Presto Chango!

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Biblegate
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Presto Chango!

Post by Biblegate » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:33 pm

Some people think that while taking Communion, the bread and wine become the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. They believe they eat Jesus. Is this supposed transformation of substances (transubstantiation) supernatural? Is it magic? Or is it superstition? What does the Bible say?

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3Resurrections
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Re: Presto Chango!

Post by 3Resurrections » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:18 pm

If the wine and bread of communion actually do turn into the blood and body of Christ as many believe, then why did some of the early church in I Corinthians 11:21 become drunken after communion? This would seem to provide proof that the alcoholic content of the wine never was miraculously converted into blood instead.

The value of observed communion is in the symbolic act of remembrance - not in the molecules it is composed of. Anything ingested during communion passes ordinarily through the human digestive tract. If communion elements actually WERE converted miraculously into the very body and blood of our Savior, it would be an insulting degradation to have the Lord of Heaven reduced to a human waste product by the process.

We already have a deliberate "communion" service of this denigrating kind demonstrated for us in the Old Testament by Moses. To show the disregard and total contempt God had for the golden calf idol that Aaron had fashioned for the disobedient Israelites, Moses burned the idol, ground it into powder, threw that dust into water, and made the children of Israel drink of it (Exodus 32:20). A similar type of "bitter water" test was used to prove the unfaithfulness of a wife in Numbers 5:11-31; which kind of unfaithfulness the children of Israel were certainly guilty of in the case of the golden calf idol. To turn the Israelites' golden calf idol into a human waste product was the only way Moses could illustrate to them how repugnant their idol was to the Lord.

For those with the deluded view of believing the communion elements are actually transformed, they would only be re-enacting this same humiliating ritual that Moses had the children of Israel perform. It's not likely that God would have honored Christ's sacrifice in the New Covenant communion observance by utilizing the same process that was intended to be an insulting act against an abominable idol during the Old Covenant days.

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Paidion
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Re: Presto Chango!

Post by Paidion » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:15 pm

The bread and wine are not transformed into the body and blood of Jesus, nor are they merely symbols.

Rather, what you are eating and drinking is but bread and wine. But that act of physically eating and drinking the bread and wine corresponds to the inward spiritual act of receiving Jesus in a special way. Consider the words of Jesus Himself:

I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."

The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"

So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever." (John 6:48-58)
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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Homer
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Re: Presto Chango!

Post by Homer » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:01 am

In January 1837 Alexander Campbell debated Bishop John Purcell on the Catholic religion. Regarding the Roman church teaching concerning transubstantiation, Campbell asked Purcell if the bread became Christ's human body or His resurrected body? Campbell further inquired as to how a person might benefit from eating Christ's human flesh or if it was possible to consume His resurrected flesh?

Bishop Purcell had no answer.

3Resurrections
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Re: Presto Chango!

Post by 3Resurrections » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:51 am

Hi Paidion,

Since I'm not yet aware of your perspective on the communion observance, I'm not sure exactly what your intent is by saying we "receive Jesus in a special way" by this act. (Once received, always received.) What I do know is that mankind always seems to have the latent danger of giving undue reverence to the physical elements or rituals that are involved in worship and service to our Savior. It's an old, old problem. We have a clear example of this given to us with the brass serpent that Moses held up, allowing those Israelites who had been bitten by serpents to view and be saved from death. As you know, eventually that brass serpent which symbolized healing and escape from death became an actual idol, which King Hezekiah had to destroy because it had led the people to worship the brass serpent itself (II Kings 18:4).

Paidion, the subject of communion has been a really touchy one for me in the past, because the cult-like church we used to attend for 16 years would use that service as a threatening weapon against its own members. Personally, I have one wretched communion service burned into my memory that is so horrible to my recollection that it's a wonder I was ever able to once again sit beside my husband in a new church later on, and participate in this observance with a calm mind. For a long while it was difficult for me to even have him pass the communion plate into my hands. One thing that experience taught me is to never. ever. EVER. EVER elevate the methods, the means, or the leaders of worship above the God who is the object of that worship and praise. Not saying you are doing this, Paidion, but I remain leery of any seeming attempt to give excess attention to rites and observances in and of themselves. They can turn into a trap, such as any gift from God can be corrupted and used inappropriately.

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Paidion
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Re: Presto Chango!

Post by Paidion » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:48 pm

Since I'm not yet aware of your perspective on the communion observance, I'm not sure exactly what your intent is by saying we "receive Jesus in a special way" by this act. (Once received, always received.)
Perhaps I didn't word that well. What we are doing outwardly and physically (eating unleavened bread and drinking wine) corresponds to what is happening inwardly and spiritually (feeding our souls upon the Son of God Himself, and drinking the spiritual life which He has provided for us).
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 81.

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Homer
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Re: Presto Chango!

Post by Homer » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:03 pm

3Resurrections,

You wrote:
Paidion, the subject of communion has been a really touchy one for me in the past, because the cult-like church we used to attend for 16 years would use that service as a threatening weapon against its own members. Personally, I have one wretched communion service burned into my memory that is so horrible to my recollection that it's a wonder I was ever able to once again sit beside my husband in a new church later on, and participate in this observance with a calm mind.

I'm betting (figure of speech; I do not bet on anything) what you experienced was a misapplication of the passage in 1 Corinthians 11 concerning "partaking in an unworthy manner". "Fencing the table" has a long and ugly history in the church.

3Resurrections
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Re: Presto Chango!

Post by 3Resurrections » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:20 am

Hi Homer,

In one respect, your guess is correct; that church didn't allow ANY who were not members to participate - no exceptions - not even for visiting ministers. The argument was that they would not be able to determine whether the person was observing the ordinance in a properly righteous frame of mind, if the non-member was not directly under the church's authority to discipline them for any sinful activity they might have engaged in. But that wasn't what blighted my communion experiences for a long time. I've mentioned on other comments that the men's group in this church advocated the same discipline for wives as for their children, if the husband deemed it necessary. The pastor's wife even wrote a letter to the editor of our local city newspaper on one occasion when the "marital rape" bill was up for debate. She wrote her view and her husband's that, to gain his wife's, ummm, cooperation, shall we say, that any husband would be justified in using the same measures toward his reluctant wife as he would use on his children to secure their obedience.

The men's group must have agreed with that kind of mindset, because one gentleman, as I found out later, suggested to my husband that he should use this option to "encourage" me to not arrive late for services. The nausea of a 3-month pregnancy morning sickness delayed me one Sunday morning, which prompted my husband to come inside and "encourage" me to hurry up while our children waited in the truck. Naturally, I didn't feel as if I was ready to participate in a communion service that morning, and said so. However, my choice was overridden, and I was told I had to participate anyway. Such was the level of spiritual abuse in that church that I felt there was no choice but to comply. Church discipline for those who did not toe the line of 100% agreement with all decisions made by the pastor earned a grilling before the entire congregation, and a loss of membership complete with shunning. And a letter that "delivered unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh" the one being disciplined. It was unthinkable for anyone to refrain from taking communion, because they would have been confronted and asked to give the reasons, which I couldn't bring myself to do. We all received such a letter when our family finally left that church. I wish that letter actually was an effective "curse", because it sure would be nice to have a little less flesh on my aging frame these days.

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Paidion
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Re: Presto Chango!

Post by Paidion » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:48 pm

Shocking! Image

You are truly blessed (as doubtless you well know) with having left such an ungodly "church" as this is.

Is it part of a group of "churches"? Is there a denominational name?
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 81.

3Resurrections
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Re: Presto Chango!

Post by 3Resurrections » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:23 am

Hi Paidion,

Indeed yes, we do feel blessed to have parted ways with that stifling atmosphere. They call themselves an independent Baptist church, and currently, I think they have two other branch churches started by them which are under their supervision. Very ingrown. Lots of intermarriage between the families. Our own daughter eloped with someone shortly after we left, because for some reason, she still thought we might try to arrange a marriage for her with one of them. Since leaving, I have helped put my husband through seminary and seen him ordained, though health issues have currently reduced his ability to do ministry as he used to. Through social media, he keeps up with a group of those members who over the years were all excluded from membership in that church, and forbidden contact with others of their family who still remained in the church. This growing collection of people who have left for various reasons and/or were excluded for "forsaking the assembly" keep in touch with each other via an online group started by a young woman who had to go through a "cult-detox" once she was excluded from membership and shunned by her family. She left the church and her family after turning 18 years old, because she was the only one who refused to agree to letting the philandering ex-pastor be re-installed as the pastor again. Gutsy girl. She told us that before she became 18, she used to envy us for being able to get out.

As former charter members of that church, we attended one of the excluded group's get-togethers, just to chat and exchange stories with them - to let them know that they weren't crazy; that it really was as bad as they thought; that they were justified in their decision not to go back, and that we stood with them.

That church keeps a website going, and the odd thing is that they still think they are a bastion of biblical truth, and that the rest of us unfortunate ones on the outside of their exclusive "ark" are either deceived or rebellious. Very sad. Not quite up to the level of a Jim Jones situation, but a near relation to it.

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