Church of England Gets Rid of All References to the Devil In Baptism Service

The devil is portrayed in “The Temptation of Christ,” an 1854 painting by Ary Scheffer. The Church of England on July 14, 2014, approved alternative language in its baptism rite that removed a reference to the devil, who “has been turned into a cartoonlike character of no particular malevolence,” said Robert Paterson, the Bishop of Sodor and Man. Public domain image
The devil is portrayed in “The Temptation of Christ,” an 1854 painting by Ary Scheffer. The Church of England on July 14, 2014, approved alternative language in its baptism rite that removed a reference to the devil, who “has been turned into a cartoonlike character of no particular malevolence,” said Robert Paterson, the Bishop of Sodor and Man. Public domain image

While Christians waited to learn whether the Church of England would approve the consecration of women bishops, the church’s governing body — the General Synod — quietly voted to drop all future references to the devil in a new baptism service.

The simplified wording was written after priests said the traditional service was unnecessarily complex and might confuse people who are not regular churchgoers.

In the traditional service, godparents are asked whether they are ready to renounce the devil and all his works for the sake of the child being baptized.

The new wording, approved Sunday (July 13), only asks whether parents and godparents will “turn away from sin” and “reject evil.”

Speaking after the new wording was overwhelmingly approved, Bishop Robert Paterson denied that the baptism service had been watered down.

“We all know that for many people, the devil has been turned into a cartoonlike character of no particular malevolence,” he said.

But the move is almost certain to infuriate traditionalists.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Religion News Service
Trevor Grundy

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