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Switch to Forum Live View Eastern Oregan introduces Communion w/o Baptism proposal to GC
3 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2012 - 8:57PM #41
Roodog
Posts: 10,168

The restrictions on the Eucharist is not so much to protect it's sanctity but rather to protect the recipient from any divine repercussions for recieving the sacrament in an unworthy manner.


St. Paul taught that the Lord would protect those things which are holy and needs to be taken with faith and a clear conscience. 


It has been my impression that such sanctity carrried more weight in TEC than in most Evangelical bodies. It was instilled in me when I was a TECie.


Furthermore, Christian Baptism has been always been seen as a neccessary initiation into the faith. This is part of the rationale behind infant baptism.

For those who have faith, no explanation is neccessary.
For those who have no faith, no explanation is possible.

St. Thomas Aquinas

If one turns his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:9
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2012 - 9:04PM #42
Dutch777
Posts: 9,122

 [/quote]


The Gentiles were added to the Church before they were baptised.  They had received the Spirit. Therefore baptism is not a prerequisite of being included in the body of Christ.


Nino, with all due respect, this is an example of a non sequitur.


From early on, non-baptized Christian were considered part of the church as catechumens, i.e. those receiving instruction prior to baptism.  They were not permitted to receive the Holy Eucharist.  They could only attend the first part of the worship service, which came to be called "the mass of the catechumens".  After a lengthy period of instruction and then their baptism, and only then, were they permitted to attend the "mass of the faithful" and receive the bread and wine.


The grace they had received which opened their hearts, minds and wills to the message of Jesus Christ is called "prevenient grace", soley the work of the Holy Spirit.  That is what is meant by "receiving the Holy Spirit", and it may also be accompanied by various other manifestations of the Holy Spirit, as God so chooses.


Paul said the the Church must discern the Lord's body when celebrating the Eucharist.  That discernment is not only referencing the bread and wine, but also includes recognizing all members of the body and including them in our celebration,


Let's be careful here --- in St.Paul's term, "discerning" --- about membership in the Body of Christ.  One is a full member only after baptism, and this has always been the position of the Christian Church.  Catechumens have, one might say, a preliminary membership, which does not admit them fully into the complete worship service or the Holy Eucharist.


The passage 1Cor.11:29 suggests some form of "real presence".  I agree also with the 2nd. part of your post, q.v. 1Cor.12:27 "Now you are the Body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it".  The congregation of the baptized is the corporate presence of the risen and glorified Christ.  1st. Cor. is most assuredly addressed to the elders of the church in the first instance; not to the catechumens who are not yet full members.


 unlike the Christians at Corinth that did not share their food and wine with all the Christians.


This is where things get murky.  In the first couple of generations of the church, the main event was a sort of "pot-luck" evening meal where the host and the more affluent members brought food and wine.  For the poorer members, this may have been their only substantial meal of the day.  In the middle of the meal, a memorial service or blessing was held, the bread and wine consecrated by the host or presiding elder, and distributed.  It would be a couple of generations before a more formal liturgy, distinct from the  "pot-luck dinner", would evolve.


Anyway, at the dinner, some attendees grabbed too much food and drink too quickly, and others went wanting.  As I stated, not too much is known about that first or second generation of the Church, but more formal liturgies did develop rather quickly. 


 


Therefore since unbaptised Christians are equally a part of the body we must discern that and, IMO, demonstrate that by including them.


Well, yes --- but granted all the provisos I indicated above, and I do not agree with the evaluation "equally" as this is theologically and historically not the case.  I'm not willing to jetison two millenia of church tradition and accumulated wisdom for any but the most critical of necessities --- and this issue isn't one of them.


Catechumens can and must be included in the various aspects of Church Life --- and their observance and respect for the traditions & accumulated wisdom of the Church is their outward demonstration of committedness and faithfulness.  After their baptism and reception of the Holy Eucharist, they are deemed no longer catechumens but full and complete members of the Body of Christ.


It's worth the wait and period of instruction.


[/quote]


The Path
To Moon Lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own Dharma*Path
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2012 - 11:29PM #43
journeying
Posts: 2,317

All interpretations are opinions when it comes to scripture.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2012 - 11:45PM #44
slu_magoo
Posts: 999

Mar 30, 2012 -- 11:29PM, journeying wrote:


All interpretations are opinions when it comes to scripture.




I agree.


I would add this to the baptism discussion, btw:  If I accept that baptism is necessary to be a Christian, then my lifelong Salvationist friends cannot be Christians.  If I accept that baptism is necessary to receive Communion in TEC, then my lifelong Salvationist friends must be mere observers.


I have never met more 'Christian people' than my Salvationist friends.  I am not worthy to tie their shoes.  IMO, they are certainly worthy to kneel at the altar with me and partake if they visit my parish.  (And at my parish, they would be allowed and welcomed.)


I could say the same about my Quaker friends.


And my dad.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2012 - 12:08AM #45
Dutch777
Posts: 9,122

Mar 30, 2012 -- 11:45PM, slu_magoo wrote:


Mar 30, 2012 -- 11:29PM, journeying wrote:


All interpretations are opinions when it comes to scripture.


Not all interpretations & opinions are of equal validity or carry equal expertise.




I agree.


I would add this to the baptism discussion, btw:  If I accept that baptism is necessary to be a Christian, then my lifelong Salvationist friends cannot be Christians. 


I would suggest that your Salvationist and Quaker friends are excellent human beings who are doing the Lord's work and are full of God's grace and respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  I would question why they refuse a sacrament so clearly commended by the Jesus Christ they serve so loyally and which is also commended in the epistles.


Nevertheless, if they come to TEC, one would appropriately expect them to honor and respect our customs.


 If I accept that baptism is necessary to receive Communion in TEC, then my lifelong Salvationist friends must be mere observers.


That is indeed the case; it is our custom and teaching.  If I go to an RC or EO church, I respect their custom and do not take communion. 


I have never met more 'Christian people' than my Salvationist friends. 


As previously stated, they are wonderful people doing God's work --- but so are many Muslims, Buddhists, Taoists and even Atheists.  I would expect these also to respect our customs and traditions and refrain from taking Holy Communion. 


Being a good and decent person alone doesn't make one a Christian; it makes one a good and decent person.  Conversely, not all Christians are good and decent people, but they are Christian --- and that is one criterion for receiving Holy Communion, albeit not the only criterion.


 I am not worthy to tie their shoes. 


Maybe they wear loafers ?


 IMO, they are certainly worthy to kneel at the altar with me and partake if they visit my parish.  (And at my parish, they would be allowed and welcomed.)


I don't believe that Baptists share the same eucharistic theology as Anglicans.


I could say the same about my Quaker friends.


Did you know that the image of the Quaker gentleman on the box of Quaker Oats is named "Larry".  Seriously, he is.


And my dad.


May his gates be ever safe from tigers (that's ancient Hindu blessing; they can't receive communion in our churches either).  Mazel tov.





The Path
To Moon Lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own Dharma*Path
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2012 - 12:16AM #46
Dutch777
Posts: 9,122

Roo,


Here's Larry, and he's actually named that.


tommcmahon.typepad.com/photos/uncategori...

The Path
To Moon Lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own Dharma*Path
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2012 - 1:20AM #47
slu_magoo
Posts: 999

Nice response, Dutch, but...


1) You mentioned Baptists.  I have no idea what you're talking about.  I didn't discuss Baptists at all.  Salvationists are descended from Methodism.


2) You mentioned respect for our customs.  At my parish, the custom is to allow anyone who comes forward to receive.  Thus, if they attend my parish and partake, then they are indeed respecting our customs.  Your customs and our customs are not the same.


3) I mention my dad only because for some of us, this debate is a bit personal.  It's not just some imaginary theological debate.  It affects real people, some of whom we know and love.


4) Jesus never commanded that one be baptized in order to receive Communion.  Try as you may, that never happened -- at least as recorded in the Bible. 


5) Salvationists and Quakers don't 'refuse' baptism.  It's just not one of their customs.  Do you 'refuse' running down the aisles, shouting, and speaking in tongues in church?  Or is it just not your custom?  What happened to the importance of customs?


6) No one here is discussing Catholicism or Orthodoxy.  I couldn't care less what they do.  That's their concern, not mine.  It's weird how people point toward things (Catholicism, the Bible, etc.) only when those things support their views.  Catholicism and Orthodoxy don't allow women priests.  Oh, and all of Jesus' hand-selected apostles (holy orders, another sacrament, right?) were men.  So should we look to the Catholic Church and the Bible for guidance on that issue as well?  We should be consistent, right?


7) Following the logic of number 6...Perhaps all of Jesus' disciples were baptized.  I have no way of knowing.  I do know that all of those present--as least as the story is presented to us--were male.  They were also all grown.  They were also all baptized as adults.  Should we conclude that only grown, baptized males are welcome at Communion?  Do you have some evidence supporting Jesus saying or doing otherwise?


I would argue, Dutch, that what you're doing here is sticking up for a man-imposed tradition that has very questionable (at best) support in the New Testament.  Why this man-imposed tradition and not others?  Why have you drawn the line with this one?  Why not baptism of adults only?  Why not an exclusively male clergy?  Why not an exclusively heterosexual clergy?  Why not an exclusively never-divorced clergy?  Those are all man-imposed traditions with very questionable support in the New Testament. 


...


Ultimately, no matter our discussions here, this matter will eventually be decided by GC.  If GC decides in favor of unrestricted communion, then those of you who are offended by it will have to decide whether it's important enough for you to stay or go.  Personally, no matter how it turns out, I know the path my parish will take, so I'm good.  Just as people aren't beating down the doors to sit through a dull-ass service on a Sunday morning now for a small bite and cheap watered-down wine, I doubt they'll beat down the doors after GC decides whatever it decides.  Life will go on.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2012 - 7:36AM #48
RJMcElwain
Posts: 2,961

Mar 30, 2012 -- 11:45PM, slu_magoo wrote:


Mar 30, 2012 -- 11:29PM, journeying wrote:


All interpretations are opinions when it comes to scripture.




I agree.


I would add this to the baptism discussion, btw:  If I accept that baptism is necessary to be a Christian, then my lifelong Salvationist friends cannot be Christians.  If I accept that baptism is necessary to receive Communion in TEC, then my lifelong Salvationist friends must be mere observers.


I have never met more 'Christian people' than my Salvationist friends.  I am not worthy to tie their shoes.  IMO, they are certainly worthy to kneel at the altar with me and partake if they visit my parish.  (And at my parish, they would be allowed and welcomed.)


I could say the same about my Quaker friends.


And my dad.




I agree. I feel the same about and Jews who would wish to partake. After all, it was all Jews at the first one.


Robert J. McElwain

"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." (Supposedly)Thomas Jefferson

"He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral."
St. Thomas Aquinas

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2012 - 7:41AM #49
RJMcElwain
Posts: 2,961

And, to my knowledge, custom is not part of the three legged stool.

Robert J. McElwain

"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." (Supposedly)Thomas Jefferson

"He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral."
St. Thomas Aquinas

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2012 - 10:14AM #50
Dutch777
Posts: 9,122

Mar 31, 2012 -- 8:40AM, Nino0814 wrote:

The Church has established such restrictions for our instruction, and an occasional exception could also clarify our view that the Church includes faithful Christians in sects who do not practice baptism




I must admit, Roo's point about excluding non-baptizing, but otherwise faithful Christians, from the Lord's Table does very much trouble me.  My initial thought is that they have, from the perspective of Anglican theology, placed themselves in the sacramental position, of catecheumans.


Secondly, not only don't Quakers and Salvationists practice baptism, they don't practice the Holy Eucharist either. Since that is the case, why should they feel deprived of the Holy Eucharist if it isn't part of their own religious practice?  If they want the H.E. in TEC, they should become TECies.  Isn't that logical?


Yes, exceptions can be made, and this can be thrown-back onto the doctrine (a wee bit stretched, of course) of baptism of desire.

The Path
To Moon Lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own Dharma*Path
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
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