Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Critical Response To De Maria On Transubstantiation

  • Discussion:
          -Roman Catholic apologist De Maria wrote an article titled The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Mass, where he provides a few biblical arguments for transubstantiation alongside with rebuttals to certain objections. Each of the author's claims in regards to the Catholic Eucharist will be analyzed in this article as follows:

          "The Mass is our Passover feast. Because Christ is our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:6-8). Perhaps you refuse to keep the Feast. But we don’t."

          1 Corinthians 5:7-8 does not mention anything about transubstantiation. It says that Christ is our Passover. He was sacrificed on the cross. When we celebrate the Lord's Supper, we are to do so without malice.

          "If you choose to deny, denigrate, disparage, dishonor and disannul the Mass, then Christ died in vain for you. (Hebrews 10:25-31)" 

          Hebrews chapter ten says nothing regarding the Mass. Rather, it addresses the singular act of Jesus Christ at Calvary. The people who forsake Him have denied the only sacrifice for sin. Notice especially what an earlier portion of the context says:

          "And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary." (Hebrews 10:18)

          The Book of Hebrews emphatically states that the work of Jesus is not ongoing or reenacted.

          "Did you not understand that the Eucharist is the self same sacrifice that took place on Calvary?"

          That is simply a Roman Catholic assertion devoid of biblical evidence. The Lord's Supper is described in Scripture as nothing more than a simple communion meal.

          "Here is what Protestants miss and don’t understand. And the reason they don’t understand is because they don’t understand the Scriptures."

          Must a "Protestant" become a Jehovah's Witness or Mormon in order to see those particular systems of doctrine in Scripture? If a stranded individual who was fairly educated just so happened to stumble across a Bible and decided to read it with an open heart, then it is highly unlikely that he or she will see distinctly Roman Catholic dogmas in its pages. De Maria is reading foreign ideas into Scripture as he engages in a circular argument.

          "In the Old Testament, we learn that Sacrifice is not simply the slaughter of the victim. Sacrifice is also the offering of the Victim. And Sacrifice is also the consuming of the Victim. Christ takes care of the first two aspects of His Sacrifice. We participate in the same Sacrifice by consuming the Passover. Have you not read in Scripture (Exodus 12:1-10)?"

          The fact the Israelites ate the flesh of the animals that they sacrificed does not support the Catholic notion of literally eating Jesus Christ's flesh and blood because no transubstantiation took place during the Old Testament.

          The Lord's Supper is a New Testament institution. It is the New Covenant form of Passover, but no transubstantiation takes place in the latter any more than it did in the former.

          There is no mention of an ordained ministerial priesthood in the New Testament. What we find instead is a universal priesthood of believers who offer spiritual sacrifices to God under the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ.

          In the Lord's Supper, we eat bread and wine. Jesus instituted them as the signs of His body and blood, both of which point to His final atonement sacrifice on the cross. Also, the animal sacrifices were not Christ but types or pointers to Christ. So the Levitical Passover was not an actual eating of the Lamb (i.e. Jesus), but eating a type.

          "[Responding to Hebrews 9:22] We believe that the wine becomes the Blood of Christ. Therefore, Blood is involved. But it is not visible to the eye of flesh. By faith alone does one discern this Blood of Christ in the Cup of Salvation. (1 Corinthians 10:16; 11:27). Therefore, the Blood of our Lord is consumed in the Eucharist and that is why it is propitiatory for our sins."

          Nice try with the use of flowery philosophical language, but Hebrews 9:22 is still a problem for transubstantiation because there is no blood shed during the ritual. That is the means by which atonement and forgiveness of sin is enabled. So the Mass does not actually have propitiatory value as the Church of Rome claims.

          Notice Paul's analogy of the body of Christ to the Jewish altar. Did the Jews eat pieces of the table? Are we literally one loaf (1 Corinthians 10:17)? The reference to "partaking of Christ" is obviously not meant to be understood literally. We do so through faith by looking at the memorial.

          If sacrifices for sin have to continually be made, then those offerings have insufficient power to redeem lost souls (Hebrews 9:13-14; 10:1-2; 10-11; 18). Thus, the Eucharist of the Roman Catholic Church is idolatry and blasphemous.

          "Where do you get the Blood of Christ which you claim washes away your sins, since you deny the Eucharist?"

          Christ translated His literal blood to the heavenly sanctuary so that it could be applied to the Mercy Seat and sprinkled on believers through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 9:12-28).

          "[Responding to Hebrews 7:27] True. But if that means that Christ no longer offers Himself to the Father, why is the Lamb standing in heaven as though slain (Revelation 5:6)?"

          Revelation 5:6 is imagery describing eschatology, not the eternal state of Christ. It is using the imagery to identify Christ as the one who has been slain, not as one who is continually being slain. The Greek there is even perfect in form, which in this context indicates a completed action:

          "And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth." (Revelation 5:6)

          "And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation." (Revelation 5:9)

           "Saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12)

          The Apostle John's message is perfectly consistent with the author of Hebrews. How it is even possible to re-present a once-for-all sacrifice? Jesus Christ completely paid our debt of sin at the Cross. His work has already been accomplished.

          "[Responding to Hebrews 9:12] Well, He did. How does this contradict the Mass. It is because He did that we can celebrate the Mass."

           Jesus died once for all. His sacrifice was complete and perfect and will never be repeated. It is not like the Old Covenant sacrifices, which were repeatedly offered because they could never actually atone for sin. This article is also relevant here:

          https://rationalchristiandiscernment.blogspot.com/2019/01/once-for-all.html

          "[Responding to Hebrews 9:26-28] This also does not speak against the Mass, but confirms it."

          The Roman Catholic Mass is contradicted because the text tells us that Christ is only going to appear twice with the later time to bring salvation for those who believe:

          "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Hebrews 9:24-28)

          "[Responding to Hebrews 10:10] Yes. Once for ALLLLLLLLL. That includes us. And the benefits of the Sacrifice of Christ, are applied to us, in the Mass."

          The Word of God emphatically teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ was offered up once for eternity. It is that single act by which our redemption was made possible. Only Christ could offer Himself up (John 10:17-18). His atonement sacrifice is neither ongoing nor re-enacted. He made His sacrifice one time, and died one time. His work has already been accomplished.

          "[Responding to Romans 6:9-10] Excellent! It is Protestants who accuse us of killing Christ over and over. But we don’t believe that at all. We simply obey His Word and “do this in remembrance” of Him. We “re-present” the once for all sacrifice upon the altar as He commanded. Yes, we have an “altar”. It is the Table of the Lord. But it is an altar of Sacrifice (Hebrews 13:10)."

          There are simply no passages in Scripture supporting the Roman Catholic dogma of transubstantiation. In fact, such is totally unimaginable! The notion of re-presenting a once-for-all sacrifice sounds similar to the time traveling that we hear of in science fiction literature.

           In Hebrews 13:10, it is not clear at all that the reference is to the Eucharist. It seems rather to be talking about the cross - the salvation and benefits of Christ which we have in Him.

4 comments:

  1. Very well rebutted! Papists just don't understand that one sacrifice for all time means just that, not a "re-presenting" over and over again. ONCE.

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  2. Its justin. I think its great that your trying to reason with this catholic apologist Jesse but some people simply do not believe the scriptures. Some people are just unreasonable no matter how hard you try. If the mass meant literally drinking christ blood, then you would be violating Gods command to abstain from blood. God cannot contradict himself, therefore the mass must be symbolic.

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  3. Justin,

    You are right, of course, but posts like this aren't just for the one being rebut, but also for anyone stopping by who might be questioning such topics. It helps to educate any and all readers.

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  4. You said,"the Eucharist of the Roman Catholic Church is idolatry and blasphemous."
    Agreed. It is an unfruitful work of darkness" (Eph 5:11) that needs to be exposed and can only be classified as the misbegotten enemy of God's only begotten Son . Because it was strictly forbidden to worship any object, even those meant to REPRESENT him (Exodus 20:4-5), we can be sure that God will never contradict himself by entering into material objects such as bread and wine and then order people to worship them.

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