Sacraments or ordinances?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Thomas Helwys, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Thomas Helwys

    Thomas Helwys
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    Are baptism and the Lord's supper signs/symbols only? Does God work through them in any way? Could He, as some believe, confirm and strengthen faith through these? Why not, unless you don't believe that God works through the physical? If the latter three questions are answered in the affirmative, could these rituals be considered sacraments? Is it possible to consider them sacraments without going to the extreme that most denominations do? Is it possible to consider them sacraments without making their administration the exclusive right of the clergy, restricting them to mediation by a special clergy class? Is it possible to thus have a Baptist view of these as sacraments?

    There is some evidence that I have read that the Anabaptists looked at baptism and the Lord's supper as more than just symbols, but they didn't adopt Protestant views of them as sacraments, either.

    It seems to me if we deny that God can and does work through physical means, we are denying reality and slipping into Gnosticism.

    So, do we baptize and partake of the Lord's supper only because we are being obedient to a command of Jesus, or is there more to these rituals than that?
     
  2. Bro. James

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    "God is Spirit, they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth."

    "God does not dwell in temples made with hands"

    "All of our righteousness is as filthy rags"

    Shall we slip a couple of sacraments between these scriptures?

    What is wrong with a little golden calf? Will a silver one be O.K.?

    Most of the visual things we do in a religious sense are watered down pagan idolatry.

    "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God"

    Now what?

    Even so, come Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James
     
  3. Zenas

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    A sacrament is an outward sign of an invisible inward grace. I believe Scripture teaches us that the seven sacraments are real. After doing quite a bit of digging, here is what I came up with:

    1. Baptism. Baptism is the Christian’s initiation into the family of God. Through baptism all sins are forgiven, both the original sin with which we are all born and actual sins we have committed. It is a prerequisite to the receipt of any of the other sacraments and it must be done “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” “Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’” John 3:5. See also 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 22:16; Titus 3:5; Acts 2:38. The visible sign is water.

    2. Confirmation. “Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.” Acts 8:17. The visible sign is laying on of hands.

    3. Holy Eucharist. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:54. “Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?” 1 Corinthians 10:16. The visible signs are bread and wine.

    4. Reconciliation. “And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.’” John 20:22-23. See also 2 Corinthians 2:10; Matthew 9:8. The visible sign is the statement of absolution by the confessor.

    5. Holy Matrimony. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Mark 10:7-9. The visible sign is the exchange of the marriage vows.

    6. Holy Orders (ordination). “Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.” 1 Timothy 4:14. See also 2 Timothy 1:6; Acts 6:6. The visible sign is the laying on of hands.

    7. Anointing of the Sick. “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.” James 5:14-15. The visible signs are praying and anointing. Of all the sacraments shown in scripture, none is so clearly described as anointing of the sick. Only a fool would fail to recognize it as such.

    The sacraments don't confer grace. The Holy Spirit confers grace through the sacraments, somewhat analogous to the way a hose carries water, and faith is necessary in them all.
     
  4. church mouse guy

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    Zenas, you pays your money you takes your choice. Personally, I believe in ordinances along with the SBC.
     
  5. Matt Black

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    I think that answers your question re gnosticism, Thomas: sadly, yes. "Now what", indeed.
     
    #5 Matt Black, Feb 16, 2013
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  6. Bronconagurski

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    You are going to have to be more explicit concerning how God works through physical means with baptism and the Lord's supper. Remember, I can't think too good sometimes. :)

    Of course baptism and the Lord's supper are physical acts, unlike praying, which can be done outloud or silently. I consider them ordinances, and they do have consequences. If one does not get baptized, they can't join most Baptist churches. Baptism was set up to be a beautiful picture of the old man dying the regenerated new man coming forth. It identifies the believer with Christ and His death, burial and resurrection. It also makes one obedient to the command of Christ. But it imparts no physical gain toward salvation or keeping one saved, if that is what you mean by works thru physical means. We are saved by grace, through faith, not of works. That much is plain in Ephesians.

    As far as the Lord's supper, it also was commanded by our Lord in order to remember the death, burial and resurrection until Christ comes again. No time period was given between partakings, so each local church appoints the times. I find it to be a very sobering and beautiful time, a time to reflect where I was when Christ found me, and how much God loves me, proved by the great sacrifice given by Christ. It's a time to reflect on one's attitudes and personal life as far as sin is concerned. A time to make things right, if you will. Physical consequences are promised for those who partake in an unworthy (the word means irreverant) manner, as the scripture said that some died and some were sick because of the same. So in that regard, the Lord's Supper can have physical consequences, but the spiritual time of reflection is what is intended. Once again, this ordinance does not impart salvation, nor keep one saved.
     
  7. Bro. James

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    The problem is there must be an authorized priest to perform the ritual. Anything outside the authority of the so called Holy See is null and void. This includes baptism and communion. This is salvation by works, plain and simple. This is nothing new--it has been going on since some early churches departed from The Faith, once for all delivered unto the saints. Jude 3. Nearly all of Jude addresses this subject.

    Re: grace conveyed and sacraments. If we say baptism washes away sin, is this not conveying grace? If we say only the communion administered by the RCC is valid and there is no salvation outside the RCC, are we not talking about grace?

    Methinks our paradigms and jargon are from different planets.

    God is not the author of confusion.

    A little child can understand: only Jesus saves.

    Even so, come Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James
     
  8. Yeshua1

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    JUST ordinances, per the Bible, as there are NO sacramental graces God confers to us when we partake of them!

    "regular" baptists see them as being mainly symbolic in nature, as memorials that point us towards the work and person of Jesus, while reformed Baptists do see to some extent 'spiritual" presens there, but NOT in sense a catholic/Lutheryn does!
     
  9. Thomas Helwys

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    I especially do not agree with this definition of baptism.
     
  10. Thomas Helwys

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    I agree with your statements. I certainly don't believe these acts are sacraments in the Catholic sense. But, as I have said, I have seen them described as means of grace whereby faith is affirmed and strengthened. I believe I could go along with that. I certainly don't think they impart saving grace.
     
  11. Thomas Helwys

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    I can agree with this post, but not your first one.
     
  12. Thomas Helwys

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    I am definitely not Reformed, but I wouldn't disagree with a "spiritual presence", but then I believe in a spiritual presence in our everyday lives and activities.
     
  13. Walter

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    This statement is untrue: 'anything outside the authority of the so-called Holy See is null and void'. The Catholic Church accepts the baptisms of other Christian churches but the baptism must have been done in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Either by immersion or pouring. Sprinkling is not considered valid as the water must run. This comes from the Ancient Church requiring 'Living Water' or water running upon the candidates head.

    Also, your statement that it 'takes a priest' to administer the sacraments is also untrue. In my parish, the majority of baptisms are done by one of our seven Deacons. Any Christian can baptize someone in an emergency and it is considered a valid baptism in the Catholic Church.

    My Baptist baptism was accepted as valid in the Catholic Church and I will not need to be re-baptized when I enter the Catholic Church at Easter.

    Also untrue is the statement that only RCC communions are considered valid. The Eucharist celebrated in Orthodox Church as well as the Coptic Church and Old Catholic Churches are valid. There are literally millions of people outside of the RCC receiving 'valid communion.'

    What is true in your statement is that 'only Jesus saves'.
     
    #13 Walter, Feb 16, 2013
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  14. Bro. James

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    I understand more authority has been given to deacons, due to a shortage of priests. Do the deacons also have the authority to change the elements into the body and blood of Jesus?

    While it is certainly true that the Papal bulls have changed a lot over the centuries, in the final analysis, anyone outside the sanction of the RCC(with the exception of the orthodox) cannot go to heaven. This is expecially true for those who regard the holy see as not having any heavenly whatsoever. The East and West are still not agreeing about popes, authority and such. Then there is the schism resulting from Vatican II. There are now antipopes according to some. Better check--your "Baptist" baptism may be null and void. It is interesting trying to sort through all of the philosophy of Aristotle coupled to the legalism of Rome with an Augustinian facade, aka: RCC.

    God is not the author of confusion.

    Even so, come Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James
     
    #14 Bro. James, Feb 16, 2013
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  15. Thomas Helwys

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    See answer above.

    I can assure you, though, that his Baptist baptism will be accepted, but he couldn't take communion with it, though.
     
  16. Walter

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    No, my Baptist baptism is definately valid. Deacons are not able to consecrate the elements in the Eucharist. You are wrong about 'anyone outside the RCC cannot go to heaven.'

    This is what the Catholics on this board mean when we say that there is a tremendous amount of mis-information about the Catholic Church posted here.
    Don't feel bad, this mis-understanding about 'salvation outside of the Catholic Church' is common. Please note the following I have posted from 'Catholic Answers' since I think it states it much better than I could:

    "In recent times, the Church has recognized that its teaching about the necessity of the Catholic Church for salvation has been widely misunderstood, so it has "re-formulated" this teaching in a positive way. Here is how the Catechism of the Catholic Church begins to address this topic: "How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Reformulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body" (CCC 846).

    This does not mean that you must be a member of the Roman Catholic Church to be saved. It goes on to say:

    Jesus, the Way

    The first part of the reformulated teaching—"all salvation comes from Christ the Head"—is quite easy for all Christians, even non-Catholics, to understand and embrace. It echoes Jesus’ own words recorded by John: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me" (Jn 14:6). So, Christians unanimously agree on this first part. But is this all that needs to be said about how one may be saved? The Catholic Church has historically recognized the importance of explaining further the means through which salvation is offered through Christ.

    When speaking of salvation, Jesus offered more details than just his words quoted above. For example, consider these three verses:
    He who believes and is baptized will be saved. (Mk 16:16)
    nless you repent you will all likewise perish. (Lk 13:3)
    [H]e who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (Jn 6:54)


    But once a person comes to know the truth, he must embrace it or he will be culpable of rejecting it. We see this in Jesus’ words to the Pharisees: "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains" (Jn 9:41). Paul taught likewise concerning the Gentiles:


    When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. (Rom 2:14-16)

    As we have seen, God introduced salvation to the world through his chosen people, the Jews. God’s revelation to the Jews found its fulfillment in Christ, the Messiah, who established the Catholic Church. The grace necessary for salvation continues to come from Christ, through his Church. Those who innocently do not know and embrace this might still attain salvation but those who knowingly and willingly choose to reject it, reject salvation on God’s terms. In other words, if you know that the Catholic Church is the 'true Church' and reject it anyway, you are accountable.

    Hope this helps.
     
  17. Walter

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    You are correct! :thumbs:

    Though the priest does not 'change the elements into Christ's body and blood' through any power of his own. The 'epiclesis' occurs when the priest says the words our Lord spoke at the Last Supper (called the words of institution) in regards to the bread & wine. The Holy Spirit does the 'changing'.
     
    #17 Walter, Feb 16, 2013
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  18. Thomas Helwys

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    I totally reject RCC Eucharist theology. I think it is unscriptural. I also see nowhere in scripture that only an ordained RC priest, or any clergy, for that matter, can administer the Lord's Supper, do you?
     
  19. Walter

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    Good question! As to providing scriptural evidence as to why a person needs to be a priest in order to preside at the Lord's Supper, I don't have it. I will investigate and see what I can find out. I know you are commenting specifically now on Eucharistic theology but if a validly ordained priest (presbyter) is necessary for the celebration of the Eucharist then the Church teaches that validity comes through Apostolic Succession. The following scriptures give biblical support (I believe) for that succession.

    Numbers 16:40 - shows God's intention of unbroken succession within His kingdom on earth. Unless a priest was ordained by Aaron and his descendants, he had no authority.
    Acts 13:3 - apostolic authority is transferred through the laying on of hands (ordination).
    (hands are layed on Deacon's as well)
    Acts 9:17-19 - even Paul, who was directly chosen by Christ, only becomes a minister after the laying on of hands by a bishop. This is a powerful proof-text for the necessity of sacramental ordination in order to be a legitimate successor of the apostles.
    2 Cor. 1:21-22 - Paul writes that God has commissioned certain men and sealed them with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee.
    2 Tim. 2:2 - this verse shows God's intention is to transfer authority to successors (here, Paul to Timothy to 3rd to 4th generation). It goes beyond the death of the apostles.
    Exodus 40:15 - the physical anointing shows that God intended a perpetual priesthood with an identifiable unbroken succession.
    Acts 6:6 - apostolic authority is transferred through the laying on of hands (ordination). This authority has transferred beyond the original twelve apostles as the Church has grown.
    Acts 14:23 - the apostles and newly-ordained men appointed elders to have authority throughout the Church.
    Acts 1:20 - a successor of Judas is chosen. The authority of his office (his "bishopric") is respected notwithstanding his egregious sin. The necessity to have apostolic succession in order for the Church to survive was understood by all. God never said, "I'll give you leaders with authority for about 400 years, but after the Bible is compiled, you are all on your own."

    And certainly these very early writings, although not scripture, what is written here was not disputed and seem to indicate that Apostolic Succession was understood by the Early Church as a necessity:

    "And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus saith the Scripture a certain place, 'I will appoint their bishops s in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.'... Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry...For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties." Pope Clement, Epistle to Corinthians, 42, 44 (A.D. 98).

    "For what is the bishop but one who beyond all others possesses all power and authority, so far as it is possible for a man to possess it, who according to his ability has been made an imitator of the Christ off God? And what is the presbytery but a sacred assembly, the counselors and assessors of the bishop? And what are the deacons but imitators of the angelic powers, fulfilling a pure and blameless ministry unto him, as…Anencletus and Clement to Peter?" Ignatius, To the Trallians, 7 (A.D. 110).

    Hopefully one of the other board members will have an answer for your specific question but I will also be looking myself.
     
  20. DHK

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    Read and study the Book of Hebrews. We are no longer under the Levitical priesthood. Christ is our Great High Priest coming from Melchizedek. The Levitical priesthood has been done away with. Every believer is a priest before God and need not to be appointed. He is directly called of God.
    It wasn't transferred. It was recognized. Read the context. "The Holy Spirit said separate unto me Saul and Barnabas..."
    They recognized the call of God upon their lives and therefore laid hands upon them. There was no succession. It was a symbolic gesture that God had called them, and they were sending them forth from that church, the church at Antioch.
    No it isn't. Even Paul denies this himself. Paul says that he was an apostle as "one born out of due time." He never refers to this incident as his "ordination." Rather he gives his testimony several times in the Book of Acts, and each time he definitively says that God appeared to him, and God called him to be a minister (servant) to the Gentiles. There was no laying on of the hands. God called him directly. When God called him, what did he do. He prayed, saying, "Lord what would you have me to do?" He answered his calling right there and then.
    After this he was told to go and meet Ananias. Ananias was reluctant at first. But the Lord reassured him, telling hm,

    Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
    16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
    --He was ordained of God, not of men.
    He does no such thing.
    2 Corinthians 1:21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
    22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
    --God has established us in Christ. How? By giving us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That indwelling; anointing; sealing of the Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance. There is much more to come. This has nothing to do with succession.
    Again you are way out of line. It has to do with the principle of "spiritual reproduction," or simply carrying out the Great Commission (Mat.28:19,20). What was Paul saying here.
    Timothy, take those things that I have taught you, and gather faithful men around you and teach those faithful men. Teach them well so that they in turn may also teach other faithful men. Then the result will be other faithful men teaching other faithful men. This is what discipleship is all about. This is what missions is all about. It says nothing about any transfer of authority--absolutely nothing!!
    Which tribe of Israel are you from?
    We are not under Levitical law!
    No it isn't. These were 7 men chosen to serve tables. Do you lay hands on those whom you choose to be janitors in your church? :laugh:
    I don't think that is a requirement, but that is what they were to do. Read your Bible! Then look at the requirements that the church at Jerusalem set forth. Even those servants were to have high expectations for the church.
    The word "ordained" means "chose." They chose, according to God's leading, men fit to be leaders in every church they went to, or every church they established. That is what Paul did. He established churches. He was a missionary. He went on three missionary journeys and established about 100 independent churches. It was impossible for them to have any succession whatsoever.
    The Apostolic Age died out when the apostles died out, at the end of the first century. That is also when the Canon of Scripture was complete. No honest Christian believes that the RCC formulated the canon of Scripture. No honest and objective Christian believes that the Apostles, before they died, were stupid and naive enough not to know what books were Scripture and what were not, and that they did not pass this information off to the first century Christians. The RCC never was "the keeper of the Scriptures" nor did they "invent" the canon. That is ludicrous. By the end of the first century, when John finished the Book of Revelation, the canon was completed.
    Fairy tales. RCC propaganda. Try reading real history.
    Nothing about succession there. You have to read into it to get succession out of it.
    Succeeding means to follow after. I followed after the pastor before me. That is not apostolic succession. The quote proves nothing. You are simply reading into it what you want to.
     

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