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.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

There Are No Lone-Ranger Christians

"There Are No Lone-Ranger Christians" is a statement we used to make as we would try to convince an errant brother that he needed to be in fellowship when they would tell us that 'all they needed is Jesus.' However, it is not hard to see how that idea could develop when we believed that being a Christian was based exclusively on a personal relationship with Jesus devoid of sacraments or the institutional visible Church.
Sometimes, it was so personal some of us divorced ourselves completely from the Church, His mystical body.
As my blog intro says, I found Jesus in 1973 but promptly lost his Church because I was told there was no need for the Church in the life of a Christian and one could do quite well without it, as long as you were plugged into a bible study somewhere on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, I was told that the Catholic Church in particular could pull you away from God!
A favorite aphorism went like this: Going to Church will make you a Christian just as much as going to a chicken coop will make you a chicken! True enough, that just warming a pew without availing oneself of the rich graces available in the sacraments of the confessional and the Blessed Sacrament/Eucharist isn't going to get you to heaven. But to then make the assumption that the Church is not necessary for salvation is a by-product of the divorce of Christianity from the Church which was never meant to happen. Christ gave us the Church as the instrument through which he directs His grace to us. I didn't make the rules, it's just the way He deigned it!

Read what the pope has just said about being a Christian. You can't become one on your own. You need someone to baptize you! Yes you can have the conversion experience on the road to Damascus like St Paul, but ultimately he needed to find his way to Ananias, a member of the Church and be baptized. So Pope Benedict is essentially saying what we used to say all along, There are no lone-ranger Christians!

Of course, I am speaking of the normative way of becoming a Christian, not desert isle, or concentration camp conversions where the Church and the sacraments are unavailable.


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