I would like to ask all of our separated brethren what your personal beliefs are regarding the Holy Eucharist. You all know that we, as Catholics believe that the Holy Eucharist is truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ (the Real Presence) and I know that this is the Truth.
I am curious to see what your own beliefs are. Please answer honestly, hospitably, and charitably, keeping focus on the question.
Thank you and may God bless you all abundantly and forever!
I believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
From the Augsburg Confession:
"1] Of the Supper of the Lord they teach that the Body and Blood of Christ are truly present, and are distributed 2] to those who eat the Supper of the Lord; and they reject those that teach otherwise. "
And From the Small Catechism:
*"What is the Sacrament of the Altar?
It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ Himself."*
Paul states that after consecration it is still bread and wine. He calls it as such. But we also know Jesus says it’s his body and blood. So if we take Paul and Jesus at their word, there are four things present after consecration, bread, wine, body, blood.
The only doctrine that acknowledges the Real Presence and also the four things present is Sacramental Union.
“A friend of mine tried to argue that this passage refuted the Eucharist, since Paul uses the terms “Cup” and “Bread” to refer to the Eucharist post-consecration. What else could he have possibly said? He’s explaining that what we would now call the species of bread is truly the Body of Christ, and the species of wine is truly the Blood of Christ, without the assistance of technical language. To refer to the Eucharistic Bread as the Body of Christ would render the passage tautological (‘the Body of Christ is the Body of Christ’). But besides this, anyone who claims that “bread” means “not the Body of Jesus” should look at what Jesus Himself has to say about this. He calls Himself the Bread of Life (John 6:35, John 6:48), the Bread that Came Down from Heaven (John 6:41), and the Living Bread that Came Down from Heaven (John 6:51). He then immediately clarifies that “the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My Flesh” (John 6:51).”
I would also like too add that Jesus nowhere said that “This is My Body and some bread, too.” He clearly said, “This is My Body” and nothing more.
Sure, when our pastor gives us communion he says “the body of Christ, the blood of Christ”. But reading that back into what Paul wrote is the worst eisegesis, by making Paul say something he didn’t. No no no, what he actually meant was “appearance of bread” when he said “bread”. I will take Paul at his word. The only doctrine that makes any sense in light of Jesus and Paul’s words is Lutheran Sacramental Union.
Well, how do you reconcile your beliefs with the belief that the Lutheran novelty of “sacramental union” with the fact that all Christians believed in transubstantion until the time of Martin Luther and his heresies?
The apologetics argument you quote only applies against people who say that it’s bread and not Body.
And obviously Jesus was holding up bread, so it would be silly for him to repeat that it was bread.
The reverse is much more persuasive–if Jesus had really meant to say “it’s not bread” one would think he would have said so. And, of course, St. Paul does say that it is bread.
Your explanation isn’t convincing.
Note that I don’t think this overthrows transubstantiation. It’s quite possible to say that the bread is not substantially bread any more and St. Paul is naming it from its accidents. But Scripture does not, in itself, point in that direction. The idea that it can’t still be bread while being the Body is an extrapolation from the Real Presence. It may be right, but the Scriptural arguments for it (or the arguments from early Christian teaching) aren’t compelling. If it’s true, it’s one of those things that the Holy Spirit reveals to the Church and that must be accepted on Church authority.
I have trouble understanding why it matters one way or the other, frankly.
My own view is that the bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, and if you want to call that transformation “transubstantiation” be my guest. But it is also still clearly in some sense bread as well. Again, if you want to call the sense in which it’s still bread “accidental,” be my guest. As long as you don’t say that it’s just an illusion.
I believe that the Eucharist breaks down our normal categories, and so no language really expresses it well. But the stronger and more difficult the language, the better. The more “commonsense” the explanation, the poorer it is.
The first language that sounds like transubstantiation is found in the fourth century, and it’s not clear to me that even that language is incompatible with the Lutheran view.
Bear in mind that simple statements “it’s the Body of Christ” do not contradict the Lutheran view. So please don’t muddy the waters with one of the usual lists of canned patristic quotations that don’t address the specific points at issue here.
The author engages in the fallacy of question begging (or assuming the conclusion) assuming that Lutherans believe in consubstantiation (we don’t) and that we believe in some sort of mixture of Christ and bread into a third substance (we don’t). So the author is arguing against something Lutherans don’t even believe in the first place.
Oh, I thought consubstantiation and sacramental union were the same thing…:shrug:
Anyway, in regard to the quotes, what about this one, from Saint Irenaeus in Against Heresies:
“For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.”
How can you reconcile your ideas with this one from the very early Church?