Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

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.)


Blogger TheGodFearinFiddler said...

I think you nailed it on the head Tiber. Theres no way around it. Taking it a step further, if the early Church got it wrong, how in the heck did we figure it out 1900 years later?

For me too it was the God given faith in the Eucharist as unambiguously preached by the early Church fathers which turned me from a curious liturgy lover into a true believer.

Every mass gets better and better. With drugs, they say you get that initial high and then are forever chasing the dragon to return to it.

Not with the Eucharist, the more you understand and believe in the grace you are receiving the more you receive!

Praise God and thanks for the post. By all means, keep coming back to this subject its so important!

February 08, 2007 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Cyndi said...

God bless your journey into apologetic penance. Keep posting!!

February 08, 2007 10:48 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

what do you mean by that?

February 08, 2007 11:53 PM  
Anonymous Rob V. said...

I'm not going to attack your belief in the Eucharist. But unfortunately, I have to say that the logic does not follow - sorry!

Jesus claimed to be God - that claim either makes Him a Liar, a Lunatic, or the Lord. We're talking about divinity here, so there's no other choices.

When it comes to the church though (made of mortal, non-divine men), we as a body can always get something wrong. In fact we have, MANY times over the last 2000 years. Therefore, there is a fourth element to the argument, which is that we could be mistaken. This goes for any doctrine we may have: we are either correct, mistaken, lying or crazy.

Maybe mistaken is on a fine line w/ crazy, I don't know. All I know is that we can't say that Jesus was "mistaken," claiming to be God, because that would make Him crazy. A well-intentioned church may not be crazy, but also not correct, and therefore mistaken.

Again, this would go for any possible doctrine.

Just a logic thing. Hate to do it, had to do it.

February 09, 2007 4:27 PM  
Blogger Prodigal Daughter said...

Hi Rob,

Glad to see you on the blog. I was afraid I scared you away after my last e-mail.

February 09, 2007 7:29 PM  

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