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  #11  
Old 17th March 2011, 01:19 AM
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Okay, I've never been Catholic. This is a topic I've been thinking about - and I've heard quite a bit of argument against it.

First, many of those who condemn the Eucharist as being Christ will at the same time believe there is healing in an anointed piece of cloth. There is little difference in my opinion. The fact that one believes on Jesus Christ as his/her Lord and Savior is all that really matters.

It's like when Paul spoke about the meat offered at the temple. Some considered it a sin to eat it while others didn't and had a meal. It's all personal and doesn't in any way change or nullify salvation.

The Eucharist is not necessarily the body and blood of Christ to me; still, I take communion, and that is very sacred and precious to me.

My opinion; there is too much effort by Believers to tear apart other Believers.
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  #12  
Old 17th March 2011, 07:04 AM
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Brother, Christ himself stated "take eat This is My body" it is undeniable that The Eucharist spiritually transforms into Christ, and no, I disagree that faith is all you need for many will say "Lord Lord" and He will state "DEPART FROM ME!".

The thing is many believe we are in the end times, I agree, why then do they willfully ignore this statement "for they will heap up teachers for themselves to scratch their itching ears". If you do not have valid Apostolic succession in your Church then of course you will believe that the Eucharist is symbolic! Because you have a teacher that you "heaped up" for yourselves and does not have authority to distribute sacraments because he or she! Has not had the laying of the hands.
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Old 17th March 2011, 07:11 AM
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And it does affect salvation "truly truly I say to you, whosoever eats my body and drinks my blood, dwells in me and I in him, and I will raise him Up on the last day and he shall pass from judgement unto life eternal" paraphrased. Sounds rather important to me.
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Old 17th March 2011, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Macarius View Post
I believe the Eucharist to be Christ's body and blood, even as the human man Christ was and is the fullness of Divinity.
I can't find it, but I believe John Calvin said the same.

The problem with this whole matter is that words can be bent, stretched and twisted into all sorts of philosophical constructs.

I think most can agree that the "Zwinglian" (though some argue that even he would reject those who later bore his name) view that it's purely and simply a memorial--that whatever "grace" is conveyed is a matter of each individual receiving some visible, earthly, tangible assurance that Christ is really his savior, etc...that this is out of bounds with historic Christian belief.

Ignatius of Antioch had his famous line rejecting the Donatists because "they do not believe the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Lord Jesus" (paraphrased).

Now, the Donatists explicitly denied that Christ ever had a body. Thus the Eucharist had to have been something else. So Christians who deny the real presence in the Eucharist aren't obviously Donatists, although Ignatius may think their practice says otherwise. I believe a lot of the fathers down through the ages would have seen such a view as at least implicitly rejecting the incarnation.

When you get into "classical" views of this, certainly both RC and EO take it literally. This IS my body. Luther and his followers likewise took and take it seriously (the legend goes that Luther carved it into a table with a knife and then walked out on a debate). No mistaking that.

Calvin is a slippery character on this, though, because while he held that the presence in the Eucharist is spiritual, he nonetheless seems to have really believed that Christians do literally receive the true body and blood. It almost seems to have been like Christians are sort of mystically brought up to heaven into the presence of Christ, where they receive him mystically. This doesn't sound far off from the EO view of the Liturgy. However, where the EO (seems to me) believe that we are brought into the presence of God in our entirety (both spiritually and physically, across the bounds of time or space), Calvin seemed (and I could be wrong...his theology was extremely nuanced and complex) to hold that we are brought spiritually into the presence of Christ while we physically remain present on earth. Of course there can't really be a separation, since to separate body from spirit is to...well, die...so I'm not sure I really understand that.

I've wondered, rightly or wrongly, if Calvin wasn't trying to walk an impossible tightrope of rejecting medeival Roman Catholicism, while trying to remain truly "catholic" and true to the ancient church as he understood it.

One could ask, had he not been rejecting the RC view of the Eucharist (which of course was by then functionally inseparable from host-worship, transubstantiation, merit theology, purgatory, indulgences, Pope-with-keys-to-treasury, superarogation, and countless other things), whether he would have still been led to reject the physical real presence.

My 2 cents, and worth every penny.

From an article analyzing Calvin's approach to "divinization":

While participation in Christ in the Lord's Supper is inseparably connected with [the "horizontal" communion with other believers] and the broader duties of charity, this does not stop Calvin from emphasizing the significance of the vertical communion which takes place in the sacrament. The Lord's Supper involves a "true participation in Christ himself. For those benefits would not come to us unless Christ first made himself ours." Thus, in the Supper believers "grow into one body" with Christ and become "partakers of his substance, that we may also feel his power in partaking of all his benefits." Indeed, Calvin appropriates the notion in Cyril's theology that the flesh of Christ is "life-giving," "pervaded with the fullness of life" and then "transmitted to us" in the Lord's Supper. In one of his many summaries of Cyril, Calvin says that "the flesh of Christ is made vivifying by the agency of the Spirit, so that Christ is in us because the Spirito f God dwells in us." This language of vivification is included in Calvin's liturgy for the Lord's Supper in Geneva. Through the Supper, the souls of the faithful are "nourished and vivified with his [Jesus Christ's] substance." This is followed by a participation of the believer in the ascension of Christ, wherein believers are "raised above all terrestrial objects, and carried as high as heaven, to enter the kingdom of God where he dwells." Through the power of the Spirit, believers participate in the ascent of Christ.
And a footnote reads:

With the eucharistic dispute, the central issue is how one partakes of the "substance" of Christ in the eucharist. Calvin gives a strongly pneumatological account of this participation, claiming that his opponents fail to give sufficient weight to the Spirit as the mode by which believers partake of the flesh of Christ.
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Old 17th March 2011, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Christ's_Warrior View Post
Brother, Christ himself stated "take eat This is My body" it is undeniable that The Eucharist spiritually transforms into Christ, and no, I disagree that faith is all you need for many will say "Lord Lord" and He will state "DEPART FROM ME!".

The thing is many believe we are in the end times, I agree, why then do they willfully ignore this statement "for they will heap up teachers for themselves to scratch their itching ears". If you do not have valid Apostolic succession in your Church then of course you will believe that the Eucharist is symbolic! Because you have a teacher that you "heaped up" for yourselves and does not have authority to distribute sacraments because he or she! Has not had the laying of the hands.
This.
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Old 17th March 2011, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by wturri78 View Post
I.

When you get into "classical" views of this, certainly both RC and EO take it literally. This IS my body. Luther and his followers likewise took and take it seriously (the legend goes that Luther carved it into a table with a knife and then walked out on a debate). No mistaking that.
This is the one thing I can give to Marin Luther, he vehemently defended the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Another legend goes he was debating theology with another major figure of the time (name of the other escapes me) and they were both enjoying some pints of Beer. His opponent said the Eucharist was merely a symbol. Luther got angry and began banging his stein against the table shouting "Hoc est ENIM corpus meum!" This is of course Latin for, "This is my Body", the emphasis on Enim (is), was Luthers.
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Old 18th March 2011, 08:05 PM
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In the 6th Chapter of John's gospel, Jesus tells us to "gnaw on" his body, and says it over and over again. Many left because the teaching was so difficult.

I am Anglican. I wonder how different we are from our Orthodox brothers and sisters, and from our Methodist brothers and sisters. Sometimes, I think we need to continue to remind those who do not believe in the Real presence that their view is a decidly aberrent one in the Church.

As our Church fathers have taught us: God is our Father, the Church is our Mother, we are born from above in the one Baptism and we eat and drink our spiritual food in the Eucharist.

For me, it is critical to believe that we truly receive Jesus. A memorial-only ordinance is NOT spiritual food.

==========================================
Methodism - Real Presence as "Holy Mystery"
According to the United Methodist Church,
Jesus Christ, who "is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being" (Hebrews 1:3), is truly present in Holy Communion. Through Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit, God meets us at the Table. God, who has given the sacraments to the church, acts in and through Holy Communion. Christ is present through the community gathered in Jesus' name (Matthew 18:20), through the Word proclaimed and enacted, and through the elements of bread and wine shared (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). The divine presence is a living reality and can be experienced by participants; it is not a remembrance of the Last Supper and the Crucifixion only.[8]The followers of John Wesley, the clergymen, have typically affirmed that the sacrament of Holy Communion is an instrumental Means of Grace through which the real presence of Christ is communicated to the believer,[9] but have otherwise allowed the details to remain a mystery.[8] In particular, Methodists reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation (see "Article XVIII" of the Articles of Religion, Means of Grace). In 2004, the United Methodist Church affirmed its view of the sacrament and its belief in the Real Presence in an official document entitled This Holy Mystery. Of particular note here is the church's unequivocal recognition of the anamnesis as more than just a memorial but, rather, a re-presentation of Christ Jesus: Christ is also spiritually at Holy Commuinion for other churches it may vary.
Holy Communion is remembrance, commemoration, and memorial, but this remembrance is much more than simply intellectual recalling. "Do this in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25) is anamnesis (the biblical Greek word). This dynamic action becomes re-presentation of past gracious acts of God in the present, so powerfully as to make them truly present now. Christ is risen and is alive here and now, not just remembered for what was done in the past.
A United Methodist minister consecrates the elements


This affirmation of Real Presence can be seen clearly illustrated in the language of the United Methodist Eucharistic Liturgy (for example: Word and Table 1) where, in the epiclesis of the Great Thanksgiving, the celebrating minister prays over the elements:
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.For most United Methodists and, indeed, for much of Methodism as a whole this reflects the furthest extent to which they are willing to go in defining Real Presence. They will assert that Jesus is really present, and that the means of this presence is a "Holy Mystery"; the celebrating minister will pray for the Holy Spirit to make the elements "be the body and blood of Christ," and the congregation will even sing, as in the third stanza of Charles Wesley's hymn Come Sinners to the Gospel Feast:
Come and partake the gospel feast,be saved from sin, in Jesus rest;O taste the goodness of our God,and eat his flesh and drink his blood.However, beyond this degree of specificity most Methodists will not go. For them, the affirmation of Real Presence, as in the above references, is sufficient for them to know and partake of the sacrament in a worthy manner.
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Old 19th March 2011, 11:37 AM
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"Since Christ Himself has said, "This is My Body" who shall dare to doubt that It is His Body?" -St. Cyril of Jerusalem
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Old 20th March 2011, 06:52 AM
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Many do, it's rather unfortunate.
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Old 21st March 2011, 08:22 AM
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In Ignatius of Antioch's letters, it's the Docetists who abstain from the Eucharist, because they can't bring themselves to believe in a God who would take on human flesh.

I believe in the Real Presence because it affirms the hypostatic union portrayed in the Gospels: God meets us in our personal lives, in our society, in our flesh.

It can't happen the other way round, and any attempt to make the communion purely 'spiritual' or 'symbolic' is to make a Babel out of bread.
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