Open Communion Debate

Phillip: I have heard of priests who do not take the narrow minded view you espouse, regarding their Protestant neighbours as true followers of Jesus Christ – of priests being able to see Christ’s truth in these congregations of the faithful.

BFHU: I would hope that all priests regard their Protestant brothers as true followers of Jesus Christ. There is definitely Christ’s truth in these congregations of the faithful.

Phillip: I am sorry you are so unwilling to find truth deposited by Christ in other branches of His church.

BFHU: I am not unwilling. You have jumped to so many conclusions. All the truth residing in all the Protestant communities they received from the Catholic Church. Even Martin Luther acknowledges this.

Phillip:You are wrong to regard your tradition as representing the sole repository of the Holy Spirit or God’s truth, or His grace since the first schism between East and West let alone the Reformation of the Western Church in 1517.
BFHU: Why am I wrong? The Catholic Church was given the Deposit of Faith by Christ through His apostles. Why would anyone want anything else? Or anything devised by mere men?

Phillip: If God was prepared for his chosen people to be broken off in order to graft in the gentiles, – for the descendants of Aaron to be cast aside for a time – in favour of the Apostles, for St Paul to become the leader of the early church as witnessed by Luke in Acts, for St James to lead the early church in Jerusalem His Holy city, is He not able also to cause His Spirit to reside in Christian leaders such as Martin Luther and Jean Calvin, John Huss – murdered by decree of the Pope in 1415-

BFHU: The institution of the New Covenant by GOD, confirmed by the miracles of the incarnation,  of Jesus, crucifixion, resurrection, and the marvels surrounding all that Jesus and the apostles did reveals the unmistakable hand of God in the “grafting on the Gentiles”. By comparison, the Protestant Rebellion had…nothing.

It is true that Luther and others saw great defects in the Church but rebellion and the breaking of unity was unwarranted and the result of pride and arrogance. It was not approved or mandated by God. But, I do sympathize with Luther’s disillusionment and frustration with the abuses in the Catholic Church. And yes, of course, the Holy Spirit can reside in Protestants and I am sure He does.

Phillip:or do you maintain that the Roman Catholic church was following the teaching of Jesus when they burned him and others to death?

BFHU: The Church did not burn him at the stake. The state government considered heretics to be dangerous b/c they could lead to popular revolts, uprisings, and death. So, the state, b/c of the established religion, had an interest in maintaining unity. The Church was called in by the state to examine the suspect for heresy b/c it was within their competence. The Church ministers also made sincere attempts to save the man by trying to convince him of the errors he held to and talk him into recanting his heresy in order to save his soul and his life. That was how it was all supposed to work. But at times, no doubt, men were evil.

Phillip: If so – should you not be consistent and ask the Pope to come after us Protestants today?

BFHU: That is just silly. We live in a different world under very different governments.

Phillip: As a Protestant, I am at least prepared to see the development of God’s dealings with humanity and of Christian thinking in consequence – to look back at past actions such as these burnings and the murder indeed also of the Catholic Chancellor in England Sir Thomas More – to look back with shame and see these things as wrong – eternally wrong – a product of the sinful frailty of human kind.

BFHU: Me too.

Phillip: Dont you think a more honest reflection on the history of YOUR branch of the church shows wrong doing and error equally contained within its ranks?

BFHU: Absolutely. Why would you think I would think otherwise?

Phillip:Like the chosen people – a stiff necked people more interested in placing heavy burdens on people when their ancestors were not able to bear them? Wasnt it THESE people Our Lord was castigating when He referred to “you have let go of the commands of God and are holding onto the traditions of men” e.

BFHU: Yes, at that time and in that place Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees about their hypocrisy. But they were not the only people capable of doing that sort of thing.

Phillip: that it is necessary to believe in a specific philosophical idea of what goes on in communion before you are allowed to participate in the Holy meal that Christ opened to ALL his followers.

BFHU: Scripture please? Where does scripture say the Holy meal was open to anyone and everyone?  And what constitutes one of His Followers?  We know the mass of the early Christians was held in great secrecy and it has always been limited to those who believe with the Church. That is why rumors abounded that the Christians were cannibals  b/c they heard that they ate the body and drank the blood of a human sacrifice.


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