July 15, 2014

Church of England kicks the devil out of baptism rite

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The devil is portrayed in "The Temptation of Christ," an 1854 painting by Ary Scheffer. The Church of England on July 14, 2014, approved alternative language in its baptism rite that removed a reference to the devil, who "has been turned into a cartoon-like character of no particular malevolence," said Robert Paterson, the Bishop of Sodor and Man.

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The devil is portrayed in "The Temptation of Christ," an 1854 painting by Ary Scheffer. The Church of England on July 14, 2014, approved alternative language in its baptism rite that removed a reference to the devil, who "has been turned into a cartoon-like character of no particular malevolence," said Robert Paterson, the Bishop of Sodor and Man.

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(RNS) The new wording, approved on Sunday (July 13), only asks whether parents and godparents will "turn away from sin" and "reject evil."

  • Neon Genesis

    That any church still conducts exorcisms in the 21st century is surely an act of religious and psychological abuse.

  • Lles Nats

    Surely. Or maybe there is a hollywood production company funding the effort with screenwriters on site?

  • Mary

    They didn’t change anything but the wording. The content is still there.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    I think the devil has a pretty good sense of humor. At the same exact time the Church of England votes to have women bishops, it tries to try to make sure no one thinks they are doing Satan’s work as it starts work on the next destruction–the execution of the sick and elderly to join the butchered unborn children. (All coincidence????)

  • ronald

    In theory, this move is prepostrous and absurd. You cannot have Christianity without the threat of Satan. The entire point of our faith is to fight in the Army of the Lord against manifestations of Satan in our world: Homosexuals, athiests, liberals, ect.

    In practice, it is irrevelant because UK is all athiest now anyway. Christianity died there when they abandoned the Free Market and created socialized medicine for everyone, in defiance of God’s capitalist plan. Now no one goes to church there because they worship the State instead.

  • gilhcan

    Yes, the devil has always been the symbol of evil, especially in the dark days of the mythology when the stories were originally written. One might also say that “God” is a symbol of the vast unknown, of no gender really, not even of personhood. Those ancient imaginings did not know and could not speak or write in any other way. How might we, even now, write about the vast–or if you like, the infinite–unknown? We should really remain speechless, unlettered, when it comes to what is infinitely beyond the ability of humans to know.

  • gilhcan

    So, Deacon John, you think it is more sacred to despise sex, marriage, and women, just as in the darkness of antiquity?

    One might ask, if deacons can marry, why not priests. And if men can be ordained, why not women. Or is there a difference in the humanity of all these?

    We should not be stuck in ancient, mythological cultures of thinking.

  • gilhcan

    Religion is embedded in mythology, the unknown, the inability to know. The result has always been that it has taken refuge in expressing itself in similes and metaphors that over millennia lose their original meaning and their hold on “the faithful.”.

    Because some churches have refused to adjust their figures of speech, or because they hesitated for fear “their faithful” would be scandalized, they run into even greater scandal when they make the least attempt, as in ridding their stories of a human-like, malevolent Lucifer after millennia.

  • gilhcan

    Unfortunately, or sadly, or unavoidably, the stories of religion originated in ancient times when nothing was known compared to what we know now. More unfortunately, religion has too often not adapted to new knowledge, precisely because its origin is attributed to “God,” to that which is beyond humanity, this world, and new knowledge.

    We shouldn’t be surprised that the ordinary masses live blindly on the acceptance of those ancient comforts of mythology. How many people work steadily to study and learn, to think and adjust their minds to new learnings? The old mythologies comfort them until stronger, uncontrollable factors become threats.

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  • Doc Anthony

    The Church of England could use an exorcism. And quickly!!!

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  • Deacon John Bresnahan

    Our culture is sexually confused enough while at the same time people make snide, ignorant comments about Catholic-Orthodox Tradition.
    The high point of Catholic– and also usually Anglican worship— is the Holy Mass. It is a re-enactment of the Last Supper. Christ, a man, presided there and all who go to Mass know this. Thus to have a woman preside creates a jarring disjunction for those who know their history well.
    And some Anglicans I have talked with who supported ordaining women to preside at the Last Supper (Mass) didn’t realize how this “sex-crossing” would strike them::: the same way seeing Arnold Schwartzeneger play Mary in a Hollywood movie would strike them–time for laughter and to look for the doors. (As episcopal membership is proving.)
    Of course there are many loud voices and noise demanding female ordination in the Catholic Church. But where is much of this uproar coming from??? Read the comments on various issues in places like RNS. Then see how much of the screaming for women’s ordination is coming from people who have not been shy about their hatred for the Catholic Church and Christianity. Nothing more would please these haters than for the Catholic Church to commit suicide.

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  • Liz Levesque

    not good.

  • Gilbert Doan

    Isn’t it comforting to know that some people are smarter than God?

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  • This is fabulous. I am grateful for the Church’s of England’s progressive approach to theism.

  • Very 🙂

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  • john-peter

    gilchan – i hardly ever reply to these, but you are not a Christian, you have not been baptised by the Holy Spirit – that Pentecost moment, when the Aposlte spoke in tongues, ONE of the ‘fruits of the Spirit, like discernment , a gift that allows us to actually understand an event, a persons grief, Or the gift of healing, which God has actually empowered me to perform on a lost and physically broken individual. To name a few… Sir/Mame, You judge what you do not even comprehend. Ask Jesus to reveal Himself, to Baptize you with His Holy Spirit, and to come into your life. Pray this wholeheartedly, truly, resolutely, in loving desire… “Dear Jesus, forgive me a sinner, bless me with your precious Spirit. Save me, Heal me, Touch me.” He, Jesus the Christ is alive. I dare you.