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How can The Salvation Army justify non-adherence to
Therefore go and
make disciples of all nations,
baptising them in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Matthew 28 v19
The Sacraments and the Bible
The official review by Major Ted Horwood as published in The Officer magazine, International Headquarters, September/October Issue 2007.
Few Topics have generated more discussion among officers and
soldiers alike than the matter taken up by Captain Phil Layton - a
corps officer at Hythe, in the United Kingdom Territory - in his book The Sacraments and the Bible
in which he lays out the primary Scriptures that have influenced the
Church toward the institution of baptism and the Eucharist. His
intention is to demonstrate how the Army can 'justify non-adherence to
these ceremonies when the vast majority of Christian denominations hold
these sacraments as being an intrinsic part of the Christian faith'. 'This very concise, readable book will be helpful for those needing an introduction to the Army's biblical point of view.'
'This very concise, readable book will be helpful for those needing an introduction to the Army's biblical point of view.'
Through Scripture the author explores the two primary Protestant sacraments.
He purposefully addresses the matter of the sacraments without considering history, tradition, or the reasons that led the founder ultimately to make the decision that has been part of Salvation Army ecclesiology for nearly 123 years. And he challenges his readers to do the same.
Over the years, Salvationist writers have had much to say on this issue. As recently as March/April 2007, The Officer recorded General Shaw Clifton's candid and comprehensive reflection on the Army's sacramental stance. There he re-articulated the salient issues that have anchored the Army to an a-sacramental mooring since 1884.
This very concise, readable book will be helpful for those needing an introduction to the Army's biblical point of view.
General Bramwell Booth, reflecting on the early decision to discontinue the sacraments in Army worship, leads all believers to the heart of the matter when he writes: 'Life (ie eternal) does not come by a sacrament, nor is it maintained by a "sacramental substance" but by a Divine Person consciously revealed in us as a present redeeming, life-giving Saviour.'