In the letters section of the February Lutheran Witness, Mr. Cliff Pyle suggested that Dr. Loy was responsible for creating confusion and animosity, as well as a “theological vacuum” in his “Christmas Wars” article. Apparently, the offending words were those concerning Christ still being here and fighting these wars for us.
I would suggest that it is Mr. Pyle who “causes more confusion and animosity”–a theological vacuum–among Christians with two patently unbiblical statements: “We know Christ is not here personally” and “If Christ is not physically present …” I don’t know who constitutes the “we” to whom Mr. Pyle refers. It sure doesn’t include me, the members of the congregation I serve, every Lutheran pastor I have known while growing up and every Lutheran pastor with whom I have had personal contact, my parents, my brother and his wife, my wife and children, and, well, the point is made.
Did our blessed Lord lie to us when He said, “I am with you always, even to the close of the age”? (Italics added.) Did He lie when He said, “This is My body … this is My blood”? (Italics added.) Holy Scripture teaches that what rests upon the altar and is received into our mouths is the real, true, actual, physical body and blood of Jesus, which on any given day of the week is, as one of our hymn states, “at once in many places.”
Mr. Pyle’s statements seem to reflect less of a Lutheran and more of a Calvinistic, Zwinglian understanding of the person of Christ. Jesus cannot be with us here, it is argued, especially not physically, because He is confined to heaven. He is confined to heaven because a physical human body can be in only one place at one time. This places human logic over the tetimony of God’s Word: I am with you always. Faith is, after all, the conviction of “things not seen.”
Christ is with us, His Church, in a different manner than He was with His disciples. But to say that on account of this He is not here personally and physically is to misconstrue Holy Scripture and misunderstand the person of Christ. Dr. Loy’s statement was biblically accurate. It is Mr. Pyle who turned on the vacuum.
Rev. Brian Feicho
Concordia Lutheran Church
Granite City, Ill.
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