Thursday, January 21, 2016

ACCESS DENIED



The topic of the Eucharist is a highly controversial one between Catholics and most Protestants.  We’ve already posted a two-part series on the Catholic Eucharist in which we believe the Catholic arguments are shown to be false.  See here:



The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus is present in the Eucharist in body, blood, soul, and divinity.  The Eucharist is “the whole Christ” according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church #1374, and the Council of Trent, Session XIII, Canon 1.

The “whole Christ,” body, blood, soul and divinity are supposedly what the Catholic is eating!  They insist that it is literally Jesus, Himself, but how can someone literally eat Jesus’ soul?  Notwithstanding that, the emphasis is that Jesus’ body is here with us today in the form of the Eucharist.

But Scripture tells us that Jesus is no longer here in the flesh: 

John 12:7 – Jesus therefore said, “Let her alone, in order that she may keep it for the day of My burial.  

John 12:8 – “For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have Me.” 

In what sense do we not have Jesus today?  Did Jesus mean that we wouldn’t have Him spiritually?  Of course not, since He said elsewhere that He would be with us (believers) until the end (Matthew 28:20).  It is clear that He was speaking in John 12:8 of His physical presence.  So, in that sense, He is not “available” today.

John 16:10 – And concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me.

But wait a minute, Catholics insist that we can still behold / see Him in the form of the Eucharist, yet He, Himself is saying that we can no longer behold / see Him.  So, one of two things is happening here:  either 1) Catholics are wrong about the Eucharist, or 2) Jesus lied.  We believe it’s safe to go with the first choice.

John 17:11 – “And I am no more in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to Thee.  Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, the name which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are.”

How much plainer can it be?  Jesus is speaking of His departure to the Father, and says that He is (or will be) “no more in the world,” physically speaking.  If He is no longer in the world, then He cannot be in the Catholic Eucharist, as they claim, can He?

Of course, Catholics will say that this is all a great mystery that we can’t fully understand, but this “mystery” of theirs is not biblical.  In fact, it is anti-biblical, as just demonstrated.  Or, Catholics might say that the Eucharist has some kind of special power as a “sacrament,” but this is just special pleading.  See here:


According to Scripture, we are denied access to the physical presence of His body or His blood.  Therefore, the “Jesus” in the Catholic Eucharist is an idol.  It is another Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:4).

The Jesus of the Bible does not want us to literally eat Him.  That is not what He meant when He said, “Eat My flesh” and “Drink My blood” (see the first two links above).  He simply wants us to believe in Him (John 6:29,35,47-51) and in His work on the cross where the penalty for sin was fully paid.  He wants us to believe and trust in the fact of His death, burial and resurrection.  That is the essence of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) and the true access to the Father.  That is the good news.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Russell,

    Did the Roman Catholic Church remove the second commandment from its list of Ten Commandments and split the tenth one in half? If so, then on what basis do you hold this belief (if you do)?

    Jonathon

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  2. Hi Jonathon,

    Your question appears to be somewhat off-topic, unless you intended to tie it into the idolatry that is referred to in the above article. If that is the case, then I will address it here.

    I have heard this argument many times before, but I don’t think that I have personally ever used it. I think that both sides (Catholics and Protestants) overlook some simple points.

    First, assigning a specific number to each and every commandment is not the real problem here. In both Exodus 20, and Deuteronomy 5, there are more “Thou shalt nots” and “Thou shalts” together than just the Ten. Some are simply elaborating on the main point. Catholics do agree that we should worship God alone, but they tend to shy away from stressing the passages concerning statues (since they employ statues throughout all Catholic Churches). I think that this is the sticking point for most Protestants.

    But whether the warning about coveting is in the ninth or the tenth Commandment is pretty irrelevant. The issue is that coveting (whether of people or things) is wrong.

    Concerning images / statues, these passages in both Exodus and Deuteronomy contain stern warnings against idolatry. Idolatry was a constant problem for the Israelites. It got them into trouble, perhaps more than anything else. It is possible to be near an image / statue and NOT worship it. But we have a very real warning about what can happen over time with images / statues. In 2 Kings 18:4, we are told that the very same bronze serpent that God COMMANDED Moses to erect had become an idol that the people worshipped, and it needed to be destroyed.

    So, the question is not whether Catholics removed the second Commandment and split the tenth… the question is: “Is it spiritually safe living in a statue-infested environment (along with such an abundance of prayer to, and "honor" of, angels, saints and Mary)?”

    I would say, “No.”

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello again Russell,

    Thanks for answering my question.

    How would you respond to passages such as Hebrews 9:23 and Malaki 1:11? Do these Scriptural references imply that the Catholic Eucharist would be important to the early church?

    I will look forward to reading your comments on my "proof-texts"!

    Thanks,
    Jonathon

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  4. Hi Jonathon,

    I see absolutely nothing in Hebrews 9:23 or in Malachi 1:11 that says anything about the Catholic Eucharist. If YOU do, please break these verses down for me and show me how they might refer to the Eucharist, without reading that back into the text. In other words, please use exegesis, and not eisegesis.

    ReplyDelete