Quotes (824)

Catholics who believe the literal interpretation of John 6 face a serious dilemma. Both the “eating and drinking” and “believing in Jesus” produce the same result—eternal life. What if a person “believes” but does not “eat or drink?” Or what if a person “eats and drinks” but does not “believe?” Does this person have eternal life because he met one of the requirements but not the other? . . . God forbids anyone from consuming the blood of a sacrifice. If Jesus were teaching the multitudes to literally drink His blood, He would be teaching them to disobey God.

-          Mike Gendron

47 thoughts on “Quotes (824)

  1. Kaydee says:

    It is my one great sadness right now that my own husband is one such Catholic. We go our separate ways Sunday mornings. We have had many discussions about this topic and others, and the problem is and will remain that one cannot argue with a Catholic based on the authority of scripture, because they hold tradition to be just as valid. Apparently, “ALL” of the early church fathers, including Augustine, believed in the “real presence” as they refer to it. It is an argument one cannot win until the Catholic is convivinced of the absolute supreme authority of scripture, and until God Himself enlightens his eyes to the truth. At times, I am tempted to despair.

  2. Jesus says, “This IS my body. This IS my blood. Whoever does not eat my body or drink my blood has no life in them.”

    He said it… not me. If anyone has a problem with it, they ought take it up with Him.

  3. theoldadam,

    As you’re probably aware there is more than one interpretation of the Lord’s words instituting communion in John 6.

    In Christ,
    CD

  4. revivalandreformation says:

    Can someone please explain to theoldadam the importance of a figure of speech, most notably a simile? My father in law believes VERY strongly that when he takes communion, he is eating Christ’s flesh, and drinking His blood. So many men died because they stood up against the RCC with regards to this abominable notion. We are not cannibals! It was used as a symbol to illustrate a point. Just like the cross is used as a symbol, so are we to look at the “wine and bread” as a symbol of Christ’s body. Let’s not disrespect Christ and His sacrifice on the cross which symbolizes His work and suffering…enough’s enough.

  5. Christ knew the words ‘symbolizes’, or ‘represents’. He used the word ‘IS’. ‘Is’ means, ‘Is’.

    It boggles my mind that people can believe and say that “Christ actually lives in my heart”, but then they say that Christ cannot be present in a bowl of water, a piece of bread, or a cup of wine, all accompanied by His Word of promise.

    When Christ commands us to do something, He is actually there in it, for us.

    I know that many Christians don’t believe that, but many more do believe it.

    And by the way, I am a Lutheran and I do not believe that the bread and the wine has to physically transform (as the Catholics believe) in order for Christ to be actually present in it.

    Oh…one more thing. Our Lord was not into empty religious ritual, for the sake of religion.

    That’s why He is in the water of Baptism, and in the bread and wine of His Supper.

    It meant enough to Him to command, so He is there, in it.

  6. theoldadam,

    As you’re probably aware, just as there is more than one interpretation of the Lord’s words instituting communion in John 6, there is also more than one understanding of Christ’s “real presence” and/or “actual presence” in the elements. The Reformed also believe in His literal “real presence” and/or “actual presence”. The difference between Lutheran and Reformed theology on this point is whether the literal “real presence” and/or “actual presence” is corporeal or spiritual. Lutherans opt for the former understanding, and Reformed for the latter (see Matt. 18:20).

    In Christ,
    CD

  7. Kaydee says:

    CD, I’m hoping you will jump in here with your very calm and loving demeanor and respond to oldAdam because I hear things like he is saying and I feel like a bull seeing red. I’ve been through these discussions with my husband before and it was no fun at all. My understanding of the Last Passover meal is that Jesus was giving his Jewish disciples 2 more elements of symbolism to add to the Passover celebration, which already included various other symbols (the bitter herbs, cups of wine, etc…) The disciples would have understood this in this way, because as Jews they were commanded to keep the Passover Feast as a remembrance of the 1st Passover and flight from Egypt. They would sing a hymn and the children would ask questions, all for the purpose of keeping the memory alive from one generation to the next. In adding the symbolism of His body and blood, He was shedding a new light upon the Exodus, because He was about to enter into His own Exodus, which He also spoke of at the meal.

  8. Very good analysis, Kaydee.

    If theoldadam is willing to go along with the discussion, then we’ll see the stark differences between the Lutheran view of the Lord’s Table and the Reformed view; and they’re not insignificant. The discussion will necessarily move backwards into hermeneutics, where it can be demonstrated conclusively that the Lutheran hermeneutic becomes internally inconsistent on this point. This is a really old argument dating all they way back to brother Luther himself.

    In Him,
    CD

  9. Kaydee says:

    Thanks CD. You are very kind and I appreciate that. Means so much to me, coming from you. I have much to learn from the way you handle debates. Incidently, I would love to get a better handle on this troubling question of sacraments, or “means of grace,” as I’ve also heard it termed. I believe it is really central to this issue. I think that the only true sacrament is scripture, but I have not studied this, I only have an instinctive opinion. Can you point me towards some sound scholarship?

  10. ezekiel33blog says:

    So when the Bible calls us a worm, we are a worm? When the Bible says we are sheep, then we are sheep? When Jesus described the Holy Spirit as the wind, then He is the wind? When we are told in some versions that Jesus created “worlds’, we are supposed to believe that there are other worlds besides our own (Heb. 1 & 11)? The Bible is full of figures of speech, and we have to understand this. Too many people look at the Bible and scratch their heads with some of it because they have been told that you have to take it as it is written. This is why if you are not using a concordance, you are in trouble. Jesus spoke in word pictures all the time, they are called parables as we all know. He did this for many reasons, but one main reason, is to illustrate a point. When Jesus was talking about the bread and wine in communion, He used images to illustrate a point. To drive it home, if you will.

  11. DavidW says:

    Kaydee,

    I imagine there are few things more heartbreaking than having incompatible spiritual beliefs with one’s spouse. I will pray for you and your husband as well. Do not dispair. I have known several (among my own relatives) who appeared “unlikely” to ever be Christians, yet the Lord saved them, opened their eyes to His truth, and they now serve Him. Nothing is impossible with God.

  12. revivalandreformation says:

    Yes Kaydee, I know how hard it is, when loved ones refuse to listen, believe or change. It is frustrating and heart breaking. I have taken the Scriptures to my father in law, laid the concordance before him, and nothing…He just plain, flat out refuses to believe. He said that he received a vision that God told him about communion and the sacraments being Christ’s literal body and blood. You just sit back and shake your head in disbelief, and pray that God will open his eyes one day before it is too late. He is the God of the impossible and we just have to commit them to God and trust He will do as HE pleases in his life. BTW just to let all readers know that now Creflo Dollar is now preaching the same thing on his broadcasts. I know this because the in laws phoned up the other day so excited that their anointed preacher whom they watch via e-church, is now saying the same things! Isn’t that wonderful?! Sigh… We will also be praying for you Kaydee, and know that nothing is impossible to God, just submit and be content with how He wants things to turn out.

  13. “So when the Bible calls us a worm, we are a worm? When the Bible says we are sheep, then we are sheep? When Jesus described the Holy Spirit as the wind, then He is the wind?…etc.”

    The difference is that Jesus said, “this IS…” and He said , “DO THIS…”

    He told them that this IS my body…this IS my blood” “DO THIS…” Whoever does not DO THIS has no life in them.

    Likewise with Baptism in Matthew 28. Jesus commands us to go and Baptize. He commands it, therefore He is in it. Again, if God wants to give faith in water, or wine, or bread…all accompanied by His Word, who are we to argue with it.

    Naaman wanted to argue with it. “This is just too easy!” “If the Lord had told you to do something difficult, would you then not do it?” Naaman washed, and he was healed.

    The Lord does the same for us in the Sacraments (Baptism and Holy Communion).

    This Word is pure gospel! It comes to us extra nos (from outside of ourselves).

    Gos wants to take our feelings, experiences, sincere efforts, good works…out of the equation, so He does it all for us, externally in the elements, accompanied by His Word of promise.

    He wants us to have Himself and His forgiveness, so badly, that He literally crams it down our throats.

    I believe this view to be the right one. And I am not alone. Most of the world’s Christians are with me on this one.

  14. 1 Corinthians 1014 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? ESV

    We see here St Paul stating we get four items in the Lord’s supper. Bread and wine, body and blood. This with the clear testimony of Our Lord is plain to see he is really present in the sacrament.

    pax domini. †

  15. revivalandreformation says:

    What language was the original texts written in? What language do we read it today in? Can we say with absolute certainty that the original is identical to what we have today in let’s say the NIV, NASB…etc.? Even the KJV is lacking in accuracy in regards to the original. If you take the English language Bible at face value you are in a whole heap of trouble. You HAVE to follow certain rules of grammar, just like we all so naturally do today with our language. You just can’t read a letter I wrote to my dad and see where I wrote that it was raining cats and dogs the other day and take it word for word. Nor can you take metaphors, similes and such in the Bible and assume that when certain speakers were saying certain things that they meant it. Common sense for those who are open enough to accept it and change, grow and learn. Sorry if this offends but brick heads and stiff necks only give God one option…they must be broken.

  16. In reply to: “So when the Bible calls us a worm, we are a worm? When the Bible says we are sheep, then we are sheep? When Jesus described the Holy Spirit as the wind, then He is the wind?…etc.”

    theoldadam said: The difference is that Jesus said, “this IS…” and He said , “DO THIS…” He told them that this IS my body…this IS my blood” “DO THIS…” Whoever does not DO THIS has no life in them.

    Actually there’s no difference at all here except for your own personal opinion. Jesus also claimed to be the door (John 10:9), and the true vine (John 15:1). Is He therefore to be thought of as being made of wood, or is He claiming to be a plant? The obvious answer, given the context, is “of course not”. He was teaching transcendental spiritual truths by making use of metaphorical, symbolic language as was His custom.

    Furthermore in your quoted example you’re dangerously conflating two separate and distinct passages of Scripture. In the first portion you’re alluding to Luke 22:19 and 1 Cor. 11:24 which describe the institution of the Lord’s Table, whereas in the second portion you’re making reference to the Lord’s John 6 discourse, which in context has nothing at all to do with communion. Moreover two important facts militate strongly against John 6 being interpreted as directives pertaining to communion based on the content and context of the passage: 1) communion had not yet been instituted, and 2) if the passage is taken as a reference to communion, then the Lord would be teaching that any communicant would receive eternal life.

    theoldadam said: Likewise with Baptism in Matthew 28. Jesus commands us to go and Baptize. He commands it, therefore He is in it. Again, if God wants to give faith in water, or wine, or bread…all accompanied by His Word, who are we to argue with it.

    Once again we see the importance of context, and a consistent hermeneutic. Presumably as a Lutheran you don’t believe that the Lord is corporeally present in, with and under the baptismal waters as is taught is the case with the bread. Certainly the Lord is “in it” [baptism] insofar as He is spiritually present where two or three are gathered in His name (Matt. 18:20), and by the fact that He spiritually dwells within His people (John 17:23), which comprise His body, the church.

    Our argument isn’t with the Lord or His words however, rather it’s with the Lutheran hermeneutic that interprets His words in a manner inconsistent with the whole counsel of God.

    theoldadam said: Naaman wanted to argue with it. “This is just too easy!” “If the Lord had told you to do something difficult, would you then not do it?” Naaman washed, and he was healed.

    This is an interesting statement. Do you believe the washing with water “healed” Naaman, or was it his living faith – which he demonstrated by obedience – which “healed” him? The same question could be asked of the blind man who washed at the pool of Siloam. Was the healing power intrinsic within the means (water), or was it from elsewhere?

    theoldadam said: The Lord does the same for us in the Sacraments (Baptism and Holy Communion).

    This Word is pure gospel! It comes to us extra nos (from outside of ourselves).

    Gos wants to take our feelings, experiences, sincere efforts, good works…out of the equation, so He does it all for us, externally in the elements, accompanied by His Word of promise.

    “Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” – Gal. 3:3

    The Gospel is represented by both Word and by the sacraments, albeit in distinct modes. More specifically, the Gospel as it is represented in the elements of the Lord’s Table serves as a solemn reminder to God’s people of His new covenant, sealed in the blood of the Lamb of God, not to treat us as our ongoing sins deserve (Psalm 103:10) for the sake of Christ, which thing is intricately intertwined in God’s covenant promises to His people (2 Cor. 5:21).

    In the Lord’s Table we see the panorama of God’s saving promise to His people in humble, simple, plain, ordinary materials – the bread and the cup – elegantly displayed. In it we find the culmination of the OT sacrificial system, which could never take away sins (Heb. 10:4), as it points us toward the perfect shed blood of Christ. In it we are reminded of the Passover which preceded the exodus of God’s chosen people from bondage in Egypt, a potent reminder of our present condition in fallen, sinful world, and of the promise of freedom in our exodus to the promised land, the New Jerusalem, a city whose architect and builder is God (Heb. 11:10). In it we consider Christ’s suffering and death in our place, and we remember (1 Cor. 11:24; Luke 22:19). And it’s at the Lord’s Table that we are reminded of the eschatalogical Marriage Supper of the Lamb that’s yet to come (Rev. 19:6-10), as we look forward to the exquisite joy and privilege of seeing Him face to face, and knowing Him even as we are known (1 Cor. 13:12).

    But since you brought up the subject of baptism, for the benefit of our readers I’d like to take a quick tour of Lutheran theology.

    In Lutheran doctrine regeneration (the new birth) comes through baptism. In my experience most don’t take this dogma so far as to claim that without baptism one cannot be saved, although some individual Lutherans may hold to this belief.

    Regeneration, however, is by grace through faith according to Eph. 2:8-9 (among many other places), therefore it’s patently clear that there is no regenerative power or grace conferred in or through the means of water baptism, but rather faith is the sole instrument (or means) by which the benefits of grace are apprehended and applied to fallen human beings by which they are “washed clean” and “healed”. God’s ordinances are His gracious means of allowing His people to demonstrate their active, living faith as was the case with Naaman, and the blind man who washed in the pool of Siloam (as well as the entire OT sacrificial system per Hebrews 11).

    This of course doesn’t even begin to touch upon the Lutheran practice of padeobaptism, but that’s a different subject for a different day.

    Moving back to the Lord’s Supper, Romanist dogma claims that the “host” (the eucharist wafer) literally becomes the real, corporeal, physical body of Christ when the priest elevates it at the altar and says, “This is my body” This is known as “transubstantiation” – the very substance of the element is mysteriously changed.

    The Lutheran view is frequently known as “consubstantiation,” although many Lutherans object to the term. The Lutheran view differs significantly from the Reformed (and I believe hermeneutically consistent and Biblical) view by teaching in a manner similar to Rome that the body and blood of Christ are corporeally, physically, “really, literally present” at the Lord’s Table – “in, with, and under” the bread – and are partaken of corporeally, by the mouth, by both believing and unbelieving communicants.

    The Reformed (and I believe hermeneutically consistent and Biblical) view claims that Christ is spiritually present at the Lord’s Table and He is truly “partaken of” only by believers who are united to Christ by grace through faith, whereas unbelievers partake only of the bare elements.

    And therein lies the rub – where is the corporeal, physical, literal body and blood of Christ? Is it, as Romanism and Lutheranism teach, mysteriously “brought down” from heaven to sinful men, or are the redeemed spiritually “raised up” to heaven to Him in an eschatalogical foretaste of the heavenly Marriage Supper of the Lamb, even as we remember His sufferings and work in our place here on earth?

    I’m reminded, sadly, at this juncture of one of our infamous ex-presidents who once said; “It depends on what your definition of “is” is”.

    Early in the Reformation era Luther and the Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli were in regular contact. While discussing Rome’s many blasphemous idolatries, which of course included the Mass, they discussed proper understanding of the Lord’s Supper. Zwingli reflected the hermeneutically consistent Reformed view that the Lord’s statement, “this is my body” should be taken as representative/metaphorical/symbolic language rather than literal.

    Luther took the opposing position – similar to Rome – that “is” meant is; literally. Therefore for Luther and his followers the bread was to be identified as the literal, corporeal flesh of Jesus Christ, despite His own representative/metaphorical/symbolic words claiming to be the door, the vine, the Good Shepherd, etc. (the Lord was literally none of these things, of course, but He was truly, symbolically, spiritually and really all these things – and more!).

    It’s also worth noting that the Lord’s body was not broken (yet) at the institution of the Lord’s Table, and no one has ever literally (corporeally, physically) eaten His flesh or drank His blood which would be in violation of the Biblical prohibitions against the drinking of blood or the eating of meat with blood still in it (Lev. 17:10-14; Deut. 12:16; Acts 15:29), and the Lord Himself said that He came to fulfill the Law, not to nullify it (Matt. 5:17), and that not one jot nor tittle of the Law would pass away until all is accomplished (Matt. 5:18).

    The Reformed, Biblical view by no means denies the “real presence” of Christ in the Lord’s Table, but we believe that the whole counsel of God teaches us that the true body and blood of Christ are there, not corporeally and physically, but rather spiritually.

    theoldadam said: I believe this view to be the right one. And I am not alone. Most of the world’s Christians are with me on this one.

    Happily we don’t gauge Biblical truth by counting noses, but rather by comparing Scripture with Scripture and submitting to what God has revealed in His Word.

    Dave Cochrane said: 1 Corinthians 1014 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? ESV

    We see here St Paul stating we get four items in the Lord’s supper. Bread and wine, body and blood. This with the clear testimony of Our Lord is plain to see he is really present in the sacrament.

    Actually what we see here is a Lutheran eisegeting Scripture and anachronistically inserting his peculiar dogma into the text where it doesn’t exist. I see this with Romanists all the time.

    In Christ,
    CD

  17. Lutherans, at least David Cochrane and I, are not Romanists. Far from it. But we do agree with Catholics and Orthodox on Christ actually being present in the water of Holy Baptism, and in the bread and the wine of the Lord’s Supper. We disagree with the Catholics about the direction of the action in the Lord’s Supper. We believe it is a gift from God, while they believe it is a re-sacrifice of Christ, from us to Him. That is a significant difference. And, of course, we do not believe that the elements actually physically change into flesh and blood, but that Christ is in, under, and with the elements, spiritually.

    We believe this because it is biblical. Not because that is how we have decided it to be. We actually do good theology in coming to that conclusion, not man centered but Christ centered. We know that Christ commanded the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and that He never commanded us to do anything, where He would not be present in it. We know that salvation is a process ( St. Paul writes “for those of us BEING SAVED…”), and we know that because we continue to sin, we need to be kept in faith, and one of the ways that the Lord uses to do this is the gift of His Sacraments. They keep us grounded in Him, and not floating off hither and yon in our little religious projects that so many are engaged in (self-justification projects, in reality).

    The commands are clear, and they are from Christ Himself. In places Christ says that, “the Kingdom of God is like this…” He does not do that when instituting the Sacraments. He says, “this IS…” “Do this…” No matter what many may believe (President Clinton for one), IS means IS…and that is true in any language.

    You are right, we don’t count heads when it comes to proper doctrine, but the great cloud of witness from saints gone by, in addition to Holy Scripture, understands that Jesus’ words are true, and understands that He does act for us in the waters of Baptism and the bread and the wine of His Supper, as long as they are accompanied by His Word.

    Luther said many great things, and some not so great things. I do like what he said about the Anabaptists and they’re dismissal of infant baptism, “They look at Baptism the way a cow looks at a new gate.” They can only see what is right in front of their nose, unable to see what is possible with God. Typical Luther, to pull no punches.

    Lutherans actually believe that many Protestants have a much closer bond with Rome, than do they. Many have a Christ (+) theology. ‘Christ plus my decision.’ ‘Christ plus my sincerity.’ ‘Christ plus my sanctification’. ‘Christ plus praying to Saints.’ ‘Christ plus the Pope.’
    We Lutherans believe in ‘Christ ALONE.’ And since He commanded the Sacraments, thay are a part of His Word. They are pure gospel…coming to us free of charge, from Him to us, granting to us that which He commands.

    My goal here is not to convert anyone. My goal here is that you here another side of the story. My goal here is to say anyone IS or ISN’T Christian. My goal is to say, “here is a more excellent way.” A way which places everything on His shoulders, so that we might walk by faith alone, and not by sight.

    I used to believe as many here believe about the Sacraments. But, I have found that my new undestanding is MORE Christ centered, and offers me the assurance of my salvation and forgiveness in more concrete ways that Christ Himself has provided (extra nos).

    Thanks, very much.

  18. @ revival and coram,

    You have left unchallenged the clear teachings of scripture. Casting doubt against scripture and insulting is also what our skeptics and liberals do. It does nothing to change what the text says.

    pax domini. †

  19. theoldadam said: Lutherans, at least David Cochrane and I, are not Romanists. Far from it. But we do agree with Catholics and Orthodox on Christ actually being present in the water of Holy Baptism, and in the bread and the wine of the Lord’s Supper. We disagree with the Catholics about the direction of the action in the Lord’s Supper. We believe it is a gift from God, while they believe it is a re-sacrifice of Christ, from us to Him. That is a significant difference. And, of course, we do not believe that the elements actually physically change into flesh and blood, but that Christ is in, under, and with the elements, spiritually.

    I didn’t assert that Lutherans are Romanists, that would be a category error; instead I merely pointed out similarities on the subject of the eucharist, as you affirm. The Reformed affirm Christ’s spiritual presence in the Supper, as I’ve pointed out, however Lutherans go beyond what is written by insisting that Christ is somehow localized in, under, and with the elements and taken by the mouth corporeally, which is nowhere taught in the Bible.

    theoldadam said: We believe this because it is biblical. Not because that is how we have decided it to be. We actually do good theology in coming to that conclusion, not man centered but Christ centered. We know that Christ commanded the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and that He never commanded us to do anything, where He would not be present in it. We know that salvation is a process ( St. Paul writes “for those of us BEING SAVED…”), and we know that because we continue to sin, we need to be kept in faith, and one of the ways that the Lord uses to do this is the gift of His Sacraments. They keep us grounded in Him, and not floating off hither and yon in our little religious projects that so many are engaged in (self-justification projects, in reality).

    Yet in fact the Lutheran tradition on the eucharist is not Biblical, as I’ve pointed out, in that Lutheran dogma brings Christ down from heaven, as does the Romanist tradition, as opposed to God graciously raising men heavenward to Himself which is the Biblical and Reformed view.

    The commands are clear, and they are from Christ Himself. In places Christ says that, “the Kingdom of God is like this…” He does not do that when instituting the Sacraments. He says, “this IS…” “Do this…” No matter what many may believe (President Clinton for one), IS means IS…and that is true in any language.

    You assert this, but provide no evidence or exegesis to support your assertion. Assertion of Lutheran dogma isn’t a sufficient authority. Also “is” can plainly be understood as “representative of” within the context of Scripture, as explained in my prior comment.

    theoldadam said: You are right, we don’t count heads when it comes to proper doctrine, but the great cloud of witness from saints gone by, in addition to Holy Scripture, understands that Jesus’ words are true, and understands that He does act for us in the waters of Baptism and the bread and the wine of His Supper, as long as they are accompanied by His Word.

    The great cloud of Reformed witnesses humbly disagree with the great cloud of Lutheran and Romanist witnesses on the point of the corporeal consumption of Christ’s body.

    the oldadam said: Luther said many great things, and some not so great things. I do like what he said about the Anabaptists and they’re dismissal of infant baptism, “They look at Baptism the way a cow looks at a new gate.” They can only see what is right in front of their nose, unable to see what is possible with God. Typical Luther, to pull no punches.

    Yes, brother Luther was used mightily of God and I’m personally thankful for his bold witness. However you commit a category error yourself by bringing Anabaptists into the picture if you seek to link the Reformed tradition, or my comments, with them.

    theoldadam said: Lutherans actually believe that many Protestants have a much closer bond with Rome, than do they. Many have a Christ (+) theology. ‘Christ plus my decision.’ ‘Christ plus my sincerity.’ ‘Christ plus my sanctification’. ‘Christ plus praying to Saints.’ ‘Christ plus the Pope.’
    We Lutherans believe in ‘Christ ALONE.’ And since He commanded the Sacraments, thay are a part of His Word. They are pure gospel…coming to us free of charge, from Him to us, granting to us that which He commands.

    Many Protestants would agree with you, the broader professing church appears to be mostly apostate, however before you begin casting stones check into your own house, brother. Does the acronym “ELCA” mean anything to you?

    theoldadam said: My goal here is not to convert anyone. My goal here is that you here another side of the story. My goal here is to say anyone IS or ISN’T Christian. My goal is to say, “here is a more excellent way.” A way which places everything on His shoulders, so that we might walk by faith alone, and not by sight.

    I used to believe as many here believe about the Sacraments. But, I have found that my new undestanding is MORE Christ centered, and offers me the assurance of my salvation and forgiveness in more concrete ways that Christ Himself has provided (extra nos).

    Insofar as your argument on the Lord’s Table goes it isn’t a more excellent way, but just a more Lutheran way. And as I’ve pointed out, a sub-Biblical way. I don’t think that’s a particularly attractive proposal.

    David Cochrane said: @ revival and coram,

    You have left unchallenged the clear teachings of scripture. Casting doubt against scripture and insulting is also what our skeptics and liberals do. It does nothing to change what the text says.

    No, you have. See how easy it is to make assertions without argument? Perhaps you’d care to actually interact with the argument set forth as opposed to simply dismissing it, and pretending it never happened? Wishful thinking isn’t an actual position.

    In Christ,
    CD

  20. revivalandreformation says:

    2 Corinthians 4.4 “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

    It seems CD, that all the evidence in the world cannot convince a person to change their minds unless the Holy Spirit removed the scales from off their eyes. Just like my father in law when presented with the evidence of the truth, just walked away believing the authority of his vision over the authority of the Gospel.

    Prayer is the only other option now…

  21. It seems that when our Lord says it, that when our Lord commands it, that some people still find it to unrational to believe it. If the Lord commands it, He is there, in it.

    Is still means Is, now matter how many games one plays to try and not make it so.

    I think, for many, that it is just too easy (like Naaman). It’s just too gracious. “Well…I have to be sincere and I have to have my good fruit, and I have to make my decision for Christ…what about YOU!?”

    Yes, it is easy in the ‘DOING’ part of things, but having the faith to believe is hard. But He promises it, so we should trust Him at His word.

    Could God actually be present and living in a piece of bread, a sip of wine, a bowl of water, whwere His Word is attached to it? Could He possibly be?

    I and countless millions, not only today, but since the begining of the Church, say yes. It is possible, and because the Lord promises, it is the Truth.

  22. Kaydee says:

    theoldAdam,
    If you haven’t already done so, you really should check out revialandreformation’s link above, to the article he wrote on this subject. I think he does an excellent job of pointing out the linguistic considerations of the passage, and others.
    I have to wonder if people such as yourself suffer from Asperger’s syndrome, and are unable to put yourself in the shoes of the disciples to whom Jesus was speaking. Because if I was one of them, and Jesus was sitting with me holding a piece of bread, saying “This is my body,” all the while he is physically right in front of me in body form, I would NOT take him literally. I would understand that he was speaking in the context of the Passover meal, replete with other symbolism, and bringing something new to the table. The discples were partaking in the Passover meal, remembering the first Passover and Exodus, and Jesus was telling them that He was about to become the Paschal Lamb, the sacrifice, and then undergo an Exodus. The symbols of the Passover were being accomplished in his flesh, in front of their eyes. New symbolism would be needed. THIS is good understanding.

    Another thing, scripture warns us that God does not dwell in what is made by human hands. The bread is made by humans, and to me, the suggestion that a spiritual being would inhabitate such implies idolatry. When the bread is baked, Christ is not in it then, is he? When does He come to be in it, as you say?

  23. revivalandreformation says:

    Thank you Kaydee for your compliment, the only credit I can take though, is I spent about two hours typing out the article using the two fingered approach. That takes sacrifice! Anyway, good points. I have had “discussions” with people before on this and other subjects and they cannot use Scripture properly to back up their claims. They either take it word for word, or they quote some man who is just as lost as they are. I published another article yesterday that I had written last year on the subject of Romans 12. 2. We are told to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. Now at face value, these words say certain things, but go into the Greek (Strong’s concordance, we don’t have to know the language), and the word transform actually is the same word used for the transfiguration of Christ. It means a metamorphosis. The word renew actually means ‘renovate’. This is huge and quite different from what we see at face value. God is commanding us to renovate our minds and be transfigured to the point where we are completely distinct from what we used to be. Just look at the butterfly compared to the caterpillar.
    Unfortunately, these people are bound in chains of tradition and only the Holy Spirit can change them. Pray for them Kaydee, that they be saved and set free from this bondage.

  24. Pardon me if I’ve missed this observation in the comments – but do Romans and Lutherans and other literalists read on to the end of John chapter 6? Christ reveals the mystery so His people (those to whom He gave ears to hear) would not be led astray by popes or former monks.

    Joh 6:61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this?
    Joh 6:62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
    Joh 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

  25. Kaydee says:

    I must say one more thing and then I am finished. theoldAdam said “I used to believe as many here believe about the Sacraments. But, I have found that my new understanding is MORE Christ centered, and offers me the assurance of my salvation and forgiveness…” See, this here is very disturbing, because he also accuses people like me of having a Christ + theology. Seems to me, theoldAdam is not able to find assurance without the Sacraments. Seems to me, he is trusting in the Sacraments to make him feel assured. Seems to me, that people who trust in anything other than the finished work of Christ on the cross, and the assurance IT provides through understanding that the righteousness of Christ is thereby imputed to the believer, are placing their trust wrongly.
    I do pray, and will continue to pray. God help us all.

  26. revivalandreformation says:

    You are so right, Kaydee. It seems to me that people are constantly striving to find something that gives them an experience, or a spiritual anchor. Living by faith alone isn’t enough for most people, that is why few are chosen. These people need to be able to feel, taste, see or hear something before it has any real significance, and this unfortunately goes for communion as well. It is not enough to believe that we are remembering Christ’s awesome sacrifice by observing symbols, but they must attach life to those symbols. It is like the war weary soldier who holds tight to a pendant or lock of hair, or something that reminds him of home, and it gives him hope for the future. Like you said before, this boils down to idolatry. Just as a Catholic will have an altar set up in their home where they have various icons and trinkets that hold some sort of intrinsic value, so does someone such as the two above who hold FAST to their belief in the sacraments having life. We as humans are constantly grasping for something to either trust in, believe in or give control over to, and this is no different.

  27. Just got in from a road trip, and I’ve got to hit the hay for a 4:30am start. But when I get home from work tomorrow, I’ll address some of your arguments.

    Thanks! G’nite.

  28. theoldadam said: Just got in from a road trip, and I’ve got to hit the hay for a 4:30am start. But when I get home from work tomorrow, I’ll address some of your arguments.

    That would be commendable since so far your argument (such as it is) has basically consisted of Luther believed it, lots of other people believe, and I believe it, and you’ve asserted that “is” means “is”, not “representative of”, without explanation of all the other citations where Christ claims to be things, yet you don’t take Him literally (a literal door, literal vine, literal shepherd, literal bread of life, literal light of the world), and where He commands things that you don’t follow literally (literally hate your wife, mother, father, son daughter in order to be His disciple, literally take up a literal cross every day and literally follow Him around).

    theoldadam said: That is a significant difference. And, of course, we do not believe that the elements actually physically change into flesh and blood, but that Christ is in, under, and with the elements, spiritually. So are you retreating from the Lutheran position? If you agree that Christ is present spiritually, what is your disagreement?

    But then you say this Could God actually be present and living in a piece of bread, a sip of wine, a bowl of water, whwere His Word is attached to it? Could He possibly be?

    Is He spiritually present, as you said before, or is He actually “present and living in a piece of bread and a cup of wine and a bowl of water” (assuming you mean literally)? Which is it?

    God is living everywhere, all the time by His Spirit; He’s no more restricted or bound to the elements than He was to Solomon’s Temple, or the Ark of the Covenant because He is omnipresent.

    In Christ,
    CD

  29. Well…I don’t say or believe anything because Luther said it, but because it is Biblical. In this instance the Lord said these things Himself.

    And if you don’t believe it when He says it, you’ll never believe it when I say it.

    So, instead of chasing our tails and beating a dead horse, I will leave you to your beliefs and wish you all well.

    Thanks!

  30. theoldadam said: Well…I don’t say or believe anything because Luther said it, but because it is Biblical. In this instance the Lord said these things Himself. And if you don’t believe it when He says it, you’ll never believe it when I say it.

    As I’ve already pointed out, our dispute isn’t with the words of the Lord, or believing what He says, our dispute is with the Lutheran eisegesis of His words which inserts a Lutheran “lens” over the text, resulting in an internally inconsistent hermeneutic. You’ve not demonstrated otherwise, you just keep asserting things without any Scriptural basis or argument. It’s easy to say “it’s Biblical”, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses do that all the time. Please understand that I’m not equating Lutherans with cultists, I’m merely pointing out that asserting that a peculiar belief is “Biblical”, doesn’t make it so. Our authority is the Word, and doctrines must be demonstrated by the Word if they are to be binding on men’s consciences. Scripture interprets Scripture.

    You’ve not even tried to demonstrate your case from Scripture, and when the Lutheran hermeneutic is exposed as being internally inconsistent, you simply run away from the subject. This should tell you, and DefCon’s readership, that something is amiss.

    In Him,
    CD

    P.S. – do you think Reformed Christians “despise the Sacraments”? Do you believe that Reformed Christians are hardened-in-heart unbelievers in the same spiritual condition as cultists, and that they are enemies of the Gospel? If so, on what basis?

  31. Bryan says:

    Guys – I’m an former pastor in the PCA who is now a Lutheran. I assure you that Lutheran’s are not putting their lens over Scripture, much less our reason, which we distrust. We have a ministerial view of reading the Scriptures, not a magesterial view as I had in the Presbyterian church. We are ok with paradox, and if something doesn’t add up to our reason, we are content to simply say that the Lord has spoken – blessed be the name of the Lord. The Lutheran hermeneutic, if you will dig further, is hardly internally inconsistent (what an easy smear!), but these debates between the scholars of both camps (Lutheran and Reformed) are out there for all to read. Better minds than ours have represented these views well…I have just come to the conclusion that the Lutheran view is indeed more grace-centered and Christ centered and biblical. And more in line with the train of church history. While I respect Calvin in many ways, he was a product of his age – the age of reason – and it shows in much of his exegesis of scripture, not the least of which is his view of the sacraments. I write this not to continue the discussion – none of us are going to change each others minds, especially on a forum such as this – but to just defend my Lutheran brothers who have commented earlier here. If you’ve read their blogs you would know that, even if you think they are wrong (and I understand that – I was once reformed too!), just know that they really do TRY to base every article/view they have on Scripture alone. I know that’s what you try to do too. If you’ve never checked out Rev. Jonathan Fisk and his little 15 minute weekly videos, go to YouTube and type i his name. Lutheran theology 101. Grace and peace to you all! Rev. Bryan Bond

  32. revivalandreformation says:

    Unfortunately, CD, this may be harsh, but it seems that theoldadam among others that defend this stance and others are not willing to change or perhaps they are unable. When one is presented with the myriads of evidence, as was presented here and still says the exactly same things “If Jesus said it is, then it is…” then I think we just need to back off. We are casting our pearls before swine (that’s a figure of speech, don’t get offended!). These people must want to learn, grow and must have the courage to admit when they are wrong, and if they can’t do that, then they are stuck in the mud of their traditions, spinning their tires.

  33. Bryan,

    As a matter of fact I have been reading through some of the blog material of your Lutheran brethren, and to be perfectly frank with you, after reading through several of your comments in the various metas at aliengoodnews…well…let’s just say it leaves your words of “grace and peace” ringing a bit hollow.

    In Christ,
    CD

  34. Wow, Coram. The niceties and restraint by the Lutherans in this comment thread is a far cry from the nasty and mean things being said about us on their comment thread.

    Their insults, sweeping judgments, allegations that we don’t know what the gospel is, and comparing us to cults is rather disheartening and saddening.

    “I would go so far to say that NO reformed/calvinistic baptist church actually retains the Gospel at all and are no more Christian than are mormons or other cults. And I’m NOT being hyperbolic at all.”

    When you said that their “words of ‘grace and peace'” were “ringing a bit hollow,” you weren’t kidding.

    But I suppose the caustic tone of their comments is not surprising when you consider that their blog title is “The Sacrament Is The Gospel.” I always thought the gospel was the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ . . . at least that’s what Paul said it was (1 Cor. 1-4).

  35. That’s just bunk.

    We said nothing of you that you haven’t said about us. Why don’t you go back and read your own comments.

    We just said the truth, that’s all. You folkis have a self-centered theology. One that’s places rationalism over the clear Word of Scripture.

    And now, your noses are all out of joint because you are called on it.

    I’ve tried here, in vain, before to discuss the Sacraments that our Lord has instituted, and you will not have it.

    So be it.

    I leave you to your own religious projects.


  36. Dear OldAdam:

    I don’t see the comparison that you are alleging (and thus justifying) of the discussion here with that of the condescension and vitriol espoused on the Lutheran blog in question. I understand that debates can get a little heated (I’ve personally had to grow thicker skin over the years of moderating this blog), but there’s still a fine line that I would hope not be crossed.

    I also understand that truth it truth, and sometimes it hurts, cuts, and divides. And to refrain, for example, from saying that an unrepentant Jehovah’s Witness is on their way to Hell (just to avoid coming across as harsh) is not productive at all. However, the tone behind what is said is crucial.

    I think you’d agree that to tell a JW in a loving, concerned manner that their destiny is Hell is acceptable, whereas to laugh and mock a JW as you condescendingly remark that they’re headed to Hell is a completely different thing. The former would be deemed acceptable, the latter unacceptable. (This is why we have numbers 3 and 4 in our Rules of Engagement.)

    I use this illustration to point out what I see as a stark difference in tone and delivery of comments on this thread and that of the comments on the other thread. Here there’s politeness and civility from Lutherans, while over there, amongst yourselves, the gloves come off.

    Could you refer me to a comment or remark on this thread that you feel is equal to that in tone of the comments on the Lutheran blog?

    If there are, I apologize in advance and will address it with that person privately in an e-mail.

    Sincerely,
    – Pilgrim

  37. revivalandreformation says:

    Well it’s nice to see that they didn’t leave me out of the fray. Yeesh…putting down Ravenhill and Pirate Radio? Sure no man is perfect and both had their warts, but c’mon, how can one deny the truth when so much evidence is presented unless God has sent a strong delusion…? They sound like a bunch of therapists over there with their “I’m sorry for this…” “You don’t have to apologize, I’m sorry…” Kiss, kiss, hug, hug… It’s pathetic to read about a whole other group of so called Christians who actually will reach out to the lost, convince them through their rhetoric and half-truths to “become” Christians and then not understand that they have just sent them on the one way road to hell. Before I was saved PROPERLY that is, (not saying a prayer or doing anything in and of myself) but when God broke me, saved me and brought me to the place where He created in me a new heart that could submit and call Jesus Christ Lord, I had no idea that there was so much out there that was so deceptive and so destructive. It literally is everywhere and it is so polished. The enemy has done wonders with the church…what a sad state of affairs.

  38. Pilgrim,

    Wow, indeed. It’s interesting to me that you also picked up on the particular snippet from “Larry” that you quoted. After spending a bit of time reading through the Lutheran blog, and noticing the recurring theme of “we’re the only true church, and other churches are heretical/heterodox” (sounds oddly familiar, doesn’t it?); I decided to leave a comment at their blog, however it has never seen the light of day having been held in moderation even though several comments newer than mine have appeared. Here’s the comment in its entirety as it appears on my screen including the “awaiting moderation” language:

    Coram Deo Says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    November 12, 2010 at 2:14 am
    “I would go so far to say that NO reformed/calvinistic baptist church actually retains the Gospel at all and are no more Christian than are mormons or other cults. And I’m NOT being hyperbolic at all.”

    Hi Larry. I followed the ping back from theoldadam’s link to DefCon above, and read through the comments meta. I also checked out a blog just a little.

    That’s a pretty strong anathema you posted above. Of course you’re free to believe as you like about the status of what faith communities are, or aren’t, Christian, but likening Reformed/Reformed Baptist churches to cults seems a bit sectarian to me, to say the least.

    I’m not aware of any serious Reformed/Reformed Baptist theologians who consider Lutherans to be cultists, even considering the grossly unbiblical positions taken by the ELCA. This sort of over-the-top rhetoric may play to the Lutheran crowd, but it only serves to diminish your credibility.

    In fact, in my opinion, your boogey-man caricature here demonstrates that you don’t have even a passing familiarity with Reformed theology.

    Yet if this is what you truly believe, may I ask why you have links on your blog to “non-Christian, cultic” webistes such as Extreme Theology (Chris Rosebrough is a Calvinist) or White Horse Inn?

    I realize there’s one Lutheran, Dr. Ron Rosenbladt, among the White Horse Inn “cultists”; do you believe he wrong, or possibly in sin, for actively endorsing his Reformed/Reformed Baptist co-hosts, and publicly proclaiming them to be his brothers in Christ instead of rebuking them, and reproving their works of darkness?

    In Him,
    CD

    If anyone is interested in knowing what a typical cross-section of Lutherans (including an ordained Lutheran minister – Bryan Bond) thinks of non-Lutherans, a quick review of the link posted by The Pilgrim above should prove to be quite an educational experience.

  39. Kaydee says:

    I am so unbelievably distresssed. I have never before seen this kind of animosity, except in reading books by Catholic apologists who rail against Protestant theology. I was raised Lutheran, but parted ways when the Holy Spirit came and opened my eyes and gave me new life in Jesus. I am so dismayed I am at loss for words, having followed the link to the Lutheran site, and read their comments. Speechless.

  40. DavidW says:

    It breaks my heart to hear of those who resist, or refuse, to really look intelligently and honestly into what God has revealed to us in His word, but instead yield their minds to surface “interpretations” and traditions of men. And to insist on the attitude of “I am of Paul, I am of Apolos, I am of Luther, I am of Calvin”, etc. is contrary to the Scriptures, and betrays one’s loyalty which should only belong to Christ and His word. And to insist one is doctrinally correct without appealing to the whole word of God for support, or to isolate a phrase from it’s immediate context, is futile and meaningless.

    The issue isn’t acknowledging whether or not Jesus spoke sometimes literally and sometimes figuratively, that is easily and readily proven with even a cursory reading of Scripture. The issue is when and where is Jesus speaking literally, and when and where is He speaking figuratively, and how is that to be determined. If we take it upon ourselves to make those distinctions, based upon OUR own presuppositions (what we choose to believe), then our analysis is merely subjective “truth”, and thus only “true” for us. If our “interpretation” is merely a submissive agreement with the “official” or majority consensus of a group, we have merely placed our faith in the opinions of men. Neither of which are sufficient to determine the objective truth of the word of God. Thus what WE THINK any section of Scripture means, or what other men SAY it means, suffers the inadequacy of subjectivism.
    For those who do take the subjective route to “truth” their shifting foundation must necessarily be defended by more subjectivity, and thus railing accusations and demonizing those of a contrary view is the natural course of action, since they have chosen not to appeal to objective truth. And what once began as an identification with a group, is held fast by one’s pride that to admit one’s error is the greatest, and most unacceptable, of failures.

    If, however, one is seriously interested in what God has revealed to man, and is willing to put aside his own presuppositions, subjective standards of interpretation, and lofty associations, He will find that God is quite clear about what He has said, what He means by what He said, and that the rest of His word fully supports any section or phrase therein. Literal meanings are quite plain, as are the figurative.

    In the end it is not a matter of lack of knowledge (for God has abundantly supplied: Rom.1), but rather a lack of submission to God and His truth.

  41. Revivalandreformation says:

    I agree Kaydee, it is indeed depressing to see the fog over their eyes to the point where they seem to see the fog over ours. Boy the devil works his ways well…
    I spoke with a elderly gentleman today (he’s 81), and he confessed being brought up in a Quaker home, learning about the Bible and Christianity but “broke free” from that and now calls himself an atheist. However, by definition, he is not an atheist because he doesn’t believe in nothing, he believes in everything. He believes all paths lead to salvation and there are many gods. He discredited the Bible, Jesus and the whole ball of wax without even taking a breath. I felt God holding me back from arguing, because unless it is the Holy Spirit’s timing, it won’t matter. The same goes with these poor saps, unless the Holy Spirit breaks through the barriers set up by religion and demonic deception…we know the outcome all too well. We can talk a blue streak and it just won’t matter unless the light bulb of spiritual enlightenment via the Holy Spirit comes on.

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