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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

De Maria's picture

re:pruning is for the living, not the dead

jq said,
But Mike did not say that Jesus must gouge out His eyes. He didn't even use the plural eyes. I believe he was simply referring to Jesus' lesson about plucking out one's eye if it offends and relating that to an offending member of the church being removed from Christ's body, the church.

Is that the gist of it, Mike?

DM said,

Thank you Jeff. That makes sense.

Is this Scripture apropo?
John 15

The Vine and the Branches

1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a]

So, apparently, God the Father does the surgical removing of unhealthy members of the Body of Christ.

Mike says,

I see the message in John 15 of fruit bearing branches that are alive being pruned and the removing of dead (unregenerate), unable to produce fruit, branches.

Once again we see the importance of Life in Christ

1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love (fruit) the brethren. He who does not love (fruit) his brother abides in death

My Father does not discard those who are unhealthy but prunes and nourishes them back to health (pruning).

Ephesians 5:29 "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church"

I know you want to make some sort of point. But Christ says that the Father CUTS OFF every branch that bears not fruit:
John 15
1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes.

He doesn't say that He waits until they die on the vine. In fact, I think it would be impossible for them to die on the vine. They die when they are cut off from the source of life.

So, in my opinion, you are contradicting Scripture here.

De Maria