What Is the Purpose of Sacraments?


Question:     What is the purpose of the sacraments? Who created them?


Answer:       Marriage, for instance, is considered a Holy Sacrament, although marriage was recognized by primitive and civilized people all over the world for ages before Christians assigned it sacrament status. Marriage is a public declaration between two people that they will live together under a set of rules; but, except that it was blessed as a proper idea by Christ, I do not know why it should be considered a sacrament. Christ did not promote baptism, and He never baptized another person. John promoted it as a symbolic cleansing, which somehow was incorporated later into the belief that whoever was not baptized could not go to heaven or take part in Holy Communion or the other sacraments. Again, man has institutionalized tradition into commands with punitive incentives. At the Last Supper, Christ said, “This do in remembrance of Me”; He did not say anything about making the Passover meal a Holy Sacrament or that one must partake of it. Communion is a reminder of a great event and there can be intense emotional gratification in the ceremony, but I do not know how the sacraments acquired the rank of commands from God. Mostly the sacraments are activities that would remind one of what Christ did and who He was and the importance of being thoughtful about birth, marriage and concern for afterlife. (10-1973)




What Is Your Feeling About Baptism and Communion?


Question:   What is your feeling about Baptism and Communion as practiced in the Churches?


Answer:     During the Last Supper, Christ said, “Do these things in remembrance of me.” Symbolicly the bread is His body and the wine is His blood. This is the body and spirit of Christianity. When you take communion, you are doing so in remembrance of Christ.


     John the Baptist introduced baptism as the symbolic cleansing away of the old ways in which one was living, and putting aside sinful ways and being born again. This is the value of Baptism, it is a symbolic thing. The churches have tried to say that there is some deeper mystery involved in that if you have not been baptized you cannot see the Kingdom of God. But I do not think that is so. (03-1974)