Skip to comments.Does The Orthodox Presbyterian Church use the Crucifix?
Posted on 08/05/2013 10:31:02 AM PDT by Gamecock
Does the OPC use the crucifix in the church? If not, are they opposed to it?
Thank you for your question. The answer is, so far as I know, the crucifix is not used in OPC churches, and here is why:
1.The Second Commandment (Ex. 20:4-6 and Deut. 5:8-10) forbids any picture or image of God, and that would include the Son of God, even as man. At any rate we do not know what Jesus looked like as there is no physical description of him.
2.The crucifix will always end up being an object of worshipregarded as holy. History teaches as much. The bronze serpent Moses made became an object of worship and was not destroyed till King Hezekiah did it (Numbers 21:9; 2 Kings 18:1-5). Roman Catholics have worshipped it, kissed it and held it to have mystical powers.
3.Christ did not remain on the Cross. In the Roman Church Christ is said to be resacrificed each time the Mass is celebrated. This is heresy; he died once for allHebrews 9:25-28.
We in the OPC have learned not to trust our idolatry prone hearts not to do the same as others have in the past. Hence, no crucifixes are used. So, yes, we are opposed to it.
In the Protestant churches I’ve been in the Crucifix is empty signifying the risen Christ.
No, it's a lie.
“No, it’s a lie.”
Protestants bearing false witness against Catholics?? How can that be?? /s
“...the Church believes that the sacrifice of Jesus is recreated during the Mass.”
At the last supper Jesus uses the bread and wine to represent his body and blood. He then tells us to, “Do this in memory of me.” That is what the Church is celebrating.
No, it’s a lie.
Of course it isn’t a lie.. the wafer(missa) is said to become Jesus at mass.. You’re eating Jesus (not symbolically)..
Course many/most protestants worship “the Bible” as an idol as well..
Much of christianity has DEVOLVED into idolatry..
I know... they deny it.. but I believe my lying eyes(ears)..
Most I know don’t want to think too deeply about any of this..
I don’t blame them either..
Not “recreated” and not “resacrificed,” but “re-presented”; made present (to us) again, not done over again. Huge difference.
English doesn't really have a word for it - the theological word is 'Anamnesis'.
The important point is that we do not repeat Christ's sacrifice - rather, we enter into or re-encounter Christ's single sacrifice.
Perhaps it will help to think of it this way: during the Mass the time and space that separates us from The Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection is no more. We are truly present at Christ's gift of Himself.
Always good to read this again. Thanks for posting it, GC!
Not recreated and not resacrificed, but re-presented; made present (to us) again, not done over again. Huge difference.
Hmmmm interesting take... NAh! its the same thing.. Re-packaged..
I personally think the Church went off-track when it tried to say more than that the bread and wine were “blessed” or “consecrated” or even “divinized,” and that the literal “body and blood” language creates more problems than it solves. “This is my body” and “this is my blood” seem to have related but differing symbolic meanings, “body” perhaps representing his divine life and “blood” his sacrificial act. After all, blood is a constituent of the body, not something separate from it.
"In the Roman Church Christ is said to be resacrificed each time the Mass is celebrated. "
Again, I know of no organization, group or entity which teaches this. Seriously. Words mean things.
Aren’t the terms “Presbyterian” and “Orthodox” a contradiction in terms?
It’s all the same sacrifice. You are thinking in terms of time, the Christian Faith thinks in terms of eternity.
I’ve never understood what Protestants have against the Crucifix.
I won’t be able to come back to this thread (I’m running a meeting in a minute).
The Church insists that the bread and wine of the mass are literally the Body and Blood of Christ.
Christ’s words at the Last Supper “This is My Body ...” and earlier in His ministry “He who eats My Flesh and Drinks My Blood ...” make it abundantly clear what is meant.
You may remember that passage about “This is a hard saying, and who can bear it?”. Many of Christ’s disciples balked at Christ speaking of his disciples eating and drinking His Body and Blood. But Christ did not change nor modify His speech.
The Eucharist is not symbolic. It absolutely IS the real Body and Blood of Christ, under the forms of Bread and Wine.
When I finally understood this tremendous fact as an adult: I returned to the Church.
Hope this is helpful.
Perhaps this may help explain our concern.
Really.. “for Christ’s sake” I wish they would just be honest..
Parsing the subject just looks too tacky..
At least in South America the RCC is proud of their idolatry.. they do it with “class”..
Pomp and circumstance and the whole nine yards..
I respect that.. Kabuki Theatre on cocaine..
If you dont like it.. lump it..
I take it that the Orthodox Presbyterian Church doesn’t hold to the Seventh Ecumenical Council then (the last one that Protestants, Orthodox and Catholics all acknowledge as a truly “ecumenical” council).
I would recommend that you follow the same course when writing or reprintng articles which make reference to Catholicism. A good place to start would be to fact check what you write about the RC's with the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Searchable Link)
This will give you two advantages:
Hey, I’ve got an idea! Let’s pretend it’s 1517 and fight the Reformation all over again! Throw in the Thirty Years War as a bonus!
"I will cling to the old rugged cross, ..."
So when it is sung, I replace the words with:
"I will cling to the Christ of the Cross, ..."
But then I don't know what to do with the phrase:
"And exchange it some day for a crown."
Can somebody help me with this attempt to promote idolizing the torture instrument of His agony?
That line isn’t referring to a crown of thorns. It’s referring to the verses in Revelation.
Again, I know of no organization, group or entity which teaches this. Seriously. Words mean things.
...what everybody on this thread fails to note; Christ as sacrifice is presented anew, at each celebration, albeit literally in an unbloody manner, as opposed to the bloody, once consummated sacrifice upon Calvary; as the Spotless Victim He is made present under the appearance of bread and wine, i.e. transubstantiation...
...the two manners of sacrifice (bloody and unbloody) are contextually the same...the protestant notion of consubstantiation (spiritually present)was developed as a visceral reaction to the concept of Christ as oblation...
...I know you know all of this...what amuses me is how others purposefully twist that which is not difficult to understand into something that is both silly and wrong...thus, ‘resacrificing’...
Dare I ask if you have a stake in that argument?
Christs words at the Last Supper This is My Body ... and earlier in His ministry He who eats My Flesh and Drinks My Blood ... make it abundantly clear what is meant.
Not so........... it is not abundantly clear..
It was the Passover dinner it was not even clear to some of the Jews present and most were Jews(probably)..
The lamb and wine at THIS dinner meant one thing to a observant Jew something else to a gentile.. (or a religiously ignorant Jew).. and many were at that time..
To my knowledge the RCC catholics that I know know nothing of Jewish religious custom’s of that time or even presently.. Thats why they BUY the bizarre line thats espoused.. They don’t paint their doorposts with “the blood” or fear the death angel.. in communal separation..
A whole nother take is put on the whole affair..
“”At the last supper Jesus uses the bread and wine to represent his body and blood. He then tells us to, Do this in memory of me. That is what the Church is celebrating.””
Define “THIS”/”THAT”. Do WHAT?
I think this is all man’s “interpretation” of what Jesus meant. I think WAY too much has been read into it.
Jesus was resurrected ONCE, not every Sunday.
Yes the Church does teach that is it the Mass is a “sacrifice” but it is Christ’s sacrifice, not our.
So much fail in this thread on what people think the Catholic church teaches...
By the way, even Christ taught us that the Bread and Wine become his precious body, blood, soul, and divinity. Look at what he said at the time. “Take and it this IS my body, my blood” not this represents, this IS.
Also if it was for show, why did many of the people there leave at that point? Why was it so hard for the people to hear?
Hey, Ive got an idea! Lets pretend its 1517 and fight the Reformation all over again! Throw in the Thirty Years War as a bonus!
Theres not enough popcorn in all of america for that...
But I’ll watch..
Perhaps you do not understand because Roman Catholics do not have the same ten commandments.
All I am saying is that the teaching of the “sacrifice of the Mass” really muddies the waters...
...thanks for the input, Martin Luther...
This suggests that it is one of those theological accretions common in religion and PERHAPS straying somewhat from the simplicity and concreteness of the original belief...
...ah yes, those darn ‘theological accretions’ again...how dare they get in the way of our being nothing more than 1st century Galilean peasant...
***At any rate we do not know what Jesus looked like as there is no physical description of him. ****
There is a description of him, but it is a middle age fake designed to give artists of the time a baseline to go on.
Years ago, it did not stop the hucksters at TBN from giving this description away IF you sent in a certain amount of money.
Whatz’er name on the show spent a lot of time hawking these descriptions in a way that would have done honor to a medicine show barker.
When I was a Reformed Christian, I was always taught that the empty cross meant that His sacrifice was completed and that His body had risen.
LMAO. My grandmother says “if you don’t like it,lump it” a lot.
Using the verb of being does not, by itself, settle whether a particular analogy is literal, figurative, or something more exotic. Jesus also says He is the door of the sheepfold. Is he merely apparently human in form, but in the deeper reality a physical door? You place too much weight on IS in isolation. Language simply doesn’t work that way. Lots of moving parts, and they all have to work together to arrive at legitimate meaning.
For example, you ask why the people of John 6 suddenly wanted to part ways with Jesus over this. If you would look closely at the response, it provides a giant clue to aid in understanding what he was really saying:
Joh 6:61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?  What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
Do you see what happened here? They were repulsed by Jesus words because they did not think of them in a spiritual sense, but in a literal, material sense. Jews could not eat human flesh, and God would never command them to do that. But they could not get to the next level of understanding. Jesus says specifically that it is the spirit that gives life, that the flesh profits nothing.
Keep in mind He speaks this in a context where his own literal flesh was the subject of discussion. He is deliberately deflecting his listeners from attaching any importance to the notion of consuming his physical being in some literal sense. He wants them to think of it as a spiritual transaction, not a fleshly one. And then He caps it off by stating the reason why some cannot get to that spiritual understanding; they do not believe, which is tied to the earlier statement he makes near the beginning of this exchange, that only those believe whom the Father has drawn to Him. So he closes the loop, using the inability to comprehend the spiritual nature of his atonement as a live demonstration of the earlier statement about the necessity of being drawn by the Father.
We in the OPC have learned not to trust our idolatry prone hearts...
The image isn't the sin. The sin is in how we relate to the image. We can make idols of even our thoughts. There IS something reasonable about iconoclasm, but I think it misplaces the problem, while failing to grasp the fullness of the implications of "He is the image of the invisible God," of the Incarnation.
In the Roman Church Christ is said to be resacrificed each time the Mass is celebrated.
Not so much. I mean it is said, but not by those speaking carefully. There is only one sacrifice. It is an eternal reality. Unfortunately not too many Protestants (and not a whole lot of Catholics, come to think of it) have a clear idea of what "eternal" means. They wrongly think it has to do with span of time.
I don't think it's a "lie". I think it's an untrue assertion, but I don't think most of those making it intend to lie. They merely err. Their culpability probably lies in failing to take care to speak the truth.
Steve_Seattle, I don't think "recreated" is right either. In loose speech, "re-presented" is not so bad.
Hosepipe: the wafer(missa) is said to become Jesus at mass.
Are you saying that "missa" is is Latin for "wafer"? I don't think so, and neither does my Cassell's dictionary.
Much of christianity has DEVOLVED into idolatry.
Troo dat. We are delivered from idolatry by grace.
I have long wondered where to find this horrible "Roman Church"...
LOL. Me too. Strangely, I remember hating it, but I never found it anywhere.
agere_contra: We are truly present at Christ's gift of Himself. Nice.
Steve_Seattle:the Church does believe that the communion wafer and wine are transformed into the literal body and blood of Christ, although it is said that the "accidental" (visible) characteristics of the elements remain unchanged and it is only - so to speak - the "essence" which is transformed.
I've heard one of the friars here say that. But he's the least theologically precise of the current squad. "Literally" is an over-used word. Even Rush uses it incorrectly. I try to avoid it.
"Really" is better, except that it just pushes off the question of what we mean by "real." My pet "problem" is, "What is it that makes a ring a wedding ring? Not the shape except it has to fit on a finger, I suppose. Not the gold or whatever it's made of. The "whatness" or "what-it-is-ness" of it is not in any of its sensible characteristics.
"Identical" might work. The Catechism of the Catholic Church § 1330 says: "[it is called] the Holy Sacrifice because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the Savior and includes the Church's offering."
Steve_Seattle: Once you've said "divinized" you've said a lot.
I would say "body has to do with "self" or "person," while the OT begs, shrieks, for blood to be associated with life, "for the blood is the life."
I don't think "re-enacted" applies except in am almost trivial way. I mean the "actions" of the Last Supper -- took, blessed, broke, gave -- are 'enacted'. There is a kind of "representation," fer shur. But the controversy is around what I think "re-presentation" denominates as well as any word.
The "ana" in anamnesis is the same as that in anastasis - resurrection, standing up. Anamnesis is "remembering up," FWIW.
More to the point Hebrews 10:8-14, especially verse 10:
"... we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
Here, "once" is εφαπαξ, which is a strengthened form of απαξ that means "once for all time, never to be repeated" -- which the context fully supports, so that it cannot be argued that the sacrifice continued. Jesus came to fulfill The Law, and on the Cross He cried out the victory proclamation "τετελησται" -- "FINISHED!" (Jn. 19:30)
I believe that it is a crime to keep on insisting, that what was then and there finished, is still going on. He left the cross, revived, entered into The True Holiest Of All In Heaven, and displayed His Incorruptible Life-bearing Blood on the Mercy Seat, obtaining propitiation and reconciliation by ONCE satisfying all of The God's righteous demands for ever, making it a surety for us, who have come to persistently commit trust in Him, to belong to The God without recrimination, remorse, nor reversal.
The Remembrance Supper is a memorial of His Cross-death, in which His regenerated believer-disciple-priests partake of the Tokens of His Passion, lest we forget.
And what crime, in particular, do you believe it to be.
As I said, the problem is that thinking that "eternal" means "still going on." It doesn't.
You used the word "somehow," and my immediate thought was that it's in the "somehows" that all the disputes arise. It is JUST as theological to say "MERE memorial" as it is to say "real presence."
These are figures of speech, and the burnt bread and unleavened wine are representative tokens of His Body and Blood, not transformed into it.
When it is said "She sings like a bird" does not mean the lass, while singing, is transformed into a literal canary or mockingbird; it means that her singing reminds one of a bird. This is a figurative-literal use of the language, as giving the bread is representative of partaking of Him spiritually -- a figure of speech. When Jesus gave the disciples bread that he broke, it was not transformed into human flesh when all of Him was right there, standing before them, not divided! It was a token reminding them of His body to be rent/broken (not bones) for them. Come on!
Perfect and totally amazing tagline, BTW.
For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
In heaven, in eternity, Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father.