England and Wales Now Minority Christian Nations

Discussion in 'The Commons' started by Carolinian, Nov 29, 2022.

  1. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Since our salvation is ENTIRELY attributable to God's GRACE alone, how can it be "Lost". Does God withold his grace from those who believe they have received it through the atonement of Jesus Christ?
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  2. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Does the Church, or does it not, offer absolution for post-baptismal sin? Does the Church, or does it not, allow (and in some cases recommend) auricular confession? Would not the presence of either of these elements point to a problem in the way you have framed your question above?

    Grace is communicated through the sacraments, via the ministry of the Church, not directly from God to the individual. What is freely offered by one side, may be freely rejected by the other, even if it has been accepted in the past.
     
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  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if Peter and the Apostles annoyed the residents of Jerusalem?

    We read in Acts 5:28 that the Apostles were accused of "filling up" Jerusalem with the Gospel message. Some were so annoyed, they had the Apostles tossed into prison in an attempt to stop the message of Christ.

    Can any of us be accused of "filling up" our own community with the Gospel? Have any of us persevered to the point of being locked up to shut us up? Have we died to self, that we might live unto Christ?

    Or are we too afraid of "what people will think of us"?

    I really doubt the Apostles would even recognize our brand of "Christianity."
     
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  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I would like to ask what authoritative statement of Anglican doctrine states, or supports the statement, that "grace is communicated" (i.e., transferred in or received) "through the sacraments." Bonus points if you can produce Bible verses for the same.
     
  5. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Citing Bible verses doesn’t prove anything. It’s quite explicit in the Prayer Book, however. I often wonder why you want to consider yourself an Anglican in the first place, given the frequency with which you defend non-Anglican views here.
     
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  6. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    :biglaugh: That doesn't sound like something a Bible-believing Christian would say. More like a CINO (Christian In Name Only). The Anglican Church clearly declares the primacy of Scripture in the 39 Articles, does it not?
    What, no quotes? Come on! :duel:
    But in the first place I am a Christian (a disciple of Christ). Jesus Christ has first place in my life, not any earthly church hierarchy or organization. Wherever Anglicanism lines up with Christ and the message of the Bible, I'm all for it. But Anglicanism is not anything "in and of itself;" it can only have value in Christ. The teachings of the Bible (which are the teachings of God and which include statements by Jesus while on earth) are the measuring stick by which any denomination is to be checked and verified for faithfulness to Christian doctrine.

    That said, I'm still waiting to see where the Anglican Church teaches (explicitly, as you say) that actual grace is communicated in and through the dispensation of the sacraments. I don't know where this is, but you say you do, so where are the quotations?
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2022
  7. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I see a problem with that kind of thinking. Who is actually extending the grace of God then? God, on the individual, or the church Indulgently but partially doling it out.
    This looks suspiciously like the church cornering the market in 'God's Body' and deciding who gets wafers, wine and salvation, there being no other product on the market to compete. I'm not at all sure the notion may not be middle ages Roman Catholic, demanding sinners form a queue for the church's essential services to their salvation, ensuring jobs for life in their male only priesthood.

    That was the kind of 'thinking' that caused the Reformation.
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  8. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Well, I don’t know what to tell you. :dunno: The Prayer Book clearly teaches baptismal regeneration. The Articles are clear that Christ is communicated spiritually in the Eucharist. Every Communion service contains a priestly absolution, and the rite for the visitation of the sick includes auricular confession (and absolution). Disagreements with Rome aside, it seems clear that the Church of England intentionally retained the medieval sacramental system. I feel I shouldn’t have to point out something that basic on an Anglican site. :no:
     
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    In conjunction with the May 6, 2023 coronation of King Charles, Living Waters Ministry is organizing a massive giveaway of gospel tracts in London. They've printed several million special tracts which have the king's likeness on the cover. I can picture people gladly accepting these little booklets as a piece of memorabilia related to this once-in-a-lifetime event as Charles vows to act as defender of the faith. Christians who live within reasonable driving distance of London are uniquely poised to take part in this giveaway. Not positive, but I suspect these are the Gospel of John booklets but with a new cover.
     
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  10. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    The church is authorised by Christ to pronounce sins forgiven by God through it's faith in Christ's atonement. It is also authorised to pronounce judgment upon those who reject Christ's atonement. But that is not the same as acting as the gateway to heaven for sinners. The church's pronouncement of sins forgiven is effectiveley just, The Gospel. The warning of sins retained is not the power to retain them without God's direct permission, - and nobody in the church on earth has ever had that, only Jesus Christ Himself, who will come to be our judge.
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  11. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Distinction without a difference.
     
  12. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    The difference being the church does not have the power to withold God's forgiveness, nor supply his Grace, against God's will in the matter. Communion wafers and wine when consecrated are not a divinely licensed product or an essential to salvation.

    The reformation could not have happened if everyone believed that salvation itself was entirely in the gift of The Roman Catholic male priesthood and was contained and delivered to the individual exclusively in the elements of a Eucharist consecrated by THEM. God pardons whoever God wishes to receive his grace and is not dependent upon any denomination of the church to distribute it, let alone to restrict it.
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    Last edited: Dec 3, 2022
  13. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Who said anything about anything being against God’s will? The sacraments are the divinely appointed means of grace. I don’t know what else to tell you. :dunno:
     
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  14. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Only if you take this verse literally to be referring to a religious ceremony that had not yet taken place in history, since he was actually alive at the time of saying it. Much of what Jesus said was not to be taken literally but to be considered thoughtfully. The grace that is extended by God in the Eucharistic feast is the same grace God extends to the whole world in the death of Christ upon the cross. See my signature.
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  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    With regard to the sacrament of holy communion, due to my RC upbringing I am probably much more sensitive than the average Anglican to this question of grace received in, or by way of receiving, that sacrament. The statement that "the sacraments are the divinely appointed means of grace" bothers me, particularly in relation to the Eucharist. For one thing, the RCC teaches that this grace can only be dispensed by their priests, and it is the kind of grace that makes a soul justified/acceptable before God. For another, the concept tends (IMO) to evoke a misleading mental image of "a packet of grace" (like a tangible substance) being absorbed from the elements as they enter the digestive tract, which I think can cause some people to view the Eucharist as an easy and somewhat 'magical' means to maintain one's good standing with God apart from the need for prayer, holy living, communing with the Spirit, etc.

    It's interesting to me that the 39 Articles do not speak of communion as a means of grace, but rather as a sign of grace (which could simply be construed to mean a sign that the recipient previously received God's grace when he became a follower of Christ.)

    XXV. of the sacraments
    Sacraments ordained of Christ be not only badges or tokens
    of Christian men’s profession, but rather they be certain sure
    witnesses, and effectual signs of grace, and God’s good will
    towards us, by the which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth
    not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our Faith in
    him.​

    Article XXVIII calls the sacrament of communion "a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ’s death." This seems to emphasize the concept that communion is not about some present, immediate dispensational effect upon the recipient so much as the past, ongoing, and future (continuing) benefit to us of a past event: namely, Christ's accomplished work on the Cross.

    At the same time, it is also interesting to me that the Catechism does remark specifically upon grace being received in conjunction with the Eucharist. Here is the language from the 1979 BCP:

    Q. What is the inward and spiritual grace given in the
    Eucharist?
    A. The inward and spiritual grace in the Holy Communion
    is the Body and Blood of Christ given to his people, and
    received by faith.

    Q. What are the benefits which we receive in the Lord’s
    Supper?
    A. The benefits we receive are the forgiveness of our sins,
    the strengthening of our union with Christ and one
    another, and the foretaste of the heavenly banquet which
    is our nourishment in eternal life.​

    And here is the the ACNA's version:

    131. Why did Christ institute the sacrament of Holy Communion?
    He instituted it for the continual remembrance of the sacrifice
    of his atoning death, and to convey the benefits of that sacrifice
    to us. (Exodus 24:1–10; Psalm 23:5–6; Luke 22:17–20; John 6:25–51;
    1 Corinthians 10:16–17)

    132. What is the outward and visible sign in Holy Communion?
    The visible sign is bread and wine, which Christ commands us to
    receive. (1 Corinthians 11:23–26)

    133. What is the inward gift signified?
    The inward gift signified is the Body and Blood of Christ, which
    are truly taken and received in the Lord’s Supper by faith. (Deuteronomy 8:1–20; Psalm 78:17–29; John 6:52–56; 1 Corinthians 10:1–
    4, 16–18)

    134. What benefits do you receive through partaking of this
    sacrament?
    As my body is nourished by the bread and wine, my soul is
    strengthened by the Body and Blood of Christ. I receive God’s
    forgiveness, and I am renewed in the love and unity of the Body
    concerning sacraments
    of Christ, the Church. (1662 Catechism; Psalms 28:6–9; 104:14–15;
    Jeremiah 31:31–34; John 6:52–56; 17:22–24; Revelation 19:6–9)​

    I think those in charge of penning the Articles probably leaned a bit more Reformed, while those in charge of writing the Catechism probably had more of a traditional (influenced by Roman theology) thought process. Just my guess.

    Be that as it may, it does seem that the concept that grace is imparted in or with the Eucharist is inescapable. Therefore it behooves us to pay attention to the nature, characteristics, and/or purposes of this particular grace.

    Surely our Lord did not intend salvation itself to be tied to a physical ritual of ingesting His body and blood (regardless whether the latter be such in physicality or in spirituality). This is the error of the RCC. Jesus, at the Last Supper, never said anything about taking the bread and wine for the sake of receiving an impartation of saving grace; instead He drew an identification between it and the mortal body He was about to give up on the Cross, and He then said, "Do this in remembrance of Me." It is also worth noting that none of the NT letter writers ever mentioned holy communion as a vital-to-salvation event (the exhortations of 1 Thess. 5 or the communion teaching of 1 Cor. 11 would have been prime places for such a concept to be emphasized). It seems clear to me that grace received at communion is not saving or justifying grace. Rather, the grace we're talking about here pertains instead to sanctification: a strengthening of the spirit and soul to persevere in a life of service and increasing holiness.

    As the Catechism says, the communion recipient:
    • is forgiven (I think it's more precise to say "is reminded that he has been forgiven")
    • is strengthened in his union with Christ and with His Body on earth, the Church
    • is helped in his love for God and for fellow Christians
    • is given a foretaste of the "marriage supper of the Lamb" which is to come

    In other words, the Eucharist helps us to be a little closer to our Lord and our brethren, and probably a little less susceptible to the draw of sin. I would say, however, that these same benefits accrue whenever we attend church, whenever we pray, and whenever we read or meditate on the word of God. I think all of these are sources of sanctifying grace; as we do any of these things, God is strengthening us, drawing us closer to Him, and fortifying us against sin. This realization, combined with my RC upbringing, encourage me to cautiously avoid elevating the importance of the Eucharist beyond that which seems to actually have been taught in the Epistles. Thus I tend to downplay the "grace with communion" concept in my mind and in my comments.
     
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