Is the Eucharist salvific?

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by Scottish Monk, Jul 2, 2012.

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Is the Eucharist salvific? ("salvific" = having the power to save or redeem)

  1. Yes, the Eucharist IS salvific. (Yes, the Eucharist has the power to save or redeem)

    70.0%
  2. No, the Eucharist IS NOT salvific. (No, the Eucharist does not have this power)

    10.0%
  3. Not that simple. (Please explain)

    30.0%
  4. Other. (Please explain)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Don't know.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    My brother, I personally can't go on with endless quote bubbles... it's just too confusing. So, summarising:

    1. The idea that the Eucharist is part of the one sacrifice for the remission of sins seems abominable. The Cross becomes a nebulous non-event, and idolatry is very easy. Are you sure the original text says "this blood is being shed for the remission of sins", rather than "is shed" in the sense of "will be shed"? We can use such a term for future tense, even if it sounds like the present tense: "This blood is shed for you" - i.e. it is incarnate and exists solely to be shed for you (upon the Cross, tomorrow). The very fact that He said the Eucharist is for a remembrance means it's a remembrance of a specific event, yet participating in the event spiritually.

    To be brief: Christ was in no pain or agony during the Last Supper, so where was this shedding of blood for the remission of sins?

    One Catholic priest told me that since Jesus separates the Body from the Blood as distinct elements, it literally is a death or shedding of blood, since the loss of all the blood from the body is death. This has profound consequences for our salvation, and I think you can understand why I am very concerned and extremely hesitant about it. :)

    2. The way you put David's allegory, my use of it as an example makes no sense. Still, it was just one example that Scripture, and the Jewish mindset, did use idiomatic positives that may sound literal, but they were clearly metaphors.

    3. Thomas said the body is the form of the soul, expressing the soul's identity. Vegetable souls express themselves with the matter of leaves and stems, animate souls by corresponding body parts and faculties, etc. A person is not necessarily a unity of body and soul, since the divine person called the Son of God had no body until the Incarnation. The very fact that our bodies die and disintegrate, while our souls remain extant, disproves the idea that we "are" our bodies.

    I took from Aquinas what I thought sensible and convincing, not everything all at once. He convinced me about the existence of God any many other things though, so you'll have to excuse me if I am still caught up in a Thomist mindset.

    4. The Divine Person with glorified human soul, called Jesus, is present everywhere as God, definitely. I do hope you don't take it to mean a sort of polytheistic presence, though, which would make the Eucharist pointless.

    Christ's one human body cannot be present everywhere, can it? He'd have to utterly destroy the very nature of the human body in order for it to be that way, in which case He would not be truly "one of us". Of course, you said you don't believe the bread becomes the literal body of Christ, yet it is the body of Christ. I agree with you (I think?) but doesn't it all come off as rather silly? It isn't the body, but it is?

    This set of questions is precisely what I meant by conjecture. I didn't want to appear to be refusing to answer your statements, some of which just struck me as "off". I am not a very intelligent person, and there are many things I do not know about the faith (just having been baptised in Easter 2011). I am trying to learn, and often do that more by rash objections than by humble questions.
     
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  2. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Just as an aside to anyone replying:

    If you believe the Eucharist is salvific, what do you think of people like me who can't receive the Eucharist out of scrupulosity that no Church has the true valid sacrament anymore, due to various heresies, schisms, errors, and failures through the ages?

    It may be a little obsessive on my part, but it still relates to the thread. Can a person be saved without the Eucharist?
     
  3. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    Are you familiar with Donatism? If not, it's worth studying. It might speak to your questions about validity. That's probably a topic for another thread, so I won't say more here.

    To answer the other question: yes, people are saved by the Lord. Faith precedes reception of the Eucharist, and it can also precede baptism (as it did in my case). If you believe in OSAS, and if you see a strong distinction between justification & sanctification, it would be hard to even see the Sacraments as salvific at all. If you do not hold one or both of those views, they play a role in salvation because they are sure means of grace (and some would also say forgiveness). But the Lord calls people to himself who never receive any Sacraments, and there are people who die before baptism and so forth. There are others who feel unworthy to approach/receive the Lord in the Eucharist. Still others will worship at Anglican churches but will never join or receive Communion because of theological concerns. None of these people are cut off from salvation because they do not receive. It's there for our benefit; but the Lord works through other means as well. It's a sure means of grace, but not an exclusive means.
     
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  4. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Adam, I appreciate your ability to keep a thread in track. ;)

    There are actually Anglicans who never go up for Communion? That is very reassuring. Regardless, if what is being argued by Jerome is true (that we receive the grace of the Cross, and remission of sins, via the Sacraments), then I find it hard to imagine that someone who never receives the Eucharist can go to Heaven. That person is denying the mode through which grace comes, if the assumptions are correct.

    Is it there for our benefit, or for our obligatory reception? Remember, if you take John 6 to be literal and Eucharist-centered, then I think you must confess that people who do not eat the Eucharist "have no life in them", spiritual life.
     
  5. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    I don't know of confirmed Anglicans who don't receive, but I know of longtime visitors who are Baptists or Presbyterians who don't receive. My Presbyterian parents have gone to my church a few times, and they never receive. They're always invited, though. As far as the John 6 question, I do believe that it means what it says. But I also know that the thief on the cross never received. In addition, I know that there are Christians out there whose churches do not have Succession and who have never even heard of these ideas. Because the Lord is merciful to his own, and because he seeks us out and calls us to himself, I have full confidence that he is patient with his people in this time of division. We live in a time of heresies and schisms and confusion, wheat and tares growing together all over the place. When we find a faithful church and have access to means of grace, we should certainly avail ourselves of them. Jesus was clear about that. But if access to those means is limited by church affiliation (or by conscience, as with our Protestant visitors), we can believe God's Word when it says "All who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved."
     
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  6. mark1

    mark1 Active Member

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    I agree with all your comments.

    ALL who seek God shall find him.

     
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  7. Jerome

    Jerome Member

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    Consular,

    1. You are trying to dissolve the unity between the cross and the institution of the Eucharist. That Christ's body and blood are given and shed for us in the elements of bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins is something that is to be believed on the basis of the words and promises of God. Period.

    2. The II Samuel passage bears no theological relevance for our discussion. That is why it makes no sense to me.

    3. Aquinas did say that the human person is a unity of body and soul. It is true that the soul can exist apart from the body, but it is not true that the disembodied soul is a person. The human person is an embodied soul. That is how God made us. The death of the body is the consequence of sin. The incarnation is the assumption of the particular human flesh of Jesus of Nazareth into the Triune life. After the incarnation, the Person of Jesus Christ is God and Man. Christ is no longer the Person He is--and the incarnation becomes a fiction--if we insist upon separating His natures as though they were merely two boards glued together, having no true communication with one another.

    4. "Polytheistic presence"? I am afraid I do not know what you mean by this. Yes, through the communication of attributes the human flesh of Christ is glorified and present everywhere. Also, I did not say that the bread is not the body of Christ. I said that I deny the doctrine of transubstantiation. I stated what I believe: the mysterious sacramental union of Christ's body and blood to the elements of bread and wine, given and shed for us for the forgiveness of sins.

    The problem you are having is this: you are trying to turn the Gospel into the Law. You insist upon viewing the Eucharist under the terms of "what must I do?" rather than "what has God done for me?" That the forgiveness of sins is given in the preaching of the Word, in the waters of baptism, and in the Eucharistic elements does not in any way replace, eclipse, or destroy the cross of Christ. Rather, Word and Sacrament are the God-chosen means by which the cross is to be communicated to us for our forgiveness and salvation.

    Also, the word used in Matthew 26:28 is: ἐκχυννόμενον
    It is a present middle/passive participle which can be translated as either "is being shed/poured out" or "is shed/poured out". Regardless of how one chooses to translate it, however, the present tense establishes that the "is being shed/poured out" refers to the present action of "being shed/poured out".

    Yours in Christ,
    Jerome
     
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  8. CatholicAnglican

    CatholicAnglican Active Member

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    St.Paul exhorted all Christians to examine ourselves before receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus. Why? Because it is much more than a memorial, Jesus is truly present both corporally and spiritually in His Real Presence. This is why we must examine ourselves and confess and repent and make amends before receiving the Holy Eucharist. As an Anglo-Catholic I do not take this lightly, how great a gift our Lord Jesus gives us in his most sacred Body and Blood. We should give Him all due honour and adoration to His Real Presence. The Mass also makes present the Once Offered sacrifice on Calvary, and indeed we partake of His glorious merits. It is not so much a propritiary sacrifice then a re-presenting of the One Sacrifice Jesus made for all men for all time. So next time you go to a Holy Mass (Eucharist), (Communion) remember that Jesus is with us indeed, Emmanuel!
     
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  9. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    Is the Eucharist salvific?

    Yes, as much as Baptism is. Not just through preaching but through the sacraments as well does the Lord convey His amazing grace to the Christian faithful: those who worthily partake in the Lord's Supper mystically communicate, through faith, with Christ's Body and Blood, represented by the visible, tangible and edible signs of bread and wine.
     
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  10. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It's funny; the main thrust of Our Lord's words at the Last Supper was not on the mystical reception of His Body and Blood. He did not discourse on the presence, reception, and spiritual grace. He said "do this for a remembrance of me", in both cases. Do we forget the symbolic and focus on the salvific/metaphysical?

    Does anyone here ever actually say "thank you for being pierced for me" as they consume the bread, and "thank you for spilling your precious blood for me" as they consume the wine? Christ never actually says that this is a salvific act, but one of praise, thanksgiving, and remembrance. Interesting how emphases have shifted.
     
  11. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Active Member

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    Yes!
     
  12. historyb

    historyb Active Member

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    Yes and healing
     
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