Church of England–Alternative Baptism Materials

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Baptism, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Sacramental Theology, Theology

6 comments on “Church of England–Alternative Baptism Materials

  1. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Yet another vapid committee report following on after Pilling and the women bishops revision committee. It is remarkable how rapidly the CofE is going downhill. It used to be said that we were 15 years behind TEC, but are catching up fast under our Christianity-lite and wretched ‘leadership’. Needless to say it has Justin’s endorsement apparently. Very ‘Liverpool’!

  2. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    There is a rather telling comparison between the current and new wordings on page 6:

    Common Worship Current Version [CW]:
    Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?
    I turn to Christ

    New Alternative Moronic Version [AMV]
    Do you turn to Christ?
    I turn to Christ

    Guess what has been deleted in the AMV? Does the Bishop of Wakefield consider the old wording ‘as Saviour’ to be ‘theologically problematic’ too?

  3. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Mind you, if so the Bishop of Wakefield does thereby marginalise the otherwise problematic issue of Christ being tempted in the desert by a theologically problematic non-entity.

  4. Karen B. says:

    Elves, can you sticky this? I’d not seen the whole service compared side by side with the old service before. This theology-lite is so very telling in what it omits. I think this needs more attention. Now that Christmas is over maybe more people will notice this.

    PM, it was surprising to see even the omission of turning to Christ [b]as Saviour[/b]. Surely that’s not so un-“PC” I thought. But of course, recognizing the need for a Saviour means recognizing our sin!

    I think the most dominant trend in this new baptism liturgy is to remove all “particularity” – the definitions of who Christ is, and what we are to renounce. Specific vows and declarations of submission to Christ’s Lordship and renouncing the world, the flesh and the devil are replaced with vague references to turning to Christ and rejecting evil – leaving things very open-ended for the baptismal candidates to insert their own meaning into those phrases. Basically “follow Christ however you understand him” and “reject whatever you personally consider as evil.”

    Once again, compare and contrast:

    [blockquote]Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?
    I reject them.

    Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?
    I renounce them.

    Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?
    I repent of them.

    Do you turn to Christ [b]as Saviour?[/b]
    I turn to Christ.

    Do you submit to [b]Christ as Lord?[/b]
    I submit to Christ.

    Do you come to Christ, [b]the way, the truth and the life?[/b]
    I come to Christ.[/blockquote]

    [blockquote]Do you reject evil?
    I reject evil.

    And all its many forms?
    And all its many forms.

    And all its empty promises?
    And all its empty promises.

    Do you turn to Christ?
    I turn to Christ.

    And put your trust in him?
    And put my trust in him.

    And promise to follow him for ever?
    And promise to follow him for ever.[/blockquote]

  5. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Elves, I’m so glad that you decided to keep this crucial issue at the top for a while. The matter is FAR too important to let it slip by without serious attention, despite the fact that the an alternative baptismal liturgy might seem to be eclipsed by the much more prominent (or flashy) issues of the women bishops’ legislation or the disastrous Pilling Report.

    PM (#1-3),
    I’m happy that you’ve weighed in here as a Brit. Those of us on the American side of the Pond can’t easily grasp what baptism means as a social rite of passage in England, and so the input of folks like you is very valuable.

    Rather than make a detailed comment on the substance of the proposed new alternative rite, I’ll content myself with a very general comment or two on the whole approach that implicitly pervades the rite, and the obsolete and totally unacceptable theology that undergirds it.

    I’m not exaggerating one bit when I say, this whole liturgy stinks to high heaven. It’s putrid. It’s utterly horrid and an abomination.

    This isn’t just what used to be called, rather euphemistically, “indiscirminate baptism.” This is nothing less than PROMISCUOUS baptism. And sacramental promiscuity is just as bad as sexual promiscuity.

    There is something to be said for the validity of infant baptism in some cultural contexts, as long as there is a reasonable hope that the children thus baptised will be raised as Christians, so that there are reasonable grounds for optimism that those baptized into Christ will in fact choose to follow Christ as Lord when they grow up. But the days when there could be a confident expectation that most of those baptized would grow up to be practicing Christians is long past.

    +Colin Buchanan was right. For decades, the evangelical former bishop of Woolwich was the CoE’s most dynamic and effective advocate of baptismal reform, calling for the CoE to only baptize the children of practicing Anglicans. Parents can’t be expected to pass on a faith and a way of life that they don’t have or know themselves.

    In conclusion, I’m afraid that Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s devastating epithet applies here. This proposed alternative liturgy is the very epitome of CHEAP GRACE. It amounts to casting our pearls before swine. It’s giving what is most holy to the dogs.

    And if those uncomfortable words from the Sermon on the Mount appear shocking to Anglican ears, perhaps we need to be shocked out of our complacency.

    David Handy+
    Ever suspicious about state church religion

  6. New Reformation Advocate says:

    This horrible, awful, no good, very bad alterantive liturgy reminds me of a fascinating anecdote that +Colin Buchanan mentions in one of his numerous writings about baptismal reform. Back when he was ordained (in the 1950s) and instituted in his first parish assignment, the bishop solemnly charged him, as was customary at the time, with the sacred duty of, among other things, seeking out any unbaptized children in the village and making sure that their parents brought them to the church to be christened. My how times have changed (in one sense anyway). Today, such an admonition seems unthinkable.

    But even though only something like 20% of the children born in England are christened in the CoE these days (and far less than that in major urban centers like London), the grim fact is that there are still FAR TOO MANY children being baptized, rather than too few. When only approximately 1 million Enlgish inhabitants bother to attend the CoE on any given Sunday, even though over 20 million people are on the church rolls, then it’s undeniable that very few parents in the CoE are capable of raising their children as believers and Christ followers, since they aren’t followers of Christ themselves. And even godly grandparents or worthy godparents can’t sufficiently make up for that deficiency.

    IOW, the whole set of ecclesial assumptions that underlie this terrible proposed liturgy are grossly mistaken. It reflects the whole mindset of the great 19th century Liberal theologian, F. D. Maurice, who valiantly tried to argue for universal baptism of the entire English population as if indiscriminate baptism were actually a noble and desirable thing. There might have been some credible or at least plausible grounds for so arguing back in the church-going Victorian era. There are NO even plausible grounds for such nonsense today.

    David Handy+
    Hater of promiscuous baptism