Steve Phillips, returned missionary from west Africa, was asked this by a brother in Nigeria. Here is Brother Steve’s reply:

“Very simply it is this: A person must know someone before it is possible to remember him. If you don’t know Christ, you cannot remember Him. That person may participate in a religious ceremony without knowing and remembering Him; even Judas …did that. How do we know if someone knows Christ? We don’t. All we can do is accept one another on the basis of their profession of faith. “Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God” [Rom.15:7]. We need not and should not attempt to police brethren as to whether they are “qualified” to share in communion with us. We are not police and the only criteria we can offer would be man-made regulations. The judgment rendered for communion is personal, not corporate. “But a man must examine himself” [I Cor.11:28]. To create some type of “interview” with reputed “judges” within the church who then determine whether the newcomer is “worthy” to partake is sheer carnality. It is the product of a narrow self-righteous mind attempting to “guard” the “sanctity” of a religious ritual in the same way that Pharisees had multiplied regulations to keep men from “breaking” their Sabbath. You will find that those who practice this type of thing consider themselves to be the “remnant” – ones that ever so subtly congratulate themselves that they are, thankfully, unlike other men. The stench of this offends not only the church of God, but arises as a foul odor into the heavens. After saying, “let a man examine himself,” the next statement is: “and so let him eat” [I Cor.11:28]. Examine yourself and eat with us, brother. That is the message to any and all. If at some later time it is discovered that there is waywardness in the brother, fine, we deal with that appropriately then as the Lord directs in His Word. Baptism is customary in the NT and is spoken of as such. I know of nothing that would exclude a person from breaking bread to remember the Lord had he not been baptized. Water baptism is a fitting expression of spiritual reality, but is not the substance of that reality. “