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True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Theology  > THE CATHOLIC CHRONICLES by Keith Green Chronicle I

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Old 09-04-2012, 12:28 PM
lesjude
 
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Default THE CATHOLIC CHRONICLES by Keith Green Chronicle I

THE CATHOLIC CHRONICLES by Keith Green

CHRONICLE I
One might wonder why, in a scriptural expose of the doctrines of the
Catholic Church, I would choose this subject The Roman
interpretation of the Lord's Supper (more commonly known as
"Communion") for the first of the "Catholic Chronicles". Most
Protestants (today, Protestants are considered to be members of any
church or church-group outside the Roman Catholic or Eastern
Orthodox churches) would expect me to deal with what they might
consider the more obvious departures from biblical foundation such
as…
the worship of and prayers to the Virgin Mary,
the infallibility of the pope,
purgatory and prayers for the dead,
the history of the torture and burning of accused "heretics"

…and such like that- and no doubt in future installments we shall look
in-depth at each of these. But for this first article I believe that we
should get right to the root, before we begin exploring the branches of
Roman Doctrine and practice. And any Catholic who has even a
small knowledge of his church knows that the central focus of each
gathering (known as the "mass") is the Holy Eucharist.

THE EUCHARIST
The word "Eucharist" is a Greek word that means "thanksgiving". In
the gospel accounts of the Last Supper, Jesus is described as "giving
thanks" before breaking the bread (Luke 22:19), and so this word
became a proper name for the Lord's Supper in the early Catholic
Church. Today, it is more commonly associated with the elements in
communion, especially the host or "wafer", although the ceremony
itself is still called "The Holy Eucharist". Now, you might be wondering
why I'm taking so much time and effort to explain something as
harmless as the ceremony known around the world as communion. If
you've ever been to church at all, (Protestant or Catholic), you've
probably taken part in a communion service. So why make all this
fuss about bread and wine? Why? Because that's where the similarity
between evangelical communion services and the Roman Catholic
Mass ends- at the bread and the wine!

TRANSUBSTANTIATION
That 18-letter word above is a complete theological statement. and
the name of a doctrine, out of which springs the most astounding set
of beliefs and practices that has ever been taught in the name of
religion. Very, very few people know what the Catholic Church
actually believes and teaches concerning this subject and I am
convinced that even fewer Catholics realize themselves what they are
taking part in. From earliest childhood, "This is the body of Christ" is
all they've ever heard when the priest gingerly placed the wafer on
their tongue. And as they grew up it was so natural and part of normal
religious life, that their minds never even questioned the fact that
Jesus Christ, Himself, was actually in their mouth!

It might be hard for you to believe, but that's exactly, literally, what
"transubstantiation" means. The Roman Catholic Church teaches
their flocks that the bread and the wine used in the Mass actually,
physically, turns into the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ after the
priest blesses it during the liturgy (ceremony). Although this in itself
might shock you, it is really only the beginning. For the implications
and practical conclusions of this doctrine are absolutely mindboggling.

EXCLUSIVE AUTHORITY
For example, the Roman Church teaches that since their priests are
the only ones who have the authority from God to pronounce the
blessing which changes the elements of communion into the actual
body and blood of Jesus, that they are the only church where Jesus
"physically resides" even now! Let me quote a letter written to one of
the girls in our ministry from a devoted Catholic:

"To explain the Catholic Church would take volumes, but basically the
Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ when He was here on
earth. It is the only church founded by Jesus. The greatest asset of
our church is that we have Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist. He is
really here, body, soul and divinity. He is God and in His omnipotence
can do anything He wishes, and He decided to remain with us until
the end of the world in the form of the host (the "wafer") in Holy
Communion."

If you think this is just the isolated opinion of someone on the fringe of
the church, or that the Catholic Church as a whole does not really
believe or teach this, I beg you to read on. For not only is this the
official teaching of Rome, but according to irreversible church decree
(called dogma), anyone who does not hold to this belief, in the most
explicit detail, is accursed and damned forever!

THE COUNCIL OF TRENT
When Europe was electrified by the eloquent preaching of the
sixteenth century Reformation, the Roman Catholic hierarchy
gathered together. Her theologians worked for three decades on the
preparation of a statement of faith concerning transubstantiation. This
document remains, to this day, the standard of Catholic doctrine. As
the Second Vatican Council commenced in 1963, Pope John XXIII
declared,

"I do accept entirely all that has been decided and declared at the
Council of Trent".

What did the Council of Trent decide and declare? Some of the first
sections are as follows:

Canon I: "If any one shall deny that the body and blood, together with
the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore entire
Christ, are truly, really, and substantially contained in the sacrament
of the most Holy Eucharist; and shall say that He is only in it as a
sign, or in a figure, let him be accursed!"

Canon II: "If any one shall say that the substance of the bread and
wine remains in the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist, together
with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ...let him be
accursed!"

Canon III: "If any one shall say that Christ, the only begotten Son of
God, is not to be adored in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, even
with the open worship of Latria, and therefore not to be venerated
with any peculiar festal celebrity, nor to be solemnly carried about in
processions according to the praiseworthy and universal rites and
customs of the Holy Church, and that He is not to be publicly set
before the people to be adored, and that His adorers are idolaters let
him be accursed! "

THE WORSHIP OF THE HOST
"You shall not make unto you any engraved image... You shall not
bow down yourself to them, nor serve them..." The Second
Commandment (Ex.20:4-5)

"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and
truth." John 4:23 The words of Jesus Christ

In Canon VI, a rite of worship called "Latria" was spoken of. This is
not just an "ancient custom", it is thoroughly practiced today in every
Mass. After the bread has been supposedly "changed" into Christ by
the priest, it is placed in a holder called the monstrance. And before
this monstrance the Catholic must bow and worship (this act is called
"genuflecting") the little wafer as God! Sometimes they have
processions where they solemnly march, as the congregation bows
and offers praise and worship to this piece of bread!

The Roman teaching that Jesus Christ is physically present in each
morsel of bread creates many other doctrinal and practical problems.
For instance, when the service is over, what happens to all those
leftover wafers that have been "changed into Christ"? Do they change
back into bread again when the priest goes home? I'm afraid not. For
according to Canon IV of the Council of Trent, they stay flesh! And
don't think that 400 year-old decree is just some dusty old manuscript
in a museum case somewhere. It still is completely adhered to and
passionately practiced. As an example, here is a passage from an
official Catholic home instruction book, copyrighted 1978:

"Jesus Christ does not cease to exist under the appearances of
bread and wine after the Mass is over. Furthermore, some hosts are
usually kept in all Catholic churches. In these hosts, Jesus is
physically and truly present, as long as the appearances of bread
remain. Catholics therefore have the praiseworthy practice of 'making
visits' to our Lord present in their churches to offer Him their thanks,
their adoration, to ask for help and forgiveness; in a word, to make
Him the center around which they live their daily lives.' ('1)
That is an incredible interpretation of how to make Jesus the center of
your daily life!

WHEN DID THIS TEACHING BEGIN?
The teaching of transubstantiation does not date back to the Last
Supper as most Catholics suppose. It was a controversial topic for
many centuries before officially becoming an article of faith (which
means that it is essential to salvation according to Rome). The idea of
a physical presence was vaguely held by some, such as Ambrose,
but it was not until 831 A.D. that Paschasius Radbertus, a
Benedictine Monk, published a treatise openly advocating the
doctrine. Even then, for almost another four centuries, theological war
was waged over this teaching by bishops and people alike, until at
the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 A.D., it was officially defined and
canonized as a dogma (A "Dogma" is a teaching or doctrine that can
never be reversed or repealed. It is equal in authority to the Bible) by
Pope Innocent III.

The historian Tertullian tells us that when this doctrine first began to
be taught in the Middle Ages, that the priests took great care that no
crumb should fall lest the body of Jesus be hurt, or even eaten by a
mouse or a dog! There were quite serious discussions as to what
should be done if a person were to vomit after receiving the
sacrament. At the Council of Constance, it was argued that if a
communicant spilled some of the blood on his beard, both beard and
the man should be destroyed by burning!(2) By the end of the eleventh
century, lest someone should spill God's blood, some in the church
began to hold back the cup from the people and finally in 1415, the
Council of Constance officially denied the cup to laymen. Although
today, by decree of the Vatican, churches may now offer the cup
optionally to communicants.

HOW ROME VIEWS THE BIBLE
Before we proceed to look at what the Bible has to say on this
subject, it is important to understand the official Catholic view of the
Scriptures. According to unquestionable decree, they hold that
"Church tradition has equal authority with the Bible". This is not just a
theological view, but it was made an article of faith by the same
Council of Trent in 1545! And again, this view is completely held by
the Church today:

"The teachings of the Church will always be in keeping with the
teachings of the Scripture and it is through the teaching of the Church
that we understand more fully truths of sacred Scripture. To the
Catholic Church belongs the final word in the understanding and
meaning of the Holy Spirit in the words of the Bible."

And explaining the premise used in interpreting the Bible:

"...usually the meaning of the Scriptures is sought out by those who
are specially trained for this purpose. And in their conclusions, they
know that no explanation of the Scriptures which contradicts the
truths constantly taught by the infallible Church can be true." (3)

Any thinking person can see how such a mode of interpretation can
be dangerously used to manipulate Scripture to mean absolutely
anything at all! Who has not observed this of the various cults? The
Moonies, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses all back up their false
teachings with "new revelations" and "inspired interpretations" of the
Scriptures each claiming that the Holy Spirit revealed these new
truths to their founders. One opens themselves to all kinds of
deception when they judge the Bible by what their church or pastor
teaches, instead of judging what their church or pastor teaches by the
Bible!

CATHOLIC PROOF-TEXTS EXPLAINED
With this in mind, we will briefly discuss the two main passages of
Scripture that the Roman Church uses while trying to show that Jesus
Himself, taught transubstantiation.

John 6:54-55: "He who eats 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."

Catholics are taught here, that Jesus is explaining how He is literally
offering them His flesh and blood, so that they may have eternal life
by physically eating Him. With just a little study of the whole passage
(vs. 27-71), it is clear that Jesus was not talking about physical, but
spiritual food and drink. Food is eaten to satisfy hunger. And in verse
35 Jesus says, "He who comes to Me shall never hunger". Now,
Jesus is not promising eternal relief from physical hunger pains. He
is, of course, speaking of the spiritual hunger in man for
righteousness and salvation. And He promises to those who will
"come to Him" that He will satisfy their hunger for these things forever
therefore, to come to Him is to "eat"! (See also Matt. 5:6, 11:28, John
4:31-34.)

We drink also to satisfy thirst, and again in verse 35 Jesus tells us,
"He that believes on Me shall never thirst." Therefore, to believe on
Him is to "drink"! (See also John 4:13-14.) No one can say that here
Jesus was establishing the eating and drinking of His literal flesh and
blood to give eternal life, for in verse 63 He says, "It is the Spirit who
gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I speak unto you,
they are spirit, and they are life." Thus Jesus makes clear what we
should be eating and drinking to have eternal life! (See also Matt.4:4.)
Matt. 26:26 and 28: "This is My body …this is My blood." Catholics
base their whole religious system on their interpretation of these two
verses. They adamantly teach that right here, Jesus is pronouncing
the first priestly blessing that mysteriously changes the bread and
wine into His body and blood.

The absolute folly of such a conclusion is proved by this one
observation: He was literally still there before, during, and after they
had partaken of the bread and the cup! He was not changed into
some liquid and bread- His flesh was still on His bones, and His blood
still in His veins. He had not vanished away to reappear in the form of
a piece of bread or a cup of wine!

Let's look closer at His words. No one can deny that here we have
figurative language. Jesus did not say "touto gignetai" ("this has
become" or "is turned into"), but "touto esti" ("this signifies,
represents" or "stands for") (the New Testament was written in
Greek). It is obvious that Jesus' meaning was not literal but symbolic!
And He wasn't the first in the Bible to claim figuratively that a glass of
liquid was really "blood". One time, David's friends heard him express
a strong desire for water from the well of Bethlehem. In spite of
extreme danger, these men broke through the enemy lines of the
Philistines and brought the water to him. When David found out that
these men had risked their lives in this way, he refused to drink the
water, exclaiming, "Is not this the blood of the men who went in
jeopardy of their lives?" (II Sam. 23:17).

Throughout the gospels we find similar metaphorical language: Jesus
referring to Himself as "the Door", "the Vine", "the Light", "the Root",
"the Rock", "the Bright and Morning Star", as well as "the Bread". The
passage is written with such common language that it is plain to any
observant reader that the Lord's Supper was intended primarily as a
memorial and in no sense a literal sacrifice. "Do this in remembrance
of Me" (Luke 22:19).

TRUE PAGAN ORIGINS
Where did this teaching and practice really come from? Like many of
the beliefs and rites of Romanism, transubstantiation was first
practiced by pagan religions. The noted historian Durant said that
belief in transubstantiation as practiced by the priests of the Roman
Catholic system is "one of the oldest ceremonies of primitive
religion" (4) The syncretism and mysticism of the Middle East were
great factors in influencing the West, particularly Italy.(5) In Egypt,
priests would consecrate food cakes which were supposed to
become the flesh of Osiris!(6) The idea of transubstantiation was also
characteristic of the religion of Mithra whose sacraments of cakes
and haoma drink closely parallel Catholic Eucharistic rites.*(7) The idea
of eating the flesh of deity was most popular among the people of
Mexico and Central America long before they ever heard of Christ;
and when Spanish missionaries first landed in those countries, "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.

SO WHY DO THEY TEACH IT?
Before concluding our first chronicle, the question needs to be asked,
"Why does the Roman Catholic Church need to have such a doctrine.
Why do they think that Jesus needs them to physically eat Him? That
is what truly puzzled me as I read astounded through the catechism
and doctrinal instruction books. But the answer to that question is not
a pretty one. As I said before, the implications and practical
conclusions of the teaching of transubstantiation are substantially
worse than the doctrine itself and like a great web spun by an
industrious spider, Rome's teachings spiral out from this central hub
like the spokes of a wheel. In the following Catholic Chronicle we will
look intently at the next direct result of transubstantiation in official
Catholic systematic theology: "The Sacrifice of the Mass".
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:57 PM
CatholicCrusader's Avatar
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Default Re: THE CATHOLIC CHRONICLES by Keith Green Chronicle I

You should really check to see if your material is factual before you post something that big. I saw three serious errors inthe first paragraph alone.

I don't mind dicussing issues with people who have different opinions, but I am not going to sit here and correct lies.
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