John 6 & the Eucharist: Reply to Collin Brooks

John 6 & the Eucharist: Reply to Collin Brooks May 27, 2024
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Collin Brooks runs a YouTube page devoted to defending Reformed Protestant theology and critiquing Catholicism and Orthodoxy. His words will be in blue.

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I will be critiquing his video, “John 6 Does NOT Support Roman Catholicism” (4-19-24). He’s one of the very few Protestant apologists on YouTube who has ever responded back to my critiques, so perhaps he will again! In the meantime (whatever he chooses to do), the topic is of great interest to me and I have addressed it several times.

0:51  I want to provide additional reasons for the bread of life discourse being antithetical to Roman Catholic theology, includ[ing] the fact that it’s supposed to be read metaphorically.

The first part is metaphorical, but the second part is not. That’s probably where a lot of Protestant confusion originates. The following portion is among the literal sections:

John 6:53-56 (RSV) So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; [54] he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. [55] For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. [56] He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

2:33 Jesus tells us ad nauseam that we have to perform both of these acts to be saved. Both of them must be done for eternal life. We must eat his flesh and drink his blood. Now, why is that a problem for Roman Catholicism? [It’s] because they don’t drink the blood. This debate [is] called the communion in both kinds debate. Rome does not practice communion in both kinds.
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Well, actually we do. The practice of how to receive communion is not a dogma. It’s a discipline (which can change). Since the time of Vatican II in the 60s, it was decided to make the cup available to the laity at Mass, and in most parishes this is the practice. But for a long time it was not allowed, for perfectly reasons which I have explained:
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The Host and Chalice Both Contain Christ’s Body and Blood [National Catholic Register, 12-10-19]
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The other answer to this critique is that Jesus is fully contained in both the consecrated wafer and the consecrated wine, because He can’t be divided. This isn’t just “Catholic rationalizing” or Aristotelianism or some such. It’s expressly biblical, from the Apostle Paul:
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1 Corinthians 11:27 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.

Note the bolded and italicized “or” and “and.” The way that Paul phrases this proves that he believes that the Body and Blood are present in both species. It’s all in the word “or”. The logic and grammar require it, so that the above can also be expressed in the following two propositions:

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.

Whoever, therefore, drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.

With this additional scriptural knowledge, Collin’s argument above completely collapses, since receiving either kind is both eating and drinking, because both are the whole Christ (the above Scripture also being an excellent biblical proof for the Real Presence itself and for transubstantiation). It’s for this very reason, and also hygienic considerations, that I myself always receive the host alone. The only exceptions were when I was received into the Church in 1991, one time when the priest ran out of consecrated hosts, and at a few Byzantine or other Eastern Catholic Masses (more on that below).

2:59 if you’re not a Roman Catholic you should know that in the Roman Catholic Church you do not ever drink the blood of Christ. They do
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3:21 Rome decided they know better than the gospels. They know better than the early church. They’re not going to let people drink anymore.
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It’s Protestantism, I submit, that claims to know better than the Bible and early Church, insofar as the vast majority of Protestants don’t believe in the Real Presence that was taught by the Bible and the Church fathers. Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism, believed in a slightly weakened form of the Real Presence, in which the body and blood of Christ are present together with the bread and the wine, and he made excellent exegetical arguments in favor of it, over against Zwingli, whom he regarded as damned.
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4:43 it’s possible that there are some different rites, [that] there are some traditions and churches that are in union with Rome but [have] a different liturgy, and they do drink of the cup, so I don’t know enough to know that one way or the other.
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It would be good to study up more on these matters before making a video about it. In debate teams in middle school, the first thing that is learned is to know and understand the view one is opposing at least as thoroughly as those who hold it. Eastern Catholics usually receive Holy Communion by intinction. The Wikipedia article explains:
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Intinction is the Eucharistic practice of partly dipping the consecrated bread, or host, into the consecrated wine before consumption by the communicant. . . .
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It is one of the four ways approved in the Latin liturgical rites of the Catholic Church for administering Holy Communion under the form of wine as well as of bread: “The norms of the Roman Missal admit the principle that in cases where Communion is administered under both kinds, ‘the Blood of the Lord may be received either by drinking from the chalice directly, or by intinction, or by means of a tube or a spoon’ (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 245). . . .
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Some of the Byzantine-rite Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with the Church of Rome adopted intinction during the early 20th century, dividing the bread into pieces long enough to be partially dipped in the consecrated wine and placed on the communicant’s tongue. This is the practice at least of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and the Greek Byzantine Catholic Church.
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Some Eastern Catholic Churches (for instance, the Ethiopic Rite Catholics of Ethiopia and Eritrea) have adopted the use of unleavened bread, justifying it by reference to the ancient Jewish practice of using only unleavened bread at Passover meals, and give Communion by intinction.
I myself have received Holy Communion in this fashion on a few occasions.
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5:10 for the vast majority of Roman Catholics, they do not drink 
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This is simply not true, as explained.
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5:17 which means that they either don’t take John 6 literally or seriously, and I don’t know which one, but either way it’s inconsistent and it’s a problem for them
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Not in the slightest. Collin presents a false dilemma. These aren’t the only choices. We can take the latter part of John 6 literally (as we do), but we interpret it in light of 1 Corinthians 11:27 (seen above). All relevant Scripture must be taken into account.
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5:30 another problem is eating and drinking save 
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I’ve already been through this. What the real problem is here, is the Protestant disbelief in the salvific power of the Holy Eucharist. We believe in that, based mainly on John 6; they do not.
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7:56 Rome doesn’t practice paedo-communion [infant communion] 
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Eastern Catholics are as Catholic as anyone else and many of them (if not all) practice this.
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9:02  Rome teaches even an adult is is saved by baptism so when it comes to every single human being you’re actually saved well before you eat the body of Christ
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Baptism brings about regeneration in our view; not a once-for-all salvation that can never be lost. Collin is describing something much more akin to the Lutheran view of baptism, and the reformed view of instance salvation that can never be lost, rather than the Catholic position. But then a little later he does more accurately express our true view.
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10:20 here’s the ironic thing: literally in Roman Catholicism you’re not even allowed to go to mass if you’re in a state of mortal sin
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False. Anyone can attend a Catholic Mass. To receive Holy Communion one must be a professed Catholic (which includes baptism, and that includes, incidentally, Protestant baptism). What a novelty! One must actually believe in the Holy Eucharist and the doctrine of the church in which it is received before partaking!
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10:27 if you’ve not been baptized or if you’ve not gone to confession you are not permitted to the Lord’s Supper. In other words you have to be saved before you eat Jesus’s body and blood . . . 
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Once again, Collin is confused. Catholics don’t believe in instant, once-for-all salvation, because it’s not biblical. Neither baptism nor the Eucharist nor a profession of faith in Jesus Christ bring that about. One must persevere. What these sacraments and professions do is put us in good graces with God and out of mortal sin that separates us from Him, and in a good spiritual state in which we possess a moral assurance of salvation.
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11:40 historically, the Eucharist hasn’t been established at this point in time when Jesus is actually preaching the bread of life discourse to the people, telling them to eat and be saved . . . which means Jesus would be giving them a false hope. . . . the Eucharist had not been established yet so that cannot be what Jesus is talking about
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I deny the hidden premise. It didn’t have to be established yet. He is in effect explaining what it would mean when it was instituted as the central rite of Christian worship. Jesus talked similarly regarding the indwelling Holy Spirit that was yet to come (it occurred on Pentecost):
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John 16:7-8, 13-14 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. [8] And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: . . . [13] When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. [14] He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
13:30 throughout the bread of life discourse Jesus utilizes metaphors that we all agree on. Everybody agrees that there is metaphoric language all throughout the bread of life discourse
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We agree that it is metaphorical from 6:1-52. But from 6:53-71 it’s literal.
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15:42 our physical hunger is representing a spiritual hunger; our physical thirst is representing a kind of spiritual thirst
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Yes, that’s in the first section which is metaphorical. I explain why we believe the second part is literal in several articles:

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Photo credit: photograph by SunflowerGUY (February 2018) [Pixabay / CC0 Creative Commons license]

Summary: Reply to several weak arguments from Reformed Protestant apologist Collin Brooks defending his false contention that John 6 is not describing the Real Presence.

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