An old charge refuted: 11-12-09
November 12, 2009
In recent days various commenters here have been talking about the Christian sacrament of Holy Communion and raising the question of whether this amounts to cannibalism.
It's an ancient and ridiculous charge, but perhaps it's not surprising that early critics of Christianity -- to say nothing of modern-day critics -- have raised the charge, given the Christian idea that in the Eucharist (another name for the sacrament, as is the Lord's Supper), participants are said to be fed the body and blood of Christ in a foretaste of the great heavenly banquet of reconciliation.
Mostly it's Catholics nowadays against whom the charge of cannibalism is made, so today this Presbyterian is going to defend the Catholics against the accusation and explain in some detail why it's a wrongheaded argument. Much of it has to do with the Aristotelian science on which the Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation is based. More on that in a minute.
For help in this task, I am indebted to the late Dr. Hugh Thompson Kerr, a great Presbyterian, who once wrote this:
"Perhaps the situation may be clarified by an illustration taken from the life of one of Scotland's greatest preachers, Dr. Alexander Whyte, of Edinburgh. Dr. Whyte had a sincere admiration for Cardinal (John Henry) Newman and sent him his "Commentary on The Shorter Catechism." In that handbook, Dr. Whyte, in commenting on the words, 'Not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of his body and blood,' said, 'This is directed against the Popish doctrine of transubstantiation. According to that doctrine the bread and wine are changed into the very flesh and blood of Christ, so that all communicants literally and physically eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ.'
"Cardinal Newman was not satisfied with this statement, and wrote a most interesting letter: 'December 15, 1883. My dear Dr. Whyte -- I thank you for your Commentary. . .it rejoices me to meet with so much in it which I can sympathise and concur in, and I thank you heartily for the kind references you make to me in the course of it and for the words you have written in its first page.
"But it pains me that so large a heart as yours should so little enter into the teaching fo the Catholic Church, let alone agreeing to it. Thus you say that we consider that we physically eat our Lord's flesh and drink His blood in the Holy Eucharist. We consider the substance of His body and blood to be in the Sacrament, and thereby to be given to us. Excuse this outbreak of controversy, and believe me to be, Most truly yours, John Card. H. Newman.'
"In the second edition of the Commentary, Dr. Whyte substituted for his former statement these words: 'According to this doctrine, the substance of the bread and wine is converted into the substance of the very flesh and blood of Christ, so that all communicants literally and substantially partake of His flesh and blood.'"
One might take issue still with Whyte's use of the term "literally," but at least he got the right focus on substance.
As I said, this goes back to science that grew out of Aristotle, who divided the world into "accidents" and "substance." By accidents he meant the texture, color, taste and appearance of a thing. So some bread is spongy and white and has a rough feel. By substance, he meant the core essence of something -- for bread, it would be its "breadness." Thus in the Eucharist, the substance of bread and white is changed into the substance of Christ's body and blood even though the accidents of bread and wine remain the same.
So one physically eats bread and drinks wine even while consuming the substance of the body and blood of Christ. And since substance is not a physical attribute, the charge of cannibalism is unfounded.
All of this may seem like theological dancing on the head of a pin, but it has caused a long split in the church -- and it's a split I believe must be healed if the church ever is to live up to Jesus' desire "that we all may be one."
* * *
MUSLIMS' ROLE IN U.S. MILITARY
In the aftermath of the Fort Hood murders, a Washington Post writer has done this good piece about Muslims in the U.S. military. I will have more to say here this weekend about this week's visit to Kansas City by Eboo Patel, founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core, but I liked his answer when he was asked about what happened at Fort Hood. In part he said: "The extremists of all traditions belong to one tradition, the tradition of extremism." He said those extremists should thus not be honored by being included as a member of any religion. And if they try to tell you they are acting in the name of Islam or Christianity or Judaism or any faith, simply say you don't believe them because people of those faiths don't act that way.
* * *
P.S.: After mid-morning today, I almost certainly will have no chance to post your comments until tomorrow. And then until Monday my Internet access may be unreliable. Thanks for your patience. Bill.
So how could someone interpret Communion as cannibalism? Because their motives are bad. There is no way that a person could read about Communion and view that as 'cannibalism' unless they're deliberately trying to tear down Christianity. It's sad that someone would think that they're gaining glory for themselves in tearing down others through deliberate lies and deceptions. They aren't. Instead they are exposing their own motives, exposing who they are, and showing that they're desparate for a little glory that only God deserves. "Look at me, look at me," they think. "I am much greater and deserve the glory," they say.
Jesus was asked by religious leaders how it was that He could understand so clearly. He said that motive counts, expressed in asking the question, "What is the right thing to do." Jesus said that you'll understand the teaching with that motive in mind. You'll get it, if that's what you're seeking. Our motive must be, "What is the right thing to do?" That is seeking to do God's will.
John 7:17 - Jesus said
17 "IF ANYONE CHOOSES TO DO GOD'S WILL, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own."
Jesus went on to explain how you can spot error in people with other motives: they're glory hounds!
John 7:18 - Jesus said
18 "He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him."
Then Jesus pointed to the religious leaders and impugned their motives.
John 7:19 - Jesus said,
19 "Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?"
Posted by: Just Thinking | November 12, 2009 at 01:31 AM
Asking and seeking for "What is the right thing to do?" leads you down a very different path than asking, "How can I please myself and get my own way?" Asking one instead of the other leads you down very different paths. And it's a conscious choice that everyone has to make. One path glorifies God, while the other glorifies man. That's the clear difference.
Jesus said that difference in motive changes how teaching is received. The one who will not bow down will seek to eliminate Christ, eliminate the Church, and will seek to be glorified by others. They will want others to bow down to them. They will want to gain honor. So they will tear and rip and attack, thinking that they are gaining honor for themselves. And they'll misunderstand everything that Jesus said, because the words of Jesus were written for those who were seeking to know "What is the right thing to do?" or, in other words, "What is God's will for my life?"
The religious leaders felt threatened and less powerful when Jesus impugned they motives. They were used to be being served. They were used to getting glory, and they couldn't relinquish that power and glory that didn't belong to them. How powerful those who had Jesus Christ put to death must have felt. And how weak they look to others.
That's the picture of those who try to claim that Communion is 'cannibalistic.' They crave the glory that only God deserves. So they want to kill off what competes for the glory that they crave.
Posted by: Just Thinking | November 12, 2009 at 01:48 AM
Pretending to eat flesh and drink blood? The bible says thinking adultery is the same as doing it. So I suppose this is false, too. As the world progresses the bible will change. Now, have we, all this time, misinterpreted the bible, or are we simply changing it to have less conflict with the real world, you know, fit in, so they are not ridiculed. Being offended is quite the issue with the religious.
I find it disturbing that people prefer to interpret the bible, their interpretations, what god is saying instead of finding scientific reasoning for the problems of the real world.
What else from the bonze age do we study and translate into modern society?
I have asked these questions recently with little response. If science proves there is no god what will Christians do then? How do you know there is a real god, has he spoken to you? If so, then why not go to the media and tell them this? Tell them the story of eating flesh and drinking blood.
I have been asked this before, what if god is proven to exist? I always answer. I suppose when you only have faith to prove something it is difficult to answer in realistic terms. continue
Posted by: memberofKCFreeThinkers.org | November 12, 2009 at 05:12 AM
No matter how nice people are in Christianity, no matter how liberal, they still seem to be doom and gloom about the world. Even though we live in the best of times they still go back to interpret, thru the bible, the world is growing, quote, in evil. People who complain about science in the real world, I think, should remove themselves from it. Just live thru the bible. After all that is all you need. All answers are in that book. But of course there are people who will twist that to something else. It is called morphing. Religions will morph so they will fit into a changing society. Just a 100 yrs ago:
People still hold onto weird thinking. Eboo Patel, with all his broze age wisdom, said, according to Bill, “And if they try to tell you they are acting in the name of Islam or Christianity or Judaism or any faith, simply say you don't believe them because people of those faiths don't act that way.”
I get this all the time in the bible studies we go to. “Oh, they are not real Xs. Religions are morphing back to where they came from, spiritualism. Perhaps these same people would like to go back to a time without sciences. For example, stop using your computer, throw away your cell phone. It can possibly be a trick of the devil.
The church always takes modern technology to their advantage while condemning all the rest they deem unholy. It is simply amazing people don’t see this. Why do people want to believe in supernaturalism when it hasn’t a leg to stand on, only that they believe because they WANT to believe. Why the need for something to control your life? Is the real world too much for you? Isn’t it enough to be alive? You don’t like the natural world? Continue
Posted by: memberofKCFreeThinkers.org | November 12, 2009 at 05:13 AM
0. failing: a flaw or weak point; "he was quick to point out his wife's failings"
0. helplessness: powerlessness revealed by an inability to act; "in spite of their weakness the group remains active"
0. the property of lacking physical or mental strength; liability to failure under pressure or stress or strain; "his weakness increased as he became older"; "the weakness of the span was overlooked until it collapsed"
0. the condition of being financially weak; "the weakness of the dollar against the yen"
a penchant for something even though it might not be good for you; "he has a weakness for chocolate" wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
Lets make our belief fit in by ridiculing others.
0. disadvantage by prejudice
0. influence (somebody's) opinion in advance
bias: a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
People are destined to hell if they don’t believe, but even that interpretation is morphing to, hell is the separation from god, not a literal ETERNAL FIRE BURNING HELL. All myths have to change to be excepted in modern society. Why don’t people see this?
0. (psychology) an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contrary
0. a mistaken or unfounded opinion or idea; "he has delusions of competence"; "his dreams of vast wealth are a hallucination"
the act of deluding; deception by creating illusory ideas wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
Bill, posted,” P.S.: After mid-morning today, I almost certainly will have no chance to post your comments until tomorrow. And then until Monday my Internet access may be unreliable. Thanks for your patience. Bill.
I’m sure that will be okay with a lot of posters here, seeing they have so many other blogs they patronize. It makes me wonder what they have time for in every day life. It doesn’t take me long to post to one site and get on with life. But several blogs? I suppose it fits in with the WANT for the imaginary…continue
Posted by: memberofKCFreeThinkers.org | November 12, 2009 at 05:14 AM
Don’t worry, Bill, they will find their sugar rush elsewhere.
Obsessed, it’s like truth, whatever we want it to be.
This too funny:
Smoking Lettuce: Auto Tune the News #5
Do You Believe In God?
Well, after watching that, I certainly believe now.
Christianity in a Nutshell
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Why do you think there is so much violence in our communities today?
Billy relies, “The biggest problem, however, is that we have forgotten God. Our greatest need is for spiritual revival. Pray for our nation, and ask God to help you join others in making your community a better place.”
Yeah, lets just pray and do nothing else and see what happens. I never get an answer to that. You know why? There isn’t an answer.
Billy Graham | Society needs a spiritual revival
Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole
Posted by: memberofKCFreeThinkers.org | November 12, 2009 at 05:16 AM
Bill on what Eboo Patel said: "The extremists of all traditions belong to one tradition, the tradition of extremism." He said those extremists should thus not be honored by being included as a member of any religion. And if they try to tell you they are acting in the name of Islam or Christianity or Judaism or any faith, simply say you don't believe them because people of those faiths don't act that way.
The religion of extremism is the religion of authoritarianism. That's an important point that should not be overlooked. As for the rest of it, that is the wrong approach but it discourages introspection into aspects of one's theology, institutions or practices that could be reformed in order to discourage authoritarianism. It isn't only extremists that have authoritarian (extremist) tendencies - look at Milgram's experiment on obedience. Most people have some tendency toward authoritarianism (and therefore extremism.) Every religion has a dark side. Instead of pretending it doesn't exist, you need to bring it into the light and make changes!
To take another example, look at the Catholic Church pedophile scandal. Their response was to assume that because these men were good Catholics those kids must be lying, because Christians don't do that, do they? Or maybe some of them thought - hey he sounds remorseful and asked God to help change him, so I'm sure he can change, right? So they tried to hide the problem by transferring these priests to other parishes to protect the church instead of shedding light on it so they could protect the children.
So you don't ask - how can we disown the extremists so we can get better PR? - you ask, how can we prevent more of our own from turning into this? Anything else encourages more of the same.
Posted by: Lynne - www.kcfreethinkers.org | November 12, 2009 at 05:56 AM
About Catholicism and cannibalism - I don't think literal cannibalism is the issue. Fine, it's not "real" cannibalism but isn't it pretty obvious that it's symbolic cannibalism? On the other hand, the cross itself is a symbol of violence (among other things, too). There's probably a ton of symbolic violence in our culture - religious and otherwise - that we don't even think about. A little introspection once in a while is a good thing, I think.
Posted by: Lynne - www.kcfreethinkers.org | November 12, 2009 at 06:06 AM
Genesis 14:18. KJV. "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine; and he was the priest of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:"
How long was the bread and wine ceremony practiced on Earth? After Adam and Eve Sinned, or After the Planetary Flood?
When I was a member of the Missouri Lutheran Synod, we used wafers and wine. And the question regarding if alcoholics should take Communion with the wine. I do not remember from 1973 what was decided when I resigned.
This is no problem for Churches that used Grape Juice, but I wonder how alcoholics handle the wine in Communion.
The Catholics handled this Problem, by just giving the wafer, and the Priests drank the wine. I heard they taught, the bread stood for the body which also includes the blood. Is this still the practice today?
There probably are as many different Ways to observe Communion as there are different Christian Religions. Why so many Divisions?
"So one physically eats bread and drinks wine even while consuming the substance of the body and blood of Christ. And since substance is not a physical attribute, the charge of cannibalism is unfounded.
All of this may seem like theological dancing on the head of a pin, but it has caused a long split in the church -- and it's a split I believe must be healed if the church ever is to live up to Jesus' desire "that we all may be one."
Not until All Males are Celibate like Jesus, the Way to go to Heaven Alive.
Posted by: Dolores Lear | November 12, 2009 at 06:13 AM
Wow, you really handed me quite a gift. Read what you wrote and then consider what follows:
>REALITY: If a 'choice' could be perfectly predicted, then it is not a choice. If a 'choice' could be perfectly predicted, then you had *no* choice.
Don't you believe in a god who is all knowing? Can't an all knowing being perfectly predict the future? According to what you wrote above, if such a God exists then logically, free will can NOT exist. To put it another way:
JT's premise: Perfect prediction would mean there is no choice, no free will.
Christianity's premise: God is all-knowing.
3rd premise: God is able to perfectly predict the future. (Follows from premise number 2)
Therefore, if God exists there is no free will.
Logic 101, ladies and gentlemen! I will take my bow! Thank you, thank you! I'll be here all week!
Posted by: Lynne - www.kcfreethinkers.org | November 12, 2009 at 06:16 AM
Bill, that is an excellent refutation of the slanderous charge of Cannibalism, which, as you point out (and I had forgotten) is an ancient charge that was leveled against the first century Christians.
What I expect, though, is that the posters who make such comments will do as they always do...simply ignore your refutation and make other charges just to get a rise out of people and derail any developoing discusssions.
And repeatedly they ignore challenges to:
1. Demonstrate how "thought" (simply a biochemcial reaction in their REDUCTIONIST view) is "free" if it follows the laws of chemisty and physics in reponse to the environment.
2. Give an example of ANYTHING that could confirm...even in PRINCIPLE...the existence of God; they won't because as Jesus said, "Even if one were to rise from the dead, they would not believe".
3. Give an example of ANYTHING that would confirm...even in principle...the value of prayer; they won't because if you grant their view that we live in an "undirected universe" (as Greg Swartz claimed), and which HAS NOT been demonstrated, then they will ALWAYS come back with an "alternative explanation..."spontaneous" remission, space aliens, mass delusion, ANYTHING to avoid the TRUTH (which they will also say does not exist.)
As to the comment late yesterday that the "free"thought groups are now claiming that they have grown from an average of 10 people a meeting to something like 25 per meeting...in only a YEAR!
Actually, that is not an impressive rate of growth.
In a YEAR Bible Studies involving defending Christianity have increase by over ten times from 40 people to over 400 people at First United. Younger peoople are still very interested in Christianity, and the canard that they aren't is exactly that...false.
Posted by: Will Graham | November 12, 2009 at 06:27 AM
You wrote:"Lynne, it is simply not true that the folks at KCFS promoted simply science and only brought up religion when they faced opposition.
There were a number of Militant Atheists on their board, who specifically argued that science, when properly pursued, led to atheism."
Did they argue that in a public forum at a KCFS event, or on their own time? There is a difference between an organization taking a theological position and individual members still being allowed to express individual opinions when they are not representing the organization. If certain members of KCFS think properly applied scientific thinking leads to atheism, they have a right to their own personal opinion when not wearing their KCFS hats, so to speak. I'm sure that there are some religious members of KCFS who think that learning about the world by scientific means is an activity full of religious significance. They are also entitled to their opinions when not wearing their KCFS hats.
And as for certain other atheists speakers/writers who are in favor of the Iraq War: I can agree with someone on atheism and enjoy hearing their arguments without agreeing with every single thing they say on other subjects, such as politics. They are not the equivalent of atheist priests or saints. Not everything in religion has a parallel with atheism.
Posted by: Lynne - www.kcfreethinkers.org | November 12, 2009 at 06:42 AM
If Jesus said - drink my p... and eat my s..., do you think Christians would be doing it today? Or at least in some other representation?
Not too far fetched. Yahweh in the OT said he'd spread dung on people's faces.
Jesus said in the book of revelation he'll kill newborns of unworthy mothers (Dan Beyer I recall you said on some other KC Blog Jesus never spoke of killing babies - reality check).
Come on, people, god ordered to kill, mame, enslave, rape and cut out babies of mothers wombs, god drowned the whole frigging world on par with Hitler and Stalin and Mao's atrocities, what would eating some poop and drinking some urine do to a everlasting relationship?
By the way, there are myths where the world was actually vomitted out - how abou tthat?
It would be hilarious if priests were advocating this in churches - what, Hershey's chocolate and "sun" lemonade would be a substitution?
Grow up people!
Posted by: IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org | November 12, 2009 at 08:04 AM
Lynne, KCFS STILL links to articles that make the claim that science leads to atheism, so their appearing at a public forum, and using the KCFS label, makes them responsible.
They argue that online, even today.
The claim is of course, illogical, and false.
And you know it.
Their media contact at the time, Liz Craig, famously declared that their tactics included name calling, ridicule, and making opponents appear "in the harshest light possible". And I bet you knew that too.
Posted by: adam harrison | November 12, 2009 at 08:36 AM
Bill, thanks for sharing the theological reasoning as to why communion is absolutely not the same thing as cannibalism.
I'd never studied this particular reasoning before -- but to me if someone's saying communion is cannibalism, then they'd have to be saying it about breastfeeding, too, since as I've already said the baby feeds on a living substance created from the mother's flesh and blood.
And if breastfeeding is against Scripture, we'd seriously have to wonder if the evolution of mammals was outside the will of God. Huh? And then God came in the form of a human baby and breastfed, yet the Bible said He lived His life without sin -- so from this the logical conclusiion must be that cannibalism is something other than breastfeeding, and since Jesus said This is my body, take and eat, this is my blood, take and drink -- then obviously the Eucharist is more comparable to breastfeeding than it is to cannibalism.
Since He offered up His body as a mother offers her baby her breast.
I still think the main difference is cannibalism results in death, but Jesus conquered death and is alive for ever and ever.
Trapblock, thank you for sharing about Luther yesterday. I will have to get a hold of a Catholic Bible. And, Cole, I did answer your question the other day to the best of my ability.
Posted by: Susan | November 12, 2009 at 08:36 AM
Your view of the God of Christianity as knowing everything which will happen is not found in the Bible--I'm not sure where you have gotten that idea, except through folklore.
God does not know everything which will happen. For starters, He leaves the *choice* of whether or not to believe Him up to you. He leaves the choice of whether or not to decide to decide to follow Him up to you. These are individual choices, and He doesn't decide for you which one to choose. Free will is very real, Lynne, and free will is not free will if you know what will happen in advance, is it? God tells us that there is only *one* who stands condemned already. Does that sound like it's been settled already to you?
The only people who have been trapped in obvious logical error on this blog are those who have claimed that they have choices in life, and yet believe that everything which will happen can be explained by Science. That is the position that the atheists on this blog have taken time and again in order to exclude God from their thinking. And that's why they have refused to answer my simple question:
QUESTION: Is there something you can do in your life which could not be predicted by Science?
Not a single one of the atheists posting have tried to answer the question because it exposes their conflicting beliefs. And that question is not nearly as severe as the real dichotomy between 'choice' and 'predictable.' That dichotomy, as I explained yesterday, extends well beyond Science. It is a Philosophical question that was addressed long ago.
By the way, Lynne, there are intelligent athiests who avoid such errors. They just don't post here.
Posted by: Just Thinking | November 12, 2009 at 08:56 AM
Lynne, I'm glad you brought up the connection between extremism and authoritarianism. I agree that we all need to be more introspective and challenge whatever ideas are handed down to us.
About the omniscience of God -- I'd always seen that as compatible with free will because just because God knows what choice I'm gong to make, that doesn't take away my freedom to make it.
Just Thinking, I'm not sure what you are getting at in your free will argument? Are you saying that people have to believe in the supernatural in order to believe in their own ability to make choices? To me it seems perfectly "natural" for rational beings to make choices.
And just because science can predict that a mother is most likely going to defend her child from an attacker -- that doesn't take away the need for the mother to choose to do it. Of course a great deal of this is instinctual -- but among rational humans, sometimes there are harms that aren't as visibally evident. I.e., instead of a bear trying to rip a child from limb to limb, maybe some adult will just come up and start stroking a child's hair and ignore the child when she says "stop that."
Will the mother speak up for her child or be ingratiating to the adult instead? These kinds of choices sometimes go beyond instinct because they're not so life and death, but a child who's routinely subjected to having her bodily-integrity invaded against her will can grow up lacking confidence in her ability to speak up for herself. Which can often cause great harm in the long run.
But whichever way the mother chooses, I wouldn't say her choice is outside the realm of nature. Would you?
Posted by: Susan | November 12, 2009 at 09:04 AM
The Euchrist IS Christ's body and blood in the Catholic Church. All Catholic means is 'universal', which is an accurate discription.
Someone help me though... if any one really believes that this is cannibalism that would mean that they hold the belief that (like Catholics) the Eurchrist truly is the body and blood of Christ... in which case wouldn't want to be Catholic?... if you really believed that this miracle occurs during every Mass...
Posted by: trapblock | November 12, 2009 at 09:14 AM
Bill: (On Killing for Religious Gods)
"And if they try to tell you they are acting in the name of Islam or Christianity or Judaism or any faith, simply say you don't believe them because people of those faiths don't act that way."
Where are the People of those faiths, when Wars are fought for their Government or for Gain? Human Fighting soldiers, or in jail as a protester for their Faith?
IF Humans would act on their Faith, and Share GODs Resources Equally, there would be No Killing of the Living, for Any Reasons. For land or power?
Look what the USA gained by going into Iraq. The biggest USA Embassy, and a Military Base in the Mid-East to Protect Israel. This is where most of the Expense of this War were made, paying High Prices Contractors, that put us so deep into Debt.
Not for the needs of the Armed Forces, who did without their needs so the Green Zone could be built, where the Garden of Eden was assumed to be, 'in the beginning'.
Why do People still say Iran is a threat to Israel, with the USA Missiles and Bombs next door? Governments move in Mysterious Ways, the Missions to perform.
We need Celibate Males like Jesus, to be Peacemakers, instead of Killers. Why are God/Us' Children, so intent on Killing Each Other, and our Home Planet?
Life is for the Living, Not the Dead.
People used to feel Ok about Killing for God, when they thought they were going to Heaven to be with God.
But with High Tech Science KnowledHumansmans now Know, when Physical Life Dies, it goes back into the Elements, After Death, not to a Man-Made Religious 'Heaven'.
Posted by: Dolores Lear | November 12, 2009 at 10:09 AM
If you believe in a human's ability to choose, then you cannot believe that Science can perfectly explain that choice. We're not talking about 'likely' here. That's not prediction, any more than probability is a prediction of the outcome of the lottery. Prediction is knowing *actual* outcome. What will *actually* happen?
If you believe in a human's ability to make even *one* real choice, then you *must* believe that there are things which could not possibly be predicted. Not by today's Science. Not by tomorrow's Science. Not by any means other than Science either. If you believe in a human's ability to make choices that can change their future, then you *must* accept that there are *specific* things which humans can do which cannot be predicted by anything in this physical Universe. That is inescapable.
What part of a person makes a choice, Susan? Well, whatever part makes the choice cannot be fully explained explained by anything in this physical Universe. It's not a machine. Believing in choice leaves you with the INESCAPABLE conclusion that there is something which is not determined by anything in this physical Universe, but which can influences our future in a manner directed by us. It is not random or undirected; it is a choice directed by each person. That much is true simply because you believe in human free choice.
Christians call it spirit. Spirit cannot be fully explained by anything in this physical Universe, and yet the choices of spirit can change the physical future.
You can call it whatever you want, but the effect is the same: free choice is equivalent to the existence of that which can alter physical future, but which is not fully determined by anything in this physical Universe.
Posted by: Just Thinking | November 12, 2009 at 10:43 AM
"Asking and seeking for "What is the right thing to do?" - And it's a conscious choice that everyone has to make. One path glorifies God, while the other glorifies man. That's the clear difference."
Jesus taught Male Celibacy, and his Movement Shared All Resources Equally. Who is Living this Way, like Jesus did? Even Monks and Nuns that are Celibate, have different Levels of Resources.
Where did the Celibate Monks come from before Jesus' time? We have many Celibate Monks and Nuns today in different Religions. Why? Was this taught before Jesus' Time on Earth?
" "What is the right thing to do?" That is seeking to do God's will."
God/Us' Will in Genesis 1,2. was for Perfect Asexual Humans to be the Caretakers of Planet Earth. What is God's Will today, with our Ruined Planet, covered with Pollution and Nuclear Bombs?
Being Members of a Mouth Worship Temple made by Human Hands, while Planet Earth the Temple of GOD, is being Killed by Human Hands, is not Serving God.
"I don't think literal cannibalism is the issue. Fine, it's not "real" cannibalism but isn't it pretty obvious that it's symbolic cannibalism?"
"What else from the bronze age do we study and translate into modern society?"
The Original Asexual Knowledge of the Adam and Eve Clones in Genesis, handed down before the Jewish Religion Scriptures, that were handed down to Religions today?
That Adam and Eve Clones ate an apple for the Original Sin, which 'literally' was Reproducing Children, which resulted in Human Generation Birth, Death, and Rebirth, and Killing Each Other and their Home Planet.
Posted by: Dolores Lear | November 12, 2009 at 11:20 AM
Yes, Traplock, I'll help you....
here's a good short history of the Eucharist I found on the web...
By the way the word is EuchArist not Euchrist......from the Greek word "eukristos meaning "thankful" "grateful".
It's always been curious how the Passover Meal which Christians dubbed the Last Supper could have been so changed from its original intention as a Celebration of freedom i.e. the Exodus. As the Jewish Kosher (and Islamic - Halal) dietary laws absolutely forbid blood in any food it is very unlikely that Jesus would have offered his blood and body to be eaten and drunk (even symbolically) at, of all places a Seder meal !!!
Posted by: Red Biddy | November 12, 2009 at 11:25 AM
Dolores, the present leader of Iran has repeatedly threatened to wipe Israel off the may, and it would only take three or four nuclear weapons to basically do it.
But I think you know this already, so why do you ask, "Why do people say Iran is a threat to Israel?" Because the Iranian leader says they are a threat to Israel, and will soon have nuclear weapons.
And he says he is going to use them.
Israel can't take the chance.
Posted by: adam harrison | November 12, 2009 at 12:28 PM
COLE MORGAN, in your 5:12 am post, you say "If since proves there is no God, what will Christians do then?"
Well, apparently you have just admitted that "Science" has failed to prove you claim.
Further, what PROOF do you suggest? YOU are always demanding proof, so what proof can YOU produce that "Science" can establish your claim?
You can't even explain the origin of the universe by "undirected processes" much less the origin of life...and as to DEMONSTRATING either of those, you have no hope.
Posted by: adam harrison | November 12, 2009 at 12:38 PM
And LYNNE, why do you now persist in the claim that Communion is an expression of Cannibalism, symbolic perhaps, but Cannibalism.
Susan answered this with her breastfeeding examples and the example of David.
You know this, and yet even when refuted you just ignore it and go one.
Posted by: adam harrison | November 12, 2009 at 12:43 PM