A Clearer Refutation of the Heresy of Transubstantiation

PopeBusters

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A while ago, I was embroiled in an online “debate” (?) with a friend of a friend, who is violently Roman Catholic, over very many of their putrid dogmas. As the Roman Catholic system claims that it is infallible, if one error is found in its teachings the whole system is proven to be false. This is being the case, I wrote up a brief refutation of the heresy of transubstantiation. This was, of course, to no avail, as heretics will not be persuaded by sound, valid reasoning. Nevertheless, I found it to be a help to the elect saints. This being so, I have recently decided to write my argument in a clearer manner for any who are dealing with Romanist apologetes.

The argument, moreover, will illustrate the indispensability of the laws of logic which I have written on previously.

I. The Ontological Dilemmas:

In 1st Corinthians 15, Paul the apostle, in addressing critics of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, states that the body is sown in corruption but is raised to incorruptibility.

What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (vv.42b-49)

This absolute distinction between Christ’s natural body and His spiritual body is, arguably, hinted at in places like Luke 24:36-40 & John 20:19-23, but in the above quoted passage the Holy Spirit makes it very clear that what was sown in weakness (i.e. The natural body of Christ susceptible to falling sick, being wounded, and dying) was raised in power (i.e. The resurrected body of Christ which is not at all susceptible to the effects of the fall – e.g. Pain, sorrow, sickness, weakness, death).

This is an insurmountable problem for the Romanist doctrine of transubstantiation. For if Christ has been raised from the dead, then He is no longer subject to bodily & spiritual suffering, let alone death. And if He is not subject to bodily & spiritual suffering, or death, then it impossible for Him to be offered up as a propitiatory sacrifice for sins.[ See, The Catechism of the Catholic Church, §1365-1367] Consequently, if the papacy teaches transubstantiation, then the papacy is not infallible, for transubstantiation contradicts the Word of God.

Therefore, either Christ has been raised to incorruptibility and the Roman mass, via implication, is false; or Christ has not been raised to incorruptibility and the Roman mass, via implication, is correct. The Romanist can either (a.)believe the Scriptures and repent of his heresy, or (b.)reject the Scriptures and continue believing in the heresy of transubstantiation. There is no third option.

In addition to this, however, we must note further that if Christ’s body and blood are truly offered up as a propitiatory sacrifice in the Roman mass, then Christ is still subject to suffering, pain, and death. And if this is the case, then it follows that Christ is still under the curse of the Law. And if Christ is still under the curse of the Law, then Paul is mistaken when he teaches that “…the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives [on earth]…”[ Rom 7:1b] Therefore, either Christ has died and is no longer under the curse of the Law and transubstantiation is false, or Christ has died and is still under the curse of the Law and transubstantiation is true. There is no third option.

In both arguments, it is plain to see that the Scriptures destroy the Roman Catholic heresy of transubstantiation. Christ died and is no longer under the curse of the Law; therefore, the Roman mass cannot be a propitiatory sacrifice, for sacrifices suffer and die – and Christ’s resurrected body, by definition, is not susceptible to either suffering or death. And Christ died and was raised to incorruptibility; therefore, the Roman mass cannot be said to be a propitiatory sacrifice, for He is no longer subject to pain, suffering, or death. As it is written:

And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.[ Heb 10:11-14]

II. The Moral Dilemmas:

In addition to the abovementioned arguments, the Scriptures further refute the doctrine of transubstantiation. Christ was born under the Law,[ Cf. Gal 4:3-5] fulfilled the Law in His perfect obedience to it,[ Cf. Matt 5:17-20; Rom 10:4] and is now no longer under the Law (as the subject of divine judgment) for He has born the wrath of God completely for His people.[ Cf. Rom 8:1-4] These facts are insurmountable difficulties for transubstantiationists.

[i.] Christ’s Perfect and Perpetual Active Obedience to the Law of God

Firstly, Christ Himself states that His purpose is not to abolish the Law but to fulfill it,[ Cf. Matt 5:17] and this Law includes prohibitions against the consumption of blood (human and animal).[ Cf. Lev 17:10-14] Therefore, if Christ came to live obediently under the Law for His people’s salvation and yet commanded them, prior to going to Calvary, to eat His literal flesh and drink His literal blood, then He was commanding His disciples to break His Law and, consequently, proves Himself to be neither Yahweh nor Messiah, for it is sin to command others to sin.

Thus, if transubstantiation is correct, then Christ broke the Law by teaching His disciples to break it (by commanding them to eat human flesh and drink human blood), and He is neither God nor the Messiah. However, Jesus is God and Messiah; therefore, it was not possible for Him to sin by commanding others to sin; therefore, Christ never commanded His disciples to eat His literal flesh and drink His literal blood; therefore, transubstantiation is false.

[ii.] The Perfect Passive Obedience of Christ Unto Death

Secondly, Christ’s death on the cross is the apex of His obedience to God. This is called His passive obedience (i.e. His obedience to God in serving as the recipient of God’s wrath in the place of His people).[ Cf. Phil 2:4-8] Thus, He has fulfilled the positive demands of the Law, and in His death He satisfies the punitive demands of the Law.[ Cf. Col 2:13-14] And if He has satisfied the punitive demands of the Law, then the Roman mass cannot be a propitiatory sacrifice, for Christ’s propitiatory sacrifice of Himself was the apex of His passive obedience unto death. Therefore, if the Roman mass is correct, then Christ did not satisfy the punitive demands of the Law. Therefore, either Christ satisfied the wrath of God and the Roman mass is false; or the Roman mass is correct and Christ did not satisfy the punitive demands of the Law of God. However, Christ did satisfy the punitive demands of the Law; therefore, transubstantiation is false.

Thirdly, consider: If Christ commanded His disciples to eat and drink His literal flesh and literal blood, then why do His apostles, subsequent to His ascension, command Gentile converts to “abstain…from blood…”[ Acts 15:29]? This command, moreover, is given approval by the Holy Spirit, as the apostles clearly state in Acts 15:28, and is not made with any qualifications/exceptions respecting the Lord’s Supper. Hence, even if we ignore the first irresolvable moral dilemma, we face another which is equally irresolvable. For if Christ commanded His people to eat and drink His literal flesh and literal blood, and the Holy Spirit, through the post-ascension leadership of the apostles, commanded Gentiles to “abstain from blood,” and He did not make any qualifications/exceptions to this command, then the Holy Spirit was either contradicting Christ’s command or was not aware of Christ’s command and so authored confusion in the church by not making any qualifications/exceptions respecting the Lord’s Supper! However, it is impossible for God to contradict Himself, God is omniscient, and God is not the author of confusion; therefore, the Holy Spirit did not contradict Christ; therefore, the Holy Spirit was not ignorant of anything Christ taught; and the Holy Spirit did not author confusion in the church; therefore, Christ never commanded His people to eat and drink His literal flesh and literal blood; therefore, transubstantiation is false; therefore, Rome is not infallible.

Lastly, we note again that Christ’s propitiatory sacrifice was an act of obedience to the Law of God. Taking into consideration, therefore, the fact that “..the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives [on earth]…”[ Rom 7:1b]and Christ died to the Law (and we His church die to it as well through Him),[ Rom 8:4-5] it cannot be the case that the Roman mass is a propitiatory sacrifice. For a propitiatory sacrifice is an act of obedience unto death when performed by Christ, and Christ died to the Law’s positive demands and punitive demands. The Law, therefore, has no hold on Christ – for Christ is neither under probation nor the subject of the wrath of God; therefore, transubstantiation is false. The dilemma, then, to state the matter simply, is this: Either transubstantiation is correct and the Scriptures are wrong when they state that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives; or the Scriptures are correct, and transubstantiation is false. The Scriptures are correct; therefore, transubstantiation is false.

III. Concluding Remarks

The Scriptures do not teach the heresy of transubstantiation, as we have observed. Nowhere are the people of God commanded to eat the literal flesh and literal blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Such an abominable act as the consumption of another human being’s flesh and blood, in fact, is the fruit of abject rebellion against God’s covenant. As the Lord tells His people through Moses:

…if…you will not listen to Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I will walk contrary to you in My fury, and I Myself will discipline you sevenfold for your sins. You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters.[ Lev 26:27-29]

Transubstantiation is, to be blunt about the matter, cannibalism, and as such is the mark not of God’s blessing but of God’s judgment. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that it is infallible; yet consider the above arguments from Scripture! The doctrine of transubstantiation is just one of many of Rome’s pernicious heresies which is quite easily refuted by the Scriptures. Yet in spite of this, popery continues to adhere to abominable practices which implicitly (and explicitly!) deny the bodily resurrection of Christ, the active and passive obedience of Christ, the deity and messiahship of Christ, the omniscience of the Holy Spirit, and the infallibility of the Bible. If you are a Roman Catholic – repent and be forgiven of your sins. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and truly receive absolution from the only Priest who can absolve sinners, who ever lives to intercede for all who turn to Him in repentance and faith: Christ Jesus, the One and Only perfect substitutionary sacrifice for sinners.

-h.

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26 thoughts on “A Clearer Refutation of the Heresy of Transubstantiation

  1. Michael Morris says:

    So I’m “violently” Roman Catholic now. I’ve never struck anyone concerning my religious affiliation…Just Saying.

    Nowhere are the people of God commanded to eat the literal flesh and literal blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Really how many times do I have to do this Hiram…

    53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
    54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

    56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

    57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

    58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
    John 6: 53-54, 56-58 KJV

    And of course the institution narratives all of which say This is My body Take and eat, This is my blood take and drink.

    Deny it all you want but don’t try and say the scriptural evidence doesn’t exist, it might make getting slapped with it repeatedly a little less painful.

    So even your new improved clearer refutation is about as clear as mud,

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  2. Michael Morris says:

    By asking you to address the scriptural evidence, yes I suppose I am begging the question. The same question I have had since we started this little tango.

    5 times in 7 verses, Christ directly commands His followers to eat His flesh and drink His blood. How is it then that there is no scriptural support.

    Again, that is without even addressing the institution narratives.

    Further you are the one who is obsessing over the idea that it is Christ’s literal flesh and blood. It is a spiritual presence. No less Real, but the argument of yours regarding whether or not it is His resurrected body or his mortal body is not germane to the discussion.

    Bottom line if I am question begging at least I am being consistent, begging you to address the citations I have provided which you have constantly failed to do.

    Now it’s true we might eventually be able to move to a discussion as to the merits of the Catholic interpretation vis a vis the Protestant one; however you must first stop denying that the scriptural support for the Catholic position exists.

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    • hiram says:

      Hey Michael,

      Your position entails a logical contradiction. Ergo, either God is right and does not teach the lie that contradictions are true, or you are right and God is irrational.

      There is no middle ground here.

      Simply quoting Scripture and presupposing your position is not equivalent to presenting an argument, or presenting one against my argument.

      -h.

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  3. Michael Morris says:

    My position hasn’t been presupposed, I’m merely asking you to address one of many erroneous statements.

    Do those verse not contain a command to eat Christ’s flesh? Yes or no?

    If they do, then you speak in error.

    We can get to my position later please stay on topic.

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    • hiram says:

      Michael, you’ve ignored my argument and simply presupposed that your interpretation of John 6 is correct.

      That is not an engagement with my argument. My argument shows you that Christ cannot be speaking of His literal flesh and blood being the things Christians are to consume. If He was, He would be breaking the Law of God and thus showing Himself to be neither sinless nor God nor Messiah nor Savior.

      Deal with the argument, please.

      Unless you show me that you really want to deal with my argument, then I don’t see the point of interacting with you on this matter.

      -h.

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  4. Keri says:

    I would also like an explanation of John 6 if the Catholic interpretation is incorrect?

    Michael, why do you say that the Eucharist isn’t literally the body and blood of Christ? Because it is. Jesus is whole and entire, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in every tiny particle? I’m totally at a loss for why you say that? I hope I have misunderstood you.

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    • hiram says:

      Keri, thanks for coming by the blog :)

      My understanding is as follows:

      1._____ The supper of the Lord Jesus was instituted by him the same night wherein he was betrayed, to be observed in his churches, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance, and shewing forth the sacrifice of himself in his death, confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, their further engagement in, and to all duties which they owe to him; and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other.
      ( 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 17,21 )
      2._____ In this ordinance Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sin of the quick or dead, but only a memorial of that one offering up of himself by himself upon the cross, once for all; and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same. So that the popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominable, injurious to Christ’s own sacrifice the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect.
      ( Hebrews 9:25, 26, 28; 1 Corinthians 11:24; Matthew 26:26, 27 )

      3._____ The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed his ministers to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to a holy use, and to take and break the bread; to take the cup, and, they communicating also themselves, to give both to the communicants.
      ( 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, etc. )

      4._____ The denial of the cup to the people, worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and reserving them for any pretended religious use, are all contrary to the nature of this ordinance, and to the institution of Christ.
      ( Matthew 26:26-28; Matthew 15:9; Exodus 20:4, 5 )

      5._____ The outward elements in this ordinance, duly set apart to the use ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truly, although in terms used figuratively, they are sometimes called by the names of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ, albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before.
      ( 1 Corinthians 11:27; 1 Corinthians 11:26-28 )

      6._____ That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ’s body and blood, commonly called transubstantiation, by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant not to Scripture alone, but even to common sense and reason, overthroweth the nature of the ordinance, and hath been, and is, the cause of manifold superstitions, yea, of gross idolatries.
      ( Acts 3:21; Luke 14:6, 39; 1 Corinthians 11:24, 25 )

      7._____ Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death; the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.
      ( 1 Corinthians 10:16; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 )

      8._____ All ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with Christ, so are they unworthy of the Lord’s table, and cannot, without great sin against him, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereunto; yea, whosoever shall receive unworthily, are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, eating and drinking judgment to themselves.
      ( 2 Corinthians 6:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 11:29; Matthew 7:6 )

      -London Baptist Confession of Faith 1689, Chapter 30

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  5. Michael Morris says:

    Hiram, I would love to argue this from an interpretationary standpoint. So you admit, then those verses do exist?

    I suppose I do presuppose the Catholic position to be correct, otherwise why would I argue and defend it.

    However,you have yet to show me in a meaningful way how that interpretation might be incorrect.

    If we are to understand that Christ existed even as he was Incarnate outside fime and s

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  6. Michael Morris says:

    Sorry trying to send it from my phone, delete the above reply…

    Hiram, I would love to argue this from an interpretation standpoint. So you admit, then those verses do exist?

    I suppose I do presuppose the Catholic position to be correct, otherwise why would I argue and defend it.

    However,you have yet to show me in a meaningful way how that interpretation might be incorrect.

    If we are to understand that Christ existed even as he was Incarnate outside time and space and that He was instituting something to last until His return, it starts to make a little more sense.

    Now I won’t at this time rehash the argument pertaining to exactly when Christ abolished the law we can get there.

    However, as I said I still fail to see how you can so vehemently deny that there is a scriptural basis for the idea that the Eucharist is in fact just what Christ says it is. Now understanding all of that if in fact the Catholic interpretation is correct and as Keri has pointed out it is truly and literally Christ, why shouldn’t we fall at our feet in worship.

    As Flannery O’Connor said if it’s just a symbol to Hell with it.

    My question Hiram is this: Given John 6, given the institution narratives, why shouldn’t someone believe it to be the literal flesh and blood of Christ? Here’s the rub answer it without resorting to the Levitical law argument because you and I haven’t resolved that yet either.

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  7. hiram says:

    By asking me to answer without referencing Christ’s obedience to the Law of God in its totality, you are asking me to do something impossible. The Law is central to everything that Jesus says and does in all of the Gospel accounts. Jesus declared that He came precisely to fulfill the will of the Father. This means that in all He was saying and doing He was fulfilling the Law of God. There is no point at which we can look at Jesus’ words and deeds apart from His perfect keeping of God’s Law. It is, therefore, impossible for me to answer the question the way you want me to.

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  8. Michael Morris says:

    Hiram,
    I’m merely asking you for a reason I shouldn’t believe the Catholic perspective. I asked you for it without reference to the Law, because your argument vis a vis the Law is as yet moot since we are at such different points in regard to it.

    Ergo suddenly the Catholic view is necessarily right and proper.

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  9. hiram says:

    Im not answering your question. I have argued not only on the basis of the Law, but also on an ontological basis. Youve told me to jettison both so I can follow you who knows where. lol. If Jesus is truly Man, then He once had a body that was subject to corruption but now, since His resurrection from the dead, has a body that is incorruptible. If His resurrection body is incorruptible, then transubstantiation is false. Paul says that Christians will be raised in a body like Christs; therefore, His resurrection body is incorruptible in much the same manner as the Christians will be; therefore, transubstantiation is false.
    Is Christs resurrection body corruptible (i.e. capable of being harmed and dying)? Or is it incorruptible? There is no third option.

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  10. Michael Morris says:

    Hiram since you refuse to answer my question regarding the Passover Lamb, can I at least try once more to restate my question regarding John 6 and see if I can get a straight answer.

    Forgetting anything else if I were to read those verses in John 6 and then read the institution narratives, where I repeatedly see Christ saying eat my flesh and drink my blood; then I see Him offer those things to the apostles at the Last Supper without any indication of metaphor or parable, what other possible interpretation could I draw?

    In other words imagine someone who knew nothing of Christianity (a Martian, I don’t know) you hand them a bible and tell them it holds everything they need, how do you explain/interpret those verses to them when they say so this Jesus guy wants me to eat His flesh, and drink His blood, what’s up with that?

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    • hiram says:

      lol. They would be reading the verses out of context. If they would have begun with Genesis and made their way through John they would understand what is going on there because they would understand that Christ is the One who has come to fulfill the Law of God and that He could not be speaking of a literal consumption of His flesh and blood, for that would be in violation of the Law He came to fulfill.

      They could, of course, be undecided on the matter until they get to Paul’s explicitly ontology stated in 1st Corinthians 15, where it becomes evident that if Christ is risen from the dead then He has an incorruptible body and so it is impossible for Christ to have commanded His disciples to literally eat His flesh and drink His blood.

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  11. Michael Morris says:

    So as usual your answer is no answer. In my scenario, I thought you’d understand the martian read the whole book.

    Still he has questions, how do you answer, what other interpretation can you provide?

    Because after all you must have one right.

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    • hiram says:

      My answer is one that you don’t like, but it’s an answer.

      So I’ll rephrase it:

      Scripture interprets Scripture.

      Or as Christ puts it:

      “My sheep hear My Voice.”

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  12. Michael Morris says:

    Thank God the Ethiopian eunuch found St. Phillip and not you.
    Sorry dude scripture interprets scripture. His sheep hear His voice.
    So my interpretation is wrong, along with 2000 years of constant teaching and tradition, but you have no other interpretation.
    Interesting.

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  13. Michael Morris says:

    I’m writing a new post on my blog, by the way detailing in fact how the bible actually teaches Transubstantiation, starting with Genesis and ending in Revelation.

    You should give it a look. I must admit I’m somehow not surprised you can’t come up with some sort of alternative translation or explanation.

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  14. Michael Morris says:

    Also this is perhaps off topic but can you tell me where I might find scripture interprets scripture in the Bible. All I can find is 2 Peter 3:16, but that says something else entirely.

    Btw my new blog is up.

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    • hiram says:

      No offense, Michael, but you have been off topic since the moment you chose to disregard my argumentation altogether.

      Scripture is where God speaks. God explains Himself in Scripture. Therefore, Scripture interprets Scripture.

      Hence, when the Ethiopian Eunuch read Isaiah 53, he could only understand it in light of the New Testament revelation proclaimed to him by Phillip. Phillip explained the Scripture to the Eunuch in light of the life, death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus – i.e. the Gospel Narrative —- i.e. the Scripture (as Paul calls it in 1st Tim 5:18b).

      Just like when Apollos was teaching “accurately” the things concerning Jesus, he was further instructed by Priscilla and Aquila who taught him “more accurately” (i.e. Christ had fulfilled the things of which John spoke).

      What is a problem for you, however, is that, as far as I can tell, your leader hasn’t hashed out an infallible interpretation of Acts 8:26-40. So, for all intents and purposes, you’re the Ethiopian in the chariot.

      Where’s your Phillip?

      Aren’t you interpreting the Scripture on your own private authority, seeing as your religion has not infallibly interpreted this passage of Scripture, in order to prove to me that I cannot interpret Scripture on my own private authority?

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  15. Michael Morris says:

    Further resorting to your strawman I’ve already dismantled. I believe it’s fewer than one percent of scriptures have an infallibly declared interpretation.

    I ignored your argument purely because the error I locked onto was so egregious it eliminates any legitimacy anywhere else in your diatribe.

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  16. Michael Morris says:

    Upon further review I am exactly on topic: you said: Christ never commanded His disciples to eat His literal flesh and drink His literal blood; therefore, transubstantiation is false.

    I pointed out where He said it, asked you to clarify…all you’ve done since then is dodge or attempt cutesy answers never once explaining how this obvious scriptural refutation of your own argument renders the rest of your argument worth discussing….

    Bad reading comprehension issues again or is more intellectual dishonesty….

    BTW I know you won’t post this comment, but I know you will see it….

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  17. hiram says:

    The comment is posted. No intellectual dishonesty here. I made sure to say “literal” flesh and blood. My post is proving that your religion’s interpretation is wrong. Your responses have not dealt with my arguments, Michael. You quoted Scripture. But my post shows that Christ never commanded His disciples to eat His literal flesh and blood. Jesus doesnt command that anywhere. Why? Because of the reasons in my post: It is morally impossible; it would entail a logical contradiction regarding Scriptural anthropology; it would turn Christ into a sinner. Hence, “not literal” is key. Not dealing with my arguments (i.e. showing that they are invalid or unsound) is, therefore, a departure from the post.

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