Altar?????

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by trying2understand, May 15, 2003.

  1. trying2understand

    trying2understand
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    Kneeling at the altar?

    Why an altar?

    This doesn't fit with the Baptist/nodenominational theology.

    Especially if you believe that your church was never a part of the Catholic Church.

    Where does your altar come from?

    What would your altar be used for?

    Ron
     
  2. Ps104_33

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    How so?
     
  3. trying2understand

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    An altar is used to offer sacrifice.

    Do you use the altar in your church to offer sacrifice?
     
  4. Abiyah

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    What is the history of the modern "altar"? When
    did it first appear in the churches? Does its
    recent appearance necessarily make it a negative?

    Where I used to attend, the altar was a big issue.
    Actually, there were several -- about six. They
    were long benches, the tops of which were about
    18 inches from the floor. Every member was
    expected to spend a great deal of time there after
    each service, and people were watched to see if
    they did.

    Spirituality was literally measured by how much
    time was spent at the public altar and by their
    prayer performance. Some people had certain
    catch-phrases they "prayed" which apparently
    made them feel spiritual, like "Oooohhh Looorrrd,
    we give you praaaaise. Youu inhabit the praaaises
    of your peoplllllle. We lift up your naaaaammme."
    Some would "pray" in wordless groans and hums.
    And some really prayed -- poured their hearts
    out.

    When the altar is used as a measuring stick, it is
    used wrongly for sure, whether the indivdual
    measures their own performance or that of
    others. But if a place of worship chooses to
    have altars, what is specificaly wrong with it,
    when they are used for a good purpose? (I ask
    because I do not know.)
     
  5. Yelsew

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    Since many of Christianity's sacred "things" are symbolic (especially in the Catholic Church), virtually any "device" can be used as an altar upon which worshippers offer their lives in sacrificial service to God. We don't do blood sacrifice any more since Jesus Himself was sacriced as the atonement, once-for-all, for the sins of the world.
     
  6. trying2understand

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    Sounds like you are constructing an explanation after the fact.

    You need a tangible device for an altar to symbolicly offer your life?

    I thought the claim was that you (meaning Baptists/nondenominationals) do everything just like the earliest New Testament churches. Where does Acts tell us about putting anything on an altar?
     
  7. Yelsew

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    Sounds like you are constructing an explanation after the fact.

    You need a tangible device for an altar to symbolicly offer your life?

    I thought the claim was that you (meaning Baptists/nondenominationals) do everything just like the earliest New Testament churches. Where does Acts tell us about putting anything on an altar?
    </font>[/QUOTE]I offer no construction whatever. It is you Catholics that brought the "tradition" forward with your Altars, Tables, Stations, etc. Some of your "Visual Aids" have carried over into the protestant branch.

    The Concept of an Altar carries forward from the Old Testament where blood sacrifice was the way that one's sins were atoned. Therefore, one can symbolically lay their sacrifices symbolically on the symbolic altar in a physical act that symbolizes the spiritual reality.

    The Non Catholic churches use devices to represent the realities. Just as the Catholics use bread and juice to represent "the real body and blood of Jesus". The non-Catholics use the same elements and call them the symbolic body and blood of Jesus, because we know that "eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus" is a spiritual truth and not a physical reality. The spirit consumes no "real food or drink", it lives in a home made of flesh and blood that does consume food and drink. But for Jesus' flesh and blood, 2000 years of symbolism DOES NOT make them reality to our flesh bodies.

    As a Catholic, you should understand symbolism, nearly every movement of your priests in a Mass is symbolism. The articles used are symbolic representative of some "reality".
     
  8. Kiffin

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    Actually I have heard all my life the area around the pulpit called the Altar area where people can come and pray. I have a area in my home I call my Family altar. Of course these terms are symbolic. In the New Testament era we offer up the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving.
     
  9. Ps104_33

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    Did you ever read Romans 12:1-2? [​IMG]
     
  10. trying2understand

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    Did you ever read Romans 12:1-2? [​IMG] </font>[/QUOTE]At what part of your service do you place yourself on the atar and present your living sacrifice?

    At what part of your service is it even talked about?

    Thanks for the verse, but it isn't really relevant to the thread.

    That seems to be how it goes with sola scriptura though. You can always go find a verse that can be shape-shifted to somehow support whatever you want.

    How about a verse that talks about having an altar in a New Testament church?
     
  11. Yelsew

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    Tryin,
    Please consider the word "symbols" used to describe the Altars. Altars in Protestant churches are symbols, Just as they are in the Catholic church. The difference seems to be that Protestant teaching includes the sacrifice of "self" upon the altars before God. Once something is sacrificed, it no longer exists in its former form. The Self is renewed by God to conform to His desires.

    The symbolic laying of self on the altar respresents the dying to self and the being raised to serve God. Peter calls all believers priests, therefore we are a kingdom of priests dedicated to serving the Living God.

    If Catholicism does not teach that, It should because it is biblical. It is service in self sacrifice that God wants from us, not force servitude (slavery).
     
  12. trying2understand

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    Sorry, but this business of associating your altar with sacrificing yourself to God is a recent construction to explain the existence of your altar.

    The last three threads that I started on this very same topic on this board offered not even a hint of this new explanation.

    BTW, when a Catholic speaks about "service" or "sacrifice of self", the accusations of "saved by works" fly fast and furious.

    Please direct me to some non-Catholic source, prior to say the last fifty years, that talks about the altar in the church and the "symbolic sacrifice of self".

    I contend that you will not be able to do it.
     
  13. Yelsew

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    Perhaps you are too busy digging for hidden meanings to see the simple truth.

    Do you not realize that the visible devices and practices of the church are pure symbology?

    Do you not realize the truth in what Jesus said in, "the Father is spirit, and those who worhip Him must worship in spirit and in truth"?

    The symbology which is the physical church is not so we have something do do with our time, it is to remind us of what the Word of God instructs us to do for our spirit's sake.

    When we die, we leave all this symbology behind to go to where there is reality! All of heaven is a dimension for which we are not physically equipped to enter. When we die we leave the physical realm including leaving our flesh and bone bodies behind. Then we enter the presence of the Lord in the realm of reality, Where the Father who is spirit is now visible to us because we are now pure spirit in the manner that He is spirit.

    God does not want vain repetition, He wants sincere heart worship. He has made the way for us to come directly to the foot of his Throne and make our petitions and confession known to Him directly. There is no need for intercessory priests.
     
  14. trying2understand

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    Again, please direct me to some writing prior to the last fifty years that talked about the altar as symbol in a non-Catholic church.

    As I said before, you will not find it.

    All of your talk is new found explanation (excuse) for the altars in your church.
     
  15. atestring

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    Again, please direct me to some writing prior to the last fifty years that talked about the altar as symbol in a non-Catholic church.

    As I said before, you will not find it.

    All of your talk is new found explanation (excuse) for the altars in your church.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Maybe you should try going to an altar sometime!
     
  16. Yelsew

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    Well I've known it to be such for at least fifty years, and there have been many who wrote of the symbolism of an altar of self sacrafice and every church that I have ever darkened the door of has one. Some times is it referred to merely as the "front of the church" sometimes as the kneeling place, sometimes as the remembrance table, sometimes as a prayer room, All of which are the places where one publicly lays themselves at the mercy of God.

    As for an OFFICIAL ALTAR OF SACRIFICE, I don't know of a single Christian church that has one of those as they apply only to the Jewish temples.
     
  17. trying2understand

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    Oh, I see that you can read the hearts of men also!

    Shame on you too.
     
  18. trying2understand

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    As I said, you need to read more carefully.

    I asked for you to cite writing which supports your explanation of the altar in your church as symbolic of offering yourself up.

    Trying to change my words doesn't convince me of anything.
     
  19. Yelsew

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    I simply do not have the time to go to the church library and transcribe the references for you. If you are that eager to know about the altar that protestants ascribe to, you are certainly welcome inside the doors of every protestant church. Seek out some time with the pastor of the church, he or she can explain it to you very nicely, face to face, and they can show you what is meant by the Altar. That would give you an up-close and personal look at one with the direct narrative to go with it. Then you will know.

    I've done that with the Catholic church when I don't understand something about the church, it's doctrine and practices. I studied to be a Catholic for nearly a year in my youth, but Catholicism did not satisfy my thirst for the truth so I left and found the truth, or rather the truth found me where I was.
     
  20. Kiffin

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    Probably The Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England as well as Lutheran sources. The Church of England as well as Lutherans generaly view their church altars as only a symbol of the throne of God where the Lord's Supper is celebrated.
     

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