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Is this what Christ intended we do with His Supper?

June 26th, 2007
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Categories: Roman Catholicism
  1. wmcwirla
    June 26th, 2007 at 16:17 | #1

    In answer your question: What was depicted at the end – yes. What is depicted in the bulk of this video – no.
    The line between worship and idolatry is an extremely fine line, drawn by the command and promise of God. The Scriptures speak of no “power of the priest to turn” one thing into another (which, I might add is not the way of Jesus, who declined to turn stones into bread), nor do the Scriptures speak of any activity other than eating and drinking the bread and wine which Christ declares by His Word to be His Body and Blood. In the OT, Aaron’s rod had to be destroyed when it became an object of adoration without a specific command and promise of God.
    What also troubles me about this video is the age of the participants. Mystical superstition can be very appealing to young people; “religion” in all the worst senses of the word.
    Yet more troubling is how we as Lutherans, who confess the “real presence” of the Body and Blood of Christ in the bread and wine of the Supper, can and must distinguish ourselves from this kind of false and misleading piety. As I said, the line is very fine, and the only guard is a faithful adherence to the Scriptures alone as the final judge and norm of doctrine and practice.

  2. June 26th, 2007 at 17:58 | #2

    At the 30 seconds left point, yes, for part of the Eucharistic gift.
    Based on the setting(a municipal type auditorium or athletic court) and the age of the hands, arms and faces, this was probably a “traditionalist” Roman youth gathering of some type.
    Most RC kids, in most parishes, wouldn’t know what a monstrance is, much less Eucharistic Adoration outside of the Mass.
    Back in my day….gosh, I am sounding like my dad…when the monstrance was held with humeral veil, the appropriate posture was kneeling, not feigning all over the monstrance and priest/deacon holding it.
    John Paul II re-emphasizes Eucharistic Adoration as a way of re-establishing Roman piety. Of course, it has the effect of exciting confessional Lutherans into “I told you so” mode as well.
    Paul, most of us here are aware of this piety; I wonder what your point is in posting this here and now.
    I don’t think we are well served in our Synod when we state the obvious over and again, as there are plenty of things that are occurring that are not this obvious and are just as harmful.
    [McCain: Actually, I doubt many Lutherans are aware of "this piety" and it is good to be made aware of the foolishness of Eucharist adoration outside the instituted use of the Sacrament. We have to be on our guard against all forms of false teaching and false practice.]

  3. Rev. Al Bergstrazer
    June 26th, 2007 at 19:09 | #3

    Fascinating. Take away the Monstrance and replace it with a good looking contemporary Christian musician and what do you get? The same ecstactic experience, or in other words your run of the mill contemporary evangelical worship service.
    Often Luther’s comments on reason needing to be a servant of the text of the Bible are used when discussing the relative merits of Calvin’s doctrine. But they also apply to Catholic dogma.
    Reason says “how can Christ be really present in the sacrament if He has bodily ascended into heaven?” Reason also says “if Christ’s body and blood are really present in the eucharist, and Christ is to be adored, then should we not adore the consecrated host?” In one case reason leads to distrust of the words of Christ i.e., ‘this is my body’ and the other makes an assumption and adds to the words of Christ ‘do this in remembrance of me.’
    When our Lord said “this is” he bespoke a mystery, when he said “this do” He commended to the disciples the means by which this mystery would be to the churchs greatest good; ‘take and drink, take and eat.’ And when we do so we do not need an ecstactic experience to make it better or more meaningful, it is as good as it gets; we are as close to our Lord this side of heaven as we shall ever be.

  4. June 26th, 2007 at 20:19 | #4

    Pr. Paul,
    I so appreciate your putting this up in your blog.
    Thanks to Pr. Bill C also for an enlightening comment.
    When I was an RC kid, I was taught to pray to it, since by deduction it is the body and blood of the Lord. Indeed we would have sessions in church, kneeling and meditating and focusing our eyes on it and speak and pray to it. Sometimes this happenes right before mass. Would this logic fly?

  5. Patrick Kyle
    June 26th, 2007 at 21:04 | #5

    This kind of stuff will appeal directly to a lot of evangelicals. Many are hungering for more than the average megachurch can serve up. Even some baptists are clamoring for weekly communion(www.internetmonk.com)We have our work cut out for us refuting errors on both sides and marking out the Scriptural middle way on this issue. This is a great opportunity for us if we can quit preaching to the choir and actually engage the culture.
    McCain: Weekly communion, great! Praying to bread, bad!

  6. June 27th, 2007 at 10:04 | #6

    If you believe that “it” is Christ, yes. To not worship him is to sin, as Augustine noted.

  7. Bror Erickson
    June 27th, 2007 at 12:28 | #7

    You are correct not to worship Christ is a sin. So we as Lutherans Worship Him in, with, and under the bread and wine. We do this by listening to His words “take eat”,”take drink of it.” In doing what He says, we give Him true honor and glory. We don’t do this by responding to His presence the same way the papparazzi respond to the presence of Paris Hilton.
    Jesus gave us the blessed gift of the Eucharist for a purpose. That purpose is that in eating the body, and drinking the blood He sacrificed on the cross 2,000 years ago, we would consume holiness, and receive the forgiveness of sins. I noticed the forgiveness of sins wasn’t mentioned in the video. God is always present with us, and therefore Jesus is always present with us according to both His divine and human natures. He doesn’t need a priest or a piece of bread to be present with us. But we need bread and wine so that we can consume His body and drink His blood, and thereby receive the forgiveness of sins He has promised to give us in Holy Communion. Now that is something to go to Church for.

  8. Rev. Allen Yount
    June 27th, 2007 at 12:43 | #8

    “To not worship [Christ] is sin, as Augustine noted.”
    Ah, but how do we worship Him? This quote from the Apology to the Augsburg Confession answers that question: “The woman [who annointed Christ's feet in Luke 7] came with the opinion that the forgiveness of sins should be sought in Christ. This worship is the highest worship of Christ. She could think nothing greater about Christ. To seek forgiveness of sins from Him was truly to acknowledge the Messiah. To think of Christ this way, to worship Him this way, is truly to believe” (Ap V(III), 154 in Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, Second edition).
    Christ’s Words of Institution – the source of all our Lutheran doctrine and practice for the Lord’s Supper – show that receiving the forgiveness of sins is the kind of worship He desires from us when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper: “Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me…Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the New Testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me” (LSB, p. 162).
    We worship Christ when we do what He has told us to do in the Lord’s Supper: eat and drink His body and blood to receive the forgiveness of sins. Adoring the form of the bread isn’t really worshiping Him at all.

  9. Jack Kilcrease
    June 27th, 2007 at 12:55 | #9

    I had a hard time getting through it with that horrid music.
    As Dr. Martin Luther tells us “Christ said ‘take eat’ not ‘take and worship!’ So, to answer your question: no!
    In any case, is it not interesting what this proves about Catholicism? We’re told what the Priest’s name is, we’re told about how the Priests of the RC have this ability by virtue of their office to change the elements and then it’s just a bunch of picture of the Priest holding the host with that terrible music. What happened to the Word? In other words, the focus has gone away from God’s promises to this person and his office. It’s his office which is the true mediator and not the Word. Huh, I seem to remember Luther saying something about the eschatological significance of this in the Smalkald articles . . . . Does anyone recall what this was?

  10. June 27th, 2007 at 15:44 | #10

    The only response I can make is: “What part of ‘take, eat’ didn’t you understand?”

  11. June 27th, 2007 at 19:30 | #11

    RC have this ability by virtue of their office to change the elements
    Yep, that is what they claim, I was taught that. For them all the Communion celebrated by other denoms even those who believe in the Real Presence, ie Lutherans and Anglicans and EO are bogus because the Supper is tied to the pedigree of the one ordained. It is by virtue of apostolic succession and they claim that.
    My opinion is that if the validity of the Sacrament is not based on the Word’s of Christ but based on the man who is speaking the Word of Christ ie tied to the office, then the question becomes who has the better office? RCC always would raise its hands and say “Look, we are the true franchise of the Church of the Jesus Christ since your ministers have not been ordained by our Bishops all their sacraments are fake”. They believe they are the exclusive distributor of Christianity, all the rest are not authorized dealers.
    I am being sarcastic as usual.

  12. Christine
    June 29th, 2007 at 23:32 | #12

    Again I would remind you that Orthodox Christians also teach the same doctrine of apostolic succession as Roman Catholics. It is becoming increasingly clear to me that while Lutherans and Catholics do share some common history and practice (and there is no denying that Luther simply carried over some of the practices he inherited from the Church of Rome) Orthodox and Catholics have far more in common in their sacramental lives, as evidenced by Pope Benedict’s warm reception in Turkey.
    I recognize that to Lutherans Catholics are worshiping mere “bread” in that monstrance but we believe that God doesn’t take back his gifts once consecrated.

  13. Carl
    July 2nd, 2007 at 10:34 | #13

    To read an excellent paper on the subject of pietism and the
    R.C. theology that embraces it, go here:

  14. September 2nd, 2007 at 08:53 | #14

    Certainly not. I agree with wmc’s comment. This is idolatry. The Lord is not something to be paraded around a sanctuary like some saint celebration, ready to be burned. He is to be feared in awesome reverence and to be received in the Lord’s Supper in the manner in which He comes: quietly, unassumingly, movingly, strongly. And He comes not because of our power, but because of His on the Cross and in His resurrection.
    What’s interesting is they are moving images watching the screen, listening to the music (kind of sounded like Michael Card-never heard of the guy singing, though). The emotionality moved me. I would guess that that’s what attracts people to such churches and leaders. But, that’s all.
    We have to find a way, as Lutherans, if we want to witness to this culture, right now, today, to engage the mysterious (not mystical) nature of our belief system. We don’t have to be overly emotional, and we certainly don’t place our emphasis on such a fleeting thing. But, if we fall on the Word of God as the basis and point out the myriad mysteries contained within, I think we’d be okay.
    Again, as wmc said, the people of today are likely to fall into mystical belief. They love it. We love the mysterious. We love not knowing (because it jives with postmodern thought).
    As Lutherans, we should engage more of the mysterious nature that we have: Baptism, Lord’s Supper, the ancient prayer services. It ties the people there into both the ancient and the modern. That’s what all the studies are showing us they want.

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