One Problem of Tradition

Protestants are often at a loss to know what is tradition in Roman Catholicism, and where to find it. Is it what is always and everywhere believed? Or is it what the current RC teaches?

Let’s take one example concerning the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist. Now the Eucharist is absolutely central to the RC spirituality. For instance, Eucharisticum Mysterium (May 25, 1967), says this: “The mystery of the Eucharist is the true center of the sacred liturgy and indeed of the whole Christian life.” When one considers the vital importance of the RC self-understanding of the RCC as the extension of the Incarnation of Christ, this becomes a natural conclusion. It would appear, then, that the actual practice of the Eucharist is a vitally important aspect of the RCC.

The problem is this: when it comes to the laity, and whether they can participate in the cup, the RCC has changed its position twice, and in the opposite direction both times. The early church gave the cup to the laity. When the doctrine of concomitance arose in the Middle Ages (concomitance is the doctrine that the entire Christ is present in both the bread and the wine, so that receiving either one receives the whole Christ), the cup was withheld from the laity, mostly because of fear of spilling. Vatican II restored the cup to the laity once again. Was it tradition that developed the doctrine of withholding the cup from the laity? Was it tradition that restored the cup to the laity? If tradition is infallible, then how can it reverse itself? According to the first edition of the New Catholic Encyclopedia, tradition is basically what the current church says: “Tradition is the communication by the living Church of the Christian reality and the expression, either oral or written, of that reality.” St. Vincent of Lerins’s definition, however, is quite different: “Now in the Catholic Church itself we take the greatest care to hold that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all.” In context, it must be noted, he was talking about tradition, particularly in terms of interpretation of Scripture. These definitions of tradition cannot both be correct. Whose is correct, and how does the RCC determine this? Roman Catholics cannot agree on what tradition even is. The result is that private interpretation of what that tradition is and what is included winds up carrying the day. The only way that the RCC can be consistent, in my opinion, on the definition of tradition, is to go with the New Catholic Encyclopedia’s definition, in which case, tradition has contradicted itself in the matter of who gets the cup: tradition, defined as what the current church teaches, taught in the early church that everyone gets the cup. After concomitance, it taught that the laity cannot receive the cup. Now it teaches that the laity should receive the cup. These decisions were all reached through official Roman Catholic documentation.

The truth of what tradition is, then, is able to change over time. The New Catholic Encyclopedia explicitly says this: “Tradition that is living and dynamic must, by the law of life itself, undergo change.” If that is so, how can it have a divine element, which would (presumably, at least) be unchanging?

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38 Comments

  1. Nick said,

    January 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Withholding the cup is not dogma; it’s disciplinary. So this is not a good example of Apostolic Tradition changing (i.e. in terms of dogmas shifting).

    But this teaching is firmly rooted in the Biblical text, particularly 1 Corinthians 11:27, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread *OR* drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body *AND* blood of the Lord.”

    The Greek here uses the term “OR” in the first half and “AND” in the second half, and all good Protestant translations properly translate this. Only the KJV messes up and uses “AND” in both cases, for ideological reasons. But the fact is, this text plainly shows that abusing the bread OR cup makes one guilty of BOTH body and blood. This can also be seen in the fact John 6 emphasizes the Bread.

  2. greenbaggins said,

    January 25, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Nick, are you saying that tradition never treats anything disciplinary? I find that hard to believe. Studying theology with Aquinas as a guide and standard is found in the Book of Canon Law. Is not the Book of Canon Law entirely disciplinary? And yet, the issue of studying Aquinas is surely part of tradition, is it not? How can you put such a sharp distinction between dogma and discipline? Dogma concerning law will inevitably result in discipline, will it not?

    Paul says that unworthy partaking of either element makes one guilty of both elements. This is not the same as saying that partaking of one element is the same as partaking of both elements. Paul phrases it negatively in terms of the “unworthy manner.” One cannot assume that the positively stated concomitance is equivalent to this. As I argued in my paper on intinction, and as Paul states in verse 26, it is only both of them (as distinct sacramental actions) that constitute the proper proclamation of Christ’s death. The sacrifice’s blood must be poured out of the body in the OT. So also, the wine and the bread must be partaken of separately, because that signifies sacrificial death (the life of the flesh is in the blood).

  3. Paul Weinhold said,

    January 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Here is an entry from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I hope will be a helpful piece of evidence in this conversation:

    83 The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus’ teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. the first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.

    Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church’s Magisterium. (source)

    ad maiorem Dei gloriam,
    Paul Weinhold

  4. greenbaggins said,

    January 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Okay, Paul, but that section mentions only “local churches,” not the universal church. If something is being done in the universal church, and is universally changed, then that would not be part of “the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions,” would it?

  5. Dennis said,

    January 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Lane,

    Regarding #3, notice that the Catechism distinguishes two types of tradition. Tradition with a Capital ‘T’ and tradition with a small ‘t’. The Captial ‘T’ Tradition cannot be changed as it was handed down directly from Jesus Christ through the Apostles and yet the small ‘t’ tradition can be influenced by local churches and customs.

    Now in regards to the Eucharist, I believe this may have arose (i.e. my personal opinion) from a dilemma in the middle ages. Back when everyone was going to Church and partaking in both species of the Eucharist, if halfway through, they ran out of the Precious Blood, what happens to all the people who could not partake? What happens if someone 2/3 of the way through drinks all of it and leaves nothing for the rest.

    At that point, the Magisterium thought about it and said that Jesus’ Body and Blood cannot be separated and that partaking in one or the other would be acceptable. It makes sense and would be easier logistically. Having enough wine for a weekly Cathedral mass of 5000 people could be hard to ensure that there is enough for everyone. Also, how do you get that much wine on to the altar? And what happens if you ran out? Do you tell the people who were deprived that they didn’t receive the necessary grace?

    I think these were real questions back in the day that had to be answered.

  6. Pete Holter said,

    January 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Greetings in Christ our Lord, Lane!

    I think that the Tradition of the Church is for us to believe that there are good reasons for withholding the cup, and there are good reasons for not withholding the cup. The conclusion is that the Church may decide that it is better to withhold under certain conditions and for particular reasons, and also better to not withhold under certain other conditions and for other particular reasons. And it may be even better for the Church to maintain both practices side-by-side in order to express the fullness of our faith in the life of the Church through a variety of ways since the full truth of what we believe can’t be expressed by either sacramental practice alone. Here are some relevant thoughts…

    The Council of Trent
    “Wherefore, this holy Synod—instructed by the Holy Spirit, who is the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of godliness, and following the judgment and usage of the Church itself—declares and teaches, that laymen, and clerics when not consecrating, are not obliged, by any divine precept, to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist under both species; and that neither can it by any means be doubted, without injury to faith, that communion under either species is sufficient for them unto salvation. For, although Christ, the Lord, in the last supper, instituted and delivered to the apostles, this venerable sacrament in the species of bread and wine; not therefore do that institution and delivery tend thereunto, that all the faithful of Church be bound, by the institution of the Lord, to receive both species. But neither is it rightly gathered, from that discourse which is in the sixth of John—however according to the various interpretations of holy Fathers and Doctors it be understood—that the communion of both species was enjoined by the Lord; for He who said, ‘Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you’ (v. 54), also said; ‘He that eateth this bread shall live for ever’ (v. 59); and He who said, ‘He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life’ (v. 55), also said; ‘The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world’ (v. 52); and, in fine—He who said; ‘He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, abideth in me and I in him’ (v. 57), said, nevertheless; ‘He that eateth this bread shall live for ever’ (v. 59).”

    Catechism of the Council of Trent
    Why The Celebrant Alone Receives Under Both Species

    “It is clear that the Church was influenced by numerous and most cogent reasons, not only to approve, but also to confirm by authority of its decree, the general practice of communicating under one species. In the first place, the greatest caution was necessary to avoid spilling the blood of the Lord on the ground, a thing that seemed not easily to be avoided, if the chalice were administered in a large assemblage of the people.

    “In the next place, whereas the Holy Eucharist ought to be in readiness for the sick, it was very much to be apprehended, were the species of wine to remain long unconsumed, that it might turn acid.

    “Besides, there are many who cannot at all bear the taste or even the smell of wine. Lest, therefore, what is intended for the spiritual health should prove hurtful to the health of the body, it has been most prudently provided by the Church that it should be administered to the people under the species of bread only.

    “We may also further observe that in many countries wine is extremely scarce; nor can it, moreover, be brought from elsewhere without incurring very heavy expenses and encountering very tedious and difficult journeys.

    “Finally, a most important reason was the necessity of opposing the heresy of those who denied that Christ, whole and entire, is contained under either species, and asserted that the body is contained under the species of bread without the blood, and the blood under the species of wine without the body. In order, therefore, to place more clearly before the eyes of all the truth of the Catholic faith, Communion under one kind, that is, under the species of bread, was most wisely introduced.

    “There are also other reasons, collected by those who have treated on this subject, and which, if it shall appear necessary, can be brought forward by pastors.”

    Catechism of the Catholic Church
    “Since Christ is sacramentally present under each of the species, communion under the species of bread alone makes it possible to receive all the fruit of Eucharistic grace. For pastoral reasons this manner of receiving communion has been legitimately established as the most common form in the Latin rite. But ‘the sign of communion is more complete when given under both kinds, since in that form the sign of the Eucharistic meal appears more clearly.’ This is the usual form of receiving communion in the Eastern rites” (1390).

    With love in Christ,
    Pete

  7. Nick said,

    January 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    I would say a good example of the dogma-discipline distinction is Acts 15, where the dogmatic aspect was the Gentiles don’t have to be circumcised and the disciplinary aspect was the 4 prohibitions. These 4 prohibitions were eventually removed by the Church as different circumstances dictated. If you don’t make this distinction, then the 4 prohibitions are just as unchangeable/dogmatic as no circumcision.

    You said:

    Paul says that unworthy partaking of either element makes one guilty of both elements. This is not the same as saying that partaking of one element is the same as partaking of both elements.

    I think you’re mixing two issues here. Paul says partaking either ELEMENT makes one guilty of both REALITIES. This is an important distinction. What you are saying is that eating the consecrated bread is not the same as eating the consecrated bread along with drinking the consecrated cup. This is true, but that’s because both elements are not the same, but both elements contain the same reality. As a crude example, Matthew and Mark are different Gospels, but they contain the same essential content. Without this distinction, I don’t see how you can coherently exegete 11:27.

  8. Bryan Cross said,

    January 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Lane,

    In its teaching concerning receiving the Eucharist under both species, the Council of Trent stated something quite relevant to your question:

    It [i.e. This Council] declares furthermore, that in the dispensation of the sacraments, salva illorum substantia [saving their substance], the Church may, according to circumstances, times and places, determine or change whatever she may judge most expedient for the benefit of those receiving them or for the veneration of the sacraments; and this power has always been hers. The Apostle seems to have clearly intimated this when he said: Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God; and that he himself exercised this power, as in many other things so in this sacrament, is sufficiently manifest, for after having given some instructions regarding its use, he says: “The rest I will set in order when I come.” Wherefore, though from the beginning of the Christian religion the use of both forms has not been infrequent, yet since that custom has been already very widely changed, holy mother Church, cognizant of her authority in the administration of the sacraments, has, induced by just and weighty reasons, approved this custom of communicating under either species and has decreed that it be considered the law, which may not be repudiated or changed at pleasure without the authority of the Church. (Session XXI, chapter 2)

    The Church may (while remaining orthodox) make changes to what is accidental to the dispensation of the sacraments, by the prudential judgments of the magisterium. But she cannot make changes that do not “save the substance,” because that would be to deny and abandon the Tradition. That is, this distinction between what is of the essence of the sacrament, and what is not, allows room for the magisterium to make certain types of changes to the traditional practice, for prudential reasons, while preserving and not violating the Apostolic deposit. There is a distinction between what is of the essence of the sacrament (according to the Tradition) and what belonged to the Apostolic practice but not to the essence of the Apostolic deposit as perpetually normative.

    So when speaking of a “deviation from the Tradition” or of “innovation,” it is essential to distinguish between deviating from the substance of the Tradition and thus from that which is perpetually normative, and deviating from that which belongs to the Tradition but not to its substance as perpetually normative. Deviations and innovations at the level of the essence of the Tradition would be heretical. But deviations and innovations at the level of that which is not of the essence of the Tradition are not heretical. They may be prudent, or imprudent, depending on the circumstances and consequences, but they are not heretical. From the Catholic point of view, the magisterium has the authority to make those sorts of changes (i.e. at the level of what does not belong to the essence of the Tradition), but the magisterium does not have the authority to change that which belongs to the essence of the Apostolic deposit.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  9. greenbaggins said,

    January 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Okay, I understand the differences and distinctions that you all are trying to make here. But how is the proclamation of the death of Christ to be done without the symbolism of blood separated from body? I would argue, then, that taking communion under both kinds is of the essence of the sacrament itself, not a mere matter of its administration. You can’t proclaim the death of Christ without the blood separated from the body, and both partaken of.

  10. Bryan Cross said,

    January 26, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Lane, (re: #9)

    But how is the proclamation of the death of Christ to be done without the symbolism of blood separated from body?

    It isn’t. There is no Eucharist without the consecration of *both* bread *and* wine.

    I would argue, then, that taking communion under both kinds is of the essence of the sacrament itself, not a mere matter of its administration.

    Instead of using the subjunctive (“I would argue …”), which says that you would give the argument [under counterfactual conditions], but then under the present actual conditions don’t actually provide the argument, why don’t you just go ahead and provide the argument, so that it can be evaluated? Anyone can claim to have an argument, but then not show it, and thereby avoiding subjecting it to evaluation.

    If you just mean to *assert* (rather than present an argument) that the laity receiving under both species belongs to the essence of the sacrament, then it comes down to a question of authority. What authority do you have, to determine for all Christians what does and does not belong to the essence of the sacrament?

    You can’t proclaim the death of Christ without the blood separated from the body, and both partaken of.

    The priest must receive both. So both are partaken of. The question is whether it belongs to the essence of the sacrament that the *laity also* receive under both kinds. And the Church answered that question in the negative. So to trump the Church here you need to show you have more authority than does the magisterium.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  11. greenbaggins said,

    January 26, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Bryan, when I say “I would argue,” I usually mean “I am arguing.” So, that is my argument. I argue from the exegesis of 1 Cor 11:26, addressed to the whole church (second person plurals!), not just to the priest, that the eating and the drinking together (by the whole church) constitutes the proclamation of the Lord’s death. The question is this, because you will immediately respond with “that’s just your own private interpretation,” did God mean anything by that verse quite apart from my own private “interpretation?” Some of the other commenters are quite naturally raising the point as to whether the Bible means anything apart from the church’s say-so. Did God mean anything by it? Can God’s words have their own authority simply because it is God saying it? If so, where is the infallible commentary on the Bible for which we have waited so long?

  12. greenbaggins said,

    January 26, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Wait just a minute! I just realized something, Bryan. You just said above that communion under one kind was not a matter of the Tradition with capital T. It was something that the church could change. But now, when I argue that communion under both kinds is essential to the nature of the sacrament, you say that I need an authority greater than the magisterium. Which is it? Did the magisterium infallibly proclaim on this or not? Is it a matter of Tradition or tradition?

  13. michael said,

    January 26, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Bryan cites: (“It [i.e. This Council] declares furthermore, that in the dispensation of the sacraments, salva illorum substantia [saving their substance], the Church may, according to circumstances, times and places, determine or change whatever she may judge most expedient for the benefit of those receiving them or for the veneration of the sacraments; and this power has always been hers.”).

    What I find troubling here with that is the presumption that Scripture does not give the Church.

    Notice the consequences for anyone partaking of these unworthily and by Whom?

    The judging is the “Lord’s” not man’s yet as you read in that citation there is clearly over reach and presumption on the part of thei system saying they hold the “judging”!

    29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
    30 For this cause many [are] weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
    31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
    32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

    And to boot here the Apostle teaching self examination. Does their religious system permit that?

  14. Nick said,

    January 26, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Michael,

    The Church Council of Acts 15 shows the Church can prohibit members from doing certain things, even if those things are not intrinsically bad. It only makes sense that the Church can also dictate how the Sacraments are to be received. You also have to realize that this approach is also directly tied to how we view the Sacraments. For example, if you believe the Eucharist is a mere symbol, then of course it’s absurd to suggest only receive ‘half’ of the Sacrament. But if the Eucharist is fully and substantially Jesus, then both elements fully contain Him, meaning to receive only one of the elements you receive the fullness of the Sacrament. 1 Corinthians 11:27 strongly suggests this, as does John 6.

  15. michael said,

    January 26, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Nick,

    and this is your/the response to the point I am making and an answer to the question prohibiting RC’s from self examination?

  16. Nick said,

    January 26, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I’m not sure what you’re question is then, but I would say the Reformed system is completely turned on its head by the verse you cited,

    “32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.”

    This totally goes against the Reformed idea Christians are beyond condemnation. Clearly, the Christian must be able to be corrected by chastisement precisely so that they will not be (in the future) condemned with the world.

  17. michael said,

    January 26, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Nick,

    Your very sentence from the very first comment you imply discipline in the system RC’s follow that has changed twice as has been pointed out in here. Who gave the RCC authority to change His Tradition established by Him and taught in 1 Corinthians 11?

    My question is does your system teach you that you are to do a self examination or not with regard to the citations from 1 Corinthians 11 posted regarding “why” some are weak, sickly or died?

    Also I would note what you are doing is ironic especially because if I’m not mistaken you are an active participator at CTC?

    As Peter wrote the True Believe has been called by Grace to the Father’s Eternal Glory in Christ ( 1 Peter 5 ).

    The partaking of the sacraments, taking His Body and Blood by the Tradition He established, as a remembrance, using the bread and wine, is one of the most personal and intimate of forms of worship yet you can only parse out that one verse impugning the integrity of this true call to true communion for which the Saints have been give His Faith.

    It seems you have not received the gift of Eternal Life (John 17:3).

    Please answer the question asked. Does your system teach that you do the self examination as the Scriptures teach?

  18. Bryan Cross said,

    January 26, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Lane, (re: #11)

    Bryan, when I say “I would argue,” I usually mean “I am arguing.” So, that is my argument.

    Ok, but your statement “I would argue, then, that taking communion under both kinds is of the essence of the sacrament itself, not a mere matter of its administration” is not an argument, and does not provide any argument, but provides only the alleged conclusion of the argument.

    I argue from the exegesis of 1 Cor 11:26, addressed to the whole church (second person plurals!), not just to the priest, that the eating and the drinking together (by the whole church) constitutes the proclamation of the Lord’s death.

    I haven’t seen your exegesis of this verse, or your argument from the exegesis. How does “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the chalice, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” entail that the laity partaking under both species belongs to the essence of the sacrament?

    The question is this, because you will immediately respond with “that’s just your own private interpretation,” did God mean anything by that verse quite apart from my own private “interpretation?”

    Yes, of course God meant something by that verse.

    Some of the other commenters are quite naturally raising the point as to whether the Bible means anything apart from the church’s say-so.

    Yes, because they mistakenly assume that the only alternative to the reign of private judgment is the meaninglessness of the text.

    Can God’s words have their own authority simply because it is God saying it?

    Of course God’s words have their own authority simply because it is God saying it. Interpretive authority and intrinsic authority are not mutually exclusive, as though we must choose between them. Once again, in this paradigm it is both/and.

    Re: (comment #12)

    Wait just a minute! I just realized something, Bryan. You just said above that communion under one kind was not a matter of the Tradition with capital T. It was something that the church could change. But now, when I argue that communion under both kinds is essential to the nature of the sacrament, you say that I need an authority greater than the magisterium. Which is it? Did the magisterium infallibly proclaim on this or not? Is it a matter of Tradition or tradition?

    Your “Which is it?” question suggests that I have contradicted myself, or at least presented two mutually exclusive claims as both true. But let’s be clear and careful. What I explained in comment #8 is that according to the Tradition, reception of both species by the laity is not of the essence of the sacrament. Then when you claimed in comment #9 that reception of both species by the laity is of the essence of the sacrament, I said in comment #10 that in order “to trump the Church here you need to show you have more authority than does the magisterium.” The claim I made in comment #8 is fully compatible with the claim I made in #10. Therefore your “Which is it?” question presupposes a false dichotomy. Your mistake was treating a negative statement concerning the content of Tradition (i.e. that reception by the laity is not of the essence of the sacrament) as though the negativity meant that this truth does not belong to the Tradition (i.e. “was not a matter of the Tradition”, as you put it).

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  19. Don said,

    January 26, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Brian #18,

    Interpretive authority and intrinsic authority are not mutually exclusive, as though we must choose between them. Once again, in this paradigm it is both/and.

    So OK, to push the conversation forward, which authority is ultimate? The text’s intrinsic authority or the interpretation of the text? (I suppose one should write Interpretation with a capital I, since we’re dealing with one specific brand of interpretation.)

    Is the interpretive authority ultimate, in which case the text is subjugated to its Interpretation? Or is the text itself the ultimate authority, in which case the interpretation is authoritative only to the degree which it correctly handles the text?

    “Both/and” is not a valid answer as to which is ultimate. For if the authority of the text depends on the authority of the interpretation, then the text is impotent without the (correct brand of) Interpretation. I suppose one could argue both/and in the sense that without the text, there’s nothing to interpret, but then the text merely serves as the raw material from which to build the authoritative Interpretation.

  20. Nick said,

    January 27, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Michael,

    You asked:

    Who gave the RCC authority to change His Tradition established by Him and taught in 1 Corinthians 11?

    First you need to distinguish between Dogmatic Traditions and Disciplinary Traditions. I don’t see you doing that. If you are suggesting the Catholic Church has the authority to change Dogmatic Traditions, then you’re mistaken on what kind of authority the Catholic Church has. Dogmas cannot be changed. If you’re asking who gave the Catholic Church authority to change Disciplinary Traditions, then the answer would be Jesus gave the Catholic Church this authority. If your question is meant to suggest it isn’t the Catholic Church but rather another Church that actually has this authority, then I’d ask you to point out in concrete terms which body this is and who are its official leaders.

    You asked:

    My question is does your system teach you that you are to do a self examination or not with regard to the citations from 1 Corinthians 11 posted regarding “why” some are weak, sickly or died?

    Of course. The Catholic Church is very clear that one must examine themselves before they receive communion. The Catholic Church teaches it is a grave sin and spiritually ruinous to receive Holy Communion when your heart is not right with God. This has never changed from the time of the Apostles.

    You asked:

    Also I would note what you are doing is ironic especially because if I’m not mistaken you are an active participator at CTC?

    I don’t see what participating at another blog has to do with the questions at hand.

    You said:

    The partaking of the sacraments, taking His Body and Blood by the Tradition He established, as a remembrance, using the bread and wine, is one of the most personal and intimate of forms of worship yet you can only parse out that one verse impugning the integrity of this true call to true communion for which the Saints have been give His Faith.

    I would say this comment fails to realize Catholics and Protestants have a very different understanding of the Eucharist. From the Catholic point of view, Protestants don’t have a valid Eucharist, thus they cannot really participate in the Sacrament, and in fact cannot even worship God in the formal manner He established. It is very serious business for Catholics to claim the Eucharist is truly Christ’s Body and Blood while Protestant Christians claim it is a mere symbol.

    You asked:

    Please answer the question asked. Does your system teach that you do the self examination as the Scriptures teach?

    As noted above, Yes. To get you to realize how much more Biblical the Catholic position is, I would say your system cannot explain the “OR” in 11:27a nor the chastisement in 11:32.

  21. michael said,

    January 27, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Nick,

    Thank you very much for your carefully thought out answers.

    I’m now using my iPhone so I might respond piecemeal ?

    First, you respond: (Dogmas cannot be changed. ).

    Oh?

    Then can you point to Scripture that teaches Mariology; a Magisterium, a papacy where a pope decrees dogmas that are not Biblical or extra Biblical?

    You asked: (If your question is meant to suggest it isn’t the Catholic Church but rather another Church that actually has this authority, then I’d ask you to point out in concrete terms which body this is and who are its official leaders.).

    Yes. Jesus said He was given the task to build His Church and went so far as to pray for Her sanctification in the subsequent generations, a sanctification by the power of the Everpresent Holy Spirit as Peter noted when summing up his beliefs about this growing active vital Church Jesus began at Pentacost (Acts 2); ( see also John 17:15-21 and 1 Peter 1:1-2).

    We see later on the early stages of the Bride of Christ taking shape at Acts 15 and that Jerusalem Council. What I find interesting about that is the first five verses of chapter 16. Clearly Peter was not the “head” guy at the council yet both he and the Apostle Paul during their evangelism ministries embraced and taught that Council’s decision. What I cannot do is connect the dots of the whole book of Acts and the “leadership” dogma of the Apostles who gave their own intent of ongoing leadership training with the usurpation teachings that have developed over time and implemented from the RCC?

    You further write: (Of course. The Catholic Church is very clear that one must examine themselves before they receive communion. ).

    Wow, I’m glad to hear that as one who went catechism for a time at St. Joesph’s! My question to you is who determines when a child is ready to take communion? And of course you agree that it is sole work of God’s Holy Spirit that determines whether or not one is taking the bread and wine in an unworthy manner? And He alone causes one to be weak, ill or dies?

    …For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. (1 Corinthians 11:29, 30 ESV)

    I wrote and you responded thus: (Also I would note what you are doing is ironic especially because if I’m not mistaken you are an active participator at CTC?

    Your response:
    I don’t see what participating at another blog has to do with the questions at hand.).

    I admit that might not have been appropriate and if you take offense at that accept my apology? This subject I as well take personal and am obviously coming from a Reformed point of view. I was playing on the words “called to communion CTC)!

    Both of us cannot be right here on these very important yet joyfully freeing truths which makes for a grave outcome for the side wrong!
    You write: (I would say this comment fails to realize Catholics and Protestants have a very different understanding of the Eucharist. ).

    Ok. I might not have nearly the depth of comprehension as you do in your faith and practice of the Eucharist. After all I left the RCC when I was a wee lad except for those pesky Easter and Christmas Masses I went to because my Dad was raise Catholic on our Indian Reservation! After leaving home and going whole hog into the world I came to a time of God’s true Grace that His Holy Spirit put on my ruined soul back fresh from college in 1975. I entered the Ministry then and was trained in the Ministry and been active with the Lord daily ever since! I’ve been ecumenical meetings as a Minister and I even once was invited to your Washington D.C. consulate and discussed matters of politics and theology with Cardinal McCurrin, I believe that’s his name?

    I think and am confident I do realize there is a great difference between our understandings of these things? I do have to humbly accept I could be wrong now that you mention it?

    Finally, you write: (As noted above, Yes. To get you to realize how much more Biblical the Catholic position is, I would say your system cannot explain the “OR” in 11:27a nor the chastisement in 11:32.).

    Duly noted!

    Again thank you Nick for taking your time to respond and hope my reciprocity is accepted as well?

  22. Rooney said,

    January 27, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Well, the “or” in 1 Cor 11:27 could just mean if you mess up in one form, you are automatically guilty of both blood and body. Of the oldest manuscripts, some read “or” and some read “and”. However, the surrounding few verses, never say “bread or cup” but “bread and cup”.

    Would giving only the bread without the wine (or wine alone), be counted as taking the communion unworthily?
    If not, why dont the RCC stay bread alone?
    If I am a priest and decided that I would have it bread alone (or wine alone), because I could save money for a good purpose, is that ok?

  23. Ron said,

    January 28, 2013 at 9:17 am

    So OK, to push the conversation forward, which authority is ultimate? The text’s intrinsic authority or the interpretation of the text?

    Don,

    Which authority is greater, Exodus 20 or Jesus’ interpretation given in Matthew 5-7?

    The problem is not that an interpretation can be as ultimate as that which it interprets. The problem is Scripture always must await Rome’s imprimatur for a RC. For the RC Scripture must conform to tradition but tradition need not, and often does not, conform to Scripture.

  24. Don said,

    January 28, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Ron #23,
    Sorry, I thought from the sentence after the one you quoted, that I had clarified which particular Interpretation I was talking about (that of the RCC).

  25. Nick said,

    January 28, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Michael,

    I can point to scriptures that teach those things you asked about, but this isn’t my blog and is not the subject of this thread.

    In response to my questions (which hopefully were on topic), I did not see you show me in any concrete way which body out there is the Church Jesus established and who the official leaders are. If you cannot give actual names of official leaders of Jesus’ church, then I’d say effectively disqualifies your denomination from contention of the title “One True Church that Jesus established”. It would be hard to convince me to jump ship otherwise.

    As for receiving in an unworthy manner, I agree with you that ultimately only the Holy Spirit knows if someone is receiving unworthily and the Holy Spirit doles out punishments as He sees fit. The Church can only judge by external factors, which is why until about a generation or so ago most Protestants were closed-communion.

    The only other thing I’d still like you or some Reformed around here to answer is how 1 Corinthians 11:32 is compatible with Reformed theology. To me it seems like it soundly refutes faith alone.

  26. Nick said,

    January 28, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Rooney,

    You said: “Well, the “or” in 1 Cor 11:27 could just mean if you mess up in one form, you are automatically guilty of both blood and body.”

    This seems to be merely restating the question/problem. How are you guilty of both if only one is abused and there is no overlap?

    You also said: “Of the oldest manuscripts, some read “or” and some read “and”.”

    I’m not sure if that’s true, but all the Protestant translations I’ve consulted (except KJV) say “OR”. But even if it was true, I’d say that poses serious problems for you, since Protestantism must ultimately fall back on what popular opinion among conservative scholars say. (The 1/27/13 article on Called To Communion by Casey Chalk highlights this problem in retards to Mark 16:9-20 and John 8:1-8)

    You asked me: “Would giving only the bread without the wine (or wine alone), be counted as taking the communion unworthily?”

    No, because that’s not what “unworthy” pertains to.

  27. michael said,

    January 28, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Nick,

    Again I appreciate your continuing to exchange ideas here with me and others.

    As to the motive why, well we will just have to acknowledge there is some reason you continue a dialogue with us?

    As for your response to my careful response to the question about the “one true church” and Her specific leaders knowing somewhat the structure of the RCC it makes perfect sense why you did not comprehend my explanation.

    I hasten to say that the Holy Spirit is spiritually known to those conjoined to Christ baptized into His “Spiritual House” who are in regular communion with each other in a given locality. The Holy Spirit bears or produces the Fruit of self existence and we can know the kind of tree you are by the “fruit” or “Fruit” experienced. God’s Fruit is distinguishable from man’s among men of the Spirit.

    God is not the author of confusion so if for some reason I go to a nearby or far away town or city and come to a service of a gathering of True Believers Spirit filled those present full of the Spirit will be able to discern that very same Spirit of Christ in me at work in their midst by the fruit I bear. Also because the Scripture clearly makes distinctions about those holding by His Grace and Mercy and Peace the leadership role in this local “congregation” I will be able to know them as the leaders. This Biblical structure, a spiritual structure, is spiritually knowable as our senses are practiced to discern between the Voice Of the Spirit Who we can hear and that of the flesh. Of course this mechanism, SPIRITUAL in essence, does not conform to that structure men over time have created that we know as the RCC religious system.

    The thing is Jesus taught one must be born again into this Spiritual House, the Father’s House where They will forever after dwell. No man can make you a member of this Spiritual House by any ceremony. Being made a part of this House and a member in particular is reserved for an Act of God and that Act of God is an Act done before the foundation of the world. You know this dogma as predestination.

    Each of us has a soul and the soul is very closely like the human spirit so knowledge amassed by a group seems spiritual in nature not to mention the manifestation of “spirits” through human agents, (see 2Cor. 12-15) so it is easy to confuse between the True Body of Christ and the false.

    In your order your popes are elevated by a vote of men while in Christ’s order your leadership role is manifested by the Spirit’s work in the local House by foreknowledge. We recognize parity of “offices” with the main function as chief servant in the local congregation or fellowship.

    This reality of True Biblical Leadership works and the Fruit Of the Spirit is discerned by the members whom The Lord added to this local congregation or fellowship because they too are born again. This structure experiences a True Spiritual manifestation of Christ as the Head of this local Body through those He has placed in the local Ministry “office” of that local Body of True Believers to exercise Spiritual Authority. Now this does not guarantee this leader will not fail or operate from their flesh because their spiritual fruit is known and can be discerned the same as all those of the House whom the Spirit of Grace manifests through as well can be discerned. If I visit a True Spiritual House, a local “Body of Christ” it will be easy to discern my spirit by these Spirit filled men if I too am “Spirit filled” and they will know me by my fruit whether the Fruit of the Spirit is present or it is just fruits of my flesh?

    Our highest office in the Church is that of a Son and Daughter, we are Brethren. The next highest would be their natural born child that then is also “born again”. Then there are the offices of the Church. We have a bottom up reality but we do honor our office holders and yes some may receive inordinate appreciation. We worship God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit above all creations. These verses succinctly captures the essence of what I mean: 2 Cor.13:11 Finally, brothers,[fn] rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another,[fn] agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
    12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
    13 All the saints greet you.
    14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

    When I see the way many within the RCC express extreme or inordinate adoration for the Pope, Jesus’ mother, Mary, Cardinals and other leadership within your discipline as well as rulings from your Magisterium I get uncomfortable.

    Nick, let me ask, have you ever prayed to Mary lighting incense or candles?

  28. Nick said,

    January 28, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Michael,

    I don’t know how well you know history, but that view of the Church you described is nowhere to be found except in the post-denominational Protestantism of our modern day. Even the original Protestant sects did not operate like that, at least the ones backed by famous theologians like Luther, Calvin, Knox, etc. The original Protestant denominations were closed communion and united around their own Confessions. There were concrete criteria and actual names of denominational leaders.

    All I asked for is actual names. What you said is that you have some ability to just walk into any given congregation and tell if a pastor is legit or not. That comes across as you saying you judge the world’s pastors, or at least see them on par with you. I suspect that maybe you’ll see the problem if you try to volunteer a name, like Pastor Billy Bob who leads 4th Baptist Church on the corner of Church and Main, since everyone will begin examining just what criteria makes him a genuine spokesman for Jesus’ Church and find that test wanting. This is why Newman came to the conclusion that “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant,” because he didn’t see any historical testimony for Protestant style ecclesiology. The only option is Church-wide apostasy, but that has its own problems. That’s why for the Catholic, any Biblical model of the Church that isn’t found in Church history is automatically suspect.

    If you cannot give the name of an official (currently living) Church leader, then at least address my second question on how 1 Cor 11:32 is compatible with Reformed soteriology.

  29. michael said,

    January 28, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Nick,

    Granted I am not that intelligent or as knowledgeable as you.

    My description does indeed describe a closed system. You said :”The original Protestant denominations were closed communion and united around their own Confessions.”

    What I described works both ways in the true judging process in the ordinary course of discovery when I, a stranger, happens to seek communion with those of kindred spirit in a town or city I have not been to where I do not know anyone. Of course there is guidance as to when, me, a stranger comes into another fellowship openly seeking communion so the leadership and the mature among the group can test the veracity and quality of the fruit of the stranger, me, who visits their service for the time.

    Everyone soon enough will qualify the “fruit”. It works both ways between us at the time of the visit.

    As for naming names of the leader/pastor generally there is a marque with his name on it. And also within a close region or area where there are a number of Reformed and Confessional churches there is already a familiarity as to who’s who.

    I believe I understand your argument but its presupposition is based in your religious framework not ours, that is the general Protestant governmental structures that currently exist. Granted there is a broad range of structures that make up the Reformed Churches and I have listened to debates and read commentary that makes clear the differences between this broad range and your (the RCC) religious system.

    What do you want to achieve with your line of inquiry about names and governmental structures? What are you attempting to prove? Do you wish to prove your system discrediting mine?

    I’m not certain what you are attempting to prove by drawing me out with regard to 1 Cor.11:32? I can say this that The Lord knows those whom the Father has given to Him to bring to salvation and is under no obligation to save those whose names are not recorded in His book of Life. We are subject to the chastening of The Lord and without it we are none of His?

    What is your argument here that would distinguish your disciplinary action over ours? That explanation might help me understand your relevant issue regarding Protestant soteriology, the Lord’s judgment and those under condemnation?

    I take that verse in 1 Corinthians 11 to be relevant to these: John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
    18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

    If you have not been given His Faith to believe then you are already under condemnation.

    One’s salvation is from God. No one chooses The Lord that they might be saved. Rather salvation is of The Lord as Jesus made plain, here:

    John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

  30. January 29, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I recommend this two-part video with Bob Godfrey of WSC. It’s very helpful at getting to the heart of the problems of Roman Catholic Tradition: http://heidelblog.net/2013/01/godfrey-on-rome/

  31. Rooney said,

    January 29, 2013 at 4:26 am

    From #26:
    <>

    Why not?

  32. michael said,

    January 29, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Bemmel,

    Excellent 10-12 minute two part summation by Dr. Godfrey! I like how he characterizes this when he says something to the effect the RCC is adept and light footed as they move around explaining the obvious discontinuity from the First Century ECF’s to present day interpretation of their evolving traditions with their subsequent councils arriving at variance with prior councils and writers; his point about how Dr. Augustine clearly had another interpretation on the bread and wine! It seems these current RC commenters in here are arguing the same ways as has been their spirit that argues historically? I guess it is a truism that birds of a feather flock together?

    Thanks for putting that short two part link up on this blog!

  33. Ron said,

    January 29, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Hi Don,

    Re: 23-24

    I did understand you the first time. By point was that God’s revelation in Exodus 20 through Moses is no less authoritative than God’s revelation of the interpretation of Moses through Matthew given by God. In other words, a basic premise you and I operate under is that an interpretation of a doctrine and the original doctrine itself can be equally authoritative. Therefore, it’s to play by a double standard to expect a Roman Catholic to have to choose between an interpretation of a doctrine and the doctrine itself. Indeed, the interpretive Roman magisterium does not carry the authority of Scripture, but we can’t successfully prove our point by arguing “which authority is ultimate? The text’s intrinsic authority or the interpretation of the text?”

    No biggy… just wanted to close the loop. :)

  34. Nick said,

    January 29, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Hello Michael,

    You asked:

    What do you want to achieve with your line of inquiry about names and governmental structures? What are you attempting to prove? Do you wish to prove your system discrediting mine?

    Within the context of this discussion, you challenged the idea the Church can have the authority to make decisions on how the Sacraments are given. I showed from Acts 15 and 16:4 that the Church does indeed have this authority, so the only question left is whether “the Church” is the Catholic Church or whether “the Church” is your denomination. My argument was that if you cannot show me “the Church” in concrete terms, including an official Church leader, then Rome automatically has preference in terms of the unbiased Seeker trying to locate the true Church with the authorities shown in Acts 16:4. The notion of autonomous congregations is directly contrary to Acts 15. It in effect says there are no bishops, only local pastors that teach/worship as they personally see fit.

    You said:

    I’m not certain what you are attempting to prove by drawing me out with regard to 1 Cor.11:32? … What is your argument here that would distinguish your disciplinary action over ours? That explanation might help me understand your relevant issue regarding Protestant soteriology, the Lord’s judgment and those under condemnation?

    Paul says in 1 Cor 11:32 that God chastises believers “so that” they will “not be condemned along with the world.” This means that Christians are not currently beyond condemnation due to, e.g., the Imputed Righteousness of Christ. Instead, they only avoid condemnation by staying on the right path, with God’s chastisement designed to keep them on track.

    As an equivalent example, the Reformed teach that all future sins the Christian will commit are forgiven at the moment they’re Justified, but Scripture only speaks of past sins forgiven and says a Christian must repent whenever they fall into sin so that the sin will be forgiven (e.g. Mark 11:25).

  35. michael said,

    January 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Nick,

    Clearly you are being anachronistic with your interpretation of the Scriptures you are seeking my interpretation of. It seems you are putting your church’s dogma into those verses we are questioning to make them supportive of it?

    Please explain how you connect the dots from your church’s understanding of the Eucharist mass and the ruling all agreed upon once James gave it after a lengthly debate there in the Jerusalem Council? As you must surely know the question under consideration had nothing to do with one’s orthopraxy (the sacrament of remembrance of Christ’s life, death, burial and resurrection that “He” established in the upper house at the last supper) but their coming to understand that God had opened the door of salvation to non-Messianic Jews because Gentiles were hearing the Gospel with ears of Faith, converting to Christ as thei Messiah because they too were being given the gift of repentance and Grace and then started joining this newly birthed Church in droves! Some of these Jews were insisting Gentiles must conform to Jewish customs and more specifically the rite of circumcision? There is no implication of bread and wine being considered at the Jerusalem Council. If there is in either chapters 15 & 16 of Acts highlight the verses for me to consider.

    Also explain what the difference is between those born in sin under the condemnation of the world ( John 3:18) and the judgment or rather the discipline (a chastening from The Lord) all God’s Elect Children experience in the process of their sanctification and as is specific in Paul’s teaching that when one of God’s Elect partakes in an unworthy manner the bread and wine they suffer a judgment of some level with the most extreme the loss of their natural life as administered by the Holy Spirit? The one, the condemnation one is abiding in because they do not live by His Faith, and the other, all True Believers experience discipline as one of God’s Elect, an experience as a matter of course in their sanctification process, a condemnation and discipline after or repeatedly partaking the sacrament in an unworthy manner?

    Have you forgotten these verses?

    Hebrews 12:4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
    5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.
    6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
    7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
    8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

  36. Nick said,

    January 29, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Hello Michael,

    You asked me:

    Please explain how you connect the dots from your church’s understanding of the Eucharist mass and the ruling all agreed upon once James gave it after a lengthly debate there in the Jerusalem Council? As you must surely know the question under consideration had nothing to do with one’s orthopraxy

    I originally quoted Acts 15 for Lane, to show him that the Council ruled upon both a Dogmatic and a Disciplinary issue. The Council Dogmatically ruled that circumcision is not required to be saved, but in terms of Discipline it gave 4 Prohibitions (no blood, no food sacrificed to idols, etc). This proves the Church leaders have the authority to make binding pronouncements on both Dogma and Discipline. This ruling was done at the world headquarters for the Church, Jerusalem, and this ruling was binding on all Christians, as we see in Acts 16:4 that Paul carried these teachings (the Dogma and 4 Disciplines) on his mission to them.

    This Biblical data is not the image of a bunch of autonomous house-churches scattered across Palestine, Asia Minor, and Italy, in which the local pastor is only are concerned with and only can make decisions for the members inside a given house-church.

    You also asked:

    Also explain what the difference is between those born in sin under the condemnation of the world ( John 3:18) and the judgment or rather the discipline (a chastening from The Lord) all God’s Elect Children experience in the process of their sanctification and as is specific in Paul’s teaching that when one of God’s Elect partakes in an unworthy…?

    Those currently in a condemned state, “the world,” are those who are living outside the New Covenant. Christians are not presently in a condemned state because they live in the New Covenant. God’s chastisement, meaning His Fatherly correction, is to keep Christians on the right path, keeping them in the New Covenant.

    In Reformed theology, as you probably know, Jesus was condemned in place of the Christian. Thus, there can never be any condemnation for the Christian. But according to Scripture, particularly this verse, Christians are not avoiding condemnation because Jesus was condemned in their place, but rather because God is chastising them. The ‘ground’ or ‘basis’ for their non-condemnation is not Christ’s Imputed Righteousness, but rather their own Christian living, to which God’s chastisement keeps them on the right path. Thus the reason Paul is saying Christians are Chastised SO THAT they will not end up being “condemned along with the world”.

  37. michael said,

    January 29, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Nick

    Those are reasonable answers to the meaning of those Scriptures we are examining about authority in His Church, however I wish to point out in the first answer you seemed to have backed off and avoided the issue of my question? You’re the one that is trying to connect that Council’s decree for RC soteriology to the sacrament (the Eucharist) and judgment.

    As for the second answer you also backed away from “who” brings the discipline basis 1 Cor. 11:32. My issue raised it to the level where no man knows “who is” partaking of the elements of His sacrament He established in that upper room that last supper with His friends in an unworthy manner except Him who can see into and know why one is partaking of this sacrament hence it is solely God’s prerogative not any man to bring a level of measured judgment upon them. You want us to believe your system of discipline has been given that judgmental authority. All the Apostle was doing is saying the obvious about how out of bounds this Corinthian group was having communion pointing to the objectivity not the subjectivity of their error.

    Again I understand your position justifies the RCC charism that this Rome origined religious system wants all other Church authorities to subject themself and their Churches under her authority as the “mother” Church while I accept that The Lord alone in manifold manner in general and locally governs His Body through the local Governing Authorities (pastors and Elders and Deacons) and has power to subject all men to His given Eternal Authority as the apostle Paul wrote the Philippians :

    Philippians 3:20-21

    But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Philippians 3:20, 21 ESV)

    Church movements are birthed by the Sanctification work of the Spirit and some of these Church bodies have been around yet take exception to Rome’s assertion that they are the one true Church.

    Anyway it has an enjoying time for to interact with and I thank you!

  38. Nick said,

    January 30, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Hello Michael,

    You said:

    you seemed to have backed off and avoided the issue of my question? You’re the one that is trying to connect that Council’s decree for RC soteriology to the sacrament (the Eucharist) and judgment.

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at. My argument about judgment via 1 Cor 11:32 is independent of my original argument about the powers the institutional Church holds. My argument about the authority the Church leaders hold was that they can make both dogmatic and disciplinary rulings, which I feel I proved quite soundly. If you are suggesting that the Church cannot make disciplinary rulings regarding how sacraments work, I would say my case is sufficient (since forbidding strangled meat is a pretty low tier issue).

    Plus, virtually every denomination has had to make disciplinary rulings on how the Sacraments are administered, including whether to baptize infants, immersion vs pouring, baptismal formula, the validity of baptism by to/from those outside your denomination, when and who administers, who can partake, what type of bread, wine/grapejuice, one cup vs individual cups, weekly/monthly, etc. In these cases, Protestants act in hypocritical way towards Catholics without realizing it, since Protestants usually hold pretty strict views on these things but get all upset when Catholics claim to bind believers by similar rules.

    You said:

    As for the second answer you also backed away from “who” brings the discipline basis 1 Cor. 11:32. My issue raised it to the level where no man knows “who is” partaking of the elements of His sacrament He established in that upper room that last supper with His friends in an unworthy manner

    “Who” is not relevant to my argument. God is doing the chastising, that doesn’t remove the fact it’s this basis rather than imputed righteousness for why Christians avoid condemnation.

    This isn’t about us reading hearts to know who is really partaking unworthily. Nobody does that. God chastises because he can read the heart. As a side issue, there are situations of excommunication, in which the Church follows Jesus and Paul in removing from communion publicly unrepentant sinners, but that’s not the chastisement Paul speaks of when God brings sickness upon sinning Christians. My argument does not confuse these two things.

    Maybe we’ve said all we can for now. If you want to discuss other things, my contact info is found by clicking my name above.


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