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Rituals


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I think the prescence of meaningless rituals caused me to back away from church even when I was a part of them. The most prominent is of course, Communion. When I was a kid, we did this once a year, the very last or very first service of the year, the one we held on News Years Eve/New Years Day. Back then, we liked taking Communion, because we only did it once a year, and the novelty made it fun. We'd eat the little cracker, sip the thimble of grape juice, and think about Jesus. Then my pastor left to be an evangelist, and the assistant pastor took the throne. And he preached a sermon on how sacred and important Communion was, and how taking it and not being Holy-Ghost filled and fully repented would damn you forever and ever for blaspheming the body of Christ. At this point, I had come to recognize that I wasn't really saved and was pretending to be so, but I prayed. I had to take it to continue the charade, but I feared for my immortal soul, so I asked God to understood and took part. The next year, I did the same thing, although by this time I was starting to move from fear of God to disregarding him. Still, the creepiness factor was through the roof. This past year, I went to the restroom after the sermon and stayed there until dismissal. It seemd so absurd, that a "loving God" would sentence me to burn forever and ever for eating a little cracker. My then pastor said this was NOT a ritual, but he never said what it was, so I'm going to call it a ritual. He said we didn't believe in transubstantiation, but then why were we doing it? If we were just doing it to remember Jesus' sacrifice, then how the hell could it lead to our eternal damnation?

 

The next thing is footwashing. This was popular in Pentecostal services (we didn't handle snakes, though, unless you count shaking hands with the visiting preachers), but it was creepy. Footwashing was a good and necessary thing back in Biblical times, but today it's just gross. Fortunately, the assistant pastor did away with this when he became pastor.

 

And then there's baptizing. This was necessary in the UPCI, as dictated in Acts 2:38. It had to be full immersion, and it had to be in Jesus' name. But nothing happened to me, and nothing has happened to the majority of people I've witnessed come out of the tank. In fact, everyone I've seen come out of the tub speaking in tounges had done it BEFORE they put on the little robe and got an ice-cold bath. I didn't see why God had to combine spiritual salvation with corporeal matter. Of course, if you're going for symbolism, it makes perfect sense, but the UPCI held it was an integral part of salvation.

 

 

Anyone else have some tales of rituals? There might have been others I've forgotten.

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...we didn't handle snakes, though, unless you count shaking hands with the visiting preachers...
:lmao: I'll have you know that the snakes of my acquaintance are rather offended at being compared to preachers.

 

Rituals? Well, my take on it is that they're profoundly ironic. The very same people who have screaming conniptions at the very mention of Wicca or Harry Potter are performing ceremonial magic when they go through all these little holy dances.

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I The

 

After being a catholic my whole life, rituals is what its all about! catholic communion is so sacred, confession, true repentance, the works in order to receive. Now an atheist for about a year, I learned to completely disregard the guilt and nonsense of receiving communion anymore. When I have to attend church, I just receive and don't give a holy FUCK about it anymore. As I blasphemed more, it becomes easier and a way to affirm my atheism. Of course I avoid church like the fuckin plague, but when I have to my attitude is who cares?

This is important because I tried to be sin free for so many years and found it impossible.Now its great to say jeeeezuzs fuckingodamnchrist and receive,again if i have to and walk out feeling fuckin great. Religion is no longer in any way relevant to me and I'm proud of breaking free. Thanks.

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Whether Christians like to admit it or not, Christianity is full of religious ritual. From those things mentioned - through to things like speaking in tongues, raising your hands, standing together in a congregations and singing and praising God, even praying. It's all ritual. Any Christian who claims that Christianity is not religion and are simply in a relationship with God are kidding themselves. If they practise just one of those things, they are involved in religious ritual.

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Rituals? Well, my take on it is that they're profoundly ironic. The very same people who have screaming conniptions at the very mention of Wicca or Harry Potter are performing ceremonial magic when they go through all these little holy dances.

 

Heh - that's so true. Even the most Babble-thumping Protestants have little rituals they utilize, and it's all a form of ceremonial magic, but because it's permitted and encouraged in the Wholly Babble, it's a-ok :Wendywhatever:

 

I had fun with the rituals when I was Catholic. Of course, growing up in a "cultural Catholic" community had a lot to do with it; you were taught the stuff was important, but the link between that and your immortal soul's salvation just wasn't emphasized enough. I never felt like I was in danger of damnation every day. I only became concerned with that after I made the choice to start taking Catholicism seriously, actually study it and not just practice it "because that's how I was raised".

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After church with all the other alter boys, when we joined with the priest and took off all our clothes..........................er, never mind.

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See, now I like rituals, mostly. Rituals are part of what makes life interesting.

 

Of course some of them I could have done away with, especially the cold, hard Lutheran ones. But for example in a Catholic church I always felt that aura of mysticism when they conducted their rituals and ceremonies. I feel the same way when in a Hindu or Buddhist place and they're conducting some rite of passage or homage.

 

How boring life would be if we didn't ritualize so many parts of it.

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Whether Christians like to admit it or not, Christianity is full of religious ritual. From those things mentioned - through to things like speaking in tongues, raising your hands, standing together in a congregations and singing and praising God, even praying. It's all ritual. Any Christian who claims that Christianity is not religion and are simply in a relationship with God are kidding themselves. If they practise just one of those things, they are involved in religious ritual.

 

 

I disagree, communion can intensify relationship with Christ, espcially if your church uses the new fangled flesh flavored wafers and blood pickled in Morgan David.

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