Have Anglicans gone Lutheran on Lord's Supper?

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by Lowly Layman, Apr 15, 2022.

  1. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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  2. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

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    Why would we need to rethink Article 29? The wicked that perform the physical mechanics of eating the sacrament do not actually partake in the sacrament. Doesn't seem to need reform to me.
     
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  3. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Well they do partake of it in a physical eating but it is to their detriment so not a sacrament to them. It brings greater sin and punishment upon them
     
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  4. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Not to me either. I was being rhetorical, which, as I read your post now I see that you have been rhetorical as well, lol..

    I came to the Anglican faith in a rather Anglo-catholic setting and was encouraged to read catholic authors. So for a while, I was quite strident in my support of real objective/corporeal presence in the Lord's Supper, even approaching Transubstantiationism. But good people here on the Forums showed me the errors in that line of thinking. Yet, I still felt inclined to the Lutheran theology of sacramental union. But once I read Cranmer's True and Catholick Doctrine, I was slowly (and perhaps unwillingly) moved to the realization was the best, most biblical theory of the Real Presence was the spiritual presence, as taught by the Anglican Reformers.

    In fact, when I was thinking of leaving for a Lutheran denomination, it was on this issue that I ended up staying in the Anglican fold.

    Bishop Jewel's Treatise on the Sacraments was a real clarifier for me:

    We say and believe that we receive the body and blood of Christ truly, and not a figure or sign; but even that body which suffered death on the cross, and that blood which was shed for the forgiveness of sins. So saith Christ: "My flesh is meat indeed; and my blood is drink indeed." And again: "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." And again: "He that eateth me, even he shall live by me.'' We say there is no other substantial food of our souls; and that he is divided among all the faithful; and that he is void of salvation and the grace of Christ, whosoever is not partaker of his body and blood. This we say, and may not flee from it hereafter.

    Yet, lest haply any should be deceived, we say this meat is spiritual, and therefore it must be eaten by faith, and not with the mouth of our body. Augustine saith : ..."Why preparest thou thy teeth and thy belly? believe, and thou hast eaten." And again: ..."Prepare not your jaws, but your heart." As
    material bread nourisheth our body, so doth the body of Christ nourish our soul, and is therefore called bread.
    ... Saith Augustine: "God is the inward bread of my soul." For we receive him, and eat him, and live by him. But hereof hereafter more at large.
     
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  5. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Christ is truly and objectively present to us, in a spiritual and heavenly manner… he is in the sacrament, just not in the physical elements
     
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  6. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Well said!
     
  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I would agree, but for the change of one word: "He is in the sacrament, just not of the physical elements." IMO that expresses it a bit more precisely. :)
     
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  8. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Christ is in the sacrament but the elements remain bread and wine. He is spiritually there. That is why we have to recently consume the extra consecrated bread and wine. The spiritual can be more real than the physical, especially when dealing with the Eucharist.
     
  9. Clayton

    Clayton Active Member

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    This discussion is a bit over my head, but I have always wondered why it matters so much whether Christs presence is material or not.

    I wonder if anyone has an opinion on that.
     
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  10. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I'll take a stab at answering. I think it has a lot to do with the negative reaction to the RC doctrine of transubstantiation. The RCC took their teachings on the Eucharist to a point where the elements change in physical substance. This had implications. For one, only the RC priest is authorized to confect this sacrament and effect the change (or more precisely, be the channel through which Christ effects the change); this meant that Eucharists consecrated by a non-RC priest or minister are utterly inferior & inadequate, and the RCC taught (based on a literal reading of John 6:53) that one must receive the RC Eucharist in order to have any significant hope of being saved (thus it becomes a tool to confine members from leaving the denomination). Another implication is the 'sacredness' of the transubstantiated host; since they regard it as 'Christ in the flesh,' they worship it: it is held aloft or placed in a monstrance & carried around. This level of sacredness leads to oddities, such as if perchance the transubstantiated host were to fall onto a clod of dung it must still be eaten. Furthermore, the concept of Christ being called down to earth to appear physically before us is contradictory to scriptures which tell us that Christ is seated at the Father's right hand and will not be seen "in the flesh" until He returns in the clouds at the Second Advent.

    Spiritual Real Presence avoids all of those problems.
     
  11. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    During the Middle Ages, belief in a material/corporeal presence was widely held, and this led to a number of superstitious beliefs (legends of bleeding hosts, etc.), which the Reformers aimed to abolish. Rome clarified its teaching at Trent to make clear that following the act of transubstantiation, the body and blood of Christ are present “after the manner of a spirit” (dogmatic manuals such as Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma can be profitably consulted on this point, as can Aquinas), and that the only part of the sacrament that has material extension is the accidents. The Lutherans did not maintain corporeal presence, either. The difference between the Lutherans, Rome, and the Orthodox on one side, and the Reformed on the other, is that the latter locate the presence of Christ in the soul of the believer, whereas the former located the presence in the Eucharistic elements in the first instance, then the soul of the believer. Put more simply, Lutherans, Orthodox, and Roman Catholics are committed to a real, i.e., objective presence, independent of the communicants, whereas the Reformed are committed to an ideal, i.e., subjective presence, solely in the inner life of the believer. The 39 Articles and the Rite for the Visitation of the Sick in the Book of Common Prayer unambiguously endorsed the Reformed view at the time, though many Anglicans today understandably prefer a more ecumenical view that can include the Lutheran, Roman Catholic, and/or Orthodox understandings of the mode of presence as well as the Reformed. It should be noted that the Reformed Confessions in general intend to deny mere memorialism.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2022
  12. Clayton

    Clayton Active Member

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    I suppose I can’t find too much at fault in transubstantiation. In my five-year old theologian’s way, I think to myself “my spirit is here in my body. It’s my body because my spirit dwells in it. If my spirit were in an apple, or an aardvark, then those things would be playing host to my spirit and they would constitute my flesh. So if the Spirit of Jesus Christ is in a host if bread, then that is for all intents and purposes ‘his body’ in a real way.”

    I get the objections to the apparent idolatry of Eucharistic adoration, or even a possible objection to the notion that only ordained priests can confect the sacrament, but those are different issues I guess.

    even if Our Blessed Lord only uses the host as a vehicle for the transmission of his spirit, it still makes sense to treat the consecrated host with a certain degree of decorum.
     
  13. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I think it's because if it's not material, then it's not "really real". People see material as the only "real" way of existing. Which, if you analyze that deep down, is nothing more than atheism. Yes, atheism and materialism within traditionalist Christian ways of thinking.
     
  14. Clayton

    Clayton Active Member

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    Maybe, but a”real” presence like you describe also mirrors the mystery of the Incarnation, in which God, a spirit, became a material human being. So there is also something quite poetically reassuring about that.

    edit; more than just reassuring, a material presence of Jesus in the Eucharist actually reinforces the fact of the Incarnation.
     
  15. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Question. What is the inward and spiritual grace?

    Answer. The Body and Blood of Christ, which are truly taken and received by the faithful in the Lord’s Supper.
    the_catechism
    I can't see that but as being something more than just a subjective presence solely in the inner life of a believer. That appears, if the Body and Blood of Christ are taken in a real but spiritual way. That the bread and wine remain but Christ presence is attached to the elements in a way. It is more than just in the inner life of the believer
     
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  16. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I am not sure what you mean by "reassuring" here. Are you saying the Eucharist is a kind of Incarnation, in some way comparable, to when the Logos incarnated into a person in 1 BC?
     
  17. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    The issue is that the Reformed Confessions equivocate on the word “spiritual”. Is the Lord’s body and blood in the bread and wine prior to reception (objective presence), or only upon reception (subjective presence)? Or to put it more simply, does it mean “present as a spirit” or “present to the spirit”? If one compares the Catechism and the Articles of Religion to the Augsburg Confession and its Apology, it’s clear that the intent of the English Reformers was to endorse the Continental Reformed view and not the Lutheran view. I’m not saying that Anglicans today are or should be beholden to that, only that’s what was endorsed at the time. The Catechism and some parts of the old Communion rite are capable of being read differently, on a non-originalist basis.

    I only bring up the history to emphasize that once all the relevant parties had an opportunity to clarify their views, no one, in fact, affirmed a material/corporeal presence. The OP’s question was about why a material presence should be denied. An answer to that question should begin by acknowledging that no Church today teaches a material presence.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2022
  18. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    The Holy Spirit is real. He indwells each believer, and although He has no materiality He is really very present in us. Stalwart's point is that many people have difficulty separating a Real Presence from a material (physical, corporeal) Presence. Personally I don't struggle with that at all. Jesus said, "behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” The spiritual realm is in some ways more real than this physical realm, even though we cannot detect it with our five senses; doubtless it is more lasting than the physical world which, scripture says, will be destroyed to make way for a new earth and universe free from corruption.
     
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  19. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    John Wycliffe had an opinion on that. He said about transubstantiation "If they can get you to believe that, they can get you to believe ANYTHING".

    It's not about what believers believe about the sacrament. It's about what the church authorities can get believers to believe just because church authorities say so. Its the thin end of a control freak RC ecclesiastical wedge.
    It's about the Christian priesthood pushing the idea that they conjure up salvation itself for the believing disciple of Christ, thus becoming the sole and exclusive distrbuters of life itself. A very powerful position to be in, and not at all what Christ had in mind when he washed his disciple's feet or placed a child in their midst and said they must "become like one of these" to even enter into the kingdom of God. The 'leaders' in Christ's church celebrate and memorialise the presence of Christ among the believing family of God, according to Christ's own promise. The words of consecration of the elements remind believing hearts and minds of that continuing presence in them and in the world, of their saviour, redeemer and friend, who sits at the right hand of the Father and has become a life giving spirit.
    .
     
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  20. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This has nothing to do with the Reformed Confessions. I do not adhere to reformed theology, although I'm an ardent supporter of spiritual real presence.


    Where did they cite any "Continental Reformed" theologians? It is a crazy theory of recent scholarship that the Reformation was divided into these camps, and everyone strictly fell into one of those camps which recent authors have made up. Whom did our reformers cite? The actual church fathers. Those same church fathers who did not believe in a carnal presence.

    St. Augustine, “De Doctrina Christiana” (ca. AD 410):
    -"If a preceptive statement [in the Scriptures] forbids either vice or crime, or commands what is either useful or beneficial, it is not figurative. If, however, it seems to command vice or crime, or forbid what is either useful or beneficial, it is figurative. “Unless,” He says, “you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you.” It seems to command crime or vice; therefore it is a figure prescribing that there be communication in the Lord’s passion and a grateful and salutary treasured remembrance that His flesh was crucified and wounded for us."

    St. Augustine, "Against Adimantius"
    -"Our Lord did not hesitate to say, This is my Body, when he gave a token of his body."

    St. Augustine, "Against Maximinus"
    -"In sacraments we must consider, not what they are [in substance and nature], but what they signify."

    Tertullian, “Against Marcion,” Bk 4, chapter 40:
    -"Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, “This is my body,” that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body."

    Origen, "Commentary on Matthew"
    -"The bread which is sanctified by the word of God & by prayer, in its material substance goes into the belly, and is cast out into the toilet.”

    Cyprian, "On the Chrism of Unction"
    -"Our Lord at the Table where he received his last Supper with his Disciples, with his own hands gave not his carnal body and blood, but bread and wine; but upon the Cross he gave his carnal body to be crucified by the hands of the soldiers."


    What does any of this have to do with Reformed theology? Nothing. Our tradition follows the church fathers, and none of these Roman or Genevan johnny-come-latelies.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2022
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