Priesthood vs. the Real Presence & the Early Church

JM

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At the beginning of John's gospel - it is stated that the Word became flesh. Does that not make consuming the Word the same as consuming His flesh?
I think I know what you mean, and if it's what I think, yes.
 
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FaithT

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Great reply, and I'm seeking and open. Have you found a church home where you fit?

Honestly as much as I love the preaching - it's super solid and Spirit filled at the non-denominational, I am not doing back flips over their thoughts on commuion, and possibly baptism.
My LCMS worship service is similar to a non denominational (ND) church. We’ve got a great praise band, screens on the walls, message series etc. It’s nothing similar to a RCC Mass like another Lutheran church I’d been to. BUT we also have the Eucharist on the first and third Sunday on the month. are there any contemporary Lutheran churches near you?
 
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FaithT

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You do realize the concept of priesthood doesn't require apostolic succession? Likewise, the doctrine of the Real Presence does not require a priesthood.

One can be a commited Protestant and yet affirm the presence of Christ in the sacrament.
I’m just jumping in here and haven’t read the entire thread, yet, but can you tell us a little more about the Real Presence not needing a priesthood? As a former Catholic I was taught that the only valid Eucharist is one that an ordained priest can confect.
 
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FireDragon76

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I’m just jumping in here and haven’t read the entire thread, yet, but can you tell us a little more about the Real Presence not needing a priesthood?

In the traditional Lutheran and Reformed understanding of the Sacrament, the presence of Christ is due to Christ's institution, not a human priesthood.

For the purposes of good order, however, only called and ordained ministers should administer the Sacrament.
 
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FaithT

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In the traditional Lutheran and Reformed understanding of the Sacrament, the presence of Christ is due to Christ's institution, not a human priesthood.

For the purposes of good order, however, only called and ordained ministers should administer the Sacrament.
Is this a belief that goes back to Christ and is it Biblical? Where did the idea that only an ordained RC priest can confect the Eucharist come from?
 
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FireDragon76

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Is this a belief that goes back to Christ and is it Biblical?

You'll find a variety of perspectives in Church history about the nature and use of the sacraments.

Is it biblical? I guess it depends on what you mean by biblical. It was a response to the theological challenges of the time.

Where did the idea that only an ordained RC priest can confect the Eucharist?

It evolved gradually, like the rest of the history of doctrine in the Church. It certainly existed, in a less developed form, as an opinion in the Patristic period of the early Church, but I'm not convinced that it would have been as elaborately articulated.

There were a variety of other perspectives on the Eucharist as well- there wasn't one theological tradition in the early Church, there were several. It's arguable that Augustine had a more Platonic, and less Aristotilian understanding of the sacrament (that the bread and wine are outward symbols that participate in Christ).

Recent scholarship has tended to point towards the early Christian community seeing the Eucharist confected as a result of the entire gathered community participating in a sacrificial rite with a specific structure. The term Eucharist itself means "great thanksgiving", and it was the act of thanksgiving and the remembrance of the salvific works of God, rather than a specific act of a priest (such as the Words of Institution, which was the later western medieval view) that confected the Sacrament. You can still see this in surviving documents, such as the Didache, that speak of the Eucharist as a sacrifice, but mention nothing about a separate priesthood.
 
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Markie Boy

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The Didache is vague on the Eucharist as sacrifice. The way I read it, I think they are talking about the sacrifice of praise of our lips and ourselves as living Sacrifice. These are the only sacrifices to be offered that I see in the NT after the cross. The Didache is, I think, referencing this.
 
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Markie Boy

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It is interesting - but all the Saints are really just sharing thoughts and opinions, not of much more weight than our own. The ones listed are so far removed from the Apostles they can claim direct teaching or influence. They are all post-Nicea, which is pretty huge. Augustine planted as many troublesome ideas as helpful ones probably.
 
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o_mlly

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In the church we are told there were only two offices in running the church, Elders, sometimes translated bisops, and deacons.
Early Christianity developed a visible human organization, known as clergy, primarily to administer the sacraments. These successors to the twelve apostles came to be called bishops and, under their leadership, the Church grew organically for the first four centuries. Bishops and their helpers, presbyters and deacons, instructed and baptized the catechumens bringing them into the community. The new members in time catechized others and the movement grew at a natural geometric rate. Theodosius’ action, however, accelerated Christianity’s growth rate (being Christian now had positive political consequences; not being Christian, negative consequences) beyond the organization’s ability to indoctrinate newcomers in the ordinary way. As a result, new members were poorly formed in the faith, and heresies resulted. The Church, to protect its unity, responded by centralizing its authority. Ecumenical in their formation, but central in their governance, the early councils prototyped the preferred method, the conciliar method, for resolving attacks on the oneness of the Church. This new ecclesiology for projecting its authority emphasized the institutional model of Church and mimicked the political structure of the time, centralized Roman governance.

The idea of “office” now developed within the Church organization. The local churches had designated their ministers based upon the needs of the community and the gifts, or charisms, of individuals in the community. Therefore, the Holy Spirit, the source of all charisms, provided the community with ministers (the bishop and his deacons) to teach, heal and govern as needed. A new notion of “office,” while not totally displacing the Holy Spirit as the ultimate source of charism, instigated a process of ordination as an intermediate and necessary step to the empowerment of those in pastoral care. By virtue of ordination, the individual became endowed with the authority and responsibility of the pastoral office. Teachers, healers and rulers who were, heretofore, acknowledged by local acclamation, now required official proclamation and that proclamation was no longer local, but from afar.
 
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HARK!

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Markie Boy

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Early Christianity developed a visible human organization, known as clergy, primarily to administer the sacraments. These successors to the twelve apostles came to be called bishops and, under their leadership, the Church grew organically for the first four centuries. Bishops and their helpers, presbyters and deacons, instructed and baptized the catechumens bringing them into the community. The new members in time catechized others and the movement grew at a natural geometric rate. Theodosius’ action, however, accelerated Christianity’s growth rate (being Christian now had positive political consequences; not being Christian, negative consequences) beyond the organization’s ability to indoctrinate newcomers in the ordinary way. As a result, new members were poorly formed in the faith, and heresies resulted. The Church, to protect its unity, responded by centralizing its authority. Ecumenical in their formation, but central in their governance, the early councils prototyped the preferred method, the conciliar method, for resolving attacks on the oneness of the Church. This new ecclesiology for projecting its authority emphasized the institutional model of Church and mimicked the political structure of the time, centralized Roman governance.

The idea of “office” now developed within the Church organization. The local churches had designated their ministers based upon the needs of the community and the gifts, or charisms, of individuals in the community. Therefore, the Holy Spirit, the source of all charisms, provided the community with ministers (the bishop and his deacons) to teach, heal and govern as needed. A new notion of “office,” while not totally displacing the Holy Spirit as the ultimate source of charism, instigated a process of ordination as an intermediate and necessary step to the empowerment of those in pastoral care. By virtue of ordination, the individual became endowed with the authority and responsibility of the pastoral office. Teachers, healers and rulers who were, heretofore, acknowledged by local acclamation, now required official proclamation and that proclamation was no longer local, but from afar.

I would say that's a reasonable description from a Catholic perspective, and in general.

I think it also supports the point that - no place in the New Testament are Christian Priests ordained - never called a priest. There are two priesthoods clearly stated - the High Priesthood of Jesus, and Priesthood of all believers. That's it.

This to me proves the idea of Christian priests is a wrong teaching that evolved, and spread to almost all Christianity for centuries.

Anyone agree?
 
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The Liturgist

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Out of curiosity what about the Church of Sweden and the other Scandinavian Lutheran Churches that made a point of retaining Apostolic Succession?

My understanding is that Martin Luther regarded Apostolic Succession and the existence of an Episcopate as adiaphora, where he did not define doctrine.
 
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