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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: De Maria wrote, "If you sin

De Maria wrote, "If you sin mortally, you separate yourself from God but not from the Church."

Jeff writes, I think you are wrong on both counts. First, although sin does separate us from God once we give ourselves to Him, or I should say the Father places us in His hands, He does not let go of us simply because we sin. What kind of Savior would He be if just when we need Him most we find ourselves separated from Him.

What does this mean then?
1 John 5:16
If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that.

Secondly, I was reading just the other day some Catholic documents which said that when a person commits a particular sin they automatically excommunicate themselves from the church. And what have I been reading? The writings of Pope Leo... many of them. And Thomas Aquinas. And Pope Benedict... And the Catechism... doing research for our discussion on Libertas. But I don't have the reference at hand. Perhaps you are familiar with it and can put your hands on it faster than I can.

Yes indeed. Latae Sententiae.

De Maria wrote, "But the Church has the remedy for your sin. The Sacrament of reconciliation with God and the Sacrament of the Union with God. Confession and Holy Eucharist."

Jeff writes, De Maria, if those sacraments were the remedy for sin then men would not be obligated to repeat them at least once a year.

Are you without sin? Is anyone?

The remedy for sin is the cross of Christ and that occurred but once because it was efficacious.

It is the Sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross which released the graces which are bestowed upon us in the Sacraments.

Heb 10:11-18 (KJV)
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
17 ...their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

Yet, the sacraments are repeated daily.

Yes. And if you had read further, you would see that this verse would make no sense unless the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ were re-presented at every Mass:

29How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

How can one trample the Son of God underfoot if He is not Truly Present in the Holy Eucharist? How can one treat the Blood of the Covenant as unholy if it is not truly present in the Cup of Blessing?

And why are they repeated daily?

In accordance with the Word of God:
Matthew 6:11
Give us today our daily bread.

As Scripture has said, "11 every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:"

Do you claim that Jesus' sacrifice can't take away sin?

The sacraments prove themselves ineffective by their very nature. If they were the remedy for sin then they would not need to be repeated continually.

Christ said that the Church remits sin. We believe Christ.

Why should we believe you?

Perhaps what you meant to say was that the sacraments are rituals the church uses as a way of forgetting God which pass as a way of remembering Him because they put to silence the conscience without the humiliation of confessing before the all-knowing, heart-searching God.

Most people would prefer to pretend to confess directly to God as you propose. The reason being that they consider it humiliating to confess to a man.

But God has authorized men to forgive the sins of men in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You don't obey because YOU don't like it.

We obey whether we like it or not, because we love God and have faith in Him.

A sinner can confess his sins before another faulty human being and thereby he is taught to believe it unnecessary to come humbly before God and submit his will to His Creator.

On the contrary. Anyone who confesses his sins must come humbly before God represented by His Priest.

What did jwmcmac say recently? "You see, man has ever chafed at God's laws. Adam and Eve preferred the Serpent's suggestions to God's commands. The Jews preferred a human King to the presence of God between the Cherubim, and today, people prefer secular government to the instrument which God is now using to unite all to Himself, the Catholic Church." He could have also said, And today men prefer to confess to a priest than to humble themselves before God.

On the contrary. Those who claim that they need not humble themselves before men, consider themselves greater than God's own Son. Who humbled Himself before all men, unto death on the Cross.

But those who won't humble themselves before men echo the words of the Enemy who said, "I will not serve".

I realize you have your set up scriptures you repeatedly bring up to convince yourself the church is able to forgive sins. But scripture also says that only God can forgive sins. "And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" Luke 5:21 (KJV) But of course, Jesus is God and can forgive sins. And this He taught them next. But He did not correct them and say, "No, but the priest can also forgive sins."

But He did say,
John 20:23
If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."

Rather He proved His divinity by healing the man whom He had just forgiven. And so He reinforced their belief, "who can forgive sins, but God alone?" Jesus used the truth they uttered to prove He was God, first by forgiving the man's sins, and then by healing him.

And then He gave to men the ability to forgive sins.

I wish that we could get past this because there is so much more to tell you about Hebrews and Christ's ministry in heaven. That is why I mention you in my prayers. I want everyone to have a direct and intimate relationship with Jesus. And that requires that we set aside all the middle men. Sure, let the church or preaching introduce you to Christ but then tell them to hand you the phone you want to talk to Him yourself.

And I continue praying for all who claim to have a direct line to God. God Himself has spoken about them:
Matthew 23:12
For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, ....