Christ, the Church’s Sacrament


“The question of what it is that saves us is crucial to this debate: is it the church itself, or is it Christ, who cannot be contained by the Church (although he may be found in the Church)?  …  Father Alexander Schmemann has said that Christianity is not an institution with sacraments; it is a sacrament with institutions, and the sacrament is Christ. The distinction is crucial: the church is not a divine institution which is about Christ, among other things. It is either rooted entirely in Christ or it is false to itself and its mission.” (John Garvey, Orthodoxy for the Non-Orthodox: A Brief Introduction to Orthodox Christianity, pp 111-112)

 

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