Friday, May 19, 2017

CAN WE “BECOME CHRIST”?



According to Paragraph 795 of the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church (Second Edition – Revised in Accordance with the Official Latin Text):


(Start Quote)


“Christ and his Church thus together make up the “whole Christ” (Christus totus).  The Church is one with Christ.  The saints are acutely aware of this unity:
 

‘Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself.  Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God’s grace toward us?  Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ.  For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man…  The fullness of Christ then is the head and the members.  But what does “head and members” mean?  Christ and the Church.  [Quoting Augustine]


Our redeemer has shown himself to be one person with the holy Church whom he has taken to himself. [Quoting Pope Gregory I (“the Great”)]


Head and members form as it were one and the same mystical person. [Quoting Thomas Aquinas]


A reply of St. Joan of Arc to her judges sums up the faith of the holy doctors and the good sense of the believer: “About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter”.”
 

(End Quote) 


(CCC #795 – emphasis in bold added)


What?!!!  We (Christians) have BECOME CHRIST? Are they really saying this?  Isn’t this blasphemy?  Why would the Catholic Church teach something like this? 


Ok, perhaps they meant something else, or maybe we’re just not fully understanding their words.  So let’s give them the benefit of the doubt for a moment.  Maybe we should let them explain what they really mean.  But in doing research on this, their answers are far from satisfactory.  When Protestants express concern over CCC #795, the Catholic answers to this seem to fall into three basic categories:


  1) They try to tell us that we are taking this “out of context.”


This whole context of Paragraph #795 deals with a special unity between Christ and His church.  But the language of “becoming” Christ doesn’t match the context.  There is a world of difference between being in union with Him, and BEING HIM.  So, the Catechism is violating its own context at this point.


  2) Some will say that we don’t really become Christ, but it’s only emphasizing our special union with Jesus, where we are conformed into the image and likeness of God’s Son, since He is the Head and we are members of His body, together making the whole man, or the “whole Christ.”  They’ll say that the church is “one with Christ,” creating “one organism,” just as husband and wife are made “one flesh,” etc, etc.  So, it’s only about the union.


We all agree that we (Christians) are in a special union with Christ, but notice that the Catechism is going out of its way to point out a CONTRAST:  It says “… we have become not only Christians, but Christ Himself.”  It is telling us that we are not only members of the body of Christ, but something more, something different than mere members of the body, apparently something greater.  And then it reinforces that by again saying, “… we have become Christ.”  So, Catholics can’t claim that this is only about our union with Him.
   

If all that this controversial Catechism statement means is that we are in union with Jesus, then the Catholic Church is only being redundant (repetitive) here.  It is like saying, “we have become not only members of the body of Christ, but something even greater… we have also become members of the body of Christ!”  This makes no sense.  Using this argument, they are building up to a supposed contrast, yet, there is none.  This “union only” argument simply renders the Catechism quote meaningless.  Yes folks, this is just another example of Catholic word games.
 

  3) Some will say that this “becoming Christ” is simply a great “mystery” that we can’t understand.


Then, if that’s the case, there is no limit to the “mysteries” we can use.  Anyone can teach almost anything and declare it to be a “great mystery.”  Then, they can tell outsiders that no one can understand this, but they must accept it, since their church says it is so.  This could get quickly out of hand.  Simply calling it a “mystery” doesn’t make it true, especially since it flies in the face of Scripture.


And what is this “whole Christ” business?  According to Augustine’s quote above, we need Christ AND the church to have the “fullness of Christ.”  But is Christ somehow “incomplete” without us? Or, in some way dependent on the church?  Absolutely not.  He can exist without the church, but the church cannot exist without Him.  He does not “need” the church, or anything else, for that matter (Colossians 2:9-10).  Jesus Christ has existed from eternity past and will continue to exist for eternity future (John 1:1-2; Revelation 1:8).  The only reason that the church is even involved at all is because of His grace and His choice to include Christians in His plan.  It is certainly not because of any need on His part.  But it almost seems that the Catholic Church wants to make it sound as though the church is somehow equal with Him here.


Concerning Joan of Arc’s quote above, it is truly interesting that the Catholic Church (the masters of complicating simple spiritual concepts) is telling us to just believe them and not to complicate things?!!!  It is hard to take them seriously when they say things like this.


Conclusion


As we mentioned before, we all know that there’s a special bond between Christ and His church.  We’re not denying that, but Scripture never suggests that we can ever “become Christ” – that idea is totally foreign to God’s Word.  You can use all the “union with Christ” verses in the Bible that you want, but these verses do not support #795 in the Catechism.  We are not Christ, either individually or corporately.
   

So, once again, why would the Catholic Church say that we have become Christ?  They don’t officially believe in more than one true God, or more than one true Christ, do they?  This is a very controversial statement, one that stands out like a sore thumb, yet the Catholic Catechism doesn’t seem to be trying to explain it.  After all, isn’t the purpose of a catechism to explain the faith?  It’s almost as if the Catholic Church is purposefully leaving us hanging there, without any real attempt to clarify.  The silence is deafening.


Is this “becoming Christ” idea possibly part of the end-time one-world religious system?  We suspect that this quote from the Catechism may likely be used to further the Ecumenical Movement, where all faiths will come together.  Perhaps the Catholic Church is saying this to be “inclusive” of evolutionists, New Agers, Eastern mysticists, and members of other world religions (that is, those who might see themselves as their own “christ” or “god”).  Time will tell.


And why do we see so few objections coming from Catholics about this?  It appears that either they are not aware of these strange comments from the Catechism, or they are simply being faithful to “Mother Church,” no matter what kind of outrageous (and unbiblical) ideas she teaches.


The three points that we listed above appear to be the most common arguments for including CCC #795.  The only other option seems to be that we actually become Christ in an absolute sense, but this is outright heresy.


At any rate, the Catholic Catechism is wrong.  Jesus Christ is indeed the Head of the church.  But in saying that we (Christians) “become Christ,” do we now also become the Head?  Certainly not!  We can’t even always function properly as lesser members of the body (1 Corinthians 12:14-24), much less function as the Head!  We are part of the body, but not THAT part!



22 comments:

  1. Russell,

    This is just horrifying! Be sure to check out CCC# 460.

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  2. Hello Jessie,

    Yes, I am well aware of CCC #460 and that “we might become God.” Equally disturbing. I actually had it in the article at first, but decided against including it because one of the arguments was that #460 was a “mistranslation,” and should have read “gods.” So I would have had to take a whole different angle on the article, so I decided against using it.

    But yes, this is really sad. And the fact is that many poor Catholics will be duped by this. We need to pray that they will respect Scripture enough to test everything against it (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Once again, Scripture is the unfailing standard.

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    1. Hi Russell,

      I don't know if it is just something wrong with me, but those Roman Catholics surely have excuses for everything that flatly contradicts the Bible. Anything goes with them! It's absolutely tiring...I just cannot imagine how many who have converted to Roman Catholicism out of exhaustion over fighting with them... As you have said before, we can't win for losing!

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    2. In either case, CCC #460 still sounds pretty blasphemous (lkinda like Mormonism).....

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Hi Jessie,

    You are absolutely correct!

    Not only excuses, but enmity toward the Word of God. For a church who claims to be "biblical" and the “one true church,” it boggles my mind how they will do almost anything to resist many of the simple truths of the Bible at every turn. THAT, my friend, is a true mystery!

    UNLESS… they have an agenda and are indeed a main player in the end-time, one-world antichrist religion that is coming about (Revelation chap. 13, 17 and 18). Personally, I believe that this is the only way all this makes sense. It all seems to be falling into place. The Bible has been right all along. God is not saying, “Hey, you Protestants need to ‘cross the Tiber’ and join the Catholic Church like many others have done.” No, but He DOES say, “Come out of her, my people, that you do not partake of her sins, nor receive of her plagues!” (Revelation 18:4) There are others besides the Catholic Church involved in this ungodly one-world, one-religion system, but SHE is the one who is spearheading it. We need to keep praying for Catholics, that God would open their eyes before it’s too late.

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    1. Russell,

      Other spooky things about the Church of Rome that are worth investing time into is researching the Jesuit Oath and the "Alter Christus" teaching.

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  5. Ephesians 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

    If the Church is His body then its not separate from the head, unless if you assume if the church is not a living organism. The Church is the Total Christus the Trinity is present in it and through the church Christ continues His work of Redemption.

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    1. Hi Aquinas,

      Though I do not have the slightest clue on who I am engaging or intend on going on a deep theological rampage, I am going to tell you that you need to prove the validity of the Roman Catholic Church before asserting the truthfulness of its claims.

      You can find me here:
      https://rationalchristiandiscernment.blogspot.com/

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  6. Aquinas,

    Since your physical head is not separated from your physical body, does this mean that your knee is actually your head, also? After all, they are connected, right?

    It is this type of silly logic that often causes Catholics to err from the truth. Again, why is the Catholic Church so bent on saying that we can “become Christ”? These word games can become dangerous to your soul, and the souls of others.

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  7. This is one good example of a protestant attacking the Catholic teaching which he does not understand.

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    1. Aquinas,

      No, rather, this is a good example of Catholics making a ridiculous claim which they can’t back up. You’re making a claim and we take it at face value and point out the logical implications of it.

      So you are now protesting because you find those implications incredible. If you don’t like the obvious implications, don’t make the claim.

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    2. This one you will never understand so will not go any further discussing with you. The Church is the fullness of Christ, what that means you can comprehend it

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    3. Aquinas,

      No, your comment above is a perfect example of the grandiloquent superiority mindset that has been running rampant in various Roman Catholic circles. It certainly does not in any way reflect the character of our Lord Jesus Christ! And you need to provide solid REASONS for embracing the infallibility of the pope. Can you do that? Why should we submit to the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the first place?

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    4. If i give you solid reasons why the Pope is infallible would you believe me? No you would not. I know so because solid reasons have been given on this blog and you have rejected them. All i know is Jesus is with the Catholic Church until the of the World,and the pillar and Bulwark of the Truth will not fail in its duties to uphold the truth and to defend the truth. It has never failed and it will never fail.

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    5. Aquinas,

      Close, but no cigar. You still haven't answered my question. Any imaginary "reasons" that you have alluded to in your previous reply to me are anything but biblical. We want answers that come from Scripture. And your appeal to 1 Timothy 3:15 as a Papal proof-text fails because the verse itself is not about a self-serving church hierarchy:
      https://rationalchristiandiscernment.blogspot.com/2017/02/pillar-and-ground-of-truth.html

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    6. Hello Jessie,

      I’m sorry, but “Aquinas” is no longer allowed on this blog. He has commented on my articles under at least one other name previously and, because of his behavior, has been deleted by me in the past. Now, he is using this name (Aquinas) and is doing the same things, even after repeated warnings.

      So, yesterday (July 11, 2017), I gave a final response to him and clearly said:

      “I have asked you over and over, and since you can’t show me those contents of “Sacred Tradition,” and you won’t admit that you’re wrong, and continue to be contentious, we are done. Anything further from you will be deleted.”

      He is now trying to access this blog again and is asking why he is being deleted. Apparently, either he doesn’t really read the comments addressed to him, or he just wants to be contentious. The proper way to comment on someone else’s blog is to debate or discuss until you reach an impasse. After that, real Christians will acknowledge that they both disagree and bow out politely. But Aquinas continues to push and badger. Apparently, he doesn’t know when to stop. This is not Christian behavior.

      So, Jessie, (if you allow him) maybe “Aquinas” will post his questions on your blog, since you did invite him to do just that. But, unfortunately, he is no longer welcome here.

      I hope that you and he can have a civil (and hopefully, fruitful) dialogue.

      God bless you, Brother Jessie.

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    7. Hi Russell,

      Your decision to block "Aquinas" from your blog is perfectly fine with me. It's not problematical for me at all. In fact, I did not mean to sound as if I was merely attempting to stir up feathers with invitations to a debate on my website. I guess that you could say that I had a slight knee-jerk reaction to some of those Roman Catholic comments. But this is just how things panned out. And I hope that all is well with you.

      God bless you, Brother Russell.

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    8. Jessie,

      Thanks for understanding. It's not something that I like to do, but it was necessary. And don't feel bad about what you said. You are certainly free to invite him to your blog, if you feel like it. No problem at all.

      God Bless!

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    9. Russell,

      Here was the debate, if you were interested in viewing it:
      https://rationalchristiandiscernment.blogspot.com/2017/03/extra-biblical-oral-tradition_8.html?showComment=1500256087302

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  8. Did anyone say the members will become the head?

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  9. Aquinas,

    If we "become Christ," we become the Head, since Christ IS the Head. Very simple.

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