I got up this morning and as is the usual habit I thought upon a biblical teaching I have heard plenty of times – transubstantiation. I began to wonder – where did this idea really come from?
Transubstantiation really is about the idea of the body of Jesus and the blood of Jesus in the communion service becoming the actual blood and body of Jesus. I think the Catholics still believe this is how it works but it’s funny that for many a year in Christendom this was the actual belief about the communion service. Isn’t that odd?
I think we have to come to a finer and deeper understanding of the communion service (symbolism and use of the service) and that in looking back we can see the theological weirdness of this old view. It would point to the idea that maybe we are looking a lot deeper into the scriptures and actually viewing them more appropriately – as in interpretation in these days. Maybe as a Christian society we have ‘grown up’ and are starting to use our ideas about literature when reading the bible – to both scope out literalness and creative symbolism in passages.
This is one of many examples that have been taught as literal at one point but appear to be not quite when done in reality. I cannot imagine actually eating flesh and drinking blood – regardless if it’s our Messiah we are doing it to (ie: literal view). It actually makes no sense since the disciples are pretty sure Gentiles should abstain from ‘drinking blood or eating it’ within Acts. So how can a church become so quick to look at this idea from the disciples yet not use this in regards to communion – simple answer – misunderstanding.
It’s really too bad too – since this is only one of the many ideas the church has thrown around as fact and found to be not quite that. One could make a proverbial listing of many of these mis-interpretations that still exist – ex: word of faith ideals, tongues, and judgement to name a few. Let’s not move backwards in our understanding of these scriptures – but forward – we know the literature motifs much better now and the use of context – let’s apply it. Let’s not pretend that something has to be literal to have meaning.