Christ's Church, Lunatics or a Bunch of Liars?
Not to beat a dead horse once again but I keep wondering what to do with the early church writings about the sacrifice of the altar (among other things). My post about sacramentalism was excoriated on a couple of non- Catholic blogs but they never commented about the early church father's quotes that I posted regarding the sacrament of the altar, the Eucharist.
My reason for continuing to return to this is because of the integral part it played in my conversion/reversion to the Church. As I have said before, when I read Steve Ray's book about the Church Father's Eucharistic beliefs, a chill went through me when I realized the Catholic/Orthodox faith continues to believe in the Real Presence almost 2000 years after these writings.
Using CS Lewis' construct of Lord, Lunatic or Liar, I propose a similar analogy and submit that the early Christians were either truly Christ's Church, lunatics or liars! The early writings make it evident that they believed that Christ's sacrifice was truly re- presented on the altar in an un-bloodied fashion during their worship services. So either they were totally delusional or in error, or they had it right, especially since Christ said that the Spirit of Truth would guide this fledgling church. The Church Father's quotes on the sacrament of the Altar are here.
"A Church that was merely a man-made institution and said the sort of things they said (The writings of the Church Fathers) would not be a great moral teacher. It would either be lunatic - on the level with men who say they are a poached egg - or else they would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is the Church that the the Son of God established, or else a group of madmen or something worse. You can shut them up for a bunch of fools or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God and believe in the Church He started. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about this early Church being devoid of sacraments and protestant in theology . He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
(Tiber Jumper's paraphrased analogy of CS Lewis Trilemma.)