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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Martin Luther and the Eucharist

"If a hundred thousand devils, together with all fanatics, should rush forward, crying, How can bread and wine be the body and blood of Christ? etc., I know that all spirits and scholars together are not as wise as is the Divine Majesty in His little finger. Now here stands the Word of Christ: Take, eat; this is My body; Drink ye all of it; this is the new testament in My blood, etc. Here we abide, and would like to see those who will constitute themselves His masters, and make it different from what He has spoken. It is true, indeed, that if you take away the Word or regard it without the words, you have nothing but mere bread and wine. But if the words remain with them, as they shall and must, then, in virtue of the same, it is truly the body and blood of Christ. For as the lips of Christ say and speak, so it is, as He can never lie or deceive."
(cf The Large Catechism of M. Luther)

 "And say to yourself: I am not commanded to investigate or to know how God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, or how the soul of Christ is in the sacrament.  For me it is enough to know that the Word which I hear and the body which I receive are truly the Word and the body of my Lord and God."  (M. Luther)

My question to my Protestant brothers and sisters is this:  If the founder of the reformation and the originator of the doctrines of faith alone, scripture alone, etc believed that the Lord's Supper was indeed the true body and blood of Christ, and not a symbol, what is the justification by which contemporary Protestants refute this belief?  If  you don't agree with Martin Luther regarding his views of baptism and the Eucharist, why do you agree with him regarding faith alone and scripture alone?  (Catholics of course believe in grace alone)  It seems to me that it is a glaring inconsistency.  If Luther is so completely wrong on this issue of the Eucharist (according to the beliefs of modern evangelical Protestants), why can't he possibly be wrong regarding his view of justification by faith alone, and his rejection of apostolic succession?


Blogger George @ Convert Journal said...

Lutherans and (generally) Anglicans also believe in the Real Presence. Of course, they both lack valid holy orders so are unable to actually confect the Eucharist (as far as we are concerned).

Martin Luther had one set of beliefs that were schismatic from the Church. Other Protestant denominations simply have their own. As more and more opinions become popular, more and more denominations are created. This is the fruit of no actual authority.

IMHO, sola scriptura results not in making the Holy Bible the sole authority but in making every person their own authority.

A more interesting question to me is not why the countless denominations differ on so much, but rather why do they agree on Luther's subset bible?

Happy New Year Russ!

December 31, 2011 6:47 PM  
Anonymous russ said...

"IMHO, sola scriptura results not in making the Holy Bible the sole authority but in making every person their own authority."

That's an excellent point George and in my experience I saw that played out many times in innumerable ways.

One such way is the rejection of the creedal doctrines that all of Christendom held from the beginning, in favor of novel doctrines based on ones' own personal interpretation of scripture. It is truly ironic that Luther railed against Zwingli and the other reformers when they used his sola scriptura principle to come up with doctrines in direct contradiction to his.
It is interesting and important to note that in Luther's defense of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist he relied heavily on Sacred Tradition and the writings of the Church Fathers and not on scripture alone. When push came to shove, sola scriptura failed the founder of the reformation who based his new theologies on scripture alone.

January 01, 2012 1:01 PM  

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