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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, I

De Maria wrote, "I understand that Jeff is suggesting I cast the Church aside. Isn't that what you meant Jeff? After all, that is how you practice your religion."

DM, you are speaking on matters which are beyond the scope of your limited knowledge. You don't know how I practice my religion. I am the church so I cannot cast myself aside.

Still don't know how to respond to simple questions? But you are suggesting that I cast aside the Catholic Church, are you not?

However, your church is something other than its constituents.

No. All Christians make up the Church, the Body of Christ.

It a little hard to understand but from what I gather the church cannot error but its various members do.

Perhaps it is hard to understand. But not impossible.

Scripture says that the Church is the Pillar of Truth. Therefore, since we believe Scripture, we understand that there is more than one aspect to Church.

And Scripture speaks of the Church as being the body of believers. But also as the Church being the hierarchy of the Church:

As for instance here in Acts 15: 22Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.

Obviously, the whole Church was not gathered in Jerusalem. But only the Apostles and elders.

Matthew 18:17
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Again, it is obvious, that it would be quite inconvenient to bring the whole Church together for every disagreement between Christians.

So, although you may find it hard to understand, it remains true none the less.

Therefore, the various members are not the church.

Yes, the various members are the Church. It is both/and. Not either/or. Just as Jesus is God and man. Not God or man.

And, the church is infallible but the people in the church are not.

Sounds as though you are starting to understand.

Therefore, the people are not the church.

Yes, the people are the Church.

Even Popes and priests have erred so they must not be the church either.

The Popes have erred but not when speaking to the entire Church from the See of Peter.

So the only thing left is the church precepts. That must be the church. Did I deduce correctly?

No. You are quite wrong. You must have used the same methodology you use to study Scripture.

I am almost certain the bricks and mortar are not what you consider the church. So what is left?

In fact, that is Church also. That is the Church within which the Church gathers.

I'm surprised that you can understand the English language at all. Every word in the English language has more than one meaning. Let us take a simple word like "boy" for example:

Definitions of boy on the Web:

male child: a youthful male person; "the baby was a boy"; "she made the boy brush his teeth every night"; "most soldiers are only boys in uniform"
a friendly informal reference to a grown man; "he likes to play golf with the boys"
son: a male human offspring; "their son became a famous judge"; "his boy is taller than he is"
(ethnic slur) offensive and disparaging term for Black man; "get out of my way, boy"

I can imagine, if someone says, "Its a boy!" joyfully before you. You'd respond something like, "Oh no! You mustn't say that. Thats a term of disparagement!"

From what you have written previously I have gathered that you are uncertain about your salvation,

I live in confident hope, in obedience to Scripture:
1 Thessalonians 5:8
But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

you don't claim to have direct communication with God,

I pray to God directly and through the Saints and with the Church. Whereas you advise casting the Church aside and having some sort of loner relationship with God.

I will keep the Church, and I will keep the Saints and I will continue to pray to the Father directly as the Church taught me as well.

But I don't claim that God must bend His Ear to my every word. Whether God is answering my prayers or those of they who are pleading for me, God alone knows.

and from what JW wrote, you don't feel humbled confessing your sins to God.

You have a history of misunderstanding what JW says. So, I know you wll understand that I'll have to read that directly from JW before I believe you.

In light of that, what I was suggesting is that the church get out of your way so you can see Jesus, talk with Him, and get to know Him personally.

But, you see, we don't live in a diysfunctional household. You do. You have cast aside your mother, the Church, who birthed you in Baptism. And you claim to have a direct relationship to God alone.

We don't. We relate to God directly as taught by the Church in Scripture and Tradition. But we also relate to God through the Church, our mother. Who in her Teachings, gives us a clearer understanding of God than we could muster alone.

In our family, the Father, the Mother and the Children all talk to each other and love each other.

Whereas, apparently, you think you are an only child.

If your church gets in the way of that

No. She doesn't.

then, yes, you should cast it aside so you might gain Jesus.

It is the Church which brought me to Jesus and Jesus to me. So I would be quite ungrateful if I were to cast her aside.

Count it as dung compared to knowing Jesus Christ for yourself.

That is a misuse of the Scripture quote. For St. Paul never said that one should count the Church as dung:

Hebrews 12:22-24 (New International Version)

22But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

After all, if I am correct,

You are not. You have simply shown that you have a deficient understanding of grammar and English usage of words. If you treated every word as you do the word, "church", you couldn't get out of bed. I don't mean your "flower bed" either.

your church exists only in laws.

But our Church exists. Which is more than I can say for yours.

It has no regular members. Paul cast aside his church laws and his obedience to them to gain Christ. He counted them as dung as well. You owe it to yourself.

No, he didn't. He cast aside the Jewish faith and clung to the Church of Christ.

But hey, anytime you want to prove any of your words from Scripture, be my guest. I love it when a Sola Scripturist makes it easy for me to compare his ideology to Scripture.

Please, show me where St. Paul cast aside the Church:

Phil 3:
4Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:

5Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

6Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

7But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

8Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Show me.