Carne Levare

Know Other People

Closed Communion : Pt.2

Posted by Remy on April 17, 2009

Does a good father feed his children?

Is God a good Father?

If His son asks for the Bread of Life will He give him a stone?

Pt.1 found here.

6 Responses to “Closed Communion : Pt.2”

  1. Matt Yonke said


    The Catholic and Orthodox Churches do not “refuse” communion to any Christian. God simply asks that one assents to the teachings and authority of the Church, same as you guys do.

    You just hold to a different standard of which doctrines and what authority (and of course, this doesn’t apply for either of us to children or others mentally incapable of such assent.)

    Let’s say a Christian was to come to your Church and say, “I deny all the claims to authority your Church makes and I disagree with a significant portion of your teachings but, for some reason, I demand you admit me to your supper!”

    Are you swallowing that reductio? Cause that’s essentially the position under which you’re asking us to give the Eucharist to protestants.

  2. Matt Yonke said

    You know, I wrote that comment hastily and didn’t say what I really meant.

    You say your only requirement for reception to your table is baptism. But what if one was baptized in the Triune name, but also held with full conviction the heresy of Arianism? Allow him to the table? This seems a radical departure from all historic Christian practice.

    It’s not an IQ exam or even a doctrinal test. It’s the very definition of excommunication. If you believe heresy and not Christian doctrine, you can’t come to the table. You are out of communion by virtue of your heresy. It would be clear sin to let you partake.

    This of course doesn’t apply to a Christian who doesn’t know his doctrinal ass from a doctrinal hole in the ground, but it does apply to formal heretics who know what Christian doctrine is and choose to believe otherwise.

    If this definition of fencing the table doesn’t apply, there’s no such thing as fencing the table.

    Now, from where we’re sitting, you hold to a good number of heresies with great zeal. Not only would it be radically inconsistent with Christian history and doctrine to let you partake, it would be bad for your soul.

    But Remy, even beyond the issue of heresy, our respective tables mean radically different things. When the protestants chose to deny the doctrine of the sacrificial nature of the Eucharist, they set up a different table. I understand their claim that it’s the true table that Jesus founded, but nonetheless it’s a different table. We can’t come to each other’s tables pretending that they are the same. They are qualitatively different and this needs to be acknowledged.

  3. Remy said

    I suppose we agree that heretics should be excommunicated.

    Also, you hereby lose all right to get upset when I deal winsomely with words, such as calling transubstantionists trannies. You called me a heretic, you nitwit. Next thing you’ll be nuking the hometown of someone because they bumped you in the street.

    But let me put in a big huge ANYWAY and quote your Pope:
    “there is no appropriate category in Catholic thought for the phenomenon of Protestantism today (one could say the same of the relationship to the separated churches of the East). It is obvious that the old category of ‘heresy’ is no longer of any value. Heresy, for Scripture and the early Church, includes the idea of a personal decision against the unity of the Church, and heresy’s characteristic is pertinacia, the obstinacy of him who persists in his own private way. This, however, cannot be regarded as an appropriate description of the spiritual situation of the Protestant Christian. In the course of a now centuries-old history, Protestantism has made an important contribution to the realization of Christian faith, fulfilling a positive function in the development of the Christian message and, above all, often giving rise to a sincere and profound faith in the individual non-Catholic Christian, whose separation from the Catholic affirmation has nothing to do with the pertinacia characteristic of heresy.”

    Now be a good boy, daddy said play nice.

    As for “our” tables meaning different things I have to disagree. It is the Lord’s Table, we couldn’t take it from Him even if he wanted. We both agree that the individual beliefs of the priest don’t affect the sacraments. And forgive me for repeating myself, but we don’t fence the table, God fences it.

    The point stands, if we belong to Jesus and we ask for the Bread of Life, will He give us a stone?

  4. Matt Yonke said

    Well, I did apologize for jumping too quickly on the Tranny thing. Mea maxima culpa.

    And I do agree with the Pope about you being in a strange place as modern protestants. But the reason you can’t come to the Eucharist is because you refuse to submit to what the Church teaches.

    This doesn’t necessarily make you a formal heretic, but it is the one thing standing between you and the Eucharist. And it’s not the Church refusing you anymore than it’s the Church refusing to make women priests. It’s not that the Church doesn’t want to, it’s that She can’t even if she wanted to.

    The Church can’t give communion to people who don’t profess her to be the Church.

    That said, I hold out a credible hope that Christians in imperfect communion with the Church who truly love Our Lord are being fed by the Lord in whatever way He sees fit. To quote the old Eastern axiom, it’s very easy to tell where the Church is. It’s much harder to tell where she isn’t.

    So I trust God that He’s taking care of you and yours despite your refusal to submit to the Church because you’re baptized and thereby part of the Catholic Church (the way we mean it) and I know you love Jesus.

    But the prodigal son can’t go to his father’s table while he’s in the pigsty in the foreign land. He has to come home before he can sit at table. In like manner, while you persist in not being a part of the household of faith, despite your high birth, you can’t come to the table while you’re not in the house.

    As to the differences between our tables, what’s an example of a way someone could think they were having the Lord’s supper in which you would say, “No, that’s not it. You’re not actually confecting the sacrament.”?

    Is there such an instance? Or does it go all the way down to wherever two or three are gathered in His name, that’s quite good enough no matter what the form, matter or intentions of those involved are?

  5. Matt Yonke said

    By the by, it should be noted that the Pope’s statement you quoted refers to those outside the Catholic Church who do not understand or have not fully evaluated the claims of the Catholic Church and are therefore not fully culpable for their rejection of the Catholic faith.

    This is not the same thing as saying that protestantism cannot be a heresy today. A protestant who has examined and understood the claims of the Catholic Church and rejected them could well be in the same position of heresy as the cradle Catholic who knowingly rejects the faith in which he was raised.

    Not saying that’s you, just saying it’s a category that exists.

  6. Remy said

    I feel much better that you don’t consider me a “formal heretic”.

    The fact remains that the Roman church divides Christ, Romanists, Constantinians, and everybody else. The Roman church is too good for the rest of us, it is Judahitic, trapped in Old Covenant thinking.

    When you say that the Church cannot give communion to those that do not recognize her as the Church, you lie. I do recognize the church, I recognize more of the Church than Romanists do.

    Funny about the Eastern axiom, that just like the axiom of the Judaizers: “it is easy to see where the circumcision of the flesh is, but much harder to see this circumcision of the heart.”

    Jesus says “feed my sheep” and Rome shrugs her shoulders “who are your sheep?” Jesus says “They have been baptized, they have my name, they are my body” and Rome points to the Talmud, “but these things we’ve added to your requirements, we have much higher standards now, Jesus. You can’t just let anyone waltz in here anymore, there are rules. The Mishna, the Gemara, these are the things the historical church has always believed.”

    I know you don’t have to ability to do any true engagement on this issue so I release you from the duty to respond to these things. I know the Roman responses. In fact they’re all over the Greek testament, usually in black right after those red words.

    As for your question about intentions, you answer it. If a priest is secretly an atheist, despising the people of God, are the people married by him married? Is the Eucharist officiated by him valid?

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