Loutzenhiser's picture

* "Transubstantiation" — the substance (fundamental reality) of the bread and wine is transformed in a way beyond human comprehension into that of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, but the accidents (physical traits, including chemical properties) of the bread and wine remain; this view is that taught by the Roman Catholic Church and by the Eastern Orthodox Synod of Jerusalem, and is held by many Anglicans, especially in Anglo-Catholic circles.
* "In, with and under the forms" — the body and blood of Jesus Christ are substantially present in, with and under the substance of the bread and wine, which remain. This is the view held by most Lutherans, and some Anglicans. Lutherans and non-Lutherans refer to this view as 'consubstantiation'. Although, for some, this term is difficult to understand, it remains the confessed understanding of the Lutheran faith.
* "Objective reality, but pious silence about technicalities" — the view of all the ancient Churches of the East, (including the Eastern Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox, the Eastern Catholic Churches) and the Assyrian Church of the East as well as perhaps most Anglicans. These, while agreeing with the Roman Catholic belief that the sacrament is not merely bread and wine but truly the body and blood of Christ, and having historically employed the "substance" and "accidents" terminology to explain what is changed in the transformation, usually avoid this terminology, lest they seem to scrutize the technicalities of the manner in which the transformation occurs.
* "Real Spiritual presence", also called "pneumatic presence", holds that not only the Spirit of Christ, but also the true body and blood of Jesus Christ (hence "real"), are received by the sovereign, mysterious, and miraculous power of the Holy Spirit (hence "spiritual"), but only by those partakers who have faith. This view approaches the "pious silence" view in its unwillingness to specify how the Holy Spirit makes Christ present, but positively excludes not just symbolism but also trans- and con-substantiation. It is also known as the "mystical presence" view, and is held by most Reformed Christians, such as Presbyterians, as well as some Methodists and some Anglicans, particularly Low Church Reformed Anglicans. See Westminster Confession of Faith, ch. 29. This understanding is often called "receptionism". Some argue that this view can be seen as being suggested — though not by any means clearly — by the "invocation" of the Anglican Rite as found in the American Book of Common Prayer, 1928 and earlier and in Rite I of the American BCP of 1979 as well as in other Anglican formularies:

And we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, to hear us, and of thy almighty goodness, vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy Word and Holy Spirit, these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine; that we, receiving them according to thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed body and blood.

* "Symbolism" — the bread and wine are symbolic of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and in partaking of the elements the believer commemorates the sacrificial death of Christ. This view is also known as "memorialism" and "Zwinglianism" after Ulrich Zwingli and is held by several Protestant and Latter-day Saint denominations, including most Baptists.
* "Suspension" — the partaking of the bread and wine was not intended to be a perpetual ordinance, or was not to be taken as a religious rite or ceremony (also known as adeipnonism, meaning "no supper" or "no meal"). This is the view of Quakers and the Salvation Army, as well as the hyperdispensationalist positions of E. W. Bullinger, Cornelius R. Stam, and others.

What is your position on this subject and how do you support it scripturally?

michael_legna's picture

I always try to speak in generalities for the sake of politeness

Mike Kirby said -
To me anyone means anyone, but if you wanted to qualify "anyone" as one who was in the RC system, then wouldn't I fall into the "anyone" catagory?

Obviously anyone does not mean anyone (as in everyone) because you have to come to the understanding of the issue. For instance a citizen of China in the time of the Council of Trent probably doesn't fit within the idea of anyone, that would just be unfair. The anathema simply does not apply to them, as they do not even know Christ so how can they be thrown out of the Church?

Luther on the other hand would fall into that category since he knew the Catholic doctrine and had accepted it at one point in his life. The anathema does apply to Luther.

There is of course a whole range of variation between the two extremes, but I think you get the idea.

When I answered your question I was speaking in generalities as I do not consider specific personal situations for three reasons.

First, I always try to address ideas and not individuals (though sometimes I do fail).

Second, I never know the specific situation of any given person and so out of politeness I never address personal specifics, especially in a public forum.

Third, it is not my place to judge another, I can only offer my view of what is the best way to proceed in our lives from here on out.

I don't want to NOT answer your question, but I am trying to be polite. If you really want me to answer clearly I will (with your permission), still I think you know which of the two extremes above you are closest to. But then you have already excommunicated yourself from the Church, so does it matter? (by the way - excommunication is not permanent)

I would recommend to all people that that proceed from here forward by recognizing the real presence of Christ in the consecrated bread and wine.