Monday, July 19, 2010

Baptism & Eucharist in The Living Church

The folks at The Living Church deftly edited something for the magazine that I posted a while ago about the logic of expecting baptism to precede participation in the Eucharist. They've also posted it in its entirety at their web site (here).

Though to some this might seem an esoteric or insignificant issue, I suggest that it is not and try to show how it makes a difference in how we think about who we are and what we are about as the Church, the body of Christ.

I hope you'll to read it and leave a comment. Does it make sense? Is the argument persuasive? If not where and why not?

If you want, the less edited, more overgrown, version is here.

By the way, if you are inteterested in things Episcopalian and Anglican, I encourage you to subscribe to The Living Church. You can read about the magazine here. Not everything in the print version shows up online and it is worth the subscription.


The Rev. C. Earl Mahan said...

Thank you for your article. I look forward to reading the whole unedited version as well, when I have time. When I read the LC article earlier I thought, "I need to save this for those times people question me why I insist that Baptism precede participation in the Eucharist." I know people mean well by inviting all to the Lord's Table, but I fear they do more harm than good. I especially liked your point about how we do not counter the rampant individualism of our culture by caving in to it. Living as the blessed community is never easy, but it is our calling.

Fr. Earl Mahan
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, Edinburg, TX

cfkblh said...

Fr. Matt,
I want to thank you for your "deftly edited" ariticle from The Living Church. It represents something that I and many others have been thinking but have not put into words. It is often the case that it is very difficult to understand how incorrect the "obviously" good may seem. Who would want to be accused of inhospitality? I applaud your understanding that boundaries are in place for our loving protection and not, as some believe, for fearful isolation.

Fr. Carlton Kelley
Richmond, Indiana

Joshua Hill said...

Your article is well considered and profoundly useful for the living church (the magazine too), but I am most excited about the fact that you have moved the discussion to a better place: What counts as authentic hospitality? Thank you.

Joshua Hill
New Canaan, CT

Matt Gunter said...

Thanks for the comments. It is my hope to show that however "obviously good" CWOB seems from a certain point of view, we lose more than we gain in the practice. Figuring out what authentic hospitality looks like is part of that, as is attending to what authentic community might look like in an culture that wants to shape us as individual consumers.

Anonymous said...

Matt, when I click on the link to the article, I also get a pop-up ad from Williams-Sonoma ("Create a welcoming table!") Cause for reflection, as I was there only last week...

Anna Bendiksen