Weapons of War – 2

Deconstituted Ingredients

“The second ‘zone’ we need to think about concerning gnostic tendencies is the sacraments. God’s affirmation of the material world is seen in the fact that He uses physical water to introduce people into His kingdom; and by the fact that we eat Christ’s flesh and drink His blood in the Lord’s supper. Many Christians, however, cannot embrace such physical ideas. Water baptism is thus reduced to a mere symbol instead of a powerful communication from God. And so are the bread and wine of the supper.

Such a reduction is not the view of the Protestant Reformers who sought to correct the magical view of the Papal church without denying the fact that God really acts through such material means. By the 19th Century, however, the heirs of the Reformers were no longer willing to abide the Reformers’ starkly materialistic views…

God created the universe in such a way that it is designed by Him as His means to communicate with man… These are the means that God has appointed to bring us near to Him. God’s Spirit uses these physical things. Therefore, if God also uses water, oil, bread and wine to communicate His presence to us, what’s so strange about that?…

But what do we get? Instead of a nice shower of water from above in baptism, we get a few drops. Instead of a good, munchable piece of bread, we get a tiny bit of cracker. Instead of a good slug of alcohol, which makes a peace-inducing impact on the body and also puts fire inside of you, we get a sip of insipid grapejuice. And anointing the sick with oil, which puts them back into the olive tree, as commanded by James 5:14, has largely disappeared.”

James B. Jordan, Preterism vs. Gnosticism, Biblical Horizons Conference 2007. Available from www.wordmp3.com WEPOW

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