Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Personal Vs. Communal

I mentioned that Catholics believe that worship is two fold: personal/private and communal. And as I explained earlier we are obligated by the third (catholic version) or forth (other christian version) commandment to honor the sabbath transferred to Lord's Day (Sunday). This means, as I explained in another blog post, that we are obligated to go to Mass (worship communally), perform acts of charity/mercy, and to spend time with our family.

From my understanding of things, Protestants encourage but do not require attendance at a worship service. I suppose the reason for it is that the only requirement for salvation is belief in Jesus. Whereas for Catholics our salvation also hinges on our behavior towards God and all that he commands. I've talked about the pathway of salvation and God not having to follow the plans he gives to mankind so I won't get too specific here.

I suppose I'm reviewing all these things so that people will understand why Catholics have a hard time understanding some bad Protestant stuffs.

For example, the "Jesus is my personal Lord and Savior" gets to me. I've already mentioned the "Is Jesus your personal Lord and Savior" bit before and Hubby tried to explain to me that it meant personal relationship. Okay. I have a personal relationship with Jesus, but so does everyone else to some degree or other.

Catholics say that "Jesus is the Savior of the World." It's a Biblical quote. John 4:42 There's nothing in the Bible that notes that Jesus is personal and only for one. I could keep quoting other texts where Jesus is referred to as the Savior of Mankind or All Men, but I'll just stop while I'm ahead.

But this fallacy keeps on growing and permeates more than just a "harmless" phrase, it's causing ministers to say that Jesus would have come down and died on the cross just to save you alone.

There is one site which tried to explain that this isn't Biblically accurate, but something ministers use to show that God loves us, which has gone a little awry. There isn't anything in the Bible to suggest that Jesus would have died for one person if they were the only sinner. The Bible says because Adam fell, we all fall (1 Cor 15:21-22). So for one thing no one can say they are not a sinner. If you continue on with the verse, it also says that in Jesus, all are saved. Not one or even a few. He died for all.

Plus as I already have mentioned the Bible says that Jesus is the Savior of World, of All Man Kind. The Bible does not, I'll say it again, say that he is just for you personally.

For another thing there is nothing Biblical to suggest that he would have died on the cross for one person. If we look at the story of Lot in Genesis (as the site points out), God did not spare the city even for Lot and his family. So why would God spare us, the one theoretically bad person, from not falling down to Gehenna while everyone else experiences paradise? Or conversely why would he have died just for one person to reach heaven and send everyone else to hell? God does not foreordain anyone to hell. He wants to save us all. Neither scenario makes sense.

Therefore, one can conclude quit simply that this "personal" mindset is great for personal devotions and having a relationship with God. Note: I have taught a confirmation class where I emphasized having a personal relationship with God and that it is important. However, it's festering and sleazing around to the point of becoming Evangelical dogma. Please for the Love of Pete, stop thinking of Jesus as being "personal" and stop saying that he would have "died just for you." However sentimental and sweet it may sound, it's not accurate or Biblical.

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I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!