Regrettably, in his “From the Pulpit” column May 12, “Holy Communion a chance to show unity,” the Rev. Wells chose to ignore the verses immediately prior to the ones he cited in Luke 24 — and the practice of the church catholic from the beginning. In them we see that Christ corrects a false understanding of who he is and how God works before breaking bread with the disciples.
Like medicine, the Lord’s supper is a powerful thing with many benefits when received worthily. But just as it would be reckless for a doctor to prescribe something without looking at a patient’s history and examining him, it is also dangerous for a pastor to put Christ’s body and blood in someone’s mouth without knowing anything about the person’s history and understanding.
Pastors are charged to protect Christ’s sheep. This means teaching them as Christ and his apostles also did before communing them. St. Paul warns of the dangers — even for baptized Christians — of unworthy reception in 1 Corinthians 11. Closed communion has been the practice of the overwhelming majority of the apostolic Christian church throughout history and still is today — including Roman Catholics, the Orthodox bodies and conservative Lutherans. The Rev. Wells’ practice is relatively new, is a minority view and is dangerous.
The Rev. Scott Adle, Secor
This letter was written on behalf of the Bloomington North Circuit, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.