Skip to comments.The Blasphemy of Open Communion
Posted on 12/04/2005 9:19:10 PM PST by jecIIny
The Blasphemy of Open Communion by Alvin Kimel
The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California has released its report on what is popularly called open communion but perhaps more accurately named communion without baptism. Around the country more and more Episcopal priests are now both permitting and inviting the nonbaptized to receive Holy Communion, without fear of Episcopal censure or discipline. This is happening despite clear canonical prohibition of the practice and despite long-standing Anglican and catholic tradition. The very fact that a diocesan committee was formed to study this new development and which in its turn is now encouraging further study and discussion witnesses to the seismic change that is occurring in the Episcopal Church.
(Excerpt) Read more at catholica.pontifications.net ...
The Bill Clinton decision
As a non-Catholic, I have heard that it was improper to receive Catholic communion if one was not a Catholic. Is that the case or is it just improper if one is not baptized? Or, is it improper only if one has not been baptized AS a Catholic? Just curious. I have been in that spot and felt bad not knowing how to be respectful of other Christian practices.
It is the actual physical body and blood of Jesus Christ to us.
Since I am a Southern Baptist, I am to adhere to the Baptist Faith and Message, which says on this subject:
"The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming."
I think our interpretation has much to do with Luke 22:19-20:
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."
In fact, on the face of our own church's altar, before which the Supper is administered, it is literally chiseled "Do This In Remembrance Of Me". I understand "our" argument that Jesus was instituting a fundamental and extremely important remembrance through symbolism. The Bible is replete with symbols and reminders for us. He knows how dumb we are, and He's right! :) I suppose I just don't understand the "level" of literalness that Catholics believe, since no credible person argues that the disciples actually ate of His flesh and drank of His blood. The passage does not support that at all anyway, they were breaking bread.
This is not intended as a "we are better than you are" measure. Rather it is intended to ensure that those taking the sacrament do not do so unworthily and thereby bring judgment upon themselves. Scripture expressly warns that taking the body and blood unworthily can be to your judgment.
We also urge caution to the extent that nonbelievers should not take the Lord's Supper in our church. I don't know those verses, but I would imagine that our respective churches would quote similar scripture. I wonder if there is a difference for a hypocrite vs. an unknowing violator.
"I suppose I just don't understand the "level" of literalness that Catholics believe, since no credible person argues that the disciples actually ate of His flesh and drank of His blood."
300,000,000 Orthodox Christians believe exactly that, as did all Christians until the Reformation.
Lots of writings from as early as approximately 110 by early christians that tell us that's exactly what they believed, right, Kolokotronis?
"Lots of writings from as early as approximately 110 by early christians that tell us that's exactly what they believed, right, Kolokotronis?"
Yes. The teachings of +Ignatius of Antioch, a friend and disciple of +John the Apostle and the 2nd successor of +Peter as bishop of Antioch, from earlier than 110 AD, outline the Eucharistic theology of the Church, a firm belief in the Real Presence, quite clearly.
Being that they have a bishop who rejects the most basic Christian morality, why should their actions surprise anyone?
Actually, it appears that the Protestants continued to teach this even after the Reformation. They didn't start teaching this new "symbolic" concept until it came into being some centuries afterwards.
Don't forget St. Polycarp.
bump for later
Perhaps this will explain the mindset. I have just sent the following e-mail to the webmaster of the ECUSA's website; I believe it's self-explanatory.
I am a member of my parish's Search Commitee as we seek a new pastor. To that end I though I'd do some reading, and went looking for the Canons. In due course I found them on this page: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/13299_35619_ENG_HTM.htm
However, I was a bit taken aback by the following description:
Constitution & Canons 2003
The documents which guide and govern episcopalians' common life. This document is revised at each General Convention to continually seek to have our polity match our practices.
This seems to imply to me that our rules are to be changed to reflect our practices. Shouldn't our practices conform to our rules, unless and until the rules are changed? Or am I misreading this statement?
Makes sense, Episcobaalians going in that direction, heck we have little kids taking communion,
Just to bring in another view, I Corinthians 11 is the passage that talks about taking communion "unworthily." A better translation is an unworthy manner. The manner which is being specifically spoken of in this passage is that certain people are being excluded from partaking because they are poor and working late, and the rich are getting drunk. As a result there's none left by the time the poor get there. It's interesting to me that Jesus seemingly made no effort to exclude Judas from the communion table.
I think the clear warning for the church is to not use communion as a way of defining who's in and out. Certainly there is room for church discipline and confronting sin, but using communion to do so brings judgment upon the leaders who do it.
Open communion in our denomination does not mean "communion without baptism." It means "communion with fellow believers from other denominations without an ID Check to gain admission."
But....I'm not episcopal.
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