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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

Mike Kirby's picture

The danger of “not rejoicing”

De Maria said,

4. So, if He decides to reveal His Judgement to you or I while we are still alive, who's business is it? If he reveals to Everyday Joe that He is heaven bound, is it your business?

Mike says,

The more I think about this attitude that is being manifest, although yours is mild compared to others, the more I appreciate the relationship that Christians have with Christians and the resultant corporate relationship with Christ. All of that also relates and spills over to the union of marriage between man and woman.

This passage and more that I have meditated on lately,

"Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." Luke 10:20

Jesus told his disciples NOT to rejoice over the authority they had but to rejoice over the fact that their names were written in heaven.

So, they rejoiced, but is it the church’s business to “rejoice with them”?

I pondered that and see that, yes, we are required to “rejoice with those who rejoice” in those matters. (Romans 12:15)

But others, preferring to negate (at the least) or castigate (at the most) those who believe thusly (instead of rejoicing) are subjecting themselves to consequences that are severe. Remember the promise to Abraham, of which we are his seed, "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you".

Miriam and Aaron did not rejoice and preferred to see Moses’ marriage with an Ethiopian “annulled” because it didn’t fit their idea of what marriage should be. As a result, they also began to question his relationship with the Lord and then his leadership. As a consequence they found themselves severely rebuked by the Lord and then Miriam being struck with leprosy. (Numbers 12)

Now I see no wonder that in some institutional churches the spiritual leprosy and dismemberment that occurs when the Body of Christ is not esteemed as it should.

Paul did speak of this “not discerning the Lord’s Body”

1 Corinthians 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

This estimation and respect spills supernaturally onto the status of marriages, especially in the church. Secular society see this and acts and amplifies accordingly.

Thanks de Maria, you have given me, and I think others, a fresh insight on what it means to be respectful of the body of Christ and it's consequential effect on marriage between man and woman.

"Divine Grace is not opposed to effort ...
it is opposed to earning "
— Dallas Willard

"Divine Grace is not opposed to effort ...
it is opposed to earning "
— Dallas Willard