Efficacy of confession and absolution

Discussion in 'Liturgy, and Book of Common Prayer' started by Rexlion, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    What I was saying is that John the Baptist baptized under the old covenant, which is why his baptism wasn’t effective.
    I didn’t phrase that well what I said. I do believe the holy spirit and baptism are tied, just not fully so. Like I said, I think you can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit like the gentiles did before baptism, and have it be fully actualized after the baptism. It’s a sign and seal of the new covenant, so it seals you with the promise of the spirit you may have already received. Idk if that’s what you’re trying to say.
    The way stalwart was talking made it seem like you receive the Holy Spirit at the literal moment of confirmation. Which is why I said that, but very poorly worded. I think the spirit can guide you and be a gift to you before you are baptized. Like the scriptures clearly tell us. So if this same thing happens for baptism, it’s not too far off we can be forgiven without priestly absolution nowhere mentioned in scripture as a requirement for the remission of sins. Forgiving someone is an organic thing. If you ask God for forgiveness and you’re sorry, and he knows that, God will no longer be sad that you have hurt him, as he knows you want to repair the relationship. It would be unnatural to fully pronounce some sort of full forgiveness until next Sunday morning, if He isn’t upset with your trespass anymore. If you have a kid and they break a vase and then they tell you how sorry the are about it, you then tell them you forgive them, but they have to pick up what they broke.But Have you not already forgiven them in your heart before they finish picking it up, when you see them teary eyed picking up what they broke? Why can’t absolution be like that too? We are to go to church to be assured of our forgiveness and to confess before others we have sinned. But god isn’t going to hold off his forgiveness or being in communion with you until next Sunday. Or else all our “forgive us our trespasses” are merely said with Sunday in mind and not our whole lives, and a truly organic relationship with a God that has feelings just like us. And if the Holy Spirit is tied to baptism but not the time of baptism, why does absolution need to be tied to the moment of general confession and priestly absolution?
     
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  2. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Christians would only starve in a place where the Kingdom of God is far removed by human sin, worldly wickedness and overwhelming human greed oppression and cruelty. Like in Stalin's Russia, Hitler's Germany, Pol Pot's Cambodia or the Japanese subjugated hell holes of Asia in WW2.

    In the world we WILL have tribulation, John 16:33 just exactly because we serve Jesus Christ and have answered to his call to be saints. John 15:17-19 If we starve, it is because we are being persecuted, not because God has failed to answer prayer. Luke 6:21, Luke 6:25, Rom.12:20, 1 Cor.4:11, 2 Cor.11:24-29.
    .
     
  3. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    In the case of Cornelius and his household it was the other way round. Receiving the Holy Spirit then baptism was permitted. Acts 10:44-48.
    .
     
  4. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Quite simply, it doesn't. Confession and absolution on a Sunday Morning is merely a formality for most of us. It prepares us, as a united congregation, to worship God with a pure and joyful heart and humble but fearless spirit and to come into his presence unashamed and ready to do his will and receive His grace. That is why general confession and absolution always comes at the opening of the service and not half way through. It is followed by the ministry of the word, in OT lesson, Epistle, Gospel, Homily, Creed, (what we all believe), and then proceeds into Intercessions, passing of the Peace, preparation of the table with gifts of bread and wine and then finally the Eucharist. Ending with the dismissal out into the world that we are called by God to serve.
    .
     
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  5. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Correct. That’s why I said there were counterexamples to Acts 19. The point of Church teaching on the subject is the connection of baptism to the Holy Spirit, not the order. What the Church denies is that there is no connection between them.
     
  6. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    In my own experience the connection is not tenuous but is definitely mysterious. I was baptised as a babe in arms by the Revd. Wellesly-Ore in St Paul's Anglican Church in Kingston. I was confirmed at 13 years old by the then Bishop of Winchester. I was also baptised in the sea as an adult leading music for 12-16 year olds in a Scripture Union beach mission at Bognor Regis, by the son of the son of the son of a family of Baptist ministers. I also received the laying on of hands in a Pentcostal Mission in The Hague, Holland and first street preached there. I first spoke in tongues while driving to a customer on the Isle of Wight alone in my company car. I was annointed with oil in the Anglican Cathedral of Wells into the ministry of Reader in the Church of England which I was baptised into as an infant 76 years ago.

    I have no idea which of those possible physical, sacramental acts was linked with receiving The Holy Spirit. Perhaps none or perhaps all of them. Who knows? Only God!
    .
     
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  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. It doesn't say that they spoke their customary language and were heard in a different tongue than the usual, familiar one they were speaking. It says that what came out of their mouths was a different language. And the Holy "Spirit gave them" the utterance, the words coming out of their mouths.

    The hypothesis that God affected the hearing, not the speaking, is a popular one among non-continuationists. But it is arrived at by 'massaging' the scriptures' plain meaning into something different.

    2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
     
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  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    John 6:53: Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

    John 6:54: Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.


    This is Scripture my friend. I’m sorry that it goes against the Revivalist ideology. The Christian walk is one of many stages, requiring a lifetime of engagement with God, becoming more sanctified, and working out salvation with fear and trembling. The sacraments are not optional to a Christian or to salvation. And being absolved by the ministers he sent to us, is not optional.

    “Whose sins you forgive on earth, they are forgiven in heaven. And whose sins you retain on earth, they shall be retained in heaven.”

    “I give you the keys to everlasting life.”

    This is pure Scripture.
     
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  9. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    That’s probably because it’s the most parsimonious reading. But let’s assume for the sake of the argument that it was the speaking rather than the hearing that was changed. I have no issue with that hypothesis. I don’t think that’s what the text is actually saying, but theoretically I don’t see that it makes any difference. Either way, somebody in that scenario has been given knowledge of a language they didn’t know before. Whether the Persians were understanding the Greeks because the Greeks were speaking Farsi, or the Persians understood the Greeks because they were hearing Farsi even though the Greeks were speaking Greek, the fact remains that the Scripture depicts the gift as one of using known languages that somebody in the place could readily understand. They weren’t speaking gibberish, and they thought they were speaking in their own languages. Scientific research into modern glossolalia has shown, among other things, that the kind of “speaking in tongues” employed by modern charismatics relies on a different part of the brain than where the language centers are, and is a learned behavior. Whatever modern charismatics are doing, it’s not what was recorded in the Book of Acts. And this is all assuming the account in Acts is historical at all, which is an open question.
     
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  10. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Are we to take this that merely partaking of the lords supper will give us eternal life? This sounds almost more Roman than the Romans. I’ve never heard a catholic say that Protestants (and they count anglicans here too) who don’t “truly” receive the body and blood of Christ are damned to hell.
    I was just watching a debate between a reformed baptist and an RCC and even the RC admitted that in that verse Jesus was talking about belief not the Eucharist.
    Augustine : “Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent. This is then to eat the meat, not that which perishes, but that which endures unto eternal life. To what purpose do you make ready teeth and stomach? Believe, and you have eaten already.”

    So, you see, to eat and drink is to believe. The work of God is through baptism and Eucharist, not the baptism or Eucharist Itself. I suppose if you die before you can take communion you’d also label that as “unknown” salvation? Also what type of endurance and working out salvation is baptism and Eucharist? It’s not really that hard to do either. Our endurance is one of true faith not rites which are
    empty without it.
     
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  11. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    If it was just a mere memorial how is it a hard teaching and why would people turn away if it was just believing. No Christ was in some way dealing with reality that we are literally, in some way, partakers of his flesh and blood. Who ever that RC guy is was woefully misinformed and it just shows the confusion in their denomination if he could say that.
     
  12. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I wouldn’t use the word “merely” there. It is part of the wider tapestry of a Christian’s life. That life begins when he is baptized and born again, becoming engrafted into the Church. He then has the Holy Ghost dwell in him, which confirms him. He professes faith and is justified in Christ rather than in himself. He lives a holy life. But he fails to live a holy life, causing him to be alienated from God, and to seek absolution. He eats the heavenly body and drinks the spiritual blood, which transforms him and prepares him for the heavenly kingdom. He is married or single; he does holy works, and is a witness for the Faith. Finally having lived a life of increasing holiness he dies and is given the last rites, after which he faces Judgment and hopefully spends eternity with God.

    That’s the Christian life. None of these steps is be-all-end-all or above the others. Rome would have the Eucharist be almost a second incarnation, but to us it is a part of the larger puzzle. They are all but parts in a tapestry of what it means to be a Christian.
     
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  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it is pure Scripture... taken out of context!

    To get the proper context, it is best to read all of Chapter 6 at once. Notice the repeating theme which I've underlined!

    The people were mightily impressed by Jesus' "free meal" and they came to Him seeking more free food. Jesus tried mightily to steer them in the proper direction:

    Joh 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
    Joh 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
    Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
    Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.


    But they were still 'zoned in' on free food!

    Joh 6:30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
    Joh 6:31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.


    Jesus explained that the manna was a type (a foreshadow) of the coming Messiah:

    Joh 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
    Joh 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.


    But the idiots still are thinking about filling their bellies!

    Joh 6:34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

    Jesus tries to straighten them out. He explains that He is the Messiah who was foreshadowed by the manna:

    Joh 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

    Then Jesus chides them and explains that the key thing He's teaching them is to have faith in Him:

    Joh 6:36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
    Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
    Joh 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
    Joh 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
    Joh 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.


    Now the people are starting to think a little bit. But they can't believe that Jesus from Nazareth, sort of like "the boy next door," could be anything but ordinary.

    Joh 6:41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
    Joh 6:42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?


    Jesus takes another stab at it, and again emphasizes that they need to believe that He is the Messiah, not just some local schmuck.

    Joh 6:43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
    Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    Joh 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
    Joh 6:46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.
    Joh 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.


    Jesus returns to the earlier foreshadowing and once again likens Himself to the manna:

    Joh 6:48 I am that bread of life.
    Joh 6:49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
    Joh 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
    Joh 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.


    Notice that Jesus just said that the thing they must receive, or partake of, is "the flesh which I will give for the life of the world." What was that flesh? His body on the cross! It was His mortal life, His mortal flesh and blood, sacrificed for us all! This is what everyone is told to partake of. (And how does one partake of the sacrificial death of Jesus? By faith in Him!

    But do the idiots comprehend this? No. Instead they return to the whole food-for-the eating problem. They (just like some people today) are still thinking in physical terms instead of spiritual terms!

    Joh 6:52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

    Now Jesus is probably fed up with them. They just won't get it. They're a lost cause, and He knows it. So He pulls out all the stops and grosses them out.

    Joh 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
    Joh 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
    Joh 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
    Joh 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
    Joh 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
    Joh 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
    Joh 6:59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.


    Many of Jesus' own disciples were hopelessly befuddled by this time as well. Some of them were as hard of heart as those synagogue leaders.

    Joh 6:60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

    For His own disciples, Jesus gives the key statement that would enable any to understand who were spiritually capable of understanding:

    Joh 6:61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
    Joh 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
    Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
    Joh 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him
    .

    Today, as then, we still have people who think in natural terms instead of spiritual terms. They think this conversation dealt with things that go into the mouth, when Jesus was dealing with what goes into the heart (the spirit). Over and over, Jesus said that the key was to have faith in Him. But people still mistakenly think that the key is to eat Him!

    We know that drinking blood, particularly human blood, was known to be heinous. Yet some people today still choose to believe that Jesus was commanding people to literally drink human blood for eternal life. Jesus would not command people to eat actual human flesh and to drink actual blood, in violation of Mosaic Law.

    We also know that salvation is by God's grace, received through faith and not by works, yet some people today still want to believe that works, overt acts such as eating and drinking, or being splashed with water, are necessary components for receiving salvation. Jesus would not tell people to do an overt act to gain eternal life... not when He so often emphasized that the only work we can properly perform for eternal life is to just believe in Him!

    Some folks today would fit right in at that synagogue in Capernaum.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2021
  14. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Justification by works is contrasted with justification by grace, not faith. Faith in the sense of “belief” is just another work. All the doctrine means is that without God’s initiative, we can have nothing of value to offer to Him. It is a theological statement about election and our trust (fides) in God’s provision for us. Stretched beyond that point, it sinks into incoherence. It was a necessary antidote to medieval superstition, but it is neither the whole story nor the last word. The Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels doesn’t seem to have been aware of any dichotomy between faith and works at all. The normal pattern of piety in Judaism and in the Gospels is simply Obedience > Failure > Repentance > Obedience > Failure > Repentance, and so on.

    I’m not convinced that John 6 is actually talking about Communion. If memory serves, neither was Luther.
     
  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Do you believe the earth will continue to rotate for the next 24 hours? Is that a "work"?

    I understand your concept, I think. We can't "labor over the effort of talking ourselves into believing" something, and call it faith. But Jesus exhorted the people on many occasions to believe in Him. For example:
    Joh_13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

    And of course John 6:29, the work of God is to believe. We can't just shunt all belief into the 'works' category.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2021
  16. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I am now becoming convinced that Jesus was not advising his hearers to actually eat his body and drink his blood. (It didn't take much mental effort to do that actually, though some in here seem unable to summon up sufficient mental agility). Since 'Communion' as presented to us in the Eucharist can't be what he is talking about either because it did not yet exist before his death on the cross, the only other possibility of meaning is that Jesus was comparing TRUST in HIMSELF for salvation, to trust in keeping the Law of Moses for salvation.

    If this is the case, (and I believe it most certainly IS), then it is complete surrender to HIS TEACHING and total allegience to HIM as a personal leader, master, friend and saviour that gains each of us eternal life. Not church attendance, not receiving communion from a male or female priest, not being splashed with water or having hands laid upon us, not making super-human efforts at keeping God's Law, (and always failing).

    These are all merely sacramental, symbolic signposts to the real thing, which is simply FAITH IN CHRIST for salvation. (Such a tentative and etherial thing and so simple that so many are unable to accept the enormity of it, so they must needs ADD to it all sorts of things they must do in addition to just believing).
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
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  17. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    it is no wonder that you do not have the anglican badge.... or didn't you once have it and then got it taken away?
     
  18. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That's...quite a statement for an Anglican to make. Do you still partake of the Lord's supper? If the above statement is true, why do you bother? If what you say is true, then the Eucharist is essentially adiaphora and can safely be ignored without endangering salvation. Is that your position?
     
  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    In John 6, Jesus was not conducting a lesson on the Last Supper. The Last Supper was yet in the future; it hadn't taken place. Jesus was telling the people to have faith (believe) in Him. He was telling them that they had to partake or receive, by faith, of the sacrifice He would undertake.

    Later on, Jesus repurposed the Passover. The Passover meal signified the Israelites' deliverance from Egypt, but Jesus told them to conduct the meal from then on, not in remembrance of that former deliverance from Egypt, but in remembrance of the deliverance from sin which Jesus was about to undergo 1 day hence.

    That is why Jesus told them, "Do this in remembrance of me." Notice that He did not say, "Do this as a means of salvation."

    This is why our priest says, just before the Eucharist is distributed, "Take this in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on Him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving." (2019 BCP) We recognize that the bread and wine are no ordinary food; we recognize that it is a remembrance of the body of Jesus, hung on the cross until death, and the blood of Jesus, poured out for our salvation. The passage in 1 Corinthians calls for this recognition and remembrance, too. Are we partaking of Jesus? Physically, no; but in a spiritual sense, we partake of Him in our hearts (not by our mouths but) by faith. After all, the flesh counts for nothing; Jesus' words were spiritual.
     
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  20. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    If we do not remember him and his commandment (for this is what the Lord's Supper is; a commandment, not a request), then this is disobedience. Hence a break with Christ. Why Jesus wants us to do it is in a basic sense immaterial -- he commands us to do it in remembrance of him, and we obey. He is our Lord, and he commands us as a sovereign.

    That's why Anglicans consider this a sacrament and not a ritual. It is both sign and seal.