Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Not Just Jesus and Me.

Tonite on the Journey Home program, Marcus Grodi talked about the 20th century heresy of "Just Jesus and Me." I posted about this awhile back, and still have been thinking about the role of the Church in our relationship to God. My conclusion is that we were never meant to separate our relationship with Jesus from our relationship to His Church. Through the Church He gives us the sacraments which bring us to Him. This had been the normative way of Christianity for 1500 years.

In The Spirit of Catholicism Karl Adams says:
"The Spirit of Jesus is introduced into our earthly life, not through the medium of individuals endowed with special charismatical gifts, but through the ministry of an ordered hierarchy, which being appointed by Jesus to be the structural basis of the community, creates, supports and develops it. So the Church possesses the Spirit of Christ, not as a many of single individuals, nor as a sum of spiritual personalities, but as the compact, ordered unity of the faithful, as a community that transcends the individual personalities and expresses itself in a sacred hierarchy. This organized unity, this community, as germinally given with the Head, Christ, and depending upon His institution, is a fundamental datum of Christianity, not a thing created by the voluntary or forced association of the faithful, not a mere secondary and derivative thing depending on the good pleasure of Christians, but a thing which, in the divine plan of salvation, is in its essence antecedent to any Christian personality and is to that extent a supra-personal thing, a comprehensive unity, which does not presuppose Christian personalities, but itself creates and produces them."

2 Comments:

Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

Amen. Always the 'horizontal' aspect of the cross. One thing I craved on my journey was real community. We'd start in some small group in our evangelical days, and within a few months or maybe a year, someone would leave to go to "another church"...as the "Spirit led them," of course. I think the lack of community, the "one body" "one mind" "one heart" was sadly not ever REALLY seen or experienced, at least not in the places we were for 26 years. We'd just get to know people and nothing was lasting, and since the "church" was so mystical and nebulous, it didn't seem to bother others as much as me. How could the "Spirit" be leading so many people to so many different places that believed so many different things? While we have many Catholic friends that aren't in our own neighborhood parish, the cool thing about the CC is that they are still in "our Church." Because it's not 'our church' but THE CHURCH, Jesus founded! That makes communion and community possible, through the Eucharist, for the Eucharist IS the bond. I recall one of our dear friends from our former fellowship giving us a tour of their newly bought home, and upstairs in a far off closet was her "prayer closet" which was nice. But she said this is where "me and my Jesus" spend time. That alone is a good thing, but it rang in both my husband's ears and mine about "me and my Jesus." That's how it was when I became born again in 1973, that was the whole "neat gig"...I had a bible and it was just me and Jesus and I didn't need a "church" or "stained glass" to "worship" God in "My way." That's the sad and awful truth now, with the individualisic mentality run amok in our nation, world, and sadly more and more in Christendom. No "lone rangers" is the deal. Jesus sent his disciples out 2x2, not alone. Alone (apart) from him, we can really do nothing, but IN HIM, (and IN HIS CHURCH) all things are possible. God bless all our seperated brethren, and their love for Jesus, but brother, sister, it can't start and end there, or the whole point of agape is lost. We need the hierarhcy and the authority so we don't end up like Jim Jones or David Koresh and others. Remember, they stared in bible believing churches, and if the Holy Spirit leads us all "individually"...then wouldn't it seem logical that they weren't really wrong? If it's "sola scriptura" then who is anyone to say they were wrong? Yet they were and many Christians know that and believe it, but ...why? It all comes down to authority, and no one wanting to be 'told what to do.' Yet to "obey" is better than sacrifice, is it not? Great show last night. I was practially "cheering" through the whole program!

December 30, 2008 4:03 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

"That's how it was when I became born again in 1973, that was the whole "neat gig"...I had a bible and it was just me and Jesus and I didn't need a "church" or "stained glass" to "worship" God in "My way."

susie; yes that's exactly how it happened for me, and it was the same year by the way, 1973.
My song stain glass windows was written, as you know, as my first song after I returned to the Church, and was my way of saying to God, how I am now thankful and can see the mystery(eucharist, communion of saints etc,)through the stain glass windows.
Only by God's grace and design do we not go our own way, and God knows we need the Church to stay on the straight path.
It is God's grace that keeps our separated brethren on that path as it is for us too. I just believe now the Church is the means of that grace to us.

December 31, 2008 10:56 AM  

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