Arimathea | Religion | Open “Communion” | Comments
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Monday, June 25, A.D. 2012
Open “Communion”

On Sunday evening, I walked by a local Episcopalian parish, where I saw the following sign:

Now, I know that the Anglicans have skipped along the cliff quite a bit, but I wondered if the sign really meant what it said. In typically leftist fashion, the message is somewhat ambiguous. It mentions “open communion,” but then it proclaims a welcome for everyone to join them. However, most if not all Christian groups welcome visitors to their services. We stopped kicking the heathen (and the catechumens) out mid-liturgy ages ago. How, then, are our Capitol Hill Anglicans especially open?

The parish web site clarifies it: What is “Open Communion”?

“Wherever you are on your faith journey, wherever you have come from and wherever you are going to, whatever you believe, whatever you do not believe, all are welcome to partake of the Lord’s meal. This is God’s meal, not ours.”

At St. Mark’s, we welcome everyone to celebrate Eucharist with us.  We believe in the inherent value of all travelers in this life journey; “open communion” reminds the parishioners and visitors that all are invited to the Lord’s table. Surrounding a central altar, all participants, regardless of whether or not they have been baptized, join together shoulder to shoulder to share the gifts of bread and wine.

After searching a bit online, I discovered that “communing” the unbaptized is actually against Anglican ecclesial canons, though the practice is widespread among Episcopalians. What on earth (or in hell) is wrong with the Anglicans in this country? They disregard the sanctity of marriage and preach sexual “liberation.” Then, they ignore the fundamental distinction for Christians between the baptized and the unbaptized with regard to the Eucharist. I see parallels there.

Of course, I do not think that the Anglicans have real sacraments, but their former ideas and attitudes toward Christian practices and doctrines were much closer to the apostolic faith. Their minds and hearts had been well paved for conversion to the Church. Currently, though, they are becoming more similar to pagans, having no proper inner formation that would prepare them for Christianity. Moreover, traditional pagan sects have a better understanding of the divine and the world. Contemporary Episcopagans do not even have the advantages of natural religion. Having forsaken nature and cosmic order in pursuit of the idol of ego worship, they are further inoculated against learning the gospel by having ingested a counterfeit christ. Instead of the eternal Pantokrator, they have the soothing Gaia Spirit that assures them that they and everything that they have ever done are good—just the way they are. A rather timely faith, I’d say.

Posted by Joseph on Monday, June 25, A.D. 2012
Religion | ProtestantismPermalink

Perhaps they see this less as a sacrament and more of prayer in action, something like joining hands for the “Our Father.”

Posted by Aaron on Tuesday, June 26, A.D. 2012

Aaron, that might be true. However, how did such Anglicans, who consider themselves to be a sacramental church (even if of only two sacraments—baptism and the eucharist), come to see communion as a prayer service? When “low church” Protestants who see communion as simply a memorial service offer “open communion,” it is not surprising. For they do not see communion as the mystery whereby the Church manifests its intimate relationship to Christ. For them not to allow non-Christians to commune would be like their telling non-Christians that they could not participate as actors in a passion play. That would just seem needlessly insular. Yet, Episcopalians assert that the eucharist is a sacrament.

In this, I think that Episcopalians’ liberalism, which detests any sort of discrimination or exclusion, trumps their sacramental theology. I think that their approach to sexual ethics has suffered similarly. Marriage makes sexuality exclusive. As such, it must be marginalized, disregaded, transformed, or abolished.

Posted by Joseph from Arimathea on Tuesday, June 26, A.D. 2012
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