Skip to comments.Broken Fellowship [ECUSA]
Posted on 04/25/2006 2:57:29 PM PDT by sionnsar
One of the more incomprehensible aspects of this controversy for our revisionist opponents is the decision many of us have made not to share eucharistic fellowship with them. I have not taken communion with or from my bishop since the summer of 2003 and I dont plan to even consider doing so until he submits fully to the Windsor Report requests.
This is very difficult for revisionists to understand. After all, no-matter-how-much-we-disagree-we-can-always-come-together-at-the-altar. Im sure youve heard it before.
Many revisionists take this mantra to the extreme, inviting"any who feel the call", baptized or not, to belly up and join in a veritable orgy of inclusive toleration. Of course this not only mocks the quite serious New Testament warnings with regard to the sacrament (1st Corinthians 11:27-32), it also represents a violation of the inviolable and infallible canons of the Episcopal Church. This might seem inconsistent to objective observers who, judging by past rhetoric, might expect revisionists to be sticklers with regard ECUSA canon law. This provides a great opportunity to remind such observers that revisionists are not interested in canon law for its own sake or because it represents the movement of the Spirit. They are interested in canon law because it is an effective revolutionary tool. They will say what they need to say and do what they need to do and use what/who they need to use to speed the march of history. When it comes to the revolution, they are quite consistent.
In any case, I intended this article to explain why many of us dont take communion with or from revisionist priests and bishops and I suppose I should make my way back to the point. It is an important one because our absence at the Holy Table has been mischaracterized by some as a form of neo-donatism. The false accusation is that, like the donatist heretics of old, we will not share table fellowship because we think the personal moral failings of our colleagues invalidate the sacrament.
In fact it is the validity of the sacrament that, personally speaking, necessitates my abstention.
The one Loaf of the Eucharist is not only a participation in Christs body and blood it is also communal proclamation of the One Faith we purportedly share with the apostles and all of Christendom (1 Corinthians 10:17; Ephesians 4:1-16). But the faith being proclaimed by revisionist priests and bishops is, in fact, not the faith of the apostles. It is a corruption of that faith.
Because participation in communion implies a common proclamation, our public participation with false teachers in the Eucharistic feast would thus represent a public participation in the false teachings they proclaim.
If on the one hand we say that revisionists are leading people further from the truth of Christ, deeper into the darkness, and on the other join the very same leaders in the primary public rite that at once proclaims our unity in Christ, we would not only send a very confusing message to the faithful, we would also betray the very truth the Eucharist was given to proclaim.
Just a cursory glance at the various New Testament passages that deal with the Eucharist will be enough to confirm that participation in the common loaf represents a proclamation of common faith. Thats why Paul is so concerned to keep the Corinthians from sharing table fellowship with those who claim to be believers but who consistently live and teach contrary to it (1st Corinthians 5:9-13). Thats why he admonishes the Galatians to anathematize or excommunicate the false teachers promulgating a different gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). And thats why John exhorts his readers to deny even basic hospitality to travelers if they arrive bearing a false message (2nd John 10).
Participation implies unified proclamation.
It has been said many times and said well that ECUSA has become two bodies within one church. Nothing makes that de-facto split more manifest than our divided Eucharist.
This sad but necessary state of affairs cannot continue forever. But so long as the Episcopal Church embraces heresy, it must continue.
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