Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


AGAINST THE MASS

The Roman Catholic Church re-enacts the time when Jesus took bread and wine and said they were his body and blood and invited his apostles to eat and drink. This ceremony is called the Mass or Eucharist. Incredibly, the Church insists that the bread and wine are literally the body and blood of Jesus. The bread and wine at Mass turn into the real body and blood of Jesus. The Church says that the priest uses Godís power to change bread and wine into Jesus. He changes what makes the bread to be bread but without the bread seeming any different. So too with the wine. The priest raises the bread and wine at the heart of the Mass for adoration by the people.

The worship of idols not to be named is the beginning and cause and end of every evil. For their worshippers either rave in exultation, or prophesy lies, or live unrighteously, or readily commit perjury; for because they trust in lifeless idols they swear wicked oaths and expect to suffer no harm (Wisdom 14:27-29).
 
The text says that some idolaters do not live in an obviously bad way and exult and love their faith. That will prove significant.
 
God is spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24
 
The Mass is worshipping the body and blood of God. It is not worshipping him in spirit. And what use is truth if it could be that your cup of tea is not really tea but transubstantiated into urine?
 
I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory I will not give to another and I will not give my praise to graven images. Isaiah 42:8
 
Graven images includes images of God. He will not give his praise to them - meaning the praise we give him. He takes it all and shares none of it.
 
John Calvin the reformer wrote:
 
If it is not lawful to affix Christ in our imagination to the bread and the wine, much less is it lawful to worship him in the bread. For although the bread is held forth to us as a symbol and pledge of the communion which we have with Christ, yet as it is a sign and not the thing itself, and has not the thing either included in it or fixed to it, those who turn their minds towards it, with the view of worshipping Christ, make an idol of it.
 
"A Catholic is a person who eats small pieces of bread on Sunday mornings and pretends to be a cannibal" said Edwin Brock.  The Eucharist experiences no physical change - yet the Church says it is literally the body and blood of Jesus. Sounds like pretending to me! If it's not then there is no such thing as pretending. A pretend God would be an idol. When you pretend your doll is alive, you treat it as if its substance has changed. Those who think they believe in the Eucharistic change are mistaking pretending for recognising a real change or vice versa. If you are pretending that your door knocker is God you cannot admit this to others. You would have to invoke mystery and say it changed into God somehow without seeming to be anything other than a door knocker. The alleged change in the Eucharist is really just a refusal to admit that a lot of pretending is going on. If Catholics are pretending that the wafer is Jesus, they have no excuse but to say, "No we are not pretending. The wafer changed into Jesus but its an undetectable change." That is exactly what you would say to cover up the pretending.
 
Lots of people, religious and non-religious, seem to think that words are things. They worship religious language and mistake it for God. Many worship the concept of God and feel as if they worship God. But the words or doctrines or concepts are not the reality. They can be a substitute for it. The worship of the Eucharist bread and wine is based on our ability to engage in reification. It is idolatry.
 
Some believers in the bread and wine becoming Jesus' body and blood think that it means a piece of flesh and some real blood are there. But God tricks your senses so that it looks and feels like you are consuming bread and wine. It is exactly the same as disguising soya as meat. This is not transubstantiation which is a bit more complicated than turning buttermilk into butter, it is more complicated than a strictly physical change.
 
Others hold that God does not trick your senses and that you really sense bread and wine but by faith you know something has changed and they are not the bread and wine they seem to be.
 
Even if the Bible says bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus it does not say that transubstantiation is the answer. And most people think it makes no sense so when they worship at Mass they are in effect intending to worship something they feel is God. What matters to them is the feeling.
 
Augustine of Hippo laid down that if the Bible talks absurdities then you must reason as follows: "If a passage is prescriptive, and if it either forbids a crime or wickedness or enjoins usefulness or charity, it is not figurative. But if it seems to command a crime or wickedness or to forbid usefulness or kindness, it is figurative." Speaking of John 6:53 Augustine said that it "appears to enjoin wickedness or a crime. It is a figure therefore teaching us that we partake of the benefits of the Lord's passion, and that we must sweetly and profitably treasure up in our memories that flesh of our Lord that was crucified and wounded for us."
 
We hear of some bizarre miracles in the religious world. It is not the result of the miracle that should count as making it ridiculous. It is the power used. Its a bigger miracle to turn bread into Jesus without any change being perceptible than it is to turn a prince into a frog. It takes more power. The Catholic Mass where bread allegedly becomes Jesus surpasses any fairy story.
 
Catholic idolatry?
 
The really good person does not use prayer to make themselves feel they are doing something for others. They strive to accomplish by themselves what they ask. They do not pray for John to get better instead of prayerfully going to help John. If all they do is pray, their prayers are just the "vain repetitions" that Christ went on about. The fact that the Catholic Church lays down rules and laws and complex rites, and Masses, for prayer show it is more concerned with magic than with action.
 
The Catholic Church during Mass gives the bread and wine of communion the same worship as it gives God. It says they are the body and blood of Jesus Christ, who is God.
 
The heathens worshipped idols. Nobody worships a statue for example just because it is a statue. Thus it is clear that sincere worship of idols is adoring them not God. There is no room for saying, "They mean to worship the divine despite appearances." Such an argument would mean there is no such thing as idolatry after all!
 
The Catholics worship bread and wine. They justify this by saying that a change has happened. But there is no change.
 
The Church teaches that the Mass is at the centre of Christian life. In other words, it is the Jesus present in the Eucharist that matters. Jesus is to be contemplated and approached only through the Eucharist. The prayers and sacraments are ultimate preparation for the Eucharist. When we pray to him, we must pray to the Eucharist. All things are done through the Eucharist. If this worship is idolatry, it follows then that the Catholic religion is wholly superficially Christian. It honours something it calls Jesus but which is not Jesus. There is far too much staked on such a philosophically and scripturally unconvincing doctrine. The bigger the claim the better the evidence you need.
 
Idolatry can be understood as excessive worship. The Catholic worship of the Eucharist is excessive worship at least in attitude. It is the deliberate cultivation of idolatry.
 
Magic means to have a formula by which a person can get God under his power. God by definition is greater than man and so he must consent to this scheme. There is no point in doing magic if you are more powerful than God. Black magic is when a person has the formula to put evil spirits under his power. White magic is when a person thinks that through a certain prayer or a blessed object he can put God under his power. White magic is hypocrisy for it treats God as a fool while pretending to honour him. If God claims to be God and takes orders from you he is lying and deluded and is not much of a God. So then you are really masking your devotion to forces that lie they are God. Be clear on this - the mass is black magic for even if Jesus is good, the Mass is not based on that goodness. The talk of good is just words. If Jesus advocated magic then he clearly had no right to condemn people to Hell forever and is evil beyond what even a million Hitlers would be. The Church says that Hell exists because God is all-perfect love. The Church says it will agree with all condemnations of the doctrine of Hell as immoral and evil and hateful if its doctrine of God is wrong. The Mass is an abomination.
 
The priest turns the bread and wine into Jesus whenever he wants. Even if the intention is to mock the Eucharist it still changes. The Church denies that it is forcing Jesus against his will to change them into him because it says he sees all that will happen and it only happens because he agreed to do what the priest asks and empowers the priest. But Jesus cannot make a decision now based on what he sees the future will bring. The future cannot cause the past. He makes the decision and then he sees the results in the future. Spiritualists claim that when they make the dead appear it is because the dead have consented. Nobody admits to trying to control supernatural entities such as Jesus and spirits. But they act as if they do and that is the point. Jesus agreeing to turn bread and wine through the priest into himself even if all priests do it to mock the consecrated bread and wine is superstition. It is not about love but about giving an honour to the priest. The priest is merely looking for an honour. Jesus is not behind such a daft scheme.
 
If a host that is merely bread and is not changed into Jesus is put into a monstrance for worship by the Catholics, they will still think their veneration of it brings them spiritual favours and graces. They will sense that it is Jesus. This test would show that whether it is consecrated or not, worship of the wafer is idolatry. You could even try it out by using white cardboard cut into a circle. Worshippers of the fake host and the real one will not feel any different and both will experience the fake Jesus the same way as they do the "real" one. The experiment shows the degradation of the worship of communion.
 
We tend to be grateful to things when they benefit us. We feel a sense of gratitude towards the car that gets us to hospital. We kick and curse the car and swear at it when it breaks down. We treat events and things as if they consciously bless us and curse us. This irrationality is behind people's devotion to the Eucharist. It is no wonder so many easily and too easily believe in God. Even if adoring the Eucharist is not idolatry in itself, our motivations for honouring it are most likely idolatrous.
 
The Catholic believer hungers for the Eucharist and feels Jesus is united with him for the few minutes that the host is in him before it is digested. This contradicts Jesus' promise in John 6 that he who consumes Jesus will have no spiritual hunger. The Catholic then is not receiving the real Jesus. The Mass is a trick to prevent people really receiving Jesus and to keep them coming back for spiritual food. Jesus was speaking about spiritual food that is keeps feeding you forever if you let it. Eating Jesus is a spiritual eating and is not about changing bread into his body and losing that spiritual food after a few minutes when it becomes bread again.
 
The Church uses statues in the veneration of saints. Why not teach that statues are transubstantiated into the saints they represent? The Church would see that as idolatry even though it worships communion wafers as God. The worship of the Eucharist as God then is idolatry.