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A Salvationist Perspective on the Sacraments

Seven Sacraments Altarpiece
Seven Sacraments Altarpiece by Rogier van der Weyden (c.1445-1450). You can see around the edges the seven sacraments. From left to right, Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation (at rear of centre panel), Holy Orders, Marriage, Last Rites. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyone knows that the Salvation Army doesn’t celebrate (perform) the sacraments, right? The fact of the matter is that while yes, the Salvation Army does not celebrate Holy Communion (or whatever term you prefer to use in its place – Mass, Eucharist, The Lord’s Supper), and we don’t perform “water” baptisms, the Salvation Army is indeed a very sacramental church, and celebrates its sacraments on a daily basis. I hope to show to you today that the Salvation Army does indeed embrace the sacraments, and that they are in fact a wonderful thing.

What is a sacrament?

On a very basic level, a sacrament is a means of grace. By that, I mean that a sacrament is an outward sign of the grace of God that resides within us. The best way that I heard that related into everyday language was relating it to the love that I have for my wife. There are various ways that I could show my love for my wife. I could get her flowers, or jewellery, or give her a kiss, or a hug, or even tell her that I love her. None of these things are what love actually consists of, they are just outward signs that show that love. However, if I don’t do at least some of these, my wife would get rather upset – she may not know that I still love her. The sacraments are the same. They aren’t what the grace of God actually consists of. They are just outward signs that we reside in God’s grace. Through doing the sacraments, they are an outward sign that we reside in the grace of God. If we don’t do them, even though we still remain in the grace of God – how would anyone know? Continue reading A Salvationist Perspective on the Sacraments

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Some logic to your argument please

Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue sk...
Image via Wikipedia

I’m straying into difficult territory here, but I need to share my thoughts on this issue, and hopefully my thoughts will make some sort of sense. Especially as I’m talking about using logic in an argument, I hope that my thoughts are logical as well.

I read yesterday an article from the Sydney Morning Herald titled “Gay marriage ridicule ‘damages youths'”. In it, I read this quote from Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce.

Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce told the rally his four daughters would be affected if same-sex marriage was allowed.

“We know that the best protection for those girls is that they get themselves into a secure relationship with a loving husband, and I want that to happen for them.

“I don’t want any legislator to take that right away from me.”

Wait, what?

According to Mr Joyce, by allowing Same-sex couples to marry each other, his daughters (who I’m assuming are unmarried heterosexuals with a loving set of heterosexual parents) would be affected. I’m sorry Barnaby, but I’m not quite following your logic here.

I’m not certain that there are many girls out there in the apparent situation that Barnaby’s daughters are apparently in. The only way that I can see that his daughters would be affected by this proposition is if they had told their father “I’m homosexual, but I know I need to be married. As I can’t marry a woman, I’ll marry a man instead.” I’m not sure how common a situation that would be.

I’ve been married almost a year now, and I absolutely still believe that marriage is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I also believe that marriage is something that should be treated with respect, and should not be entered into lightly.

Marriage is a sacred bond between two people. That’s it. For me and my wife, it is between me and her, and God. The only people who can affect our marriage and the sacredness of this bond are those who are involved in it – God, Liesl and myself. Britney Spears had a 55 hour marriage. Does that make my marriage any less special? No – because she is not involved in my marriage. Two homosexual men want to get married, does it affect my marriage? No, because they are not involved in it. Even if a rock wanted to marry a tree, it would not affect my marriage one iota, as the rock and tree are not involved in the sacred bond I made with my wife.

The only people who are affected by allowing homosexual people to marry are homosexual people. Mr Joyce claiming that his (presumably Heterosexual) daughters would be affected defies all logic.

I read an article on same-sex marriage recently. It didn’t take a stand either way. Instead, it called for those in power (White, Male, living in a first world country, those who are never discriminated against, except at “one of those “women-only” gyms”) to take a step back, to be quiet, and listen to others. Just “Shut up and listen.”

I think Mr Joyce should take this advice, and shut up and listen.

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Marriage advice from women

Little Black Dress
A Little black dress never goes astray (Image by dragon762w (trying to catch up) via Flickr)

At our engagement party, we had two sheets, for marriage advice from men and women. I’m not certain where the advice from men went (maybe my wife hid it… just kidding), but here’s the advice we received from women.

  • The wife is ALWAYS right.
    • Always remind him of that ^^^
  • Give him breakfast in bed
  • Never use sex as a bargaining tool.
  • Once you got him he ain’t gonna change bad habits… or good ones either… we hope
  • Don’t touch the tool box
  • A LBD (Little black dress) never goes astray
  • The laundry basket is where the dirty clothes go. The wardrobe is where the clothes go. Don’t mix ’em up!
  • Forgive MUCH and never go to bed angry
  • Don’t listen to him. Women are right.
  • Utility bills go in his name. Credit cards go in hers.
  • Visa cards are a girls best friend but not when you have to pay for them so get him to do it!! Every girl needs retail therapy.
  • Don’t let your husband touch a tool box
  • Remember to treat the extreme highs & lows of marriage with the attitude of “it will pass” and love bears all things.

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