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What do you think about the sacraments?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Not David, Apr 9, 2021.

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  1. HatGuy

    HatGuy Some guy in a hat

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    Thanks,

    There may be a number, but I live in one of the biggest cities and only know of a few. Google Maps doesn't seem to produce a great ton of results.

    Perhaps I still have some learning to do, however - I might not fully know what I'm talking about :).
     
  2. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What if you are adding to God's word? Jesus doesn't say as much about it as you do.
     
  3. HatGuy

    HatGuy Some guy in a hat

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    Jesus said more, so I guess I'm pretty safe on that point.
     
  4. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    I agree entirely that we should seek to live our lives sacramentally. However, I think the traditional low church Anglican understanding of sacraments, as found in the Catechism of the 1662 BCP, that they are, to quote the Catechism, “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us, ordained by Christ himself, as a means whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof,” is entirely inadequate to explain the sacred mysteries.

    I believe that the sacraments are the normative means by which the Holy Spirit infuses us with grace, and that we directly receive grace through the sacred mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation (Confirmation), the Eucharist, Reconciliation, Holy Unction (the anointing of the sick with oil), Holy Matrimony and, that are commonly called sacraments, as well as “sacramentals” which seem to me to be no less of a sacred mystery than the Seven Sacraments, for example, the Great Blessing of Water, the various blessings of other things such as homes and businesses, the Funeral and Burial services, the Churching of Women, the Consecration of Church Buildings, the blessing of the congregation with consecrated incense, and other services typically found in a Sacramentary, Euchologion, or Trebnik. Interestingly, the 1964 Methodist Episcopal Book of Worship consists to a very large extent of blessings, consecrations and dedications.

    The sacraments, or sacred mysteries, of Baptism and Holy Communion are particularly special, because not only do the consist of a highly specialized form of prayer, but also a rational, bloodless sacrifice, and an anamnesis in which we are mystically united with our Lord. In the rational and bloodless sacrifices, we offer up to God His own creatures, such as water to be consecrated for baptism, in which through anamnesis we become mystically present with Christ in the Jordan, or bread and wine, which are consecrated as the body and blood of Christ, which we then offer again to our Lord (the beautiful exclamation from the Byzantine Divine Liturgy “Thine Own of Thine Own, we offer unto Thee on behalf of all and for all.” And then, we partake of the sacrament, in Baptism by being purified by mystically dying and rising again with Christ in the Jordan, and in Holy Communion, we are mystically present at the Last Supper when we eat the life-giving flesh of the immortal and imperishable God-man Jesus Christ, and drink His blood, which is the blood of the new covenant; the Greek word for “remembrance” is anamnesis which means “put yourself in this moment,” which in fact is what happens, and the body and blood of our Lord is the medicine of immortality, remitting sins and granting life everlasting.

    So, I believe the Holy Sacraments and the other sacred mysteries directly infuse sacramental grace through the boundless love of the omnipotent Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, who spoke by the prophet, who together with the Father from whom He proceeds and the Son whom He conceived to enter creation as a man, who then ascended to Heaven and sent the selfsame Spirit into the world as our Paraclete, is one God.

    Interestingly I came to this view from output of three separate research projects, which all agreed in the essential details: firstly, one on one conversations with a friend of mine who is a retired Episcopalian priest, who is moderately Anglo-Catholic and also as far as I am aware, the last genuine conservative Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Los Angeles who did not leave for ACNA or other greener pastures; secondly, an exhaustive study of Eastern Orthodox, and to the extent possible, Oriental Orthodox and Assyrian sacramental theology, and finally, a comparative study of Lutheran, Calvinist, and Roman Catholic sacramental theology which segued into an analysis of the impact the Scholastic movement had on Western Christianity vs. Eastern Christianity.

    I believe my interpretation, while at odds with the catechism in the BCP, is held by many Anglo Catholic and some other high church Protestants, as well as by the Eastern, Oriental and Assyrian churches (both Orthodox and Uniate Catholic), and to a large extent by Roman Catholics, although Scholastic theologians would define several aspects of it differently, shy away from the idea that the sacraments are sacred mysteries, and also say that I am overemphasizing the similarity between the many Sacramentals and the seven Sacraments.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
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  5. Mountainmike

    Mountainmike Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It refers entirely to religious doctrine. (which in some cases are acts like eucharist) 1 Corinthians 11:23 shows that process. It is the ONLY way the faith was handed down for the first christians. Carrying documents was dangerous. Those that were found were destroyed, those carrying them treated harshly. Few could read. So almost all WAS communicated by ORAL tradition.

    The present colloquial meaning of tradition is a problem, as is the false presumption that it is a parallel channel of different truths. Scripture has a meaning. The meaning is handed down (tradition) and clarified by authority (councils). The OT and Mishnah show at least some things are not explicit in scripture that are explicit in tradition.

    There is little point in this discussion. We go round the same circles.

    Cranmer knew that in order to redefine the faith , he needed to abandon authority, ignore tradition, and like the reformationists he even redefined scripture to lose a book of the septuagint (Jesus's old testament) . Only then could he manipulate doctrine. By the way - I dont see cranmer as a villain, just more of a victim, trying to pick his way down an impossible path in trying to satisfy subseqent monarchs and catholicism.

    We have much more in common than we differ...lets focus on that.
     
  6. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    This is entirely so. And we also see it reflected in the 1st century manuals of church order, the Didache and the Didascalia.

    Martin Luther himself at a conference with other early reformers who rejected the idea of a real, physical presence, famously carved into the wooden table at which they sat “Hoc est corpus meum.”
     
  7. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Of course the word "traditions" does not necessarily refer entirely to religious doctrine.

    That is certainly not true. We know for a fact that some of the NT was being written and circulated within only a few years after the Ascension. By the time that the Bible was canonized, all of the books that were collected into it (with the possible exception of the last several) were already in use in the various churches and were considered divinely inspired.

    Okay. I agree that "Holy Tradition" AKA "Sacred Tradition," which the Catholic churches consider to be of equal authority to the Holy Bible, is not a parallel channel of additional dogma, etc.

    Very well. That's probably right.
     
  8. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Prayer does this too. WHy make more of it than Paul or Jesus does? Scares me...
     
  9. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    I think there was a severe exegetical error in the post you replied to (but not in your reply, which was spot-on); the words of our Lord make it clear the Eucharist is a means of salvation, in that it remits sin and grants life everlasting to those who partake of it. But it can also, like any medicine, be a poison, and the specific conditions under which the Eucharist can kill is if people partake of it without repentance for their sins, failing to discern the body and blood of our Lord.

    This is why the casual communion encouraged by some mainline Protestant churches is such a bad idea, along with the deletion or intentional omission of 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 from the Revised Common Lectionary.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
  10. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Where do you find ANY example of what you think in the NT faith and practice?
     
  11. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Where do you find examples of sacramental salvation in the NT? They do not exist.
     
  12. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Luke 22:19
     
  13. grasping the after wind

    grasping the after wind That's grasping after the wind

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    I'm a big fan of both of them.
     
  14. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    These were already saved. And Both Jesus and Paul said it was done in memory of Christ.
     
  15. HatGuy

    HatGuy Some guy in a hat

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    How so?

    Who gives the means of grace?

    Whose Word institutes these means of grace?

    Who instituted it in the first place?

    Who brings healing and sanctification through it?

    I fail to see how this would be a self-salvation by works, any more that faith is self-salvation. Grace is received, not self-made. This would be like saying that praying the "sinners prayer" and "receiving the Lord into your heart" are all self-salvation by works, or that even prayer itself is self-salvation.

    To be more precise, however, "salvation" in scripture is a term with wide-meaning, including "healing". When the means of grace are said to bring salvation, it is more in the lines of healing and sanctification than justification.
     
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  16. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    No, its not, because God freely forgives our sins if we repent, as Psalm 51 teaches. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” and of course, “Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.”

    Seeking the forgiveness of God and repenting of our sins before partaking of the Eucharist is not works righteousness, but rather the works which are the fruit of a living faith, as the Apostle James teaches, for a faith without works is barren and dead.
     
  17. HatGuy

    HatGuy Some guy in a hat

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    This is beautiful.
     
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  18. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    He atoned for the sins of the elect before they were born again. Repentance follows as a result of this.
     
  19. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Whether or not they were saved has nothing to do with the nature and meaning of the meal and whether or not it is the basis of a sacrament.

    But, in addition, I just showed you, several times, that Christ himself said that it was more than a remembrance.
     
  20. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    But it has no saving merit.
     
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