This afternoon I was listening to a podcast of the “Calling All Catholics” radio call-in show, originally broadcast on March 13, 2015 on the Station of the Cross, WLOF 101.7FM out of Buffalo, New York. “Father” Dave Baker and moderator, Mike Denz, were mulling over Catholicism between phone calls and complaining that 60% of Catholics agree with the survey statement, “It is not possible to have a personal relationship with God.”
“Fr.” Dave said he introduced a course at his parish to show people how to have a personal relationship with God. He even sets up special sessions of eucharistic adoration for those taking the course so they can “REALLY” get to know God.
What can I say? For centuries Catholics were never taught by their church they needed to have a personal relationship with God. Receiving God meant being baptized and consuming the communion wafer. For Catholics, God was Somebody to be feared. Every detail of their belief system and ritual were meant to assuage a God who demanded and expected perfect obedience. If you wanted some sympathy and mercy you were told to pray to Mary. Most Catholics hoped that when they stood before God their “good” would at least outweigh their bad. But all this Evangelical talk about having a “personal relationship” with God has Catholicism in a dither.
Every sinner who has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior has a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. We can confidently call the all-powerful God of the Universe our Father only because the blood of His Son washed ALL of our sins away – past, present, and future. We can stand confidently before God clothed in the perfect righteousness of His Son. Halleluiah!!!
I walk with Him daily as I journey through this life. He knows me intimately. He protects me. He sustains me. He indwells me. He gives me my next breath. He is my Rock. He is my All. I am nothing without Him. I love Him beyond words. He pulled me out of the deep, dark abyss into the bright sunshine. He grabbed me and pulled me out of the icy sea when I had no strength or breath left. He suffered and died for ALL my sins. He took them all upon himself. Oh, my Lord! Not to have a relationship with Him? There could be NOTHING worse.
Kneeling before a bread wafer is NOT a personal relationship with God. Getting more deeply involved with your religion is NOT a relationship with God. You sit in front of a TV screen and passionately cheer on your favorite football team every Sunday but you can’t be bothered about the eternal salvation God offers you freely through Jesus and the opportunity to have the God of the Universe as your Redeemer, Father, Friend, and the Rock of your life???
Accept Jesus as your Savior. Seek out an Evangelical church where the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ is proclaimed. Devour His Word like your three daily meals. Inhale His Word like oxygen!
“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:15
“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” – Galatians 4: 4-7
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for saving me!!!
20 thoughts on “60% of Catholics: “It is not possible to have a personal relationship with God.””
That’s rather funny. Try to convince the 40% that already have a personal relationship with God. Duh. How can 60% agree with the words “not possible”? Maybe it was the way the question was phrased.
Hi Kevin, So it seems 40% of Catholics claim they have a “personal relationship” with God. Is that just warm, religious fuzzy or did they genuinely accept Christ as their Savior? If they genuinely accepted Christ then why do they remain in a religious system which mandates you must partially merit your salvation?
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It’s not exactly a mandate from the Church. It’s more like a “result” from having Faith. The Church mandates that only by Christ’s death on the cross can we be saved, but just saying we have Faith doesn’t mean we have really accepted Jesus. We should also at least make an attempt to do what Jesus asked us to do. I think that was the point that James was trying to make.
Let us not forget the Gospel of John in regards to obeying the commands of Christ: John 14:15,John 3:36, John 14:24, and John 15:10.
Obeying is action and so is faith.
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John 3:36? “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”
Keep on trying to obey your way into Heaven. It’s not possible.
“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” – Luke 18:9-14
The Pharisee pleads his “goodness” and “obedience” while the tax collector has no plea other than his Redeemer.
RE: “The Church mandates that only by Christ’s death on the cross can we be saved…”
The Catholic church teaches that you must also “cooperate/collaborate with grace” in order to merit your salvation. CCC 2001, 2010
But why waste even another second on this works-righteousness religion when the pope declares EVEN ATHEISTS will be saved if they follow their consciences and seek “righteousness.”
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Well. The Pope isn’t God. Even to a Catholic
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The Catholic Church has never taught that salvation can be earned. The Council of Trent states: ““If anyone shall assert that without the previous inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and his assistance, man can believe, hope, love or repent, as he ought, in order to obtain the grace of justification, let him be anathema”
Only a living faith will save. All else is vanity and deceit.
Sorry but you need to dig into what your church actually teaches.
Sure, Trent and the CC teach initial justification (baptism) is completely by God’s grace (no, I don’t believe baptism is salvific) but the CC teaches man must then continuously cooperate/collaborate with grace to merit salvation.
“Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then MERIT for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life.”
“If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.”
Council of Trent, Canon Nine
You have a misunderstanding of Church teaching. Everything must be read in context. Good deeds are the effect of free cooperation with grace. This is a mystery, which is discussed at length by Fr. William Most in his book ‘Grace, Predestination and the Salvific Will.’
On the contrary, I have an excellent understanding of your church’s teaching. Yes, it says “good” deeds are the effect of free cooperation with grace so that even “good” deeds are ultimately attributed to grace. Yet many Catholics receive equal amounts of this grace and, in spite of this, still do very bad deeds. So, despite the sophistry, it all boils down works and merit. I would argue that all Catholics, like all men, regularly commit bad deeds either in thought, word, or action and won’t be able to justify themselves by their deeds before a Holy God.
Since Catholicism is a works-based religious system it gradually came to accept all other works-based religions as legitimate pathways to God. The current pope has said even atheists will be saved if they follow their consciences and seek righteousness. So why do you quibble with me over the details of a mystic’s vision? According to your pope EVERYONE is going to Heaven as long as they are “good.” In Francis’ watered-down ecumenism NO ONE needs to believe in the immaculate conception, they just need to be “good.”
And yet Christ said there are NONE who are good and everyone must accept Him as Savior to be saved. Who then should we believe? Christ or Catholicism?
I am not quibbling; I simply offered evidence to the contrary. I do not wish to engage in a debate. There are many excellent books that do this for me, e.g. https://archive.org/details/thehistoryofhere00liguuoft
The words of Pope Francis must be understood in the context of Church teaching:
Those who are saved are saved in and through Christ.
As you know the Cc did not always teach that non-Catholics who try to be “good” will merit Heaven. In 1302 Boniface VIII declared in his Bull Unam Sanctam that only Catholics could be saved. Was Boniface wrong and modern popes right or is it the other way around? If non-Catholics and atheists can also get to Heaven by being “good,” exactly how “good” do they have to be? Jesus said NO ONE is good but God but let’s ignore what Jesus said about things and go back to Catholic teaching. I hope we can at least agree that no one obeys God or their conscience perfectly, so at what point is a person “good enough” to merit Heaven? Probably the VAST majority of people consider themselves to be basically “good” yet Jesus said the VAST majority of people are going to hell. Whoops! There I go bringing Jesus into things again. Okay, so even the pope with all his ecumenical inclusiveness would probably concede that SOME people are going to hell. So how “good” does a person have to be to merit Heaven? Where is the dividing line between “good” and hell-bound? Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and atheists all need to know exactly what the standard is for “good enough”!!!!!
The second link provided will help to answer some of your questions. It is a topic that requires substantial commentary.
Remember that the Church is “the pillar and ground of the truth.” (Timothy)
RE: “Remember that the Church is ‘the pillar and ground of the truth.’”
But you skipped over my earlier question regarding truth. Boniface VIII declared in his Bull Unam Sanctam of 1302 that only “good” Catholics could be saved. Francis says today even “good” atheists will be saved. Who is right?
Catholicism has changed and even flip-flopped it’s teachings and policies throughout the centuries. Most Catholics are not aware of their own church’s history and would probably not want to know. If the popes were infallible in matters of faith and morals and led by the Holy Spirit where were they during the Inquisition, during the anti-Semitic pogroms? Why were they selling indulgences and ecclesiastical offices? Why were they fomenting war against “heretic” nations? Why did they condemn democratic forms of government? Why did they forcibly suppress and persecute Protestants in league with civil governments whenever they had the ability to do so? It appears from history that the only “truth” Catholicism was propagating was “might makes right.”
They are both right. Church teaching, like Our Lord’s words, cannot be considered in isolation.
Fr. John Hardon has written well on this topic:
There is no short answer. Many theological points come into play.
Of course, the Cc is ALWAYS right even if Monday they call it black and Tuesday they call it white.
Like the repentant thief on the cross I put my faith in Jesus Christ alone. The 3000 in Jerusalem responded to Peter’s short exhortation and accepted Christ that very hour. Doctors of the law idolize the law’s complexities and set themselves over the people. Very sad.
If you put your faith in Jesus, you must trust His Church, as did St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Bridget, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Alphonsus, St. Faustina, St. Padre Pio etc. These are holy men and women who loved the Church. According to you, these Saints were idolaters and heretics!
His church is all those who accept Him without a single plea of their own like the tax collector. The Cc is a hybrid of Christianity and paganism which teaches works-righteousness. Catholics reverence “saints” as “holy” examples. Only God is holy.
“Tu solus sanctus.”