One Flesh Union - Christ and the Church

De Maria's picture

What is the One Flesh Union concerning Christ and the Church?

I have posted a version of this question in the Biblical Studies because I believe it is a beautiful question to ponder. And another version in the interdenominational Discussions to see how we view this mystery as expressed in the Sacrament of Matrimony differently.

But I have really been waiting patiently and anxiously for quite a long time to post this particular question on this forum because in another discussion here, the Catholic view of the One Flesh Union between Christ and the Church was called blasphemous. Specifically this teaching from the Catechism.

795 Christ and his Church thus together make up the "whole Christ" (Christus totus). The Church is one with Christ. The saints are acutely aware of this unity:

Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God's grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man. . . . The fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does "head and members" mean? Christ and the Church.

Our redeemer has shown himself to be one person with the holy Church whom he has taken to himself.

Head and members form as it were one and the same mystical person.

A reply of St. Joan of Arc to her judges sums up the faith of the holy doctors and the good sense of the believer: "About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they're just one thing, and we shouldn't complicate the matter."

Our understanding of the One Flesh Union between Christ and the Church is based upon this verse.
Ephesians 5:
30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Now, it seems to me that our understanding lines up pretty well with Scripture.

And so, I posted this particular thread to see how your views contrast with the Catholic view of this greatest and most wonderful of mysteries.


De Maria

JeffLogan's picture

jq had written - "No. I

jq had written -

    "No. I find none of those verses offensive. But I interpret them according to an understanding based upon other scriptural passages and the reasoning powers God has given to every man. I am not influenced by the CCC statement cited earlier."

To which DM replied -

    "I wonder why then, you don't interpret the CCC by the same scriptural passages and reasoning powers God has given every man?

    Since Christ Himself says that we are Christ (Acts 9:4), what indication is there in that CCC passage that we are interpreting His Word any different than He is?

I will tell you why. The word Christian itself means that we are 'like Christ.' But the CCC statement goes one further saying we are more than simply like Christ (Christ-ian) we are Christ Himself. If it does not mean that we are now gods then it is very misleading to say the least; especially in light of the doctrine of the Eucharist which, by eating it, it is believed that the very body and blood of Christ are assimilated into our bodies. For they say, "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you. But only say the word and I shall be healed." It is also said, "you are what you eat." Have then those who partake of the wafer become God Himself?

I could accept a statement which read, "we have become not only Christians, but the body of Christ himself." But the CCC statement does not refer to the body of Christ but to the person of Jesus Christ. It states, "we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself."

While in the context one can perceive that the usage refers to His body--that is, the church (assembly of saints)--the words "we have become...Christ Himself" implant another idea which clouds the understanding. Personally, I think it is a poor choice of words and as such is misleading. Calling oneself God is blasphemy and I see that in this statement that is exactly what the words say: "we have become...[GOD] Himself"

God created man in His image. Satan promised we could become gods. "ye shall be as gods." Gen 3:5 (KJV). So anyone or anything promising me I can become God should raise a red flag.

We are admonished to be holy as God is holy and to walk as Jesus walked. To desire to be Christ-like. Lucifer desired to be like God. Not Christ-like, but rather His vicar (substitute). He wanted to be exalted in place of God. "I will be like the most High." Isaiah 14:14 (KJV).

So it would seem that to be Christ-like would be desirable, but to desire to be like God would not. That is why I have difficulty interpreting this CCC statement "by the same scriptural passages and reasoning powers God has given every man." Something just doesn't ring true.

“The path of true piety is so plain as to require
but little political direction.” --George Washington,
re: absence of "Jesus Christ" in U.S. Constitution.

Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. -Proverbs 18:2 NIV