Lutherans/Infant-communion

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Question
A pastor in our circuit has begun including (without discussing this in the circuit) the communing of infants. This may fall in the area of "adiaphora" but it seems to me it violates LCMS practice and teaching of "close" communion. I see it also as ignoring St. Paul's warning in 1 Cor. 11:23-30. I could be mistaken but I think this has been such a rare practice throughout Christianity and Christian history that it is not as simple as equating the sacrament of Communion with the open offer of the sacrament of Baptism. I think the thing that troubles me most is that this pastor didn't run this by any of our dual-circuit pastors and emeriti for discussion and even advice. This new practice has caused some confusion and likely will continue to do so with the area laity.
I would like your thoughts on this.  
Thank you so much for your time -- not a rush on this,
Mike Boyd

Answer
Michael,

Thanks for your question.  This is an item that has popped up a few times in the past 20 or so years in the LCMS.  I remember it surfaced last around the time I arrived at the seminary (11-12 years ago), and a few times prior.  Usually this is associated with LCMS pastors who have an affinity toward the Eastern Orthodox church.  In fact many of the past proponents of this practice have now left the LCMS for Eastern Orthodoxy.  

One of my Professors from Fort Wayne, John Pless, released an excellent set of theses on Infant Communion just yesterday, which can be found at:

http://logia.org/blogia/?p=617

Pastor Todd Wilken at the radio Show Issues, Etc. also did a 45 minute interview last month with Pastor David Jay Webber regarding the practice, which can be found at:

http://issuesetc.org/2013/10/09/2-infant-communion-pr-david-jay-webber-10913/

Two other posts have also been written at Logia addressing this question, which can be found at:

http://logia.org/blogia/?p=602

http://logia.org/blogia/?p=607

Because I do not see any points on my first read/listen where I disagree with what was said, I will direct you to these articles for answers, rather than reformulating what these thoughtful pastors have already taken the time to compile, and invite you to post a follow-up if you have any further questions for me about what they have said or facets they may not have addressed.  

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Rev. Jason P. Peterson

Expertise

I welcome the opportunity to answer questions regarding the beliefs and practices Lutheran Christians, especially questions comparing Lutherans with other Christian denominations or questions which contrast between various kinds of Lutherans. I am especially familiar with the more conservative Lutheran denominations (LCMS, ELS, WELS, etc.). I also take a great interest in examining new Christian movements and popular trends in Christianity from a Lutheran perspective. In addition, I can answer most questions about the original Greek text of the New Testament and its meaning, as well as questions regarding liturgy, evangelism, and preaching. A special area of interest in my ministry is race track chaplaincy/ministry, and I would love to provide information and guidance for anyone interested in this area.

Experience

I have been a pastor in the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod for the past six years at St. John's Lutheran Church in Burt, IA. I currently serve as chairman of the Commission on Ministerial Growth & Support of the Missouri Synod's Iowa District West and as Track Chaplain at Algona Raceway in Algona, IA. I also write as a religion columnist for two local newspapers.

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Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

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Algona Upper Des Moines (newspaper) Bancroft Register (newspaper)

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B.A. Concordia University - Ann Arbor, MI (Biblical Languages) M.Div. Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN (Exegetical Theology, Pastoral Ministry & Missions)

Past/Present Clients
Zion Lutheran Church (Columbia City, IN) Zion Lutheran Church (Altamont, IL) St. John's Lutheran Church (Burt, IA) Zion Lutheran Church (Lu Verne, IA) Algona Raceway (IA) Fairmont Raceway (MN) Hancock County Speedway (Britt, IA) Clay County Fairgrounds Raceway (Spencer, IA)

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