19 September 2013

Infant communion redux

The issue of infant communion (communion of the baptised) is apparently coming up once again in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Rev'd Todd Wilken talks about it on his blog and says, in part: "That is what is behind the push for Infant Communion, you know: a romantic fascination with Eastern Orthodoxy."

I find it intriguing that LC-MS apologists routinely refer to pastors' examining the Church in terms of "romance" and "infatuation" and the like. On the one hand, I don't care for such terminology, because it seems to imply that one's journey to Orthodoxy is a matter of mere emotional attachment and not of cold, sober reflection. In my case, for example, I studied the issues involved for 18 years, and read a wide variety of sources: Lutheran, other Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox. For seven of those years I served as a professor of systematic theology. I have a PhD. I think my intellectual bona fides are not lacking.

On the other hand, perhaps Wilken and his ilk are on to something. The Church engages us as a whole person. Orthodoxy is a lifestyle, not simply a confession, and the fullest response to the truth is not to write confessions but to worship Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and share the divine life imparted in the Mysteries to all the baptised faithful, of whatever age and attainment. God's grace is a gift, not an attainment.

The Church is open, and welcoming. Come and see!


Daniel said...

I read Rev. Todd Wilken's blog on this issue recently. There is not much by way of apology except to hearken back to the Book of Concord. If Luther and many of the other Reformers had access to the plethora of patristic texts that we have today, it would have been interesting to see what conclusions they would have come to on praxis such as feeding all who are born again of the water and of the word. I pray for any LCMS Pastor who reads this blog (or anyone who is searching for truth for that matter)that God will guide them.

Fr. Daniel Hackney
St. Ananias Orthodox
Evansville, IN

Daniel said...

As a follow up, the referent in I Corinthians 11 about "Let a man examine himself" is not an infant! It is referring to those who were involved in gluttony and drunkenness at the Agape Feast. To include infants as a referent in that text is an absurdity. The infants were not overdrinking or overeating to the point of death! The quoting of this passage a millennium later to support withholding the Eucharist from little ones is an example of the proof-texting at its worst.