When was "Real Presence" first denied?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by trying2understand, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. trying2understand

    trying2understand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    0
    Many of the writings of the early Church speak of a belief in the "Real Presence" of our Lord in the Eucharist.

    When did a Christian group first deny that our Lord is fully present, literally Body and Blood in Communion?

    Anything that you have to offer from Scripture would have to be considered as merely your interpretation. I am interested in other historical documentation on the beliefs of early Christians.

    BTW, for those shocked at my request for evidence other than your interpretation of Scripture, Scripture says, "this is My Body", nowhere does it say, "this is a symbol".

    Ron [​IMG]
     
  2. AITB

    AITB
    Expand Collapse
    <img src="http://www.mildenhall.net/imagemsc/bb128

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    0
    It wasn't Jesus' body and blood though, was it, when he gave the disciples the bread and wine?

    Not literally.

    Or do you think it was?

    AITB
     
  3. DocCas

    DocCas
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    The heresy of "the Real Presense" was denied by the Lord Jesus Christ at the Last Supper. It was obvious to any attendees who were not brain dead that Jesus was speaking metaphorically, for His flesh and blood were sitting there at the table holding the bread and wine. [​IMG]
     
  4. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2001
    Messages:
    4,005
    Likes Received:
    0
    If Scripture is given and it just considered my interpretation, why is it when you cite the"fathers" your interpretation of their writings is authoritative? Can not the writings of the "fathers" be interpreted in various ways?
     
  5. Kiffin

    Kiffin
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    0
    A better question might be was when was Transubstatiatian first espoused. It seems it has it's origins with Thomas Aquinous. Traditional Protestanism has never denied the real presence of Christ at the Lord's Supper. Zwingli did have a view that Christ was as much present at a Bible study as He was at the Lord's Table. That itself is incorrect understanding.

    The 1689 London Baptist Confession stated, Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this ordinance, do them also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of His death; the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.

    The first Archbishop of the Church of England, Thomas Cranmer, who held the Calvinist position and whose view was the same as that of early Baptists, Eucharist prayer reads,
    And we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, to hear us; and, of thy almighty goodness, vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy Word and Holy Spirit, these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine; that we, receiving them according to thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood.

    We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.


    One might think that Cranmer held a Roman Catholic position from those words but actually Article XXVIII of the 39 articles of Religion of the Church of England states,
    Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the 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 an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is Faith.

    At the Lord's Supper we do commune with Christ by faith and spiritualy partake of His Body and Blood. We do not physically eat His body and blood but in a spiritual sense we spiritualy partake of His Body and Blood.

    "Do This in Remebrance of Me" Christ said. But what does "Remembrance" mean. The oriental view of REMEMBRANCE is differant from the Western idea.

    We are called to eat and drink in Remembrance of Him. The Hebrew view of “Remembrance” was not just a mental exercise of remembering Christ death 2,000 years ago. It actually means a recalling of the crucified and Risen Christ in such a way that one made it present and actual. Not Transubstatian which teaches that Christ is recrucified at the Mass and the elements supposely magically cease being Bread and Wine but become the Body and Blood of Christ.

    The term "Remembrance" is not talking about having a meal to simply rememeber Calvary in the same way we remember the birth of the USA on July 4th, Pearl Harbor etc... The Hebrew mindset meant more. The example of the widow of Zarephath in 1 Kings 17:18 is a good illustration of this. She accuses Elijah of recalling her sin from the past; and the result of this remembering is the death of her son. Remember to the Hebrews was to transport an action from the past to the present in such a way that it is personally present today.The idea of the Lord's Supper as a mystical play that the Roman Catholic Church teaches is not the view no more than a naked symbol idea. Remembrance at the Lord's Table was the restoration of this past event and bring it to present, making it a presnt reality.

    There is the danger of teaching the real absence in the Lord's Supper that makes Holy Communion into a funeral service. The current idea of the real absence has it's concept in the 1800's when Baptism and the Lord's Supper were deemphasized. I know of a Pastor when serving Communion told his congregation "This is not the Body and Blood of Christ" :confused: yet is that not correcting Jesus? :eek:

    [ August 29, 2002, 06:36 PM: Message edited by: Kiffin ]
     
  6. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2001
    Messages:
    4,005
    Likes Received:
    0
    The church fathers held a wide variety of views on subjects such as how to interpret John 6 and Christ's presence in the "eucharist". For example, Clement of Alexandria wrote the following about John 6:



    "Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to John, brought this out by symbols,(emphesis mine of course) when He said: "Eat ye my flesh, and drink my blood," describing distinctly by metaphor(emphesis mine again) the drinkable properties of faith and the promise, by means of which the Church, like a human being consisting of many members, is refreshed and grows, is welded together and compacted of both,--of faith, which is the body, and of hope, which is the soul; as also the Lord of flesh and blood. For in reality the blood of faith is hope, in which faith is held as by a vital principle. (The Instructor, 1:6)
     
  7. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,074
    Likes Received:
    102
  8. Kiffin

    Kiffin
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    0
    rsr,

    I think he was trying to over correct Roman Catholic Error and he ended up correcting Jesus. :rolleyes: Thanks for the link. I will read it.
     
  9. CatholicConvert

    CatholicConvert
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    0
    It should be equally clear to anyone who is not mentally impaired that the words "This IS my Body" is a far cry from "This merely represents my Body."

    You flunk English classes, doc? (Means the same thing in the Greek also).

    AITB --

    There is a very good reason why we must partake of Jesus Body and Blood. It has to do with organic unity of the Body of Christ.

    The issue has to do with whether we are "imputed righteousness" as Calvin and Luther taught, that is, we are declared once and for all time perfect in God's sight because God only sees Jesus and not us, or if we are righteous by our union with and outworking of an alien righteousness which enters us and makes us truly righteous by our unity with it.

    Called as sons, we are first made like our Father by the adoption of grace, which takes place in our baptism. Having thus received, if we are imputed righteousness and stand as fully justified before God, why are we called to Theosis, to becoming like Christ? Forensic justification is a declaration that we are already like Christ in God's eyes, for He sees not us, but Christ. If God's declarative justification gives us the perfect righteousness of Christ, then why are we called to grow in holiness? If declarative justification makes us really perfect,where are all the saints in time who suddenly one day were objectively as perfect as Christ upon this earth? If in the forensic model, all we must do is die and we are perfect, why are we warned of the Eschaton Judgement of our works either unto eternal life or eternal death in Romans 2: 6-8? Forensic justification makes this an exercise in silliness. Why judge someone as to whether or not they have been a faithful covenantal son if they are guaranteedto enter Heaven anyway? I hear someone say that it is for determining the rewards in Heaven of the faithful, but that is not the way the verses in Romans are written.

    Sacraments are more than just legal declarations. They are Christ uniting Himself with His beloved Bride in the deepest possible intimacy. Can mere legality replace the heart need we have of experiencing Christ in such intimacy? I think not.

    Even the understanding of the Eucharist suffers from this legalism as Bishop Sutton's paradigm states that Christ is present in kind, but not in substance in the Eucharist. It is the almost-but-not-quite Real Presence, which is certainly not the understanding of the Early Church Fathers. Certainly Christ is ubiquitous, but that was not the understanding of these men who said that when they partook of the elements, they held in their hands the very same Flesh which was crucified for them and drank the very same Blood which was shed for them.

    One must ask why Augustine, Jerome, Clement of Rome, et al would think such a thing. From where did they get such an idea? The pagans? Hardly. It has to be their understanding of the organic unity of the Body of Christ and its members. Just as infused righteousness proves an organic unity with Christ, a true interior unity we can live in and draw strength from, so does the Real Presence of historic Catholicism provide a true and soul nourishing unity with Christ. We are re-infused whenever we thus partake, receiving more than just a restating of imputation, but a restoration of the original righteousness we were infused with at our baptism. Our righteousness, like ocean tides, has high tides and ebbtides. We have, like the Prodigal, wandered away from the household. Maybe not into the land of the swine, but certainly to the outer borders of the Father's Kingdom. Our love wanes, the Holy Spirit is grieved, and we suffer as we become worldly and lose our love for the Father. The Eucharist, when eaten in faith, brings us back into the household and seats us intimately at the Father's table. No mere declaration can do this. I need more than a declaration. I need real, true intimacy with God. And how much more intimately can I experience Him than to do that which He Himself commanded in eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood? It is for this reason that He said, "He who eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has life." Not "He whom the Father has declared to be alive is truly alive."

    Scripture says that the life of the flesh is in the blood. May I apply that also to the life of Christ? The life of Christ is in His Blood, so that in partaking of that Blood, I partake intimately with that Life itself. Will the elect be just legally and declaratively related to God in Heaven, or will they experience an experience of God's love in a similar kind of unity and
    depth such as the Son has with the Father? Bishop Sutton's declarative paradigm gives false comfort to those who hold to the Real Absence in the Lord's Supper. This is a shame. Those who hold that the Table of the Lord is a mere bare remembrance should be confronted with a theology, which carefully presents to them the total bankruptcy of their position and embarrasses them into changing. They are those who stand outside the household and speak of knowing the Father, but they have not come to the Table and experienced the Father through the Son. They have merely heard of Him and know of Him in a pleasant but most distant way. A concise summary of the difference between forensic (or imputed)righteousness and infused righteousness might help clarify the profound distinction I speak
    of.

    I have waxed eloquent in an area which seems to be quite unrelated to the need for the Eucharist to be the true Body and Blood of our Lord. But in truth, these concepts are the foundation of the need for the Real Presence. We are born unrighteous by the mere fact of our organic unity with our father Adam. By being flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, in his loins when he sinned, we also are made very real partakers of and participants in that sin. This is no paper declaration of sin in heaven, but a very real participation in both the sin of Adam and the consequent state of separation from God, called “death”, which is the consequence of that sin. It all comes from our organic union with Adam.

    Therefore, it is equally necessary that we have not just a paper righteousness in Heaven, but a real righteousness coming from an organic unity with one Who is perfectly righteous Himself.

    “Well, surely that is the Spirit of God. We are righteous because we have Him living in us and God sees Him instead of us!”

    WRONG!!

    I ran several computer word searches through my Bible program. I tried every combination of words and phrases which I could find using the words “spirit” and “righteousness”. Time and time again I came up empty. The best I could find was 3 New Testament verses which mention the spirit and righteousness together. And the only one which mentions them in a way that could possibly look supportive of such a notion actually shows that it is CHRIST living in us who is our righteousness, NOT THE SPIRIT OF GOD!! (Romans 8:10). The work of the Holy Spirit, the purpose of His indwelling is as the seal of our faith and the down payment , or earnest, or our inheritance in Christ. He is never described as being our indwelling righteousness.

    Surprised? So was I. I had always held to the Protestant view.

    On the other hand, there are a number of verses which connect Christ with righteousness, most especially in us:

    Ro 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

    I have to jump in right here because I think I hear the sounds of Calvinists doing a victory dance. “See? See? It is FAITH which is our righteousness, not the Eucharist like you insist!”

    Agreed that it is faith. The Catholic Church agrees that faith is essential. But you didn't read the verse real carefully, and your conclusion is what happens when you read Scripture through presuppositional lenses. Read that again – slowly. It is the faith OF Jesus Christ, NOT faith IN Jesus Christ. It is the faith of the One who is Jesus Christ, not YOUR faith in Christ Jesus. Get that straight and you will understand what I am saying.

    Protestants believe that “faith IN Jesus” is some sort of magic key by which the vaults of Heaven are opened and God gives us a gift called righteousness. A gift which is separate from Christ Himself. Yet Scripture here is showing us that righteousness comes through our organic unity with He Who is Himself righteousness. We become righteous by being placed in Him, staying in Him, and keeping Him in us by the reception of the Eucharist.

    Ro 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

    Look at this. Righteousness is a gift. More tellingly is the context in which this verse appears – Romans 5: 12- 19. The whole point of these verses is how we are condemned by our organic union with Adam, without our having done ANYTHING OURSELVES. By union with him, we are separated from God. Therefore, to reverse the process and redeem us from the curse, we MUST BE IN LIKE MANNER ORGANICALLY UNITED TO CHRIST. A paper declaration of innocency does NO SUCH THING!!!

    Ro 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Ro 8:10 ¶ And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

    Oh, look at that! If Christ be IN YOU!! How can Christ be in you except you eat His Flesh and drink His Blood? How can you share in His righteousness in the same organic union you shared in Adam’s unrighteousness unless you somehow unite with His Flesh as you united with Adam’s flesh by your birth? And since Christ is not going to be having a family of faith by the process of having children of His fleshly seed, then God had to find another way. We cannot come forth of His flesh, but his Flesh can come unto and unite within us to give us that righteousness as a real and substantial part of our being.

    Ro 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

    Exactly. Because when we are in Him by baptism, we cease to be in Adam. Our union with Adam placed us under the condemnation of the Law. Our union with Christ places us under the blessing of grace. But how MUCH of Christ we have IN US, how deep that union is determines how righteous we are. The more we receive Him in the Eucharist, the more He permeates our being and conforms us to His righteousness just as the more we received the works of the flesh of Adam, the more we were conformed to evil.

    1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

    It is Christ who is identified as being made unto (or for) us as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Not the Holy Spirit.

    Php 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

    Just as I said above. The more of Christ we have within us, the more we are filled with the fruits of righteousness, which righteousness comes through our organic union with Him. It is faith which causes us to seek this righteousness, faith which brings us to the altar to receive.


    You see? Our fleshly union with Adam separates us from God. Our fleshly union with Jesus reverses that and brings us life. That which was done in the Garden is exactly reversed, and as the eating in the Garden brought death, so the eating in the Church brings life.

    And why can God not be holding in His hand that which has been transformed into His true Flesh and true Blood while still sitting there with the apostles? He raises a man from the dead who is four days dead and STINKIN' and yet you think THIS is somehow too hard for Him? When you make this objection, you have left the realm of the mystery of God and begun to think like one who must UNDERSTAND everything to believe in it. That is not faith.

    Cordially in Christ,

    Brother Ed

    [ August 29, 2002, 11:03 PM: Message edited by: CatholicConvert ]
     
  10. Daniel Vollmer

    Daniel Vollmer
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    In John 6, Jesus said several times that we are to eat his flesh and drink his blood. If you look at the original text, each successive time he says this he becomes more graphic with his words, using the word gnaw for the word eat. Jesus was trying to get the point home with the people there that he meant it literally. It is interesting how many of his followers at that time left him. Notice Jesus didnt say, "hey guys come back I was just speaking symbolically". If he said that he would have been lying. Jesus meant what he said. Jesus knew some would not believe him so he let them go rather than retract his statement. To futher drive it home Jesus started his statements with "Amen, amen, surely I say to you", this shows its an important statement and Jesus keeps repeating it, how much clearer can it be. I am sure the apostles where confused by what he said since they did not know how they could eat his flesh and drink his blood, but at the last supper he showed the apostles how it could be done.

    Another interesting thing is that just prior to this Jesus multied the loaves of bread. This could be symbolic of how he can feed all people with the bread of life.

    The Holy Eucharist is the greatest of sacraments because it allows us to physically join with our Lord Jesus, not just in spirit but physically.

    One final note, if the last supper was only symbolic, what would be the purpose of doing something symbolic in remembrance of something symbolic, doesnt make any sense.

    Yours in Christ
    Daniel
     
  11. DocCas

    DocCas
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    No CC, I actually understand English quite well. Are you aware there is something called a "figure of speech?" These figures of speech may consist of asyndeton, aphaeresis, apocope, aposiopesis, meiosis, tapeinosis, catabasis, syllogismus, enthymema, homoeopropheron, homoeoteleuton, homoeoptoton, paromoeosis, acrostichion, epizeuxis, anophora, epanalepsis, polysyndeton, paradiastole, epistrophe, epiphoza, epanadiplosis, epadiplosis, anadiplosis, mesarchia, mesodiplosis, mesoteleuton, repetitio, and so on and so on and so on. I could go on for several pages, but I think you may get the idea. Now, in reference to the verse in question.

    Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

    Mark 14:22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.

    Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

    The whole figure, in a metaphor, lies, in the verb substantive "is"; and not in either of the two nouns; and it is a remarkable fact that, when a pronoun is used instead of one of the nouns (as it is here), and the two nouns are of different genders, the pronoun is always made to agree in gender with that noun to which the meaning is carried across, and not with the noun from which it is carried, and to which it properly belongs. This at once shows us that a figure of speech is being employed; when a pronoun, which ought, according to the laws of language, to agree in gender with its own noun, is changed, and made to agree with the noun which, by metaphor represents it.

    Here, for example, the pronoun "this" (τουτο), is neuter, and thus made to agree with "body" (σωμα), which is neuter, and not with bread ('αρτοσ) which is masculine. (Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, Bullinger, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI 1968)

    If we actually study our bible instead of studying what others say about our bibles we will note this figure of speech used over and over again in the bible.

    Matt 13:19-23 and 37-43.

    "He that soweth the good seed is (i.e., represents) the world."

    "The good seed are (represent) the children of the kingdom."

    "But the tares are (represent) the children of the wicked one."

    "The enemy that sowed them is (represents) the devil."

    "The harvest is (represents) the end of the world."

    "And the reapers are (represent) the angels.

    In all of these cases the verb could correctly be rendered, "represents."

    So, in the words of Christ, "this is (represents) my body."

    We see this over and over again.

    Jesus said in John 10, "I am the door." Was Jesus a door? Solid core or hollow core? Window or no window? Pass through knob, or lockable knob? Dead bolt lock? Little peek hole to see who is on the other side? No? You mean he as speaking metaphorically?

    Puuuuhhhhleeeeeeaaaaaassssseeeee! This is not rocket science! This is 6th grade English! And first year Greek!

    [ August 29, 2002, 11:50 PM: Message edited by: DocCas ]
     
  12. AITB

    AITB
    Expand Collapse
    <img src="http://www.mildenhall.net/imagemsc/bb128

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    0
    I see but I don't agree. You make it sound as if someone who eats two wafers/pieces of bread is going to be more righteous than someone who just has one.

    The idea that we need to 'eat' Jesus' body and 'drink' His blood literally and that's what makes our own self/body more righteous seems very strange to me and counter to how people actually become more righteous. James wrote that our trials make us mature. That makes more sense to me than that eating a bit of bread/wafer does.

    Not only that but Jesus clearly said that what we eat can't make us unclean. (Thus declaring all foods clean, the Bible says). So how can it make us clean, if it can't make us unclean? Surely he was denouncing any beliefs that attach spiritual value to actual foodstuffs.

    I am open to the idea that Jesus is 'especially present' at communion/mass/the Eucharist/the Lord's Supper, but personally I think it's the communion with the Lord which is significant rather than the ingested substances.

    AITB [​IMG]
     
  13. CatholicConvert

    CatholicConvert
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you, doc. That is a most interesting post. Are those Greek words you used in the first part of your post actual terms of figures of speech, or are they Greek words which may have several meanings as figures of speech depending upon their useage.

    Of course, the real issue for me comes when I look at those in the first and second century who actually spoke Greek. My understanding and your understanding simply cannot be the same as the man who speaks it fluently, no matter how hard we try.

    This brings up the question of WHY then did they believe in the Real Presence at such an early time in Christianity. Beyond all our arguing, beyond all our discussion, I simply could not get over the fact that the first couple of centuries of Christians believed as a body that the holy mysteries upon the altar really and truly did become the Flesh and Blood of the Lord.

    I would have to imagine that they were at least as well educated as you appear to be, that they knew Greek considerably better than both of us, having it as the "lingua fraca" of that time, and that furthermore, they were taught by a group of men who sat at the feet of Jesus and passed on what He said.

    As we know, not everything Jesus ever said or did found its way into the pages of holy writ. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to believe that at some point in time, the apostles got further instruction upon the nature of this gift from God.

    Let me ask this question: suppose, just suppose, that you really do wind up being right, that at the Judgement Seat we find that all it was indeed was bread and wine. Is God going to be mad at me because I believed what I read in John 6 and believed the witness of other believers? I thought that believing what Jesus said is called faith. I just happen to have come to a point that my understanding, based on certain covenantal issues, agrees with the need for the Real Presence, and this considerably colors my understanding of John 6, just as your Baptist views color it another way.

    Cordially in Christ,

    Brother Ed
     
  14. CatholicConvert

    CatholicConvert
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    0
    I see but I don't agree. You make it sound as if someone who eats two wafers/pieces of bread is going to be more righteous than someone who just has one.

    And I appreciate that while you do not agree, I don't have to endure the gratuituous insults some others feel the need to throw around.

    I apologize for the lack of clarity in my wording. When I say that "the more of Jesus we have within us" I meant to speak more on the effect of sin, which diminuates His presence in grace. I was not speaking of a quantity having Him, but of a quality, which you correctly pointed out. I will have to go back and edit that statement to make it more clear of understanding.

    Sin kills the grace in our lives by separating us from the life of Christ. As a covenant, our lives are united in a divine wedlock with our divine Bridegroom. This is most intimately set forth in type by the "one flesh" relationship of a husband and wife. The "one flesh" intimacy is an act of mutual agreement of wills in which the union of both in love is expressed physically. It is a picture of our relationship with the Lord, for in the Bible we see the language of marriage and physical intimacy used in both good and bad ways.

    The submission of our wills to that of God is an act of union with Him. The more we unite our wills to His, the greater our "one flesh" union. Conversely, when we choose our own way, also known as sin, we do damage to our relationship with Him.

    In the Eucharist, we not only recieve Jesus, we submit to His wishes that we eat the Bread of Life, which He called "true Bread from Heaven", and we recieve forgiveness of sins, since it is true sacrifice, not repeated, but made truly present for us. God's timeless eternity becomes present in time, for the Lamb of God, fresh crucified, is ever present before the Father as the Sacrifice for all mankind.

    This is why Jesus could say "he who eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life." We become one and united with He Who IS eternal life. The marriage is complete only when two become one. Likewise, our marriage to Him is complete only when we experience oneness with His Flesh.

    The idea that we need to 'eat' Jesus' body and 'drink' His blood literally and that's what makes our own self/body more righteous seems very strange to me and counter to how people actually become more righteous.

    Okay, for the sake of further discussion, I'll ask. How do people become more righteous?

    James wrote that our trials make us mature. That makes more sense to me than that eating a bit of bread/wafer does.

    The exercise of faith is what makes us more righteous, because Romans says that faith is righteousness. But faith is works, not sitting around thinking orthodox thoughts about God. Thus, to believe that the holy mysteries really are the Flesh and Blood of Jesus the Christ, and then to act upon that faith, is an act of faith which is righteous. That is why St. Paul WARNS against unworthy partaking. If these elements are mere bread and wine, why the bother over it? How does mere bread and wine make one sick unto death?

    To recieve the Eucharist without the proper accompanying faith is to "eat and drink damnation unto themselves". Faith is indeed the proper foundation of the Sacrament, but ACTING UPON that faith is the correct response.

    To have "faith alone" and say that this makes you righteous is the same as having the marriage certificate in your hands and believe in it, but never enter the bedroom to consumate the union of marriage. Without the marriage certificate, the act is sin, but the certificate without the act of love is a sterile and barren relationship.

    Not only that but Jesus clearly said that what we eat can't make us unclean. (Thus declaring all foods clean, the Bible says). So how can it make us clean, if it can't make us unclean? Surely he was denouncing any beliefs that attach spiritual value to actual foodstuffs.

    Dear, this is semi-gnosticism. The Gnostics believe that the world and our bodies are of no consequence. Therefore, they deny the resurrection and state that what we do with our bodies is of no consequence, since they are not real. To them, only the "spiritual" is real. Protestantism is semi-gnostic (probably without realizing it) because it refuses to allow for God using physical matter to be a source of His grace and blessing to us. Yet we were created PHYSICAL and EARTHLY creatures with bodies, which have been affected by the Fall. Why then would God NOT include our physical beings in His redemptive process? And why would He not use the physical to bless the physical?

    I am open to the idea that Jesus is 'especially present' at communion/mass/the Eucharist/the Lord's Supper, but personally I think it's the communion with the Lord which is significant rather than the ingested substances.

    I thank you for both your gracious tone in disagreement and your openness to discussion. I continue to meditate upon the marital relationship and our relationship with the Lord because there is so much in Scripture in which our God uses the earthly shadows of marriage to speak of spiritual realities which we cannot see.
    The parallels, which speak to the love Christ has for us, and the union we experience in Him, are both striking and beautiful. I might suggest this would be a real nice area of study for you with a concordance and a pen in hand. :D

    Thanks for your reply.

    Cordially in Christ,

    Brother Ed
     
  15. trying2understand

    trying2understand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    0
    That would be your "interpretation".

    That is not consistent with historical evidence of what early Christians believed.
     
  16. trying2understand

    trying2understand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, absolutely, whole heartedly and without reservation. [​IMG]
     
  17. trying2understand

    trying2understand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    0
    What I am looking for is historical evidence that early Christians rejected the notion that our Lord is literally present in Communion.

    In that there is much evidence that early Christians believed in the "Real Presence", would it not make sense that some Christian somewhere who rejected that doctrine would object. Where is that evidence.

    I understand that there is also historical evidence that pagans of that time claimed that Christians ate human meat and drank human blood.
     
  18. trying2understand

    trying2understand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is not what the Church teaches.

    Christ is not "resacrificed" at Mass. Rather, we enter into the "ongoing" sacrifice and offer our own petitions to the Father through it.

    It is not "magic", our Lord makes Himself present.

    I must be honest, as a Catholic, when a non-Catholic incorrectly attempts to tell me what the Catholic Church teaches or incorrectly tells me what Catholic's believe, it is very easy to dismiss them as not knowing what they are talking about.

    If one wishes convert others, it is probably better to not begin by blowing one's credibility.

    Ron

    [ August 30, 2002, 08:59 AM: Message edited by: trying2understand ]
     
  19. AITB

    AITB
    Expand Collapse
    <img src="http://www.mildenhall.net/imagemsc/bb128

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi CatholicConvert

    I will try to summarize my comments since my attempt at line-by-line answer got lost due to too many smilies...ack!!!

    Re: tone - I try to remain respectful and gracious although I don't always succeed at it. I don't see that getting angry or rude does anything but distract and detract from substantive discussion and besides, I think it's not pleasing to God to behave that way.

    Re: marriage imagery - I agree on the value of it; I've done some study of it myself. However you are using the imagery of marriage consummation - the physical relationship - and my understanding is that we aren't married yet - we are only 'betrothed' - because Rev 19:6-9 speaks of the wedding supper as an event which comes after Jesus' return for His prospective bride:

    I thought it was very neat to hear how John 14 is a picture of a Jewish wedding also and this ties in with us not being married yet...in John 14 Jesus says he is leaving but his father is preparing a place for us and he'll come back and take us to be where he is. Evidently in a Jewish wedding, the father builds an apartment for the son and prospective wife to live in, and on a day which is a surprise to the prospective bride, the son goes to fetch her, they get married and then live in the apartment.

    So, we aren't married until Jesus returns for us...

    Also, you talked about whether faith alone means anything. Ah, the Great Debate over faith and works!!! I can't use the word 'righteousness' the way you do - it's a language barrier between Prots and Catholics. How about if I talk about obedience and pleasing God and being like Christ instead...so, consider two believers - one goes to Communion and one stays in bed. The one who went was more obedient/pleasing to God/like Christ [in obeying] than the one who stayed in bed, putting his/her own physical comfort first. It was the obedience and faith that made the difference, not that the one who went ingested some mystically special substances that the other didn't ingest. Also Jesus said 'when two or three are gathered in my name I am there with them" (Matt 18:20) and that's what I see as the meaning of 'real presence' - the one who went experienced that, through his/her faith and obedience; the other didn't.

    As for Paul's words - surely God chastens any disobedient believer and anyone who treats something holy/sacred, lightly. So of course God will not be pleased with those who make light of the handed-down sacred ritual/ceremony of communion. It's not because the foodstuffs are special. It's because it's very serious to not treat as holy what God considers holy. In my opinion.

    Anyway do you think that the elements really change their physical composition?

    And what good would it do us spiritually if they did? If bread and wine changed into human flesh and blood? It would just be a 'different type of food' (sorry to be so graphic). Nothing more, spiritually.

    No, I'm not being semi-gnostic. Physical food blesses our physical bodies nutritionally and God gave us sunshine, exercise, etc, also to bless us.

    But, physical can't beget spiritual. Therefore, physical foodstuffs do not confer spiritual benefits. It's what goes along with them that do so. It's God's response to our obedience in faith which changes us. Not the bits of food. Or so I believe.

    Did you see that part of my answer followed your question - trials are one means...but as I said, to use the word 'righteousness' in this way is a stumblingblock to Protestants so I would rather not. (Although it's probably quite consistent with the OT uses of the word [​IMG] ) Protestants see righteousness as imputed and binary - you either have Christ's perfect righteousness imputed or you don't. So that's why I talk about being Christlike/pleasing God/obedience - which are terms to do with 'sanctification', 'salvation' having been secured for those who believe by God, which is when we were counted totally righteous.

    (But experientially there's generally a lot of room for improvement... [​IMG] )

    In one way I completely agree and that's exactly why I don't want to focus on the food! Because what's the difference between sitting around thinking orthodox thoughts about God and sitting around thinking orthodox thoughts about God while taking a sip of wine and eating a tiny wafer/cracker/piece of bread?

    In another way, I highly value reflection/introspection/prayer so - I can't set that aside as worthless. After all, some people stay busy just to avoid seeing the truth about themselves. They would do much better to sit still and face it in the stillness and silence where it's hardest to shut out the still small voice of God...

    I think we're somewhat agreed in our 'big picture' of what it means to please God - even if we don't agree on all the details. I appreciate the thoughtfulness of your response, Brother Ed.

    AITB [​IMG]
     
  20. DocCas

    DocCas
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Simple. They didn't!
    Yes, of course. And it was this "further instruction" that somehow didn't make it into the bible that the "Heavens Gate" cult used, that Jonestown used, and, of course, we can't overlook the "advanced revelation" of Peter Ruckman! All coming from the same source as your "further instruction" that, somehow failed to get written down! Arguments from silence are always specious!
     

Share This Page

Loading...