What is the Anglican view of Christ's presence in the Eucharist?

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by Lowly Layman, Dec 26, 2012.

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How present is Christ's presence in the Eucharist?

  1. Transubstantiation

    23.5%
  2. Consubstantiation

    29.4%
  3. Spritual presence only

    35.3%
  4. No presence, just a memorial act

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. There's a lot more to this (feel free to expound)

    11.8%
  1. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    A distinction without a difference. See the language of the baptismal rite in the 1662 BCP:


    That's true, and yet, the Church can speak confidently of its proclamations. When it says the child is regenerate, he actually is. When we consecrate the bread as the Spiritual Body of Christ, it really is. When we absolve the sins of the Congregation, they actually are absolved.

    Here I would say: God is omnipotent, so he of course can impart the grace whenever he wants to. This is true. He is not limited by our actions. But that notwithstanding, we won't see his imparted grace, outside the channels of the Church. Based on what we see, we are forced to say, by the exclusionary (and cruel) words of Scripture, that that unbaptized child has gone to Hell. God can yet whisk him to Heaven, and is not limited by what we say.

    But we need to focus on what we can say, what we see happening, insofar as we know. And we're guided about what happens by what Christ says.

    It's a very strong language: UNLESS the person is not born of fire and spirit, HE WILL NOT see the Kingdom of God. That's what we must believe, as human beings; without that limiting God himself to save them through extraordinary grace.
     
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  2. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    I guess it all depends on what one wants to see. I cannot believe the great reformers of the Anglican Church would be so sloppy as to inject dichotomies where there are none. A visible sign of grace is not grace itself, which is spiritual and invisible.


    With good reason. It is. The priest's words are declarative, but, to be valid, the priest, or the church for that matter can declare nothing that God does not approve. Article 20 provides: "it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ, yet, as it ought not to decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation."
    The BCP you quote says, in pertinant part: "Seeing now dearly beloved brethren, that this Child is by Baptism regenerate, and grafted into the Body of Christ's Church; let us give thanks unto Almighty God for these benefits..." The words, as I read them, say that by seeing the visible sign of Baptism, we are assured that the child is regenerated and grafted in the body of Christ. This is exactly what the Articles teach. If the power of regeneration existed in the priest and his declaration, then shouldn't we give thanks to hime rather than the Lord Almighty. Justification, regeneration, and salvation are all accomplished by grace through faith in Christ, not by declarations of Priests. That is sacerdotalism. The fact that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Moses and Elijah are all accounted as spritually alive, ie, in heaven, shows us that baptism is not required to be saved.

    This confuses me. Are you saying it's the baptism that regenates, or the priestly proclamation that does it? What exactly is your position? It seems to be changing.

    We are saved, regenerated, if at all, by the merits of Jesus Christ, not by sacraments or magic words by priests. Sacraments impart grace but that is not, by istelf salvation. It appears you have overthrown the nature of the sacrament and confused it's purpose.

    Fire...spirit...yet noticably absent, is baptism...or the declaration of a priest for that matter.
     
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  3. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    It is, and it is a false gospel.
     
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  4. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    Quite so, but in saying that, don't be surprised at the response you receive by people of a certain "party" in the church who would condemn the unbaptized, even babies, to hell.
     
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  5. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    Here is a good article on Anglican sacraments; it dispels the notion that there has been only one view taught and accepted in Anglicanism, the Anglo-Catholic one.

    Classical Anglicanism is comprehensive, not exclusivist in doctrine.
     
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  6. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    I would say I would agree with #3, minus the Calvinism.

    However, unlike some, I would not want to exclude those with views different from mine from the church.
     
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  7. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    I'm afraid I don't see the link Celtic1. Is it visible on your end? If so, I might need to try another browser.
     
  8. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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  9. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    Have you read the Articles of Religion? They're fairly exclusive as is the Prayer Book.
     
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  10. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    A very well written article and very well researched arugment Hackney. And, I believe in the spritual real presence in the sacrament. A couple of thoughts occured to me as I read it that I would like to get your opinions on:

    1) You contrast the Lutheran eucharistic theology from what you see as the true Anglican doctrine on the matter, which " denies any local presence of Christ in the elements of bread and wine. In this manner, this statement could be grouped with the former in that it denies a further error in relation to the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, that being the Lutheran understanding of sacramental union, in a localized sense. The body and blood of Christ are not contained in, with, or under the bread and wine. This error stems from a different source than transubstantiation or memorialism. The former stem from a faulty sacramental theology, this error stems from a poor understanding of Christology because it denies Christ a proper, human body, in the sense that his body is denied a true, local presence at the right hand of God." I just wonder, when one looks at what Our Lord says in John 6:47-58, that if one does not eat ohis flesh and drink of his blood, one has no life in him, these seem to indicate a very independent and objective reality that is given to the elements themselves, rather than received while we take the elements. From his words, we recieve life when partaking of his flesh and blood, not that we recieve his body and blood when we take the bread and wine. As the first verse in that passage indicates, faith is the requisite mean for recieving that life, but I still feel that the spiritual presence is given to the elements locally and recieved by faith, otherwise why go through the process of consecrating at all, why not give thanks to God for the bread and wine and eat, or why not consider every time you eat breat and wine and have faith in Christ a communion, whether at curch or on the couch. What purpose does the priest even serve if what you say is the case?

    2) If the presence is indeed spiritual in nature, I think this argues against the point you make when you say "Further, the natural body and blood of Christ are not "here" meaning at the table. Christ's natural body and blood are in heaven, at the right hand of God...The statement affirms what is called the "spiritual presence" (although I am not fond of that term). This means that the manner in which we receive Christ's body and blood is "heavenly and spiritual" only. In contrast to the Lutheran idea of "oral manducation" or taking Christ's body and blood into our mouths, the Article clearly explains that the means by which we receive the body and blood is faith. This means we do not take Christ into our digestive system, which is a gross and distorted theology of the Eucharist." Here are a couple of things that give me pause. First off, if the spiritual presence of Our Lord is imparted into the elements, then his body is objectively, although spiritually "here" on the table. But then, even if it is his "natural" body that is purported on the table, where is the obstacle? Can we truly call Christ's glorified and Resurrected body natural, in that it is no different than yours or mine? He was able to do things that no natural body could do when he came to his followers once he had risen. He could appear and vanish instantaneously, he could veil his appearance in ways that his followers could not recognize, and he could even walk through walls. What is natural about that? To me, if his "natural body" could do those things, what stops it from becoming present in the elements, if he should so choose. I recognise he is eternally at the right hand of the Father, but he also made an appearance to Paul on the Damascus Road. It appears his body is not so locationally limited as ours are.

    At any rate, in the passage of John pointed to earlier, he speaks of "eating" and "drinking" his flesh and blood. I don't think his words were poetic hyperbole. I did not say to eat signs of his body and blood, and that around the same time, his spritual body and blood would enter your body through faith, but not through the bread and wine. Personally, it appears to me that the bread and wine become spiritually his body and blood and we are to eat and drink. As for the whole digestion argument, I agree it's gross. But I don't see how a spiritual grace present in the elements is digested, just taken. And from it we recieve life. Jesus has used physical elements as conduits of his grace before, think of the mud and spittle on the eyes of a blind man, the garment to the women with an issue of blood. The apostles did it too, Peter's mere shadow healed the sick. None of these things, alone, had the power to do what they did. But they served as conduits of spiritual grace by which they recieved God's gifts. It would seem to be illogical play acting for a woman to touch a garment at the exact moment she recieved her healing if the two were independent of each other. I hope you get my meaning.

    I recognize this might be inartfully worded. It's very early here and I have yet to have coffee. But hopefully I got my point across. I look forward to hearing your answers to my questions. Thanks.
     
  11. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Ooh that gives me an idea for another thread.
     
  12. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    I apologize. I wrote that and then neglected to include the link. Here it is:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglican_sacraments
     
  13. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    Hackney Hub, you said, "Have you read the Articles of Religion? They're fairly exclusive as is the Prayer Book"

    Yes, yes, of course I've read the articles. But still the Anglican Communion has views ranging from Anglo-Catholic to Zwinglian.

    I apologize for the way I'm posting; I'm having trouble with the forum: It's very slow, won't go where I want it to, won't quote a post, etc.
     
  14. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Well of course. Catholics too, have quite a number of people who reject Papal infallibility, and the Reformed have people who espouse libertarian free will.

    Just having some person does not mean his views are orthodox.
     
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  15. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    Anglicanism is comprehensive in doctrine; it has been since the Elizabethan Settlement. It remains so despite the attempts and desires of some of those in the various "parties" to make it the church of their own views exclusively.
     
  16. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Rubish, if you don't believe Christ's faith how can you be an Anglican! Christ is the Church and we are His members! We are not comprehensive in doctrine, it's just that we have no doctrine for expulsion. Further we tend to take people as they present themselves, when Rome practised the Auto Da Fe and the Protestants slaughtered their opponents by massacre and drowning, we, on the whole, turned the other way after telling them,.'Don't do it again!'