Saturday, October 06, 2018

Feast of Corpus Christi - A Response

Someone who goes by the name "Malakye" posted a response to my earlier article on the Feast of Corpus Christi. The response is getting a bit long for a combox posting and by responding with a new article, responses for the next 2 weeks do not go into moderation (like Malakye's did initially).  So below I am quoting Malakye's entire response with my responses interjected (and the original is linked above).

You quote: "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. (1 Cor. 11:29).
Then you comment: "It has long puzzled me as to WHY most Protestants don't get this! This is not the use of symbolism...."
RESPONSE: Stop right there. Apparently, you fail to realize that "eating and drinking judgment" in the very verse you wish to prove Transubstantiation, is SYMBOLIC! Oh my, now wasn't THAT a kick in the pants!

sw: Malakye, just because you assert something does not make it so. The fact of the matter is this verse is entirely literal. When you eat and drink the eucharistic hosts - IF - you do so unworthily THEN you are eating and drinking judgment upon yourself. That is not symbolic, that is FACT. Why is it fact? Well, we will discuss that next...

You continue: "It is stating that the eating and drinking of THAT bread and drink (that which was just consecrated by the words a few verses earlier: 1 Cor. 11:23-25) in an unworthy manner brings judgment upon that person for what? For not discerning the body of the Lord! It doesn't get much clearer, my friends!"

RESPONSE: To begin with, you simply READ INTO the Text that the bread and wine were "consecrated" by a priest and by some magic trick, Transubstantiation occurred. Where is the army of Bible scholars who will suppo(rt) sneaking that little notion through the back door?

sw: Well, rather than just rely on the citation, let's look at those words from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 11:
23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread.
24 And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me.
25 In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me.
26 For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come.
Do the words St. Paul used here sound familiar?  They should!  They are straight from the Gospels:

Matthew 26:
26 And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body.

27 And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this.

28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.

Mark 14:
22 And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread; and blessing, broke, and gave to them, and said: Take ye. This is my body.
23 And having taken the chalice, giving thanks, he gave it to them. And they all drank of it.
24 And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many.

Luke 22:
19 And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me.
20 In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you.

sw: And even Martin Luther's Small Catechism uses the same verbage:
"Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when he was betrayed, took the bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples and said: Take; eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. In the same way he also took the cup after the supper, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them saying, Drink of it, all of you. This cup is the New Testament in my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
sw: So clearly, St. Paul was passing on the very wording that Jesus Christ used and was recorded by the Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark and Luke. I quoted Luther too, using the same words, and virtually all Christian communities which celebrate "Holy Communion" or "Eucharist" use these same words. Yes, most believe these words to be symbolic but my point here is that Jesus intended we "DO THIS" and we do it THAT WAY every time we participate in Eucharist - and for the most part, we DO exactly THAT and it is for this reason that St. Paul's wording is so familiar.

sw: Now, to answer your question of "where is the army of Bible scholars who will support this concept of Transubstantiation? To quote the U.S. Army slogan, we only need "An army of One," and that is Jesus Christ Himself! When HE said, "This IS my body" and "This IS my blood," true followers of Christ don't doubt His words here! We BELIEVE what Jesus Christ said IS TRUE!  That bread and wine no longer is bread and wine, it IS the body and blood of Christ! When Jesus Christ Himself says it, why would you feel the need for an "army of Bible scholars" to support the statement? That being said, throughout the ages this has been the consistent teaching and this notion of symbolism is the novel (new) idea which gained in popularity only in the last 500 years and only in groups in schism from the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. If you really want a list, I'll provide one - just ask again, and be prepared to be overwhelmed.

sw: You accuse me of reading into the text the concept of Transubstantiation - but I say to you, it is YOU who reads into the text a concept of symbolism - for again, when Jesus says "This IS my body," TRUE believers accept Him at His word - it IS His body, it is no longer bread. It may still appear to be bread - St. Thomas Aquinas did an excellent job of explaining the concept of the appearance is the "accidents" and the "accidents" don't change - however the "substance" - that which it REALLY IS - does change. That is where we get the word Transubstantiation -
trans = change
substantia = substance
tion = an act
sw: There is a REAL change in the substance of that which still has the appearance of bread and wine. To say anything LESS happens, like a mere statement of symbolism, is to actually READ OUT OF the text something which is literally part of the text.

sw: In John 6 when Jesus COMMANDS (several times!) that we MUST eat His flesh and drink His blood or we have NO LIFE in us - He doesn't explain it away as a figurative parable. No, in fact when many of His own disciples "turned and walked with Him no more" over that very statement, He doesn't go chasing after them and explain, "Wait guys!  I was only speaking figuratively here" - no!  Instead He turns to The Twelve and challenges, "Will you also leave?" And of course, they don't.

Next, the phrase, "not discerning the Lord's body" isn't symbolic in and of itself because obviously, to not discern something is to not discern something. It is WHAT is being discerned that is the question here...and we say the "WHAT" is definitely symbolic.
You simply assume that judgment was brought upon them because they had failed to discern Transubstantiation had taken place. NO! Judgment was brought upon them because of their callous disregard to what the elements REPRESENTED. Consequently, their's was an abuse offered to a SIGN. Such abuse reaches to that person which the sign signifies; thus, the Corinthian’s sacrilege of the Supper amounted to burning Christ in effigy. They were "insulting the Spirit of grace" (Heb 10:29) which whitewashed our crimson-stained redemption, resulting in some of their deaths (1 Cor 11:30). Therefore, the "Real Presence" of Christ is simply not required to be in the emblems of bread and wine for one to be "guilty of the body and blood of the Lord"....and happily, no need to ever celebrate "Corpus Christi" or name a church like that ever again.
Repeat: it was NOT that they were failing to discern Transubstantiation had occurred. They were failing yes, but failing to honor what the Lord's body REPRESENTED in the elements; namely, that it was given in order that our sins might be put away! By their cantankerous behavior, they were effectively treating the work of Christ in contempt. Instead of being cleansed by his blood, they end up being "guilty of his blood"; in the same sense as expressed in Hebrews 6:6; "crucifying to themselves the Son of God afresh."

sw: First off, let me say that I certainly understand WHY you must interpret this as figurative or symbolic - but the reality is there is no figurative language being used here! Jesus does not say, "Take and eat, this bread REPRESENTS my body..." no!  He said "...this IS my body." There is no judgment for not recognizing a representation - the judgment is for not recognizing the body of Christ! 

sw: Ask yourself this - How can one be cleansed by His blood and/or guilty of not recognizing it as TRULY His blood, IF His blood isn't really and TRULY there?

HEBREWS 6:6 IS THE ANSWER, MR. WINDSOR, as to what being guilty of the body and blood means. ALL CATHOLIC APOLOGISTS WITHOUT EXCEPTION, MISS THIS. In other words, if the Corinthians continue to deliberately undermine the cross-work of Christ, they are no different than those who first crucified him; seeing his death as not for the sins of others, but as one who deserved execution.
I trust now you are no longer.... "puzzled"???

sw: In context, Hebrews 6:6 is referring not to someone partaking in the Eucharist unworthily, but to those who were once Christians and have fallen away.  These fallen away Christians, since they once knew the Truth now are making a mockery of their former faith and are crucifying Christ again. There is no mention of the Corinthians "continuing to deliberately undermine the cross-work of Christ, you have imported that into the text. The text says those who have fallen away, they are bringing forth thorns and briers - they are no longer Christians, their end is to be burnt (see verse 8). So Hebrews 6 is NOT talking about partaking in the Eucharist unworthily, but abandoning Christ altogether and sewing thorns and briers among His Church.

sw: Without knowing you, other than your appearance here and the fact that you are challenging me and the Church. I must say, I do appreciate your zeal but I would offer you a bit of caution. Hebrews 6 seems to apply more to a person such as yourself. You have had a taste of the truth, you know the saving power of Christ and the Cross, yet you are attacking the Church which He founded! You are attempting to sew thorns and briers here. He chose The Twelve, our first bishops, and The Twelve chose others to spread the Church and to CONTINUE the Church until He comes again. That Church is the Catholic Church which has been around for nearly 2000 years now - it is not some schismatic group which was formed sometime in the last 500 years.

sw: I pray for your repentance and conversion.


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