The supposed impossibility of Holy Communion

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Chemnitz, Apr 4, 2007.

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  1. Chemnitz

    Chemnitz
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    In past debates it has been brought up by those who deny the Lord's Supper by claiming that because Jesus is 100% human, it is impossible for him to offer his body and blood in communion because it is physically impossible for the human body to be in numerous places at once and is a finite resource.

    However, in the Gospels, Jesus is recorded doing the physically impossible by multiplying fish and bread in order to feed great numbers of people. With this in mind I must ask, "Why is it then impossible for Jesus to do the same with His body and blood in Holy Communion?"
     
  2. Rev. Lowery

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    Its not impossible with God all things are possible!

    Matthew 19:26
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
     
  3. Doubting Thomas

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    Excellent point, Mr. Chemnitz :thumbs:
     
  4. Salty

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  5. Chemnitz

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  6. Chemnitz

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    Since, as Rev. Lowry states, all things are possible for God, why do people then deny that Jesus is offering his body and blood? Why must it be symbolic?
     
  7. donnA

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    Becasue then Jesus would be continuously sacrificed, continuously crucified, not once, but over and over, it would never be finished. But we know it was finished, He is not continually crucified, He died, and rose again. His sacrifice is over. Jesus offered His body and blood on the cross once, and for all time. He no where says he does it continuelly. over and over each time you take communion.
     
  8. Doubting Thomas

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    The problem is that no one (that I'm aware of) who believes in the REAL PRESENCE of Christ's Body and Blood in Holy Communion believes in the straw man caricature that you describe. Our partaking of Holy Communion is our participation in that ONE Sacrifice that Christ gave once for all. In Christ, God and Man, heaven and earth, time and eternity all meet. In the Holy Eucharist that once-for-all sacrifice of Christ--that though offered at a specific point in history has eternal ramifications--is made present to us who approach the Lord's Table in faith. Christ communicates His divinity/humanity to us in the forms of bread and wine and thereby spiritually strengthens us. This is the true anamnesis.
     
    #8 Doubting Thomas, Apr 5, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2007
  9. JFox1

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    That's not a problem for God. He can do all things. :godisgood: :jesus:
     
  10. BobRyan

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    The communion service is a "symbol" of the broken body and spilled blood of Christ, Just as in John 10 "I am the DOOR" just as in John 15 "I am the VINE" -- Christ is not a plant nor even a piece of wood.

    In Matt 16 Christ warns the disciples NOT to take things too literally when symbols are being used ESPECIALLY when the symbol is BREAD.

    6 And Jesus said to them, ""Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.''
    7 They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, ""He said that because
    we did not bring any bread.''
    8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, "" You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread?
    9 ""Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand[/b], and how many baskets full you picked up?
    10 ""Or the seven loaves of the four thousand,[/b] and how many large baskets full you picked up?
    11 ""How is it that you do not understand that [b
    ]I did not speak to you concerning bread?[/b] But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.''
    12 Then they understood that He did not say to
    beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

    In John 6 Christ said he WAS the BREAD that came down out of heaven.

    Again - these are all symbols.

    And in the case of Christ as bread - it is Christ as "The Word" that became flesh and dwelt among us - for as God teaches the lesson of manna is "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  11. BobRyan

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    This is a good point. Instead of a "continual sacrifice THROUGH all of time" we are told in Heb 10 it is a "ONCE FOR ALL TIME" sacrifice that ENDS all other shadow forms of sacrifice.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    Jesus' sacrifice on the cross satisfied God's justice because he was sinless, and did not deserve either physical or spiritual death. He substituted himself for us.

    Had anyone else sought to do the same, they would have gotten what they deserved. They would have been punished for their own sins, but not those of others. And we would still be lost and without hope.

    The fact that Jesus was sinlessly perfect is directly related to his deity. He was all God and all man. Only God is wholly holy.

    The whole of the New Testament emphasizes that there is no more need for sacrifice.

    The flaw in the theology of the Eucharist is that, in describing it as an "unbloody sacrifice," and as a sacrament that imparts grace, is that Paul himself said that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.

    Jesus himself gave the purpose for the Lord's Supper--it is to be done in remembrance of him. No more, no less. A memorial, not a sacrament.
     
  13. Chemnitz

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    Let's all get into the same room here. I am not RCC and already said that I wasn't going to defend their teachings here, so any argument concerning resacrifice is a moot point and wasted internet space since as a Lutheran I do not confess that it is the "unbloody sacrifice".

    Second who said anything about symbolism? Jesus never gave any indication that it was symbolic. So, let's get back to the question at hand.

    If all things are possible for God why is communion not what he says, his body and blood given to us?
     
  14. BobRyan

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    Ok fine - I will post the unnanswered point again -

    The communion service is a "symbol" of the broken body and spilled blood of Christ, Just as in John 10 "I am the DOOR" just as in John 15 "I am the VINE" -- Christ is not a plant nor even a piece of wood.

    In Matt 16 Christ warns the disciples NOT to take things too literally when symbols are being used ESPECIALLY when the symbol is BREAD.


    6 And Jesus said to them, ""Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.''
    7 They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, ""He said that because
    we did not bring any bread.''
    8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, "" You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread?
    9 ""Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand[/b], and how many baskets full you picked up?
    10 ""Or the seven loaves of the four thousand,[/b] and how many large baskets full you picked up?
    11 ""How is it that you do not understand that [b
    ]I did not speak to you concerning bread?[/b] But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.''
    12 Then they understood that He did not say to
    beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

    In John 6 Christ said he WAS the BREAD that came down out of heaven.

    Again - these are all symbols.

    And in the case of Christ as bread - it is Christ as "The Word" that became flesh and dwelt among us - for as God teaches the lesson of manna is "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    Two foundational errors:

    1. You have accused those who disagree with you of denying the Lord's Supper. However, we fully affirm the Lord's Supper as given by Christ and Paul.

    2. You are wrongly framed the debate as one of ability. It is rather one of revealed theology.

    Christ never gave any indication that there was any kind of real presence in the bread and cup. In fact, every indication of Scripture is against it. He called it bread and wine (Matt 26). He clearly used his body metaphorically in images of eating and drinking (John 6). And he called it a remembrance (1 Cor 11). Therefore, we must conclude that the biblical teaching is symbolic. That is the only way to make sense of the passages without doing injustice to the text.

    However, I doubt this will be convincing any more than it was the last hundred times it was pointed out.
     
  16. Chemnitz

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    1. Until you can affirm that Christ does what he says I will maintain that you deny Holy Communion. Affirming the rememberance is only to affirm part of Holy Communion and rather insufficient.

    2. a. I have been told by other Baptists that it is impossible for a body to be used in such a manner because of its finite properties, so yes it is legitimate to front the question as one pertaining to ability.
    b. Umm... I am Lutheran I never denied that the bread and wine are still present. However, I also trust that Jesus is giving me what he says he is giving me namely his body and blood.
    c. Since, we are pulling Paul into the argument, Paul affirms the presence of body and blood by warning us against profaning the body and blood of Christ by our lack of discernment.
    d. Actually, it is much easier to say that Jesus meant what he said and that he is giving his body and blood and that is for the forgiveness of sins and that it is a remembrance. This way does not require wasted effort in trying to say Jesus didn't really mean what he said and it takes into account rather well all that is given.
    e. I unlike the RCC'ers do not jump to John 6 as a prooftext for communion since it is at best an allusion to communion and not a text explaining communion. However, I would point out that Jesus never did anything to correct those who took him to mean he would literally give them his body. In fact, he actually confirms their thoughts.
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    Chemnitz ... Reading the Bible indicates to us that there is no teaching of "real presence." It just isn't there. Every reference in Scripture itself is a memorial reference. Look at the institution of communion at the "last supper." There, it was clearly memorial. There is no indication whatsoever that it was "real presence." Paul himself calls it a memorial. I find that too difficult to get around, even for the sake of theological presuppositions.

    I think this is black and white. For you to deny that I observe communion because I hold to what the Bible says is strange, to say the least.
     
  18. Chemnitz

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    Really? Funny, I seem to recall Jesus saying this is my body and that the cup is his blood. I also seem to recall Paul stating that it is a participation in body and blood of christ. How can it be those things if it is only a memorial? In focusing on the memorial statements you are attempting a false construct in making them the sole arbiter of what is occuring in the Lord's Supper. To do as you claim is to set a statement within context over the other when there is no indication such a thing is to happen. This is a logical fallacy on your part. Everything with the institution of the Lord's supper should and does have equal weight, therefore it must be understood as more than a memorial. To say that Jesus does not mean what he says is to call him a liar and do you really want to do that?
     
    #18 Chemnitz, Apr 6, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2007
  19. Pastor Larry

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    Yes, just like he said "I am the door," and "I am the vine." It is plain that it was metaphorical. I am not sure how he would make it more plain than he did. Paul's comments, in context, make it equally clear. Only with a preconceived bias would it seem possible to miss. Not one disciple gave any indication they thought they were partaking of "real presence." And if the people right there didn't, then why should we? We shouldn't.

    The burden of proof is on you, I think, to show why we should not understand the words normally.
     
  20. Chemnitz

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    Oh, boy it's the I can't argue from the text so I am going to change the text tactic. Come on, let's stick with the text.

    I am the one with the reading that is actually closer to the first level of understanding of the text as I am the one taking the words as they are written, not trying to explain them away. Besides you are the one claiming that Jesus did not mean what he said.

    Please provide proof for this supposed unbelief of the disciples you claim that they had.

    My only preconcieved notion with the text is that I trust that I can take Jesus at his word.

    You are right in that Paul's comments are clear. However, not in the manner you assert. Paul would not be concerned with the profaning of the Body of Christ if it were not present in Holy Communion. He also would not dare to claim that we are partaking in the body of Christ if it were not present. Yet, in all cases he plainly states that the body of Christ is involved.
     
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