If Jesus were around today


#1

I wonder if he would spend most of his time going around trying to defend the Catholic faith, or would he spend his time living it. This is a critical question I believe deserves some serious reflection by all of us.

It amazes me how many discussions I get into with people about Christianity, Catholicism, spirituality, etc, that involve defending some of the least important aspects of our faith and of our reason for living. And maybe not so much that they’re not important on their own merit, but relative to God’s will for us and our mission in life to serve God and our fellow neighbor’s in need. One might argue that salvation is the primary need, but nobody’s going to listen to a sermon regarding salvation on an empty stomach. So here are a few poignant questions:

Does God care more about whether we pray to Mary or whether we pray for our enemies?

Does God care more about what sacraments are part of our faith or that we extend God’s grace to those in need?

Does God care more about whether we believe He’s physically present in the Eucharist or that He’s present in our daily lives as we interact with our brothers and sisters?

Does God care more about whether you attend mass every sunday or that you attend to His gentle whispers as He attempts to guide us in His will for us?

Does God care more about whether we can successfully defend arguments for sola scriptura or that we can defend our daily actions as those that reflect Christ’s words in the beattitudes?

Does God care more about proving he exists or demonsrating by our actions that we believe God exists and that God is Love?

Now before you immediately hit reply and begin a lengthly defense thesis, just take some time to reflect on some of this stuff. Trust me, I’d be the first one to jump right in and start typing. But I often thing we rush to defend ourselves - not sure why. Sometimes I think it might be pride - to show how much we know. Maybe it’s just human nature.

But we have so many basic problems in the world that I wonder how much time we really have to be arguing about some minor details of our faith. We need to be doing God’s will. Letting go of our material ways, taking the time to be thankful for what we have rather than constantly wanting something more (in a material sense), becoming more aware of the needs within our community, getting more involved in our church and its outreach ministries, tending to the needs within our own family, etc, etc.

What did I do tonight. I sat around watching TV and then goofed around on the computer for a while. Is that part of God’s will? As a Christian, is there really anything appropriate for me to be watching on TV? I can’t see me watching 99% of what I watch if Jesus were sitting on the couch next to me. If Christianity is what the United States was founded on and still the major religion in the US, then the movie industry should be going broke with what they’re producing. But we continue to pay to see movies every day that contradict Christian values. I can’t imagine Jesus paying to see any of those movies - so why should we.

Any way - just food for thought. Mostly for myself since I think about this quite often and still find it difficult to make progress in my daily walk. But I guess I feel these are the daily whispers of God gently trying to lead me and felt inspired to share with others.

Please don’t take this as an attack on those defending their faith. I’m just trying to get people thinking out there.:slight_smile:

Steve


#2

All He would have to say is “Benedict XV has the keys” and it would be pretty clear to most everyone what that meant.

Does God care more about whether we pray to Mary or whether we pray for our enemies?

Why cant it be both?
"[FONT=arial][size=][size=]Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners[/size][/size][/FONT]"

Does God care more about what sacraments are part of our faith or that we extend God’s grace to those in need?

Why cant it be both?
“Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.-James 5:14”

Does God care more about whether we believe He’s physically present in the Eucharist or that He’s present in our daily lives as we interact with our brothers and sisters?

Why cant it be both?18In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 20When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. 22Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not! 23For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. -1 Cor 11

Does God care more about whether you attend mass every sunday or that you attend to His gentle whispers as He attempts to guide us in His will for us?

Why cant it be both? 42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. - Acts 2

Does God care more about whether we can successfully defend arguments for sola scriptura or that we can defend our daily actions as those that reflect Christ’s words in the beattitudes?

Why cant it be both?But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect - 1 Peter 3:15

Does God care more about proving he exists or demonsrating by our actions that we believe God exists and that God is Love?

Why cant it be both?14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. - Matt 5
(cont)

JUST so you know the above comments are for fun and are to be taken in good faith :), they are not meant to mock.


#3

Now before you immediately hit reply and begin a lengthly defense thesis, just take some time to reflect on some of this stuff. Trust me, I’d be the first one to jump right in and start typing. But I often thing we rush to defend ourselves - not sure why. Sometimes I think it might be pride - to show how much we know. Maybe it’s just human nature.

This is the apologetics section, we are here to both learn and answer questions. Most of what you listed was not really an “either/or” situation but could easily be “both/and”

But we have so many basic problems in the world that I wonder how much time we really have to be arguing about some minor details of our faith. We need to be doing God’s will. Letting go of our material ways, taking the time to be thankful for what we have rather than constantly wanting something more (in a material sense), becoming more aware of the needs within our community, getting more involved in our church and its outreach ministries, tending to the needs within our own family, etc, etc.

Your concern here is materialism, and I agree with you it is a serious problem in todays world.

What did I do tonight. I sat around watching TV and then goofed around on the computer for a while. Is that part of God’s will? As a Christian, is there really anything appropriate for me to be watching on TV? I can’t see me watching 99% of what I watch if Jesus were sitting on the couch next to me. If Christianity is what the United States was founded on and still the major religion in the US, then the movie industry should be going broke with what they’re producing.

The truth is most shows are dumb and not worth the time of day. The problem is our society has become centered around hype, materialism and sex.

The biggest joke in my opinion is HDTV because all your doing is increasing the picture quality of shows that are already hopelessly worthless.

But we continue to pay to see movies every day that contradict Christian values. I can’t imagine Jesus paying to see any of those movies - so why should we.

I agree, there are no movies out there worth seeing. I wonder how many Catholics around these forums pay to see movies?

Any way - just food for thought. Mostly for myself since I think about this quite often and still find it difficult to make progress in my daily walk. But I guess I feel these are the daily whispers of God gently trying to lead me and felt inspired to share with others.

Please don’t take this as an attack on those defending their faith. I’m just trying to get people thinking out there.:slight_smile:

Steve

The second half of your post I agree with hands down. The first half I didnt really agree with the idea that apologetics needs to be separated from our spiritual lives.


#4

I agree. Our PP said this weekend past that we should switch off the TV, as most shows came from Satan, and subscribe to EWTN if we couldn’t switch it off. He recommended we read the lives of the saints and other spiritual material.

If Jesus were around today He would probably be rejected by many Christians because their view of Him does not tally with Scripture.


#5

Jesus spent thiry years living as a Jewish boy and later carpenter, and three years largely preaching and arguing over doctrine.

One might argue that salvation is the primary need, but nobody’s going to listen to a sermon regarding salvation on an empty stomach.

In America no one is starving, but many people are spiritually deprived. If a Catholic wants to devote most of his efforts to helping poor people in Africa, no one is going to criticise him.

Does God care more
Does God care more
Does God care more
Does God care more
Does God care more
Does God care more

Do you care more about your career or about your religious life? So how much time do you spend praying and how much time working?
The truth is that you need to pray and you need to work. As long as the work doesn’t totally crowd out prayer, there is nothing too badly wrong. Similarly, whilst apologetics can distract from corporeal works of charity or acts of worship, they can also complement them.


#6

First of all, He is around today. We just can’t see Him!:wink:

I wonder if he would spend most of his time going around trying to defend the Catholic faith,

When He was here, He “defended” His Father’s will. His mission was to bring souls to the Truth through His words, His works, His mercy and love. Isn’t that what the Church’s mission is today? When we “defend” the faith, we are attempting to bring souls to God, in cooperation with His will. It is no minor thing at all.

Does God care more about whether we pray to Mary or whether we pray for our enemies?

We ask Mary to pray** for** us to her Son. Your comparison makes no sense. Maybe we are asking Mary to pray for our enemies. How would you know the private intentions of the faithful?

Does God care more about what sacraments are part of our faith or that we extend God’s grace to those in need?

I suspect He cares a great deal since Christ gave the Sacraments to us. How else do we get this grace we are meant to extend to others?

Does God care more about whether we believe He’s physically present in the Eucharist or that He’s present in our daily lives as we interact with our brothers and sisters?

Does God care more about whether you attend mass every sunday or that you attend to His gentle whispers as He attempts to guide us in His will for us?

Since Christ was so explicit in His explanation of the Eucharist with His apostles, I would say He must consider our belief important. Through receiving the Eucharist with the understanding that it is the Body and Blood of Our Lord, Christ becomes truly present in our daily lives and in the lives of those with whom we interact.
God gave us the Commandments. Keep holy His day. If He commanded it, then I assume He thinks it’s important. Besides, how do you know if it’s His “gentle whispers” you are hearing if you never go to visit Him?

But we have so many basic problems in the world that I wonder how much time we really have to be arguing about some minor details of our faith. We need to be doing God’s will.

You seem to think that doing one precludes us from doing the other. And I disagree about your assertion that the things you mentioned are “minor” for the reasons I posted above. As Catholics, we have many areas of life where we can “interpret” God’s will (i.e., should I go to New Orleans and help rebuild or send money to help a family? should I pray outside abortion clinics or should I work in a pregnancy crisis center?) and some where the commands are very clear. The Early Church Fathers, the great saints, the first Christians all had to be prepared to defend the faith and so should we. There is no reason why we can’t do this as well as all the other things you mentioned. While it may appear on the forums that all we do is defend the faith, I can assure you that we all have lives away from our keyboards where we all participate in many and varied ways of carrying Christ’s message in the world.


#7

Even better - instructing others in the faith (which is what apologetics is all about) is in itself a spiritual work of mercy or charity, so always complementary to the more practical ‘corporal’ acts of mercy and in no way inferior to them either.


#8

The purpose of man’s existence is to be with God in Heaven.

In order to fulfill that, each of us needs to be supernaturally alive.

Since we cannot achieve this on our own, God offers us sanctifying grace.

Without sanctifying grace, we can’t have the virtue of Charity; we can only love on the natural level. This pales in comparison with the destiny God has in mind for us.

The sacraments make it possible for us to love each other as God intended. They are not something extra that we have in addition to helping the poor and loving others.

We have to get put first things first or we lose the things that depend on them. Why do we love others? Because we love God. Without loving God for his own sake, we cannot love anyone else in the way God intended. Loving God means doing what he has told us to do, worshiping him in the way he has told us to worship him, accepting gratefully the grace he gives us.

We are devoted to helping the poor, for instance, because of the Eucharist, because of the great supernatural bond and responsibility that we have to all humanity because of the grace of unity given to us by receiving Christ himself.

Without the supernatural Charity strengthened by the sacraments, we would only be loving others on a natural level. God wants us to love them so much more.


#9

why is this posed as an either/or choice, either for Jesus, the Christians of his day or of today?
the call to mission at the conclusion of the Mass is unmistakable, we are to do both.


#10

Jesus defended the true faith against the Jews all the time. He Himself said that He came to bear witness to the Truth. Apologetics is one way to bear witness to the Truth.

I think this passage is important for people who want to say Truth doesn’t matter:

John 18:37…For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice. 38 Pilate saith to him: What is truth?


#11

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