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(RNS) The idea of online Communion raises fundamental questions about the definition of community, individual participation, the role of tradition and basic theological understandings of the meaning of Communion.

28 Comments

  1. Awesome idea! I don’t like people anyway. How great that I can be a Christian and get my preaching from the TV, communion from the internet, worship from a iTunes download and serve the less fortunate by making a financial donation online. Who needs other people to be accountable to, or to learn from, or to serve alongside with. I sure hope heaven is this way, cause being in community with people is too troublesome and demanding. Who wants that?

  2. Without embodied, sacramental participation in human community, we are missing the point of the Incarnation (“the Word made flesh” as the bishop above pointed out). Then Christianity becomes simply Gnosticism or a philosophical viewpoint, rather than following a God who became human and dwelt in human community and used matter, ritual, and embodied action to communicate God’s life to others. Online communion can be a sort of religious pornography for some: An attempt to gain the feelings of religion without the commitment. It commodifies the Divine-human relationship into just another lifestyle product to be bought at an online vendor. A discussion group of a community of real, live embodied atheists would be a more authentically Christian worship experience than a virtual communion without community. For an excellent exploration of this, read the sci-fi novel “Noir” by KW Jeter.

  3. Please stop using Mark Tooley of the IRD as a conservative source. He is not a credible commentator on The United Methodist Church — or any Protestant denomination for that matter. No way, no how. Find someone else with some authentic credentials. PLEASE.

  4. This is crazy. Of course physical presence matters–else we wouldn’t pay to travel. With the internet of course we can see pictures of all that beautiful stuff. But we want to go to Istanbul, to Venice, to Ravenna, to all those beautiful churches. Why would anyone WANT the online communion if they could get the real thing? We would of course rather go to Ravenna, to be in San Vitale and experience it in the round. You simply can’t get that slam-bang experience looking at the various views of the mosaics–you don’t get the experience of that structure, that jewel, or the intense experience. Why would anyone want virtual communion–why would anyone want to forgo the experience?

  5. Not that anyone cares, but this would be a violation of Article XVIII of the Methodist Articles of religion (the lifted up, carried about and gazed upon part) and the association with ocular communion.

    And communion with Kool-aid? Surely that’s a typo and they meant grape juice?

    I really thought this was from Lark News when I saw the headline. I wish it was…

  6. Unbelievable, literally, that so many people can be so agitated about their collective ability to determine what magical actions and words can be used to regulate communion with God and the people of God. They all make the argument for abandoning a liturgical eucharist and encouraging all people to make every meal an agape meal — mindfully reminding ourselves of our interdependency and ultimate dependency on the giver of life.

  7. You have got to be kidding! On-line communion is like cybersex . . . nothing good or productive can come from it. This just gives people another reason not to attend church.

  8. All of us who are saved, and now saints, have the Holy Spirit indwelling us, so we can pray over the bread and wine to sanctify it. Then with properly discerning that these elements are the body and blood of Christ, partake. The bread represents his body broken for us [our healing] and the wine for the new covenant [grace] both in memory of him. When we properly discern that it is his body, we are no longer, weak, sick, or falling asleep [dying before our time].
    Christ did this with the couple in Emmaus and it so energized them that they walked the 7 miles all the way back to Jerusalem after just walking 7 miles to Emmaus [half marathon]. So when two or more are gathered do it, do it often, do it daily if sick. TV and Internet just help this by providing the gathering.

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