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    Christian Theology - Thread: The "What" and "Why" of "Sacraments"

    1. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Resources View Post
      Unless they belive that the celebration of the ritual imparts grace, they do not believe it is a Sacrament. Sacrament makes holy. Ritual is just an act?

      Do you belive the celebration of a ritual can impart grace?

      While I confess Scripture and some Christians speak in way that COULD be so understood, actually the DOING does nothing.... God is USING it. Read below...

      Quote Originally Posted by Josiah

      “Sacrament” is a theological term not used in the Bible but used by Christians to refer loosely to any “means of grace.” A “means of grace” is whatever GOD uses to bring faith, blessings and power into our lives - a means to bless. When the Gospel message of the Bible is preached or read or sung or told – it becomes a “tool” of God, something God can use to GIVE us the “gift of faith” and to guide and empower and bless our lives. Yes, our reading or listening or singing involves some “work” on our part but that’s not the point – GOD is using this like a carpenter using a tool to create something beautiful. While MANY things can be “means of grace” in this loose sense (Lutherans may speak of many things as "sacramental"), historically Christians have especially referenced Word (the Gospel) and Sacraments as the “Means of Grace.” They are “tools in the hands of the Carpenter” for the granting and strengthening of faith and life.


      In and of themselves, they are rather powerless and benign. Like a hammer just lying there. But place that hammer in the hands of a skilled carpenter and GREAT things happen! In the same way, the Bible may seem only like words, Baptism only like water, the Eucharist only like bread and wine. Ah, but they are in the hands of the Carpenter! Who wishes to BLESS us!


      .

      SOME Christians believe that the proclaimation of the Gospel CAN be used by the Holy Spirit to convey faith.... but is this a HUMAN work, BECAUSE a human performed the good work of reading the Bible.... accomplished because black ink on a white page has that POWER? Well... property speaking.... GOD is using those words to do HIS work, convey HIS blessing. This is how it "works" with "Means of Grace" many believe. Luther stressed that the water in Baptism and the bread and wine in Communion do nothing... God does everything THROUGH them. Like a carpenter picking up a hammer and building some wonderful creation... the hammer didn't do this, the Carpenter did using the hammer (which is just an inanimate object).

      I hope that furthers understanding (if not agreement)




      .
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

    2. #12
      Resources is offline Rookie Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
      While I confess Scripture and some Christians speak in way that COULD be so understood, actually the DOING does nothing.... God is USING it. Read below...




      SOME Christians believe that the proclaimation of the Gospel CAN be used by the Holy Spirit to convey faith.... but is this a HUMAN work, BECAUSE a human performed the good work of reading the Bible.... accomplished because black ink on a white page has that POWER? Well... property speaking.... GOD is using those words to do HIS work, convey HIS blessing. This is how it "works" with "Means of Grace" many believe. Luther stressed that the water in Baptism and the bread and wine in Communion do nothing... God does everything THROUGH them. Like a carpenter picking up a hammer and building some wonderful creation... the hammer didn't do this, the Carpenter did using the hammer (which is just an inanimate object).

      I hope that furthers understanding (if not agreement)




      .
      So if a person come accross a flower, and upon admiring its beauty, the person comes to acept Christ, that flower is a sacrament?

      Sent from my LG-H872 using Tapatalk

    3. #13
      Lämmchen's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Resources View Post
      So if a person come accross a flower, and upon admiring its beauty, the person comes to acept Christ, that flower is a sacrament?

      Sent from my LG-H872 using Tapatalk
      No because it was not instituted by God to deliver any benefits. And how would a flower point to Christ who died anyway without the person hearing the message of the Good News? It can't.
      "Christianity does not require more work but more trust." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "Bearing fruit does not make you a branch. A branch is a branch because it grows from the vine." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "A Christian's life is not defined by what the Christian does. It is defined by Christ and what He has done for us." Pr. Rolf David Preus

    4. Likes Albion, Resources, ImaginaryDay2 liked this post
    5. #14
      Josiah's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Resources View Post
      So if a person come accross a flower, and upon admiring its beauty, the person comes to acept Christ, that flower is a sacrament?

      As I posted (see post # 8), anything COULD be "sacramental" (doesn't thus make it a SACRAMENT -that depends on one's definition). Yes, you give a silly example, but the Scriptures DO say "the heavens declare the glory of God." I suppose God COULD use the stunning experience of His Creation as a tool.... But just as the flower didn't DO anything (God did)... just as the LOOKING while a human activity also didn't do anything, if GOD uses this as a means to bring blessings to us, then yes, it could be seen as "sacramental."


      Just to run with a kind of silly point of yours (but not ENTIRELY without value, lol).... from the time was about 6 years old, I have LOVED to hike. I was in Boy Scouts and then Explorers... and I continued this through all my years of college and grad school. Not so much now (life being busy). And while it had nothing to do with COMING to faith, I vividly remember MANY times, especially up in the big mountains of eastern and northern California - in Yosemite and around - coming across a scene that just blew me away, and I recall literally bursting out in praise to God as I stood in the wonder of His Creation. I gotta admit, seeing my son being born was like that, too. God CAN use things to bless. Even flowers, I suppose. But then I'm really not into telling God what He cannot do.




      .
      Last edited by Josiah; 11-07-2018 at 04:05 PM.
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

    6. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
      As I posted (see post # 8), anything COULD be "sacramental" (doesn't thus make it a SACRAMENT -that depends on one's definition). Yes, you give a silly example, but the Scriptures DO say "the heavens declare the glory of God." I suppose God COULD use the stunning experience of His Creation as a tool.... But just as the flower didn't DO anything (God did)... just as the LOOKING while a human activity also didn't do anything, if GOD uses this as a means to bring blessings to us, then yes, it could be seen as "sacramental."


      Just to run with a kind of silly point of yours (but not ENTIRELY without value, lol).... from the time was about 6 years old, I have LOVED to hike. I was in Boy Scouts and then Explorers... and I continued this through all my years of college and grad school. Not so much now (life being busy). And while it had nothing to do with COMING to faith, I vividly remember MANY times, especially up in the big mountains of eastern and northern California - in Yosemite and around - coming across a scene that just blew me away, and I recall literally bursting out in praise to God as I stood in the wonder of His Creation. I gotta admit, seeing my son being born was like that, too. God CAN use things to bless. Even flowers, I suppose. But then I'm really not into telling God what He cannot do.




      .
      My silly example was trying to make the point that a sacrament is more than just a tool that a person can stumble upon.

      A Sacrament is purposeful, it is ordained and distinct in nature.

      Sent from my LG-H872 using Tapatalk

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      Quote Originally Posted by Resources View Post
      My silly example was trying to make the point that a sacrament is more than just a tool that a person can stumble upon.
      No one needed to make that point, however.

      A Sacrament is purposeful, it is ordained and distinct in nature.
      Very well then, define it for us. So far we have that it is a ceremony, etc. ordained or instituted by Christ, that conveys grace, and utilizes physical matter/objects.

    8. Likes Resources liked this post
    9. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by Resources View Post
      My silly example was trying to make the point that a sacrament is more than just a tool that a person can stumble upon.

      Okay. But then it seems you didn't read my post (# 8). And totally missed the whole point about "tools in the hands of the Carpenter" and the distinction made between sacramental and Sacrament.

      Oh, and Creation CAN be used by God to bless..... I've had that happen many times. I wouldn't call it a Sacrament but it could be seen as sacramental.



      .
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

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      Could we take what we already have discussed and identify any or all possible sacraments?

    11. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
      Could we take what we already have discussed and identify any or all possible sacraments?
      Great question? Any takers?

      Sent from my LG-H872 using Tapatalk

    12. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by MoreCoffee View Post
      Many denominations have no sacraments; in the place of sacraments those denominations have "ordinances" or something else that more or less corresponds to baptism and the Lord's supper though some denominations have neither baptism nor the Lord's supper (the Salvation Army, for example).

      One cannot make just "any ritual" into a sacrament of the Church but one can call just about anything a sacrament if one has a mind to.

      There are seven sacraments and the faithful know it from the teaching of the Catholic Church. Those who are separated from the Catholic Church may have a different count and different sources for their count.
      Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
      So the answer there is two. The question of the thread does not concern itself with each denominations preferred terminology.
      It was unclear that the last part in your message shown above was a response to my post also shown above rather than a part of one of Resource's posts. Of course your response edited my reply and removed the words though some denominations have neither baptism nor the Lord's supper (the Salvation Army, for example).

      That slight of hand edit was the only way your post could pretend to be adding something informative about denominations that have no ordinances or sacraments at all.

      I trust that readers of the thread will take the time to read better and more fully than your post's edited quote.
      Pope Gregory I was well known for his alms to the poor, and he gave quite generously of the riches donated to the Church by the wealthy people of Rome. Everything from money to land was given to the poor in some fashion. He made clear to his subordinates that their duty was to relieve the distress faced by the poor.

      He ordered his clergy to go out into the streets to find and care for the poor in person.

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