I just got a flyer in the mail from a new church in town (as if Nashville needs any more churches), and it seemed like your garden variety nondenom emergent outfit, but what caught my eye, and actually made me grab the flyer out of the trashcan after I’d tossed it, was that it was called Sacrament Church. And yet, something that surely will not surprise you if you’ve spent any time at all in or around so-called “progressive” “post-evangelical” circles, there didn’t seem to be anything particularly sacramental about it. Nothing particularly sacred. Nothing particularly Christian. No mention of actual sacraments. No mention of scripture. No mention of God.
Now don’t get me wrong, a crusader for orthodoxy I am not. I’m not really interested in an ontological Higher Being; I’m not about to die on the hill of biblical inerrancy or primacy; but if you’ve known me for longer than five minutes, you know I have a thing for the sacraments—especially eucharist, secondarily baptism, and well, the rest I could take or leave. Except marriage. I definitely just want to leave that one.
Anyway, the thing about the sacraments is that they are inherently and irrevocably Christian. The Church catholic establishes and practices them in various manifestations, but we all partake and participate in them together, and that is what makes us Christ’s body—what makes us Christians.
Do I think everyone needs to be a Christian? No.
Do I think Christianity is the best religion? No.
But I’m a Christian. And it’s my religion. And the way I know that and the way I practice that is through the sacraments.
I don’t go to church to feel good or to get in touch with my “spirituality” or to practice being nice to people or to have my intellect stretched. I go to receive the sacraments, to be reminded of my identity and my place in this weird, wonky, messed up Church.
If I wanted any of this milquetoast, commercialized self-help, I’d go somewhere else. So if you’re going to call yourself “Sacrament Church,” you’d better be Christian as fuck.