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?

 


BREAD AND WINE TURNING INTO JESUS? TRANSUBSTANTIATION IS ANTI-BIBLICAL

Catholics hold that during Mass bread and wine are bread and wine no more but the body and blood of Jesus.

Paul, in the earliest account of the Last Supper reported that Jesus said of the cup, “This is the new covenant in my blood.” This is proves that the sense of the word is, is represents not is turned into for the cup could not literally be the new pact.
 
Catholics say that this proves nothing of the kind for Paul was only giving a rough quote from what was said at the Last Supper for he omitted to say that Jesus said, “This is my blood.” This is unlikely and Paul would not have been so careless in such an important matter for he had a lot to say about the Eucharist and about it being wrong to drink the cup in the sin of unbelief for it insulted the blood of the Lord. It makes no difference that he says that he is writing to people who were already acquainted with the rite. Paul was only giving what he considered to be the essentials of what was said at the Last Supper and if he left out, “This is my blood,” then it was not an essential. The Catholic objection is mere speculation and is therefore a failure.
 
Paul evidently thought that the cup being the blood was not important. What was important was it being the covenant. To take the cup then is to become part of the covenant with God. The covenant with God is, “I will be your God and you will be my people.” It requires you to obey God in all things. 
 
The Catholics say we can’t argue that since the covenant with God element was what mattered that the elements can’t be the body of Jesus or his blood for they could be an expression of making a covenant with God whether they are just bread and wine or not.
 
Now the covenant would be made before communion. To take communion then only reaffirms it. So communion then is not an essential pact with God. Paul says Jesus stressed it being the pact. When he stressed something needless it shows that Jesus and Paul did not believe that the bread and wine were the body and blood of Christ. If they were, the divine presence within them would be the essential and most important emphasis. Paul’s words prove that the bread and wine are not Jesus Christ.
 
Paul the apostle wrote that for the sake of brethren weak in faith we must not eat forbidden foods if they find that offensive or drink wine. "The right thing to do is to eat no meat or drink no wine if it causes your brother to stumble or to weakens him or offends him" (Romans 14:21). This is incompatible with the notion that Christians are obligated to bless wine in memory of Jesus. It is incompatible with the notion that the wine is not wine but the blood of Jesus Christ.
 
Catholics will retort, Paul is referring to life in general and does not have the Eucharist in mind here. But how do they know that? If a man is offended by a friend having a drink he will be more offended if that friend drinks wine that is supposed to be the blood of Jesus! Remember too that in those days, the Christians remembered Jesus by eating bread and wine as part of a community meal. Paul did mean drinking at these meals as well as outside of them.
 
The Church says that the early Church believed the bread and wine were truly the body and blood of Christ. It was left to the Church in later centuries to work out that the bread and wine really change but do not physically change. Thus if the early Church believed the bread and wine became Jesus it had no way of explaining to people that they should not take this as cannibalistic. And nobody understands the alleged change of the bread and wine anyway. The Church calls it a mystery.
 
Had the apostles professed transubstantiation the Jews would have accused them of worshipping bread and wine. The apostles would not have been allowed into the Temple which was closed to idolaters. They did not believe Jesus was God when they were welcome. They would not have worshipped the Eucharist unless it was the body and blood of a Jesus who was God so when they did not believe Jesus was God they did not worship the Eucharist.
 
God is so opposed to idolatry that he said through the prophet Moses that an altar to which anybody took a tool to couldn’t be used and was forbidden (Exodus 20:25). Was this because the surrounding nations used such altars? The Bible doesn’t say so. They probably carved images into their altars. God here goes as far as to forbid any carving at all. An altar couldn’t be hewn. It is more probable that God made this rule to impress on Israel how wrong it was to use any images – even innocent ones in worship. Would a God who was so stern and strict really send Jesus into the world with a promise to turn bread and wine into his body and blood?
 
Jesus made it clear that he was the centre of Christian life. The Bible and the Church both say that the Eucharist can be done without and is not essential to salvation so how could it be the centre of Christian life when it is non-essential?
 
Paul told his Christians that if they sincerely confess that Jesus is Lord and sincerely believe that God raised him from the dead they will be saved. He said that if they call on the name of the Lord they will be saved and that if they do not get a preacher they will never know to do this (Romans 10:9-18). Some say he is only saying that if you see that Jesus is the risen Lord, its a sin to start to think otherwise for that would be the sin of dishonesty. They want to put a moral slant on his words. They don't want to admit that he was saying that the sinner who believes will be saved and the sinner who does not believe will not be and will be punished and lost forever for simply not knowing and therefore being unable to believe. That would be Paul's bigoted wishful thinking. They are wrong because the context is about people who don't know and who are saved by believing. It is not about people who see that Jesus was the risen Lord and who refuse to accept him. Anyhow, Paul regarded dogmatism as the centre of Christian life - not the Eucharist!  


ACTS 15
 
The apostles were opposed to the drinking of blood (Acts 15). Is this proof that they didn’t support transubstantiation? Catholics reply, “No. The ban only applies to physical contact with blood which doesn’t happen with the Eucharistic blood. Only the appearances of wine are actually touched, smelled, tasted and seen. The ban which goes back to Old Testament law only meant ordinary blood that looks like blood for transubstantiation was unknown in those times so drinking blood under the appearance of wine couldn’t have been prohibited for it was a different chalice of wine. Moreover, even if it had been, the apostles would have assumed that the eucharistic blood of Christ is an exception made by the Lord who has the power to prevent whatever harm drinking blood was supposed to do and who can change such laws.” But it would have been the case that since the apostles themselves would not have understood transubstantiation but simply believed wine was blood if Jesus said so would not have been able to believe this about the wine because the law forbade blood. Even the Church says they were not theologians but just the simple witnesses of a special message from Heaven. Also, the Law of Moses never said that drinking blood was harmful but only that it showed a lack of respect for life for life was in the blood and was therefore forbidden. Had the apostles believed and said they were drinking blood even if the Jews thought this belief ridiculous it was still undermining the Law of Moses.

HEBREWS 13
 
Hebrews 13:9 says that Christians are not to be devoted to food that brings no spiritual benefit to those who observe the laws concerning it. One might argue, “This is usually taken to refer to the abrogation of the Jewish food laws. But if you believe in the food laws they will benefit you that way if you keep them. But this is food that does not benefit even if you do believe. This can only mean that the Eucharist does not give grace”. The Catholics shout, “But what Eucharist or Eucharists? The pagans do Eucharists too.” Would Christians have to be told to keep away from pagan eucharists?
 
1 CORINTHIANS 10
 
Let us study the doctrine of 1 Corinthians 10 on the Supper.
 
1 Corinthians 10:16, “The cup of blessing upon which he ask [God’s] blessing, does it not mean we participate in and share a fellowship (a communion) in the blood of Christ?” The word rendered participating and sharing here is koinonia in the original Greek which simply means fellowship. Taking communion is a sign of friendship with the man of flesh and blood represented by the bread and cup. This says nothing about the Roman dogma. There is nothing in it to show that it teaches it.
 
After this verse, we read that all who share in this BREAD – not flesh - are one body. Now, if Jesus were really present in the Eucharist it would have been more natural to say that we are one because we all share in the one flesh because taking bread even communion in itself does not make us one body. It is having our spirits open to the grace of the body of Jesus that shapes us into one body.
 
Then Paul says that all who eat the meat of the sacrifice at the altar of Israel are participants in the altar. The eating of the bread and drinking the cup have to be linked to this verse. The theme is participating in the sacrifice by offering yourself through it or Jesus offering his life for you and offering your offering to God with his own. Catholics say this authorises the Catholic altars for Mass. But as Jesus was a priest, the altar Christians share in is the cross.
 
They reply that the Hebrew altar was used for communion and animals were never killed on it. The animal’s life not the meat on the altar was the real sacrifice. The meat was only a token of the sacrifice and a sign for offering yourself with the sacrifice. The altar was for communion so Jesus’ altar the cross must be for communion too meaning that we do eat him. But Paul never said that they are parallel in everything.
 
The sacrificial meat of the Hebrews which was not God could have administered the same grace as the Eucharist of the Christians if the Eucharist was God.
 
For the animal sacrifices to parallel Jesus’ right if they were mere communion Jesus’ body would need to be killed and then crucified for they were killed and then thrown on the altar.
 
FLESH AND BLOOD NOT WELCOME HERE!
 
Catholic theology holds that it is the glorified, spiritualised and resurrected body of Jesus Christ that is present in the Eucharist. In Paul’s theology, the resurrection body comes from the physical body and is more like a spirit than a body. One cell from the corpse would be enough to make it which is why it is safe to say that Paul probably did not believe that when Jesus was raised he left his tomb empty. If he just didn’t deny it, then its an open question. But there is another surprise about the resurrection body. It seems there is no blood in it! He wrote, “I tell you this, brethren, flesh and blood cannot [become partakers of eternal salvation and] inherit or share in the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable (that which is decaying) inherit or share in the imperishable (the immortal)” (1 Corinthians 15:50). Christians argue that he only means that flesh and blood as they are now cannot inherit eternal life but need to be changed. So they interpret it as saying they are changed into another kind of flesh and blood. But Paul wrote that the resurrection body is spiritual. Flesh has been used to make it but it is not flesh though it can materialise flesh. Flesh has been turned into spirit. This is something we cannot understand. It would be stupid of Paul to say that flesh and blood cannot enter Heaven if he meant that another kind of it can and Paul did promise that he would only write what was lucid and clear. He said “flesh and blood” not “flesh and blood as they are now” so he did not mean the latter. The Christians are wrong and Paul meant that the resurrection body is not flesh and blood. It is something derived from them but not like them at all. He declared that Jesus, the new Adam, has become a life-giving spirit unlike the old Adam who was a death-giving man of flesh and blood (1 Corinthians 15:45).
 
Jesus is a spirit-being therefore his body and blood are not present in the Eucharist. Paul didn't believe that they were except maybe in the sense that time is a part of eternity so there is a sense that the nailed body and blood of Jesus are present at all times and in all places. But that requires no change in the bread and wine and implies Jesus is no more present in them than in anything else.
 
Paul believed in eternity. There is no time with God so Jesus is dying and rising before God right now. This sacrifice was present during the meetings when they ate and drank in remembrance of Jesus. This was why the bread they broke was a friendship in the body of Christ upon the cross.
 
Paul wrote that Christ, the Passover, has been sacrificed let us celebrate the feast (1 Corinthians 5:7, 8). The Jews sacrificed a Lamb at the feast of Passover and then ate it. Here, Paul says that Jesus is the Lamb. Does he mean that Jesus has been transubstantiated into a Lamb to feed us? No he means that the Passover Lamb is a symbol of Jesus. He says he has been sacrificed and that we are to celebrate this feast now. Perhaps he meant that we are to continue the Jewish feast of Passover. It is a mistake to argue that Christ being the Passover means he is the new Passover meal in the Lamb’s place and in the form of bread and wine. Paul could mean that Jesus is the Passover Lamb in the sense that he was sacrificed like the Lamb and at Passover but this need not suggest that the two are identical in all respects.
 
The Passover Lamb is still the Passover Lamb even if it is not served up on a platter say when the family have to flee all of a sudden.
 
It is a mistake to assume that the feast means meal. The verse does not refute our discovery that the risen Jesus in Paul’s thought had no flesh and blood to feed us with.
 
It is unlikely that Paul thought that Jesus would have materialised flesh and blood for the Eucharist when he said that Jesus was a spirit that gives life unlike the flesh and blood Adam.
 
THE LAST WORD
 
The Mass is not part of the Christian faith. It is against it for the scriptures Jesus established said so. The Bible forbids anything that it does not teach so the Mass is against the Bible. It must have had a pagan origin.

Cannibalism whether real or symbolic is still evil.  Child abuse of a doll is still showing what darkness you have inside.  Jesus' rite was a disgrace.  The Church links it and his death for sins with the animal sacrifices that God commanded.  They have the same meaning - life belongs to God and atones for sin.  All these things are evils.  The Mass is declared to be the New Sacrifice which was prepared for by God with the killing of animals at the altar.  Thus the Mass is an insult to animal rights.
  
BOOKS CONSULTED

Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, Book 2, Most Rev M Sheehan DD, MH Gill & Son, Dublin, 1954
Apologetics for the Pulpit, Aloysius Roche, Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd, London, 1950
Born-Again Catholics and the Mass, William C Standridge Independent Faith Mission, North Carolina, 1980
Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
Christian Order Vol 36 8-9 and Christian Order Vol 36 Number 4 53 Penerley Road, Catford, London 1995
Confession of a Roman Catholic, Paul Whitcomb, TAN, Illinois, 1985
Critiques of God, Edited by Peter A Angeles (Religion and Reason Section), Prometheus Books, New York, 1995
Documents of the Christian Church, edited by Henry Bettenson, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979
Encyclopedia of Theology, Edited by Karl Rahner, Burns and Oates, London, 1977
Eucharist, Centre of Christian Life, Rod Kissinger SJ, Liguori Publications, Missouri, 1970
Fifty Years in the Church of Rome, Fr Charles Chiniquy, Chick Publications, Chino, 1985
Is Jesus Really Present in the Eucharist? Michael Evans, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1986
Handbook to the Controversy with Rome, Vol 2, Karl Von Hase MD, The Religious Tract Society, London, 1906
Hard Sayings, FF Bruce, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1983
Living in Christ, A Dreze SJ, Geoffrey Chapman, London-Melbourne, 1969
Martin Luther, Richard Marius, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999
Papal Sin, Structures of Deceit, Garry Wills, Darton Longman and Todd, London, 2000
Radio Replies, Vol 2, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1940
Roman Catholic Claims, Charles Gore, MA, Longmans, Green & Co, London, 1894
Salvation, The Bible and Roman Catholicism, William Webster, Banner of Truth, Edinburgh, 1990
Secrets of Romanism, Joseph Zaccello, Loizeaux Brothers, New Jersey, 1984
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Veritas, Dublin, 1995
The Early Church, Henry Chadwick, Pelican, Middlesex, 1987
The Mass, Sacrifice and Sacrament, William F Dunphy, CSSR, Liguori Publications, Missouri, 1986
The Primitive Faith and Roman Catholic Developments, Rev John A Gregg, APCK, Dublin, 1928
The Student’s Catholic Doctrine, Rev Charles Hart BA, Burns & Oates, London, 1961
This is My Body, This is My Blood, Bob and Penny Lord, Journeys of Faith, California, 1986
Why Does God…? Domenico Grasso SJ, St Pauls, Bucks, 1970
 
The Web
Transubstantiation, Is it a True Doctrine?
http://www.geocities.com/christian_apologist2001/
 
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