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
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

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.


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.


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).

Anonymous 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*.

Anonymous said...

What other logical dilemmas for the eucharist can you come up with?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Anonymous 4/30/16 11:11AM

I only need one— it is unbiblical.

Would you care to share some?

Anonymous said...

Jeremiah 15:15-16; 1 Corinthians 10:3-4; and Revelation 10:8-9

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I don't understand the "logical dilemma." I think I understand you to be saying that these are other examples of "eating" spiritually that they have to deal with, but I'm missing where logic is involved. Unless you're saying that if they accept the eucharist as being literal then they have to accept these also as being literal, but I think that could very well be seen as a non sequitur.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


I thought you did an excellent job. He wanted to "shotgun" rather than stay on topic. I noticed he totally ignored my comment linking to my article which proved his whole claim about the RCC submitting to Scripture being bogus, and that there is no God-ordained authority in the RCC.

Jesse said...

Following is an interesting excerpt from second century Christian apologist Tatian's Address to the Greeks:

"It is not we who eat human flesh — they among you who assert such a thing have been suborned as false witnesses; it is among you that Pelops is made a supper for the gods, although beloved by Poseidon, and Kronos devours his children, and Zeus swallows Metis." (Chapter 25. Boastings and Quarrels of the Philosophers)

This excerpt from Church Historian Philip Schaff's work called History of the Church, Volume II, paragraph 69, is pertinent here:

"The doctrine concerning the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, not coming into special discussion, remained indefinite and obscure [during the period from 100-325 AD]. The ancient church made more account of the worthy participation of the ordinance than of the logical apprehension of it. She looked upon it as the holiest mystery of Christian worship, and accordingly, celebrated it with the deepest devotion, without inquiring into the mode of Christ’s presence, nor into the relation of the sensible signs to his flesh and blood. It is unhistorical to carry any of the later theories back into this age; although it has been done frequently in the apologetic and polemic discussion of this subject.”

An excerpt from the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia online:

"The Leonine and Gelasian Sacramentaries show us what is practically our present Roman Mass. How did the service change from the one to the other? It is one of the chief difficulties in the history of liturgy. During the last few years, especially, all manner of solutions and combinations have been proposed. We will first note some points that are certain, that may serve as landmarks in an investigation…Justin gives us the fullest Liturgical description of any Father of the first three centuries (Apol. I, lxv, lxvi, quoted and discussed in LITURGY). He describes how the Holy Eucharist was celebrated at Rome in the middle of the second century; his account is the necessary point of departure, one end of a chain whose intermediate links are hidden. We have hardly any knowledge at all of what developments the Roman Rite went through during the third and fourth centuries. This is the mysterious time where conjecture may, and does, run riot. By the fifth century we come back to comparatively firm ground, after a radical change. At this time we have the fragment in Pseudo-Ambrose, “De sacramentis” (about 400. Cf. P.L., XVI, 443), and the letter of Pope Innocent I (401-17) to Decentius of Eugubium (P.L., XX, 553). In these documents we see that the Roman Liturgy is said in Latin and has already become in essence the rite we still use."

Jesse said...

Notes by Christian apologist William Webster on the beginning of the historic development of Roman Catholic Eucharist theology:

"Men began to see the priest and Christian ministry as being parallel to priesthood and ministry of the Old Testament. And though the analogy had been set forth by Fathers earlier, they always emphasized that New Testament ministry had displaced the carnal sacrifices of Judaism with the spiritual sacrifices of the Church on the basis of the completed sacrifice of Christ. But now the analogy lost its spiritual character. More and more Christianity begins to lose its true spirituality to materializing and externalizing influences. With a materialistic view of the elements in the eucharist there now began to develop through the influence of Cyprian, with his view of the sacerdotal nature of the priesthood, the concept of the eucharist as a literal sacrifice, even though Cyprian himself still retains to a large degree the idea that this sacrifice is a commemoration of Christ’s sacrifice."

An excerpt from Dr. Francis Nigel Lee's Fifty-Five These Against Transubstantiation:

"Even since A.D. 831, many Roman Catholics still opposed such transubstantiation. So: Ratramnus, Berengarius, John Scotus Eriguena, Rabanus Maurus, Walafrid Strabo, Christian Druthmar, Florus Magister, Eusebius Bruno (Bishop of Angers), Frollant (Bishop of Senlis), and Elfric. Also, according to the famous RC Cardinal Bellarmine in his De Sacramento Eucharistea (111:5 and 4 dII q.6 art. 1,2 and q. 3 art. 1,2 and I:5) - even the celebrated Cardinal Cameracensus said: "Transubstantiation cannot be proved from Holy Writ .... To this Cardinal Roffensis, Cardinal Cajetan and also Scotus all concur." Indeed, the RC scholars Gabriel, Nicolus, Cusanus, Tapper, Hessel and others all present the "Protestant" interpretation of John 6:54. See Dr. P.G. Logan's Ph.D. dissertation The History and Doctrine of Transubstantiation, Sydney, 1994, pp. 84f."

Taken from:

Just wanted to add some stuff to this article.

Anonymous said...

If the lord's supper is to be understood symbolically, and it was taboo among the Jews to drink the blood of any animal or eat the flesh of humans, then would that not mean He told us to symbolize something sinful? I think that supports transubstantiation.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


The symbolism is not eating his body and blood, and Papists claim to be actually eating and drinking his body and blood so THEY are the ones practicing something "sinful."

Jesus said these elements were to be reminder of his body and blood, and in that way are symbols.

Anonymous said...

A good study for contemporaries trying to understand transubstantiation is the impacts of gluten during and after communion. Why are Roman Catholics with celiac disease or gluten intolerances concerned about partaking safely of consecrated bread and wine?

It seems to me, though I realize I am a nobody, that something physically changed into the flesh of God, truly and fully, would not react in concert with elements of the curse (ie disease and sickness). How does that chemical reaction still happen?

My wife is gluten free. When she eats any gluten, her stomach cramps up and she gets a rash. This sometimes happens after eating at restaurants merely due to contamination or a spice that had gluten in it. So, I guess you could argue that when she eats a chicken breast with spices on it, she cannot know that there is a gluten substance on the chicken breast, because none of her five senses can detect it, although it is really and truly there. She cannot taste, touch, hear, see, or smell the gluten, yet her body recognizes the chemical almost immediately after we eat, and she soon knows what substance she ingested.

I wonder why this happens to celiac people who partake of communion at churches where the wafers used are not gluten free. After all, the gluten does not remain after consecration, only that which appears to be gluten. Remember what Trent said, “the whole substance” is changed. Yet, it’s a noted problem that has need of a solution according to the following article:


Why are Roman Catholic Churches offering gluten free options now if the substance of the bread is changed so that it is truly and FULLY flesh? Flesh has no gluten. The problem is of course compounded as usual by the official church teachings which make it a requirement to use bread with wheat for consecration, thereby requiring gluten, in order for the consecration to be valid.



I’m sure the Roman Catholic armchair apologist response would be something like, “the accidents still interact with the physical world in the same way after consecration as they did before, so we could expect a gluten reaction.” But again I must ask, how far can you really separate the two before the bogus is undeniable?

The notion that the bread which has fully been consecrated and changed into the flesh of God somehow creates sickness (ie is a cause for a symptom of the curse in and of itself and not due to the clause specified for eating improperly in 1 Corinthians 11:30), is absolutely ridiculous. The Corinthians were getting sick because of their own rebellion, NOT from a chemical compound in the ingested substance that inflicts sickness on an otherwise faithful recipient. Human rebellion = curse. Sickness is a symptom of the curse. In this case, the symptom of the curse, (ie sickness), is caused by that which is fully consecrated as holy or set apart from the curse. The person ingesting the Eucharistic consecrated host, would not have otherwise been sick if he/she had not eaten. The cause is the concern.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

What I think you're saying is that IF the bread truly changed to Jesus body, then how come it still has gluten in it? Good question!

Searching for Truth said...

Jesse already mentioned Tatian, the Assyrian, I would add three other second century authors who also appear ignorant of the modern Roman dogma of transubstantiation.

Theophilus, Patriarch of Antioch
Otherwise you would not have been moved by senseless men to yield yourself to empty words, and to give credit to the prevalent rumor wherewith godless lips falsely accuse us, who are worshippers of God, and are called Christians, alleging that the wives of us all are held in common and made promiscuous use of; and that we even commit incest with our own sisters, and, what is most impious and barbarous of all, that we eat human flesh. (Philip Schaff, ANF, Vol II, Theophilus to Autolycus, III.4).

Athenagoras, of Athens
But if it be unlawful even to speak of this, and if for men to partake of the flesh of men is a thing most hateful and abominable, and more detestable than any other unlawful and unnatural food or act; and if what is against nature can never pass into nourishment for the limbs and parts requiring it, and what does not pass into nourishment can never become united with that which it is not adapted to nourish,—then can the bodies of men never combine with bodies like themselves, to which this nourishment would be against nature, even though it were to pass many times through their stomach…To expatiate further, however, on these topics, is not suitable; for all men are agreed in their decision respecting them,—those at least who are not half brutes. (Philip Schaff, ANF, Vol II, Athenagoras, On the Resurrection of the Dead, VIII).

Irenæus, Bishop of Lyon
For when the Greeks, having arrested the slaves of Christian catechumens, then used force against them, in order to learn from them some secret thing [practised] among Christians, these slaves, having nothing to say that would meet the wishes of their tormentors, except that they had heard from their masters that the divine communion was the body and blood of Christ, and imagining that it was actually flesh and blood, gave their inquisitors answer to that effect. (Philip Schaff, ANF, Vol. I, Irenæus, Fragments, XIII).

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Searching for Truth,

Am I correct in thinking your blog is essentially about one topic, transubstantiation?

Jesse said...

Yes, and it is good historical stuff exposing Roman Catholic transubstantiation.