Monday, November 09, 2009

"Close Enough" Communion

Paul McCain has an extensive post regarding the LCMS' historical practice of Closed Communion.

I added the following comment:

Quite common in our LCMS are the churches that practice a form of open communion which goes something like:

As long as you can agree with this statement:
(Apostles Creed)
(Something about the Real Presence)
(Sometimes something about being "Lutheran")
then you are welcome to commune....

People who support this type of practice are vehemently opposed to denominational membership holding any sway in the question of who may commune. They sometimes sarcastically refer to an "LCMS ID card".

Granted, this is a "closer" communion than the ELCA's "Y'all come", or "If you commune at your church you are welcome here" or sometimes "Baptized Christians". But it's still not what the LCMS officially teaches and has historically practiced.

I'd call the alternate LCMS approach "Close as in Close Enough" communion. Many call it "Open". Many who practice it call it "Close" or "Close(d)". But it is the main reason I prefer the term "Closed" for the historical and on-paper position of the LCMS.

I'm curious where this alternate, yet very common LCMS approach (that I described above) comes from. Does anyone know where or how?

1 comment:

Brian said...

Joel Biermann calls it functionally open communion. Take a look at his paper, Step Up to the Altar: Thinking About the Celebration.