In reading about the Eucharist I stumbled across the statement by the Church of England in response to English Catholics (One Bread One Body), The Eucharist: Sacrament of Unity. There is a lot in this short statement that is worth reading, and should be read in concert with Paul Avis‘s work, The Identity of Anglicanism. At paragraph 35, the Anglican Bishops write, While we appreciate the intention to safeguard the integrity of the Eucharist from indiscriminate celebration in inappropriate circumstances (for example, without agreement in the apostolic faith), we do not believe that eucharistic communion should be reserved for the
This will not be a long post, because the topic of online communion is almost worth not having. Yet, it is a theological one and frankly, this is great because it means United Methodists are talking about something more important that genitals. Chad Holtz, with whom I disagree vehemently regarding inclusion has written one of the best send ups in favor of online communion. I disagree with his proposal, but I do recommend his piece. I will not offer a rebuttal of this proposal, but simply state why I feel it is not theologically sound to do this. In
While Joel is on vacation, I promised him I would contribute a few original posts this week on here. For the past year, Joel has given more of his energy to the United Methodist Church and the -ism Schism controversies within it. What are the reasons for schisms, and who are calling for them. There are some rather unwise persons out here in Christianity calling for schism over their pet issues, without even knowing what it means historically. Do they not understand that schismatics desire bloodshed? The history of Schisms in Church history is a rather gory one. The
First, let’s get this out of the way. Here are the modules included in this package: The Works of William Law (9 vols.) The Works of Charles Wesley (22 vols.) The Works of Joseph Butler (2 vols.) Enchiridion Theologicum First, let me tackle William Law, an intellectual predecessor to John and Charles Wesley: What does it mean to have serious faith? From the time he was a boy, William Law attempted to make his commitment to Christ real in all aspects of his life. He felt strongly that one’s commitment to God took precedence over all competing commitments. Law
Oft times, Methodists like to pretend that the theology we inherited from John and Charles is that of a symbol — yet, in reading the stanzas, we see sacrificial language, mimicking the high sacramentarianism of the Catho-Anglicans. This hymn was part of our Maundy Thursday service, and I having never heard it before, listened as intensely as one does to an new lover. (I note the singers of this version left out some pertinent parts…) Come, sinners, to the Gospel feast; Let every soul be Jesus’ guest. Ye need not one be left behind, For God hath bid all humankind.
Everyone can share in some way in the life of the Church; everyone can be part of the community, nor should the doors of the sacraments be closed for simply any reason. This is especially true of the sacrament which is itself “the door”: baptism. The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak. These convictions have pastoral consequences that we are called to consider with prudence and boldness. Frequently, we act as arbiters of grace rather than its facilitators. But the Church
Last night, the Confessing Church within the UMC’s facebook outlet posted a nice picture. Note, this is not a diatribe against the basic principles of the Confessing Church Within the UMC nor the membership as a whole. This is, instead, an attempt to point out their hypocrisy (at least on the facebook page which does not seem to be an official organ (although authorized) of the CCwUMC). That was my response to their posting. In turn, they said, Methodist churches traditionally practice Open Communion, not Closed Communion. To which I responded, You mean United Methodist Churches. And yes, I