What about those who reject the sacraments?

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by zimkhitha, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. zimkhitha

    zimkhitha Active Member

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    I posted this at another forum. I would love to hear your views here:

    I'm writing this from an ex-pentecostal perspective. My family left the church for the pentecostal movement BUT a decade later myself and 2 of my siblings returned and got confirmed as adults.

    After understanding what sacraments are and their role in our salvation and spiritual life...I find myself getting concerned about my parents and others I know.

    Is it a cause for concern that my loved ones are not receiving the body and blood of Jesus especially because they rejected this truth?

    I understand that God is not limited by sacraments BUT I get stuck because in my understanding Jesus did not give us options in this issue.

    In trying to avoid squabbles, I'd prefer to hear from those who already hold a similar view of sacraments (means of grace)
     
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  2. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Great question! Here's my lowly take on it. I think the answer to this lies in the nature of sacraments themselves. A Sacrament is not something we do as much as it is what God does to us. Thus their power and effect is not based on us (thank god!)but on the power of God's Word. In baptism we are marked as Christ's own forever, given the gift of his Holy Spirit and are adopted as God's own child. Nothing short of obstinate apostasy can pluck us from His hand. I imagine that since your family started out in the Church, they were baptized. If that is the case, then you can lean on God's promises even as they wander in error. They are not their own, they God that sealed them in baptism will not forget them.

    In the case of the Lord's Supper, it is best that they not participate in it at all if they do not discern Our Lord's body and blood present in it.

    In any case, we should indeed be concerned for our family members who have fallen into error when it comes to the sacraments, we should pray for them, we should lovingly call them home, but we should never despair. We should be obedient to God with regard to his sacraments as in all things, but even when we aren't, the penitent thief on the cross shows that even in our sacramental deficiencies, Christ will make provision for those who believe in Him.

    God bless!
     
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  3. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Dear Colleague,It is indeed a matter of worry and concern!
    Jesus did not give , 'believers,'a choice. The Church has said from the New Testament to modern Times, there is no salvation outside the Church!
    How-and-ever, we live in a time of religious turmoil, things are not taught, or pressed home by the clergy, laxity and unbelief are rampant, what does one do? Some time ago one Anglican Bishop thought that the Scriptures/Bible ,or whatever, had not been written with modern living in mind and it was, he suggested, time for considering a rethink! With such thinking about us, I cannot see that the falling away from the Revelation of Christ can altogether be blamed on the laity but is a fault of the clergy!
    This isn't to say that the laity have no part in things, but as I have been taught and have taught on my own part, the Bishops are the descendants of the Apostles and are modern day apostles themselves and are given character to enable them to carry out these things to be done, by the Holy Ghost at their elevation to that Order. There are many places in scripture where the clergy are instructed to teach the Gospel, i.e. Christ's Revelation and told clearly that if this is not done the punishment for the lack of Faith, on the laity's part, will be visited on the recalcitrant clergy!
     
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  4. zimkhitha

    zimkhitha Active Member

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    Thanks both for your responses. They were indeed all baptised so I can get some peace there, knowing that they were marked as God's forever.
     
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  5. zimkhitha

    zimkhitha Active Member

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    I have noticed a trend in my own country. Children grow up in the Anglican church, get baptised and confirmed only to leave church later citing that they do not get "fed" or understand its worship, rituals etc.
    There are adults who also have no understanding of the teachings I get from these forums. I feel like our Bishops are not aggressive in teaching us about the faith. In my 5 years at my current parish, I've only had a sermon focusing on the Eucharist once and it was the Feast of Corpus Christi. The sermons become so watered down, they are not preached in the context of a catholic and apostolic faith. People leave because they lack knowledge indeed!
     
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  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This is well-said. Bishops "are not aggressive in teaching us about the faith". It is the job of our shepherds to remind humanity of the words of Our Savior, "he who is not with me is against me. He who does not gather with me, scatters." "The road is narrow, and few there are who find it."
     
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  7. Mark

    Mark Well-Known Member Anglican

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    While it is true that the teaching and preaching in the Church leave much to be desired.....it is also up to the parents. At the Roman parish I have left, there were attempts to have bible studies, Vacation Bible Schools and other events at which people did not show up. Everything came before the
    Church. Everybody has an excuse for leaving or not coming...soccer, other secular events.

    I know men who will drive for hours, sit on concrete benches in the hot sun or driving rain or freezing cold for a sports event. Try getting them to come
    to Mass, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer or a parish fish fry. Too long, not comfortable.

    People leave for not being feed. People do not come if the food is offered.

    When I was an active priest I did my best to feed the Lord's Sheep. Many times I sat at the parish hall for a Bible Study and no one came. Everyone
    said they wanted it, but had a "good" reason for why they just could not make it.

    I do not rely on the Church to teach my children, neither do my friends. We teach them and each others children. And we adults study together
    and a priest is accepted if he shows up. :^)

    Fr. Mark
     
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  8. zimkhitha

    zimkhitha Active Member

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    This also happens in my parish as well Mark. People always have funerals and unveiling ceremonies to attend. It is not just the younger ones though who are clueless about the faith but adults as well. I see them moving to charismatic churches all the time (I was one of them at some point). From my experience, the move is made out of an illusion that "we are the same". It was through personal study that I got to understand the differences in the "Christianities".
     
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  9. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Hi people, I am adding an extract from Laudate Si, the encyclical from Pope Francis - perhaps some of the bits that didn't make the secular media. I don't have much to add to this, save that I think we have not always been good in teaching about sacraments often being more concerned with process rather than purpose. Hope it helps.

    The Sacraments are a privileged way in which nature is taken up by God to become a means of mediating supernatural life. Through our worship of God, we are invited to embrace the world on a different plane. Water, oil, fire and colours are taken up in all their symbolic power and incorporated in our act of praise. The hand that blesses is an instrument of God’s love and a reflection of the closeness of Jesus Christ, who came to accompany us on the journey of life. Water poured over the body of a child in Baptism is a sign of new life.

    Encountering God does not mean fleeing from this world or turning our back on nature. This is especially clear in the spirituality of the Christian East. “Beauty, which in the East is one of the best loved names expressing the divine harmony and the model of humanity transfigured, appears everywhere: in the shape of a church, in the sounds, in the colours, in the lights, in the scents”.

    For Christians, all the creatures of the material universe find their true meaning in the incarnate Word, for the Son of God has incorporated in his person part of the material world, planting in it a seed of definitive transformation. “Christianity does not reject matter. Rather, bodiliness is considered in all its value in the liturgical act, whereby the human body is disclosed in its inner nature as a temple of the Holy Spirit and is united with the Lord Jesus, who himself took a body for the world’s salvation”.


    It is in the Eucharist that all that has been created finds its greatest exaltation. Grace, which tends to manifest itself tangibly, found unsurpassable expression when God himself became man and gave himself as food for his creatures. The Lord, in the culmination of the mystery of the Incarnation, chose to reach our intimate depths through a fragment of matter. He comes not from above, but from within, he comes that we might find him in this world of ours. In the Eucharist, fullness is already achieved; it is the living centre of the universe, the overflowing core of love and of inexhaustible life.

    Joined to the incarnate Son, present in the Eucharist, the whole cosmos gives thanks to God. Indeed the Eucharist is itself an act of cosmic love: “Yes, cosmic! Because even when it is celebrated on the humble altar of a country church, the Eucharist is always in some way celebrated on the altar of the world”.

    The Eucharist joins heaven and earth; it embraces and penetrates all creation. The world which came forth from God’s hands returns to him in blessed and undivided adoration: in the bread of the Eucharist, “creation is projected towards divinization, towards the holy wedding feast, towards unification with the Creator himself”. Thus, the Eucharist is also a source of light and motivation for our concerns for the environment, directing us to be stewards of all creation.​
     
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  10. zimkhitha

    zimkhitha Active Member

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    Thanks Phillip, that came at a good time as I'm dealing with a Pentecostal parent who seems to think it is ok to make offensive remarks about Anglicanism or any other mainstream denomination. My heart is bleeding because I understand the remarks to be out of ignorance.
     
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  11. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
     
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  12. zimkhitha

    zimkhitha Active Member

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    Amen!
     
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