|Demographics of World Religion 2011 compiled by David Meyer|
Just a side note, "most Christians" do not take John 6 literally the way you do, just Catholics. Do Calvanists also?Actually, you are badly mistaken, "most Christians" do take it quite literally, and it is central to their doctrine.
2/3 of them (67%)!
And it is not just Catholic. Remember that Eastern Orthodoxy is half the size of Protestantism, and Catholicism alone is over half of Christianity. And that is just in 2011. Historically it was near 100% who believed in the real presence. Until Protestantism in the 16th century, the vast majority of Christians believed in the Real Presence. So if we take the # of Christians of all time who believed it, I would estimate it being well above 90%
Also, Calvin’s view would be considered by Zwinglians (your view is the Zwinglian view) to be a “Real Presence” view. But most modern Calvinists do not follow Calvin in his thinking on this and have become Zwinglians on the issue.
Calvin believed that we truly and substantially parkate of the flesh of Christ, but that it happens through the intermediary of the Holy Spirit. This was my view as a Calvinist, and I took John 6 quite literally, as the text itself demands.
How do I get 67%?
As far as the demographics of who believes in the Real Presence, We can take the Catholic (51%) and Orthodox (11%) and get 62% of Christendom right there. Although they explain it poorly, I would add 25% of Calvinists, All Lutherans, and certainly some % of Anglicans and other groups to the “Real Presense” list. They (including Luther himself) would interpret John 6 literally. (“Truly I say to you…My Flesh is real food, and my Blood is real drink…”) So I think it is fair to include Anglicans (12% of Protestants) and Lutherans (11%) with a quarter of the Reformed and “other” (3+% of Protestants) ... for a total of ~26% of Protestants being convinced from scripture of the Real Presence. Protestants are 21% of Christianity, and ~26% of 21% is ~5.5%. So 5.5% of Christianity is protestants who believe in the real presence.
If we combine the 100% of Catholics (51%) 100% of Orthodox (11%) and 26% of Protestants (5.5%) we get a total of 67.5% of Christianity which believes in some way in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
I think a lesson here is that we often have a colored view of demographics and history. You seemed to think your view was the strong majority, when it is the minority. When I was Reformed, I knew that Reformed people made up only 11% of Protestant Christianity, and conservative ones far less than that, perhaps 5%? Yet even with that 5% in mind, I was tempted to think of my Reformed theology/Calvinism as a serious player in the game. It just isn’t. If we are talking about conservative Protestants, they are Pentecostal… hands down, and that trend is increasing rapidly.
You might be interested to know that your Mid-Acts Dispensationalist denomination Grace Gospel Fellowship reports 60,000 members. Perhaps we could double or triple that figure for all people on earth with your particular views about scripture? If you are correct, you are really lucky to have found the truth while nearly the entire globe is so deceived! And who believed what you believe before Stam and the others in the 20s/30s? From what I can tell they are the first. (other than St. Paul *of course*) Bulinger would be the closest, but I know you guys don’t agree with his more Acts 28 type view. (he rejected communion btw Jed) Just food for thought. I mean, numbers don’t make something true of course. But isn’t it just a bit weird to be part of something that is so small and goes back less than a hundred years? 150 years tops if you include “traditional” Dispensationalism?
My overarching point is that Protestantism continues to splinter, while it still contains people who truly desire the truth from scripture. Either the scripture is false, or the way Protestants are trying to access its truth is wrong. You simply cannot claim the scripture is “clear” and have thousands of conflicting interpretations. The only option then is to say all the other guys just don’t get it. That is the position you are in. You are forced to say that even among fellow Protestants, who have largely only been around <500 years, that even they have totally missed the whole point of scripture.
So not only have the Catholics and E.O. been utterly and fatally wrong for 2000 years, but even the 99.9% (not an exaggerated # btw) of your fellow Protestants have gotten the scripture totally wrong until Stam and the boys came along.
You can choose to dismiss all this by saying numbers don’t matter, and your right, alone they prove nothing. But it is really hard to take you seriously if you say the Scripture is clear and at the same time only 0.000000001% of Christians who have ever lived and read the scripture can see that same *clarity*. It can’t be clear and yet billions of spirit filled Christians completely missed the main point of the new testament for 1900 years!