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    Ethics & Debate Center - Thread: Communion: Four Views

    1. #11
      Confessional Lutheran's Avatar
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      Fine, I'll post three for three. Are the Anglicans and Methodists so close to their understanding of what takes place during the Sacrament of Holy Communion? I understand that Methodism is an offshoot of Anglicanism, but do their theologies converge so closely and if so, what else do they agree on and why are they still separate bodies? That is off- topic and I would be very happy to see an Anglican or a Methodist start another thread addressing this topic, but I find it interesting that two separate bodies are so close in their understanding of Holy Communion.

    2. #12
      IACOBVS is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
      Why don't we just state the 5 or 6 major views?

      Roman Catholic--Transubstantiation. The substance of the Bread and Wine is changed over, completely, into Christ's physical and spiritual body and blood at the pronunciation of the words of institution by the priest. The "accidents" (taste, appearance, etc.) remain, however.

      Orthodox Eastern--Transubstantiation but without any of the mechanics or technicalities being explained. It's just been changed over in a way we cannot comprehend. They will affirm the RC view, generally speaking, but dislike using the word Transubstantiation.

      Lutheran--Consubstantiation (as it is usually called by everyone but Lutherans). The b&w remain but are infused (with, in, under, etc.) with the same physical presence that RCs believe occurs.

      Anglican--We receive the true body and blood of Christ in the elements but it's a presence only in a heavenly and spiritual manner. There is a change, but it cannot be understood or explained in a scientific way, and it's certainly not physical, carnal, etc. Methodists also believe this, officially, being an offshoot of Anglicanism.

      Reformed (and Presbyterian)--Also maintain that they believe in the Real Presence like all of the above, but hold that WE are mystically transported to heaven to be in
      the Lord's Presence at the moment of communing. IOW, the b&w themselves do not change.

      Baptistic (and Anabaptist, Evangelical, most other Protestants)--it's a memorial, and the elements (b&w) do not change. But they do represent the body and blood and the Lord's sacrifice, and it's also a fellowship act.



      .
      As one of the other Anglicans here, I'd like to note that there are several Anglican beliefs regarding the Eucharist, one of which being the one from the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion which Albion references above, but not all members of the Anglican Communion hold as binding. There is no hard and fast Eucharistic theology across the whole of the Anglican Communion, or even within some of the member Provinces. Low Church, evangelical Anglicans would usually hold to more of a memorial view, and High Church, Anglo-Catholics would believe in transubstantiation.

      Some Anglicans like use the following poem, purportedly written by Queen Elizabeth I, to explain their Eucharistic belief:
      "'Twas God the Word that spake it,
      He took the Bread and brake it:
      And what that Word did make it,
      That I believe and take it."

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    4. #13
      Stravinsk is offline Composer and Artist on Flat Earth
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      Quote Originally Posted by Confessional Lutheran View Post
      So, there are four views to Communion that might deserve debate.

      The Lutheran view holds that " is means is" and that the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ are truly present in the bread and the wine of the Sacrament of the Altar.

      The Roman Catholic view is Transubstantiation, where the bread and wine of the Sacrament literally transform into the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.

      The Reformed/ Presbyterian view is that the bread and wine signify a spiritual presence of Christ in the Sacrament.

      The Baptist view is that the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is simply an ordinance whereby one remembers the Passion of Jesus Christ with no transformation of any kind occurring with the elements.

      Thoughts?
      They are all wrong

      The Lutheran view is wrong because neither Christ's body had been broken nor His blood spilled for them to eat and drink. The words spoken, the breaking of the bread, the filling of the cups all happened before Christ was even arrested.
      The Catholic view is wrong for the exact same reasons.
      The Reformed/ Presbyterian view is partially right, but lacks clarity by not defining "spiritual presence".
      The Baptist view misses half the message, but does get it right in that the bread and grape juice do not turn into blood and flesh.

      The view expressed by some others (spiritual flesh/blood vs real - like - they are seen in heaven as "real" but on earth are still just bread and grape juice) is magical double minded thinking and as such it's wrong too.

      Christ is TEACHING something with His Words. Just as He is TEACHING something when He says to Peter "Feed my Sheep". Are we sheep? Or humans? Will you argue that we are really sheep in human guise because of the rhetoric used? No? But you will say that bread and grape juice either really turn into flesh and blood or are seen as such in heaven if not on earth? Again, are you a sheep in human disguise?

      Among other things, Christ came to end the slaughtering of the animals. This is part of the reason He made a cord and drove out the money changers AND the people selling animals for the slaughter! 2 groups are mentioned on John 2:14 - the money changers, AND those who sold animals for slaughter!

      This is also the reason He points to a new practice to be done in His name. No longer are we to slaughter animals to eat on Passover, we are to do what He showed us on Passover. The Unleavened Bread is the Lamb of God we are to eat. The unfermented fruit of the vine is the blood we are to drink instead of putting it on our door. Are they blood and flesh in a physical sense? No. In a metaphorical sense? No. In a replacement sense? Yes.
      Last edited by Stravinsk; 12-11-2017 at 11:18 PM. Reason: clarity of post.

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    6. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by IACOBVS View Post
      As one of the other Anglicans here, I'd like to note that there are several Anglican beliefs regarding the Eucharist, one of which being the one from the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion which Albion references above, but not all members of the Anglican Communion hold as binding.
      My apologies. I was trying to remember if there were other Anglicans here before I wrote that comment about other Anglicans on CH, but of course I was referring to the official Anglican belief which, by the way, is enshrined unequivocally in the liturgy, not just in the Articles of Religion. As we all know from the recent scrap over what Lutherans believe, every church has plenty of people who do not actually believe what their churches officially believe. Anglicans are probably just more accepting of the fact than Lutherans, Catholics, and some others are.

    7. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by Confessional Lutheran View Post
      Fine, I'll post three for three. Are the Anglicans and Methodists so close to their understanding of what takes place during the Sacrament of Holy Communion? I understand that Methodism is an offshoot of Anglicanism, but do their theologies converge so closely and if so, what else do they agree on and why are they still separate bodies? That is off- topic and I would be very happy to see an Anglican or a Methodist start another thread addressing this topic, but I find it interesting that two separate bodies are so close in their understanding of Holy Communion.
      I doubt that there is a need for a separate thread on the subject, but as to your question, most Methodists probably do not believe in the Real Presence, but if you examine the Communion rite and various statements from the churches themselves, it is there. In truth, it is somewhat played down, however, or simply stated (present) without much elaboration.

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    9. #16
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      So I'm not that knowledgeable about the early church fathers. When or who first talked about the bread and wine becoming in a physical way the body and blood of Christ? It doesn't seem to me that the church in the book of Acts thought of it that way.

    10. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by Stravinsk View Post
      They are all wrong

      The Lutheran view is wrong because neither Christ's body had been broken nor His blood spilled for them to eat and drink. The words spoken, the breaking of the bread, the filling of the cups all happened before Christ was even arrested.
      The Catholic view is wrong for the exact same reasons.
      The Reformed/ Presbyterian view is partially right, but lacks clarity by not defining "spiritual presence".
      The Baptist view misses half the message, but does get it right in that the bread and grape juice do not turn into blood and flesh.

      The view expressed by some others (spiritual flesh/blood vs real - like - they are seen in heaven as "real" but on earth are still just bread and grape juice) is magical double minded thinking and as such it's wrong too.

      Christ is TEACHING something with His Words. Just as He is TEACHING something when He says to Peter "Feed my Sheep". Are we sheep? Or humans? Will you argue that we are really sheep in human guise because of the rhetoric used? No? But you will say that bread and grape juice either really turn into flesh and blood or are seen as such in heaven if not on earth? Again, are you a sheep in human disguise?

      Among other things, Christ came to end the slaughtering of the animals. This is part of the reason He made a cord and drove out the money changers AND the people selling animals for the slaughter! 2 groups are mentioned on John 2:14 - the money changers, AND those who sold animals for slaughter!

      This is also the reason He points to a new practice to be done in His name. No longer are we to slaughter animals to eat on Passover, we are to do what He showed us on Passover. The Unleavened Bread is the Lamb of God we are to eat. The unfermented fruit of the vine is the blood we are to drink instead of putting it on our door. Are they blood and flesh in a physical sense? No. In a metaphorical sense? No. In a replacement sense? Yes.
      From what I have read there are at least two instances where Jesus cast out the moneychangers in the temple and overturned the tables. And if his goal was to stop animal sacrifice in that instance then he didn't do it. They were back in business soon afterward. It really didn't stop until the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.

    11. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      From what I have read there are at least two instances where Jesus cast out the moneychangers in the temple and overturned the tables. And if his goal was to stop animal sacrifice in that instance then he didn't do it. They were back in business soon afterward. It really didn't stop until the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.
      If you mean by applied force in some way, you are correct, Christ only disrupted the money changers and the sellers of animals for sacrifice while He was there in the temple. When asked for His Authority to do such a thing - He claims He will raise the Temple of His body in 3 days after it is destroyed. That temple of His body was destroyed on the eve of passover, when the lambs are slaughtered. The whole of the Christian faith in terms of a substitution for sin lies on this - Christ taking the place of the animals as a sacrifice. So whether or not the actual animal sacrifices ceased then and there is mute point.

      The actions of driving out the animals that were to be used for sacrifice, becoming the sacrifice Himself, and teaching that the broken Unleavened bread and grape juice represent Him (not slaughtered animals) are moral teachings that aren't altered by what other men are doing at the time.

    12. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      So I'm not that knowledgeable about the early church fathers. When or who first talked about the bread and wine becoming in a physical way the body and blood of Christ? It doesn't seem to me that the church in the book of Acts thought of it that way.
      I think you should know that we cannot say that Mr. X or Mr. Y was "the first" to believe such and such if it is as old as the first generation of Christians. But as has been pointed out by several people here, there are some of the so-called Early Church Fathers from the very early period when some of the Apostles were still living, or just afterwards, who affirmed the Real Presence...and there are none that we know of who denied it. Research-wise, that is about as much as can be done, but it is significant.

    13. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      So I'm not that knowledgeable about the early church fathers. When or who first talked about the bread and wine becoming in a physical way the body and blood of Christ? It doesn't seem to me that the church in the book of Acts thought of it that way.

      As I understand it, all the historic evidence indicates that the embrace of Real Presence was universal until one man, Ulrich Zwingli, invented the "is means is not" view in the 16th century and until the Western, medieval, Roman Catholic "Scholastics" began inventing all kinds of views (Transubstantiation being one of their inventions) beginning in the 11th Century. There is no historic evidence whatsoever that ANYONE prior to Zwingli held to a "is not" or "metaphoric" view.


      But the term "CHANGE" began to be used by a few Fathers quite early. Not in any dogmatic sense, not in any scientific/physics sense, but simply to note that what is received is not what was placed on the altar. The Orthodox Churches still speak of "change" this way. Again, it's not dogma and it's not any explanation and it's not physics - it's a notation that what we receive is not what was placed on the altar - God performed a MYSTERIOUS miracle.

      In the modern west, "change" is usually associated with the unique, new (1551) Eucharistic Dogma of the individual RC Denomination: Transubstantiation. This 1551 RCC dogma is rejected by Lutherans and Orthodox (who hold to the original, ancient, ecumenical view of Real Presence) and officially by Anglicans (some of whom hold to Real Presence, some not, some in only a sense). This RCC view holds that "is" does not mean "is" (being, present, existing) but rather "undergoing a very specific physical change which is an alchemic Transubstantiation leaving behind a mixture of reality and Aristotelian Accidents." Thus, in the West, "change" usually indicates this very specific, new, unique dogma of the RCC - a very technical, specific "change" which is an alchemic Transubstantiation leaving behind reality AND also Aristotelian Accidents. Lutherans seldom use the word "change" because while we agree with the East that a change does happen (once it was only bread and wine, now it is also Body and Blood), we don't want to be confused with the RCC view made dogma a few years after Luther's death.

      I hope that helps.



      Quote Originally Posted by Albion
      I think you should know that we cannot say that Mr. X or Mr. Y was "the first" to believe such and such if it is as old as the first generation of Christians. But as has been pointed out by several people here, there are some of the so-called Early Church Fathers from the very early period when some of the Apostles were still living, or just afterwards, who affirmed the Real Presence...and there are none that we know of who denied it. Research-wise, that is about as much as can be done, but it is significant.

      I agree...





      See: http://www.christianityhaven.com/sho...an-Evangelical



      Thank you.


      - Josiah



      .
      Last edited by Josiah; 12-12-2017 at 10:44 PM.
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

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