowed to participate in the covenant meal of Passover. 
In the same way, a Christian who is not baptized does not have the sign and seal, and is not physically set apart. Because of his non-participation in baptism, he is not part of the covenant community (visible) and therefore, **should not** be a member of the covenant community (local church). So, he is not allowed to participate in the covenant meal of communion. 

   This understanding of the relation between baptism, church membership and communion is sadly not properly understood in light of what baptism and membership really mean, and more fundamentally, its OT basis. 

    Also just as sadly, there are many churches today who have no concept of baptism and have a weak view and sometimes flat out wrong understanding of what the requirements (faith AND baptism) are for membership. This leads to other practical, yet gravely theological at the same time, difficulties in which a Christian is a "member in good standing" at a church but has not actually been baptized. In this situation, the membership, while ***temporally*** valid with regards to that local church's membership requirements (simply a declaration of faith), is not ***theologically*** valid with regards to the biblical requirements of faith plus baptism. This Christian then moves to another city and starts taking communion at a church simply because he thinks that his membership is truly valid, when all this time, he is committing the sins in 1 Cor 11:29 that Paul so strongly warns us about. 

     May God continue to raise up godly churches that cherish and teach our sacraments and what exactly sacred church membership really requires.