Is Sacramental Materialistic Worship Superstitious?

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In the revivalist religious systems, salvation does not include the material body. Salvation is for the spiritual state only, isolating what is spiritual from what is materialistic. The isolation of the spirit and the material body in salvation is called dualism. In the revivalist view, Christians who preach that material reality has a role in salvation are usually regarded as superstitious or even idolatrous. With this dualistic worldview, the sinful body has no effect on the salvation process contradicting the teachings of Saint Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, NKJV). Revivalist Christianity does not practice sacramental Christianity. If a believer gets baptized or takes communion, such acts are understood as mere obedience, “ordinances,” or symbols of a “spiritual” reality, signs of an absent presence. The term sacrament might be used, but what is happening does not convey a spiritual presence or contribute to salvation. Sacraments do not save despite scriptural indications to the contrary: “Then Jesus said to them, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you ” (John 6:53, NKJV), “He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16, NKJV). 

In Orthodoxy, the doctrine of Incarnation effectively sanctifies matter. In Baptism, we become the bearers of God, the altar of the Holy Spirit as Saint Paul wrote in the epistle. All the sacraments and rituals are the result of the divine incarnation, the priesthood, the holy icons, and all the physical components of Christian life throughout history. Through Incarnation, Jesus has become touchable, so we touch Him in the sacraments. He became our high priest and ordained apostles, so we have a sacramental priesthood. And He became visible, so we have icons. The spiritual man, though he cannot live by bread alone, also cannot live without bread. He needs physical activity in his spiritual life. He needs a church building to go to. He needs songs to sing. He needs books to read and spiritual images to put in front of his eyes. Christian dualism cannot suppress the basic spiritual need that mankind has for physical elements in the spiritual life .

Coptic Apologetics