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?

 


EVEN IF BREAD AND WINE TURN INTO JESUS THERE IS STILL NO EFFECT

The Roman Catholic Church says that God can turn bread and wine into his son so that they are not bread and wine at all any more but Jesus. This doctrine is called transubstantiation. God performs this change when the Catholic priest blesses bread and wine on the altar at Mass. The Church talks about substance. Substance is the reality of a thing. It is what it really is. Accidents are about how it appears. Something can be made up to be appear identical to bread but not be bread. God allegedly turns the substance of bread and wine into the body and blood and soul and divinity of Jesus.

How bread can become the body of Jesus is one thing but it is also turned into his soul and his godhead.  The trouble is that his soul and divinity are immaterial or spirit.  God would not turn bread into himself when God is present everywhere anyway.  The soul and divinity would matter more than the body in the sense that they are the person of Jesus. 

Jesus said of bread, "This is my body." No translator goes as far as translating "This is literally my body." The Catholic Church in desperation says that there is no need to! But there is. The Church is forced to come up with indirect evidence to justify its claim that that was what Jesus meant. Then why didn't he say it? The Christians say Jesus is God. Early Christian doctrine denied that God has any special presence anywhere so the rubbish tip is as sacred as the Temple. Stephen died for saying there was nothing special about the Temple for God does not dwell in buildings made by human hands. If love is God's main and greatest power, then where love is God is. Full and equal access to this love will be possible anywhere. In such a context, it is insane to imagine that the primitive Church held that God in the form of Jesus was specially present in communion.

The notion of substance and accidents is partly based on Greek Philosophy. Aristotle stated that something is more than just its physical components but he never envisaged transubstantiation.  His doctrine assumed that the substance cannot change without the accidents changing.  The notion that what is physically bread is really flesh is nonsense in his philosophy. This idea of transubstantiation as good as suggests that when there is a thing, the thing is not the physical at all. In other words, what we call things are not things at all.
 
The Greeks had a God who was non-physical - who seems to be both everywhere and nowhere. The Bible never says that God is non-material though it does say he is like the wind and is everywhere. Even if the Greek God could do the miracle of transubstantiation, this is irrelevant for the Bible. We must interpret the Bible according to how its writers and first readers understood it. They were not Greeks or Greek philosophers. And even if they were, it would not follow that they agreed with philosophers who pretended that an entity is not its physical side but something else. Greek Philosophy is not authorised or endorsed in the Bible. The Bible actually through St Paul condemns Greek Philosophy.
 
Even if the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus and that needs explanation, then transubstantiation as a theory derived from Greek Philosophy, is not the answer.
 
The Church says that the bread and wine keep their own physical characteristics but what happens is that what makes bread bread and wine wine is changed into Jesus himself. Catholics feel close to Jesus during the Eucharist. But if they would stop and think they would realise that the doctrine does not encourage this sense of closeness. In fact if the bread and wine were turned into your substance you would not even notice so how could you be really close to those who eat and drink you? By being close to Jesus Catholics think of him being present as a man but he is not really present as a man in the Catholic Eucharist. The communion wafer cannot hug you or go to lunch with you. Catholic devotion to the Eucharist is based on an illusion. They forget that Jesus's presence is not a presence in any really meaningful sense. Its a pointless presence.

The Catholic may feel closest to Jesus when he partakes of the allegedly changed bread and wine. But should he? If your coca cola is transubstantiated into your wife, she won't even feel that she is being drunk. She won't even know. She won't feel any closer to you. If that makes you feel closer to her then its for the same reason that having her mug displayed in the house might. The sensation of being close to Jesus is delusion. The Church is being manipulative in urging people to think that communion is a real encounter with Jesus.
 
If Jesus is present in the wafer not just as a substance without any physical characteristics but as a substance with his physical characteristics such as his height being somehow present then a whole series of absurdities becomes apparent. Perhaps an orange transubstantiated into Jesus and is now the wafer. It would follow then that the wafer does not give us the physical characteristics of Jesus' body but of an orange that is now Jesus!

Think of it this way.

If God can turn bread into Jesus without changing it then he can make a pear Jesus as in so that when you touch the pear you touch Jesus literally.  There is a difference between the two.  To touch the bread is not to touch Jesus but the appearance of the bread while to touch the pear is to touch Jesus.  An orange is transubstantiated into pear Jesus.  You could go on forever with that.  This shows the insanity of the doctrine.
 
Our thoughts are real entities in the sense they would not happen if they did not exist. When you call up the colour red - not a red object but the colour - in your mind you see something. The entity is made of something that is not like anything physical. It is as if you are seeing the colour itself and not just something turned red. How can transubstantiation be possible for it would mean saying that the colour red you perceive in your mind could be really blue? But if its red you visualise then its red you visualise. Seeing the red is as near as seeing something as itself as you can get. If transubstantiation is impossible then, it is just as impossible with material things.
 
If you can say your keyring is alive not dead because it has been transubstantiated into your cactus plant or even into your sweetheart, then it makes more sense to say that your own body has been transubstantiated into the body of Jesus. At least its human body into human body.
 
The Catholic Church says that just as Jesus turned water into wine so he can change bread into his body. Protestants agree. But the Catholic Church says he can do it without making the bread seem to undergo any change. Protestants deny that bit. The notion of the change is based on the idea that God made all things out nothing for only then might God have the power to perform the change of bread and wine into Jesus. But the Bible does not clearly teach that doctrine. If Jesus did not turn water into wine, he could have used his power not to transform the water but to replace it with wine. That would still be referred to as changing it for in a sense it is. It is the rule that we interpret the Bible by the Bible for if we don't we can make it mean anything we want. It is safe then to conclude that there is no evidence in favour of the Catholic understanding of the changed bread and wine in the Bible. Its heresy.

If my communion wafer has a man six feet tall in it that height makes no difference.  If I live on communion wafers I will get the same nourishment from them whether they are blessed or not.  Why should an inner change that is non-physical affect me?  It cannot.  Also, I am according to current Catholic doctrine a body and a soul and both are me. My body is me.  So to say the wafer feeds my soul degrades my body.  With idolatry, the pagans expected some effect but this is worse for there is nothing.