During this month as we have remembered something of the debt that we owe to the Protestant Reformation I have made mention of the blasphemy of the Mass. It comes as a surprise to many, even to those who are Bible-believing Christians, to hear a preacher condemn the central act of the rites and worship of the Roman Catholic Church in such terms. Such people think of the Mass as just a form of the Communion Service, different from what Protestants may be used to but not intrinsically evil. In itself, that tells us a lot about how far Protestantism has drifted from its historic Biblical moorings. It tells us that unless we renew our grasp of fundamental Christian doctrine we are in danger of losing what God gave us through the Protestant Reformation. So let me deal directly with what makes Rome's central act of worship such a blasphemous and anti-Christian thing.
As I do so, I should remind you that what I am stating here is not just my view but is the uniform teaching of the great historic Protestant Confessions and Creeds. The reason for the charge of blasphemy is the Roman dogma of transubstantiation. Insisting on absolutely literal interpretation of Christ's words at the institution of the Lord's Supper-"This is my body; this is my blood"-Rome has evolved a dogmatic statement, the acceptance of which she claims is essential to salvation, that says that at the priest's words of consecration the elements are actually and really changed as to their substance into the very body and blood of Christ. Indeed, Rome claims that when this change takes place the wafer that the priest holds in his hand is made into the total person of Christ, including His humanity and deity. This explains why a Spanish priest I personally witnessed performing this wonderful miracle in Madrid a few years ago held the wafer up before the people and said, "This is your God." No one seemed at all surprised. They had all been reared to believe this blasphemy and did not for a moment consider the idolatrous implications of worshiping a little wafer made of flour and water.
For that's all it was, a wafer. There was no change of substance. Rome concedes as much. She recognizes that if you subject one her consecrated wafers to scientific analysis it is demonstrably the same substance as it always was. Rome falls back on an old medieval philosophical ruse and claims that the wafer really is changed but it retains all the "accidents," that is, things such as the shape, appearance and dimensions, of the original. This is a pathetic attempt to deny the obvious: not only the "accidents" but the very substance remains chemically unchanged, so where is the "transubstantiation," which is by definition a change of substance?