We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Catholic Eucharist: Unbiblical and Idolatry

Roman Catholicism teaches that Jesus instituted the Mass at the Last Supper. According to Rome, Jesus actually turned the bread and wine into his physical body and blood. Since that time, whenever the priest says the same words Jesus said at the Last Supper, the bread and wine of the Mass miraculously turns into the actual body and blood of Christ. While the outer appearance of the bread and wine remain the same, supposedly the inner essence - the substance - changes to Christ’s body and blood and remains that way as long as the bread and wine remain “incorrupted.” According to Catholicism, the Eucharist - popularly called Mass - is a means of God’s sanctifying grace which enables the faithful to keep the commandments and do good works. It also helps the faithful to attain salvation. Let’s look at some teachings on the subject from the Catechism:

Para 1365: “Because it is the memorial of Christ's Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice. The sacrificial character of the Eucharist is manifested in the very words of institution: ‘This is my body which is given for you’ and ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.’ In the Eucharist Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he ‘poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’”

Para 1368: The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of the Church. The Church which is the Body of Christ participates in the offering of her Head. With him, she herself is offered whole and entire. She unites herself to his intercession with the Father for all men. In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of his Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer, and work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value. Christ's sacrifice present on the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with his offering.

Para 1376: “The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: ‘Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.’"

Para 1377: “The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.”

Para 1378: Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. ‘The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession.’"

Para 2181: “The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.”

In addition to teaching that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ, Rome teaches that the Eucharist is to be worshiped as Christ. The Code of Canon Law states that the faithful are to “hold the Eucharist in highest honor…worshiping it with supreme adoration.” According to Vatican II, this is to be with “the same worship of latria or adoration that we offer to God.” (both citations from James G. McCarthy, The Gospel According to Rome, P.131). Yet worshiping objects such as wine and bread is nothing less than idolatry, which Scripture specifically prohibits.

Let’s use a little common sense and reasoning here. If the Last Supper was in actuality a Mass, then how could Jesus be sitting there with the elements at the same time saying the elements were his body and blood? Do you think the disciples understood Jesus to be speaking literally, since the Law prohibited the eating of blood? And if the human body of Christ is located in heaven at the Father’s right hand, how can it be at the same time in millions of places in Masses all over the world? Isn’t it more likely that Jesus was using the bread and wine figuratively so as to provide Christians with symbols to celebrate with as a memorial?

Rome also claims that in the Eucharist Christ is sacrificed to God, and that the Last Supper was in itself a Mass. If the Last Supper was indeed a sacrifice of Christ, then we have an illogical situation of Christ sacrificing himself before he was sacrificed on the cross. Additionally, if each Mass is a sacrifice of Christ, then we have a direct contradiction of the Bible which says that Christ was sacrificed once for all time, and that this eliminated the need for continual sacrifices.

Hebrews 7:26-27: For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Hebrews 9:24-28: For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.

Hebrews 10:14: For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

1 Peter 3:18a: For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God

Lastly, notice also that deliberately failing to participate in the Sunday Eucharist is a mortal sin, which would mean the person was in a state outside of grace and in danger of going to Hell. This would also mean that the Mass is necessary for salvation, thereby adding to the plain teaching of Scripture that we are saved by faith apart from works. (Acts 16:30-31).

The Roman church has many reasons why they claim this is all true, and twist the Scriptures to justify much of it. However, once the reasons are examined in light of Scripture in context, one is able see that the whole basis of this teaching is because the Church says so - because they are the Magisterium, and they have the authority to speak for God, while the Pope is Christ’s representative on earth. Of course, by examining the history of the papacy and of the Catholic Church, one sees immediately the fraudulent nature of these claims.

9 comments:

Ron Livesay said...

I addressed this issue on my blog in a post about the emerging church.

...a revival of the "Eucharist" and the doctrine of “transubstantiation,” which would have us believe that the once-for-all sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ was really insufficient to save us, and it therefore must be replaced by a continual offering of the actual body and blood of Christ in the form of bread and wine. This is clearly refuted by the teaching of Scripture. “By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:10-12, NASB).

Although this passage was obviously written concerning the Old Testament priests and sacrifices, it has a very valid application to that which was yet future at the time – the mass. The Reformation took place for many reasons, not the least of which was the doctrine of justification by faith alone, apart from good works, on the basis of the finished work of Christ, as presented so clearly in the Scriptures.

http://buffalonoise.blogspot.com/

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Ron,

Yes, I saw your excellent post. I follow your blog because you have some really good stuff.

About the Hebrews passage, it isn't about OT - rather the contrast is the OT priest compared to Jesus; they had to do daily sacrifices, but Jesus did one sacrifice and then sat down at the right hand of God. Since Jesus sacrificed once for all time, he can't be sacrificed a zillion times a day in the mass.

Anonymous said...

Glenn, thanks this has been a great series. I think the following scripture passage sheds alot of light on the idea of the RC eucharist:
Paul is standing in the midst of the Aeropagus and he says,"The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything." Acts 17:24-25

It seems to me that the whole man-made practice of the eucharist with a man holding the man-made wafer in his hands and speaking a few man-directed words over it, and then worshipping the same man-made wafer set into a man-made monstrance goes directly against this portion of scripture.

Paul goes on to tell them:
"Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."Acts 17:29-31

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hello Anonymous 6/23,

Good points! Thank you for that. It reminds me of Jer. 10:1-16 where he talks about people making their gods out of a tree and then worshiping it.

I have more to come before I'm finished with Romanism, but right now I'm on a short vacation, enjoying God's creation along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Within the next few days I'll be posting on Mary.

Drew said...

Additionally, Jesus himself calls the beverage "fruit of the vine" even AFTER he's blessed it and denominated it "blood" (Matthew 26:28-29). Hence, it is still wine when drunk and not physical blood.

Regarding the bread, Paul writes in a similar manner in 1 Corinthians 11:27-28 that has already been eaten (and presumably blessed, if you want to assume as the Catholics do that a blessing is necessary for the ritual).

rootofjesse2 said...

Of course, you totally ignore John's entire Chapter 6. John 6:30 begins a colloquy that took place in the synagogue at Capernaum. The Jews asked Jesus what sign he could perform so that they might believe in him. As a challenge, they noted that "our ancestors ate manna in the desert." Could Jesus top that? He told them the real bread from heaven comes from the Father. "Give us this bread always," they said. Jesus replied, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." At this point the Jews understood him to be speaking metaphorically.
Jesus first repeated what he said, then summarized: "‘I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.’ The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’" (John 6:51–52).

His listeners were stupefied because now they understood Jesus literally—and correctly. He again repeated his words, but with even greater emphasis, and introduced the statement about drinking his blood: "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; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him" (John 6:53–56).
Sorry, we Catholics believe Jesus, we take him at his word. He gives us the Eucharist, who are we to turn away from him?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi rootofjesse,

Of course, Rome ignores a few verses later (63) where Jesus said the words he spoke were "spirit" - i.e. he was speaking metaphorically - "spiritualizing." If you take the John 6 section as literal, then you also have to take it that their hunger and thirst were literal, where as Jesus was speaking metaphorically of hunger and thirst for spiritual things, not for food.

Ron Livesay said...

Concerning John 6, verse 35 puts to rest the false doctrine of transubstiantiation by making it clear that eating the body of Christ and drinking the blood of Christ involves "coming to Him," not some act of spiritual cannibalism. "Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.'" (NASB)

Stephen said...

Remain in Me as I REMAIN in You. Why would we need to literally 'eat him' if,, IF, he is already inside us? Jesus may have been but re-emphasizing to the Jewish Officials that they were being ridiculous...'knowing their hearts'. He already knew what they were thinking...notice how the tenor and pitch of the conversation heightens? Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. "3:20'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." Jesus is saying, it's a Reality of Truth..we do not 'take communion or the eucharist' it is already a Reality. and " To the angel of the church of Ephesus, write. These are [the things] the One and Only* says, (and) to the seven stars in his right [hand,] he who maintains* the balance* of the seven menorahs of gold.
2. I know of your works, and your labor and your hope*, and that you cannot bear evil-doers, and you counsel those who say of them that [the evil-doers] came as apostles, and they did not come [so,] and [in fact] you found them [to be] liars;
3. And hope, you do possess, and you do accept suffering* for the sake of my name without complaining*.
4. Except I have something on you, because of your love, that original [one,] which you abandoned*.
5. Remember then from where you have fallen, and repent and return to your former works. And if not, I will come upon you quickly and move your menorah from its place, if you do not repent.
6. Except this you have [in your favor,] that you hate the performing of rituals*, which I also [do.]
7. Those who have ears, let them listen to what the Spirit is telling the churches.
To the victor
...I shall give to eat
Of the tree of Life,*
...which is in the paradise of God
That is mine." AND

12. And to the angel in the church of Pergamon, write: These are [the things] that the One who has the sharpened sword with two edges, says:
13. I know of your works and where you dwell, where there is a throne* for Satan; however, you held fast my name*, and you did not deny* my Faith in those days when my witness appeared, my faithful one, the one you killed, where Satan dwells.
14. Except I have more on you: you have [someone] there who has taken to the teachings of Balaam that teach Balek, to provide* excuses before the people of Israel, to eat idol sacrifices and to fornicate.
15. Thus you also have taken to the teaching of rituals. Through them you appear to be pretending,
16. And if you are not, I will come upon you quickly and will approach them by the sword of my mouth,
17. Whoever has ears listen to what the Spirit is telling the churches.

The victor
...shall be nourished
By the hidden manna,
...and shall be given
A white tablet*
...and on the tablet
A new name written,
...that which no one* knows,
Except the One
...that consecrates*.