Robert Sungenis responds
FCFC Opening Statement:
"Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land?" (Ezekiel 33:25)
Without doubt, this is a perfect picture of Catholicism, for truly they have done all three of these things. (Ps.115:4-8 and Rev.18:24) But it is the eating "with the blood" that we will be dealing with in this debate.
Let me share with you just a bit of history. According to Will Durant's The Story of Civilization: The Age of Faith, 741
"The doctrine of the Real Presence developed slowly; its first official formulation was by the Council of Nicaea in 787. In 855 a French Benedictine monk, Ratramnus, taught that the consecrated bread and wine were only spiritually, not carnally, the body and blood of Christ. About 1045 Berengar, Archdeacon of Tours, questioned the reality of transubstantiation; he was excommunicated; and Lanfranc, Abbot of Bec, wrote a reply to him (1063), stating the orthodox doctrine: 'We believe that the earthly substance... is, by the ineffable, incomprehensible... operation of heavenly power, converted into the essence of the Lord's body, while the appearance, and certain other qualities, of the same realities remain behind, in order that men should be spared the shock of perceiving raw and bloody things, and that believers should receive the fuller rewards of faith. Yet at the same time the same body of the Lord is in heaven... inviolate, entire without contamination or injury.' The doctrine was proclaimed as an essential dogma of the Church by the Lateran Council of 1215; and the Council of Trent in 1560 added that every particle of the consecrated wafer, no matter how broken, contains the whole body, blood, and soul of Jesus Christ. Thus one of the oldest ceremonies of primitive religion - the eating of the god - is widely practiced and revered in European and American civilization."
When the Catholics came to Mexico, according to Prescott's Mexico, Vol.3,
"...their surprise was heightened, when they witnessed a religious rite which reminded them of communion...an image made of flour...and after consecration by priests, was distributed among the people who ate it...declaring it was the flesh of deity..."
In Egypt priests would consecrate mest cakes which were supposed to become the flesh of Osiris (Encyclopedia of Religions, Vol.2, 76). As you can see, like every other facet of Catholicism, transubstantiation is just another pagan practice. I would ask Mr. Sungenis to produce one Scripture where we are commanded to eat a live sacrifice with the blood. I found it interesting that the Abbot of Bec admitted eating a "raw and bloody thing". Exodus 12:9 forbids the eating of the passover lamb "raw"! Since Jesus is our Passover Lamb who was sacrificed for us (I Cor.5:7), and we are commanded to "keep the passover unto the LORD; according to the ordinance of the passover, and according to the manner thereof..."(Nu.9:14), then it would only stand to reason that we may not eat Jesus "raw". Did the Jews eat the passover lamb alive?
"But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." (Gen.9:4)
"And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood. And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it for the life thereof; therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh; for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off."(Lev.17:10-14)
It is obvious that God forbids "literally" eating blood. So the question remains, did Jesus command his followers to "literally" eat blood and disobey God's commands? The only answer is no, because if Jesus broke the commands of God, or taught us to break His commands, then He would not have been sinless, and Heb.4:15 says he was without sin. Jesus came to fulfill the law, not change it. First of all, in Luke 22:18, Jesus took the cup and said:
"Take this and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come."
Why does Jesus call it the "fruit of the vine" if it's His blood? And why would he drink His own blood? I Cor.11:26 says, "For as often as "ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the lord's death till he come". If he's already there in the flesh, then why would we do it "till he come". The Catholic church teaches that the bread is Christ "flesh and blood, soul and divinity", which means that the Catholic is eating a pre-crucified Christ. They are eating a "live sacrifice with the blood"! Remember Jesus said "Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you..."(Signifying our Passover Lamb who was sacrificed for us - I Cor.5:7) and "Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many..." The Catholic Peoples Encyl., Vol. 2, 386, says that the body they eat is the "Risin Christ". Did the blood re-enter into Jesus? (Remember that the soldier pierced Jesus' side and blood and water poured out on the earth). Rom.8:11 says, "...he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." While we are in the flesh, the blood is the life, but our glorified bodies are different (I Cor.15) (Also note that verse 5 says, "...flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." So the Catholics are not only eating a pre-crucified Christ, but also a pre- glorified Christ.
John 6:25-71 has been used by Catholics to prove that Jesus told us literally to eat his flesh and drink his blood, but does it really? They even go so far as to say that "many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him" (v.66) because they refused "transubstantiation", but this is real stretch for the imagination to come up with such an absurd and erroneous interpretation. Let's look closely at what Jesus is really saying. First of all, you must remember that the Jewish religion was based on works. Here comes a man, Jesus, claiming that all they have to do is believe on him to be saved. Notice verse 28, "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?" Jesus simply replies (v. 29), "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent". Jesus goes on to say he is the "bread of God" which "came down from heaven" (v. 33) and "...every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him may have everlasting life" (v. 40). It is at this point that they began to murmur among themselves saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?" (v. 41-43) You see, they could not believe that someone they had known could be the Messiah and that faith in him alone could give them eternal life. The reason certain of the disciples left wasn't because he said "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood...", they knew he was speaking figuratively, and even said, "This is a hard SAYING" (Emphasis mine). They left because they did not believe that faith in Jesus as the Messiah could give them eternal life, the same thing Catholics deny today! Notice Jesus asked the twelve "Will ye also go away?" (v. 67) Peter answers, "...Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." (v. 68- 69)
A few other points in John 6 should be noted. Verse 27 says, "Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life..." Question: Does the Catholic Eucharist perish? Answer: Yes!
"Christ remains present under the appearance of bread and wine no longer than the material appearances remain; once they cease because of digestion, or from any other cause, the presence of Christ ceases also." (Question Box, Conway, 447,and Deharbe's Catechism No. 1, 260, Doctrinal Catechism, Keeney, 230)
Now here we have the height of absurdity! The Catholic priest goes through this big ritual to transform ordinary bread into a "whole and entire Christ", yet once we swallow Jesus, our bodily function of digestion and natural heat turn it back into bread. The only nourishment the Catholic receives according to their own doctrine is bread, because the minute the eucharistic species ceased, or was assimilated or annihilated by our digestive system, it is no longer Jesus! Let me ask you something Mr. Sungenis, if you ate a "whole and entire" steak dinner, and 15 minutes later your dinner left you "whole and entire", unconsumed and unassimilated, how then would you have been nourished? Let me put it in plain English...If Christ enters a man "whole and entire" and then as soon as the bread is assimilated by digestive acids, he is no longer present, then what happened to him? Did we destroy (to consume, eat) Jesus, or did he leave "whole and entire"? If you say that we destroyed Jesus, then you would contradict your own church doctrine which says that Christ is incorruptible, so the only answer is that Christ would have left "whole and entire", therefore, Mr. Sungenis, you really never ate anything except bread! What a confusing and ridiculous dilemma tradition has put men in!
Jesus also says in Jn.6:54, "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, HATH ETERNAL LIFE; AND I WILL RAISE HIM UP AT THE LAST DAY" (Emphasis mine). Question: Does the Catholic Eucharist promise eternal life? Answer: NO. As a matter of fact, if a Catholic believes he has eternal life, he has committed a sin of presumption and as such stands condemned, even though I John 5:13 says "...that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life" (Emphasis mine). As a matter of fact, the whole emphasis of John 6 is eternal life (vs. 27, 33, 35, 39, 40, 44, 47, 48, 50, 51, 54, 57, 58, 63, and 68) How sad the Catholics, who take literal the eating of flesh and blood, don't take literal the promises that go with it!
Another point in John 6 is verse 63 "...the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life". This is where the Lord sums up his original statement. To feed our flesh did not profit our spirit. Remember, they were seeking him "because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled" (v. 26). That is why Jesus said, "Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead" (v.49). To eat literally does not spring up to life everlasting. His words are "spirit and they are life". As Jeremiah 15:16 says, "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart..." And again in Ps.119:103 "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth." Instead of eating a piece of bread and hoping to feed your spirit, Scriptures tell us to take his word into our heart and feed our soul.
Remember that Jesus warned us "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees". Now for all you Catholic literalists, that doesn't mean that Jesus was warning that someone might try to put yeast in your communion host! Rather, he was warning us to beware of the "doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees". There is the "true bread", but as Satan is a counterfeiter, there is also a false bread, a bread with leaven (evil doctrine). As Proverbs 6:25-26 warns,
" Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life."
If one just look at the language of the Bible, they would see that to take literally eating flesh drinking blood is absurd. Mt.5:6 says, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled". Jn.4:4, "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst." Jn.6:35 "I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." Jn. 7:37 "If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink." He is the "door"(Jn.10:9), and "the true vine" (Jn.15:1).
Debate between Catholic Apologetics International (CAI) and Former Catholics For Christ (FCFC) on Jesus' Eucharistic Presence Part 2
CAI Opening Statement:
"But God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise."
I believe the debate of the Real Presense of Christ in the Eucharist comes down to the principles established by Paul in the above quote from I Cor. 1:27. To have the infinite God put all his divine being into a wafer of bread seems just plain foolishness to some. Yet, as we see from Paul’s quote, God purposely chooses things that are considered foolish so that he can reveal his wisdom and shame the wise. Many of the sacraments in Catholicism are of this nature.
For example, the idea that water would be used of God to bring salvation (also known as "baptismal regeneration") seems preposterous to many. "How can water have such power?" they say. Not only does the Bible support this doctrine (e.g., Ac. 22:16; 1 Pt 3:21), but did you know that every early church father (2nd to 4th centuries) who wrote on the subject believed that baptismal water was the instrumental means of grace for salvation? No, you won’t find that fact written in many Protestant commentaries. It’s much too embarrassing to admit. Now let’s suppose, as our critics do, that baptismal regeneration was not originally taught by the apostles. Wouldn’t we then have to conclude that either the early church fathers formed an elaborate conspiracy to defraud us, or, that they were all deluded? Everything in us screams "no, that couldn’t have happened." These were the same fathers who taught the deity of Christ, the Trinity, etc, all passed down from the apostles. In fact, one of the chief means of judging truth in the first centuries of the church was to ask the simple question: Did Jesus and the apostles teach this doctrine?
Like baptismal regeneration, the doctrine that Christ is present in the Eucharist seems ludicrous to some. Human wisdom reacts vehemently against this concept. But tell me, what is easier to believe: that the infinite God became a man, died on a tree, and will remain a man forever, or, that God performs a miracle to make himself present in the Eucharist? When you think about it, the former statement is much harder to believe. As a matter of fact, the concept of an Incarnation is the very thing that keeps the major percentage of the world from accepting Christianity, not the Eucharist. They simply cannot fathom that God would become a man. It was the same problem the Jews had with Jesus (John 10:33). On the other hand, the major percentage of Christianity has accepted the Eucharist, including the Eastern Orthodox and variations of the doctrine among Anglicans and Lutherans. So why are my opponents so critical of this doctrine?
Perhaps if the doctrine of the Real Presense was something that just sprang up in the last few centuries or so, I could understand their outrage. But did you know that the belief in the Real Presense was also taught by the early fathers of the church? There wasn’t one father who denied it. The impression given by FCFC as they quoted Will Durant was that the doctrine of the Real Presense just sort of popped on the scene in the 8th century. I suggest that all of you research this for yourselves. You will be amazed to find voluminous evidence in the early fathers for the doctrine of the Real Presense. [Please consult my book, Not By Bread Alone, pages 195 to 296 for full documentation, with explanation, concerning the Fathers' belief of the Real Presense of Christ in the Eucharist]. Now lets ask the same question we asked of baptism. Does it seem possible that the early fathers would have been so far from New Testament apostolic teaching; so misguided that they lost all sense of truth and honesty, leading them to propagate a "ludicrous" doctrine like the Real Presense? How could all them have failed so miserably when it came to baptism and the Eucharist? A haunting question, indeed, for any Protestant who looks fairly at early church history.
Now to the finer points of our debate. FCFC posed this question: "I would ask Mr. Sungenis to produce one Scripture where we are commanded to eat a live sacrifice with the blood." This is a typical straw man argument. If I can’t disprove what the opponent props up as contradiction, then it appears they have proved their point. Much of the argumentation presented by FCFC is of this nature. In actuality, the question is irrelevant to our discussion and exposes the ignorance of my opponents as to the nature of the Eucharist in Catholicism. The Church has carefully defined the Real Presense, using terms from St. Thomas Aquinas regarding the difference between "substance" and "accidents," teaching that it is not raw flesh we eat, nor raw blood we drink. Rather, it is the mysterious and sacramental presense of Christ, accomplished by the miraculous power of God, that is the nature of the Eucharist. We are no more perplexed at this phenomenon than we are concerning the New Testament’s teaching that God’s Spirit actually lives within Christians (Romans 8:9-11). How can the infinite God be resident in my body? A mystery indeed yet its mystery does not deny its reality. I can’t show you the Spirit in me, but he is there nonetheless. Likewise, I can’t show you Christ in the Eucharist but he is there and I accept it by faith.
FCFC asked regarding the statement in Matthew 26:29, i.e., "I will not drink of this fruit of the vine," since that was its actual appearance. Similarly, we are not required to refer to the end of the day as "a revolution of the earth, rather, we can say it is a "setting of the sun." Second, it is not unusual for things that have changed to be called by their original state, eg., Gn. 2:23; Ex. 7:12; Jn. 2:9; 2Pt. 2:22). Third, the Greek word for "fruit" is "genneema." It is used 9 times in the NT denoting "generation" or "birth," (e.g., Matt. 3:7; 12:34;23:33). Hence, the literal meaning of the phrase is, "that which is generated or produced from the vine." From its literal meaning it cannot be deduced whether it refers to fruit juice, wine, or the blood of Jesus, since all three can be produced from the vine. The possibility of it being Jesus’ blood is also heightened by the fact that there is an interchange of terms in the context between "cup," "blood," and "fruit of the vine." The interchange of terms does not disprove that the "fruit of the vine" is Jesus’ blood; if anything, it opens the possibility.
Paul uses the same type of interchange in 1 Cor. 11:23-29, sometimes referring to "bread" other times referring to "the body of the Lord." If it was only bread that he had in mind, why confuse the poor Corinthians by referring to it also as "the body of the Lord"? Paul says quite specifically in 1 Cor. 11:29, "for anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself." The word "recognizing" is from the Greek "diakrino." Used 18 times in the NT, it is understood as an act of discernment, with many passages adding the nuance of "not doubting" (e.g., Mt. 21:21; Mk.11:23; Acts 10:20; 11:12; Rm 4:20; 14:23: Jm. 1:6). Hence, the Corinthians were either not discerning or doubting the bread was the body of the Lord. If this was not the case, we would have to ask the fair question why the Corinthians were judged with sickness and death as verse 11:30 stipulates if it were mere bread that they were abusing? Such harsh punishments are not recorded in the New Testament for disregarding mere symbols. In Cor. 11:27 Paul says they are actually "guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord." This must mean that the body and blood of the Lord is connected with "eating" if the body to which he refers is not present in the eating? The nature of the words compel the conclusion that he who eats unworthily is guilty in regard to what he eats. If not, then Paul would have said he sins "against the Lord’s Supper" or some other entity. You can’t sin against it unless it is present to sin against. The whole context just screams that there is something very serious and profound going on here.
Now, to John 6. FCFC writes: "The reason certain of the disciples left wasn’t because he said "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood...", they knew he was speaking figuratively, and even said, "This is a hard SAYING" (Emphasis mine)." This kind of interpretation shows how taking things out of context is so deleterious to biblical doctrine. What FCFC fails to see is that the context of John 6 shifts from one of demonstrating Jesus as the spiritual bread from heaven to one insisting that he is also the sacramental bread. The context presents this shift in verse 50 when Jesus begins to answer the phenomenon of the manna given in the desert differently than he did in verse 31. Jesus, for the first time, speaks of "eating" the bread. Then in verse 51, for the first time, he defines the substance of the bread as being "my flesh." The coupling of "eating" and "my flesh" immediately caused an objection in the Jewish mind that was not present in the previous verses regarding Jesus being the spiritual bread. Consequently, they said in verse 52, "...how can this man give us his flesh to eat." Contrary to what the FCFC team says, the Jews did not take his language figuratively. How could they be taking it figuratively when they are complaining that Jesus is asking them to eat his literal flesh?? We should also point out that a purely symbolic interpretation of "eating another’s flesh" would have been understood as destroying an enemy, not becoming intimately close with them (e.g., Ps.27:2; Is. 49:26; Mic. 3:3).
Notice that Jesus does not quell their fears. Not only does he not entertain a mere symbolic connotation to his words but he reinforces his literal teaching by changing the Greek word for "eating" from "phago" to "trogo." The word "trogo" is a more specific word than "phago."Its lexical definition carries the concept of "gnaw, chew, nibble, or munch," whereas "phago" is only the general word for eating. For emphasis, Jesus uses "trogo" four times in the remaining context (vrs. 54,56,57,58). The flow of the chapter shows us that since they didn’t accept Jesus as the spiritual bread in verses 50-58. Contrary to the statement given by FCFC, it is during the "eating his flesh" part of his discourse in verses 50-58 when the Jews say, "This is a hard saying," NOT when Jesus is explaining his spiritual mission in verses 31-47. Yes, the Jews knew what Jesus was saying and that was why they were so upset with him. Jesus doesn’t say, "Oh, I’m sorry, you misunderstood me. I was only speaking symbolically." He maintains his intent by specifically choosing words to denote a literal meaning.
The distinction between the purely symbolic context of verses 31-47 and the physical/sacramental context of verses 50-58 is also made clear by the addition of "drink my blood" in verses 53-56 which had not been mentioned in the Synoptic gospels which also use "eat my body" and "drink my blood," and the early church who practiced the solemn ceremony under the same two species in 1 Cor. 10:16-17 and 11:23-30. If the context of John 6:31-58 were purely a symbolic context, there would be no reason to add the "drinking of blood" since bread could very well carry the symbolic meaning by itself.
To be sure, there is deep spiritual meaning in the whole context of John 6. Jesus is the spiritual bread of life sent by the Father. The giving of his flesh certainly points to his death on the cross. Eternal life is certainly the driving force of the chapter. But the glory of Christianity is that it does not merely display these truths symbolically, she does so physically as well. Because we are physical, God has provided a physical dimension to our faith to bestow his blessings. Hence, we take part in the sacrifice of Christ not only by believing in Jesus with our mind, but by taking him into our physical body. As in marriage when the two become one flesh, so it is with Christ and his bride, the Church (Eph. 5:31-32). Christ physically comes into us and becomes one with us. To many critics this may seem foolish, but remember, God chooses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.
Regarding John 6:63, this is one of the most abused and misunderstood verses of this chapter. In my next installment I will give an exegesis of this verse.
Debate between Catholic Apologetics International (CAI) and Former Catholics For Christ (FCFC) on Jesus' Eucharistic Presence Part 3
FCFC Rebuttal #1:
We were rather disappointed with Mr. Sungenis's answers, mainly the fact that he never really answered anything! We posed these 10 questions, which we will repeat!
Would you please produce one scripture where we are commanded to eat a live sacrifice with the blood? (Mr. Sungenis side steps this question as irrelevant.)
2. Did the Jews eat the passover lamb alive? (Doesn't answer.)
3. Did Jesus command his follower's to "literally eat blood and disobey God's command? (Doesn't answer.)
4. Why does Jesus call it the "fruit of the vine" if it’s His blood? ( Mr. Sungenis poses a problem for himself which we will discuss later.)
5. If he [Jesus] is already there in the flesh, then why would we "do in remembrance" "till he come"? (Doesn't answer.) (I Cor.11:24-26)
6. Did the blood re-enter Jesus? (Doesn't answer.)
7. Does the Catholic Eucharist perish? (Doesn't answer.)
8. If you ate a "whole and entire" steak dinner, and 15 minutes later your dinner left you, "whole and entire, unconsumed and unassimilated, how then would you have been nourished? (Doesn't answer.)
9. What happens to Christ when the Eucharist is digested? (Doesn't answer.)
The first question that Mr. Sungenis called a "straw man argument" and discarded as "irrelevant" is anything but. Please let us keep in mind that the feast days and Sabbaths of the Jews were but a "...shadow of things to come". Christ is the substance. "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."(Heb.10:4) Now with that in mind, let us look at the Passover, since Jesus is our Passover Lamb! How are we to interpret this? We must go to the first Passover and see how Jesus fulfills this role. Exodus 12:1-2 tells us that the the feast of the Passover was "...beginning of months" (v.2) for Israel, establishing the blood of the lamb as the foundation. Verse 3 says "...a lamb for a house", whereas John the Baptist says, "...Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (Jn.1:29). Exodus 12:5 tells us the lamb must be "...without blemish, a male of the first year" which Jesus was the first-born son of a virgin and as Hebrews 4:15 states, "...without sin" (unblemished). Ex.12:6 describes the killing of the Lamb "...and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening". In Matthew 27:25, after Pilate said, "...I am innocent of the blood of this just person", the Jews answered "...His blood be on us, and on our children" thus fulfilling Ex.12:6. In verse 8-11 we are told how to eat the Passover Lamb.
Now, if every other verse in Exodus 12 refers to Jesus, then how can you say that the eating of the sacrifice is irrelevant? Would not the eating of the passover lamb be just as important of a testimony as the killing of it? Ex.12:7-11 gives us the instructions for the eating of the lamb. First you were to take the blood of the slain lamb and put it on "...the two side posts and on the upper door post", notice there is no mention of drinking blood! The flesh was to be "..roasted with fire" and eaten with "...unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs". The antitypical fulfillment is seen in the fact that Jesus suffered and died in the same night. He experienced the burning fires of Calvary (Heb.12:29). He was without sin, unleavened by any taint of evil (I Cor.5:7-8). He also experienced the bitter sufferings of the cross. The lamb could not be eaten "...raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof". The gospel was not to be presented as if Christ was merely a martyr, or watered down in any manner, it must be presented exactly as it took place in the sight of God and man (( Cor.5:7-8; 11:23-30; Jn.6:53-55; 19:29) The true Christian must feed on the virtues of the lamb. The head (the mind of Christ), the legs (the walk of Christ) and the purtenence (the heart of Christ). Nothing of it was to remain until morning (a far cry from the Catholics who store Jesus in a box under lock and key). You were to eat it with your "...loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S passover". This simply means that we eat the passover lamb with our "...loins girt about with truth" (Eph.6:14), and our "...feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace" (v.15). The staff in our hand is the declaration that we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth (Heb.11:13). To eat it in haste is to be ready at all times for the second coming of Jesus Christ. As you can see, the shadow of those things all pointed to the true lamb, which we partake of spiritually, as the Lord said, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (Jn.6:63). For Mr. Sungenis to call our question of eating a live sacrifice with the blood in it as "irrelevant" shows a total lack of spiritual discernment, the very thing required to partake at His table (not an altar). (I Cor.11:29).
Mr. Sungenis also asked us why we are so "critical of this doctrine [transubstantiation]". The Catholic church teaches its members that they must worship a piece of bread with the same reverence with which they worship God. This is nothing short of idolatry! But this is only the beginning of the real blasphemy which is the sacrifice of the mass. The reason the Catholic hierarchy holds the doctrine of transubstantiation is so that she may present Christ as a victim being offered to God as a propitiation for sin, although the book of Hebrews (especially 9-10) totally discredits such a doctrine! French Catholic "saint" J.B.M. Vianney said:
"Where there is no priest there is no sacrifice, and where there is no sacrifice there is no religion...without the priest the death and passion of our Lord would be of no avail to us...see the power of the priest! By one word from his lips, he changes a piece of bread into a God! A greater feat than the creation of a world."
Their religious system of works keep men prisoners to Roman Catholicism.We will deal with this subject later on in the debate. We are critical of anyone or anything that adds or takes away from the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross!
Mr. Sungenis's reference to the "early church fathers" on both the Eucharist and Baptism is highly suspect! Evidently the forgeries have been an influence. The most terribly blatant and ugly history of the Roman Catholic Church and all its centuries of works is proof enough that its fruits are inedible, therefore the truth is not in it. As for the "church fathers" knowing more of Christ than we do, is of course nonsense. "For there is no respect of persons with God." (Rom.2:11) The youth Elihu, in Job 32:21-22, said:
"Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away."
Elihu had other words of wisdom that he rightly preached to Job. In verses 6-9 he said:
"...I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not show you mine opinion. I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment."
So let us not be a respecter of persons, since our God is not. Quit leaning on the church fathers and lean on Jesus. Sometimes I get the feeling that those who are so busy quoting the church fathers do not have confidence in their own relationship with the Lord, so instead of studying about God through his Word, they study about men who study about God, a kind of theology-ology (the study of those who study about God). The promise of the Holy Spirit is to all believers. The reason we don’t have to "literally eat him" is because he always dwells in us. Perhaps Matthew 4:4 says it best: "...It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
What is so embarrassing to the Catholic apologists is that the Roman Catholic Church (by their own admission) has changed what the early church fathers have said to gain some credence for their "doctrinal claims" since the scriptures do not give credence to most Catholic doctrines, for example purgatory, baby baptisms, but mostly papal authority.
Really Mr. Sungenis, since when does water have the power to save? Gee, maybe we should go around with water and start throwing it on everybody since Mr. Sungenis thinks water saves us! If a man gets baptized without faith in the blood of Jesus, did the water save him? Of course not! He would only come up out of the water a wet sinner! Besides the Catholic church does not really believe that baptism guarantees salvation, since they believe you can lose your salvation after baptism.
Mr. Sungenis's interpretation of I Cor.1:27 was not only pathetic, but poor apologetics. There is no way that these verses have anything whatsoever to do with transubstantiation! Paul was referring to the foolishness of preaching, which is able to save them that believe,and even rebukes those who seek signs (v.22)! Nowhere in scriptures does God use idolatry to reveal Himself to man. I challenge our readers to very carefully read the verses Mr. Sungenis uses, since we have feel many of them did not validate his stand.
You may not be aware of this small fact about the Catholic Communion, but because they believe that the wafer is God, they have taught us not to "chew, nibble, munch or gnaw", but to swallow it whole. As Rev. George Searle (A Roman Catholic priest) states in his book How To Become A Catholic, pg.83-85:
"It is very difficult for the priest to give Communion [God] to people holding their mouths shut without striking it [God] against their teeth, in which case it is very probable that it [God] may be broken, or at any rate that some particle of it [God] may be knocked off. Don't follow their bad example then, but hold your mouth wide open, and your tongue well out; then the priest can lay the Communion [God] on it without fear, and without danger of accident. When it [God] is laid on your tongue, withdraw your tongue immediately, and then close your mouth, being careful not to do so till the tongue is inside; then swallow it [God] as soon as possible. It [God] must not be allowed to melt in the mouth; if it [God] does, you do not receive the Sacrament [God] at all. If, however it [God] should adhere to the roof of the mouth, so that it [God] cannot immediately be swallowed, do not be disturbed, but loosen it [God] with your tongue; you will pretty certainly be able to do this before it [God] is all dissolved. Do not on any account, touch it [God] with your fingers. And take care not to CHEW it [God], or even touch it [God] with your teeth. Having swallowed it [God] you have now receive; and now is the time, more than any other, for fervent prayer, when the Real Presence of our Lord is with you.This Real Presence only remains while the Blessed Sacrament [God] still continues undestroyed, which will only be for a few minutes at most, for it [God] will usually be acted on more quickly by the stomach than by the mouth; but even after it [God] has passed away, prayer and thanksgiving for what has been received should be continued for some time...if possible, for as much as a quarter of an hour."
If Mr. Sungenis interprets the "eat" (trogo in the Greek, meaning to "gnaw, chew, nibble or munch" ) of John 6:54,56,57,58 literally, he would in fact be contradicting the Catholic Church's command to not "chew" (trogo). But if we were to "spiritually" interpret the word "eat", we would rather meditate and think about what Jesus did for us at Calvary. Gnaw on that for awhile!
CAI Rebuttal #1:
For the record, when FCFC typed my opening statement that appeared in January's issue, they made many errors in transcribing. There were four places in which they left out whole sentences or parts of them. I have asked FCFC to print the corrections on a separate page of the February newsletter. Unfortunately, the errors in transcribing were all made at crucial points. I suggest that everyone reread my opening statement with the corrections to get an accurate understanding of what I said. My thanks to FCFC for adding the corrections.
The FCFC staff opened their last rebuttal by saying they were disappointed in my answers because I,"never really answered anything! We posed ten questions..." First, let me say that my first installment was an opening statement, not a rebuttal. Second, this is a common Protestant ploy in debate. They throw a shotgun blast of questions and expect the opponent to answer all of them in the limited time and space allotted. If they don't answer all of them, then they complain we're evading the issue. Third, in the limited space available I tried to give a general answer to the queries posed by FCFC. If they want more detailed answers I suggest they limit the number of questions or expand the debate to more than two pages. I cannot get in all the material I want to say and also answer all of the specific questions they pose. Nevertheless, I have given brief answers to all ten questions at the end of this rebuttal.
Now for my rebuttal. Despite the protestations of FCFC, I maintain that the specific rules regarding the Passover in the Old Testament are not literally applicable in the New Testament. Jesus was not a literal lamb, therefore, we shouldn't expect him to come under practices designated for a real lamb. Granted, there is much spiritual typology between the OT Passover and the Atonement of Christ. I agree with the instances of this spiritual typology that FCFC pointed out. But the spiritual typology does not mean that there is a one-to-one correspondence of literal application in the specifics of the Passover. If FCFC insists on this type of hermeneutic, then they are required to give a corresponding literal application of every OT ceremonial law in the New Testament. The Scripture simply does not teach this type of interpretation, so, as I said, to force it upon the text makes their question "irrelevant."
FCFC said, "The Catholic church teaches its members that they must worship a piece of bread with the same reverence with which they worship God. This is nothing short of idolatry." Yes, I agree, if it were nothing but a piece of bread it would be idolatry to worship it. However, if FCFC is going to argue the point then at least they should use our understanding of the matter, not their's. In Catholic theology, after consecration, it is not a piece of bread any longer, therefore, we don't teach people to "worship a piece of bread." FCFC said in regard to the sacrifice of the Mass, "...although the book of Hebrews totally discredits such a doctrine!" This is another piece of Protestant fiction. Hebrews sets aside the OT Levitical sacrifices, not the memorial sacrifice of Christ instituted at the Last Supper. Hebrews does this because the Levitical sacrifices were part of the Law (cf, Hebrews 7: 11,18,28); the memorial sacrifice of Christ does not come under Law but comes under the promise or oath of God, as Heb. 7:20-21 explains, therefore it can be continued. It is the same distinction between Law and Promise that the New Testament often speaks of (cf, Rom. 4: 13-17; Gal. 3:15-22). Since Christ is a priest forever, his priestly office continues, as Heb. 7:25 says, "because he lives always to intercede for them." Christ's first intercession took place on the cross. His continuing intercession takes place as he offers himself as a memorial sacrifice to the Father through his eternal priesthood. The Catholic Church does not teach that it is a new sacrifice, rather, it is the same sacrifice, in an unbloody manner, to the Father on behalf of our sins. Christ went to Calvary "once for all" and thus will not come back to die on a cross ever again, but the re- presentation of this sacrifice is offered to the Father through Christ's eternal priesthood.
In support of this perpetual sacrifice, the word translated "memorial" or "remembrance" used at the Last Supper (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor.11:24-25) is the Greek word "anamnesis." It is also used in the Septuagint in connection with sacrifice (Lev.24:7). "Anamnesis" translates the Hebrew word "azkarah," which is used seven times in the OT in reference to sacrifice (Lev.2:2,9,16; 5:12; 6:15; Num. 5:26). It is also significant that "anamnesis" is only used four times in the NT, the fourth time appearing in Hebrews 10:3 also in reference to a memorial sacrifice. Hence, Jesus' use of "anamnesis" in Luke 22:19 specifies the sacrificial dimension of the Eucharist. In effect, Jesus would be saying, "Whenever you do this, do it as a memorial sacrifice of me." The use of "anamnesis" in Luke 22:19 is even more significant in denoting sacrifice since there was another Greek word Luke could have used for a non-sacrificial memorial ("mnemosunon," cf., Mt.26: 13; Mk.14:9; Acts 10:4).
Now, the most revealing bias of the perspective of FCFC on this issue, and most other Protestants I might add, is their denigration of the church fathers on Baptism and the Eucharist. They said: "Mr. Sungenis's reference to the "early church fathers" on both the Eucharist and Baptism is highly suspect! Evidently the forgeries have been an influence." Really listen close to what they are saying. In one fell swoop, they want you to believe that all the writings of the Church fathers on Baptism and the Eucharist are "forgeries" ! It never ceases to amaze me the lengths to which anti-Catholics will go. I would challenge FCFC to show me one reputable Protestant scholar that agrees with them that the writings of the Church fathers on Baptism and the Eucharist were forgeries. We're not talking about the Donation of Constantine here, madams. We're talking about Baptism and the Eucharist. Show me one shred of credible evidence that these writings are forgeries and I will become a Protestant again.
FCFC continues: "As for the "church fathers" knowing more of Christ than we do, is of course nonsense. For there is no respecter of persons with God." It is always interesting to see Protestants squirm when the subject of the church fathers is brought up. Since they can't find any church father that agrees with their view of Baptism and the Eucharist, their only recourse is to dismiss the four centuries of writings in this period. We're to believe that the fathers were just a bunch of misguided airheads who didn't know what they were talking about. FCFC said: "The promise of the Holy Spirit is to all believers." Well, then, didn't the church fathers have the same Spirit of God that you claim to have? Hence, why should the leading of the Spirit be any better for you than it was for four centuries of men who directly followed the apostles?! Doesn't it seem more likely that the closer one is in time to the apostles' teaching, the more likely they will have the truth of the apostles? Are we to believe, as you imply, that all the church fathers got together and conspired to conceal the truth and invent new doctrines? How can this be in light of the fact that these were the same men who for the slightest deviation in doctrine did not hesitate to call someone a heretic, (e.g., the Trinitarian and Incarnation doctrines)? And you want us to believe that these same fathers weren't as equally thorough with Baptism and the Eucharist? Come on, ladies, that is totally absurd. What you end up doing as a Protestant is claiming that the church fathers were brilliant and faithful men on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but the most despicable heretics on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Common sense tells us this can't be the case.
FCFC writes: "Quit leaning on the church fathers and lean on Jesus...those who are busy quoting the church fathers do not have confidence in their own relationship with the Lord, so instead of studying about God's word, they study about men who study about God..." I'm sorry ladies, but no one has to live in the "either/or" world that you live in. We are content to lean on both because they both teach the same thing. Paul commands Timothy, "Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you...And the things you have heard me say...entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others" (2 Tim. 1:14, 2:2). Those "reliable men" were in Timothy's generation, and the generation after them -- the early church fathers. The gospel truths were passed down to them at Paul's command (cf. 2 Thess. 2:15; 1 Tim. 3:15). Studying the church fathers gives you more confidence in your relationship with the Lord because you now have the interpretation of Scripture that was passed down from the apostles instead of the hodgepodge of opinions you find in Protestantism with its thousands of denominations all disagreeing on how to interpret Scripture. And as far as going to God's word to prove the Catholic side, most of my argumentation thus far has been from God's word.
FCFC says: "...the Roman Catholic Church (by their own admission) has changed what the early church fathers have said..." I challenge FCFC to show us one statement in official Catholic Church teaching saying that they have "changed...by their own admission," the teaching of the early church fathers. If not, I expect a retraction of this allegation in the next installment. FCFC says regarding 1 Cor 1:27: "There is no way these verses have anything whatsoever to do with transubstantiation! Paul was referring to the foolishness of preaching." I never said it was talking about transubstantiation. I said it was referring to the principle in which God uses ordinary, mundane things to reveal his truth. That principle is applied to many things God does.
I find it interesting how FCFC totally side-steps the fact that the apostle John changes from using "phago" to "trogo" in John 6:53-56 (the specific word for "chewing" food) by citing some book written by a priest that tells us not to chew the Eucharist. This is typical of the kind of argumentation in which FCFC constantly engages in their newsletter. There are many priests that write many things, some good, some not so good. The point in fact is that nowhere in official Catholic Church teaching are we told not to chew the Eucharist. Rev. George Searle does not speak for official Catholic Church teaching in this regard. For future reference, I suggest that you cite official Church teaching before you say, as you did, "he would in fact be contradicting the Catholic Church's command to not 'chew' (trogo)."
As for John 6:63, in the latter part of the verse, Jesus says that the words he just spoke to them, i.e., eating his flesh and drinking his blood, are "spirit" and "life." He had just mentioned "life" in verse 53 in which he warned that unless one "eats the flesh of the Son of Man...you have no life in you." Also, verse 57 says, "the one who feeds on me will live." By the use of the words "life" or "live," verses 53, 57 and 63 are all talking about the same "life." What gives the eating of the flesh the power of life? Jesus answers that in the first part of John 6:63 when he says, "the Spirit gives life." It is not just ordinary bread we are eating. It is bread which is given life by the Spirit. As Jesus says in verse 55, "my flesh is real food." It's real because it has real life-giving power by the Spirit. If it were not animated by the Spirit, then, as Jesus says in John 8:63, the "flesh [would] profit nothing." This fits in perfectly with the objection of the Jews. They thought Jesus was saying that merely eating his natural flesh would give eternal life. Jesus says, no, it is my flesh - - flesh that has the Spirit -- which will giive you life, not natural flesh.
As for the questions FCFC posed at the beginning of their rebuttal, here is the answer key: 1) No, 2) No, 3) No, 4) already answered in my last letter, 5) because he is talking about his Second Coming, not his Sacramental coming. 6) No, 7) Yes, 8) a steak dinner is not the miracle of the Eucharist, just like apples aren't oranges, 9) You tell me. What happens after two (man and woman) become one-flesh? 10) He left, but as Arnold Schwartzenegger says, "I'll be back."
Debate between Catholic Apologetics International (CAI) and Former Catholics For Christ (FCFC) on Jesus' Eucharistic Presence Part 4
FCFC Rebuttal #2:
First of all there is no reason for you to feel limited in time or space for we are willing to continue the debate till both sides have adequately presented their case, or till the Lord comes back and settles it! Feel free to use your entire two pages to expound on one verse if you choose. We will not deny you the opportunity to say all that you would choose to say. We feel we have amply proved that there is a "one-to-one correspondence of literal applications in the specifics of the Passover", and we only briefly made our point.
There is more we have yet to share with our readers, but will in future issues. The OT Passover lamb was but a shadow of the TRUE LAMB, JESUS CHRIST! (Jn.1:29,36, Rev.5:12) If we use this kind of "hermeneutic" concerning the Passover, it would not require us to use the same "literal application of every OT ceremonial law" simply because the Passover falls under the category of Feast days. We would only be required to prove a "one-to-one correspondence" with every other feast day of the Lord, and that we are prepared to do. Please remember Mr. Sungenis that the Feasts of the Lord (there are seven) and their appointments originated with the Lord, not with the children of Israel. It was God's desire to meet His people on His terms and on His grounds of approach. They are His Feasts. The Lord is the Host and we are His guests, invited to feast with Him (Rev.3:20). We cannot make up our own rules or alter His (which the Catholic Church wrongfully did when she altered the last supper). The Catholic eats a live sacrifice with the blood still in it, a practice forbidden by God in the OT - Lev.17:11-14! The Lord gave the bread first, then the wine, two separate elements signifying the blood being shed for our sins. The Catholic church has altered the Passover by combining the bread and wine into one element. This fact did not go unnoticed by her own popes. Pope Gelasius I (492-496), in a letter addressed to some bishops said:
"We have ascertained that certain persons having received a portion of the sacred body alone abstain from partaking of the chalice of the sacred blood. Let such persons...either receive the sacrament in its entirety, or be repelled from the entire sacrament, because a division of one and the same mystery cannot take place without great sacrilege." (Roman Catholicism, Boettner, 188)
The decree of pope Urban II, in 1095, and pope Paschal II in 1118, also condemned the practice of giving the bread only in the sacrament. Your early church fathers (at least three popes) disagree with the teachings of today's church! Nonetheless, the Catholic church can not honestly say that the last supper she practices is identical with the biblical account of the last supper, and therefore is a counterfeit.
You feel we side-stepped the issue of "chewing" the Eucharist. Let's reason this out just a bit. There are different meanings for the word "chew":
1. To crush or grind with the teeth; masticate, to injure.
2. To meditate upon; consider carefully.
3. To reprimand severely; berate. (a slang - to chew out)
4. To "chew the fat" (a slang - to talk)
5. That which is chewed, quid.
I think we can rule out 3, 4 and 5 without dispute, leaving us 1 and 2. So which one did Jesus refer to when He said that we were to chew Him? We believe the interpretation of "crush or grind with the teeth...to injure" (the literal eating of Jesus-a kind of mystical death in your mouth) would violate the intelligence. We here at FCFC believe the Lord Jesus wanted us to 2). carefully consider, meditate on what he did for us at the cross. We believe that other scriptures bear witness to this interpretation (Job 6:30; 12:11; 23:12; 34:3; Psa.34:8; 119:103; Prov.16:24; Mt.5:6; Heb.5:13-14; I Pet.2:2). There is not one scripture, as Mr. Sungenis admitted, commanding us to eat a live sacrifice with the blood still in it- the same blood that Mr. Sungenis said did not re-enter into Jesus after it was poured out on the earth (pg.6, last paragraph, question no.6), but according to The Sacramental Life of the Church , Rev. B.J. Otten, S. J., 77, "...the same blood that trickled down from the cross on Calvary, is there [in the Eucharist] pulsating with life and energy". So the blood must have re-entered into Jesus if it is the same blood that poured out at the cross and is present in the flesh of the Eucharist. Which one of you is speaking for the Catholic church? After all, Otten has an "imprimatur" and a "nihil obstat" to back him up, what do you have? And may I add that Rev. George Searle (a Catholic priest) who wrote How To Become A Catholic also has the "imprimatur and nihil obstat" (a certification that the given work has been inspected and there is nothing contrary to faith or good morals), so when he gave instructions on the eating of the Eucharist, he had the approval of the archbishop. Deharbe’s Catechism, No.1, 273 agrees with Searle:
"Do not keep the Sacred Host [God] in your mouth until it is quite dissolved; but let it moisten a little upon your tongue, and then swallow it."
By the way, perhaps you had better talk to some older Catholics, because when I left the church (14 years ago), we were not permitted to "chew" the Eucharist. We were not to let it touch our teeth, as a matter of fact we still were not permitted to touch the Eucharist with our hands (but of course that changed, along with the forbidding to eat anything after midnight). It was a teaching of pope Pius X, the so-called "Pope of the Holy Eucharist":
"He [Communicant] must be fasting, at least from midnight; for so the Church commands, agreeable to a most ancient and apostolical tradition [I Cor.11 says differently]. So that if through inadvertence a person has taken anything, though it were no more than one drop or crumb, after twelve o’clock at night, he must by no means receive (Communion) that day; it would be a crime to attempt it" (The Catholic Christian Instructed in The Sacraments, Sacrifice, Ceremonies, etc.; Most Rev. Dr. Challoner, 100).
But now you can eat the Eucharist one hour after eating a complete meal (alas, the infallible Catholic church that never changes). It is the belief that every particle of the host, no matter how small, contains the "whole and entire Christ":
"...for Christ, whole and entire, exists under the species of bread, and under each particle of that species" (Council of Trent, Sess.xiii, cap.3).
Therefore if you chewed Jesus, you would divide the bread in your mouth into several pieces, each one containing the "whole and entire Christ". Mr. Sungenis, if you have been chewing ("trogo") Jesus, you have violated your own church’s decrees.
I can understand how my soul would grow if I were to "meditate or consider carefully" (chew) what Jesus did for me. As I consider (chew) the scriptures such as Isa.53 and Psa.22, and consider (chew) how Jesus prophesied of his suffering and death and the glory that should follow (I Pet.1:11), and how he paid such a price for my sins so that I could have eternal life in Him, my soul is strengthened, but I fail to see how eating something literally (especially in light of the fact that Jesus leaves you 15 minutes later unassimilated and unconsumed, whole and entire - as admitted by Mr. Sungenis on page 6, last paragraph, no.10) could possibly nourish or strengthen one's soul! We know from history that the Titans (pagans) would eat the raw flesh of a bull in a mystic sacrament of communion absorbing the divine essence anew. Is this what you believe Mr. Sungenis? Do you think if you eat Jesus literally you will absorb His divine essence? As former Catholics we ate the Eucharist for many years and can from experience say that after eating it, we were none the smarter or stronger spiritually! We would like for you to explain to our readers how one is nourished, according to the Catholic church, by literally eating Jesus. And please do not side-step this issue as irrelevant. It was so relevant that:
"St. Innocent I and St. Gelasius I [Elected Popes in 402 and 492 A.D.], had both declared as soon as infants were baptized the sacrament (of Communion) was necessary to secure them eternal life" (The Inquisition, Henry C. Lea, Vol.2, 474)
It was so important, that newborn babies were given communion in the form of wine. Why isn’t this a practice today? Did the popes err when they said it was "necessary to secure them eternal life"? One more point, were the babies spiritually nourished? Did the baby have to fast? Did the baby discern the body and blood of Jesus as commanded in I Cor.11? So many questions, so few answers!
Hebrews totally discredits the mass! It is a simple matter of do/done. If Jesus said, "It is finished" (Jn.19:30) then it is done. If He is still doing it, then it is not done, and He would have lied to us when he said it was done. You can't logically have it both ways. For Mr. Sungenis to say that it is continued in the mass is not scriptural, and definitely cannot be found in Hebrews. (Mr. Sungenis tends to add words to the Bible that are not there Many of the scriptures he cites do not support his case. We do hope our readers will check out all biblical references given by both sides, and it would be wise to compare the KJV with whatever other version you may be using, since there are differences.) Why would one need the "offering of the mass" when Heb.10:18 says, "Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin." And I believe that the word "anamnesis" does not change a thing, since it is a remembrance of a sacrifice, therefore irrelevant to the argument. The other scriptures you alluded to were not sacrificial acts.
We never said "all the writings of the church fathers are forgeries". That is a false accusation. However, a careful look into history and Catholic sources will prove that many (not all) were forgeries or tampered with. Gratian's Decretum contains 324 passages from popes of the first four centuries, and only 11 of them are genuine. You asked for "one shred of credible evidence that their writings are forgeries and I will become a Protestant again". We hope you will accept The Catholic Encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia Press, 1913, XII, 768:
"There was need of revisions which is not yet complete, ranging over all that had been handed down from the Middle Ages under the style and titles of the Fathers, the Councils, the Roman and other official archives. In all these departments forgery and interpolations, as well as ignorance had wrought mischief on a great scale."
You can change your name from Protestant to Catholic to Protestant again and it will not matter. Unless you have a circumcision of the heart (which no priest can do) and accept the finished work of Jesus Christ for the payment for your sins, you will perish.
Concerning whether or not the "church fathers have the same Spirit of God that we have", not all of them. The Bible warns us:
"For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:29)
When answering our questions in your last paragraph, you said that the Catholic Eucharist perishes (no.7). But John 6:27 says, "Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life..." Since the Catholic Eucharist perishes, it can not possibly be the bread spoken of in John which does not perish. The word for "endureth" is "meno" which means "to stay: abide, continue, dwell, endure, remain" (according to the Strong's Concordance - #3306) Therefore when you say that Jesus leaves you but says "I'll be back", you would be contradicting the promise of Jesus to never leave us, and that He would make His home in us. We believe the closer one looks at the Catholic Eucharist the more obvious it is that this could not be the true bread, but only a gross imitation. We appreciate your honesty Mr. Sungenis in admitting that if the Eucharist is not God, but only a piece of bread it would be idolatry to worship it. That is our point exactly!
CAI Rebuttal #2:
My first comments regard the contention of FCFC that Catholics eat literal blood in the Mass that, they claim, was forbidden in Leviticus 17: 11-14. FCFC further claims that because the Passover falls under the category of "feast days" therefore they are not required to show a "literal application of every OT law" in order to substantiate their use of the Levitical law to deny the validity of the Eucharist. Rather, they assert that they only have to give a "one-to-one correspondence with every other feast day of the Lord. " Ok let's deal with it in your parameters. The Jews were commanded to visit Jerusalem on the feasts of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. Did you visit Jerusalem three times in 1995? I’m sure you didn't. Suffice it to say, there are no such literal applications of OT law anywhere in the NT. Hence, for you to force the Levitical law of not eating blood on the NT is totally without warrant. The literal application of OT religious laws, whether they be of circumcision, diet, or festal, were discontinued in the NT as Paul states clearly in Col. 2: 16.
The issue of eating blood, along with eating things that were strangled and meats offered to idols (all of which the OT forbade), were brought up for discussion at the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15. In a pastoral decision, the council sent a letter to the churches asking the Gentiles to refrain from these things (Acts 15:28-29). The council made this decision not on the basis that they were required to obey OT religious laws literally but because they were trying to make the transition away from Judaism to Christianity more palatable for the Jews who had now become Christians. Temporarily observing such dietary customs would make relations between the Jews and Gentiles much better. Later on, however, Paul relaxed this requirement and allowed the eating of meat offered to idols, as long as it didn't harm a brother's conscience (cf., Roman 14: 14- 18; 1 Cor. 8: 1-13). Paul reinforced this teaching about foods in 1 Timothy 4:3 saying that all foods were edible if received with thanksgiving. In other words, Paul gave them freedom to eat any kind of meat, whether it was offered to idols, strangled, or had blood -- practices that were strictly forbidden in the OT. Hence, the literal law of "not eating blood" was no longer applicable in the NT although it could be practiced to accommodate a brother's conscience. Your attempt, then, to make a "one-to-one correspondence" between Leviticus 17: 11-14 and the Eucharist is not valid, unless, of course, you want to become a Seventh Day Adventist.
Now we come to the part of FCFC's rebuttal that is really incredible. Remarking on the point I made that John 6:54 , 56,57,58 changes the Greek word for eating from "phago" (used in John 6:23-58) to "trogo" (the specific Greek word for "chewing, masticating, munching,'' etc.), FCFC appeals to one of the metaphorical definitions of "chew" in the American dictionary, that is, "to carefully consider." FCFC then reasons that the Greek word "trogo" must then refer to the fact that Jesus wants us to "carefully consider" what he did on the cross. This just proves to me once again the extreme danger of "private interpretation" of Scripture. Be that as it may, the Greek lexical definition of "trogo" does not in any way, shape or form, carry the idea of "carefully consider. " If you have a Greek lexicon I suggest you look it up. Further, the same Greek word is used in Matthew 24:38 ("they were eating [trogo] and drinking") and John 13:18 ("he that eats [trogo] bread with me has lifted up his heel against me"). Besides John 6:54-58, these are the only other times the word "trogo" is used in the NT. It is never used in a metaphorical context. Carefully considering these verses (pun unintended), are you also going to tell us that in Matthew 24:38 Jesus was saying that the people of Noah's day were "carefully considering and drinking until the day that the flood came"? Are you going to tell us that in John 13:18 Jesus was saying that Judas was "carefully considering" at the Last Supper and lifted up his heel. If you are not prepared to do so, then please don't force this meaning onto John 6:54-58 when it uses "trogo." In addition, the FCFC interpretation would make no sense in light of the fact that the Jews already knew Jesus was speaking of actually eating him as noted in their remark, "How can he give us his flesh to eat?" before he even used the word "trogo." Once Jesus uses "trogo" they reiterate their complaint saying, "This is a hard saying, who can accept it?" They knew what "trogo" meant, how come you don't? By the way, the verses you cited to prove your case have nothing to do with the meaning of "trogo." Those verses do not use the word "trogo." Further, they are in different contexts than that used in John 6:54-58. I have already agreed that the word for "eating" (Greek: "phago") can have a spiritual application. What you are missing is the fact that "trogo" does not have that connotation, neither lexically nor biblically.
Regarding the "chewing" of the Eucharist that you say we were taught not to do, or the fact that we had to fast three hours before receiving the Eucharist, I am not denying that these were church practices. What I am denying, however, is that this was Church dogma. Practices and disciplines can change. We don't have to eat fish on Friday anymore, either. That was not a dogma, it was a disciplinary practice -- a practice that can be modified as the Church sees fit, even as the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15 and Paul modified OT mandates. By the way, an "imprimatur" or "nihil obstat" does not mean that everything contained in the book is infallible or that it is official church dogma. All it means is that it has the approval of a bishop.
FCFC writes: "We would like you to explain to our readers how one is nourished, according to the Catholic Church, by literally eating Jesus." I’Il be glad to. In order to understand what the Eucharist does for us, we must understand the Catholic concept of grace. Catholic theology holds that grace is not only a state of relationship with God (i.e., "the state of grace") but it is also "ontic" grace, that is, the power of grace that actually resides in us. The NT speaks of grace in both ways, the latter meaning being used in Rom 12:6; 15: 10; 1 Cor. 15:10; 2 Cor. 1:12; 9:8; 12:9; Gal. 2:9; Eph. 4:7; Heb. 4: 16; 12: 15; 13:9; 1 Pt. 4: 10; 2 Pt. 1:2, et al. From such passages, Catholic theology teaches that grace is "infused" into the person -- "infusion" being the process whereby one substance comes into another and thereby changes the latter, e.g., pouring a white liquid into a black liquid till the latter changes to a light color. In colloquial language we can say that God's grace, "restructures" or "renovates" our sin nature to be conformed to God's nature. God gives us these graces as we participate in the means he chooses to provide them, the seven sacraments being the chief means of obtaining these graces. The more we participate in the vehicles of grace, the more God fills us with the power of his Spirit. If we receive them in faith and obedience, this power allows us to lead stronger Christian lives and become holy in God's sight.
I also alluded to the fact in my last installment that since Christ's relationship to the church as compared to a husband and wife becoming "one flesh" (Eph. 5:31-32), taking in the Eucharist is the closest thing we have to becoming "one flesh" with Christ on this earth. His body comes into our body. As husband and wife enhance their relationship by such means, so Christ does with his Church.
FCFC says: "Hebrews totally discredits the mass!...If Jesus says, "It is finished" (John 9:30) then it is done." First, I find it puzzling how you can say that "Hebrews" discredits the Mass and then proceed to quote from "John. " Hebrews is not John. Further, if you analyze John 19:30 the Greek grammar will tell you that we cannot know specifically what the "it" of "it is finished" refers to. The verb "finished" has no subject in the Greek and that is why all translations render it as "IT." The only information the context of John 19 gives us is the reference to the fulfillment of Scripture in verse 28. Moreover, the same Greek word "teleioo" of John 19:30 is also used in the past tense in John 17:4 and is translated as "finished" or "completed." Jesus is here speaking of the work he had done for the Father saying that he had "completed" it. Yet we know Jesus had not gone to the cross as yet. Thus, the word is used in a relative sense. Hence, to say that its usage in John 19:30 discredits the Mass is not only grammatically unallowable, but it is an anachronism that is forced on the text which says nothing about the Mass, nor excludes the Mass.
FCFC says, "Why would one need the "offering of the mass" when Heb 10:18 says, "Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin"? Look at the context. The point of discussion in Hebrews is NOT the one sacrifice of Christ over against a re-presentation of that same sacrifice. The contrast is stated in Hebrews 10:11 as: "Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices which can never take away sins. " The contrast is between the OLD TESTAMENT SACRIFICE over against the New Testament sacrifice, the former not being able to take away sin. The contrast is not between the sacrifice of Christ and the ongoing ministry of his priestly office in the Mass. If we impose you interpretation on the text then we might as well not ask God to forgive our sins any longer (1John 1:8-10) because, as you say, Hebrews 11:18 says, "these sins have been forgiven" once and for all. If that were the case Paul wouldn't have warned the Galatians and other churches that they would "lose their inheritance in the Kingdom of God" if they continued in sin (cf, Gal. 5:21; 1 Cor. 6:9; 15:2; Eph. 5:5; Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26-29, et al.).
FCFC said, "And I believe the word "anamnesis" does not change a thing, since it is a remembrance of a sacrifice." That's odd. John could have used a word that calls to mind a non-sacrificial event, (the Greek word "mnemosunon"), instead he uses the precise word that calls to mind a sacrificial event. In the Septuagint we find "anamnesis" used in Lev. 2:2: "And the priest shall offer it up in smoke as its memorial portion (anamnesis) on the altar, an offering by fire of soothing aroma to the Lord." This verse is equating the word "memorial portion" with the actual sacrifice taking place. The burnt sacrifice WAS the memorial; the memorial was not merely the remembrance of a past sacrifice. What is even more significant in the typology is that the sacrifice was a "portion" of the whole grain offering that, in turn, served as the whole of the grain offering. Analogously, the host offered as the Eucharist, though only a "portion," serves as and contains the whole body, soul, and divinity of Christ.
FCFC said that they "never said all the Writings of the church fathers are forgeries." I never said you did either. What I said was that you said that the writings of the Church fathers on Baptism and the Eucharist were forgeries. The general quote you gave from the Catholic Encyclopedia regarding some forgeries doesn't address those specific doctrines. I am aware of some forgeries in other areas. But let me say again, ladies, there are no forgeries of the writings of the Church fathers on Baptism and the Eucharist. The challenge remains for you to find us the scholars who claim they were forgeries.
FCFC says: "Concerning whether or not the "church fathers have the same Spirit of God that we have", not all of them. The Bible warns us..." Your logic escapes me, ladies. You say, "not all of them" had the Spirit. I’ll grant you that for the sake of argument. But the point you are missing is that ALL the church fathers believed in Baptismal Regeneration and the Real Presence, NOT just the ones that you claim didn't have the Spirit of God! You either take all of them or none of them, but don't try to weasel out of this by claiming that only some had the Spirit. The point remains that either all the church fathers are wrong and you are right, or vice-versa.
FCFC says "We appreciate your honesty Mr. Sungenis in admitting that if the Eucharist is not God, but only a piece of bread it would be idolatry to worship it. That is exactly our point." Yes, that may be YOUR point, but MY point is that 2000 years of Church history has stated it is not a piece of bread any longer, therefore we don't worship a piece of bread. If you are going to argue against us, use the beliefs we use, not those you conjure up.
By the way, I read your piece on the papacy and infallibility in the last issue. I suggest we make that our next topic of debate. Let me know when you're ready. Thank you.
Debate between Catholic Apologetics International (CAI) and Former Catholics For Christ (FCFC) on Jesus' Eucharistic Presence Part 5
FCFC Rebuttal #3:
You seem to be confused Mr. Sungenis. Should the Feasts be interpreted literally or spiritually, or part literally and part spiritually? You asked FCFC if we literally went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast, revealing your lack of understanding in this matter. The key to understanding the question of the feasts of God is the cross of Jesus and His finished work in relation to the Old Covenant. When Christ came, He fulfilled in Himself historically, personally and antitypically all that was SHADOWED FORTH historically, typically and symbolically under the Old Covenant.
esus fulfilled, and by fulfillment abolished the temporal, literal and symbolic things used in these Feasts and brought in that which is spiritual and eternal. (Heb.9:8-15) Therefore there is no need to go to Jerusalem or anywhere else including the Catholic church to worship God. For Christ Himself answered the woman from Samaria who said, "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." (Jn.4:20) "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: We know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit [compare Jn.6:63] and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (Vs. 21-24)
Proper Biblical exegesis would state that the three Feasts before the Cross found their historical and literal fulfillment in natural Israel under the Old Covenant, while they found their historical and personal fulfillment in Jesus at the cross under the New Covenant. And again, they find spiritual and experiential fulfillment after the Cross in the Church, spiritual Israel. (Rom.4:13-16; 9:6-9; Gal.3:22; Eph.2:12-14)
In the first paragraph you say "The literal application of OT religious laws, whether they be of circumcision, diet, or festal, were discontinued in the NT as Paul states clearly in Col.2:16". Let's read Col.2:16 AND 17:
"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: WHICH ARE A SHADOW OF THINGS TO COME; but the body is of Christ." (Emphasis mine)
This proves our point, that the OT ceremonial laws and feasts are but a shadow of the true! Hence our interpretation of the Passover as a SHADOW of Christ and that the lamb of Exodus 12 was but a SHADOW of the TRUE LAMB is correct.
The prominent truth that God endeavored to teach Israel was that of blood atonement. The approach to God can only be upon the foundation of blood, sacrificial blood. So, the "unbloody" sacrifice of the Eucharist has no theological leg to stand on. There can be no Feasting with the Lord or His people except on the basis of bloodshed, blood atonement. The principle of Exodus 12:13 is applicable here:
"And the blood shall be to you a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you..."
The OT ceremonial law agrees with this doctrine when it states CLEARLY:
"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for you souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood."
God has nothing to say to man apart from the blood of Jesus Christ. All of God's communications in festal relationship to the believer is upon the foundation of the sacrificial blood of Jesus as clearly stated in I Cor.5:7:
"For even Christ OUR PASSOVER is sacrificed for us: THEREFORE LET US KEEP THE FEAST, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (Emphasis mine)
Mr. Sungenis, for you to say that the feasts were discontinued is against the Scriptures!!! We still celebrate the Passover, only now we celebrate it in spirit and in truth. Jesus has brought in the spiritual and eternal! The same with circumcision! It was not discontinued, for now we are circumcised in the heart as Romans 2:28-29 says:
"For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; AND CIRCUMCISION IS THAT OF THE HEART, IN THE SPIRIT, AND NOT IN THE LETTER; whose praise is not of men, but of God." (Emphasis mine)
The bottom line is that the blood of Jesus is the perfect once-for-all sacrifice in the NT times which God accepts. It fulfills prophecy and abolishes in itself all the untold millions of animal sacrifices and oblations of the OT. His sacrifice is NEVER to be repeated. Christ died once. (Heb.9:25-28; 7:27) Stated again in Rom.6:9-10:
"Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead DIETH NO MORE; death hath no more dominion over him. for in that he died, HE DIED UNTO SIN ONCE: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God." (Emphasis mine)
Since he can never die again, there can be no more sacrifice...hence the "sacrifice" of the mass can be no more than a remembrance of a sacrifice and not a true "sacrifice" since a true sacrifice demands a victim.
We know that Calvary is a fulfillment of the Passover (in a one-to-one correspondence). If the mass is supposed to be a re-presentation of Calvary, then the mass must be identical to the Passover, which it is NOT! Therefore we maintain that the Catholic mass is nothing more than a gross counterfeit and not the true Feast that we are to keep in sincerity and truth!
The same can be said of the Sabbath. It found its historical and literal fulfillment in natural Israel under the Old Covenant. Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, was "...made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law", thus fulfilling and abolishing the external and bringing in the spiritual and eternal. The Sabbath rest spoke of man ceasing from his own works and entering into and enjoying the work of God. We are called to cease from our own works, works of the flesh (Gal.5:19-21) and works of the law (Rom.3:27-28, 9:30-32) and find rest in Jesus Christ. As Jesus says in Matt.11:28: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Hebrews 4:3, 4 and 10 expound on this:
"For we which have believed do enter into rest...although THE WORKS WERE FINISHED FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works...For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his." (Emphasis mine)
Just what works were "finished from the foundation of the world"? Rev.13:8 tells us it was "...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Jesus confirms this interpretation in John 4:34, "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and TO FINISH HIS WORK." Perhaps this will help clear up the interpretation of Jn.19:30 where Jesus says, "IT IS FINISHED", since you seem to be in confusion over what the word "it" refers to. John and Hebrews both speak of the finished work, so I fail to see why you are so puzzled!
Another point that should be made is that the Catholic church, due to her lack of spiritual understanding of the Feast days and the Sabbath, has further burdened her people. Mr. Sungenis claims that the ceremonial laws are discontinued, which includes the Sabbath. Yet, "...every Catholic is bound to assist at Mass once on every Sunday and holiday of obligation" (Catholic Dictionary, Attwater, 312). This is putting man back under the law, the very thing Mr. Sungenis said is discontinued. If a Catholic deliberately and willfully misses Mass (perhaps too lazy to attend church that day) he/she has committed a mortal sin and if "...unrepented [before death] it brings eternal death" (Catechism of The Catholic Church, 1874). Yet Gal.5:4 says, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosover of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace." So why would a Catholic be justified if he/she went to mass? Remember grace is "unmerited favor".
"And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." (Rom.11:6) "Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" (Gal.3:3)
If the Catholic church justifies a man who keeps the sabbath law and condemns another man who breaks the sabbath law, then she has without doubt put man back under the law.
"For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise...And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise." (Gal.3:18-29)
Before we move on to any other subjects, we feel that the subject of the mass and Eucharist have not been totally analyzed under the light of Scriptures. We also feel you have failed to prove that the Catholic really "eats" Jesus literally. You admitted that Jesus enters "whole and entire" and leaves "whole and entire", meaning that you did not truly "eat" him since he was not assimilated nor annihilated into nothingness. At most you only chewed him, much like one chews tobacco or bubble gum (a non- nourishing act). Chewing used to be forbidden by the Catholic church, but now is allowed. We also feel you have not adequately explained why the early church stressed the importance of receiving both elements (the bread and the wine), in order to receive the sacrament in it's entirety. Why was it necessary for newborns to receive communion for salvation in the early church, but it is not necessary now?
You used Gal.5:21 to prove we can "lose" our "inheritance". "...They which do such things" were the unsaved, not the saved. You can know them by their fruits. The same for I Cor.6:9, Eph.5:5, Heb. 6:46; 10:26-29, you seem to be confusing the saved with the unsaved. I Peter 1:4 tells us that our inheritance is:
"...incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
Concerning the "church fathers", Jaroslav Pelikan, in his book The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600), 68-69, makes an interesting observation:
"History is usually dictated by the victors. As the principal sources of information about the development of Christian doctrine are the writings of orthodox theologians, so most of what has been known about these heresies-at least until the twentieth century-has come from the works of those who combated them."
CAI Rebuttal #3:
Since FCFC has not answered my challenge concerning the alleged forgeries of the Church fathers on Baptism and the Eucharist, let me preface my rebuttal with a comment on Bill Jackson's assertion on page 3 of "Feedback" that the Catholic Church "substituted false documents and tampered with genuine ones" concerning the Church fathers. I challenge you, Dr. Jackson, as I did FCFC, to find me one reputable Protestant scholar who claims and has proof that the writings of the Church fathers on Baptism and the Eucharist were forgeries. Your demagogic attempts to cast a shadow on the early fathers by citing the fact that there were some forgeries in the Middle Ages indicates to me once again the totally biased view of history Protestants maintain despite the evidence before them. As for your reference to Donnel Jackson that studying the early Church fathers is like "entering another world," then tell us why Ignatius of Antioch (AD 110), who writes that he knew the apostle John, believed and wrote about baptismal regeneration and the real presence in the Eucharist? Are we to believe, as you are suggesting, that he just dreamed this up on his own? Ignatius also writes frequently of being faithful to the tradition handed down to him. Where did this tradition come from Dr. Jackson if it did not come from John and the other apostles, considering the fact that Ignatius is in the same generation as John the apostle? I suppose you are going to tell us that Ignatius' writings were forgeries, right? You find us one reputable scholar who claims and has proof that they were forgeries and I'll become a Protestant again. FCFC wasn't able to find any proof I doubt if you will either. And now that you have made the assertion, I suggest you stay out of the debate until you find us the proof. Now to FCFC. I will assume, ladies, that since you didn't rebutt the matter concerning the real meaning of "trogo" (to chew, masticate, munch) in John 6:54-58, nor answered the fact that "amamnesis" in Leviticus 2:2 referred to the sacrifice itself not merely a remembrance of a sacrifice, nor answered the fact that the Church fathers had the same Spirit you claim to have, nor answered the fact that the NT teaches "infused" grace, that you have conceded these points. If not, then I expect rebuttals in your next installment.
Regarding your statement that the OT feasts were shadows of NT truths, you won't find me giving you an argument. What I will argue against, however, is your one-sided hermeneutic that seeks to limit the Old and New Testament directives to the spiritual realm. You would make a good Gnostic or Docetist (for those in Rio Linda and Greentown, those are heresies in the early centuries that claimed there were no physical realities to Christianity, just spiritual). Granted, there is plenty of spiritual truth in the New Testament. The Catholic Church has a whole history of allegorical and anagogical interpretation of Old and New Testament types. But this does not mean, contrary to what you are suggesting, that these types don't have their own physical counterpart. For example, though it is true that the New Testament speaks of a"spiritual circumcision" (Col. 2: Il), and that physical circumcision has been abolished (Gal 5:2-3), it transposes this Old Testament sign into a New Testament physical counterpart, namely, baptism. As a matter of fact, after Colossians 2:11 refers to spiritual circumcision, it follows immediately in Colossians 2: 12 with the physical reality of baptism that has replaced circumcision. So you see, ladies, its not just a "spiritual" application of Old Testament shadows but a physical application as well. Likewise, though the physical reality of Passover was fulfilled in the spiritual reality of salvation, nevertheless, the physical counterpart that was established in place of Passover was the Eucharist.
I might also mention that your analysis of the Sabbath is equally aschew [sic]. Granted, the literal Sabbath law, which fell under ceremonial law, became the typological shadow of the fact that we do not work for salvation, nevertheless, the NT church substituted a physical counterpart in its place, the Lord's Day (Rev. 1:10; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2). In addition, contrary to your assertion that one is not required to attend worship on the Lord's day, as the Catholic Church requires, Hebrews 10:25 makes it clear that one is required to attend. Moreover, when the Church requires such practice of its people under pain of sin, this is no different than what was true in Acts 15 when the Council of Jerusalem, along with the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28), required all Christians to abstain from certain kinds of meats. If a Christian disobeyed this ordinance when it was imposed and valid, he would have been in sin. That the Church had the power to convict of sin was already established (Acts 5: 1-16). However, the Council of Jerusalem was no more "going back to the law" of the Old Testament anymore than the Catholic Church is when it requires attendance at Sunday Mass nor requires cessation from unnecessary work. Though the NT discontinues the ceremonial dimensions of the Third Commandment, it continues its moral obligations. In short, the Church extracted what was good from the OT and discarded what was obsolete.
Ironically, with all your talk of "spiritual" realities fulfilling the shadows of the OT, on what basis, then, do you insist on a literal fulfillment or application of the OT law of not eating blood in the New Testament? Laying aside the Eucharist for the moment, are you trying to tell us that it would be sin for someone today to consume blood? I hope in light of Col. 2: 16 and 1 Tim.4:3 you are not saying such. The only ones who teach that absurd doctrine are Seventh Day Adventists. Are you one of them? If not, then I suggest you stop the forcing of this OT law onto the NT, whether it be concerning comestible items or the Eucharist.
Regarding your contention that "finished" refers to the "work" of Christ, you won’t get an argument from me. What I will contend with, however, is your application of John 19:30 to prohibit the continuing work of Christ with his Church after his Asension [sic]. Granted, the most likely interpretation of "it is finished" in John 19:30 is to Christ's death on the cross. He finished that part of his work. But how does this prove, as you suggests it does, that his work does not continue in another mode? Does not Jesus have more work to do for the Father? Yes he does. Jesus needs to come again and put all things under the Father's rule (1 Cor. 15:24-28). Thus, his work is not finished.
Incidentally, your use of Rev. 13:8 ("finished from the foundation of the world...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world") is not going to help you for it simply proves too much for your case. If the work was "finished," in the strict sense of the word, before the world was created, then there was no need for Christ to come to earth and die. Consequently, your discovery of the word "finished" in Rev. 13:8 only proves how ambiguous and general this word is, and thus shows that it can be applied in many different ways and therefore does not exclude Christ coming to us presently as a re-presented sacrifice in the Eucharist. I have also pointed out the same anachronistic use of the word "finished" in John 17:4 to which you did not respond.
This brings up another point that may help in understanding how Christ's work can be "finished" in one sense and yet "not finished" in another sense. The NT speaks of Christ "coming." Normally, we associate this with either his first or second coming. His first coming is considered a "finished" work and his second coming will be the ultimate "finishing. " However, the NT also speaks of Christ "coming" before or in between these two events. For example, in Matt. 16:27-28 Christ tells the apostles that the kingdom would come before any of them died. This is fulfilled in the Transfiguration of Matt. 17:l. Hence, the Transfiguration was a "coming" of Jesus in his kingdom long before the Second Coming at the end of time. Similarly, Acts 2:20 speaks of the "coming" in relation to Pentecost. In Acts 7:55, Stephen sees a "coming" of Jesus. In Acts 9:4-5 and 22:17-2 1 and 23: 1 1, Paul experiences a "coming" of Jesus. Peter experiences something similar in Acts 10: 13-14 and John in Rev. 1-3. Hence, Jesus' coming to us is not confined to the first or second coming, rather, he has much work to do for the Father throughout the Church age. Similarly, though Jesus "finished" the first phase of his work for the Father, (i.e., his actual death and resurrection), this does not exclude his continuing work. This is why I stressed in my last installment that the context of Hebrews 7-9 only contrasts the one sacrifice of Christ over against the multitudinous sacrifices of the OT priests; it does not contrast Christ's one sacrifice over against Christ's continuing work as a priest for the Father. That continuing work is shown in his "coming" to us at each Mass and making his abode with us as he promised. That work (i.e., his perpetual priesthood, cf. Heb. 7:25) is not "finished" and will not be until he comes at the end of time.
Regarding your question concerning Jesus coming and leaving "whole and entire," I have already explained this mystery by an analogous work of God when he comes into a physical entity with his Spirit "whole and entire," as Romans 8:9 teaches. The Spirit can also leave a physical entity "whole and entire" as well (1 Sam. 16:14, et al). Christ can come into a rock (l Cor. 10:4), a donkey (Num 22:28), and just about anything he feels is necessary. In addition, his resurrected body was not subject to the same time and space limitations that we are as is proven by his suddenly appearing to the disciples in a room in which the doors were locked (John 20: 19,26). There are many mysteries to the hypostatic union we will never comprehend. Thus, though your question is intriguing, it does not disprove anything about the Eucharist.
Regarding the practice of taking both elements and giving the Eucharist to children I will answer in my next installment. Also, your assertion that Gal. 5:21, I Cor. 6:9, Eph. 5:5 et al, are speaking about the unsaved is totally absurd. The context of the passages will not allow such an interpretation. But I will save that for a future debate.
Debate between Catholic Apologetics International (CAI) and Former Catholics For Christ (FCFC) on Jesus' Eucharistic Presence Part 6
FCFC Rebuttal #4:
Mr. Sungenis seems to feel we haven't adequately responded to his "challenge" of finding scholars who claim the writings of "church fathers" on the Eucharist, and baptism were forgeries. The original statement was "Mr. Sungenis's reference to the 'early church fathers' on both the Eucharist and Baptism is highly suspect!
Evidently the forgeries have been an influence." (Vol.2, Jan. 96, issue 4) Saying the forgeries were an influence is not the same as saying everything these men wrote on the subjects was a forgery! Please don't misrepresent our statements. Your own Catholic Encyc. says on page 672 of Volume IV "The Decretals [a proven forgery] of Gregory IX still form the basis of Canon Law..." We feel the Law of the Church cannot help but to be tainted with these ancient forgeries. You also disagreed with, "...the Roman Catholic Church (by their own admission) has changed what the early church fathers have said...." The church's history bears out the fact that what was believed and taught early on, is not the same as today. Many dismiss this as being unimportant, contrasting doctrines with "disciplines." We feel any "discipline" that carries with it the intimation of loss of salvation upon non- conformity should be, at the least consistent with Biblical doctrine and ideally as unchanging as the Word itself. We do not find this to be the case. In fact:
"...history shows only too plainly that the Church, in their sense of the term, has varied in its doctrine, taught dogmas at various times and at various places at the same time, inconsistent with each other, and therefore to a considerable extent erroneous"(Plain Facts, 34).
Does the church not have to live by its own claim of "...if it be not identical in belief in, in government, etc., with the primitive Church, then it is not the Church of Christ" [?] (Catholic Facts, 27). Here are just a few examples of the changes this never-changing institution has made:
"Communion under both kinds [bread and wine] was the prevailing usage in Apostolic Times" (Cath. Encyc., IV, 176). "In the fifth century Pope Gelasius commanded the laity to receive under both kinds" (Question Box, 446, 1913 edition)"...Gelasius emphatically condemned persons who abstained from the chalice" (Cath. Dict.., 202). "Communion 'under both kinds' entirely and formally abolished in 1416 by the Council of Constance" (Lives and Times of the Roman Pontiffs, Chevalier Artaud de Montier, I, 111).
"Actually, it was not until the twelth century that the word "sacrament' was defined with sufficient precision to disengage the seven rites, and only seven, from the numerous ceremonies that had been celebrated in the Church for centuries, and to apply to just seven sacraments of the New Law...This will explain, perhaps, why there is no mention of the sacraments in the early creeds of Christendom" (The Sources of Christian Theology, I, Palmer, 72).
Another sacrament that has altered its methodology is baptism.
"Baptism took place by immersion in ancient times" (New Interpretation of the Mass, 120). "...even St. Thomas, in the thirteenth century, speaks of baptism by immersion as the common practice of his time" (Catholic Dict., Addis and Arnold).
Today "sprinkling" seems to be the favored method, regardless of the fact it was not practiced by the apostles, nor set forth by the Word of God. this is also the case for infant baptism. The Catholic Dictionary tells us "It is difficult to give strict proof from Scripture in favor of it." (p.61) In the Short History of the Catholic Church on page 31 we read "Previously to the third century, infants were not baptized except in case of necessity."
"When in the fourth and fifth centuries the doctrine of original sin and consequently of the necessity of baptism for all became better known, the practice of infant baptism progressed rapidly" (Legislation on the New Code of Canon Law, 72).
We praise Jesus, He doesn’t leave us hanging while doctrines "progress" or "develop". The "Church Fathers" didn't even agree among themselves:
" 'St.' Anselm opposed 'St.' Augustine concerning 'Limbo' (the little baby hell) (Cath. Encyc., IX, 257), 'St' Jerome and 'St.' Athanasius opposed 'St.' Liberius (Cath. Encyc., IX, 220,222). Catholic writers claim that they have had only four 'doctors.' 'St.' Augustine and 'St.' Thomas were two of them, and they taught opposing doctrines concerning 'original sin,' and neither one talked the language of the Bible! so 'St.' Bellarmine, their greatest controversialist, found the situation embarrassing" (Cath. Encyc., IX, 257, 258; VI, 712).
Bellarmine also found himself a victim of the changing attitudes within the church:
"A great fight was being waged for and against the Jesuits. Sixtus V excommunicated Robert Bellarmine, a high-ranking Jesuit, but after about two years Bellarmine became the right hand of Pope Clement VIII. A 'heretic' in two years became the main support of the Pope, who was at that time a Jesuit. Nearly four hundred years later Robert Bellarmine was enrolled among the Catholic saints!...Sixtus not only excommunicated Robert Bellarmine, but placed his books on the Index of Forbidden Books" (Catholicism Against Itself, Lambert, 169).
Papal infallibility was opposed on a large scale as we see from the following quote:
"The church historian, Philip Schaff, says there was strong opposition to the call for the council, [which ratified the infallibility decree] and that delegates representing 80 million Roman Catholics were opposed to it. A preliminary vote in secret session gave the delegates a limited opportunity to express themselves. Eighty-eight delegates voted against it, 65 voted for it with reservations, and over 80 abstained. But the papal party was in firm control and easily carried the final voting. To take sides against the strong-willed pope and against the Jesuits a minority had to be particularly courageous to express itself at all. It was a foregone conclusion that the decree would be passed. Opposition clearly was futile, and could mean reprisals affecting the delegates' present positions or injury to any chances for future promotion. Before the final vote was taken 410 bishops petitioned in favor of the dogma, and 162 against it" (Roman Catholicism, Boettner, 244).
Bishop Purcell was quoted as saying:
"No enlightened Catholic holds the Pope's infallibility to be an article of faith, I do not; and none of my brethren that I know of, do" (Campbell-Purcell Debate, 26, 27).
Mr. Sungenis says "2000 years of Church history has stated it [the eucharist] is not a piece of bread any longer, therefore we don't worship a piece of bread. If you are going to argue against us, use the beliefs we use, not those you conjure up." First, the eucharist doesn't have 2000 years of history behind it. On page six of Volume X of the Catholic Encyclopedia we find "The word Mass (missa) first established itself as the general designation of the Eucharist Sacrifice in the West after the time of Gregory the Great (died 604), the early church having used 'breaking of bread.' " The "breaking of bread" has its origin in the Bible, the mass does not. Why this deviation from Apostolic practice and Scripture?
Second, when arguing against you, sir, we will use the beliefs we find laid out in Scripture. We'll leave it to the sorcerers to "conjure." It has been said:
"If only one instance could be given in which the church ceased to teach a doctrine of faith which had been previously held, that single instance would be a death blow to her claim of infallibility" (Faith of Our Fathers, Gibbons, 61).
We maintain that "death blow" has been dealt.
Your accusation that FCFC would "make a good Gnostic" is ironic, especially in light of the fact that the mandate to rule the nations in the name of Christ was the outgrowth of Gnostic influences in the early Church. The theosophical philosophies that illuminated the Roman Church gave rise to the belief that since Christ had failed to return for three centuries, and heathenism threatened the Roman Empire which was perceived as "Christian" , it must be up to the church of Rome to do something about the evil in the world. But the problem was that the true faith had been corrupted by pagan philosophy. Virtually all the early "Church Fathers" had been schooled in Greek and Roman philosophy. They believed that man has within himself a "divine spark" which must be awakened in order to bring him to perfection. Plato called this divine spark the "immortal principle". To all our readers, we would warn that this is a New Age doctrine promoted in all New Age writings. (Col.2:8)
Concerning the word "amamnesis" (anamnesis), the Hebrew word used in Lev.2:2 is "azkarah" which means "a reminder: spec. remembrance offering: memorial." It was only used 7 times (Lev.2:2,9,16; 5:12; 6:15; 24:7; Num.5:26). Each reference is concerning a meal offering, not blood. The word "anamnesis" means "recollection: remembrance (again)" . It comes from "anamimnesko" which means "to recollect: - call to mind, remembrance". Mark 11:21 uses this word: "And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him...." This is obviously not a sacrifice.
Concerning the word "trogo", would you have us believe that the infallible church erred when she forbid her subjects to chew (trogo) the Eucharist? One of the root words for "trogo" means "to wound". Are you now saying that you wound Jesus all over again as you chew him?
In your third paragraph you claim to have the physical reality of the Passover. If this were true, then the mass would be identical in pattern to that feast, which it is not. The Catholic eats a live sacrifice, whereas the the true Passover Lamb was slain. "...Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me." (I Cor.11:24) "...Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matt.26:27-28) The disciples were not eating a live sacrifice at the last supper! Even if you choose to be literal in your interpretation, you would have to eat the body that was broken separate from drinking the blood that was shed, or you violate and vandalize the scriptures.
You also claim that baptism is the physical reality of circumcision. Circumcision in the flesh does not save a man, neither does physical baptism. Circumcision is that of the heart, and baptism is that in the Holy Ghost. If an unbelieving man gets baptized, does the water save him? No, you only have a wet sinner.
I appreciate your admitting that we cannot work for salvation (4th paragraph), although you will find some few million Catholics who disagree with you. Your allegation that we are permitted to eat living things with the blood in them is not only unscriptural, it is cannibalisms.
"And the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people did eat them with the blood. Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against the LORD, in that they eat with the blood." (I Sam.14:32-33)
Your argument concerning "whole and entire" leaves many questions. First you are supposed to chew Jesus, but you really don't chew him since no matter how many pieces you divide Jesus into, each particle contains the "whole and entire" Christ as the council of Trent declared. Then you eat Jesus, but you really can't eat Him since the minute the host is digested, it ceases to be Christ, so the only real nourishment one gets from eating the Eucharist is bread, by their own doctrine. Then Mr. Sungenis tells us that Jesus leaves us "whole and entire", yet the bread has been dissolved, leaving Jesus no body, but only His Spirit, so then how did He leave "whole and entire"? Yet John 6, the very scriptures that Catholics lean on so heavily to prove transubstantiation tells us literally that he will not leave us! "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." The word "dwelleth" means "to remain, endure, last, abide". If your host does not remain, then it is not the same bread that Jesus was talking about. His bread promised eternal life (Jn.6:54), your bread does not.
CAI Closing Statement:
For people who claim to use the Bible to support their beliefs, I found very little of the Bible in your last rebuttal, except for the times you were forced to use it to comment on the meanings of "anamnesis" in Luke 22:19/Lev. 2:2 and "trogo" in John 6:54-58. Even then your comments were totally inane as I will show shortly. Most of what you have done in your last installment, and much of your previous rebuttals, is attack the Catholic Church with material other than from the Bible. Your lack of biblical information, along with your biased and selective use of historical citations from third party sources presents a poor defense for your position. In addition, more than half of your rebuttal has nothing to do with the topic at hand, the Mass and the Eucharist. The "shotgun blast" method of debate is not going to impress me, ladies...By the way, your interpolation: "[a proven forgery]" gives the biased impression that those words appear in the Catholic Encyclopedia. You and I both know that they are not part of the text, thus I wonder who is guilty of misrepresentation. In addition, I think the audience deserves to see the quote you did not cite -- a quote which shows that you are taking things out of context. The full passage reads: "The Decretals of Gregory IX still form the basis of Canon Law, so far as it has not been modified by subsequent collections and by the general laws of the Church." I would also like to comment on G.S. of Alliance, OH's remark that, "It never ceases to amaze me at how much Mr. Sungenis is able to fill your pages of the debate yet unable to say anything that can be backed with the Word of God." Where have you been, G.S, on Mars? I suggest you reread my rebuttals and observe what percentage of the time I spent in Scripture and then compare that to what percentage FCFC spent. You will be "amazed" at how little they have to say from Scripture. Most of their rebuttal is filled with their biased interpretation of Catholic history.
As for your comment, Dr. Jackson, that the word "finished" in John 19:30 means "to discharge a debt" I challenge you to find one biblical and lexical reference that uses your definition. As for your assertion that the word in John 19:30 ("teleo") is a "different" word than in John 17:4 ("teleio"), what you didn't tell the audience, Dr. Jackson, is that they are synonyms and are used in almost exactly the same way in the NT. I find it ironic that you accused me of giving an "incomplete" answer to the meaning of "nihil obstat" and then you turn right around and give a most incomplete and misleading analysis of teleo and teleio. Regarding your question: "what ever happened to Romans 11:5?," I suggest you read the Sixth Session, Chapter 8, of the Catholic Council of Trent (1563), which states, "...none of those things which precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace of justification; for if it is a grace, it is not now by reason of works; otherwise (as the Apostle says) grace is no more grace (Rom. 11:5-6)" Denzinger, p. 252). Hopefully, after reading this, you will have enough theological integrity to cease from saying that Catholic theology teaches that we "work for salvation."
Now back to FCFC. You wrote: "Saying the forgeries were an influence is not the same as saying everything these men wrote on the subjects was a forgery! Please don't misrepresent our statements." Ladies, I don't have to misrepresent you. You just did a good job of it yourselves. Let's look again at your original quote from the previous newsletter: "Mr. Sungenis's reference to the 'early church fathers' on both the Eucharist and Baptism is highly suspect! Evidently, the forgeries have been an influence." Now, are you trying to tell me, ladies, that you were not suggesting that the alleged forgeries are not implying that the early fathers' writings on Baptism and the Eucharist are suspect of error and false teaching?? I wasn't born yesterday. Even taking the statement, "Mr. Sungenis' reference to the early church fathers ....is highly suspect" by itself shows that you consider the fathers flawed and unimportant. This was also proven by your comments denigrating the use of the church fathers to support doctrine in the same newsletter. Now I can see why you don't interpret the Bible correctly -- you can't even interpret your own statements correctly.
Here's another one of your misstatements: "First, the eucharist doesn't have 2000 years of history behind it. On page six of Volume X of the Catholic Encyclopedia we find 'The word Mass (missa) first established itself as the general designation of the Eucharist Sacrifice in the West after the time of Gregory the Great...the early church having used ‘breaking of bread.’" " You continue: "The 'breaking of bread' has its origin in the Bible, the mass does not. Why this deviation from Apostolic practice and Scripture?" You just keep digging your hole deeper. Are you sure you want to go on? Notice that the above quote says that the "WORD" Mass was established after the time of Gregory, NOT the practice or understanding that the bread was the body of Christ. Similarly, the word transubstantiation was first established in the 3rd century at the 4th Lateran Council but this didn't mean that the practice or understanding of the Real Presence was not held prior. Further, I would hate to bore you with quotes from the early Fathers again, but you really should give them a gander. In them you will find that the early church from the first four centuries of fathers, believed both in the Real Presence and the sacrifice it entailed, e.g., Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Ireneaus, Cyril, Cyprian, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Clement, Athanasius, Basil, Chrysostom, et al. If your newsletter would spend just a little time delving into the fathers, which is how we know what the early church really believed, instead of constantly quoting from biased third party sources that are 20 centuries removed from the early church you and your Protestant audience might gain a more accurate understanding of the Church. But of course, you would rather mislead the audience by misconstruing references in the Catholic Encyclopedia rather than quote directly from the fathers. I plead with Good Newsletter readers. Does it make sense to you that the church fathers, who followed right after the apostles (some being in the same century as the apostles) and who were so forthright in giving us many of the doctrines Catholics and Protestants still hold today, could be so devilishly misled that they just invented the Real Presense? I think it has become obvious that the Good Newsletter editors will do anything to stop you from studying the Church fathers -- BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT THE INFORMATION SUPPORTING THE REAL PRESENCE IS THERE. If you don't believe me, than take a look at this next outlandish attempt to dismiss the father's writings.
FCFC writes: "Virtually all the early "Church Fathers" had been schooled in Greek and Roman philosophy. They believed that man has within himself a "divine spark" which must be awakened in order to bring him to perfection. Plato called this divine spark the "immortal principle." To all our readers, we would warn that this is a New Age doctrine promoted in all New Age writings. (Col. 2:8)" If anyone out there is guilty of a crime and needs a lawyer to get them off, I suggest you call the editors of FCFC they have a fiendish way of controverting the evidence. Since FCFC didn't follow their normal practice of citing a third party source, I'Il have to conclude that they just dreamed up this little gem on their own. I went to college and learned about Greek and Roman philosophy too, but nobody accused me of believing in Plato’s "divine spark." Come on, ladies, is this the best you can do?? Is this the kind of garbage you have been feeding your Good Newsletter audience before I entered into the fray? As always: you make the assertion -- I'11 demand the proof. I challenge you to find one church father who wrote that he believed and taught as Church doctrine Plato's "divine spark." Any takers? Besides that, you might want to check the Council of Nicea in 325, Serdica in 344, Rome in 384 and Constantinople in 381, for the utter condemnation of the Gnostic heresy, which many of the Church fathers had attended.
As for your analysis of the word "anamnesis" used in Luke 22:19, here is what you wrote: "The word "anamnesis" means, "recollection: remembrance (again)". It comes from "anamimnesko" which means "to recollect: - call to mind, remembrance". Mark 1 1.21 uses this word: "And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him..."...This is obviously not a sacrifice." Would you mind telling us from what Greek reference you got this information? The word "anamnesis" does not, as you say, "come from," the word "anamimnesko." It is a cognate of "anamnesis." Both have a common root, "anamneo," but they are different words used different ways. I have proved and stated previously that "anamnesis" is used EXCLUSIVELY in reference to a memorial sacrifice in the NT (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24-25; Heb. 10:3). The word "anamimnesko" is used EXCLUSIVELY in reference to "memory" or "remembrance" Mk. 11:21; 14:72; 1 Cor. 4:17; 2 Cor. 7:15; 2 Tim. 1:6, Heb. 10:32). It is never used with sacrifice. The Jews chose the word "anamnesis" when they were performing sacrifices (Lev. 2:2,9,16; 5:12; 6:15; 24:7; Num. 5:26; 10:10), never the word "anamimnesko." They only used "anamimnesko" when referring to a non- sacrificial remembrance (Gen. 8:1; 41:9; Ex. 23:13; 2 Sam. 18:18, et al). In fact, Numbers 10:9-10 shows us the distinction of the two words very vividly. Numbers 10:9 says, "...Then you will be remembered [anamimnesko] by the Lord your God." Numbers 10:10 says, "you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial [anamnesis] for you before the Lord."It is obvious that the latter reference is purposely being changed to "anamnesis" to accomodate the sacrificial language since that is the way the word is exclusively used in the OT. In addition, the use of "anamnesis" in Numbers 10:10 is in reference to a "burnt offering" (which required the shedding of blood and the application of that blood, cf, Levitcus 1:1- 17; 4:1-26) and hence, this discredits your comment that, "each reference is concerning a meal offering not blood." Thus, audience, we see that Catholic theology is vindicated again. Jesus uses a specific word in his Last Supper "anamnesis" in Luke 22:19) that was used EXCLUSIVELY for sacrifices in the Old Testament, including those of blood. Do I have to say more?
Regarding "trogo" in John 6, FCFC says, "Are you now saying that you wound Jesus all over again as you chew him." This is another attempt by FCFC to evade the issue. Rather than deal specifically with the fact that Jesus purposely changed from "phago" (to eat) to "trogo" (to chew) in John 6:54-58, FCFC would rather debate an internal issue in the Catholic Church over whether someone can chew the Eucharist or not. That's our house, ladies. Let us worry about whether we teach people to chew or not. Let's you and I just go to the Scripture as we agreed at the outset. I have made your plate full enough by challenging you to show us some rationale as to why Jesus changes his wording in John 6. Previously, you told us that "trogo" meant "to consider." I challenged you to prove that. Now, are you sticking with that interpretation or do you have an alternative? If you have an alternative, show it to us from the Scripture and then show us how it fits in the context of John 6. If you can't then you owe it to all of us to cut out the letters of the word "CONSIDER" and after you have "considered" them for a while, put them in your mouth and chew them.
Regarding the Passover, FCFC writes: "...you claim to have the physical reality of the Passover. If this were true then the mass would be identical in pattern to that feast, which it is not." No, ladies, it does not have to be "identical," only typological. Where do you come up with these self-made rules, anyway? They are certainly not from Scripture .
As for your comment that Baptism just makes a sinner "wet," here again, I plead with your audience: Go read the Church Fathers. Obviously, FCFC does not want you to. But you owe it to yourself to find out. Don't take FCFC's word for it. In your study you will find that there wasn't one early Father who taught that baptism just makes a sinner wet. Again, were they just bumbling idiots, totally deluded, so far from the apostles' teaching that they just invented such doctrines? Your common sense tells you that can't be the case.
FCFC then attempts to say that we are not permitted to eat meat with blood by referencing 1 Sam. 14:32-33. Ladies, I don't know if you noticed or not but I Sam. 14:32-33 is in the OLD TESTAMENT when the Levitical laws were still in force. It is only in the NEW TESTAMENT when these ceremonial laws are abrogated (Col.2:16; Gal. 4:10). Or, perhaps you are Seventh Day Adventists after all (?)
Debate between Catholic Apologetics International (CAI) and Former Catholics For Christ (FCFC) on Jesus' Eucharistic Presence Part 7
FCFC Closing Statement:
The "Sacrifice of the Mass" is Christ forever offering Himself. If there is no priest to "offer this sacrifice", there is no sacrifice and the work Christ did at Calvary ceases to have any effect, rendering the work of the cross useless. The Faith of Millions, by John O'Brien states: "The priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of man - NOT ONCE BUT A THOUSAND TIMES! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priest's command."
We here at FCFC reject such blasphemy. Christ cannot "offer Himself" again:."Now where remission of these is, THERE IS NO MORE OFFERING FOR SIN." (Heb.10:18) "I am he that LIVETH, AND WAS DEAD; and behold, I AM ALIVE FOREVERMORE, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." (Rev.1:18) Jesus "...NEEDETH NOT DAILY...TO OFFER UP SACRIFICE, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: FOR THIS HE DID ONCE, WHEN HE OFFERED UP HIMSELF." (Heb.7:27) "By His own blood HE ENTERED IN ONCE into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." (Heb. 9:12)
"For Christ is NOT ENTERED INTO THE HOLY PLACES MADE WITH HANDS...NOR YET THAT HE SHOULD OFFER HIMSELF OFTEN...FOR THEN MUST HE OFTEN HAVE SUFFERED SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD: but now ONCE in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." (Heb.9:24-26)
"So Christ was ONCE OFFERED TO BEAR THE SINS OF MANY; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Heb.9:28) Jesus "...OFFERED ONE SACRIFICE FOR SINS FOREVER...." (Heb.10:12)
"For by ONE OFFERING HE HATH PERFECTED FOREVER THEM THAT ARE SANCTIFIED." (Heb.10:14) "For Christ also hath ONCE SUFFERED FOR SINS...." (I Pet.3:18) "Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead DIETH NO MORE; DEATH HATH NO MORE DOMINION OVER HIM. FOR IN THAT HE DIED, HE DIED UNTO SIN ONCE; BUT IN THAT HE LIVETH, HE LIVETH UNTO GOD." (Rom.6:9-10) (Emphasis mine in all the above Scriptures.)
We would ask Mr. Sungenis to produce Scriptures that prove that Christ must continually be sacrificed in order for the work of the cross to be complete.
Concerning the Eucharist (the alleged body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus), we here at FCFC maintain that according to Scripture, He did not choose to reveal Himself in this way. "...This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, SHALL SO COME IN LIKE MANNER AS YE HAVE SEEN HIM GO INTO HEAVEN." (Acts 1:11) Jesus "...is even AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD...." (Rom.8:34)
"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and SET HIM AT HIS OWN RIGHT HAND IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES...." (Eph.1:20) "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, WHERE CHRIST SITTETH ON THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD." (Col 23:1) "Then if ANY MAN shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; BELIEVE IT NOT." (Matt.24:23)
"Howbeit the most High dwelleth NOT IN TEMPLES MADE WITH HANDS...Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool; what house will ye build me? saith the Lord; or what is the place of my rest?" (Acts 7:48-49) "...Say NOT in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)" ( Rom.10:6) Yet in The Faith of Millions, by John O'Brien we read:
"When the priest announces the tremendous words of consecration, HE REACHES UP INTO THE HEAVENS, BRINGS CHRIST DOWN FROM HIS THRONE, AND PLACES HIM UPON OUR ALTAR TO BE OFFERED UP AGAIN AS THE VICTIM FOR THE SINS OF MAN." (Emphasis mine)
This is a direct violation of Rom.10:6. "Behold, HE COMETH WITH CLOUDS; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him;" (Rev.1:7) "For as often as ye eat THIS BREAD, and DRINK THIS CUP, ye do show the Lord's death TILL HE COME." (I Cor.11:26). (If Jesus is already present in the Eucharist, there would be no need to do it in "remembrance".) "For YET A LITTLE WHILE, and HE THAT SHALL COME WILL COME, and will not tarry," (Heb. 10:37) "...and unto them that look for him shall he appear the SECOND TIME WITHOUT SIN unto salvation." (Heb.9:28) "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, SAT DOWN ON THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD" ( Heb.10:12).
Concerning the priesthood that Catholicism needs to "offer the sacrifice of the mass", there is no scriptural evidence to support such a doctrine. There are four priesthoods to speak of:
1.Levitical - must be of the tribe of Levi. (Num.3:10)
2.Melchisedec - Jesus is the only one who can hold this priesthood since it is not changeable or transferrable. (Heb.7:1-3)
3.The priesthood of all believers (I Pet. 2:9, Rev.1:6) We offer the "sacrifice of praise"( Heb.13:15), "sacrifices of joy" (Ps.27:6), "the sacrifice of thanksgiving" (Ps.116:17) and ourselves as a "living sacrifice" (Rom.12:1).
4.The false priests - "priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi" (I Kings 12:31, 2 Kings 17:32, 2 Chron.11:14,15)
The Catholic Mass is a lie, their priesthood is a lie, and their Eucharist is a lie. The only hope a Catholic has to justify his actions is the "church fathers", but do they really agree with Catholicism? It is very easy to take a preconceived theology of the eucharist and read it back into their comments and teachings. According to Jaroslav Pelikan (a professor of history at Yale University), in his book, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600), page 167, states:
"Yet it does seem 'express and clear' that no orthodox father of the second or third century of whom we have record either declared the presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist to be no more than symbolic (although Clement and Origen came close to doing so) or specified a process of substantial change by which the presence was effected (although Ignatius and Justin came close to doing so)...Tertullian spoke of the eucharistic bread as a 'figure' of the body of Christ....[and Cyprian] believed the eucharistic sacrifice of the church was performed 'in commemoration' of the sacrifice...also insisted that 'the sacrifice of a broken spirit' was 'a sacrifice to God equally precious and glorious.'" (ibid, 168-169)
Several "church fathers" agree with Tertullian and Cyprian. Justin Martyr (100/110-165 A.D.) - "...the bread which our Christ gave us to offer IN REMEMBRANCE of the Body...the cup which He taught us to offer in the eucharist, in COMMEMORATION of His blood." Theophilus of Antioch (d. c.185-191 A.D.) - "For though yourself prudent, you endure fools gladly. Otherwise you would to have been moved by senseless men to yield yourself to empty words, and to give credit to the prevalent rumor wherewith godless lips falsely accuse us, who are worshippers of God, and are called Christians...THAT WE EAT HUMAN FLESH." Clement of Alexandria (150-211/216 A.D.) - "The Scripture, accordingly, has named wine the SYMBOL of the sacred blood." Eusebius (263-340 A.D.) - "For by means of the wine, which was the SYMBOL..of His blood, He cleanses from their former sins those who are baptised into His death and have believed on His blood...." Athanasius (295-375) - "...what He says is not fleshly but spiritual. For how many would the body suffice for eating, that it should become the food for the whole world? But for this reason He made mention of the ascension of the Son of Man into heaven, in order that He might draw them away from the bodily notion, and that from henceforth they might learn that the aforesaid flesh was heavenly eating from above and spiritual food given by Him..For, He says, what I have spoken unto you is spirit and life...."
"Tertullian (155/160-240/250 A.D.) spoke of the bread and wine in the eucharist as SYMBOLS OR FIGURES WHICH REPRESENT THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST. He specifically stated that these were NOT THE LITERAL BODY AND BLOOD OF THE LORD. When Christ said, 'This is my body,,' Tertullian maintained that Jesus WAS SPEAKING FIGURATIVELY and that he consecrated the wine 'IN MEMORY of his blood' (Against Marcion 3.19)." (The Church of Rome At The Bar of History, Webster, 119) (Emphasis mine)
"Clement of Alexandria (150-211/216 A.D.) also called the bread and wine SYMBOLS of the body and blood of Christ, and taught that the communicant received NOT THE PHYSICAL but the spiritual life of Christ. Origen (185-253/254 A.D.), likewise, speaks in distinctively SPIRITUAL AND ALLEGORICAL TERMS WHEN REFERRING TO THE EUCHARIST. Eusebius of Caesarea (263-340 A.D.) identified the elements with the body and blood of Christ but, like Tertullian, saw the elements as being SYMBOLICAL OR REPRESENTATIVE OF SPIRITUAL REALITIES. He specifically states that the bread and wine are SYMBOLS of the Lord's body and blood and that Christ's words in John 6 are to be understood SPIRITUALLY and FIGURATIVELY AS OPPOSED TO A PHYSICAL AND LITERAL SENSE" (The Church of Rome At The Bar of History, Webster, 119) (Emphasis mine).
The theological giant who provided the most comprehensive and influential defense of the symbolic interpretation of the Lord's Supper was Augustine. He used John 6 as a specific example of a passage that should be interpretated figuratively.
"Augustine argued that the sacraments, including the eucharist, are signs and figures which represent or symbolize spiritual realities. He made a distinction between the physical, historical body of Christ and sacramental presence, maintaining that Christ's physical body could not literally be present in the sacrament of the eucharist because he is physically at the right hand of God in heaven, and will be there until he comes again. But Christ is spiritually with his people. Augustine viewed the eucharist in spiritual terms and he interpreted the true meaning of eating and drinking as being faith; 'To believe on Him is to eat the living bread. He that believes eats; he is sated invisibly, because invisibly is he born again.' These views of Augustine are obviously in direct opposition to those of the Council of Trent. In fact, teachings such as his on the eucharist were anathematized by that Council." (The Church of Rome At The Bar of History, Webster, 121)
As for your challenge concerning the influence of Plato and Gnosticism on the early "church fathers". Historian Abraham Freisen states:
"This argument, that one had a divine spark within, came into Christian thought through the Church Fathers. These great thinkers of the early church, beginning with Justin Martyr and culminating in St. Augustine, had nearly all been Platonists before they became Christians. Because of certain similarities, they were attracted to Christianity as a higher form of the same truth that Plato had perceived. Augustine especially in his early years developed the Platonic view of the soul and integrated it into Christianity. Thus he could say, 'The soul has within itself a hidden abyss, and the things of time and this world have no place therein, but only what is high above.' It was in this hidden abyss of the soul that God resided. Therefore, one could find God only by turning inward." (Vengeance is Ours, The Church In Dominion, Dager, 36)
According to George N. Shuster, in his introduction to The Confessions of St. Augustine:
"The ideas set forth in the Enneads of Plotinus were to remain deeply embedded in [Augustines's] mind...Augustine recognized in the human person a stature and range of creative endeavor that the newer Platonists he so genuinely admired had not accorded to it. The ultimate certitudes were knowable, in his view, not through a vision of the 'Ideas' which hover far above the world of sense, but through full awareness of the Self. 'I cannot doubt that I doubt' was for him the first immovable stone on the road to knowledge of Reality."
The search for knowledge from within oneself is the basis for gnosticism and characterizes one form of theosophic expression. Because Augustine believed that knowledge of reality is locked up within Self, he did not perceive God as transcedent alone, but immanent within the human soul:
"With such a view of the soul, it is not surprising that adherents from Plato to the Renaissance Humanists, from Augustine to the medieval mystics and Thomas Muentzer, can speak of the 'deification of man.' After all, man has within him a divine spark which, if ignited, can start a holy fire that can purify the individual. Augustine at one point spoke of 'growing god-like' " (Vengeance Is Ours, The Church in Dominion, Albert James Dager, 37-38)
Concerning the word "trogo", we asked a Greek expert, Dr. Samuel Gipp, who informed us that it meant "to crunch, to eat, to take food, partake of a meal". We do definitely partake of a meal, as I Cor.10:21 reaffirms, ""...ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils." As Tertullian said, we also agree, "...[We] devour Him with the ear, and to ruminate [to chew over again...to meditate or reflect upon] on Him with the understanding, and to digest Him by faith."
In regards to your accusation of our supposed misrepresentation of a portion of an encyclopedic entry; not true.
We used brackets which denote we added the words which is the standard method used by most writers.
Our point was and still remains that Gratian’s Decretum contained "three centuries of forgeries and conclusions drawn from them with his own fictional additions. Of the 324 passages he quotes from popes of the first four centuries, only eleven are genuine" (Vicars of Christ, De Rosa, 60).
Thomas Aquinas (who knew very little Greek) relied heavily on Gratian’s Decretum as a source book for his Summa Theologica, the second most widely-known work by a Catholic writer. Even Aquinas’ contemporaries blasted his book by sayin t it was a "monstrous accumalation of pagan reasonings fatal to the Christian faith" (The Age of Faith, Durant, 977).
These are foundational documents upon which the Catholic Church relies as a basis for their Canon Law. Despite the assertion of "modification" by later additions, this rationalization cannot stand. If a house has worm-eaten wood for its base, no amount of later addtions or beautifcation can make up for or alter the fact that rotten wood forms the foundation.
Concerning the word "anamnesis". We do not accept the Septuagint. The Greek word for remembrance (#364 - Strong’s Concordance) states that it is no more than a recollection, a remembrance.