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‘Sin’ is back but ‘the Devil’ optional

sin church of england baptism services the devil lambeth palace parishes godparents

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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 12:45 PM

The Church of England has reinstated the word "sin" into baptism services after a backlash from parishes who complained a new wording was "bland", "dumbed down" and "nothing short of dire".

Plans to introduce an alternative order of service using more "accessible" language, have had to be redrawn after members inundated Lambeth Palace with letters complaining the move went too far.


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#2    JJ50


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Posted 21 June 2014 - 01:40 PM

What a pity, sin is such a silly little word as it covers things that no reasonable person would think wrong.

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#3    DeWitz



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Posted 21 June 2014 - 02:01 PM

This portion of the baptismal rite is the last remaining vestige of exorcism in the Anglican and Protestant traditions. An American Lutheran version reads, "Do you renounce the devil and all the forces that defy God?. . . do you renounce the powers of this world that rebel against God? . . . Do you renounce the ways of sin that draw you from God?"

The liturgical intent of these phrases is to ensure that the parents/godparents of the infant child are committed to living within the community of the Church universal, and not in bondage to negativities at work in the world (we still have plenty of them). In adult baptism, the baptismal candidate replies for her or himself.

Sadly, infant baptism has devolved in the past couple of generations into a practical, rote procedure that marks the birth of a child (a "christening," or naming ceremony, not a theological baptism into the death and resurrection of Christ for new life), then followed by a family brunch for the participants.

Various Church bodies continue to struggle with the meaning and intent of baptism for infants without endorsing wholeheartedly a 4th century notion of infants tainted by original sin. "Believers' baptism," or baptism when one is 'of age' (within some Baptist, Wesleyan and other traditions) seems to adhere to the notion of a willful turning away from sin and walking into new life.

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