If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
THE MIRACLE OF TRANSFORMING BREAD AND WINE INTO CHRIST
Transubstantiation refers to the conversion of the bread and wine at Mass into the body and blood of Christ. This is a major and basic doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. The Church worships the consecrated bread and wine as Jesus Christ who it teaches is God. The bread and wine are given the worship due to God without qualification.
The Mass has a strange and disturbing hold over those worshippers who give in. Is it because there are dark forces involved? The boring explanation is that its a safe god. People prefer to worship material things than a god who is so alien to them, so spirit, so different. The pagans had human style gods for that reason. In the Catholics this tendency re-surfaced. Imagine how strong the tendency should be in Catholicism with its mysterious God who is greater than the pagan gods multiplied a billion times! He is so strange and abstract that he is an advert for idolatry.
The thought that the bread and wine are Jesus is against the Bible for it says that anything that cannot protect itself from desecration is not divine but is an idol, a false God. God himself ridicules idols for their helplessness and inability to hear those who pray to them. The doctrine is evil for we need to hold that a man is a man and a rock is a rock. What if you start saying that a man is really a woman or a dog?
We can do transubstantiation by turning something physically into something else! It follows then that Satan should be able to do the miracle. And what if Satan can convert things like God does? We can convert dough into bread. Suppose transubstantiation is possible. Then surely Satan having occult powers can change dough into bread without the dough physically changing? The logical consequences of the doctrine are sufficient reason to reject it strongly. It doesn't deserve respect.
The Bible has no time for people making excuses for adoring as God what is not God. The idolaters of old made plenty - O Apollo lives in the statue and he let the robbers break it for a purpose we are unaware of. God makes it simple: if it is not immune to harm then its not God and there is no excuse for adoring it. The wafer god of the Catholics goes down the toilet. The pagan idols didn't have to suffer that indignity! Catholic idolatry does not look as extreme as pagan idolatry but it is.
If you were pretending that the bread was the body of Jesus you would do what the Catholics are doing. If they are not getting carried away by playing charades then nobody is.
People are more influenced by how an idea makes them feel than they are anything else. Catholics feel more than believe that Jesus is present. Some feel it and mistake feeling it for believing it. Its idolatry to be that biased. The Bible condemns idolatry for what it does to the idol-worshipper's sense of ethics and morality and goodness. The idolater feels that to honour the image is somehow to honour his God and that it is somehow his god. It is transubstantiation though this term may not be used but the same perception is there. That is seen as selfish for it putting feeling before truth. The idolater knows that he cannot control his god like a magic genie. So the heart of the problem with idolatry is that it is people trying to spell out worship their own way without caring what a god or gods would really want.
If God can do the transubstantiation miracle he can feed us with Jesus without the bread and wine becoming him.
Protestants do not believe the bread and wine are turned into Jesus. Some Protestants say that the Mass is not idolatry because it is just an error about where Jesus is - and not an error about Jesus - so to worship the host is to worship Jesus for he is the one that is meant to be adored. The Bible is not so understanding and forbids even images of God (Exodus 20:4-6) worshipped in the view that God indwells them for nobody worships a statue for being a statue. Idolaters say their idols are their gods meaning the statues are not worshipped simply because they are images. The person worships the God who is in the statue or represented by it. The Mass goes further than any image of God so it is graver and deeper idolatry.
The Golden Calf is thought to have been an image of God. The Hebrews worshipped it as their God who brought them out of Egypt. Strictly speaking they were right that God was in the image for he is said to be everywhere. And it was still idolatry! Imagine how idolatrous the Catholic Mass is!
What Catholics call a change from bread and wine into Jesus is not a change at all for there is no physical difference and they confess that. It is the same as calling your chips gold. They adore bread and wine and pretend they are Jesus. That's it. Even the pagans didn't pretend that statues were their gods. Catholics then are worse idolaters!
It is so simple to believe that Jesus comes close to us when we eat the bread and drink the wine in his memory instead of believing they really are Jesus. It is the relationship that matters not whether your communion wafer is Jesus or not. The Mass is quite uncharitable for those who don't believe in or who doubt the change are barred from communion while the change doctrine isn't that important.
We are asked to believe that a priest has the power to turn bread and wine into Jesus. This is unlikely to be correct for Jesus complained a lot about the esteem religious leaders were in and wanted to bring them down to the level of the ordinary person. He would not have given a power that leads to the ordinary people developing a devotion for priests that borders on idolatry. In strong and properly indoctrinated Catholic areas, the priest is treated as an infallible God and honoured more than Jesus. The doctrine glorifies the priest which is the real reason the Church teaches it. Its a good power tool. We are asked to believe that when you eat Jesus' body it starts turning back into digested bread so you only have his body and blood in you for a few minutes. Is the miracle of transubstantiation worth all the hassle? God turns something into Jesus and then he has to turn it back into material things in the digestive system! The main thing about the Mass is the grace. Jesus only lives in you a while but he leaves grace behind. So again, this shows how unnecessary the miracle is. Why not give us the grace in the first place instead of all this bread and wine turning into Jesus rigmarole?
The Church says the miracle is spoken of in the Bible at John 6 when Jesus told the Jews to eat his flesh and drink his blood.
Verse 52 the Jews ask how he can give his flesh to eat.
Verse 53 he says they cannot have eternal life unless they eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood. This is the first time he mentions blood.
Verse 54 he stops using the ordinary word for eating and introduces the shocking concept of eating his flesh and drinking his blood like rabid animals. He said they must gnaw his flesh animal style. He used the crude blatant language of animals eating human flesh. He used an Aramaic word translated into Greek as trogein, which means to crunch or to gnaw like an animal or to tear apart with teeth. He says that whoever does this has eternal life and he will raise him up on the last day.
Verse 55 simply says his flesh is real food and his blood real drink.
Verse 56 says that the one that gnaws his flesh and drinks his blood lives in him and he lives in that person. Trogein is used.
Verse 57 he says that as he lives by God so the person who gnaws his flesh will live because of himself. Trogein is used.
Verse 58 he says that this flesh is the bread that has come down from Heaven and is not like ordinary bread which does not give eternal life. Whoever gnaws the bread will live forever. Trogein is used.
After verse 53 Jesus did not say they must eat his flesh. The crude and vulgar word trogein is used. That was to express that what he was saying was symbolic. The Catholics say he used such extreme language to show that he literally meant we have to eat his body and blood and used such shocking words to emphasise that they could become literal food and drink for us. Would Jesus who could instead say, "God who made all things has the power to turn bread into my body without it seeming to change" resort to such a device? Why not say, "I mean real eating"? And the Jews found the metaphor sickening and ridiculous and offensive. Would Jesus provoke them if he meant what the Catholics say he meant? The Jews had a taboo about cannibalism and that was what Jesus seemed to be endorsing. Both those who deny that John 6 teaches the changing of bread and wine into Jesus and those who say it does teach that then agree that the gnawing is symbolic. Catholics say it means eating communion. Others say it is a metaphor for reaping the fruits of the sacrifice of Jesus' body. As our sins do violence to Jesus by making him pay for them on the cross, availing of the spiritual benefits can fittingly be referred to as gnawing. It is more reasonable to assume the symbolism of gnawing is saying just that. Where there is symbolism, assume the least exotic interpretation.
Why does Jesus change from eat my body to gnaw my body? Why does he merely tell them to drink his blood and not to slurp on it? It's metaphors that is why.
Suppose Jesus did say we eat his body and drink his blood. There is no need to read transubstantiation into that for he could feed us this way without turning bread and wine into himself. The eat my body drink my blood really just mean eat me and drink me. The Church teaches that though evil people can eat the body of Jesus in the sense of eating Jesus in the form of bread there is a sense in which they do not eat him. He cannot be the food of souls that hate him. The soul won't be fed by him. The soul cannot literally need flesh - it might need only grace and the gift of virtue from God. Even in the idolatry of the Catholic communion, there is evidence that Jesus when he asked us to eat his flesh and drink his blood meant, "Have a relationship with me that nourishes you spiritually based on the fact that I have sacrificed my body and blood to God to pay for your sins and reconcile you to God and feed you with grace." Jesus said that he was the bread of life and that to come to him was to cease to hunger so eat stands for coming to Christ. He said that he who believes in him will never thirst so to drink is to believe in him (John 6:35). To eat his body stands for coming to Jesus sacrificing his body for your sins and to drink his blood stands for believing in his bloody sacrifice on Calvary. The passage tells us that eat and drink is not literal.
Jesus compares the food he will give to the manna that Israel had to survive on in the wilderness. He implies that the food he gives is absolutely essential. Catholic teaching says communion is not essential for babies and indeed many go to Heaven without ever having got communion. Whatever he meant he did not mean communion.
Jesus says the bread he will give is his body for the life of the world and the Jews ask among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat it?” And he says his body and blood have to be eaten and drunk for everlasting life. When Jesus reacted like that instead of setting them straight it seems he did mean to turn bread and drink into his body and blood. But if the bread is literal so is the flesh but it can’t be both bread and flesh. Jesus had no reason to correct the Jews for he left clues he didn’t mean it literally. He told them that they had to eat his body and drink his blood or they would have no life, no saving relationship to make them live in God, in them. But the entire New Testament teaches that communion is not necessary for salvation but availing of the sacrifice of the body and blood of Jesus is. It was the latter he meant. He said a minute later that they would believe easier if they seen him ascend physically to heaven but added that the flesh is useless but only the spirit gives life. So his body cannot give life only the divinity in him can.
Catholics say if the Jews had been wrong to suggest that Jesus meant eat his flesh literally he would have corrected them but he didn’t. So they conclude that he meant it literally. The Jews asked, “How will he do it?" In other words, "This is an ordinary dude and how could he do what he says?" Jesus does not answer this. He does not respond. A response would be, "I am the Son of God and I have the Father's power to do miracles." He says about eating his body and drinking his blood. He is saying not responding.
What would he correct them for when he was in the habit of ignoring what was said to him? In John 4, Jesus tells a woman by a well that he wants a drink. He tells her that whoever drinks from the well will thirst again but whoever drinks the water he gives will never thirst. She says that she wants this water so that she may not have to come to the well again or thirst. He does not correct her for taking him literally therefore the Catholic argument based on what the Jews asked Jesus doesn’t prove a thing. She thought he meant magic water and he didn’t tell her what he really meant. Yet this non-correction thing in John 6 is what the entire Catholic Mass stands on and led to the Church “infallibly” stating that communion is literally Jesus. The Church deliberately distorts the Bible to teach this doctrine for it knows fine well from say John 4 that its argument is false.
Even Roman Catholics do not literally eat the body of Christ and yet they pretend that the expression eating the body in John 6 backs up their Mass. What they eat is the appearances of bread but Jesus is in Heaven. The Church while teaching that the bread converts does not teach a local presence. Jesus is not in the bread but in Heaven but the bread is him. And even the soul can’t eat Jesus’ body! So eat my body does not prove the Mass at all!
In Mark 7, Jesus says food is not assimilated by the body but goes through it which is why it does not make anybody unclean. In John 6, Jesus speaks of us assimilating his body and blood which is evidently symbolic. Would he turn bread into his body when he thinks the eaten bread just changes appearance and comes out in the toilet?
Some theologians say that God can feed you with the body and blood of Christ without putting them into the form of bread and wine. They say that eating the body and drinking the blood refers to acts of the soul not the body – the soul being nourished by Christ so the eating and drinking should not be taken as referring to physically eating bread and drinking wine turned into Jesus. These theologians agree that God can do this all the time so the idea of communion being a sacrament is nonsense.
The Catholic Church takes Jesus literally at the last supper when he said, “This is my body given for you,” and this cup is my blood”. Luke 22:20 and 1 Corinthians 11:25 both say that the cup is the new covenant in Jesus’ blood. The cup wasn’t literally the new covenant. The New Testament says elsewhere, “This is my blood.” Obviously either wording was sufficient. But this point proves that the cup was just symbolism at most or a memorial. The view that the bread and cup are not symbols of the body and blood of Jesus but meant to be reminders of the body and blood of Jesus is absolutely fatal to attaching any sacramental interpretation to the Eucharist. The reminder theory should be considered true for there is no need for the symbol idea. A sacrament is supposed to be a symbolic ritual that actually gives the grace it pictures. There is no room in scripture for the idea that the Eucharist is even a sacrament. Jesus asked us to remember him when we take bread and wine. He didn’t say we have to say the words he said but he did ask us to remember him. He didn’t say we had to take bread and wine perhaps whenever we see bread or wine we have to remember his sacrifice.
So to summarise, the apostle Paul said that Christ called the cup the new covenant in his blood. Evidently, the cup was not the blood of Christ or even a symbol of it but just a reminder of the covenant and the blood. He wouldn't create a symbol of the covenant so the wine is simply a tool which recalls the covenant.
Another problem is that only the Luke Gospel and 1 Corinthians 11 mention that we are meant to do this memorial and the authenticity of both of these texts is disputed. In the RSV Catholic Edition it is admitted that many ancient authorities left out the reference to doing it in Jesus’ memory. This is a strong indication of inauthenticity when the Church left out something it wanted to believe in, the command of Jesus for the Church to celebrate the Eucharist.
In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul says he will not commend those who get drunk and won’t share when they meet together for their holy meals. He puts in an account of the last supper. He then apparently says it is because the meal is a memorial of the body and blood of Jesus that he can’t commend their behaviour. But that doesn’t really fit for he never explains why the meal being a memorial should mean that people don’t abuse the meal. The passage makes more sense and flows better if you leave out the entire stuff about the last supper and the body and blood of Jesus. This would mean that the bit where Paul describes the last supper is an interpolation. The verse before that account says something like, “Will I commend your behaviour when you meet to eat? No I will not. And the bit after runs, “So when you gather together to eat, wait for one another.” If the account is an insertion by a fraudulent disciple of Paul’s, that means that there is no authority whatsoever for celebrating the Lord’s Supper with the body and blood of Jesus stuff. A Christian might say it could well be an uninspired writing of Paul that he discarded and somebody took it and stuck it in his letter to forge evidence that the rite was celebrated from the start of the Church. Even Paul doesn’t say the bread and wine are symbols of Jesus or that we have to say, “This is my body/blood” over bread and wine. A sacrament is a symbolic rite that does what it represents. There is no biblical authority for holding that the bread and wine are symbols and so the Eucharist is not a sacrament.
Jesus said that bread was his body and wine was his blood at the last supper but there is no reason to hold that this was anything other than a memorial rite. It could symbolise the invisible feeding of our souls with Christ but there is no need for the symbol interpretation. Catholics say he turned the bread into his resurrected body before the resurrection happened ignoring the words, “This is my body which IS being sacrificed for you,” or the words, “This is my blood which is being shed for you”. These words deny that the body and blood is the resurrected body and blood.
Logic says that if we need anything from God, it is his help to live a good life and you don’t need to physically eat the body and blood of Jesus for that so transubstantiation would be an absurd miracle and to believe in it would be to insult God’s intelligence.
The change of bread and wine into Jesus during Mass is magic. Magic is condemned in the Old Testament. To turn bread into a man without the bread seeming to change is far more magic than turning an ugly hag into a beautiful young maiden. The Bible and even the Church says that magic is using supernatural power that is not from God.
The Church rejects the doctrine of annihilation which teaches that the substance of the bread and wine cease to exist and Jesus' substance, his body and blood, take their place. The Church teaches not replacement but transformation. When one studies this, clearly the Church is making a new Jesus. Transforming means making Jesus out of bread and wine. But if Jesus already exists then the Church is making a new one. This other Jesus reminds us of Paul who condemned those heretical Christians who offered the real Christians another Jesus. See his letter to the Galatians.
Jesus didn't need to reveal his presence in the communion. Its results that matter not doctrines. His revealing his presence shows he disagrees and is very unreasonable and caring about doctrine that much is a mark of bigotry not love.
There is no evidence for the Catholic Mass being of divine origin in the Bible. It is dangerous to build fancy theologies about transforming bread and wine on the Bible which gives no stable foundation for the rite. The Mass is idolatry. It degrades us all for if there is a choice between worshipping your daddy or mummy and a wafer you should worship daddy or mummy. The Mass is an insult and we should stay away from it. If no insult is intended it is still an insult.
The doctrine of transubstantiation is evil. It implies that if you are willing to give your life to save the Eucharist from desecration you must do so. And the Church advocates this madness.
It is blasphemy to worship something as God unless you have proof that it is God as much as you do that God exists at all.