to commune or not to commune

Discussion in 'Navigating Through Church Life' started by Lowly Layman, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    So I've been roped into going with family to my mother's church (United Methodist) for a Christmas eve service. There'll probably be communion. Should I take it? Why or why not?
     
  2. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

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    I say, against it.
     
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  3. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    Commune. I commune with my family's Baptist church every year without issue.
     
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  4. Classical Anglican

    Classical Anglican Active Member Anglican

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    I would err on side of safety--don't commune.
     
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  5. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    As we are not in full communion with the Methodists, the answer seems to beg itself. Excommunication, non-communion are grave matters, which should be taken seriously.

    On the other hand, family and especially honoring our elders is a grave issue also. But, unless she specifically asks you to commune or her honor becomes at stake, and you'd violate a Commandment otherwise, you have no obligation to commune, and all the reasons not to commune.
     
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  6. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks to all of you for your insights and advice. Anglican74, you pointed me in a good direction. The Episcopal church, of which I am a member, is in a state of "interim Eucharistic sharing" which means I am encouraged to participate. This got me to looking into Methodist Eucharistic theology. The UMC follows closely with the CofE's AofR with its 25 AofR. Here is what it read in the issues of the Lord's supper:

    "There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel; that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord.

    Those five commonly called sacraments, that is to say, confirmation, penance, orders, matrimony, and extreme unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel; being such as have partly grown out of the corrupt following of the apostles, and partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures, but yet have not the like nature of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, because they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God.

    The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about; but that we should duly use them. And in such only as worthily receive the same, they have a wholesome effect or operation; but they that receive them unworthily, purchase to themselves condemnation, as St. Paul saith.


    Article XVIII - Of the Lord's Supper

    The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death; insomuch that, to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ; and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ.

    Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine in the Supper of our Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

    The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after a heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith.

    The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshiped.

    Article XIX - Of Both Kinds

    The cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the lay people; for both the parts of the Lord's Supper, by Christ's ordinance and commandment, ought to be administered to all Christians alike.

    Article XX - Of the One Oblation of Christ, Finished upon the Cross

    The offering of Christ, once made, is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifice of masses, in the which it is commonly said that the priest doth offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, is a blasphemous fable and dangerous deceit."

    I am comfortable with the theology, but the lack of a regularly ordained priest at the altar (table) and the unbiblical use of grape juice instead of wine still bother me. The first I can overcome, but the second seems defective in a way I can't get past . I shall continue to pray on this.

    Thanks again.
     
  7. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I'm a bit late with my contribution, sorry! I suggest you don't commune. I have two sisters, both of whom have been very close and supportive throughout my life, but the only times I have been to their church, a Baptist one, has been for marriage and funerals. All luck to you and your family . It's a hard decision,
    Good Luck,
     
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  8. GB-UK

    GB-UK Member

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    Is this an American thing? Not communing with other parts of the Body of Christ? Or are you reasoning that they aren't a part of the Body of Christ because they aren't Anglican?
     
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  9. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    GB-UK, I mean no disrespect to other churches and the EC does practice open communion with all baptised Christians. However, I believe that one is called to receive the sacrament of Our Lord's Body and Blood rightly, meaning in accordance with Christ's institution. Christ chose bread and wine--not bread and Welch's concord grape juice-- as the earthly elements through which to make himself present in the hearts of his people in a special and unique way. He instituted an ordering of ministry since by which the word of God and his sacraments are shared. Methodist Ministers do not share in the historic episcopate that has been the visible protection of the faith once delivered to the saints. And so, I worry. I worry that if my kids see me commune they'll take it to mean that I endorse the church, that all churches are equal and you just need to find the flavor that suits you best. I don't want through my actions to imply that I am in agreement with our separated brethren when the reality is that I am not or to imply a unity which may not exist.
     
  10. GB-UK

    GB-UK Member

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    So your saying that they are not real Christians or are lesser Christians than you because they use juice instead of wine?
     
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  11. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Communion is not the same thing as being Christian. I have an instance i can give you: the Lutheran Missouri Synod (conservative) and the Lutheran Wisconsin Synod (conservative) are both conservative and utterly opposed to the mainline Lutheran church. And yet, they broke communion with each other as well. This does not mean they don't recognize each other as Christians.. heck they both acknowledge the other to be lutheran. Nevertheless they do not commune with each other because of grave disagreement. Modern Rome does not commune with any of the Protestants, and yet they certainly do never deny that they are true Nicene Christians. Historical and theological disagreements result in breaking communion between the two groups without insulting the other's ontological status.
     
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  12. GB-UK

    GB-UK Member

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    I never said it was, I just found it strange that you wouldn't commune with other members of the body of Christ because they don't use wine!
     
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  13. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It can be easy to trivialize sacramental elements, given a certain mind or perspective. I think it's a mistake, and it seems that Lowly thinks the same way. People slighting the water in holy baptism is another instance. It comes down to sacred Revelation and the holy example of Jesus. Christians who employ whatever elements they want believe revelation is unimportant. It seems that Lowly disagrees.
     
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  14. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    What's strange about it? What would you say are the necessary elements in the sacrament and what are negotiable?
     
  15. GB-UK

    GB-UK Member

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    Its strange to me because since the time that I accepted Jesus as my Saviour, attended various different denominations etc I've never heard of anyone not taking communion in another fellowship, be they Baptist, Anglican, Methodist, United Reformed, Pentecostal etc. Other than Roman Catholics (and I know a fair few of them who do take communion when attending other denominations) its never been an issue!
     
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  16. GB-UK

    GB-UK Member

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    I don't think its trivialising sacred elements, its coming together with brothers and sisters in the Lord and sharing in his body in remembrance of what he has done on Calvary's tree. One of the hardest things I've had to overcome since attending an Anglican Church is baptism, especially coming from a church that believes in the scriptural practice of believers baptism! Could you share how people are slighting the waters of baptism? I like what you said in your last sentence, especially as I'm about to go out to a midnight mass, as I very much doubt they will be offering bread with the wine for communion, just those wafer things! So much for sacred revelation and following in the holy example of Jesus!
     
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  17. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    i think he's referring to denominations that do not practice water baptism, like the Salvation Army for example.

    what was hard about baptism to overcome?
     
  18. GB-UK

    GB-UK Member

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    They also do not do communion either. As for baptism, its the whole infant baptism thing and how it doesn't fit with scripture. Its one of those things I'm working through in my walk of faith, its a headbanger for me!
     
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  19. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The scriptural anglican doctrine on baptism. The same goes for treating sacramental elements reverently, and, while we are at it, avoiding the promiscuity of cheap ecumenism.
     
  20. GB-UK

    GB-UK Member

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    Which is what in your particular view?...
     
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