Thursday, June 20, 2013

On corrective baptism and closed communion

There are many topics that occasionally result in raised eyebrows among the Orthodox and sometimes irritate the non-Orthodox. Two near the top of any list would be the subjects of baptizing converts who say they were already baptized, and our discipline of closed communion. Fr. John Whiteford (ROCOR) has a couple of really good posts up that address these topics, here and here.


bob said...

I haven't looked at Fr John's comment yet. For the question of "closed" communion I could suggest pointing out that we believe in closed marriage too, for exactly the same reason. Do *not* expect this to make any impression whatever on an Anglican.

CJ said...

Y'know, of all the issues I have concerning a possible conversion to Orthodoxy, neither of these is on the list.

I would need to be baptized based on the denomination I come from (SDA), and I'm cool with that, probably because we practice re-baptism anyway. But more than that, I think much of the trouble over these issues arises from the modern need to have everybody "affirm" you Just As You Are. Denying communion or stating that my baptism is defective is just harsh, dude.

Abbot Theodore said...

Fr John's posts are very good. They emphasize the role and ministry of the Church over the feelings and preferences of individuals, while still honoring the the dignity of each person (even more, perhaps, than those persons themselves).

In His Wise Love, the Lord left the Church the privilege and power to adapt certain norms to circumstances, not to please people, but to assist them to salvation. This is why the Bishops exercise "economia," not the Rudder or any other compilation of Canons and interpretations, though these are useful guides as to how economia (or akribeia - strictness) have been understood and applied in the past.