Friday, December 7, 2018

Did the NT church believe what the Roman Catholic church basically teaches on the Eucharist?

Did the NT church believe what the Roman Catholic church teaches on the Eucharist?
No, and note that language must be precise here for not even Catholicism teaches that the elements of bread and wine turn into the manifestly literal incarnated physical body and blood of Christ as it was present on the cross, even though Catholics claim to take “eat: this is my body, which is broken for you” (1 Corinthians 11:24) plainly literal.
The RCC (and basically EOs) profess,
that at the moment of the Consecration which is when the priest says, "This is my body," "This is the cup of my blood" the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ who is then really present as God and as Man sacrificing himself for us on the altar as he sacrificed himself on the cross (The Mass Explained - Catholic Education Resource Center)
At “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,” thus becoming the “true Body of Christ and his true Blood,” (CCC 1376; 1381) having been “substantially changed into the true and proper and lifegiving flesh and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord,” being corporeally present whole and entire in His physical "reality.” (Mysterium Fidei, Encyclical of Pope Paul VI, 1965)
Notice the words “present” and “reality/real,” for unlike how Christ was manifestly present and real in His incarnation described in Scripture, and which manifest physicality is emphasized ( 1 John 1:1; cf. 1 John 5:8) in contrast to a Christ whose appearance did not correspond to what He was as regards incarnation (as within really Docetism and or Gnosticism), in Catholicism the Eucharistic Christ is not what He appears, feels, tastes and would scientifically test to be, for what He appears to be is mere bread and wine. But which itself does not exist, being replace by Christ, until this non-existent bread and wine begins to manifest decay, and then He no longer exist/is present under that appearance either.
The presence of Christ's true body and blood in this sacrament cannot be detected by sense, nor understanding, but by faith alone..." (Summa Theologica; Summa Theologica - Christian Classics Ethereal Library)
"If you took the consecrated host to a laboratory it would be chemically shown to be bread, not human flesh." (Dwight Longenecker, "Explaining Transubstantiation")
"Christ's presence in the Eucharist challenges human understanding, logic, and ultimately reason. His presence cannot be known by the senses, but only through faith." (Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America)
"the Most Holy Eucharist not only looks like something it isn’t (that is, bread and wine), but also tastes, smells, feels, and in all ways appears to be what it isn’t." (The Holy Eucharist BY Bernard Mulcahy, O.P., p. 22)
"the substance of the bread cannot remain after the consecration: " (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologi√¶ Article 2) "On the altar are the body and blood of Christ; the bread and wine no longer exist but have been totally changed into the body and blood of the Saviour... -  https://www.ewtn.com/library/Doc
"The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist;" (CCC 1377) "...that is, until the Eucharist is digested, physically destroyed, or decays by some natural process." ibid, Mulcahy, p. 32)
In contrast, the only Christ of Scripture has a manifestly physical body, even after being glorified:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life:” 1 John 1:1; cf. 1 John 5:8)
This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.” (1 John 5:6)
Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” (Luke 24:38-39)
A purely literal reading of the “this is my body/blood” that is broken/shed for us said at the last supper would mean that the apostles were consuming the same literally manifest human flesh and blood of Christ which attested to His incarnation, in contrast to a Docetist-type Christ, whose appearance did not correspond to what He physically was, meaning a metaphysical meaning.
Note that support for the Catholic miscontruance of the Lord’s supper largely relies upon reading the gospels in isolation from the rest of the NT, as well as so-called “church Fathers.” However, the uninspired (versus wholly God-inspired Scripture) words of men whose teaching came after the apostles had died, and which to varying degrees testifies to a progressive accretion of traditions not seen in the only inspired record of what the NT church believed, cannot be determinitive of what that NT church believed.
As pertains to the Lord’s supper, in Catholicism it is presented as "the heart and summit of the Christian life” (CCC 1407) “a kind of consummation of the spiritual life, and in a sense the goal of all the sacraments," (Mysterium Fidei, Encyclical of Pope Paul VI, 1965) through which “the work of our redemption is carried out,” (CCC 1364) providing “the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ” (CCC #1405) and only conducted by Catholics priests who offer it “in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead,” (CCC 1414) “cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins.” (CCC 1393) ;
But rather than the NT church understanding the Lord’s supper as being the life-giving central hub and focus of the Christian life, what we see in the the only inspired and substantive record of how the NT church understood it is that it only being actually only taught in one epistle (aside from the mere mention of breaking of bread in Acts and the “fest of charity” in Jude 1:12, which is in 1 Corinthians. In which the Lord’s supper is that of remembering His death by sharing a meal with others who were bought by His sinless shed blood, thus showing union with Christ and each other as being "one bread," analogous to how pagans have fellowship in their dedicatory feasts, (metaphorical or metaphysical? 1Cor. 10)
Therefore in the next chapter the Corinthians are rebuked as not actually coming together to eat the Lord’s supper, for while they did come together for that purpose, yet they were not actually having the Lord’s supper due to how they treated the body of Christ, the church.
When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. (1 Corinthians 11:20-22)
The apostle Paul thus reiterates what the Lord said at the institution of the Lord’s supper, an adding the interpretive conclusion, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11:26-27)
Catholics actually invoke this section in support of the Catholic interpretation, but the nature of the elements is not the contextual focus, though in v. 26 the bread is still called bread and the cup represents its content, while the purpose of the Lord’s supper is stated, and with the focus continuing to be that of the corporate body of the church (and which focus continues into the next chapter) .
Which is to do “show the Lord’s death till He comes,” which was by sharing a meal with others who were bought by His sinless shed blood, thus showing affirmation of them and themselves in union with Christ, with the church being as "one bread."
Therefore, by selfishly eating independent of other blood-bought faithful believers, ignoring and shaming them, then then they were not
 actually having the Lord’s supper, but were acting contrary to the very act that they were supposed to be remembering and showing. And thus in essence they were guilty of being contrary to the atoning blood of Christ, by which He purchased the church, (Acts 20:28) and were being chastened for it, some even unto death. For as Paul was very conscious of, to mistreat the church was to mistreat Christ Himself. (Acts 9:4)
This being the offense, not effectually considering/recognizing/discerning the body of Christ by mistreating its members by selfishly eating independent of other blood-bought faithful believers, ignoring and shaming them, then the solution is not some defining of the nature of the bread and wine, but even contrary to requiring fasting before the Lord’s supper, the apostle enjoins:
Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come. (1 Corinthians 11:33-34)
In addition, no where is the Lord’s supper presented as a sacrifice for sins and a means of obtaining spiritual life, nor is the conducting of it a uniquely pastoral function, or their primary unique function, much less that of pseudo RC priests.
Instead the primary work of NT pastors (besides prayer) is preaching. (Act 6:3,4; 2 Tim.4:2) with believing the gospel being the means of obtaining life in oneself, by which one is regenerated, (Acts 10:43-47; 15:7-9; Eph. 1:13; cf. Psalms 19:7) thus desiring the sincere milk (1Pt. 2:2; cf. (1Co. 3:22) and then the “strong meat” (Heb. 5:12-14) of the word of God, and by the preaching of which pastors “feed the flock” (Acts 20:28; 1Pt. 5:2) ) by which they are "nourished." (1 Timothy 4:6 ) Glory be to God.
A more extensive examination of the Catholic verses Scripture understanding of the nature of the elements consumed is here, by the grace of God.
Now what we (and I) a believers need to do is better act in accordance with effectually remembering and thus showing the Lord’s death and resurrection till He comes.

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