Eucharistic Adoration: Worship or Idolatry?
Eucharistic adoration has increased dramatically in Roman Catholic Churches throughout America due to the urging of Pope John Paul II. Chapels have been set up in churches where Catholics can worship the real presence of Jesus. Some chapels offer Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration whereby the consecrated host is exposed and adored in a monstrance without interruption 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Parishioners commit themselves to a specific day, and time (one hour) every week. When they look upon the Sacred Host, they believe they are looking upon Jesus, the almighty God, who created heaven and earth.
The monstrance is a silver or gold stand with rays depicting a sunburst and a circular window where the Eucharist is placed. It comes from the Latin word "monstrare" to show or to expose to view. They vary in sizes, but one of the largest is the Monstrance of Toledo, Spain. It measures over 8 feet, has 15 kilos of pure gold, 183 kg. of silver, many precious jewels and 260 small statues. The total weight is 218 kg. The words of Paul reflect how ungodly this practice of idolatry has become within the Roman Catholic Church. He wrote: "We ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man" (Acts 17:29). The prophet Jeremiah, speaking for God, also renounced this practice by saying: "Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols; For his molten images are deceitful, and there is no breath in them. They are worthless, a work of mockery; in the time of their punishment they will perish (Jer. 10:14-15).
Benefits of Adoring the Eucharist
Pope Pius XI associated the worship of Christ in The Blessed Sacrament with expiation for sin. The Angel at Fatima and the Blessed Mother taught us to adore the Blessed Sacrament and make reparation for our sins.1 John Paul II said "all the evils of the world could be overcome through the great power of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. The devil is put to flight wherever Jesus is adored in the Most Blessed Sacrament."2 He asked, "How will young people be able to know the Lord if they are not introduced to the mystery of his presence?"3 Pope Paul VI proclaimed, "How great is the value of conversation with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, for there is nothing more efficacious for advancing along the road of holiness!"4
Catholics can now enjoy all these benefits by adoring the Eucharist on the Internet. A site has been set up using a "web cam".
Catholics view transubstantiation as the greatest of all miracles. Almighty God, who once humbled Himself to become man, now transforms Himself into lifeless, inanimate wafers. "Every consecration, is a miracle, greater by far than any other, really: for God to come into matter and transform it into himself is far greater than His creating that matter in the first place."5 "The body and blood...soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ...is truly, really and substantially contained" in the Eucharist.6 Since each Eucharist contains the whole Christ, and since upwards of hundreds of wafers are consecrated during each mass, hundreds of Jesus Christs become physically present. Although the Vatican would never acknowledge it, this is a form of polytheism, the worship of many gods.
God Is Worshipped In Spirit
Jesus said, "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit [which is invisible] and truth" (John 4:24). After Jesus ascended into heaven, Paul said true worshippers are those "who worship in the Spirit of God" (Phil. 3:3). The eternal, immortal King is invisible to those on earth until He returns (1 Tim. 1:17). Christians are called to look on "the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Cor. 4:18). The Eucharistic god of the Catholic Church is thus a temporal god and a false Christ. Jesus warned us not to believe anyone who says, "Here is the Christ" (Mat. 24:23). Jesus Christ, the Eternal God, is now physically present at the right hand of the Father (Luke 22:69). He will not return to the earth until after the tribulation (Mat. 24:29-30). Clearly, the worship of the Eucharist is idolatry. To worship any image in the place of God provokes Him to anger. God has this to say to idolaters: "they have made Me jealous with what is not God; they have provoked Me to anger with their idols" (Deut. 32:21). The Roman Catholic Church has "exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image " and "exchanged the truth of God for a lie" (Rom. 1:23-25).
To teach that the incorruptible, almighty and holy God is contained in a corruptible wafer that can be handled, eaten, digested and expelled is indeed the most irreverent, desecrating and profane form of idolatry. When Isaiah was confronted with Godís holiness he cried out, "Woe is me, I am undone. I am a man of unclean lips..." (Isaiah 6:5). When asked what happens to Jesus after the Eucharist is consumed, priests try to explain the unexplainable by suggesting the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus departs from the Eucharist as it is being digested.
Idolatryís Punishment Is Death
Worshipping the Eucharist is a violation of the 2nd commandment: "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God..." (Exod. 20:1-5). Catholics who worship the Eucharist can be closely compared to the Israelites who worshiped the golden calf as their true God (Exod. 32:4). Their punishment imposed by God for this most serious sin was death (Exod. 32:27-28).
God is too awesome and glorious to be captured in any image, let alone a wafer. The prophet Isaiah declares Godís immeasurable greatness and then asks, "To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him?" (Isaiah 40:18). Any image of God is therefore an insult to His glorious holiness and majestic perfection.
Idolatry Is A Pagan Practice
From ancient times only pagan religions used images in the worship of their deities. This type of idolatry is just one of many pagan practices that crept into the Roman Catholic Church over time. Catholics must know that the Lord God does not dwell in the inner substance of a wafer but in the very bodies of born-again Christians. The Apostle Paul asked: "What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ĎI will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My peopleí" (2 Cor. 6:16). Paul warned us that those who practice idolatry will not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:21). Yet Pope John Paul II proclaims: "We will show the Sacrament of Christís presence to all. In this bread the Almighty, the Eternal, the thrice Holy has made Himself close to us."7
What Should Roman Catholics Do?
"Flee from idolatry" (1 Cor. 10:14). "Hear the word of God and observe it" (Luke 11:28). Take heed of Godís warnings! "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs" (Jonah 2:8, NIV). Godís elect are commanded to come out of any religion that practices the sin of idolatry. "Come out of her, my people, that you may not participate in her sins" (Rev. 18:4). Those who remain will also participate in her punishment. Those who come out and turn to Jesus Christ, as He is so gloriously revealed in Scripture, will be set free. They will no longer be slaves to the Eucharist which by nature is not God (Gal. 4:8). Roman Catholics must do as the Thessalonians didóturn from idols to serve the living and true God and wait for His Son from heaven (1 Thes. 1:9-10). May God help them to do so! And may Christians everywhere, be moved with compassion, to speak the truth in love to Roman Catholics, in the hopes of rescuing some from Godís punishment.