Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Anglican Church of Canada mulls open communion

For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
I Corinthians 11:26-29

As reported by Charles Lewis in the National Post, March 8, 2011:

Canadian Anglicans will hold discussions this spring about whether baptism is necessary for taking part in communion -questioning a requirement of Christianity that has existed for 2,000 years.

"Official teaching is you have to be baptized first. But a number of clergy across the country feel strongly about this as an issue and many have approached their bishops about allowing for an 'open table' in which all could take communion," said Archdeacon Paul Feheley, who is the principal secretary to Archbishop Fred Hiltz, head of the Anglican Church of Canada.

It will be discussed when the House of Bishops meets in April, but not as an official topic, he said.

The idea -already rejected as a dangerous step by more orthodox Anglicans -was raised in an article this week in the AnglicanJournal.com in which an Ontario church pastor argues that removing the requirement of baptism would help stop the decline in the number of Anglicans attending services.

Rev. Gary Nicolosi said that if Jesus did not discriminate about who he invited to his table, then the Church should follow his lead.

"How, in our multicultural and pluralistic society, can our churches be places of hospitality if we exclude table fellowship with the non-baptized? This is not an academic question," wrote Rev. Nicolosi, the pastor at St. James Westminster Anglican Church in London, Ont., and an official Church consultant on how to build membership...

...In an interview, Rev. Nicolosi noted the Church is losing 13,000 members a year and that those who remain now have an average age of 60. He estimates that just 500,000 Anglicans are left in Canada, down from 1.3 million only a few decades ago.

Dr. Nicolosi's article is titled A Case for Open Communion.

I'm surprised that with the large number of members the Anglican Church of Canada has lost over the years, that they still have any left. Here's a suggestion for stopping the decline: proclaim the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, the mainline churches are so far and so long removed from the true gospel that I don't think they'd recognize it.

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