I firmly feel that faith should not be blind and that, like the Bereans, we are to search the Scriptures daily to make sure that what we are being taught has merit (Acts 17:11). I am trying to do this with the Communion, or Eucharist.
Considering the differences in the Catholic and Protestant interpretation (one being the literal flesh and blood of Christ and the other being a representation), I am not finding it easy to set the two side by side and make a definite call as to the accuracy of one over the other.
Everyone claims to hold a literal translation of the Scriptures as doctrine, but I am finding that every denomination or entity within Christianity (excluding pseudo-Christian cults in the equation), Catholic or Protestant, chooses what is literal and what is symbolic. If everything was literal, God would have feathers and Christ would be a door.
Pertaining to the Eucharist, I am aware that Tertullian, Iraeneus, and probably other Ante-Nicene Fathers wrote of the transformation of the bread and wine into the flesh and blood of Christ, although Iraeneus refers to its dual identity as physical (bread) and spiritual (flesh), and so on. This makes me wonder what the true difference between bread representing the flesh to Protestants (other than Lutherans, of course) and it being flesh in a spiritual sense to Catholics.
Both sects of Christianity take it very seriously, as it is a great offense for both to partake in communion/Eucharist in a state of sinfulness that has not been properly dealt with. I know some raise the issue of justification, but where is this found in Catholic tradition? Is there an early Church Father that linked infused grace with the Eucharist? That this is more than “do this in remembrance of Me?” Obviously both believe there is more to it than just that, otherwise it would not be such a large offense to do so in an unworthy fashion. Also, why are Catholics prohibited from taking Protestant Communion? If it is done with the reading of the last supper and focuses solely on Christ, where is the offense in this? Do Catholics really believe that the receiving of the Catholic Eucharist is mandatory for salvation?
This is not meant to challenge Catholicism. I am only trying to tease out the differences.