Closed Communion

Once again the LCMS in convention reaffirmed the doctrine of closed Communion.  Oops.  I forgot the president of the LCMS has determined that there is no “doctrine” of closed Communion.  There is only the practice of closed Communion as opposed to the practice of open Communion.  This is utter nonsense and leads right to where the ELCA started from.  Let me show you how.

I believe in the doctrine of marriage.  You believe in the doctrine of marriage.  Which weddings we decide to officiate at, however, is a matter of practice.  Therefore, you can officiate at same sex weddings as a matter of practice and still be regarded as being faithful to the doctrine of marriage. 

Does your congregation practice open Communion?  Who decides whether a person communes the individual or the pastor?  Many LCMS congregations have Fox News Communion.  They tell the people what their church believes about communion and the person decides whether to come or not.  This is open communion since it excludes no one and leaves it up to the individual to decide whether he or she should commune.

The practice and therefore doctrine, if you followed what I wrote above, of Holy Communion in the LCMS is really serial fellowship.  The Baptist visiting your church can be in fellowship with you this Sunday, a Baptist next Sunday, and a Methodist the Sunday after.  If your bulletin invites all baptized Christians who believe what you believe about Communion, this is what is going on at your church.

Imagine a pharmacy with this statement at the window:  “If you think you should have codeine, if you agree that it is a narcotic, can be deadly and may be potentially habit forming, please help yourself.”  Nobody would regard this as a responsible, faithful pharmacy, would they?  Yet churches handing out the Medicine of Immortality, the Medicine that if incorrectly used causes weakness, illness and even death, want to be regarded as responsible, faithful churches.   They believe what we believe; they just have a different practice.

Does anyone at all really believe that? 

About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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