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Church Issue

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Doc, Oct 8, 2004.

  1. Doc

    Doc Space Chief

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    As I mentioned somewhere else, I am a Catholic and consider myself to be a follower of Francis and Jesus. I am a faithful person but I disagree with something currently in the Church which has troubled me for about a year now. Is it right for the Catholic Church bishops to withold Eucharist to those who oppose certain Christian values such as Abortion or support of Gay Rights? And is it right for the Catholic Church to say that one is not to receive Eucharist until their sins have been resolved in Penance and Reconciliation with a Priest? I disagree with both of these statements. Did not God choose sinners as his apostles? Tax collectors and such? His apostles were by no means saints! Should we be not like Jesus who welcomes all to his body and blood, even those who were willing to murder him and betray him. We do betray God when we sin but aren't those who have troublesome lives the ones that need God's guidance and blood and body. Should they not be allowed to receive him. And how can one justify this? How can we only let the select few receive the Blood and Body of Christ! All are rightful of it! I think this is social prejudice myself and would like some input from Catholics and non-catholics a like!
     
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  2. Dave

    Dave Member

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    First of all, abortion and gay rights are NOT Christian values. Second, it's perfectly right for bishops to have priests withhold Communion to those who support abortion or gay rights. Abortion is a mortal sin, and it's also a mortal sin to support or condone whatever is a mortal sin. Same with gay rights -- they would allow homosexuals to practice their lifestyle. But homosexual sex is also a mortal sin, and it too would be gravely sinful to support. And anyone who is in the state of mortal sin may not receive Holy Communion until or unless they sincerely repent via the sacrament of confession. To receive Holy Communion while in the state of mortal sin is an act of sacrilege, which is another mortal sin. "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup" (1 Cor. 11:27–28). This is an absolute requirement which can never be dispensed. To receive the Eucharist without sanctifying grace in your soul profanes the Eucharist in the most grievous manner.

    Yes, it is VERY right for the Church to forbid reception of the Eucharist until a person has been absolved of their mortal sins in confession. Jesus told his disciples (and thus their successors, the popes and bishops of the Church) that whoever listens to them, listens to Him, and whoever rejects them, rejects Him. So if the Church teaches it, we are to believe and obey it. Sometimes we may struggle with Church teachings, which can and does happen, but to deliberately refuse to agree with any teaching is a mortal sin -- heresy, to be exact -- which, like all mortal sins, would bar one from Communion. Heresy is sinful because it's putting your feelings and opinions above God. But I digress. Anyway, the Church’s ancient teaching on this particular matter is expressed in the Didache, an early Christian document written around A.D. 70, which states: "Whosoever is holy [i.e., in a state of sanctifying grace], let him approach. Whosoever is not, let him repent" (Didache 10). It also says, "But first make confession of your faults, so that your sacrifice may be a pure one" (Didache 14).

    Yes, Jesus' apostles were sinners, and so are we. None of us is worthy to receive Communion. But Jesus died so that He could make us worthy if we only let Him. Even so, when we commit mortal sin, we totally cut ourselves off from God. And our sins don't just affect God; they affect the Church -- it's like the ripples that form in a huge circle when we throw a pepple into a pond. As a result, when we've sinned seriously against God and His Church, we have to use the means that He required us to use, namely, confession, to get back into the state of grace.

    As for those who live "troublesome lives" who, I presume, you mean those who are always in the state of mortal sin, the place for them to receive God's guidance is confession, not the Eucharist. Only after they've sincerely confessed can they receive the Eucharist.
     
  3. Jaymes

    Jaymes The cake is a lie

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    The abortion thing I can see.. but how is wanting to suppress a group of people Christian?

    And here silly me was taught that all sins are equal in God's eyes.

    To receive Holy Communion while in the state of mortal sin is an act of sacrilege, which is another mortal sin. "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup" (1 Cor. 11:27–28). This is an absolute requirement which can never be dispensed. To receive the Eucharist without sanctifying grace in your soul profanes the Eucharist in the most grievous manner.


    What if they taught the world was flat? Would everyone who questioned it be a sinner, a heretic?

    From a pagan's point of view, I just don't understand all the fuss about drinking a bit of symbolic wine and eating some crackers.
     
  4. Feathers in Hair

    Feathers in Hair World's Tallest Hobbit

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    I am not Catholic, and no longer can say I'm Christian either, so I realize any views I have on the matter may not matter much. I will say, though, that I think those that are willing to think through such issues are exemplifying Christ, and that it must be difficult for the those that are in the church to struggle with what the governing body is telling them, versus what their heart is telling them. (Also, (I think) what Jesus was telling them, but that's only my opinion.)
     
  5. Dave

    Dave Member

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    Hey Jensa, you're from Georgia too? Where about? I live in a small town not far from Athens.

    It's not about suppressing a group of people. Rather, it's about suppressing immoral behavior. Gay people deserve the same rights as everyone else (e.g. right to vote, right to equal pay, etc.). But that doesn't mean that laws should be enacted to enable them to practice their lifestyle (e.g. gay marriage). Gay sex is sinful because it's non-procreative and thus unnatural. God intended marriage to be between a man and a woman, not a man and a man or a woman and a woman.

    Not true. "If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly" (1 John 5:16-17).

    The scenario you propose is moot because the Church CANNOT teach error. So it CANNOT teach that the world is flat.

    There's nothing symbolic about Holy Communion in the Catholic Mass. Once the bread and wine are consecrated, they're no longer bread and wine but the body and blood of Christ.
     
  6. Dave

    Dave Member

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    It's good for people to think about such issues. Everyone should. However, if the Magisterium of the Church says something, then it's God saying it, as the Church teaches infallibly. If a person is truly open to doing the Lord's will, what their heart tells them and what the Church tells them CANNOT and WILL NOT contradict each other. If, however, there's a conflict, then that person isn't following God but rather their own feelings and opinions. If you use those as your guide, you will ALWAYS be led astray.
     
  7. Jaymes

    Jaymes The cake is a lie

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    Hey, really? I live not far from Athens, too. About a half hour. You near Franklin County?

    It is suppressing, because by saying "you can't marry someone of the same sex," you're telling me I can't marry who I love.

    God doesn't rule the USA. The people do. (In theory, anyway) Since not everyone in the US is Christian, the laws shouldn't be made to reflect solely Christian views.

    If you wish to pursue the 'gay marriage is wrong because people can't reproduce from it,' I'd be glad to debate that with you in one of the homosexuality threads. It's just off topic here. ;)

    I'm definately not a Bible expert. I'm just telling you what I was told while I attended Baptist churches, and that was that all sins are equal.

    What about the time when people did think the world was flat? What did they teach then?

    No offense intended.. but that creeps me out. If Jesus was human, then that seems too close to cannibalism to me for comfort...

    Edit: Whoa.. need to be a little more careful with the quote tags...
     
  8. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    One of the bishops who has come out for withholding the Eucharist is bishop Sheridan of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He also sent a letter to the town's 35,000 Catholic families in which he told them not to vote for any candidate who favored abortion rights, stem cell research, or gay rights. In the letter, he stated that if someone did vote for a candidate who favored one or more of those things, he or she should confess to having voted immorally before taking the Eucharist. Because of his stance on these matters, and because of the timing of his letter, there are those in the Springs who believe the bishop is trying to influence the Catholic vote in this year's election. That is, he's all but picked Bush as the only acceptable candidate to vote for.
     
  9. Jaymes

    Jaymes The cake is a lie

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    Only slightly off topic... You just can't win with politics.
     
  10. Corban

    Corban Member

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    Churches, if they consider themselves in any way true, should not be viewed as social clubs. They are supposed to be houses of learning where the teacher is God. This means they should not comprimise that God given knowledge to fit common trends, they should stand by the teachings He has given them. If you do not agree with the churches teachings, you should not belong to the church, if you do you should be happy to follow the teachings.
     
  11. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Agreed that churches should stand by their teachings. But in our country, they should also be wary of crossing the line to endorsing political candidates -- either that, or they should loose their tax exempt status. That's the law.
     
  12. Dave

    Dave Member

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    I wouldn't say Greene County is near Franklin County; it's actually pretty far. ;)

    If you wanted to marry a child (pedophilia), would it be suppressing to forbid that? If you wanted to marry an animal (bestiality), would it be suppressing to forbid that? If you were married to someone of the opposite sex but wanted to marry another person of the opposite sex while not ending your current marriage (bigamy), would it be suppressing to forbid that?

    In other words, you're saying there should be no absolutes in the eyes of the law to allow for those whose religions believe differently. But look at that statement again: "The laws shouldn't be made to reflect solely Christian views." Isn't that, in itself, a statement that's being made absolutely? In other words, it applies some rule or standard to everyone across the board -- exactly what you're saying shouldn't be done. You've undone their own argument simply by stating your case.

    The other problem with this statement is that I seriously doubt that you actually believe it. If someone said to you, "The laws shouldn't be made to reflect solely Christian views," and you violently physically assaulted him because your religion said it was ok to do that to people, he'd probably get upset. But by his own creed, he'd have to accept that while assaulting someone may be wrong for him due to his beliefs, it may not be wrong for you due to your beliefs.

    Perhaps you may reply, "As long as you're not hurting others, you're free to do and believe what you like." But this is an arbitrary distinction (as well as another absolute statement). Who says I can't hurt others? What constitutes "hurt"? Where does this rule come from?

    If this statement is made based on personal preference, it means nothing for anyone else. "Do no harm" is in itself an appeal to something greater -- a sort of universal dignity for the human person. But again, the question is where does this dignity come from?

    As you can see, the further you delve into these questions, the closer you come to understanding that our concepts of right and truth are not arbitrary but are based in some greater, universal truth outside ourselves -- a truth written in the very nature of our being. We may not know it in its entirety, but it can't be denied that this truth exists.

    The Church didn't have a teaching on it. The Church's job is not, nor has it ever been, to teach us astronomy.

    It's not cannibalism. After the consecration, the bread and wine are no longer bread and wine but the body and blood of Christ. But that doesn't mean the Hosts become a huge assortment of arms, legs, fingers, toes, etc. Rather, Christ becomes SACRAMENTALLY present. Due to the miracle of transubstantiation, the form, that is, the outward appearances, of the bread and wine remain the same, but the substance is changed. In other words, while they continue to look, taste, smell, and feel like bread and wine, they're no longer those but rather the body and blood of Christ. Cannibalism, on the other hand, is to eat food, but not just any food. For it to be cannibalism the FORM of the food has to be meat and or blood of one’s own species. Since the form of the Eucharist is not meat or blood it cannot be cannibalism. So if a person eats a dead man, that would be cannibalism. If, on the other hand, a lion kills and eats several people, and then a month later a hunter comes along and kills and eats that lion, that would not be cannibalism.
     
  13. Doc

    Doc Space Chief

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  14. Jaymes

    Jaymes The cake is a lie

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    Once again, this is off topic. If you want to discuss it with me, let's move it into one of the homosexuality threads, okay?

    No, I'm saying that Christian views shouldn't be pressed upon non-Christians. If you're going to do the whole invalidating arguments business, your misinterpreting my statement invalidated your argument.

    By the way, not punching others in the face when you're upset isn't solely a Christian value.

    I disagree with you, there. I think truth comes from within. Then again, I think most good things come from within. I wonder if being an introvert has altered my view of that, any... I'll make a thread pursuing that rabbit trail eventually.

    Teaching the shape of the earth is astronomy?

    What has it changed into? And what do you mean by Jesus is sacramentally present? I tried to figure out what that meant via dictionary.com, but it wasn't too clear on what 'sacrament' meant.

    Edit: Whoops, hey. You edited yours.

    Jesus was a human, wasn't he? If you're eating the body and blood of a human...
     
  15. Dave

    Dave Member

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    But you're indeed saying there's no absolute truth. You said Christian views shouldn't be pressed upon non-Christians. That would all make sense if you were saying that a certain thing may not be right for Christians, but it may be right for non-Christians.

    From within ... sounds to me like you're saying that if you feel in your heart that something is good, then it is. Well feelings and opinions are hardly a reliable indicator of what's right or wrong. Besides, what if another person came to the conclusion in their heart that something you thought was good was bad? Who would be right?

    Ok, maybe it's in the realm of geology. My bad. :bonk: But it's not the Church's job to teach geology either.

    And as for what you said about the Eucharist, I edited my previous post again.
     
  16. Feathers in Hair

    Feathers in Hair World's Tallest Hobbit

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    Hey, does anyone else think we should remind Our Fearless Leader about this bit? :D
     
  17. Doc

    Doc Space Chief

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    Neither is God a governor or Political Leader! I don't invision God as some big dude on a throne barking out orders to his people on earth! I try to think of him as more of a loving counsellor to all of those in need! That he fills our hearts with joy and hope so that we can accomplish the hard things in life! He's a cool dude!
     
  18. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    *seconds motion* I just wish he read the Constitution as often as he reads the bible.
     
  19. Jaymes

    Jaymes The cake is a lie

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    There is no absolute truth, in my opinion. Things change too much, and nothing remains constant.

    As for the rest, I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. Could you rephrase it?

    Why can someone with a good conscious not be able to determine right from wrong? How is introspection and looking within for your own answers and truth unreliable?

    People are allowed to have differing opinions. As long as they acknowledge this and don't shove their views down each other's throat or harm anyone else in their view-pursuing, then nothing's wrong.

    Did the church teach anything in the way of books, history, etc besides the Bible? I honestly have no clue how churches worked bad then. Heck, I still barely have a clue as to how they work now! ')

    I'm still not getting it, and I doubt I ever will. As long as it says 'blood and body of Christ' I'll probably associate it with cannibalism.. if anyone else can help me understand and differentiate these two, I'd greatly appreciate it.
     
  20. Doc

    Doc Space Chief

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    The way I define the Eucharist I receive is not as cannibalism! When you receive the Eucharist, your not really eating his foot or an arm in a physical sense! Try to think of it as soul nourishment where it is more of Jesus's spirit filling you with the graces and guidance of your daily goings ons! If you think of it as receiving his spirit, then it may help for some people or it may not!
     
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