So you think I’m being too picky?

Bethel Lutheran Church, Dallas, has 802 communicant members.  Their August 14, 2011 online bulletin had this to say about Communion: “• Holy Communion will be celebrated in the 8:30 Traditional Service today. For those who desire to commune with us for the first time, know that not everyone is obligated to commune.  This sacrament is for those Christians who confess their sin and believe that the body and blood of Jesus are present for their forgiveness. If you have questions, please consult the pastor” (Emphasis and theological errors theirs.).

This is open Communion.  This not how we Missouri Synod Lutherans have pledged to administer Holy Communion.  Yet this congregation is not sanctioned, admonished, exhorted, or even approached even though they publicly invite to their altar: Baptists who won’t baptize their babies; Catholics who believe Mary should be prayed to; Methodists who are members of the Masonic Lodge; ELCA Lutherans who have abortion as part of their health plans, active homosexuals in the ministry, and members of denominations who have never confessed the Real Presence at their altar.

If you believe in open Communion whether you’re a LCMS pastor, layperson, or saint, you won’t be communed at our altar.  Yet some think I’m being too picky.  How’s that?  The city of Portland, OR recently flushed 7.8 million gallons of water out of a reservoir.  Why?  Because one man urinated in the water supply (Time, July 4, 2011, 21).  If the city of Oregon can be that concerned about polluting what goes into people’s bodies, I can be that concerned about those polluting what goes into people’s souls.

I can’t knowingly give the Body and Blood of Jesus to anyone who believes something that He has never said or has actually spoken against.  Open Communion says it doesn’t matter what a person believes as long as he calls himself a Christian and says he believes in the Real Presence.  Is it being too picky not to commune those who believe the Communion altar is to be open in this way? Well, is it too picky not to commune someone who rejects infant Baptism or accepts praying to Mary?  Open Communion embraces all these errors and more.  If you cannot or will not reject those who believe in open Communion at your altar, how can you do so in adult confirmation instruction?


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.
This entry was posted in For Anyone who dares. Bookmark the permalink.