Canon Heidt on the Mystical Body of Christ
I am not suggesting that adherence to scripture, valid sacraments, or the apostolic succession are only additional options for those who like that sort of thing. Without them there would be no church. But we need not worry. Look all around you. There are still people proclaiming the whole gospel of Christ, still gathering to pray and worship one Lord, still sacrificing priests offering the Holy Sacrifice, still apostolic bishops. We cannot get rid of any of them even if we tried, but we need no longer limit their activity to any particular denomination nor even to any particular place or time. As members of an apostolic college, most of whose members are already in the church triumphant or expectant, local bishops and their priests have the pastoral care of all who accept their ministry in whatever denomination or geographical area they happen to find themselves - diocesan boundaries not withstanding. In our world of international corporations, geography has become history.
Does the church need evangelists and healers? Yes, and it has them. Does the church need all seven sacraments and apostolic bishops? Yes, and it has them as well. And yes, the church of course needs scripture and the apostolic tradition. And it also has them. But will anyone go to Hell just because he or she doesn’t have them. No, of course not. When baptized folk gather together to study the bible that is good. When they gather together for prayer and praise, not leaving the bible behind, that is better. When they celebrate the Holy Eucharist that is good. When they celebrate the Holy Eucharist ministered by priests in apostolic succession that is better still. When they stand to proclaim the creeds then too they are acting as the visible Body of Christ on earth, and, when they believe in their hearts what they proclaim, this Body of Christ becomes visible to the world.