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MASS IS NOT THE SACRIFICE OF CALVARY
 
The Mass is the Roman Catholic rite in which bread and wine are believed to be turned into the body and blood of Jesus Christ on the altar by the priest.  Jesus during his last supper said over bread, "Take and eat . This is my body given up for you." And over wine, "Take and drink. This is my blood shed for the pardon of sins. Do this in memory of me." The priest re-enacts this during Mass thus causing the alleged transformation of bread and wine into Jesus who is presumed to be God in human flesh.
 
The Mass however is considered to be principally a sacrifice. The death of Jesus for sinners so that they might be forgiven is supposedly made present at Mass when the bread first and then the wine are changed. Church teaching is clear that if the Mass is interrupted before the priest changes the wine into Jesus' blood then there is no real Mass. No sacrifice is present.

IDOLATROUS SACRIFICE?
 
The Bible doctrine of idolatry is simple. To adore something as divine when it is not is idolatry. This simple doctrine dismisses such rationalisations as, "Deep down they mean to adore God but they just see him darkly." Idolatry is condemned as an utter evil in the Bible despite its occasionally beautiful trappings. Lots of the pagan gods were really just like Catholic saints - they had to go to a power higher than themselves in order to get help for those who honoured them. But they were still severely condemned. Lots of the gods were nice enough. Idolatry is not necessarily the worship of evil - it can be the worship of a good being instead of or more than God.
 
The Christian faith teaches that Jesus offered his blood as a sacrifice for sin. He gave his life to atone and to save us and this alone saves us. So it follows that we need to be cleaned from sin by his sacrifice in order to mean to worship God as God. Otherwise we end up worshipping what we think he is. We worship what we want good to be. Wanting to worship a God who fits our version of good does not mean we worship only a God who is prepared to do what we want. We like a bit of discipline if it is we who are calling the shots. It is not really discipline then though. It is just something we need to tolerate in order to be able to appreciate pleasure and happiness better. It makes our idolatry more poisonous and more subtle. It is more accurate to describe the work of Jesus as redeeming us from idolatry than as redeeming us from sin (though sin is a form of idolatry).
 
Catholics say the Mass redeems them from sin for it is the sacrifice of the cross.
 
If the sacrifice of Jesus is not really present at Mass then Catholics are trusting the Mass to forgive their sins and atone for them. If Jesus died to save us from sin, the Mass is a counterfeit of that sacrifice. The Bible never mentions the notion that something that happened years ago can be literally be made present today. This alone shows the Mass may contradict the Bible. The idolatry of trusting a fake sacrifice for sin would be far more dangerous than simply going to an idol to tell it your problems. The Mass can be understood as an (at best unwitting) attempt to murder Jesus over again assuming that it is impossible to make a past event present.
 
Priests cannot forgive sins when they try to use the Mass to empower their alleged absolution.
 
The Church says that sacrifice is about paying homage and honour to God and indicating that all things are his to do with as he pleases. It says that it does not see the sacrifice as an attempt to get God's favour. The pagans only offered sacrifices to their gods not because they loved the gods but to get blessings from the gods. How mercenary! But nonetheless, the Catholic Church DOES try to use the Mass to manipulate God's will. The First Friday Masses are said to guarantee that you will get to Heaven no matter what you do for God will arrange it so that you will repent in the end. And you have Masses to St Rita of Cascia. The Church says no prayer to her is refused no matter how impossible it seems.
 
The Church makes money from the Mass. Many silly people pay for this sacrifice. The Church cashes in on Jesus' murder. Masses were blatantly sold in the past and this is less flagrant today. But it still happens.

The Church teaches that the priest must complete communion to complete the sacrifice.  If he takes the cup and no host and if he takes the host and no cup then there is no sacrifice.  You can read the authoritive Mediator Dei, 112).  This doctrine proves that bread and wine changing into Jesus does not mean necessarily that there is a sacrifice.  Worse, it is up to the priest to turn the ritual into a sacrifice.  This is not religion but magic.

 
"GODíS WORD" REFUTES THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS
 
The Church says that Jesus proved his love in giving us his body and blood in the Mass. But as the Church teaches this does not affect Jesus' body then big deal! Eating Jesus how the Church understands it is like taking chewing gum. He is not absorbed by the body. I could give my body and blood in a Mass like he does and I won't find any difference. The great love in the Mass is just religious romanticism. And in the gospel of John's account of the last supper, there is no bread and wine ceremony mentioned. It is even said that Jesus showed his perfect love by washing his disciples feet. No mention there of him showing his love by giving his body and blood as communion! For John, the footwashing is what proved the love. Its a denial that Jesus used the last supper to offer his body and blood to God for sinners!
 
The Bible never says that the Mass is a real sacrifice. The Catholic Church goes into desperation mode to try and make out that it does. It scares the Church that such a major doctrine might be absent from its pages and even worse contradicted by them!
 
The function of a priest is to offer sacrifice. So accordingly, the reason why the Catholic Church calls its ministers priests is that they are thought to have the power to offer Jesusí sacrifice by saying Mass. They make it present again to offer it to God. So God goes to the trouble of a useless miracle just so that the Catholic Church can call its ministers priests. The Sacrifice doesnít need to be made present to be offered. If this doctrine of the Mass being sacrifice is untrue then priests are not priests at all.
 
The Catholic Bible (which the Church says men wrote but which God somehow wrote as well with the result that they only wrote what he wanted) speaks against the Sacrifice of the Mass.
 
Catholics allege that the words Jesus said at the Last Supper imply that his sacrifice was present then. This is an outright lie. Jesus at no point indicates, "To be at this rite is the same as being at Calvary during my death from crucifixion." The apostles would not have understood the concept of timelessness and eternity for they were ordinary men not philosophers or physicists. And we have to interpret Jesus according to how they would have understood him.
 
The Catholics say that as Jesus said the bread was his body sacrificed to God for many and the blood shed for the divine pardon of their sins that to celebrate the ritual is to offer Jesus crucified to God. Equally untrue. The words are symbolic. The words imply that he offered himself to God for others - yes. But he asks for the rite to be celebrated in his memory but does not say, ďSay these words that the bread is my body and the wine is my blood in memory of meĒ. Also, some theologians say this rite could have been a drama that we are meant to copy. Then the use of the words by a minister donít imply that he is offering Christ. And even if the rite looked back to the sacrifice of Jesus and offered that sacrifice that does require it to make the sacrifice present!! Offering a sacrifice is not necessarily the same thing as making a sacrifice.
 
Revelation 5:6 speaks of a lamb standing as if it were slain. Incredibly that is taken as proof that the book validates the offering of Mass. The lamb represents Jesus Christ who is understood as the Lamb of God. The problem is that Revelation is full of symbolic visions. Revelation does not claim that the lamb represents the perpetuation of Jesus' sacrifice.
 
Catholics hold that Psalm 110 says that Jesus would be a priest according to the order of Melchizidek. Since this man offered bread and wine to God it is reasoned that Jesus would do the same. But the Bible never says that Mel did that (Genesis 14:18) so the argument is wrong. The lie about Mel pops up in the First Eucharistic Prayer where God is asked to accept the sacrifice as he accepted the bread and wine of Melchizidek. Some Bible versions have it that Mel brought these things for he was a priest and others say he brought them and he was a priest. For and can have the same force in Greek but not necessarily here or all the time (Catholicism and Fundamentalism, page 253).
 
In Malachi 1:10-11, God says that among the Gentiles one perfect sacrifice will be offered all the time. Catholics say that this predicts the Mass for it speaks of one sacrifice being offered in many rites in many places. But perhaps Malachi is thinking of many animal sacrifices as a whole. All offerings to God are one in the sense that they are offered to honour him by a fellowship and in a spirit of union. But Malachi we must remember gave no hint that he meant blood sacrifice so it could be the sacrifice of lives offered to God Ė unbloody sacrifices or sacrifices of love not the cessation of life.
 
The Catholic Church says that the sacrifice of the Mass can take away sins though it is an unbloody sacrifice.
 
Protestants point to Hebrews 9:22 for it says that a sacrifice without blood cannot forgive sins.
 
Catholics reply that the Mass is unbloody in the sense that no blood is spilled by the priest for he does not kill the victim. But God sees the blood of Christ being shed long ago as if it were shed now so there is bloodshed in the Mass in an invisible way and that blood can atone. The Sacrifice on the Mass and the bloody sacrifice of Calvary are identical so the blood is there though it is not seen. So it is a bloody sacrifice.
 
Another reply is that Christ did the bloodshed on Calvary and in the Mass the sacrifice becomes present but no blood is spilled again so in that sense the Mass is unbloody. The Catholics say the denial in scripture that unbloody sacrifice canít get sins forgiven refers to a different situation altogether and so is not relevant. Hebrews then was thinking of sacrifices of fruit and bread being useless for removing sin for no blood was shed. The author of Hebrews did not think that spilling blood was enough. He didnít believe that a sheep that was wounded by a priest to atone for sins but which was not killed would be a sacrifice. The Old Testament said that life was in the blood so blood really stands for dying. For the Mass to be a sacrifice the death of Christ has to be present. Taking bloody sacrifice to mean death sacrifice requires us to hold that the Mass is a bloody sacrifice.
 
Hebrews 10:11 says that the sacrifices of the old priesthood could not remove sins simply because they were repeated all the time. The sacrifices would have been stopped by God had there been enough of them (Hebrews 10:2). The Church says these sacrifices represented the sacrifice of Christ and through that sacrifice forgiveness was granted for making these sacrifices but in themselves the offerings could not pardon sin. So it was the future sacrifice of Christ that the power of forgiveness came from not the sacrifices. The sacrifice of Calvary was present at these rites and they were appropriating it. It follows then that these sacrifices were Masses if it is true that the sacrifice of Jesus being present for offering at Mass just means it is in the timeless estate. In that light the repetition should not be a problem. Hebrews says it is therefore Hebrews opposes the Masses of the Roman Catholics. If Masses looking forward had no merit because of repetition then ones looking back are no better.
 
Hebrews 10 says that Christ offered one sacrifice for sins and then SAT DOWN at the right hand of God. The sitting down is an expression to clarify that Christ was doing no more offering. Notice how it says that he offered one sacrifice and doesnít say he sacrificed the once instead. It is not the sacrifice that it is saying is finished but the offering of the sacrifice a different thing. Therefore Christ though a priest in office doesnít offer any more. The priests of Rome offering the sacrifice are claiming to be better than him. They are offering a sacrifice that is illegitimate because Christ doesnít offer it any more. The Mass is blasphemous.
 
Hebrews 13:10 says that Christians have an altar of sacrifice from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. This is thought to be symbolism for the book uses the symbols of tabernacles and other Old Testament items to illustrate Christian themes.  Those who have no right to eat are the Levitical priests.  One way you could literally understand the verse is that the cross of Jesus is the altar of sacrifice and the Jewish priesthood cannot eat at that altar.  Unless you want to argue that the Eucharist is the dead body of Jesus in the form of bread, you can argue that the eating is metaphorical.  If Jesus could be eaten they are disqualified so it could be hypothetical.  There is no doubt that the Church at the time did not have a literal altar.  Communion was not even necessarily carried out on tables.  And the text implies that none of the Levitical priests accepted Jesus.
 
Hebrews 7 says that the former priests - eg the priests of Judaism were many in number because death prevented them from being permanent priests. Jesus is said to be the permanent priest for he does not die and lives forever. The Catholic Church ordains many priests so those priests are illicit rivals to Jesus and are not needed. And though the Church says they are priests forever, Hebrews says that a dying priest is no longer a priest. It reasons that death proves it. The Catholic objection, "Our priests are different from the Jewish priests" is therefore irrelevant. Catholic priests die too. A dying priesthood is an inadequate one.
 
The following argument needs examination, "Jewish priests were not participants in the priesthood of Jesus. Catholic priests are so they are not condemned in that scripture." But this participation really just means that God works through them for they are ordained by his authority. The Bible says that the Jewish priests are ordained properly by God. There is no hint that Catholic priests are ordained properly. But it would be wrong to argue that even if they were, they participate in Jesus' role as priest and the Jewish priest does not.
 
Hebrews 9:24-26 says that Jesus went to the heavenly temple of God not to offer himself often because then he would have to suffer many times since the creation of the world but he came at the end of the ages to do away with sin by sacrificing himself. Protestants say this refutes the Mass which is claimed by Catholics to be the same sacrifice as that of Calvary and Calvary offered again to God. Catholics say this just rejects the notion that Jesus had to die over again in time and not the idea that Jesus died once in time and that this death is present in all eternity so he can offer himself again and again in the Mass for eternity is like one moment of time frozen with no past and future so any event it contains can be said to be happening now for time is part of eternity. That interpretation is false.
 
Notice how it says Jesus does not go to the temple to offer himself to God often. If Jesus died once on the cross as a sacrifice that would not mean he only offered once. You can perpetuate one sacrificial act and offer it day by day.
 
The passage says that Jesus entered the temple once to offer himself and if he were like ordinary human priests he would need to offer himself more and even from the foundation of the world. But why from the foundation of the world? Why could he not start offering in 30 AD and offer since that time? The expression shows that the author of Hebrews was thinking not of Jesus offering himself in separate events but of Jesusí offering being present in eternity and in all time. He just crudely expressed it in terms of Jesus suffering over and over again. In a sense, when an event is in eternity it does happen over and over again but it is the same event. For example, if the death of Jesus is present now it is the one death but if it is present in the next moment too it is like it is happening over and over again. Suffer many times then does not mean suffer in time and over and over again as we know it but suffer in eternity by the one event of suffering being present to all eternity. Hebrews is rejecting that view. The sacrifice of the cross was made once in time and is not present in eternity to be offered anew. Hebrews makes a heresy of the sacrifice of the Mass. The Catholics do not trust in Calvary but in the Sacrifice of the Mass instead. When God would not tolerate idols how could he tolerate a Mass that offers a sacrifice for sin that does not work?
 
Hebrews 10:17-19 says that God said that one day he will remember sins no more and it argues from this that there will be no sacrifices for sin one day for there will be no need because a sacrifice has erased the need for any sacrifices. Then it says that Christians are living in that time for they have the right to enter the most holy place in Heaven. This obviously says that God imputes no sin to the true Christian for Jesus has died for them in their place as the sin offering that removes sins and that offering Mass is nonsense for its all settled. Yet Catholics add their sin offerings to the Christ sacrifice in the Mass. In animal sacrifice, you can give up a sheep you own as a sacrifice to God which shows that you are offering not only the animal but self-immolation as well for you are giving something up. It is impossible to see how animal sacrifice in this light could be incompatible with the sacrifice of Christ and therefore forbidden by it. And if it is forbidden the Mass must be forbidden too!
 
Hebrews 4:16 and Hebrews 10:17 taken together say that Christians can now march boldly to the throne of God which is in the holiest place in heaven WHENEVER THEY WISH. The Catholic would have to say this only happens at Mass for the Mass is supposedly the closest you get to God and the holiest place on earth. The whole point of the salvation won by Christ is that so you can go to him whenever you need to or wish instead of having to look for a human priest.
 
The animal sacrifices that Hebrews says are useless for taking sin away for the blood of sheep and goats cannot do that were thought to be one sacrifice in spirit by the priests for they ate the sacrifices for communion to signify unity and they were offered as one community to one God. The Psalm says that the real sacrifice in all this is not the blood but the sacrifice of a contrite heart (Psalm 51:16, 17) and Hebrews 10:6,7 agrees totally. This indicates that the sacrifices were indeed thought to be one sacrifice with many renewals. But Hebrews rejected them for they involved several rites in which the one united sacrifice was offered. The Mass is thought to be one sacrifice with many renewals and rites as well and so Hebrews rejects it. To Hebrews the perfect sacrifice needs no renewing or perpetuating or Masses or rites. It is once and for all in every sense.
 
It says at 10:14, 18 that God has perfected forever those who are made holy and that when all sins have been forgiven as they have been through the power of the sacrifice of Christ there is no further sacrifice for sin. Perfected forever. God sees them as perfect not just now but also in the future. God sees the future. God forgave future sins at Calvary. So when you become a Christian, your past and present and future sins are pardoned because of the work of Christ and though imperfect you are perfect forever in Godís sight for Jesus did it all for you. In such a scheme, there can be no room for Masses to offer sacrifice for sin.
 
To the claim that there is no further sacrifice for sin since Jesus made his sacrifice, the Catholic Church answers that they can be forgiven at Mass because it is the same sacrifice as Calvary so the Mass then is allowed. But the verses imply that you accept Jesus the once as your saviour and it is enough. It is not your sacrifice to offer and there is no need for Jesus to offer himself in the Mass. How do we know that? Because the Roman Catholic doctrine that you atone for sin a bit yourself by doing good works with Godís help is a sacrifice for sin. The Church will answer that Hebrews means blood sacrifice is no longer necessary. But we know that Hebrews recognises that blood is not the only sacrifice for sin and that good works and contrite hearts are as well. Hebrews means sacrifice of any kind for sin for it says what it says in the context of teaching that only one sacrifice removes sin and that is the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Read the context.
 
You can only avail of the sacrifice of Christ by accepting what he has done for you and asking for pardon for your sins through it. To say that offering the Mass is the highest religious goal denies this and is blasphemy. To offer Mass instead of focusing on repenting sin is simply blasphemy for the offering isnít necessary but accepting its benefits is what is necessary. Hebrews says that sinners making sin offerings is no good which was why Jesus had to be perfect to be able to make the sin offering of himself for sinners (7:27,28). This is sufficient proof that the early Christian Church and the scriptures forbade the Mass for it needs priests to offer it while we are told there is only one offering and Jesus alone could make it.
 
The New Testament never says that there are sacrificing priests in the Christian Church. The word translated priest in fraudulent Bibles is presbyter which simply means elder.

DID PAUL SAY THAT EATING AND DRINKING UNWORTHILY IS HOMICIDE?
 
Paul calls Christ a Passover Sacrifice but it is obvious he was not a literal one. His blood was not taken and sprinkled over door posts.  He calls Christ that in the past tense whereas it might make sense for somebody who believed in perpetuated sacrifice to say Christ our Passover is being sacrificed.  Anyway, the non-literalism is a warning that we have to be careful how we interpret Paul.

Our Bible says that St Paul the apostle wrote, "Jesus said this is my body over bread and this is my blood over wine and asked us to remember him by doing this. Until the Lord comes therefore every time you eat this bread and drink this cup you are proclaiming his death" 1 Corinthians 11. The Catholic Church says that proclaiming means making his death present. That is stretching the meaning of the word too far. And besides the context says the rite was to be a memorial of Jesus. To remember Jesus is to proclaim his death. And every time you eat the bread and drink the cup you proclaim the death of the Lord Jesus. It is not the consecration or the words about eating body and drinking blood that proclaims the death but the eating and drinking itself! As you do violence to the bread by eating it so you copy the violence done to the body of Jesus. As you spill the wine down your neck so you copy the spilling of the blood of Christ. Its the eating and drinking that counts. It pictures Jesus giving his body in death and shedding all his blood in the process for us. Just as we get the bread and cup we have got Jesus.
 
If Paul believed in the Catholic doctrine of the Mass he would not have written in such a way. The sacrifice would be there at the declaration that the bread and cup are the body and blood. But Paul talks as if the only fulfilment of Jesus' command to recall the sacrifice is in the eating of the bread and the drinking of the cup.
 
It is the consumption of bread and wine that proclaims the death of Jesus. If they were really the hidden body and blood of Jesus it would be more natural to write, "Until the Lord comes therefore every time you eat this flesh and drink this blood you are proclaiming his death".
 
Paul said that Jesus said that the cup was the new covenant in his blood and that whenever you drink it you shall drink it as a memorial of him. This clearly presupposes that the believers were just taking a cup. They were not saying, "This is my blood" over it. If they had been there would have been no need for Jesus to say that he must be remembered every time the cup was taken. The words would take care of the memorial. And if Jesus did intend the words to be said it would follow that his saying that everytime we take the cup we do so in memory of him that it follows he was emphasising that the ceremony was simply a memorial and there was no such thing as bread and wine turning into Jesus or the Eucharist being a sacrifice.
 
The Bible then states that Paul would have rejected the notion of bread and wine becoming Jesus without any noticeable change.

1 Corinthians 10 has Paul telling believers they cannot drink the cup of the Lord and drink the cup of demons and they cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Catholics like this. It is supposed to prove that as the pagans used altars and offered drinks to the gods that Paul is saying you cannot partake of pagan sacrifices and partake of the Christian sacrifice, the Eucharist. He is supposed to be saying that both are in agreement about communion sacrifices. But real sacrifice is killing. Killing isnít mentioned in this text. What is put on the altar after sacrifice to be eaten is just what is on the altar. The sacrifice has been done.

It is said that Paul makes it clear that the worship using the bread and cup involves the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ.   Now Paul says that anybody who takes the bread and wine unworthily or without faith or without recognising the body is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus.  This leads believers into the insane notion that to take communion sacrilegiously is actually in some real sense murder.  The believers can point to Numbers 35:27, Deuteronomy 21:8, 22:8, Ezekiel 35:6 which say that saying you are guilty of the body and blood of somebody means homicide. Communion is just spiteful if it has that connotation and when it is given that connotation say in Catholicism.  But perhaps Paul means it is symbolically homicide?  If the bread and cup are only markers of Jesus' body and blood then to abuse them is homicide in a symbolic sense.  The memory of Jesus' death is mocked.  The Catholic Church pretends to believe that Paul meant the communion is a human sacrifice and to abuse it is murder. But surely if you need Jesus to die for your sin you are in fact a murderer whenever you sin?  Paul did not say the sin of abusing the bread and cup was the only way to become guilty of Jesus' death.  Thus there is no way you can read sacrifice into it.  He spoke a lot of how our sins put Jesus on the cross.

Now the Church says that Paul talks as if the body and blood of Jesus are really present meaning the bread and cup become them so to partake in a bad manner is homicide and a grave and dangerous sin.  But it does not believe that at all.  What it believes is that Jesus is present but not as crucified and dead or dying but as risen and glorious.  Suppose the Church has a point about the real presence then the homicide link is only possible if the bread is the dying body of Jesus.  It is evident that Paul means symbolic homicide - or it could be that guilty of the body and blood of the Lord is not inspired by the Old Testament texts at all.  He may just mean it is an insult.  Why did he not say guilty of murdering the Lord?  He would have if he meant homicide for the Corinthians were not Jews and did not know the Jewish usage of the term as exemplified by the mentioned texts from the Jewish Bible.  There is no evidence that Numbers 35:27, Deuteronomy 21:8, 22:8, Ezekiel 35:6 was behind his choice of words or that they were important to Paul or remembered by him.

The worst version of the notion that taking the bread or cup without recognising the body is that it means if you take them without believing that the bread actually is the body of Jesus. That is totally vindictive for belief is not a choice. 

To think that Christians are happy with an apostle and a Jesus who says people must suffer and get sick and die if they take communion without recognising the body or unworthily is alarming and disgraceful and intolerable.

Paul wrote in Catholicismís infallible Bible that if Jesus has not risen then the dead are lost forever and we will not be saved from sin for our faith is useless (1 Corinthians 15). So sincerity cannot save if faith is futile. If we have the wrong view of the resurrection we will not be saved. This indicates that if we hold views regarding the atoning death of Christ that are wrong we will not be saved and God will not count us as Christians. In the sense that the atonement was the payment for sin it is superior in importance to the resurrection. So if Paul then believed that Jesus was sentenced by God to death for our sins in our place though he was innocent then we will not be saved if we reject that doctrine. Rome does reject that doctrine and has no official doctrine regarding the meaning of the atonement though all are obligated to think that Jesus saved them by his death. Both indicate that the Roman Church is neither Christian or infallible and is a barrier to salvation. Paul said the Church has to have one doctrine about the resurrection and anything else is useless so by implication he invalidated Masses if he believed in Masses that do not intend what Christ intended by the atonement. The liturgy of the Church is defective when it does not explicate what kind of sacrifice and in what sense it is being offered so the Sacrifice of the Mass is invalid for the Church says belief that the Mass is a sacrifice is needed for validity and indeed that the main purpose of the Mass is to offer sacrifice and nothing else.
 
TRADITION AND THE SACRIFICE
 
The Jewish leaders followed both tradition and the Old Testament scriptures. The Catholic Mass comes from Catholic tradition for there is no evidence that priests have the power to offer the sacrifice of the Mass from the Bible. In Matthew 23:2,3 Jesus tells the people to obey the scribes and the Pharisees and all they teach but not to copy them. Jesus then here was encouraging their tradition as well for that was a part of their religious practice and they were strict about it. But in Matthew 15 he said that they taught the ideas of men as doctrines from God and if they contradict the word of God with their tradition they prefer their tradition instead and condemned this as evil. How can these two assertions be made to fit together?
 
Two answers are possible.
 
Jesus meant that you obey the scribes and Pharisees even when they teach false doctrine for it is safer to listen to them than not to for now and this is expediency and not an indication that tradition is good or safe.
 
Jesus meant that you obey the scribes and the Pharisees but not their traditions.
 
Neither answer allows us to make tradition equal to the Bible.
 
The scribes and Pharisees were only adhering to traditions they didnít make themselves. There was every reason why they thought the traditions must be the word of God too for just because something is tradition doesnít mean its wrong. Then the Catholic canít argue, ďWhen Jesus condemned tradition he condemned them for making things up as they went along not tradition like our Catholic tradition that has been handed down from previous generations for the Church canít be blamed for making them up now even if it has done.Ē
 
Most of the traditions were not inventions but reasoned from the Old Testament. Jesus was not condemning the Jewish traditions because he thought they were wrong. They couldnít have been all wrong. What he was against was making human reasoning and interpretation equal to the authority of the Old Testament scriptures. The Roman Catholic Church certainly teaches that its own tradition is equal to the Bible, Old and New Testaments both. And it claims that much of this tradition is just what was practiced from the start of the Church and was not reasoned or developed from embryonic and undeveloped doctrines in the Bible. If Jesus condemned traditions created as deductions from scripture how much more would he condemn traditions from the constant practice of the Church? And the Church knows fine well that that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin and her assumption into Heaven and prayers to saints to name a few cannot even be traced to the first few generations after the apostles never mind the apostles themselves even though the Church claims that God stopped revealing his word with the death of the last apostle. The Church doesnít give new revelations but claims it only clarifies existing revelation.
 
Some say it was different for the Catholic Church to have and follow tradition and declare it equal to the Bible for unlike the Jews Catholicism is blessed with infallibility and Christ promised to look after his Church forever. But Catholicism doesnít use its infallibility much. It was only used three times in the twentieth century when Pius XI declared contraception wrong, Pius XII said that Mary was assumed into Heaven and John Paul II declared that the Church had no authority to ordain women. Most Catholic tradition is still out there circulating around there circulating around without the full stamp of infallibility.

The prime source of Tradition, St Aurelius Augustine, said the Eucharist was a sacrifice but he never mentioned it being the sacrifice of the cross.  His silence is loud.  "28. ĎWhile we consider it no longer a duty to offer sacrifices, we recognise sacrifices as part of the mysteries of Revelation, by which the things prophesied were foreshadowed. For they were our examples, and in many and various ways they pointed to the one sacrifice which we now commemorate. Now that this sacrifice has been revealed, and has been offered in due time, sacrifice is no longer binding as an act of worship, while it retains its symbolic authority. . . Before the coming of Christ, the flesh and blood of this sacrifice were fore-shadowed in the animals slain; in the passion of Christ the types were fulfilled by the true sacrifice; after the ascension of Christ, this sacrifice is commemorated in the sacrament.í Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. IV, St. Augustin: The Writings Against the Manicheans and Against the Donatists, Reply to Faustus the Manichean 6.5, 20.21 (New York: Longmans, Green, 1909), pp. 169, 262.


29. ĎFor, as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office, so we, being many, are one body in Christ. This is the sacrifice of Christians: we being many, are one body in Christ. And this also is the sacrifice which the Church continually celebrates in the sacrament of the altar, known to the faithful, in which she teaches that she herself is offered in the offering she makes to God. . . . For we ourselves, who are His own city, are His most noble and worthy sacrifice, and it is this mystery we celebrate in our sacrifices, which are well known to the faithful. . . . For through the prophets the oracles of God declared that the sacrifices which the Jews offered as a shadow of that which was to be would cease, and that the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun, would offer one sacrifice.í Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. II, p. 230-31. St. Augustin: The City of God and On Christian Doctrine, The City of God  Book 10, ch. 6; Book 19, ch. 23 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), pp. 184, 418.

FINALLY
 
The Sacrifice of the Mass is a heresy and a blasphemy. It is pagan idolatry and to be utterly rejected. It is enough to prove that Roman Catholicism is not Christian. It shows that the Catholics WANT to be present at the murderous death of Jesus. That is why they believe the Mass is a Sacrifice and love that twisted belief. There is no need to be present. People may hate to do evil directly but they like doing it indirectly (by letting it happen, by enabling) and enjoy it when "bad" people thump people they don't like. That way people are hurt but they have a smug glow for their hands are clean. It is more rewarding than actually thumping them themselves.
 
BOOKS CONSULTED
 
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS CATHOLICS ARE ASKING Tony Coffey, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 2006
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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