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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:re: re: difference between "In Christ" and "being Christ"

DM asks,
I have read the entire Catechism. Have you?

Mike says,
No. I understand it to be the RC interpretation of the bible,

The Catechism is an explanation of Catholic doctrine. Catholic doctrine is a summary of the Word of God which is contained in Scripture AND Tradition.

which in turn (apparently) needs to be interpreted.

Everything needs to be interpreted. Even your own interpretations of Scripture need to be interpreted.

But the interpretations of the Catholic Church have the guarantee of the Holy Spirit, since the Catholic Church is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth. And whether you understand Catholic Doctrine or not, you can be assured that Catholic Doctrine is correct. Scripture attests to that fact.

And even that has a grid that is prejudiced.

Yes, powerfully prejudiced to the truth. Absolutely and positively prejudiced to the love of God and Jesus His Son, in the Holy Spirit, one God forever.

You seem to be prejudiced against prejudice in general. But I am not. I find my prejudices to be very useful sometimes. In fact, most of the time.

Mike says,
Perhaps, communicating something (a mystery)
that can't communicated properly I suppose can be at times confusing.


DM said,
being a neophyte in Catholic doctrine,

Mike says,
No need to consider me a "neophyte in Catholic doctrine",

Just because you're a former Catholic doesn't mean that you aren't a neophyte in Catholic doctrine. I was once a former Catholic and I know that I didn't know the first thing about Catholic doctrine. Yet I thought I knew as much as the Pope.

And it was my prejudices against the Catholic Church that led me to leave the Catholic Church. Yet I was wrong about everything.

my faith in Christ and His work in me has converted, convinced and persuaded me that I am already a member of His body, the church.

That is wonderful! May it always be so.

I do fall prey to it somethimes but I try to avoid great discussion about carnal divisions that exist in the body. The Body is already ONE, "this saint is acutely aware of this unity".

I agree that the Body is already ONE. But as Scripture illustrates, some people who think they are part of the Body, may turn out not to be:
Matthew 7:21
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

I do enjoy dialoging with you and others about your relationship with Him.

As do I.

Many times and about many things I just have to say this,
"not wrong, just different".

Not everything which is different is wrong. But not everything that is different is right either.

DM said,
you have understood it based upon your prejudices and preconceptions.

Mike says,
I don't know why you would say that I am prejudiced.

We are all prejudiced. I am fully aware of my own prejudice. I see nothing wrong with being prejudiced. Unless one's prejudices lead one to erroneous judgements.

I don't think I am, can you point out where I have been?

In this case, it seems obvious, you took one Catechism document, and I assume you read the false interpretations of that document offered by anti-Catholics and you believed them.

Whereas, a simple study of the Catechism on the same doctrine would have quickly dispelled those errors.

I will self inventory on that anyway!

Good idea.

Anyway, disagreement is not a basis for prejudice.
Nevertheless, I have found though that when people make those sort of accusations, they are either guilty of them or will be.

I freely admit I'm prejudiced. I put my prejudices to good use.

But hey, that's what I'm here to do. To correct those false impressions.

Mike says,

Then, I your task is monumental because I think most false
impressions are derived from the testimony of people who are RC.

Perhaps. But I think they are generated by people who don't want to believe the truth about the Catholic Church.

You often boast about "we (RC's) believe" as if you are the authoritative spokeperson for RC belief.

Our beliefs, unlike most Protestant beliefs, are a matter of record. All you need do is look up the quintessential Catholic book, the Bible. The Catechism is also useful, the Summa, the various ecumenical councils, the encyclicals, the writings of the Saints. Therefore, I am not authoritative in the sense of having authority. But I am an authority in the sense of passing on information from an authoritative source.

Compare to your situation. You are only an authority about what you believe and intepret in Scripture. Because you believe in Sola Scriptura. Therefore, your catechism is between your ears.

Perhaps you are, I don't know. I come from a community of RC's that teaches and have taught for generations that to be RC is the epitomy of christianity and to be other than RC is evil and is hellbound.

I sincerely doubt it. I used to believe the same when I was a child. But it was really more along the lines of "my dad can beat up your dad" or "my dog can whip yours".

After I studied Catholic doctrine, I began to notice that only "neophyte" Catholics have that attitude. And in fact, I began to notice that a higher percentage of Protestants have that attitude.

When asked why they felt that way, all that could be mustered up is "because the priest said so".

What's the difference between that and the Protestant who says, "because the Bible says so." Never mind that the Bible doesn't say so. Beginning with Sola Scriptura, which contradicts Scripture by the way.

I was an ungodly, cussing, worldly person and acceptable in my RC community until Jesus became the reason for my being, behavior and family, then I became "evil" in their eyes.

Most of the people with whom I work can be described the same, except that they are Protestant. So...?

I know that those bad attributes are not exclusively characteristic of any denomination but are characteristic of the fallen nature of man.

Well said, so why did you insinuate that you had those attributes because you were Catholic?

"Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith." Hebrews 13:7

You were following the example of people that curse and cuss and behave like reprobates and you want to blame the Catholic Church?

and you interpret this Scripture to mean that ANYONE whom you meet is your leader in the faith?

Mike, your prejudices are showing.
De Maria