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.