Communion/Eucharist

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

Eucharist is more than just a ceremony of remembrance

The Greek term translated as remembrance in the New Testament is a term than means more than merely calling to remembrance. It is a specific term which refers to a "sacrificial calling to memory".

The word translated "memorial" or "remembrance" used at the Last Supper (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor.11:24-25) is the Greek word "anamnesis." It is also used in the Septuagint in connection with sacrifice (Lev.24:7). "Anamnesis" translates the Hebrew word "azkarah," which is used seven times in the OT in reference to sacrifice (Lev.2:2,9,16; 5:12; 6:15; Num. 5:26). It is also significant that "anamnesis" is only used four times in the NT, the fourth time appearing in Hebrews 10:3 also in reference to a memorial sacrifice. Hence, Jesus' use of "anamnesis" in Luke 22:19 specifies the sacrificial dimension of the Eucharist. In effect, Jesus would be saying, "Whenever you do this, do it as a memorial sacrifice of me." The use of "anamnesis" in Luke 22:19 is even more significant in denoting sacrifice since there was another Greek word Luke could have used for a non-sacrificial memorial ("mnemosunon," cf., Mt.26: 13; Mk.14:9; Acts 10:4).

Some examples of anamnesis

Numbers 10:10
Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial(anamnesis) before your God: I am the LORD your God.

Notice the connection here and how the anamnesis is a sacrifice before God that he will remember his people...also probably so they will remember him.

Leviticus 24:7
And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial (anamnesis), an offering made by fire to the Lord.

this passage again shows how the anamnesis is used to point to an offering of fire...a sacrifice made to the lord.

Notice the parallels between this and the Eucharist.

1. A memorial of bread is presented to the Lord (by the fire of frankincense. This is similar to the prayers of thanksgiving and the consecrated bread offered at the New Testament Eucharist.

2. The bread is set out each sabbath for a lasting covenant, which is analogous to the observing of the Eucharist each Sunday as part of the New Covenant.

3. The old testament priest and his sons are to eat the bread and recognize that it is one of the most holy sacrifical offerings made to the lord, which points to the utmost significane given to the eucharist in the New Testament as a holy, not ordinary, meal and sacrifice (1corinthians 11:23-34).

The sacrifice of the Eucharist is much like the sacrifices shown above reminding God of the sacrifice that Christ made for us and thus act as a propitiation for the wrath that he has against our sins we have committed after baptism.




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