Communion and Jesus as Savior


#1

A friend of mine is an minster in a very fundamentalist church and is concerned that my son made his First Communion and maybe hasn’t accepted ‘Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior’. I’m not sure how to contrast this with Catholic teaching - obviously my son believes this, but I know my friend is implying the concept of ‘being saved’. Can anyone help me concisely explain this to him, without going into a 30 minute discussion on Catholicism - I don’t think he’ll listen that long.


#2

[quote=Elzee]A friend of mine is an minster in a very fundamentalist church and is concerned that my son made his First Communion and maybe hasn’t accepted ‘Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior’. I’m not sure how to contrast this with Catholic teaching - obviously my son believes this, but I know my friend is implying the concept of ‘being saved’. Can anyone help me concisely explain this to him, without going into a 30 minute discussion on Catholicism - I don’t think he’ll listen that long.
[/quote]

ask him what he means by “accepting the Lord as his personal savior”? he will say things like, well, he is now lord of my life, to which you reply, what does that mean, he will say, well, you know, the Lord of my life, to which you say, and that means??? finally you will see, that it is his personal definition… to most everyone, accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior can be something different…

then i would respectfully suggest that to shake the faith of a child is a dangerous thing to do… the Lord might rather you tie a mill stone around you neck and jump into the sea…

then you tell him that your child is saved and to move on… sheese, these guys drive me crazy…


#3

ASk him if he has accepted 'Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior.'
What makes him so sure he’s saved?
ASk him to prove it.


#4

He didn’t say this in front of my son and I honestly think, in his own mind, he was legitimately concerned. So, I give him credit for having the courage to bring it up to me and that he cares. Given this, I’d rather be able to explain concisely how his question isn’t totally applicable in Catholicism, as opposed to trying to show him how his line of thinking is ‘wrong’, or make him prove anything. I don’t think now is the time to do that. Explaining it ‘concisely’ is my problem at this point. Any ideas?


#5

The answer to the Pastor’s question is a resounding YES!! For a fundamentalist, there are a few basic steps one must complete to “accept Jesus as his Savior.”

Step 1: Admit that you are a sinner.
Your son went to confession right? Then he obviously was aware of the fact that he has sinned.

Step 2: Realize that Jesus died for you.
No doubt your son recognizes that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He sees Him on the cross everytime you go to mass right?

Step 3: Turn away from your old life.
Does your son try to be a good boy?

Step 4: Believe that Jesus is Lord.
Does your son know that Jesus is God? Granted, the trinity is a tricky subject, most adults would be hard pressed to explain it but the point is, Jesus was not just a man, he was God’s Son who died and rose again on the third day. I’m sure your son would agree with this even if he didn’t completly understand.

Step 5: Pray to God asking for forgivness, recognizing Jesus is Lord & asking Him to come into your heart.
Your son no doubt prays with you at home and in mass. We often ask for God’s forgivness, we pray in the name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit and (THIS IS THE BEST PART) we ACTUALLY receive Jesus in the Eucharist - surely that’s even better then symbolically asking his “into your heart.” If the Pastor quizzes you on the “asking into your heart” bit tell him that the Catholic Church follows the BIBLICAL way of receiving Jesus as outlined in John chapter 6.

See, even by the Pastor’s definition your son has accepted Jesus as his Lord & Savior. :slight_smile:


#6

Thank you Carol Marie. You outlined this so well. I wish I could think as clearly. One day maybe…! Thank you!


#7

I think Carol Marie has hit the nail on the head.
As a former Billy Graham counsellor, I’ve been privileged to lead many people to Christ, including a woman who was close to death. I’m sure that God accepts them as His when their hearts are sincere.
We Catholics believe the same as Protestants, but we incorporate it into our worship, instead of making a big deal out of pinpointing a particular moment when Christ begins to change our lives. That doesn’t mean He doesn’t change our lives, we just interpret the process a bit differently.


#8

Your son not only accepts Jesus as his personal Lord and Saviour, but receives Him personally in the most intimate manner when he receives Holy Communion.


#9

Viki59 (or anyone) - how do I answer a question I foresee…‘but there has to be a point in time when you actually realized that Jesus died for you, that you were a sinner, and that you accepted him as your Savior’ etc.

How do I explain that this faith grows in us from the time we are baptized, and that it’s not like all of the things Carol Marie mentioned above ‘hit us all at once’?


#10
  • how do I answer a question I foresee…‘but there has to be a point in time when you actually realized that Jesus died for you, that you were a sinner, and that you accepted him as your Savior’ etc.

Well, speaking as a cradle Catholic, I “realized” it from the moment I was first able to form the thought. It’s not like my parents said to themselves, “Oh, we must withhold this truth about Jesus from him until he is old enough to fully appreciate it, and then he will be able to make a conscious decision for Christ.”

No, why would they withhold that information from me, and why would I as an innocent child resist hearing it or believing it or accepting it as easily as I accepted the fact that the sun rose every morning?

No, the “decision” for Christ was made at a very early age, and renewed often–every day at morning prayers, at First Communion, at Mass every Sunday, at Confirmation, and every day throughout life.

Now if I had been in the dark about Jesus for years or decades, then there might be a special memory of the day that I first received that information. But if good Christian parents are doing their job, the child’s introduction to the Christian life will be absorbed with his mother’s milk and continually strengthened.


#11

[quote=Elzee]He didn’t say this in front of my son and I honestly think, in his own mind, he was legitimately concerned. So, I give him credit for having the courage to bring it up to me and that he cares. Given this, I’d rather be able to explain concisely how his question isn’t totally applicable in Catholicism, as opposed to trying to show him how his line of thinking is ‘wrong’, or make him prove anything. I don’t think now is the time to do that. Explaining it ‘concisely’ is my problem at this point. Any ideas?
[/quote]

Tell him that Catholics believe that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ; to receive the Sacrament without believing that Jesus Christ is the Lord who lived and died to save us is to eat and drink condemnation. We may not have the sinners prayer in so many words but we examine our consciences to the bottom of our hearts in Confession, and we certainly believe what the sinners prayer stands for. Explain to him that confession is called in the Eastern Churches, “the mystery of second baptism.” So even infant baptism does not mean a Catholic is not “saved.” Every time we come to Confession we renew our Baptism. Every time we receive the Eucharist we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts as Lord and Savior. The idea that a Catholic is not “born again” is an incredible misunderstanding. By the time you are 8 or 9 years old, you are old enough to understand that Holy Communion is the "real deal’ and Jesus is the “real deal.”


#12

Gosh am I glad I found Catholic Answers and this forum a few months ago. Thank you all so much.


#13

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