Saturday, February 3, 2018

Is The Roman Catholic Eucharist Logical?

  • Roman Catholic Teaching On Transubstantiation:
          -"In the New Testament, the memorial takes on new meaning. When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ's Passover, and it is made present the sacrifice Christ offered once for all on the cross remains ever present. "As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which 'Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed' is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out." (CCC # 1364)
          -"By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity." (CCC # 1413)
          -"Then the Liturgy of the Eucharist began. I watched and listened as the priest pronounced the words of consecration and elevated the host. And I confess, the last drop of doubt drained away that moment. I looked and said, "My Lord and my God." As the people began going forward to receive communion, I literally began to drool, "Lord, I want you. I want communion more fully with you. You've come into my heart. You've become my personal Savior and Lord, but now I think You want to come onto my tongue and into my stomach, and into my body as well as my soul until this communion is complete." (Scott Hahn, Rome Sweet Home)
  • A Logical Critique Of Roman Catholic Transubstantiation: 
          1.) Why would somebody eat human flesh and drink human blood? Is not cannibalism a sign of divine judgment (Leviticus 26:29; Deuteronomy 28:53-57; Ezekiel 5:10)?

          2.) Scripture defines the "gospel" as believing from the heart in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). How come the eucharist is never included in a biblical presentation of the gospel message? How come the earliest church creeds mention nothing about Roman Catholic transubstantiation as being an essential article of the Christian faith?

          3.) How does the alleged power of transubstantiation not imply that the authority of the parish priest is superior to that Jesus Christ? Does he somehow become the creator of the Creator?

          4.) If we must interpret the bread of life discourse in John 6 literally because our Lord Jesus Christ had stated six times to "eat His flesh and drink His blood," then why must we accept what Catholics say when they claim that the term "thousand years" in Revelation 20 is symbolic, yet repeated six times, in support of amillennialism? How does repetition translate into literalness?

          5.) Did not Jesus Christ literally say that all who eat His flesh and drink His blood will receive everlasting life (John 6:54)? Would that include unrepentant pagans and atheists? If we are going to be consistent with the literalist interpretation of the Bread of Life Discourse, then should people who eat Christ's flesh and drink His blood (i.e. consecrated elements of the Mass) never physically hunger and thirst again (John 6:35)?

          6.) If Jesus' use of the Greek term "phago" (meaning to gnaw, chew, indicates a slow process) in John 6:54-58 decisively proves that we must interpret His words literally, then how come the disciples did not start consuming His flesh and drinking His blood right away?

          7.) Given the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, where every drop of wine, and every crumb of bread, is changed into the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ while retaining their accidental properties as bread and wine, how does Rome reconcile this with the physical needs of the world, such as blood shortages?

          8.) What biblical basis exists to justify the notion that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice of the Mass are "one in the same" (CCC #1367)? How can this be? What Scripture teaches that the work of Christ is "ongoing" (CCC #1405)? Why would the atonement sacrifice of Christ need to be "re-presented?"

          9.) If the host is truly the literal body of Jesus Christ, then should we expect that the bread wafer never becomes stale, moldy, or goes through the process of decomposition (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27)?

          10.) Would a Roman Catholic priest be willing to consume the consecrated elements, if he knew that they had been saturated in poison prior to the instance of transubstantiation?

          11.) Did not Jesus Christ specifically instruct us to serve a cup of wine with the bread during communion (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:27-29)? How come the Roman Catholic Church was not consistent with apostolic practice from the twelfth century until changes were made during the Second Vatican Council in 1970? 

          12.) The Roman Catholic Mass was organized and carried out completely in the Latin language from 1570 to 1965, leaving the average attendee clueless as to what was being said and done by the parish priest during the worship gatherings. After the change in procedure by the pope, the first Catholic congregations to hear the services in their vernacular tongue were the Irish. Note, however, that the Apostle Paul spoke negatively in regard to speaking in an unknown tongue in the context of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:19). If leaving spoken tongues in the church undeciphered was not a good idea by reason of such bringing about no edification, then why would it have been reasonable for the Church of Rome to conduct all its worship services in Latin? Why were they all conducted in a language that no one could understand in the first place?

          13.) If transubstantiation is true, then how is it that the Corinthian Christians, who had abused the Lord's Supper by treating it as a mere feast, had managed to become intoxicated with the wine (1 Corinthians 11:20-22)? Where was the change in substance that time? How can the accidents of bread and wine exist without their original substance after transubstantiation?

          14.) If "this is my body" and "this is my blood" literally means that the bread and wine were transubstantiated into the body and blood of Christ, then does "this cup is the new testament" literally mean that the literal cup becomes a literal covenant (Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:25)? In the New Testament, the word "is" does occur with the meaning of "this is representative of" or "this symbolizes" (Matthew 13:20; Galatians 4:26).

          15.) If the Lord's Supper was truly a Mass service, then how could Jesus be sitting there at the same time proclaiming the bread and wine to be His literal flesh and blood? He would be sitting in a chair while holding Himself up in the air with His own two hands. Would we not have an illogical scenario of Jesus Christ offering Himself for our sins prior to the appointed time of His crucifixion?

          16.) If the human body of Christ is located in heaven at God the Father's right hand, then how can it be at the same time in thousands of different places at Masses across the globe?

          17.) If transubstantiation took place during the Lord's Supper, then would that not imply Jesus Christ had two physical bodies? Does this mean that there are multiple bodies of Christ? If each wafer becomes Christ, then does this imply a multiplicity of Christs?

          18.) If the communion wafer is supposed to look identical after transubstantiation into the literal body of Christ, then why not also believe a religious leader when he claims to have the ability to transform us into inanimate objects such as iron (our appearances remain the same, yet our substances are drastically altered)? Should we believe the pope if he had just so happened to pronounce an ex-cathedra statement declaring that priests have the ability to transform squares into triangles, or both (without a perceptible change)?

          19.) Though transubstantiation and transgenderism are radically different issues, both share glaring similarities in logic. Both operate on the assumption that things are not as they appear. Both do not align with what we observe in the natural world. The nature of the communion elements and the nature of a person's gender do not correspond to what they actually are. The DNA/chemical composition is ignored: it's what I say it is, even though it it has all the qualities of something else. The bread and the wine of communion still look, smell, and taste like bread and wine. How does one account for this lack of consistency?

          20.) How do advocates of transubstantiation explain the fact that Jesus Christ ate the same bread and drank from the same cup that the Church of Rome claims became His actual body and blood (Matthew 26:27-29; Mark 14:23-25; Luke 22:7-16)? Did He eat His own flesh and drink His own blood? Why would Christ need to do so when He was already sinless (Hebrews 7:26-27)? Did not Jesus Christ say that He used figurative language on the night of the Last Supper (John 16:25-30)?

          21.) If the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation was taught in the church from its inception, then how come the issue was not discussed at the Jerusalem Council where the consumption of blood was frowned upon (Acts 15:20; 29; 21:25)? If the leadership who convened had actually believed in this teaching, then would they not have clarified that the blood of Christ was of a different or sacramental nature in order to avoid possible confusion?

          22.) If transubstantiation is true, then how can we know whether the apostles were not simply misled by their senses when they saw the resurrected Christ?


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Excellent questions!

Anonymous said...
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Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Claiming a miracle doesn't make it so. And Satan can perform false signs and wonders. If it doesn't match with Scripture -- and the Catholic eucharist doesn't -- then it isn't of God.

AndyTGD said...

Just some push back, which might be beneficial. The Catholic may push back on the physicality of (2) by noting that Trent asserts Christ is “sacramentally present to us in his own substance, by a manner of existing, which, though we can scarcely express it in words, yet can we, by the understanding illuminated by faith, conceive, and we ought most firmly to believe, to be possible unto God.” (Trent, Session 13, Chapter 1) Christ is not “biologically present” or even physically. This (in my opinion, obfuscation) is used to evade the material problems of issues such as cannibalism, (10), (13) etc. It’s also utilized to assimilate Augustine. It’s really a punt to mystery, and you’ll see this among Eastern Orthodox too. But be aware, that if you push the apparent illogical nature of this, they will attempt to justify it by pointing to the mysterious nature of the Trinity.

This intangible description, of course, is contrastable with the strongly carnal description in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, which explains the sacrament contains “not only the true body of Christ and all the constituents of a true body, such as bones and sinews, but also Christ whole and entire”. The reason for this strange understanding can be understood from Rome’s abuse of Aristotelianism: the substance of Christ (def substance: those features which are essential to a thing) replaces the substance of the bread, but the non-essential properties of the bread remain (but not attached to the substance of Christ – they are now free-floating, contra-Aristotle!). Would this be coherent to Aristotle? Nope. Is it coherent? Nope. Does it implicitly contradict Rome’s arguments against transgenderism – that the substantial form of a man, is always a man, despite whatever changes to accidental properties occur? Yep. But this is what we’re going to have to interact with.

With regard to (8) I’m sure a response might be “Why didn't Jesus say of the bread and wine, "this symbolizes my body...this symbolizes my blood?" They’ll likely push back with a claim that this is merely semantics. On (9) and (19), as you know, Catholics would make the distinction between Christ’s once-and-for-all Sacrifice at Calvary and the Mass, which they claim is a representation of that single sacrifice. On (12), their position is that the sacrament contains Christ whole and entire (Catechism of the Council of Trent), ergo if one receives the bread, they receive the benefits of the wine and vice-versa. Its largely a pragmatic decision, and like many Roman innovations, it stands or falls on their authority – not the Biblical text. On (15) and (16), they would point to the atemporal nature of Christ, post-ascendance. Also, once again to the ‘sacramentally present’ reading of Trent, which attempts to reconcile the idea that Christ is still physically present with the Father, and yet is ‘sacramentally present’ in the Eucharist.

In the end, this all comes down to one issue – is the ultimate standard Scripture, or is it Tradition (which subsumes Scripture)?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Your last paragraph is the clincher. It SHOULD come down to Scripture, which TRULY trumps tradition!

Russell said...

Great article, Jesse,

It is amazing the lengths that they will go to in order to defend “Mother Church” (their god). They may claim to have answers to those things you pointed out, but they are always unbiblical diversions.

I especially like the last point you made (#22). Yes, if transubstantiation is true, then in what other areas might we (poor undiscerning Protestants) be deceived when trusting our senses?

I also agree with what AndyTGD said above about your point #12 when Catholics claim that the Eucharist is Jesus, WHOLE AND ENTIRE. If this were true, no one would be able to stand in the presence of the Eucharist, since if He was “whole and entire,” that would mean that He would be in His full glory. The closest to have done that was the apostle John, who fell “as a dead man” when He saw His closest friend, Jesus, in all His glory in Revelation 1:17. I used to be Catholic and I NEVER saw anyone “fall as a dead man,” paralyzed in the presence of the Eucharist.

Kudos to you, Jesse, for taking a stand against this ungodly and unscriptural doctrine.