Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Push for Communion Without Baptism is an Assault on the Church

From Mississippi-

The topic of Communion Without Baptism (CWOB) continues to make the rounds in the Episcopal/Anglican blogosphere.  Lately that's largely due to the Open Table resolution for this summer's General Convention from the Diocese of Eastern Oregon.

At The Curate's Desk, Fr. Robert Hendrickson has posted a good response to the Diocese of Eastern Oregon's position paper on this matter.  He writes:

The Eucharist has been the central act of worship for large parts of Christianity since Christ said “Take, eat, this is my Body.” Somehow, over 2000 years, this has not been a source of tension. This was the pattern in lean times of persecution and in the bloated years of full-blown Christendom and in every era in between. Wax or wane Christianity has held, at its core, Baptism as entry into the life of Christ.

The challenge is not that we have a ministry of the baptized and Communion as our central act of worship – the challenge is that we have clergy ill-trained in Sacramental theology administering them. We have laity that we have failed to form in Sacramental living. We now have a wide body of our priests that do not believe anything much actually happens in the Sacraments.

Do you believe the Holy Spirit descends upon a person and transforms their very being in Baptism so that they are united with Christ? Do you believe that Christ is truly present in the Body and Blood we receive at the Altar? Are the Sacraments God’s action or ours? I have heard far too many talking of Baptism as an entry rite rather than as transformation just as I have heard too many speak of Communion as a “meal” alone rather than the very Presence of Christ among us.

More here-

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