Different view of crucifixion and life with Jesus

I was taught as a Catholic that Jesus died to open the gates of heaven so sinners that go to confession can have access to enternal life.

My friend who is a protestant (not sure which denom) said that Jesus died for our sins, and that all sins have been forgiven.

She said that feeling guilty about sinning is crucifying Jesus again, and that Catholics predominately focus on the suffering of the cruscifixion without having a balance of the joy of the resurrection-and this is how Catholic’s live their lives-gloomy and focused on suffering.

I am a pretty joyful Catholic and she called me an exception. She also told me I act like a protestant–ie in daily life. (Not regarding worship etc.) I also read the bible, which she said that Catholic’s don’t usually. I don’t know if this was an insult or what.

How do I answer these things?

Many Protestant’s erroneously conflate Redemption and Salvation. In reality, they are two linked but distinct concepts. The Paschal Mystery of Our Lord redeemed the human race and made our salvation possible. Through the Sacraments of the Holy Catholic Church established by Our Lord Himself, the merits of the Paschal Mystery are applied to the faithful in the form of God’s grace. The Sacraments are the ordinary means of salvation. Through the Sacraments, grace is dispensed. This is what Christ ordained. In particular, the Sacrament of Penance restores the life of grace in the soul that has been lost by mortal sin. If one dies outside of God’s grace, one cannot achieve salvation. But we have the Sacraments. Christ freely offers his forgiveness to all who come to him with contrition in the confessional. There is nothing gloomy about this. Quite the opposite. The confessional is the most beautiful place this side of heaven, because it is where God’s mercy is dispensed.

This is some of the misgiving of Protestantism and why they are so wrong. Not all Protestants of course but quite many have simplified Christianity so much, it is almost as if they decide what is Christianity and not Jesus.

There are a few themes like Once Saved Always Saved and Faith Alone. These are definitely not Christianity. But when Protestants explained these, they are like chicken and eggs question. If you sin, then you are not saved in the first place. If you have faith, then good work will come naturally as a result.

Jesus sure died for our sin and for those who believe and repent, their sins are forgiven. We should feel guilty when we sin. Not that guilt will consume us but that sin convicts us. Realizing that we sin, we feel guilty and then remorseful of having done it and therefore we ask for forgiveness in our confession.

Jesus’ death definitely will not take away unrepented/unconfessed sin. Thus the first few words of the ministry of Jesus was a call to repentance. Our confidence in salvation is that when we confess our sin, it will be forgiven as if we have never sinned. Salvation is obviously not a passport to sin wantonly.


Well the Bible is very important in learning about our faith however if you only read certain portions of it you can reach false conclusions.
Jesus did not leave us the Bible. HE left us THE CHURCH. Not an invisible, ethereal conception.
On THIS ROCK I will build MY CHURCH.
Who’s the ROCK? _________?

Can you build a church (building) with just 1 stone?
If you answered (NO). Therefore can you build THE CHURCH with just 1 stone?

Ask your friend the following question:
So if all sins are forgiven does that mean that you can kill me now and you can still go to Heaven?

See what the answer is. It is important because, yes all sins are forgiven when you are Baptised, however we are imperfect humans and we fail at being HOLY. We stumble.

Who has the authority given by Jesus to “forgive AND retain sins”?
Me? You? your friend? Ask this and remind them of this:

John Chapter 20

20:19 Then, when it was late on the same day, on the first of the Sabbaths, and the doors were closed where **the disciples **were gathered, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and he said to them: “Peace to you.” 20:20 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and side. And the disciples were gladdened when they saw the Lord. 20:21 Therefore, he said to them again: “Peace to you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 20:22 When he had said this, he breathed on them. And he said to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit. **20:23 Those whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and those whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.” **

If sins can be retained (NOT forgiven), why would they be NOT forgiven?
Your friend stated ALL sins are forgiven. Jesus apparently is rebuking this assertion.

Just some pointers for you to consider… Hope they help a little.

First of all, it’s not the “feeling guilty about our sins” that re-crucifies Jesus - it’s committing those sins in the first place! We’re actually feeling guilty about recrucifying Him.

As for being a joyful Catholic - as Pope Francis has said, we should ALL feel joyful! Jesus’s Mercy, if we choose to accept it, will allow us to be in Heaven with Him - forever! We don’t deserve this - in fact, we all deserve Hell. Most devout Catholics I know are extremely joyful. Unfortunately, I think she’s run into many Catholics who suffer from scrupulosity, which can cause one to lose that joy (and sometimes even fall away from the Church). And Bible reading is increasing among us Catholics. The Bible is our book - we wrote the books of the New Testament and determined the canon ourselves. And we chose the New Testament writings that we did to reinforce our Sacred Tradition - and to prevent heresy.

And where do we choose to accept this mercy? In the confessional! Be joyful that Our Lord has established such a beautiful sacrament. Utilize it frequently!

If you feel that your friend has an incorrect impression of Catholics, the most effective way to show her otherwise is to via your attitude and actions in the Gospel. If you think Catholics are joyful, then show her joy! Let her see you reading the Bible, and dispel her preconceptions.

Gladly this seems to be the case. Bible reading, study and its usage in spiritual life seems to be more active among Catholics nowadays. The trend probably started some forty years ago. Now many Catholics, and that perhaps include myself, ;), would happily stand up to any Protestants to discuss the Bible and we would not be too lost. So I would say it is a vast improvement from the stereotype Catholics who sleep during the homilies because they could not care less about their Bible knowledge.

Just happen to visit a small parish in another city a week ago and attended their prayer meeting. I knew a friend there and he also invited me to their Bible study. I asked, “When?” because I was not staying long. He said, “every Thursday night. It is run by our parish priest.” I said, “how is the attendance?” He reply, “Oh, very good. Some of us here are there too,” pointing to those members in the prayer meeting.

My point, interest in the Bible sure is way much better among Catholics today than it was years ago.

Good bless.


Joy is an outward expression of inner peace that arise from our hearts. And we should be joyful. If we don’t, it may be a subtle indication that we may examine our life and see if we miss something. The Holy Spirit will spur us to arise in joy because we are whole and indeed the Lord has risen.

Joy is not acting crazy though. Perhaps a better word is contentment. Many happy Catholics are not very extrovert but it does not mean they do not have the Holy Spirit in them.

It is good to show others the way we live but it must not be for the sake of showing off of how holy we are. Probably some of our subtle move would be that we should not be involved and should avoid in any activities that are seemingly unchristian. We should be different and not be ashamed of it. Nothing beat a righteous life as an example of a believer. We should compete to love and to be righteous for the glory of God.

God bless.


Honestly, what usually gets us Catholics perplexed when talking the Bible with Protestants has to do with Protestants quoting random chapters & verses. We tend to try to view the Bible, and the Bible’s message holistically, so though we are doing better learning our Bible - and the meaning as the Church teaches it - it’s always hard to discuss passages with people who often take lines out of context.

Exactly, it seems to me. :wink:

Can’t never quite forget those evangelical type or Mormons or JWs who would confront you with memorized Biblical verses. They seemed to be so fluent in their Bible knowledge but that may be just superficial and skin deep.

Of course the right thing to do with the Bible is to look at it as a whole, an overview. What is the Book tries to bring about and its messages. Sometimes verses taken in isolation without in context of the passage, and more so in the Bible itself, can be very misleading.

Having said that, there are of course many Protestants who are really good in the Bible and read it objectively. These should be the people that Catholics should engage with.

I believe the Catholic Church has it right in her approach to the Bible. It is certainly not being ignored. In fact almost the whole Bible would be proclaimed and revered (and should be preached) during the mass in a two year cycle (daily mass) and three year cycle (Sunday mass). The idea of course is so that the word should be a part of our lives and by implication, we should know it well.

Probably for many Catholics, we can be complacent in participating in the Eucharist thinking that we have fulfilled our Christian obligation and thus have little time for the Bible. Thanks God, that seems to be changing for the better now and hopefully. :slight_smile:

God bless.


If a person does not feel guilty about committing a sin it would most likely reveal that they cannot empathize with others. It would show that have a sociopathic tendency.

I do not understand how somehow who has God’s grace in them would not feel guilty for hurting another person and turning their backs on God?

My wife, children and myself read scripture, and I can’t think of Catholic church out there were parishioners are not reading scripture at their homes or leading Bible studies at the Church. I would say it was an insult for your friend to make a comment like that. It would be just as bad if you told them that you do not know a single protestant that is not cheating on their spouse, and then follow up with oh but not you in that regard you are not like Catholics.

Just let your friend know that such comments are offensive and not true. Then remind them that at every Mass we celebrate the Eucharist. Every Mass then is ending as a mini Easter celebration where we celebrate in joy the risen Lord, and we commune with Him as He intended in the most intimate and glorious way.

Thank you for your replies.

She saw me reading the Mother Angelica book on scripture when we went to the beach, and this prompted her comments. She told me she didn’t know 9atholics were allowed to study scripture.

-She told me about direct repentance-that being sorry for sins is between her and God-and no where does Jesus say that we have to involve another person (a priest) as it is a not between a different man and God-- We just have to repent and be sorry. Then about ‘penance’ and how that was handled in the middle ages or so and why it’s wrong— and went on and on and on…which led to the Pope discussion, and spiraled into joyful Christians and works (that faith alone can save because works are a sin of pride) and everything else but the kitchen sink.

Next time, perhaps I should leave any religious books at home.
I think she was trying to evangilize me into becoming protestant.
Good thing she didn’t say anything about the Blessed Mother, as that would have caused me to pack up and leave.

Her comment on Catholicism was obviously out of ignorance but it could be more so thinking that you are weak in the faith and therefore game for proselytization. Can understand why she did it but it is our responsibility too to speak well and reasonably knowledgeable about our faith. That should be the minimum for being a Catholic.

I think all religious materials are good conversation pieces. It is always better to talk about God/religion than perhaps worldly gossiping. I can understand your concern though in not wanting to go into that road with your friend.

Perhaps you can start with simple religious materials and then maybe go into the Catechism. For me, that (the CCC) is rather cumbersome and bulky. I would rather use my own words, by way of rephrase in such discussion.

I had a couple of JWs and Mormons coming into my home and we had good discussion until they wanted to leave. The JWs sent other senior members to come to my house as a follow-up (probably) and I would never shy away from a religious discourse much to my wife’s dismay as she thought that it was a futile exercise. Nevertheless they did not come anymore after those visits. :smiley:

God bless.


**Mommy K, **On the question of reading the Bible, there’s a lot of truth in what your Protestant friend says, though the situation is not quite as black and white as she seems to think. Bible reading was always strongly encouraged by the Protestant churches and not nearly as much by the Catholic Church, until Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Divino afflante spiritu (link below) placed new emphasis on that. But that was only in the nineteen forties and even today the Church, in practice, has not really caught up with the Protestants in this department.


As to a “different view of crucifixion” of Jesus… we view the crucifixion as reported in the Gospels that we view the crucifixion of Jesus as a martyrdom but the spirit of Christ continued…

“Although they crucified this elemental body, yet the merciful reality and the heavenly existence remain eternal and undying, and it was protected from the oppression and persecution of the enemies, for Christ is Eternal and Everlasting. How can He die? This death and crucifixion was imposed on the physical body of Christ, and not upon the Spirit of Christ.”

~ Abdul-Baha

(Provisional Translations, Star of the West (Volume 2))

As I’m reading this thread I am trying to understand why Christ’s death on the cross is so difficult to understand. There just seems so much more to it than what I understand it to be.

Before Christ, the Jews would sacrifice animals to atone for their sins. That’s what Christ did for us - His death on the cross was an atonement for the sins that we have done and are still to do. As a faithful Christian we are thankful that Christ forgave our sins in the past and we try to not sin as we go forward in our lives. We ask forgiveness and sincerely work to not sin anymore although most of us will fall into that sin again. From my perspective we don’t sin and then get to go out and sin again because we’re forgiven. Repentance, then forgiveness…

I’d love some discussion with this but please don’t use put-downs or dismiss mine or others thoughts about it.

God bless,


It seems to me that you were allowing your friend to tell you about Catholicism. A different approach would be to correct every inaccuracy she mentions. This way she would be knowledgeable about the Church and its teaching and you would not have to listen to all the opinions. I know it can difficult, but do not allow her the freedom to make up lies about the Church.
As to your suggestion that you will not bring a religious book on another trip with her, I think that is a bad idea. I would purchase a copy of “Catholicism for Dummies” and if she started in on me, I would give her that book to read.

In Christ,

I think the problem for me is that I was raised catholic and most of what I practice is from this. Even though I attended catholic school, I am not very versed in the catechism.

I know just from tradition and upbringing, and not strong in church history to debate.

Thanks again-

First off, Do not let your friend discourage you from trying to evangelize, it is our duty to spread the faith by being a witness to it and when attacked be able to defend it.

Remember that if you are not sure how to respond to an attack, just say: “I am not 100% sure on how to answer your point, but I will find out and get back to you”

Also do not let the attacks on your faith get the best of you, keep your calm, remember Jesus own words “You will be attacked and persecuted because of me”.

And last you have a great resource here at CAF were you can get answers to almost any question about our wonderful faith.

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