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Re: Part Two of the Course, Second Assignment, Question 2
by Marvin Fitchett - Thursday, 26 July 2012, 1:50 AM

Christians came to talk about “administering" and "receiving" sacraments during the Patristic period of Catholicism. The early theologians were developing their understanding of how the spiritual gift or reality was received. In their efforts, the church fathers gave minimal consideration to the record of how the early converts’ experienced their sealing. They gave more weight to the experience of the Patristic period converts and to the writings of St. Paul, and leaned heavily on their reasoning of a new way of referring to receiving spiritual gifts.

During their inquiry, the early theologians sifted the records of the early converts, seeking an understanding of how they processed receiving spiritual gifts/ realities. Of course, the early convert spoken about receiving their spiritual gift from God as the seal of the spirit. The early Christian converts talked about receiving the seal of the spirit as it was an outer reality, because when a convert was baptized, the community could observe the public acknowledge of God becoming their father, and shortly afterwards, the convert would behave in a distinctively different manner. They would behave as servants, imitating the Jesus Christ.

Next, the early theologians observed the growing number of converts and infant baptism. They could not repeat what the early converts describe as receiving the seal of the spirit, so they searched the writings of St. Paul. They found the scripture to say the seal of the spirit was giving to those who participated in baptism rituals. Their next question was how the sealing of the spirit happened. Some theologians thought the seal of the spirit came directly from God through the water. Other thought the seal of the spirit came indirectly through the minister of baptism.

Therefore, the early theologians reasoned the seal of the spirit was an inner or metaphysical reality. Where the seal of the spirit was neither experienced or observe. The seal of the spirit happened in the spirit realm. Their reasoning led to a change in Christian thinking of how the seal of spirit occurred during baptism. The early theologians deduced a theology that changed the sealing of the spirit from an experiential and observable phenomenon to a metaphysical occurrence where the sealing can’t be experienced nor observed.

Specifically, the point that was the catalysis of Christians started talking about “administering" and "receiving" sacraments occurred when the early theologians reasoned how the sealing of the spirit happened. Their reasoning led to a metaphysical explanation to how the sealing of the spirit happened. Their discovery has affected the Catholic Church to the present.

The problem that arises when sacraments are talked about in the manner “administering" and "receiving" sacraments is it removes the sovereignty of God and his will out of the equation and place emphasizes on the individual doing the administering and receiving. The Church’s established authority and those they appoint become the focus of the seal of the spirit rather than God directing his grace for administration to those who repented and received his salvation.

As church sacraments, it would not be appropriate to talk about the giving and receiving of sacraments, because participants of the sacramental rituals would perceive the sealing of God’s spirit originating from the church rather than coming from God.

Grade 4

(Edited by Dr. Joe - original submission Sunday, 22 July 2012, 11:31 PM)