I have been a member for 9 years, but have never posted, I mostly just perused the forums. In fact, apologetics has never really been a main concern (on a practical level) of mine having gone to Catholic school through college, however, for the past 10 months I have been delving so much deeper into it and having such an appreciation for it than I ever did in my apologetics and religion courses in school.
10 months ago I got assigned a new job within the military (I’m in the Coast Guard), and I quickly found out that two of my coworkers are pretty hardcore Bible Christian fundamentalists, at least in the way that I understand that term to mean. I have had many discussions back and forth with them, and of course, several about the Eucharist.
So, recently I had a conversation with one of them, and he heard my arguments (again) about John 6 and about the literal meaning, and about how it isn’t actually cannibalism etc., and then he just asked, “okay, well supposing all that is true, WHY would he tell us to do this?” He was specifically questioning the reasoning behind us having to eat the Lord. Now, I know that Jesus says that, if you do not, you shall not have life in you, that we will abide in Him and He in us, that we will have life everlasting, etc. So my most basic answer is simply that He told us to do this, and so we obey. But coming from my friend’s more literal basic sort of understand, I don’t really know exactly how to answer him, at least in a way that he might understand more. What exactly is it about the eating of His flesh that is so necessary? If God is everywhere, and we as Christians are full of the Holy Spirit, why does Jesus’ Body and Blood need to physically be ingested by us? Or what is the difference/benefit between his spiritual presence within us as Christians and his physicality being consumed? Trying to explain it to them makes me think more about it and (trying to think from their perspective) makes me understand their confusion with the seeming illogicality of it.
Any help/suggestions with it would be appreciated.