Thursday, May 17, 2012

Communing the Unbaptized: One Last Observation

Jared Cramer joins the army of those objecting to communing the unbaptized, and in large part I endorse what he says about the bad arguments in favor of the heretical practice. But there's one thing to be added. We're talking here about one of the oldest canons of the church--not our church, THE church-- which they wish to overturn. It isn't as though there is no great weight of theology behind this, because, of course, there is. Any of us who have rebuked the innovation can explain what is wrong with it in a couple of sentences. But somehow, all of this is utterly irrelevant, and the proponents of the error can make an end run around fifteen hundred years of Christian theology. Or to put it more technically, this is the worst kind of progressivist restorationism, the liberal equivalent to the Jehovah's Witnesses. And there is no way of doing theology that is more in conflict with Anglican principles.


Mark+ said...

Thanks to you for pointing me to Fr. Cramer's+ article. Fr. Fred Schmidt+, Director of the Program in Spriritual Direction at SMU, had an article recently in his weekly "Patheos" on the Dumbing Down of the Church. The issue of communing without Baptism was at the heart of the article. The troubling aspect was the responses from a large number of persons, including those trained theologically, in favor of the practice. The arguments are all those raised in Cramer's article. The question of inclusion seems to have moved from one aspect of our hospitality to the point where it is 'THE' ultimate question, and only absolute inclusion can dispense grace. There is a total failure to see how life in community is integral to the reception of grace. Questions like, "who put you in charge of the altar?", are not merely hostile, but point to a form of individualism which places the self at the center of determining all truth. It strikes me that we are dangerously close to what Bonhoeffer termed "cheap grace", that is grace without discipline of any level, and the belief that what one holds to be true is really of no consequence.

C. Wingate said...

Indeed, and considering that on same liturgical level, membership is so easily, cheaply obtained, communion of the unbaptized claims that the grace of communion can be obtained through less commitment than when buys a cell phone.