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Savoy on the Sacraments. Part 10

10/10/2011

Savoy 30, Section 5&6

The outward elements in this sacrament duly set apart to the uses ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truly, yet sacramentally only, they are sometimes called by the name of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ; albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine as they were before.

The doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine into the substance of Christ’s body and blood (commonly called Transubstantiation) by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant not to Scripture alone, but even to common sense and reason; overthroweth the nature of the sacrament; and hath been and is the cause of manifold superstitions, yea, of gross idolatries.

Here we look at the Roman Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation. In Transubstantiation the Catholic Church teaches that the bread and wine, upon the words of institution, spoken by the priest, are transformed to be the very body and blood of Christ. The fact that the bread and wine continue to look like bread and wine is explained by the RC church as an ‘accident’. In other words, the physical appearance of the bread and wine are non-essential substances, as opposed to their real essence or substance. The non-essential elements of the bread and wine remain the same, while their substance is changed into the body and blood of Christ. (If you think this sounds like gobbledygook – you’re right! It is!). So note:

A) This does despite to the doctrine of the risen body of Christ. Christ’s resurrected body was recognisable, human in form and shape, able to be touched by Thomas. When He returns, we shall be changed to be like Him, to have a resurrected body like His.
B) When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, and shared it with his disciples, did he eat his own flesh and blood?
C) Jesus meant this sacrament to be a memorial, to be enacted ’till He come’. A memorial is something that reminds of a reality that is absent. When that reality is really present, a memorial is no longer necessary. In this Transubstantiation removes the sacramental analogy, turning the sign into the thing signified.
D) Catholics may say that the process of changing the bread and wine into the actual body and blood of the Lord is a miracle, and thus defies rational thought. However, God never did a miracle, except that it was obvious and apparent to all around it. Moses rod became a serpent and a rod again and people saw what had happened and knew that God was at work. Ex. 4:2-3. When the water was turned into wine, the resultant liquid did not retain the ‘accidents’ of water. The opposite was the case. It looked like wine, tasted like wine and had the effects of wine upon the soul! If Transubstantiation is to be considered as a miracle, it is like no other miracle ever done by Almighty God.

Perhaps it’s a miracle done by some other supernatural being?

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