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Showing posts from February, 2012

What Scripture Says about "Scripture Alone"

One of the biggest differences in the Catholic and Protestant approaches to truth is the idea of Sacred Tradition vs. Scripture Alone. We – Catholics – believe that scripture is the only source of truth on the understanding of the world, morality, and the nature of God but that we need an authority to interpret it so we do not splinter into factions. We, therefore, have one source of truth but two manifestations or vehicles for the truth: Scripture and Tradition. Protestants disagree and fall behind the banner of Martin Luther who proclaimed Solo Scriptura. So, since Protestants want to say that Sacred Scripture is all that is needed, let's look at what scripture has to say about the topic.

I recently asked this of a person, and the answer I was given included the following verses. No, I did not pick them out. Some of you may see how many of them are irrelevant and likely speaking of something else or taken out of context. I will very briefly address each of them. “For the Word …

More than Just Bread and Wine Part 1: Catholic Teaching on the Eucharist

Because I have been asked many times, I decided to write a blog post about what the Catholic Church teaches about the Eucharist - Holy Communion. I give this one disclaimer: I am only a human, and some mysteries can never be fully understood by the human mind (The Incarnation, the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, to name a few....), and this is definitely one of them. Like the Incarnation, this mystery asks us to take a leap of faith. And as with explaining all mysteries, sometimes difficulties arise in choosing the proper terms. This is also not comprehensive - that would take several volumes! So please, ask questions if you have them! If I can't answer them right off, I will go find the answer.What We BelieveAs Catholics, we believe and profess to be truth that when we celebrate the mass, the bread and the wine offered become the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. This is a mystery called Transubstantiation. (In English, that just means that two subs…

More than Bread and Wine Part 2: Jesus' Words

Scriptural EvidenceFrom Our Savior's LipsFirst, we turn to John's gospel, and we see Jesus feeding the five thousand. Here, he took a finite amount and multiplied it exponentially. He fed the people's bodies, then retreated across the Sea of Galilee. The next day, however, they found him, and Jesus said that they followed because they ate of the bread and were filled, but he warns them not to work for bread of the world but the bread of life that fills. The people ask for that bread always and ask for a sign, after all, the Israelites in the desert got manna. Jesus replies by saying,Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to use, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of Heaven. For the Bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”They said to him, “Lord, always give us this bread.”Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunge…

More than Bread and Wine Part 3: Paul's Testimony and Jesus as the Passover Lamb

Paul's Testament to the True PresenceAfter Jesus ascended into heaven, we see the beginning of organized religion that differs greatly from the Jews. Peter, Paul, James, John and Luke (among others) are called upon to defend and define ideals of the faith, to guide and instruct the new believers.When writing to the Corinthians, Paul uses similar language to that of Christ that allows for little misconception about the nature of the bread and wine used at communion.“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body for we will all partake of the one loaf.” -1 Corinthians 10:16-17The “cup of blessing” is the blessed cup that is “done in remembrance.” The “cup of blessing” was also one of the cups of wine at the passover meal, the one that corresponds with the cup blessed at the Lord's Supper. This imagery wou…

More than Bread and Wine Part 4: Throughout History

Tracing the Doctrine Throughout History: The Early Church to NowBut how do we know that's actually what the early church taught? How do we know this isn't just a teaching that emerged in the middle ages and has been taught erroneously since then and it wasn't until the Reformation that people began to speak out against this treasonous, blasphemous doctrine? Well, let's take a walk through history and see who preached which doctrines when.The Early ChurchIgnatius of Antioch wrote in 110 AD to Rome and Smyrna, and his admonitions to both respectively are listed below."I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible""Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . Th…

More than Bread and Wine Part 5: Ramifications

Why Does it Matter?Most of us would agree that we must be “born again” because Jesus said so, though He only used those words twice. Why then do we not take Christ literally when He says, many times, that we must eat His flesh? Paul also reiterates this fact, as do all the early apologists and early church writers.Unfortunately, this is not an area where we can “agree to disagree.” We can disagree, but we cannot ever think we can both be right. One of us is right, one of us is wrong.Either that is Jesus upon the altar as has been professed since the First Century, or Christians have been idolaters until the reformation. Therefore, until the reformation, no true Christians were around, and even then, only one or two got it right. Either the same Church that put together the cannon of the New Testament (since we all agree on the NT books that were put together by the Early Church Councils) was a blaspheming idolater, or that is Jesus upon the altar. Either the Church was guided by the H…