Canadian Anglicans wonder if open communion …

… will save their church.

The story is interesting to read from a United Methodist perspective since it presents open communion – offering the Eucharist to the unbaptized – as a radical, dangerous, and nearly heretical idea.

We United Methodists sometimes have conversations about whether Holy Communion should be restricted to the baptized, but our practice has long been to offer a place at the table to anyone who comes.

As such, I have bad news for my Anglican brothers and sisters. An open table is not a guarantee of denominational growth.

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4 thoughts on “Canadian Anglicans wonder if open communion …

  1. In my opinion, open communion is about “doing the right thing”. And “doing the right thing” won’t necessary result in denominational growth. America has begun its journey into a post-Christian society and most Church leaders still think it’s about getting the marketing right.

  2. There is also the problem that an open table policy doesn’t make theological sense in the traditional Anglican understanding of the communion experience. The open communion experiment is driven by a reliance on emotions, not rationality and developed tradition, on political correctness and feeling good about what you do, not on orthodoxy and therefore in that sense, actually doing the right thing.

  3. Frank: Being a Methodist, I’m not looking at it from an Anglican perspective. My other point still stands: church leaders in North America are not facing the fact that society is at the beginning of the post-Christian era. All the tweeking in the world isn’t going to bring the hordes back into Churches. As John points out, Methodists have an open table and it’s not a panacea for us. The Church of England has an open table and only 10% of the population goes to church (and that includes all the other Christian denominations as well as the C of E).

  4. Letting everyone in the door is very good. However, trying to change the message to fit everybody means that you aren’t going to appeal to anybody. The Unitarians already have that market cornered.

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