And nobody need
And nobody will need a special church
That there is no other Word of God, than that which all Christians have been ordered to proclaim, that there is no other baptism than that which any Christian can administer, that there is no other remembrance of the Lord’s Supper than that where any Christian can do what Christ commanded to do, that there is no other sin than that which any Christian must contain, or free himself of it, that there is no other sacrifice than the body of any Christian, that no-one can pray save a Christian alone,
that no-one can judge the teachings save a Christian.
All Christians are truly of the spiritual estate,
and there is no difference among them, save of office alone. …
For whatever issues from baptism may boast
that it has been consecrated priest, bishop and pope.
The basis of all free religious feeling that will unfold in humanity in the future will be the acknowledgment, not merely in theory but in actual practice, that every human being is made in the likeness of the Godhead.
When that time comes there will be no need for any religious coercion; for then every meeting between one man and another will be of itself in the nature of a religious rite, a sacrament,
and nobody will need a special church with institutions on the physical plane to sustain the religious life.
If the Church understands itself truly, its one aim must be to render itself unnecessary on the physical plane,
as the whole of life becomes the expression of the supersensible.
"The Work of the Angels in Man’s Astral Body", 9 October, 1918
An english summary
+ Every human being requires Re-connection (religo) to the spiritual world, and therefore spiritual insight, religion, cult, sacraments.
+ To do so, there are many – legitimate – ways = the most different religions, denominations, philosophies of life, etc., in order to fulfil the most differing individual needs and capabilities.
Each individual is able to set out on several ways at the same time, e.g. because they are still in transition, because they are still linked to particular people or places by some kind of mission, or because they find spiritual sources there. ("To each his own")
+ Insight, religion and cult are nothing static. They reflect the necessity of humankind to develop.
+ One such way is anthroposophy.
It is independent of religions, because it is interreligious, directly Christian. Therefore with anthoposophy, believers of any religion / denomination can gain insight, and deepen their experience of the spiritual, divine world by means of an (additional) undogmatic, cross-denominational approach.
And they are entirely free to join a community of people pursuing the same goals, e.g. the "Anthroposophic Society" or a group within it.
Anthroposophy takes as a basis the Freedom of the Striving Human Being and offers an individual way of learning and insight, up to initiation if required, to direct communication with the spiritual world.
+ Lived anthroposophy will ultimately lead to the general sacramentalization of the whole life.
Thus it becomes worship itself; the encounter with the spiritual world
– everywhere, but particularly in cult – becomes communion.
"Spiritualized thinking", the love-inspired awareness for the divine in everything, is ultimately the "true communion of the human being".
+ In the "direct encounter" and in harmony with the realities and beings of the spiritual world, the traditional forms and rituals of access to the spiritual world are no longer required, the way to the spiritual world is no longer veiled by symbolism.
+ This direct way necessitates no "religious renewal" through the church "The Christian Community", because anthroposophy is itself the source and creator of this renewal.
+ An active anthroposophist’s way does not usually involve adherence to a specific church, but is fitting as their "advisor and helper".
+ Until we will have created forms and contents corresponding to the current state of spiritualization and sacramentalization of the whole life, we still need the traditional liturgical "intermediate stops" for the high-times in life.
+ To further develop the cult, Rudolf Steiner wrote, extended and "renewed" sacraments.
+ These texts in their universal wording "for various contexts of life" may be used by any human being, they are cross-denominational.
+ He first wrote texts for baptism and marriage (to Wilhelm Ruhtenberg, Stuttgart) and for burial (to Hugo Schuster, Dornach) to be held by anthroposophists independently of any church, a free Christian celebration carried out by general ("lay") priests. Then followed the children’s "Sundays Activities", "Youth Celebration", and the central sacrament: the "Sacrificial Celebration", which were first given to the "free Christian" religious teachers of the Rudolf Steiner School in Stuttgart.
Later also the Church "The Christian Community" received these texts (almost all of them the very same texts, with the exception of the "Act of Consecration of Man" [replacing the "Sacrificial Celebration"]).
Finally, he formulated new texts for all seven sacraments. ( See cult handbook «Die Sakramente...» )
+ There are no exclusive rights linked with these sacrament texts. They have not been "conferred" to the "Christian Community" (as the latter claims they have been), nor are they their "spiritual property".
The fact that use of the "free Christian" baptism, marriage, and burial tailed off after foundation of the "Christian Community", or was no longer possible (particularly after the death of Schuster and the conversion of Ruhtenberg), does not mean that the "free Christian" impulse was replaced by the "Christian Community’s" ecclesial one.
The reasons for this tail-off rather lies in the anthroposophists’ lack of alertness, the tragic that they were not aware of the importance of giving a Christian a practical center to live out and experience their Christian beliefs. Within the Anthroposophic Society, it had never been endeavoured to form a brotherly community by means of a cult practice that included liturgy (although attempts in this direction had been made in the "Klassenstunden - class lectures", but in reality, these did not have the necessary effect). Thus, the path was open for the "Christian Community" to assert their monopoly.
+ Since the "Christian Community" did hardly attract any of the people it sought to win over (i.e. those who did not find what they were looking for in the established main churches), it soon turned almost exclusively and most successfully towards the anthroposophists and Waldorf adherents, who now tried to fill their lack of a centre here. This was against the ideas and warnings of Rudolf Steiner ("There is an incredibly strong soliciting which feels authoritative" Marie Steiner), and within the Anthroposophic Society destructive forces offered the missing practical Christian centre (right after Rudolf Steiner’s death). Soon the "Christian Community" was made up almost entirely of anthroposophists and Waldorf adherents. But outsiders never had and still have no interest in an "Anthroposophists’ Church", i.e. in something that appears to be a sect…
+ Both groups are characterized by the Central Sacrament (mass), which differs significantly in both cult impulses: the "Sacrificial Celebration" (which was mainly held in the Rudolf Steiner Schools and homes) representing the "free Christian" impulse, as opposed to the "Act of Consecration of Man" in the "Christian Community".
Cult-historically, these are different positions. This is most apparent in the "Sacrificial Celebration", which in its development does not figure before the mass (or "Act of Consecration of Man"), but after it, it is future-oriented.
+ Accordingly, there is a development from the traditional cult with its "indirect" transsubstantiation and communion to a "direct" one.
No longer is there a "detour" via bread and wine, but the flesh and blood of the communicant are directly transubstantiated.
+ Moreover, in the "free Christian" impulse the "two-class system" is abolished, in which exclusively and for lifetime no-one but the person consecrated by the church (cleric) is entitled to administer the sacraments (the same is true of the "Christian Community"), who – according to the teachings – possesses spiritual properties and capabilities through the "character indelebilis" (indelible mark) of the consecration sacrament, which the person not consecrated by the church ("lay person") does not possess.
+ With this change, the ecclesiastical hierarchy is given up in favour of a brotherly, pentecostal principle as it was common in early Christianity.
Every truly and devoutly striving Christian – and the anthroposophist in particular – can assume and practise the free Christian cult service for their Christian brothers as a lay priest (general ["lay"] ministry).
+ For the "free Christian" impulse it is no longer necessary to be ordained or consecrated by an institution in order to legitimately act as a priest.
Instead, the consecration is an individual, intimate, actual call-ing involving no-one but the striving human being and HIM, "legitimizing" the person to perform Christian, brotherly, sacramental acts. Christ himself bestows the consecration, quietly, without much ado.
I am "priest", when the I is taken up with the YOU, and HE fills us (steps on the way are: recognizing the other, sacrificing the Ego, transubstantiate the former being and coming to life in Him, His communion with and in our work).
We are transforming, and – if we want to – we are called upon to do service as “priests” in cult and sacraments for one another in His name (and no longer in the name of a church) and pass on His love. He can and will use us as His tools, which makes us Christ’s "priests", ordained by HIM.
For "God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him."
The practical consequence of this logic is that every loving Christian who wants to serve HIM is generally a priest.
+ Whether there has been a calling, a "consecration", that has been accepted, whether one is prepared to assist one’s Christian brothers and sisters also in sacramental acts, is something which the person called must hear, discover, comprehend, and account for himself, it is not something to be judged by an institution or third person.
Whether he is up to this task will become apparent in the fruits of his labours and in the actual demand for his services.
+ Generally speaking, not even membership in any kind of institution is required for this kind of service.
However, a cult-supporting community is a source of strength and can only be recommended. This is the aim of the "Free Christian Work Community".
+ If this individual, intimate consecration is taken up and carried on by a community, this community does not decide on Christ’s "Yes" (i.e. the "consecration itself"), but only on the acceptance within their particular community.
+ A free cult must always spring to life from the current opportunities, needs and necessities of the celebration community, it must be oriented towards HIM. Only then will the act be truthful and HIS presence will be real.
Content and form of the sacraments can and should therefore take on individual shape. The free Christian texts recorded by Rudolf Steiner are not intended to be unalterable, dogmatic and the only possible wording. Rather, they are "given as a beginning" and must be "further developed" from the "living of life".
+ Whenever these (seven) sacraments are used, they will be shaped according to the possibilities and the will of those who perform them; they will be shaped by the teachings, structure and conditions of the corresponding "life context" of the performing Christian’s supporting community.
+ In early Christianity there was no priesthood and no consecration or ordination of priests. After the church’s "seizure of power", the general and brotherly Christian way of life of the early Christians continued in "heretic" lay movements, often underground. It became institutionalized as the "general priesthood" (priesthood of believers) at the time of the reformation.
The free Christian impulse simultaneously takes up the early Christian succession "from below" and the current work of Christ, the way of knowledge of anthroposophy as the science of initiation.
+ Free Christian actions are inevitably determined by an "ethical individualism"; by the struggle of the human being to let their decisions be guided by the higher will of the divine world order, and to do so freely out of "moral intuition", following the "philosophy of freedom".
Communities acting in this spirit do not constrain. They open the path to higher beings to make fruitful contributions and are urgently required in our times.
+ The free Christian impulse by no means intends to be a new cult for "the anthroposophists" or the Anthroposophic Society, nor for the "Free Christians".
The religious freedom of each member of the Anthroposophic Society and its interreligiosity leaves room for a multitude of individual ways and therefore dealing with this theme requires a work community which is independent of the Anthroposophic Society. In this manner it is guaranteed that the freedom of others is not limited by officially embedding one particular religious perspective in the structures of the Anthroposophic Society.
+ In the "Initiatives for free Christian, anthroposophical sacramental acts", committed anthroposophists who are interested in cult independently deal with the issue of cult and sacraments (however, the quality benchmark is the "School of Spiritual Science").
How the individual passes on the fruits of his work is entirely up to him.
The free Christian impulse which has been described here is not the only effort within the Anthroposophic Society to this end, but it is the only impulse which actively seeks a public forum.
It does not oppose or compete with any other religious community, not even the church "The Christian Community", but considers all of these (provided they are constructive) as necessary, so that each and everyone can follow their very own and karmically determined way. After all, we are all (ecumenically) united under HIS name, will, and work.
Then Jesus came to them and said, „I have been given all authority
in heaven and on earth. Go, then, to all peoples everywhere
and be their teachers, baptise them in the name and with the power
of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Free Christians Forum - Initiative for a free and sacramental Christian life
Volker David Lambertz, Drei König 2008 - Übersetzung: Birgit Bayerlein
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