Sacramental Faith

Writing in 1982, James Jordan gets to the heart of the difference between a catholic, Biblical approach to the sacraments and what the rest of “evangelicalism” has become:

…the sacraments are seen the same way: men are to make a decision, then be admitted to baptism (the Baptist view) or to the Eucharist (the Lutheran and Calvinistic view). The Bible, however, indicates that faith is presuppositional. The child is to be taught to believe from the beginning. It is not his initial decision which evidences his faith, but rather his perseverance to the end. He participates in the sacrament, in both its forms, from the beginning. The sacrament of God’s grace is not something he must attain by making a decision, walking an aisle, memorizing a catechism, or going through a rite of confirmation; but rather the sacrament of eating dinner with Jesus at His House is the presupposition of the child’s growth in grace.

1 thought on “Sacramental Faith”

  1. Joel,

    Fascinating and right out of left field; as one who has trod both the Adventist and Anglican path (still treading the latter) i have just taken the party line re inclusion and participation for granted, as given, not to be questioned. Then this post of yours comes along and provides a metaphorical smack right between the eyes…

    And indeed one is left asking ‘Why’? why do we place all these artificial constructs upon participation? I am a great believer in open communion; if one understands the Sacraments, their purpose and is in genuine accord, or even searching, struggling…who are we to bar one from God’s table…

    Fascinating food for thought.

    As a side issue, I am grateful for the fact that in my own Anglican parish, confirmation was not necessary before participating in the Lord’s Supper…

    What’s your take upon the practice of footwashing as linked to the communion service? its funny, though I’ve qualms with a fair bit of Adventist theology, I think in its own way, a traditional SDA comunion service is one of the most beautiful expresssions of sacrament to be found anywhere within the Christian spectrum; I raised the question of perhaps periodically including full participatory footwashing once with someone in my local parish who is fairly respected and influential only to receive a resounding NO!!!!! 🙂 not so much because they thought the theology was a bit skewed, but because they didn’t understand how the process can be made to work, and the fact people are abserdly embarrassed about the state of their feet or those of their ‘footwashing partner’; also, the beauty of the sisters and brothers breaking off to minister to one another; secret womans’ business and secret mens’ business; the comradery of the sisterhood and brotherhood alike along with the fact that all are brought together as one through this practice if one will; a lawyer can partner with a single parent, a Ph.D. with one who hasn’t matriculated from highschool, and each gives and receives in a profoundly beautiful way that cries ‘body of Christ’ with such intensity even now I am tearing up… Many rifts and forgivenesses have also been sought and received, sealed by this very special ritual that precedes the communion supper.

    though I understand the practical implications for this to be done within churches who have communion every week, even if it were practiced four or even six times a year, it would be beautiful and this adds no length to the church service… the whole service is given over to the communion…

    am I just wishing in vain? is this innovation to ‘un-Anglican for me to dream such could be uptaken within the Anglican setting?

    I would be most intrigued to hear from you, along with anybody else who wishes to share their thoughts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.