I think I am becoming more Catholic. Great.
Though I have never not believed in God, I was questioning whether Jesus actually existed. The basis for the Christian faith is the acknowledgement of the existence of Jesus, and believing Jesus is pretty much a requirement to be a Catholic. As you are aware, I am all about research and finding things. How can I believe in Jesus if he may not have been a real person? Some may remember my rant a while back regarding this question. Thanks to all that offered answers.
I cannot not believe Jesus was real. I do have issues with no other sources of his appearance than the New Testament. One of my co-workers from the car dealership I worked at a couple of years ago said there was no record of Jesus as “messiahs” were a dime a dozen in the area where Jesus was to have prophesied.
True. This does bother me a bit. Then I did some looking and found this:
These written accounts do not prove or disprove the existence of Jesus, as most of us are aware of the truth-stretching ability of some Roman literary geniuses. Atheists argue that God, Jesus, Buddha, and the suchlike are human inventions. In their defense, I have to admit they may be on the right thought track. Why do we have the need to believe in a higher power, or anything at all for that matter? I am not qualified to answer this, so I will let Google help me out:
My brain will not allow me not to believe in someone, it just can’t. The tradition in celebrating this belief can be changed, and has changed. My core beliefs may have be tweeked differently as well.
The Mennonite church I have been attending off and on (more off than on) this last little while is what I am looking for on a spiritual level, somewhat. I was told that I did not need to go through the rites of baptism if I choose to become a member as I was baptized as an infant. I also like the hymns. Good Christian traditional hymns about the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of sins, and a good reminder that God is not only for English-speaking folk. This church is the finest example of the body of the church – hymns are sung in Japanese, Spanish (the church sponsors a number of families from Columbia), Korean, Swahili, and German. The odd Michael W Smith goodie slips in there at times, cuz we can’t juss be ’bout da old.
This church could be what millennials would almost love. I know that I may never get the Lord’s Prayer or Apostle’s Creed spoken at this church, but I am finding the core of the beliefs to be more mainline than I expected. There is a piano and sometimes an acoustic guitar. Once there was a Power Point presentation. There is not a rock band (drums are not allowed), there is a movie screen, but the hymns are only available in book form not on screen. From what I understand Holy Communion is offered once a month. I may check out the Catholic church in Rosthern, as I need to see of this feeling is real.
Holy Communion is the one thing I miss the most. This may be the one thing that ties me to the existence of Jesus. Now I understand that I will not be allowed to receive Holy Communion in the Roman Catholic church down the road. I could take it covertly, but that would be lying. The commemoration of Jesus’ sacrifice, is symbolic of the crucifixion, whether you believe in transubstantiation or consubstantiation.
Whoa – big words!
I am not a believer in transubstantiation. Then again, Jesus did make mention of eating his flesh:
John 6: 47-59
47 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. 48 Yes, I am the bread of life! 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. 50 Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.”
52 Then the people began arguing with each other about what he meant. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they asked.
53 So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. 54 But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”
59 He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. (3)
Of course, this episode was documented by John, a friend of Jesus. Possibly the same John who Revelation. That is another sermon. You may or may not believe this actually happened, and that is fair.
I like the idea of Jesus, now that I have been able to speak about it. The Holy Trinity part if the equation is something I would like to talk about, but that will be for another time as well. Jesus, I think may have existed and we may not have contemporary evidence other than the New Testament and a few Roman letters, but I’ll stick with what we do have.
(1) Gleghorn, Michael. “Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources.” Probe Ministries. N.p., 30 Aug. 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2015
(2) Azar, Beth. “A Reason to Believe.” American Psychological Association. American Psychological Association, Dec. 2010. Web. 22 Sept. 2015.
(3) New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.