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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Thirty-nine Articles: XIX-XXXI

For those who think grape juice is "wine" I would like to quote Article XXVIII. Clearly the English Reformers used wine and not grape juice. The burden of proof would be on the neo-legalists to prove that the cup in Scripture was filled with grape juice and not wine. They would need to prove also that the English Reformers and the early Presbyterians used grape juice and not wine. Unless they are able to do so then the only conclusion one can draw is that they are gnostics who think that material things such as wine or alcohol is evil or malignant in and of themselves. Or just perhaps reading American Prohibitionism into the sacrament of the Lord's supper is hyper-pietism and completely unbiblical? The fact of the matter is that external laws cannot prevent determined sinners, which is why prohibitionism does not work with the issue of alcoholism. Alcohol, like guns, is not the source of evil. Rather sinful people are the source of evil. Since the Bible institutes the Lord's supper and since the passover meal was served with wine, not grape juice  (see Leviticus 23:13), then we ought to follow Scripture rather than Pharisaical traditions that go beyond what Scripture itself prescribes and prohibits. (1 Corinthians 4:6.  See also:  1 Corinthians 11:20-27.  If wine were not used in the Lord's supper in 1 Corinthians 11 then why does Paul rebuke the Corinthians for getting drunk when the sacrament was served?  1 Corinthians 11:21.) 

I could point out the many passages in the New Testament that show that "wine" is always alcoholic wine.  Even when Jesus mentions "new wine" it is in the context of the fermentation process since fermentation will burst old wine skins and new wine skins expand during fermentation.  (See  Matthew 9:17).  What is even more hypocritical is that neo-legalists wish to condemn the Reformed Confessions as "legalistic" because they prescribe the use of "wine" in communion--which is beyond dispute the practice in Scripture, the early church, and in the Protestant Reformation.  Modern day gnostics and legalists need to get over their false piety and obey the Scriptures and the Reformed Standards.  It is not those who wish to follow Scripture and the Reformed standards who are being divisive (read heretical) here but it is the modern day Pharisees who produce laws that go beyond the moral law of God and instead stand upon the false traditions of men.  (Mark 7:8).

Article XXVIII

Of the Lord's Supper

The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves, one to another, but rather it is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ, and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ.

Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of bread and wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.



The Thirty-nine Articles: XIX-XXXI


168. What is the Lord's supper?
Answer: The Lord's supper is a sacrament of the New Testament,1 wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine according to the appointment of Jesus Christ, his death is showed forth and they that worthily communicate feed upon his body and blood, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace,2 have their union and communion with him confirmed;3 testify and renew their thankfulness,4 and engagement to God,5 and their mutual love and fellowship each with other, as members of the same mystical body.6
See also: WCF 29.1 | WSC 96

1 Luke 22:20
2 Matt. 26:26-28; 1 Cor. 11:23-26
3 1 Cor. 10:16
4 1 Cor. 11:24
5 1 Cor. 10:14-16, 21
6 1 Cor. 10:17

169. How hath Christ appointed bread and wine to be given and received in the sacrament of the Lord's supper?
Answer: Christ hath appointed the ministers of his word, in the administration of this sacrament of the Lord's supper, to set apart the bread and wine from common use, by the word of institution, thanksgiving, and prayer; to take and break the bread, and to give both the bread and the wine to the communicants: who are, by the same appointment, to take and eat the bread, and to drink the wine, in thankful remembrance that the body of Christ was broken and given, and his blood shed, for them.1
See also: WCF 29.3

1 1 Cor. 11:23, 24; Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19, 20

170. How do they that worthily communicate in the Lord's supper feed upon the body and blood of Christ therein?
Answer: As the body and blood of Christ are not corporally or carnally present in, with, or under the bread and wine in the Lord's supper,1 and yet are spiritually present to the faith of the receiver, no less truly and really than the elements themselves are to their outward senses;2 so they that worthily communicate in the sacrament of the Lord's supper, do therein feed upon the body and blood of Christ, not after a corporal and carnal, but in a spiritual manner, yet truly and really,3 while by faith they receive and apply unto themselves Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death.4
See also: WCF 29.7

1 Acts 3:21
2 Matt. 26:26,28
3 1 Cor. 11:24-29
4 1 Cor. 10:16
The Three Forms of Unity also prescribe the use of "wine" and not "grape juice" or "new wine" in the Heidelberg Catechism, Lord's Day 29:

Question 78. Do then the bread and wine become the very body and blood of Christ?
Answer: Not at all: 1but as the water in baptism is not changed into the blood of Christ, neither is the washing away of sin itself, being only the sign and confirmation thereof appointed of God; so the bread in the Lord's supper is not changed into the very 2body of Christ; though agreeably to the 3nature and properties of sacraments, it is called the body of Christ Jesus.

Question 79. Why then doth Christ call the bread His body, and the cup His blood, or the new covenant in His blood; and Paul the "communion of the body and blood of Christ?"

Answer: Christ speaks thus, not without great reason, namely, not only thereby to teach us, that as bread and wine support this temporal life, so His crucified body and shed blood are the true meat and drink, whereby our souls are 4fed to eternal life; but more especially by these visible signs and pledges to assure us, that we are as really partakers of His true body and blood (by the operation of the Holy Ghost) as we 5receive by the mouths of our bodies these holy signs in remembrance of Him; and that all His sufferings6 and obedience are as certainly ours, as if we had in our own persons suffered and made satisfaction for our sins to God.

1 1 Cor. 10:1-4; 1 Pet. 3:21; John 6:35, 62-63;
2 1 Cor. 10:16; 1 Cor. 11:20
3 Gen. 17:10-11, 14; Ex. 12:26-27, 43, 48; Acts 7:8; Matt. 26:26; Mark 14:24;
4 John 6:51, 55-56; ;
5 1 Cor. 10:16-17; 1 Cor. 11:26-28; Eph. 5:30;
6 Rom. 5:9, 18-19; Rom. 8:4;

See also The Belgic Confession, Article 35 where this paragraph occurs:

Christ, that He might represent unto us this spiritual and heavenly bread, hath instituted an earthly and visible bread as a sacrament of His body, and wine as a sacrament of His blood, to testify by them unto us, that, as certainly as we receive and hold this sacrament in our hands, and eat and drink the same with our mouths, by which our life is afterwards nourished, we also do as certainly receive by faith (which is the hand and mouth of our soul) the true body and blood of Christ our only Savior in our souls, for the support of our spiritual life.  (Mark 6:26; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; Ephesians 3:17; John 6:35)




13 comments:

aaytch said...

Poppycock. In no place, either the Articles or any other Reformed confession, or in the Bible itself, does it say regarding "bread and wine" that the former must be unleavened and the latter must be leavened.

The elements will always just be elements. The reality of their being to us the Body and Blood of Christ is not dependent on such superficialities. Indeed, Jesus tells us himself, and demonstrates in MANY cases that He can and will dictate the reality of things regardless of their appearance or their elemental nature. It is pure superstition to imagine otherwise.

Cranmer would be appalled to find the simplicity of the elements in the Lord's Supper as found in the Book of Common Prayer reinterpreted, even by Reformed Churchmen, as objects of striving, to add leaven to one element and take it away from the other as if such an effort was necessary to please Him. No, the only thing that pleases God is what He himself imparts to the elements according to his Providence.

Don't get me wrong; it's perfectly fine to use unleavened bread and leavened grape juice (wine), but let's not make it into a matter of religious obligation.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Jesus used unleavened bread and fermented wine in the Last Supper. We ought to follow the example of our Lord. Those advocate the use of grape juice are following modern Phariseeism, not biblical precedent, the Lord's command, OR the Reformed standards. ALL of church history from the time of Christ up to the time of William Booth and the modern semi-pelagian holiness movement used fermented wine for the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

But in your opinion we can use Koolaide and crackers. Popcorn and diet coke or any other meaningless elements so long as we have faith? Please, Hudson. The use of grape juice and fermented bread is as indefensible as using peanuts and soda pop!

Your argument not only begs the question but it is an argument from silence and is nowhere in Scripture. The premise in Scripture assumes the use of fermented wine. Even Paul says so since 1 Corinthians 11:21 acknowledges that some were abusing the sacrament to get drunk. How did they get drunk on grape Koolaide????

Silly arguments lead to silly traditions of men which are no less unconscionable than the Roman traditions that lead to transubstantiation.

Even the Baptists used wine until recent times. The Primitive Baptists use wine to this day and are out of step with modern innovations like yours.

Administering grape juice is not a sacrament but a sacrilege.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The use of bread and wine to "represent" the body and blood of Christ are commanded for good reason. They alone can bring to the senses the spiritual reality they represent. Fermented wine represents the blood because it is red in color and because the alcohol is something unseen in the wine and that unseen something represents the inward grace of the Holy Spirit. Using grape juice removes the objective lesson that the inward grace of the Holy Spirit is essential to true faith and a true participation in the body and blood of Christ.

Charlie J. Ray said...

So in your opinion the Salvation Army's sacrament of being baptized with a sword to replace water is perfectly fine?

Charlie J. Ray said...

The idea that innovations are somehow biblical and representative of the Reformed view is just silly.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The rubric for Holy Communion in the 1662 Book of Common prayer calls for the use of WINE:

And when there is a Communion, the Priest shall then place upon the Table so much Bread and Wine, as he shall think sufficient. After which done, the Priest shall say,

If "new wine" or "grape juice" were intended, then the rubric would have said so. But the fact of the matter is that wine is wine all the day long and on into eternity. The REASON the rubric calls for wine is OBVIOUS to anyone with a brain of any sort at all. It is because it was WINE.

Now, if you wish to pretend to be an Anglican while advocating Puritan arguments against the Prayer Book and "moderating" the 1662 BCP, then I would suggest that you go whole hog and emasculate yourself, Hudson. Just be done with the pretense and join up with the Puritans and modern day Pharisees who go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6). It is not holy to invent laws and traditions of men that are unsupportable in the Scriptures. The irony here is that EVEN the Puritans used WINE. Modern "reformed" churches using grape juice are following the practice of semi-pelagians in the Wesleyan holiness movement.

Charlie J. Ray said...

At Cana (Jn. 2:1ff.) Jesus turns a great amount of water into wine. If the nature of Johannine miracles as signs is considered, a deeper meaning must be sought. Thus law and gospel may be contrasted as water and wine, or wine may be equated with Logos (Philo). While oĆ­nos is not used in the accounts of the Last Supper, it is obvious that the cup contains wine, and with the cup (Mk. 14:25 and par.) Jesus is triumphantly looking ahead to the consummation (cf. Mt. 8:11).

Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. (1995). Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (680). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans.

aaytch said...

Hi Charlie,
You have a funny way of restating my points in a way that is then primed for you to attack, c.f. your discourse about Kookaid and crackers. It's strange that you would say such things about somebody who has never been anything but friendly towards you. What I said was that using wine and unleavened bread was not inappropriate, and even a good thing to do, but it is in no way a requirement, either in the confessions or in Scripture. Much less is it stated that the practice of other churches when it is different should suggest that they are not authentic. Every point you make from the Reformed confessions demonstrate what is commonly or traditionally practiced, but you have failed to point out anything that suggests that God's hands are bound by the specific elements of unleavened bread and wine. In fact, we know that:

1. God makes the bread of heaven to be formed from dew
2. Jesus makes wine from water
3. God makes men to serve him from the dust and from the stones at our feet.

I could go on an on with these analogies, and so could you perhaps. The difference undoubtedly is found in Ephesians 1:17-18 where we read that the Father of Glory must give us a spirt of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him so that the eyes of the heart may be enlightened. This is the essence of the sacrament, to see the sacrament with the whole person in order to know Him, and not to rely on the senses of the eyes, or of the lips and tongue.

When a minister is without the elements of bread and wine, or the recipients are allergic to these elements for valid health reasons or even simple prejudice, that is no impediment to God. His food and drink is the righteousness of Jesus, and that is what we share, not the elements themselves. I believe that the Lord's Supper is properly administered with two elements, one to represent his Body and another to represent his Blood; that they are best represented by unleavened bread from one loaf and leavened wine from one cup in order to demonstrate that He is Lord of both earth and heaven, and that ALL Christians are to receive both elements.

However, as there is latitude in the administration of Baptism to pour or sprinkle or submerge, so also is there latitude in the Lord's Supper. If an Anglican should have opportunity to participate in the Lord's Supper with Presbyterians or any church that professes the Gospel of Grace, he should not be so proud to refuse that fellowship on grounds that the elements are not to his liking.

Furthermore, I should be very careful if I were you in accusing someone of innovation, so long as you claim to have a right to plant a "church" under nobody's authority but your own. I'm not accusing you of that, but it has appeared of late that your ecclesiology has turned in that direction.

Finally, I should like to disabuse you of your cruel assumptions that there are no Presbyterians that worship with a full confession and absolution, with the "Gloria Patri", with unleavened bread and wine, with regular and responsive reading of the Psalms and other Scripture, and all those other points that you might regard as law. They are not uncommon in the ARP, the OPC, the PCA and others. Moreover the infection of Arminianism, the Federal Vision, etc. is not nearly universal. Your insistence on consigning all these brethren to the sole of your foot is ungenerous to say the least.

Charlie J. Ray said...

You're sounding more and more like a liberal, Hudson. You insist on innovations that cannot be proved from Scripture or the standing practice of the "catholic" church since the beginning. Yet you accuse me of "cruelty" for standing on Scripture and the confessions on an issue that crucial to the proper administration of the sacrament. If you wish to with broad Evangelicalism and ecumenicalism, that's fine. Just remember that numbers are not the measure of truth. SCRIPTURE is. SOLA SCRIPTURA!

I've been accused of cultism simply because I insist on what Paul insisted upon: Scripture. (1 Corinthians 4:6). To attempt to force Reformed churches to accept your view as a valid matter of adiaphora is laughable.

Appealing to extreme exceptions do not constitute grounds for making innovations based on your rare exceptions like allergies, etc. The sacraments are not necessary for salvation. But that is not the issue. If you're going to use koolaide and crackers you might as well use crossed swords and flames. The elements commanded by Jesus and ALL the Reformed standards are irrelevant according to you and your liberal friends.

At long last you show your true colors. It really is no wonder that you're bosom buddies with the Tractarians on your FaceBook site.

Charlie J. Ray said...

When all the churches in an area are Arminian or synagogues of satan, then the priesthood of believers calls for new churches to be formed.

But for someone with such a high opinion of himself and his Pharisaical buddies I wonder if the truth matters as much as joining the local social club pretending to be a church.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Hudson, with friends like you, who needs enemies? You pretend not to attack the truth but the fact is it upsets you that you are unconfessional and unscriptural on this issue.

aaytch said...

You have identified yourself with the Gospel of Grace for a longer time and with more strength and integrity than anybody I know, but now we see that Law bears heavily on your thinking and in your heart, albeit in ways that are iconoclastic. I'm at a loss to explain what happened to you, but I was probably your last strong supporter. Calling me a Liberal or Tractarian or Arminian or Federal Visionist is simply is ridiculous. It's sad really, because although help might have come your way, your attitude explains what may have happened in bringing you to the point where you now assert the right to plant a church according to your own judgement.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Hudson, the law tells us our Christian duty. That is known as the third use of the moral law. But this is more than just a moral issue. It is a DOCTRINAL issue. Do you believe that tradition trumps Scripture? Apparently so since Scripture clearly proves that fermented wine was what Jesus and the Apostles used for communion.

What is sad is that you've been duped by modern day legalists who think wine is evil, impermissible and intolerable. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like the Pharisees you and your cronies insist that those who insist on following Scripture rather than men are somehow "intolerant". Take a long look in the mirror.

As I said before, if you are my strongest supporter I don't need any enemies.

And regarding planting a church, the last time I checked the only basis for a true church is rightly dividing God's word and properly administering the sacraments. If you have a problem with that, take it up with God.

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