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Why have some churches been accused
of teaching cannibalism?

This accusation has been around even since the times of Christ, but is a misunderstanding of scriptures which use symbolic language, such as is seen here: "Then Jesus said to them, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you" (John 6:53).

Obviously, Jesus was not inviting his followers to literally eat his body and blood, but was speaking metaphorically of Himself as the Passover lamb, describing a spiritual nourishing which would be provided from His atonement. Later, during His last supper, Jesus served bread and grape juice to his disciples as symbols of His broken body and shed blood, to show how the value of His sufferings must be consumed spiritually within and become a part of every believer.

In 1215, the Roman Catholic Church embraced the idea of "transubstantiation," which is the belief that during Holy Communion, the bread and juice actually turn into the blood and body of Jesus. However, there is no evidence to support this idea in scripture.

This article is from the book, What People Ask About the Church, authored and copyrighted © by Dr. Dale A. Robbins, 1990-2015, and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley, CA - Nashville, TN. Unless otherwise stated, all scripture references were taken from The New King James Bible, © Thomas Nelson Inc., 1982. You may download this article for personal use as long as you retain credit to the author. Obtain permission before reproducing copies for any reason, by filling out our simple permission form. Many of our writings are also available as free pdf tri-fold pamphlets, which can be downloaded for reproduction from our Online Catalog. For media reproduction rights, or to obtain quantities of this title in other formats, email us.