How to respond to "Jesus doesn't care what church we go to"


#1

In a talk with an old-time friend, she mentioned that she doesn’t think that Jesus/God really cares what church we go to as long as we go (or something to that effect). Though I see where she is coming from, I still maintained that it is important that she go to Catholic mass as opposed to a protestant service.

How should one respond to that while keeping a loving attitude and not delving into hardcore apologetics?

Catholic answers only, please.

Thanks!


#2

Is your friend Catholic? It matters in how you would respond…


#3

I would ask how she came to that conclusion, since Jesus did pray for a unity of believers.

God Bless
Scylla


#4

Sometimes when a person states that they “think” that this or that, is or is not the case, we don’t think to ask them “why” they think that way.

How about asking your friend why “she doesn’t think that Jesus/God really cares what church we go to as long as we go”. it looks like the conversation ended just when it was really begining.

Your question as to “why” may cause her to really think why she holds to this belief. Her response may give you an opportunity to be more specific to her in what the Church’s position is.

Does this help?

Luke


#5

[quote=Ianjo99]In a talk with an old-time friend, she mentioned that she doesn’t think that Jesus/God really cares what church we go to as long as we go (or something to that effect). Though I see where she is coming from, I still maintained that it is important that she go to Catholic mass as opposed to a protestant service.

How should one respond to that while keeping a loving attitude and not delving into hardcore apologetics?

Catholic answers only, please.

Thanks!
[/quote]

I’d say something like,

I’m sure Jesus is happy that you’re at least saying prayers to Him in a church founded by men, but don’t you think He’d be even happier if you worshipped Him in the Church He Himself founded, and received Jesus Himself in Communion?


#6

But most churches have contradictory differences, so how could it not matter? Protestants say we’re saved by merely accepting Christ while Catholics say it is important how we act. Plus, Catholics say there is only one true church, while apparently her church doesn’t. How would you know what to believe?

Broader than that, some churches are monotheists (one God) while some are polytheist (many gods). And what about the church of satan? Surely Jesus would care if we went to that “church”. And if there’s a wrong church, there must be a right church.

And if your friend is Catholic, the most obvious response is “Then why did He start just the Catholic church if He doesn’t really care?” :ehh:


#7

[quote=Petergee]I’d say something like,

I’m sure Jesus is happy that you’re at least saying prayers to Him in a church founded by men, but don’t you think He’d be even happier if you worshipped Him in the Church He Himself founded, and received Jesus Himself in Communion?
[/quote]

Excellent point! I’m going to use this one myself!

George


#8

I would apeal to her human need for truth, which we all seek.
Does she want the whole truth or partial truth? A book on the early Chruch fathers could help. No one can argue with history.


#9

Thanks for all the responses!

Yes, my friend is Catholic, although during the school year she has told me that she sometimes foregos mass in favor of a closer protestant (nondenominational, I believe) church.

I didn’t ask her why specifically, although she says she “loses interest” after the homily and that all after that is “tradition” (note the lower case ‘t’). Also, she believes that the way the bible is taught in the service relates more to everyday life.

I did mention that it was good that she was at least taking her faith seriously enough to care what was being taught rather than just sitting there not listening.

Part of the reason I didn’t go into the founding of the Church by Christ was that I was afraid she would tune me out and I would just sound condescending.

What irks me is that we’ve had this discussion before. Although she does go to Church, she can’t understand the inherent difference and importance between a Catholic Mass and a Protestant service. Her thinking is that as long as she goes to heaven, it doesn’t matter what physical building we’re in. She also gave me the equivalent of “assured salvation”, which I promptly shot down.

Arrgh, convincing people is hard :o

I wish I was a better apologist than I am… Oh well, the best I can do is read and pray without giving up I guess.


#10

in general, when I hear dogmatic statements like “Jesus doesn’t care what we wear to Church”, “the hurricane was a divine punishment from God for the gambling and sin along the gulf coast” or “it was God’s will that your son be killed by a drunk driver”, I respond as politely as possible: “I would never presume to speak for God and dictate His will to others, and I am surprised that you would have such arrogance to speak for Him.”

What Jesus cares about is clearly and unambiguously stated in the Gospels: If you love me you will keep my commandments. His commandments are also clearly stated, in the sermon on the mount, in the sermon on the judgement of nations, and throughout the entire gospel, so we don’t need to put our own spin on His words.


#11

The one true Bride of Christ (Catholic Church) the maid of honor(all others).


#12

I guess I’d press the point that only the Catholic Church offers the Living Christ through the Eucharist.

Granted, God may not mind which church we go to provided the church we choose worships and praises Him, but He definitely wants the best for us. He made His Real Presence available to mankind through the Eucharist and longs for those who love Him to let Him into their bodies so He can sustain them.

I can’t imagine why a person, knowingly, would walk away from the Real Living Christ being offered to them through the Eucharist. I suppose it’s because they consider strings are attached to receiving Him that way, but every church has it’s own hoops to go through…at least ours are grounded in Truth.


#13

[quote=YinYangMom]I guess I’d press the point that only the Catholic Church offers the Living Christ through the Eucharist.

Granted, God may not mind which church we go to provided the church we choose worships and praises Him, but He definitely wants the best for us. He made His Real Presence available to mankind through the Eucharist and longs for those who love Him to let Him into their bodies so He can sustain them.

I can’t imagine why a person, knowingly, would walk away from the Real Living Christ being offered to them through the Eucharist. I suppose it’s because they consider strings are attached to receiving Him that way, but every church has it’s own hoops to go through…at least ours are grounded in Truth.
[/quote]

Don’t the Orthodox have this, too?

Mike


#14

See if she would be interested in listening to this free CD about the Mass Explained

catholicity.com/maryfoundation/massexplained.html

[quote=Ianjo99]Thanks for all the responses!

Yes, my friend is Catholic, although during the school year she has told me that she sometimes foregos mass in favor of a closer protestant (nondenominational, I believe) church.

I didn’t ask her why specifically, although she says she “loses interest” after the homily and that all after that is “tradition” (note the lower case ‘t’). Also, she believes that the way the bible is taught in the service relates more to everyday life.

I did mention that it was good that she was at least taking her faith seriously enough to care what was being taught rather than just sitting there not listening.

Part of the reason I didn’t go into the founding of the Church by Christ was that I was afraid she would tune me out and I would just sound condescending.

What irks me is that we’ve had this discussion before. Although she does go to Church, she can’t understand the inherent difference and importance between a Catholic Mass and a Protestant service. Her thinking is that as long as she goes to heaven, it doesn’t matter what physical building we’re in. She also gave me the equivalent of “assured salvation”, which I promptly shot down.

Arrgh, convincing people is hard :o

I wish I was a better apologist than I am… Oh well, the best I can do is read and pray without giving up I guess.
[/quote]


#15

I think your friend’s major problem is a fundamental misunderstanding about worship. God did not say, “Go to whichever service entertains you most” he said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” He gave his body, his blood, all that he had so that we could have salvation. We go to mass to honor this, not because the homily is “more relevant to our lives”. I think that many priests could do a better job of making the gospels come alive and seem relevant to our day to day lives, but that is not the point.
Your friend’s understanding of Sunday service is very immature and selfish. God does care whether you take part in his sacrifice on calvary or just hear his words. You can hear his words or read them anywhere. Only during a Mass celebrated by one of his earthly representatives is his sacrifice represented and his body given to you.
Ask her why she believes in Christ at all if his sacrifice means so very little to her.


#16

[quote=mhansen]Don’t the Orthodox have this, too?

Mike
[/quote]

The Orthodox are Catholic.
Note that I didn’t specify Roman Catholic Church because I’m finding out there are a buch of different ‘rites’ and such which are fully Catholic even though they aren’t Roman. I don’t have a handle on the distinctions yet, but I know enough not to claim only the Roman Catholic Church is THE Bride in and of herself.

Unless someone here can correct me on that…I have no problem being corrected…in fact I welcome it. This is not an area I’m certain about.


#17

Wait! Your friend cares which church she goes to (because she thinks the homily should relate to everyday life). If your friend cares which church she goes to, why does she think that God should not?

Doesn’t this kind of “thinking” drive you bonkers?


#18

I was thinking about giving her a copy of “This is the Faith” by Canon Francis Ripley when I go to visit her. It seems to me to be a great beginning apologetics book, and would answer any objections or doubts that would come into her mind.

Is anybody else familiar with the book that could give me any advice? I read it already believing in what it said, but I am not sure if it is right to convince someone not already in agreement.


#19

YinYangMom,
the Orthodox Churches are not Catholic, and have been in schism from the Catholic Church for about 1,000 years. There are about 22 rites within the Catholic Church, such as the Maronite, Coptic,and Syro- Malankabar rites. These are all Catholic, ie in full communion with the Latin Church and the See of Peter. The Orthodox Churches are not in communion with the Catholic Church although they do have apostolic succession and valid sacraments.


#20

I would ask “Did He put that in writing?”


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