[quote="Publisher, post:8, topic:285632"]
It isn't the "ritual" most Protestants...including Friends are against...it's the beleif that the conducting of a ritual in a certain manner...with certain words and certain gestures and postures IS a requirement for God's grace to be dispensed.
To many of us....requiring that certain hand gestures MUST be observed or the ritual is not "licit"...or the correct "magic" words MUST be spoken or the efficacy of the ritual is missing.....or that by conducting a ritual...appart from faith and a dedicated heart "somehow" bestows God's grace upon the recipient of the ritual is what is not accepted.
Protestants have rituals...but no "grace" is bestowed simply by performing the ritual.....Friends employ a ritual of "silence"....but we in no way believe becasue we emply the silence that God is present BECAUSE of the "ritual of silence"....God is always Present and the use of rituals are merely tools to assist us in recongizing that fact and by participating together in a ritual we have a semblance of order...but no rituals are needed to receive the grace and mercy of God...no "priest" is required to conduct any ritual for or on our behalf that we could not do for ourselves if so moved.
It has nothing to do with being against rituals...but being against the belief that simply by participating or engaging in a ritual...God is somehow more accessible.
Hope that makes better sense.
I think this captures a good portion of the anti-Catholic source of the avoidance of ritual. Publisher's post demonstrates a common misunderstanding about the Apostolic faith, that we believe God's grace is dependent upon rituals. In fact, the opposite is true, and the Church teaches that God has given us rituals because human nature needs them, but that He is not bound by them.
The resistance to ritual began during the Reformation, especially with Calvin and Zwingli, who wanted to "cleanse" the church of anything that appealed to the human senses. And since they denied that God could act in grace through the ritual, these were separated from the traditional practices. The roots of this are deep in the factors precipitating the Reformation, but it boils down to the rampant practice of practicing rituals without faith. Anyone can go through the motions, but if it is don'e without faith, they are not transforming. At the time of the Reformation, even the clergy appeared to be lacking in transformation through sacramental grace. Many of the monasteries were fraught with various sins and excesses, and although they practiced rituals practically all day long, they left their rituals and engaged in sins until the next hourly prayer. This faithless practice of rituals caused people to lose hope and trust in them as containing transformational grace.