Monday, September 21, 2009

My Response :- Scriptural Basis for Sacrifice of the Mass - Part 1

After a brief conversation on my friend's blog, where I decided to use the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) in order to further explain my belief, I was challenged with the idea that the CCC contradicts Scripture. Triednotfried said that she was going to give some factual evidence of how the CCC contradicts Scripture, in a later post. Curious, I decided to pay attention to her blog again, and waited for the post to arrive. She has decided to focus on the Sacrifice of the Mass / Holy Eucharist / Holy Communion....(God is good!!!)

Before I get started rebutting her statements, and showing how Catholics hold a very biblically (not to mention historically) rooted understanding of the Eucharist, I feel as though I should explain why I am not commenting on her blog. In the past, I have tried to have conversations with her on her blog. Unfortunately, it has not proven to be a very hospitable environment for civil discussion. There has been personal attacks made and many of my comments have been edited if not deleted there. As such, I have decided to not comment on her blog again. Instead, I will post my comments here, where I can be sure that my complete thoughts are heard and shared.

(Quotes from her blog will be in blue)

Catechism #1367, p381… Th sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: “The victim is one the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priest, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.” In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner.”

Problem: If it’s the sacrifice of Jesus, it cannot be done in an “unbloody manner.” According to the Bible: “and without the shedding of blood there is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22. The victim, is always Jesus Christ…and will never be the same as the “host” who offers it. What happened at Calvary was a ONE time historical event and accomplished its purpose:

Hebrews 10:14 ” For by One Offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.


With the above statements, there are many points of agreement. However, in an effort to be brief, I will only point out the points that we disagree or that should be explained more fully.

It would seem that her whole argument against the quote from the Catechism rests on this assumption.

...If it’s the sacrifice of Jesus, it cannot be done in an “unbloody manner.”...

Catholics believe that the bread and the wine truly do sacramentally become the Body and the Blood of Jesus. We believe that Christ is sacramentally present in the Eucharist. We do not believe that the Sacrifice of the Mass is identical to the Sacrifice at Calvary. We believe that it is the "unbloody" re-presentation of Christ's eternal sacrifice. Since we do not believe that it is identically the same, that is why it can be re-presented in an unbloody manner.

The victim, is always Jesus Christ…and will never be the same as the “host” who offers it.

Triednotfried is getting her BCW's mixed up again (BCW - Big Catholic Words). The "Host" is not the priest that is performing the ceremony. It is the bread that becomes the Body of Christ. Either way, she is right, the priest performing the ceremony will never be the same as Christ. Thank God (...literally, thank God) this is not what Catholicism teaches.

What happened at Calvary was a ONE time historical event and accomplished its purpose

Triednotfried, is absolutely correct here again. However, what many Protestants, like her, fail to realize is that while it is a one time event that has happened in the past and it has accomplished it's purpose, in heaven there is no time. In the Book of Revelation, we actually get a glimpse of Heaven.

And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain...Rev 5:6a

Who is the Lamb? Jesus Christ of course!!! Yet in Heaven He appears to be slain? But that happened in the past and is a ONE time historical event and accomplished it's purpose, so how can He appear to be slain in Heaven? Simply because there is no time in Heaven. Jesus'one time sacrifice, in time, is forever present before God in eternity.

The Book of Hebrews is a testimony to Christ's eternal Priesthood. Triednotfried made a good choice in using it. What is the function of a priest? Simply to offer sacrifices. In most cultures, that is what priests do. This is definitely the same in Biblical times, starting with the Old Testament and into the New.

For every hight priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. Hebrews 5:1

Priests offer gifts and sacrifices...now if you continue to read the Chapter you will find the following:

So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, "You are my Son today I have begotten you", as he says also in another place, "You are a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchizedek"

Christ is a priest of the order of Melchizedek? The order of who??? Who in the world is Melchizedek? Is that important to know? YES!!!! Before sharing with you who that is, you can see the Book of Hebrews over and over and over again proclaim that Christ if a priest of the Order of Melchizedek - Heb 5:10, 6:20, 7:1-28)

So who is this man Melchizedek? And, remember, this Book was written in a time and culture where there would not have been a question of who Melchizedek was. Every good Jew would recognize the one who was Priest and King. Priest and King....hmmm....doesn't that sound just like Jesus?

And Melchizedek, king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. Gen 14:18 


Melchizedek was the King and Priest of Salem.....Salem is JeruSalem.  Christ is the High Priest and King od the New Jerusalem.  Hmmm....the offering / sacrifice of Melchizedek was bread and wine? Doesn't that sound a lot like Holy Communion? Jesus is a High Priest from the order of Melchizedek who offers bread and wine. Combine this with the sacrificial overtones of the Last Supper...

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said "Take, eat,; this is my body". And he took a chalice and when he had given tanks he gave it to them saying, "Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins..." Matt 26:26-28

So what have we learned here? The Sacrifice at Calvary is not identical to the Sacrifice of the Mass or Holy Communion. However, we do believe that Christ is sacramentally present in the Eucharist, and as such, it is the only sacrifice that can fulfill the following prophecy from Malachi:

For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations and in every place incense is offered to my name and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 1:11

It is re-presented every hour of every day across the world (since Mass is always being celebrated somewhere on Earth). We also learned that Jesus ONE time historical sacrifice on Calvary is a forever present sacrifice before God. We learned why it is important that Jesus Christ is of the order of Melchizedek and the relationship between that priest and king to our Priest and King and the sacrifices that are offered....and this is just the rebuttal of triednotfried's first and second statements. Triednotfried's second statement alludes to the idea that Christ's sacrifice is once in time, which hopefully I showed, is perpetual present before God. It is going to take longer in order to address her third accusation.

Personal Note: Not everyone is going to agree with what the Catholic Church says. My hope is that people will take the time to understand what exactly the Catholic Church says and believes before making a decision about it. I would rather someone come to a fuller understanding of what Catholicism actually teaches and then disagree with it, as oppose to someone disagreeing with what the think the Catholic Church teaches.

God bless us all in our search for truth...

88 comments:

D.L. said...

That's all doublespeak, I think, however I commend you for your unshakeable faith in Rome.

Carlus Henry said...

D.L.,

That's all doublespeak

Which part, specifically?

however I commend you for your unshakeable faith in Rome.

Thanks....

God bless...

D.L. said...

Well, I reckon a sacrifice is a sacrifice is a sacrifice, whether there's blood spilled or not. And if you believe that the wafer and wine 'become' the bloody and blood of Christ, blood IS present, just not spilled by the violence of men. So you can't say the sacrament is not a bloodless sacrifice, can you?

Doublespeak.

Carlus Henry said...

D.L.

Well, I reckon a sacrifice is a sacrifice is a sacrifice, whether there's blood spilled or not.

Yes. If I made it seem as though I am denying the Sacrifice of the Mass, then I did not do an accurate job of explaining my belief. The Sacrifice of the Mass is truly a sacrifice - the same, not identical, sacrifice sacramentally that occurred on Calvary.

And if you believe that the wafer and wine 'become' the bloody and blood of Christ, blood IS present, just not spilled by the violence of men. So you can't say the sacrament is not a bloodless sacrifice, can you?

I think I understand your point here. We do believe that it becomes that Body and Blood of Christ, sacramentally. So in one regard you are correct. At the same time, the Body and Blood cannot be discerned through the senses. When you see it, when you taste it, it tastes like bread and wine. In that regard, it is a bloodless sacrifice because it escapes the senses and must be believed by faith.

God bless...

D.L. said...

"In Roman Catholic theology, transubstantiation (in Latin, transsubstantiatio, in Greek μετουσίωσις (metousiosis)) means the change of the substance of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ occurring in the Eucharist while all that is accessible to the senses remains as before."

Now that's pretty literal and says that the bread and wine become the literal body and blood of Christ. How that is NOT a re-sacrifice beyond me.

Why is still stastes like wine and changes substance, well I guess the leaders probably tell the pew warmers "its a divine mystery, but trust us on this". tThat's even real convenient since if it tasted like real blood and people meat, everyone would throw up and run like rabbits!

Don't know what you were getting at with the 'accepting the sacrament by faith' making it somehow different, it's the same with accepting the real sacrifice of Christ.

Hope I didn't ruffle your feathers and sorry if I did. that's just the way it all seems to me.

Carlus Henry said...

D.L.,

How that is NOT a re-sacrifice beyond me.

I think the problem where we disagree is the idea that the Sacrifice of the Mass is a new sacrifice. It is not a new sacrifice. I believe that the Sacrifice of Calvary was effective and accomplished it's mission - namely the salvation of the faithful.

The Sacrifice of the Mass is the same Sacrifice of Calvary. It is not an additional sacrifice. Christ offers Himself as the Sacrifice because it is eternally present before the Father. This is made present to us in the Mass.

Why is still stastes like wine and changes substance, well I guess the leaders probably tell the pew warmers "its a divine mystery, but trust us on this".

I guess that does require some faith which is something that Christ is continually asking us for, and it would seem as though is a major tenet of the Protestant movement. Sola Fide. If it did taste like the actual Body and Blood of Christ, how much faith would be required? Probably not much....

Hope I didn't ruffle your feathers and sorry if I did. that's just the way it all seems to me.

Not at all. You have questions, you deserve answers. I am willing to answer the ones that I can and refer you to other sources that may do a better job than I...speaking of which...

Is the Mass a Sacrifice

God bless...

D.L. said...

"The Sacrifice of the Mass is the same Sacrifice of Calvary."

Thats what re-sacrifice means - the same sacrifice over and over again? It's a redo and done thousands of times a day. From what I have read from the Bible about Christ's sacrifice, it's pretty much over, done, finished, one time for all. So wouldn't that make redoing the SAME sacrifice over and over again, a new sacrifice over and over again?

If the Texas Longhorns play Texas Tech five times back to back, but only one score counts for the record books, it's five redos of the same game, but each game is a new game. Follow me?

Carlus Henry said...

D.L.,

Thats what re-sacrifice means - the same sacrifice over and over again? It's a redo and done thousands of times a day.

It would be a re-sacrifice if Christ was sacrificed again, another time. He is not sacrificed again, another time. It is the same exact sacrifice that happened on Calvary, that is forever present before the throne of God, that is made present on Earth during the Mass. Nothing is happening all over again. Instead, Christ makes His offering present as He is present before the Father.

If the Texas Longhorns play Texas Tech five times back to back, but only one score counts for the record books, it's five redos of the same game, but each game is a new game. Follow me?

Think of it this way. If you taped the Texas Longhorns game against the Texas Tech, and you watched that tape 5 times, it is not 5 separate games. It is one game that is being made present each one of the 5 times. Does that make sense?

D.L. said...

So all the "masses" performed all over the world every day are just like re-runs of the same episode of "Law and Order" over and over and over and over? Why? What's the point? I have a hard enough time with Law and Order marathons where it's all 'different' reruns!

Yep, doublespeak on steroids, friend!

Carlus Henry said...

D.L.,

Why? What's the point?

Believe it or not, this is a very HUGE question. Why would God set things up in this way. Because He is Brilliant.

He knows us better than anyone else, because He created us. We are the most unique creation. We are both physical and spiritual. Angels are only spiritual, and animals and plants are only physical without souls.

As such, through the Sacrament of the Eucharist, He invites us to receive Him both physically and spiritually. He is appealing to both of our two natures. Our physical nature and our spiritual nature.

That is a $0.02 answer. If you are really interested in a fuller more detailed explanation, then I would invite you to read the Summa.

Question 60
Question 61
Question 62

God bless...

Carlus Henry said...

D.L.,

Sorry...here is your comment...

Well, I read them, or at least I read until I found stuff not in the Bible I keep close at hand.

They sure seem to be good ways to keep you Catholic folks pretty much handcuffed to Rome, though.


If Christ started the Catholic Church and the Catholic Church has only one pastor, being the Pope who resides in Rome, then I am happy and more than willing to be handcuffed to Her. Wouldn't you?

God bless...

D.L. said...

"If Christ started the Catholic Church and the Catholic Church has only one pastor, being the Pope who resides in Rome, then I am happy and more than willing to be handcuffed to Her. Wouldn't you?"

Sure, IF your 'If' were true. I can't find your 'If' in the Bible. .

Carlus Henry said...

D.L.

Sure, IF your 'If' were true. I can't find your 'If' in the Bible. .

Did Christ start a Church?

Weston said...

I like the imagery of the taped football game, but I might have an analogy that fits better. With a football game, once you know the outcome, i.e. who wins, there's not a lot of reasons to watch it again. The reason we celebrate Communion is really for remembering and celebrating an event that happened in the past. Unless it was a particularly spectacular game, most people don't go back and celebrate a specific game.

In my spare time, I sometimes produce wedding videos for couples. I would compare Communion to a wedding video. It's a way to reconnect and remember and celebrate the event. As time goes by, sometimes you get caught up in the business of daily life and the way you felt on that day gets pushed to a dusty corner of your mind and you start drifting apart. That's when it's time to haul out the video and watch it again, together. To extend the analogy a bit further, some people even save the top of their wedding cake and eat it on their first anniversary. By doing these things, you can remember the vows that you took and the emotions that you felt and the sheer wonderfulness of it all, and in doing so, you can help renew the bond that exists between a married couple.

Communion is similar. Except in the case of Jesus' sacrifice, he reversed it and put the reception before the ceremony. The purpose of Communion is to renew the bond that was forged through this singular event, and draw us back together with God. This is the reason we do it over and over and over.

Now, I don't think I'll have a lot of disagreement on that. I think this reflects the views of both Protestant and Catholic churches. Where we tend to disagree is what actually happens during this celebration. When you watch your wedding video again, you are re-living past events, but you are not getting married again. Even couples that renew their vows are merely renewing them, they're not getting married all over again.

Where we get tripped up is the concept of transubstantiation. Or in other words, are Christians cannibals because they feast on human flesh and drink blood? Or is the wine and bread just that; wine and bread?

I cannot believe that the elements actually transmute for three reasons:

1) God forbids us to eat human flesh. I don't care whether it looks and tastes like human flesh; if it truly is human flesh and you're eating it, then you're violating God's laws. It doesn't matter if you can't recognize what you are consuming; it is still unacceptable. Soylent Green is people!

2) Throughout the Bible, even with all the miracles He's performed, God himself rarely breaks the laws of Physics, which He set in place. In order for the bread and wine to transmute to flesh and blood, it must change its very atomic structure. I simply don't believe He performs this miracle every time a church performs Communion.

3) Jesus' original physical body is, not only gone, it is irrelevant. As evidenced by His appearance after His death, He's got a new one now. So why are we eating the old, crucified one?

Paul and Christy said...

D.L.,

Why would you use the Bible as your sole source of authority? The Bible even instructs us not to use it as the only authority:

2nd Thessalonians 2:15
Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.

2nd Timothy 2:2
And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well.

1st Corinthians 11:2
I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you.

1st Timothy 3:15
But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.

The idea that all that the Christian should believe is completely contained in the Scriptures was not even though of until 500 years ago, and that was after books had been removed (Sirach, Wisdom, etc.)

PB

Paul and Christy said...

Weston,

1. John 6:53–58: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. . . . For my flesh is food indeed, and my flesh is drink indeed." So is Christ inviting cannibalism here? I don't think so, but I do think he is clear that we must consume His Body and Blood.

2. While the norm is not for the physical attributes of the bread and wine to change, it has happened:

www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/lanciano.html

Every Church Father believed in the real and true presence of Christ in the consecrated Bread and Wine. You don't have to believe it, but it was the teaching of the early church.

3. Hmmmm....that's one I've never thought about....

D.L. said...

Couple of good points there, Wes!

bnachtegall@yahoo.com said...

Weston,

It would seem that some of the disagreements on this topic stem from interpretation of scripture. I'm not sure how much weight you lend to the patriarchs of the church, but here are their thoughts:

"those who hold heterodox opinions," that "they abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again"

-Ignatius of Antioch 110AD(6:2, 7:1).

"Not as common bread or common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nourished, . . . is both the flesh and blood of that incarnated Jesus"

-Justin Martyr 150AD(First Apology 66:1–20).

"I wish to admonish you with examples from your religion. You are accustomed to take part in the divine mysteries, so you know how, when you have received the Body of the Lord, you reverently exercise every care lest a particle of it fall and lest anything of the consecrated gift perish. You account yourselves guilty, and rightly do you so believe, if any of it be lost through negligence"

Origen 244AD(Homilies on Exodus 13:3).

"Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that, for they are, according to the Master’s declaration, the body and blood of Christ. Even though the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this matter by taste, but be fully assured by faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy
of the body and blood of Christ"

-Cyril of Jerusalem Mid-300's AD(Catechetical Discourses: Mystagogic 4:22:9).

"When [Christ] gave the bread he did not say, ‘This is the symbol of my body,’ but, ‘This is my body.’ In the same way, when he gave the cup of his blood he did not say, ‘This is the symbol of my blood,’ but, ‘This is my blood,’ for he wanted us to look upon the [Eucharistic elements], after their reception of grace and the coming of the Holy Spirit, not according to their nature, but to receive them as they are, the body and blood of our Lord"

-Theodore of Mopsuestia 400's AD(Catechetical Homilies 5:1).

The earliest Christians (those closest to Christ, His apostles and their teachings) had no doubt about how scripture was to be interpreted on this matter. I'm not aware of any interpretation of scripture prior to the 16th century that suggests otherwise.

D.L. said...

I'm not sure all those guys agreed as much as you say they did, Wes.

http://moriel.org/MorielArchive/index.php/discernment/catholicism/a-closer-look-at-transubstantiation

Some interesting stuff in that link, I think.

Carlus Henry said...

D.L.,

I am not quite sure I understand your argument. What was it about the quotes mentioned that would make you think or suggest that they had anything but an Catholic view of what the Eucharist / Communion is?

Carlus Henry said...

D.L.,

Here is a link where you will find 9 Protestant educated Scholars who all agree that the Fathers of the Church did believe in a True Prescence of Christ

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/02/history-of-doctrine-of-eucharist-nine.html

Tuesday Morning said...

D.L.

I read the piece on transubstantiation from your link and need to point put some problems.

First, the accusation that the church began worshipping Mary in the 4th century is not substantiated in any way and casually tossed into the piece with no supporting evidence (or relevance that I'm aware of).

More importantly though, the author writes the following...

"With the passage of time and further introduction of pagan practices into Roman Catholicism, a friar named Anastatius, In A.D. 637, rejected the figurative language and employed the doctrine of ”Real Presence”.

What figurative language? the entire piece fails to address the 'more-than-figurative' quotes previously posted which pre-date Anastatius.

But let's address his opinion of specific church fathers not believing in the real presence. The first one he opines is Origen. Let's examine Origen's own words:

"I wish to admonish you with examples from your religion. You are accustomed to take part in the divine mysteries, so you know, when you received the body of the Lord, you reverently exercised every care lest a particle of it fall, and lest anything of the consecrated gift perish. You account yourselves guilty, and rightly do you so believe, if any of it be lost through negligence. but if you observe such cation in keeping His Body, and properly so, how is it that you think neglecting the word of God a lesser crime than neglecting His Body?"
Origen Homilies on Exodus 13,3:

contd...

Tuesday Morning said...

...contd

Next, the author suggests Tertullian also did not believe, so we go to the source document and find:

: "Caro abluitur ut anima maculetur; caro ungitur ut anima consecretur; caro signatur ut et anima muniatur; caro manus impositione adumbratur ut et anima spiritu illuminetur; caro corpore et sanguine Christi vescitur ut et anima de Deo saginetur" (The flesh is washed, in order that the soul may be cleansed; the flesh is anointed, that the soul may be consecrated; the flesh is signed [with the cross], that the soul, too, may be fortified; the flesh is shadowed with the imposition of hands, that the soul also may be illuminated by the Spirit; the flesh feeds on the body and blood of Christ, that the soul likewise may have its fill of God — "Deres. Carnis.",

We then hear that Cyril of Jerusalem did not subscribe to the real presence. When we actually look into his writings however we again find something different than what is claimed:

“ 1. Even of itself the teaching of the Blessed Paul is sufficient to give you a full assurance concerning those Divine Mysteries, of which having been deemed worthy, you have become of the same body and blood with Christ. For you have just heard him say distinctly, That our Lord Jesus Christ in the night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks He broke it, and gave to His disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is My Body: and having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, Take, drink, this is My Blood. Since then He Himself declared and said of the Bread, This is My Body, who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since He has Himself affirmed and said, This is My Blood, who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood? (no 1 from lecture 22)

6. Consider therefore the Bread and the Wine not as bare elements, for they are, according to the Lord's declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ; for even though sense suggests this to you, yet let faith establish you. Judge not the matter from the taste, but from faith be fully assured without misgiving, that the Body and Blood of Christ have been vouchsafed to you. (No6 from lecture 22)

9. Having learned these things, and been fully assured that the seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, And bread strengthens man's heart, to make his face to shine with oil , "strengthen your heart," by partaking thereof as spiritual, and "make the face of your soul to shine." And so having it unveiled with a pure conscience, may you reflect as a mirror the glory of the Lord 2 Corinthians 3:18, and proceed from glory to glory, in Christ Jesus our Lord:— To whom be honour, and might, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen. (No 9 lecture 22)”

I struggled to find a quote from Eusebius contesting the real presence but had no luck; regardless, as noted above the church fathers speak overwhelmingly to the truth of this matter. I’m afraid the author at the website you posted is either very poorly informed or simply being dishonest.
d

D.L. said...

I could cite other sources that said the same thing about the CHurch Fathers and several CD (Catholic Doctrine) issues, but since I figure you's just sick the spin doctors from Rome on me, I think I'll pass. Doesn't matter how many of mortals agree on stuff, we can all be wrong anyway. Look at all those flat earthers.

Paul and Christy said...

D.L.,

So TM gives you specific references refute your article and you say "spin doctors'" are being brought out?

If anything article you used spun the evidence. The author carefully chose small parts of the Church Father's writings to try to prove his point and made unsubstantiated claims (ie. worship of Mary)

Then you say, "Doesn't matter how many of mortals agree on stuff, we can all be wrong anyway." Sound's awfully relativistic.

How do we have any confidence in any Christian doctrine, then? Why believe the books of the Bible are the inspired Words of God? Why believe in the Trinity if we could be wrong?

I propose that God had a plan, and that plan was to leave us with a visible Church to lead us until His return. I believe that serious study of the early Church confirms that what the Catholic Church teaches as doctrine today is the same as what has always been taught.

It's not spin, it's history, and honestly engaged, has to be dealt with.

D.L. said...

Interesting you should use the terms 'history honestly engaged'. I've been hnestly engaging the history of the church and am woking through yet another church history lecture series. It's absolutely amazing what I am discovering about the when/hows/whos/origins of so much extra biblical traditoon!

Then it's really nothing really knew to me, but rather another objective scholar confirming wnat other objective scolars have already doscovered while'honestly' engaging history.

'Nuff said :)

Paul and Christy said...

DL,

Which lecture series?
Let's get specific. What traditions?
Are you implying that no belief outside the bible is legit? How does the Trinity fit?

Then again, why do you even believe in the canon of books we call the Bible, if mortals assembled it? Where is your assurance that it is truly the complete and correct collection of books that the HS intended us to have as the Scriptures?

I guess I don't understand how objective scholarship can make claims that the early Church Fathers did not believe in the True Presence. You have had Carlus and TM both give you cited references to back up the fact that they did. Give me one reference and quote not taken out of context that supports your arguement.

pb

triednotfried said...

Hi Paul

Scripture itself is said to be God-breathed. 2 Timothy 3:16... many times in scripture is the "Thus saith the LORD.... where does it say that church tradition is God-breathed and infallible?

Scripture is what Jesus and the apostles use to defend their actions and teachings...

Where does it stated that infallibility is given to those who become church leaders in succession of the apostles? Religious leaders who were appointed in both the old and new testaments were the ones who caused the people of God to err....

Jesus Himself equated Scripture with God's word... it seems you have left Mark 7:1-13 out of your tradition scriptures. Can you show me where Jesus uses religious tradition to support His actions and teachings? Why don't Jesus or the apostles appeal to Jewish tradition? They both quoted from the OT hundreds of times. Want to go to Matthew 15:2-3?

Scripture is what has the promise that it will never fail and all will be fulfilled...is that promise ever in the traditions of the church?

I can not find any scripture that states that the Bible alone is our authority. BUT, the bible over and over an dover again gives the examples and admonitions of turning to the Word as our source of authority.

Paul and Christy said...

Hi TNF,

First, I don't agree with your basic assertion that everything I believe must be explicitly articulated in the scriptures. Why do you believe that the canon of Scripture is complete and correct?

2 Tim 3:16 (as well as Jesus’ actions) could not have been talking about the NT because it wasn't in existence yet, so the Scriptures it referred to were the OT. I'm assuming you don't just think the OT is inspired, do you?

To your point, reading 2 Tim 3 completely reveals that the verses directly preceding tells us, "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it."

You are confusing religious tradition with Sacred Tradition, or the Deposit of Faith that is both the Scriptures and the Sacred Tradition, both of which have been handed down to us.

2 Thess 2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

There are great and more articulate articles on these subjects at catholic.com under the library section.

Christ left us with a visible Church that has been guided by the Holy Spirit for 20 centuries. That Church compiled the Scriptures by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.


pb

D.L. said...

I was going to say that everything we believe about God should either be in the Book, or supported by the book, not to agree with TNF, but because Scripture tells us it is sufficient (2 Tim 3:16-17). Paul didn't disagree with that.
I would have offered that, but I think it's just been keyboard practice to do so.

From what I have seen (a lot) of Catholicism, there's a bushell or two, maybe a couple of truck loads of made up stuff.

There's some junk in Protestantville too, I'm not denending any particular group.

Carlus Henry said...

Everyone,

Sorry for not being an active participant in this discussion, I have been quite busy....but I am able to steal about 5 minutes of my real life away in order to comment.

There is plenty of times that I have wanted to comment on some of the past posts, but I have not had the opportunity to do so. Instead of rehashing all that has been discussed, I will just address the last comment.

I was going to say that everything we believe about God should either be in the Book, or supported by the book, not to agree with TNF, but because Scripture tells us it is sufficient (2 Tim 3:16-17).

This is a circular argument. We are supposed to believe that the Bible is sufficient because the Bible says it is so. So if I pick up any book, for example, the Book of Mormon...since it is says that it is inspiried and sufficient, I should believe it? Of course not. There has to be some kind of higher authority that validates the books in the Bible are actually correct in what they say.

I believe that Scriptures are the inspired Word of God, not because Scriptures say that they are. But over 1500 years ago, a group of Chrsitians who understood Christianity and all that it entailed got together and decided which books of Scripture supported the faith accurately and which books did not. They declared which ones were inspired, and which ones were not. I trust their decision. Thererfore, my argument is not circular because I trust that God led the Church, and is still leading the Church, into all areas of truth.

Paul didn't disagree with that.

Of course he did. Never once, not even in the verse mentioned, did he say Scripture Alone. As a matter of fact, even within the context of 2 Tim 3:16, earlier, Paul says:

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,2 Tim 3:14

Here we see that Paul is suggesting not only Scriptures but also the teaching that has been passed down due to the fact of who taught it. This would seem more like the Catholic approach. Instead of Scripture Alone, Paul is supporting Scriptures and the Teaching Authority of the Church.

Then you have Paul saying:
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

If Scriptures were supposed to be the only thing thing, then why in this context is Scripture never mentioned. Instead what is mentioned is the teachings of the Church...the authority of the Church. I could easily claim with this one verse that it is not Scriptures alone, it is the Church Alone. Instead, the best way to harmonize the Scriptures, in it's entirety, is to say it is Scriptures, Sacred Tradition, and the Teaching Authority of the Church.

From what I have seen (a lot) of Catholicism, there's a bushell or two, maybe a couple of truck loads of made up stuff.

There are things that are considered 't' traditions, and 'T' traditions. 't' traditions are those that are encouraged but not required. You can be a really good Catholic without praying the Rosary, ever. That would be considered 't' tradition. However, the same cannot be said regarding believing in the Trinity...'T' tradition.

God bless...

D.L. said...

"Tell a Catholic something isn't in scripure, and he'll ask "Why does it have to be?"

We Protestants have our own version when we read back into the OT meanings/imaginings that aren't in the original text or context. You read back into scripture stuff that was even in there in the first place.

Both are wrong.

triednotfried said...

Whomever:

Trying to define a RC's "tradition" is not a simple thing in and of itself. I've looked 4 different places and now have 4 different definitions. That in itself makes me leary.

From what I have found it wasn't even defined until 1546 by the Council of Trent and then it was done to counter the reformers.... the reformers who demanded scriptural authority for religious practice.

Reading about your traditions, it just does not seem that there is any logic behind them. It seems they were made by some sort of constant surging within your church to believe something.... the church wanted to believe something, now we believe it, now it's true. Now by the way that we believe it, it means the church always has.... just not good enough for me...

"Why do you believe that the canon of Scripture is complete and correct?"

Ummm, why don't you? As for me, scriptures such as these are pretty self explanatory....

John 12:48 "There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day."

Considering that He IS the Word, I would think He was more than capable of having in the Bible, what He intended to have in the Bible. Having other things around to conform to your belief instead of conforming your belief to what is written is just plain wrong...

Carlus Henry said...

D.L.,

I am a little disappointed. Your latest comment didn't address anything that I mentioned in my post. I was hoping that you would have something to say that may attempt to refute the ideas that I used to refute your assertions in the previous post.

Did you want to talk about anything that I mentioned?

Carlus Henry said...

triednotfried,

I've looked 4 different places and now have 4 different definitions. That in itself makes me leary.

Leary of what specifically?

From what I have found it wasn't even defined until 1546 by the Council of Trent and then it was done to counter the reformers.... the reformers who demanded scriptural authority for religious practice.

I can only assume that you are talking about the Eucharist. If so, there are only two points that I would like to mention.

1.) Sometimes, things are not dogmatically / doctrinally defined, until there is some challenge...for instance the Hypostatic Union (Both the humanity and divinity of Christ), the Trinity.....

These things did not all of a sudden become true when the Church defined it. Instead, perhaps they were things that were always held as true and not until there was some challenge, that would cause the church to splinter into false doctrine, did it become necessary to define it completely.

It may not be true that the Hypostatic Union was doctrine that was held true by the faithful prior to the dogmatic definition of it, however it is certainly true that the Eucharist was always believed to be to the Body and Blood of Christ way before the Council of Trent dogmatically defined it to defend it from the Reformation.

Reading about your traditions, it just does not seem that there is any logic behind them...Now by the way that we believe it, it means the church always has.... just not good enough for me...

As I mentioned before, in the case of the Eucharist, it is something that people of God have always believed. But there are some doctrines that do not fall into this category. Perhaps it would help to look at them one at a time to get a better understanding of them.

At this point, I would like to focus on the Eucharist - which I would submit, as well as other commenters here, that this is what the faithful have always believed. The people that sat and learned at the feet of the Apostles have always held this belief about the Eucharist. As such, the Church protected this belief in the Council of Trent when it was challenged by the Reformation.

(continued)

Carlus Henry said...

triednotfried,

(continued)

"Why do you believe that the canon of Scripture is complete and correct?"

Ummm, why don't you? As for me, scriptures such as these are pretty self explanatory....


I already explained why I believed. I think you may be missing my point. The point that I am trying to make is that you must trust the process as well as the participants people used in order to determine what books were "inspired" and which books were not inspired. Every time anyone quotes from Scripture as if it is divinely inspired (which of course it is), is also vouching for the institution and the members who originally defined said books to be divinely inspired.

The reason why you believe that the Scriptures are inspired is because someone told you that it was. Someone told them, and someone told those folks...and back we go... to 387. This is the time that the books were actually brought together and defined dogmatically as this set collection of books is inspired, while the other ones that were not included were not inspired.

God bless...

D.L. said...

If you condiser 'ex cathedra' pronouncements dogma and they are not in scripture, but nevertheless declared, you have to go back into scripture and 'find' the justification. You have no choice.

Paul and Christy said...

TNF,

You said ,"Why do you believe that the canon of Scripture is complete and correct?"
Ummm, why don't you?

I do believe they are complete and correct, not because they say so, but because Church that Christ instituted did.

Considering that He IS the Word, I would think He was more than capable of having in the Bible, what He intended to have in the Bible.

I agree. He worked by the HS to inspire the Church to decide on the canon.

So if you believe in the authority of the Bible, logically you should believe in the authority that compiled that Bible. No one says, I trust the textbook, but the professor who put it together has no authority.

pb

D.L. said...

"The reason why you believe that the Scriptures are inspired is because someone told you that it was."

Howdy, Carlus

Reading TNF, it looks like she is saying that she thinks it is inspired by God, because scripture itself says it is. Wouldn't that mean the someone who told her it is inspired is God?

Wouldn't that mean that you have a problem with God telling her that?

triednotfried said...

"Why do you believe that the canon of Scripture is complete and correct?"

Ummm, why don't you? As for me, scriptures such as these are pretty self explanatory....

Carlus: This was in response to what Paul had said....
sorry I was vague.

"The reason why you believe that the Scriptures are inspired is because someone told you that it was."

The reason I believe it is inspired is because it says it is God-breathed and inspired. Not man, God.

Paul ignored a couple things, maybe you can answer?

Scripture is what has the promise that it will never fail and all will be fulfilled...is that promise ever in the traditions of the church?

Can you show me where Jesus uses religious tradition to support His actions and teachings?

I was talking about tradition, but ok. "The people that sat and learned at the feet of the Apostles have always held this belief about the Eucharist." How do you know this?

triednotfried said...

Paul, I can't believe what you just said here... You know it was inspired by the Holy Spirit but you're gonna believe it cause man says so over the Holy Spirit??? Man over God??? Seriously????

We all seem to know the history, or our version of the History of the Bible.... but it seems that there is a difference in why a book was really deemed inspired by the Holy Spirit. Consistency was key... you guys did not determine the canon. No church can take credit for that, it was God and God alone that determined which books belonged in the Bible. He just imparted to His followers what He had already decided. The human process, like every other human process was flawed, but God, because of His sovereignty, and despite our ignorance brought out the books He had inspired. To say otherwise is to say He made a mistake... huge problem.

Paul and Christy said...

TNF,

How did God impart what He had already decided? How did He bring out the books He inspired?

Holy Spirit guided the Catholic Church to recognize and determine the canon of the New and Old Testaments in the year 382 at the synod of Rome, under Pope Damasus I. God used certain men at a certain time to fulfill His plan. This is not a version of history, it is fact. The RCC, guided by the HS, can absolutely take credit for compiling the canon.

You cannot separate the authority of the Church from the authority of the Scriptures.

pb

Carlus Henry said...

D.L.,

Reading TNF, it looks like she is saying that she thinks it is inspired by God, because scripture itself says it is. Wouldn't that mean the someone who told her it is inspired is God?

Wouldn't that mean that you have a problem with God telling her that?


Let me try it again. If I am a Muslim and I am reading the Koran, and the Koran says that it is inspired by God, then it must be inspired by God. Not only that, but it is God telling me that scriptures is inspired....if we only look in this book of the Koran at this verse....it is right there.

This is not logical. Following the same principle, that would mean that any book that says it is inspired, must be because it says that it is. Furthermore, it must be the Holy Spirit that is telling them so.....

Do you see the problem with this defense of the canon of scripture?

God Bless..

D.L. said...

Nope.I don't have a problem with scripture telling us about itself. It does so throughout it's pages, and when a person has the Holy Spirit in residence, he/she reads it, loves its words, lives by it.

When a person has never been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and brought to true faith in Christ, there might still be a problem of inability due to a spiritually dead condition.

triednotfried said...

Paul: The authority issue, yup... there's my hangup. I don't see the evidence of you being the one true church. In the promises of Christ to preserve His church, is there anywhere that He pledges infallibility to them? The most that was promised is that the true people of God will never perish entirely from earth. The promises that Christ gave to the church were not to the officers OF the church, but the body of believers. I don't believe the apostles have successors. No evidence, and yes there was provision for the perpetuation of offices of deacon and such in 1 Timothy 3:1-13, but none for an apostolate. No where does anyone claiming to be a successor possess the "signs of an apostle."

God spoke by the apostles and prophets, which you can gather from the nature of their doctrine, including miracles, prophecies, even our personal experience of the power of the truth. Lets assume for a minute that you are right, and we take that truth on the authority of your church's testimony alone. Do you really believe that one who proves the identity of the King automatically receives the right to govern His Kingdom? or even interpret the Kings will??? I don't think so.

Jen Brown said...

TNF,
I'm going to jump in here.
You said:(my responses in )
I don't see the evidence of you being the one true church.(Until the 1500's, there was only ONE Church.) In the promises of Christ to preserve His church, is there anywhere that He pledges infallibility to them? (His passion, death and resurrection, his very life is his pledge to The Church. He never saw that there would be the divisions of faith that we have today. He spoke to his Beloved, the Church, of which there was only one body of people. You were either Christian and i the later called Catholic Church or you were pagan. The Catholic Church can claim direct lineage from this original group of people. We have not changed doctrine or teaching since Christ left the apostles a way to him, and that "way" is what we now call the Catholic Church. Again, Christ never saw that there would be anything but ONE body of people called Christians. Our doctrines have developed, so it looks differently, but I would like it to an apple tree. When it first shows up out of the ground it looks one way, but years later, as it grows and is pruned and gives fruit, it will look a whole lot different. Same tree, just more full in it's development) The most that was promised is that the true people of God will never perish entirely from earth. The promises that Christ gave to the church were not to the officers OF the church, but the body of believers.(Who had "officerse of the Church" as you call them. In scripture it does talk about presbyters and deacons. In the early Church, the apostles DEFINITELY were seen to have the authority because they walked with Christ. And then those who walked closely with the apostles were given the authority after the apostles died. The papacy didn't start as you see it now. It start much less informal, but with all of the authority that you now see it. Everyone saw Peter as the leader of the Church, and after him St Linus. ) I don't believe the apostles have successors. No evidence, and yes there was provision for the perpetuation of offices of deacon and such in 1 Timothy 3:1-13, but none for an apostolate. No where does anyone claiming to be a successor possess the "signs of an apostle."

PS I'm going to look for an answer to that question. I don't have time right at this moment, but wanted to post some answers seen above. Maybe Paul or Carlus can assist as well.

Carlus Henry said...

triednotfried,

In the promises of Christ to preserve His church, is there anywhere that He pledges infallibility to them?

Yes.

"If your brother sins against you,go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

18"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.


Jesus is giving us instruction on how to settle certain matters. According to Jesus, the visible institution that has the final say is the Church. The Church cannot be invisible, or else, no one would know where to find it. It cannot be more than one, because would wouldn't know which one is the right one....maybe I am getting a little off topic....

We can see that Jesus is telling us that the visible Church is the institution with the final say, because as the result of a ruling of the Church, that person is to be cast out from the Christian fellowship / community.

I don't believe the apostles have successors. No evidence,

Briefly...because I am pressed for time. Short story. My wife and I were going to name our last child Matthias...do you know why? Because he was the successor of Judas Iscariot. Read Acts 1:12-26, and you will see that in fact there was successors to the Apostles. Matthias was the successor of Judas, elected into office by the remaining eleven Apostles.

Just to finish the story, we ended up having another girl...but I have a feeling that there will be a Matthias in our future afterall.

God bless...

triednotfried said...

This is kind of like herding cats.... the church discipline scripture is about church discipline... not the infallibility of your church... and yes Carlus the 12th apostle was replaced.... do you know why God wanted there to continue being 12? Show me something after that....

Thanks Carlus, I think I'm done =)

Carlus Henry said...

triednotfried,

This is kind of like herding cats

I am not familiar with this phrase...what does this mean?

the church discipline scripture is about church discipline... not the infallibility of your church.

Now I am confused again. Are you saying that the scripture says that the church is infallible regarding discipline, or the church is not infallible at all? Why do you think that this is regarding a matter of discipline, when it says that a person has sinned against another?

and yes Carlus the 12th apostle was replaced

This is even more confusing, because you said earlier...

I don't believe the apostles have successors. No evidence,

So you do see evidence in Scripture for the succession of the apostles?

Thanks Carlus, I think I'm done =)

Well, whenever you are in the cyber area.....feel free to drop by.... ;)

God bless...

Carlus Henry said...

triednotfried,

I am not suggesting that God was not behind the whole process of determining the canon. In fact, I believe that it was the Holy Spirit that led the Church to recognize those scriptures that we have today.

I also believe that the Holy Spirit continued to lead the Church after the canon was established and the Holy Spirit still leads the Church today. I think that the fundamental disagreement may be that some people believe that the Holy Spirit stopped leading the Church, allowing it to lapse into error, while I believe the Holy Spirit will lead the Church until Jesus comes in Glory.

God bless...

triednotfried said...

"I am not suggesting that God was not behind the whole process of determining the canon. In fact, I believe that it was the Holy Spirit that led the Church to recognize those scriptures that we have today."

Read through these comments and tell me if that is not exactly what it sounds like people here are saying.... and to say that the Holy Spirit isn't leading the WHOLE church is ridiculous.

As far as history goes, read this from a 52 year old, raised in the church Catholic, who started reading the Bible for himself and saw things in a new light.

This is from his homepage...

"“ It (history) shows, for example, that no bishop of Rome considered himself to have any greater authority than the many other bishops, nor sought monarchial authority over all Christendom, until the 3rd century was well underway. Then, Calixtus I, whose most celebrated accomplishment recorded in Britannica is the transfer of the Roman Christians’ cemetery from the Via Salaria to the Via Appia, attempted to hijack our Lord’s legacy by citing Matthew 16:18 as the establishment of Peter and all succeeding bishops of Rome to be rulers over all the churches. Putting a wagon in a garage does not make it an automobile; and declaring oneself to be the boss doesn’t produce a boss. The great Tertullian, bishop of Carthage, ridiculed Calixtus and his claim, referring to him as a “usurper.” In its Catechisms the Vatican quotes Tertullian whenever it is expedient, but you won’t find his appellation for Calixtus I in any RCC printed matter.
Nor will you find Rome confessing to the faithful Roman Catholic laity, that the great Augustine, joined by Cyril, Hilary, Basil, Ambrose, Jerome, Chrysostom, Gregory of Nyssa, and delegates to the Council of Chalcedon, declared the rock upon which Christ would build His Church was Christ himself, not the Apostle Peter. That is not this writer’s opinion or pipedream. That is hard, cold, unyielding history. In his 13th sermon, preserved I believe by divine intent, Augustine made his belief perfectly clear.
“Thou art Peter, and on this Rock – petra – which thou hast confessed,
on this rock which thou hast known, saying: ‘Thou art Christ, the Son
of the living God,’ I will build my church upon Myself, who am the Son
of the living God; I will build it on Me, and not Me on thee.”

Here is his link....

http://www.contenderministries.org/Catholicism/papalfallacy1.php

Oh, and herding cats.... if you ever try it, you'll understand the saying ;-)

Carlus Henry said...

triednotfried,

Read through these comments and tell me if that is not exactly what it sounds like people here are saying....

whew!!! I am glad that we cleared that up. Now, you know where we stand on this. Yes, God led the Catholic Church in determining which books should be accepted as Scripture.

and to say that the Holy Spirit isn't leading the WHOLE church is ridiculous.

Not really. Just think about it. If you were to ask 5 different protestants, not even Catholics, but Protestants regarding really important things like, appropriate age for Baptism, Appropriate way to Worship, Sacraments, Lords Supper (wine, grape juice), Talking in Tongues...you name it...you are going to get a whole lot of different and even contradicting answers. So, is the Holy Spirit leading everyone into contradicting conclusions? No.

Yes, the Holy Spirit is at work in all of us. However to ignore the inconsistencies, and contradictions within the Protestant churches alone, sweeping them under the carpet as non-essentials, is not really doing justice to the Body of Christ. We are all supposed to be united in one faith, because there is only One Lord.

As far as history goes, read this from a 52 year old, raised in the church Catholic, who started reading the Bible for himself and saw things in a new light.

I did read the quote that you posted. To be honest, we can both pull quotes from many different people from the internet that would support both of our claims. But take it from someone who has actually read Clement of Rome's letter to the Corinthians, as well as excerpts from Irenaeus (who both lived well before Callistus I (217-222)....they all believed in the Primacy of the Church in Rome.

If you don't believe me, just read them for yourself....

Fathers of the Church

Of course, if you want to go through the exercise of discussing historical facts and compiling the evidence of what the Early Church thought and believed regarding the Primacy of the church in Rome, then let's discuss them using their own words....

We at least owe them that much (we really owe them more than that, to be honest).

God bless...

born4battle said...

Jen said:

"He never saw that there would be the divisions of faith that we have today."

I had to read that several times to make sure you actually said "He (Jesus) NEVER saw.."

A couple of things Jesus did see:

Matthew 24: The destruction of Jerusalem, wars and rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, natural disasters, great tribulation, His followers being hated,false prophets, the increase of lawlessness, many growing cold and being led astray,the gospel being preached,th coming of the Son of Man. . .

Jesus saw all these things, but he didn't forsee the divisions that would arise within His Bride the church!

How can this be? What is your source for that interesting bit of information?

Carlus Henry said...

Jen,

Jen...meet born4battle, born4battle meet Jen.

Born4Battle visits this blog on occasion. Although he would not classify himself as a Calvinist, he definitely has some calvinistic leanings.

I wouldn't say that he is the most Catholic-friendly commenter on this blog either, but he has a good heart and he means well.

B4B,

I am not going to speak for Jen...(I think I know who she is...but I am not entirely sure).

Either way, I don't know how important her answer is to the topic at hand....

The point that she was addressing had more to do with the nature of the Church and if that nature still exists today.

Rather than follow the doctrinal bunny trail of what Jesus knew and doesn't know, lets talk about the current topic.

God bless...

born4battle said...

Now you say stick to the topic and no bunny trails? There seem to b lot of those already. It started with the re-sacrifice thing, went off into tradition, a little promo for Rome here and there, etc.

Wanting to know where one of your commenters came up with the theory that Jesus didn't know there would be divisions in the church is just a 'bunny trail'? It goes to the very character and attributes of the Savior of mankind. I just don't understand that.

And you ought to let Jen speak for herself, you know.

Loved the introduction.......

born4battle said...

And why can't you just evaluate something in light of scripture but never fail to go to Rome, or 'the Church says' this or that. Why does it have to a Protestant/Catholic or Calvinist thing? Are you afraid of confronting scripture all by itself?

Is it like Willison once said. You HAVE to plead Rome? If that is true, do you realize how in bondage you are? Rome won't allow you to examine scripture for what it sys?

born4battle said...

At least I didn't reply to this:

"We have not changed doctrine or teaching since Christ left the apostles a way to him,"

with this:

So, are you saying that the doctrine of the assumption of Mary ( declared dogma in 1950), the doctrine of the immaculate conception ( declared dogma in 1954), and the doctrine of Papal Infallibility (declared dogma in 1870) were also doctrines of Jesus and the Apostles?

Carlus Henry said...

B4B,

Please refrain from posting large articles in the comment thread. A link to the article or a couple of excerpts would be more than sufficient....

The article that I blocked had to do with the idea that Pope Gregory the Great didn't believe in the Papacy. It was an article that seemed to be published from the Orthodox Church.

The Great Schism, is definitely interesting, but since the Orthodox also believe in the Sacrifice of the Mass, True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, Apostalic Succession and many things that are Catholic by nature, I am suprised that you would cite such a source. Are you suggesting that we should be Orthodox and not Roman Catholic? They of course, do not hold to the same positions as the Protestant Church(es), on many different issues.

Carlus Henry said...

b4b,

There seem to b lot of those already. It started with the re-sacrifice thing, went off into tradition,

touche'

That is why I was attempting to bring it back to the topic at hand....

Loved the introduction.......

You are welcome...I thought it was pretty fair.

Carlus Henry said...

b4b,

And why can't you just evaluate something in light of scripture but never fail to go to Rome, or 'the Church says' this or that. Why does it have to a Protestant/Catholic or Calvinist thing? Are you afraid of confronting scripture all by itself?

Let's face it. Christianity is a faith that has been on this Earth for over 2000 years. As such, one's faith should be bound historically as well as biblically. There has been many people that have come before us and have came to many different conclusions regarding the faith, what is orthodox and what is un-orthodox. We should be very comfortable with the ideas that we have about our faith and where we base them.

If I say that someone is a Calvinist, you can start to imagine what they may believe. No Free Will, Irresistable Grace...T.U.L.I.P.. If I say that someone is a Roman Catholic, you can make some assumptions about what they believe, Papacy, Sacred Scripture / Sacred Tradition / Magisterium of the Church. Think of it as short-hand to identify different people and their beliefs.

Now, regarding allowing Scripture to speak for itself. I have. I spent the better part of two weeks trying to come up with a reason why I should not be Catholic. I looked hard through the Scriptures, but ultimately, the Holy Spirit revealed to me, through Scriptures, that the Catholic Church is the Church that He is leading.

Carlus Henry said...

b4b,

At least I didn't reply to this:

"We have not changed doctrine or teaching since Christ left the apostles a way to him,"

with this:


whew!!! Glad you didn't reply to it.

Carlus Henry said...

b4b,

I did post it...

Thanks for the unwarranted name calling....

I thought I would give you another chance at commenting on my blog...but I see now that asking you to remain civil is something that you are just not capable of doing.

Take care...

Weston said...

Anyone mind if we jump back to Holy Communion that, I think, was the original topic?

The idea of transubstantiation is a deal-breaker for me. This is one example of why I could never be a member of the Catholic church. Here's why: Either I must believe that the bread and wine are only symbolic or I cannot participate in communion ever again. I don't think I could be a member of the Catholic church and actively refuse Communion.

I just plain cannot knowingly consume human flesh without severely violating my conscience and morals. Therefore, if the Catholic belief is true, and the elements really do change to real flesh and blood, whether detectable or not, by participating in the Eucharist, I would be required to violate my morals. Rather than doing that, I would have to abstain.

For those of you who do believe in transubstantiation, how do you reconcile this? Do you set aside your conscience? I think you would probably be the first to condemn the people that call themselves "real vampires" and drink human blood, but yet Catholics do it all the time?

Carlus Henry said...

Weston,

Thanks for bringing the topic back to where it should be....

To answer your question:

For those of you who do believe in transubstantiation, how do you reconcile this? Do you set aside your conscience? I think you would probably be the first to condemn the people that call themselves "real vampires" and drink human blood, but yet Catholics do it all the time?

Here is your answer:
Catholics don't believe Jesus' presence in the Eucharist is such that the consumption of the Host entails cannibalism. Christ's body and blood aren't present naturally, but supernaturally, under the appearances of bread and wine. This mode of presence rules out cannibalism.

It's accurate to say that while Christ's presence is real and substantial, the mode of consumption, the way in which we eat his body and drink his blood, is, in a sense, spiritual (though not merely symbolic). When the host is consumed, the physical process of eating affects only the accidents of bread, not the substance of Christ's body and blood, which are beyond our power to injure.

Catholics, then, truly unite themselves spiritually to Christ who is really, substantially present, and they do so in a way which involves the bodily act of eating, even though the physical aspects of this process affect only the sign or accidents of bread.

(Catholic Answers)

Weston said...

Then it's really not Transubstantiation. I.e. changing from one substance to another. And if it doesn't change substance, then we're really just eating bread and drinking wine.

This is very confusing. I wish Christ had been more clear on this. Even when Jesus said it in John 6, the Jews "began to argue sharply among themselves" and the disciples said "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" And it's no wonder that so many disciples deserted Jesus in John 6:66; they simply didn't get it and didn't want to be cannibals.

Willison said...

Born 4 Battl(ing Catholics) said, "Is it like Willison once said. You HAVE to plead Rome?"

Hi I'm Willison. I'm not commenting much anymore because I've been quite busy.

For those of you who are new, you may miss the absolute silliness of B4B's misquote. A long time ago, when I still found him worth having a conversation with, he would quote Catholic Tradition and then demand we not reference the context of his one sentence quote. (Trying to make it look like we missed something.) Finally I said we can't discuss Catholicism, without referencing Catholicism.

He continues to miss the point.

OK everyone - carry on. Just don't like leaving misquotes about me out there.

Willison said...

Weston,

His body is true food and his blood is true drink. Anyone who doesn't eat of them has no life in them. We didn't make that concept up.

It doesn't say go out and eat any human flesh and blood. It says HIS flesh and blood. How is this NOT like a vampire drinking any random blood? The same way Jesus is more than just any man.

Is it hard? Yes. Be like Peter. "I don't get it, but I'm staying because where else can I go?" Not like the others who said, "I don't get it, so I am going to throw it all away."

triednotfried said...

Ummmmm ok, I thought I was done, but I really have to play devils advocate here for a minute... cause ya just gotta once in awhile =)

Weston, you said "And it's no wonder that so many disciples deserted Jesus in John 6:66; they simply didn't get it and didn't want to be cannibals."

Put all the eucharist talk aside for just a minute... humor me, there is something here that concerns me more.

Back here you said "I would be required to violate my morals. Rather than doing that, I would have to abstain." Do you see the correlation between the disciples that deserted Jesus, and what you just said? If God asked you to, would you? That scares the crap out of me.. (sorry Carlus) but really, if God says, do this, (input anything, not just the eucharist) you would consider NOT doing it because of your morals, or you couldn't reason it out in your mind??? Sounds like you would have been one who deserted.... maybe I'm reading it wrong.

Weston said...

You're right; it is scary. It is very likely that I would have been one who deserted. As much as I don't like it, I'm being realistic.

Let me ask you this; If someone came up to you tomorrow and said "Hello, I'm the Son of God and I want you to follow me. In order to be one of my followers, you must murder someone." What would you do? Would you do it? If you're anything like me, you would pick up your Bible and say "Sorry, I'm not going to do that. That can't be true. In the Bible, God forbids us to murder." See, my morals aren't just picked out of thin air; they are formed by what was written in the Bible. If someone asks me to do something that runs contrary to what the Bible teaches, I'm going to refuse.

Don't you see that that was exactly what was going on? These people knew what the Torah taught. They thought that Jesus was teaching something that was contrary to the Bible and deserted him because they thought it was heresy. To them, He was just some Jewish rabbi who started off teaching some real truth but suddenly deviated into some really offensive ideas.

Now, hopefully the story didn't end there for those disciples. I would hope that, later on, those disciples caught up with the early church and the exchange went something like this:

Hezekiah (a deserter): Hey Andrew! What's up? I haven't seen you since we were hanging out with that Jesus guy. What ever happened to him? I heard some really messed up rumors.

Andrew: Dude, I seriously have to tell you that story some time. Hey, we've got this church thing going on at Delilah's house. You should so stop by and I can tell you all about it.

Hezekiah: Uh, well, I don't know.... How's that whole, uh, drinking blood thing working out for you?

Andrew: Yeah, about that. As it turns out, it's not really blood; it's just bread and wine.

Hezekiah: Seriously!? For crying out loud, why didn't he just say that then!?

triednotfried said...

"Hello, I'm the Son of God and I want you to follow me. In order to be one of my followers, you must murder someone." He would never say that, it is contrary to He is, and yet they did murder someone in order that we may follow. They murdered Him.

Knowing that God would NEVER ask us to do something contrary to who He is needs to be a clue to us. If the Catholic church teaches that it is something happens spiritually, "Christ's body and blood aren't present naturally, but supernaturally, under the appearances of bread and wine."

They do NOT believe it is cannibalism, they believe in the super-natural power of God during communion. John 6:63 says "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing." This is what I believe their mind set to be as they share in their communion.

Willison said...

Well, before we start saying "God would never . . ." didn't he do exactly that with Abraham? "Abraham, this is God, go kill your only son." Abraham went.
Now we can say that was only a test, but he didn't know that at the time.
Triednotfried makes a very valid point: we cannot use our understanding of morality to justify disobeying the AUTHOR of morality.

Willison said...

"As it turns out, it's not really blood; it's just bread and wine."

At the risk of being discomforting, Weston, it's NOT just bread and wine. It IS flesh and blood. Now every physical and chemical test you could perform (including appearance and taste) would tell you it's just bread and wine, and yet it's not.

That's the mystery. That is the difficult part. That's the beauty.

Weston said...

Triednotfried makes a very valid point: we cannot use our understanding of morality to justify disobeying the AUTHOR of morality

I understand that God defines what morality is. However, these people didn't know at the time that they were dealing with God. So far, they had learned that he was a prophet/rabbi with some supernatural powers. Whenever we deal with someone who is not God and is telling us to do something, we look to the book to determine the validity of what they are saying. When they deserted Jesus, they were doing the right thing, based on the understanding that they had. The problem was that they didn't understand yet that Jesus was God and that changed the equation.

it's NOT just bread and wine. It IS flesh and blood. Now every physical and chemical test you could perform (including appearance and taste) would tell you it's just bread and wine, and yet it's not.

It is at the base level bread and wine. It has all the physical properties and behaviors of those elements. If I take the bread and leave it out somewhere, it will grow mold and rot. If I leave the wine out, the water in it will evaporate, leaving a residue behind. If it somehow has some extra properties in a dimension that we cannot detect, it is a point that cannot be argued. I can say that bread and wine is purely symbolic and you can say that it is not, and since this "change" is completely undetectable and unprovable, there is no way to confirm or deny either argument. It is like a scientist who believes in "dark matter"; they can proclaim that it is true and there is no way to tell if it is true or not.

Special magic properties aside, I maintain that the Catholics should not call this process Transubstantiation because there is no change of "substance" happening. Everything you are describing is spiritual which is not "substance".

triednotfried said...

Weston: I hope you know we are beyond eucharist at this point, and Carlus it is completely up to you whether or not you permit this. But I see what I believe is wrong thinking, and wold like to address it.

Weston, please don't be offended by this, but I can't agree with you.

"However, these people didn't know at the time that they were dealing with God."

You mean to tell me that Abraham didn't know God was asking him to sacrifice his son? To murder his son? You think he would have done this for anyone?

As far as the deserters, "When they deserted Jesus, they were doing the right thing, based on the understanding that they had." Read through that series of scriptures again and tell me that Jesus thought it was the right thing. Not believing something that is presented to you does not mean that you lack understanding, it means that you refuse to believe.

Weston said...

I don't think we're off track at all. We are discussing a group of people who deserted Jesus because they thought He was advocating literally drinking blood and eating flesh. Seems like that would be very relevant to a discussion of the Eucharist. I wasn't including Abraham in my response; I'm focused on those people who left Jesus because they thought that what He was teaching something immoral.

I didn't say that what they did was ultimately the correct response, only that they thought that they were doing the right thing, based on what they knew.

The correct response was probably to stick around and figure out what He really meant by it. The 12 disciples did that, and were probably rewarded with a rush of relief when Jesus broke the bread and said "this is my body..."

However, please realize that the disciples took a huge risk when they chose not to abandon Jesus at that moment. There were plenty of people running around in that day claiming to be gods and advocating things that seemed contrary to Scripture. The only solid rock to test false prophets against was their conscience and the morals taught by the Torah. They tossed both out the window and followed Jesus despite not fully understanding what He said. That is credited to them now as faith, but I would caution against doing that today if you were to encounter someone making the same claims.

triednotfried said...

This is exactly what I'm focusing on. "I'm focused on those people who left Jesus because they thought that what He was teaching something immoral."

All I am trying to say is, do we have any idea how BIG God is? This God, who speaks things into existence, and yet we have the unmitigated gall to say, "This is how it is". I wonder when people are going to realize that if we indeed can figure Him out, take out every supernatural mystery there is, He would no longer be God.

Does it really matter if people believe it is the actual blood and body? To me no... I believe they are symbols of what He did on that cross. I believe the heart condition to be way more important. If some choose to take the Word of God literally, and believe that somehow this becomes the actual life giving blood and body of Christ, what's the problem? Or are we only suppose to take God at His Word when it suits our theology? Again, just throwing some stuff out there... We can't say, "God, I will follow you and completely submit to you, unless you ask me to do something I don't understand or believe"...

"I didn't say that what they did was ultimately the correct response, only that they thought that they were doing the right thing, based on what they knew."

I realize that now, but when one first reads this it seems as though you are also approving of what they did, glad you cleared that up.

How do explain Jesus living inside of you? Why do you believe it? How did you come to that belief? Explain God's omnipresence...again, all they are saying Weston is that the outward properties that they take are changed somehow. Look at water that can be ice or steam, yet they remain the same chemically. Food metabolizes and becomes part of our bodes as a result of a chemical change... right? So what they are saying is that by the Holy Spirit they believe their substance ceases to exist, and is replaced by the the actual body and blood of Christ. It's just not as gross and freaky as people claim, it's a belief in the supernatural.

"However, please realize that the disciples took a huge risk when they chose not to abandon Jesus at that moment."

Good, if we as His disciples are not taking a risk every day, there is something stagnant about our walk. Ever walk up to a group of people and ask if they know your Jesus? Great conversation starter... If our comfort outweighs our uncomfortable, we need to check ourselves.

"They tossed both out the window and followed Jesus despite not fully understanding what He said. That is credited to them now as faith, but I would caution against doing that today if you were to encounter someone making the same claims."

Yeah, I wouldn't believe it either, we have the guide book, we know how it ends. Yet, there have been many times that I have tossed it all out the window and said "Lead me Lord"... and He does just that.

Weston said...

After updating my understanding of what the Catholic church teaches, I'm still left with a question. If the Catholic faith teaches that there is no change whatsoever in the physical elements of the Eucharist and all "communion" or contact with Christ is done in a spiritual manner, then how is it any different than the Communion that Protestant churches perform? Why is there so much contention?

I went back to Carlus' original post and read through Triednotfried's comments (I can't find the original post on her blog) to try and get an idea of where the Protestant movement disagrees with the Catholic church, but I'm unclear on what the real disagreement is about. It seems like it's all just semantics. Like whether we're "re-sacrificing" or just commemorating an event.

What am I missing?

Willison said...

Wes, you are missing one of the best gifts ever given to humanity.

I understand your point. It's actually the same logic Luther and Calvin applied. It looks and tastes like bread, so why make this hard - it obviously is bread - goes the logic. We want to save as many souls as possible and look at how many don't get it. Their leaving. They would stay if we just state the obvious. It is what it appears to be. It is a symbol - goes the logic.

But we are Christians - little Christs. We are called to be like him. Certainly he wanted as many to be saved as possible even more than we do, but he DID NOT, give that explanation. He DID NOT make it easy. He let them go. He let the story be written so generations after would be confused - and lost. You want to ask him why. Your logic disagrees, but maybe it is because you have the wrong perspective.aybe a change of view brings it all in focus.

What would Jesus never do to save a soul? Lie. So if he didn't mean "symbolically" if he actually meant "my body is real food and my blood real drink." Then he would just watch them all walk away. He said it several times. He gave them all a choice. They walked. Peter and the apostles stayed.

I agree with you and them. This is a hard saying. I want to be like Peter. Because it comes from him I will stay and struggle until it makes sense. And if it never does I'll still keep trying. Where else can I go?

Jesus says I have to eat his flesh.

We're called to do it. Not redefine it.

Why would he say that? Well look at what you are. You want to focus on your spirit. You want to focus on our spirit God. You want to focus on the spiritual part of communion. But that is only half the story. A human is body AND spirit. Neither is more important than the other. It is why your body will be raises and restored. It is why Paul calls te body the temple. It's not just a soul transportation device it is who you are - both.

So what was the incarnation (Jesus on Earth)? Jesus was fully God and fully man. So he had his complete divine spirit, but also a human body, and also a human soul (can't be "human" without both).

So when he said he would be with us until the end of the age he meant "him". All of him. Not just his divinity. The whole incarnation - body, blood, soul and his divinity - would be with us always. Under the "symbol" theory only his divinity would still be with us. Under the Catholic view, the entire "him" is still with us.

Cool, right? But we're dancing on words again. Do we have more? Yes.

What's in it for you? What's he doing at the last supper claiming something is his body and sharing it with his friends? Eat flesh and blood, WHY? I think is part of your question. Well to sustain us. To strengthen us. The "symbol" theory is fine for a spiritual creature. His spirit in the bread feeds my spirit. Great. But this God made me a body. This God didn't come to us in human form, he BECAME a human. This body thing is important to him.

So when he says "this IS my body." Believe it. He doesn't joke about bodies. When he says Im with you. Believe it. He doesn't go half. He's here body blood soul and divinity.

But, it still looks and acts like bread and wine. Yes. So let me ask you this: if the priest said words over a piece of bread and when he lifted it up it suddenly became heart muscle, and every time they did it every place they did it it happened again and again. Would it take any faith at all to believe that was his body and blood? No. But if the priest said the words of Jesus and lifted it up and looked exactly the same, would it faith to believe it in fact changed? Yes. Which method do you think our God would prefer? Faith.

triednotfried said...

Weston:

"I went back to Carlus' original post and read through Triednotfried's comments (I can't find the original post on her blog)"

I think back through the last few years of blogging and I truly think that this is actually the hardest entry I have ever written. Yet very necessary. It's called being transparent and real with people, and it's tough. I grew up in a home that absolutely despised Catholicism. When I say despised, that is probably too nice of a word.

My Mom had 7 brothers and sisters that were all part of and raised in the Catholic Church. I am just now, after a lifetime, piecing together things that happened... I don't really need to get into all of that here. What I do need to get into, is the fact that for 40 years I have had this anger and outright hatred toward the Catholic faith. Which in it's silliness means that I have hated a people before I've known them because of their belief system. Kind of bred into me I guess you could say, and nurtured for many years.

It was that anger and hatred toward these people that wrote those entries on my blog. There was no real desire to see them come to a new understanding of the scriptures that I love, my belief is one of the Reformed theology, it was strictly Catholic bashing. One breath, I'm telling everyone how much I love the Lord, the next hatred toward fellow man.

The reason you can't find my blog entry, is because it no longer exists. I still need to go way back and remove the rest of the horrible entries i wrote, but it no longer exists. These people simply have a different belief system than I do. Since my Mom passed away in June, God has done some amazing things in my life, one of which is to heal me from this bitterness and anger toward this faith group.

And I mean as recently as a couple of weeks ago. God says to come and let us reason together. It just works better that way. I have found that by listening to what they are saying, that my Mom's issues were her issues. Her perception of some things were definitely off... I'm not saying the church didn't cause her pain, maybe it was because they didn't teach her and guide her correctly, I don't know. But my anger is gone and it feels good.

I didn't have to share all of that because of your statement... But then I did because it is something the Lord put on my heart to lay down and let go of. And I think, since Carlus is one of the main ones that got the brunt of my anger, this was the perfect place to do this.

So you ask, why is there so much contention? Because of people like me, Weston. Carlus and Willison know where I'm at... they know I don't believe in transubstantiation... and yet they have helped me to let go of this stuff I've had for a long time now. So I just wanted to encourage you not to get where I was. Just to throw something out there... I still don't understand the division over the belief system They believe it is the literal life giving body and blood that Jesus spoke of... what is the big deal? I mean, changing substances for God just isn't that tough for Him... how did He feed 5000 with those little loaves and fishies... and I also recall a certain wedding where something happened with the water... just something to think on. But you're right, the contention needs to stop, and for me it has.

Weston said...

I see what you're saying, but there's still a problem with it. When Jesus said in John 6:53, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." In this statement, Jesus was either speaking a) literally or b) figuratively.

If He was speaking literally, then we must take it completely literally. This means that we, as Christians living in 2009, are simply out of luck. We are physically unable to do what He asked; His body is no longer with us on this Earth, so there is no possible way we can partake in it. It's not here. So how do we accomplish what He asked us to do? Jesus did not say anything about saying some special words and miraculously turning bread and wine into His body, so that we would be able to eat ever afterward, once He was gone. Whatever special ceremony that surrounds the transubstantiation of the elements was added by the Catholic church after Jesus left us.

That said, the evidence points strongly towards the fact that Jesus was speaking figuratively:

1) Consider the context in John 6. Just before His words in John 6:53, Jesus had spent time feeding a crowd of 5,000 people barley loaves and fish. After the meal is served, Jesus and the disciples slip away from the crowd and cross the lake. When the crowd finally catches up to Him, it's obvious they're not there to listen to His teaching; they're there to get another free meal (John 6:26). At this point, Jesus says to them "I am the bread of life." Now, He's obviously speaking in metaphor here. He's most certainly not a loaf of bread. Later on, He says "I am the bread that came down from heaven" (John 6:41) Again, unless Jesus is not only fully God and fully human, but also fully barley, then He must be speaking metaphorically. So, here's Jesus, building up this metaphor around meals and bread and eating, and we're to believe that He suddenly switches into 'literal mode' and somehow the idea of eating His flesh is literal and not connected to the previous metaphor about bread?

2) Consider the Last Supper. Luke 22:19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." Everyone present could see with their own eyes that the bread he was holding in His hands was not his literal body. His body was completely whole and intact and sitting in the chair next to them. To think that the disciples, as they're munching away on the unleavened bread, somehow thought in their minds that, "Hey, we're eating part of Jesus!" is incomprehensible to me. Remember that the Catholic church relies heavily on oral tradition, passed down originally from these disciples. I don't see any way that these men could have interpreted Jesus' words in any other way than purely symbolic. Which means that the idea was introduced by someone who was not sitting in that room.

Carlus Henry said...

triednotfried,

(I have not found the time to be as involved in this discussion as I would like to.....but I had to comment on this one)

Thank you so much for sharing all that you shared. Wow!!!! Wow!!!! Wow!!!! I am just sitting in my cube right now praising God that he has delivered you from the hatred and bitterness that you had towards Catholics......Wow!!!! Isn't He Good.....? I mean isn't HE SOOOOOOO GOOOD!!!!!!

I had shared with you once before that there is nothing that does a better service to the ministry of the gospel than sharing the remarkable things that God has done for us. You are a living testimony of the Power of God. A walking Testimony!!!!! YOU!!!!

God bless you....well let me put it a better way....may God continue to bless you on your journey....

Carlus Henry said...

Weston,

Okay...I have a few...

Jesus did not say anything about saying some special words and miraculously turning bread and wine into His body, so that we would be able to eat ever afterward, once He was gone.

This is a pretty crude description, but I would say that in fact, Jesus did!!!! Look at what St. Paul writes...

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.1 Cor 11:23-26

But wait...you realize that Paul was converted after Jesus ascended, right? Yet here Paul is telling us that JESUS told him...not some other disciple...but the Lord. So yes, Jesus did tell us what to do and how to do it.

Whatever special ceremony that surrounds the transubstantiation of the elements was added by the Catholic church after Jesus left us.

The biggest problem with this statement, is that I don't think you have any idea what the special ceremony that surrounds transubstantiation is. If you did, you would not say that it was added. In fact, it is something that has been repeated since Jesus was in the upper room. The exact words of consecration are used during the Mass. This is not something that was added it is something that has always been.

God bless...

Carlus Henry said...

Wes,

That said, the evidence points strongly towards the fact that Jesus was speaking figuratively:

I whole heartedly disagree. The people that were there during the John 6 discourse, either took him literally and left, or they were internally conflicted, didn't know what to do with the information, but stayed because of their faith. No one there, took him figuratively....none.

So, here's Jesus, building up this metaphor around meals and bread and eating, and we're to believe that He suddenly switches into 'literal mode' and somehow the idea of eating His flesh is literal and not connected to the previous metaphor about bread?

Yes. That is exactly the case. If you look at the words that Jesus uses, the first word he uses is 'phago' (eat). But then when the crowd starts to doubt, does Jesus lighten his terminology in order to indicate that he is only speaking metaphorically....NO. He does the exact opposite. He goes from 'phago' to 'trogo' (gnaw, chew). He is being very explicit. It is also noted that this is the time that the one disciple looses his faith and decides to betray him John 6:70

Everyone present could see with their own eyes that the bread he was holding in His hands was not his literal body...

That is where faith comes in. If it was obvious, it would not require faith - it would become knowledge.

To think that the disciples, as they're munching away on the unleavened bread, somehow thought in their minds that, "Hey, we're eating part of Jesus!" is incomprehensible to me.

So the Virgin Birth, Incarnation, Walking on Water, Fish and Loaves, Water into Wine...makes sense? Of course it doesn't make sense. That is not a good enough reason to not believe it. We cannot comprehend these things, yet we still believe in them.

God bless....

Weston said...

The biggest problem with this statement, is that I don't think you have any idea what the special ceremony that surrounds transubstantiation is.

You're correct. I am ignorant of the ceremony. However, logically I assume that something has to happen in order for the elements to change, otherwise we could participate in Communion simply by picking up a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine at the local grocery store.

What exactly are the words? The priest can't simply say the words as written, because they are from the perspective of Jesus. I mean, the priest can't say, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me", because it's not the priest's body.

This just seems so fraught with confusion and problems. I have a flood of questions.

1. Once you say the words or perform the rites, how do you know it worked?
2. If I say the words, will the elements change for me?
3. If no, how do you know?
4. How do you ensure that the change happens?
5. Is it possible that the miracle can not happen for a particular priest and his parishioners never actually partake in communion?
6. Does that mean that those parishioners "have no life in them" because of the failings of that priest?

And before you say, "it's a mystery", shouldn't this be something we understand fully? If, to have eternal life, we must consume the Bread of Life, then shouldn't we know whether it's working or not? Otherwise, couldn't we be in for a very bad surprise when we die?

Carlus Henry said...

Weston,

What exactly are the words? The priest can't simply say the words as written, because they are from the perspective of Jesus. I mean, the priest can't say, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me", because it's not the priest's body.


In fact...this is exactly what happens. We don't believe that the priest is actually performing the ceremony. We believe that it is Christ. The priest does not have any "power" at all. He is just the conduit and it is Christ that is actually performing the sacrement...(this is not only for Eucharist, but for all of the ceremonies). The priest is just being used by Christ.

This just seems so fraught with confusion and problems. I have a flood of questions.

Questions are good.... ;)

1. Once you say the words or perform the rites, how do you know it worked?

If it was a validly ordained priest, then it worked.

2. If I say the words, will the elements change for me?

Unless you are a validly ordained priest, no, it won't work.

3. If no, how do you know?

Only a priest can perform sacraments. Lay people are instruments of God in other ways. The priest carries a blessing within them that can be traced back to the Apostles which can be traced back to Jesus.

4. How do you ensure that the change happens?

Hopefully, I explained it above.

5. Is it possible that the miracle can not happen for a particular priest and his parishioners never actually partake in communion?

No.

6. Does that mean that those parishioners "have no life in them" because of the failings of that priest?


Short answer is no. Long answer would take a discussion of sacraments and what they are exactly.

triednotfried said...

i just have a question before tackling your new post Carlus and didn't know where to put it... and this if for anyone....When God is speaking of His blood and body...as in the sacraments, is He speaking of His resurrected body or pre- crucifix? Looking at scripture, His resurrected body is spiritual, while there is no more blood because of His sacrifice... Just something to add in the mix...

Carlus Henry said...

triednotfried,

Okay...that is a deep question.

Looking at scripture, His resurrected body is spiritual, while there is no more blood because of His sacrifice... Just something to add in the mix...

I would propose that His resurrected body is not only spiritual. It is the fulfillment that he is the first to rise from the dead. We believe that when we die, we are unnaturally separated from our bodies. But at the end of time, our bodies will be joined again with our spirit. Our bodies will be different, but it won't be a purely spiritual being.

It is because of this that Jesus body was gone from the tomb. He raised from the dead physically. His body has been changed, into it's glorious state, like all of us...but it is not purely spiritual.

Now, regarding what body and blood in the Eucharist...I have no idea....

Carlus Henry said...

(continued)

Jesus being raised from the dead physically as well as spiritually is the reason why he invited Thomas to touch his wounds.....it is also the reason why Jesus sat and ate with the Apostles....

I love to eat. Love it, love it, love it. Love good food. I can't imagine what the food is going to be like in heaven....man o man!!!!