Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. - Matthew 28: 19
I was standing in the kitchen earlier today, washing the dishes, and I got to thinking about Sacramental validity.
More seriously, I was thinking about my own Baptism.
I know that when (and I am now at the point where I think I can say when rather than if) the time comes, I shall have to be baptised, and I know that this will not be considered by the Church to be sub conditione.
I actually do not struggle too much with this, as I was "baptised" by a priest who, 21 years on, is still remembered in the parish for his innovative services and departure from authorised liturgy. I have no way of knowing that I was indeed baptised 'in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit'.
My own Baptism got me to thinking a little more about the issue of Orthodox acceptance/non-acceptance of heterodox baptisms. I do not know what the official line is, although I know that different jurisdictions deal with different situations differently, some extending economy in some situations, and others baptising anything that draws breath and resembles a human being. ROCOR falls within the latter category, and this is the jurisdiction with which I have become involved. The following is where my own study has led me. I do not put this forward as Christian Truth, but just as the result of my musings.
The Roman Catholic Church and Church of England accept the filioque. This means that the very nature of the persons of the Trinity and their relationship to each other in these groups, is actually different from the Orthodox understanding of the same. In the Orthodox understanding, the first Person of the Trinity is generative: in the RC/CE underatanding, He shares this generative nature with the second Person. It therefore follows that in the Orthodox understanding, the second Person of the Trinity is not generative in the same way that the Father is: the opposite is true in the RC/CE understanding. Finally, the Orthodox understand the third Person to be in procession from the first Person alone, through the second Person: the RC/CE position is that the third Person is in procession from both the first and second Persons.
It is, therefore, arguable that, Creator-Redeemer-Sanctifier quasi-baptisms aside, even if an Anglican priest baptises 'in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit', in my understanding, he is not referring to the same Father, Son and Holy Spirit that the Orthodox understand Christ to have commanded us to baptise in the name of. The identity of each of the Persons and his relationship to the others - the very identity of God - is distorted. Even if the priest baptises with the intention required by RCs, "to do as the Church does in Baptism, (whatever that may be)", his understanding of what is the Church is not the same as the Orthodox understanding of the same. If Orthdoxy holds that right Faith must be present in order for the Sacraments/Mysteries to be effectual, then does the deficient understanding of the nature of the Holy Trinity render RC and Anglican baptisms ineffectual where otherwise they would be?
Just some thoughts.
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