Born-again Sacramentalism  

Posted by Joe Rawls in

My biggest problem with evangelicals is not homophobia or right-wing political extremism--although these are bad enough--but rather the low esteem in which many of them hold the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. Apparently there are some evangelicals who feel the same way. Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk, has a very interesting post called "Your Mission: Resacramentalize Evangelicalism". Very informative and eye-opening, especially for those of us who still labor under some stereotypes about what evangelicals are about. Read a sample of the comments as well.

What are evangelical sacraments?

  • We have sacramentalized technology.
  • We have sacramentalized the pastor and other leaders.
  • We have sacramentalized music (ie the songs themselves and the experience of singing).
  • We have sacramentalized leaders of musical worship.
  • We have sacramentalized events (God is here!)
  • We have sacramentalized the various forms of the altar call.
  • We have sacramentalized the creation of an emotional reaction.
We've done all of this, amazingly, while de-emphasizing and theologically gutting baptism. (I'm not buying everyone's baptismal theology here: I'm simply saying the standard approach now is nothing more than could be accomplished by having someone jump through a hoop.)

We've done this while reducing the Lord's Supper to a relatively meaningless, optional recollection (and being deeply suspicious of anyone making it more than a glorified sermon illustration).

We've done this while removing any aspects of sacramentalism from out worship and even our architecture...

What's the answer?

We need to resacramentalize our worldview in its entirety. Go read some Anglicans and Catholics about that. We're ridiculously secularist and modernist in so much of our thinking, and so selective and inconsistent in our idea of how God relates to physical things.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 at Monday, August 10, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .



So why should people venerate wafers? Or wear stupid clothes to talk to god?
Isn't this a waste of time, money and trouble?
These are some of the reasons I'm glad I'm an atheist.

May 21, 2011 at 4:44 PM

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