Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Sacraments in the Protestant communities

Here is an excerpt from a blog post of a pastor at a nearby non-denominational Christian community:
We will be looking at the two sacraments practiced by the Protestant Church - communion and baptism. Communion symbolizes the doorway to the church. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross paves the way for personal cleansing and a relationship with God. Josh will be sharing this weekend and I ask that everyone be praying for a clear message and call concerning the sacrifice of Christ and the elements of communion that facilitate our remembrance of that event. We trust some will make a decision this weekend to enter that door they have only previously gazed at from a distance. Then we hope they will be baptized the following week.
I mean Pastor Boyd no disrespect, but I think he's got Communion and Baptism backwards. Maybe it's just him, maybe it's the tradition in which he was brought up, maybe it's much of Protestantism in general.

St. Peter and St. Paul did not speak of Communion as the doorway to the Church. They preached Baptism first. I'm curious if the ecclesiology suffers when these two sacraments of initiation are put in the wrong order...


Tim A. Troutman said...

This is the first time I've heard someone put it that way explicitly but I wonder how many others have this confusion.

As for the ecclesiology, I don't see how it couldn't suffer when those two are confused like that. Interesting post.

contrarian 78 said...

I would guess that this confusion comes from a credobaptist who wants to share communion with those who were baptized as infants.

Since they accept their profession of faith while considering their baptism as invalid, they try to foster unity by sharing communion while denying the goodness of their friends' infant baptism.


Jeff Pinyan (japhy) said...

From the Roman Catechism: "The fruit of all the Sacraments is common to all the faithful, and these Sacraments, particularly Baptism, the door, as it were, by which we are admitted into the Church, are so many sacred bonds which bind and unite them to Christ."

That's pretty much what I thought.

Moonshadow said...

I was viewing their website on Friday and began listening to the sermon titled "Eucharist," delivered the Sunday following that blog post. It was very disappointing.

I wouldn't be surprised if the church doesn't come 'round to weekly communion in the near future.

Congregations are, but leadership is so careful to set it up so it doesn't come across as Catholic. I was in a PCA service Easter Sunday morning and the pastor so definitively pointed to the elements on the table and said, "This is not Christ."

Therefore, I suspect a reluctance to sound too Catholic may cause them to "get things backwards."

Jeff Pinyan (japhy) said...

Moonshadow, I watched the videos in their Ekklesia series. I wasn't very impressed, sad to say. As is often the case (I've been to their services a few times) their pastor focuses so intently on a single passage of Scripture usually to the exclusion of other passages that provide context and clarity. (And, of course, there's little or no reference to tradition.)

Anyway, happy Easter!