Author: cheok hong chuan
Date: 03-29-12 16:10
Should Christians be allowed to question their faith or should faith be 'blind'?
Here goes some questioning as to Christian Sacraments.
The word "sacrament", in its broadest sense, means something sacred and hidden (the Greek word is "mystery"). In fact, the whole world and life and the meaning of life is a mystery! It is because humans are faced with this ‘mystery’ that we humans have religion and God! But faced with this mystery, when humans respond to the mystery with human worldly knowledge or wisdom they are not going to succeed; when what is required is spiritual knowledge or wisdom. But how do you communicate what is sacramental or a mystery in the spiritual sense requiring spiritual wisdom to the worldly or the worldly wise? Would not it be easier to explain it just as mysteriously by saying everything is in the hands or mercy of God or at God’s Grace? But humans are not comfortable when they do not have the answer or rather delude themselves into doing things through blind faith! But what is faith if it is not in the ‘spirit’ and not through spiritual wisdom? Which is why Jesus exhorted the Jews for their worldly see but being spiritually blind?
There are seven sacraments for the Catholics viz. - Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Orders and Matrimony that we have to faithfully obey in worldly practice. But what is the spiritual basis? Let us debunk the ‘mystery’.
Baptism as a worldly ceremony is meaningless if it does not mean what Jesus said – that you have to be baptised by water and baptised in the spirit. What these mean is divine and not worldly. Definitely, it is not simply a meaningless ritual or ceremony. For it is a narrow and not a broad gate to Heaven! You have to actually personally ‘seek’ the Kingdom of God and His righteousness! Note Matthew 13;33 where Jesus said – “The kingdom of Heaven is like leaven (yeast), which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal (flour) till it was all leavened (risen).” The ‘trick’ is in the ‘rising’ but you have to work or knead the bread [which is you, for you also are the bread of life] and the leaven are the words of Christ [see John 6:63 – “It is the Spirit who gives life [to the spirit]; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”] The fact is one has to be divinely baptised by water and divinely baptised in the spirit. Only the Divine Heavenly Father knows whether you are divinely baptised by water and divinely baptised in the spirit! So, go back and read the Parable of the Sower, the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the Parable of the unclean spirit and seven evil companion spirits, the Parable of the Wedding garment, the Parable of the scribes and Pharisees sitting in Moses seat and determining rituals as the pathway to God, Parable of the Talents, Parable of the Goats and Sheep [you should see Jesus in everyone] and so on.
As to Confirmation, what is there to confirm? If you are not divinely baptised by water and divinely baptised in the spirit!
Eucharist means ‘celebration’ of the words of Jesus. It is trite to say that you will not find the Way if you do not understand the words of Jesus. But why leave it to each Sunday to listen to the words of Jesus? How many go to Church? How many listen at Church? With those who listen, how many understand? Without the ‘leaven’ of Christ how can you ‘rise’ in the ‘spirit? “When two or three are gathered in My Name” only makes sense when we are gathered in the ‘spirit’!
As to Penance and Extreme Unction [which is extreme penance] why so? Is not the essence of Christianity the ‘reconciliation’ of a Prodigal Son with the Heavenly Father, and we come as we are. The only sin of a spirit son to a Spirit father is that of ‘separation’! Mortal sins will come out in the wash; for if we do not come clean, and pay off the last penny to be released from ‘prison’, how can we be said to be ‘baptised by water’?
Orders should not really be a sacrament. Jesus personally appointed 12 Apostles. Priests are helpful but like pastors but they can never be divinely appointed. So, what is the ‘mystery’ with them?
Matrimony is a fraud if it is taken as sacramental as in divinely blessed by a priest representing God. In a worldly sense, a true marriage is when one where a man and a woman mutually avow to be a union. How can 'worldly' marriage be sacred and sacrosanct and beyond 'divorce'? Even at the atomic level atoms attract and split when the attractive charge fails! Is a 'mystery' of nature exempt from the Law of Nature? A Spirit Father has no interest in human or worldly conjugation! Spiritually, when we are join the spirit, when we are +ve and –ve, yin and yang, male and female; and with God our father in the spirit, who can split us asunder.
God is Eternal Spirit. Within us in worldly exile we are a mortal son-of-Adam and also an eternal spirit son-of God. Between our spirit ‘separation’ and our spirit ‘reconciliation’ with God let us just practice what we call God’s Amazing Grace, without rituals or ceremonies. In our seeking, all we need is God’s Grace. Let us leave that as a ‘mystery’ as to what it actually means, for each personal journey is unique to that individual. We must not be led en masse like lemmings blindly over the cliff.
God is a mystery. We are a mystery. Life is a mystery. Sacraments are a mystery. Grace is a mystery. On Earth mystery is a worry and thus misery. In the spirit Heaven there is no mystery. When the Prodigal Son is back home with the Heavenly Father, where is the worry? So there is no mystery, for no son is now lost in the unknown! If all is well at home. what is there to worry?