This is in response to Ken’s reply to my article (which is responding to his!). Since the response(s) are getting too long for the combox, I’m writing a new article to address Ken’s posts. Ken objects to my use of "O ye of little faith," but I believe the objective reader here can see the point I have been making and how Ken's faith is lacking when it comes to accepting this direct teaching from our Lord and Savior.
Your statement "O ye of little faith" makes no sense to me or Protestants like me. Nowhere in John 6 or the Upper Room texts in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or I Cor. 11 say what you and the RCC try to make them say.
Well, Ken, it says what it says. Catholics don’t “make them say” anything, we read the words as they are written. No, it would appear that those who have to rationalize and impute all sorts of interpretation and explanation to the plain text - it would be those who are trying “to make them say” something they are not.
Jesus did not say "by saying/commanding (?) "this is My body" and "this is My blood", that it will change the bread and wine into His body and blood.
No, He just held it up and declared it so. No rationalizations here from the Catholic side, we accept Him at His word - it IS His body and blood - period.
Jesus held up the bread and cup, and said to His disciples, "this is My body" and "this is My blood" - He was in His real body at that time in space and time on earth, holding up the bread and cup; so since He could not be incarnated twice ( or more), and His death is "once for all" - He obviously meant "this bread represents or signifies my body, and this cup represents or signifies the blood of the new covenant", etc.
O ye of little faith! You have said that the Eucharist could not BE His body and blood because “He was in His real body at that time in space and time on earth.” You limit God’s power and omnipresence - Catholics do not! If HE says it IS His body and blood - IT IS SO! Consider that in John 6 the chapter opens with the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand from five loaves of bread and two small fish - yet SOMEHOW there was enough to feed the five thousand AND to have twelve basketfuls of left-overs! How could five loaves of bread and two fishes be in so many places at once?! You (I trust) accept the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, but somehow MISS the FACT that this prefigures the Eucharist - and in context is part of a eucharistic treatise! I pray that God will grant you the FAITH necessary to accept Him and His Word.
Moving along to St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians...
To judge the body rightly or "discern the body rightly" does not mean "judge the bread as the literal body of Jesus that has been changed, but no one can see it, etc."; rather in context in I Cor. 11:17-34 - it means to "discern the body of Christ" rightly - that is, discern right by relationships with "one another" and confess your sins to one another before you partake in the supper - be patient with one another, love one another, don't be selfish (remember that thing called context - the context was that there was gluttony, impatience, selfishness, hoarding, and drunkeness at the Lord's supper and Paul was rebuking them for that.)
St. Paul rebukes them for these things - yes! But WHY is he rebuking them? Because they did not rightly discern the body of Christ! Yes, he speaks of divisions among themselves and some feasting while others go hungry - but THE POINT IS when they do THAT while approaching the Eucharist - they are not rightly discerning the body of Christ!
27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.
28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.
30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.
31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.
32 But when we are judged by the Lord,we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat [see back up at verses 17 and 18 - "when you come together as a church"], wait for one another—
34 if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.
"discerning the body" in v. 29
is parallel with
Judging ourselves rightly in v. 31 = "examine yourself before you partake" - confess your sins - Matthew 5 and 18 also talk about this. Make things right with people first, then come and worship.
No matter how you try to spin it - “the judgment” comes upon them for not “discerning the body...” All the rationalizations you want to throw at this passage doesn’t change the fact that the REASON they would be bringing judgment upon themselves was due to them not discerning His body! Yes, they did wrong things - but the judgment came upon them for not discerning.
Now, back to St. Augustine...
Augustine got the Hebrew wrong, and from there went too far with the "footstool" and "earth" etc.
He was wrong on the Hebrew and application of the footstool to the Lord's human body and nature, but He was right in that we worship the Lord Jesus Christ as God, and that He has both a Divine and Human nature.
You claim he (St. Augustine) was wrong about the “footstool” and “the earth” - yet it has been demonstrated that God Himself calls the earth His footstool in Isaiah! (Isaiah 66:1 and Acts 7:49). So where, exactly is St. Augustine “wrong” here?
there is a lot more that could be said, especially that Stephen rebukes the Jews in Acts 7 (Quoting Isaiah 66:1-2) for the Jews not seeing the spiritual meaning behind the temple and that they placed too much emphasis on the physical temple, which is what RCC does by trying to take OT physical contexts and put them into the NT ( priests, infant baptism as the same as circumcision, and the cherubim and seraphim as justification for having images of saints and angels to pray to in churches today.
Ken, take a look at verses 52-53!
52 "Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become;
53 you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it."
Note, the criticism is due to the fact that they were given the law and did not keep it! Amen! You have been given the truth, and you do not believe it - O ye of little faith! May God grant you the faith necessary to accept His truth.
I should add that the way you use "O Ye of little faith", makes no sense to Protestants because it is applying that Biblical phrase to the Eucharist/Lord's Supper, when Reformed and other Evangelical Protestants fully believe in Christ and His Deity and humanity and the Trinity and in His atonement for the forgiveness of sins, etc. We have faith in Christ.
I will say that you, (“Reformed and other Evangelical Protestants”) DO have faith in Christ, but it is an incomplete faith. I speak as a former Protestant, I believe I too had faith prior to my conversion to the Catholic Faith, but it was lacking. The fullness of faith comes in following the Lord through the Church He Himself built, as He promise He would do. You don’t find this fullness in schisms of men which began some 1500 years after Jesus built His Church. You will not find the fullness of faith in the rationalizations of men who seek to dilute the very words of our Lord into something LESS than what He said - and that’s EXACTLY what you’re doing here! You’re watering down the plain reading of our Lord’s words to appease your lack of faith in Him to fulfill in us what He commanded we must do, and that is eat His flesh and drink His blood - or we have NO LIFE in us. It is also in BELIEVING HIM when He declares, “This IS My body...” To rationalize and reduce His statements to human/physical understanding is to deny the divinity of Jesus Christ and His ability to miraculously BE the Eucharist. Again I remind you, the opening of John 6 begins with our Lord and God taking five loaves and two fishes and feeding five thousand people, with twelve baskets left over! Do not doubt your God’s ability to be miraculous!
We we celebrate the Lord's supper,
You (as did I) celebrate a memorial. You do not believe Jesus can actually BE the Eucharist, even though He declares it IS His body and IS His blood. No, you have to come up with rationalizations (excuses) for why Jesus could not BE the Eucharist because He is IN His body at the same time He’s declaring “this IS My body” - why? Because you cannot accept that Jesus could miraculously BE in more than one place at a time, yet (and I repeat) He could make five loaves and two fishes BE in multiple places at the same time! THIS is why I use the phrase, “O ye of little faith!” You do not have the faith necessary to accept Jesus at His word without making excuses.
we are careful to look at the texts and follow them - examine yourselves - so, if we are worshiping God in spirit in truth; and Christ has ascended to the Father, then the bread and wine are symbols of the once for all death of Christ - "as often as you do this, you proclaim the Lord's death" ( I Cor. 11) - "Do this in remembrance of Me" - it is a memorial of looking back on His once for all atonement for sins.
Just because something is done in remembrance does not mean what is done is not REAL! The Eucharist is not a mere memorial, as Protestants (most of them anyway) believe it is. Remember again, from the context of 1 Corinthians 11 (you’re citing that chapter!) that those who fell into the judgment did so because they failed to discern His body! How can one be guilty of His body if the Eucharist is merely a symbolic memorial?
So, we have faith, and that phrase is never used in regard to the Eucharist or Lord's Supper.
Again, I agree you have faith - incomplete faith. Whether or not Scripture uses that phrase in regard to the Eucharist is irrelevant to the FACT that you’re displaying a lack of faith in Him.
And a true believer in Christ, experiences a deep communion with Christ, by faith, spiritually, after examining oneself and confessing sin and making things right with others and worship and prayer. Yes, the spiritual presence of Christ is real by faith in the true believer with the Lord.
Ask yourself, and I ask the objective reader here to ask themselves as well, does Jesus say He is spiritually present in the bread and wine or “this IS My body” and “this IS My blood?” Does He say “this bread represents My body” or that it IS His body? Without coming up with all sorts of excuses and rationalizations - what does He plainly state?
The way you use the phrase, is more in line with Ignatius Loyola's statement, over 1500 years after Christ, "Whatever we say is white, is white, even if to your eyes it appears black." ( I am paraphrasing it) ( In his "Rules for Thinking with the Church") This is proof that the Roman Catholic Church is just authoritarian in an un-thinnking and dictator like style, and that is one of the key reasons why good Christians have objected to its self proclaimed authority and false doctrines. (Hus, Wycliff, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Zwingli and onward to today).
The way I use the phrase is the way JESUS uses the phrase! I do not ADD to it so that it makes sense to the carnal mind. I believe Jesus and don’t make rationalizations and non-spiritual explanations.
I also made one comment on your previous post critiquing my article on RC Wrong Use of Augustine.
Here is that other comment:
(Quoting Scott) Actually, it says: "Exalt ye the Lord our God, and adore his footstool, for it is holy."
No, it says, "Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His footstool, for He is Holy."
You appear to have used the New American Standard Bible, I used the Douay-Rheims Bible. The DRB is based upon the Latin Vulgate, which is what St. Augustine used. You’re using a modern version which inserts “at” - which from what I gather from the Hebrew, does not exist in the Hebrew. I stand by what I said - especially in light of the fact that we’re discussing what St. Augustine was commenting on and the version available to him. (I also fixed your typo, so did not include your correction).
We know this when we study the entire Psalm 99 in its context, and the context of the temple, and the arc of the covenant.
2 The LORD is great in Zion;
he is exalted over all the peoples.
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name!
Holy is he!
The object of worship in verse 2 and 3 is the Lord Himself, not the furniture in the temple, nor the temple itself, even though the place for worship of Yahweh was at and in the temple.
I agree that the object is the Lord Himself in these verses. There is no mention of temple furniture nor the temple. You might say that the worship of the Lord is unlimited because He is holy!
5 Exalt the LORD our God;
worship at his footstool!
Holy is he!
Again, the word “at” is not in the Douay-Rheims, which is based upon the Latin Vulgate and the Latin Vulgate is the version St. Augustine would have been using. Note as well the difference in the numbering; St. Augustine refers to this as Psalm 98, as does the Vulgate and the DRB, but in Protestant versions it is Psalm 99. In looking at the Hebrew, we don’t find the word “at” in there either. That word is assumed by modern translators. Also, the DRB says at the end of this verse, “for it is holy” and the NASB says “Holy is he!” Let us look at the text, I have provided the English (NASB) and the Hebrew below. The blue words in English are the only ones which appear in the Hebrew:
So, in the Hebrew all we have is: “Exalt Lord God worship footstool holy.” So the DRB says: “Exalt (ye the) Lord (our) God, (and) adore (his) footstool, (for it is) holy,” is just as valid as the NASB. I am not calling the NASB “wrong” - as Ken has so labeled St. Augustine’s use of the Catholic translation he had in the 4th century, I’m just saying St. Augustine isn’t “wrong,” nor would St. Jerome have been in the Vulgate.
Exalt the LORD our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for the LORD our God is holy!
verses 3, 5, and 9 are parallel, and verse 9 helps us interpret verses 3 and 5 rightly, if one tries to interpret 3 and 5 as meaning "it is holy" (the footstool)
So, Augustine was wrong to read the Eucharist back into Psalm 99. My case still stands.
Again, let us look at the English translation of the version St. Augustine was reading from, and not a modern translation which adds at least one word to this context:
Psalm 98 (DRB)
1 A psalm for David himself. The Lord hath reigned, let the people be angry: he that sitteth on the cherubims: let the earth be moved.
2 The Lord is great in Sion, and high above all people.
3 Let them give praise to thy great name: for it is terrible and holy:
4 and the king's honour loveth judgment. Thou hast prepared directions: thou hast done judgment and justice in Jacob.
5 Exalt ye the Lord our God, and adore his footstool, for it is holy.
6 Moses and Aaron among his priests: and Samuel among them that call upon his name. They called upon the Lord, and he heard them:
7 he spoke to them in the pillar of the cloud. They kept his testimonies, and the commandment which he gave them.
8 Thou didst hear them, O Lord our God: thou wast a merciful God to them, and taking vengeance on all their inventions.
9 Exalt ye the Lord our God, and adore at his holy mountain: for the Lord our God is holy.
If we look at the Eucharist in the terms of “coming from the earth” - then no, St. Augustine was not “wrong” here - he just took the interpretation down a different path than Ken has (and/or whomever Ken is getting his information from).
The Lord did not like it when the Israelites used the holy things wrongly (the bronze serpent, the arc, the temple) - That is why He had the bronze serpent destroyed later; and let the Philistines take the arc; and let the Babylonians (586 BC) and Romans (70 AD) destroy the temple.
Ken has gone off on a tangent here in his closing statement. It sounds almost as if he’s “preaching” at us here - yet he has established none of these closing statements nor tied them to the entire thesis of this current discussion! Even if we accept what he closes with here, that the Lord did not like it when the Israelites used these things wrongly (which he doesn’t delineate how they were used wrongly, but then again that would be MORE of a red herring to THIS discussion) - that has NOTHING to do with St. Augustine’s treatise on Psalm 98 and worshipping God’s Real Presence in the Eucharist. I repeat, this is nothing more than a red herring to the rest of the discussion we’re having. These might be interesting topics to discuss, but are nothing but distractions from the topic at hand.
I reiterate, I pray that the Holy Ghost comes upon Ken, and all who believe as he does, and is given the faith to see Almighty God in His Eucharist.
In the spirit of the Holy Family (JMJ),