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  #1  
Old Oct 25, '06, 5:10 pm
BrownR BrownR is offline
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Default Jesus of Catholics vs Protestants?

How do Catholics respond to a Protestants claim that they have a much more "personal" relationship with Jesus than Catholics? Before easily dismissing such a seemingly facile claim, give it a minute of thought and tell me why you think a Protestant would claim something like this, and why?

It's been my observation that Protestant churches are very focused on an emotional, internalized, extremely personal relationship with Jesus. I've had limited experience in the Catholic Church so far, but I'm curious if most Catholics would say they feel themselves to have this same relationship to Jesus that Protestants claim, or would you say the Catholic faith stresses different perspectives of the relationship with Christ? I can't decide if I'm just imagining some sort of dichotomy, or if it's part of something deeper. The protestant Jesus is a Jesus that forgives all, asking nothing in return except their faith which leads into the basic theological ideas of sola fide, etc.. I sometimes wonder if this belief in justification through faith alone somehow facilitates a more personalized and "buddy" view of Christ and his part in their life? I somehow think more evangelical Christians would feel more comfortable calling Jesus their best friend, whereas a Catholic would not. Any thoughts?

I guess I'm just curious as to whether you think a catholic's relationship with Christ is different than a protestant's and why you might think this to be. Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old Oct 25, '06, 5:22 pm
Atreyu Atreyu is offline
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Default Re: Jesus of Catholics vs Protestants?

A Catholic's relationship with Jesus is much closer than a Protestant's could ever be. We receive his body and blood in the Eucharist. How much closer can you get than that?
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  #3  
Old Oct 25, '06, 5:28 pm
BrownR BrownR is offline
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Default Re: Jesus of Catholics vs Protestants?

It might even be an unreasonable question to ask considering I'm uncertain whether many cradle catholics could answer it having never been exposed deeply to the protestant faith.

Are there any converts from protestantism to catholicism who can tell me whether they feel their relationship or view of Christ changed in any way following their conversion?
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  #4  
Old Oct 25, '06, 5:36 pm
VociMike VociMike is offline
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Default Re: Jesus of Catholics vs Protestants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownR View Post
....The protestant Jesus is a Jesus that forgives all, asking nothing in return except their faith which leads into the basic theological ideas of sola fide, etc..
I think C.S. Lewis had a better understanding of the Catholic view (though he wasn't Catholic):

"Doubtless, by definition, God was Reason itself. But would He also be "reasonable" in that other, more comfortable sense? Not the slightest assurance on that score was offered me. Total surrender, the absolute leap in the dark, were demanded. The reality with which no treaty can be made was upon me. The demand was not even "All or nothing." I think that stage had been passed, on the bus top when I unbuckled my armor and the snowman started to melt. Now, the demand was simply "All."

-- from his wonderful autobiography, "Surprised by Joy"

That is what Catholicism teaches that Christ asks of us in return -- All. A complete and total self-giving to God. And of course we all fail, and we are forgiven, but the request "All" is forever in our ears. Total surrender. The very life of the Trinity.

Quote:
I sometimes wonder if this belief in justification through faith alone somehow facilitates a more personalized and "buddy" view of Christ and his part in their life? I somehow think more evangelical Christians would feel more comfortable calling Jesus their best friend, whereas a Catholic would not. Any thoughts?
I would be more inclined to call Him Savior, Redeemer, Bridegroom, Father, Brother, Love. I think "best friend" really trivializes what He has done for us, what He has made us to be, and what He freely offers to us.

Quote:
I guess I'm just curious as to whether you think a catholic's relationship with Christ is different than a protestant's and why you might think this to be. Thanks in advance.
I think it can be richer, because the teachings, the liturgy, the prayer life, the culture of Christ's Church can make it richer.
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  #5  
Old Oct 25, '06, 6:05 pm
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Mommyof02green Mommyof02green is offline
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Default Re: Jesus of Catholics vs Protestants?

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Originally Posted by BrownR View Post
How do Catholics respond to a Protestants claim that they have a much more "personal" relationship with Jesus than Catholics?
How do you know what my “personal” relationship is like?? How do you know when and how I talk to Christ??? How do you know when and how Christ speaks to me???? Did Christ tell you theses things????

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Originally Posted by BrownR View Post
Before easily dismissing such a seemingly facile claim, give it a minute of thought and tell me why you think a Protestant would claim something like this, and why?
I don’t know why they do… sometimes I don’t understand Catholics clam they have more personal relationship. Truly a “Personal” relationship is personal. The only way to judge is if you truly know what kind of a relationship the other person has. It is wrong to assume that if they call themselves “Christian” they have a real personal relationship. Just like it wrong to assume that every person that calls himself or herself a “Catholic-Christian” has a real personal relationship. After all Christ said “Not everyone that calls me Lord will enter Heaven (Mathew 7:21-23)

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Originally Posted by BrownR View Post
It's been my observation that Protestant churches are very focused on an emotional, internalized, extremely personal relationship with Jesus. I've had limited experience in the Catholic Church so far, but I'm curious if most Catholics would say they feel themselves to have this same relationship to Jesus that Protestants claim, or would you say the Catholic faith stresses different perspectives of the relationship with Christ?
Truthfully, I don’t know what is more personal then actually sitting in a chapel in the presence of Christ. I don’t know what is more personal then truly and honestly receiving Him in the Holy Eucharist. I don’t know what is more personal then meditation on the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. To meditate on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary is to meditate on the Gospel. To meditate on the Gospel is to meditate on Christ. I don’t know what is more personal then to read and study scripture. To know Holy Scripture is to Know Christ. To be ignorant of Holy Scripture is to be ignorant of Christ (Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 133)

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Originally Posted by BrownR View Post
I can't decide if I'm just imagining some sort of dichotomy, or if it's part of something deeper. The protestant Jesus is a Jesus that forgives all, asking nothing in return except their faith which leads into the basic theological ideas of sola fide, etc..
Salvation is a free gift. Yes, Jesus forgives all. However He does ask us a lot more of us then just faith. Read: Mathew 7:21-23 we are told to keep His Father’s Commandments. Read: Mathew 25:31-45 we are told to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, etc. There are more scripture passages however, these 2 are a good start and show that there is more then just having faith.

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Originally Posted by BrownR View Post
I sometimes wonder if this belief in justification through faith alone somehow facilitates a more personalized and "buddy" view of Christ and his part in their life?
maybe you should read this Scriptural Reference Guide or SALVATION or Meeting Christ in the Liturgy

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Originally Posted by BrownR View Post
I somehow think more evangelical Christians would feel more comfortable calling Jesus their best friend, whereas a Catholic would not. Any thoughts?
As a Catholic-Christian I have no problems saying Christ is my Best Friend!!!! I will sing it from the rooftops!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownR View Post
I guess I'm just curious as to whether you think a catholic's relationship with Christ is different than a protestant's and why you might think this to be. Thanks in advance.
I will say at times I believe that SOME Catholics have a deeper relationship with Christ because of the Eucharist. However, I do know that SOME Non-Catholics have a deep relationship with Christ. I don’t like labels that say this sect is better then that sect. This is because there are people within both sects Non-Catholic-Christians and Catholic-Christians that don’t have any kind of Personal Relationship with Christ. Personal Relationship is Personal… Each INDIVIDUAL person can only judge by his or her TRUE Relationship with Christ. He or She CANNOT be judged by the label (i.e. Christian, Catholic-Christian) they use.
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  #6  
Old Oct 25, '06, 6:18 pm
water water is offline
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Default Re: Jesus of Catholics vs Protestants?

If one says I am closer to Jesus yet he does not adore and ackowledge who Virgin Mary is - free of sin, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven, etc....then this person is not as closer to Jesus as he thinks he is.

If you have a daugher or son getting married, do you want to know your in-law better? When you want to be with Jesus - his Bride, do you want to know His Mother more? or you say I don't care about my in-law?
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  #7  
Old Oct 25, '06, 6:23 pm
levi86 levi86 is offline
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Default Re: Jesus of Catholics vs Protestants?

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Originally Posted by water View Post
If one says I am closer to Jesus yet he does not adore and ackowledge who Virgin Mary is - free of sin, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven, etc....then this person is not as closer to Jesus as he thinks he is.

If you have a daugher or son getting married, do you want to know your in-law better? When you want to be with Jesus - his Bride, do you want to know His Mother more? or you say I don't care about my in-law?
One can have a perfect and complete relationship with Christ without having a devotion to Our Lady. Knowing Mary is not a prerequisite for knowing Christ.
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  #8  
Old Oct 25, '06, 6:26 pm
carol marie carol marie is offline
 
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Default Re: Jesus of Catholics vs Protestants?

Convert to the Catholic Church here.. I'll speak only for myself.

As a Protestant, I often felt a deep love for Christ.. until that feeling went away - which sounds so silly but it's true. That was the thing... it was always about how I felt - my emotions. Oh sometimes the worship leader would try to make me feel Him more by a particular song we'd sing.. (sometimes 6 times).. but if I wasn't "in the mood" - there was nothing else.

As a Catholic, it's never about how I "feel" because I believe Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. When I go to mass I enter a holy place. I can "smell" the incense - touch the holy water - look at Christ on the cross.. and kneel before Him and receive Him in the Eucharist - which is so very powerful for me. All of those things help me connect with him on a much deeper level than I ever did as a Protestant.
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  #9  
Old Oct 25, '06, 6:27 pm
water water is offline
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Default Re: Jesus of Catholics vs Protestants?

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Originally Posted by levi86 View Post
One can have a perfect and complete relationship with Christ without having a devotion to Our Lady. Knowing Mary is not a prerequisite for knowing Christ.
You are right, one does not need to have a devotion to Virgin Mary, but if one does not believe all who she is, then he is not that close to Jesus. I am sure Jesus wants us to have a close relationship with Virgin Mary.
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  #10  
Old Oct 25, '06, 6:48 pm
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Mommyof02green Mommyof02green is offline
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Default Re: Jesus of Catholics vs Protestants?

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Originally Posted by water View Post
You are right, one does not need to have a devotion to Virgin Mary, but if one does not believe all who she is, then he is not that close to Jesus. I am sure Jesus wants us to have a close relationship with Virgin Mary.
I understand what you are trying to say Water.

I married my husband, I know my husband, Love my husband, admire my husband. I did not meet his mother before him. I did not get to know his mother before I got to know him. However I do know him better, because I got to know his Mom.

Likewise, My husband married me; He loves me, and admires me. He didn't not meet my mother, before he met me. He didn't get to know my mother, before he got to know me. However, he does know me better because he does know my Mom.

Being apart of the Bride of Christ (the Church) make us the "spouse" of Christ. We can know him. We can Love HIM. We can Worship Him. We do not need to meet His Mother.

However, it is possible to know HIM better when we get to know HIS Mom. After all Mary raised HIM. She bathed Him, Helped HIM learn to walk, dressed HIM, and Told HIM stories, Feed HIM. Think about she did for HIM all the things, your Mother has done for you.

In my opinion the people that know you the best in order are

1. God
2. yourself
3. Your parents (especially Mom)
4. Your Spouse
5. Your friends
6. Your children
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  #11  
Old Oct 25, '06, 6:51 pm
rwoehmke rwoehmke is offline
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Default Re: Jesus of Catholics vs Protestants?

Having been in several interdenominational prayer groups I would observe that non-Catholics seemed to have what I called a "God in a box" relationship. If I pray just so using the right words God must respond to what I want. Sort of like having Jesus in your pocket or on a string. They were in control of the relationship rather than the otherway around, which is how I think Catholics feel.
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  #12  
Old Oct 25, '06, 7:05 pm
MountainMan MountainMan is offline
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Default Re: Jesus of Catholics vs Protestants?

Brown -

It seems to me that the difference is that most Evangelicals I know and those I hear on the radio (sadly, we don't have a Catholic station in the Denver area) place a great deal of emphasis on having a 'personal relationship' with Jesus, which Catholics have not done in that kind of language. Carol Marie had it right, I think, when she noticed how dependent on emotion those 'personal relationships' tend to be in Evangelical churches, while in the Catholic tradition true and complete relationship can always be found in the Eucharist.

I want to add that until I attended a Christians Encounter Christ weekend (a shorter version of a Cursillo), I never thought of my relationship with Christ as 'personal.' Since that weekend (in 1993), however, I have known Him in a way I would not have thought possible. I encourage anyone to attend a Cursillo; though some don't find fulfillment in the weekend as I did, most seem to benefit from it in some way. The real beauty of it, for me, is that is not JUST a weekend, but, if you choose, a lifelong comittment to growing closer to the Lord with a group of fellow Christians.

Chuck
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  #13  
Old Oct 25, '06, 7:05 pm
Liberian Liberian is offline
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Default Re: Jesus of Catholics vs Protestants?

BrownR,

What the Protestants are reacting to is the Catholic prayers to Mary and the saints. They think that because we pray to people besides Jesus, we do not have such a close relationship with Jesus Himself.

I found when I converted from Protestantism that the "personal relationship" that I had had with Jesus got a whole lot deeper when I started eating His true Body and Blood. As another respondent said, it's hard to get more personal than that.

- Liberian
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  #14  
Old Oct 25, '06, 7:20 pm
Reformed Rob Reformed Rob is offline
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Default Re: Jesus of Catholics vs Protestants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownR View Post

It's been my observation that Protestant churches are very focused on an emotional, internalized, extremely personal relationship with Jesus. I've had limited experience in the Catholic Church so far, but I'm curious if most Catholics would say they feel themselves to have this same relationship to Jesus that Protestants claim, or would you say the Catholic faith stresses different perspectives of the relationship with Christ?

I guess I'm just curious as to whether you think a catholic's relationship with Christ is different than a protestant's and why you might think this to be. Thanks in advance.
Brown,

Neat question. I haven't read all the thread, but just some of it so far. So forgive me if I repeat what someone else said.

This is just me, Catholicism is so "big" that many different answers could be given, all of them good.

I was Protestant before I became Catholic this Easter. I know what it's like to have a more "personal feeling" relationship with Christ. And that's a good thing. However, it's something that great saints have been talking about for a long time. Like my patron saint, St. Francis de Sales. And others.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (not a canonized saint) talked about knowing Christ personally, not just on a "I know about Him" level.

Also, the Diocescian DRE for my diocese, Sr. Cathy, a Dominican sister, she stressed that at a class I attended. About growing from knowing about a person to actually knowing them personally.

So, it's not like Catholics don't have a clue what in the world Protestants are saying they experience that we don't. In many cases it depends on what one is exposed to in their life.

Perhaps a tangible difference that is worth pointing out is one of the 4 "Marks of the Church." It's Apostolicity. And by that I mean like the historic aspect of it.

Protestants may be able to trace their traditions back a couple decades or a couple hundred years, but we go back a little farther than that. You might say we go "all the way" back. For us to say "I experienced worship today" may be very different than what a Protestant would mean by the same words. Aspects of our faith are more tangible to us. We experience God "today" in the reality of the Mystical Body of Christ and in the Sacraments when we receive them. And that experience goes "all the way" back to long before we were even alive.

And that itself can have a noticeable effect. In a good way, adding to the personal aspect.
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  #15  
Old Oct 25, '06, 7:38 pm
Reformed Rob Reformed Rob is offline
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Default Re: Jesus of Catholics vs Protestants?

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BrownR,

What the Protestants are reacting to is the Catholic prayers to Mary and the saints. They think that because we pray to people besides Jesus, we do not have such a close relationship with Jesus Himself.

- Liberian
Yes!! I second that!! Actually I had a friend tell me that recently. "Why do you pray to all those other dead people? And why don't you just pray what's in your heart instead of written prayers?"

Little did they know, they are not just "other dead people" which I attempted to explain, and that I for one do pray what's on my heart. But the written prayers are chock full of meaning that can usually express what I want to say way better than what I could come up with just on my own. I mean, as long as you mean what you're saying, recited or not, that's the point. So if you honestly mean what the written prayer says, it's the best of both worlds.

At least, that's my take.
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