Personally I think at least part of the problem is that they do not see the whole picture. Their ministers seem to teach them to focus on only the Bible and Jesus at the exclusion of all other things Christian.
When Saul was persecuting the early Church Christ asked him “why do you persecute me?”. To persecute the Church is to persecute Christ. To love the Church is to love Christ. It’s something that many Protestants and dissident Catholics need to re-learn.
The Church is Jesus’ Body, and Christians are members of his Body with Jesus as the head. The Church is also refered to as the Bride of Christ. Hence, Jesus is married to the Bride (his Church), and being married makes Jesus and the Bride One Flesh. His own Flesh. Which circles Christians back to being members of His Body.
Seriously, why do Catholics on this forum always sound as if they don’t understand why Protestants differ from Catholics? If they didn’t “protest” the Church they wouldn’t be “Protestants”, would they?
What’s next? “Why don’t Protestants pray the Rosary?” or “Why don’t Protestants celebrate All Soul’s Day?”
Face it Catholics: Protestants don’t do these things because they don’t believe, and there’s no amount of convincing you can do to change their minds. The only thing that will bring them to the fullness of the Faith is the Holy Spirit.
Seriously, a lot of Catholics don’t understand why Protestants believe what they do because Protestants are taught many differing things. Since they don’t have the same background, their beliefs sometimes come out a little different (or sometimes a lot differently), but that does not make them love Christ any less. God will use them for His purposes until we are united again which means we have a lot of work to do.
As far as the only thing that will bring them to the fullness of the faith is concerned, that is why I do evangelization work. I can be the mouth and feet so the Spirit can talk to people. This is part of the “new evangelization” called by John Paul 2.
As one who is generally still a protestant (I don’t fit in with a particular protestant denomination), I can say that protestants do love “the church”. The difference is, for protestants, the church is exactly what scripture defines it as, the called out followers of Jesus and his teachings. The church isn’t “the Church”, as in the large religious organization headquartered in Rome. The church is the community of believers, which is what the word Catholic should truly represent, rather than a particular religious organization.
A church should not be an organization, a building, or any particular religious heirarchy – it’s supposed to be the people, learning and studying together as equals, allowing God to bring increase.
I agree with PC Master. “Why separate the Church and Jesus?” - I’ve been brought up Baptist, and honestly? I don’t seperate the Church and Jesus. I see my church as the church of Jesus Christ - one that I’d hope everyone would be a part of…
And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
I Peter 5:1-2
The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
I Timothy 3:1, 5
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work…For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?
Hebrews 13:7, 17
Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.…Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
But the fact is that a good number of baptists and other Evangelical/Fundamentalists do persecute other members of the Church (Catholics), and therefore do persecute Jesus. Anti-Catholic bigotry is persecution of Christ.
Remember that according to their teachings, their reading of scripture, their revelation of God’s plan - as handed down to them through their traditions - we Catholics are lost sheep being guided by the whore of babylon. They certainly in no way believe they are persecuting Christ when then go after us. They truly consider themselves warriors of the faith defending what they believe is the true church from the ideas people like you and me (Catholics) bring to the table.
It’s not much different than how Catholics react to the Jehovah Witnesses or Mormons who knock on their doorsteps. We are absolutely certain they are not followers of Chist and so we debate with them, attack their beliefs, close our doors to them. Would we consider ourselves as persecuting Christ when we speak against other Christian denominations and their beliefs?
Bottom line is Christ is within every human being in existence - regardless of what faith they follow. Treat everyone equally loving and kind and the rest will follow.
Bigot: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinons and prejudices.
The difference I see is that a bigot is devoted to his own opinions and prejudices.
Those of us of faith are devoted to the opinions of our church leaders.
Though I am “obstinately devoted to the opinions” of my Church, I do not consider myself a bigot toward my Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist or athiest brothers and sisters.
Could I be considered one in their eyes? Certainly.
Doesn’t make it so, however, just as it doesn’t make it so when the tables are turned.
Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.
It is sort of a self-answering question that the OP raises: the Catholic conception of Christ as inseparable from the visible, temporal entity that they recognize as His Church may well be true, but it seems obvious to Catholics largely because they were raised believing it. If you weren’t, the notion isn’t necessarily obvious, or even orthodox. Even if Protestants’ conceptual separation of Christ and Church is mistaken, it’d be a comprehensible mistake that warrants careful apologetics, not a response that amounts to “how can you even believe that?”