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NOT THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST

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

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

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

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

The Catholic may feel closest to Jesus when he partakes of the allegedly changed bread and wine. But should he? If your coca cola is transubstantiated into your wife, she won't even feel that she is being drunk. She won't even know. She won't feel any closer to you. If that makes you feel closer to her then its for the same reason that having her mug displayed in the house might. The sensation of being close to Jesus is delusion. The Church is being manipulative in urging people to think that communion is a real encounter with Jesus.
 
If Jesus is present in the wafer not just as a substance without any physical characteristics but as a substance with his physical characteristics such as his height being somehow present then a whole series of absurdities becomes apparent. Perhaps an orange transubstantiated into Jesus and is now the wafer. It would follow then that the wafer does not give us the physical characteristics of Jesus' body but of an orange that is now Jesus!
 
Our thoughts are real entities in the sense they would not happen if they did not exist. When you call up the colour red - not a red object but the colour - in your mind you see something. The entity is made of something that is not like anything physical. It is as if you are seeing the colour itself and not just something turned red. How can transubstantiation be possible for it would mean saying that the colour red you perceive in your mind could be really blue? But if its red you visualise then its red you visualise. Seeing the red is as near as seeing something as itself as you can get. If transubstantiation is impossible then, it is just as impossible with material things.
 
If you can say your keyring is alive not dead because it has been transubstantiated into your cactus plant or even into your sweetheart, then it makes more sense to say that your own body has been transubstantiated into the body of Jesus. At least its human body into human body.
 
The Catholic Church says that just as Jesus turned water into wine so he can change bread into his body. Protestants agree. But the Catholic Church says he can do it without making the bread seem to undergo any change. Protestants deny that bit. The notion of the change is based on the idea that God made all things out nothing for only then might God have the power to perform the change of bread and wine into Jesus. But the Bible does not clearly teach that doctrine. If Jesus did not turn water into wine, he could have used his power not to transform the water but to replace it with wine. That would still be referred to as changing it for in a sense it is. It is the rule that we interpret the Bible by the Bible for if we don't we can make it mean anything we want. It is safe then to conclude that there is no evidence in favour of the Catholic understanding of the changed bread and wine in the Bible. Its heresy.
 
The Roman Catholic Church has a different god from the Christian God. Its god is a piece of bread and a drop of wine into which their God Jesus has been allegedly turned. Their answer is that God is under the form of the bread and wine so that is not true. But it is true. Their answer is that they only seem to worship bread and wine for it is really Jesus, God the Son, they worship - he has made the bread and wine his body and blood and his very self. This answer implies that IF THE BREAD AND WINE ARE NOT CHANGED then they ARE worshipping bread and wine. They adore a false god.
 
The selfish person always takes for herself at the expense of another when she could share. Condemning selfishness is paradoxically selfish itself. The selfish person could justify his selfishness as follows: I am selfish. But I give others a reason to tolerate me or even accept me. They don't believe in selfishness. Because of people like me they have to learn to be unselfish. They have to try to be unselfish towards me.
 
The unselfish should at least assume that all the selfish intend to be unselfish in the sense that they want to assist them in being unselfish by being in need of unselfish treatment from them. The Eucharist is allegedly a picture of the unselfishness of Jesus and the unselfishness to which he calls us. Enough said!
 
Dogmas have varying levels of importance. You cannot believe bread and wine can become God unless you believe in God first so God is the most important belief and you should be surer he exists than that he can disguise himself as food and drink. You cannot say he takes the form of bread and wine for us unless you have as much evidence for that as you have evidence that he exists. But that cannot be done. Belief in God is necessarily more verifiable. Therefore it is blasphemy to say that God is the food and drink. It is blasphemy too to say that he is incarnate as Jesus Christ. The notion of the change in the bread and wine is based on the idea that God has become man Jesus who left us his body and blood as food and drink. The belief that Jesus is God and that the bread and wine is really God is not as certain or as important as the existence of God.  The Catholics put the belief in Jesus as God and the change of the bread and wine into God before God so it is perfectly right to say they adore a man and bread and wine not God.

Only the gospel of John chapter 6 seems to say the doctrine of the conversion of the bread and wine into God is true but given that John himself and the Law of Moses both state that two unrelated and reliable witnesses have to give a testimony before it can be accepted his gospel can be dismissed even if it does say it.

But it does not say it. At best for Catholics, it says Jesus will feed people with his body and blood but does not say how or if he will turn bread and wine into his body and blood to do it. When the conversion of the food theory is so strange some other strange mystery could be meant here – perhaps one that we cannot even go near grasping. God could be invisibly feeding Christians without communion all the time on the body of Jesus in an invisible and heavenly way. The last supper could picture this feeding. It could be that God wants to be so close to his saints in Heaven that he finds some way of making the transformed body and blood Jesus has had since his resurrection which has ghostly qualities live in them so that in a sense they eat and drink him spiritually.

John 6:29. "Jesus ... said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." The work - not a work. Its not the main work its the work. Bare belief in Jesus is claimed to be enough. This denies that sacraments are needed for salvation. This verse is the key to unlocking the symbolism in John 6 about the eating of Jesus' body and the drinking of his blood.
 
If you think Jesus meant his entire self by saying the bread was his body, then why does he use the word flesh or human meat in John 6?
 
Eat my flesh and drink my blood are synonyms for avail of the salvation I have won for you by sacrificing my flesh and blood on the cross and avail by faith and belief in them. Eat and drink mean have faith in. That is the Protestant interpretation. The Catholic Church says its wrong. But it believes in it itself for it holds that unless you have faith, taking communion at a Catholic Mass does no good. It forbids partaking if you do not believe as the sin of mocking the body and blood.
 
We only need the grace of God as food and drink so the idea of eating Jesus and drinking his blood is superfluous and would mean God does stupid miracles. Believe that? Then why not believe that the statues of the Virgin Mary are changed into the body and blood of Mary?

John may be giving what Jesus said but without claiming to know what Jesus meant. John makes it clear that when the Jews did not start on Jesus for advocating the idolatry of worshipping food and drink as God that they knew he did not mean anything like that. Also, Jesus accepted the teaching of the Old Testament that any idol that could not protect itself was not a God at all. Therefore that the excuse that the God allowed the idol to be harmed for a mysterious purpose was unacceptable so Jesus could not have had the Catholic Eucharist which is bread and wine turned into God in mind for it cannot protect itself against desecration.
 
Jesus said that bread he will save the world with is his flesh. This bread is symbolic bread because it refers to himself as the bread of life and he was not bread yet and the Catholic doctrine says that God does not become bread but bread becomes God and the bread ceases to be bread. Then the Jews ask, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” At this point Catholics say he would have corrected the Jews had he not meant it literally but instead he went on to say that he who eats him and drinks his blood has life eternal. But why assume the Jews were talking literally? They knew fine well that Jesus did not mean eat literally before?

All believers in the bread and wine changing into the body and blood of Jesus believe that it is the resurrected glorious body of Jesus that is present. But at the last supper, Jesus said it was his body and blood being given up for them in sacrifice so it was the normal pre-resurrection body. They are pretending that the words are literal and it is clear that they know they are not. There is no reason to hold that when Jesus said the bread was his body and the wine his blood that he meant to turn them into himself even if John 6 is about a literal feeding with his body and blood for there is no need for a transformation for that to happen.

Suppose Jesus really was taken literally by the Jews and thought to be promising to turn into food and drink. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well that he would give her water that would be everlasting and she asked if he meant he could take away the need to ever go to the well again. He just kept saying about this water as if he meant it literally. You see the same device in John 6. Jesus says something and ignores those who take him literally and talks as if he didn’t hear them in such a way that he might be taken literally. That is why Catholics saying that when Jesus didn’t correct the Jews for taking him literally the Jews were right to do so is incorrect. Nothing in the New Testament says the bread and wine of the communion become the body and blood of Jesus.
 
Long after this and John 6, if we turn to John 16, we read that the apostles praised Jesus for speaking plainly at last meaning he never did it before.
 
Jesus said that food going into the body cannot make one unclean for it goes into the stomach and then out of the body into the toilet. He thought food was not absorbed into the body. "You are what you eat", is heresy. He said all this in Mark 7. By eat my flesh and drink my blood in John 6, Jesus had the idea of absorption in mind. This shows that eat and drink meant absorb the body and blood of Jesus. Mark 7 eliminates the idea that this eating and drinking meant Jesus turning into real food and drink for these do not morph into the body and are not assimilated. If the stomach holds food but does not absorb it and the food changes in appearance and comes out in the toilet then the notion of Jesus becoming bread and wine to end up in the toilet is madness.
 
Some say that in Mark 7, Jesus only meant that the food cannot make you dirty for it can't get into your heart, your heart meaning your character. But that is still saying the food goes through the body and does not get assimilated. Food cannot contain power that affects the kind of person you are. You cannot become a bad person by eating the wrong food. So you can't become a good person either by eating or drinking. Yet Romanism claims that communion has the power to make your heart good if you receive it with the right dispositions. And the power to make your heart bad if you receive it with the wrong dispositions.
 
In actual fact, you can become a bad person by eating the wrong food! We make ourselves from the food we eat.
 
It is argued that Paul regarded the bread and cup as being the body and blood of Jesus which is why it is murder to eat and drink when you don't recognise the body or when you are unworthy.  But Paul merely says that it is being guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  He does not say that it is about what you think of the bread and cup.  If the worship is to identify with Jesus in his suffering and death then whether the bread and cup change or not then to abuse it is to be a murderer in the sense you sympathise with the murderers.  And Paul writes all sin puts Jesus on the cross so all sin is murder.  The argument that Paul denied it was mere food and drink on the Lord's Table makes too many assumptions.

The Law of Moses says that even if a miracle worker who knows the future suggests other Gods he is a fraud. If Jesus taught what Catholics say he taught about the Eucharist then he was a false prophet for he had them committing idolatry.
 
Jesus Christ said that the greatest commandment was to love God with all your powers ie in totality. We are to love God to that extent just because he commanded it. We therefore do not do it because it will be good for us or anybody else. We are to love our neighbour because God commanded it which means we do not love the neighbour for herself or himself but for God only. Love for God alone is expressed through doing his will for others. He wants us to do good for others but for his sake and not theirs at all. It makes us inhuman. Catholics cannot want the bread and wine to turn into a God like that. They would not really want to be nourished by him or to worship him in the form of bread and wine. What Catholics worship is a fantasy god. The Eucharist is idolatry.
 
The Eucharist undergoes no physical change - yet the Church says it is literally the body and blood of Jesus. Sounds like pretending to me? If its not then there is no such thing as pretending. Besides even if the Eucharist is Jesus, we can still treat it as a substitute for him. It depends on our disposition. The man who loves just his wife's beauty does not have a genuine relationship with her. Yet her beauty is more "her" than the bread is Jesus.
 
God is said to be present everywhere. But he is not present everywhere in the relationship sense. This presence for Catholics is to be found in the Eucharist. When the Catholic prays, he practices his relationship with God. He is living that relationship. Thus it follows that all Catholic prayers are at least implicitly directed towards the Eucharist. If its idolatry, then the Catholic Church does not worship God. Its the worst idolatry of all. They believe in God. But they pretend bread and wine are God and treat them accordingly. That is defiance of God.
 
The Church says that we transubstantiate the food and drink we consume into our own flesh and blood. But the Catholic doctrine would imply that it is only the accidents that feed us not the substance! You can honestly say then that you have never had water in your life!
 
I could be present in the Eucharist and not be aware of it. How does Jesus then stop his presence in the Eucharist from being as mechanical as that? The Church would argue that the emotional bond between us and Jesus improves and we respond better in obedience and holiness to his spirit living in us. But you don't need his body in the form of bread for that. Indeed it would be a hindrance. Anything unnecessary would be simply the waste of energy that should be spent on spiritual union.
 
Jesus simply being there physically means nothing. Or do you want to hold that he makes the host some kind of sense organ where he sees and hears and smells us and suffers the pain as the host melts in our mouths or is chewed up? That would mean he is present in his senses which is more meaningful than just being there.
 
The Catholics have fooled the Protestants and Muslims into being indifferent to the idolatry. They say, "Even if the bread and wine are not Jesus we intend to adore him not bread and wine. That is why our worship should be respected." But the worshippers of false gods intended by implication to honour the real gods. They thought that if the worship was lavished on the wrong gods the real gods would understand and accept the worship.
 
Also, even if the worship should be respected it should not be encouraged. It is not fair to ask Muslims and Protestants to encourage and even praise it.
 
If somebody honoured your picture or statue even though you were standing beside them you would see that they are only fooling themselves that it is you they intend to honour. Catholics literally do that for they believe Jesus is invisibly with the Church until the end of time and yet they turn to statues and pictures.
 
How does a Catholic prove that he is not intending to worship an image of Jesus but Jesus himself by using the image? Most Catholics would not have the knowledge to say, "I honour the saint with the image just like you honour your wife by kissing her photo." When they don't understand what they are supposed to be doing they are undeniably idolaters . Human nature has a tendency towards idolatry so it should be a case of guilty until proven innocent. Proving the innocence is never possible.
 
If you are a little girl playing with your doll, you have to get the feeling that it is transubstantiated into a living being. The Catholics are literally pretending that bread and wine are Jesus Christ. In so far as you carry a wafer about in procession and bow before it you are benefiting it. If it is not Jesus then its idolatry.
 
God said in his Bible that it is a sin to bow before and serve other gods and that he visits the sins of the father on several generations of descendants. This in context would refer primarily to idolatry. So it brings bad luck on your children and great grandchildren and great great and so on....
 
Finally
 
The Catholics say priests can turn bread into God. If God comes first then you have to be 100 % sure the wafer is God. But you can’t be as sure as possible and the Church even admits that, for a priest might consecrate invalidly. Catholicism is blasphemy.

The Bible might say bread and wine will become Jesus but it never says this meal has been made available yet. The Mass is therefore illegitimate and invalid for it claims to be this meal.

John 6 at best is confusing and cannot be used to prove that this change will happen.

Paul said that Jesus said the cup was the new covenant in the blood of Jesus not that it was the blood of Jesus. The Church says Jesus said, “This is the cup of my blood. The blood of the New and Everlasting Covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven.” This contradicts the view of the Church that the cup become the risen Jesus not the one dying on the cross.

The Mass is a human invention and thus does not have the power to make people holy that it claims to have.
 
BOOKS CONSULTED

Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, Book 2, Most Rev M Sheehan DD, MH Gill & Son, Dublin, 1954
Apologetics for the Pulpit, Aloysius Roche, Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd, London, 1950
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Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
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Critiques of God, Edited by Peter A Angeles (Religion and Reason Section), Prometheus Books, New York, 1995
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Eucharist, Centre of Christian Life, Rod Kissinger SJ, Liguori Publications, Missouri, 1970
Fifty Years in the Church of Rome, Fr Charles Chiniquy, Chick Publications, Chino, 1985
Is Jesus Really Present in the Eucharist? Michael Evans, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1986
Handbook to the Controversy with Rome, Vol 2, Karl Von Hase MD, The Religious Tract Society, London, 1906
Living in Christ, A Dreze SJ, Geoffrey Chapman, London-Melbourne, 1969
Martin Luther, Richard Marius, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999
Radio Replies, Vol 2, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1940
Roman Catholic Claims, Charles Gore, MA, Longmans, Green & Co, London, 1894
Salvation, The Bible and Roman Catholicism, William Webster, Banner of Truth, Edinburgh, 1990
Secrets of Romanism, Joseph Zaccello, Loizeaux Brothers, New Jersey, 1984
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Veritas, Dublin, 1995
The Early Church, Henry Chadwick, Pelican, Middlesex, 1987
The Mass, Sacrifice and Sacrament, William F Dunphy, CSSR, Liguori Publications, Missouri, 1986
The Primitive Faith and Roman Catholic Developments, Rev John A Gregg, APCK, Dublin, 1928
The Student’s Catholic Doctrine, Rev Charles Hart BA, Burns & Oates, London, 1961
This is My Body, This is My Blood, Bob and Penny Lord, Journeys of Faith, California, 1986
Where is that in the Bible? Patrick Madrid, Our Sunday Visitor, Indiana, 2001
Why Does God…? Domenico Grasso SJ, St Pauls, Bucks, 1970


The Web
Transubstantiation, Is it a True Doctrine?
http://www.geocities.com/christian_apologist2001

BIBLE QUOTATIONS FROM:  
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