My history teacher, who is a “Sola Scriptura” woman, doesn’t believe that the “Eucharist” can be taken “literally”. I know that this is easily contradicted by the belief in the scripture-alone philosophy, but she believes it. She also says she believes that people get to heaven through confessing their sins. I need a good way to explain to her what the Eucharist is, what it is for, and I need a justification for it without use of direct scripture. HELP my apostate teacher!!!
Does she believe Jesus was God? How could he have been God when he looked like a man? How could Jesus, God, be limited to what form He could take? Especially if He distinctly said so?
Does she believe Jesus was the Paschal Lamb? This is a lamb which the Israelites were commanded to eat, as a part of the first Passover, where Y-h gave instructions to Moses to preserve the Hebrews from the death of the firstborn. She want to argue with these instructions for the actual rite? Like it was just some “symbol”?
This is tough. I can understand that if one is trained to doubt the authority of the Church, that one has license to be skeptical of anything and everything taught by the Church, especially if it defies one’s common experience and is part of what defines you (protesting!). But truth is something much bigger than what we can get our brains around. Maybe charitably challenging her to materially explain walking on water, changing water into wine - Do we have to understand in a material way what Jesus directly taught us?
I’m confused. Your teacher believes in scripture alone yet she will not accept any scripture explanation for the Eucharist?
Will this help?
The earliest Christians believed what the Catholic Church still teaches about the Eucharist: that it is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Dvinity of Jesus Christ.
Catholic Answers also has several other tracts defending the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist. They can be found here:
I would ask the history teacher why it took over 1100 years before the Real Presence was formally questioned, and if there is any historical evidence of those who “didn’t take It literally” before that time were not identified as Gnostics, but “true believers”. Ask for references and names.
Denial of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist amounts to Gnosticism, or demands gnostic arguments to support it. But Joe has the best apologetic approach, appeal to her love of history, especially the fathers of the Apostolic Age (pre-Nicene), before the Bible was compiled. A church “fallen from the truth” can’t produce an infallible, inerrant book.
"To be steeped in history is to cease to be a Protestant."
She’s got some real problems scripturally.
She says that people are saved by confessing their sins? Okay.
Catholic Confession will cover the Bible passages relevant to that. Ask her if it’s important to comply with the whole Word of God or just some of it as per the teachings of men? It’ll give her something to think about.
She cannot separate the Eucharist from scripture without denying the Bible as her only authority, and she won’t want to do that.
Keep her in your prayers.
“C” as I will refer to her as, is certainly in my prayers. There’s more than this for that, and it is understandable why she’d say something like this. (Forgive my vagueness!) What I really need to explain to her is what the Eucharist is for, and why we need to go to Mass. It bugs me that C’s “preacher” is Joel Osteen, as he isn’t really a man of God at all.
Thank you all for your help. I’m still unsure, but it’s a start.
There is a glaring irony here. We constantly hear people complain that Catholics are forbidden from interpreting Scripture, but when we get to passages like John 6, many non-Catholics are like, “Don’t anybody DARE interpret this passage literally!”
Same with the woman in Rev. 12. “The woman is Isreal, nothing BUT Isreal, and don’t you dare go around thinking it’s Mary! When you mind naturally links the son with Jesus, and therefore the woman is Mary, just plug your ears and yell, 'LA LA LA! Israel! Israel! Israel!’”
I feel the same way. That can’t LITERALLY be Jesus’ body! (Or, as she says, “I don’t believe it’s literally His body and blood.” Poor C.
[FONT=Georgia]So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
If this is not to be taken literlly it must be symbolic. Where else in the Bible is drinking a person’s blood or eating his flesh used symbolically and what does it symbolize.[/FONT]
I would offer Ezechial 39:18
18 You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth–of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
It doesn’t sound like they are honoring the mighty.
There is Psalm 27:2
When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, come upon me to eat up my flesh . .
That doesn’t fit very well.
And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and every one shall eat the flesh of his neighbor in the siege and in the distress, with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.’
you who hate the good and love the evil, who tear the skin from off my people, and their flesh from off their bones; 3 who eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them, and break their bones in pieces, and chop them up like meat* in a kettle, like flesh in a caldron
Please look at the following thread, posts 27-35, for my argument, with commentary, from the Early Church Fathers.