personal experience*


#1

Hi I’m new here and I have to tell what has been going on in my life to someone. O.K. I am Catholic, I was baptized, had communion, and getting confirmed in a month. But up until this year I hadn’t gone to church in years. I just didn’t care, but something changed last summer that made me come back to our church. SO my best friend is a baptist. Her whole family is involved 100% with their church. Very nice. We started getting close last year and I started to spend the nights on Saturdays. Sunday’s I would go to church with them. It was alright. My mom and grandma didn’t really care. It was fine. SO, in like April she mentioned that her church youth group was going to a christian camp for a week. Centifuge is what it is called. My mom and grandma didn’t want me to go, but I thought I would be fun, and my friend assurred me it was not all religion. Ha! The first few days were fine, but it was quite a shock. Then one day my friends mom(her parents went) sat down and started talking to me about christianity and that Catholics did not have a personal relationship with Jesus. I really knew nothing about our faith so I could not defend. She was very nice about it and I Nicely declined. It was accqured* for a long time. But when we got home my friend on the phone talked to me about her religion and stuff. Anyway, we got home and I was like I want to be confirmed and want to learn about Catholisim. I now go church every Sunday and believe firmly in what I hear. I just don’t understand why Many Christians don’t believe we are Christains.Why don’t they see what we have in common and forget about what is different. I am going to the camp again this year. It was really fun, and I think it is a good way to learn and about the Bible and Jesus. From what I know we have that in common. I know what to expect and I am more confident in who I am. I just hope it is not a mistake. Also recently my friend and I said a prayer together where Jesus came into my life personaly. Does that mean that I am “saved.” I don’t want her to have the wrong idea. After I was like you know I’m still catholic right and she said yeah, but I dont know. Whatever comments you have or advice is greatly appriciated.Thank you for reading. I wanted to tell this for a while.


#2

You’ll probably get way better answers than mine, but from what I understand, this is a very common thing.

Many Protestants believe that Catholics don’t have a real relationship with God because they believe that the liturgy and ritualism of Catholicsm leaves no room for a personal relationship. Also, it’s likely something they’ve heard from well-meaning (or sometimes not so well meaning) preachers from their/our pulpits.

Believe me, you’re not alone in it. Tons of Catholics get told that and fundamentalists try to “save” them. I personally believe that’s a load of dooky. Stand fast.


#3

Our idea of salvation is a little different than that of protestants. Check out these articles:

catholic.com/library/salvation.asp

As for a personal relationship with Jesus, there is nothing more personal than the Eucharist. He comes into your being more personally at Mass than He ever could from some Baptist silver bullet prayer.


#4

Everytime we receive Jesus we are saved, It is a constant thing. As for a personal relationship goes, some dont have one.How would we really know for sure? Only He and that person know! People can say they have a relationship but dont reallyl have one.


#5

I am glad that through this experience you have become on fire for God. But while we do have the Bible in common with our protestant brothers and sisters, they have a different interpretation, a false interpretation of many things.

For example, your friend says you have been “born again” by accepting Jesus into your heart and now you have been saved.

Catholic teaching says we are born again through baptism. Your friend thinks it is only a symbol. Infants are baptized in the Catholic Church because God preforms the miracle. Only children who have made a personal decision to follow Christ are baptized.

**I applaud your desire to learn more. Unfortunately, while you may learn more about Christ in general, you will not learn more about the Catholic Christian faith and in fact could undermine it with false teachings. **

Make no mistake, your friends job is to pull you as far away from the Catholic Church as possible. Everything you learn in the Bible will be false interpretations of Scripture that seem to show you that Catholic practices are wrong.

**Please, find a Catholic youth group. Find out if your church is going to the National Youth Conference in Atlanta Georgia this year, find out if your archdiocese has a yearly youth conference. Find other Catholic Youth to further your understanding of the true teachings of Christ as found in the Catholic Church. **

God Bless,
Maria


#6

“Also recently my friend and I said a prayer together where Jesus came into my life personaly. Does that mean that I am “saved.” I don’t want her to have the wrong idea.”


“A Friend, said a prayer, Jesus CAME INTO your life” — does that mean I am saved?

That is a common thing Protestants say. They can write a certain date and time and say they “were save” then. Catholics do not do that. Catholics say their salvation (being saved) is on going. It is a lifelong thing, not a one time event.

Think. Do you believe that a man can later in life become rather evil? Of course he can. Would his “being saved” at age 21 save him even though he had been living in sin for ten years? Of course not. The falicy of “being saved” comes from a faulty interpretation of the Bible by Protestants.


#7

Hi there! And welcome to the forums… this is a great place to learn more about your faith. I wanted to comment of your’s friend’s parents’ opinion that Catholics don’t have a “personal” relationship with Jesus. That isn’t true. I am Catholic and I love Jesus more than anything! He is ALWAYS there for me, I pray to Him all the time, and I try to live my life in a way that would please him. What could be more “personal” than that? See, I used to belong to a “Bible Church” just like your friend - I used to be a youth group leader & I’d try to help others “get saved” by saying the Sinner’s Prayer (I’m a sinner… please come into my heart…) and my intentions, just like your friends’ were good. Only I was wrong. YOU are already have the TRUE faith - the Catholic Church is the original Christian Church that was started by Jesus Himself. We are the only Church that has Jesus in the Eucharist. Our Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit decided which books would make up the Bible. The Bible is read more in our mass than in MOST other Christian Churches. You probably already know all of this stuff… I just wanted to remind you why you don’t need to say any special prayers, everything you need to know you’ll hear about in the Catholic Church. I’ve been on both sides… trust me when I say this is BEST! Anyhow, maybe you could invite your friend to mass? You were willing to hear about her faith… let’s see if she’s willing to hear about yours? And if she’s not, doesn’t that sort of make you wonder about her???

Peace be with you,
CM


#8

Ahh. So much for proof reading. A few posts back I said…

posted by me
Catholic teaching says we are born again through baptism. Your friend thinks it is only a symbol. Infants are baptized in the Catholic Church because God preforms the miracle. Only children who have made a personal decision to follow Christ are baptized

should have read, "Only children and adults who have made a personal decision to follow Christ are baptized in most Protestant churches. It is a symbol only. No miracle from God, just a public declaration.


#9

[quote=moondisney] Why don’t they see what we have in common and forget about what is different.
[/quote]

MOONDISNEY–you are the one who should NOT forget about what is different. You have done nothing wrong, but you need to understand that there are subtle things that you will hear in the Protestant church (or camp) that are slightly wrong–usually not purposefully against Catholic doctrine–just flat out misinformation that can mess up the way you perceive the word of God and your Faith. For instance: communion in the Protestant church is not regular–when I was Baptist–we did it about once every two months or so. It was grape juice in a little plastic thimble-like cup and a little cracker the size of my pinky nail. It was completely symbolic–now that I receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ in the Eucharist–it seemed (and I honestly don’t mean this disrespectfully) like that was playing tea-party. Knowing now what Christ gave us and still gives us in the Eucharist–I feel like that whole experience is actually disrespectful to God’s gift.

Another example: Asking for forgiveness for your sins. The Protestant Church will teach you that when you pray for forgiveness, God is faithful and just to forgive you your sins. That is completely true. However–there is more than forgiveness required–you must be reconciled with God and therefore, also His Church. Let’s say you broke your nice neighbor–mr. Smith’s window–man!–you feel horrible! You shouldn’t have been hitting that baseball in the direction of his house–it was an honest mistake–but he DID warn you about it last week when you where out playng ball in the yard. You KNOW Mr. Smith will forgive you–he’s such a nice guy–but you have to go face to face with him and tell him you’re sorry. Mr. Smith will forgive you, but that won’t fix the window. It will still be broken. A truly repentent person actually WANTS to fix what is broken. You must reconcile with Mr. Smith by offering to fix the broken window. And then you are still not done–you actually have to follow through on repairing the damage done. THAT is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Protestant Church never goes face to face with Mr. Smith…er…I mean God. Catholics do when they sit before God in the confessional–the priest, in the person of Christ, forgives our sin. It is Christ speaking the words of forgiveness through His instrument–the priest. That is the Sacrement of Reconciliation–totally dismissed (and sometimes derided) in Protestant churches. You’re not going to find that in a Protestant church–and in fact–if you suggest this idea, you will most likely be met with either hostility or pity–hostility because it will be interpreted that you are suggesting that Protestants do not do enough to receive God’s mercy, and pity (and often hostility also) because they may assume you are an indoctrinated Catholic who believes God doesn’t have enough mercy to forgive you–or that His death didn’t “pay in full” all the sins you will commit, or that you believe you must earn your way into heaven with good works–or any number of misconceptions concerning Catholic Dogma.

Also recently my friend and I said a prayer together where Jesus came into my life personaly. Does that mean that I am “saved.” I don’t want her to have the wrong idea. After I was like you know I’m still catholic right and she said yeah, but I dont know.

The idea of “saved” is another good idea gone wrong–the one who persists to the end is saved. This also is a subtle misconception presented as FACT in the Protestant churches. Jesus saves–yes–but our accepting His salvation is a million choices we make daily–not a one time “come into my heart” thing–it’s a ZILLION “come into my heart” things! Unless you know your future–you cannot KNOW you are saved–you can be confident in God’s mercy and justice–but only when you stand in His presence will you KNOW you’ve been “saved”!

Good Luck–And glad you’ve come back into the Catholic Church.


#10

Hey. thank you so much everybody for your help. I really appreciate you advice. I will keep it all in mind. God Bless!


#11

I would also like to add that experiences such as you had are great, and are very common among Catholics as well as Protestants. I have been blessed with all kinds of great experiences that are gifts from Christ. The important thing is to not get hung up on the feelings that you receive, as many do. Any relationship of love–be it between two humans or between a human and God–relies on more than just feelings. Thank God for the gift, and all of those which you receive hereafter, but also pray that you can go even deeper into his love.


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