Officially, Rome has anathematized Evangelicalism. Because they are the one, true church, and the dispensary of God’s grace; and since they say it can only be obtained through them by means of their particular religious rites, rituals and liturgy, you had better join yourself to them, and become a faithful Roman Catholic. Now, of course, I know they no longer talk like that to the world, but it’s still all there in their official beliefs and pronouncements.
From John chapter 6, verses 48 thru 59, Rome insists that Jesus was being absolutely LITERAL here, and that we all must eat Christ’s actual flesh and drink His real Blood (cannibalism?). Further, their priests, who are ‘alter christus,’ another Christ, or in the very place of Christ, have all been endued by the church, with Christ’s full authority, to transubstantiate, literally transform, by saying 5 magic words, the wafer and the wine of their sacrifice of the Mass; where they claim their priests crucify Christ afresh on their altars, thousands of times every day for the sins of their faithful, and partake of the element, at least, of the bread… into the very literal, physical body, blood and divinity of Jesus Christ. It’s a long, run-on sentence, I know. That is their official position, whether you think it is, or even believe it is, or not. That IS their real belief.
Rome condemns Evangelicalism for not buying that. They say, on the one hand, that we take the Bible too literally. But, here’s a case where they most certainly have. In all of Matthew, Mark, Luke and everywhere else in John; in Acts and all of the Epistles, it is not possible to construct even a ‘priesthood’ such as Rome has, let alone the sacrifice of the mass. First, though John records Jesus as saying His flesh is real food, and His Blood is real drink in verse 55. This is not to be taken literally. Verse 35 is clear, and agrees, with every other passage in all the rest of the entire New Testament, that coming to Jesus is ‘feeding’ upon Him, and believing upon Him is ‘drinking’ of His Blood. Further, to drink His Blood is actually a reference to never being thirsty in verse 35, and that points to partaking of the Holy Spirit, as we see in verse 63; where we are told that the Spirit gives life. This is all further explained by Jesus in the next chapter, with 7:37 thru 39.
If that weren’t reason enough, and it is, Jesus, Himself, said that He had been speaking figuratively unto them in chapter 16, verse 25, and that it was only at that time, and on that occasion, that the Disciples realized and acknowledged that only then had He begun to speak to them clearly, and without figures of speech, in 16:29. At the Last Supper, in Matthew 26, Mark 14 and Luke 22, while He is with them; it is obvious that He is giving them bread, and not His own flesh. Paul teaches in I Corinthians 11:23 thru 26, that the elements of the Lord’s Supper are taken to memorialize Christ’s once-for-all death for all persons’ every sin on the Cross. That’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell