Communion, is Christ truly present?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by riverm, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. riverm

    riverm
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    I’ve been studying the Theology of John Wesley and I was reading a statement on a Methodist website that stated that Christ was “truly” present in Holy Communion. The article didn’t elaborate whether or not Christ was truly present in the elements or not, just that Christ was present. I am planning on asking a Methodist pastor his thoughts, but I’d like to get some insights form this community.

    Blessings
     
  2. BobRyan

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    What about the “REAL” presence? What does God say about it in His word??


    "For Where two or three of you are gathered IN MY NAME THERE I AM IN your midst" Matt 18:20

    "Behold I AM WITH you ALWAYS even to the end of the World" Matt 28:20

    "I will NEVER leave you NOR forsake you" Heb 13:5

    "CHRIST IN you the hope of Glory" Col 1:27

    These are the promises of Christ's presence of Christ in this life before the 2nd coming – and they apply to ALL Christians today.

    Though the RCC claims to have supplanted them with the magic powers of the priest conjuring the real-presence (as if they could) - yet these promises of Christ -- of scripture - stand today, and Christ is available to all.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  3. BobRyan

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    So when two or 3 ARE gathered and Christ IS WITH you AS promised what MORE PRESENCE are you expecting as soon as you start to drink the communion cup??

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. riverm

    riverm
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    Hi Bob

    I understand your thoughts on Christ present when 2 or 3 are gathered in His name. I was more concerned about the presence of Christ at Communion in regard to the Methodist beliefs. Do they believe like the Lutherans (the Sacramental Union), Catholics (transubstantiation) or Baptist (strictly a memorial or remembrance)?
     
  5. jesusrocks

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    in my understanding, only catholics teach transubstantiation. any other school of thought teaching the "real presence" teaches some variety of consubstantiation.
     
  6. Sularis

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    Wooo - consubstantiationism!
     
  7. BobRyan

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    The Lutheran view amounts to the same thing but it just says that it will not "detail" HOW it happens in the sacrament (A limb the RCC gladly climbed out on).

    That is why I show the Bible examples of "God with us" in terms of His "real presence".

    But as Paul points out - WHILE WE ARE IN THIS BODY we are "absent from the Lord".

    He does not say "except when we eat communion bread".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  8. jesusrocks

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    Could you clarify your first statement with the latter two for me?

    How do you interpret Christ's words in Matthew 28:20? (for further clarification)... is Christ's presence real/actual or merely a symbolic semblance?
     
  9. BobRyan

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    #1. Christ said HE IS WITH US always and will never leave us or forsake us.

    He did not say "I am only actually WITH you at communion services".

    So the REAL presence of Christ available to all Christians today is NOT "fleeting depending on the act of communion" according to scripture. It is constant and continuous regardless of how often one celebrates communion.

    #2. This does not negate the real and obvious fact that as Christ said "IF I GO AWAY I will COME AGAIN" - the 2nd coming IS the point of our being reunited with Christ!

    #2 Paul does not make any exceptions here either. Certainly not for communion.

    So that means that we really ARE "Absent from the Lord" rather than visibly with Him as were the disciples.

    This does not change UNTIL we receive our new heavenly body and leave THIS decaying earthly tent!

    No mention at ALL of this changing during communion services.

    I think the Bible writers are making the point clearly.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  10. jesusrocks

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    Completely apart from communion services...

    Matthew 28:20... is Jesus truly with us, or not? I wasn't aware that anyone (even the catholics) limited the presence of Jesus to communion...
     
  11. Matt Black

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    The official Methodist position, as I understand it, is one of Cranmerian receptionism, ie: the bread and wine undergo no physical changes but when one eats and drinks them, one spiritually receives Christ's Body and Blood. This position is basically lifted word for word from the Anglican receptionist position:-

    Compare Art 28 of the Anglican 39 Articles:

    "Article 28 - The Lord's Supper
    The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves, one to another, but rather it is [also] a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death: to those who rightly, worthily, and with faith receive it, the bread that we break is a partaking of the body of Christ, and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ.
    Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of bread and wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Scripture, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthrows the nature of a Sacrament, and has given occasion to many superstitions.
    The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the means by which the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith
    The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped."

    ...with the Methodist 25 Articles, Art 18:

    "Article 18—Of the Lord's Supper
    The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death; insomuch that, to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ; and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ.
    Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine in the Supper of our Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
    The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after a heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith. The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshiped."
     
  12. riverm

    riverm
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    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the reply. Can you link me to the info, via reply or PM? I've been searching the net to no avail.

    Blessings
     
  13. Matt Black

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  14. Jim1999

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    At one time, communion in the Anglican Church was restricted to actual members of the church. This showed the importance of the act of taking the bread and wine. We do, however, emphasize the "spiritual" presence and not the actual presence in the elements.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  15. hillclimber

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    wherever two or more are gathered, in my name, there am I. Matt. 18:20
     
  16. riverm

    riverm
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    Hi Jim1999, correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t I read where you used to be a Baptist? If so, you may be able to help in answering a question of mine.

    Speaking of restricting communion to its members (closed communions) in regard to the Anglican Church, why was the communion closed at one time. The Catholics make it pretty clear why theirs is closed.

    The Methodist communion is open, which I like. Unlike the Baptist who practice closed communions, I never have gotten a good explanation why this is. They say you have to be “scripturally” baptized, or in other words dunked in a tank. But here’s the kicker, to a Baptist baptism doesn’t save and Communion is nothing more than a memorial anyway. So in your opinion, what’s the point in Baptist closing their communion?
     
  17. jesusrocks

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    though I'm not baptist, I think I agree with a closed communion.

    communion is a kind of profession of faith. for catholics, lutherans, orthodox, etc. who believe in a type of "real presence" in their communion, it's a very deep profession of faith, not just in Christ, but in the Church as well. for any members of those sects, one who receives without fully believing (i.e., believing in the "real presence") would receive in an unworthy manner, and, under the theology of the above sects, they would "eat and drink condemnation on themselves".

    one should not partake if one doesn't believe. yes, communion is a sign of unity among Christians, but first and foremost (especially for catholics, orthodox, lutherans, etc.) communion is a sign of Christ.
     
  18. Alexander

    Alexander
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    To understand the doctrine of the Real Presence, one should consider our Lord's teaching in John 6: 22 - 59. This lengthy passage is generally passed over by the memorialists, since they are unable to reconcile the clear words of our Lord that 'those who eay my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life', and that the 'bread which I will give for the life of the world is my flesh'. Many in the crowd were scandalized by this teaching and chose not to follow him further.

    One should also consider the teaching of St. Paul in I Corinthians, where he taught that anyone who eats and drinks the Sacrament unworthily is guily of desecrating our Lord's Body and Blood. One would hardly be answerable for our Lord's Body and Blood if the bread and wine were ONLY symbols.

    Too often we get tied up in the sophistry of speculative thought about transubstantiation or consubstantiation. The Orthodox (and in a similar manner, I believe, the Anglican/Episcopal tradition) do not engage in excesssively abstruse speculation about HOW our Lord is really present in the Sacrament. We only point to the words of our Lord, St Paul, the teaching of the church from the earliest days and say that when we receive the Sacrament, we are participating in our Lord's Body and Blood.

    Alexander
     
  19. Jim1999

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    Riverm,
    Communion is a service of the local church, who gather together to remember the Lord. It is not a public service and open to just anyone off the streets. That, in short, is the reason behind a so-called closed communion.

    Anglicans restricted communion to actual members of the Anglican Church. It gave a measure of assurance that the members had followed the prescribed form of acceptance at the table; baptism, confirmation and membership in the church on earth.

    Just for your information: I am retired from the Baptist ministry. The only church in my area is an Anglican, of which, my wife has always been a member (Anglican). I grew up in the Anglican Church, so I am not a stranger there. I remain a Baptist in theology and thought.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  20. Kiffen

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    The Lord's supper is more than a memorial. It is a communion or participation in the blood and body of Christ (1 Cor. 10:16-17). Like Calvin and early Baptist confessions such as the 1689 London Baptist I believe it is a spiritual communion with Christ with the body and blood of Christ.
     

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